As much as I wish I had been at the D23 Convention this past weekend, responsibilities come first, so I have been in full school shopping and prep mode. To take a break from the madness for a bit, we planned a full family Disney day yesterday. With sunscreen on and a morning full of sunshine, we headed out towards the Magic Kingdom.
The plan was simple- park at MK, head to the Transportation and Ticket Center, hop on the monorail for Epcot and get there after park opening- and it worked like a charm! We hadn’t been able to ride the Monorail over to Epcot since moving here, so It was a nice treat to ride over Epcot. Since the Park had just opened, it was pretty much empty. If you have never had the chance, I encourage you to do so, as it gives you a great birds-eye view of the Park and a wonderful opportunity for pictures.
After a small glitch with Emily’s ticket on the way in, Craig headed to Soarin for fastpasses and the kids and I headed to Test Track. Nothing is more peaceful to me than being with my family in the warmth of God’s love- in those moments nothing is more perfect. We enjoyed our morning ride on TT and enjoyed making our “thinker” pose like the goofy family we are.
On to Innoventions where the kids played “Run Time” where you, your kids, or the whole family get to be the stars of your own video game. They record you jumping, running, and of course your victory dance, and then you have the chance to email it to yourself to keep. After you have done that, you go to a game console to play your own personal game. It was a fun experience to see the kids do, and because we did it in the morning, we were able to walk pretty much into the area without waiting. There are Cast Members there to monitor whose turn it is, so it eliminates the need for those who don’t feel they need to wait, to wait.
After a ride on Nemo with Friends, which the angry fish that chases Dory was working Friday, but then yesterday he wasn’t again, we headed for lunch at Sunshine Seasons in The Land. Nothing makes me breathe deeper than when the doors slide open and I can smell the food and feel the energy of this pavilion. It’s such an awesome place, and I feel like I am sitting at home at the dinner table with the family when we eat here- something about it all is just “right.” We enjoyed our lunch, and even allowed Emily a small rest on the booth we were at, before heading to our favorite ride.
Butterflies began to flutter as the four of us walked the fast pass line inside Soarin- the music, the cool air, it is just a beautiful and inspiring place. We didn’t fight for first row, settled for 2nd, and as always, the ride brought me to tears. It only happens when the kids and Craig are with me, but I think it’s because I am so emotional of what is to come this week that those moments in time of peace are priceless.
After grabbing Soarin fastpasses we headed to say hello to Figment on Imagination and then took a brief break in the “Cold Hallway” on our way to Club Cool. I love me some free soda and cold air! Ready to take on World Showcase, we headed in, already hot from the 30 steps we had already taken. The Friendship boat had shown up just as we were passing by, so we hopped on and saved ourselves the energy it would have taken to walk to our destination of Japan.
The boat ride was packed, but easier on the feet, so we relaxed the 5 minutes it took to get across the lagoon. We window shopped in Japan, finding all sorts of neat finds. I have to say though that the smallest items here are INCREDIBLY expensive- 2 pencils and a sharpener= $6.95- what?? Even with my discount I can’t justify buying it, so sorry kids, it’s the regular pencils from WalMart for now!
We headed over to the American Adventure to hear the Voices of Liberty and then take a nap. Yes, we needed to close our eyes for a bit. We had been out till 1 a.m. the night before with our good friends chatting the night away, and we were a bit pooped. So we timed it to see the show and be able to rest for awhile to reenergize- and it did work! Although funny enough, I was the last one in my row, and I had no arm rest on my chair- weird right? I almost rolled right out of my chair and down the carpeted room I was so asleep- thankfully I have kids who won’t let me do that! You would be surprised how much snoring you hear during this show- sad really, but I understand. I woke up right as the video montage started, which ALWAYS makes me tear up, so I was glad I didn’t sleep thru it. I don’t encourage people to nap in WDW attractions, but if you need a moment to collect your sanity, or especially when the sun is getting to you- don’t feel ashamed to close your eyes and relax.
As we left the American Pavilion, the storm clouds rolled in. We know how FL rain works- there is no warning- the rain will fall and fall hard when it first starts. We ran to Japan and headed to the second floor of the Restaurant to seek shelter. As we hit the stairs, it started to pour. It was quite funny to watch everyone scatter and how the once crowded walkways were now completely empty. We wound up being stuck there for a good 45 minutes, watching lightening surround us, and thunder rolling in. We learned that Japan FLOODS when it rains this fast and hard- so much that you could not walk through it unless you were ready for it to be over your ankles. As it started to let up, several little children were playing in the flood waters like a wading pool- and even though it was probably not the cleanest water, it was such a cool Disney moment to watch.
