Day 5 - Epcot
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|Sun, 04-06-2014 - 10:48am|
Day 5 - Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Chapter 7. Cars are Fine, but Boats are Scary
Since, at the last minute we had decided to go to Epcot today instead of yesterday, we were going to have to get there early. It was amEMH. I hadn't really wanted to do EMH on this trip but since it was happening, I figured we better be there for it. Especially considering how crowded AK had been.
We had to wait a very long time for a bus, in fact we didn't even get on the first one that finally came because there were so many people waiting and it was already half full from having stopped at Kidani first. Not sure who dropped the ball in the transportation department that morning, but it seemed pretty ridiculous. Again, I wish we had a car. While Brian had started to come around on some things on this trip, he was sticking tight to his no-car philosophy.
We made it well before 8am, but were obviously not the only ones to have this idea. The line was already snaked through several switchbacks and we couldn't even see the gates from where we were. Since we weren't going to be in the front anyway I wasn't in as much of a hurry, we'd probably only have time to ride one thing before regular opening regardless. So we stopped for a picture in front of Spaceship Earth, and rented a stroller. (Thankfully, something Brian HAD changed his mind on, seeing how we would not have made it a full day at AK otherwise)
Oh, and I think I forgot to mention, but after our ill-fated morning entry at AK, my magic band had been working fine. They didn't seem to think they had fixed it at the time, but I never had to use the card they gave me.
We headed on over to Test Track, and Owen got measured. I was a little nervous before the trip since he was close, but he easily made the 40-inch mark. So far, he wasn't even seeming nervous, but we had just told him it was a "fast car ride", and he does like fast cars, lol! The posted wait time was 5 minutes, though it took us closer to 15. But I don't think we've ever done the standby queue, so it was neat to see the exhibits in it.
While we were in the car design room, Owen suddenly had to go potty! I could tell earlier that he needed to go, but of course he wouldn't. But now he had that look of desperation and was bouncing like crazy, there was no way he would make it though the ride. There was also no easy way we could get to a potty now and still keep our place in line. So... Desperate times call for desperate measures! I did have a couple of emergency diapers in the bag, so yes, I pulled down his pants and whipped a diaper on him right there in the design room. I had his bare butt covered in under a second, and no one seemed to mind or even notice. And he immediately "relieved" himself.
I was worried that as we were boarding he would get nervous and refuse to get on, but he climbed in without any hesitation. He did get a little uneasy after we started moving and were coming up to the seat belt check. He suddenly grabbed me and asked "How long does this take to be done?", which is his code for "I don't like this and don't want to be here right now." But I just reassured him and he seemed okay. He looked a little tense through the dark parts, but pointed at things and was fascinated at times too. And he really loved the part outside where we got to go fast! So glad he enjoyed his first thrill ride, and since coming home he has talked about it non-stop. And constantly asks to listen to the soundtrack, lol!
After the ride, they wanted to play around in the part with the cars. I was hoping to go get in line for Character Spot before regular RDers were let in, but we would have needed to head there right away, and Lily chastised me for always rushing them through. So we stayed.
By the time we got to Character Spot, there was a 25 minute wait, but we hadn't met Mickey or Minnie at AK so I didn't want to risk missing them here too. And I casually mentioned to Lily when she complained, that it would have been a shorter wait had we not stayed so long at TT, which she wanted to do.
The time passed pretty easily, and we had great character interactions as always. Since we had to get there so early, there hadn't been time for breakfast at the hotel. We had made do on snacks and coffee, but I had promised a real breakfast once we were here. So we went over to the Land pavilion. Our FP for Soarin was much later this afternoon, and I hadn't been able to get anything earlier despite trying several times. But we could eat breakfast and do the boat ride.
Oh yeah, the "boat ride". We really shouldn't have used the same terminology for Living with the Land as we had used for Kali. Because apparently now he was traumatized to all "boat rides". He was seeming a bit braver after breakfast, and agreed to go through the line and have a look, but as we were to board, he freaked out and planted himself firmly on the ground, screaming "NO, NO, NO!!" He was convinced he was going to get wet again, and no amount of promising could sway him.
We gave him a few minutes, but he was resolute, he was NOT getting on a boat. So Brian and Lily finally went ahead, and we waited at the exit for him. I tried to explain to him during this time that he was going to miss out on all the fun stuff if he was scared of everything, but I could tell it was falling on deaf ears.
It was time to head to Spaceship Earth, we had FPs and since Owen was refusing to ride, we needed to have time to get through twice during our window. Lily decided to go with Owen and Brian to the interactive stuff at the end of the ride while I rode, since she didn't want to do it twice. I had never needed a FP for this one before, but the standby wait was 30 minutes. Spring Break indeed. But I don’t feel like I’ve been to Epcot until I ride Spaceship Earth, it’s been one of my favorites ever since I was a kid. And we’ve been listening to the soundtrack from the all the rides for several weeks, it almost caught me off guard that I now recognized the music so well, like I had forgotten what I was listening to at home, lol!
