Penny's First Trip to Disney World - Trip Report COMPLETED

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Allie's picture
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JoAnn C wrote:
Allie wrote:
It makes me a little nervous staying at Pop our entire upcoming trip since the one night at All Star Sports is our only Value experience to date, but I've heard better things about Pop then I have the All Stars so here's hoping we have better luck this time!

I've stayed at Pop four years in a row and always had good service there.

Your recommendations are one of the things that pushed me toward POP when we booked. awesome

93boomer wrote:
Allie, our DD and her DH stayed at the Pop last year and loved it! She said they really enjoyed the pool. And the beds were comfortable too. I think you all will love it.

That's great to hear, thanks! Penny loves swimming so we will be sure to check the pool out!

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Great report! awesome

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Thank you for such an enjoyable TR. It's brought tears to my eyes a few times seeing Disney world through the eyes of a two year old.
Your TR should be a mandatory read for anyone that has ever said it's a waste of money to take a toddler to Disney because they won't remember it. Your trip sounds so wonderful and your memories of it will be magical and with you forever, whether Penny remembers much of it or not!

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Thanks, Eeyore!

AnnielovesDisney wrote:
Thank you for such an enjoyable TR. It's brought tears to my eyes a few times seeing Disney world through the eyes of a two year old.
Your TR should be a mandatory read for anyone that has ever said it's a waste of money to take a toddler to Disney because they won't remember it. Your trip sounds so wonderful and your memories of it will be magical and with you forever, whether Penny remembers much of it or not!

Aw thanks, Annie! You're sweet. It's very true though, I think that toddle time is a super underrated age to take a little one to Disney. She loved it all and can't wait to go back. It also doesn't hurt that she's already a Disney freak (she knows an absurd amount of character names for her age and her favorite thing is going through her books and learning new ones) AND it's not a once in a lifetime trip for us as we know she'll be back lots more!

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Monday, December 7th

Today started off a bit slower and the long days at the park were already taking their toll on Penny because she was pretty tired this morning. We got her dressed in her Cinderella ballgown for our dinner later at Akershus and then hopped on a bus to Animal Kingdom. The plan for today was to start with the 10:45 showing of Flights of Wonder, but by the time our bus was pulling up to the Animal Kingdom it was already after 10:15. I took all the bags and the stroller so that I could go through bag check and I sent everyone else ahead to get seats for the show. Now that I wasn't in a big rush, I stopped by the Dawa Bar for an African Bloody Mary on the way. Totally worth it because it was delicious!

I got back to the Flights of Wonder theater before they had even let standby in, so I parked the stroller and found my group. I was excited for this show because Penny loves animals and had enjoyed the bird show at our local zoo the previous summer, however today she just wasn't having it. She wasn't crabby or anything, she just wanted to be running around rather than sitting and watching the show, so Jon ended up having to stand at the back with her for most of the second half.

We decided to head to Pangini next but Tom and I made a detour stop for some samosas while the rest of the group went ahead. I forgot that you can't take food on the trail though so we had to sit outside the entrance while I quickly powered through my snack, and then we rushed through to catch up with Jimm, Karen, Jon, and Penny. When we found them Penny was throwing a bit of a tantrum outside the gorilla area. No one knew why she was upset, she was just really overtired. We quickly made our way through the rest of the trail relatively unscathed by Penny's wrath laugh
Up next was our FastPass+ for Festival of the Lion King. I wasn't sure how well this one was going to go with Penny's current mood, but we grabbed a seat about four rows back and center in the Warthog section. Jon and I made a barricade around Penny with our arms so that she could spin around (all that she wanted to do!) without bumping into anyone.

She actually was pretty mesmerized by the show when there were upbeat songs happening, but she didn't care for the dialog or the Can You Feel the Love Tonight number (my favorite) and would instead spin and sometimes lay down on the floor of the bleachers which we promptly put an end to.

We all were hungry after Festival of the Lion King so we made our way to Flame Tree BBQ, stopping for some obligatory tree pictures on the way.

