The Weekly Peanut, Issue 176
In honor of Ian's week off before starting his new job, we had a mini-staycation last week. Specifically, I took Wednesday and Thursday off work. (This was why last week's issue got posted a day late, Wednesday was jam-packed).
Tuesday evening I picked D up, and we stopped in Redlight Redlight to meet up with Daddy for a fundraiser they were doing for #OrlandoStrong. I bought us some cookies. For charity. I asked D to take this picture and the pose was all her. She was so patient, even though I was making her wait to eat that cookie.
Wednesday morning we loaded up the car and took Ludo to the vet. He really doesn't like riding in the car at all.
We did pre check-in with the Art of Animation resort so that we'd get a text message when our room was ready. We had big plans though: Fastpasses with friends to ride the new Frozen Ever After ride at Epcot. Tuesday had been the grand opening, and the standby line was over 5 hours at times, and it was plagued with ride shut-downs, but I was still hopeful. We got there nice and early and made a beeline for the Seas (still high on Finding Dory, I wanted D to be able to check out some of the fish from the movie in the exhibits). Ava's family caught up with us there. We decided to revisit Turtle Talk with Crush (it's been redone with some of the new characters from the movie).
D really dug the jellyfish in the waiting area. I asked D several times if she wanted to go down to the front to sit with the rest of the kids on the carpet and ask questions, but no dice. We all flipped out over Hank and Destiny, though.
The Seas has a baby Dory plush. All the girls had to have it. I'm a little obsessed, too, not going to lie. We had a bit more time before our FastPass window, so we decided to check out the Royal Summerhus. [Anna and Elsa have left Fairytale Hall in the Magic Kingdom and now exclusively do meets at Epcot]. Although there's no FastPass, so far the wait time has been very reasonable. When we arrived, it was posted at 25 minutes (on the long side for us, but not bad).
The queue is mostly indoors, and the decorations are really fantastic. I could tell D wanted to turn it into her own personal playroom. We were ushered into a room with the sisters after what couldn't have been much more than 15 minutes of actual wait time. The room is pretty great, too. D surprised me by being on her best behavior and only peeking over the fence, not trying to climb on anything or destroy anything.
What was really nice was that we were the only family in the room during our meet (there were 6 of us total). Although it felt strange that Elsa was standing alone in the room off to the side while the girls were talking to Anna. I was like... come on, Queen, you can come hang out over here, too...
Elsa's made some tweaks to her dress. The material on her skirt is even more sparkly, and it looks like it fits better, too. D was sweet with Anna, but she definitely still gets stars in her eyes for the queen. Again, with us being alone in the room, D made sure to take advantage and ran back and forth a couple of times to give extra hugs to both sisters before we left. I'm not sure if that will always be the case at the Summerhus, but I feel like if it is, they should just let the sisters to the meet together.
The girls had to stop for a selfie on the way out.
We'd been monitoring the MDE app all morning and sure enough, the Frozen Ever After ride is getting continually shut down. We decided to wander the gift shop in hopes it would re-open, but it wasn't happening. We all got notifications that, due to shut down, our Frozen Ever After Fastpasses could be redeemed for any other attraction in the park that day. Or we could wait around and try to ride it. Nahhhhhh. So we headed to Mexico to meet up with Amanda and Maddie and have some margaritas while the girls rode the Donald Duck ride with the dads.
We kept eyeballing the app hoping for a change, but eventually we opted to make our way around the world showcase and find some lunch. It is most definitely summer at Epcot. I broke out my parasol and cooling cloths again. We all formally gave up on Frozen Ever After and opted to use our golden ticket FastPasses to check out the new Soarin' Around the World. D was excited, since she loved Soarin' before. I did a selfie video of the beginning of the ride to catch her reactions.
The polar bears were her favorite part. D proves yet again that she knows the park better than most adults. As we exited she declared it was time to ride "Da Land." Of course the other girls immediately chimed in to agree.
"And now we ride Figment."
The girls ran around the Imagination fountains for a little longer, but it was so hot and I finally got a text that our room was ready. So we said goodbye to Ava's family and made our way directly to our room. A Finding Nemo suite. While I will always love the Polyesian, I will say that (especially for the money) the Nemo Suite is incredible. It's big, there are TWO bathrooms, and the theming is incredible. D was particularly obsessed. She didn't want to leave the room.
