December 12, 2019-Dennie's December Dash to Disney

(click here for today's pictures)

We let the kids sleep until about 9:30 this morning. It did kind of kill us to have to miss a few fast passes and not be able to rope drop, but everyone needed their sleep. Even with all of that extra sleep, we moved pretty slowly. Robby had moved our birthday lunch reservations so lunch was at 12:10, so we had no need to rush.

Now, I should have been working on my blog or packing up, instead I was internet browsing. I am starting to panic a little bit since I have 24 Christmas presents still left to buy. And yes, I don’t even have 24 people to buy presents for, but some of the gifts are small and some people I haven’t bought anything for. I think I need to breathe into a bag since Christmas is in 13 days and our celebrations begin in 11. Deep breaths, deep breaths. I guess I will do some internet shopping on the way home!

The traffic was a little thick going to Wilderness Lodge so it took us longer than expected. That was fine though because it was raining off and on all morning long. When we went through the gate at the Wilderness Lodge, the man told us, “Welcome home.” Aww, seriously, how neat that was. 

The lodge is one of my very favorite places-it ranks right up there with the Yellowstone Lodge. We walked around the lodge and took a family picture in front of their Christmas tree-with Graham this time.

We rode the elevator to the top floor to look over the balcony. Then we walked by the hidden little fireplace that was on my list to discover. There was a man on a couch there sound asleep and a lady covered up with a blanket reading a book. Those are really my vacation goals. 

Before our lunch at Whispering Canyon, we walked outside to see the geyser erupt. It started out small. Then the wind caught the water and soon all of the observers were getting wet. Robby and I and most wise other people moved out of the way. Not the Dennie kids-well, Reagan eventually moved with Anderson close behind her. The others, soaking wet!

Next up it was time for lunch. The restaurant was loud and quite entertaining. When the waiter asked Whitman what he wanted to drink, Whitman replied with a confident, “6.” I guess that he was telling his age. It was hysterical.

We had enough food for another family or two to eat. Too bad we couldn’t take anything home with us. I had BBQ nachos which were really good. Reagan and Graham split the skillet meal which was all you can eat. Needless to say, they didn’t need a refill at all. Anderson, since it was his birthday, was allowed to order a milkshake. It was also refillable, and he certainly refilled it.

After the meal was over, the waiter had Anderson and Campbell stand up so the crowd could sing Happy Birthday to them. He had one cupcake with a lit candle that they were both holding. When the song was over, the waiter blew out the candle and took a huge bite of the cupcake. It was hysterical. Afterwards, he did bring a new cupcake for Anderson and Campbell. By this time though, we were all so, so full. 

After we ate, we walked around the hotel some more-the chefs were giving out gingerbread cookies by the gingerbread house. We tried to cookies, but they weren’t our favorites. Though I did save them for me to munch on tomorrow. The kids found someone to do some pin trading with,

Then it was time to get our car before heading to the Magic Kingdom. It was still spitting rain and the rain came down pretty hard while we were sitting in the car after parking. Robby had to do a bit of work before we started our big evening. That was fine though because it gave us time to assess what exactly we would need to take with us for the rest of the night.

Ponchos! That is what we needed. Actually, we just needed them off and on until about 9ish. Wet ponchos are a mess, but we survived and it might have just lessened the crowd during the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Before the party started, we rode Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean with our Fast Passes. We had just watched the Swiss Family Robinson on the way here, so it was neat to walk through their treehouse for a bit tonight, Then we were able to get our bands for the party. It was then a walk down Main Street to collect something from the Fire Station,

Then we entered through the official party entrance and received our first cookies-a Minnie Mouse shaped sugar cookie with sprinkles. Next was Buzz with our last Fastpass of the evening. 

After riding Buzz, the rain had started up again so we went to get in line for the 7 Dwarfs, Robby had really wanted to get a picture with them. We had heard that the lines are often long, but thankfully they were decent tonight. We were probably in line for almost an hour, but it was worth it for that picture stop.

