Mar 19, 2014

Disney 2014: Day 6 (Hollywood Studios & Magic Kingdom)

It's a crying shame that we went to Disney World in February and you guys are still going to be reading about it in April.


It's been so tempting for me to throw up a little regular post in between each of the Disney posts, just because the Disney posts take forever to put together and it's not like me to only post twice a week for so many weeks in a row. And also? The last Disney post got FIVE comments and the I've Never Eaten ... post got THIRTY. So you can see why this is not so rewarding for me.

But my blog isn't really about me, is it. It's about you.

Ooh! Ooh! And speaking of YOU, let me tell you the very most exciting thing that happened to me in all of the entire Disney trip:

Thursday we got up extra-early so we could be at Hollywood Studios in time for our breakfast at Hollywood & Vine with the Disney Junior characters. Please keep in mind, this was a prime signing opportunity for our OFFICIAL LICENSED DISNEY AUTOGRAPH BOOKS.

So we entered Hollywood Studios and were standing just inside the gate, waiting on Grayson to pick up our stroller for the morning, when this adorable young woman ran over and grabbed my sleeve. She said, "Oh my gosh, I just wanted to say Hi! I read your blog, I love it, especially your Uncomfortable Truths! You're so funny. This is so exciting ... it's like meeting a celebrity!"

And I mean, you could have knocked me over with a feather. A FEATHER. Less than that. BABY'S BREATH. I think I thought she was a hologram.

But she didn't even stand there for a second; she was already running away, backwards and sideways. I was like, "We're here for breakfast! Are you here for breakfast?!" And she shouted back, "YES!" as she was running away from me.


So I shouted back, "WE'LL SEE YOU THERE!"

And we did. And my dad made her take a picture with me. To prove that someone recognized us at Hollywood Studios. In Florida, of all places.

Hi, Kelly! It was incredible to meet you! Thanks so much for saying hi and then acting as though you wished you hadn't!


We didn't have to wait long before we were called inside for our breakfast and I was ripped away from Kelly and her cute family.

Oh, and in case any of you were thinking I was pretty sure I might meet a blog reader at Hollywood Studios, please see Exhibit A in my argument against your theory: Amelia's appearance.

She was sporting unwashed hair, her two-sizes-too-small jacket, a two-sizes-too-large purple T, and had one leg of her YALLOW leggings pulled up to the knee. LOOK, I know how to dress a child who will stand out in a crowd. Or at the Department of Child & Family Services, is what I'm saying.

When we walked through that door and she got her first look at "Doc McStuppins" in the flesh, it was a life-changing moment for her, Internet. As you can see in the picture above, the very sight of Doc stopped her dead in her tracks. And in the pictures below, she was pivoting, trying to get the best view.

These pictures are seriously making me wish I'd given her a bath.


"So-pee-uh" was the first character to flit over to our breakfast table to converse with us and sign both of our OFFICIAL LICENSED DISNEY AUTOGRAPH BOOKS. If you had any doubt as to why I've been all-capping those words in every one of these posts, please look no farther than the photo below, where Amelia is flipping through her book at lightning speed, searching for the next blank page, and Jake is reaching across the table, grabbing blindly for his.

Luckily, Grayson quickly realized the gravity of the situation and swooped in with Jake's OFFICIAL LICENSED DISNEY AUTOGRAPH BOOK. And just look at how pleased Sophia is!

Luckily signing is in her job description, because Jake and Amelia were MUCH more interested in signatures than in hugs.

Doc came over next, and we tried to be ready. Amelia was still a little wary ... as much as she wanted to jump into Doc's arms, she was just too shy.

But the autograph? YES, MA'AM. She was most assuredly getting THAT.

And once she had hers, she was all about telling Doc exactly how to sign Jake's.

Have I mentioned that Jake closely inspected every autograph immediately after every character signed his book? His book had copies of all the characters' autographs printed on the back of it, and he compared each one's real signature to the printed one. NO PRESSURE OR ANYTHING.

Right after Doc left, Amelia had major non-hugger's remorse. She immediately started asking for Doc to come back.

Alas, it wasn't to be. But "Jake-a-pi-wut" came over, and she likes him. Even Nick jumped up to have his picture taken with Jake, of Jake & the Neverland Pirates.

"Jake-a-pi-wut" earns the distinction of being the first character that Amelia was willing to hug.

Once she hugged him and realized that, in fact, it was a completely pleasant experience, she trotted off to find Doc and Sophia again. Even though they were long gone, on the opposite side of the restaurant, she took off, determined to find them and give them hugs.

But you know what? The staff won't let you do that. They will stop you and tell you that you have to wait your turn, that the characters will come to your table. Do you know what happens THEN? This.

LAWSY MERCY. It was rough, Internet. There she was, carrying her OFFICIAL LICENSED DISNEY AUTOGRAPH BOOK around with her, and she was just a bundle of tears and snot because her attempts to get close to her heroes again had been thwarted.

Luckily, they were about to start a little "show" in the middle of the restaurant.

As soon as the show was over, Grayson cornered Sophia and tried to see if Amelia would get close to her.


