WDW: September 30

With a regular 9am open, we had no problem getting to the Magic Kingdom in plenty of time for the Welcome Show and rope drop.  Our first stop was to see Tink – and meet her sister, Periwinkle!   Elise and Avery got a lot of sweet attention from Tink and Peri, being twins.  (Side note: as I’m writing this, it appears Peri’s prediction was right – Ohio actually did get some snow this winter.  My girls are thrilled!  I’m sure I’ll fill you in on our snow play, oh, next Spring. 😉

Our next stop was the Magic Carpets, where we were just one ride away from riding with Aladdin and Jasmine!

Then it was time to say hello to Woody and Jessie, before finally riding Splash Mountain!  Somehow I ended up riding first, despite Kyle waiting years to ride with his girls, and – while they liked it ok – it took some convincing to get them to ride it again with him.  I was a bit worried!
We had then planned to try the Citrus Swirl after its famous return, but the machine was down – so we settled for a dole whip 😉 while we waited for Ariel and Eric to arrive.  That Ariel is one smart cookie, even pointing out Nolan’s yellow outfit “just like a little Flounder”.   Of course I planned it as such, but doubted anyone else would take notice.  I always knew I liked her! 
A very tired Nolan and I went to Columbia Harbor House and got lunch ready while Kyle and the girls returned for their ride on Splash (which they loved).  Lunch was delicious, and it turned out one of our last “to dos” for the morning, getting an autograph from the Fairy Godmother, wasn’t happening today because she was busy elsewhere.  We’ll have to find her another time!
About halfway through our trip and moving much more slowly with girls out of a stroller, we realized that even with a 10-day vacation we’d have to miss some favorites if we wanted much downtime.  We reevaluated and reprioritized on our way back to the hotel.  We “rented” Ariel’s Beginning from Community Hall, which Elise and Avery have wanted to see for some time, and rested for a couple of hours.  
Avery actually slept during rest, but it was Elise who apparently needed to do so.  She had a huge meltdown as we were about to leave – so it was Avery’s turn for some one-on-one time with Mama.  To Epcot we went!

After riding Spaceship Earth, Avery and I went to the Food & Wine Festival Center for a pin and to check out the Chase Members Lounge and try to get our wristbands for the special members-only Illuminations viewing area.  We got some free candy and soda, and learned the “rules” about the wristbands.  Namely, that we would all have to arrive before noon to get them – and considering the next day, our other option for Illuminations, was Epcot’s 30th Birthday celebration?  We knew we would not be going to another park first if we wanted them!
Next my little shopper and I went to Mousegear to scout out some souvenirs and buy some 30th anniversary stuff while we waited for Kyle, Elise and Nolan to arrive.  We watched the fountains dance, and eventually her other half made her appearance. 🙂

Once we were all together, we went straight to the France pavilion – but on this particular day of the week Belle was not meeting the last time slot of the day.  The girls were disappointed because they had wanted to show her their beautiful new dresses, but they did very well.  Dinner at Les Chefs de France, one that we always “almost” choose but never quite makes our final list, was outstanding!  After dinner we began an Agent P mission, but didn’t even get back to the pavilion where we were to start before the worst downpour of the trip began.  We were prepared with ponchos and umbrellas but it was raining so hard – one of those rains that is in every direction, including up from the ground – that we were still soaked in no time at all.
By the time we made it back to the car, we literally had to strip the kids down to practically nothing because they were saturated – and pouring rain themselves.  Blech.
The picture I got after tweeting how miserable and upset the girls were that it was raining the whole trip. Stinkers 😉
The next day’s forecast actually called for rain… so we were hoping it was wrong.  If these other days were supposed to be dry, we didn’t want to see what it might have in store!