Tuesday, January 19, 2016


After a (WARM) night's sleep at the Caribbean Beach Resort (we didn't really have a chance to look around too much, but it seems like a really neat place), we woke up and headed out to EPCOT bright and early to make our pre-rope-drop breakfast at the Garden Grill.

Alex was dressed to impress.  Bet you can't tell who her FAVORITE character is?

 Since we were the FIRST people to make it to the FIRST reservation of the day (pat on the back for this Disney loving Mama), ALL the characters were out to greet us.  We snagged a very rare photo with all four characters at the Garden Grill!
 The food was easily the best Disney World breakfast I've been to (I liked it just as much as the Storyteller's Cafe at Disney Land).  The sticky buns were so sweet and gooey, and the rest of the family-style meal was delicious.

Justin was now fully warmed up for the characters.  He JUMPED up to greet Pluto (again) and was so happy when Pluto 'remembered' him from yesterday.
 J's two OTHER favorites (chip and Dale) were here as well.  They were loveable and very NAUGHTY.  They initiated a napkin fight over our table (and involved the kids in it too!).  It got a little out of hand and our server had to tone things down by scolding the mischevious chipmunks!

 The best part about the Garden Grill (besides the rotating restaurant that overlooks the Land ride) is that the characters are amazing and seem to have the time to visit the table three or four times during a meal.  The first time is all about scrambling for sharpies and taking photos, but after that they really take the time to interact with the kids.  Pluto took Justin for a little walk and they found a dog in the farm scene below!

We had a great touring plan, and even though the park was a bit more crowded than I anticipated, we stuck to it and had a fantastic time.  Favorites from the day are as follows:

Club Cool-- free soda samples from around the world...
 Yeah.  This is why this kid doesn't normally get soda--

Test Track.  Justin was SO excited for this ride-- he is finally tall enough to do it.  You get to design your own car and then the computer rates it against similar designs during the ride (mild rollercoaster).  He LOVED it.  Alex was hesitant to go on it (she doesn't like rollercoasters), but I convinced her she'd like it.  She didn't.  She WAS, however, a good sport about the whole thing.  Poor kid.
 We did get to do her favorite ride three (or four) times.

We ALL love Figment and the Journey to Imagination

 For his souvenir, Justin picked out a Test Track hat and pin.  Alex picked out this darling Figment sweatshirt (and she purchased the Figment pillow pet with her savings).  I think that made up for any trauma caused by Test Track earlier in the day.

We lunched at Biergarten in Germany.  It was fun, but a little too loud for my two kids (especially Justin).  Next time we'll settle somewhere a bit calmer for our mid-day break.
Alex and Rorie found Mulan in China---

And then searched for pearls in Japan!

While Rorie had her beautiful pearl made into a ring, the kids and I headed back to ride Figment and get a mid-afternoon snack and watch the fountain dance.  What a great day!

We picked up Miss Kolachi at the boarding kennel (she, once again, seemed to have a fantastic time) and headed out of Walt Disney World when...... what did we see driving along the road.....??
 Why, YES, it is the Delorean from Back the the Future!!!!!
 On to our next adventure.... Crystal River Springs!

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