So as we sat in the hotel one night we had turned the television on but had never changed the channel. After a few minutes we realized we were watching the “things to do at Disney” channel. That is when we saw it, one of the newest character visits at the park was Merida from Brave. She has become important to my family. When I was in the hospital, Frank and the girls went to the movies and saw it together. It was one of the first nights while I was still in the ICU after the prophylactic mastectomy. The girls got a bit emotional as they drew connections between struggles with Merida’s mother and their own.
According to the television, Merida was in Epcot. We had already been to Epcot and did not see her. We tried to look it up on the internet but found a wide array of stories. Seems she is so new that as they tested the character and first put her out with crowds she moved around a bit. We were able to find some cast members who told us exactly where to find her, in Magic Kingdom.
Thursday morning we had plans for breakfast at Cinderella’s castle. Merida was right down the path from there so right from breakfast we went. It was 25 minutes before she was even due to start her day the line was forming. We took our place and patiently waited. AT 9:15 the door opened and in the line moved. They have set her up in an area that was being used for Rapunzel the last time we were at the park. From what we are told during the initial roll out kids were allowed to shoot an arrow with her but it seems that has stopped. I can only assume that it took too long. For those wondering what happened to Rapunzel, it seems that she will join the new Princess Fairytale Hall currently under construction.
The visit was excellent! She chats with the kids and is very playful. She stole the hat of one of the cast members at one point hiding it behind her back. They all play along looking around for it as she places it on a father in line. She then is the one to “find it” announcing that “he took it!”. With others she takes children and hides with them or tells silly stories. It makes for a much longer line, but a much more fun and interactive visit.
When it was time for Meg and Madi to visit, Merida came over to the line to meet them. She immediately took their books and signed talking the entire time. The girls walked with her over to the picture spot. They posed and then both gave her a hug. Frank and I were starting to move along when we noticed Merida and Madi sneaking off to the side of the stage. They hide and snuck around for a few seconds until “found” by other cast members. She then gave Madison a hug and we were on our way.
I know this sounds ridiculous but it brought a small tear to my eye. It made Madison’s day! Well worth the wait!
It has been a busy few days. So yesterday we went to Hollywood studios and once there realized there was much more to do then we realized on our last Disney visit. I also came to realize that no one needs to eat the way we have been so far. At brunch, which was enjoyed at the 50’s prime time dinner with the same waiter who severed us on our last trip to Disney, I went online and changed some things around. Several meal reservations were canceled and some others moved around allowing us to go back to Hollywood on Friday all day.
There was another rain shower which ironically happened once again while we were eating. (The Brown Derby this time for those keeping track). By the time we were finished the sun was out and our plans for Fantasmic were still on track. The show was very cool and enjoyed by all. It was another late night which was starting to take a toll on the girls. The wait for the bus was way too long and then way too crowded and way too hot. The only complaint I have about this Disney experience is the bus service, but I will leave it there.
By this morning Madi was just not herself. Now, on the only other family vacation we have ever taken she ended up with and ear infection half way through. This morning she was complaining of her stomach. There was no fever so I wrote it off to all of the eating, (as we headed out to Chef Mickey’s for breakfast). She was kind of blah there but did enjoy the characters. Throughout breakfast though we had to hit the bathroom a few times. It became very clear to me that the stomach pain was also an intestinal issue.
We headed to Epcot and hit every bathroom along the route. Madison was cranky and for the first time we had real rain. We had a great lunch in Canada and had originally talked about making it an early day back to the hotel. After lunch it started to clear so we decided to head back to the magic kingdom for a little bit. We were stunned to find one of the smallest crowds we have ever seen there. Megan rode space mountain 4 times in under 40 minutes with Frank and I switching on and off with sitting with Madison who did not want to do anything. I know, someone is thinking how awful we are to make here hang out but after a year of prep, thousands of dollars spent and massive anticipation shit happens!
We left the park by 7:30 and hit the hotel by 8:15. By 8:30, my poor Madison had thrown up everything she has consumed during the day. She calmly took herself to the bathroom, announced to me what had happened and then told me she felt much better. I stripped her down and let her soak in the tube for a while and she was in bed by 9:15. She seemed tired but fully normal. She had a drink and a little bite of something to eat with no issue. We have a big day tomorrow at Animal Kingdom, I hope she is feeling better. After all of this time I hate seeing any glimpse of sad faces. Fingers are crossed!
What a busy week so far! We arrived Saturday and were very pleased to be able to check in early at the hotel which of course is beautiful. The only issue we have had is the small argument over which bed the girls will sleep in. Quit honestly if that is the biggest issue, I will take it!
We headed right out to Epcot upon arrival. We finally were able to ride Soarin. The hype over this ride was worth it, awesome! My little Madison is really being a brave girl. When she was a baby she had no fear. For some reason over time she has grown much more nervous of new or unknown things. She also hates the dark but she has been brave riding all but one ride so far, great job Madi!
We were able to catch the fireworks show which was something a year ago we would never have been able to do with Madi. The show was very nice! And yes loved by Madi. I keep telling her she has to trust me!
Day two brought with it an interesting commute to the Magic Kingdom. We jumped on the bus which should have taken us 15 min tops to the gate of the park and sat on it for 45 minutes to them only be dropped at the transportation center. From there we had to make our way through what seemed like thousands of people. Seems there was a princess half marathon that we knew nothing about. We were 30 minutes late for our breakfast with Winnie and friends but were told “no problem”. It was strange seeing people running in tutus and tiaras.
We had a few showers during the day but we somehow stayed dry. We were on the train for one, in lunch for another. I hope this type of luck holds out all week! We enjoyed the extra hours last night not getting back to the hotel until about 11. The girls were wiped out and fell asleep on the bus. A very happy tired!
Time for a shower. Off to Hollywood today.