And we stayed around a few extra minutes to see if Doc would come back by our table, and she did! Amelia kept her eyes peeled (side note: what a disgusting phrase), and as soon as she saw her, she got down from her chair and started to run. Doc was ready.

Amelia may look homeless and unwashed, but this was like one of the Top Three Moments of her young life right here.

Amelia was otherwise engaged (with pancakes, perhaps?) when Handy Manny came by, but look who was ON POINT with the OFFICIAL LICENSED DISNEY AUTOGRAPH BOOK on her behalf. Her daddy. Complete with Jake's patented QA stare. "Ima let you finish, Handy Manny, but you best be sure that signature is a perfect match to the one on the back of Jake's book."

Also, I particularly enjoyed the "We Just Got Engaged!" pose employed by Manny and Nick. Presh.

Since this was our next-to-last day, we made sure to hit a Hollywood Studios kiosk with plenty of Doc McStuffins plush toys. (So many of you were concerned when we wouldn't let our poor, deprived child get them on DAY ONE of our trip. BLESS.)

This kiosk is to Amelia as the Coach store is to Tracey.

I MEAN. Check out how she kicked up her foot as she pivoted while perusing.

But ultimately, she knew why she was there. HER SPIRIT ANIMALS.

The whole set.


Please enjoy how we're already maybe a thousand words in, and we've only just finished breakfast.

This is why I should not have a blog.

The rest of the day will be quicker, I promise.

Basically, this was Amelia's Big Day. She had been remarkably patient for the entire first part of the week, being The Trailing Toddler through all the parks, riding in the stroller and only getting to ride the occasional attraction -- compared to her brothers, who did it all and then some.

Thursday, after breakfast the plan was for my parents, sister and I to take Amelia to Magic Kingdom to do All Amelia Stuff while Grayson took the boys over to Animal Kingdom to ride Expedition Everest and Cali River Rapids. Then we were to all meet at Magic Kingdom late in the afternoon.

As it turned out, my sister had a work emergency and had to stay at the resort all day tending to that, and my mom took the bus back to the resort once we hit the Magic Kingdom parking lot when we arrived from Hollywood Studios, because it was pretty cold. It was about 50 degrees and windy, and she knew it would be too much for her that day.

So, it ended up just being me, Amelia and Dad ("Pop") at Magic Kingdom for the day, doing "girly" stuff, almost exclusively in Fantasyland! We started off with our FastPass to meet Rapunzel and Snow White at Princess Fairytale Hall.

Amelia was so shy with all the princesses that you'd never know how excited she was to meet them. But she DIED over " 'Punzel." I believe "starstruck" is the word we're looking for.

Who did we tote around to every single princess meeting and on every single ride? And who did I have to protect from every single germ in Disney World? PLUSH DOC MCSTUFFINS.

Who wore her pedometer every day at Disney World? I DID. Who's paranoid it won't count steps correctly if she wears it under her shirt instead of over it? I AM.

This was right after 'Punzel told Amelia she was the most beautiful little girl she'd ever seen. I know she tells all little girls that, even the ugly ones. But it melted Amelia enough to allow a big hug. And I'm not ashamed to say it melted me a little, too.

Right next to 'Punzel was Snow White. More commonly known as " 'No White" at our house. Why did I decide to make a face like an actual cartoon character at the very moment we met her? YOUR GUESS IS AS GOOD AS MINE. I am a mystery to myself.

{I wonder if anyone would notice if I just stopped writing right here. Raise your hand if you're still reading. This post is taking as long to write as our entire trip took to experience. I already know Jamie's out. She was out 500 words ago.}

I did happen to wonder while we were there, "How many blogs and scrapbooks are these girls' pictures on and in?" I mean, the girls who play these princesses at Disney ... they must be in thousands of people's albums, OFFICIAL LICENSED DISNEY AUTOGRAPH BOOKS, etc. That's kind of a creepy thought, no?

When we came out of the Princess Fairytale Hall, we decided to hop on the carousel, because the line was pretty short. I think we only had to wait one turn.

Next, we used our FastPass for Mickey's PhilharMagic, which I knew nothing about but which was really well done. Amelia was not at ALL sure about it at first, because it's one of those movies that A) requires that you wear 3D glasses; and B) does things like mist you with water and blow air in your face. But in the end she hung in there like a boss.

After that we were off to It's a Small World. Have you ever ridden that? I might have ridden it when I was 8. I can't remember.

If I did, it still seemed all-new to me this time around.

I think Dad, Amelia, Doc and I all enjoyed it. I, for one, enjoyed sitting down on a boat in the relative darkness for about five minutes.

By this point, it was well after Amelia's lunchtime, probably around 1:30. Just because it was nearby, we decided to try Pinnochio Village Haus. WELL. Let me tell you, that was like our greatest accidental fortune of the trip.

I had a Caprese Flatbread pizza that was so good! Here's the thing: I'm not a huge fan of Disney's counter-service restaurants in general. And even some of their table-service restaurants, I just don't feel are worth the money my parents have so generously shelled out for us. But that Caprese Flatbread, well, I can unreservedly recommend it. DE-LISH.

