Friday, March 15, 2013

Disney Diary, Day 6

(An ongoing recap of our nine-day trip to Disney World.)

So ... are you getting sick of these yet?  * smile *

I'm actually loving them. I get to relive my warm-weathered vacation, day by day, as I look out the window at the mounds of snow and ice.

Anyhow, Day 6 was Thursday and we realized that morning just how fast the trip was going. Soon, we knew, we would be back on the airplane, flying home to the tundra of Minnesota.

So, we quickly put those thoughts out of our mind and took a day to ourselves, heading to Downtown Disney that morning for some shopping (one of my all-time favorite activities).

We checked out some impressive Lego creations...

And Lola said hello to a few favorite princesses...

We tried to grab lunch at Planet Hollywood (Ray really wanted a burger) but it was booked for a private event.

So we instead checked out the boat from "Forrest Gump."

We ended up eating at what would become one of our favorite Disney eateries: Pollo Campero/Bodie's All American. It was kind of a healthy "crunchy" kind of place, seemed organic and vegetarian-ish, which isn't exactly our thing. But it didn't matter at all. Great food.

After lunch, we shopped quite a bit more. I got a new dress and T-shirt (both with fun leather details) while the girls got some toys.

It was a good time.

But it was getting really hot. And Ray was kind of hitting the wall.

Se we went back to the resort. Lola and I left Ray and Millie in the room for a much-needed rest as she and I hit the pool.

We actually didn't spend much time in the pool at all.

She fell in love with the splash pad (which, if you know Lola at all, is rather noteworthy because she's terrified of having water on her face).

But not that day.

She was running, jumping and soaring through those sprinklers, laughing and squealing the whole time.

Afterward, we went back to the hotel, but Ray and Millie were still sound asleep. So Lola and I played a bit out around the resort.

(Can you see her, hiding under the tusk on the left? 
The "elephant graveyard" was a lot of fun.)

We stayed at the Art of Animation in their standard Little Mermaid rooms. As a property, we loved the resort. It was bright, fun and incredibly kid-friendly.

Each section had a theme - our rooms were obviously Little Mermaid-inspired.

There also were the Lion King suites (which is what I'd fight for, personally, if we were to go back).

Cars suites.

And Nemo suites. Each section had its own pool, but the biggest pool, in the center of the resort, was Nemo-inspired (which is why you see clown fish in the background of some of the splash pad pictures).

The whole resort was great.

My biggest complaint - and this is a reach because I, myself, actually liked the exercise, but Ray was occasionally irritated and I heard one woman demanding a new room because she couldn't walk that far - the Little Mermaid rooms are a long walk from Animation Hall (the main building). And that's where the food/restaurant, gift shop, game room, etc., all are located. 

We heard one couple say they thought it was three-fourths a mile each way from the Little Mermaid rooms (though I think, personally, it couldn't have been much more than half a mile).

But with kids - and the frequency in which you're getting breakfast, catching buses, eating, etc., it does get to be a long ways off. Add in a stroller (or in our case, a double jogging stroller) and it can get a bit old.

Anyhow, once Ray and Millie did wake up, we decided to take an evening trip to Epcot.

And it was so worth it.

 (Notice how we now have a group photo? Yeah, I finally got around to paying the 
$150-plus for the Disney PhotoPass CD last week. Expensive, yes, but in my opinion, 
quite worth it. We got access to about 300 images taken for us by numerous Disney 
photographers, including our "full family" group shots at each Disney World park.)

Millie had a fabulous time that night. We were hanging out waiting for the "Turtle Talk with Crush" show as she noticed the actual, real fish.

She was entranced.

And finally, after six days at Disney World, we got to see Mickey and Minnie.

Lola actually thanked Mickey.

"Thank you for letting us come play at Disney World," she said, shyly.

Too sweet.

Minnie was a big hit too.

Especially for Millie. She loved seeing the characters from afar, but got timid when they up close. But when it came time to see Minnie, she actually smiled.

For Lola, meeting Pluto was her dream come true.

(And I didn't even know she was a huge Pluto fan.)

Just look at how she danced in excitement!

It really was (another) wonderful day.

- Bethany :)

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