The Weekly Peanut, Issue 152
What a weekend. Unintentionally did Disney 3 days in a row. It ended up being 100% worth it. In spades. I will elucidate in short order and hope that this doesn't end up needing to be a two-parter.
I took a half day Friday to take D to Magic Kingdom to enjoy a friend's last day working before she gets shipped off to Tokyo Disneyland. Amanda and Maddie ended up joining us. D wore her new Snow White rags dress (and got called Cinderella repeatedly, even by Disney staff, LOL). I told D we were pretty much going to hang in the hub and watch Dream Along With Mickey over and over. Maybe go say hi to the Tremaines and play with friends. Sounded like D's idea of a perfect afternoon. Especially when she gets to have surprise chats with Mary Poppins between running laps in the hub grass.
D got pulled into a photo shoot by a photopass. She had no objections.
Great idea. Don't mind me, shooting behind your shoulder Mr Photopass.
Met up with a bunch of buddies behind the castle and got in line to see the Tremaines. Kelsey loaned the girls tiny light sabers to play with and the girls used them to hold an attendant hostage for Disney stickers.
As for the Tremaines?
Never a dull moment. D definitely has a big soft spot for Anastasia.
We headed to Town Square to watch the parade, then back to the hub to watch Dream Along on repeat. D got to play with lots of friends, including Mr. Chris (thanks for the pics Amanda)
And display her marvelous dance skills. Princess? No, pirate!
(here's the original Choreo, in case you're wondering)
What happened after that first show is a memory I'm going to cherish forever.
Our friend arranged for the girls to share a special magical moment (with her parents!) between castle shows. D was in absolute heaven, and that 3:2 ratio of princess to toddler was pretty ideal.
There were hugs. Twirls. Talk of mice and birds. Laughs. So many laughs. Memories to last a lifetime. I'm so happy. Disney reminds me yet again that magic exists in this world, and my family gets to see it firsthand. All those twirls wore the girls out.
Daphne called Maddie her sister the other day. Neither girl approved of Ian singing along with the next Dream Along show.
We had plans to get to Epcot early the next day (marathon weekend traffic can be brutal), so we called it a night and headed home. Woke up bright and early the next morning and got D into her new dress. Ugh, y'all when did my kid grow up?
Our theme for Saturday at Epcot was Redemption. D was going to try and come back from some previous disastrous character meetings. Up first? Baymax. We got lucky with the traffic from the half marathon, only slowing us down a couple of times, but we had no problem parking or getting into the park right around open. In fact other than people cheering on runners, the park was remarkably empty. We made it to Baymax's meeting area just before he came out to greet and were the second family in line. D said she was very excited to see him, and when she first saw him she started smiling and giggling but also CLUTCHING MY HAND. To be fair Baymax is VERY big.
There may have been a little hesitation on her part, but she gave him hugs and talked to him. Mostly she just wanted to stare at him. No squeals or fear, just... keeping an eye on giant Baymax. We all lost it when he tried to shrink for her, though.
Our next activity would be another first for D: she was finally tall enough to ride Test Track. We would have done Soarin' too but it's down for refurb. Booked our FastPasses and took D over to design her magical sparkly pink car.
I was pretty sure D would really dig Test Track since it's basically just a fast car. Her only disappointment is that she kept asking where her pink car was.
The World Showcase wasn't open quite yet so we let D shop a little. This is the only reason she actually goes into Mouse Gear. Ever.
BTW we were blessed with some truly glorious weather in Florida this weekend. Mostly low 70s/high 60s and cloudy. Perfection. Headed to China to have a long-awaited reunion with D's favorite warrior.
I just love these two. Mulan was impressed with how chatty and tall D has become. She taught D the warrior pose, too. D I mention D outgrew all of her shoes and has all new ones? She's very fond of those new light up princess shoes.
Went back to Mexico first to ride the Gran Fiesta Tour and finally see the new/old Three Caballeros animatronics. They were fantastic. San Angel Inn was just opening and we managed to get into the first seating without a reservation. They put us right on the water, and D waved at every boat that passed.
Headed back out into the showcase and noticed a Character Training was going on right outside American Adventure. D was in HOG. HEAVEN.
Unfortunately we only got to see Pooh and Smee before everybody got pulled back in, but D had a ball. Continued our clockwise navigation of the showcase. What does D want to do? See Aladdin and Jasmine. Lordy. Aladdin has been our last holdout of the male face characters at Disney. She's watched the movie a bunch, but she usually doesn't say she wants to actually go see him. Ok. Fingers crossed. Let's try to redeem ourselves, eh?
Not unlike with Baymax, D got a little shy at first but Aladdin was a total pro. Jasmine took Daphne's hand and led her over while Aladdin worked on chatting her up. D was very excited to show off her medal and outfit ("Dey gonna love it" she whispered to me in line). Then this happened, and Aladdin could not be more perfect.
When it was picture time, Jasmine got first hugs. But then she turned around and embraced Aladdin with ZERO hesitation. He even got an extra hug before we left. Well done, peanut, but huge kudos to Aladdin for charming my kid. I even caught her trying to summon genie from her shoes later.
The parks were still gloriously empty even after the half marathon had finished. Of course we couldn't escape the UK without letting D indulge herself a little.
