So it's day three in Orlando, but the second day at the parks. I agonized for months over how to do our touring schedule 'just right.' Epcot is my least favorite park.... but it still has a few things that you always want to 'try' to do....namely, Soarin. Test Track is usually a must as well, but it was closed for refurbishment. Nonetheless, while I was not going to devote a long day to Epcot, we did want to pop over there for a bit at least.
Besides, this was our vacation and we were going to do it our way.... which, for this trip, was going to be 'get into the park early, hit the highlights, eat lunch, and go swimming' for the daily plans.
Fortunately our girls are not ones to sleep in.
A quick ride on the monorail and we were at Epcot. As we did for Toy Story at Hollywood Studios, I sent Matt off to Soarin to get fastpasses once we got into the park.
The girls and I dawdled along, soaking it in. We love fountains, so we had to stop and check every one of those out as we went by.
Fastpasses weren't going to be good for about an hour or so, so we hopped on Nemo! My pics in the actual ride never turn out that great. We cruised through on our clam mobile, and then ended up in the aquarium area. We spent a lot of time checking out the sea life!
Hannah was not real thrilled that I made her get in Bruce's mouth.
Look! More fountains. These jump from one planter to another, right over your head. The girls were taken by surprise the first few times! of course, it took me about 15 tries to get the picture of the water shooting over them! :)
We went on Journey into the Imagination with Figment, an old classic. Always gotta watch out for the part with the sense of smell!
We headed back to the Land building and rode 'living with the land'...typically a snoozer in my book, but some of the gardening stuff was quite interesting. Brooke's class made these cool Ecosystems before we left (fish on bottom, roots in the middle, plant life/dirt/rollie polies on top) and on this ride we saw a giant version. Brooke was excited to see what she has learned this year put into use right there at Disney World!
Finally it was time to go on Soarin. Brooke LOVES this ride. Hannah made the height cut off, and soon we were soarin over the California coast, feeling the breeze in our hair, smelling the orange groves, and the pine trees on the ski slopes, and right through the fireworks at Disneyland. Hannah LOVED it too. It really is a great ride!!! (Simulator, don't be scared!).
We snagged some lunch there at the Sunshine Seasons, then bailed out of there and back to our hotel for usual rest time/swim time. Some people might think we're crazy for having rest time while at Disney World, but let me tell you this. Besides the fact that it is so easy to do because of where we stay, I will tell you honestly that we did not have ONE SINGLE MELTDOWN at the parks, restaurants, etc. The ONLY meltdown we had was when we woke Hannah UP from a nap, because she just doesn't wake up well. When you are at Disney, you see parents getting so frustrated with their kids for lagging behind, or throwing a fit, or whining. It's because they are TIRED. Or, HOT, HUNGRY, and TIRED. It is soooooo worth it for us to have that time to refresh. It results in a much more peaceful trip, and so much more relaxing. I always encourage my clients to have some chill time in their days too, and I've not had one person come back and complain about that suggestion ;)
Anywho.....! Dinner that night was back at Hollywood Studios. We got there early enough to catch the Muppets in 3D before dinner. Phineas and Ferb were there near our restaurant, but the line was long, so we just waved. We did, however, pose with Mater and Lightning real quick.
Then it was off to Mama Melrose's for dinner. I had gone back and forth on whether to keep this reservation several times. I ended up keeping it because my friend Chuck said it was good, and I wanted the priority seats it gave us for the Fantasmic show later that night.
I was not disappointed. We had to wait a little longer for a table than was typical for us, but it was worth it. Matt and I both had steak with some kind of augratin Macaroni and cheese. I don't remember what the girls had, but they loved it.
For dessert, Hannah got a 'spaghetti and meatballs cupcake'.
Matt and I got some fancy dessert of some sort that was good.
Brooke was a little offended I didn't make a big deal out of her dessert choice...yogurt parfait! I was impressed she chose something healthy but she doesn't have the sweet tooth we do! I did snag a picture of her yogurt though :)
After we ate, we had thought we'd catch an attraction or two before heading over to Fantasmic. That didnt' work. The last show of Disney Junior Live on stage had already started. The 'Draw with an Imagineer" at the Animation building was going to run later than we could stay given the show time. We didn't think our tummies could handle Tower of Terror after our awesome dinner.
So we just wandered on over to the Fantasmic Arena. And walked a long ways into there to our seats.
I embraced my inner super mommy and bought the girls these battery powered glow necklaces, and cotton candy too. They loved me.
Fantasmic was another thing on my 'must do' list....another show we had not been to on any of our previous trips. It was not at all what I expected, but it was really cool! A lot of the show was clips projected onto these huge fountain plumes of water, which was hard to photograph. Mickey had to conquer the villains of his dreams and triumph in the end.
This boat came by, and it was like character-palooza. Kinda fun to see so many in one spot!
In the end, Mickey triumphed over his nightmares!
We were so glad to see the show, but I wouldn't do it without the priority seating. People line up 90 minutes ahead of time for the general seating. Not worth that wait I don't think. Exiting was a like a herd of 5000 people plodding down the cow path. That was a little crazy.
The bus gods were smiling because we got out of the park and to our bus stop and only waited a minute or two. It was butt-to-nut crowded on the bus, but the girls sat and talked holes in one lady's shirt all the way back to the resort.
Another successful day, doing it our way!