When we left the Dwarfs, we received our first snowman shaped pretzel. It was warm and delicious. Now, it would have been better with some sauce to dip it in, but it was Whitman’s favorite treat of the night. And yes, even with all of the cookies that we received tonight, he never found one that he liked.

We will talk cookies for a minute here. They had about 10 stops where you could walk in line receive a cookie. Some places had strawberry fanta, eggnog, hot cocoa, or apple cider, but they all had a packaged cookie. Many of my kiddos especially Keaton with her little grin, would ask for 2 cookies. So at each stop, we would collect at least 10 cookies. Whitman did not care anything about getting the cookies, but I made him on most stops because they rest of us still like cookies.

By the time that the evening was over, we had filled up Whitman’s backpack with cookies-it was brought into the park just for the cookies. We had filled the ice chest backpack with cookies-it was brought into the park just for the cookies. And we had almost filled the emergency cookie bag which we brought. The kids could not wait to get back to the hotel to spread the cookies out and count them like Halloween night. And just in case you were wondering, the total was 237 cookies that we came home with. 

Earlier in the evening, Graham and I were talking, and he said that we “beat Disney.” In the cookie sense, I guess that we did beat Disney. However, overall Disney still beat us! But it was all so worth it!

I can’t really remember much of the order of the night-it is 2 in the morning after all. I do know that we rode Mad Tea Party. It had flashing red and green Christmassy lights. Tomorrowland Speedway was also all lit up with Christmas music playing so rode the misty rain. 

At one point, it was really raining so we did go to Monsters Inc to watch their Christmas show. It was really just like their other show but still funny. Then we rode Big Thunder Mountain. Anderson and I swore up and down that the ride was different this time, but everyone else said that we were wrong. 

Then it was time for the parade so we had to make it to the other side of Main Street. Now the crowds were already thick, but when the parade started we pushed our way to the front. One man even put Keaton on a trash can so she could see better. When she was told to get off, the man told another man to move so the little girl could see. It was incredibly kind. 

Whitman saw most of the parade on Robby’s shoulders. All I could see in my head was the picture that we have of Reagan on Robby’s shoulders watching a parade about 10 years ago. And I just spent way too long trying to find that picture-I guess I forgot that it is now after 2! Whitman really enjoyed the parade, but I think that everyone else did as well.

When Santa passed us, it was around 11:35 so we hurried off to the last ride of the night. We had saved Space Mountain for last-it was also holiday themed inside with red and green strobe lights making the ride look almost lit up...or at least that is what we had read.

When we made it to the entrance, the ride was down! Urgh! This is the one thing that we all had wanted to do. We went to get cookies one last time. While someone was in the bathroom (oh, yes-we did briefly lose Reagan tonight. I did realize that she was gone and stopped. She had a phone with her and quickly called me so it didn’t take long for us to get reunited!) Anyway, while someone was in the bathroom, Robby saw that the ride was back up.

We hurried to the ride like crazy people. All of us but Keaton and Reagan were in one car. They were behind us and almost didn’t get to ride because they ended up shutting the ride down again. We all finished after midnight though so Anderson did ring in his birthday while riding Space Mountain which was really neat. 

There were more bathroom stops followed by some shopping at the gift shop on the way out. We chose the monorail to make it back to the parking lot which wasn’t the best, but it did eventually get us there. We did look over at one time and see that Whitman was sound asleep. Bless the poor child.

Once back in the room, the kids put on pjs and brushed teeth while counting and sorting cookies. Then there was a bit of packing and most everyone was sound asleep by 2. Robby and I will lay down in just a bit (2:15ish) and hopefully, make up for some lost sleep. Tomorrow will be a long day!

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2019: 13 Days unitl Christmas

The Dennie family loves them some Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. We have had the annual pass two different years now and have visited on 5 different occasions. That is quite a long way from our Little Rock.

