The Weekly Peanut, Issue 227
My kid. She's got a lot to say. About everything.
NOT a low-key weekend. I need a weekend to recover from my weekend, honestly. Friday when I got off work, I scooped up the kid, and we headed down to Magic Kingdom to meet up with some friends who were visiting from Disneyland. After putting on her Belle dress, we went straight back to Gaston's Tavern to track them down.
D and Christian were fast friends. Christian is the sweetest, and he let D drag him all over, hiding behind garbage cans and doors.
Christian's family had a fastpass for Enchanted Tales, so D and I wandered around killing time. First, she wanted to check out the shop. She promptly made a new CM friend, Brooke, who walked her out to check out Gaston's fountain.
Mommy, don't you think I'd look so lovely in this dress?
Then she insisted on reading the book.
Twice. The standby line for Under the Sea was non existent, so we walked onto that ride. Then D asked if we could go meet Ariel. Surprise surprise, why not?
As we were leaving the grotto, the photopass scanned my Magic Band and said, "There's a special one I took on there, just for you." I nod, thinking it's some magic shot. Sure, dude. Turns out...
Behold! Mom in her natural habitat. This is me. Crouched on the ground, laughing from behind my camera. I wouldn't have it any other way. Some people in the past have suggested that I'm not engaging in the moment when I'm behind my camera, but it's just not the case. Most of the time I'm helping characters to interpret some of the bizarre things my kid is saying (although honestly half the time I'm as lost as they are), or encouraging my kid if she needs it. Honestly I see it as nurturing her independence; I largely credit Disney and her experiences there with the absolutely fearless social nature of my kid.
We caught back up with Christian's family just in time for a costume change.
Daphne led the charge straight to the teacups, where I was in the cup with the kids and had to practice my deep breathing to hold the protein bar I'd just eaten inside my stomach.
We ran into D's BFF, Lauren, at the teacups. We followed her to the hub and D promptly taught her and new friend, Emma, all about proper posing techniques.
Christian's family had to catch a dinner reservation, so with much reluctance, we said goodbye.
Made our way to Town Square to catch up with Daddy. D immediately started chatting up the nearest CM.
Then she started putting on a Minnie Ear fashion show for us at the nearby merchandise booth.
Then this sweet guy, Murphy (I think he might have been a captain), told D she could pick one of the pairs to keep all to herself. Honestly, y'all, the kindest people work at Disney and I'm always bowled over by getting to witness it firsthand.
She chose the silver glitter. Obviously. They sparkle.
So thank you, Murphy and Kaitlyn, for putting even more swagger into my daughter's step that evening. Which she promptly put on display for me, Lea, Daddy, and a couple other CM's who happened to be milling around Town Square. First she told us she was on Project Runway (she would quickly "sew" a garment together and then model it herself). Then, she was on drag race. She even pointed where she was going. So proud. The rest of the CM's cheered her on (that's not even me in the video, calling out the category. It's a blueberry.)
Shantay, you stay. Suddenly Aurora came out to meet guests (she's almost never at Magic Kingdom anymore). She is, after all, D's favorite princess.
Our goal was to finally see the new nighttime firework/ castle projection show: Happily Ever After. Lauren had warned us to get a spot early and make sure we were in front of the castle. Did we do that? No. But how could I stop my kid's runway show? We ended up a little to the side, with only a partially tree-blocked view.
I will say that I'll miss how you could watch Wishes from literally anywhere in the park, BUT I really enjoyed the new show. The new projections are really great-looking, and I even got a little emotional a couple times unexpectedly (they threw in Robin Williams singing, COME ON I wasn't prepared), and threw some representation the way of some underrepresented characters (MULAN!). By the time the show was over it was 9:30, well past bedtime. But Ian thought maybe we could squeeze in a ride, since he'd practically just arrived. How about a walk on to Big Thunder Mountain?
D's obsessed with thunder mountain now. They didn't even have a wait time posted at Pirates of the Caribbean, so on we walked.
And on the way out? We remembered we packed La Croix in our new cooler backpack. Best way to end the day for sure.
Saturday we headed to Tampa to spend some time with Ian's family.
We had dinner at a local Italian Restaurant, Villa Verdi. D was out of her mind.
She got the ravioli. She ate it faster than anyone else at the table.
Sunday. Father's Day. I'm very proud to report that D managed NOT to spill the beans about Daddy's gifts.
We headed to brunch at Millennia 106 (they carry Daddy's beer). They aren't normally open Sunday morning, so we had the place to ourselves. The chef came over to say hi to Ian, and to personally take D's off-menu order for Avocado Toast. The food was fab and our incredibly sweet server even played hide and seek with D in the curtains.
I'd finally snagged us FastPasses for Avatar: Flight of Passage that afternoon. To Animal Kingdom we went, hoping to avoid rain. We ran into an old friend at the entrance.
But D would have NOTHING to do with Brer Bear. Fox only!
We rode the safari and got to see the new baby Flamingo! D was beside herself.
We had time until that Fastpass, and we'd just been saying we hadn't been to Rafiki's Planet Watch in ages, so we hopped on the train...
D got to meet a Vulture.
And pet a goat.
AT LAST- Flight of Passage time! D was pretty excited. I have to admit, the build up this time seemed better. I also missed a lot of the pre-ride videos apparently the first time I went on, because it felt like the story made a lot more sense. D's glasses were WAY too big. They barely sat on her nose. (Disney, please, make some kid-sized glasses for this.) We got loaded on to the bizarre and restrictive ride apparatus and prepared for the ride to start. D looked over at me, "Mommy... I don't think I want to ride this anymore." TOO LATE, KID! We linked to our avatars and launched onto our flight. The first dip, and D's glasses launched off her head down into the abyss of the theater. I offered her mine, but she insisted she was ok. I watched her ride the ride, and she was smiling and giggling the whole time (makes me wish even more that she had glasses that would stay on). Ian loved it. It really is one of the coolest rides, not like anything I've ever done before.
My idea to treat Ian for Father's Day was to enjoy a relaxing afternoon at one of our favorite spots, the Nomad Lounge. We'd been before when Pandora was under construction and speculated it would be a gorgeous spot to people watch once it was open. We were not wrong.
So while Ian and I sipped on some of our favorite in-park cocktails, D concocted an elaborate scenario where she was a Na'vi school girl and I was her banshee. I was only allowed to communicate with her through squawks and bleats.
She told me I was not, under any circumstances, allowed to eat Daddy while she was "at school."
Would you believe she fell asleep in the car while the sun was still up? I still don't believe it.