Our Family

Our Family

Monday, October 16, 2017

Walt Disney World Trip Report Day 8: Friday, October 13, 2017

Our original plans for this day started out to be Epcot and then park hop.  Our plans slightly changed.  We had reservations at Akershus at 8:30 so we arrived before rope drop.  It’s a long hike to Norway from the entrance first thing in the morning, but we made it.  We waited a few minutes to check in, but not too long.  Then, Sarah again got to meet her favorite princess.  Belle was signing autographs and getting pictures.  This one photo session would’ve made the memory maker completely worth it on its on. We got some of the best pictures of my baby and Belle.


After Belle, we were sat down and could see princesses around us.  Sarah said Ariel needed to come see her.  The first princess we met was Cinderella.  She was super nice and much more outgoing than the Cinderella we’d met at Magic Kingdom.  After Cinderella came Snow White.  This was our least favorite princess of the meal.  Since I already had Ariel and Cinderella’s autograph in Sarah’s book, we only needed Snow White and Aurora.  I’d marked them both in the book but didn’t know which would come first.  Snow White came up to the table and just picked up the book.  I started to help her know where her page was to sign and she quickly let me know she had it.  She felt very rushed and to me, her niceness seemed very fake.


Next was Aurora.  Now, I’m not sure if I’ve ever watched Sleeping Beauty but I knew who she was.  She was awesome.  She took time with the kids and really interacted well with them.  I was very impressed with Aurora.


Last was Ariel.  She, too, was great.  She was very interactive with the kids, talking about our “gray” school of fish since we were wearing gray shirts. 

Breakfast at Akershus was delicious.  I’d most most definitely prefer to come back here than to return to Hollywood & Vine.

After breakfast, our plans had been to meet Anna and Elsa next door, but the line was quite a bit of a wait.  We had fast passes for later in the morning for Frozen so we took this time to let Dakota go back to ride Test Track.  He and Jon went first and used the rider swap from earlier in the week.  Once they were through, Dakota and I rode through the single rider line.  We ended up in the same car, just different rows, which was perfect.  I can’t really tell if I like this newer version better than the older one.  I’m not sure it’s enough different to tell.


After Test Track, we had enough time to do Mission Space – we thought.  The app said the line was 15 minutes.  I decided to try orange with Dakota.  He and I got in the line and grabbed a rider switch.  Right after we got in line, the wait time changed to 25 minutes.  Ok – frustrating, but we can do that.  Then, once we finally got on the ride, apparently someone had gotten sick in another car and that had to be cleaned up.  So we sat, buckled in, and waited…and waited…and waited.  We had a nice couple in the car with us to talk to but I was getting stressed over that Frozen fastpass.  The ride finally got going and I survived without passing out or throwing up and we got off. I told the guys they’d have to do the rider switch later. I had to make a quick restroom stop and then we headed straight for Frozen – just in time to be told it was shut down.  Sure, they granted us FPP for later in the day, but we weren’t going to be there much longer.  Jon wanted to go back to Japan so Sarah and I sat on a bench while he went back to his favorite store.  Afterwards, we caught the boat from Germany back to Mexico.  Frozen still wasn’t reopened so we headed back to Future World.  I found a seat outside Mouse Gears while the guys went to use the Rider Swap pass from Mission: Space.  Sarah and I shopped a little in Mouse Gears and then we headed out of the park, back to the resort to rest for a couple of hours.

We didn’t have long to rest because we had dinner reservations at ‘Ohana at 5:20pm.  We again decided to drive to dinner.  The Polynesian is beautiful.  We headed to check-in and met an awesome cast member named Jordan who talked to us both in line and again while we were waiting.  We were finally called to our table and had a window table with a beautiful view of Cinderella’s castle.  We’d eaten at ‘Ohana several years ago and I didn’t remember it being this good.  It was delicious.  We ate until we were full and then they brought the bread pudding out – wow, that was wonderful.  We were completely stuffed, but Dakota had one final request – he wanted another Dole Whip before we left.  So we ventured down to the Pineapple stand and purchased him one last Dole Whip.


We then sadly headed back towards the resort.  We were planning to leave bright and early the next morning.  I was so sad to leave Disney and begged Jon to not wait 5 years to bring us back!

