Thursday, April 13, 2017

Spring Break 2017 - Day 5, Part 2 - Magic Kingdom

March 14th, we headed out of our hotel around 7am, caught the bus, and were at the Magic Kingdom and through security by a little after 7:40.  They let you in to the Main Street area pretty soon after that, and per our instructions from our guide back home.  

We headed straight for the castle to watch the welcome from Mickey and friends (you can see some video on this earlier post).  Somewhere around here I almost cried as it was really happening.  We were at Magic Kingdom with our kids. Big deal moment. The gates open and we rushed in.  What to do first had been debated, but ultimately we went on the Peter Pan ride.  It is one of the most popular, classic, and we didn't have a fastpass so if we were going to do it at all it had to be first.  The ride is a flight over London and a neat perspective.   I'm glad we went as it ended up being Brent's favorite ride of the day!  The fun stuff to do and watch while waiting in the, maybe 10-15 minute line was great.  I spent time worrying if we were going to miss lots of other rides, but trusted the plan/app and had a great time. 
Right across the way, was It's A Small World -- also super classic and pretty unchanging.  There was zero line so we hopped right on a boat and off we went.  This ended up being one of E's favorite rides. He especially liked that it was on a boat.  
Next the plan sent us to Big Thunder Mountain in the Frontier Land portion.  The kids made a stop at the stocks.  Big Thunder Mountain was a good, short roller coaster.  Not too spooky, and great to be there early in the day.  We could have done Splash Mountain then with no wait as it was early and cold, but decided to hold off on getting wet on a cold day until our fastpass time in the afternoon.  Next stop was the Pirates of Carribean.  E also loved this one (seeing a slow boat ride theme?) It takes you through the scenes of a pirate adventure. It has been updated a bit since my prior visit and Captain Jack Sparrow is featured here and there throughout along with a few scenes from the movie. 
Next up, Aladdin's flying carpets.  This is a pretty standard type ride with the arms going up and down. The people in the "carpet" have some control over how high or low they go, etc... It was pretty similar to the one fish, two fish ride from Universal, but without getting wet! We began our search for breakfast and in the general direction of Tommorowland. 
E really, really wanted to ride the carousel in the very center so we did! I'd love to say M is snuggling here and maybe she is, but she is also freezing.  You'll note in just a few pictures she has on a hoodie as do Brent and Everett.  It was way colder than anticipated.  After the Royal Carousel, we headed to Gaston's Tavern for some amazing cinnamon rolls (after a lengthy wait).  We then had to eat them while rushing to Space Mountain for our first fastpass time slot. 

E is too short for Space Mountain so we rode the people mover. I was super impressed as it takes you through several rides, is a great view of Tomorrowland, and no line all day. 
This is the view of Space Mountain, but it also takes you inside the ride, which is nice as E wouldn't have been able to see it otherwise and likes space too.  
Rides with height restrictions allow for rider switch.  This is lovely on several levels.  Not the least of which is that one or more of our kids always gets to ride twice when we switch out.  Here is the first crew heading into the Mountain. 
This is B and I going through for his second time.  This was his favorite ride of the day so he was stoked to get to head to the front of the line twice!

Next up, Tea Cups! Very classic, and good fun.  Brent was nervous as he gets motion sick, but he hung in there and had a great time.  He even took a video (see it here).
We were really hungry so we at at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe near this ride.  It was not on the recommended list, but it was close and we were hungry.  I wouldn't recommend it, but fine.  Had to take a picture with Alice before our next adventure. 
FastPas #2 - 7 Dwarfs Mine Train.  This was my favorite of the rides.  E said it made him a scared monkey. I liked that it was tied in to the movie, not too long, but fun.  Sort of similar to Big Thunder Mountain, but I liked it more. 

We wandered back towards Frontierland.  We were early for our next fastpass time so we took a little river raft over to the island, explored some caves, a fort, and this windmill and did a little hiking in the woods before taking a raft back across. It was low key, but a good place to explore. 
Our third FastPass was for Splash Mountain.  Thankfully, it was marginally warmer and a bit sunny so a better time to go.  This ride is based on Disney's Song of the South movie, which our kids have never ridden, but it was a pretty classic log boat water ride.  We actually didn't get nearly as wet as I expected.  It was enjoyed by all.

It was nearing parade time so we took the train around the edges of the park, counter clockwise from Frontierland to Main Street.  Definitely good to have a walking break at this point!

This is the view towards Tomorrowland from the Main Street train station.
It was almost parade time so we hung around a bit enjoying the view and watch a high school band march by before the main show.  The parade was pretty spectacular.  Fascinating to think they do this daily. Beauty and the Beast, the live action version, was opening in a couple of days so they got to lead the way!
Really all the princesses (and princes) were in the parade, but we have to show Anna and Elsa, right?
and Flyn
and Ariel
followed by Peter Pan and Wendy (hook is under the ship swinging on an anchor).
Guess who is next?
The fairy godmothers came skimming along.
With this awesome fire-breathing dragon
There were some other classic friends along the way, but of course the parade ended with Mickey & Minnie

We attempted a photo on main street with a random marching band behind us.  E is not feeling the family photos for almost the entire trip, but I promise he was having a good time.

We had a little time before our dinner reservation so we headed over to Mickey's Toontown Fair.  The lines were too long to bother with, but E really wanted his picture with this train and his new sword.

Somewhere in there we bought a Belle dress, which made me irrationally happy.
Here we are waiting for our names to be called for dinner, but I love his smile.

Dinner was a bit early, but these reservations are hard to get and I really wanted to eat in the Beast's ballroom.
So we did! I think this meal ended up being my favorite of the trip.  The food was excellent was the entire experience, location, decorations, staff, etc... Loved it!  (Ps. Yes, they serve the "grey stuff'" as discussed in the movie).
We visited the rose while our food was prepared.

And this room with the Beast's art collection. 

E found a knight while we waited to meet the Beast. 
M was a little nervous about meeting the Beast, but all was well and this is one of the better family photos along the way and the beginning of our kids warming up to meeting characters.

M then wanted pictures with everything - including this gargoyle
and the rose window.
We headed back to our hotel to rest and find some warm clothes before the evening fun.  Yes, she is wearing a hoodie and a ballgown. She definitely danced in the Beast's ballroom and had a magical time.
We returned in time for a FastPass to Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin before the fireworks.

This ride is more interactive like a video game where you shoot your laser gun at various targets. 
Then we headed off to see the fireworks, which are mostly in my prior video post. 
Brent had wanted to ride the Go Karts all day and I managed to get a FastPass after the fireworks.  While we waited, we all rode the people mover because E and I had enjoyed it so much earlier. 
I am pretty sure this is the only ride where we got to sit next to each other so we took advantage :)

B was big enough to drive by himself.  The Go Karts were a little misleading as they are on a track so you do pretty minimal steering, but it was fun to try. 

We began walking toward the exit and watched a light display on the castle.  I got a FastPass to say hi to Tinkerbell because I wanted to and convinced M to join in the fun.  Tinkerbell was very chatty and convinced B must be a pirate as he didn't want to be in the pictures. This was our first autograph fun too.  
And that was that, we bid farewell to the Magic Kingdom and headed off to sleep before an early breakfast with the princesses at Epcot. I love the Magic Kingdom and definitely think we could have spent another entire day there.  Maybe someday!  I really cannot express how glad I am that we got to share this magical experience together.  

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