Thursday, February 28, 2008

Disney Day 5: Experiencing the Magic, Take 2

There is just something about the Magic Kingdom that is more magical than anywhere else in Disneyworld. So I always expect something a little more. Today was exactly that.

First off, I want to say that today was the most stress free day thus far. That’s because last night we sat down with the map and decided what we still wanted to see. Then I made an agenda and we stuck with it. I must say, that made all the difference in the world …

We woke up the usual time and made our way to Magic Kingdom. We arrived just in time to see Mickey and friends arrive on the train and open Magic Kingdom.

We tried to make our way quickly back to Fantasyland, but that’s hard to do when there is a horde of people with strollers and children everywhere. By the time we got back to Fantasyland our scheduled first ride, Dumbo, was packed. As much as I wanted to ride Dumbo this trip, I also didn’t want to spend an hour in line waiting to do so. The kids saw the nearby carousel, which was empty, so we decided to ride that instead.

Then we went in to see another showing of Mickey’s Philharmagic. It was great again! By the time the show got out things were looking much better at Dumbo.

While we were waiting for Dumbo we realized that Ariel was in her Grotto. We had been dissuaded from seeing her previously because the line was always unbearably long, but not this morning. So I left Brian in line with the boys and Carissa and I zipped over to meet Ariel. She was beautiful, as always, and Carissa enjoyed meeting her.

We got back in line for Dumbo, much to Brian’s relief. He really didn’t want to ride that with the boys! Well, no worries there as the line was moving so slowly. We waited … and waited … and waited. Finally it was our turn. Carissa and I rode in a (surprise!) pink Dumbo and the boys rode in a blue one. We did the obligatory up and down routine and Carissa valiantly attemped to keep Brian from getting any pictures of her on the ride. She would go all the way to the top and sit there. I would distract her and move us down, but as soon as I moved my hand off the control she would do it again.

We said goodbye to Fantasyland and made our way to Toontown for more character greeting. We had seen Mickey but only at Animal Kingdom, where he was decked out in safari gear. We took a quick trip over to his house and finally got the chance to meet him in his traditional attire. Snap, snap, snap and the pictures were over. We tried to go to Minnie’s house next but the lines were really long to meet her so we just let Carissa explore for a few minutes

before take a quiet, almost deserted back path to Tomorrowland.

You can’t leave the Magic Kingdom without having ridden Space Moutain, so we did just that. Then we shot on the Buzz Lightyear ride where Brian, once again, kicked our butts. I think it’s just unfair advantage, him being a trained professional and all. LOL ;)

Next was Monsters Inc. laugh floor. It was funny and entertaining but no one from our group got picked to be on the big screen.

We headed back to Space Mountain for one more ride using the Fastpasses that we had, but it was closed for the moment so we opted to stop at Cosmic Rays for lunch. This was probably the best counter service meal we’ve eaten thus far. It was nice that they had so many selections to choose from and we all got to eat something we wanted.

We were ready to leave Tomorrowland but decided to stop one more time to see if Space Mountain had opened. It had so we rode it one more time before heading to the other side of the Magic Kingdom.

Next up was Adventureland, where the kids got to visit the Swiss Family treehouse. We didn’t go up with them but relaxed near the exit while they explored to their hearts content.

We grabbed fastpasses for the Jungle Cruise before heading over to ride the riverboat around Tom Sawyer Island. It was a nice relaxing ride but we were ready for something more so we found Big Thunder Mountain RR. Since MIL is in a wheelchair we were able to get on with very little wait. We got to ride twice in a row, as we had to wait until our car ended up on the same side of the ride as we got off on. Bonus! Of course, the kids did the obligatory hands-in-the-air riding that has become routine since we came to Disneyworld.
Next up, it was FINALLY time to explore Tom Sawyer Island. For some reason, we just really haven't made it to the island on either of our last trips. Chase had been reading up on it and was anxious to go explore so we took a raft over and spent an hour just playing around and enjoying the scenery and the serenity.We had wanted to go to Haunted Mansion one more time, but the lines were huge and we just didn’t think it was worth it to wait all that time. And the parade was on it’s way so we knew we would be stuck in the area if we didn’t get somewhere else rather quickly. So we crossed back over to Adventureland for a ride on Pirates and to use our Fastpass for Jungle Cruise. When we arrived at Jungle Cruise we found out that we didn’t need our Fastpasses since we had to ride in a special boat with MIL, so I took our 7 fastpasses and handed them out to two families in the LONG line for the Jungle Cruise. It was sort of nice to share the joy with others who were thankful for what we couldn’t use.

By now the day was getting late and we decided to try to find a place to eat dinner. We decided to try The Plaza restaurant. After a short wait we were seated and ready to eat dinner. This was a great meal. It was relaxing to sit down and eat for a change and the food was very good.

Upon leaving The Plaza about 6:15pm, we realized that the parade route was already packed with people. There wasn’t a speck of curbside space available, even though the parade was still 45min away. We looked and looked and finally noticed a place restricted for handicap guests and their parties. So Mom took us in there and we were able to get a nice, albeit somewhat uncomfortable (on the cement!), view of the Spectromagic parade.

While we were waiting for the parade to start the kids decided to buy some light-up baubles for themselves. Carissa bought a conservatively priced light necklace and Chase bought a swirling Mickey ears light up. Tristan had been eyeing the Stitch light up toy since we arrived and he finally got one for his own. Boy, did he love that!

The parade started right on time and it wasn’t long before it made it’s way to where we sat on the Tomorrowland side of the hub. I can’t remember seeing this parade any of the last few times we were here, so it was new for us all. I must say that I really liked it. The music was good, the lights and floats were good and the characters were great. It was wonderful!

As soon as the parade stopped we moved for a bit better view of Cinderella Castle. From here we could clearly see the sky above the castle. We were all set for “Wishes” fireworks. This time Carissa sat on Brian’s shoulders. He talked with her about wishes and told her that if she wished very hard she just might be able to see a fairy. Lo and behold, a few minutes later tinkerbell flew by. Carissa raised her arms up and tried to reach for her. So cute!!! I stood with my arms over the boys shoulders, just enjoying the moment with them. It was such a wonderful show, as always. So magical, so happy, such a reminder of how special and wonderful this time with our kids.

Wishes left us with that warm, fuzzy feeling we always get at Disney and we weren't really in a hurry to leave. Besides, we didn't want to contend with the hoardes headed out of the park so we took our time. We had some photos taken with the illuminated castle

and then slowly meandered down main street, stopping at the bakery for chocolate croissants (YUMMMMMM) and cinnamon rolls for breakfast tomorrow morning. We browsed a bit and enjoyed the beautiful lights
on our way home from this wonderful, magical day.


Catherine said...

What awesome night photos you got! I can NEVER get that right...they're always so blurry!

Becky said...

Great pictures! I am reliving our experience there through your blog...and dang it I want to go BACK! LOL