The Weekly Peanut, Issue 137
Last Tuesday we went to our very first Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. We had an incredible time. So much fun was had, I'm planning to give it its own unique entry hopefully later this week (sorry, last week got too busy), including my tips for making the most out of attending a sold-out hard ticketed party.
I would love to say that after our very late night out that Daphne slept in and made up for her delayed bedtime. I can't, though, unless you count an extra 40 minutes. Maybe that was why she continued to be somewhat moody throughout the rest of the week? Or maybe she's just a toddler and that's how this goes. Our weekend was filled with adventures with Liv and Amy before they head back across the Atlantic. We took the morning to explore some of our new neighborhood and found a new coffee shop and breakfast spot. Then we headed down to Magic Kingdom for some quality time.
Our first stop was to visit our favorite Bayou Princess. D and Liv played while we waited for her to arrive. Then Tiana showed up, Liv gave her a huge hug, and D... burst into tears. Whaaaat?
Tiana scooped kiddo up and managed to hit the nail right on the head, "I spoil you, don't I?" Daphne is so used to being the center of attention with her favorite characters, sharing the spotlight is definitely something she has to learn to adjust to. It's not something I'd noticed when we were hanging out with Maddie recently, so it was probably compounded by her being tired and recently having YET ANOTHER GROWTH SPURT (I swear this kid has grown three inches in the last three months!). D came around pretty quickly after some cuddles.
Liv, her usual charming self, jumped into the hug huddle as soon as D had cheered up. We headed for a ride on the People Mover next.
Ian was the undisputed hero of the week. All the girls love him. Here you also see D clutching her "baby" AKA a water bottle filled with pink protein powder that she carried around all day cuddling and cooing. We also took, at Daphne's request, a trip to the Tiki Room. Liv danced along to the music on Ian's lap. Daphne glared and shushed me if I tried to sing along. Sounds about right.
Like I said, Hero Of The Day.
We headed up to Town Square to claim a spot for the parade before our early dinner date. D surprised me by singing and dancing along (yes, complete with choreography) to the Festival of Fantasy music. Of course, if she'd known I was watching she would have stopped, so I just grabbed a couple of shots from the behind.
We ran into our friend, Denise, who played with the girls while we waited.
D even got some special love during the parade from Happy and the White Rabbit.
We had just enough time for a quick visit with Aurora before catching the monorail to the Grand Floridian. The girls had other ideas. D in particular.
Poor Aurora. It's not easy to complete with giant pumpkins.
We did manage this shot eventually. But, honestly, we might not get to go back and visit Aurora again until those pumpkins are gone.
My kid in a nutshell. We hopped on the monorail and had a quick outfit change to meet up with more friends for dinner at Park Fare.
D has been DYING to wear the Anastasia dress ever since it arrived. Pink + Purple + Puffy tushy petticoat = Daphne Obsession. This dinner had been in the works for months, and I'm just so excited that we managed to pull it off with the help of some friends.
4 pm may seem a bit early for dinner, but it's pretty perfect for a toddler timetable. We were seated with plenty of time to grab food before the chaos- err- character interactions began. Prince Charming arrived at our table first. D, predictably, wanted nothing to do with him. He was, indeed, quite charming, and tried his darnedest, but it wasn't happening. I told him it wasn't his fault, that she just wasn't into princes yet. He looked me dead in the eyes and said "As her mother, I bet that doesn't bother you one bit, does it?" HAH! Touche.
About once an hour, Charming & Cinderella dance together around the restaurant. Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, and Drizella grabbed our girls and they all danced along, too, in the middle of the restaurant. This was probably the highlight of the evening for me.
I'm pretty sure D would have just followed around Anastasia all night if we'd let her. Or Lady Tremaine. She just loves those ladies. The video I've attached here was graciously shot by Maddie's mom. It's a little 3 minute compilation of some of the highlights of the evening, but if you want to fast forward to the dancing, I've put an autoplay spot there.
Cinderella arrived at our table next, and it became clear that my child was going to be the challenging one of the evening. She pretty much tackled Cinderella. Multiple times. Over our objections. Cindy, for her part, was incredibly patient and such a good sport, laughing all the while even as Daphne knocked out one of her earrings (magpie syndrome strikes again). I'd gotten these little earrings for the girls to give to all the characters (sans Prince Charming, he got a doll in his likeness from Bella). D's favorite thing is to give out presents (also since our four girls, mine particularly, would unquestionably be putting them all through their paces, I figured they'd earned a reward). Cindy somehow managed all four girls at once and showed off her gift. Hats off, Princess.
