Thursday, December 11, 2014

Disney Trip 2014 - Day 7: Epcot, 2nd visit

We woke up to our final day at Disney.  Our plane did not leave until the early evening so we had time to do one more park in the morning.  We chose Epcot because there were many things we did not get to do there when we visited earlier in the week.  Of all the rides at Epcot, Test Track was our favorite so we planned on doing it today; except when I say “our favorite” I was referring to 4 of us.  For some reason today, Zachary was terrified of this ride, even though he rode it earlier in the week and loved it.   We got up early went to get on the bus to Epcot planning on going to Test Track first.  But while waiting for the bus, Zachary freaked out.  And I mean “freaked out!”  He stopped dead in his tracks and kept repeating, “I don’t want to go.  I don’t want to ride it.”  We kept encouraging him and reminding him of all the fun he had 3 days ago when he rode it.  But he wouldn’t listen.  We were by ourselves with no other family so we were all going on it or none us were going.  And I did not come to Disney World ‘not’ to ride the rides.  But he kept it up throwing a major tantrum, even stopping as we walked on and trying to go back to the resort.  At this point we had had enough.  Our polite encouragement turned into direct commands.  From “come on Z, it will be fun” to “you are going on this ride, period!”  When I asked him what he was so scared of, he replied “in the beginning when the car does a quick brake check.”  I thought it was when the car sped up to 65 mph at the end but no he was scared of a brake check!  This just added fuel to my already fired up frustration.  At least be scared about something scary, not a brake check.  So the entire bus ride, the walk up to the turnstiles, the walk into Epcot, the walk all the way to Test Track, he complained and argued and fought.  It was exhausting for him and us.  But after tears and yelling and whining, I finally calmed down and we got him on the ride.  And what do you think ended up happening?  That’s right, He loved it.  Ended up being his favorite ride at Disney.  Does Father know best or what?

 At Test Track, you are use a car designing program.

Zachary was able to design his own car.

Nate was not.

After Test Track, Zachary’s shift was now over and it was now Drew’s turn.  Drew began to complain about everything.  And I mean everything.  He complained about the weather, being too thirsty, not buying enough souvenirs, Mickey’s ears are too big, everyone is eating ice cream but him, why does he have to walk at Disney, or wait in lines, why is the sun so hot, and why cant he look at it, and his feet hurt, now his legs, etc.  He takes his job very seriously and no one can complain better.

We got through a couple more rides and decided to eat lunch in Mexico.  At this point we were all exhausted from Zachary’s tantrum, Drew’s complaining, oh yeah and Disney World.  After pushing a heavy stroller with 2 upset children around the world at Epcot, I was ready to settle down for a nice meal and rest my legs and brain.  So when the kids saw that Dad was about to rest, they devised a master plan.  As soon as I sat down, Drew reported that he needed to go to the bathroom.  So I got up from my comfortable seat and found the busy restroom in the middle of the busy lunch hour at Epcot to take Drew to go pee.  As soon as I returned, Zachary announced that he too needed to use the bathroom.  So again I fought the crowds and took him.  Once I returned, phase 3 began and Nate asked to go as well.  So when I returned from taking 3 children to the bathroom separately, sitting down to enjoy my now cold meal, everyone had finished their meals and announced that they were ready to go, so I needed to “hurry up.”  Master plan complete. 

From Epcot, we returned to the resort after lunch and turned in our luggage for the Magical Express back to the airport.  Now the comedian, Jim Gaffigan, puts it best when he says “My favorite ride at Disney was the air-conditioned bus ride back to the airport.”  I was looking forward to this long hour long ride to catch some sleep after a long morning at Epcot.  But for some reason, the Mexico lunch place at Epcot had put speed into Nate and Drew’s tacos and it was now causing them to wiggle non-stop the entire trip back to the airport.  No restful sleep was to be had while I sat next to 2 shake weights. 

We boarded the plane with no hang ups but it was getting into the evening after dinner and now everyone was getting more tired and cranky not having naps this day.  So Drew shifts starts again and he begins his steady regiment of complaining about things we have no control over like the air being too stuffy and the blankets too scratchy and the pretzels not delivered fast enough.  And Nate starts crying just because he can.  He probably figured, “We are now in an enclosed space.  There is nowhere I can be taken to de-escalate the situation.  Daddy could probably use some judgmental glances about now.  Time for me to start crying for no reason.”  To which he did.  And to top it all off, someone also had a small dog in a carry-on that barked for literally the entire 2 and a half hours on the plane trip home.  And Drew was sure to complain about that too. 

