The Weekly Peanut, Issue 148
Me: Daphne, How was school today?
D: I dunno...
Me: Did you have fun today?
D: Yeah... I had two cool downs! [time outs]
D hasn't come out of the funk yet, in case you're wondering. She's trying, I'll give her that. She's apologizing faster for "trowing a tantrum." It doesn't help when you have to tackle disappointment head on. Last Thursday was the day that Santa was supposed to come to Daphne's school for pictures. We had her all dolled up, we walked in... Santa has a cold and won't be coming in. Poor kiddo. She was so ready and excited. :(
Saturday we drove to Brooksville for Daphne's cousin, Aria's, 5th birthday party.
No, that wasn't how we drove to Brooksville.
Elbow deep in dirt. That's how she spent most of the party. We'd originally planned to visit Epcot on Sunday, but so many people we knew were going to Hollywood Studios. I was reluctant, due to the huge crowds at the park because of the final year of Osborn Lights, but I figured if we went early and left early it might not be too bad.
We met up with Amanda and Maddie right away and headed back to Animation Courtyard. No agenda. Girls wanted to see Sophia first.
Sophia's legs must have been bugging her, because she didn't want to crouch down and play with the girls. Daphne was confused by this.
Obligatory boyfriend visit. Hustled in to the theater for the Disney Junior show, since D loves it so much.
This time she actually got up and participated a little, popping bubbles and hoarding gold dubloons.
We took a moment to check out the new Star Wars Launch Bay that recently opened in place of the little expo they had there with character meets and animation drawing class and such. It's ok. I feel like it should be over on the side of the park with Star Tours. I think the best part of it is the Jawas. D was ready to go trade a gold dubloon with a Jawa until she saw the glowing eyes, then she NOPED away as fast as possible. She really liked the xbox's with disney infinity set up, though. Even if she just kept walking her tonton off a cliff.
We had a very important date with a certain fashionable mouse at a new meeting area in the courtyard.
The best meet. Minnie helped the girls pose in a bunch of new ways. A tsumtsum was balanced on my child's head. Daphne spontaneously remembered she needed to do her Tremaine pose ALL THE TIME. Dancing. Cuddles. Kisses. Minnie going up on point like a ballerina (in her heels, I'm impressed). Fainting spells. Prom date photos. Sorry not sorry for monopolizing Minnie Mouse in her adorable Pink dress. Not. Sorry.
We figured we'd round out our Disney Junior punch card with a visit to Doc. So help me, whoever designed that meet clearly does not have a toddler. All the girls want to do is play with the stuff in the background, poor Doc was mostly ignored.
I waffled a lot about how I was going to cover Club Disney here on MinkFlamingos. At first I thought I might write an entire separate entry just to sing its praises, but then I realized that part of the reason it is so glorious is that most people still don't know about it. So rather than giving it a solo crowing post, I'll just unobtrusively wiggle it in here to TWP and cross my fingers that it never stops being anything less than QUITE POSSIBLE THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS.
We found our way back to Club Disney right around the time they first opened their doors. Our time was chock full of seeing awesome friends (Mellie, Gina, Lena, Melanie, and Bella's family). How to sum up the awesomeness of Club Disney as succinctly as possible:
Imagine a place that was equal parts stimulating and relaxing. A place where you can enjoy corn dog nuggets with a (purchased nearby) alcoholic beverage while charging your phone on one of the many cables and charging stations provided. A place that isn't too crowded, with its own bathrooms. A place of convenient comfortable lounge furniture with interactive digital coloring boards on every wall. A place where AT ALL TIMES there are 3-4 characters roaming the dance floor and room, looking to engage your child in unlimited play and dance time. A place where it's not just recycled weird dance music remixes of Disney songs, but a mix of actual dance music from the past 20+ years, where they play videos of your favorite Disney characters shadow-dancing on the surrounding video screens mixed with montages of your favorite Disney movies.
In other words: FRICKIN' PARADISE. I probably could have stayed there all day. It took Daphne all of two minutes to get over being a little shy and start dancing without any prompting. She even started breakdancing. Not kidding. Floor work. Where did that come from? The characters rotate in shifts, with only a brief maybe 5 minute break between the sets where there aren't characters to interact with. They don't do autographs that I know of (although it's so not crowded, and the characters aren't hovered over by attendants, so I wonder if you asked if they'd mind anyway..?), but your kid can hang out, play, and hug as much as you want. The characters go out of their way to engage shy kids or even adults that look like they're just hanging around the edges. I watched Pluto literally roll around the dance floor with kids. Mickey and Minnie Mouse cha-cha'd together. Dance-offs between Donald Duck and Chip the chipmunk. I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard for such an extended period of time. Dale seemed to recognize Daphne, so he ran up for a big hug. Daphne stuck her tongue out and RAN AWAY laughing! Poor Dale, I had no idea my own Team Chip bias had affected Daphne so. But Dale seemed to take it as a challenge to just keep engaging Daphne for the rest of the day.
By the time we went to leave, Dale was the only one D insisted on giving a bug hug and kiss goodbye, so I suppose he won her over. We ended up hanging out in there for almost 3 hours without even realizing it. The girls all played hard and had an amazing time. Honestly I'm so thrilled to finally have something like this at Hollywood Studios, it might actually make us visit this park more often!
Everyone else's kid looked ready to crash. Daphne wanted to go on "The Mary Poppins Ride" (Great Movie Ride, she calls it this despite there being all of 10 seconds of Mary Poppins in the ride). She also seemed to think the ride was mostly too loud. Ian and I took the fact that neither of us could stop yawning as a sign that it was time to call it a day. Over D's protestations. She didn't even nap on the way home, despite the vigorous extensive dancing.
She did, however, ask to watch Guardians of the Galaxy when we got home. And LOVED it. Especially Groot and Rocket, of course.