Drizzela arrived next. She must have seen the challenges Cindy faces trying to wrangle all those affections from the floor, and she quite cleverly claimed a chair from a nearby table for most of the interaction. Bella had a bunch of coloring books she kept making everybody sign. Repeatedly. Between that and all the little stuffed mice that kept getting dumped in everyone's laps, it was half mortified parent, half hysterical laughter, all Toddler Bedlam.
Getting all four of them to look at the camera at the same time? And hold still? I'll let you know if we ever figure that out. Anastasia arrived while Drizella was still at the table, so they decided to take our little chaos parade on the road to try and get a Family Portrait in front of the chocolate carriage.
D would have stayed curled up on Anastasia's lap the whole night. All about those cuddles.
I'm pretty sure the only way we got D away from her and back to the table was with promises of dessert and Lady Tremaine. Look what was waiting for us back at the table!
I can't stress enough how amazing the staff of Park Fare was to us. In addition to this amazing little chocolate spread, we were also treated to autographed Park Fare souvenir photo frames. Not to mention monopolizing the characters for way beyond our table quota (thank goodness we were seated near the end of the rotation so our dirty looks from other tables were reasonably limited).
Poor Lady Tremaine. As soon as she made it clear to the girls that she didn't like mice, the mice got repeatedly dropped into her lap.
Even after all that crazy, it was still barely 6pm (like I said, 4pm is the way to go with toddlers) so we made our way over to the Polynesian for a much earned round of cocktails for the adults, beach and marshmallow roasting for the kids. Ian taught the girls how to bury their legs in the sand.
After some marshmallows and more toddler chaos, we said goodbye to these incredible friends and called it a night.
Sunday was scheduled to be our last day with Amy & Liv, as well as the first weekend of Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. Sounds like the perfect plan to us! Daphne inherited some Disney hand-me-downs from Maddie, and D was quick to pick one out. Quick WaWa breakfast stop calls for a selfie.
We met up near the entrance and made our way over to the Nemo ride.
Look at this teamwork!
Rode Livvy's favorite, Journey Into Imagination. This seating arrangement was pretty standard for the whole day.
Fell into this toddler black hole. Pretty sure bribery was required to get them out of there.
We hit up a couple of Food & Wine booths and took a quick trip to Mexico. At that point the girls had gone full swing into taking turns being dramatic toddlers. This is par for the course with these two.
We hadn't been able to see Mulan in months, but she was holed up in Akershus hall with the rest of the princesses for dining. To my surprise, we received a royal invitation to visit the hall for a quick hello with the Hero of China. D was so excited to give Mulan the charm bracelet we had for her, too (like I said, giving presents is her favorite thing now). So eager was she to give the present that when she saw Mulan, the first thing she did was run to me to get the gift bag before she even said hello to Mulan.
AND she unwrapped it for her. We'd never been in Akershus and D was pretty enamored. While waiting for Mulan, she kept playing peekaboo with Belle and staring in awe as Snow White, Cinderella, and Ariel walked around casually. Mulan asked if we could wait around for a few minutes, because they were about to have their Princess Parade, and she wanted Daphne and Liv to lead it with her. A parade? And D gets to hold a basket of flowers? She is SO on board.
Forgive me giggling like a loon in the background. We said goodbye to Mulan and promised ourselves we'd make reservations soon. That time in Akershus would also mark the only point in the day when both girls were at their absolute best in attitude and behavior. From that point on, it was back to drama town. We hit another booth then ducked into the Chase lounge for some free drinks and A/C. When I told Daphne she would get to make her own drink (they have coke freestyle machines), you would have thought I'd told her she had won the lottery.
It was pretty much all downhill after that. We hit up a couple of booths, but the girls (mostly D) were being poops. Even after shoveling chicken nuggets and yogurt into them. Liv had the courtesy to fall asleep in her stroller, but we all know that wasn't in the cards with my kid. We finally threw in the towel and said our goodbyes. D held it together until we got to Canada, then she started whining again. What's wrong? "I want to see my FRIIIIIEND." Daphne, we told you, your friend is going home. That's why we were giving them hugs goodbye. Cue EPIC MELTDOWN.
It feels like my kid is always having meltdowns whenever we leave Epcot. It just kept compounding on itself as she repeatedly declared "I DON'T WANT TO LEEEEAVE I WANT TO STAAAAAAAY." She finally calmed down by the time we got to the car and explained to her why her behavior made us leave etc etc. Fine, Mommy, but I drive!
When we got home we were all pretty wrecked. We slipped into the pool to cool off (man that sure is a nice perk for about 10 months of the year in Orlando). Then we conked out watching Big Hero 6.
Come back later this week for our Halloween Party recap, it really was a pretty incredible night.