Jon and I decided to split the chicken/ribs platter and subbed out onion rings for our dessert. While we were standing in line to order, I noticed that there was something kind of sticky on my hands. I was holding Penny at the time so I flipped her around to see if the something was on her dress, too. Sure enough, there was a big, fresh wad of bubble gum all through every. Single. Layer of the tulle on her Cinderella dress. It was all over the front of my shirt and on my sweatshirt that was around my waist, too. I can only imagine it was from when she laid down on the bleachers at FOTLK. Jon and Karen took Penny to put on her spare outfit while Jimm, Tom, and I waited to grab the food. We found a table down by the water and I flagged Jon and Karen down when they came back from the bathroom. We had also gotten a cup of ice to try and freeze the gum, but it was so wrapped up in the tulle it was almost impossible to get it all out. Jon promised to continue working on it while Penny was down for her nap, so we set it aside and ate. Everyone raved about the food but I didn't really eat much of it since I was still really upset about Penny's dress. I do remember that the onion rings and the cornbread were delicious but I don't know if I ate much else. This guy kept trying to steal our food too which made me super anxious.

After we were done eating I went to the bathroom to change into Jon's sweatshirt until we could find me a new shirt, then we made our way back to Kilimanjaro for our FastPass. Penny was REALLY tired by this point and was practically falling asleep on me while we were in the truck. It didn't help that there was some sort of delay up ahead so we were moving really slowly and saw almost no animals for the first half. In fact, we had to stop for 5 min or so in the savannah area where we normally see a ton of giraffes. The entire time we sat there we didn't see a single animal. It was that dead. Eventually we picked up speed though and we saw a bunch of elephants and a zebra that was so close to our truck I could have reached out and touched it.

Since she was barely staying awake at this point, we left Jon with Penny so that he could put her down for her nap while the rest of us went to see Finding Nemo the Musical (my favorite!). We used our FastPasses to get in early and got pretty decent seats down front. We had awhile to wait until it started and we were all having a hard time staying awake, too! Once the show got started we perked up, though. I LOVE this show!

After Nemo we met up with Jon outside the theater with an already awake Penny who was feeling a bit more refreshed. Jon had gotten all of the gum out of her dress and only had to borrow scissors from a cast member to cut the biggest piece of gum out of the inner most layer. You couldn't tell there had been any issues with the dress at all. What a relief! While everyone used the restroom, I headed back toward Asia and went on a hunt for Penny's first Mickey ice cream bar. I had told the group to just keep walking until Asia until they found me, but after I had gotten the Mickey bar I decided to run over to the FastPass+ kiosk and snag Jon, Tom, and I an Expedition Everest FastPass+ so I had to race back and Jon had already turned back around to see if they had missed me somewhere. Whoops! We eventually all found each other though and Penny approved of eating Mickey biggrin She also enjoyed playing in the water in Asia for a bit.

We checked out the Maharaja Jungle Trek where Karen and I skipped the bats and I skipped the aviary (no thank you!) before heading to what Penny dubbed "the big big mountain". Our FastPass moved us right through with no wait and we asked for front row seats (Tom gets motion sickness so we wanted to be as far from the back as possible plus we wanted him to see the great view from the front) and we were told we had gotten there at the perfect time and they put us right up front! Nice!

This is one of my favorite Disney rides but unfortunately Tom did not feel the same and was a little queasy afterward. We decided to call it a day at Animal Kingdom but stopped for a victorious "we conquered Everest" shot with the PhotoPass photographers, but Everest didn't even end up showing up in the picture!

We hopped a bus over to Epcot and got there with just enough time to find me a new shirt at Mousegears for me to wear and to take some pictures on the back side of the Epcot globe (or the "big big ball"...are you sensing a theme here?) before making a leisurely trip back over to Norway to check in for our Akershus dinner.

After a short wait we were called in where we took a picture with Belle and then were seated on the far right side of the restaurant. There were no princesses out that we could see so we all went up and partook in the Taste of Norway buffet (I went back a couple of times! It was tasty!) while we waited for them to come around. Just before our entrees got there Cinderella, Mulan, Ariel, and Snow White came out and started making their way around our section. We were kind of bummed because Snow White was the only princess of the four that we hadn't already seen (five including Belle), but it's the luck of the draw. All of the character interactions were really rushed and felt very impersonal. Snow White was the best one though which was nice since she was the only one we hadn't seen yet. All of them spent less then a minute (probably closer to 30 seconds) with us which I get they are busy but we had had such good character interactions up until this point that these ones were kind of downers.