Oh, and Amelia recommends their little hydrox chocolate cake thing.

Just outside of Pinnochio's Village Haus and down the sidewalk to the right is a fairly new replica of Rapunzel's Tower.

What's bizarre? Is that it's JUST the tower. Like, there's nothing there to see or do. So we took a picture at its base.

Meanwhile, over on Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom ... Jake's face. Bahahahaha.

Nathaniel's face. Bahahahaha.

Although I didn't hear about it until much, much later, I think that was the ride at which they all left Nick at the entrance, told him to stay put, Nick got worried when they were gone for too long, freaked out and threw up in the bushes from anxiety, and was waiting with a Park employee when Grayson, Nathaniel and Jake finally emerged from the ride.

I'm honestly not sure now, because this little nugget of news was -- PROBABLY WISELY -- kept from me for some time, so now I can't remember whether it happened at Animal Kingdom or the next day at Hollywood Studios.

If memory serves, Grayson wanted full credit just for bringing them all back alive.

Beggars can't be choosers, Internet.

When they made their way over to Magic Kingdom that afternoon, they stopped at Pirates of the Caribbean.

Jake was really excited about it ... they got to see some actors up close.

I'll give it to 'em ... that guy looked a lot like Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow.

On the other side of the park, Dad, Amelia and I were still rockin' and rollin' princess style. Amelia has somewhat of a "thing" for Ariel, so we stood in line for a good, long time for Under the Sea.

Amelia loved every second of it. And now that we've been home for a month, I know she'd love it even more ... because she has the entire movie memorized now.

I'm not its biggest fan, but not because it's anti-feminist (although Jamie tells me that it is; I only saw it for the first time after we went to Disney World, and I haven't paid attention, I guess). I just really feel like it would be appropriate for Triton to wear a rashguard.

As unbelievable to me as it was that Amelia held out that long in the day, she did. And then she started to crash. She was just SO tired. We really didn't have many options, so I changed her diaper and asked Dad if he'd be okay with just sitting down on a concrete bench for a while. The temperature was nice enough (it was late afternoon, so it was about as warm as it was going to get for the day, mid-50s), and we were in the full sun. He said that would be fine.

I said, "Amelia, if I sit down here and hold you, and I wrap you up in your 'blank,' will you take a nap?" And she just looked at me and nodded, and then she laid her head on my shoulder. And that was that.

We sat on that concrete bench for 90 minutes.

There are parts of my body that may never be the same.

But she needed it. And I think we were all better for it, because we still had several hours left to go. She woke up when Grayson, the boys, my mom and my sister all joined us around the same time.

We had one FastPass left before our supper reservations ... Enchanted Tales with Belle in Fantasyland. The talking armoire gets you started, and her "helpers" give out cardboard costume elements to willing kids.

Then you're ushered into Belle's (or The Beast's?) living room, where Lumiere is your host and you get to meet Belle as she tells her story. It's really cute, and the kids all paid rapt attention.

We were on the front row, and Amelia was captivated.

Amelia got to be "pepper," which ensured that she got to go up and meet Belle in person.

Belle was kind and pretty, but let me just tell you, Lumiere stole the show.

When we finished up with Belle and Lumiere, the sun was beginning to set on Cinderella's castle, which was really just a beautiful ending to the day.

We walked all the way around the castle and enjoyed it from every side.

And SOMEONE showed off by rolling her tongue repeatedly. Something that I cannot do.

ALSO. I wanted to walk all the way around it to see where that darn CRANE was. It wasn't visible on the front side anymore (it was tucked around in back), so I made sure we got pictures by the Disney paparazzi with the unmarred castle in the background that evening.

Finally, FINALLY! It was time for supper at Tony's Town Square Restaurant.

It's right on Main Street as soon as you walk through the gates of the park, and it's Italian. One of its best features if you're there for supper is that you have a great view of the parade from its side porch.

The parade began before our entrees arrived, so we were able to enjoy it fully.

We LOVED our meal. Grayson thought his was sort of average, but I think the rest of us loved ours. I know I did. I had the special, which was pumpkin ravioli, and OMG. Life-changing. Also? This strawberry cheesecake that looks nothing like cheesecake? Uh-freaking-mazing.

After supper it was time to leave. A decision we made along with thousands and thousands of other tired people. I guess it had gotten too cold ... which reminds me ...

AHA! I found a picture of me with a fleece on! After it got dark, it went down into the high 40s, so I finally gave in. Y'all, I just love chilly weather. I can't help it. But seeing me in a jacket or -- in particular, A FLEECE ANYTHING -- is like seeing a unicorn. So here it is. Drink it in.

The line for the monorail was insanely long after the parade, so we hopped on the ferry to go back to the parking lot.

What a beautiful way to leave Magic Kingdom!

Who's still here? Who made it? This may be the very longest post I've ever written.

IT SURE FEELS LIKE IT TO ME. It's taken me like three nights. Lawsy mercy.

One more Park day and then our travel-day home!

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