It is a place that I could go to every year despite the drive. It is such a magical place with a lot of history throw in! Here is the link to the trip when we made our red wax astronaut.

December 11, 2019-Dennie's December Dash to Disney

(click here for today's pictures)

The alarm went off very early this morning-4:30. What in the world were we thinking? I guess that we were thinking that we should just wear the red dress. Seriously, we haven’t taken that red dress off all year long. 

Robby and I stirred much quicker than all of the kids. They moved a wee bit slower. Of course my big boys were up fairly quick and dove into the breakfast that Robby bought yesterday in preparation for this craziness. 

I had two chocolate filled croissants while trying to dress a sleeping Whitman. He was tired yesterday, so we let him sleep as long as he could today. Before 5:50, we were leaving the hotel parking lot. We followed the line of cars into the Hollywood Studios parking lot. 

We decided that we didn’t want to wait being detained by a bag line so we left the bags in the car. We knew that it would be a haul to come and get them later, but didn’t want to risk the line. That was a mistake because the bag line was short and by 10, we were famished and needed a snack.

We waited with a thousand of our closest friends to enter the park. The scheduled park opening was 8, but by 6:30 we started going through the turnstiles. Except there aren’t really turnstiles anymore! 

As soon as we entered the park, Robby was able to get us a boarding group. We were in ground 16 to ride the newest Star Wars ride-Rise of the Resistance. We hustled, and I do mean hustled, over to Slinky Dog. We zig zagged through the line and were soon on that ride before the sun was even up.

Next, we went to Toy Story Mania. I thought that I had won and celebrated a bit too soon-Robby beat me by about 8,000 points. Then we had time for a potty stop before getting on Alien Swirling Saucers. By this time our boarding group had been called, but since the park was not officially opened yet, we continued running around doing as many rides as possible.

We went to Rock N Roller coaster to ride it. Whitman hasn’t grown much so he can’t ride it so I waited with him. This was the first time that he was really bummed that he didn’t get to ride it. There was no wait so the others were back soon. When they returned, Anderson opted to wait back with Whitman while I rode with the others.

Then it was time for Tower of Terror. It continues to be my favorite ride-Whitman not so much. He doesn’t really care for it, but tolerates it-and looks terrified through it all. Then Robby changed a few fast passes, and got us a fast passes for Star Tours.

We rode that and then went to the new ride. We jumped in the line and waited and waited and waited. Then we saw some of the pre-show part which even includes a small simulator ride. Then we waited and waited some more. By this time, I was starving and feeling a bit bad because I was so hungry. We pressed on and made it to the end of the line just before the silly ride broke down. 

They gave us fastpasses to return to the ride as we had to leave. We did get to walk through the backstage area and see into the worker’s breakroom. That was pretty neat. This little ride broken business confused us for a few minutes-we had to regroup and figure out our next plans. 

Campbell and Graham were the only ones who wanted to wait in the single rider line of Smuggler’s Run. So they went to do that, while Robby, Reagan and I went to get our bags and drop off our jackets at the car. It was quite haul to get there and back, but we did a bit of shopping on the way to the car.

When we made it back to the waiting kids, we found a spot in the shade to wait on Campbell and Graham. Within too long, they were back and the line was opened again for Rise of the Resistance. 

We had to re-watch the preshow. It was actually pretty neat.Then we had to wait some more before finally boarding the real ride. It is a huge trackless ride, and you feel part of the action. There are huge statues, simulators, drops, and a whole lot more. At one point, Robby and Anderson were asking each other if something was real or not.

I think that neatest part was when you drove through the feet off sme massive walkers. Now, again I knew anything about Star Wars, more of the ride would make sense to me. As it is, it was impressive, but I have no frame of reference for it. I don’ t even know who are the good guys and who are the good guys.

