Spring Break 2021: AK, Epcot and Whispering Canyon

We kicked off our Friday morning of Spring Break with a visit to Animal Kingdom. If I had to choose a favorite Disney park during the pandemic I will say it’s been Animal Kingdom. The crowds have been the lowest and the park seems to be the least impacted by the guidelines in place. It FEELS the most “like Disney” and we’ve got it down to a pretty exact science of being able to show up, get it done, and get out πŸ˜‰

We headed straight for Flight of Passage and this time I rode with the big kids while Zach hung out with Spear. The ride makes both of us feel a little “off” but with Zach having had tummy issues earlier in the week I didn’t want him to have to kick off the day feeling that way and I haven’t ridden it in awhile so I was happy to get the chance, especially with no wait times πŸ˜‰

As we exited the ride we took a group picture and someone offered to take one for us. Yall. THIS IS HUGE. It’s SUCH a big sign of normalcy when strangers are back to offering to take photos for each other. I am HERE FOR IT!!!!

Following Flight of Passage we hopped on Na’vi, which is one of Spear’s favs. He insisted on sitting with Kye again. He was ALL about Kye this trip which really made Kye feel special as he’s the least likely one to fight for Spear’s attention the way the girls so often do.

The girls reallllly wanted to both sit with Spear on the safari so we had to be a little sneaky to make it happen for them. Once the ride got going though he switched around so he could see better. He LOVES riding in the jeep more than he cares about any of the animals ha!

The worst ride pandemic-wise is def safari. The dividers make it even MORE hot on the ride because they restrict airflow and they also make it hard to see and truly kill the vibe!

After safari Zach, Kye and Tess went over to ride Everest. Britt is funny with thrill rides. She’s very up and down regarding if she likes them or not. On this day, she didn’t want to ride. Which was fine! I’m all for chances for the kids to have one on one experiences together and this was a great opportunity for Kye and Tess to bond and it made Tess feel cool and grown up to get to go with her big brother.

While at Volcano Bay a few days prior Britt told me she found a necklace and asked me to put it on her and didn’t take it off the rest of the trip (I’m currently writing this post in JULY when the trip took place in APRIL and she is STILL wearing that necklace). I wasn’t there when Britt found the necklace and I just assumed she’d found it and didn’t mind her wearing it as it wasn’t of any sort of value or the type of thing someone would be overly concerned with losing.

Well. Come to find out TESS had found the necklace and couldn’t reach it and asked Britt to get it for her and THEN BRITT KEPT IT. And Tess NEVER said a word about it. Didn’t get upset. Didn’t tattle. Britt was actually the one who ended up telling me the full story!

It made me VERY proud of Tess and I had a big talk with Britt about the situation and we decided to surprise Tess by buying her a special necklace at the park to recognize and reward her giving, kind heart.

It was the perfect chance to do a bit of shopping for the necklace while Zach, Kye and Tess rode Everest!

We took our time walking through the park on our way to meet the thrill seekers and stopped and found the perfect necklace for Tessie too! She was SO surprised and felt very special when we gifted her the necklace after they finished riding.

It’s always nice to feel appreciated and valued and seen and I was glad for the opportunity to do that for sweet Tessie! Britt was very appreciative of the opportunity as well to properly thank her sister for her kindness.

I wanted to make sure to snap some pics of the boys in their matching shirts because it’s a rare occasion when I can find clothes that come in both of their sizes to allow for them to match. I love that KYE loves getting to match with his little brother. So sweet!!!

Britt loved her one on one time with Spear and said “I just wish babies could be born three years old” She’s def not a baby person πŸ˜‰

Spear loves riding the “dinosaur ride” so he and I rode together while Zach took the big kids to ride the actual Dinosaur ride. Then we met back up and Spear begged Daddy to ride the dinosaur ride with him. Zach said “who can say no to that?” and my heart melted πŸ˜‰

Such a good daddy! I also love this stage with Spear because he gets so excited about simple pleasures – like just having a toy car to play with on the ground makes him SO HAPPY!

