If you missed my recap of day one, check it out here.
We had one goal for our second day at Disney: Meet Elsa and Anna.
The Frozen princesses have been holding court at Norway in the World Showcase section of Epcot, but apparently they are in high demand. We read reports that the lines to see them could take over two hours, and your best bet to minimize the wait was to get there right at the opening. So fifteen minutes before the park opened, we were standing in a crowd outside the gates.
Side rant: Am I the only one who liked it better when they called it EPCOT Center rather than just Epcot? They’ve dropped the whole “Center” from the name. Although they do sell retro T-shirts with the old name at the gift shop.
Once they opened the gates, I ran ahead of Mrs. Cutter and the Cutlet in hopes of getting a good spot in line. Okay, I actually skipped most of the way. I thought it was so cool to be in the park early in the morning which almost nobody else around.
When I arrived at Norway, the line didn’t appear too imposing. I figured I might have about an hour wait ahead of me. Imagine my surprise when a park employee told me the estimated wait from that point was two hours and 45 minutes.
Say what now?
I was stunned. How the heck could THAT many people have gotten there before me?
Apparently, people have found a way to beat the system. They book reservations for a restaurant in Epcot early in the morning, granting them early entry into the park. One member of the party then waits in line, while the others eat breakfast.
That’s a lot of effort to see a couple of girls dressed up like characters from a movie.
We had brunch reservations of at 11, so waiting in the line wasn’t an option. We bowed out and let the more dedicated parents try their luck. Thankfully, we were wise enough to not tell the Cutlet that there was a possibility of even meeting Elsa and Anna, so she didn’t know what she was missing.
With everyone in line at Norway, that left just about every other attraction in the park empty. We walked over to Journey into Imagination and there were only two other people on the ride with us. Afterwards, we headed into the ImageWorks playground area, and aside from us, it was completely empty. It was pretty darned cool having the complete run of the place.
Without long lines to contend with, we were able to see a few other attractions before we headed back to Norway for our brunch at Akershus restaurant. Why Akershus? Because they had character dining featuring princesses.
As groups entered the restaurant, they had their picture taken with Belle. Oddly, she didn’t seem to recognize the Cutlet from the day before, but she was quite intrigued by my Cuttered T-shirt (No, Mrs. Cutter was not wearing hers). We discussed it briefly, and surprisingly, it turns out that Belle is a Phillies fan.
Afterwards, we were seated, and about halfway through the meal, the Cutlet got to take part in the “princess procession.” The various princesses gather up the children and they walk around the restaurant together. Unfortunately, once this was over, the Cutlet didn’t know how to get back to our table, and there were a few tearful moments before Mrs. Cutter was able to locate her.
The sadness lasted only about half a minute before Ariel made her way over to our table to say hello. After that, she was once again all smiles.
After brunch, we hit a few more attractions, including Soarin’. This had the side benefit of allowing us to learn the Cutlet’s height. You had to be at least 40 inches tall to ride, and apparently, the Cutlet is 40.1 inches tall.
Despite being (just) tall enough to ride, we were slightly concerned that she might get scared. Thankfully, she absolutely loved the ride, and even exclaimed, “This is amazing!” at one point. She especially enjoyed the finale when Tinkerbell made an appearance.
As the afternoon progressed, both Mrs. Cutter and the Cutlet seemed to be slowing down. Two days of activity was taking its toll on the Cutlet, and we couldn’t even convince her to go to Universe of Energy. For some reason, the prospect of seeing Ellen DeGeneres being chased by dinosaurs didn’t appeal to her.
Our last ride would be Spaceship Earth. Despite its iconic appearance, I’ve always considered the ride to be a bit lackluster. And it apparently didn’t make a lasting impression on the Cutlet either as immediately after exiting, she asked if we could go into the big silver ball.
She seemed very confused when I told her that we had just been inside the big silver ball.
“Oh. Can we go back in?”
Instead, we headed back to our hotel and enjoyed some time at the pool, and then headed to Downtown Disney for dinner and shopping.
Because everything related to the movie is insanely popular, it is near impossible to find Elsa dresses. (Not that the Cutlet needs any more princess dresses, but Mrs. Cutter seems determined to find one.) Mrs. Cutter hoped that if she was ever going to find one, Disney World would be the place for it. But even the World of Disney store had a scarce offering of Frozen merchandise, and the only Elsa dresses for sale were for infants.
As a nice consolation prize, we bought her a book of princess stories. Naturally, she has been positively obsessed with it.
All in all, it was an excellent vacation. While we optimally would have spent a couple more days at the parks, we still managed to do just about everything that we wanted to.
We hope the Cutlet enjoyed her trip, because it’s probably going to be quite some time before she goes back. But we have lots of pictures of her (most of them with princesses!), so she’ll always be able to look back and remember her first trip to Disney.