After the ride was over, we walked to our Hollywood Studios lunch spot. We had lunchables, but Robby felt like we needed a bit more so he bought chicken fingers. We were all able to get one plus a handful of fries to supplement those lunchables. We sat and ate enjoying the cooler air. It was around 75 around here today. It is perfect in the shade, but a bit warm in the sun.

From there, we headed to the park exit. We did a wee bit of shopping on the way out-2 Minnie ears (Campbell and then Reagan and Keaton decided to split a pair) along with a Funko Pop for Graham. It was expensive but pretty cool-a Mickey in a Skyliner.

Once we spent all of our money, we walked to the car. Keaton asked the right person about transportation cards because they gave her a ton today. She was tickled and so was Whitman who has also started collecting them. 

I did forget candles and a lighter so I had to go to CVS and pay a fortune for those necessary items. Then it was back to the hotel for some rest-we did laundry, and I worked on the blog so I wouldn’t be so behind tonight.

After I had done most of the blog, my head was bobbing up and down and I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I did wake up enough to laugh at Graham who dropped the ipad on his face because he was so tired! Soon he was sound asleep, and I was too right next to him. 

When I woke up, there was laundry to fold. I worked on that while Robby heated up BBQ for supper. We all ate quickly and then headed back out on another adventure. When we walked out of the hotel door, we were blasted with cool air. It was just downright chilly-I should have turned around and put on my pants, but didn’t think that quickly and froze for the rest of the night.

Our first stop tonight was Disney Springs for the Lego store. Anderson didn’t find anything that he wanted there, but did enjoy looking around. Then we went to the Ghirardelli chocolate store for a sample. On the other side was the Coca Cola store where we took a picture with the coke bear followed by walking to the top observation deck. It would be a fun stop except that it was just a bit too chilly tonight.

Then we walked more to run through the Star Wars store followed by the NBA experience store. My boys seem to enjoy that stores that are the furthest away from where we parked. We then booked it back to the car and drove towards Magic Kingdom.

From the parking lot, we took the resort monorail to the Grand Floridian. We looked down at the tree and gingerbread house before heading down the steps to see it closer. It was kind of chaotic downstairs but we found a way into the line to take a picture in front of the gingerbread house. While we were in line my phone rang. It was from Illinois so I didn’t answer it...soon we were lining up to take our picture. One, two, three, four, five-five-where’s Graham! 

Yep, we had walked down the stairs, waited in the line and hadn’t even noticed that he was missing. As I was telling Robby that we were missing Graham, we heard him hollering at us from upstairs. So glad that he spotted us! Probably wasn’t the best thing for him to spot us while we were taking a family picture-WITHOUT HIM! Gracious me! 

The wise child had been the one trying to call me from a stranger’s phone. Thankfully, he has some sense and didn’t panic. We would have certainly come and looked for him. Now, I will say that he must just be prone to getting lost since this is not his first time...or second...He was fine, but did seem to stick closer to me for the rest of the evening.

Once we had all been reunited, we took another picture or two before heading to the boat dock to go to Magic Kingdom. The boat lady had to pick up people at the Polynesian too so it took a long while to get to Magic Kingdom-even though she had to circle at Polynesian twice before she was able to dock correctly.

Magic Kingdom was pretty busy tonight, but our first stop was the People Mover. Next up, we walked through all of the people waiting for the fireworks. It was craziness, but we were soon at the Jingle Cruise-it is Christmas themed and still just at hokey.

After it was over, we did find some churros to eat along with the Chex mix from my bag. We devoured every bit of it. Then we headed to Splash Mountain. I was not looking forward to it because I was already cold. Thankfully, we didn’t get too wet and things were going smoothly...until it stopped at the end. We were stuck on it for about 5 minutes before it finally started going again. I was glad when we started moving because I had to go to the bathroom by then.

It was then 10 so the park was closing. We again fought the crowds trying to get on the ferry boat. The line was long but it moved pretty quickly. Everytime we would stop, Whitman would sit down and all asleep. He was one tired boy-I walked 27,000 steps today so I am sure his little legs were just exhausted.