After we switched, I took Owen over to the Radiator Springs playground. If there was one thing here I knew he would like, it was a playground, lol! He had really enjoyed this one last year, and I was glad to see that they brought it back for this years F&G Festival.
Once Brian and Lily met up with us, they wanted to know if it was time to go "eat around the world". Lunching at the F&G snack kiosks was one of Brian's favorite parts of our trip last year, and he was anxious to repeat it.
We headed toward Mexico, but Lily spotted the Duffy store and really wanted to go in. So she quickly picked out two new outfits for Duffy, who had come along with us today, of course. And then just outside, Duffy was doing his m&g, so we jumped in line. I felt bad that I had promised Brian lunch then let us get derailed, but he was being very patient, and was even a little glad we waited because during this time the sun finally came out, and for some reason he thought that made for much better eating conditions.
Meeting Duffy was fun. While in line, Lily put hers into his new Sulley costume, and big Duffy got all excited, starting jumping around and pretending to be a monster, even the handlers were laughing at him. And then as we were leaving, he grabbed stuffed Duffy from Lily and rocked him to sleep. It was very cute. Now time for lunch!
Chapter 8. Lunch (and Dinner) Around the World, and Will We Fly??
Our first stop was Mexico. Lily and I shared a cheese quesadilla-like thing, and I think Owen ate a bite of it. It was about all he ate the rest of the day (as I said, I don't know how he doesn't just wither away). Well, except for Pez candy. So far Brian's bribery was working pretty well. Other than the boat incident, he had managed to keep it together all morning, thanks to some well timed Pez dispensing.
In Norway, we didn't see a F&G food stand, but Lily had picked up one of the Phineas & Ferb mission phones so we started it here. I'm glad we finally got to do one, but doubt we'll do another. The whole thing is pretty time consuming and tedious, made more so by the fact that the area was shoulder-to-shoulder people. Trying to maneuver back and forth through the crowds got tiresome. But we finished it, anyway. And though we weren’t willing to wait in the 4-hour line to meet Elsa and Anna, we did catch a glimpse of them through the doorway while we were working on the mission.
It was somewhere in the middle of all this that Owen fell out of his stroller. I know, we should have buckled him in, but he really didn't want to, and assured us he wouldn't try to get out while we were moving. But I think he started falling asleep and toppled right out. He scraped up his finger pretty good, and would complain about it off and on for the rest of the day :( Poor kid.
We continued on around the world showcase, stopping in every country that had a special F&G kiosk set up. I can't remember everything we ate, but the manicotti in Italy was especially good. We were somewhere around on the other side when Brian decided that he was full, we would have to pick up where we left off later, for dinner. Lily was really wanting to ride something, so he took her back to Maelstrom, while Owen and I sought out a playground. It turned out that there was one very close to us, but I didn't see it and we ended up at the Monsters Inc playground at the entrance to WS.
He had fun running and playing here, but after a while decided that he wanted to go back to Radiator Springs. We were headed there when he spotted the Butterfly Pavilion, and we made a brief stop. He tried to catch some butterflies, but every time one would get close, he would panic a little so that instead of landing nicely on his finger, they just sort of crashed into him. But he laughed about it.
Instead of going to Radiator Springs afterwards, we ended up at the Imagination Pavilion. He chased the jumping water in the fountains, and played on some of the activities inside. He also bought his Epcot souvenir, a small train with Mickey Mouse in it. Would not even consider the ride though. I was having my doubts that we were going to get him onto Soarin later...
Brian and Lily met up with us here, and Brian took Owen while Lily and I did the Figment ride. It had nearly a 30 minute wait, still wondering if spring break was a wise choice! But I can't "imagine" coming to Epcot and not seeing my favorite purple dragon. The guys ended up going to the playground all the way over in the Seas.
It was finally time to fly!! We met back up outside the Land, and Owen assured us that he wanted to ride. He seemed a little hesitant a couple of times going through the queue (the FP wait wasn't bad, maybe 10 minutes to the loading area) We kept presenting it as a "flight", and talked about going through the "airport" to find our plane. Those were words he knew, and experiences he was comfortable with. Goodness knows he's flown on enough airplanes in his short life, lol!
So he was mostly fine, and excited to ride. Right up until the point where he was sitting, strapped into his seat. And then he started crying, wanting off. I was afraid we were in for another total meltdown, but at least he stuck to moderately quiet sobs instead of screams. And I was the mean mom who wouldn't let him get off.
He was still whimpering a little when we left the ground (we ended up in the top row, of course, couldn't possibly make things a little easier for his first ride, could we??) But once the first scenes came on, he relaxed a little, and within a few seconds he was smiling and pointing at things! I was so relieved. He even did okay with the fireworks at the end, maybe we'd be able to watch Illuminations tonight! He said his favorite part was when you are up in the sky with the hang glider. He was really glad he did it and I was glad I didn't let him back out at the last minute. It’s still my favorite ride here, and it was fun to get to do something as a whole family, after having spent much of the day split up. I am really looking forward to the day when he can (and WILL) ride everything, so we can all do more together.
