Thursday, January 16, 2014

January 2014 Trip Recap- 1/9/14

Thursday morning we decided to go back to the Health and Fitness Expo to get Mom's race packet.  It seemed like the best idea to get that over with.  Eliot still wanted to get his sneakers, and we knew that the line was only going to get longer.  The volunteers who checked us in the day before said that we could get Mom's packet as long as we had her waiver signed and her ID, so it was the perfect plan.  (Or so we thought!)  

Upon arrival, we had to park in the overflow parking area again.  At least this time we were parked pretty close to the front.  It wasn't that busy yet!  On the walk to the Expo, we stopped to take photos with the displays of the medals.

Afterwards, we split up: Dad and Jeremy went off to take care of Mom's race packet and Eliot and I went to the baseball field to get in line for his shoes.  He actually had to stand in line to sign up to get a number.  Once New Balance was ready for him, they would email him and call his number so he could try on his shoes.  (So that was how they were controlling the flow of people buying the New Balance shoes!)  They wouldn't even let you try on a pair of shoes unless you had a number.  You could buy a few pairs of shoes once it was your turn. I thought that I might try some on, but I still wasn't sold on buying a pair.  There were still about 200-250 people in front of him anyways.

Eliot and I headed over to the Official Race Weekend Merchandise area so we could get the shirts that we picked out the day before.  Eliot ended up getting the orange one and I got the women's blue shirt.  I won't lie; I had major marathon shirt envy!  Check out those awesome blue and pink shirts!  (This is why I really need to do the Princess Weekend. The chances of me finding some pinks and purples greatly increases, right?)

After buying our race gear, we looked around a few of the other booths before deciding to get out of there.  Dad and Jeremy were unsuccessful in their mission to get Mom's packet.  (Apparently, she did have to be there to get it.)  Therefore, they had already left to go to Hollywood Studios.  Eliot and I were stuck at the Wide World of Sports, so we took another bus to Pop Century and went to Hollywood Studios that way.  Thankfully, we didn't have to wait too long for the buses!

When we arrived at Hollywood Studios, the first thing I noticed was that the Christmas decorations were still up!  The large tree outside of the gates was still there. As Eliot and I walked into the main entrance we saw that Hollywood Boulevard was still decorated for Christmas too!  Dad and Jeremy were already in line for Star Tours so we made our way over to the Animation Courtyard.  

I really wanted to go into the Magic of Disney Animation to see the drawings.  It's one of my favorite parts of Hollywood Studios.  I remember going in there when I was just a kid and I was amazed at all of the drawings and the paint colors.  I think it's one of the main reasons that I love design so much!

We went into the section with the drawings Disney animators had made. I love seeing the different backgrounds like the streets, jungles, forests and towns.  My favorite part of this section is the castles!  I love all of the sketches and paintings of the Disney castles!

Afterwards, we headed to the other side.  I wanted to watch the animators while they worked on cell art for the store!   The room next door had a ton of Frozen displays.  At this point, I started to get my hopes up.  The last time Eliot and I were at Disney, we got to see artwork from Wreck it Ralph in the Production Gallery. The trip prior to that, I got to see artwork from Tangled.  I was really hoping to see art from Frozen!

We walked through the doors and there it was!  I saw a large poster of Anna, Kristoff and Olaf across the room!  We saw three cases of Frozen artwork and sketches.  It was incredible. I wanted to take pictures of everything.  Dad and Jeremy met us there and we decided to watch the Animation show with Mushu.  (It's really cute and informative if you haven't seen it before.)  It was fun watching Disney characters come to life.  Afterwards, I went back to the Production Gallery to take pictures of the Frozen artwork.

I really wanted to go to the Animation Academy to learn how to draw a Disney character. (Not surprisingly, it wasn't on the top of anyone else's to do list.)  I've never been and I've always thought that it would be fun.  I decided to hold off since it was supposed to rain in the afternoon and I didn't want to ruin my artwork, so we passed on it.  We didn't get time to go back this trip, but I'm super determined to go there next time!

Instead, we walked over to the see when the Voyage of the Little Mermaid was playing again.  We had plenty of time, so we walked over towards One Man's Dream. Dad and Jeremy hadn't been in there before, so Eliot and I took them there.  I absolutely love all of the models in there.  It brings me back to the hours I spent in my interior design studio classes designing and building models.

After we left One Man's Dream, we went back to the Little Mermaid.  (Even the Little Mermaid show still had it's Christmas decorations up!)  We watched the show, which I'm sure Dad and Jeremy hadn't seen in a really long time.  I also remember going to see it when I was really little.  Then Dad left to pick Mom, Nana and Papa up.  

A little while after Dad left, it started to rain.  And it didn't just rain; the sky opened up and it poured.  We ran for Beauty and the Beast, but the theater was already closed off. Eliot, Jeremy and I ended up hopping from shop to shop on Sunset Boulevard along with a bunch of other guests trying to stay dry as possible.