We finally talked D into heading out. We grabbed dinner at Art of Animation's quick service restaurant "Landscape of Flavors." It was pretty good, had something for everybody. We headed over to Hollywood Studios. We'd managed to snag FastPasses for Toy Story Midway Mania earlier that morning (looks like opening up that third track is really improving FastPass availability and wait lines as it was intended!). I sat next to D and, for the first time, all on her own, D scored points. I am so proud.
We made our way to Launch Bay next (it's a 100% necessary stop for us now. How far we've come.). I asked D what she wanted to do first. Kylo Ren. Yup. Before Chewie. Before the Jawas. Maddie refused. Luckily Kylo also usually has a very short line.
I think Kylo might have liked D a little. Sure, he was austere and bossy as usual, but he made Ian move so he would be next to D for the pictures, he only talked to her the whole time, and he even said "you're welcome" at the end as we were leaving. There might have even been a little wave or something. As we were walking away, D looked up at me with big eyes. "Woooow... Kylo Ren sure was in a good mood today!" Yup. No tantrums in sight. L. O. L. We headed over to Chewie's line, which had gotten rather long. Fortunately it moves quickly.
D sure loves the walking carpet. But not enough to do the official Chewie pose with Maddie. Nope nope nope.
In case you're wondering, Maddie has 100% come around to Chewie now. Loves him. No hesitation. We left Launch Bay and entered the desert wasteland - I mean went outside. Starbucks iced refreshments were calling our names. Ian ran in to grab some drinks, and we recognized some friends making their way up the sidewalk.
Daphne repeatedly asked Emily to go for a "ride." (Mimi, if you're reading this, this can have only been your influence!). Then D and Maddie performed royal dances together while singing "Once Upon A Dream."
Then they took turns marrying Ian, then marrying each other.
We said goodbye and made our way over to Star Tours for another FastPass. D was very sad we'd missed the last Jedi training of the day. She also refused yet again to go meet Olaf, despite loving him SOOOO much in Friendship Faire last week. Anywho, back to Star Tours. We got in, loaded in the back row. YOU GUYS. YOU. GUYS. Daphne was the rebel spy. I didn't even bother having my camera out, because it's never the back row. But it was D. She was quite tickled and couldn't stop talking about it. D and Maddie were really keen to go on the Great Movie Ride. D kept her ears covered for 90% of it.
Oh, she did uncover her ears for most of the Alien scene, though. Go figure. We snagged a spot right in front of the stage for the new Star Wars nighttime spectacular. We even ran into our friend, David, who stayed to watch with us. Yes, they've cut a lot of the fireworks out for budgeting reasons, but we really liked the video projections, surround sound, and lasers. I heard D say "whoaaaa" many times during the show.
Headed back to the hotel and let the girls crash on the foldout couch. D woke us up bright and early the next morning.
We packed up our stuff, much to Daphne's dismay. She pouted all through breakfast.
We tried to improve Daphne's mood by taking her to Art of Animation's AMAZING Finding Nemo themed pool. She played for a while, but after several foiled attempts to get us to return to our hotel room, she finally admitted she was "done with swimming" and ready to go. Tired, indeed.
We definitely succeeded in getting our kid confused about her normal schedule. Friday she had to go back to school, but she just didn't get it. Instead she packed a suitcase. Where ya goin' kid? "Slumber Party." This weekend we were all pretty in need of some recovery time. Plus it is SO HOT. Saturday D and I did something we've never done (at least, not since she was a baby): we stayed in our PJ's all day. Watching movies. Empire Strikes Back, Shrek, and Kung Fu Panda. And playing. Or more accurately, I got to watch her play.
Sunday started with more of the same. I got to be a patient for Doctor Daphne. Excuse me, DENTIST Daphne. She had to call the doctor on her cell phone to come check me.
I was very very sick. I also needed to get out of the house, so while Ian worked on some projects we decided to go to the movies and see Finding Dory again.
I loved it even more the second time, AND we stayed through the end credits. We wandered over to Target afterwards, and I found out I am in possession of a superpower I never knew I had:
I LEFT TARGET WITHOUT BUYING A SINGLE THING.