I have so much to say and that I want to remember about the Magic Kingdom. I decided to make one post just of my favorite videos from the day, with more stories to come in Part II.
Kathleen Short of Dreaming About the Mouse made all our reservations (Park tickets, hotel, food, fast passes) for the vacation. She also provided tons of resources, recommendations, and insights about all of the things--- rides, restaurants, a plan for the day, what to bring, what to wear, etc.... This is all free as she gets a commission from the sales, but we would pay the same if we bought the things directly so there was no cost to us. She definitely helped me feel like this was all doable and that we had a plan as there are SO many cool things to do that it can be overwhelming. (Side note, I also used TourPlans.com to make an exact sequence of things to do. This site isn't free, but is pretty cheap and has some awesome softward and app for making custom tour plans. It takes into account things like wait time for my specific day, crowd levels, walking speed, etc and you can re-run the optimization while you're in the park if plans change... but more on that later).
Her #1 recommendation, that was reiterated right up to the day before departure email was to arrive at the parks, particularly Magic Kingdom 20-30 minutes before the stated opening time. This allowed us to get through security and to the entrance early. Also, they always open the parks before the stated times at least through the main street areas. So, we were able to walk all the way up to the castle and be there for the opening show above, which was amazing. Also that first 2 hours was absolutely key to our getting to ride SO many rides. We rode probably 1/2 to 2/3 of the rides we rode that day in the first two hours. I am so glad she pushed this point and that we listened as our default is to sleep longer.... :)
Brent and M rode the tea cups together while I rode with the boys. This is one of the classic rides I think of when contemplating DisneyWorld so I'm glad we got to ride it. I think Brent was a little nervous as he gets kind of motion sick and his legs barely fit in the tea cup, but they had a good time and no one actually got sick.
Want to hear more about it? To be continued...