Finally, it let up enough for us to brave the weather to go across the park to Muppet Vision 3D.  Jeremy has always loved the Muppets so I wanted to make sure that we made time to go over there.  We were hoping to make the 4:15 Beauty and the Beast show after the Muppets, but we missed it by about 10 minutes.  

With the wait times backed up and nothing else we wanted to do at that point, we decided it was time to make our way over to Epcot.  After all, we were planning on going to watch IllumiNations that night anyways!  We made our way to the Epcot bus stop and watched a few ducks play in the puddles while we waited.

We beat everyone else to the park and ended up looking around the Art of Disney store while we waited.  I love looking at all of the different art styles from all of the artists. Eliot and I showed Jeremy the Thomas Kincade paintings and how you could often find Disney characters from other movies in his paintings.  Eliot and I love looking for them. I even found Bambi and Jiminy Cricket in the Lion King painting!

Eventually, we met the rest of my family at Spaceship Earth.  We had to split up so Mom went on the ride with Papa, Dad and Jeremy.  Eliot and I went with Nana.  I sat in the back with Nana and we had tons of fun creating our future on the ride.  (Apparently, we're also from the ocean off the coast of Maine because I have no accuracy or aim on a screen.)  Afterwards, we got a good laugh at Eliot's picture postcard with Eeyore and Duffy! He had held his backpack up when they took his photo!  It was too funny.

We slowly made our way over to the Living Seas and the Seas with Nemo and Friends ride.  We love going to the Living Seas every trip!  It holds a special place in our hearts since Eliot and I had our wedding reception there!  After, we went upstairs to watch the fish in the aquarium.  There was actually another reception or event going on in the Living Seas Salon because we could see the lights on!  (It's kind of weird to be on the other side of that glass looking over from afar!)  We also got to see a few scuba divers in the tank!

We walked over to the World Showcase to watch IllumiNations.  We always seem to start at Canada and walk around the lagoon counterclockwise.  We stopped at the France Pavilion to visit the Terrace des Fleurs where we had our VIP IllumiNations viewing and Dessert Party after our reception.  It was blocked off and set up because there was also an event going on there!  We talked to one of the ladies there, and she said that the bride and groom were probably cutting their cake!  (So there really was another wedding reception going on that the Living Seas!)  We told her that we got married there and talked to her for a few minutes.

The rest of my family started to move along but I was still talking to the Cast Member for a few minutes.  The next thing I know, she offered me and my family VIP passes to watch IllumiNations on the lower level of the Terrace since it wasn't rented out that night! I thanked her and gave them back since there was no wheelchair access, but was incredibly thankful.  I didn't even know that was possible!  I wish I'd gotten the cast members name. She was so nice and a such a pleasure to talk to!

We made our way around the showcase with Italy as our destination.  I knew that we would have a great view from the Italy West Isola.  (It's actually the original location that Eliot and I wanted our Dessert Party.)  You have a great view of the center of the lagoon, as well as prime viewing of the globe when it floats out to the center.

On our journey over to Italy, we stopped at the American Adventure section to get some fried dough.  I knew that there was a funnel cake stand.  We found a few dry benches under the main building and Eliot and Jeremy went off to get the food.  Eliot and I attempted to split one since he didn't think he'd like it.  He ended up eating more than anyone else. We should have gotten one extra one.  Next time, we each get our own!

We poked around the store for a few minutes.  It featured items from small businesses all over the United States.  I was drawn to some bags because I thought they looked familiar.  Sure enough, when we were close enough to read the tags, they were made in Maine! I had just seen some of these at our mall before Christmas.  They're bags made of recycled sails from sail boats!

Eventually, we made it to Italy and staked our our viewing space about an hour before the show.  Eliot decided to skip the show and go over to Test Track since the line wasn't that long.  I love IllumiNations, and I wanted to be able to watch it from the best view possible so I bade him farewell and stayed.

The IllumiNations show was amazing, as always.  It was fun to watch the show without any trees in our way.  (At Terrace des Fleurs, the islands are slightly in the way.)  In addition, there were no cameras, video cameras or photographers instructing us to pose. This is the first time I've seen IllumiNations since our wedding where we could fully see the show and enjoy it!  I loved it!  After the show, they played Eliot's and my wedding song, "Promise." It was a little weird to have it playing without him being there.  Oh well. 

We made our way back towards Future World continuing our counterclockwise journey through the World Showcase.  I proceeded to sing the Tapestry of Nations music while slightly dancing to the music.  People looked at me like I was crazy.  It's a good soundtrack ok?  Maybe I do know all of the lyrics and music and I have heard it one too many times. But that's no reason to stare!  Right?

Anyways, we met up with Eliot near Showcase Plaza.  Eliot, Jeremy and I headed for the Monorail over to the Transportation and Ticket Center since Dad knew exactly where to pick us up from the night before.  It also killed some time while they were going back to the hotel.  We got there about the same time as him.  Then we went home to bed!  °o°

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