My favorite moment on the plane though was when I went to the bathroom with Nate and while I was peeing, mid-stream, Nate opens the door and walks out, back to his seat leaving the door open.  I hope you enjoyed the show Flight 874.

We touched down on the ground, exhausted but glad to be home.  As we were walking out of the gangway, who did we see in the airport but Jack Hanna!  A local celebrity to us but exciting none the less.  We went up and talked to him and he could not be nicer.  Super friendly and gave each of our boys an autograph and posed for a picture.  Thanks Jack Hannah for an awesome end to our Disney trip.  

 Jack Hannah and the wildest animals he has ever come into contact with.

Well that is the official end of the Allen’s Disney trip 2014.  We left with 3 children and returned with 3 children.  I call that a “win.”  We made some awesome family memories that our children will always cherish for the rest of their lives.  Nate ruined his parent’s plan to avoid the “fake nap” by falling asleep with a sucker in his mouth.  Drew got a “poop finger.” And Zachary got to play his Kindle.  Memories you can only make at Disney World.

I hope your Disney vacations will be as magical as ours,
The Joyful and Tired Dad

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Disney Trip 2014 - Day 6: Magic Kingdom - 2nd visit

We all woke up nice and early for the Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom.  Not by choice, but by Nate’s jumping around on the beds at 6:30 in the morning.  Because if he is up, everyone is up.  Thanks Nate!  So now the kids were frustrated and overly tired.  And being day 6, going to a park everyday, losing sleep each night, and the general stress of a family vacation with  small children finally caught up to Lindsey in the form of a migraine this morning.  And she was without coffee again to add a little caffeine withdrawal on top of the migraine.  So at 7:00, in the morning we were already off to a great start at the most magical place on Earth. 

"What a great picture boys.  Can we get another one?"

 "Nate, please?"


We went to Magi Kingdom for our second time this trip and went to ride the rides that we had missed on the first day.  We split from our big group and just went as a family to Fantasy Land.  We found Nate’s favorite ride, Dumbo.  I thought he would have been too old to enjoy it but he loved it!  He kept requesting to do it over and over again.  The lines were not too bad, so we rode it 3 times.  There are certain things you will find at every ride at Disney: long lines, wait times, screaming kids, frustrated parents, and a ride-themed gift shop.  We went into the new “Big Top” gift shop at the end of the Dumbo ride and partook in all the circus themed crap that Disney wanted you to buy, to squeeze even more out of your emaciated wallet.  But within the store they had a real clown performing tricks and balancing plates who gave us some personal attention letting Zachary and Drew try holding a spinning plate.  It was fun.

 Zachary spinning a plate

 Drew spinning a plate

After a few more rides and Lindsey almost peeing behind a building because she could not find a bathroom, we decided to cancel our lunch plans and head back to the resort for some much needed R&R.  We returned the room and everyone settled in to bed except me because I was now on a quest to find Lindsey’s missing prescription sunglasses.  The $300 prescription sunglasses.  I took the bus to the Lost and found building at Magic Kingdom.  I could not believe the sheer number of lost strollers they were loading up onto a semi-truck when I was there.  You don’t think about too much, but Disney collects more lost strollers than the Little Mermaid collects “whacha-ma-call-its.”  They brought out a large bin of lost sunglasses from 2 days before when we were at Animal Kingdom.  So in one day at one Disney park, they had a bin of about 50 different sunglasses that were all lost on that day.  But of all of them, Lindsey’s glasses were not in there.  So if anyone is going on Expedition Everest in the future, will you please keep your eye out for her $300 prescription sunglasses, because I am convinced they are still on the ride somewhere, or the Yeti ate them.

