Monday, March 18, 2013
We were glad that we'd made Wednesday night an early night because Thursday was Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom. We made a beeline for Enchanted Tales with Belle and Colwyn actually volunteered to play a part (the other kids were still too shy). The show was lovely, as usual, and we all got our pictures with Belle afterwards. We had a late breakfast at Crystal Palace. I definitely prefer doing the last breakfast seating, it worked out so well every time we did it. At Crystal Palace, it was pretty empty and we got to see each of the characters multiple times. It was nice that the buffet was not a madhouse, and we even had the opportunity to try some of the lunch dishes they were putting out as we were finishing up. Of course, we were all stuffed to bursting by then.
After breakfast, the kids wanted to ride Jungle Cruise but it had a long wait, so we met Jasmine and Aladdin instead. They were very personable and made some great jokes about Abu (Aladdin's picture included Abu as an elephant). Niall gave them both hugs of course. We did the Magic Carpet ride next, then headed out of Magic Kingdom to go to Epcot.
At Epcot, we took the Friendship boat directly to Germany and signed up for the Agent P mission. For some reason, Lachlann wasn't into it so he went with Niall and I to watch the trains (huge hit with Niall) and went into Karamel Kuche to drool over all the sweets. Seriously, that place is amazing. I got a huge turtle to share with Doug and Lachlann picked out a (ginormous) cookie and brownie for the kids to split. We did the Kidcot stop there, watched the trains some more, and peeked in Italy real quick to see if there was a CM manning the Kidcot table (there wasn't). We met Snow White at her wishing well in Germany. She loved Colwyn's Grumpy shirt!
On the way to China to meet Mulan, I spotted the bead stand in the African Outpost that I'd heard about. Disney sends outdated park maps and other paperwork to a group of women in Africa, who roll the paper into beautiful beads. They then ship the beads back for Disney to sell in the park, and Disney gives the women all of the profits. The beads were just lovely and I liked the idea of having a meaningful souvenir that I could wear regularly and not have it scream, "Disney!" While I was picking out my necklace, I had a great conversation with the CM, who was from Chicago. It was extremely windy and cold that afternoon, so we talked about how windy it gets in Chicago, and about kids, and all sorts of stuff. She was wonderful to talk to.
When we got to China, we were just in time to meet Mulan (and very grateful that they didn't cancel her meet due to the weather). Fiona had an attack of the grumpies because we let one of the boys hand the autograph book to Mulan, so she refused to get out of the stroller. Niall really took to Mulan, though, and we got a bunch of cute pictures of them, as well as the obligatory picture of Mulan trying to coax Fiona out of the stroller. Mulan also talked to the boys about how it's good to be strong, but how a warrior's most important weapon is his (or her) brain. We explored the rest of the China pavilion next and were very impressed with the terracotta warriors. We found the Kidcot stop there and did that, then checked out the stores and took some goofy pictures with various hats.
We had a reservation for dinner at Akershus in Norway, which was next around the Showcase, but it was still a bit early so we skipped over to Mexico. The mariachi band was playing outside and Niall and another little girl got really into the music. She was a great dancer, but Niall was more interested in doing his running-in-circles-around-her thing. We went in the temple and did the Mexico Kidcot stop, then rode Three Caballeros. After Mexico, we had just enough time to check out the Norway museum (cool but tiny) and do their Kidcot stop before dinner.
Akershus was interesting. The kids were disappointed in the appetizer buffet because they didn't have the traditional buffet fare, but we all really enjoyed our meals. The princesses were all pretty chatty, especially Ariel. It was well and truly freezing on our way out, but we still stopped and did Spaceship Earth before heading back to our hotel.