This update ran a little long with photos so I am breaking it up into two photo filled posts. When last we left we were heading out into the heat and we were ready to embark on our first official WDW ride!! First thing we noticed of course was that our stroller was gone, being the Diser I am I knew not to worry but of course my mind instantly was thinking how foolish I was NOT to add the insurance. I had meant to add it but completely forgot with everything else. Luckily DH was directed to right below the restaurant to the stroller parking area, duh! It still amazes me how much space at Disney is devoted to stroller parking alone! After locating our stroller we headed back up and into Maelstrom with I think only a 10 minute wait if that. This was our first ride queue and we weren’t sure how they were going to react. Luckily the line moved quick and if memory serves me right we made it through with only one fall off the bars and one child ducking beneath the chain to the emergency exit right as we about to be sorted into our boat rows. Our impressions on Maelstrom aren’t extensive, it was pretty forgettable. The kids liked it but never mentioned it again and we all were not big fans of standing waiting on the Norway film. We were the first boat to unload so we had quite a wait and all we wanted to do was get our Disney exploring on. The kids spent the time walking on the edge overlooking the water. I was convinced they were going to lose a Croc over the edge but I tried my best to let them explore. DH and I used the time to look for hidden Mickey’s which after 7 days at WDW I can honestly say they are well hidden! I will be reading a Hidden Mickey book before our next trip! By the time the doors opened to the movie there was quite a crowd waiting and we were at the back and I am sorry to say we didn’t stay and watch the film, nor did ANYONE else. The theater was completely empty as we walked out and we felt really bad, but we were ready to bust out on the WS. We loaded the kids into the stroller and headed off to China. We had been hoping that DD would take a nap through the WS but she had no intention of that and she became very grumpy very fast. With DD grumpy and the heat we were not touring China, more skimming it until we made our way to the back of the pavilion where we met a piece of Disney Marketing Genius!! Being a fan of thecapells’ trip report I was looking forward to the KidKots and that is where we found our first! Ethan was an instant fan and although he didn’t understand what the mask was at first he was very excited to receive his. He proudly recited his name and age and received his personalized mask with Chinese name and learned he was born in the year of the Rooster. The guy working the KidKot table made one for DD as well, but messed her name and she has a Mickey head, lol. He was also flustered about her animal as well. She said she was a pig, which I thought was correct since I am as well, but then he changed it and stamped what looks like a horse. We set DS loose on the table of markers but since DD was grumpy we thought it best to keep her in the stroller, she is fine once she is in the stroller but getting her back in it would have been WW3. We explored the gift shop while DS was coloring and DH found a solar keychain for me, but I’m not big on key chains so I passed. After looking a while I convinced DS that we would continue his mask at the next country, he of course had to have a look around and really liked the puppets. We cut it short since DD was again getting grumpy and we needed to be on the move. Now here comes my stupidest move of our entire vacation and I am still to this day mortified about it! I KNEW we were in China but my brain didn’t register that apparently when I went up to a vender and ask them where the Pick a Pearl was. “In Japan”. I was horrified, I felt like I had completely disrespected the entire country of China! Needless to say I wanted to hightail it out of China! We were headed out when we spotted Mulan a few feet away and as I bent down to let DD out of the stroller Mulan we saw Mulan leaving…. Oh well better to get out of China before the vender told a friend and an entire mob descended on the idiot American who didn’t know China from Japan. Next stop Germany or land of BEER as my husband calls it. He was very excited about Germany and trying a beer that he couldn’t get at home. He however stopped at the first cart he saw and ended up with Beck’s, he is still upset that he didn’t explore more! I left DH enjoying his beer with DD who was very grumpy and very sleepy and took DS into the gift shop to find the KidKot. This time I remembered that we had taught him how to say hello in all of the WS languages and German was his favorite. He wasn’t shy and greeted the KidKot worker with "Guten Tag!", he was so proud of himself. He chose yellow for his mask and hunkered down for some coloring. I have to say that I could have spent hours exploring that gift shop, it was very interesting, but I could hear DD giving DH a heck of a fight and I felt guilty leaving him to deal with it by himself. I convinced Ethan he would have more time in the next country and we headed out. I was hoping to get a good photo of the kids with the fountain in Germany since but they were NOT having it. Our first Hidden Mickey We loved the miniatures in Germany! When I was in Jr. High I had a favorite teacher that had lived in Germany for many many years and he LOVED talking about how beautiful the countryside was and I have always wanted to visit to see what he spoke so highly of. Then miniatures were a beautiful recreation of what I had in my mind. The kids however were NOT behaving. I figured they were hungry since they didn’t really eat all that much at our meal. I cannot express how much we LOVED the dining plan! We LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!!! We are the type of people who would worry about every penny spent on food even if we had allotted twice the money for it, that is just us. Having ALL of our food prepaid was a huge time and stress saver! Not once did we ever worry about rationing snacks or how much a snack cost or if we really needed one. If we saw a snack and we wanted it we got it! It was GREAT! I have to say the popcorn was our favorite of the week; do they put something in the popcorn to make it better at Disney? To put it simply we began our snack plan in Germany with a pretzel and water. The pretzel was good but mostly went to waste since the kids didn’t really like it and I was stuffed!