Our food came out perfectly timed, just as we finished with the last princess. I don't remember what everyone got but I know Jon and I split the salmon and the goat cheese ravioli. The goat cheese ravioli took FOREVER to come out though and we eventually had to flag down our waiter to ask where it was. When it finally came out it was about 20 min after the rest of the entrees, but it was worth it because I loved this dish. Dessert came a few minutes after my ravioli finally came, and none of us were really blown away by any of the offerings. Overall, Akershus got a general "meh" from our group. I enjoyed everything I ate besides the desserts, but everyone else at the table wasn't really a fan. Our service was poor (we had a hard time finding our waiter through the entire meal and a few minor things got screwed up...so minor I can't even remember what they were now) and the character interaction was pretty stinky. Again, I liked the food, but I would definitely say it's not worth the money if you're paying out of pocket and are mainly going for the characters.

We were all extremely tired by this point so we grabbed one last photo of the golf ball before heading back to the hotel for the night.

UP NEXT: Penny gets SICK and our schedule goes to crap! Wah wah!

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Oh no! So sorry to hear about your Akershus experience. I really enjoy breakfast there, but I haven't tried dinner yet. Not sure that I care to after that review.

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Disappointed you didn't have a great time at Akershus Sad I went as a solo traveller in September 2014 and had an amazing time. All the princesses spent time with me and didn't seem bothered I was alone - Aurora told me I had a beautiful smile, still my favourite memory of that trip Laughing out loud I think I had the mushroom ravioli, which doesn't seem to be on the menu anymore. I loved the desserts too, struggled to stop eating the rice cream and chocolate mousse! Maybe standards drop when it gets busier? The dining room definitely wasn't overly crowded when I went.

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It was packed when we went so I get that they had to move through quickly, but at the same time then maybe that's not the way we want to experience chacaters then. All of the other characters we met (even at our other character meal at Cape May that was also very crowded) the characters gave Penny a good deal of time and attention. This meal felt really rushed so much so that Penny didn't even have time to take them in and warm up to them. Again, it wasn't a big deal since she'd already met most of those princesses anyway, but if this was our one time with them and we were paying out of pocket for a princess meal I would have been upset.

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Great trip report...love those Epcot photos! Fantastic news about you're upcoming trip in April!

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juneau biscuits wrote:
Great trip report...love those Epcot photos! Fantastic news about you're upcoming trip in April!

Thanks! Ours were all on camera phones (or from Memory Maker) so they definitely don't compare to yours! laugh

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Love those photos at Animal Kingdom...your daughter is such a cutie! Bummers about that bubble gum incident..ugh! Akershus was one of the restaurants we wanted to try, but never had a chance. Sorry it turned out to be less than memorable...

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Gum on a Cinderella dress?! What a nightmare. I can't believe your DH was able to get the gum out of Penny's dress without ruining it! In 2015 we noticed a HUGE increase in gum all over the parks when we visited on weekends. We saw more gum on the ground last year than probably all our other years combined.

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AnnielovesDisney wrote:
Gum on a Cinderella dress?! What a nightmare. I can't believe your DH was able to get the gum out of Penny's dress without ruining it! In 2015 we noticed a HUGE increase in gum all over the parks when we visited on weekends. We saw more gum on the ground last year than probably all our other years combined.

Agreed. I didn't notice it before the dress incident but I started noticing it more afterwards.

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Tuesday, December 8th

Today was to be our busiest day. We were at Hollywood Studios and were trying to hit every single show plus most of the attractions so we had a pretty stringent schedule to fit it all in and work around the performance times. I was worried about us being too tired to get there in time in the morning, but it turns out our morning would actually start earlier then I had even planned. At about 2am I woke to Jon violently shaking me and loudly whispering, "Penny is sick!" He apparently had heard her throwing up in her playpen so we both jumped up and pulled her out and helped her out of her clothes. I think she had thrown up a bit before we woke up too and then fallen back asleep in it without us hearing because it was all in her hair and all over the playpen. I felt terrible at the thought that she might have slept in her own sick, but there was not much we could do other then take care of her now. Penny has NEVER gotten sick like this and I normally have a pretty bad gag reflex, but I now can rest assured knowing that I can handle my own daughter's puke. I even did better than Jon did and he is normally the one that has no problem dealing with that kind of stuff (he managed an afterschool program for 15 years so he's dealt with his fair share). I'll spare you the gory details, but we ended up staying up with her another hour and a half or so while she would go back and forth from almost falling back asleep to whimpering and puking again multiple times. It seriously broke my heart. Penny and I eventually fell back asleep in Jon and my bed while Jon moved over to the bed next to us (Tom had abandoned this bed for the pull out couch about 1/2 hour into the sickness) because he couldn't handle the smell still on Penny's hair and breath.