After that, we headed back to the Seas and explored the tanks. Owen wouldn't do the ride, and no one else cared that much so we didn't bother splitting up for it. (So the only things he rode all day were Test Track and Soarin', the most intense rides that he's tall enough for, but everything else was too scary, go figure) There was a group scuba diving in one of the big tanks, and it was fun watching them.
We were getting hungry by now so we set off again for the world showcase, starting from the Canada side this time. We did all the ones we didn't get to earlier, then repeated a few of our favorites from lunch (for me it was definitely the manicotti) I had hoped to see some of the movies, specifically France, but no one else felt like stopping, and we really didn't have time anyway. Oh well. Maybe one day. It's on my list every trip and we never make it.
We went all the way back around, and by the time we were done it was almost time for our Mission Space FPs. Oh, and I think Owen fell asleep in the stroller at some point. Never did eat anything during the whole trip around, for sure.
We stopped to watch the Future World fountains doing their show on the way, Brian loves that and was sad last trip that in all our days at Epcot, we never once caught the fountains while they were performing to music. So I'm glad we saw it tonight.
Owen had been getting increasingly grumpy throughout the afternoon, and was a mess by the time we got to Mission Space. I could tell he really needed to go potty (for more than just pee, sorry if tmi, lol!) but was fighting it hard. I left Brian and Lily there to wait for the FP time since it was only a few minutes away, and after a few rough minutes in the bathroom, Owen came out a different kid, happy and ready to play.
He had loved the space playground last year, and this year was no different. As soon as he saw it he started yelling "YES, YES, that's where I wanted to go!!" It was cute. He immediately disappeared into the tunnels and I hardly even saw him before Brian and Lily came back. I left Brian with the task of finding and retrieving him, and we headed to the queue again.
Brian had never done this one before, and had always worried it would make him sick, but in the few seconds I had to talk to him in between our rides, he seemed to say that he really liked it. Since Owen and I were gone to the rr when they rode, we hadn't gotten a riders swap. So Lily just had to use Owen's band. It was the first time our names showed up on a screen when we scanned it and the CM gave us a quizzical look when Owen's name came up on hers, but she didn't care enough to question us.
I actually got a little nervous right before it started, remembering how intense it had been last year. Hadn't I said then that one ride was probably enough? What was I doing here again, then?? It was fun though, and knowing what to expect made it a little less terrifying.
We set off to find the guys, who had been tasked with staking out a spot for Illuminations. Fortunately they hadn't gone far and were up against the lake in Mexico. It was only about 15 minutes to show time by the time we got there. I suddenly remembered that Owen had eaten practically nothing all day, and became convinced that he would do better during the fireworks if he had food and milk. So I raced over to the CS place in Mexico to pick up something for him. They were being really slow though and I barely made it back in time. And of course he only ate a bite or two anyway.
In preparation for tonight, I had ordered him a special pair of sound blocking earmuffs. I was hoping it would make the fireworks more tolerable. We would see anyway. Our summer vacation this year is to DC, and one of our main goals is to watch the Capitol Fourth fireworks. We were very curious to see if this was a reasonable plan. Last year, even hearing the fireworks from outside the park always sent him into a screaming frenzy.
Finally the show started. As the first firework lit up the sky, Owen dove head-down into his stroller and went into turtle shell position under his blanket. He stayed like that for the whole first part of the show. Once it entered the firework-free middle part (and I suddenly remember the timing that we had memorized last year, lol) we got him to come out and watch. He was fascinated with the earth ball that floats around the lake. But as soon as the fireworks started again, he was back under his blanket. So we made it through with no screaming banshee, though he did seem a little shaken afterwards. Maybe he can at least tolerate the fireworks this summer, though I doubt he will enjoy them.
We were really glad to get to see the show though. I didn't get to see it at all last year because of Owen, and the trip before was when it stormed so hard through the whole show that I had to seek shelter in a nearby building partway through. So I hadn't seen the whole thing since 2008. I had forgotten that they still use some of the Millennium Celebration music in it, we listen to that soundtrack at home sometimes and it was fun to hear some familiar favorites in the show.
Getting out would take patience, no surprise. I was glad to finally get to spend some time in the park after dark though, that was one thing I really missed last year. And we had made it -13 hours nonstop! It took a couple of bus loads to get us back, I forced myself to not stress about it since we could sleep in as late as we wanted.
Oh, and I have to add the funny story that happened as we were walking back to our room. There were several room service trays (with used dishes) sitting outside rooms. (Remember we had a REALLY long walk) For some reason they all seemed to have uneaten grapes on them and Brian thought they looked good. Finally, on about the 4th one we passed, he looked around to make sure no one was watching, and reached down and ate one! We all just about died laughing. And then the next morning, Owen kept offering him uneaten breakfast food off all the ones we passed.
All in all, a really good day! Owen had no major meltdowns, thanks to the Pez Strategy. And we had gotten him on two new rides, both of which he enjoyed. We still didn't get to spend anytime in Innoventions, and the only stuff we did in the WS was food related. Brian was a little bummed again as he started rattling off other things we hadn't gotten to, and I had to remind him that one day simply isn't enough to do it all, even if it's a really full day!