Day 1, Part 2 Located HERE
We finish eating, and Aaron announces that he's now ready to play a game. We head down and let them sit on a game that appears like they're actually moving a character on the screen. It's about 5:35 now, and I head out to see if the strollers are anywhere near where we left them. They were, and I bring them up to the entrance. I then pull out my cell and give a call out to Mel, an online friend that was down there at the same time. The plan was to try to meet up after we ate and see Fantasmic. I get their voice mail, so I leave a message telling them where we were and that we were heading towards Fantasmicland. She calls back a couple of minutes later and gives us their location and potential plans. They were just leaving the hotel and were walking to MGM…sounded like they were having some problems with Amelia sleeping, so, if she fell asleep before they got to MGM, they were going to turn around and let her sleep. I think all parents have been in situations like that! She said she'd call with an update as they got closer. I put the phone back in my pocket. We walk past Star Tours and past the Indy show which was in full-tilt action…we could feel the heat from the flames outside of the theater. We keep on going past Prime Time (never knew where that place was) and Hollywood & Vine. About this time, Eric crashes hard and is snoring in the stroller. We make it to the Tower of Terror, and Aaron mentions that he wants to ride it.
That's my boy! He's tall enough, but we tell him what it does, and he agrees to wait until later. I pull out my phone and see that I missed a call from Mel. She left a voice mail and asked me to give DaisyDebbie (another friend/fiend in the parks) a call and ask her to call Mel's number. I call Debbie as we make our way up the path to Fantasmicland and leave a voice message for her. We were debating whether to do the show with Eric asleep and, after seeing how close the stroller parking was to the seating, agree to just carry him in. We enter and head left to sit down. Mel calls back and says that Amelia is asleep and that they won't be able to make it. We agree to shoot to meet up at the Magic Kingdom the next day. She then asks if I have Debbie's number. I put her on hold but can't get to my address book, so I tell her I'll call her right back.
We hang up, and I find Debbie's number (which is actually her old number…but I didn't realize it, so that first voice mail I left her actually went to someone else). I have nothing to write the number down with or on, so I tell Aaron to memorize the area code, I take the prefix, and Sheri memorizes the last 4 (my short-term memory is about as good as Dory's, so I knew I wasn't going to be able to remember 10 numbers in sequence for more than a couple of seconds). After a couple of trial runs, I call Mel back, and we recite the wrong number to her. We wish each other well (and best of luck as she had a lot going on with the snowstorm and cancelled flights and extended stays).
6:21 rolls around, and my leg starts vibrating again… "Restricted"…it's gotta be Debbie! She must have gotten my voice mail earlier (so I thought). She says that they're walking into MGM now with Mare's (yes, another friend/fiend in the parks) crew and wondered where we were. After telling her about Mel, we agreed to try to meet up afterwards near the hat for a little bit after Fantasmic. In between pleads to get a Mickey light saber, I tell Aaron that, if he behaves, then maybe he could see Renee (Mare's daughter…a couple of years older than Aaron) tonight for a bit.
Eric's awake but not quite aware of what's going on. I'm a little worried about Eric with Fantasmic because 1) he's not big on scary things; 2) he's not big on the dark; and 3) he's REALLY not big on fireworks. We thought we'd give it a shot since it had all the characters in it…especially Mickey. We warn him about the bad dreams and a couple of small fireworks ("I don't like fireworks. Daddy, you like fireworks. Aaron likes fireworks. Mommy likes fireworks. But I don't like fireworks!"). Both boys get into helping the crowd do the wave.
Then it starts.
Eric sees Mickey, and he likes it!
Then Eric sees Mickey with sparks shooting out of his hand…
…and he starts crying.
Then a short burst of fireworks a couple of minutes later, and he's in the fetal position in Sheri's arms.
And the nightmare sequence doesn't even start for a couple more minutes. He won't even look up when the boats with the Princesses go by. I tell Sheri that I'll take him out before the nightmare and wait for them. She offers to do it since he's got a vice grip on her neck and would probably faint if I tried to get him to let go. We agree to meet by the strollers (she didn't have her phone with her, so we both prayed that we'd see each other), and she gets Eric out of there quickly. Had he not been so tired and overstimulated, he may have had a chance to avoid therapy. Lesson learned…we won't get the prestigious "Parent of the Night" award, but we'll adapt the rest of the trip a little based on this. A little.
Aaron and I stay and watch the rest of it. Aaron's favorite part? When Malificent turns into a dragon and sets the lake on fire! Yep, he's definitely the violent one. He REALLY liked the show. We bolt for the exit the second the show is over, and I've got a strong hold on Aaron's hand so I don't lose him among the 8,000 bodies exiting en masse. We clear the entrance and head to the strollers. Luckily, wifey finds us in a couple of seconds, and the family is again united. Eric seemed calm…it didn't take him too long to stop crying once Sheri got him away from direct view of the action.