We were out of the park by 10:40 am and we rode Flight of Passage, Na’vi, Safari, Everest, Dinosaur, and Triceratops Spin twice! Def Zach’s favorite kinda park morning.

I also LOVE the way our photo pass pictures turned out as we were leaving the park too! It was an awesome morning from start to finish.

We did an early nap for everyone (Mama included!) and then park hopped to Epcot! Right now park hopping is only available after 2 PM and AFTER you visit whatever park that you have a park reservation for. It was our first time park hopping as an entire family since reopening and it was a super easy process. We showed up right at 2 PM and had no problems.

It was SO exciting to see the new entrance at Epcot. I LOVE IT!!!!!!

As a birthday surprise, and a special treat for Daddy, I booked us lunch at Via Napoli which is Zach’s FAVORITE pizza anywhere and his hands down favorite dining location at any of the Disney World parks.

It was Flower and Garden festival and the park was so pretty with all the flower decor everywhere! We enjoyed the walk over to Italy!

We were seated in an awesome section off to ourselves which was really perfect. The kids, and adults too, were all in a silly mood which made the wait easier because we were all giggling the whole time.

With our first kid we’d hide all the knives at the table at restaurants…with the fourth kid we’re like “oh here use this knife as a pirate sword to go with your pirate napkin hat!” ha!

We did TWO pizzas one white pizza for us girls and one huge pepperoni. It was AMAZING, as usual. We also had awesome cast members who took care of us and they did a special birthday song and treat for Kye!

Of course we couldn’t visit Epcot without riding Frozen. It’s my favorite ride out of any of the parks πŸ™‚ I love it! We only rode that and then headed out. It was a MUCH more normal pass holder vibe of a day because we didn’t feel pressure to do anything extra at the park. We came, we ate, we rode one ride, and we left!

Britt and I really, really didn’t want to leave and I wished I’d had the chance to bring her solo to Epcot for the festival. She’d LOVE doing something like that with me! I really want to plan a trip just her and I for Disney but struggle with feeling guilt leaving Tess out! We did sneak in a picture at the figment wall though πŸ˜‰

Zach surprised us all with a stop at McDonald’s for some cold treats on the way back to the house!

G-Mama went ahead and headed back home. We had originally planned for Saturday to be an all day chill day but since Zach had been sick earlier in the week he and Kye used Saturday morning as a chance to go to Universal just the two of them!

It’s something Kye really wanted to do for his birthday and since we have no plans to renew our passes it was a great chance for them to have some guy time together.

They stayed for a few hours and hit all the major highlights and did all the things Kye wanted to do at both Universal and Islands of Adventure and then stopped for a BIG brunch on the way back.

I love that Zach took the time out to go to brunch and then that he even took it a step further and took Kye back to the new-to-us arcade by the house at Sunset Walk. They had a great guy-time bonding day that I know really means a lot to them both!

Meanwhile I worked on getting things packed up to be able to head home the next morning and the other three kids had a lazy morning reading books and playing. Mommy took ’em all swimming and played in the pool with them and the girls loved “laying out” with me while they snacked and played screen time activities on their iPads.

I also randomly saw someone in the neighborhood of our Disney Rental House who was selling a foosball table so I jumped on it! A perfect addition to the game room at our house!

We had a chill night eating leftover pizza and popcorn and watching The Great and Powerful Oz. We’d never seen it and it was SO good!!! We all loved it!

As one last birthday surprise I booked our fam brunch at Whispering Canyon located a Fort Wilderness Lodge. Kye really, really misses the Disney buffets and the all you care to enjoy family style meal is as close as I could get for him so I took it πŸ˜‰

Hello Mickey waffles…we have MISSED YOU!!! Crazy that it’s been over 18 months since our last time meeting!

We all enjoyed our meal and enjoyed the together time to end our week at Disney! It started off ROUGH but ended up being great and I’m so thankful for the opportunities to make memories as a family. Kye had a wonderful birthday celebration and we were so thankful Mrs Charlotte was able to come and that we had so many fun times together!

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Emily Parker

Hey Y’all, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happiest place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Love What Matters, Today Parenting and Babywise.Life. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

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