While Penny was getting sick, I turned off all of our alarms so that we could sleep in and let Penny get plenty of rest. We still ended up waking up in time to get ready and be out the door early enough to make our first FastPass. Penny seemed to be doing a little better until we got her out of her pajamas and were going to put her in the bath when she threw up a little on the floor again. Crossing my fingers that she was just getting the last of it out of her, I gave her a bath and still got her dressed for the day.

After the bath she was doing MUCH better. We gave her some tap water and some crackers and she was running around and playing. I pushed a couple of our FastPasses back to give her a little more downtime before we tried the parks. I also called the front desk to see if someone could come bring us new sheets and towels since we had soiled most of them during the night. No sooner had I hung up then Penny threw up everything we had given her so far that morning all over the carpet. We got Penny comfortable and turned on Disney Jr for her while I called the front desk back, asking that they also bring a carpet cleaner. At least we were in a suite so that we didn't have to sit right by the mess while we waited. And thank goodness for the great cast members and the washer and dryer in the room so that we could easily get everything cleaned up!

The poor thing cuddled up on the couch and fell in and out of sleep. Grandma and Grandpa volunteered to stay with her while she napped so that Jon, Tom, and I could go to Hollywood Studios to use our Toy Story Midway Mania FastPasses. I felt horribly guilty but finally gave in, promising to check in constantly while we were gone. We also took Jimm and Karen's second set of Magic Bands with us so that we could use their FastPasses, too.

Once at Hollywood Studios we took some pictures in front of the Theater (I LOVE this view so much more! Reminds me of my childhood trips) before heading back to Toy Story Mania. It doesn't show, but we took the pictures as a "We feel so guilty for abandoning our daughter/niece and should commemorate it so we always feel bad when we look at the pictures." sad

Jon and Tom sat together on TSMM and I sat on the other side of the car. About half way through my gun stopped working though so they both kicked my butt. Since Tom had never been on before and since I didn't get a full turn, Jon volunteered to be the one to stay off on our second round so Tom and I used Jimm and Karen's FastPasses to go again. I did much better this time but Tom still beat me. Darn! We also took a quick ride on Tower of Terror that Tom was not thrilled about.

Jon had just checked in on Penny and she was still sleeping, so after giving them instructions to call us once she was awake, we decided to get some lunch. I knew I wanted to try the Deli Sandwich at Studio Catering Company, so I got one of those along with a vanilla cake dessert while Jon grabbed me a "High Octane" from High Octane Refreshments. Everything was delicious, especially the kettle chips. So sad this place is closing, especially with their new menu and everything! The boys decided they weren't feeling any of the food there so they kept me company while I ate and pulled up menus for them on my phone so that they could decide where they wanted to eat. They finally settled on ABC Commissary. I couldn't for the life of me remember for sure where it was located though. I thought I remembered and Jon thought he remembered a different way, so after following Jon's directions we ended up by Indiana Jones where I finally stopped at a kiosk for a map. The cast member working pointed us in the right direction....the direction I had wanted to go! Jon should know by now that I'm always right! wink

We backtracked to the restaurant that turned out to be much busier than Studio Catering Company, so I went and staked us out a table while they boys ordered. It felt like I sat there FOREVER! Finally they found me and ate while I called Karen and Jimm. Penny had just woken up so I asked how she was doing and if they thought that she was feeling better enough to meet up with us. Karen said probably not so Jon and Tom scarfed the rest of their food (I think Jon got the Angus Cheeseburger with Fried Shrimp with Sriracha Aioli on the side and Tom got the Seafood Platter) and we caught the bus back to Saratoga Springs. On our way out we stopped at 50s Prime Time to let them know the situation but asked if we could still keep our reservation just in case, we just didn't want to get charged if we didn't show up. The hostess said it wouldn't be a problem, that she would just leave us in the computer system but cross us off on the paper copy of the list which is what they used to charge back no show fees.