I returned back to the room ready to settle in for my nap, when I walked into the room with Zachary fully awake and pacing back and forth chanting “I can’t sleep.  I’m not tired.  I can’t sleep.  I’m not tired,”  and everyone who was trying to sleep, grinding and gnashing their teeth.  At this point, to save my family, I gave Zachary his Kindle before Lindsey killed everyone in the room, still dealing with her migraine and trying to sleep it off.  Now you would think he would sit quietly and play a game on his Kindle while everyone else slept but no.  Remember, I too was trying to sleep and my kids make it their goal to ensure I don’t sleep.  So Zachary kept opening the door and walking outside, to which Lindsey freaks out and wakes me up to yell at Zachary because to her, obviously there are Pedophiles and Kidnappers waiting outside our door waiting for a lone kid to step out.  Because that’s what they do.  Well he did it 3 times because he kept saying “I heard a noise.”  OF COURSE YOU DID!  It’s a resort in the middle of the afternoon at Disney.  A resort housing hundreds upon hundreds of families and children who will probably be “making noise!”  Needless to say, Lindsey did not get her nap affectively increasing her migraine.  We all ended up getting up and getting ready for dinner.  Thanks Zachary! 

For dinner, all 18 of us went to Chef Mickey’s.  It is a character dinner at the Contemporary Resort which serves buffet style food while Mickey, Donald, Pluto, Goofy, and Minnie come around to your table for autographs and pictures.  This was one of my favorite dinners.  It was very laid back, very loud, and our children blend in with the rest of the screaming, unruly children.  We did not stand out.  Referring back to my last blog about buffets, you will know that my children did not eat a well-balanced meal.  Drew ended up eating 2 ice cream cones piled high and a large bowl of ice cream.  Why not?  He had a good dinner of half a roll and 4 bites of pizza.  I did not see what Zachary had, but he was the one who ended up with a belly ache.  Then the characters started coming around.  Nate was initially scared of the big intimidating characters but after he saw the fun his cousins were having, he warmed up to them.  With each character, he became more and more comfortable.  And as the sugar started hitting him, he became down right euphoric with each character visit.  Check out these pics.

 The whole group at Chef Mickey's

 Grandma getting a Mickey hug.

 Grandpa getting a Mickey hug.

 Nate was a little hesitant at first.
But once he warmed up to the characters...

...he was obsessed!

Nate even took a picture with Minnie Mouse.  Last time we were at Disney, Zachary refused because she was a girl.

 He is either trying get Pluto to 'bust it' or about to show him his favorite finger.

 Nate said "I love Goofy."
"No, you don't get it Goofy.  I love you, man.  I am never letting go!"

 Until Donald came around.

 Wes shows everyone a special trick:  Double pickers.
"Look mom.  Look what Wes taught me."

 But one of my all time favorite videos was when we were leaving, I was able to catch Nate saying good bye to all the characters as we walked out.  And I even caught his "Donald Shuffle."

That night after dinner, it was time for the epic light saber battle.  Ben had been asking and asking for this night the whole trip.  All 10 boys had visited the “make your own light saber” kiosk at Disney and created their own unique light saber.  And if Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker taught us anything, it was that the best light saber battles are between family.  We all met outside in a grassy area at the resort.  The grassy area was next to a main sidewalk through the resort buildings but it was not too crowded for 10 boys to swing lighted plastic sticks at each other in the pitch black night.  As the epic battle commenced of purple and red light sabers versus the blue and green light sabers, many things happened:  Drew got hurt, Nate and Wes were the cutest Jedi as well as the scrappiest, Drew got hurt and came crying to me, Lindsey and Janie stood on the balcony laughing at the ensuing fight, my brother Mike and I took up the battle to fight each other at the exact moment a family walked by long enough to judge the full grown adults playing light sabers away from their children, Drew go hurt, and finally a mom came out of her room and told us to keep it down because her kids were asleep at 8:00 at night.

 Zachary raises his double light saber, calls us to order, and the battle begins.

Check our Lincoln's Sith eyes.  He really got into character.

With the red light saber in hand, Mike uses a force push on Josh.  And Josh loses respect for his father.

"Which end of this light saber do I hit Drew with to make him cry?"

"Found it!"

I did manage to catch a little bit of the epic battle on video.  Watch till the end, for the epic conclusion.

Epic conclusion:  Drew got hurt.

At the end of the night, after a busy day at Magic Kingdom, riding rides, eating amazing food, meeting Disney characters and having an epic light saber battle, we asked the kids what was their favorite part of their day.  Zachary’s response:  “playing my Kindle.”