Walt Disney World Trip Report Day 7: Thursday, October 12, 2017

This was another morning that Magic Kingdom had changed opening times to 8am.  I’d changed my touring plans around a bit.  We got there at about rope drop and stopped for some pictures on Main Street.  We headed straight for Buzz Lightyear Spaceranger Spin and rode it quickly.  When we got off, we decided to head to breakfast a little early.  We had reservations at 9am for Be Our Guest.  Breakfast was preordered so we didn’t have to wait in the order line.  The restaurant is beautiful and the food was delicious.  

Once we were done with breakfast, we headed to find the line for Gaston.  We were about 30-45 minutes early so we had a seat just inside the line entrance.  In about 15 minutes or so, we decided to move up to the front of the line. Jon and Dakota decided to quickly run over to grab a LeFou’s Brew. Soon after, others joined behind us.  We were the first ones to meet Gaston that day.  Dakota challenged him to an arm wrestling match.  Dakota says he “practically” beat Gaston because Gaston cheated by not counting down.  Sarah wouldn’t say much to him, but realized after we’d left that she forgot to tell him his was a “poopyhead.”  I would’ve loved to see his reaction to that.
We had a few minutes after meeting Gaston until our Fast Pass for Enchanted Tales with Belle.  We used the restroom and then just hang out around the stroller parking for Enchanted Tales until it was time for our Fast Pass.  Dakota wasn’t going to participate but decided to once we got inside.  It was a really cute show and gave the kids a chance to meet Belle.  Sarah actually went up to her on her own! We’re making progress here!

After Enchanted Tales with Belle, we had a little bit of time until our next Fast Pass, which was to meet Ariel at her grotto.   We took the long way around to check the times for Dumbo and it was a doable wait so we got in line.  Sarah got so excited to ride Dumbo.  She loved it!

After Dumbo, we started making our way to Ariel’s area but Dakota had to make a pit stop for the rest room.  After our quick stop, we went to “Under the Sea” and since the wait wasn’t too long, hopped on that ride.  I was actually a little surprised at how cute this ride was.   It was adorable!

Next, it was time to meet Ariel. I took Sarah up and sat her down next to Ariel and she sat there so good.  We were definitely making progress on the characters.  Ariel was the best princess we’d met yet. 

Next, we headed for Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor.  I was not prepared for how cute this show was, either.  I actually wouldn’t have minded seeing it again.  We’d never done this attraction before, so it was something new for all of us. Sarah fell asleep during the show, but the rest of us really enjoyed it.

With little bitty asleep, and a fast pass in tow, we headed to Space Mountain.  Jon and Dakota rode first while Sarah slept and I waited.  Afterwards, I used the Rider Swap and Dakota and I rode.  I like Space Mountain.  It’s not my favorite, but it’s a cool ride.  Dakota enjoys all coasters, so of course he liked it.


It was about time for the parade, but Sarah was still asleep.  We gave up on the parade and instead took a brief few minutes to grab a few pretzels from the Lunching Pad.  They were very good and a great mid-day snack to keep us satisfied until supper.  I saw somewhere that the parade might be at 3 (bad information) and Jon wanted to find the barber shop so we headed back to main street for a bit.  After some shopping, a starbucks stop, and some sitting down waiting on nothing, we decided to continue.

At this point, we pretty much completely broke off our plan. I’d been able to score a fastpass for It’s a Small World and I saw that Mad Tea Party had a short wait and the kids wanted to do it.  So we headed to Mad Tea Party and I rode with both kids.  One thing I’m discovering is as I’m getting older, I don’t do quite as well with spinning.  I had to close my eyes a few times on the teacups. The kids enjoyed it, though.

We decided to do It’s a Small World again because Sarah just loved it so much the first time.  She loved it just as much the second time as she did the first.  I love seeing her get so excited and I’m glad we had the opportunity to let her do it one more time.

After It’s a Small World, it was time for dinner.  We had scored the ultimate dinner reservation – Be Our Guest.  I know – twice in one day.  It wasn’t intentionally planned that way, but it was fine.  Reservations were a little harder to come by with the Halloween Party going on.  We loved the steak and Dakota was excited that the kids fish option was shrimp.   I told them that someone at our table was trying the grey stuff.  I mean, it’s delicious. Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes. They can sing. They can dance, after all this is France… Wait, I digress.  The grey stuff was very good, but my strawberry cupcake was delicious also.  After dinner, we walked around the castle for a bit before getting Sarah back into her Belle dress and going to meet the one person she’d been saying she wanted to meet at Disney.

