Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Disney Day 3 - Epcot

Disney Day 3 - Wednesday, June 1 - Epcot

I was excited about Epcot. I had been twice as a child, but we didn't go to Epcot 2 years ago. So it has been over 25 years since I've visited this park. We had early magic hours at the park this day, so we were there when it opened. My family rode on a bus with my brother's family and my sister's family and parents came on a later bus. Robbie, Jake & Billy's family all went to go ride Soarin. I knew Hollon was too short for it, so she & I headed over to meet Anna & Elsa. 
Brother/Sister picture of the day
(They complained more and more about this picture each day)

When they opened the gates for early magic hour guests, Hollon and I mistakenly just followed a large crowd. I knew Anna & Elsa were in the back of the park in the country Norway. I thought if I just walked straight back, I'd hit the countries. (They don't have maps at Epcot😉) Wrong. Because it is early, parts of the park are closed off. I'm trying to follow the map on my phone, but keep hitting deadends. Then I finally reach the countries, and I know that Norway is the 2nd country, but I can't figure out if according to where I was standing, it was the 2nd country on my left or the other left. (Embarrassing, yes. But I also blame it on the fact that Hollon was griping and I kept having to stop to figure out what she was whining about. But it is still embarrassing that I was so turned around. At Epcot. And I realized that I should never go backpacking through Europe (or really anywhere) by myself. I mean, if I get lost in the Epcot countries, I'm pretty sure I'd die trying to read a map in the real foreign countries.)

We finally made it to Norway and thankfully we still had about 30 minutes before the park opened for everyone else. The line for Anna & Elsa said 25 minutes, but we were in and out in 15. After Cinderella, Hollon meeting Elsa was my next favorite meet and greet. Hollon was in complete awe. I just want to wrap up that special sparkle in her two-year-old eyes meeting a princess that she loves. I wish I could bottle it up. It would be one of my most prized possessions. 

Why does Hollon look so natural just talking to the princess?
And it comes time to take the picture, she just freezes?!?!
(Click space below to view video, sometimes it doesn't show up in the preview)

In my opinion, this particular Anna was the best character acting. She was awesome. 
Hollon was very interested in what Anna was saying to her.
But look at Hollon's hand.... Bahahahahaha!!!!!
Hollon wanted to be close, but not actually touch.

Anna tells Hollon that the white polka dots on her hairbow look like snow flakes. Hollon didn't understand.😂

Since the line was so short for Anna & Elsa, when we got done, I noticed that the Frozen ride next door only had a 30 minute wait. We had fast passes to ride it later that day, but I heard that it breaks down a lot and I was scared that would happen during our time. I was also worried, that the FP wasn't until 2:15 and I wasn't sure if Hollon would make it at the park that long. So she and I went ahead & got in line to ride it.

The people in front of us had older girls and they kept taking pictures of each other. As soon as we were in that spot, Hollon would pose however they had been and would tell me to "take her picture".

The ride was AWESOME! It is a boat ride, and there is a small hill. It initially scared Hollon, but she said she loved the ride. Afterwards we went to the gift shop and she was very impressed that there were multiple mirrors that should could see herself in. 

Afterwards, we met up with my sister's family and rode the Nemo ride. It was cute and Hollon liked it. Her favorite though was probably riding the escalator in the aquarium afterwards (we usually never get to ride an escalator because we have the stroller and have to take the elevator). 
Gaines & Hollon
After that, we got some lunch with my parents. After lunch, Lindsey, Brooks, Gaines & Mae Stanley headed back to the resort and Woody stayed behind with my parents. We had fast passes to meet the core Mickey gang (Mickey, Goofy & Minnie). While we waited for our fast passes to begin, we checked out a huge gift shop. Hollon CRIED when we made her leave. I asked her did she not want to meet Mickey & Minnie? She said no. 😒 

After a brief toddler meltdown, we were on our way to meet the gang.

