After such a difficult time the day before, we decided to rearrange our plans a bit for Tuesday. Since most of our reasons for going to Epcot in the morning for extra magic hours involved riding things Fiona didn't want to do, I stayed at the resort with Fiona and Niall while Doug got up early with Colwyn and Lachlann and went to get in a few rides at Epcot. We got to sleep in a bit and lounge around in bed while they road Soarin', Test Track, and Mission: Space again. They also rode Sum of All Thrills for the first time, though Colwyn and Lachlann were a little disappointed because they weren't tall enough to go upside down.
After I finally dragged myself out of bed and got us ready, we headed over to Lost and Found to get the hat that Colwyn left on the Seas on Thursday and the sunglasses that he left on Primeval Whirl on Monday. Lost and Found is always fun.. first you take a bus to the Magic Kingdom, but instead of going into the park to have fun, you get on a monorail to go to the TTC. Then you take a really nice walk through lovely expanses of concrete and turnstiles to get to the most un-Disney building on property. Thankfully, all the CMs we've met in there have been super nice, so I guess that makes up for a it a bit. Doug and the boys found us while we were in Lost and Found, and once we had retrieved Colwyn's treasured belongings, we got back on the monorail to go to the Polynesian to have breakfast at 'Ohana.
I'd just like to say this about the monorails. You think they're so convenient, especially if you're not staying at a monorail resort. As you leave the Magic Kingdom, all hot and sweaty and exhausted, you think, 'Oh, woe is me! I have a long walk to the bus stop, but look at those privileged people who get to take a short, fairy-dust sprinkled jaunt over to the monorail station, which will deposit them directly in front of their rooms!' Well, let me just point something out - those ramps up to the monorail station are steep. I'd rather walk a little further to a bus stop than scale those suckers.
Anyway.. 'Ohana was perfectly lovely, though busier than I remembered (probably since it was free dining). Niall really got into meeting the characters finally. He loved showing them his monorail, and he also enjoyed telling them random bits of trivia from his life. Breakfast was delicious, of course. The highlight (for me) was the Hawaiian Roller Coaster, but sadly, none of our children wanted to participate.
As we were halfway through our trip and still hadn't had the pleasure of tasting a Dole Whip, we decided to seek out the new Pineapple Lanai and get a late morning treat. It was (obviously) deserted when we got there, so we got our Dole Whips without the two hour long line like at Aloha Isle and ate inside a little lobby-type area in the main building. The kids had fun coming up with names for the hollow spot inside the Dole Whip - like Dole Pit and Dole Hole and some other funny creations I can't remember.
We headed back to our resort to rest for a while in anticipation of staying up ridiculously late for MNSSHP. We strapped the kids in bed, turned the lights off, and told them we'd beat them if they didn't sleep. Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit. Nobody actually slept, of course, but we did rest for a while. Once we were all costumed up, we headed to MNSSHP. It took us longer than expected to get there.. I think it was around 4:30pm when we arrived. We headed to Fantasyland first, expecting to meet Ariel with little wait (since we were all dressed as Little Mermaid characters), but the line was actually long. Instead, we did a circuit on the train, then rode Under the Sea. We got some fun comments from CMs about our costumes, and one asked me very politely to please not steal Ariel's voice, that she needs it for the attraction.
We took photos outside in front of the King Triton statue and then got a Photopass picture in front of the ship with Ariel on the prow. The photographer also insisted we get a Magic Shot of Fiona with Sebastian. It was getting close to 6pm by that point so we got in line for the Dwarves (which already had about 20 minutes worth of people in front of us). Doug grabbed us food from Pinocchio's Village Haus and we ate in line. The tween girl behind us was very talkative, but helped pass the time. Weirdly enough, she kept complaining that she was cold. None of the kids were especially thrilled to meet the dwarves, they all look like Grumpy in the picture. Ha ha. Another annoyance was that when we got back to our room and checked the Photopass pictures, the one with the dwarves has a crazy blue tint, as if we were all standing under a blue tarp. I was able to make it a little better with Photoshop, but not everyone has that ability. I'd be pissed if I waited in line for over an hour just to get a photo that made us all look like Smurfs.
We went to go check on the Witch's line next. The Evil Witch from Snow White was a new addition this year, so we were surprised to see only three or four families in line for her. I was excited to be able to meet her, but I don't think the kids really were. Either that, or they were just very suspicious of the basket of apples she was holding. After meeting the witch, we went to go check on Ariel's line and even though it said 20 minutes, we decided to wait. It ended up being more like 10, so that worked out well. Ariel was awesome, and would have been worth a much longer wait. She was thrilled to see us all in costume and instructed Colwyn in how to pose just like Prince Eric's statue. Then she taught Fiona how to make adoring faces at Colwyn. It was absolutely adorable. Then she told him to stand in between me (Ursula) and the girls and draw his sword, like he was protecting them. So much fun!
After Ariel, we rode the teacups and Buzz Lightyear since there was no line. While I'd have been happy doing only special MNSSHP activities, we figured the kids deserved to ride some rides instead of just waiting in line for characters. After Buzz, we got in line to meet Lotso. Another Photopass photographer (not Lotso's) came over to our line and was taking pictures of people waiting. He asked Colwyn who he was (Eric), then asked who Lachlann was. When he told the guy he was a chef, the photographer asked him what he liked to cook. Doug and I both answered, "Crab!" and pointed at Niall. That got a laugh from the photographer and he took everyone's pictures. He moved on to the people behind us, but after a few minutes, he came back and told Colwyn to come with him. There was a 20-something girl behind us dressed as Ariel in her ropes and rags ensemble, and she didn't have an Eric with her. So Colwyn got pressed into service and posed for a bunch of pictures with her. It was a riot, and I think Colwyn was very pleased with himself.
We stopped by the Monsters Inc Dance Party for a few minutes, but Colwyn was the only one in the mood for dancing. We did get to see Boo, which was great! I love Boo. By the time we finished up there, though, it was getting close to Hallowishes, so we got a spot right behind the Partners statue. Doug ran off to get a drink, but came back with a couple of those huge ice cream sandwiches from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. We waited through one of the Villains Mix 'n' Mingle shows but couldn't see that well, but it was a great spot for Celebrate the Magic and then Hallowishes. After the fireworks, we were going to go check out the Villains dance party, but it took forever to cross into Liberty Square, and we decided to just hold a spot for the Boo To You parade that would be starting soon.
Fiona zonked out while we were waiting, but woke up in time to see the parade. Niall thought the headless horseman was awesome! The parade was wonderful, of course. Everyone was pretty tired afterwards, so we thought we'd start wrapping things up. We took a slight detour over to see if Jack Sparrow's line was long, and it wasn't bad at all, so I got in line while the kids trick or treated nearby. Only Colwyn and Lachlann wanted to meet Jack, and I think they were a little intimidated, but it was pretty cool. Doug decided to take the boys on Pirates of the Caribbean while I headed toward the exit with Fiona, who was dozing in the stroller. We grabbed one of the special Mickey Popcorn buckets, then got some water from the Main Street Bakery. We ducked into the Confectionary to kill time while waiting for the boys, and a CM thanked me for giving up my evil ways and taking good care of Ariel while she slept.
We headed out to the Town Hall area to wait for the boys, and I showed Fiona the statue of Roy and Minnie. For some reason, that perked her up and she agreed to sit on the bench next to Minnie for a picture. Once we were all back together, we headed out to the bus stops. It was a great party, but it was hard being sick, hot, and tired. We were so glad we went with the Little Mermaid costumes because we got SO many comments from CMs. The kids really love getting attention like that (okay, and I do, too).