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Friday, December 15, 2017

Quick Morning at AK

Our last park day was another day divided. Kye's FAVORITE ride out of any park is Everest and Tess LOVES animals so even though it was Britt's birthday trip, we still wanted to make a stop at Animal Kingdom so we could allow everyone to enjoy some of their favorite things :)

The opening of Pandora has been C-RAZY crowded. We knew we wouldn't have fast passes for either of the new rides but got to the park an HOUR prior to opening and had no problems getting to Na'vi River Journey and walking RIGHT ON the ride! We actually could have easily hopped on Flight of Passage and totally regret not going for it as even after we rode Na'vi there STILL wasn't any sort of wait time for it but the line by that time for FOP was already through the entire LAND. 

Na'vi is the family friendly of the two rides and was BEAUTIFUL. We aren't big Avatar fans. In our opinion it's a knock off of Ferngully. Ha! But I will say we plan to watch the film as a family prior to visiting Animal Kingdom again. The kids didn't "get" the ride and even though it was beautiful and awesome, it'd be more appreciated with some knowledge of the film. 

I've also heard that Pandora is best experienced at night so I hope to visit again when it's dark! It was neat but maybe I'm in the minority of people who wasn't CRAZY impressed? 

One of those times where Tess wasn't in picture mode ;) 

They let us into the park well before park opening time (crucial to get there SUPER early y'all!) and we were able to ride Na'vi, get pics and walk all the way over to the Safari before the park even officially opened for the day. We literally walked right on the safari too!

This girl made that face sticker last ;) 

Our animal lover!

We had a great experience. Really the safari is ALWAYS awesome! Even if you don't LOVE animals it's still super fun. 

For sure the closet a giraffe has ever come to us!

Usually the lions are sleeping so it was a rare treat to see them awake!

After the safari the boys ran to ride Everest and the girls and I took our time crossing the park to go meet Pocahontas.   

For our outfits this day I wanted us all to have a Moana vibe in honor of Britt's current favorite movie :) This kimono def helped me achieve my desired look!

Ahhh Fans are THE BEST

We had a very short wait for Pocahontas, which surprised me. But it turns out that because Pandora IS so popular that the long wait times there (it was over 3 hour wait by the time we headed to Safari...before the park even officially opened!) really made the rest of the park barely crowded at all. We had SUCH a great experience because we literally didn't want for anything! 

Pocahontas is a character we've never met and she's BEAUTIFUL. I couldn't get over how gorgeous she was!!! She was GREAT with the girls talking about animals! It's funny to me because when Tess was a baby I used to think she favored Pocahontas because she had that super dark hair...well not anymore ;) 

Very short line for Everest too!

We hung out and waited on the boys and Britt is just happy as can be to take pics ;)

It's Tough to be a Bug!

I've always recommended SKIPPING this experience because it is pretty scary. Tess is VERY brave for her age. She loved it her first visit but this time she was a little more fearful and said "that was scary!" when it was over but then also still said she liked it haha I think she's gonna be a daredevil with rides and experiences! 

Park opened at nine...and we were done with everything we wanted to do before 10:30! We debated doing Kali River Rapids as we were all HOT and sweaty and knew we were going back to the room after. But Tess wasn't tall enough to ride it so we skipped it rather than taking up the time to do rider swap on it. 

We all really needed some down time and REST and I'm so glad we headed back to the room to allow for that! 

Anytime we travel we bring two bags of Mega Blocks. Kye is almost nine and still loves these! We reserve them only for travel and they are easy to pack and provide endless entertainment for the kids during down time in the room :) 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rainy Afternoon at MK

After our morning at Epcot we rode the monorail to hop over to Magic Kingdom. We knocked off quite a bit during our MK time at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party but there is simply no way to fully enjoy the party AND do everything we want to do at Magic Kingdom so we planned an afternoon/evening at MK as well. We knew it'd be crowded (afternoons at MK are pretty much always crowded) but we had FP and knew the rides that typically don't have much of a crowd.

Tess had fallen asleep on the monorail ride over and was pretty sleepy/grouchy when we got to MK. We went straight for Monsters Inc Laugh Factory!