For months, both of my kids would say “The Beast” is who they wanted to me.  We had that opportunity after dinner.  My mom still can’t understand why Sarah was so scared of the other characters but not of the Beast.  She just loves the Beast.


After dinner, it was getting closer to the time of the Halloween party so we started towards the exit and to the bus.  We went back to the resort and took the kids to the kiddie pool for a while.

One more day to go…I’m not ready to leave!

Walt Disney World Trip Report Day 6: Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday was our late start day.  We had lunch reservations in Italy at Via Napoli at 11:30 so we’d planned to sleep in and arrive in time for our reservations.  It was so nice to have a day we didn’t get up before 6am.  We arrived at the World Showcase rope drop a few minutes before 11 and waited until they let us through. We then proceeded to Italy. 

Via Napoli pizza was delicious.  I didn’t care as much for the crust, but the actual pizza itself was wonderful.  We ordered a split pizza – half cheese for the kids, half pepperoni, peppers and onions for me and Jon.  We had a mezzo metro pizza and there were only two pieces left.  Great way to start the day.

From there, we went to the American Theater to let the kids watch The American Adventure.  I think Dakota liked it ok.  I’m sure it’s a little boring to kids, but I wanted him to have a few educational things to do since he was missing school this week.

After The American Adventure, we started back around the world towards Mexico.  We stopped briefly in China to grab a few things, and again in Mexico.  We did do the tour inside Mexico.  It was the longest line I’d ever seen for that ride, but it moved quickly.  Once we were through with it, we were headed to let Dakota ride Test Track.

Dakota and I went first and got a rider swap for Jon.  We waited in line for a bit and once we finally got to the front – one car load in front of us – the ride shut down.  They did give us a fast pass but it had to be used that day and we weren’t going to be back in that area the rest of the day.  Luckily, since we’d already gotten the rider swap, that was good for another day so we tried to reassure a very disappointed little boy that he was going to get to ride Test Track before we left.
We headed back around the world via Canada.  We made our way through Canada pretty quickly and just briefly stopped in the UK.  We rarely ever spend time in France (I know…shame on us) and didn’t stop in Morocco either.  Then, we came to our absolute favorite – Japan.  Years ago, before kids, Jon and I visited the shop in Japan during a rainstorm and had a blast.  Ever since, it’s been our favorite pavilion.  Sarah and I were going to pick a pearl, but she fell asleep before it was our turn so Jon took her and Dakota helped pick our pearls.  We loved that experience.  I ended up spending more money than I’d planned because we did get necklaces with our pearls but it was worth it. 


After shopping, we had dinner scheduled in Teppan Edo.  Wow.  This meal was out of this world.  We love going to hibachi grills at home, but this was so much better.  The chef was more entertaining and the food doesn’t even compare – it was SO much better at Teppan Edo.  I don’t even like cooked cabbage and zucchini but I ate ever bit of the veggies.  I can’t say enough good things about Teppan Edo.


After Jon ran back in the shop quickly and we took a few more photopass pictures, we left Japan and headed to the International Gateway.  The lady at the exit noticed I was having trouble walking and suggested taking the boat to Hollywood Studios and from there catch a bus to Magic Kingdom.  The boat ride was very nice and allowed us to see some areas we’d not seen before.  The walk was a little far to the Magic Kingdom bus, but it was doable.

Since this was one of only two nights of Happily Ever After due to the Halloween Party, we’d planned to go see Happily Ever After tonight.  The line to security was the longest we’d seen but finally got through.  At that point, we saw the line waiting to get into Magic Kingdom and decided quickly that this was going to be much more crowded than we’d anticipated and we weren’t prepared to deal with that crowd.  So we went out of security and found a quiet little bench just outside the security entrance where we sat by ourselves and watched the fireworks.  I’m fully aware we missed the majority of the show since it was on the castle, but to us it was worth it to not battle the crowd.  When we saw it was getting close to time for the show to be over, we headed back to the bus and was able to just walk right on and sit down.  It worked out perfectly for us.
Another early morning back at Magic Kingdom tomorrow, so off to bed we go!

