As a side note, Luke and I had discussed what ages we should take the kids to Disney, and originally decided we were going to wait until Sylvie was older. You know, when we didn't have to worry about naps, and she'd actually remember it. I can honestly say though I'm SO glad we took her at this age. She added a whole other element of excitement to the trip. Everything was SO exciting to her and it was impossible not to share in her glee. Whether it be an elaborate princess attraction, a number 2 marking a door, or even a puddle of water she was thrilled. Will she remember most of the trip, probably not. Could we have avoided many a sleep deprived meltdown, definitely. But having the lens of an innocent two year old to view our trip through made it an experience I wouldn't trade for anything.
|Proudly pointing out her number 2|
|What better place for a photo?!|
Our first destination was Dinoland. We took our time getting there, stopping to take in the scenery and snap goofy pictures. We took a ride on the triceratops version of Dumbo before heading the the attraction Dinosaur. We read about this ride the night before and Cora already decided it was too scary for her to go on. I tried to convince her to come with Beau and I, but after the Alien experience I didn't want to push it. Once we got in line it was a little creepy and I was relieved that Cora had opted out. We waited all of 3 minutes before we boarded our "Time Rover" on a mission to capture an Iguana don. Was I nervous?....maybe. Did I scream?....yep. Did I cower into the shoulder of my 7 year old for safety?....you betcha. Apparently Beau was equally terrified because he got off adamantly proclaiming he was NOT doing that again. I told him he had to ride it again with Dad!! No way, no how! I loved this ride and wanted Luke to be able to go on it so I had approximately 2 minutes before we met back up with them to change his mind. Luckily the ride exited through the gift shop so I did what every good mother does....I bribed him. Yep, I promised him a toy from the gift shop if he rode it again with Dad. He did a quick scan of the merchandise and reluctantly agreed. We tried to convince Cora one more time before they headed in, but she was content sitting this one out. While they rode the girls and I did some exploring and of course used the bathroom. A few minutes later the boys returned, and Beau showed off his $16 stuffed dinosaur.
Enjoying the lack of people!
|Entering Dinoland....notice the crowd free paths!!|
|Round 1 on Dinosaur...I wasn't scared at all!|
|Round 2 on Dinosaur....notice Beau with his head down, "the lights were very bright and hurt his eyes", he definitely wasn't scared.|
We exited Dinoland in to Asia, and made our way over to Kali River Rapids. Let me just say that when you are cautioned to put on your poncho before this ride, you should heed the advice! Luke was more than willing to let me take the kids on this one, and we were SOAKED! Completely dripping wet. The bathroom near the end of the ride was filled with people changing clothes and attempting to use the hand dryers to dry off. Unfortunately the dryers were set in to the wall, presumably to prevent people from clogging up the bathroom to dry their clothes. It didn't stop us from trying though...I've never wished for a dry pair of underwear more in my life. We spent the next hour or so trying to find all the sun we could soak up! We meandered through Asia until we got to the Expedition Everest coaster. We could tell that the park was already getting much more crowded, and I again did a little happy dance over how lucky we were to get in early! Cora was too short for this ride so the girls and I did some photo ops and grabbed a bag of candy from the gift shop while we waited. Beau and Luke both came off with giant grins, Luke saying I had to ride it, and Beau saying nope, no way, not with him! We stood there for a short time trying to convince Beau to ride it again, when Luke told me I had to do it, and to just go by myself. By MYSELF?! That sounded completely ridiculous...who rides a roller coaster alone?? (read...who will protect me?!). So I did what every good mother does...no I didn't bribe him again, come on now, how many overpriced stuffed animals do you think we need? I guilted him into it (obviously). So, we ran off to get in line and Beau made friends with a little girl (who apparently did not think riding a roller coaster by herself was ridiculous). They chatted the whole way about the scary parts since they'd both done it before. This is very unusual for Beau since usually he participates in stranger small talk with one word answers leaving me shifting awkwardly to fill in the blanks for him. Not this time, I was content to sit back and listen to them
"oh and then when you stop and fly backwards"
"oh yeah! and then he tears the track apart"...it definitely sounded like he had a horrible time the first ride. Once we got on the ride I put my sunglasses in the pouch and told Beau not to let me forget them. We headed up the first hill and stopped....for a. long. time. Not all day or anything but definitely long enough that you could tell this wasn't supposed to be happening. People around us were starting to get nervous, and the two tiny boppers in front of us had stopped their giggling and asked me "what's going on? I don't like this" I smiled reassuringly and kept chatting with Beau like I was having the best time in the world (picture me pointing out scenery). I was thinking thinking, however, why are you asking me?!!! I'm about 30 seconds away from letting this panic attack out of the bag and screaming for somebody to get me off this thing!!!!! Luckily that's when we started moving again, I had until we got to the top of the hill to imagine all the terrible things about to happen since this ride was obviously broken. There were a LOT of dark twists and drops, and I found I had to keep feeling next to me to make sure Beau didn't fly out. Turns out he's not a screamer like me. In fact he was completely silent the whole time, maybe he was just trying to look tough for his new friend behind us. I'm happy to report the rest of the ride went smoothly...although it did shut down for the rest of the morning right after we got off. Comforting I know. I wonder if they found my sunglasses while they were fixing it....