We made it back to the room around 11. Everyone still had to have showers so of course that took a while. It was after 12 when Reagan finished her shower-actually, she hasn’t even gotten in yet. Campbell is showering now-then Reagan-then lights out! Tomorrow will be another big day-not an early day, but a big one!

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2019: 14 Days until Christmas

The Upper Penninsula of Michigan had been on our list for a very long time. It was full of things that we had wanted to see for long time. I was secretely hoping that we would even see the aurora borealis, but unfortunately, that will have to be another trip.

I do think that this ormanet is one of the prettier ones that I have on the tree this year. Yes, there are so many ornaments that we have collected, that we aren't able to have them all on the tree anymore. Even with the addition of my second living room tree, there are still zillions waiting in the box for next year. Here is the link from one day of that trip.

December 10, 2019-Dennie's December Dash to Disney

(click here for today's pictures)

I do think that we all slept well last night. Graham started off on the air mattress and ended mostly on the air mattress. However, he was half not on the air mattress and the half of him that was on the air mattress was actually on the ground since it had deflated! He was sleeping soundly when I stepped over him to go to the bathroom early in the morning and also when I went to the shower later.

Robby showered first and decided that he better run to Walmart to get another air mattress. It isn’t necessary by any means, but the kids will need them this summer, and they are the same price here. He also grabbed a few things for tomorrow’s breakfast. (I haven’t mentioned yet that I forgot the silly birthday candles, which might just mean another Walmart trip later.)

While he was gone, I showered and then worked on waking these people up. They were tough to get up. I chatted, sang, turned on lights and just made a racket. I finally said that if people would start getting up then I would be quiet-Anderson sat right up in the bed. I did quieten down for a little bit but had to keep talking to wake the others up.

Robby returned, and we were soon at the breakfast area eating our Mickey Mouse shaped waffles. The highlight of today’s breakfast was a yogurt machine which is new to us. Now, I did try it and it was pretty sweet vanilla yogurt. I wasn’t a fan, but Whitman gobbled it up.

Epcot opened at 9 today and we were there right before then. I took both bags and waited in the long bag check line-it was crazy! When I finally made it through the line, I booked it to catch up with everyone else. They were already at Soarin’ waiting on me. They were a bit bummed that the Ghirardelli chocolate store that handed out free samples was closed.

As we were waiting in line for Soarin’, the people behind us were talking about requesting to sit in section B1. We had never heard about that being the best section-makes sense since it is the middle, top section. And sure enough, we were ushered right the section B1 today. I will say that it was a much better ride than other spots in the theater. That ride is always pretty impressive to me,

Next up was a coke and a short break followed by riding Nemo. Afterwards, some of the kids wanted to watch Turtle Talk with Crush. We did, and Crushed talked to Graham and Whitman. Graham asked him what he liked to do in the water, and Whitman explained how to build a sand castle to him. 

From there we headed to the country section of the park. During the Christmas holidays they have a thing called the Cookie Stroll. It is where you buy 5 different cookies and you can get one for free. The cookies that you have buy are spread out all over the park. How fun is that?

We probably didn’t need to buy 4 cookies at each stop, but that is much easier to split. Our first cookie, a peppermint pinwheel cookie, was from Canada. It was probably one of my most favorites. After that one, we rode the boat over to the other part of the countries to have our second cookie from somewhere between Morocco and France. This cookie was a Linzer cookie, possible a Jewish cookie-kind of like a shortbread cookie covered half in white icing and half in chocolate icing. It was very good as well. 

By this time, we were getting a little bit full but still had room for one more cookie, so we ventured to America for a classic gingerbread cookie. Now, by this point, Campbell, Keaton and Whitman had tried everything, but they were done with the cookie business. They prefer traditional chocolate chip cookies.   

While we sat in America, we also pulled out our lunchables and roll ups for a real lunch. We gobbled down our good-well, we ate while the kids did a lot of feeding of the birds. Apparently, they have never seen birds before-even birds are more magical at Disney.