Walt Disney World Trip Report Day 5: Tuesday, October 10, 2017

We had breakfast reservations at Hollywood & Vine at 8:15.  This reservation was primarily so we could sign Dakota up for Jedi Training and still get into the park before lines got crazy. Once they finally let us in the gate, we headed straight for the Outpost to sign up Dakota for Jedi Training.  We were only the 2nd or 3rd kid to sign up for the day so we pretty much had a pick of times.  I knew we had a fast pass for Star Tours around 2:10 so we signed up for the 1:40 show, knowing the show would be right next to the Star Tours entrance.  We then headed back to Hollywood & Vine.

Hollywood & Vine is a decent breakfast.  We liked it, but it was pretty standard.  Sarah was still a little nervous around the characters but finally would get down and stand by them by the time Handy Manny came around.  I enjoyed seeing Doc McStuffins.  She’s probably my favorite from that breakfast.  When my son was little, I was excited to meet Handy Manny.  Sarah didn’t really know who he was this time, but still agreed to get a picture with him.


After breakfast, my original plan had us going to Toy Story Mania with about a 20-30 minute wait.  We arrive about 30 minutes ahead of schedule, shortly after rope drop (maybe 10-15 minutes) and the line was already at 95 minutes.  We decided we were not waiting in that line and instead turned around and headed back to Voyage of the Little Mermaid.  Jon and Dakota went in Launch Bay while Sarah and I did the Little Mermaid show.  I always liked Voyage of the Little Mermaid.  Sarah liked Ariel but she was terrified of Ursula.  She’s not a fan of Ursula AT ALL. But really, who is?

After the Little Mermaid, we headed for our first FPP of the day – Tower of Terror.  It was scheduled for some time around 10:15am. I love Tower of Terror.  Jon hates it.  He has ridden it before but now refuses.  Luckily, I have my little dare devil in tow and he rides with me.  He was scared, but loved it.  And he loved to brag to his dad about how HE rode Tower of Terror and his dad was too scared.

After Tower of Terror, we had a little bit of time before our FPP for Rock N Roller Coaster, so we swung by the Beauty and the Beast theater and watched the stage show.  The amphitheater was cooler than outside and it was a nice break.  The show is wonderful. The kids enjoyed it – Sarah kept asking where the beast went every time he left the stage.

Next was Jon and my favorite: Rock ‘N Roller Coaster staring Aerosmith.  Jon rode with his dad the first time and he loved it.  Next, was my turn with rider swap.  I absolutely love this ride.  I love the take off, the music, the scenes – just love it.  This is probably my all-time favorite roller coaster. By the time we were through with the roller coaster, we didn’t have a ton of time until Jedi Training.  I tried to make it to the Frozen show before it began but the theater was already full.  While the guys picked up Starbucks, Sarah and I relaxed at the tables next to the Frozen ride.  By the time the guys joined us, she was asleep. 


We hung out drinking our mocha frappucinos until it was almost time to go to the Outpost.  Here’s where I about lost it thinking I was the worst mom ever.  I remembered reading that he needed to line up closest to the audience.  I’d thought that was once they got to the theater.  From what I’d read, the one closest to the audience fought Darth Vader and the other fought the Seventh Sister.  Dakota did not want to fight a seventh sister and was devastated when he realized he was in the wrong line.  I was devastated too.  Jon talked to him and convinced him to try.  He did and I was proud of him. Then, they brought out who they would be fighting.  To my surprise, he wasn’t fighting a seventh sister…he was fighting Kylo Ren! He was so excited and was perfectly fine with not fighting Darth at that point.  Memory Maker provided us with some awesome shots of him fighting Kylo Ren.

Once we were done with Jedi Training, it was about time for our last fast pass plus.  Jon and Dakota went on first. By this time, we’d decided we’d go back to the room for a nap after this.  While waiting, I discovered there were some Toy Story Midway Mania fast passes later in the day.  As soon as I scanned in for Star Tours, I started looking.  The earliest I could see was at 7:10pm.  I knew that would push it for Fantasmic, even with the dining package, but really wanted to ride Toy Story Midway Mania.  I kept trying later and eventually got one for 7:00pm.

After some rest in the room, we headed back to Hollywood Studios.  Just past security, Dakota announces that he’d left his MagicBand in the room.  Instead of going back to the car, he and Jon hopped the bus back to get his MagicBand while Sarah and I went in begin exploring.  We stopped 3 different times for photopass pictures and got some awesome pics.  We then went to the Frozen Ever After Sing Along.  It was very cute.   I wish Jon had been able to see it with us.  He would’ve loved the jokes.  Sarah kept asking where Anna was after she left stage.  She wasn’t a huge fan of the snow falling at the end of the show.


