This kid makes me laugh every single day.
She insisted on wearing that hat to bed 3 nights in a row. She also makes very silly faces when I take family selfies while watching Disney movies. I can now call the overabundance of Disney project research. No shame in my game. This week was mostly repeats (Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Tangled) in preparation for our return to Magic Kingdom.
Friday was school picture day. After spending endless hours (hyperbole) at Once Upon a Child looking for the perfect outfit, it finally occurred to me that, within D's wardrobe, the perfect schoolgirl look already existed.
D also continues to demonstrate surprising, if not particularly useful, talents.
Saturday, telling myself it was necessary for my Disney Heroine project, I decided to roll the dice and plan our first princess day. For the first time (for us, silly black out dates), Anna and Elsa would be available for meetings at MK. Although the fast passes are sold out months in advance, I figured if we made it there for park opening we could hoof it straight there and give it a shot. Then we'd check out the new Fantasyland attraction Enchanted Tales with Belle. I also added a FastPass to meet Rapunzel and Tinkerbell, meanwhile we could break up the princesses with our usual MK favorites.
We got on the road nice and early, got through the gates within ten minutes of rope drop and hauled tush to Fantasyland. We rounded the corner of Cinderella's castle and arrived at Princess Fairytale Hall. And...
Actually, that picture was taken hours later when the line had actually gotten shorter. Fifteen minutes after park open, Anna & Elsa had a 300 minute wait. FIVE HOURS. The Frozen hysteria continues. If you'd told me free college tuition was waiting for me at the end, you still couldn't have gotten me to wait in a 5 hour line as a kid. Mind boggling.
Trying not to drown in my disappointment, we headed over to Enchanted Tales with Belle. The line was 30 minutes (the shortest I've ever seen it), but D was in NO. MOOD. What the heck, kid? Usually she starts the day out pleasant and patient and gets cranky as we go. This did not bode well for the rest of the day.
I must say, Enchanted Tales is pretty great. We took a trip through a magic mirror, transporting us from Maurice's cottage to the Beast's castle. In the waiting lobby, the enchanted dresser helps to recast the characters from the film with people (mostly kids) from the crowd. Then we got ushered into Belle's library, where a totally awesome half animated/ half animatronic Lumiere hosted us. Belle comes out and reenacts the story of how she and Beast fell in love using members of the crowd. I feel like how well this goes over is largely dependent on your group, ours was kind of meh, but the idea is super cute.
After a rousing chorus of Be Our Guest, Belle positioned herself in front of the fireplace so that any kids in the group could line up to meet her. D has been kind of squirmy during the story so I when I asked her if she wanted to go meet Belle, I wasn't expecting the firm nod. We lined up, and D proceeded to whine and fidget while I tried to persuade her to be patient and wait her turn. Meanwhile, with all this crankiness, I'm having flashbacks to the Mike & Sully breakdown. Finally, it was our turn. I dropped D's hand and told her to go ahead while I squeezed my eyes shut and waited for the screams...
"AWWWWWWWWWWWWW!" I heard our group exclaim. I peeked out through one eye to see that my kid had TACKLED Belle in a giant bear hug while everyone oooooh'd at the cuteness. Belle and D had a sweet little convo, then Belle proceeded to hand out THE BEST. PRINCESS. SWAG. EVER. Seriously, Belle, a million bonus Role Model points to you.
We walked onto Ariel's ride and Pooh, but D was still a bit cranky. We decided the best way to improve D's overall mood (and kill time before our first fastpass for *GULP* more princesses) was to shove food in her face. The Friar's Nook boasted a mac and cheese menu! $6 bought my daughter's extended happiness and, I must say, it was pretty darn tasty $6 macaroni.
All the nerves I had leading up to Belle were coming back, because there would be no song and dance beforehand to get her in a good mood. Our FastPass would take us into the Fairytale Hall, then we'd be taken straight back into a room with Rapunzel and Cinderella. Maybe I was also a little nervous, because the little girl inside of me was REALLY excited to meet Rapunzel. After about 5 minutes out in the hall, we were led back at the very front of a group of about 6 people total, which meant D wouldn't have to wait behind anybody once we got in to the Princesses. The set up, by the way, was very cool, you really feel like you're inside a castle.
