Have I mentioned how cold it was in Florida last week? This has been FL’s coldest winter in 30 years. We had checked the forecast the week before and expected weather in the 60’s and 70’s. So, I only packed summer clothes, and my poor kids froze their pompies off. Whoopsy. We had one day in the 70’s and the rest were in the 40’s and 50’s. It was a little chilly.
We decided to see Animal Kingdom and Epcot on Tuesday. There were only 2 shuttles back to our hotel in the evening, one at 5:45 and one at 8:30. We decided to stay late since we had to squeeze two parks in. If this were a movie, you would hear sinister “Dum dum DUM!” music right now to indicate approaching disaster.
Animal Kingdom was great. The kids initially didn’t want to go there because they were all about going on rides, but they love animals and had a great time. The Safari ride ended up being a lot of fun, despite some complaining about having to go on it (When Jane saw a rhino, she exclaimed out “I’ve never even seen one before!!!” Maybe you had to be there, but it was cute.).
Mr. Darcy and I loved Expedition Everest, although the kids found it too scary. Their favorite ride that day was Dinosaur, which is a Jurassic Park like ride with dinosaurs jumping out at your jeep the whole time. It scared the pants off of Jane and she refused to go on it again. (We had used the Kids Swap passes, so they usually got to go on the rides twice while Mr. Darcy and I took turns riding.) In hindsight, I wished that we had spent more time at Animal Kingdom because the kids really enjoyed themselves and we left before we had seen everything we had wanted to.
After lunch we took a bus to Epcot. But, after a few hours, the kids were really starting to drag. The Boy suddenly declared his shoes to be too small, and he couldn’t bear to walk another step. There really aren’t that many rides at Epcot, and unfortunately the lines were very long that afternoon. We did get to see the dolphin show in the aquarium, which was neat. After dinner, it was getting very cold and the kids were pooped. We ran out of things to see (well, that the kids were willing to walk to), so we decided to take a bus back to Magic Kingdom to go on a few rides we had run out of time for the day before. Cue the sinister music again. This was a bad, bad, very bad idea.
We only had about an hour and a half until the late shuttle, and we decided to go on Pirates of the Caribbean. None of the kids were very impressed with it, and Jane was a bit terrified. She thought we were going to be hit by the cannonballs. After Pirates, we thought we still had some time to kill, when really we should have gotten the heck out of the park. So, we went on some magic carpet ride, and then… the biggest mistake of the day was going on Jungle Cruise. Which is cheesy and filled with bad jokes and fake, unconvincing animals even on a good day. But, at 8:15 in the dark it was even worse. And it was longer than we had anticipated, so as we got off the ride the fireworks show was just ending and millions and millions of people were all rushing for the exits at the same time as we were.
We tried to beat the rush without losing our kids in the swarm of people, but it was hopeless. We had 15 minutes to get out of the park, on the monorail and back to where the bus was waiting. But the monorail line was enormous and time was ticking away quickly. I told the kids that as soon as we got off the monorail we had to run as fast as we could to get to the buses. But, let’s be honest… after almost 12 hours of walking they couldn’t move very fast. And me being a giant fatty with a baby strapped onto me, I wasn’t moving much faster. By the time we got there panting and sweating, the bus was gone. Dum. Dum. Dum.
So, the good news is that there was a later bus, but the bad news was that it didn’t leave until 9:45 and the parks were all closing and it was freezing cold and our kids were exhausted. To kill time we rode the monorail back and forth for about 40 minutes. And by the time we dragged our weary selves to the next bus, Lizzy couldn’t take anymore. She sobbed the entire way. The bus took about an hour to get back to our hotel (because it stopped at many other hotels along the way). My kids usually go to bed at 8 p.m. and were melting down fast. But, by 11 pm, they were all tucked into bed and asleep, and all was right with the world.