Saturday, October 9

The Plan: We were going to be up early to be at the Animal Kingdom when it opened. After a good half-day there, we would head to MGM Studios for our lunch at the 50’s Prime Time Café. We would stay there and get to see Fantasmic that night.

The Actual: Well, my aunt, uncle and Jamie made it, but we missed it by about 15 minutes. We had a hard time getting moving that morning. Oh well. Headed straight back to Kilimanjaro Safaris and picked up a fastpass. Went to Tusker for some breakfast, man that cherry croissant was AWESOME! Both mom and Mike got a hot breakfast with eggs and biscuits and such, they were very happy as they aren’t sweet eaters in the morning – glad we noticed this option. By the time we were done eating, it was time to hit the safari! What a great ride this time, we saw way more animals out and about. In fact, we had to stop a couple of times for someone to finish crossing the road in front of us.

After our great adventure in Africa, most of the group decided to walk the Pangini Trail – mom, K and I headed to Camp Minnie Mickey to save us a place for the Festival of the Lion King. Stopped on the way to get some water and ice cream – man I love those premium Mickey bars, but they can be messy and rich. The group finally caught up with us inside the Lion King show – we were in the Wart Hog section, snort snort! Next we met the man himself, Mickey Mouse in all his safari gear (yes, I had to get my picture with him too). The line was too long to see my favorite – Goofy – but the line for Koda (say it with me, Ko….Da) and Kenai was not bad, we stood in line to meet them too – they are SO CUTE!!

We then headed to the Tree of Life to see It’s Tough to be a Bug! I loved this show, but didn’t tell the girls anything about it. After standing in the queue for awhile, I started to think about Jamie and bugs – SHE HATED THEM! I decided to ask Aunt Danna if I should warn her about the big bug interaction during this – she said no, she would be ok – and she was.

Danna and Mike then headed to see the Tigers on the Maharajah Jungle Trek. The rest of us headed to DinoLand!!! We first stopped for more water; did I mention how warm it was today? Then on to Dinosaur. Man, this ride is pretty cool. Not long of a wait, and we were heading back in time. Dad and I in the front of the car and mom, K and J in the 2nd seat. The picture was so darn funny, I almost bought it. You couldn’t tell K was in the seat between mom and Jamie at all; she was entirely bent over to get away from the dinosaurs! Next, that whirl roller coaster, I always get the name wrong. Wow! K and J on one side and me on the other, I was whipped around so much on this thing, I don’t need to see the chiropractor for awhile – the girls LOVED it. Then on our way to the front of the park to meet Mike and Danna, my dad and I fought about the cut through out of Dinoland – I give up, you are always right. Met up with the relatives and all headed out the park.

Made it to MGM just in time for our PS at Prime Time. Uncle Mike got in trouble right away, as he didn’t ask for permission to get up from the table. The girls got quite a laugh at his expense during the whole meal. Our waiter, cousin Mickey (no relation to the mouse) was funny, but didn’t make anyone stand with their noses on the wall like the girl we saw on our way in. The girls both ordered a drink with the glowing ice cubes – dad got one too – lots of banging them on the table to turn off and on. I got in trouble for not eating all my vegetables, actually mom and K helped me with the green beans and dad ate a piece of my chicken – I can’t eat 3 pieces of chicken, are you kidding me!? He still let me order desert, I got the s’mores! Oh my were they good. Mom picked up the check on this one, I never saw the bill, but it couldn’t have been cheap!

We waddled our way out of Prime Time and headed towards Star Tours where we picked up a fast pass and headed to the Muppets – we were hoping to catch the parade, but we ended up missing it all together. We did, however, meet Kermit and Miss Piggy!!!! I love the Muppets! Took the time to show that yes, there is a key under the mat; my family thinks I am crazy now. Enjoyed the show, avoided the exploding building, we headed to Star Tours. We had fastpasses, but you couldn’t tell – the line was long! We finally boarded our ship and helped the other Jedi in a fight against the dark forces.

