One of the perks of staying at a Disney Motel is you get extra hours at the parks. We took advantage of this several times. There is a new roller coaster at Animal Kingdom called Everest. Andrew, Taylor, Kaitlin, John and Marisa used extra hours on our last day to ride this new ride. They were up and had the car packed by 7am. They were the only ones on the bus to Animal Kingdom from our motel. They LOVED the ride and were able to ride it twice and get to to EPCOT by 9am.
UJ and AE and Carl and I were at the bus stop at 8. We made our way to EPCOT. We got to see Mickey and Minnie as they arrived at the park. We raced to Soarin and rode it. It is one of my favorite rides. You are on a swing of sorts and you are lifted into the air in front of a screen. You soar through the air in California. As you pass the Redwoods, you can smell evergreen and when you go through an orange grove, you can smell the oranges. It is wonderful.
When we got off the ride, we met A, T, K, J, and M. That day seems very short. Andrew wanted to be on the road back to Valdosta by 5. We ate lunch in Japan and it was delicious. We didn't really stay together on this day.
Carl and I went to American and heard the beautiful acappella singers. If you have never done this, you must. It happens 30 minutes before every show that takes place in America. Go into the rotunda and sit on the floor by the inner circle on the floor. No one else will be sitting there but they will follow when you do. As soon as the singers come out they will praise you and tell everyone to join you.
Epcot has a place where you can stand in line and see lots of characters- Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy. The folks taking the pictures will take your picture with their Disney camera and then if you ask they will with your camera too. When we walked up to Donald and he saw that Andrew had on Mickey ears, he took the ears off of Andrew and handed them to someone not with our group so that they would not be in our picture with him! Donald also was quite taken with Marisa and stood between John and Marisa every chance he could.
Carl had lots of work going on, on our last day. He couldn't be with us because of phone calls as we were with the characters so we had to punt. Carl loves Goofy and if you remember he wore a Goofy hat for his Mickey ears pictures. Since we didn't have Carl, we took a family picture with a stand-in.
The last ride we rode before we left the park was Spaceship Earth. It has been upgraded wonderfully. Your picture is taken and used in a story in your little car. It is hilarious.
Kaitlin was asked by some of her friends what was she going to be doing over her Christmas break. When she said that she was going to Disney with her family, some were stunned. Why, she was asked, would she want to go on vacation with her family???? How sad. I am so blessed to be able to take such a wonderful vacation with my brothers, their wives and my children. And they all wanted to go too! Wade, my pest control expert, house painter, and bathroom remodeler, when he found out where we were going, was quick to point out that he had never been to Disney. I just didn't have any more room or we would have taken him too!!!!