We head out and start to make our way towards the big hat. I had my phone in my hand in case someone tried to call. We spotted them from about 100 feet as the crowds were really sparse in this part of the park. Debbie was trying to call someone…me, possibly. We did the "can you hear me now?" bit a couple of times before giving each other a warm hug. Mare gave us all a hug too and introduced us to another family that she was with. Renee came bearing gifts…COOKIES!!! Everyone commented on how tall Aaron had gotten and loved meeting Eric for the first time. Eric was eating the rest of his Mickey Rice Krispy bar and was content in his stroller watching everything.
Christina, Aaron, Renee, Eric
Debbie calls Squid (another friend/fiend...he got left behind in Illinois, though) and tells him who all was there. The kids start chasing a Mickey lit up on the pavement. We all agree to head over to the Osborne Lights for a few minutes. We knew we were getting close to being on borrowed time with the boys, but they were in tow for quite a bit of the day, and they seemed to enjoy seeing other kids, so we decided to go for it.
Aaron stayed with the girls most of the way…he got a little ahead of us (farther than we usually let the boys) but Debbie and Lexie were ahead of them while Mare was close by. Besides, the crowds were still not bad here. We could tell Aaron liked the freedom (he's [i]sniff[/i] growing up so fast!).
We paused for a minute to find out where to enter the lights. The kids decided that I shouldn't be pushing an empty stroller, so I got busy making sure Christina's stuffed bear was securely fastened in the stroller I was pushing…yes, folks, I was pushing a teddy bear in a stroller down the road at MGM.
We got to the entrance to the lights, and Sheri and I were immediately glad we decided to see this Spectacle! As we walked down towards one of the intersections, we considered all hopping into a Photopass line to get a group pic, but every photographer had lines 5-6 deep.
A Christmas carol starts up, and the lights start going crazy…I thought the lights just stayed lit the whole time. I inquired as to what happened if a light bulb went out (do they all go out?). I also wondered, out loud, just how messed up you'd get if you saw the lights (especially the angels) when drunk.
Sheri moved farther away from me and closer to Mare and Debbie.
We got to the main intersection and watch the snow coming down. Aside from the fact that it was still around 75 degrees, the snow looked pretty darn realistic. Aaron tried catching the "snow" in his mouth.
And, yes, we all hurled jokes at each other about the need to eat the snow to wash out our dirty mouths (the snow is made from soap).
Feliz Navidad starts up, and the lights go crazy again. I uploaded a short video of this on YouTube, but the resolution/quality was really degraded on there on playback:
You really can't tell that it's Debbie or Mare dancing, and the kids dancing are hard to make out. Click Here for the somewhat higher-quality one (warning…approximately a 10Meg download, but can at least tell who is who).
I went to put on my sunglasses to entertain Eric, but he wasn't paying attention. I thought I'd sing Sunglasses at Night to Sheri, but she was talking to DD and Badelves (Mare). I'm stuck in a dilemma…I'm putting the clips on my glasses, but the humor's gone (some would say it was never there). I try to take them off without anyone noticing, but I notice Debbie just shaking her head at me. Busted! She turns to Sheri and asks her how much she has to drink in order to live with me.
We walk down one of the streets marveling at the lights. Some of the crew decide they want some roasted nuts and ask if we want some…
...you can only imagine where the conversation went from there. To make things even worse (though funnier), Mare stops me and says that I have something stuck on my back. She looks at it and takes it off…it was a Woody sticker. I'll keep this clean, but you can imagine how the conversation went. Debbie, after hearing nuts and Woody in the same discussion, comes over, and the conversation just spirals out of control from there. Even Lexie (Debbie's teen-aged daughter) was laughing at everything the alleged grown-ups were saying.
Oh, and Aaron becomes best friends with whomever would share their roasted nuts with him.
8:10 rolls around, and we're really starting to wonder about the boys tomorrow, so we try to schedule meeting up tomorrow and say our goodbyes. We are able to get to the bus stops before the second showing of Fantasmic ends and stand on the first bus there. Eric was starting to get a little tired, and a drop-dead gorgeous woman offers up her seat so Eric can sit down. The little devil then starts flirting with everyone around him. We make it back to the Pop and head to our room. Sheri begins unpacking the mountain of bags that magically arrived in our room. The boys are going crazy, so I throw them in the bathtub and get them cleaned up. It takes a while to settle them down, but eventually they fall asleep (one in each bed). I end up with Eric in my bed.
Tomorrow: Magic Kingdom!
Part II Starts HERE