Its like when the most popular present at Christmas was the box the toys came in,
The Joyful and Tired Dad

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Disney Trip 2014 - Day 5: Hollywood Studios, Part 3

So back at the room, everyone (except me) had awoken from their 1 hour nap and we prepared for an early dinner.  Our reservation was at 3:50 for dinner.  Yes, that’s right, dinner.  This was because it was part of a dinner package that combined the dinner with a VIP seat at the night’s entertainment: Fantasmic.  If you ate dinner at a certain restaurant then you were guaranteed a spot in the VIP section at the evening show.  When I booked the reservation, 3:50 was the latest available for dinner and still getting the VIP seats for 18 people.   I was most looking forward to watching Fantasmic with my boys.  When Lindsey and I saw it on our honeymoon 11 years ago, it was the highlight of our Disney trip.  Well, one of the highlights (wink, wink.)  Fantasmic is the evening show at Hollywood Studios that incorporates all the Disney villains and Heroes in an outside show over the water with lots of pyrotechnics, fireworks and a huge video projection on a cascade of water.  Its very impressive and a “cant miss” at Disney.  The show has limited seating and there’s a chance to miss out, so I was willing to have a 3:50 dinner to guarantee us seats at the show that night.

So we all loaded up on the bus and headed to dinner.  Dinner was in the park at Hollywood and Vine.  I fun casual restaurant with buffet –style food.  The problems with buffets at Disney is that a parent can not always control what their child is going to eat.  Of course, you could go and prepare their plate, but that means you don’t get what you want because while you are trying to load their plate and yours, you are constantly yelling at them to “Get over here.  Do you want Turkey or Ham?  No, you have to a meat.  Ice cream is not a protein.  I’m just going to give you turkey.  Well don’t eat it then, but its going on your plate.  It doesn’t matter its touching the potatoes, its fine.  You love potatoes.  Mashed is the same as French fries, just a different form.  I don’t care, don’t eat those either.  How about green beans?  Carrots?  Corn?  Yes you can have a roll?  No only one.  Do you want butter?  They don’t have peanut butter.  Stop whining, you can wipe the mashed potatoes off the roll, it didn’t make it bad.  No, I am not getting you another roll.  Ok, fine, there’s another roll.  Happy now?  Do you want mac and cheese?  Of course you do.  Well part of it is going to touch the turkey, your plate isn’t that big with everything on it.  No, you can’t have pasta too.  Ok, fine.”  And so by the end of dinner, your child has eaten a half a roll with no butter, 2 pasta noodles, and 3 bites of mac and cheese.  They have now carbo loaded and are ready for dessert.  And you have haphazardly slopped food that you didn’t want onto your plate because you are keeping one eye on your plate and one eye on them so they quit bumping the person ahead of you and keeping them from reaching across the strangers plate to grab rolls with their grubby bare hands.  Oh how I love buffets. 

So needless to say, the 2 younger ones, Nate and Wes, had 5000 grams of carbs and sugar, their own caffeine-laden sodas, and were now going nuts in the restaurant.   It was nearly impossible to eat my own meal, because I was constantly getting up to keep them down.  And the 4 and 5 year old just played off of each other.  Up and down, running and laughing, climbing up and around and under tables, playing chase, hiding, bumping into strangers.  I know it was Disney and you would expect kids to be kids but people don’t leave their judgments at the turnstiles.  The staff at Hollywood and Vine were wonderful but the crazed parents who had been at it since 7:00 in the morning with their own little tower of terrors were not as easily amused.  We were able to make it through the buffet dinner and headed outside for a wet evening as the rain continued. 
Everyone in good spirits after dinner, despite the rain.
Josh even had time to dig for gold!

Disney offered free rain water that dripped from the overpass.  Thanks Disney!

The two little ones hyped up on sugar were able to release some energy at the playground.

We had some time to kill, so we went to Muppet Vision 3D and the Honey, I shrunk the kids playground for some play time to burn that sugar out of their bodies.  Then it was time for our fast pass for the Tower of Terror.  Now, Zachary was old enough to realize he did not like roller coasters or as I would put it, “anything fun.”  So he was out for the Tower.  But Drew and Nate did not know any better and I was not going to tell them otherwise.  The cousins had been talking Drew up for the Tower of Terror just like they did for Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, so he was ready.  But Nate was 4 and naive and I am a terrible parent.  So I was ready for Nate to go.  He had no idea what I was getting him into.  So the group split up of Tower and non-Tower people. 


