Monday morning meant up bright and early to hit Epcot! Doug was pretty happy since he'd get to spend the whole day with us, yay! The boys made a beeline for Test Track right at rope drop, but Fiona declined to ride again, so I took her on Spaceship Earth. We had fun trying to get her little Rapunzel doll in the picture with us. After we met back up, we rode Soarin' with our Fastpasses. Again, Fiona had us all in stitched with her adoration of the little blue lights set into the floor of the loading area. So silly!
Next up was the Seas with Nemo since Doug had missed it last time. The ride went much faster than before, so that was a relief! We spent a few minutes in the Seas exhibits, then Doug took the boys off to do Mission: Space while Fiona and Niall finished up playing in Bruce's area. On our way out to meet the bigs, we stopped and got Doug a water bottle that features the Nemo seagulls saying, "Mine! Mine! Mine!" - his favorites from the movie. We met up outside Spaceship Earth and rode that again, then headed back over to the west side of Future World to ride Journey Into Imagination with Figment. Fiona was incredibly nervous about this, as we may or may not have teased her about how absolutely terrified she was of the ride last time we were there (as in, she screamed and cried so badly, we figured she thought Figment was going to murder her). We managed to convince her to ride, and she did absolutely fine, though she did close her eyes and cover her ears at some parts. At least there was no crying! We played with some of the games in the post-show area, then the littles bought two little monorail toys.
We were getting hungry by this time, and it was pretty hot. I had also come down with a nasty cold so I was feeling pretty miserable. We decided to get lunch at Les Halles in France. The walk was mildly torturous, but we managed okay. We got two ham and cheese sandwiches, a turkey BLT, and two bleu cheese salads; for dessert, we picked out one eclair, one parfait, one creme brule, one chocolate mouse, and one giant chocolate chip cookie. The food was really good, and we were sitting in AC, so that was nice. But before we knew it, it was time to get up and solider on.
We decided to look for Jasmine and Aladdin in Morocco, and you can imagine my relief to find out that they were meeting inside in the AC instead of on those little paths next to the lagoon. We managed to convince Niall to show Aladdin his monorail, and Aladdin totally went with it and played with Niall with the monorail, making it fly through the air and so on. Thus was the start of a lovely routine of interacting with characters using his toys to break the ice!
Somehow we made it over to Germany - I'm not quite sure how, I may have blacked out. Niall obviously wanted to stop to check out the trains, so I ditched him and Doug (perhaps with one or two other children). Colwyn and I ducked into some of the stores for a bit of a break from the AC. The others caught up with us in the toy shop - I loved the new Playmobil 123 sets but was sad my kids are past that stage; Lachlann fell in love with a small stuffed husky but was shocked to see that it cost $40. I had been looking forward to getting something from Karamel Kuche but the heat and my cold conspired against my appetite (and not just mine - the heat kept everyone else's appetites low, too).
Thus we pressed on to China in search of Mulan. We were far to early for her meet (I had imagined us actually enjoying the countries in World Showcase, not plowing through them in search of air conditioning). We went into the shops in China, expecting to enjoy looking around, but Fiona decided to have a massive meltdown when I told her she could not buy yet another stuffed animal. Even though she was crying, I refused to take her outside (which is what I normally would have done so as to not annoy other shoppers), so instead we just sat on a bench while I did my best to console her. I was not at my best, parenting wise (or any other wise, for that matter), but we eventually came out of our funk - just in time to get in line for Mulan!
There was one other family in front of us, and they had decided to sit on a bench in the sun. No way no how, so I introduced ourselves, chatted a bit, let them know we were waiting for Mulan as well, then stood on the other side of Mulan's area in the shade (she meets in a corner, and the benches are on one side in the sun, and the other side of the corner is in the shade). I got slightly worried as people started forming a line behind the family in the sun, but as the time for the meet got closer, we moved over to the other family to chat with them. For some reason (they must have asked for some sort of favor), I quipped, "Well, so long as you back me up if someone says we're NOT second in line behind you guys!" The family behind them said, "Oh, don't worry, they already told us you guys are in line after them!" It was all very good natured and a huge relief, as I was having visions of it all going horribly wrong. Which is all a very long way of saying, "The line for Mulan was not an issue."
Mulan was fun and very sweet - Fiona gave her the autograph book, which I made a point of encouraging since on our last trip, we'd let one of the other kids give Mulan the book and Fiona pouted in her stroller for the whole meet. After we were done with Mulan, we grabbed some smoothies and then sat in the outdoor seating area in Norway.
Refreshed and in a slightly better mood, we made for the perennial favorite - Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros! What a mouthful. We rode it once, then as we were getting off, one of the kids got a minor injury, so we rode it again to cheer up. On our way out, we decided to head over to Duffy. Niall excitedly held out his monorail toy to Duffy and said, "Look at my monorail!" Duffy jumped and turned around to look at the real monorail tracks behind him, then made a confused gesture. The next minute or two passed with several repeats of that, with much giggling on the kids' parts. It was very cute.
We got a quick family photo in front of Spaceship Earth, which reminded me that we get a special character meet and greet as Disney Visa cardholders, so we went into Innoventions to check that out. Thank goodness I'd remembered, as it was pretty awesome! It was just Minnie and Pluto, but we were the only ones there and they spent forever playing with the kids' monorails, being silly, and then checking out our Magic Bands. Minnie and the CM liked them a lot, and we got a bunch of cute photos.
It was almost time for our reservation at Garden Grill, so we hustled over there, pretending to race Pluto (since it's kind of weird that we'd just seen him at Innoventions and then would see him again at dinner). Garden Grill was great, of course. The characters there are always especially fun. Dale played with Niall's monorail on the table, and Fiona tried to feed her monorail to Chip. I told Chip that he's Niall's favorite, then noticed that Mickey was only four or five feet away, so I joked, "Maybe I shouldn't have said that, with Mickey right there!" That got a 'laugh' from Chip.
We made it just in time for the last Circle of Life show, which I found a lot more enjoyable than I'd imagined. Probably because of the Lion King music. On our way out of Epcot, we got a bunch of pictures since it was cooler and not as bright as the surface of the sun. We got Photopass pictures in front of Dory and Marlin, then a Magic Shot of Stitch popping out of the ground. Then we tried to time a picture with both Spaceship Earth and the monorail in the background. I got one shot timed right but didn't think it came out good, so we spent another 10 minutes trying to get it - and it turned out that the first shot was the best.
We did Club Cool again (briefly), then got photos in the Leave a Legacy area before finally heading to the buses. We'd had a really good ending to a mixed day - the morning was decent, but man, was that mid-day rough! We knew when we booked the trip how hot it would be, but I wasn't exactly planning on getting sick. Even though we had a good time in the parks (most of the time), it was really frustrating to not 'look forward' to going to the parks. By this point in the trip, most of the time when we were at the hotel, I was just wishing we could stay there.