By the time the show was over, the guys were back waiting on us.  The show lasted a little longer than expected so it was already time for our Toy Story Midway Mania fastpass.  We got there and had to wait a bit, even in the fastpass line.  It was a very cool ride, but by the time we got out, it was time to be at Fantasmic.  They’d told us to be there at 7:30 and it was very close to 7:30.  I stopped for a very quick bathroom break and we booked it.  By the time we got in and up the ramp to the theater, it was maybe 7:40 or so.  The dining package section was extremely full.  We couldn’t find seats anywhere.  I heard another guy complaining that these were supposed to be reserved seats.  I would expect it you had paid extra (or not if your using the dining plan) for a dining package, those seats would be limited to those with dining packages and more seats would not be sold than available.  However, we were told by the not so great cast member that they’d let people come in from the night before.  He said there were seats but we didn’t see any – everything we saw was being “saved.” He said there were some earlier down near the bottom of the theater.  By this time, I was almost in tears.  I told Jon I didn’t think I could walk down those steps and then turn around and walk back when there was nothing.  Luckily, this family sitting near the top offered to make room for us.  I was so thankful to that family.  I hope they received plenty of Disney magic on their trip.

As for Fantasmic – I didn’t recall being terribly impressed with it before but have seen so many people talk about how great it was, I wanted to see it again.  Sarah was terrified of this show.  After about 10 minutes, we were getting bored and Sarah was terrified so I walked out with her.  We walked out of the theater and I found a place across the street to get a drink.   While waiting on the drink, Sarah said something to me about being terrified and I mentioned to the cast member working that Fantasmic had scared her.  She asked Sarah if a cupcake would help and gave her a free cupcake.  More Disney Magic!

Shortly after we’d taken a seat waiting on the boys, Jon and Dakota came down – they’d gotten bored with the show as well.  We sat there for a bit watching the Star Wars Fireworks from a distance and let some of the crowd get out.  We finally decided to battle the rest of the crowd back to the room.

Walt Disney World Trip Report Day 4: Monday, October 9, 2017

We’re up bright and early to hit Magic Kingdom today!  When they first changed park hours to begin at 8AM, I was a little disappointed, because I’d already planned out my day.  With a little tweaking of my plan, I realized that extra hour was actually wonderful!  We arrived before rope drop and immediately headed for Peter Pan’s Flight.  I like this ride, but its not worth the normal wait time to me, nor is it worthy of using one of my three fast passes.  So, I knew it we didn’t get it early, we probably wouldn’t do it all.  Arriving at rope drop, we maybe waited 5-10 minutes to board.

After Peter Pan, we immediately headed across the way to It’s a Small World.  I feel like this is a Disney classic that shouldn’t be missed.  Sarah absolutely LOVED It’s a Small World.  She would point to different things she saw.  It was her favorite ride of the trip.  After we finished It’s a Small World, we headed for Princess Hall to meet Cinderella, Elena, Tiana, and Rapunzel.  Sarah still wasn’t too comfortable with characters so I had to go with her. She liked some of them but wouldn’t get too close.

After meeting the princesses, we headed to Adventureland.  Dakota, Sarah and I rode Aladdin’s Magic Carpets.  Dakota tried his best to get us to the right height for the camel to spit on us, but I think we only got wet once.  It was hot enough that I was more than willing to get spit on by a camel.

We then headed to Jungle Cruise.  This was more fun than I remembered, as well.  The jokes are so bad, they’re good, if that makes sense.  You just can’t help but laugh.  From the Jungle Cruise, we headed to Pirates of the Caribbean.  It was maybe a 15 minute wait at this point.  Sarah was a little scared of the drop and I had to keep pointing out the “non-scary” stuff to keep her from getting scared.  Our picture didn’t turn out great because none of us were expecting the picture to be taken at that moment.

Once we got off Pirates, it was pretty close to time for our Big Thunder Mountain fast pass. Dakota and Jon rode first, getting a rider swap pass.  Once they were finished, Dakota and I rode.  It’s still a fun ride.  I am still disappointed that it’s neighbor, Splash, was closed.   That is one of my favorite rides.