When we arrived back at the resort Penny was crying because she was hungry. Karen had said we should take food very slowly though so we gave her a bite of applesauce every five minutes to give it time to settle. Every time she got a bite she would cry though because she wanted more. I felt horrible. Karen and Jimm went off to the Artist's Palette to find some lunch for themselves while we sat with Penny. Eventually we worked her up to eating a couple of things of applesauce and a couple of crackers and she was feeling much better. She also hadn't thrown up since early that morning and was running around the room like normal. After Karen and Jimm got back we rested for another hour or so and then decided to brave the park so that we could get a couple of meet and greets, the Frozen Sing-a-Long, and dinner in at the very least.

With some applesauces, water, and a baggie for the bus (just in case!) in tow, we got back on another bus to Hollywood Studios. We bee lined it to the back of the park because we knew the Mike & Sully meet and greet was ending for the night in a couple of minutes and Penny was Disneybounding as Boo that day. We made it just in time! Penny was very weary but was willing to say hi and take a picture if mom and dad stayed in the shot.

With a little time to spare, we headed to the Disney Jr area to get some pictures with as many of the characters as we had time for. You could still tell Penny wasn't feeling 100%, but she was really excited to meet Sophia, Doc McStuffins, and Jake. A couple of the cast members here commented on Penny's Boo outfit which made my day because I wasn't sure anyone would get it. Doc McStuffins even made sure to give baby Boo a checkup. We almost skipped Jake because we were running so short on time for our Frozen FastPass, but we decided to risk it and I'm glad we did because that was one of our best interactions of the trip.

Penny was pretty upset that we had to skip Minnie Mouse, but we were running REALLY late now and I knew we'd be seeing Minnie tomorrow so we had to drag her away. We booked it over to the Frozen theater and got in just as our FastPass window was about to close. Cutting it so tight we didn't get the BEST seats since the standby line had already been let into the waiting area too, but it was kind of nice because we didn't have long to wait for the show and we still ended up with decent seats about half way back and right in the middle of the theater.

Penny loved the Sing-a-Long as I knew she would, though she wasn't a big fan of the snow at the end. laugh

It was almost time for our Prime Time reservation so we went and checked in and then took Penny to change her diaper. Let's just say I could tell her tummy still wasn't feeling totally better Sick Our server was nice but not really engaged (maybe because we told him right off the bat that Penny was sick so we just wanted an applesauce and crackers for her) and didn't do any of the fun "family" bits. We also had to wait a LONG time for our food and the applesauce almost got forgotten about it. eek I felt bad for our server though because he did keep coming back and checking to see if we had our food yet and then would look frustrated and run back to the kitchen. Everything was delicious though and worth the wait. Jon wasn't feeling great so he just got the chicken noodle soup, Tom got the pot roast, and I want to say Jimm and Karen split the sampler. I got the salmon Caesar salad and the PB&J milkshake and I was VERY pleased with both of my choices.

Jon and I decided to call it a night with Penny but urged Jimm, Karen, and Tom to stay for Fantasmic. We explained to them how to get there when they left the restaurant and the three of us ducked out as soon as we were done eating. The line for the Saratoga bus was long and we were worried about the food on Penny's stomach, so we called an Uber to speed up the process. Penny made a few whimpers and gurgling noises on the ride back and I was SO scared she was going to get sick in this guy's car, but thankfully we made it back to the resort safe and sound and we all fell asleep almost instantly.

UP NEXT: Penny's feeling better so a day resort exploring and Epcot

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So sorry to hear about Penny not feeling well! You and Jon are wonderful parents. I can totally relate to not being able to handle "throw up"... Tongue , but you took it like a champ!

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Poor Penny. I'm glad she was able to meet some characters later in the day.

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Poor Penny. Glad she was feeling better later in the day. Love the look on her face with Jake.

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Thanks all! I felt so awful for her that she had to miss our Hollywood Studios day! She would have loved Beauty and the Beast, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and the Disney Jr show for sure. That was one of my biggest arguments that won Jon over when I talked him into an April trip wink She handled it like a champ though and was ready to go again the next day!

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JoAnn C wrote:
Poor Penny. Glad she was feeling better later in the day. Love the look on her face with Jake.

Jake was fantastic! So worth the wait!