It was the furthest back we've ever sat but I didn't mind it. It let us get a FULL view of everything! It's amazing just how many people they can really fit in the room! 

We did a fastpass for Tomorrowland Speedway. And yes, I know, it's kinda a dumb fastpass. BUT we had a ROUGH wait for it on a prior visit and I knew all the kids really liked it and I'd heard rumors it might be going away so I did a FP for it. Zach made me promise never to waste a FP on it again ;) And I've sense heard that it's NOT going away so we probably will skip it next visit. 

He got his license! He loves getting to drive. They have new photo booths set up as you exit the ride where you can get your official license made too. We didn't take the time to do it this visit but would like to at some point! 

Space Mountain with a rider swap pass they got from the MNSSHP night ;) 

While the boys did Space Mountain we continued our new tradition of snacking while we wait. I'd never seen these MASSIVE donuts before but they were a pretty great price and SO YUMMY!

We also hit up the Incredibles Dance Party! It was neat to me that they had a photo pass photographer there this time to capture some of the candid moments. 

I also want to mention Britt's shoes. I know a lot of people stick their kids in tennis shoes for the parks but UGH I just think they are so ugly haha. I was on a mission for cute, comfortable park shoes for Britt and I found them! 

I bought her these in both black and tan and they are AWESOME. Highly recommend!

We all then headed over to our FP for Enchanted Tales with Belle

He's such an awesome big brother!

The "special" red card ;) It actually just lets the cast members know how long the wait is in the lines

Shocker ;)

Philarmagic, finally! We BARELY missed the cut off for it on our MNNSHP night!

When our trip was approaching I checked the weather and it called for rain. A LOT of rain. Like 90% chance of rain every day and thunderstorms. We were expecting it to rain often and heavily for our entire trip. But y'all. Disney weather is so crazy. I've been at the parks with a 0 percent chance of rain and have it downpour and this trip we had literally 100% chance of rain and had clear skies above us. It's so unpredictable! The rain finally did catch us on our MK night though and boy did it ever. It was a pretty hefty downpour but it was well timed where we could hit up Country Bears and dinner to stay somewhat dry. Finding a table in quick service restaurants is a BEAST when it's raining but we made it happen and the rain just brought out our silly sides ;) 

Peco's Bills is where it's AT. Such great value for a large amount of food! We bring the kids stuff to eat and then Zach and I buy food which works out well to save money! 

Daddy being cute pays off as we often get free treats from his many admirers ;) 

More the bathroom 

I haven't EVER noticed Lady and Tramp's paw prints outside of Tony's!

On our way to meet Mickey we went through shops to avoid the rain!

Tess hadn't met Talking Mickey before and it was on my "must do" list for this visit. More than any of my other kids...Tess ADORES Mickey. Not Minnie. MICKEY. She just loves him so I was excited for her to get to meet him and talk to him! 

Clearly I was SUPER pumped haha

The line for the fastpass for Mickey was super long. Which was frustrating AND which made us nervous because another "must do" for me was to see the new night show at MK (Happily Ever After). We were cutting it close but we made it out of Mickey in plenty of time due to the show being delayed because of the thunderstorms. 

We hung out a bit as the announcement said it'd start within 10-15 minutes

Britt chose to spend her allowance money on a Tinkerbelle light up wand, it was a pretty neat purchase! 

Not my ideal way to see a new fireworks show but it had to do! From what we saw of it, I LOVED it and now my "must do" for next visit is to be able to watch it rain free! 

I think it's kinda awesome to have some things "go wrong" at Disney. It leaves you wanting more for next visit and can really build anticipation for those things. Tess, for example, really really wanted to ride a rollercoaster this trip but Barnstormer was just a crazy long line. So it's a MUST DO next time around for sure and we're all super excited about it. My must do is watching Happily Ever After ;) 

It rained during most of the show for us but it was still incredible! 

Whew it was a LONG day for SURE but SO fun! 

When I was uploading these Kye saw this one for the first time and busted out laughing. Pretty epic day when your 8 year old falls asleep so hard that you have to hold up his head haha!

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