Friday, May 31, 2013

Walt Disney World - Day Three...

This morning we headed for Animal Kingdom!  
  We all wore blue in honor of Gavin...
...and our Super G buttons that were given to us at the funeral by some of my high school friends.
The first thing we saw when we walked into the park was the Tree of Life.  The tree is the iconic symbol of Animal Kingdom - their way of honoring and celebrating all living things. 
If you are thinking about going to Disney World or have a trip coming up, you should keep your eye on the comments here and on my Facebook Page.  Wonderful readers have been posting little tips and insider secrets for me this whole time.  Thanks to a reader named, Aubry, we found a little hidden path that took us behind the tree and allowed us to be all alone by a beautiful waterfall.  Brian led us there...
...and we took a moment to honor Gavin who would have LOVED that spot.
Once again, Disney came through when Brian announced he was SO hungry about an hour before our reservation.  I walked into Tusker House and asked if we could come earlier and she immediately fit us in!  Disney rocks.  Donald greeted us at the door!
Brian was VERY excited for this character lunch because last night he never saw Daisy!  Who knew he had a crush on Daisy!!  
And he was once again very interested in getting autographs, which was so cute.
After lunch we decided to walk over to the Finding Nemo Show.  It was a beautiful walk with so many fun, cultural things to see.  And we found another great photo-op in front of the Tree of Life along the way, too.
We are so happy that Miss Sara came along with us.  We've been having so much fun - and I'm so glad she's able to be here to see Brian's reactions to everything.  
We made it to the Finding Nemo Show!!
We even scored seats in the very front!  The show was amazing and Ed, Miss Sara and I all cried.  Some of us more than others.  We all were thinking of Gavin.  The story line... the music... the colorful costumes... and, at the very end, they dropped bubbles from the ceiling.  I could just imagine Gavin's laughter as bubbles rained down on him.
After the show, we decided to go on the Safari ride and then call it a day.  Brian was hot... tired... and, quite frankly, he needed to get somewhere private to go to the bathroom.  (I totally get it, dude.)  The Safari ride was a lot of fun!  Brian sat on my lap to get a better view and Ed captured some great photos of the animals.
We were so close to the giraffes!
And we learned that Mommy elephants are pregnant for 22 months.  Most Moms on the Safari groaned, but I thought it was pretty amazing.  I love being pregnant!
Speaking of which, I am already slightly showing.  It seems impossible at only ten weeks, but I wouldn't make this up!  And it's not a belly from eating too much ice cream (which definitely is a goal I have accomplished on this trip).  We've been doing a lot of walking, but I'm making sure I'm drinking water and taking breaks.  Lots and lots of bathroom breaks, that is.

Tomorrow is our last day here and Brian is very much anticipating our trip to Hollywood Studios.  We'll be having lunch at Hollywood and Vine for Gavin - there is where we can meet his favorite characters ever... The Little Einsteins.  Brian is excited to see the Star Wars characters and we got very lucky that there is a Storm Trooper Parade and other Star Wars activities this weekend.  There's something called a Jedi Training Academy that we're hoping he can experience.  He's also excited to go on the Toy Story ride which I hear is quite similar to the Buzz Lightyear ride he loved so much in the Magic Kingdom.  We are going to try to make it to the Art of Animation Resort if we can fit it in without stressing Brian out with too much.  My friend, Amy, told me that they have the place set up to look just like Radiator Springs from the movie Cars.  Brian loves that movie - and he would be very excited to see Lightning McQueen and Mader.

Another successful day.  The only thing that could have made this trip better is Gavin.


  1. I think that Lightning McQueen and Mader are at Hollywood Studios. They were a few years back when we were there, I believe by the Honey I Shrunk the Kids area. Check your map! And have fun!

  2. be sure to pull a fast past for Toy Story as soon as you enter the park before anything else. The lines are very long otherwise and they run out of fastpasses pretty early each day. It's miles ahead of the Buzz Lightyear ride and great, great fun. Also, if Brian wants to participate in the Jedi Training Academy sessions, you can sign him up (the earlier the better) for the time that works best for your day near the Indiana Jones show area.

  3. Yes the fast pass for Toy Story AS SOON AS YOU GET IN otherwise you will never get on. I don't know what it is about that ride! ALSO the Jedi Training Academy - you have to reserve that in advance as well. Go in there and stop there immediately before you do anything else..................Lightning and Mater are still there too....we just got back so I am sure they are still there where we left them -- by the San Francisco street mural. Enjoy!!!!

  4. Totally agree with getting to Jedi training immediately upon the park opening. You do have to be four to participate, however. Toy Story is awesome, definitely get fast passes!

  5. Lightning McQueen And Mater Are At Hollywood Studios.You Can Get Pics With Them..Very Near Experience..

  6. I agree with Jessjh -- get the Toy Story fast pass asap. The ride is awesome (way better then Buzz Lightyear, in my opinion) but it books up for the entire day early in the a.m. (There's also a Wii version of this game for at home, if you have a Wii.) Enjoy every minute. You are making memories and I am sure Brian will remember his first Disney trip!

  7. Hi! We are going to Hollywood Studios tomorrow as well. We are down here for our Wish trip for our son. Would love to meet you in person if possible.

  8. I salute your energy. Hope tomorrow Rocks

  9. We thought the Toy Story ride at Hollywood was much better than the one at MK so you'll love it! If you can't make it to Art of Animation (which is cool) you can at least have a meet-n-greet with McQueen and Mater at Hollywood Studios. We were just there a couple weeks ago and loved every minute!

  10. Kate, it sounds like you guys are having a ball and I imagine it has to be bittersweet thinking how much Gavin would have loved it. I am so glad Brian is enjoying it so much. I still think of you guys everyday and say a little prayer for you whenever I do. I lost my Mom 10 days ago and sometimes the grief and sadness just sideswiped you when you least expect it. So happy that Hope got to experience Disney at such a young age! :).

  11. Agree with getting Toy Story fast passes right away. At Hollywood Studios, it's almost best to start at the back of the park and work your way forward. If Brian wants to participate in the Jedi Training Academy, sign up right away when you arrive. The sign-up area is typically around Echo Lake near Sounds Dangerous or the theater for Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular (check your map or ask a Cast Member.) Unless it would be to stressful for Brian to be up on stage by himself with Darth Vader and Stormtroopers--in that case, you can watch any showing from the crowd--it's an open-air stage, standing-room only. Have a wonderful day in the World!

  12. I know you are going to the awesome lunch at HS at Hollywood and Vine (yay! it's truly the best character meal there--warning though, it's only June from Little Einsteins but lots of other great 'friends' too!) but if you have time, you should also try the Disney Jr. show. Bubbles and tons of things fall from the sky there too. :) It's Mickey and friends, Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, and Jake and the Pirates. There's a super fun Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground at Hollywood Studios too not too far from the Toy Story ride.

  13. Such beautiful photos. Giraffe's are my favorite. I hope to do Animal Kingdom later this year. Your trip sounds amazing.


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