Yes, it’s been a while. I’m going to finish this report up before it’s next October! I swear! :) Anyway, when I left off, we had left Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village to return to Epcot so that we could make our Test Track FastPass+ reservations. That went smoothly and we had another good ride – slightly better, in fact, because we got our car’s data into the system this time and actually managed to be ranked. :D
After Test Track, we headed over to Soarin’, and even with the FPs I can say we had a bit of a wait. Not a long one, not really.. just enough to get D pretty bored/complainy. But we made it in! And it was Soarin’, which is to say, great. :) Next we backtracked a little and headed for Spaceship Earth, since we’d had to skip that so far to stay on track with the FPs.
I love Spaceship Earth. I preferred Jeremy Irons’s narration, but I love the updates to the animatronics and I do like Judy Dench. Just not as much. ;) Anyway D remains afraid of cavemen, but she didn’t mind them in this and was fascinated by the idea that they painted stories onto the walls. Her favourite part of the ride is also my favourite: the part when you reach the very top, and you come out to see the Earth from a distance. :D Then on our descent we played the game and chose our future!
So it was now already 7:30 and we had just a half an hour left to get to Maelstrom. We also needed to eat dinner. I picked out a couple of things I thought maybe she might like among the Food and Wine kiosks, but they were ultimately too spicy – we got them from Terra. Some Chili Colorado and home-made chips for D, and some Trick’n Chick’n Curry for me. IT WAS DIVINE.
And you know what? I didn’t actually get that this was vegan. I did not realize it wasn’t meat! Looking back I should have; now that I know it I recognize the texture of meat substitute (which I quite like, honestly. I’m a fan of non-meat). But I totally didn’t figure it out at the time.
Anyway, D liked the chips but not the chili, not surprisingly. And she was not into the curry at all (didn’t think she would be). She was tired and didn’t want anything else to eat just then, and suddenly when I mentioned that her tooth was loose enough to come out and that it would be really cool if she lost it at WDW because maybe the tooth fairy would bring her something super-special, she had a breakdown. She sat down and started crying that she didn’t want her tooth to come out and she was really upset and all kinds of things. :(
It was one of those moments where I had to figure out what I needed to do. So I offered her a legitimate choice of going back to the resort and taking it easy the rest of the night; or sticking to our plan and going around the rest of the World Showcase. She calmed down and really didn’t want to go back to the resort yet so we decided we would take our time going around the World Showcase, not hurry for anything, and finish colouring Duffy and getting our WS flags done.
To this end, we missed our Maelstrom FastPasses. That was really OK. D doesn’t love that ride, and I have done it before so I can live without it. So instead we took our time and headed to Mexico, rather than the original plan of running to Norway and then doubling back after riding Maelstrom.
Mexico was great because D had not been inside the pavilion before. So showing her how it was suddenly outside nighttime, inside a building, really amused her. She did ask me if we really were outside even though we were inside, and then if outside was really inside of a large building too. XD I think she was kidding, lol.
We got our Mexico flag on Duffy, then got in the very very short line for the 3 Caballeros Gran Fiesta Tour. I had done this once before, and I love the Caballeros and have done my level best to get D into them as well. Side note: when it comes to their changing the original Rio Del Tiempo ride and making it a 3 Caballeros ride instead, well… I normally think that not all rides need to be tampered with to have characters added. But I LOVE this one. They kept most of what made Rio Del Tiempo good, and livened it up, and I’m sorry but the Caballeros are awesome. Anyway, we got right on to a boat and got started, and about a minute or so into the ride – after we’d gone past the restaurant and into the temple – the ride kind of shut down.
The lights and the visuals stayed on, but the audio cut off, and so did the boat. We just drifted. We slooooowly drifted through the ride, watching Donald run about and Jose and Panchito look around for him, and every so often a recording came on saying that there was a technical problem and that a CM would be by to help us exit later. We were expecting at any minute to come to a complete halt, but somehow we did keep moving the entire time… just slooooowly. :)
And then, unexpectedly, the ride came back on! JUST after they got Donald back! So we got to hear the song a few times. D and I debated on getting on the ride again to experience it properly, but we ended up deciding against it, since we had no idea if it would just shut off again. And we had SEEN the whole thing, just not heard it! :) Besides, it was now just after 8pm, which is actually D’s bedtime. I had known I would be keeping her up a bit late, but I didn’t want to push it. And I wanted to catch “American Adventure” before we left, if possible.
So we went on to Norway.
