I had consulted the maps of Hollywood Studios last night to try and prep our day and found that there just didn't seem to be all that much available. Probably enough to keep us busy for most of the day but nothing that really screamed "MUST DO!" Maybe the Indiana Jones stunt show, definitely Fantasmic if we could time it right, but other than that I decided we'd just play our day by ear.
We arrived at the park and after being greeted by the awesome and gigantic Mickey wizard hat we made our first stop at the Voyage of the Little Mermaid live show. It was roughly 20 minutes, and was cute for the kids, but was just a semi-live action rehash of the movie. I had hoped for some original material rather than stuff Cam and I have watched 267 times already. That's an exact figure for those of you at home. The wait plus the show got us right up to lunch time so we took a break for grub and then made our way over to the big stage to watch Beauty and the Beast performed musical style. It was very well done and entertained us all, but again it was another rehash of the movie. Doesn't Disney have any side stories to tell with these characters? Perhaps Ariel sings a song about her new found toes, or we get a look at Gaston five years later as he battles alcoholism and a beer gut. Or maybe not. I guess that's why they stick to what works...
It was getting close to being time to leave for us to make dinner at Park Fair, so we rushed through two more "rides" which I would have been perfectly happy to have missed. The first was "The Great Movie Ride!" which sounded, um, great, so we hopped on. Turns out it was pretty boring and filled with cheese, recapping scenes from classic movies performed by animatronics and then filled in with our tour guide and another actor that tried to play an old west cowboy but could barely cover up his Australian accent. Nice try puadnah. This ride hasn't been updated with any "classics" since about 1980 so more than half the group was totally bored. If any of these kids knew who James Cagney was I'd have given them a dollar. Once it was over we filled our last half hour with Journey into Narnia: Prince Caspian. Sadly the journey only consisted of standing in line, then being shuffled into a big room where we all stood packed together while an extended trailer for a three year old movie played, then we were let out of the room and shown about five props before hitting the street. So far Hollywood Studios wasn't blowing me away. But we were going to come back later in the evening to pick up where we left off so we bid farewell for now.
It was time to hop a bus to the Grand Floridian resort for dinner. We arrived to an absolutely gorgeous, stately and imposing hotel. We had time to walk the grounds for about 30 minutes before dinner and I was very impressed by the place. I wouldn't mind staying there if we come back. Plus it has the super spiffy monorail service to the Magic Kingdom. That's a huge bonus in my book!
After a quick family picture it was finally time for dinner at 1900 Park Fair for Cori's birthday. This was another character filled extravaganza, with the crew from Cinderella along for the ride this evening. The restaurant is perfect for kids being buffet style, and there were plenty of dishes to choose from. During dinner we were greeted by the Wicked Stepmother and the two step-sisters, Anastasia and Drizella. They were a lot of fun, and Anastasia sat down with us and had a little chat with Bean. I almost expected her to finish dinner with us but the Bean magic released her back to her duties. We enjoyed our dinner, I enjoyed a very strong alcoholic drink, then Cori was treated to nice chocolate birthday cake and we were also served a ridiculously huge platter of ice cream. I left feeling way too full and we reluctantly made our way to the bus station.
We ended up making it back to Hollywood Studios only 45 minutes before Fantasmic was scheduled to begin and by this point it was already standing room only. I guess you need to be there about 90 minutes early to get a good seat. There was no way we'd make it through the show standing with so many people on full bellies and a quickly fading three year old, so we took a final walk through the park and then headed home. We had planned a night of swimming at our hotel but Cam fell asleep about 2 minutes before we stopped, so we came back to the room and called it a night. She woke up about ten minutes ago all angry that we can't go swimming now. This girl likes to party! Hopefully I can make it up to her with a day at Epcot tomorrow and some swimming when we get home.
Once again, I'd like to wish my Munchkin a very happy birthday and I hope she enjoyed herself. I sure wish we'd have had Krissy with us today but I know for a fact she's been watching our adventures very closely. She'd probably have some planning tips for me but she knows I always fly by the seat of my pants. We were all thinking of her today. Love you babe!