What is it with these phone booths? Hit up Spaceship Earth on the way out and called it a relatively early day at Epcot, pretty wiped out from our evening at MK the day before.
D went reluctantly down for a nap when we got home. She emerged with something in her arms. What the...
Yes, I lost it. That's one of her dresses on Baymax (backward). At first she got mad at me, because I couldn't stop laughing, but once I could breathe I told her how impressed I was at her dressing skills and how cute Baymax looked in the dress.
Sunday was planned to be a quiet day hanging around the house, cleaning and tidying. I woke up to a message on my phone that a very special rare character would be at Epcot that day greeting guests. A character that D is VERY fond of and only met one time over a year ago. (Side note: WDW Marathon weekend trots out a LOT of rare characters for the runners along the race path, most of which run through Epcot at the end. The 1/2 Marathon on Saturday was mostly over by the time World Showcase opened, but Sunday was the full marathon and would be running through Epcot until well into the afternoon, potentially allowing regular park goers to see these characters.) Meep. D was very enthusiastic about going back to Epcot, but Ian was definitely not on board for 3 days in a row. I normally wouldn't be either. So I got up and set about doing lots of speed cleaning while Ian made breakfast in an attempt to talk him into going to Epcot. Finally he realized I would probably mope all day if we didn't go, so he sent D and I off to the park and stuck around the house to get stuff done and run errands. Bless my wonderful, sweet, understanding husband. We hit the road much later than normal, we ran into marathon traffic and road blocks. The parking lot looked exponentially more full than the day before, but we lucked out and got parked up on the lawn. D and I took a leisurely stroll back to the World Showcase. Took a boat tour in Mexico and I let D do the Kidcot coloring that she always asks to do, but almost never gets the chance.
Went to China to see if the special character was out. With the marathon still actively running, walkways for non-runners were pretty narrow, but we managed to navigate without too many problems. Saw Mulan out solo cheering on the runners. She saw us and waved us back toward the shops where we can sometimes catch her when she's first coming out to meet guests. Back we go. Mulan appeared a few moments later. D gave her a big hug, and Mulan said "Daphne, I have a big surprise for you! I have to go get it, can you wait right here?" She nodded enthusiastically. I tried to pull her over more toward the bench while we waited, but D was not having it, "No! I tell Mulan I wait right here!" Wish she was that good at listening to her parents, ahem. We didn't wait long.
LOOK AT MY KID'S FACE! D has had some very magical experiences at Disney, but this might honestly be the biggest grin I've ever seen plastered across her face. They chatted on their stroll through China. D gave Mushu a belated Christmas ornament (for the Bamboo Tree). Kiddo was absolutely beside herself, and the whole surprise trip became 100% worth it to see that joy on her face.
We finally had to say goodbye and let some marathon runners get their chance with the dragon. Most of the characters who normally meet in the showcase were out by the running path to allow runners to grab pics with them, so we ended up getting some extra cuddles in with little-to-no line.
At some point D's posing skills leveled up. We were walking by Italy and D asked to stop and watch the flag wavers.
We were about to pass the American Adventure again when we saw some friends hanging out where the Character Training had been the day before. Apparently another was due to start soon. Eh, why not?? NOBODY was there. Sure enough, a few short moments later the gates opened and out came a whole bunch of characters. D looked at me like "IS THIS REAL LIFE?" I told her to go ahead and play with friends. She bumrushed Pluto first.
Then she saw Eeyore (such a treat, since he usually only does meets inside Crystal Palace). Eeyore took her hand and walked her over to his designated spot.
For hugs and cuddles. Still almost nobody there and D's eyes were huge like it was Christmas morning as she ran to Mr. Penguin from Mary Poppins. Of course when with Poppins' penguin, you must dance.
On to Rafiki.
And, for her first time, King Louie.
She insisted that Mr. Smee not get left out of the hug train, despite seeing him the day before.
Finally people had figured out what was going on and were filtering in to meet the characters. D wanted to go back and play some more, but I talked her back into the stroller to give other people a chance to play with the characters. Character Training = D heaven.
Asked D what she wanted to do next. "Aladdin & Jasmine!" Sounds like she's definitely come around. As we approached Morocco, I noticed Aladdin was out by the marathoners flying solo. No Jasmine buffer. Asked D if she still wanted to go see him. She nodded. We got in the tiny line. She acted shy for about half a second when he greeted her by name (bless him, remembering her), but then he held out his hand, said something about sparkly shoes and then said something about her eyes sparkling, and y'all...
Hook. Line. Sinker. I think she blushed and giggled. Oh Al, you charmer.
Up next on our circuit was France and, sure enough, Aurora was out by the running line. D was very eager to greet the princess. So eager, she launched herself at Aurora for her signature tackle hug before I could stop her.
Bless Aurora, with a Woop, a huge laugh, and barely a tilt she managed to recover for a quick chat. It may have been a brief meeting since she was apparently quite popular with the runners, but sweet all the same.
At that point I decided to call it a day. D usually meets the news that we are leaving with a meltdown these days, but she surprised me by taking a different tack. "We go on Spaceship Earth?" Uh, no. "We go on Figment?" "We go see Chip and Dale?" "We go see Baymax?" "We go see Mickey?"
But really, I admire your persistence, kiddo.