Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hollywood Studios & Epcot Split Day with Toddlers.

We had pretty ambitious plans for today. The goal was to hit a few things at Hollywood Studios and then make it over to Epcot for lunch and the rest of the day.

We parked at the Yacht and Beach Club and hopped on the Friendship boat over to Hollywood Studios. Jeff had to run back because I forgot the Ergo in the room but he actually made it back in time to catch the same boat that we were on. You can also walk to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios from here, but we thought the boat would be more fun. You do not have to fold your stroller on the Friendship boat, which can be a huge bonus with kids.

Here come Jake & Sophia. 

We went directly to the Animation Corridor of Hollywood Studios to meet Jake and see the Disney Jr. show. These were literally the only two things on the agenda for the morning. Jake and the other Disney Jr characters come out at 9:30. We were first in line to meet Jake. H was so excited... until it was time to walk up and meet him. H maintains that they were playing hide and go seek. He later named this as his favorite part of the day - go figure.

The Disney Jr. show was perfect for our little ones. You sit on the floor and its set up like a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Show but they also tell stories from Jake, Sophia the First, and Doc McStuffins. The characters are all puppet size and are just perfect for the kiddos. There are lots of fun interactive things that happen in the 20 min show. 

With all our objectives met at Hollywood Studios and an hour to kill before we met up with a friend we offered H some options and he chose to go to the Frozen Sing A Long. We hightailed it to the other side of the park and made it in time for the 10:30 show. There are some story tellers that tell a shortened version of the show and they stop at all the songs to have you sing along. Anna and Elsa appear in the show. It was a hit with the whole family. H loved the songs and seeing the characters from afar, the adults loved the punny show (and singing along.) If you fast pass this show you will be able to sit in the middle, we sat on the side and our view was just fine. 

Just outside the Frozen theater you can "meet" Lightning McQueen and Mater. Again, H asked to get in line and meet them. He did not want to touch them but he liked seeing them up close. They don't talk but they do make some car noises specific to the two cars. The line moves really quickly so this was a good time killer. 

We met up with our friend and hopped on a boat to go over to Epcot. The boat makes so many stops and is actually quite slow so we hopped off at the Yacht and Boat Club dock and walked the rest of the way. We beat the boat to Epcot by a bunch, but by riding the first stop we were able to stay out of the sun. We entered the park through the World Showcase gate. 

We had lunch at the counter service restaurant at Epcot. Mom had sushi, I had the shrimp tempura udon noodles, Jeff and the chicken curry rice bowl and our friend had the teriyaki plate.  Everyone thought it was delicious. The kids ate a bit from everyones plates and a bunch from the snack bag. Half way through lunch the drum show started so I walked H down to check that out while others finished their lunch. 

We headed back around World Showcase toward Future World.  We stopped in England to take a picture in a phone booth and in Canada to see the falls. Mom took H to the O Canada movie while Jeff and I took a break in the shade with O. It must have gone well because H came out asking us to take him to Canada "for real." 

It was time to use our fast pass for Spaceship Earth. H liked the ride, although it is quite dark in spots and he kept asking if this was a "show" or a "ride." We checked our lines app and headed to Journey into the Imagination. The line was under 10 min, but was the longest we had to wait all day. 

We had later dinner reservations, so we decided to walk back around the World Showcase to Italy for some Gelato.  O fell asleep in the stroller so Jeff, H and I rode the boat in Mexico while mom walked around with sleeping O. We stopped in Germany to see the miniature town, complete with trains. Finally, in Italy we got our gelato. It was just what we needed on such a hot day. We sat in the limited shade to enjoy our treat. Each of the countries have craft station where you can decorate a "Duffy" cutout, H was not at all interested, but we saw lots of kids partaking in the fun.

To get back to Future World for the remainder of our fast passes H, my mom and Jeff hopped onto one of the Friendship boats, going from Germany back to Future World. The boat launch was crowded so instead of waiting with sleeping O, I walked back. I actually arrived back before the boat. 

We fast passed into The Land and hopped right on the boat. This ride was a big winner with the whole family. H wanted to ride it again and again. He loved seeing all the vegetables and fruits growing. He also loved the section when the boat goes through the fisheries. We then hopped over to Nemo and Friends and used our fast pass there. At the end of the ride the characters are super imposed onto the actual fish tank and it is so cool. We hurried into Turtle Talk with Crush. H was not interested in participating, but we did sit down on the floor with him and he was super engaged watching the kids talk to crush. 

We spent about an hour in the fish tanks. There were divers interacting with the dolphins. They have all the real animals from Nemo in the tanks and H loved finding them. They were also feeding the manatees while we were there. O just loves to stand up against the glass and gaze into the tanks. 

We had a 5:45 dinner reservation at the Garden Grill in the Land pavilion for O's birthday party and character dining. It was honestly a bit of a disaster. When we arrived they were swamped so we were given a pager and had to wait about 20 min. H did some pin trading. We sat on the floor and talked about the characters coming to visit. 

Get me away from this guy...

When we were finally seated the bread, salad and water were slow to come to the table. We were nearly at critical melt down with both kids when Dale stopped by the table. H wanted nothing to do with him and O crawled back up Jeff to try to get away! We did get an autograph and by the time Chip stopped by H was brave enough to give a high five and O petted his hand. 

When food arrived everyone stabilized. My only complaint is that the table is so small for the amount of food they are trying to put on your table. We were constantly trying to reshuffle to make it work, plus getting up for the kids to meet the characters. The food was excellent though and there were 
good healthy options. 

With food in everyone's tummy we had excellent visits with Mickey and Pluto. We actually got to visit with everyone a few times so that was nice. The boys were giving high-fives to everyone as they came around by the end. 

We did have to ask them to bring our desert and O's cake toward the end. We were starting to loose it and were on our third rotation around the restaurant. O lit up when he got his cake and they happily boxed up the rest for us to take home. 

We walked back around world showcase and all the way to the Yacht & Beach Club and hopped in our car. We had toyed with staying for the 8:30 night time show but that was honestly a pipe dream. The kids were worn out and so were we. All three boys were fast asleep when I heard the fireworks from Epcot going off. 

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