Sunday, January 15, 2012

Disney World, Day 6, January 7th

This day started as an early one for Eric. He got up at dark thirty to run the Donald Half Marathon. A brisk 13.1 miles beginning at 5:30.

It's a little jittery, but he got this video while he was running through Cinderella's Castle. Little Bumpy, Lots of Awesome!

Eric had a good run. He ran his mini-marathon in 2 hours 14 minutes. Not his best, but not his worst, in fact, better than the last one he did. And he wasn't even pushing himself. Now, Eric didn't stop and take pictures of himself with all the characters like we did, so he made it back to the hotel about the same time that we had, so he was able to hop on the bandwagon and join us for the days' festivities.

We started the day by heading to Magic Kingdom. There was some Important unfinished business there. First of all, we had reservations for 11:30 at the Crystal Palace. We arrived at the park, just before 11.

I had learned of a nifty little secret for parents of girly girls. If you go to the Main Street Barber shop and ask for "a little sparkle", they will spray your head with confetti and hair spray to make it stick. FOR FREE. No Bibbidi Bobbidi Bucks spent here, a free sparkly do. I got the tip from a sparkled Mom in line, I was admiring. So Mike took Emily on their day of Quality Time. But I noticed when we got to the park on Saturday, the Barber shop was empty, so Emily and I dashed in there, promising to meet the family up the street. There was a dance party parade, and it was going to take them a while with the strollers.
Emily and I Got Sparkle!

Then we met our family at the Crystal Palace. It would have been lovely, but as seems custom, they make you wait for half an hour before getting seated once you check in for any given reservation. So this time, I wanted to cross something off my list, well my list for Christopher and I. The Teacups. Eric gets queasy, and hates them, but Mike and Emily were our cohorts in Teacupping crime last year, and I really wanted to go again. Blessedly the line was short, and we ran off and rode the Teacups before our family even got called into lunch. I Love The Teacups!!!

Meanwhile, something happened to my new beast camera either while I was prancing, or during brunch, because all my pictures over the next couple hours are blown out or blurry. During naptime Eric took it apart, and put it back together, and made it all better, but in the mean time all my Crystal Palace pictures look a bit, well, Goofy.

See? Anyway, you can still see that my boys are enthralled with Tigger.

I tell you what Piglet stole my heart on this day. Christopher was so enthusiastic about seeing Piglet, who in my opinion is the Bravest of all the characters. He's small, and scared of so much, yet when he feels something must be done, he goes forth, in spite of all fears, into all sorts of anticipated dangers. He really is the Bravest. Thinking of this, how he's the smallest, feistiest, bravest, well, it started reminding me of Christopher, and made me tear up. So it didn't matter that my camera wasn't focused, or blurry, because this is what I was seeing anyway.

I know, I'm a sap. Hello, my name is Cathy Willman. Disney World makes me cry. Every day. And I love it.

Luckily, Mike and Kathleen got some good pictures of the girls at the Crystal Palace with Pooh and Eeyore. Gotta love all that fluff and stuff on Pooh!

They even had a Parade for all the kids through the restaurant. On our side, we got Piglet and Eeyore, and the other side of the Palace got the others. Rock on Piglet!

Then we had to get going. So much to do, so little time.
Did I mention on the way to the Teacups we had to dodge the Dance Parade? Well, we did. However Christopher slowed down so he could dance as he went. It was rather adorable.

Adorable until we left the Crystal Palace, and the twins saw The Dance Party going on, now I don't think it was STILL going (that'd be some Crazy dancing characters) but rather it was going on Again. This time the twins pulled up some fence, and just watched. So Adorable.

On our way across the Park, we bumped into that Boy who never grew up: Peter Pan!

The kids were Thrilled. They actually watched Peter Pan this week, and the girls have been going on and on about Fairies. How Spiffy to see Pan in person! All 5 yahoos climbed out of their strollers and sat down by him. He did "Roll Call", to learn their names, just like he would have with the lost boys.

The kids were so happy to meet Peter. Christopher told me that Peter told him to be careful and not step on Tinkerbell, to watch out because she's tiny. He Promised. (This comes up again later.)

Then we took the kids on Dumbo. However, it was sunny, hot, and they were tired. They were losing it already. They needed naps, and the line was long. I didn't know, but I decided to ask if Chris's pass would work on this ride. It doesn't have a Fastpass line like the others. So I found a castmember by the exit, and I told him, my kid has this pass because he's on the autism spectrum, and he's starting to lose it in the line. (Really it was Chris and Sarah and Sam losing it) and he told me to grab the family and come, and I could get in the next round. And we did. Awesome! And the little kids Loved Dumbo. They are moving the Dumbo ride next week, so we really got in while the getting was good. And it really was Good.

On our way back through the castle, we spotted the Fairy Godmother. She was the only member of Cinderella's family, we had yet to meet. So we got her autograph too.

Then we took a peaceful walk back. What a lovely day!

The Julius's Needed to see Finding Nemo: The Musical at Animal Kingdom. Last time, they didn't get to Animal Kingdom at all, and we spent the majority of a day there. So we got up from naps and hightailed to Animal Kingdom. The natural birds of the marshes were happy to give us a welcome. This photo of the birds was a little sketchy, but there was a gazillion of them. And the sun set while we were in the show, but when we came out, they were still sleeping by the swampy river.