Now at the Tower of Terror, when you wait in line, they take you inside the “Hotel” and group you in a room, shut off all lights and show a single TV screen, Twilight zone-style, complete with eerie music and tell the story of how a group of people checked in, went up an elevator and entered the Twilight zone.   A big set-up for the elevator ride, which takes you up and down randomly dropping you from different heights within the ride.  Well, in the line, as the TVs are telling this scary story and this dark ominous ambience overtakes the room, I am holding Nate and he turns to me and gives me a "look."  I wish I had had a camera that could have caught this look.  Totally un-prompted, he turned to me and did not say a word, but did not have to.  The look was as if to say, “are you &#!%ing kidding me?  What am I doing here?  I am 4 years old and you are not only a terrible parent, but a horrible human being.”  To which I turned my face away, and bust out laughing.  When I had composed myself, I did what any good parent would do.  I turned to him and said “you are still going on this ride.”  No, I didn’t…  Lindsey did.  I asked him if he wanted to leave but with encouragement from his cousins, he wanted to stay. 
And how old are you, Nate?  4?  Well Disney only has height requirements, not age.  Sorry, you are going on this ride cause you are tall enough.

The scene right after the look.  Where he double-checked to confirm with the scary TVs that I am a horrible person.

As we were strapping in our baby, he went silent with a somber look on his face, to which a girl in front of him said “ahh, he’s so cute.”  But knowing all along, he was probably thinking, “Girl, I will end you.  If I wasn’t so mad at my dad and scared out of my pants right now.”  But Nate, our 4 year old, rode the Tower of Terror and did great!  When asked after if he wanted to do it again, it was a “no” but at least he wasn’t crying when he said it.  So I call that a “win.”

After this it was time for Fantasmic, so we all gathered together and went into our VIP seating in the outdoor amphitheater.  It was still raining as we got dressed in our ponchos and took some fun poncho family pictures.

Still happy even after the Tower.

The Allens ready for a wet night.

Grandma and Grandpa

Still smiling as they waited.  But you can see Wes coming down from the sugar high.

A typical family pic.  4 smiling and at least 1 whining, at least.

But as we waited for the show to start, the announcement came on that they were delaying because of the rain.  Within 5-10 minutes, it started to clear out as more rain came down.  But we waited.  This was my highlight of the trip.  And we waited…and waited.  More people cleared out.  And waited.  Then finally, they made the announcement, “This evening’s performance of Fantasmic has been cancelled on account of weather, but please stay seated for a brief display of Disney magic.”  So instead of the amazing show, they instead ran the “alternative rain show” which consisted of a small light show with water jets and firing off part of the evenings fireworks.  It was OK and worth staying around for.  At least Disney rewarded the people who stayed around with something even if it wasn’t the full production.  Needless to say, I was disappointed and my boys did not see what I had been talking up the whole trip.  “It was just some lights and fireworks.”  Of course, the one day it rained on our trip was the day of Fantasmic.  Disappointing but it did not ruin the trip. 

We returned back to our room and the boys quickly claimed all the beds as I went to the bathroom and prepared our itinerary for the next day.  “My best thinking is done on the toilet. –Albert Einstein”  So when I came out, Lindsey was sleeping with Drew and Nate and Zachary were in the other bed, which left the Murphy’s bed for me.  So, too exhausted to complain, I curled up in a fetal position and had my best night’s sleep, sleeping alone, on a bed made for a toddler.
Me and the "Happiest place on Earth!"

“It does not matter where you sleep, as long as you sleep.”  – Every Parent Ever,

The Joyful and Tired Dad

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Disney Trip 2014 - Day 5: Hollywood Studios, Part 2

Now all 10 boys were waiting in line and ready for Jedi Training to begin.  They were joined by 5 other boys to make a group of 15 Padawans.  While waiting the Disney workers came out and asked the boys Star Wars trivia to pass the time.  The boys really enjoyed the trivia questions but as I stated earlier, my boys might as well have been answering advanced physics trivia because they had no clue when it came to Star Wars.  To them Uncle Ben Kenobi was a rice, the planet Tatooine was body art, a wookie is how Nate says “cookie” with his speech impediment, and the Millenium Falcon had something to do with Y2K.  On the other hand, their cousin Luke knew everything  about Star Wars.  No matter how obscure, he could answer it immediately.  It was amazing.  Even hard core fans like Mike and I did not know all he knew. 

Next they handed out a piece of paper to hold your place in line.  It was at this point that my nephew Ben, the 12 year old and oldest of the cousins began to realize that Jedi training is more for his younger siblings and cousins and he might be a little too old for this.  As you can almost see the gears turning in this picture.
"I think I may be too old and cool for this."

