Our first castle shot:
I can't remember the exact order of how we did things once we got into the park -- I think it involved some people getting fastpasses to Space Mountain and then David, Jacob and Elizabeth heading to Frontierland to ride Big Thunder Mountain while Caroline and I took a detour in Fantasyland. Caroline wanted to ride Cinderella's carousel:
Which she LOVED (what, you can't tell?).
After that we headed over to Frontierland to meet the rest of the gang. They were just getting off of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and feeling pretty exhilarated -- all of them (including Elizabeth) loved it. Since we were right next door to Splash Mountain and it only had a 15 minute wait, we decided that I'd ride it with Jacob and Elizabeth. Here are J & E in line for Splash Mountain:
Now I've been there a bunch and I can say without reservation that I always leave Disney World feeling like it was a fabulous trip, and I can't wait to go back. Heck, I'm already scheming of ways to convince David to go back in two years instead of his preferred four. But there are always -- always -- some rough moments in the middle of it. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. The combination of crowds and lines and heat and small children can be volatile. But in the end, the genuine fun plus the magic Disney happy gas that they pump into the air at the exits (my husband's theory) always prevail to form one's lasting impression of the place.
But back to those rough moments. Elizabeth started to get cold feet in the Splash Mountain line. I wasn't really too worried about it because for the love, SHE HAD JUST GOTTEN OFF A ROLLER COASTER, which she loved, and she rode a flume ride similar to Splash Mountain at Six Flags last summer. So I gently told her that she'd do great and that she'd love it, but assured her that we could bail if she wanted to.
Of course, the longer we waited in line, the less attractive the bailing option was, but I kept offering it. Anyway, this dialogue continued through the line, which was moving pretty fast. And her fear of the ride kept escalating. In retrospect, I should have just had David come and get her the first time she expressed any reservations, but she said she wanted to ride it, and it was so much tamer than the ride she just finished.
Anyway, we finally got to the beginning of the line. We were called into the queue that would feed into the front row of the next boat. We got into the boat. And then Elizabeth freaked. So we got off of the boat. And Jacob looked at me incredulously and started to cry. It was all I could do not to cry. The good news is, that was pretty much rock bottom and it was all uphill from there!
So David and I met up and did a Jacob-for-Caroline trade; Jacob (who was really really mad at me!) and David headed back to the Splash Mountain line (which was by now at least twice as long as it was before); and the girls and I took the raft to that ultimate time-killing Frontierland destination, Tom Sawyer Island.
We killed some time there and then took the raft back after getting word that Jacob and David were done with Splash Mountain. We reconvened briefly, and then the boys took off to Tomorrowland to hit their fastpass time for Space Mountain, while the girls and I followed more slowly behind them (we had gotten 5 fastpasses to Space Mountain with the idea that Jacob could then ride it twice, once with each of us).
I had gotten silhouettes done of Jacob and Elizabeth on previous trips to Disney World, and I love them, so we stopped in Liberty Square and had Caroline's done on the walk to Tomorrowland:
Then we rode the tea cups:
We caught up with the boys, and I was happy to see that the Splash Mountain Incident appeared to be forgotten. Jacob was riding a Space Mountain high, and I accompanied him as he rode it a second time. The truth is that I can take or leave these crazy roller coasters, so I couldn't really give him the unbridled enthusiasm he was looking for at the end of the ride, but we definitely had fun.
And then it was time for lunch at Crystal Palace with Pooh & Friends! Because doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. While we waited for our table, Jacob cooled off with his new Disney personal fan spray bottle:
While Caroline sprayed innocent bystanders with hers:
And homegirl chilled:
We had a nice view of the castle from outside the restaurant:
When our buzzer went off for our table, Caroline promptly lost it again. But we actually made some modest progress this time, as we were able to keep her at the table during lunch (she hid behind one of us the whole time). The cast members working at the restaurant were so sweet - they learned her name and explained to Tigger, Pooh and company that Caroline was a little shy and would rather skip the one-on-one visit today. Eeyore looked a little forlorn after hearing that news. Jacob and Elizabeth showed them a little extra love to make up for the snub by Caroline:
After lunch the boys went to use their fastpasses for the Toy Story ride in Tomorrowland (which Elizabeth inexplicably didn't feel like doing at that moment) and I took the girls on Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride (i.e., Dumbo, but without the ears and the wait). When we met up again in Adventureland, the kids had fun getting sprayed by totem poles:
We then grabbed fastpasses for the Winnie the Pooh ride and hit It's a Small World, which the girls LOVED. Caroline was so animated while pointing out all the dolls, and it made me feel a little better about torturing her with all of those character meals. We saw Mickey's Philharmagic and then got in line for Cinderella's carousel again:
Then it was time to use our Pooh fastpasses:
The kids all liked that one.
After Pooh we grabbed some ice cream and decided to call it a day:
There was a bunch of stuff that we didn't hit on day one, but we knew we had another full day at the MK later in the week, so we decided to take it easy and go back to enjoy the pool. We had dinner in our hotel that night, and then tried to get some sleep to get ready for . . . wait for it . . . another character meal!!, plus Epcot, the next day.