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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Epcot Afternoon

Epcot was a tricky park to plan. World Showcase doesn't open until 11:00 (except for Norway which opens at park opening for Elsa and Anna Meet and Greet as well as the Frozen ride). I had to rearrange our entire day a couple times until I finally got it right!

Tess really, really loved seeing the monorail on our entire trip. She's yell "choo choo choo choo!" every time she saw it. I made sure to snap a pic of it so I'd capture the memory ;)



Our first stop was at the Disney Chase meet and greet area. They have one at both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. All you have to do is show your Disney Chase card and you're allowed to go in and visit with whoever the characters may be. At Epcot everyone was really big about it being a surprise character. Which DID make waiting in the line more fun (in the past we've NEVER had a wait...I guess word is getting out about it and more people are getting Disney Chase cards!). We were surprised it was Mickey and Goofy!


First time meeting Mickey!



Outfits:

Isn't Zach's shirt awesome? Jungle Book is one of his favs so I scooped it up when I saw it at Kohls! I also adore his jeans from Old Navy.

Courtney bought me my shirt from Etsy for my birthday. I originally planned to wear shorts but wasn't feeling good that afternoon and wanted to just stick with comfort so yoga pants won ;)


Kye's shirt was really different and fun! I liked that it wasn't so dark and was a happier Star Wars shirt :) It was from Disney Store. 


Epcot has tiers for their fast pass sections. At Magic Kingdom you can select any three fast passes from any of the rides that offer them. At Epcot you can only select one ride from the top tier list and then two from the other rides offered. Of course our pic was for Frozen Ever After so that meant the other thrill rides Zach and Kye would have to face the lines. Both Soarin' and Test Track had wait times at 30-40 min no matter what time of the day they were to ride. We decided to lump them together and that during their ride times us girls would explore World Showcase. It worked out pretty well and the guys LOVED Test Track and Soarin'! 




Our first goal was to meet Mulan in China! We had a bit of a wait because she was on break when we got there but we didn't mind some down time! She was well worth the wait!!! 



I'm not sure Tess agrees haha










As we exited the pavilion I saw a young couple taking a selfie together and was about to stop and ask if they wanted me to take a pic for them and it got me on this whole tangent of thinking about how people LIKE selfies now right? Like if I offered to take the pic for them they'd probably decline? I'm old school about this b/c I'd always prefer a non-selfie pic ;) 

Anyways as I was thinking through all of this I realized I recognized the guy taking the selfie...it took me a bit to think on it but I'm about 99% sure it was Vinnie from this past season of Bachelor in Paradise! 


We had a good CHUNK of time until the guys would be done with their rides so we got some pics in the pretty Frozen-looking decor outside of Norway!



Leading up to the trip I got an idea to get crafty and make my own Ears for the girls. I made a set for each girl to match their outfits for almost every day at the park. The MK ones were my personal favorites but neither girl had any interest in wearing them and I didn't push it. Zach was super sweet about it b/c he felt bad that I'd worked so hard and had been so excited about them! But I really didn't mind, I truly ENJOYED making them. Which kinda shocked me haha I made them during the time of waiting on Zach's news and they were very relaxing for me. I was really happy with the end result and proud of them and toyed with the idea of making them on Etsy or something ;) It did make my heart happy when Britt said she'd wear her ears for some pics AND she asked me to wear Tess's with her ;) 







We debated what to do with our time and decided we were too lazy to walk around World Showcase when we had to be back at Norway to meet the boys anyway! I didn't want to risk getting in a character line and them getting done before us so we went and watched a really cool show in China. Both girls were entranced and Mrs Charlotte and I enjoyed the break on our feet ;)






This guy was HILARIOUS. His look and smirk, he thought he looked Goooooood. Mrs Charlotte nicknamed him Elvis ;)





The show finished up and we decided to hang around Norway and just check everything out. I knew they had activities in each country for kids and it worked out PERFECT to let the girls just sit and color while we waited! Both Tess and Britt really enjoy coloring so they were happy and content and Mrs Charlotte and I enjoyed relaxing some more. Epcot ending up being a pretty relaxing day for us ;) 


We just happened to be standing next to a display of trolls and it turns out Mrs Charlotte has a pretty passionate distain for them. The cast members who work in each country are from that country so I chatted up a cast member for most of our time there and learned about Norway. I asked her thoughts about Frozen being in that area of the park (there is a LOT of controversy about it) but she said it was great to have more people visiting Norway! We also got a lot of insight about Trolls. I totally wanted to buy one for Mrs Charlotte for Christmas...particularly this one. I mean he's cute right?!?! I kinda liked them! (Not enough to own one. This is not a hint for a gift idea for me haha)


We clearly had some time on our hands because she got the entire bear colored!


Turns out we should have spent some of our coloring time waiting in line. Even WITH fast passes the line for Frozen Ever After was quite long. However it was surprisingly fast moving and I regretted telling everyone they had time to go grab a snack while we waited! Britt got hooked up with a free birthday cupcake and she had to DOWN IT as they didn't allow food in the waiting area!