We then headed to Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café for lunch. I had the fajitas, Jon had the nachos, and Dakota had the tacos.  This meal was delicious.  We really enjoyed our lunch and that there was somewhere cool to eat and relax for a bit.  We decided not to do Country Bears and our Fast Pass to the Haunted Mansion didn’t start until 11:45am so we took our time eating lunch and enjoying our time together.

Dakota was a little scared of the Haunted Mansion.  I actually think Sarah did better on it than Dakota.  This is one of Jon’s favorite rides, so we had to do it.  It was fun, just not the excitement level of some of the bigger rides. After Haunted Mansion, we headed to Mickey’s PhilharMagic.  Every time I see this show, I think its so cute.  The kids enjoyed it as well, I think so it was well worth the 15 minutes or so spent. 

We still had a few minutes until time for our 7 Dwarfs fast pass, so we let the kids ride the Carrousel.  Now, let’s pause for a minute.  Remember me briefly mentioning in a previous day that I was using a cane?   I have pretty severe arthritis in my hip and it prevents me from being able to do a lot of things that “normal” 34 year olds could do.  My feet were also hurting and I’d discovered that standing still hurt worse than walking most of the time, so I decided I’d try to pick a horse that wasn’t too high and actually sit on it with Sarah.  Successful – we found one that was very low to the ground and I was able to get up on it pretty easily and sit with Sarah.  She LOVED the “horsey” and asked about going on it again later in the week.  Once the ride stopped, it was time to get down.  The “horsey” that had been so easy to get on was now up about as high as it could go.  In addition to not bending very well, I’m 5’1” on a good day, so a ‘high horse’ isn’t a good situation for me.  It took me a bit to figure out how I was going to get off the horse.  I finally put one foot on the top level of the horse next to me and one on our horse.  Then, stepped down to the next.  Now, my problems was that I’m so short, I can reach the bottom with my foot.  So finally, I put my knees on the bottom step and THEN was able to reach the floor.   It took way too long to get off the horse on the carrousel.

Now, it was time for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  Sarah isn’t quite tall enough for this one either, so again, we did rider swap.  Dakota and I rode it first.  I enjoyed this ride – it wasn’t too rough or wild, but was enjoyable and not too boring either.  Jon and Dakota rode next and their picture from this ride was my favorite of all ride pictures we had.  They look like they are having the best time ever on this ride.


Once we were done with Seven Dwarfs, we decided to start heading out of the park, but I had one request – I wanted to stop and let Sarah meet Tinkerbell on the way out.  This line was very deceiving.  It looked like a 15 minute line and I believe the time posted was something like 20-25 minutes.  It felt like we were in that line for 45 minutes and it moved SO SLOW! It was horrible.  Some of us finally sat down on the ground waiting.  We finally entered into Pixie Hollow and met Tink herself.  She was awesome.  She was a much better character than the princesses we’d met earlier in the day.  Sarah was still a little scared and just kind of stared at her.  She did give her five and as we were leaving, she wanted a Tinkerbell Barbie doll, which she got.

After Tinkerbell, we headed back to the room for a quick rest.  We had dinner reservations later that night.  The bus wait felt SO long.  We were the first in line and I’m pretty sure we waited over 30 minutes for a bus.  As I believe I mentioned before, standing still hurts my feet worse than walking so this wait was no fun.  We quickly decided we would be driving more often than we’d originally planned.  We finally got back to the room, rested, and then got ready for dinner.

Our original plans were to take the bus to Magic Kingdom and then the boat to Wilderness Lodge for dinner at Whispering Canyon Café. After our bus adventure that afternoon, we’d decided instead of taking Disney transportation, we’d drive to the Wilderness Lodge.  We enjoyed the drive and learning our way around the property a little better.  Jon described the Wilderness Lodge as looking like Lincoln Logs and he kind of had a point.  We arrived a little early and had a bit of a wait but their sitting area in the lobby was so comfortable, we didn’t mind the wait at all. 

I cannot say enough good things about Whispering Canyon Café.  It was absolutely wonderful.  We ordered the All You Can Eat Platter and it was delicious.  We ate so much that we all decided to take our dessert back to the room with us for later.  If you go, make sure to ask for ketchup.  Sarah is still yelling “I NEED KETCHUP!”

After dinner, it was time to head back to the resort to prepare for ANOTHER early morning on Tuesday.