From there, we headed towards Test Track. We did stop briefly to ride the Three Caballeros along with lots of stops for pin trading. Test Track is always fun, and the kids love it. When we finished with it, we picked up our free passholder magnets.

Then it was back to the car. Keaton has had a hard time today finding people who have Transportation Cards. She has asked everyone that she has seen but has struck out. Back at the hotel this afternoon, Robby did a load of laundry. While it washed, he worked, I blogged and the kids played until it was time to fold. 

Once the clothes were put a way, Robby and I went to town on heating up supper. Chicken roll ups were requested so we pulled them out of the fridge. Tortillas, chicken, cheese, refried beans, salsa, sour cream-we can cram a lot of things into a hotel fridge. Our supper was delicious. 

As soon as everything was cleaned up which didn’t take long, we headed back to Epcot. We had a few things on the list tonight. Our first stop was the Candlelight Processional. We have heard that people wait hours in line to get a seat. Our plan was to walk by and hear some of the music.

Instead we walked by and saw the area full of people already in their seats, but we also saw a line with more people waiting for seats. Robby suggested that we jump in it just to see if we did get seats, and sure enough we ended up about 8 rows from the stage. Our seats could not have been any better.

Isabella Rossilinni was the narrator tonight. There is a full orchestra along with a massive choir. The narrator reads the Christmas story from the Bible while the choir and orchestra sings traditional Christmas carols. It was pretty awesome to hear. At least I thought so-Whitman was asleep within 5 minutes. He stayed asleep during most of the trumpets as well. We were about 10 feet from 3 trumpeters who came out intermittently and blew their horns. It was almost like we had been to church at Epcot tonight.

After the program, we hurried out to jump in line for our 4th cookie. This was a Linzer cookie from Germany. Basically, it tasted like a strawberry poptart. It was delicious, but again Whitman and most others didn’t even try it. Reagan did enjoy it so she was able to have her share of cookies. 

While Robby was in the cookie line, Graham went to get water and the rest of us stood in line for Campbell and Keaton to meet Snow White. The next cookie was a chocolate crinkle cookie. I had really talked this one up to Whitman because I was sure that he would like it. It was basically like the cookies that Campbell had made for her birthday-and he didn’t like it. Bless!

Now, it was just a few more feet to claim our final 6th and free cookie! It was an adorable Santa Mickey Mouse shaped sugar cookie-which Whitman didn’t like. By this time, most people weren’t into our cookies. However, Whitman did thing that the milk that we were given with our cookie was the best thing ever.

After eating our cookie, we moved on to the Living with the Land ride. It was all decorated for Christmas which made it really neat. Then we did one last Soarin’ ride tonight. Surprisingly, we were assigned section B1 again-the most coveted section. 

We rushed out of the park to the car so we could get these people to sleep as soon as possible. There were pajamas, clothes laying out, one last drink, teeth brushing and breakfast picking out. Tomorrow is a very early morning!

Christmas Ornament Countdown 2019: 15 Days until Christmas

We have had the opportunity to visit Disney World twice this year-actually, we are there right now. The new mode of transportation is the Disney Skyliner. It is a pretty neat little ride. We rode the skyliner a few times while we were there-it was a smooth ride and thankfully, we didn't get stuck!

When I bought the ornament, I had the choice between a few different Skyliners. Since the new Galaxy's Edge Star Wars Land had just opened and since we have a few Star Wars loving boys, I had to definitely buy the Skyliner with Star Wars on it. Here is the link from one day of our early November trip. 

December 9, 2019-Dennie's December Dash to Disney

(click here for today's pictures)

When we were going to bed last night, we were a bit concerned about Campbell’s cough. Now, she has been coughing since Thanksgiving and has even been to the doctor once. We don’t normally sleep in the same room as here so we were a bit worried that maybe she does cough all night long, which was the reason I gave her some cough and cold medicine.