The door was opened, and before we got two steps into the room, Rapunzel skipped up to us and whisked D away to a corner of the room. It was like nobody else was there while D and Rapunzel had their own private conversation, thick as thieves. Rapunzel noticed D's shirt right away, but other than that I can honestly say I have NO idea what they talked about. Rapunzel did an AMAZING job of creating the feel of D being the whole world for those couple of minutes that they talked. And D definitely talked, I could see that much. For all I knew they were talking about the midterm elections, they were both so deeply interested. D was also in no hurry to leave, but there were kids waiting behind us. It was at that point that the photographer stepped up for the obligatory photo op. Unprompted, the hugging commenced. I died a little. It was better than I'd ever hoped.
After the photos, Cinderella had already walked over to escort D to her corner of the room. D seemed slightly more shy (that dress is intimidating), but she took her hand anyway.
Once Cinderella sat down D started to warm up to her more. She did come to me once for some reassurance, so I helped her talk to Cinderella about how much she loves the mice (I mentioned how I used to sing So This Is Love to D as a baby). Photographer time, imagine my surprise when, despite the not as warm reception, D tackled Cinderella for the big hug, then proceeded to curl up in her lap. I pretty much floated out of there, more determined than ever to make Anna and Elsa happen for D (in truth, I dreamt that night that I won FastPasses for the Frozen girls. I woke up feeling cheated).
Ian and I had made reservations to try out the Liberty Tree restaurant (we're a little Taco Salad'ed out), which we really enjoyed (DAT POT ROAST). We ran into another couple with a girl a little older than D who was decked out in her full princess regalia AND little french heeled shoes. I told her "Man, you are way tougher than me, rocking heels at a theme park." Her father chimed in "It's great! She can't run as fast and it makes her more willing to get rides in the stroller." Wow. That would never have occurred to me. Touché.
Once we knocked out the last of our FastPasses (pirates) and I took some more shots for the DH project, we decided to EMBRACE THE NEW (and the fact that D was somehow, miraculously, in a totally awesome mood) and try things we'd never gotten around to at MK before. First up, the Enchanted Tiki Room. All I knew about it going in was that the Sherman Brothers wrote music for it and that my father hates it. On the plus side, the music was cute and the layout is good for making sure everybody has a view, also D seemed reasonably entertained. Otherwise, it looked like it hadn't been upgraded or had maintenance in decades. There were a bunch of creatures with missing or broken limbs. I felt like I'd been cheated out of ten minutes of my life, but at least now I don't have to wonder.
Next we hopped on the train and took a ride around the park. That was a nice relaxing time killer, and D made a friend. At that point it was two-ish and we didn't want to press our luck any further. Awesome day, for sure.
Sunday I was originally supposed to work, but after a hankering to spend the day with my family hit me, the best coworker ever offered to cover mini shift (don't feel too bad for him, he got bonus pay!) and Ian and I, with a wild hair up our asses and insanity in our heads, jumped in the car and headed to Epcot. First, in case you hadn't noticed fellow Floridians, we skipped right over spring and have arrived in full blown summer. OY.
It was my turn to make awkward faces on Spaceship Earth with D.
We were so excited to take D to the Monster's University playground and she loved it. We did not. So much direct sunlight! No breeze! MERCY! I NEED A COCKTAIL! We had to drag D away to make a lap of the world showcase and grab food for ourselves.
Eventually we made it to Mexico for the ride, then we decided to try out the tequila bar that always has such a huge line. I got the... Mango Passion Fruit? Margarita? OH SWEET BABY JESUS NECTAR OF THE GODS. It really was the best Margarita I've ever had. I get the hype. I will be back. Finally, a competitor for my beloved Habibi daquiri! D was NOT patient waiting for our margarita, so we had a feeling we'd have to cut our day pretty short. We took D on the seas, but that was the end of the road.
So that's what happens when we have two weeks of blackout dates: double dip weekend to make up for it. We were all pretty dead tired after that weekend (still recovering if I'm being honest. Hoping to take it kind of easy this weekend but... who am I kidding, we'll probably end up at Animal Kingdom.