We're Back Part 2

I started yesterday's recap of our adventure with Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure...

In reality, we spent our first day at the Magic Kingdom...we spent about 13 hours there to be more accurate...it was a long day, but because of my Spreadsheet Man, we were smooth sailing the entire time!

However, I promised the UNbelievable thing #1 today and I want to deliver that to you...

Let me back up just a tad, to give some background info...because you see, this has happened a few times to me, but not really to this extent before...

Y'all know I'm a rather wordy person...I will talk to anyone about anything (as long as they appear somewhat friendly, or if I'm in a crabby, ornery mood and then I'll talk to just about anyone even if they appear to be a snob...I digress)

It's how we were "family of the day" TWICE at Disney about 4 years ago...because who knew if you start trying to get the people waiting in line an hour early to sing Disney songs together, or even start the wave, that Cast Members take notice...it's how I sometimes get free Starbucks (although I think it's more because they can't handle my ever running mouth and just want to get me OUT of the drive through as quickly as possible!!!) 

I do recognize that I need to tone it down at times...I promise I'm working on it :) 

Anyway...the point is, I tend to meet people everywhere and I love it...absolutely, utterly and thoroughly love it...words are my love language!

SO, I started talking again with people in line while at Universal Studios. 
And then their kids joined in, 
and my kids joined in 
and my hubby joined in...
and soon we were ALL talking and chatting it up and not long after that we found ourselves linking arms and running down the streets towards Gringotts...

we thought that might be the last of it and said our goodbyes...

but sure enough, at the end of the day, we "happened" to be at the SAME bathroom in the entire park and we took a picture to commemorate...

Our schedules were seemingly different from then on, but we thought there might be a possible meet up at Animal Kingdom on Friday, yet, we weren't planning on it persay...

we were wrong again...

The next morning, unbeknownst to us, they had rearranged their schedule due to park crowd projections and we RAN INTO THEM IN THE PARKING LOT of the Universal park on Tuesday.

This time we hung out a bit more, did coasters together, talked more, found more in common...

they are teachers, they love Jesus, their kids are fantastic (this is just to name a few)

We said goodbye again and crossed our fingers for Friday...UNTIL...

I got a text on THURSDAY saying, "we ended up at magic kingdom today and thought we may run into you here?"

turns out AT THAT MOMENT both our families were running for the same coaster at the Magic Kingdom on Thursday...

seriously people, this stuff just isn't made up and it just left us dumbfounded and laughing...because neither family was planning meet ups, we already had our "spreadsheet" and they had theirs...however, it was somehow orchestrated...all these "happenstance meetings"...

Sure enough, AS WE GET ON BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN on the LAST CAR of the train, WHO HAPPENS TO BE GETTING INTO THE FRONT CAR OF THE VERY SAME TRAIN??  
Yep...there they were again...we ended up on the same ride at the same time...and WE had had a FAST PASS and they were in the stand by line...

Friday finally came and we planned our meet up and basically spent the day together at Animal Kingdom...we went on Mt. Everest 3 times in a row with them in a span of 25 minutes...we saw shows, ate icecream, and ended up making lifelong friends...

they are from SEATTLE, WASHINGTON for heavens sake!!!

I chalk this all up to UNbelievable things #1 and 3-5 because it was just plain awesome and made our trip just THAT much more enjoyable and memorable and so, so cool!

Now come the pictures, but first take a look at our two families as we "officially" had to say goodbye Friday afternoon (you'll see more of them in our coaster pictures as you scroll through too


Now, that you know my fun story from our trip...here are pictures that show it more clearly...



I'm all about getting pictures on roller coasters..I love the action and expressions and movement!  



Something they've added to Magic Kingdom that they've already had at Epcot are the maps that you can follow and "magically" make things happen by following the clues throughout the park.  We chose a Pirate Adventure during a time when lines were a little longer and had a lot of fun doing so.

The running joke we have with regards to Magic Kingdom was the girls were chosen to receive WANDS and it was MAGICAL...
I however, was chosen to be a HORSE...ummm, not as magical...