Walt Disney World Trip Report Day 3: Sunday, October 8, 2017

We had reservations at 8:30am at Tusker House on Sunday morning so we were up early again.  We drove to Animal Kingdom and were a bit surprised at how close it was to the resort.  I thought we were early, but since it was already 7:55am when we got to the front gate, they let us go in.  My kids were SO excited to be at Animal Kingdom.  We had to stop numerous times to let them see the animals on the way to breakfast.  We let Sarah walk (instead of riding in the stroller) and they were having a blast.  We came around a corner and saw a cast member.  She was so impressed by how excited the kids were.  She stopped us and asked what we had fast passes for that day.  We told her and she wrote us a paper fastpass for Dinosaur at any point during the day.  It was so nice to get a little Disney Magic.

Breakfast was great, as usual.  We saw Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Mickey.  Sarah was still a little scared of the characters, but you would tell she was starting to warm up a bit.  We ended up getting out of Tusker House quicker than we’d planned and it was just slightly after rope drop.  We’d planned to be out around 10am and had a fast pass for Kilimanjaro Safari.  We walked over after breakfast and the line was really short so we went ahead and rode early.  The safari was excellent.  We saw so many animals and they were very active this morning.  Once we got off, we decided to go ahead and do Gorilla Falls Trail.  It was nice, but almost too hot to fully enjoy it. 

From there, we headed to Festival of the Lion King.  Once we found the entrance, I started to accidentally enter the handicap line.  I guess the cast member saw that I was walking with a cane (due to arthritis) and allowed us to continue on through that line. There ended up being plenty of handicap seating, so it wasn’t a big deal, but it did allow us to get great seats. 

Let me just say – Festival of the Lion King has always been and will continue to be my absolute favorite show in all of Disney.  There is just something about that show that almost brings me to tears.  It was beautiful and the kids were mesmerized.

Once the show was over, we decided not to do the train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch.  It was so terribly hot and such a long walk once there, we decided to forgo that chance. We stopped for a quick Mickey ice cream and then decided to go ahead and visit the Tree of Life.  We stumbled up on Flik and stopped for some pictures and autographs.  We then went in to see It’s Tough to Be A Bug.  I think the kids were a little nervous – I stand up when its time for the “bugs to leave” and lean up when its time for the bees to sting.  I know – I missed part of the fun.  But since I already knew what was going to happen, I prepared myself.

After the Tree of Life, it was time.  Time for the one fast pass that is hardest to get at Disney and I’d somehow managed to score it.  We had a 1:05pm FPP for Flight of Passage.  We headed over to that section and utilized rider swap so both Jon and I could ride.  Jon sat with Sarah while I rode first with Dakota.  We didn’t have to wait terribly long in the FPP line, like I’d been afraid of.  It was just a short wait and we were on.

Let me back track for a minute.  I’d almost decided not to even try this ride unless I could get an easy FPP because of the crowds.  Two different people came back from Disney telling me how awesome this ride was and I decided to try to get a FPP for it.  It was available first thing that morning, but I was able to score one later in the day.  Let me tell you…this ride is out of this world.  I actually had to remind myself a time or two that it was a simulator.  It was absolutely wonderful.  I understand why people stand in line for hours to ride this ride.  Awesome!

After Pandora, we headed to Flame Tree BBQ for lunch.  It’d say it was OK compared to some of the other meals we had.  Pretty good, but not excellent.  After lunch, it was getting close to time for us to ride Expedition Everest.  Dakota and I rode it using Rider Swap and then he rode with his Dad.  The going backwards kind of scared Dakota.  I’d forgotten how wild that ride was.  In my mind, it was milder than it actually is. 


Once we were done with Everest, we were going to do the Nemo show but decided to skip it.  We ended up heading to Dinoland.  The boys went to ride Dinosaur while I took Sarah on TriceraTop Spin.  Dinosaur is one of my least favorite rides in all of Disney, so no need for rider swap on this one.  Once we finished, Jon was ready to go back to the room.  Dakota was begging for one more ride and I saw Primeval Whirl had a pretty short wait time so he and I hopped in that line.  That ride is so rough. It’s definitely not my favorite, but it made little man happy.

After Primeval Whirl, we headed back to the room for the night to have dinner at the resort and try to get settled before too late since we had another early morning on Monday.