Thursday, January 20, 2011

Epcot Day 2 -

So, after a late night at the Magic Kingdom, Candy had planned a bit of an easier day before New Year's Eve. We slept a bit later and woke up refreshed and ready to continue our adventure. On the drive in we decided to park at Epcot - we would be doing some minor park hopping and this seemed the best way for us to work it out. We went in and hurried over to get some fast passes for the test track just in case we had time to ride it later...we LOVE that ride! On the way past Planet Earth I had to get a picture of the patterns it makes (no pretty sunrise reflections today!)

Then it was over to The Seas with Nemo and Friends again. First I rode it with Maddie, then because the line was so short we went back and rode it again. I got to ride it the second time with Peyton...that was an adventure. He loves looking for Nemo and watching all the fish. It is so funny to hear him talk back to them and get so excited!

It was still early but we were going to go ahead and eat because we had early dinner reservations for the Hoop-de-doo Review that evening so we made our way over to the Liberty Inn. We decided to eat outside because it was such a beautiful morning ~ the weather was perfect. We grabbed a couple of tables and enjoyed a plesant meal, then Rick, the girls, and I went back over to the gingerbread house and got everyone homemade gingerbread for dessert. While we were enjoying our gingerbread we suddenly heard some fifes and drums. Here came a "parade" right down the street in front of us! I jumped up with the kids and ran over to the wall surrounding the pavillion where we were eating in time to catch a quick picture.

After they passed by we went back to help clean up our tables and make our way over to our first "Passport" stop. The kids and I all had passports that Candy made for us to get signed in each of the Epcot World Pavillions. They were very nicely done with a page for each country. Our first stop was to be America. As we were making our way to the "Kid-cot" area we passed the Drum and Fife Corps again as they were preparing to dismiss. Such a cool sight to share with the grandkids!

We stopped and got messages and stamps in our passports and then walked around to get a Kim Possible Mission for Sydney. She had been dying to do a mission the first day we were here and there wasn't time, so this time we wanted to be sure she got a chance to participate....besides, I was really curious about this! She got her "high tech Kimmunicator" and we were off! Our mission was in the Mexico pavillion, so we headed over that direction. It was so much fun looking for the clues, figuring out where to go and what we needed to do that I totally forgot
to take pictures!

We continued from pavillion to pavillion getting our passports signed and taking in all the sights. I took some pictures of some of the things we saw...most in Japan where Candy and the girls got to pick oysters and see if they got a pearl - which the all did! They had them made into necklaces (they got to pick a design ~ they were all so pretty!) I got a beautiful silk kimono that I LOVE! Anyway, here are some of the pictures...

The storyteller

Hidden Mickey!
After looking around and going to all the different world pavillions it was time to make our way to the Hoop-de-do Review. We rode the monorail over to the ferry, then took the ferry over to at the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. This was a blast! Good food and great entertainment as we watched the dancing, singing and vaudville comedy...My favorite of course were the REALLY bad puns! As part of the finale we all got spoons and washboards and joined in with the cast members!

Now it was time to get back on the ferry, walk to the monorail, back into Epcot so we could go over and pick up the girls necklaces. We went back and Rick, the girls and I rode Mission Space again... so fun! We still had our fast passes for the test track so we went on over there. Rick and I decided that Chris and Candy really needed to ride this one together this time, so they took the girls while Rick and I may our way over to the "car show" with Peyton to wait for them to finish the ride. Peyton LOVED sitting in the different first he wanted to drive...

Doesn't it look like he REALLY belongs in this Camero!
Look out Dad!After trying out every car we went into the area where they show how the robots put them together. Peyton was a hoot to watch as he watched everything wide eyed, climbed around, and kept beat with the large machine press!
Waiting for Mom and Dad
When everyone finished the ride we went out through the gift shop (with a couple of stops along the way!)
Hidden Mickey

And how they go with the car theme!
Even though it was still fairly early, we decided to call it a day. Tomorrow would be New Year's Eve and we knew THAT would be a long day at Hollywood Studio's.

Next Time...Hollywood here we come!

Monday, January 10, 2011

After Dark at the Magic Kingdom

At dinner we had decided that even though we were all a little tired, we really wanted to enjoy The Main Street Electrical Parade and (hopefully) not have to fight the crowds so much. This being said we determined the plan of action would be to skip the 9:00 Parade, go to the fireworks at 10:00 and hopefully a lot of the crowd would leave then and we could enjoy a less crowded parade at 11:00. We found a wonderful spot across from the castle to watch the fireworks and staked it out while the crowds were enjoying the parade. This is the view we had.

Castle reflections

Mickey and Minnie topiaries.
Finally it was time for the fireworks. Here, through the lens of Rick's camera, are the magnificent fireworks!

Once all the fireworks were over ( including Tinkerbell flying right over our heads!) we meandered over to main street and found seats on the curb to get ready for the parade. I couldn't believe the cast members. There may have been 10 little pieces of trash on the street in front of us, but there were swarms of cast members with brooms sweeping up every little thing, then came another with a huge street vacuum cleaning it all up. Within minutes the street was so clean you would never have guessed hundreds of people had just watched a parade go by!
We were fully prepared to wait about 45 minutes for the parade and do nothing else when all of a sudden from right behind us came the sound of heralding trumpets. We turned around to see what the commotion might be. Lo and behold ~ they were putting on a show on the castle stage and we had almost front row seats!
Once again, thank you Rick for being aware enough to get some wonderful pictures!

After much clapping and hollering we turned back around and had only a few minutes left until another dream come true moment. Normally The Main Street Electrical Parade is only found at DisneyLand...but it had been moved to Disney World for a limited engagement, and the stay was extended through Christmas, so I was going to get to see it even though a normal trip to Disney World would not have included this VERY special treat!
I fully intended to get pictures of the parade - but even before the first float turned the corner...when the first few notes of the music started, the tears began to flow and all the emotion of the 5 - 10 - and beyond year old "kid" inside came out. I was so excited I think I even forgot I had a camera around my neck. Thank heavens Rick didn't! So without further adieu....
The Main Street Electrical Parade!

And then it was time to wave the last wave, listen to the diminishing sounds of the music floating away on the magical mist and say farewell to the Magic Kingdom until I can make it back again. Hopefully in less than another 50 years!!

Next: a much shorter day at Epcot!

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This is about my life. My life as a wife. My life as a mother. My life as a Memaw. My life as a teacher. My life as a runner. My life such as it is.