That evening we watched a beautiful fireworks display and JUST HAPPENED to sit next to a Cast Member that was "off duty" and had come to the park for dinner with his wife...we spent our 15 minute in between wait time hearing all the ins and outs of the Disney underground, and the fireworks production, as he was an engineer that put together each evening's display!

the next two days were Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure and you can read about that HERE

Wednesday found us at Epcot in the morning and Hollywood studios in the evening...


and yes, for the 2nd time in a row, my husband got himself an "acting gig" for the Indiana Jones show...he's ridiculous and MUCH more of a ham than he let's on...

We had a special treat at Hollywood Studios because our middle daughter begged to see the Walt Disney walk through History museum...As much as I'd love to brag and say that my family is SOOO into history and LEARNING things...ummm, no...the only reason middle daughter dragged the others in there was because she had done a HUGE report about Walt Disney and wanted to double check all her facts...By the end we were so glad she did though because we got an EXCLUSIVE 11 minute preview of the new Beauty & Beast movie with Emma Watson...swoon...



Thursday found us back at the Magic Kingdom and then dinner at Epcot (where the girls and I represented Lake Ann Camp with our sweatshirts)



here's that roller coaster amazement I told you about: (this was our 2nd or 3rd time through)


Friday got us to Animal Kingdom until about dinner and then we headed back to Magic Kingdom to close out the day...



The baby giraffe and roaring lion were probably the highlights of our safari ride! 







This picture cracks me up...and it's the last I'll share...we had NEVER been on Splash Mountain because it had been closed everytime we've ever been to Disney. However, we REALLY wanted to say that we had ridden it...It was FREEZING the last night we were there and we didn't want to get wet...Dad came to the rescue and we became THAT family...




TIPS THAT WORKED FOR US FOR DISNEY PARKS WITH OLDER KIDS:

1. Park hoppers were great this time around...we couldn't have spent an entire day at Hollywood studios or Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom gets a little crowded from time to time.  The park hopper option was wonderful and the longest it took for us to get from one park to the other (getting to our car, driving, parking and to the entrance of another park) was 30 minutes!

2. We stayed off premises, but only 5 minutes from the entrances to the parks...We ate breakfast at the hotel, packed our lunches and ate dinner in the parks.

3. GET THOSE FAST PASSES as early as you are allowed...(30 days prior to your visit) Then AS SOON AS YOU REDEEM YOUR THIRD FAST PASS during the day, get on your app to reserve the next fast pass!  It saves SOOO much time and you hardly ever wait longer than 20 minutes for any particular ride.

4. Get the Touring Guides app to check crowd level projections AND wait times for the lines.

5. TALK TO PEOPLE...engage in conversations, because you may make friends for a lifetime!!!

6. The 7 dwarves ride is similar to Big Thunder just smoother and not as long. 

7. If you lose a fast pass due to a ride being closed during your time, don't worry, they will still honor it when it's up and running again.

8. MK: Our favorite rides are Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean,

9. EPCOT:You can't get a fast pass for Frozen ever After and Soarin at EPCOT at the same time, so if you have the legs for it, get the fast pass for Soarin and then when the park opens, race for Frozen...we were first on and it was fun (but no need to go again, as the lines went up to almost 135 minutes at one point during the day) Soarin does go down throughout the day, but it's our favorite and we like to ride it multiple times...

10. EPCOT:The taste testing Coke place at Epcot is cool and a nice break from wandering all around and it's FREE :)

11. AK: Lion King, Nemo and Flights of Wonder are must-see shows...if you can only go to 2, I'd do Nemo and Flights of Wonder and make sure you do the safari :)

12. HS: we love Toy Story and there are lots of other rides, especially for boys...Star Tours got us sick, but I think that simulation stuff does that to us old folks now.

13. AK: Mt. Everest is a fantastic ride...all of us rode it MULTIPLE times...I thought it'd be scary going backwards for my youngest, but it was super fun! Get there first thing and you should be able to ride 2-3 times before the lines get really long (we rode 3 times in 25 minutes)

Stratton  – (24.2.17)  

Amazing commentary! Bodacious stories! Inconceivable happenstance!

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