Epcot was next. It was fun, but definitely gets the 'hottest day of vacation because of ALL the open area and concrete', 'the weirdest ride' and the 'still missed a bunch of the park' awards. There's lots off the top of my head which we didn't get to (Spaceship Earth, Mission Space, the triangle building) AND we still hadn't figured out how to use the Rider's Swap and Fast Pass to work together. I guess we'll have to go back... ;)
Nemo & Friends
After getting fast passes for some of the big rides, we started the rides off by going to Nemo. Finding Nemo is one of the kiddos' favorites and it was super cute to listen to them exclaim the characters' names. They LOVED the ride and we spent most of the morning in the Nemo & Friends pavilion.
One of the highlights of the pavilion was Turtle Talk with Crush. While you wait for Crush, they have a couple tanks of sting rays and Annabelle was mesmorized by them. She would have stared at them all day... which is her timeline like 30 minutes. Neither of our kiddos wanted to go sit in front with the bigger kiddos, but they were SO excited to see Crush. Jared thought it was hilarious when he talked and did 'fin.' He even told me that Crush was silly and funny.
Shark Excitement & Dolphin Spook
As part of the Nemo & Friends, there is a MASSIVE aquarium FULL of sea creatures. Jared a blast pointing out different animals and telling us. He just wouldn't stop when we were in the exhibit. His favorites seemed to be the sharks and dolphins. "Mommy, mommy, sharks wow!" is what I heard a lot. When he stood by the dolphin part of the tank, he went up to the glass when the dolphin was swimming on the other side. Jared couldn't see the dolphin and didn't know it was swimming in a circle and would pass right over him any minute. When it did, it freaked him out. Only enough to startle him, he looked at us all, giggled and then went right back staring into the tank. Annabelle was just so excited that Jared was excited that she kept giggling and yelling 'fishy.' Too cute. I think our kids like aquariums.
After Nemo, we went back to use our Test Track passes. It was a pretty fun ride, except it ended way too soon. It felt like it needed just a little bit longer. We did girls and boys ride, so it was fun to ride with my Mom and sister. To keep cool while they waited the kiddos played with their new water bottle fans. Oba went to get one at the part, but it was 18 dollars, so we waited the next morning at our local grocery store and got two for the same price. Belle and Jared ended up having a squirt bottle war. The video starts just after the giggles stopped, really bummed about that, but you can see how much fun they had with it. The noise every few seconds is the Test Track car going by:
Jared the Bug Buffet
When Jared passed out the night before at MK, it took us a while to think to put a blanket on him. Before we did, the mosquitoes must have gotten to him because he woke up the next morning with 20+ bites all over his body. They didn't seem to bother him until he got hot from being outside in the morning. So, while crossing over from Future World to World Showcase, we had to make a stop at the First Aid center. They gave us a few packets of topical benadryl and we gave him time to rest. I felt so bad for my little boy, especially because I knew that I passed 'Bugs love blood;' I always came home from Girls Camp with 60+ bites. I knew how he felt, and I knew I really couldn't do anything about it. So we went to the first indoor thing we could find: Mexico.
Mexico had a nice cool ride featuring Donald and the other two Caballeros, so it was a great place for Jared to cool down and keep his mind of the bug bites. The best part of the ride was the attendant at the beginning. She must have seen how wore the kids looked all ready and she gave Jared and Belle, both, a huge stack of Mickey stickers. Belle proceeded to place them all over her body. Then, she'd point at them and say Mickey! It was hilarious.
Norway needs an Update
The other showcase with a ride was Norway and oh man, is it in need of an update. The line was a nice time for Belle and Bug to get a nap, but sheesh, the ride! The ride itself is very psychedelic and then there's a 5 minute movie about the beauties of Norway at the end; the problem there is that it was made in the late 80s/earlier 90s. It was all very strange and I don't think we'll stop next time, unless it's been updated.
Japan, Matsuriza, & Shopping
Naturally, we stopped for dinner at the Japanese showcase. Of course it was yummy and we enjoyed a nice coi pond and a performance of Matsuriza, old school Japanese drumming. Take a look:
We then spent some time (and money) in the Japanese store getting goodies. Among the group spoils were pineapple gummies, a beautiful wall hang, a kimono, popped peas (really good---that's crazy coming from me since I HATE peas) and a grow your own Bonzai tree (we got that for our bedroom).
French Fountain & Pastries
We made our way down the World Showcase row and stopped in France to get some of their pastries ( we had a source tell us they were oh so good). While Gweg stood in line for the pastries, and the rest of the group went looking for Uncle Z's phone, I hung out at the fountain with the kiddos. They loved placing in the water; I had to convince Annabelle numerous times that it wasn't a pool, but only a fountain. FYI: the pastries were fantastic. A must every visit.
While talking to Guest Services about Z's phone, Jared noticed one of those nightlights' vender, where they sell the glowsticks and light toys. He seemed to go straight to a specific toy and then we noticed what it was: R2D2 from Star Wars. He was so excited to see Artoo, we splurged and got it for the both of them. After Jared fell asleep Belle had some fun with it:
Seeing Lightning and Mater
The week before we arrived at Disneyworld was the International Flower Festival at Epcot and all of the floral sculptures were still up. Bellie noticed Woody as soon as we entered the park and when we left World Showcase, Lightning and Mater were there to say goodbye. The way Jared and Annabelle reacted you would have thought they saw Mickey Mouse. Bellie kept yelling 'Maymer' and "Queam" while Jared kept trying to say hi to them. It was really cute and they LOVED it.
Mommy, Oba, Bellie, and Nemo
Near the end of our Epcot night, Jared passed out and most of the adults had gone on Soarin' while we waited outside for them. Oba & I were getting kind of antsy, so we decided to take Belle back over to Nemo. Since I rode with Jared the first time, it was really fun to hear her get excited about Nemo and friends. Before the trip, I was worried that she might be too young to enjoy it all; I was wrong. She LOVED the trip as much as anyone else because she gets super excited when she sees anything Disney now. One of the cutest thing she did was while we were wasting time in the gift shop. She picked up a stuffed Crush and did "fin, noggin', dude' with him. She loved Crush so much that she ended up getting one before the end of the trip... but that's another day's adventure...