In which we go around the world, and back to the past’s future.
Having mostly recovered, we set out for a day at EPCOT, and luckily caught the character bus on arrival. Anabelle had a wonderful time running to, and hugging Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale, and a Giant Penguin. (Quite a surprise, as she was still terrified of Pluto at this point.)
In case anyone is wondering, the McGinley Curse held constant, and we got at least some rain every time we went to EPCOT. When I asked an ice cream vendor if it rained there more than the other parks, she gave me a look indicating that this phenomenon is a personal one.
Anabelle had a lot of fun playing with the computers in Innoventions (“I ate a jellybeanie!!!”) as well as the virtual puppy. She was scared to go into a little cave that had an insect exhibit; until Rosa demonstrated what a great mother she is, by climbing in first. Then Anabelle ran in and out for a long time showing everyone the “buggies”. She also played the Jungle Book dancing game with Mami…OK Mami played it, and Anabelle wandered around and talked to Baloo and Mowgli.
The Living Seas was closed for refurbishment. As (A) it's my favorite attraction, and (B) its something Anabelle would actually love, it was my turn to be all cranky. We hung around it anyway, to take pictures with Nemo, and eat in the Coral Reef restaurant, letting us at least see a little bit of fish. Anabelle was nervous about entering, but once she saw the fishies and food, she was fine. (That’s my girl.) Due to the culinary adventures of the past two days, Rosa and I stuck with the bisque. (But, boy was it goooooood.)
We decided to try to take Anabelle on the re-Figmented Journey Into Imagination, as it’s cute, and she loves Figment. After a lot of panicked crying at first, Rosa kept her calm and she ended up laughing, and clapping along with the songs. When we got off the ride I said, “Did you like seeing Figment?”
“Do you want to see him again?”
So we took a picture of the "Nooo" face. Then there was more fun, as she became so enamored of the green screen where they take the trick pictures that first she wouldn’t stop dancing around (making taking the picture difficult), and then she wouldn’t leave it after it was taken. On the flip side, she was terrified of the "Conduct a Figment" musical games. Go figure.
During Anabelle's first nap we bought her a passport and got it stamped in Canada. Later, after the Future World fun, we set out to get it stamped and signed in every nation of World Showcase. We also picked her up a mask once she was awake, to let her color it. The plan was to get a picture of her and I in each country, and get her "mask thingy", and passport stamp. In hindsight we probably shouldn't have tried to do it all in one day, but we're an obsessive bunch. Anabelle's favorite part of the journey was the inevitable fountain in each country. It took most of my strength to limit her to "tickling" the water, as opposed to leaping in.
There was a sad moment on our journey as well. Before the trip, we saw several interviews about how “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins was Walt Disney’s favorite song, and he often said, “That’s what it’s all about”, what good a little kindness could do. In the large pretty picnic area around the American pavilion, there are large unfriendly signs saying “DO NOT FEED THE BIRDS”. So much for tuppence a bag, eh Walt?
We had a lot of fun encounters along the way, because the amount of characters in World Showcase was increased to enhance kid appeal. Pinocchio and Geppetto were in Italy. Surprisingly, even with all the crazy old Italians Anabelle knows (or is related to) she was afraid of Geppetto, but liked Pinocchio enough to stand near both of them with Mami for a picture. She also got a really big kick out of seeing someone other than Daddy do a juggling show. I think this is akin to the amazement when people other than Mami's family speak Spanish to her.
We saw some other characters too, which brings up an interesting point. With all the extra characters that are around, especially princesses, you'd think there would be quality control problems. Yet there aren't really. Only, maybe one or two at the princess meals seemed to be forcing the smiles. Also, with the exception of one Ariel who seemed to be quite a few years down the road from her happily ever after, the ages seemed right. Still, a couple chinks in the armor showed up in World Showcase.
There was an Aladdin and Jasmine that, in all honesty, were quite creepy. Even Rosa and I didn't want to go near them for a picture, never mind Anabelle. In England there was Mary Poppins, who was "practically perfect in every way", and Alice. Alice was very sweet, and proper. She stood at the right height, displayed the right mannerisms, but was definitely the wrong…shape…for the role of a little girl in Wonderland. My first thought was, "How are THOSE gonna fit down the rabbit hole? You hiding Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in there girl?" Fortunately, I was wise enough to keep my big mouth shut, and let Anabelle enjoy the meeting.
I conspicuously vanish from our set ‘round the world photos after a while, leaving Anabelle alone in the stroller in each land. Due to lingering exhaustion from the previous days, I washed out of the EPCOT Death March (the country loop has to be what Pinnette was referencing) somewhere between Italy and Germany. The girls finished the quest, and I met them in Mexico to drink a bottle of water while they had dinner.
We went back to the hotel for more fountain fun. Now we had been to each park at least once and had a much better handle on how not to continually terrify our daughter. Good times were sure to be ahead.
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