I know people are complaining about the crazy wait times and NO I wouldn't wait 300 min for it...but even the waiting area was done SO well!


Y'all. I don't care if you think I'm silly or lame but I LOVED IT. It was amazing and wonderful and I legit cried. I'm so thankful we had a fast pass and got to experience it! I don't know when we will be back at Epcot but I hope by then the crowds die down some so a fast pass will be easier to get ;) 


The ride is on the same track as Maelstrom was. We had the privilege of riding Maelstrom a few years ago so I knew kinda what to expect. (I don't want to spoil anything but the ride set up made the Let It Go part AMAZING) But that doesn't mean I enjoyed the "big" fall (big for me, tiny and zero percent a big deal for anyone else). Yes. Everyone looks practically board and I'm SCREAMING. I also love how Zach is mocking me and jokingly screaming/laughing haha



That night was the Candle Light Processional lead by none other than Neil Patrick Harris. I mean who doesn't adore him, right? He IS How I Met Your Mother. Which we're still watching. So I feel like I like KNOW him right now haha. In order to get seats you basically needed to buy a dining package. I knew my kids would NOT care to sit through that whole thing. Zach isn't into celebrities so he also wouldn't care. So I was down to just walk by and hear his voice and have my super mega tall husband take a pic of him ;) (he was also at the parks all that week with his family but we didn't see him)


While in line for Frozen the kids picked out treats for a snack and we sat to eat them outside of The American Adventure. We all snacked a bit and used the potty before going inside. We had NO issues with Tess and her potty trained self on this trip. If anything, I took her to the potty TOO often. I was so worried that she'd have to go in line or something that I had frequent potty breaks and half the time she didn't' have to go. I also have a rule with potty breaks at Disney: EVERYONE must try to go! The last thing I needed was to leave the potty break and 20 min later a different kid saying they needed to go ;)


Tess LOVED the Frozen ride! Everywhere we went she kept pointing and saying "Elsa Elsa Elsa" and "gotcha"


We had a good bit of time to wait for The American Adventure but it was chilly out and we were happy to be inside in the warmth!



And this crew loved hunting hidden mickeys!




SO cool that the mother statue said "Spirit of Tomorrow"


I'd never even heard of The American Adventure before. I looked up the top things to do at Epcot and it is considered one of the best experiences at the park! It was REALLY cool and educational and relaxing. Even all the kids liked it! 


We had planned to eat at a restaurant before the fireworks but it was a long walk to the restaurant where we wanted to eat and then another long walk back to the fireworks spot. We decided just to go ahead and get a spot for the fireworks and then Zach went and grabbed dinner. Mrs Charlotte held our seats for us and I took the kids to the potty and to look at the Christmas tree and into some shops to kill the time. 




We ate our dinner on the ground in the dark. Ha! It was a bit of a cluster and I would have packed different food for the kids if I'd known that would have been the way things went down (we had a tad bad luck leaving World Showcase b/c the boats had stopped running...so we literally had to walk around the ENTIRE thing) but everyone rolled with it with minimum complaining. 

Illuminations is Zach's favorite show/fireworks at any park. Since Tess didn't get to see Wishes (MK closed early the day we went) I was glad she got to see this one! 



Britt's face haha



Yup. REAL GLAD. She didn't want to leave the stroller and kept covering her face during the fireworks. Guess they aren't her fav!



While we ate/waited for the show this little girl kept coming over to our kids. I always try to bring extra glow sticks and such and I made a little bracelet for her out of some of the sticks I had. She straight up told me she didn't want it and instead wanted the wands my kids had. I have NEVER had that happen. Zach, Mrs Charlotte and I were all shocked watching this little girl. Even our kids talked about her behavior later. She was rude, bossy, demanding, and just very entitled. Basically the two words you'd probably use to describe her were: Spoiled Brat. 

Her parents were literally no where to be found for the longest time but then they did finally come over and all they did was brag about how amazing their child is. And they were clearly embarrassed when she acted out and was mean to our kids but did very little to alter her behavior. She went as far as taking Tess's toy and trying to keep it. DURING the fireworks show she kept taking Tess's glow wand (hence Tess hiding in the stroller most of the time). It was SO awkward b/c we just wanted to enjoy the show and have our children enjoy it too! We didn't need this little girl messing that up for us (and everyone around us when she didn't get her way). Even just now Kye saw me putting these pics up and he said "ugh remember that little mean girl?" I finally said something to her about the toy being Tess's and she needed to get her own. If her parents weren't going to say something, someone had to!

On the way out of the park we pretty much talked about that child non-stop and just how it was an example to our children of how NOT to be and to us as parents on how not to allow our children to be either. OF COURSE Mrs Charlotte happened to turn around and saw that the little girl and her parents were DIRECTLY behind us. As in able to hear every word (I mean how is that even possible in such a crazy crowded herd of people!?!?). Maybe hearing random strangers comment on their child's behavior will help them work on some stuff...

It was our latest night out for Tess (almost 10 when we got back to the room) and she was CASHED in the car seat! It was a fun day and was a good time to have a day off the next day for rest and relaxation so she'd be ready to go for the last two park days!


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