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Friday, June 21, 2013

First Visit to Epcot

I STILL cannot believe we park hopped like we did! I know for many people doing something spontaneous is the norm...but I, legit, can't remember the last time I did something spontaneous. The craziest thing I've done lately was going out to eat with Zach's family after church when Kye did his singing thing...

When we got on the monorail to head to Epcot I was texting Rachael like crazy. She's a Disney pro and she also loves Epcot! The park closed at 9 that night so we'd have roughly three hours to eat dinner, ride a couple rides, and catch the Illuminations fireworks show. We also talked to some people on the monorail and asked them for advice on what we should see in our limited amount of time. No itinerary. No plans. No CLUE what we were doing. I felt like I was having an outer body experience haha. Who WAS this crazy woman?!?!?

I cannot remember ever visiting Epcot although I'm sure I did as a kid? As an adult I always just hear people talk about going to the different "countries" and eating and drinking. Not really our kind of thing  so I never had it as a top priority to visit but since I have heard such great things about the illuminations fireworks show and because it IS a park we probably won't be visiting often, we figured it made sense to visit with our little bit of time. 
First timers at Epcot!!!
Selfie with the Epcot ball FAIL

We grabbed maps and headed straight for the Nemo ride. I'd heard good things about it and I'm SO glad Rachael told me to do the Turtle Talk with Crush portion after the ride! The ride was neat and Kye really enjoyed it, but the Turtle Talk was AWESOME!
Checking out the fish and manatees!

BRUCE!
For Turtle Talk with Crush you're in a big room and it looks like Crush (the turtle from Finding Nemo) is behind glass in an aquarium or like you're looking into the ocean through the glass. It was similar to Monters Inc Laugh Factory in that it was interactive. The kids got to all sit on the floor and they got to ask Crush questions and talk to him. The cast member happened to pick Kye first and we were SO pumped :) It ended up being a talk with US too and I video taped the whole thing :) You can watch it HERE. I love Kye's sweet answers and it made Zach and I so glad we did decide to surprise him with the trip as it obviously meant a lot to him since he told Crush about it! And do you love how I reminded Zach that we have two kids? ;) I loved the whole thing so much that it actually inspired me to write this post :) 
Watching Crush :)
After the ride we decided to go ahead and eat dinner...since by that time it was actually Kye's BEDTIME. Haha. He had eaten so much junk all day that he wasn't super hungry and we had wanted to make sure to hit up the Nemo ride so we wouldn't risk missing it. Rach recommended a restaurant in Mexico but in looking at the map we opted for a closer option and she had also suggested the Electric Umbrella. It's just a quick service sit down place to eat which was fine by us. 

When we walked in we went to see the menus. At the quick service restaurants they offer a limited menu and have them posted around on the walls to read. We figured out what would be the best option for us (most filling, lowest cost of course) then went to get in line. Well another menu was posted right by where the line started and a group of people were standing there so Zach politely asked them if they were in line or if they were reading the menu and they said they were reading the menu. So we kinda cut through the group to get to the line area and I overheard a man behind us complaining about us cutting in line and being SUPER rude about it. I didn't want to start anything so I ignored him. I even thought to myself that he was kinda ballsy to be talking so loudly and so rudely towards Zach. Typically if guys give Zach any junk it's when they don't realize how big of a dude Zach is haha. Not that he's like a giant or anything, but 6'6" ain't nothin' to mess with. It surprised me this guy was going off the way he was when a) it was OBVIOUS that we didn't realize he was trying to get to the line b) he MUST have heard our exchange with the group of people about the menu thing and c) he could SEE that my husband was SIGNIFICANTLY taller and bigger and younger than he was. 

I didn't say anything to Zach about it either as I didn't want to start a scene. I figured we'd order our food and not let it phase us. No big deal. Well we took awhile to order (in true Parker fashion...we REALLY try to come up with the cheapest way possible whenever we eat out so it takes awhile haha) and of course the dude picks the lane we were in. Just to start something! At the quick service places you order and pay and then wait in a different line to pick up. Well the line we were in to order was ALSO the same area for pick up so we just ordered then kinda moved forward a tad to wait for our food. The guy busts over and starts making these comments about how of course we were going to just stand right in his way after we had already cut in front of him. He started dropping the "f bomb" (in FRONT of MY kid as well as HIS TWO kids) and going OFF on Zach. In front of the cast members. And the restaurant patrons. At DISNEY.

I even said "We're at Disney! Let's not make a big deal about this!" I mean it's DISNEY. Hello. It should be the HAPPIEST place and it's also a very CROWDED place. How many times have you accidentally ran into someone while walking in the park? Like 1,000. It was an ACCIDENT that we got in front of him when entering the line area and it shouldn't have been a big deal. Well it was, apparently, a huge deal to this dude.

He and Zach start going at it. The guy probably came up to Zach's chest. Seriously. The guy using foul language is what really upset Zach as Zach has never cussed (except one bad word in fourth grade one time haha) and it really gets under his skin especially around kids like that. I just tried to occupy Kye so he wouldn't notice what was going on. It went back and forth for quiet awhile actually! The dude even stepped to Zach and was "in his face" (but due to such drastic height differences he was more looking up at Zach from Zach's chest). Zach even said to the guy that he was lucky we were at Disney or else there would be some fighting haha. Thank GOD we were at Disney then! 

