Monday, February 27, 2023

Day 3: Away from the Parks

Our third day was our day away from the Parks. I guess you could say it was a day off, although we still did quite a bit. First we had breakfast reservations at 'Ohana for the Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo & Stitch. I had planned out our transportation plan, so we took a bus to Magic Kingdom n to monorail there, so we could use all the funs ways of travel. Except when we went to board they told us the monorail would be temporarily closed, and they weren't sure when it would be back. Luckily there is a boat from the Magic Kingdom to the Polynesian so it wasn't too difficult of a change.

Breaksfast wound up being really good, and a lot of fun. It's a family style meal, so nothing unquie to share about what we ate, although we did go through a lot of waffles. Elley was wearing a Lusisa dress from Only Little Once, and she loved how all the characters kept noting on how strong she must be. Lilo was especailly adorable and pointed to herself and Elley to note that they both were strong. Along with Lilo and Stitch, Pluto was there too.

After breakfast we took the bus to Disney Springs. This was partly to go back and buy souvenirs, but also one of the easier ways to get back to our hotel. Elley wound up buying a mini stuffed Tianna with a clothing and backpack accessory (both Rainbow Pride themed). Bear wound up buying a stuffed Bolt (which is his absolulte favorite movie, so I was really excited to hear from someone else they might have Bolts, and to find him), a lightsaber, and a Hawkeye bow and arrow set. We were able to go into the Lego store this time (last time there had been a long line to get in). And I also was able to sneak to the Christmas store to buy them each a Christmas ornament.

From there we went back to the hotel. The boy actually went to the hotel gym to work out and I took the kids for a swim at the pool. It really wasn't that warm, so we weren't there that long, but both did have a couple of tries on the slide.

We had an early dinner reservation (which made sense since we didn't really have lunch) at 4:30 for Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White. Being at the Wilderness Lodge we again went to Magic Kingdom and this time took an intentional boat ride to get there. This was one of the best meals of the trip. (Although The Boy would say likely not worth the $300 we paid for it!) The meal starts with a set of shared appetizers and then each person picks their main dish. I had the A Stroll through Nature (Asparagus, Leeks, Arugula, Gnocchi, Sage, Parmesan). The Boy had the Royal Prime Rib Roast and Elley also had the kids Prime Rib (which wasn't as good as the adult portion since it was quite well done). Bear had their grilled chicken. There was a shared dessert too where we each had 4 diffferent small bites.
2022-12-19 - Disneys Wilderness Lodge - Disneys Wilderness Lodge (13)
Snow White, Grumpy, and Dopey all walked to the table. Sometimes the Evil Queen is there, but she wasn't that night. Instead the area where she'd normally met was set up for a photo session.
2022-12-19 - Disneys Wilderness Lodge - Disneys Wilderness Lodge (8)
So that was our day off, which you can see, wasn't really a day off. After dinner we went back to the hotel for Hanukkah where each kid recieved a Hanukkah themed book and since it was somewhat of an earlier night, we had time to read both.

Up next is our day at Hollywood Studios, where we had some of the worst waits of the trip, but first, here's the Instagram photos from the day!

Monday, February 6, 2023

Day 2: Epcot

Our second day we headed to Epcot. To back up though, one thing I didn't note in my first post is how little my kids really cared about meeting characters. They would much rather spend their time rading rides. There were a couple of instances where I'd ask, especially at Magic Kingdom, if I should book our next Lighting Lane for a character or a ride, and it was always a ride. I somewhat suspected this, which is part of why I didn't book Bippity Boppity Boutique. Although I thought she'd notice and comment on the makeovers, but never once did. I do think if we had taken the trip on either of the earlier times, that would have been different. But this time they were completely focused on rides.

Back to the day at hand, starting at 7, I first went to book our Virtual Queue for Guardians... but it was already sold out. I couldn't quite beleive it and tried refreashing a couple more times in case it was a glitch. But no, completely gone. I was still able to book our Lightning Lane for Remy's (at 3:40) and then caved and bought Individual Lightning Lanes for Guardians. I thought about waiting to chance the afternoon virtual queue, but I couldn't do it. I asked the Boy for his opinion, and he told me it was a waste of money. So I only bought for the three of us (at 12:25), saving that little bit of money.
2022-12-18 - Epcot - Frozen Ever After
We didn't make as great time this day, and was in the park around 8:45 with 8:30 as the start of early entry. We rope dropped Frozen Ever After, and were on the ride just at 9am. From there we walked over to Soarin', where waits were already starting to build. From Soarin' to Living with the Land, which was all decked out for the holidays. Then we walked over to Journey Into Imagination with Figment.