Then they handed out the Padawan robes for each boy to wear.  And amazingly, our little Nate who hates attention and dressing up on someone else’s terms, actually wore the robe.   It was only when the camera came out that he began to question his choice of “participating in what he was asked to do.”  Something he has made a career in ‘not’ doing. 

"Maybe I can hide from my embarrassment under this robe."

"No one said anything about a camera."

After this they all went outside and lined up waiting for training to begin.  Who knew the first discipline to becoming a Jedi was ‘patience.’  Apparently Disney did.  It is a lesson everyone learns when going to the most magical place on Earth.  Well Disney and the BMV, both magical and full of princesses.  Let me now breakdown what each Padawan was thinking as they prepared for training:

"Patient you must be.  The way of the Disney, it is."
"whatcha thinkin about?"
"I dunno, the force and stuff."
"We are the cutest Jedi in the galaxy"
"And we know it!"

"You get one picture of me smiling.  One!"

"Why didn't Chewbacca receive a medal at the end of a Episode 4?"

"I've got to pee!  I need to visit the little Jawa's room."

"One day when I am a Sith Lord, this will all be mine!"

"Not if I can help it, brother!"

"What was the cut-off age to do this?"

They brought them all on stage and were joined by their Jedi Master.  He took them through a combo of moves and prepared them for light saber dueling.  Every boy was super into it.  Well everyone except a certain 12 year old, as his realizations became clearer.

"So I swing it like a baseball bat?"

"This reminds me of when Darth Plagueis fought Palpatine on Naboo 16 years before the Trade Federation Embargo."

"When Jedi's fart, is that considered a 'force push'?"

"Which end kills people?"

"Not real?"

"Mom, seriously?  Seriously."
When they had mastered the combo, they received an un-welcomed visitor. 

As you can see, Zachary was totally into it and even was the first to volunteer to fight Darth Vader.  Drew was also prepared to face the Dark Lord of the Sith.

Nate was totally freaked out.  As you can see from this 10 second video.


 He agreed to robe, the trivia, the fake blue light saber toy, even standing on stage in front of all these people.  But then you bring out a real Darth Vader … “$#!% just got real!”  And he wanted no part of it.  At the time, of course.  Because after all his cousins had gone through it and we were walking away, then the tears began because then and only then was he now ready to face Darth Vader.  But of course it was too late.  And since everyone was in a great mood after an awesome Star Wars experience, leave it to one of my children to try to ruin it.  But good thing for cousin Ben who tried to sit on him as everyone climbed on the stroller, Nate got in a better mood.

Can you find all 7 boys on the stroller?
But as you can see, the rain had started.  We headed back to our resort for lunch and naps.  But as the bus took longer than expected and so did a crowded lunch, the time for naps was quickly dwindling because we were scheduled for an early dinner this day.  So with stress levels high, kids starting to complain and whine from fatigue and each second chipping away at precious nap time, we hurriedly gathered the kids, loaded the stroller with drinks and headed outside in the rain.  Trying to save time as rest of the family started running toward our room to avoid the rain, I attempted to take the double stroller down a set of 4 steps.  I’ve done it a hundred times and now considered myself an expert stroller pilot having navigated the crowds at Disney.  Well I took the 4 steps with the grace of a dancer and mid-flight, I remembered I had loaded it with all our drinks, which in turn went everywhere.  Into the seat, into the backpack containing our camera and snacks, all over me, all over the strangers next to me.  And all while it poured down rain.  And Lindsey looked back at me, rolled her eyes, and kept walking with the kids.  I don’t fault her cause I would have done the same thing.  Nap time is more important than anything at Disney.  We got them back to the room, laid them down and I continued the search for the $300 sunglasses.  I travelled back to Animal Kingdom by bus to search their lost and found, only to find out that they take their lost and found items from the day before to the “Lost and Found” building by the Magic Kingdom.  Of course a phone call would have been easier and saved me an hour but no one said Disney was “easy.”  So I got a 10 minute “bus nap” and the kids got about 1 hour for theirs by the time I returned back to the room.   But we could have all used about 3-4 hours for a good recharge.  But no one said Disney was relaxing either.
So as you can tell, the stage was set for an evening full of surprises and merriment,
The Joyful and Tired Dad