I have to break this down into two parts. Sure, it's because I have a lot of pictures but also because I'm kind of tired and I have some serious reading to do. (Like oh hey... I have 17 review due in the next month and I haven't started anything!)
But here is half of our trip. (OK, that's really a lie. It's the first two days. Apparently I can't upload any more pictures than this so Epcot/day 3 will happen tomorrow.)
Once we got to Orlando we found our way to the hotel. Which is a whole OTHER story and I'll include pictures of that fun stay on tomorrow's post. Suffice it to say it's $30/night quality lived up to expectations. At least there were no gunshots. I can't say that for hotel #2 though. (Aw.. you know that'll come on Monday. HA!)
The plan for the night was to go to Downtown Disney to eat and shop. Primarily to eat though at the new T-Rex restaurant which is basically exactly like the Rainforest Cafe except with dinosaurs. Same food, some ambiance, same over priced gift shop. Jackson was a little nervous, OK- he was kind of terrified, but he at least made it through dinner only grabbing my boob once.
So then we walked around. We went into pretty much every store, bought a few things, and the kids were kind of loving all of the photo op's.
Try 2000th in line.
Where almost immediately the kids want hats. Olivia picks hers out (you'll see that), Jackson picks this out. Do you think Jackson would wear it? No. Do you think my purse was large enough to hold it? No. Being the good dad that he is, Matt walked around wearing a youth Mickey ears hat looking like an asshole. But kind of adorable.
Oh- lunch. Let me tell you about this. So, I have read on tons of message boards that character dining is THE thing to do if you want your kids to totally have a really special, memorable experience. I went online, saw ONE available spot at this buffet place on the day we'd be there right around lunch time and it says $15.99/person. Seems high, but I figure, it's Disney so it's marked up but this is still doable.
JIGGA SAY WHAT.
I go up and ask if that is the lunch price or dinner because it could be dinner. Nope, it's the lunch price.
I then say, "Oh wow- that's not what the website said. I guess we'll pass and find lunch elsewhere" because who the fuck is trying to pay that per person for LUNCH? Nobody with a brain.
She tells me, in her best southern belle accent, "Well- your credit card gets charged either way."
Oh yes, I had forgotten about having to reserve this lunch with a credit card. I suppose we'll eat here after all. Turns out, it's a terrible buffet. I literally ate some cucumbers, a bread stick, and 4 chicken nuggets. And a piece of pie.
But, characters came to our table.
Oh god- see the Asians behind them? OK- side story! There were two Asian guys, presumably partners, and they LOST THEIR SHIT over these characters. I'm talking, this guy you see back there? He CRIED when Pooh came. He talked to these characters as if they are real people who came just to see him. I didn't know whether to laugh or publicly mock the guy. Even Matt, who normally has no idea what is happening around him, was like, "Is this really happening? Did he just butt in line in front of children to give Pooh a bear hug??"
Yes, he did.
But you'll notice these clouds? This was a sign of DOOM.
Here's the thing about character photos. Just a little bit of etiquette for you. If you come up to the line, you get one picture. One picture and move it the fuck along. Instead, people are doing individuals, couples, then certain siblings together, then the whole family shot, oh now just mom wants her picture. Oh let's get mom and just the baby. People are treating it like a god damn family photo shoot. It's not. It's one and done, whores.
Oh, we will buy ponchos.
$40 later... and we're kitted with basically clear Hefty bags with hoods.
But it was worth it, even though we didn't get to get on half of the rides, because folks? We saw the parade.
Matt, not surprisingly, was not impressed.
I was actually exhausted by now but one character we hadn't gotten to see? Mickey. So I found a ridiculously nice employee who told me if I was smart, we'd skip the fireworks and run to the front entrance and see Mickey on our way out before the lines start. And I thought, we can see fireworks anytime- we can't see Mickey all of the time.
So off we went. The kids were only slightly bummed until I told them we were seeing Mickey and we wouldn't be rushed because wouldn't you know it, there was no line.
So that was our day at Magic Kingdom. By the time we got back to our hotel is was midnight. We had been on the go that day, nonstop walking, for 16 hours. Oh, and I spent almost $100 in bottled water because holy shit it was hot.