We saw the Finding Nemo: The Musical, the last show of the day. And we got great seats, right up close. The kids were thrilled. Chris only got a little nervous and hid between my legs during the shark scene, because they came right down a catwalk next to him. We were close! It was great! The music is wonderful, the characters enchanting, and there were bubbles!

I swear, if they ever made this a Broadway Musical, I would go! It's THAT good!

Then we dashed, well as much as one can with buses, and strollers, and monorails, oh my, to Magic Kingdom. We arrived there Just in time to catch the majority of the Main Street Electrical Parade.

There was no crowd on the Town Hall steps, which is where we stood to watch it last time, where our friend Jason told us there were great seats, still true. The kids were happy to see from there. Even though we missed the beginning, it was still pretty Awesome!

I will always equate Pete's Dragon with this Parade, I don't know why. So it made my heart leap a little when I saw the dragon.

And this float, "To Honor America" was the last one. Little fiberoptic fireworks lit it as it went, I managed to capture a couple lit up. Very Cool.

Not that anything could follow the awesomeness of that, but this view came close. I love Cinderella's Castle at night. I could just sit and watch and watch. It's even niftier during the holidays because of the twinkling lights, and the color changes. Gorgeous!

The girls were desperate to see the Fairies. So since Animal Kingdom closed at 7, and Magic Kingdom was open until 10, AND all the kids got good naps, we decided to go make the most of our 'last day' and cross a few more items off our Must Do lists. And we went to visit the Fairies.

The kids got a big kick out of the special "fairy dust tunnel" that shrinks us all down so that we can visit the fairies, and be their size. The first Fairy we saw was Rosetta, from the Tinkerbell movies, her talent is Flowers. She also spoke with the slightest southern accent. She was great!

And Tinkerbell, she was adorable too, the girls went gaga for her. Christopher made very sure that he didn't step on her, and was very careful around her, per Peter Pan's orders. He wanted to be able to report to Pan that he took care. Too bad we didn't see Peter again to be able to report Mission Accomplished.

The girls were probably so distracted by Tinkerbell, they didn't hear the Firework show begin, but I did. So as soon as we were done, we dashed outside. Chris put on his headphones, but he really didn't need them, he was over his fears. He did great, and it was a beautiful show in person, even better than being atop the Contemporary. (Except for people's heads being in my way.)

What a Grand Finale!!!

Christopher really wanted to ride the Buzz Lightyear ride. I had never ridden it, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but in Chris's book, if it's Buzz, it's got to be good. So after the Fireworks, we went to circle around back of the castle, because the crowd was so big. Only, we didn't get very far. We bumped into Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen. It's rare that the Princes are out, so I stopped. The Castmember told us that the line was closed, no more people were allowed in, although we could see the people last in line. Just at that moment, a family (whose toddler was DONE) was skipping out the back of the line. I just glanced at them, glanced at the castmember, and asked, can we take their place? He let us!

So we got to meet Prince Naveen... and Princess Tiana. But really Prince Naveen stole the show. He was dancing to the music playing, Chris even joined him for a little dance. He was cracking jokes, funny, oh, and pretty cute too. We asked where he was from, it's a little sketchy in the movie. He says, "It's called Moldonia, but I'm usually being stepped on or something when I say it. Some people say it's not real, but of course it is, I should know, I'm from there!"

After that fun visit, we realized the crowd had broken up in front of the castle, and moved to the back, so it ended up making more sense to cut across the front. They were doing a show, some Memories of You, or something, like a photo session, with photos that had been taking throughout the day. We didn't feel we needed to stop to watch it. But as we were walking, I looked up, and saw Mr. Incredible ON the castle, and right underneath, a picture of Mike! Apparently, the photopass guys had gotten various members of our group in Incredible! poses. By getting photopass pictures, you are saying it's ok for Disney to use them. I had no idea. I didn't object though, it was actually very cool. By the time we all halted, the picture was gone, however, we had to stop to admire the photomosaics on the castle. It's amazing!

We stopped for some hot dogs and fries for dinner, somehow it had gotten to 9 oclock before we remembered to eat, we'd just been snacking all day. Then we headed over over to Chris's Buzz ride. He loved it. It involved shooting lasers, and frankly had so many flashing lights, it gave me a bit of a headache. I wonder if people can get seizures from riding flashy rides too often. This would be that kind of ride. But the kids got captured along with Emperor Zurg afterwards.

When that was all done, we took one last ride up to the Astro Orbiter. It was like Dumbo on Steroids. This one got a little fast for me too, a little late in the evening, and my tummy full for that sort of spinning. Chris loved it Of Course. As you can imagine, IT WAS AWESOME!!!

Then we tried to hop on the People Mover, a nice relaxing ride to end the evening on, but they were shutting it down too. Chris burst into tears. He wanted to do it so badly. Unfortunately, it was our Last official day in Magic Kingdom. And it was time to go.

The End.

But not really.

Little did he know, Mike had done some scheming earlier that morning. He'd researched adding a 6th day in the park. I know, MADNESS! And for only 8$ a person, we could an extra day in the parks. That would be a great time spent since we had to be out of the villa early, and not leave for our flight until late afternoon. And cheaper than $$ spent in Downtown Disney. So we did it. But Chris didn't know that, he didn't find out until we surprised him the next morning. But that is a story for another day.