Today was Epcot Day. Breakfast was a quick and simple fare at Riverside Mill food court at the resort. We tried to maximise what was the last full WDW day for Ethel as she will fly out tomorrow evening. This meant modifying the plan that had been set out by our theme park strategist. We made it to the park in time for the rope drop ceremony. Our dedicated fastpass runner collected our cards in preparation for the stampede toward Soarin. He performed this task with high distinction, managing to collect a rider swap as well in the process. By the time the rest of the gang got there, we were able to walk on to living with the land. And returned to Soarin at a leisurely pace where half the group went on followed by the other half. In the meantime, the first half then collected fastpasses for test track.
We had to veer off the attractions program to find time to shop. It had to be done before 12am so as to be able to use our 20% discount voucher. We could not fight our Asian bargain hunting genes. We bought ourselves some Mickey ears and photo frames which we got delivered to our room. We then had to rush to get to Test track. We had cancelled our lunch reservation for Biergarten earlier. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we were craving Asian food. Yes it had only been 2 days since we left Sydney but that's beside the point! We trekked to Japan for lunch at Yakitori house. It was mediocre Japanese but there was rice, udon and Teriyaki sauce to sate the Asian taste buds for the time being!
Drum exhibition at the Japan Pavillion
Our friends headed back to resort but we chose to wander a little through the world showcase just taking in the sights. Being the good chinese, half chinese and almost chinese that we are, we actually went into the China pavillion! The children wanted to try a Kimpossible mission but it ended up being a no go as we had run out of time. We headed towards Magic Kingdom for Lara's Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique appointment at 330pm. We hopped on to yet another efficient Disney transportation system, the monorail. Before long, we had reached our destination, Cinderella's castle. Lara was pampered and made over to a princess by 2 ladies. They put so much gel in her hair that I am sure it would be enough to hold up the Eiffel Tower. The boys thankfully were content going on the carousel and eating ice-cream with Dad.
A quick dash in to buy a temporary costume cost the King and Queen some dough...(we had to take the T-shirt off before the make-over for fear that it might ruin Her Royal Highnesses hairdo but we had to wait for the Kohs to return for the official Princess costume which we had left in our room. sigh. )
We then walked around Magic Kingdom whilst waiting for our friends. The atmosphere was definitely different with crowds. We finally got to meet up with the Yeohs. And what a wonderful reunion dinner it was celebrating Elyssa's third Birthday at Cinderella's Royal Table. Cinderella just looked absolutely beautiful and royal as she greeted us. We were seated with a view out towards the glass windows toward Fantasyland. We had a great waiter with a fantastic sense of humour. Everything was "royal". The girls loved the princesses. They ooh and aahed, and clapped excitedly as they came out. The "little" princesses were fawned over by the "real" princesses. Snow White and Aurora were especially attentive which made it such a lovely experience. The boys enjoyed their swords. Jonah enjoyed his sword a little too much...Things were getting destroyed left, right and centre.
The food was suprisingly not bad. I had the shrimp salad, fried chicken and creme caramel and enjoyed them all. It was soon time to use the wishing stars. It was so sweet to see the children were wishing so hard on their stars. They barely had time to recover from that experience when the Birthday cake was brought out!
The Princesses...Aurora, Cinderella and Snow White
The Birthday Girl
Much happier with presents being opened!
Wishing hard on that wishing star...
But the night was still young! We ventured into Mickey's philharmagic after dinner. The sight of Jonah trying to grab things things in the air was just hilarious. After the show, all he kept saying was "Donald fell down". We manged to squeese in one more ride on account of Malcolm's fastpass obsession. He got one for Winnie the Pooh just before dinner...
We finally trudged back to the rest but what a trudge it was! The Magic Kingdom was spectacularly lit up with Christmas lights and decorations. The smell of cookies and sounds of Christmas carols filled the air. The atmosphere was simply magical. However, with crowds lining the streets in preparation for the parade, it was near impossible to get out!!!! We also ended up waiting a while for a bus. In the meantime, it was frustrating to see 3 buses zoom by for the french quarter.
A last glimpse of the castle before heading homeWith the Yeohs arrival also came the delivery of much needed supplies including downy wrinkle release spray for the cruise, purex 3 in 1 washing sheets, scopolamine patches, fleece lined jeans and thermals for Jonah as well mobile phones and sim cards. The Yeohs had kindly purchased our goods for us on a previous recent trip to the US. Ah, what would we have done without friends!