Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Disney Jan 2018 ~ Epcot Day 2, Part 2

(Friday, February 2, 2018)

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts was happening during our visit and oh did we enjoy it!  Rather than have lunch we snacked our way around the World Showcase while participating in many of the hands on activities that were offered.

There were many chalk drawings done by professionals

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as well as the opportunity for children to create their own masterpieces.  Hannah was recreated her Pluto Tsum Tsum.  You can see her reference piece in the second pic.  I think she did great!!

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As we entered the World Showcase Hannah spotted the first treat she wanted to try.   (We had been watching videos ~ Disney Parks ~ online before our trip so had some ideas of what we wanted to try.)  I will say this was something she basically played with rather than ate but that’s okay with me.  Another bonus to having the dining plan is that I’m not thinking, ‘Agh!  I just paid $$ and she’s not eating it.’  Instead I look at it as something she’s enjoying and that’s all that matters.

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One of the other activities we both really enjoyed was the opportunity to participate in a large paint by number mural.  It takes about 2 days and hundreds of guests to fully paint the mural and then a new one would take it’s place.  Each person chose a paint number that was in a little clear cup, took a sponge brush and then could paint 5 squares what matched the number of their paint.   We love these neat extras that are found at Disney.  Each trip it’s something new!

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The finished product.  This is what our mural would look like once it was finished.

Figment mural 2018

As we ventured around the world we picked up a map of famous paintings and went on a scavenger hunt  There was one hidden in each country and figment was featured in each of these famous paintings.  We spent hours enjoying this activity as we toured the countries and I can’t believe I didn’t take a single picture of Hannah!  Guess we were both having too much fun searching for them!  It was great way to spend time in Epcot and in the end Hannah earned a special new pin for her Disney collection.  Here are examples of a couple of the pictures:

Figment 1

Figment 2

I will say when we go to Disney we go hard, averaging between 22,000 and 25,000 steps a day.  We both enjoy our Disney time and most mornings we were up bright and early.  That being the case, it’s no surprise that Hannah took the opportunity of a quiet, scenic movie in France to catch a little cat nap.  This was her first trip that we didn’t use a stroller and she totally rocked it!  Our stroller days are officially behind us as the last time we used one was when she was 7.  So when you’re walking miles and miles each day a good ‘ole nap is called for here and there.

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And there’s no better way to wake up than with a little French patisserie.

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LOL – while we were in line for the pastry Hannah and I both got an awful case of the giggles as we listened to a sweet lady in the line near us.  Even though I don’t speak much French, Hannah is fully bilingual as she is in French Immersion at school.  As we were in line this lady decided to read out the names of some of the pastries to her friend.  If you can hear a strong southern accent reading out French pastries you’ll understand our giggles!  ‘Creaaam Brulaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay’, ‘Cherries Jubilaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!’  Yup – it was tough to stifle the giggles!

One of the snacks that was new on my list was shaved ice with fruit and  cream topping in Japan.  We had something similar in Utah a number of years ago and it’s one of those snacks I’ve thought of ever since.  I’m a cold snack kinda gal.  Add a sugary topping + cream and I’m in my glory!  Hannah posed with our cherry shaved ice treat!  It was delicious and didn’t even spoil our dinner!  We’ll get this again for sure!

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Speaking of dinner, today’s reservation was at Teppan Edo in the Japan Pavilion.  At this hibachi style restaurant you sit in groups of 8 around a grill.  We met the sweetest couple from California who were leaving the following day on a Disney Cruise.  (I may or may not have asked if they could squeeze us into their suitcases!!)  It was nice to visit with them while experiencing this show and meal all at once.

Want to hear a quick funny story?  This couple and I got talking about our week and what we had done. (And no, I can’t remember their names which is oh so normal for me.  I am awful with names!!)  We realized we’d both been in Animal Kingdom on Wednesday and lined up with the birds to ride Flight of Passage.  I asked where they’d been in the line for the hour that we were waiting on the bridge and they shared they were only about 6 rows from the front of the pack.  I pulled out my camera and sure enough his head was in my picture!  Small world!!  (Oh wait, that’s another park…. Open-mouthed smile)IMG_0873b

Back to Friday night and our delicious dinner at Teppan Edo.  Our hibachi chef.

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Once again Hannah was serenaded with a version of Happy Birthday and they gave her a chef’s hat too.

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We finished up our Figment painting hunt as we made our way back to Future World.  I realized we could probably get to Soarin’ before closing so we quickly made our way there and arrived just in time!  (At Disney, as long as you are in line before park closing, you will be able to ride the ride.)  We got in line seconds before 9:00 so we were on the very last ride of the evening.  It was a neat experience to enjoy this ride with only a handful of people!

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Sadly the next day was going to be the last day of our trip but we were going to live it to it’s fullest!  Hannah is very much about tradition so we were going back to Magic Kingdom.  Our tradition is to start and finish each trip in the MK so even though it was supposed to be crowded we were going and going to make the most of it! Smile

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Disney Jan 2018 ~ Epcot Day 2, Part 1

(Friday, Feb 2, 2018)

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As was the trend for this trip Hannah and I were up bright and early on this day and headed directly to Epcot.

Scanning her MagicBand on her way into the park.

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Since this was our second day at Epcot we took a few minutes to take some pics on our way into the park.