I am not sure if it was the medicine or the inhaler, but once she went to sleep she didn’t really cough at all. She did, however, not sleep very much. Robby saw that she was awake at 5 this morning. Now, we are wondering if the meds we gave her caused her to not be able to sleep! She seemed well rested though so all was well this morning.  

The only problem we encounter in a hotel room is when there is no sink outside of the bathroom. That does slow us down immensely. We were able to press on though, and everyone did get their teeth brushed before breakfast.

The car was actually loaded before we started eating our breakfast. There was no gravy for Robby, but they did have the pecan twirls that I loved so much as a kid. However, I couldn’t get my people to eat them-I don’t know what I have done wrong as a parent.

In the car, we listened to our Kingdom Keeper book. It is about some kids trapped inside of Magic Kingdom. After a while of listening, we then passed out ipads for some quiet time. Our first stop was at the Florida state line. When we don’t have huge slushy drinks in our laps, we seem to be able to drive a bit further.

We stopped again for gas. Robby had to send an email so while he worked on that, I made lunches for everyone. We can finish off a can of Pringles in no time flat. We used to only buy turkey, but now most everyone likes ham better. And you would not believe all of the different kinds of cheese that we have with us on a trip-American, Swiss, colby jack, and pepperjack. Everyone seems to have their own favorite. That is fine though because it makes our car lunches seem a little bit special. 

I am not sure of the exact time that we made it to our hotel. It is near by one of the offsite hotels that we have stayed at before. It has two double beds plus a set of bunk beds which were quickly in high demand.

Robby did some work, and soon we were on our way to Animal Kingdom. The big 5 rode Primeval Whirl (which has become a seasonal ride and wasn’t open during our early November visit) while Whitman played in the Boneyard area. We did some shopping for Traci-actually bought an ornament and broke it all within 10 seconds. They were gracious and let us have another one so all was well. For the rest of the night, I did carry around a huge box stuffed with tissue paper to cushion that ornament from future falls.

Next up was our fastpasses for Dinosaur and Everest. At some point, Robby, Whitman, Keaton, Campbell and Graham rode the Kali River Rapids. They got a little bit wetter than the kids last time-actually they were almost soaked! Then we tried some chicken fried rice from Yak and Yeti. We supplemented that with bbq mac and cheese from Flame Tree. We ate all of that while we sat at a pavilion along the water watching the River of Light night time show.

When we had finished our supper, we headed to the River of Navi to use those Fastpasses. It was an interesting ride-pretty amazing that they can do all of that, but just a simple boat ride. Now the goal was to ride Avatar, but even at the end of the day the line is just too long. 

The plan is to come in February for closing to jump into the line. That will be much more doable when you have not already driven for 5 hours earlier in the day. We did quite a bit of pin trading on our way out of the park. We actually did so much pin trading that when we were done trading, the Everest line was short.

We hustled over there to ride it one more time. It feels super different in the dark. Then we walked a mile to the car-probably not a mile. Whitman did say that his energy percent was getting low so good thing we finally made it to the car. 

We had to stop at Walmart on the way to the hotel. This was unlike any Walmart we had been to-aisles and aisles of Disney stuff. No surprise, but we were quickly sidetracked from our “lunchables and sunglasses” list. We left with a magnet, album, 2 Disney water bottles, and an ugly Christmas sweater. The sweater wasn’t Disney, but Reagan has felt like she has needed one for years, and this was the first one that she has liked. 

It took almost forever to leave the Walmart. When we did, we zoomed right back to the hotel and started on showers. This is maybe only our second trip where we have brought an air mattress with us. I think it will come in pretty handy for at least one Dennie this week.

The kids started on showers while I pulled out cookies and a drink for our midnight snack-well, it wasn’t exactly midnight. It was nearly 10 when we did finally get our snacks! Then it was to bed for this crew-tomorrow will be another busy day.