The one where Harry meets Mickey By now Harry was absolutely desperate to meet Mickey Mouse; even though he was scared of Pluto. We bypassed the rest of Fantasyland for the time being and headed straight round to Mickey’s Toontown Fair. Ellie persuades Big Steve to let her spend the first of her birthday money on…face painting. Actually they do a really nice job here, much better than any I’ve seen back home. So Ellie is all princessed up and sent on her way with a cheery Happy Birthday. Next instant she spots Goofy holding court outside his Barnstormer with just a short line waiting to greet him. Now next to Piglet, the G-man/dawg is the one character Ellie really wants to meet. She hops in line and gets a birthday hug from the big guy. Of course now she wants to ride on the Barnstormer too. There is no line and we manage to persuade her to settle for one ride for now, as Harry is still not so patiently waiting to see Mickey Mouse. We make a quick trip through Minnie’s house and play with all the cool kitchen appliances that she has. We then head for Mickey’s house but buggies are not allowed in there. As Steven is fast asleep Adrian and myself opt out of meeting Mickey at this point and wait outside with Harry’s buggy to keep us company while everyone else enters in an attempt to silence Harry. Adrian heads off in search of something, probably a restroom and I sit on the kerb with the two buggies. I notice something that makes me a little sad. There’s gum stuck on the sidewalk, not just one or two pieces, and it looks like it’s been stuck there for more than a few days too. This is just one of the things that we saw that make the cutbacks all to evident to the guests. Adrian returns and we head across the “road” to the shady area and the little kiddies play area there. Steven is now awake and needs milk and to bounce around for a bit. Adrian gave Steven his milk while I visited the nearby hat place and purchased a Donald Duck cap as it was mighty sunny. When I returned I found Adrian and Steven in the play area. We let Steven have crawling and bouncing time as much as we could; even if it was only a couple of minutes in a quiet corner of a shop we let him get out of the buggy as much as we could. We found some great places for him to play: details to follow as we encounter them. The rest of the family return from a triumphant visit with the Mouseman and Harry immediately joins Steven in the play area for a runaround. Apparently Harry had run straight up to Mickey and thrown his arms around his legs before climbing up to sit next to him for photos. Ellie goes off to spend some birthday cash on a Tinkerbell sunvisor and we hang around here for another 10 minutes or so to let the kids play some. Eventually we persuade the children that there are other things to do here away from the play area and we leave Mickey’s Toontown Fair and walk down to the hub just in time to see Cinderella’s Surprise Celebration in front of the castle. After watching the show we went through what would become a regular, “where shall we get something to eat” performance. Ellie wanted popcorn. Actually for the entire two weeks I can pretty much guarantee that wherever we stopped to eat, Ellie decided that she did not want anything they offered there. We worked out after a couple of days that if we raved about a certain item, even if we had no idea what it was, she would happily settle for that. But today she wanted popcorn. Big Steve and Lisa weren’t hungry, Adrian was starving. We head through Adventureland and find a popcorn stand but pretty much all the other food stands were closed. Which brings me to the next small gripe: ok, it’s off season, but at least have one place in each “land” where Adrian can get a hot dog. There was nothing except ice cream in Adventureland. We venture on into Frontierland with Adrian getting grumpier by the second (see pre-trip for details about how he gets grumpy if not fed). He starts making sarcastic comments about resorting to eating McDonalds soon and I drag him into Peco Bills telling him in no uncertain terms that it wasn’t my fault Disney see fit to shut things in low season. He lightens up a bit and gets in line for cheeseburgers. Of course the place is totally swamped because it’s the only place on this side of the park that you can get more than a snack. Ellie finds a table, complete with highchair, and holds it for us until we have our food then she goes shopping with Big Steve, Lisa, and Harry while we have our lunch. After lunch we wander out and find Big Steve and Lisa sitting on a bench waiting for us so we can all go together on Jungle Cruise. There’s just a short wait till we get on our boat and our skipper, Christopher, welcomed Ellie on board with a, “Happy birthday princess.” As Jungle Cruise skippers go Christopher is one of the best that we’ve encountered. Even made some of the jokes funny. Harry rated this attraction as “a bit gairy,” and Christopher actually commented as we came out of the dark tunnels that he wished he had a camera to photograph his face in the tunnels as it was adorable. Harry must have been doing this –> Steven managed to fall asleep on Jungle Cruise so Nanny Lesley waits with him while the rest of head for Pirates of the Caribbean – after Ellie has visited the restroom of course. No wait for the ride and we have a boat all to ourselves. Surprisingly, Harry announces that this ride is “not gairy at all.” Oh well, I thought the skeletons at the start might freak him a bit but no, he didn’t mind them one bit.