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Awe! Poor Penny! So sad when they are sick and not much you can do especially on vacation! Tell her don't worry it happens to the best of us! Last two days of my last trip I was super sick, but I still forced myself to go everywhere because I didn't know when I would get to go back! Just missed Mount Everest!

So kind of looking at staying at Saratoga now, I looked at the rooms and it 100% based on the horse pillows especially Maximus! Last time I stayed there bus service was HORRIBLE to say the least. How was it when you went?

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We absolutely loved Saratoga Springs! We had great service by every cast member we encountered, the room was nice, and we were a 2 minute walk away from Disney Springs. Bus service was better then any resort we've stayed at (we've only stayed Moderate in the past). Below is a video of Jon giving a tour of our room if that interests you at all.

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Allie wrote:
We absolutely loved Saratoga Springs! We had great service by every cast member we encountered, the room was nice, and we were a 2 minute walk away from Disney Springs. Bus service was better then any resort we've stayed at (we've only stayed Moderate in the past). Below is a video of Jon giving a tour of our room if that interests you at all.

Awesome! Thanks!
They remodeled the rooms very nicely since the last time I stayed I really like it! My other top choice right now is Port Orleans Riverside, I wanted to stay at Wilderness Lodge, but it will still be under construction, with only one pool open when we go and its more expensive than I would like to pay this trip.
I am currently waiting to see what prices will be when they release the fall sale prices. And to tell me the darn dates for MNSSHP so I can be sure the dates we want to go will work! lol waiting

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Wednesday, December 9th

Since we had gotten to bed early last night (well at least Jon, Penny, and I did), we were up early and ready to go on time for our 9:15am Cape May Cafe reservation. In order to save time, we called an Uber to take us over to the Beach Club. This trip was our first experience with Uber and you can probably tell by how many times we used it that we greatly enjoyed it! Once there, we checked in and then explored the resort a little bit before our names were called.

We were seated to a little room off to the right of the main dining area, but we saw characters approaching our room almost as soon as we sat down so we held off on the buffet. Penny didn't eat much and was a little teary throughout breakfast and was clearly showing signs of how much these long days and the sickness yesterday were wearing on her. She didn't ever want me to leave to go up to the buffet and she cried a couple of times, "I want to go home." She loved the characters and were really excited when they were about to come over, but then she was pretty quiet and stand offish when they got there. She did enjoy herself though and the characters here were great! They spent a lot of time with us and were totally different then what we had experienced at Akershus so I still believe in a good character meal! awesome Plus the food was delicious!

After breakfast we walked over to the Boardwalk to explore the lobby and the outside area a bit. On our way over we saw the ending of a wedding which was pretty neat. Karen also got a slab of gingerbread to take home and try.

After a quick look around, we headed over to the International Gateway. I'm always surprised at just how close these resorts are to Epcot! Definitely planning on a Boardwalk stay for our 2017 trip. We made a quick restroom stop just before the gates and then made a speedy walk over to use our Journey Into Imagination FastPass. Everyone was pretty underwhelmed by the ride (I miss my DreamFinder!) but Penny loved the interactive play area at the end.

Just as we finished up in the Imagination Pavilion our Spaceship Earth FastPass had opened up so we went and caught a ride. Jimm, Karen, Jon, and Tom let Penny play with the games at the end for a bit while I ran over to get a coffee and a couple of bottles of water at Starbucks. I know Starbucks often spells people's names wrong (sometimes even on purpose, it's rumored) but the one here really took the cake. The lady seemed to panic when I told her my name was Allison and mid-writing she added in several unnecessary letters. The guy handing out drinks was yelling out individual names and drink orders quickly and loudly and when he got to mine he stopped, stared for a few seconds, shook his head, and then just read off the type of drink. laugh

We still had Jasmine and Aurora to hit on our list of princesses, so after another trip to the bathroom we meandered back over to the World Showcase since they both had meet and greets coming up soon. On our way back to France, we saw that the doors between Canada and the UK (back by the World ShowPlace) were open and they had a few characters meeting. I have never seen those doors open before and didn't even know this was a thing, did anyone else? Mickey, Pluto, Eeyore, and one other character that I can't remember were meeting. I couldn't believe our luck because I didn't think Penny would even get to meet Eeyore since we had decided to skip on Crystal Place this trip in place of Tony's. Penny LOVES Eeyore so she was pretty excited. We were hoping to get Pluto in too but they cut off the line just as we were finishing up with Eeyore. Penny was pretty bummed but we vowed to try and find him elsewhere later.