Maelstrom was at a 20 minute wait when we got there, so we skipped it. Instead we went inside the shop to the Kidcot stop so that we could get our flag done. This didn’t take too long, so we moseyed to China to do the same. This one DID take a little while because there was quite a line at the Kidcot stop! By this point we had pretty nearly finished Duffy so we were just getting the flags done and moving on. I was also starting to notice that the Kidcot stops were getting a lot of, um, “extra” traffic.
I don’t normally begrudge people collecting things at Disney. I do NOT mind if people take a long time meeting characters and getting a lot of autographs done, I have no issues when adults do things intended for kids, it’s all good. In this case I’m going to gripe slightly, though.
We got held up a lot because of a high number of people who were collecting Kidcot flags and passport entries. I can see the appeal, but in this case we’re talking about groups of people who all had one of each. Not kidding, we honestly had at least one group of three people and each one had a Duffy AND a passport, and had to get the flags AND the stamps on each. Like I said, I am all for collecting things but I think coming as a group and maximizing the time of the people there is a bit much. I’m not going to preach about it b/c I know there are always reasons to complain about everything, and people who do this can easily come back with an experience they had of a parent or a kid doing something they found objectionable. So I’m just putting that out there. No offense. :)
Here by the way is the completed Duffy! Sorry some of these are super blurry. I didn’t have good light when I took these, after the trip was done.
Anyhow… after China we went to Germany, where after the Kidcot stop I had to do a little shopping. My husband had requested a souvenir from Germany and since he collects beer steins I thought an ornamental stein would be perfect! (Apparently he expected something to do with the Seven Dwarves. I fooled him!) So I got this cute little thing here, which he says he likes and I have decided to believe him. ;)
In Italy, since D had not really had much in the way of dinner, I took a page from my friend Amanda’s tradition and suggested we get some gelato. I LOVE gelato! D went for simple chocolate, but I picked out my favourite, chocolate chip cookie dough. I have a weakness. :D At this point it was really getting late, nearing Illuminations time in fact. My plan had been not to wait around for Illuminations and I still wasn’t entirely sold on it. For some reason I had this sense that I would be able to beat the departing crowds if we skipped it. But on the other hand, we still had to get to American Adventure!
So while everyone else was getting their Illuminations seats, D and I made it to the America Pavilion and approached American Adventure, which neither of us have ever seen, in the hopes of catching the last show. But it turns out…
There WAS no last show! :( Technical difficulties had closed it for the evening. D wanted to look around inside the building so I asked if we could just poke our heads in to peer around the lobby area, and the CM said sure. I think we confused a few other people who wanted in, but we just looked and left. I did feel bad, because it was my decision to leave it for later, and D had been pretty set on it. But she was OK with it, and there will always be a next time. :)
We got our final flag and country stamp on the Duffy, and then sat down just inside the America pavilion so that we could call home and say goodnight. As we did this, the lights dimmed and the introduction for Illuminations started. It was later than I’d thought. :D D was in the middle of talking to her father when the show itself started, and she was ENTRANCED.
She was also exhausted, so I decided to stick to my original plan of leaving during Illuminations… KIND OF. First I let her stand up on the benches to see what she could of the show. Once it was about halfway through we held hands and started to leave. Now, I myself have only seen Illuminations once before. And it’s good. It’s very, very good.
But it is just a fireworks show, right? I’m not all that moved by fireworks. I remember when I saw it I liked it a lot, but you know, JUST FIREWORKS…
Well, okay Disney, I concede you this one. I had misremembered. Illuminations really is not JUST fireworks. It’s extremely inspiring and even, dare I say it, moving. We did start walking towards the exit while the show was going, but we did it slowly, and stopped every so often when we could manage a good view so that we could keep an eye on the show.
I may have cried a bit. And I definitely started singing “We Go On”. I’m not actually sure what I was slightly crying about; whether it was the rousing music, or the love of Disney, or just sharing the moment of being there with my girl and her loving it as much as me… Well, it was moving, and I’ll leave it at that. We’ve all had our moments, I guess. :)
We were nowhere near the exit, not really, before the show was done. So I took D’s hand even more firmly and told her to just stick with me no matter what, and we waded through the crowds – which lessened as we got back into Future World, because a lot of people weren’t actually leaving yet, just dispersing. And then we bade a fond farewell to Epcot, and schlepped our way back to the car, and left.
Coming up next I’ll talk a little bit about our night at Animal Kingdom Lodge (but not too much, since I already reviewed the resort) and then our Magic Kingdom day!