Our first official visit by a family member would be by Craig’s mom, all the way from Sheboygan, WI. After her plane was delayed almost 3 hours, she arrived at MCO with a smile on her face and happy to have made it safe and sound in FL. She stayed through today and I thought I would highlight the Disney fun we had introducing her to our World- enjoy!
On Saturday, Craig and the kids took Grandma to AK for a half day. It was too hot to stay all day, but from what I hear, they had a great time. On Sunday we all headed to Epcot, Craig and Kyra’s favorite park. It was the first time our entire family was together since Animal Kingdom 2 weeks ago. I love going with Craig because he will not only carry the back pack with the water and sodas, but he brings the money so I don’t have to bring my purse. It was nice to be hands free for the day, with only my phone in my pocket.
As soon as we entered the Park, Craig took off with our WDW passes to get Soarin fastpasses. As everyone was running to get to the show stoppers, we casually walked up the right side. A heads up for everyone going to Epcot in the near future, I have been there enough mornings now to see Stitch and f aquaDaisy occupy the space to the right of the monuments, kiddy corner from Spaceship Earth. If you are looking for these specific characters, the best time to see them is first thing in the morning. We walked right up to Stitch, who had no line, and Daisy had maybe 10 in hers. I have heard Daisy is a hard one to find, so here is your chance to meet her.
After a hug from Stitch to start off the day, we headed to Finding Nemo and Friends to show Marge the Ride and Pavilion. Craig met us with Soarin fastpasses in hand, and we all rode Nemo together. After singing “In The Big Blue World” to myself in my clamshell, I rallied the troops to head upstairs to say good morning to all the wonderful sea life. As luck would have it, we were just in time to see a demonstration on how the divers feed the stingrays, sea turtles, and fish. It was at 10:00 a.m., if you are interested, and it made for some awesome pictures. The CM, Margie, spoke of how they feed the sharks as well, and they turn off all the lights and shine a spot light in the water where they place the food- the sharks know the light and come to eat. Cool, huh?
As the demo ended, I started to walk away with Kyra, when Marge called me back to the rest of the group. Margie, the CM, asked our family if we would like a special peek at the aquarium from above it, and of course, we smiled while nodding our heads madly. I had heard about the area upstairs from friends who did the Diving Program here at “The Seas.” We walked up the spiral staircase, which is located right in the middle of the aquarium, and out onto the deck above the gallons and gallons of aquarium goodness. She showed us how it is divided by the sea life and then the dolphins, who have their own area. She said the reason for the division is that the dolphins played to rough with the other creatures, so they had to separate them. If you ever see the dolphins looking into the back window of their tank, it’s because it’s their “Back Bedroom” where the other dolphins are and they always want to know what they are up to. They have a total of 4 Dolphins, 6 Sharks, and thousands of fish. She showed us the area in which you can meet and pet the Dolphins, without having to know how to dive, or even swim. It is a shallow shelf area in the aquarium so the dolphins can swim right up to it- Grandma said she would get Kyra that experience for her 18th Birthday coming up. She was VERY excited!
It was a phenomenal experience, a free experience, and a nice surprise to the start of our day. After our magical moment, we headed to ride Journey into Imagination and then head into The Land for lunch and a bit of Soarin.’ We ate at around 11:00 to beat the crowds- this works well because the park has only been open a couple of hours, so people normally don’t hit the food courts until noon and later. Plenty of tables were open, so we had no problem finding a booth to enjoy our Mongolian Beef, Mac n Cheese, Sweet n Sour Chicken, and Ceasar Salad. Again, I love eating in here because of the music, the smell, and the normally cold air. It was a bit warmer than usual in The Land on Sunday, but I was so hungry I didn’t care. We take our time here, any time we sit to eat. Craig was finished first, so he headed to Test Track while we chilled, and grabbed fastpasses for later. Any time you have down time, evaluate the rest of your day. Look at park maps, discuss strategies, or send someone out like we did for fastpasses for later. It is in the down time that you have a moment to really think about what you want from your park day, and not when you are busy trying to keep your child from a tantrum in line. Make those precious moments count.