So now we crossed the park to go to…. TOWER OF TERROR! Mike ended up making a stop and since the wait was posted at 15 minutes, K, J and I went on into the hotel, thinking he could catch up – he never did. It was practically a walk on. J started to chicken out and K wouldn’t let her. Once we were up and then dropping, K grabbed my arm and started yelling that she didn’t want to be on this ride anymore. She totally freaked! I felt so bad – will never ride ToT with her again. Took a break with the folks while Mike road by himself. Danna, mom and the girls headed into the Beauty and the Beast show while my dad went to the line for Fantasmic! I met Mike at the exit of the hotel and we headed to the Rock’n’Roller Coaster where the wait time was listed at 45 minutes (there were no more fast passes available when we checked earlier). They weren’t kidding, at 45 minutes later, Mike and I were in the front seat of the stretch limo heading through LA to the concert. What a great ride that is!

We then met the rest of the family at Fantasmic. I just love this show, and the girls loved it too – with the princesses and Mickey on the mountain, fireworks, fire on the water….oh, I don’t want to give too much away, but you know who our hero is!!!! We left and were back at the hotel around 10ish – iced the feet, some took showers and we were all in bed before midnight.

Sunday, October 10

The Plan: We planned to get to Epcot whenever, we had the whole day here and I wanted everyone to be able to last until that night, so we could see Illuminations. It would be all of our first time to see it – we didn’t catch it on our earlier trips this year. We had a late PS for the Biergarten, but some people were groaning about it already.

The Actual: This time we beat the other side of the family to the park. We entered and took some pictures of the topiaries – the Food and Wine Festival was going on and the park was already getting full. We headed straight to Test Track, or intended to, we cut through Innoventions and stopped for K to play tag with other Disney characters – she was Minnie. Next, Test Track, we got fastpasses for nearly 2 hours later. Headed over to Mission: Space to see what their wait time was. Then Mike called, and they all met us there. Mike and I went into the single riders line to Mission: Space and had a great ride to Mars!

Then the argument came, where would we be going next? My dad loves The Sea, I wanted to hit The Land – mainly because they have counter food there and we had not had any breakfast. The guys went to the Sea, the girls went to the land. The guys ended up meeting up with us at The Land since The Sea was so packed, you couldn’t move. Do rice krispy treats count as a breakfast item – it is made our of a breakfast cereal! Afterwards we rode Living with the Land, K got to sit up front with our guide and point out all the things he was talking about. He asked how old her mom was (he meant me, we get that all the time, I need a button that says “No, I am her aunt”) and she said 23, got the whole boat laughing. Remember to point with 2 or 4 fingers, Kaitlin. We had a great trip and saw the pumpkins growing like Mickey heads. Next up, that environment movie with characters from the Lion King – this always makes my mom cry.

It was now time to head back over for our fastpasses to Test Track. Jamie chickened out about ½ way through the line and Mike had to take her out to the grandmothers. He ran back in and caught up with us. Man, K loved this ride, she was giggling and laughing all the way through, jumping up and down when we got off yelling again, let’s go on it again. We checked the fast pass time and it was 6:30pm ALREADY! No way, we would be way into the world showcase by that time.

Mike and Danna headed into Mexico, I went to the store in the middle to pick up the Kid’s Passports for them. They had a GREAT time with these and really made them willing to travel from country to country – that along with the Kidcots really filled their day with stuff to do. Met everyone in Mexico where the girls did their first passport stamp and kidcot project. The guy there was so nice, I wish I had gotten his name (ed: mom thinks it was Gilberto, we have cousins named Gilbert) Mike and Danna went off to find some food and wine to taste and mom, K, J and I went on El Rio de Tiempo, so cute! I think D & M got a wet burrito, I wanted something, but being a picky eater, they couldn’t find anything I would eat.