We beelined back to France, stopping for a quick picture before getting in the LONG line for Aurora's meet and greet just before she came out. I am so surprised that they are getting rid of this! It is always crazy busy every time we walk by!

We tried to go over to the Aladdin & Jasmine area once we finished with Aurora, but we were told by a cast member sitting at the Kidcot area that Aladdin and Jasmine were no longer going to be meeting today. I thought that was kind of weird since meet times were still listed on Disney's website for the day, but at least we still had another chance to catch them at Magic Kingdom the next day.

It was getting to be afternoon so we put Penny down for a nap in her stroller and then wandered around World Showcase for a bit. Jon, Tom, Karen, and Jimm stopped for watch Sergio while I continued walking with Penny and grabbed a glass of sparkling wine outside of Italy. The rest of the group continued down and caught the ending bit of the Chinese acrobats before coming to find me. Jimm wanted to make sure to see the entire acrobats show before the end of the day so we added that to our list.

I really wanted to see Voices of Liberty so we headed back over to the American Pavilion, grabbing me an Angry Orchard on the way. When Jon and I had seen them in September they performed out in front of the American Pavilion, so I was surprised when we wheeled the stroller up to the entrance of the building and the cast member out front told me I couldn't bring my drink in. It made sense to me that I wouldn't be able to take my drink into American Adventure, but we weren't going to that, we were just going in the rotunda area. No matter though, I just poured out the small remaining amount of water that was left in one of the water bottles, poured my Angry Orchard into it, and sealed it up for later. We went back up to the entrance and this time the cast member told us we couldn't take strollers in! Um, what the crap? First of all there is a lot of room to walk around in there and second, why didn't she tell us this the first time we walked up with both the stroller and the drink? Penny was clearly sleeping so someone would have had to stay out with her so I wouldn't have gone through the trouble to transfer my drink if I would have known we weren't going to be able to go in. Luckily Jimm was nice enough to take one for the team and continued to walk around outside with the stroller and Penny while we watched the show.

We had a Test Track FastPass opening soon so we walked the rest of the distance around the World Showcase and got in line. I volunteered to stay off with Penny (who was just waking up at this point) but Karen decided she didn't want to ride so she and Penny went to play in the gift shop while they waited for us. They were clearly having technical difficulties as it took us FOREVER to get through even the FastPass line, and there were long stretches where we didn't move at all. We saw a lot of people leave but we kept figuring it would have to start moving soon. Then we got to the point where we had been waiting so long it felt like a waste to give up. We finally got up to the front and were the next people to get on when the ride shut down again! Ugh! I felt really bad because I knew that Penny and Karen had been waiting for a long time now (almost an hour) and I also felt bad for the cast members as the guy behind us kept yelling at them. We rolled our eyes and ignored him and made friends with the two young kids that had been added to our car. We finally got on and, though our car stopped for a bit on the track, we made it through ok. And Jon and my car won!

We found Penny and Karen and profusely apologized. We had planned to try and head back over to China to catch a bit more of the acrobats, but with the ride taking so much longer than planned we had to head straight over to our 3:45pm Coral Reef reservation, promising to try and hit the acrobats between dinner and the Candlelight Processional. Jon, my sisters, and I had LOVED this restaurant last time we were here. We had had both exceptional food and service. Now I don't know if it was because of the Candlelight Processional dining package (which we were doing) or what, but the service was pretty terrible and the food was just mediocre. We barely saw our waitress the entire time we were there and no one was blown away by anything we ate.

I don't remember what everyone specifically got, but I know that for appetizers Jon got the Creamy Crab Dip, I got the Butternut Squash Soup, Tom got the Calamari, and I think Karen got a salad. I have no idea what Jimm got. For entrees Penny got the Mac and Cheese, Jon got the Mahi Mahi (what I had gotten last time and had really enjoyed), I got the Salmon, Tom got the Steak, and I again don't remember what Karen and Jimm had. Dessert I got the Chocolate Wave and that is the only thing I remember. We were there for over two hours (which I was freaking out about because I already wanted to be in line for our 6:45pm Candlelight Processional performance) and we had to send Tom's steak back because it was super undercooked which took another 20 min to come back out. So much for getting to fit in the acrobats!

