09 October 2009

Florida - the rest

We spent one more day at Epcot, mainly in the World Showcase part of the park. I love this place because in one day you can tour the "world".

We saw the acrobats in China...

I loved the perfectly manicured UK... (someday I'll get there for real)

The kids laughed like crazy at the clown/juggler in Italy...(another day, I'll get there too. Someday, I'll be blogging from Venice. Someday.)

...and the detail was amazing in Morocco. I think Jeff was a little disappointed we didn't schedule in the belly dancing show.

There was just too much to fit all in! I think Germany was my favorite "country" because it seemed so familiar. Maybe it was the smell of beer that made it feel so authentic! Love Germany, hate the smell of beer. Also, B.O. always takes be immediately back to my summers in Europe. (Too much information? Sorry.)

We were all so worn, we decided to take a break this day and head home for naps, so we could stay late for the fireworks that night. Jane was happy to be getting a ride to the car. I loved this photo of her and Jeff with the Epcot icon behind them.

Alice is our little angel. She was so pleasant and happy the whole time! Unbelievable.

Disney was extremely creative in finding ways to make the "countries" fun for the kids as well. Jack's favorite (notice his "I'm on a mission" pose) was a Kim Possible challenge where kids received a communicator with ongoing clues and challenges, where he entered codes and made things happen throughout the park that no one except "special agents" would know about. He was loving it. We wished we would have known discovered it earlier and done it all day!

Epcot was awesome. So was Hollywood Studios, but the pictures were limited with our low battery! I think the highlight of the park for Jack was when he was able to participate in the Jedi training course. Oh my. There were so many little ones who wanted to do it, we stuck around for two shows trying to get him a chance. Luckily, it paid off! He was taking it very seriously, and will proudly show you his Jedi certificate when requested. The Jedi master here was hilarious, and Darth Vader has turned into one of Jane's favorites since this.

One of the newest attractions is the American Idol experience. People can actually go through the entire audition process right there in the park, and at the end of the day the winners from each session compete for a chance at a real audition for the real show. It was fun, but I'm pretty sure we didn't discover any stars that day!

Our last day at Disney was actually Jane's birthday. I'll be the first one to tell any parents that kids don't need extravagant things for birthdays. Honestly. She would have been thrilled to have a day at the park with a cake and candles. But when we were scheduling it so close to her big day, we decided to try and just make it her birthday celebration. We must have been inspired, because later we found out you get free admission on your birthday this year, OR, if you've already paid for a multi-day pass, they'll give you the price of the ticket in merchandise. So... we let Jane go on a bit of a shopping spree and left there with more loot than ever before. We totally looked like one of "those families" that goes WAY over the top. It's fun to do it once... and with Disney's money rather than our own, it was awesome!

The one present we did bring for Jane was this little Cinderella dress, and she was thrilled with it! Here she is in front of her castle.

Since we'd already done Magic Kingdom the week before, we took a slower pace and it was nice. We spent a lot of time on kid rides Jane would love, plus Splash mountain again where Jeff and I did our best to keep her dry (she didn't like the idea of getting all wet again), and thunder mountain, which she adored. Alice was having a great time this day on all the rides we can include her on. So happy!

The kids loved the dinky rollercoaster in toon town and were so excited when they got to go together and even sit in the front car! Yay for no lines!

And of course, we waited to see the princesses for Jane. I think Cinderella was by far the most lovely princess, but I just loved how this picture with Aurora turned out, even if she in real life wasn't quite as impressive as I had hoped. When Princess Aurora found out it was Jane's birthday, she told her all about how on her birthday her aunts tried to make her a birthday cake without their wands and what a disaster it was. Jane was just soaking it all in! This attraction was SO well done.

This was our only day really eating IN the park, and they even came and sang Happy Birthday to Jane! She loved the extra attention, and we loved the air conditioning!

Mimi and Papa, as always, were champs at catering the day towards the kids and making it fun for everyone! It's so fun to go with such Disney connoisseurs!

We fit in what we wanted that day and felt done, so we were home in time for a swim and cake and ice cream! Thank goodness Jane took cupcakes as a substitute for the "Hello Kitty" cake she's been talking about for a year. We had a nice little party and put the kids to bed in preparation for our early flight home.

We had to say an early goodbye to our lovely little vacation home. How could you not love a PINK house? Mom and Dad dropped us at the airport, and we were off. Back to Utah, back to reality.

We planned a few days of recovery afterward, since honestly, vacations with my family require it. Disneyworld with the Rich family isn't exactly a leisurely vacation, but it sure is FUN! And absolutely exhausting. Jane was attempting to get a head start on recovering while we waited in Chicago. Jeff was just faking, but caught up soon enough.

Thanks, mom and dad, for a dream vacation and loads of priceless moments together. Disney is great, of course, but the TIME with you was what really made the trip the best. We love you.

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