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Since we hadn’t had breakfast yet we stopped at Starbucks and used a couple of our snack credits for breakfast. 

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Starbucks is one of the special treats we enjoy at Disney that isn’t normally part of our daily lives.  So enjoy the Disney Dining Plan! Even though I had to pay for the dining plan after loosing our Free Dining trip to Irma in September, it was well worth the cost.  We live our lives on a budget so it’s a treat for both of us to be able to order whatever we want for an entire week and not have to think of it!!

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We also did a little shopping for a friend at home.

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By now our FP+ reservation for Test Track was up so we rode it plus Mission Space Green and a number of other rides too.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Disney Jan 2018 ~ Disney’s Hollywood Studios

(Thurs, Feb 1, 2018)

We enjoyed a slower, quieter start to our day on Thursday.  We spent some time walking around Pop as we waited for the Hippy Dippy pool to open at 10:00am.  As you can see, there wasn’t a long line at the gate when it opened!  Crazy Canadian’s swimming in January in 16oC/60oF weather!

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Hannah had the entire pool to herself for about 10 mins and then a few kids joined her.  I want to take this time to say how absolutely impressed I am with the care and dedication that Disney requires of their life guards.  What you’ll see here happens every single second that their pools are open.  Hannah is the only person in the pool yet all 3 guards are 100% focused on their section of the pool and constantly monitoring their section.  When another life guard comes on duty you will watch them diligently walk back and forth in the section they are taking over while the current life guard continues to do the same.  They give one another an all clear sign and the old guard moves to their new section and does the same.  it gives such confidence to the parents as their children are swimming.

Unfortunately we couldn’t stay long as we had a brunch reservation later in the morning but she enjoyed the bit of swim. 

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After her swim we got ready for the day and made our way to the Contemporary Resort to go to Chef Mickey’s for brunch.  This is one of Hannah’s favourite places to eat so it’s on our list each trip.   Meeting the Fab 5!

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When you leave your phone on the table when you go to grab more food, your daughter may take advantage of that and snap adorable selfies of herself with her dessert!

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After lunch we headed to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (DHS) for the remainder of the day. 

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DHS is a park under a lot of renovations right now so we knew we didn’t need a full day there. 

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Next time it will be a new story as Toy Story Land is opening on June 30th and we’re super excited to check it out on our next trip!!!

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For this trip we visited some old favourites and met a new one too.  Hannah was excited to meet BB8 although I think she might have been a little star struck when she did.

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We enjoyed a quieter afternoon of shows and rides.  After riding Star Tours Hannah wanted to use her money to add to her little droid collection.

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Something Hannah enjoys at DHS is the Peanut Butter and Jelly milkshake that is found at the 50’s Prime Time CafĂ©.  She talks about these year round so it’s on her must-do snack list each time we visit DHS.

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As our day drew to a close we took a walk down Sunset Blvd.  One of the carts was closing up for the day and giving away their extra stock.  We enjoyed a free churro thanks to this generous Cast Member.

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We continued down the street and rode Rock ‘n Roller Coaster before finishing up our day with a couple of rides on Toy Story Mania.  (Another great touring tip is to get in line for popular rides close to park closing.  Even though the posted wait time for TSM was 50+ minutes, we got in ride at 7:25 and rode it twice before the park closed!  As long as you are in line before the park closes you get to ride)

One our way out of the park we found one of these great water drawings on the ground that was created using a broom and dustpan of water!  I love these little gems that you find at Disney that make us smile!

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Good night Mickey and Minnie!  See you at Epcot tomorrow!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Disney Jan 2018 ~ Animal Kingdom, Part 2

Soon after we returned from Rafiki’s Planet Watch it was time to return to Pandora to ride Flight of Passage again using our FastPass+ reservations.  We were excited to experience this ride again as truly it is an experience!!

The island of Pandora is nothing short of spectacular!!  It was designed by Disney’s Joe Rhode and Director, James Cameron so we knew it would be great but it is beyond that!!  When you are visiting Pandora, you are truly visiting Pandora!!

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One of the portions of the preshow is the creation of a digital Avatar for each person.  LOL – can you tell who’s who?

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Preparing to board our Banshees!

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Another one of the quieter, educational things we did this time was many of the Conservation Stations in Animal Kingdom.  Hannah enjoyed these opportunities to learn about our planet and things we can do to take care of it and in turn filled up her passport with stickers.

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One of the stations gave us a ‘new to us’ view of the Tree of Life.  So pretty!

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Now that Animal Kingdom stays open later in the evenings something we enjoy doing is riding Kilimanjaro Safaris around sunset.  Many of the animals are more active around sunset and it’s neat to see them moving around.  We hoped to see the baby hippo who was only a few weeks old at the time but unfortunately he was camera shy.  But other animals were not!

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Lions that are finally awake although daddy might be getting sleepy!

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Later in the evening Hannah did some digging for bones and artifacts in Dinoland

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and we ended our time in Asia with our traditional evening ride on Expedition Everest. Wheee!

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We wandered back to Pandora one last time with hopes of riding the other new ride there ‘Na’vi River Journey’ with a reasonable wait and it worked out perfectly!  Even though the wait time showed 35 mins we were on the ride less than 10 minutes later.  Getting in line for a ride close to closing is a good tip for some of the busier rides.  Looking forward to visiting Pandora again another time!

Na'vi River Journey

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