After dinner we ran over to the Chase Visa Card Photo Area to try and squeeze in a picture there quick. There was a HUGE line so even though we found out from a cast member there that Pluto would be meeting in there in the next half an hour, we all decided to call it. Guess we'll just have to make it a priority to find Pluto when we're back in April! We split up and Penny, Jimm, Jon, and Karen went to again try and see some of the Chinese acrobats, and Tom and I went to get in line for the Processional. Penny's group stopped to play with the sidewalk lights for a bit.

Tom stopped on the way to pick up a few Doctor Who things in the UK while I continued on, stopping for a Grey Goose Slush. I got in line and after only a few minutes a cast member came through doing a head count. She almost skipped me but I stopped her to let her know that there were six in my party. She told me that the entire group needed to be in line so I fibbed and told her they were in the bathroom. She rolled her eyes and continued on but I quickly called everyone and told them that they had to head straight over so that we didn't get into trouble. I felt really badly though as that meant that Jimm never would get to see the rest of the acrobats sad

It actually turned out to be a good thing that I had called them because, even though we never had another cast member come through, we were let into the seating area soon after they arrived. We had pretty decent seats considering we had gotten in line so late. We were dead center about half way back from the stage. We took turns running over to the bathroom by the American Pavilion shop (we had to get a secret password to be let back in) and soon the show was starting.

OK, I know I'm going to get shamed for this, but I was really bored with this show. The music and the lights were beautiful and Ana Gasteyer did a great job, but to meet it felt like a lot of the same thing over and over again for an hour. Thank goodness Penny was tired enough to be entertained by just sitting and playing on my phone the entire time, otherwise she would have been going nuts! I'm glad we did it because Karen and Jimm really enjoyed it, but even if I got Neil Patrick Harris as a host next time I still don't think I would feel the need to go as the celebrity narrator didn't get to do much.

After the Processional we slowly walked around the World Showcase, making a stop in Mexico to ride the Grand Fiesta Tour. We must have just missed the addition of the animatronics by a day or two so I look forward to seeing them in April.

With not much else planned, we staked out a spot over by the bridge by Mexico for Illuminations. Karen, Jimm, Tom, and Penny went off to look around the shops while Jon and I blocked off our area and played Heads Up while we waited. They found us again minutes before the start of the show and I held Penny up so that she could see. I thought she would really enjoy this because she loved the fireworks on Fourth of July, but I guess she was overstimulated and overtired because once it started she buried her face in my neck for the entirety of the show.

Exhausted, we booked it out of the park the second the last fireworks went off and caught a bus back to Saratoga.

UP NEXT: Our last full day spent at Magic Kingdom and another sickness scare!

Kristen K.'s picture
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Allie wrote:

Mexico to ride the Grand Fiesta Tour. We must have just missed the addition of the animatronics by a day or two so I look forward to seeing them in April.

Wait.. What!?

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https://d23.com/after-35-years-historic-three-caballeros-figures-return-to-walt-disney-world-resort/

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Another great installment Allie! Penny is such a sweetie and you are definitely making wonderful memories. I had some issues with Candlelight Processional too, but mostly with the dining package.

I did see the Three Caballeros at the Gran Fiesta Tour, but had no idea they were recently installed...LOL!

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juneau biscuits wrote:

Another great installment Allie! Penny is such a sweetie and you are definitely making wonderful memories. I had some issues with Candlelight Processional too, but mostly with the dining package.

I did see the Three Caballeros at the Gran Fiesta Tour, but had no idea they were recently installed...LOL!

Thanks! I think that's my biggest problem with it. I don't think the Candlelight Processional is worth the time that you have to invest in line if you're not doing the dining package and we weren't happy with the dining package so we probably won't do it again in the future for that very reason. I wouldn't say the Processional is bad by any means. I guess I just had higher expectations from word of mouth, the amount of crowds, and the dining plan cost surrounding it.

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How cool! I had no idea. muchlove

I guess I need to add that to my "to do" list for May!

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Yeah it was a pretty quiet addition. D23 was really the only Disney source that made an announcement about it. I'm excited to see them in action though!

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Alright, I have to wrap this sucker up before I leave for our next trip Monday morning! I apologize in advance how little I remember at this point, though....