That inability to sleep is what makes me worry that the girls are not well-rested after a late night, but it does make getting to EPCOT by its 9:00 am opening, Hot Pockets in three hands (I still think they're gross!), travel coffee mug in the remaining hand, classic Disney songs playing on the ipod hooked into the car stereo, MUCH easier:
EPCOT is the one park in which, even with absolutely zero lines for even the most popular attractions like Soarin'--
--I left at the end of the night feeling like there was a lot of stuff that we simply didn't get to. It's a big park, for one thing, and some attractions close early (we missed out on "Captain EO" and "Journey into Imagination with Figment", which closed two hours before the rest of EPCOT), but there are also so many OTHER things to do in EPCOT that you could probably meander and browse and sight-see happily for a week without getting bored.
For instance, EPCOT is character heaven!
|Tigger and Pooh|
In the past both girls have had trouble answering even simple questions on the fly when conversing with strange adults (Willow is notorious for answering, when asked what grade she's in or what school she attends, "I don't go to school"). After our first Disney day, when I saw how engaging everyone at Disney is, I actually drilled the children on their ages, their home state, their schooling situation, and their grades (When I first did this, Sydney said that she was from Arkansas and was a kindergartner, and Willow had to think about how old she was, sigh). One of the really unexpected results of our Disney trip is that both girls are now very good at answering these questions, and introducing themselves, and thanking someone when complimented, etc. My shining moment was when Snow White asked Willow what school she attends.
"I homeschool," said Will.
"Oh, you must be very smart!" said Snow White.
"I am," Willow replied.
We had lunch reservations at Les Chefs de France, which Matt had wanted to try. I had expected the food to be more French, I suppose, or maybe just to have more French options, but the adults' quiches and Willow's flounder were quite tasty (as were Sydney's pasta and chicken strips, after she refused to order anything French)--
--and Les Chefs de France is also special because it's the restaurant that Remy, the rat from Ratatouille, now cooks at. Why, yes, we DID meet him!
One of the waiters rolls him around on a serving cart to greet diners, and although Remy was pretty darn cute, this waiter was way funny.
I was too close to get Sydney and Remy in the same frame, but here she is interacting with him. Just look at the expression on her face!
In the World Showcase, both girls got really into Kidcot, a free program that lets kids color a big cardboard bear on a stick and then take it around to the Kidcot tables in all the other countries to get it stamped. In many of the countries, the docents would also write the child's name in the language of their country on the bear, or draw their country's flag on it. I would have vastly preferred if the Kidcot locations had always been in the cultural areas of each country--
Sydney did a lot of shopping in the World Showcase. I saw a lot of stuff that I'd like to buy, but managed to abstain--I actually came out under budget for souvenirs, if you can believe it, never finding the perfect giant coffee mug for myself, and spending less on the couple of souvenirs that I'd planned to treat the girls to than I thought that I'd spend.
--and we probably could have spent most of our EPCOT day there. The kiddos LOVED the aquarium--
--and we ALL adored Turtle Talk with Crush. I wish that I'd prepped the girls ahead of time with questions for him, but still, you should have seen their faces when he swam down, looked right at them, and said "Hello, little dudes."
This day was Sydney's hardest day, mostly because, although she liked all the sight-seeing, she really just wanted to go on rides, and so there were a couple of tantrums to help break up the day, and a couple of benches upon whom I'm sure hers was not the first time-out to be held.
Nevertheless, even though it was late, both kids perked way back up for IllumiNations, which, you probably don't want to hear, I found enjoyable, but not necessarily impressive enough to warrant the late night and the standing at the edge of the lagoon for half an hour, etc. This was the only park that we really walked around in the dark in, though, which was an additional adventure for my kids who all summer have been going to bed while it's still light out:
They were happy enough to hop into their own beds at the end of it, though, and here's what I saw when I went into their room to kiss them goodnight:
Two kids, sound asleep, ready for Animal Kingdom in the morning!