I was so excited for Marge to experience Soarin’ and she had hoped they would place us in the 3rd row. I explained to her I could request it, but with it being busy all the time, it’s easier to take what they give you. Lucky her, they gave us the first row instead, so I did my best to explain the ride. If you are afraid of heights, like she is, I always tell people that once you leave the ground it’s in the dark as well as when you “land” so you never really see the ground unless you make a point of bending forward to see it in the air. She did fine and seemed to like it- you always want a big reaction to your own favorite rides, makes it more special I guess.
Of course we had to see Captain EO, as this seems to be one of those staples in WDW that everyone must see at least once. She loved it, and as we walked past the gift kiosk by the path to the show, we sw they were clearancing out the T-Shirts and Posters for Captain EO. We headed towards Club Cool to have a free Coke, and showed Marge all the different types. No, we didn’t torture her with the Beverly, but I can report that A LOT of the machines seemed to be out of that kind. Maybe they are finally going to get rid of it- haven’t heard any news of that, but with my own eyes I have seen more and more machines without it being in order anymore.
As 1:00 p.m. was rolling towards us, we headed into World Showcase, starting with Canada. Since I had never really explored the Canadian Gift Shop, we checked it out. I have to say they have some really cute PJs- I see them in a future Merch Monday. We planned on seeing the Canadian Film, but we were going to be waiting awhile for the next one, so we opted out. I do have to say that the waiting area for the show for the Canada film is dark and nice and cold. If you are looking for a spot out of the sun and heat, this is a nice area to veg for awhile.
After a walk through the United Kingdom shops, we came across Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger who apparently hang out in the last shop. I don’t recall seeing a sign for them in front of the UK, so had I not been in there looking around, I would have never seen them. Because they are hard to see and find, there was no one back there. So Pooh danced with Emily for awhile and I took sill pics with both of them. We found Marge, whose favorite character is Pooh, and got her pic with them and Craig took his manly pose with Tigger.
We were now on our way to France, passing lines for both Marie and Princess Aurora outside. The film is amazing here, and since I had just seen it with Tim, I thought that Marge would enjoy it. I have to say it is one of the most beautiful films on Property, along with a wonderful soundtrack of recognizable melodies. No, you would have a hard time sleeping in this one- the chairs aren’t like the American Adventure ones, but they are still comfy enough to feel rested. As we headed out, the French Entertainment was out and about- stacking chair upon chair- it’s pretty cool to see if you get the chance.
As we attempted to hit every air-conditioned spot known to man, we finally arrived in America to walk right in to hear the “Voices of Liberty” finishing up their set. Marge enjoyed the show, and I of course, cried when they showed Walt, Jim Henson, the Challenger Crew, and always anything from 9.11. I used to listen to “Golden Dreams” in my car in WI and bawl just at the music, seeing the show when I want to now is quite comforting to me. We grabbed some chili cheese fries after in the American food court area- which by the way are NOT on the menu, just ask for them. (They serve chili and fries, so anywhere that does that, you can usually count on being able to get chili-cheese fries). They ran around $4 but you got a good portion- enough for Craig and I to share. It was a fun snack to have after walking half the World Showcase at that point.
Since it just seemed to be getting hotter by the minute, and Grandma doesn’t do very well in the heat, we opted to head to Mexico after that to ride with Donald and his crew. I, of course, sang along because that’s what I do on this ride- how can you NOT sing along on this ride? LOL
We then used our fastpasses for Test Track, which Marge declined on, so as a family, we finally got to ride all together- which hadn’t happened since the first time Emily rode it in 2007 and hated us for it. Now, she loves it, and was happy we all got to ride together. Kyra and I tried to look all “bad” when the ride camera took our pic- I just look annoyed. LOL
We ended the day with a go on Spaceship Earth, where I got to ride with Emily this time. We have so much fun being goofy on this ride, especially when we choose another language. Craig brought his Mom back later for Illuminations, where I stayed home and took a breather. It was a great day and we are happy we got to share it with her.