We finished up our time in Asia by walking along some of the trails to look at the animals, including GIANT bats. These things were enormous and there was NOTHING between us and them, because apparently they were content to eat melons and our blood didn't interest them. Yeah, get me out now! The tigers were cool though, far less intimidating.
|a cold and soaking wet Cora|
|Outside Expedition Everest|
|Beau's first ride through Everest|
Next up was the bird show. I'm not a bird fan, and we've been to bird shows before so I was really tempted to skip this one. But this was a DISNEY bird show so I decided we should stick to the plan. I wasn't disappointed, and the hysterical laughter from Beau more than made up for my lack of bird love. Seriously he LOVED this show, he was belly laughing uncontrollably at all the birds little tricks. There were even times when the trick would be over and he'd start giggling and then bust out laughing all over again just thinking about it. For our "yeah, whatever", eye rolling, I'll never admit I'm having fun kid it was great to see, and was probably one of my favorite Disney experiences just because of it.
|Who knew a bird bobbing its head could be so entertaining!|
Afterwards we rode the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch. It was a nice little break and the kids got to watch vets take care of a tortoise that was hit by a car on one of the Disney properties. We even got to meet Rafiki before we left with NO line! When we got back to the main park we saw "It's Tough To Be a Bug". It was another fun 3D experience engaging all five senses. Our favorite part...at the very end when they asked you to stay seated to allow the roaches and maggots to exit just as something scurries right under your butt. There were gasps and screams starting at one end and traveling across the theatre like some creepy version of the wave. We finished just in time for our fast pass to meet Mickey and Minnie.
Afterwards things started to go downhill. We were all set to walk the trails around the Tree of Life, but unfortunately they were closed for the day. I'm not sure why and I'm still pretty bummed we didn't get to see it, but I guess it gives us a reason to go back, right?! Finding Nemo was next on our list, but we still had awhile before it started so we found a little spot to regroup. This is when I began to notice Luke looking at his phone with a wide eyed troubled expression. Turns out, he had just been notified that our airline was about to strike. Yep, the pilots weren't coming in to work, and it was scheduled to coincide with the Easter weekend. Guess when we were supposed to fly home...yep you guessed it. He began calling around, searching for plane tickets, and trying to figure out what an alternative return flight would cost us. My wide eyed expression matched his, however I was uninterested in return flights and was frantically trying to calculate what another 2 days at Disney would cost...I'm sure we could swing it, no other choice right??! Fortunately (unfortunately??) all the pilots showed up for work, and we were able to fly home as planned. If I were them I would have put a big "APRIL FOOLS" in the subject line of the second notification email. Maybe it's a good thing I don't work in public relations.
While still in the midst of our separate cost analysis, Sylvie decided to have her only accident of the trip, and it wasn't pee. I heard "poop Mom" and I could tell by her frozen stance that she was not notifying me of her need to go. A quick check confirmed my fears. I could see the nearest restroom and we weren't far, however this was an 'I've been snacking on grapes for 4 days straight' kind of accident. For those of you without small children that translates to "not solid". Getting her to the restroom without a bath worthy mess was not happening. So, I told her not to move, strategically placed the stroller, Luke held up a towel and we did a "touch your toes" undies swap right there. We didn't even need a dress change. Besides, we were in the Animal Kingdom, and the food cart we were standing next to was closed anyway.
By this time Nemo was becoming less and less appealing. We took a vote and decided to head out and swing through a drive through on the way back to the hotel. We exited the park and walked and walked to find our car. It seemed to me like a LOT longer walk than when we were going in to the park, but what do I know, I NEVER remember where I park the car, ever. After awhile Beau started chiming in with the same concerns and Luke admitted that he thought we went the wrong way. Now like I said, I never remember where I park, but when I go out the wrong doors at Target it usually doesn't involve a 2 mile correction course. Oh well, less guilt over those burgers we were about to scarf down I guess.
We set our alarms for our 4am wake up call and went to bed excited for breakfast with Pooh in the morning, and slightly sad (at least I was) about the fact that it would be our last day.