Avoiding having to wade through Japan, we slipped out the other back stair case to find the next boat to take us up to the front again. We were dropped off in Mexico and enjoyed a ride on Spaceship Earth before heading out. We intentionally got the Soarin fastpasses to give them away, so we looked for a family of four, enjoyed seeing their huge smiles as we handed them out, and then headed to the Monorail towards MK. As we boarded, we heard one of the pilots say that the Monorail for the MK loop and Resorts was down. Sure enough, once we got to the TTC, we were told that the only way to the MK was the Ferry. OK, no big deal- well when everyone has to take it, including Resort guests, it becomes a massive, messy, mob. We were able to get on the first Ferry, but it was packed! I guess at that point, we should have been warned of the impending stress that would come later for us, but I had hoped that the Monorail would just be running by then.
We arrived at the MK excited for more magical times, and headed to a 5 minute wait to see Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It was around 5 p.m., and we pretty much walked in once the line moved. It was great to get a family pic taken and really feel like we were on vacation. Once you are a Resident you have the dangers of losing that vacation feel, and I don’t want to lose that when I am in the Parks. Visiting Characters, new rides, and experiencing new adventures keeps the vacation feel alive and fun.
Dinner was at Cosmic Rays, and I enjoyed a delicious chicken dinner while sharing cheese fries with Emily. We usually spend a good hour here when we eat because of the music and wonderful air conditioning- it’s a great place to reboot.
We enjoyed Haunted Mansion, Pirates later (it was down when we first got there), and a showing of Philharmagic. With lines being quite long, especially in Fantasyland, we did more walking and enjoying the environment then riding anything. We watched Wishes near the Pooh ride, then sat again on the pavement in front of the Castle while we watched the Memories, Magic, and You show. I have to say, it makes me cry every time, and I am beginning to love it as my favorite show on Property right now. The minute Stitch says “Ohana means family” good grief I need an entire box of Kleenex!!
To end our incredible day, we took a spin on Buzz, and then enjoyed the last ride of TTA for the night. We watched the “Kiss Goodnight” before walking down Main Street to head home. Now, this was around 11:30.
As we exited MK, we noticed people sitting everywhere! People were sleeping on the pavement, and the lines to every single bus and ferry wrapped around every available spot known to man. It was pure chaos, and you could feel the anger in the air. The word we heard was that the Monorail Station had been hit by lightening, and was making the Resort and MK loop inoperable. Now, it had been like that at 5 when we first heard of them not working, and we knew it must be major that 6 hours later they were still not working.
While we stood around to figure out our options, a fight broke out in the line to the Ferry. Disney people were jumping gates to stop it and the feel of “reality” was like a blanket over the crowd. It was eerily quiet as they pulled people apart, and it was in that moment I realized how much I needed a better plan when the Monorails break down. If you park at the Contemp, you can walk to MK or take the Monorail- and that’s the only plan I really have. I can’t imagine what else there is to do- once you are stuck at MK, you are stuck. The busses were backed up, and because of the heat of the bus exhaustion, the area is hot, stuffy, and to much to stand in for the hour it was going to take. We wound up finding a bench, sitting for awhile, then getting in line with the masses for the Ferry about half hour later. Once on the Ferry, we STILL had to get in line for a tram to get to our car. After watching someone get sick on the Ferry, we had had enough and walked to the Pluto Parking lot from the TTC and finally drove home at 1:00 a.m.
It was a beautiful day, with an uncomfortable and crabby ending. I am happy we had the chance to enjoy our love of Disney together before the stress and uncertainty of this week. We had a great day today of cooking out, swimming, napping, and final school shopping. We tucked Emily in this evening and tears were streaming down her adorable little cheeks- she is scared, Kyra is scared, and so are we. I prayed with Emily and tried to give her enough assurance that it would be ok. I have asked for prayer before, but I am sincerely begging for yours tonight. My kids are everything, and when they are sad, and upset, I feel completely helpless. PLEASE keep them in your prayers tomorrow, and strength for Craig and I to be strong. God bless your week!!!