Normally on a Sunday afternoon in WI, we would nap, watch tv, and maybe take a walk or have a cookout during the summer. Here in Kissimmee, FL… things are a bit different. Yes, we can do those things here as well, but when Mickey is in your backyard, it seems almost wrong not to head to the Parks.
We decided to clean all morning, and listened to Epcot music while doing it. It is a bit weird to be listening to the Nemo Ride music, knowing the actual ride is 5 minutes from your doorstep. We hung pictures, cleaned rooms, put our Disney stuff up in our kitchen, and enjoyed having the problem of “too much space.”
We enjoyed pizza while hanging out before heading to Epcot for the afternoon into evening. Before we did anything, we found our pal “Stitch” with no line, so Em got a hug and a pic to start off her Disney Day! Then Em and I headed to Fastpass “Soarin” right away, while Craig and Kyra went to wait in line for “Test Track.” It was so awesome walking in, no worries of where to go or what to do… if there were fastpasses left, great, and if not, oh well. We got lucky and there were, so Em and I grabbed them and then rode “Living with the Land” boat ride all by ourselves- front row too. I really love that ride- it’s incredibly relaxing, cool, and peaceful. If you are looking to kill time, the entire “Land” pavilion is relaxing for a sit in a booth, a cold soda, or a boat ride through a green house. Take your pick.
We headed out to ride “Nemo and Friends” and I have to tell you all that I really love the queue of this ride. It’s nice and cold, and I love the feel of being under the water while the waves are above you. Make sure you take the time to see all the neat stuff the Imagineers put into not only the attraction, but the outside, the line, and even the exit. Maybe it’s because we are able to enjoy at a different pace now, but I truly appreciate every nook and cranny that WDW has to offer.
I took Emily upstairs to the “Observation Deck” where I showed her the two large sea turtles and the endless amounts of fish, sting rays, and sharks. We really enjoyed the Manatee area as well, and it was neat to see them roll while swimming- they looked happy, which is like I what to see when I see animals like this. We also got a treat of seeing the diver in his tube, which always makes me think of “Willy Wonka” and that Augustus kid getting sucks up in that chocolate tube. So remember that kids, too much chocolate will get you sucked up life’s tube!
Craig and Kyra met up with us, after some time of watching the sea horses and crabs. Again, take the time to look at all of the aquariums- someone took the time to make those, and they are there for your enjoyment- not to run by to get to the next thing. We really enjoyed exploring, and the left the pavilion happy and paying homage to our beloved WI. When you exit “The Nemo and Friends” pavilion, look down after the doors and you will see a little silver manhole cover- it says “Neenah WI” on it. We giggle and smile every time we walk over it, kind of a nice way to know WI is with us in WDW.
I decided it was time to introduce the family to Mr. Michael Jackson as THE Captain EO. Now, I had seen the show for the first time this past November, but Craig and the girls had not yet, so I was excited to see their reactions to it. We got in right away, and even though the 80’s pre-show is worth it for the hair and clothes, I really miss the “True Colors” pre-show (always made me cry). I actually forgot it was 3D, so we grabbed our glasses and went ALLLLLLL the way down our row. (Getting on Soap Box) Now, folks, you have heard it once, and you have heard it a thousand times if you live or frequent WDW. But, if you are new, let me give you a word of advice. When you are attending ANY show on WDW property, most of the time, they will be at full capacity. If you HAVE to be in the center of a row, let others go ahead of you in your desired row, thus placing you right in the middle. Yes, I know you may not like sitting next to a stranger, but that is what the shows are like here in WDW. Staying first in line at one of the doors to the Theater will NOT get you the dream seat of your choice, because, you need to move ALL THE WAY DOWN. I realize there are language barriers, but it is common courtesy when there are several hundred people behind you, to move as far as you can in your row. Please put your children between you and your spouse, so my family isn’t kicked, touched, or annoyed throughout the entire performance. Yes, kids will be kids, but you have the responsibility as the parent to make sure they are supervised at all times. (Off Soapbox)
So, where were we? Ah, Captain EO. Well, I listened to the Emily giggle at it, and Kyra and Craig enjoyed the show for what it was – gotta love the 80’s! I really do like the music, but how it just randomly starts in the ship, with no real plot line leading up to it- just odd to me. I will say its always nice to see Michael’s smile- he was so cute then. Rest in peace Michael.
