Our first day in the parks was one I worked hard to prepare for. On paper it was just a morning in Epcot with a lunch at Garden Grill. In practice it was the shining glory of a chipmunk toddler.
Since the Garden Rooms at the Boardwalk are not located near the Innkeepers Club Lounge I went up and brought breakfast for all of us back on a tray. After finishing that we walked to Epcot. We arrived 40 minutes after park opening and did the Seas, Turtle Talk, Imagination, checked out the DVC Lounge, and Fastpassed Living with the Land in 2 hours.
Waiting for Turtle Talk with Crush
Our lunch at Garden Grill might be the most magical memory we’ve made in the parks, rivaling baby Goofy meeting Minnie and Pluto. Our little chipmunk had fantastic interactions with the characters and all the staff went above and beyond in making our meal great.
Day 6 of our January vacation started exactly the way Day 5 ended – rainy. Since we accomplished so much at Extra Magic Hours, we planned a sleep-in morning. That’s not always possible with a baby, but we tried!
Rainy Magic Kingdom from Bay Lake Tower. The train left a picturesque trail all morning
We left our room at Bay Lake Tower at 9:50, and by 10:18 were in the Fastpass line for Jungle Cruise. We had an excellent skipper for our only daytime journey.
Mekong River is my favorite on Jungle Cruise
Up next is one of my personal favorites, Enchanted Tiki Room. I love the show and the music, and it never has a line. You really can’t be that!
Day 4 of our January 2016 trip started in Animal Kingdom. We had an easy drive of less than 15 minutes and were in one of the first few rows of parking. It took about 20 minutes from parking to entering the Kilimanjaro Safari Fastpass line. We had an excellent crisp early morning safari with lots of animal sightings.
They stood so still they looked fake peeking above the bushes
Up next I rode Expedition Everest by myself with a Fastpass and then again as a single rider. Since I’m the only one who rides this in our group and it has a single rider line, the Fastpass was not necessary. Next we child swapped Dinosaur with Fastpasses.
Dreams do come true. Day 3 in Hollywood Studios brought us back to our favorite ride, the Tower of Terror. I haven’t ridden it since March 2014, which is far too long. But I’m jumping ahead…
This morning was the most on time we’ve been in years. In 17 minutes we drove from the Grand Floridian to Hollywood Studios, parked, unloaded the car and were on a tram. First stop was Toy Story Midway Mania with a Fastpass. We were through the ride quickly and stopped to see Star Wars Launch Bay.
Star Wars Launch Bay
Star Wars Launch Bay
Star Wars has taken over the Animation building, with a making of video in the theater, meet and greets for Chewbacca and Darth Vader, props and costumes from Episode VII, Disney Infiniti stations, mock Cantina, and of course merchandise shop.
Day 2 of our January 2016 trip started like 95% of our vacation days do – late. It was my resolution for this trip that we would be at the parks as close to park opening as possible. We have a night owl baby, which means we have to wake him up to accomplish this. After already running late, halfway to the monorail platform I realized I forgot a key part of the baby’s costume and had to run back to the room. Ok, I speed walked after about 5 seconds of running. Running is a poor choice for me overall, especially so when the overnight low was 31.
Once on the monorail, it was only a 30 minute journey from leaving the Grand Floridian to arriving at Epcot. I meandered around Mission Space and Innoventions West while the other adults rode Test Track with a Fastpass. I bought a Starbucks mug at Fountain View to add to the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios mugs we have already. I got in line for Baymax, but had to leave the line before meeting him.