Saturday, January 12, 2013

Disney - Animal Kingdom/Epcot

My older sister purchased this massive book explaining the ins, outs, and in betweens of mastering Disney.  The two days she took to travel to Disney she read, noted, and shared loads of information.

Day 1 at the parks we tried out her plan.

We (my family, my older sister's family, my parents, and my younger sister and husband - my brother's family slept in and arrived hours later) arrived at Animal Kingdom one hour before opening.  This allowed us time to unload kids, snacks, strollers, take pictures and walk to the park (we skipped the buses and trams each day).  We got to the gates about 20 minutes early.

After taking some pictures, checking out the Christmas tree, daddy surprised the girls with their favorite animal themed ears (which they wore every single day).  When the gates opened we sent Cody and my brother in law with our tickets to get fast pass tickets for the safari and the rest of us headed straight to Expedition Everest.  I took Addyson on her first roller coaster, with my dad, and younger sister, while my mom hung out with the twins.  This roller coaster was way too intense for what I found out to be a very skittish child.  As soon as it went dark she was begging to get off the ride.  By the time we finished the ride, Cody and my brother in law arrived back and headed on the roller coaster with my nephew for a few trips.  My dad's stomach was upset for hours after that ride (he claims that an ice cream sandwich cured him).

After the roller coaster we headed to Dinoland where all the kids rode Triceratop spin several times (basically Dumbo but a dinosaur).  The older kids hit up the much faster spinning whirl.  As we were on the ride, it started pouring rain.  I left soaked and met the family under a building and quickly got everyone into their ponchos.  The rain that day was off and on and was mostly a light drizzle that ended by lunch.

Once we finished up at Dinoland we hit up Camp Minnie and Mickey to meet some characters (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, The Chipmunks, and Jungle Book characters).  After we had all our autographs and pictures we headed for the safari.  I think the safari is a must.  You get up close to the animals, it's an enjoyable covered ride.  After the safari my parents and younger sister and husband went their own way, my sister's fiance took the older boys back for the roller coaster, and my family and my older sister and niece sat down to watch "The Lion King."  After watching the show (which is so much fun), we sat down for lunch and then headed to Epcot to finis the day.

Heading to Epcot, for our family, was something we did not feel was important.  We mostly went to see characters, as this is where you can find quite a bit.  Upon entering the park we took some pictures and headed to see Daisy Duck and Goofy.  After visiting with them, we grabbed the character spotting time slots and booked it to France to see Princess Belle.  I stuck with the girls to see the princesses while Eligh and dad walked around, picked up a sword (Eligh's money), and eventually brought back ice cream for a snack).  

We ended up seeing the following characters at Epcot:  Daisy Duck, Goofy, Princess Belle, Jasmine and Aladdin, and Alice.  The girls are not that interested in Sleeping Beauty or Snow White, so we skipped that.  

My dad and brother in law ended up leaving the park early afternoon and we picked up my younger sister and mom to finish the day with a quick ride on Nemo, a stop at a gift shop, and then we left the park before 6 pm.  We weren't able to do the Crush show following Nemo, as Addyson was worked up and just ready to leave, and with that we did.  We knew tomorrow would be a long day at Magic Kingdom, and going into Disney we said we would follow the kids' lead as to when we would leave each day.  

After leaving the park, my mom called my dad and had him start up the noodles for our homemade spaghetti (my mom had made sauce and brought it with and cooked it in the crock pot all day).  We ate dinner with my parents, older sister and her family, and my younger sister and husband.  Once the kiddos ate and played for a few, we got them to bed, waited till they were asleep, and visited with my parents and around 8/9 my brother and his family came back to the camp site and we helped get their four kiddos fed.  

*****For us, splitting Animal Kingdom and Epcot was perfect.  It gave us more time to spend at the parks our kids could and would enjoy the most.*****

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