WDW: September 28

We were out the door after a good, smooth morning (great nights of sleep will start you out right!), and were at the Studios gate at 7:50 for Extra Magic Hours.  After the traditional sugar-loaded breakfast (Butterfinger Cupcake) and the now-traditional run-in with obnoxious CMs regarding character meet and greets, we just headed over to Star Tours 2.0 so I could finally ride!  Kyle and the kids saw Muppetvision while I was at Star Tours and everyone loved both.

Next we said hello to Lightning McQueen and Mater and Jake, followed by the Disney Junior Live show.

Afterward, we said hello to Sorcerer Mickey and went to the Animation Academy.  Oh, how I miss when this gem was hidden!  The girls wanted to come, too, so they did – for the first time of many.  It would become one of their favorite attractions, as predicted, but not as I had predicted.  If you recall, an animator takes you step by step and teaches you how to draw your favorite characters.  I assumed theirs might be 4-year-old versions, but that they would enjoy following along.  Instead, they wanted to draw Mickey – and so they did, while the rest of us drew Dale. Only, Avery (especially) got very distracted by the instructions from what she was doing and drew a sort of Mickey-Dale hybrid…

But they had fun. 🙂

We met back up with Kyle and Nolan, who had just woken up from a nap, and headed for Toy Story Mania.  Unfortunately, only Avery and Daddy got to ride because Elise was in timeout, but we all survived. Barely 😉  Lunch was the girls’ choice (not a lot we love at the Studios), so we went right around the corner to Pizza Planet.

After leaving the studios and running to the hotel to grab a few things, we were on to our next stop – Animal Kingdom!  Our first “must do” (which we must do every trip) was the Festival of the Lion King.  The girls have always been engrossed in this show – and who isn’t?! – but they get more and more interested in it each time.  When they grow up, Avery wants to live her mama’s dream and be “the girl bird”… and Elise wants to be the first girl Tumble Monkey! 🙂

We went to our parade spot next (yes, we have a spot for each and every parade), but discovered some changes and had a bit of a rough go.  First it poured, again (and despite a 0% chance of rain forecasted), as was becoming the norm for this trip.  Also, the parade went a totally different route unexpectedly, so we had to wait nearly an hour longer than we planned.  I swear, I had better get back to actually planning if we aren’t going to go as frequently.  Sheesh!

After the parade eventually went by, the girls only intermittently paying attention because we were all soaked to the bone, we went to Pangani Forest trail to hide under some tree cover.  Of course, the animals were also avoiding the rain, so that was pretty lame.  I remember hiding a few more places during the worst of the downpour, but it hardly mattered – we were soaking wet, and still had dinner reservations to make.

Overall, despite our physical discomfort, dinner was great.  Tusker House is always a favorite, and they even let us take the stroller in so Nolan (who wasn’t yet sitting well) wouldn’t have to be held while we were trying to manage everyone at a buffet.

Our walk out of the park was serene again, as I always try to book that particular reservation for the end of the day so we are walking out of the park well after closing.  Back at the hotel relatively early, we dried out a bit, the girls got to color and play, and it was eventually time for bed.