What is so funny to me is that the cast member at the cash register just STOOD there. He didn't do ANYTHING. These two guys were MEGA heated and it really, easily could have gotten physical. The random guy was just TRYING to push Zach's buttons. And typically I don't really take Zach's side in stuff. Like if a car cuts us off while driving and Zach get mad at the driver...I typically defend the driver haha. But in this case, LEGIT, Zach did NOTHING wrong and the guy just was wanting to pick a fight with him!!!! FINALLY a manager came over and he didn't really even out right stop the whole thing but he asked to see our orders and just kinda diffused it by putting the focus back on the food :) I kept whispering to him saying "please don't leave, please don't leave" ;)

We went and sat outside and Zach went back in after a little bit to apologize to all the cast members about everything that had gone down (and our cashier was like "Yeah man I was about to step in there and help ya out...yeah right...). I told Zach he could have handled it a little better than he did (I even whispered to him while the thing was going down "be like Jesus! be like Jesus!" but I dunno if he heard me or not!) but that really he handled it WAY better than he would have back in the day. Back in the day we probably would have gotten kicked out of the park and then I WOULD have been mad at him! I told him it really wasn't his fault at ALL that the whole thing happened and that I was proud of him for keeping it, for the most part, together and as calm as he was. 

I LOVE that THIS is the shirt Zach was wearing! 
MAN UP DUDE hahahaa
Kye, thankfully, didn't realize what was going on? He was just pumped for his chicken and fries haha!


The guy we talked to on the monorail said another must-see at Epcot is Spaceship Earth. It's a ride inside the big Epcot globe thing. We decided after dinner that we'd have enough time to do that ride before watching the fireworks. It was our LAST ride for the day!
It was really, really neat! It went through all the different ways technology has changed the world through the years and it talks about what will happen in the future. You get to put some info into a machine and it tells you about YOUR future life! Having never done it before we didn't really realize how it all worked and it's so funny how it cropped Zach out of our picture and the awesome face Kye was making haha

Our future?!?!
After the ride they had this room with a ton of games and stuff in it so Zach and Kye wanted to play a racing game and I walked around checking everything else out!


Then this popped up on this big screen in the room HAHA Zach's face vs Kye's face is PRICELESS!
I crack up every time I look at these ;)
And they also had this shuffle board type thing where we tried to help provide electricity to some city or something? It was a touch mat and it was cool! I hate this picture of me. I look like a straight up MOM. Ugh. I loathe the tennis shoes. I'm ready to have this foot 100% healed so I don't ever have to wear any again (except when I "work out" which is SO often...haha). 
Stopped for a couple pictures before finding a spot for the fireworks!


It was some special Garden thing going on? I wish we could have seen more of the stuff they had on display b/c this was all really neat!

We only had about a 15 min wait for the fireworks show and I had read before that it didn't really matter where you viewed them from as anywhere was a good viewing location around the pond thing. We found a spot pretty easily and I busted out the glow sticks I had brought with us just for this occasion :) As a kid I remember always buying some type of glow toy junk thing before the fireworks and I found a bunch of them in a little container in the dollar bin at Target and knew Kye would really enjoy wearing them! We rarely ever get to see the dark in the summer time since the kids go to bed before 8! Kye LOVED them and was so excited! 

I know how tough it can be to keep kids happy and entertained while waiting so I thought it'd be fun to give all the rest of the glow stuff out to the kids around us. I let Kye give them to the children and a group of kids happened to all speak Spanish. I think it was the first time Kye has been around people who weren't speaking English? He was SO confused and kept trying to talk to the kids and they couldn't understand him haha. It was SUPER sweet though and their mom did such a great job of having each of them practice their English by saying "thank you" to us. Seeing them SO happy and excited really blessed ME and it blessed Kye too! I think I've found another new Disney tradition :) 

Zach isn't a big fireworks guy (and really and truly, I'm not either) but he LOVED Illuminations! We all three did! It was AWESOME!!!!!!! Way, way better than the fireworks at Magic Kingdom. WAY better. Less crowded too which was nice :) I couldn't have thought of a better way to end such an AMAZING day!!!


Monorail back to the parking lot!
He kept dosing off and was being SO silly :)

I NEVER get to see my kids sleep as they are very well trained in sleep training which is a HUGE blessing but it also means they don't really sleep anywhere except for their beds. I NEVER thought I'd see one of my babies asleep in a stroller! While he didn't FULLY fall asleep it was still so cute to see him snoozing :)
I put this picture up on Instagram with the caption "what do you dream about after a day where all of your dreams have come true?" It really was a PERFECT day! And even the less-perfect part (when Kye didn't want to do the Pirate's League experience) still ended up being perfect! Since he didn't do the pirate thing we had more time to ride everything AND we wouldn't have been able to go to Epcot if he had decided to participate! Zach and I both agreed we were so glad we decided not to do it :)
When we got back to the room we put Kye to bed and every night at home we all list our favorite things before we go to sleep. Kye gets to say four favorite things each day since he is four years old and he's pretty hardcore about this. Well he said "guys let's just say ONE big favorite thing tonight: DISNEY WORLD!" haha it was precious and I know he really did have an AMAZING day!

Zach really, really loved park hopping like that and it's something I can def see us doing often in the future during times when we have kids there that can handle skipping naps and staying up late. I'm glad we've never tried this hardcore of a day with Kye any younger than this. I think he was AWESOME about handling it and really had such a great time. He wasn't cranky or fussy or really overly tired acting at all. He got a little whiney a couple times, but he's four. I mean, we can't expect perfection right? :) I LOVE that he's old enough for us to skip his nap AND stay out late as we really got to FULLY experience an entire Disney Day and it was AWESOME. 




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