Mexico, Norway, China, Germany & Italy in a day...only at Disney

*December 16, 2015*

As the week wore on our morning starts got later and later.

But that doesn't mean we lacked excitement and zeal as we headed to the parks each morning!  While it was great that we were in Homerun Hotel directly in front of the Grand Slam Pool, the boys were thrilled that we crossed the field of Touchdown Hotel on the way to the bus.  Nothing like a little jaunt to the end zone to get you ready for a fun day!

Day three of our Disney visit was off to explore the world showcases of Epcot.  Mama hadn't been to Disney since the spring of 1982, about six months before Epcot opened.  Everyone was SUPER excited to get started on our world adventure, but we did manage pause for a quick picture before entering the park.

Unfortunately within minutes of this photo being taken, we had our first serious Disney mis-step.  Natalie and Daniel were nagging at each other and in the process of her turning her head (while walking) to tell him what to do, she crashed head on into a water fountain.  And it was hot in the sun. Sleepy, hot, slightly injured Natalie is not a fun Natalie and it looked like our day was going to be on the rocks.

Thankfully I glanced at the map, got my bearings and realized we were within steps of Club Cool...the world flavors Coca Cola sampling area.  Not giving our kids soda often really played into our favor at that moment. They could hardly believe their luck that they were going to be allowed to drink eight cups of pop all at once.  

I may have withheld one small bit of information though.  Their expressions when they went bottoms up on the Beverly (a bitter non-alcholic aperitif from Italy) were totally worth pretending like we didn't notice they were chugging as much soda as they could guzzle in a ten minute time period.  

After our beverage attitude adjustment, we set off to the world showcase.  Well, not directly off...we may have gotten sidetracked (and soaked) with some unpredictable dancing water fountains.

Since the kids were cooling off and having fun, I headed over to check in our secret agents with Agent P's World Showcase Adventure.  

Our little secret agents took their role very seriously and sought out Dr. Doofenschmirtz in each country we entered.  After a successful mission in Mexico they decided to re-strategize in Norway to foil his plans.  Doofenschmirtz was no match for my crew!

Norway also brought a troll encounter, but the natives were getting restless.

China was on their minds.

We timed it just right and were close to the front of the line to meet Mulan.

She was quite impressed with the dragon shirts and decided to give them a brief martial arts lesson.

Back in November of 2008, Ian, Kylie, Caleb and I stood in front of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.  

So of course we had to pause seven years later as a family of seven in front of the Temple of Heaven in Florida.  

The shopping options there pulled the big girls in, but Nat just wanted to swing around a pole and be cute.  So we let her...

The heat started to get the best of some of our troupers after we took in the Chinese acrobat show, so we cashed in a snack option each at The Joy of Tea.  Strawberry Oolong tea slush and Mango Green tea slush were just what we needed to put some pep back in our step as we continued along our journey "around the world"...or lagoon as it was.

Somewhere between China and Germany along the water front...

Pretzel and lederhosen with your Mickey ears Ky?

Sometimes exploring the shops was just as fun as any of the attractions.  The kids loved seeing the different themed Mickey ears and checking out toys of each country.

And then there were these two.  I have no idea what they were doing.  Pretty sure they didn't know themselves even in the moment.

Grandma and "the big kids" taking in Italian architecture.

Some members of my crew are known for their aversion to posing for pictures.  Thankfully the draw of a shot with China in the background was encouragement enough for all smiles.  They were so proud to have worn their dragon shirts while visiting the land of their birth.

Even though we were on a straight path with very little backtracking that day, the entire trip was catching up on all of us.  Especially the one who hates walking.  Thank goodness for an awesome big brother who decided that carrying his "not so little" sister was worth being able to continue the adventure.

Next up was the obligatory visit to see Mickey and friends.  Because it was the mouse that started it all...

Goofin' around with Goofy.

He was so silly...

Because we had gotten a late start, we closed the park down.  That meant hanging out by the lagoon until the smoke cleared while thousands of our closest friends we had smashed in with to watch Illuminations filed out.  The China pavilion was quite pretty across the water.

And as we finally made our way 10:54pm, we were wished "Goodnight" in Mandarin on Spaceship Earth.

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