We headed up to the Monorail after going through the introductions and getting name tags. Ralph made sure we all got into one monorail car and he quizzed the kids a little bit on their knowledge of American History, to say he was impressed with their answers would be an understatement. He did keep forgetting that they are homeschooled and kept asking them things like, if the principal came in your classroom and did this....the parents all chuckled every time and the kids just looked at him like he was speaking a language they didn't understand..
The park didn't open until 9 so we were not allowed to take photos prior to park opening. We got to walk Right down the Middle of a virtually empty, Main Street USA. I don't care how many times I walk that walk, it gives me goose bumps each and every time!! We headed to Liberty Square and found a quiet spot to do some more talking about the birth of America, the founding fathers, the colonies, etc.
Finally, they came to get us for the moment we were so excited about!! We were brought behind the scenes in the Hall of Presidents and got to walk on the stage, right in front of all the Presidents. It was a very quick walk and again, no photos were allowed but it was so cool and so freaky, at the same time. Some of the presidents had their eyes open, some of them were closed, Abe Lincoln had his arms stretched out and his head down. It felt like he was going to reach out and grab us - we were within reach and they are all so real looking. The walk through wasn't what I was expecting but at the same time, I had no idea what to expect - it was just a lot faster than I thought it would be (not complaining). Not everyone can say they were allowed behind the curtain at the Hall of Presidents, so we feel pretty lucky in that respect!
After we were all done with that, we headed to Frontierland and learned what it was like for the early western settlers. Everyone was given a new identity, a list of needed supplies and several supplies (printed on laminated cards). The point was to get as many supplies as you could on your own list by trading with others. Ralph was willing to trade but he took 2 items for 1 and some of the kids fell for that one. It was a good lesson for them to see, even with just these cards, how hard it could be to get the simplest items, such as a hammer or a bucket.
The park was open at this point and we were off to ride my most favorite of all time, Splash Mountain. We were taken to the front of the line through the fast pass line (there really wasn't much of a line anyway since it was so early). Everyone had the choice if they wanted to ride or not and I think all but Ralph and one mom rode. After everyone was gathered back together, we talked about the story a little bit and the history. Then Ralph said he was taking us to his favorite attraction.....
Back through Frontierland to Liberty Square and we were heading into the queue of the Haunted Mansion - Ralph talked to us about Edgar Allen Poe and The Raven - he asked everyone to count how many ravens they saw in the ride (he left out to only count the ones with red eyes, so there were lots of different answers to this question). We quickly boarded the ride and this is another one that never gets old - I love the hitchhiking ghosts at the end and with the new interaction with them, it cracks us up every time!!
The time had come for our seating in the Hall of Presidents! They had reserved seating for us but again, it was the first showing of the day and it was not crowded in the least. This attraction is a must do!! The kids soaked in the history and seeing the Presidents, alive this time, never ceases to amaze. It is amazing how they turn and look at the one who is speaking and they nod in agreement, words can't do it justice. The boys were inspired to learn more about Andrew Jackson after seeing the film. Between this and the American Adventure, they had some great history lessons on our week at Disney! After the show, we headed outside to the Liberty Bell where the kids in the group took turns giving it 13 rings using a huge leather strap - the bell was still humming for several minutes after the 13th toll.. We got back into our groups one last time to sign our own copies of the Declaration of Independence and to say goodbye to Ralph and each other. It was a quick 3 hours but full of information in a very fun way - the boys will never forget it!!
|Swahili for Go Well|
|Swiping his key|
I really could see myself going to Disney and just visiting the resorts. They are so full of theme and beauty is so unique and captivating in each and every one. I think there is just one that we have never set foot in... You are always immersed in the feeling that you really are in that era or that place. We walked around the Beach Club and the Yacht Club (had to go find the vinlymation trading box over there). Actually, we had our first really bad experience with a CM at the Yacht Club - he was so mean to the boys that I wanted to punch him! If you don't want to deal with kids, you probably shouldn't be working at Disney World, just sayin'... Anyway, we moved on and decided that was enough of that resort and headed back to our own.. We were planning to head back to EPCOT for dinner and since we were up at 5, we went back to just relax in the room. The boys picked up some of the coloring sheets in the marketplace and did that so they could enter them in for Artist of the day.
We headed back over to The Imagination Pavilion - can't get enough I guess. The fact that there is never a line, helps a lot!! We played for a bit on the computers and the boys emailed themselves their creations. They also made music in the different queues and of course, more photos. They have a vinylmation trading box here remember and Austin had to check it out. Andrew hung back, the little sneak, and watched the box when they opened it - he saw one of the Muppets that he wanted so bad and went up and got it. I could not believe he did that!! It made up for the way he was treated earlier at the Yacht Club..
|Plug your nose!!!|
|Imagination is a BLAST!!|
|I would never tire of this view at night - the boys are in there too, tough to see though|