Our visit was shortly after they gave the abilty to edit currently booked Lightning Lanes. While while in line for Figment I was able to update our Remy time to 12:45, so we could ride a lot sooner! Of course, it hit 11 while we were on Figment, and there's nothing like booking your next Lightning Lane while on a ride. I was able to book Test Track at 8:15, which I later was able to edit up to 1:20. After riding Figment we played for a bit in the Play pavillion. Both kids met Venelope from Wreck-It Ralph, but only my son wanted to meet Joy from Inside Out. It was right around 11:30 then so we decided to break for lunch stopping in Mexico for tacos at La Cantina de San Angel. I had the Tacos de Barbocoa (shredded beef), both kids had Chicken Tacos, and I believe my husband had Tacos de Pollo.
2022-12-18 - Epcot - Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind
After lunch it was time for our Lightning Lane for Guardians, so we walkted that way. (The start of multiple long walks bak and forth through the entire park). The ride wound up being so awesome, unlike any ride I'd been on before. Far worth paying for a ride in my opinion. That is me in the front row, hiding behind my hair. Just by my hair you can tell how quickly we were moving. We were off at around 1, so I figured I'd try entering the virtual queue and made it! The estimated wait was 8 hours, so I wasn't sure if we'd stay that late. But we had one just in case. (I even booked my husband this time, so he could experience it as well!)

I didn't book another Lightning Lane at this point. There just wasn't anything else we really wanted to do. We could have done Mission Space, but the Boy is still upset that I made him ride the spinning version with me a decade ago. Instead the thought was we'd wait till we were leaving and book Spaceship Earth on our way out.
2022-12-18 - Epcot - Test Track
Our Lighting Lane for Remy's Ratatouille Adventure went till 1:45, so we walked clear to the other side of the park to ride it. Then our Lightning Lane for Test Track went from 1:20-2:20, so we walked completely back to ride that one. A lot of walking and not what I'd recommend. I'll also add at this point, I decided for no strollers this trip. It might sound silly, but I know how many people are pro-stoller at Disney World. Honestly they did really well. Yes some complaining, especially this day when we walked back and forth the largest part multiple times, but overall I was pretty proud of how they did.
2022-12-18 - Epcot - Epcot (2)
Our plan for the rest of the afternoon was to wander through the countries in Epcot, till our dinner reservation in Canada. We started in Mexico, to walk our way towards dinner. While in Mexico we rode Gran Fiesta Tour which had a surprisingly long line. Most would say it isn't a ride worth a wait, but since we were already there, we stuck it out. While in Norway, Elley stopped for a mini-photoshoot. It was at the exit of the Anna and Elsa meet, which based on how I started this post, we opted not to wait for.
2022-12-18 - Epcot - Epcot
Our dinner reservation was at Le Cellier Steakhouse in Canada at 4:10. It honestly felt really early when I booked it, but we were so exhausted, the timing was fine. I actually was really unsure about this meal, and considered canceling it several times. But stuck with it, which wound up being a good thing, because it was one of our favorites. I started by splitting the French Onion Soup with Elley. Then split the Rib-Eye Steak with The Boy (Herbed Gruyere-Yukon Gold Potatoes, Onion Cognac Gravy, Crispy Onions). I think both kids had the Strip Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Risotto. (They loved their mashed potatoes!) Then for dessert I had Maple Creme Brulee (Maple Whipped Cream, Shortbread Maple Leaf Cookie).
2022-12-18 - Epcot - Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind (1)
As we were finishing up I realized it was about to be time for the last Hanukkah show that night, which I wanted to see since, coincidentally, it was the first night of Hanukkah, so we made our way to the America Pavillion. After that we walked back to the France Pavilion for a couple of desserts from the Patisserie. Right about this time, our virtual queue for Guardians opened, so we ended the night by one final ride on our way out.
Again, it was the first night of Hanukkah, so we celebrated once we got back to the hotel room. It was nothing crazy. I had bought a travel cloth menorah to light, and they each opened a present which were Hanukkah PJs to wear. But that was our second day at the parks. The next day we weren't going to a park, so things would be a little calmer. First though, theses are my Instagram posts from this day. The first, the majority of the day, and the second below ending with Hanukkah.
I'll plan to be back soon to make it through the rest!