Fair warning, friends. This was our rough day. Not that it wasn't good. It was just rough. It ended up in a wash out, but not after first figuring out that the one thing that could paralyze our son was fire. Yes. Fire.
Adding insult to injury, I spent a good portion of the day worrying about the mysterious fever that hit Ansley mid-night and talking back and forth on the phone to our pedi back home. (The phone was one object I was trying to avoid at all cost on this trip.)
So - to be upfront about it. Rough. Day. But we endured and enjoyed anyway.
Hollywood Studios has extended their Frozen Summer, so we got to take part.
Now - I've raved about the Disney Dining Plan, allow me to mention something else we thought was fantastic. Pre-rope drop breakfasts. Yes, friends. They are fantastic. Why, you ask? Many reasons. One, you don't have to beat the crowd to make way TO your restaurant. Two, you get to see the park virtually empty. Aside from cast members, who tend to blend in well, the only other people in are people eating breakfast. We experienced one of these breakfasts in 3 of the 4 parks and it was WORTH IT. May I also add that we were there during the 'off' season, and we showed up for every. single. meal. early and got right in each time.
So here are pics of the kids in a virtually empty Hollywood Studios (Ansley good on tylenol :) ):
And in front of our 'play and dine' breakfast at Hollywood and Vine:
This breakfast is called a 'play and dine' for a reason. About every 15 minutes the characters and cast would get together to do a Disney Jr. song / dance that the kids were encouraged to take part in. The food was so-so and typical breakfast fare (though it was the hubs' favorite food of the day), but the character interactions were fantastic.
Dad enjoyed the play and dine portion too :)
Mickey waffles, they are everywhere!
Meeting Doc McStuffins:
And Handy Manny knocked off Ansley's ginormo bow, and fixed it for her. As appropriate :) No tools required:
As we were leaving I took this picture of the kids in the front of the restaurant. At first, I thought, "Man, look at those smiles, the kids love me for this." Then I realized Handy Manny was dancing around behind me. I'll take it :)
From breakfast, Bryton decided he was brave enough to ride Tower of Terror (which I was probably more concerned about him than he was), so we hiked on over before the line got forever long. The picture is far away, but it explains his reaction perfect:
He and I are in the back on your left. The couple next to him were from Georgia and enjoyed his enjoyment of it as well :)
From there, we had a slight meltdown from Ansley, who also wanted to ride (but we said 'no' to that), and we trekked on to our first fastpass, Toy Story Midway Mania. Toy Story is a 3d ride / game where you can shoot targets and earn points to compete against the others in your car. Overall, it was the favorite ride of the day, by a landslide. (And we only had time to do it once.)
From there, we visited a Disney Jr. Show:
And the animator's academy to try our hand at animating (we got to draw Mickey! FREE souveniers, which I plan on framing and hanging in our home! Tip: I took a wrapping paper roll, cut in half, to preserve the papers through the trip and the journey home!) and to meet a few characters. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of our drawings (but I'll get some soon!) but I do have pictures with the characters :)
From there, we went to the ABC Commissary to have lunch. Lunch was just ok, but thank you dining plan for giving us dessert, my Olaf Carrot Cake cupcake was AWESOME! He was so cute I almost couldn't eat him. Almost.
It was during lunch I got the bright idea to reach out to our pedi on Ansley's condition. She had mentioned twice by this point that her ear hurt, so it seemed appropriate to give it a shot. I placed a call to the doctor at lunch time, and waited to hear back from the nurse. Until then, more tylenol.
From there is where the whole day blew up, rather literally.
We decided to take the kids on the Studio Backlot Tour, something rumored to be closing, and family friendly, so we thought. I received two phone calls from the Dr during all the explosions, all while watching B deteriorate QUICKLY with any sign of fire. Ansley loved it, but B pretty much looked a mess the whole time.
This is a picture of him in a GOOD place. His hands weren't over his eyes, he wasn't crying, or in fetal position. I know they've been talking about fire at school, but the fear he has of it... not normal. This from the kid who rode test track, tower of terror, space mountain and haunted mansion...
Here's a few backlot pictures:
I didn't have many, between phone and B... I had my hands full.
While this was going on, the sky was doing this:
So we decided to go into a show to see Muppets in 3D. B still did not recover.
Mike and Sully were meeting kids at their character spot, and Ansley was interested. At this time it was pouring, and their spot was covered, so we went for it. B was still clammed up, so Ans and I went and he laid, quite literally, in the stroller.
From there we played "do we stay or do we go" - as in, really. And we decided... go. Ansley had a script waiting at the pharmacy at this point, and we decided the day could just be a 'wash'. There were a few things that we would have liked to do but didn't have the chance to, but ultimately, it was an accomplished day, if nothing else.
We hit up one photopass photographer for these pics at the end, and yes, I forced B into them:
At that point - we left, went back to the hotel for me to ask concierge about a good counter service meal option. She sent us to the Polynesian to Capt' Cooks. It was good, but Ansley's fever had returned, back to the hotel we went.