After our first day at Magic Kingdom, it was a bit more difficult to get both girls up and out the door the next morning. Especially Evie. She kept trying to get back under the covers. We grabbed breakfast at Give Kids the World and then drove over to Epcot.
After attempting a family photo, we hit the Epcot Character Spot that has Mickey, Goofy, and Minnie. This was so very special. Usually they don’t allow pictures with multiple characters (it just takes too much time and they want as many people as possible to be able to see them!), but they stopped everything for a bit and allowed some pictures with all three!
Baymax was also at Epcot. Evie was pretty scared at first (he’s huge!), but once Daddy lifted her up, she warmed up to him pretty quickly. When we went to leave, he followed us and wanted fist bumps. It was so incredibly cute!
At this point we realized it was time for Evie’s extra special wish: her princess meal at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall! Unfortunately, we also realized it was across the park and we had less time than we’d realized. So Ty and I got a nice run into the day. The girls LOVED this special meal. They got to meet so many princesses and go on a few parades around the restaurant.
We walked around Epcot’s World Showcase a little, but knew that Jasmine and Aladdin were supposed to be in Morocco. We wound our way through the narrow little streets when a Cast Member stopped us and asked if we were looking for Jasmine and Aladdin. He ushered us to a little room and the girls got to meet them right away. Both of them were so very sweet and I was impressed how calm Jasmine stayed when Evie had a bit of a coughing fit while they were chatting. She just waited for Ty and I to deal with it and then went straight back into chatting and hugs.
We wandered back to the American section of World Showcase and were able to catch one of the shows by Voices of Liberty. So so talented. This was also the point of the day where I just couldn’t keep the tears back. A year ago from that week, we were dealing with Evie’s first GI bleed where she lost 40% of her blood. To be sitting there with her, listening to such beautiful and moving music was almost too much.
Aleyna wanted to give them thank you cards, so she ran over as they were leaving and we followed behind. We ended up with a special chance to just chat with them and thank them for such a beautiful performance.
I think part of the magic of Disney is that you have so many little moments of just absolute magic and joy and smiles. Everywhere you turn there’s something else to see and do and experience. This act was certainly one of my top moments for the day and I’m glad we were able to thank them afterwards and get some great pictures with the girls. I’m trying to remember what transpired that led to one of the guys holding Aleyna’s ice cream, but it sure made for some funny shots.
Speaking of ice cream, I think we lived off breakfast and ice cream for several days. Evie loves to taste foods and asked for ice cream a bunch of times. So of course we got ice cream a bunch of times.
Next we set out in search of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. We could see where they were supposed to be on the map, but it took a while to find them. They’re just in tiny little spot with no signs anywhere. Evie was over the moon once we found them, though!
Evie was pretty exhausted by this point so we thought we’d check out one of the Wish lounges. This is the Siemens VIP lounge in Spaceship Earth (the big ball) and Wish families can use it. It was amazing and made us feel beyond special. We were given a code and went in this little door where a computer greeted us. We entered the code and then it opened another door which led to an elevator which led up to a lounge with a secretary. They had drinks, bathrooms, a charging station, and giant touch screens to play around with. One of them allowed you to change the color of the lights in the floor! Then when we were rested, they escorted us to a backdoor entrance to the ride where we literally went down some stairs, through a little door and could go straight on. The lounge has meeting rooms and such, too, which we weren’t allowed in (especially since a meeting was going on), but I guess the CEO of Siemens said they wanted to give access to Wish families. Just amazing.
After riding Spaceship Earth (which broke down for a bit, but Evie handled it very well), we wanted to let Aleyna go on a few rides while Evie chilled some more. While Ty and Aleyna went on Test Track, Evie and I found a spot to rest. I chatted with Evie a bit using sign language and the man next to me asked if I was signing. Turns out his daughter also has hearing loss! I had such a wonderful time chatting with him and then his wife when she came back from a ride with their other daughter. There’s nothing so wonderful as connecting with other special needs families ‘out in the wild’! There’s just an instantaneous connection that allows you to chat and laugh like you’ve been friends for years. If you two are reading this, thank you for the wonderful conversation!
Aleyna and Ty also went on Mission: SPACE, but neither of them particularly liked it. Actually, Aleyna hated it. But I took her on Test Track again and that brightened her back up.
From there we wandered back over to World Showcase. Unfortunately, Evie was pretty much done for the day and the crowds seemed to be a bit worse (still nothing compared to busy season, but we’re particularly crowd averse). Evie saw Daisy, though, so we jumped in the short line to see her. The Cast Members then sent us over to see Donald. I didn’t realize Evie loved both characters so much, but she was just beyond excited to see them!
And that was when we called it a day. As much as I would have loved to stay to explore World Showcase and watch the fireworks, Evie was exhausted. We promised Aleyna the chance to swim back at Give Kids the World and that made her anxious to leave as well. We tried to grab one last family photo, but Evie was NOT happy about it. Meh. That’s alright. It’s real life. Kids aren’t always happy, but Evie did pretty darn well considering her sheltered existence. And she still looks cute. AND Tinkerbell made an appearance!
I think Epcot may have been my favorite park. It’s one that I would have loved to spend days and days at, just exploring the World Showcase, trying foods, and hanging out. We really had such a good day there. It didn’t go perfectly, but there were so many wonderful moments to blur out the more stressful times. So grateful we could all experience it together.