I knew that I wouldn't be able to ride Test Track or Mission Space, and after my bad-mood day the day before I decided to take the kids to the Magic Kingdom with my mom while the others went and enjoyed the first part of the day at Epcot riding rides. But because I was extra emotional, I got really upset because I just hated being split up. I think I was feeling super attached to my family because it was so special to ALL be at Disney together, and I just wanted to all stay together. But ultimately I KNEW this would be the best decision and it would please everyone. Also, Kurt suggested that I meet up with the group at Epcot when the kids napped, so I'd still get to ride Spaceship Earth (one of my favorite rides ever) and see World Showcase. Once I knew we would all reconvene, I got really excited about the idea of going to Magic Kingdom a day "earlier" than planned and being with my mom and the kids. And it WAS a wonderful morning!! So yet another lesson to be learned - sometimes splitting up is the best and most wise decision for the sake of everyone when you're with a large group of people. Sometimes it's easy to get into the mentality that it's not a successful trip unless everyone does every single thing together, but we learned this time around that it really can be the BEST solution in certain situations!
We got there for the Welcome Show, and the kids weren't aware of what was about to happen. They had no idea they were about to enter into the Most Amazing Place In the History of the Entire World Ever. :) They LOVED the show (Liam about had a come apart when the steam train came rolling in and they were singing "Casey Junior") and seeing Mickey and Minnie first thing was so fun!
It was so special to be there with my Mom. I found myself getting sentimental because when we lived in Orlando (when I was an infant/toddler), she was the one to introduce me to Disney. She brought me all the time and that's where my first memories of Disney began. So it was really a full-circle thing for her to be with me and now my own kids. :) Plus - I couldn't have done it alone!
We immediately went to the new Storybook Circus area where they put in the new and improved Dumbo ride! It was literally empty and we had the best time kicking off our day by riding Dumbo!
We did the Fantasyland circuit - Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, etc. We went through them all in a matter of minutes!
We were so excited to try out the new Little Mermaid ride!
I love this picture of me and my littles. :)
This is also a good time to share that we rented a stroller from Orlando Stroller Rentals and had a wonderful experience! The stroller was so comfortable and the kids really enjoyed riding in it. We also didn't have to worry about flying with ours - total lifesaver. I highly recommend using their services!
We headed to Tomorrowland to give Leeler another heart attack - it was time for BUZZ LIGHTYEAR!!!!
Around this time we headed back to the hotel. My dad met my mom there to rest with the kids, and I headed to Epcot to meet up with Kurt and my siblings!
Werther's Caramel - YUM!!!
We had so much fun browsing World Showcase together. It gave us an opportunity to stop and look at different things at a slow pace. One of our favorite things was the Mitsukoshi Department Store in the Japan Pavilion (it's named and modeled after the oldest department store in the world, dating back three centuries). We're all kind of obsessed with all things Asian, so it was awesome. Also, they have a section called "Pick a Pearl," where you can have them open a shell to reveal your very own pearl. You can buy settings for it and it's so fun to watch.
The girls in France.
Obviously the United Kingdom Pavilion is my favorite and I took a million pictures.
Early evening, my parents brought the kids to Epcot for our PRINCESS DINNER in the Norway Pavilion! You can do Princess dinners at Cinderella's Castle or Akershus Restaurant in Norway. We've done it both places, and I just kind of prefer Norway. The venue is a little more roomy and the food is really, really good. The Castle is fun too, though! We knew Evy would love this but we were NOT prepared for how much Liam would steal the show!
Snow White was the first victim.
See what I mean?
"Beauty" was next. . .
Seriously, hilarious! By this point he just expected each one to kiss him.
He saw on Pinka's camera that he had lipstick on him and got SO TICKLED he could not stop laughing!
My brother tweeted, "Liam got more action tonight at the Princess Dinner than I've gotten in my whole life." HA!
Next was the "Princess Parade" where all of the kids walked around the restaurant with the Princesses.
At the end of dinner, Evy decided that she wanted to really be authentic and have bare shoulders like the real Belle. Of course we obliged! :)