On Sunday 2/21 we celebrated my Mom and Dad's 40th Wedding Anniversary! Quite an accomplishment these days! Mom loved wearing her button and relished every "Happy Anniversary" she received from CM's and even other guests! Dad is a bit more low key and was a little shy about wearing his, but my DH was happy to alert my mom when dad was sans button. My dad now promises to pay DH back for said treason on another trip....we'll see...
On Sunday we were happy to get not one but 3 wake up calls! Two were automated and one was from the front desk making sure we had gotten the automated one. At least they make a good effort to correct mistakes. We were out the door on time and made it to AK just about RD.
I decided to use the Unofficial Guide's general touring plan this time, as I haven't used it in AK before, but have had good luck with their plans in MK. DH went to Everest to get FP's and we took the little ones to triceratops spin. I was happy to see the park seemed very empty, and we rode the ride several times in a row. My kids had never been to Dinoland here before! On our first family trip we skipped AK entirely and last fall we were rained out. Twice. My last time in the AK was after running the Expedition Everest Challenge 5K in a monsoon in September. My friend and I barely finished the race, squishing in our shoes when the thunder started and they closed the race! So sad, no after party! And no Expedition Everest ride for me. Today would be my first!
After Triceratops Spin we hit Dinosaur. Both DS7 and DS4 made it through with eyes closed and ears covered and elected not to go on again! But we only had a 5 min wait! The CM mentioned that she was surprised how empty it was at this point. Yeah for us! We were then off to Everest! We had 6 FP's but after learning it went backwards, Gran and Pop decided to pass. They took the little ones in search of a frozen lemonade and DH and DS7 and I rode. With the FP's we were on in less than 5 min. I loved it! DS7 did pretty good, he looked like he was having fun, but declined to ride again with the second set of FP's. We did have fun however finding a family and giving them a magical moment with our 3 extra FP's! We love doing this.
Next we met up at the safari and jumped on the standby line of 10min! My kids love this attraction. I rode it just after AK opened in 98' and it was very disappointing. They have really gotten the animals to come out into view compared to 98' and we love it.
Even though it was only about 65 degrees, my DS7 wanted to ride Kali River Rapids, so DH, DS7, DS4 and Pop went for it. Mom and I and the baby walked the Tiger trail. DS2 Loved the tigers! I haven't done that trek since AK opened in 98' either. By the time we were done, our men, 2 of whom were soaked were off the river rapids. Apparently just as they sat in the raft, DS7 said "we won't get wet Pop", and of course, DS7 and Pop were SOAKED! Dad actually was dripping. Brrrr! Thankfully they had taken off their sweatshirts before the ride and so took off the wet shirts and put on the sweatshirts!
It was about 11:30 at this point and so we decided to bus it over to AKV for lunch at the Mara. We own AKV, and my parents are staying with us in a 2br in August there, and we wanted to show it off. They were really impressed and we are even more excited about our summer trip now! The pool at AKV looks so much better than in September! The pool refurb has the pool bottom looking blue. In September it looked a little green. I don't know if that was the actual color it was painted, or if it really was algae, but it looks great now!
I had the vegetable flatbread at the Mara and it was great! The salty olives are delicious! and oh...the zebra domes! Dad had a sandwich of some sort and said it was quite good, and that the couscous was a welcome change from french fries. They also have quite a large kids meal selection, so the kids were happy. Mom's cheesecake was also quite good.
We took the bus to DTD thinking of walking back to SSR, but decided to do some shopping instead!
****AP Holders****They are currently offering 20% off merchandise at Disney owned stores! You have to ask for it, and show your AP and ID, but what a great deal! Originally it was just until early Feb., but it has been extended twice and we were told that it was going until at least May! This was a huge savings for us! And it probably worked for Disney because we probably bought more because of it!
After some fun birthday shopping for the boys, we bussed it back to SSR (tut tut it looked like rain). Ordinarily, I am a Disney commando and would have said "no DTD we need to go back and take a nap", but I was trying to be a bit more relaxed this trip. I should have stuck with my bossy plans. We didn't get back to SSR until probably 4:30 and we were exhausted! BUT I did not want to miss Illuminations! So ignoring DH's disgruntled protests I marched us back to EPCOT at 6pm.
We went right to Soarin and got on the standby line (FP's were gone by now) which was 30 min. I skipped it this trip and took DS2 on The Land, and Nemo. Soarin is my mom's favorite ride so we couldn't skip that. We then had a nice dinner at Sunshine Seasons. I had the California rolls and they were quite good. I had the creme brulee and it was awesome, especially for a CS.
We had a quick ride on Nemo, and found a spot on World Showcase to see Illuminations. I didn't have such a good view in September and I forgot how much I really enjoyed it. I'm a bit of a sap so it seemed to have even more meaning since the Olympics were going on at the time. We were right by the bridge b/w Future World and World Showcase so this made for a quick and easy Epcot exit. But man were we tired! DS4 missed all off Illuminations because he just sat in the stroller and fell asleep!
Tomorrow MK all day and Liam's 5th Birthday!!!!
A couple of photos:
Me and the boys at HISTK Playground in DHS
DS2 and DH going crazy on the Barnstormer
DS4 to be DS5 on our first night at MK, on the teacups. Do you think he is happy to be in WDW for his birthday?
Loved this topiary on early display outside of Italy
DH snapped this one of a "hidden" or not so hidden Mickey at Epcot for F&G
More TR later! __________________