Jake, Woody & Hollon

She was so excited to meet Minnie
But again, #awkwardpose

Afterwards, Jake & Robbie went to try to ride Test Track. Hollon & I walked around with Woody and my parents. Hollon ended up falling asleep and Woody wasn't much in the mood, so Woody and my parents ended up going back to the resort. I found a cool place to just hang out while Hollon napped. We had about 45 minutes until our FP for Frozen, and I really wanted Hollon to get to ride it again. (Again, I was probably a little more excited than she was.)

Jake at Test Track (I still don't completely understand what this ride is)

The ride kept breaking down, so when it was working, the line was always 90+ minutes. The single rider line was less than 20, so Jake and Robbie did that. Jake did awesome. He rode before Robbie and waited exactly how he should afterwards for Robbie to finish. 
Jake in the back row on the left
(Why is the boy beside him wearing a bowtie?!?!)

Robbie, back row, middle seat
(Just checking to see if you were really reading or just looking at the pictures)

After Test Track, Robbie & Jake met back up with us. I knew they wanted to head back to the resort because they were tired from the night before. I promised them that they could, Hollon & I would be fine. She was napping good, we were in a cool place (FYI... Reflections of China if you need a place to cool off and let a baby sleep). But Robbie was scared my mom would be mad at him if he left Hollon and I, so they stayed! Finally it was time for our FP, Hollon had waken up and we were ready to ride. The first time we rode, Hollon was just sitting beside me, so you can't see her in the picture. This time I held her in my lap. They take the picture as you are going down the hill. I LOVE the expression on her face! 

Both kids got souvenirs at Epcot, so they were clutching their bags on the way back to the hotel.

We knew we were not going back to Epcot that night, so the kids were able to swim that evening.

Neither of my sister's boys were down swimming, so Hollon got bored with the splash pad (plus she didn't have Gaines to hold her hand up the stairs). She wanted to swim in the big pool with Jake, Maddox & Marrell. At first she was fine just playing on the steps, but after watching them go down the big slide, she wanted to as well. She has never gone down a true water slide and cries if a drop of water gets in her eyes in the bathtub. So I tried telling her I didn't think she would like it. Of course that just adds fuel to her fire and makes her want to go even more. Neither Robbie nor I were in swimsuits, so my sweet brother says he'll get in the pool and catch her at the bottom of the slide. So I walk her up the steps and send her down. (Robbie filmed)

I expected her to cry afterwards. She LOVED it. Of course, then she kept wanting to do it over and over again. One time, she went down a little too straight and fast (and possibly a nudge from brother) and went underwater when Billy caught her. Still loved it.

A storm was about to roll in, so we took the kids up to the room to dry off and get cleaned up for dinner. I asked them if I could take their picture. Here is Jake's....

And here is Hollon's....
#diva #moody #didn'tgetherwayrightaway
Final Thoughts: Epcot certainly isn't the most exciting park for our age of kids. But the Soarin ride was awesome and made it worth it for Jake. And the Frozen stuff is great, which made it worth it for Hollon. So if I had it to do over again, I still would go. I definitely think it would be funner with a little older kids though. It was the perfect park to do after a late night at a park the night before. We did a few things, and then took the rest of the day to chill out and rest up before our last park day (for some of us). There were some classic rides that I would have liked to go on (to see if they are the same as I remember 25 years ago). Robbie went on some of them with Jake, but hopefully next time, we can check more of those out.
Go Figure: My child would rather shop in a gift shop (that has the same exact stuff as the other 9.648 gift shops we visited) than meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It is those moments when you start second guessing the amount you spend on a Disney vacation when you could probably just take them to the Disney store and they would be just as excited.
Jake's Favorites: Soarin and Test Track
Hollon's Favorites: Anna/Elsa and Frozen ride 
My Favorite Moments: About the time I declare that I'll never take my kids to Disney World again, because they would be just as happy at the Disney store at the outlets, I see that sparkle in Hollon's eye meeting Anna & Elsa. And the Frozen ride, in my opinion, was just magical. The music, the scenes, it was amazing and seeing the look on Hollon's face while riding it was priceless. It is so worth every penny. And absolutely my favorite moments of the day. 

Atlanta to Orlando - {here}
Hollywood Studios - {here}
Magic Kingdom 1 - {here}

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