After a ride on “Journey into Imagination,” we actually played afterwards. We made our own Figment and then made our own music. The place was empty, so it’s always a great area to catch your breath, get cooled off, and peruse the small gift shop. If you are a “Figment” fan, this is the place to buy your merchandise for him! We even saw a shirt with “Dreamfinder” on it- I miss him. Back on my 21st Birthday, Craig and I went to this attraction as our first of the day. We got caught in the rain, and I was SOAKED. So we rode this VERY cold ride, wet, and then… it broke down. We sat and listened to “Dreamfinder” for about 10 minutes before they walked us off the ride. Because the ride was down, they didn’t have many coming into the area, so we were upstairs playing in “Imageworks” all by ourselves. Does anyone remember running through the rainbow tunnel? Or playing with the tables where you could make hand prints with the pins? I miss that so much.
We decided to eat dinner at 4:30 p.m. to beat the crowds, as you will find that the prime eating times are usually 5-7p.m. and 12-2 for lunch. If you can do it earlier or later, you will almost always find a table without problems. We ate at our favorite “Sunshine Seasons” in the “The Land” where we enjoyed Cashew Chicken, Mongolian Beef, and Emily’s favorite Mac n Cheese. Eating dinner near the “Soarin” sign with the music playing is just WAY TO COOL. It is one of our FAVORTIE things to do in WDW, and one of the main things we wanted to enjoy anytime we wanted.
We then walked to Club Cool for some free cola and sticky floors, then off to “Ellen’s Energy Adventure” which I hadn’t seen yet since moving here. I love the attraction- Ellen plus Dinosaurs- who knew? If you ever needed a nap while being in the Park on a long day, this show is 37 minutes long, so nap away. A ride on “Spaceship Earth” and then we enjoyed the free time to play in “Project Tomorrow” which was pretty dead. The kids built a body, which was in 3D and very cool and creepy all at the same time.
It was FINALLY time to use our “Soarin” fastpasses, and Emily skipped with joy because she was so happy we were going to ride it again. The line went fast, and we got 2nd row. I had my ‘Soarin’ T-Shirt on, so I got a lot of smiles from people looking at it. Yes, I wore it while riding the ride- just blows your mind doesn’t it? Nah, I am just a geek, that is all. So anyways, as we were boarding, there is always ONE family who can’t follow the line of people and runs for any row they can find with any empty seat. Before I realized it I was saying “No, no, you go in the 2nd row” – the Cast Member thanked me and laughed. I was like “Sorry, just came out.” It got me thinking how much I would like working at “Soarin…”
After a wonderful afternoon and evening, we walked out as the Tronorail came over head. It is those moments of time that I smile, and Craig is holding my hand, and my kids are happy, and I feel so lucky to be alive.
Before leaving you today, I wanted to address a comment I received from someone that hit a cord in me. It was along the lines of “Must be nice to live a life as a vacation.” We have worked VERY hard to get to this point in our lives, lived through Cancer, job loss, and many heartaches along the way. This is OUR time to enjoy what we have worked for, and I am blessed that I do not HAVE to work right now. Eventually I will, but enjoying the dream, getting our kids ready for their new schools, and trying to settle in is the goal right now. I normally won’t address any type of snarky comments left because I don’t want to acknowledge them at all, I have learned being positive and forgiving will get you much farther in life. But it struck a cord because until you have walked a MILE in any of our shoes, don’t hate on us for following our dreams. We made a plan, we stuck to it, we are here to stay, and did what we said we were going to do. We appreciate all the love, support, and positivity we have received, and we thank those of you who want to read because you like us, the blog, and Disney. Have a great day!