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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Day Four, Disney World

aka: "Okay, okay, I have finally given in to the Disney Capitalistic Machine and I want to collect and trade your pins. Now trade me the Mr. Incredible and no one gets hurt."

Day four started pretty smoothly. And we definitely needed it after meeting "Miss Congeniality" on the bus the day before. We headed over to the Grand Floridian to have professional pictures taken of the group. The skies were overcast, but that made nice lighting for the pictures. We had two hours to get two individual group shots of each family(one in front of some trees and the other at the beach), an overall group shot on a staircase and a "red couch" picture with the girls. I still can't believe we got it all accomplished in less than two hours. I was able to capture some of the chaos that was happening on the beach. And courtesy of the another family, a photo of the photographer that endured it all. He had the patience of a saint. We tried to get the girls in roughly the same position as the red couch picture in China, but since there were some girls missing and not all of our lovelies were cooperating at that point, we got as close as we could. Hannah was smiling for the first two pictures and then she was more interested in the stuffed Minnie and showing us her underpants.

After the photo shoot we headed over to Epcot. It had started to rain on and off for the rest of the day. But since there is a lot to do indoors at Epcot, it really didn't matter much to us. We were just hoping that it would not affect the fireworks show that night. Besides Tiffany bought these adorable panda ponchos - there is always room for panda ponchos. Tiffany and Audrey treated us to a wonderful lunch at the restaurant that is right behind the "Living Seas, Finding Nemo" attraction. The food was really good and each table had a view of the huge tank that had turtles, sharks, stingrays and all kinds of fish in it. I had to share this photo I took at the Living Seas exhibit, because I was so proud of myself that I got Nemo's Dad (lower left corner) and two Dori's in one photo.

After lunch, we went to the Finding Nemo ride (very cute) and then we started to make our way to the part of Epcot that has all of the countries. We stopped at "Journey to Imagination with Figment" (also cute) and met up with more members of our group. Once we got to the countries section of Epcot I think we all made a beeline to China. Gee, I wonder why? Hannah was very excited because she nows thinks that she was born in Epcot. Hmmmm, we'll have to work on the fake vs. the real China at a later date. Mulan and Moo Shoo were taking pictures and signing autographs. Hannah loved Mulan - she ran away from Moo Shoo. It was very nice to stroll around the countries. They had a mask for the kids to make and add to at each country. They also had many alcoholic beverages for the parents - so everybody wins.

Sidebar: It was around Germany that I could not take it anymore and we started buying the special pins that everyone was trading. Tiffany, you were right - now I'm going to blow my paycheck on some collectors edition something-or-other pin that I just HAVE to have. There goes Hannah's college fund... just kidding... or am I?

Hannah finally took her first nap of the vacation (of course after the rest of the girls had already taken theirs) and was awakened by Moo Shoo (by that time we had made it all the way around and were back in China). Boy, she did NOT like that.

Once Hannah was awake, we were able to take some cute pictures of Audrey and Hannah together in fake China. After some additional pin shopping (see how quickly it takes over?) it was time to head to the dinner event that was scheduled for the group. Dinner was really good. Hannah and the girls were invited onstage to participate in a little skit that involved elephants. Hopefully that will explain what all the kids are doing in the picture.
The event also included front row viewing for the fireworks show later that evening. My camera doesn't do fireworks any justice, so I didn't bother to take pictures. I just focused on whether the fireworks scared Hannah. There were a couple of parts that she wasn't sure about - but she did really well.

After the fireworks show, we headed over to a popular character area to meet Mickey Mouse. There were other characters to meet, but Mickey was the focus. How can you go to Walt Disney World and not meet Mickey? The line moved pretty well. I think we were on line for about 45 minutes. Hannah met Mickey and Minnie without incident. Then she punched Pluto in the face. I guess she had had enough. I don't blame her, I was pretty tired too and Pluto is just... well, a dog. He doesn't even talk in the cartoons. At least I got her to apologize, but I know she didn't mean it. We were asking for a meltdown - We woke her up early, took about thousand pictures of her, scared her with loud, booming fireworks and then we make her stand in line for almost an hour. Good job parents! Although, I would have rather she punched Goofy - he was a little too pushy when we were taking the pictures.

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