Then to Norway! The girls had to have their picture in front of the large Troll, very difficult to do in a busy shop. We then split up so that they could ride Maelstrom or whatever it is called. Remember, I don’t do water rides. Mom, dad and I headed to the UK for some fish and chips. Stopped at the tasting for Greece for some spinnakopita and baklava (we had missed the Greek Festival at home this weekend, my cousin got a Greek Pastry sampler for us when she went – yeah!), can you believe it, the tasting was SOLD OUT of baklava…

Had the fish and chips - so yummy! Heard a rumor that Mary Poppins was to show in the Toy Store soon. I adore this movie, and LOVE the penguins; they are not with her very often. We did get to see them on our trip to Disney last year – I got my picture with just them, and they were so happy about that! Met up with the group in Canada, could barely drag my uncle away from the band performing, why can’t I ever remember their name? (ed: Off Kilter) They ended up having fish and chips in the UK as well. While standing in line, a woman ahead of us was drinking one of those large multi-pint things of beer and letting her daughter - who couldn’t have been 2 yet – run all over the place, crossing the street in front of people and playing in the trash can. The mother would just turn around and look at her and laugh and wave her back to her. Good grief, that girl could have been grabbed or caused an old person to fall or been run over by the electric wheelchairs. It continued for a long time, as it was a long line. My aunt and I just couldn’t believe our eyes. I know you have this feeling of being safe at the World, but this was beyond that.

Headed into the toy store where the girls did their kidcots and we turned around – there was Mary Poppins herself! Had each girl armed with a question to ask her. K had to ask where the penguins and Bert were, J had to ask her to say supercalifrajilisticexpealidocious (sp?) backwards. Boy were they impressed when she could. Next up, Pooh and friends. Mom was so excited, Eeyore was there! He even came up and kissed my hand and hugged me. Mom got jealous so he got on one knee and kissed her hand too – should my dad be worried? We all had to get our pictures taken and then it was off to France.

We passed the International Gateway and saw Aurora down the hill; the girls and I ran to meet her. This is where we ran into the rudest CM I have ever met! She didn’t nicely explain to these 2 panting (I did say we ran) girls that she had to go in and would be back. She put up her hand and said, “This is the last family she will see”. And that was it, we left and went to France, hoping that some pastries would make us feel better. You know what did make Kaitlin better? We saw Belle and the Beast in France!!!! Mike had come running into where we were eating pastries to yell “BEAUTY AND THE BEAST!” He had K with him when he left, he left her there, I panicked, but a nice CM was keeping an eye on here while he ran to get us, unfortunately, he didn’t tell me to go into the perfumery and I ended up walking around France wondering where my niece was. Mike had to get his picture with them as well as Jamie. Awesome, we at least got to see one princess!!

Somehow in the crowd, we all were separated. K and I ended up heading into Morocco as I told her that this was the location of the story of Aladdin and Jasmine. We head into the building to find the Kidcot station and who do we run into with NO LINE? The Genie!!! He kidded with K about her not having her book out yet. I said to K, I told you this was the place, wish we could have met Aladdin and Jasmine. To which this kind lady turned around and whispered, if you go around to the back, they are there now. We TOOK OFF running. Saw my dad and aunt – told them we had a princess to see!!!

Jamie caught up with us in time to meet the royal couple. She had this issue with allowing other kids to cut in front of her at Kidcots and meeting the characters – it was driving me crazy. But cute picture, quick camera battery change and we were off to Japan. I just love this stop in Epcot, the stores, the buildings….LOVE IT! Kaitlin and I both got a fan with our names written on them in Japanese – my name is too short. We toured the toy museum as that was where the kidcot was located, such interesting things they have there, don’t miss it! Oh, we also got to see the candy lady, the one who makes the animal figures out of candy. She is fascinating to watch, but get there early if you would like one of her creations. A lady had obviously camped out in front of the booth with 6 of her kids and they all had to have one!!! Moving on.

Well, I went on to find the restrooms, the next ones we listed as being in Italy – yeah, they were really in Germany. The park was getting crowded and I told the group I would meet them in America. What was I thinking; the stop at the UsofA is HUGE! Well, I did find them, they had decided to take in the show – Mickey Thomas from Starship was performing for the Food and Wine Festival. I grabbed some lobster corn chowder, a cheddar crab cake, some waters and honey lemonade for my dad. Take note, when you get something from the F&W booths, they are just samples, very small servings. Of course, none of this is stuff I would eat and that fish and chips seemed like a long time ago.