We had a WONDERFUL time at the Magic Kingdom on Friday, but we kinda felt like it was only going to be even more crowded on Saturday. We were pretty much "over" all the people and figured we did all that we thought Gus would enjoy, so why not try another park?
The only snag in our plan was that we had 4:20 dinner reservations for Chef Mickey's. When we first learned about our trip to Disney months ago, I immediately went on and booked reservations for dinner for us. We planned on eating breakfast in our room, so we didn't need breakfast reservations, and we figured we could do counter-service lunches, so it was just dinner to plan for.
Let me just say that as soon as someone knows they're going to WDW, the first thing to do is get your dinner reservations because the restaurants fill up so quickly!!! Our 4:20 at Chef Mickey's was the ONLY available time for the entire time that we were in WDW! I immediately snatched it up and was excited that we had reserved a spot at this most-coveted restaurant.
Why is it so coveted you ask? It's a character dinner (buffet) with the Fab Five (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto). It's the perfect place to eat and have the characters come to you!! You're guaranteed pictures and interaction with the Fab Five!!
So, when we made our plans, 4:20 wasn't the best time, but we had planned on going to MK that day and could just go back to MK after dinner. So, our decision to go to another park, stunk because we had to leave this other park and be at Chef Mickey's (in the Contemporary) by 4:20.
We decided to take my fabulous friend Krissy's advice and go to Epcot. It's her favorite park and she highly recommended it and assured me that Gus would love it. And of course, she was right again! So, we spent the morning getting ready and then we headed to the front desk to see about getting a later dinner reservation (at which the guy laughed at me because he knew it was IMPOSSIBLE, but he checked anyway). No such luck with moving dinner back... so we headed out the door to enjoy as much of our day at Epcot as possible.
Baby man was ready to go!
Putting his socks on all by himself!
We had to take the monorail from Grand Floridian to the Transfer and Ticket station and catch the Epcot monorail. From there it was about 5-10 minutes and we arrived at the park.
Gus did a GREAT job on the monorail!
The Grand Floridian from a distance!
Arriving at Epcot!
So we get off the monorail and head toward the baggage check area (which BTW is so annoying...) and then we started to go to the gate and Steve realizes that he doesn't have his park ticket... just his MVMCP ticket from Friday night.
So instead of freaking out, we went to the ticket booth and thanks to technology, the cast member was able to look up our names and got Steve a replacement ticket! It was a matter of seconds and so awesome. Had this happened back in the day of paper tickets, we would have been screwed.
I just realized that I forgot to say how weird it is that when you go to a park for the first time using your ticket, you scan your index finger... and then it's saved with your ticket and each time you use it, you scan your print to make sure that it's you using your ticket. Kinda nifty right??
Anyway, so we headed into the park and Steve called his Uncle Randy to figure out when we'd be able to see him and Emilee, and we decided that we could see them after dinner! We had our evening planned and we headed in and I noticed a VERY small line and both Daisy and Goofy!! We immediately headed over and stood in line for Gus to meet his first two characters!
Having a snack while Daddy called Uncle Randy
Daisy autographing Gus's book
He was so excited to see her!
The way he was looking at her was soooooo cute!!!
After seeing Daisy, we headed over and saw Goofy!
Goofy is SUPER tall!!!
We were excited to have met two characters and that we didn't have to wait long to see them. We headed out to see where we could grab lunch and decided to try the Cantina on the Lagoon.
After lunch we headed to The Land and thought we'd see about Gus being tall enough for the ride called Soarin. He was not the required 40" so we decided to head to Living with the Land. It was a water tour and we got to see the greenhouse and a fish farm. Gus liked it.
Such a silly monkey!
I seriously love this child!!
On the boat (Living with the Land)
After our Living with the Land ride, we headed over to The Seas with Nemo and Friends and we enjoyed getting on a "clamobile" and taking a ride through the movie Finding Nemo. It was really cute! After the ride, we explored the fish tanks and then on the way out, we got Gus a bubble gun that blows many many bubbles and made him a VERY VERY happy boy!!
Heading to Nemo!
Gus and Steve :-)
Pointing at Nemo
The best part was the seagulls that kept saying, "Mine...Mine... Mine" like in the movie!
Once inside, we boarded our clamobile and took a ride into the movie!
Crush and Squirt
My favorite... Peach
Marlin and Nemo
Crush and Squirt in the EAC
Marlin, Nemo and Dori
Gus and Steve inside Bruce at the play area
Checking out the manatees
Gus and his bubble gun
He played for a bit and then we headed to Spaceship Earth
By the time we finished on Spaceship Earth, we only had a little bit of time left before we needed to get back on the monorail to make it to the restaurant on time. We had a snack and shared a drink and then we got back on the monorail. We had just enough time because we arrived at Chef Mickey's right at 4:20!
Waiting for our friends to visit before leaving the table to grab food...
No idea what's about to happen!
I HIGHLY recommend Chef Mickey's! We WILL go back. Not just because we loved seeing Gus with the characters, but because the food was AWESOME! The best food that we ate while at Disney. I guess some would say that we didn't eat very well then, but we really enjoyed the selection at the buffet and we both found plenty that we liked.
The first friend that Gus got to see was Goofy. Gus was VERY excited to give him his book to sign.
Watching so closely!
After Goofy left, we were visited by Mickey Mouse!! "Ma mauche"
So excited to have Mickey sign his book!
Right after Mickey was Donald Duck and Gus was super excited to see Donald!
Look at the love in his eyes!!!
He wanted to hold Donald's hand
Checking him out
Right behind Donald was Pluto!
It was a while before Minnie came to see us, so we grabbed some food. While we had dinner, there was a special celebration dance and everyone waved their napkins and the characters walked around and danced. Gus loved it!
Donald patted Gus on the head as he walked by!
Waving his blue napkin with the music!
Finally, Minnie came over to see us and we thought our night was complete!
Patiently waiting for her
We had some dessert and then... the characters came by AGAIN!!!!
An Oreo topped with chocolate mousse and chips for ears... Gus loved it!
Donald came by again and I got a picture of Steve with him!
Giving Donald a"high sive"
Mickey came back too and wanted another hug!!
When Mickey went to leave...
Gus wanted to hold his hand one last time!
We had such a magical dinner... it really was worth every penny and I wish that every family could enjoy the pleasure of watching their kiddos eat and interact with their favorite characters. We are so blessed to be able to provide such a fabulous opportunity for Gus!!
We headed back to the monorail and then made it to the Grand Floridian. We stopped at the gift shop to see about getting Gus a Mickey stocking, and then I got a key chain and Gus picked up Chip and Dale. We also got some pictures of the Christmas tree in the lobby.
Picking out Chip and Dale
It's officially finished!
We headed to the room to wait for Uncle Randy and Emilee!
In no time at all, Steve left to meet Uncle Randy and then we all headed to the pool so the kids could play and swim. We were there until the pool closed at 8 (and everyone was cold) and we headed back to the room to hang out while Gus and Emilee played.
Over in the big pool
Going down the slide!
One of my favorite pictures!