It was like Christmas morning when we pulled into the parking lot at Magic Kingdom…perhaps even more so for myself than the kiddies. Today is finally the day that we have been building up for months. Countless talk about flying on Dumbo and riding Splash Mountain. I even introduced TV (via Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) to my not even one year old in efforts to prevent a meltdown when he met Mickey.
So to say that anticipation ran high is an understatement.
Our very first stop was to meet Mickey while everyone was still clean and clothed. Since we arrived right as the park opened, our wait was not even 10 minutes.
And that Ladies & Gents concludes our character pictures. From this point on the kiddies were all about the rides. They would catch a glance of a character here or there as we walked by, but waiting in line to take a picture was not happening. Next time we head down I'll be sure to book a few more character meals so we can sneak in our meet & greets without eating up precious park time.
Our first stop was Under the Big Top for Dumbo (no wait..whoot! whoot!) and our first of many rides on Goofy's Barnstormer.
Around 10:30 Peanut & I headed over to Fantasyland to wait in line for lunch at Be Our Guest while the others took Dumbo for another spin. Be Our Guest does not take lunch reservations so it is best to get there before they open to secure your place in line. Peanut & I arrived around 10:40 and the wait for a table was already 45 minutes. When the doors opened at 11 the wait was rumored to be over 2 hours!
The castle is nothing short of magnificent and the little ones had so much to marvel at as we waited to place our order. We choose to sit in the grand ballroom with its gilded walls and cherub ceiling. Diners can also sit in the west wing (the Beast's dark quarters) or rose garden. Like all our meals at Disney this trip the food was fabulous. In fact, Hubby said his steak sandwich was the best meal of the trip!
We made our way over to Under the Sea after lunch. The wait was around 30 minutes, but there was so much entertainment & ambiance that the little ones were thoroughly amused and the time passed quickly. The escape from the sun & heat lulled our lil Bear right to sleep.
Inside the ride was ablaze with color & sea creatures.
After a quick photo in front of Gaston's Tavern, we were off to Tomorrowland. YiaYia & Bopi were kind enough to stroller Bear around for a nap while Hubby & I took the older two on rides. Next up the Astro Orbiter and all voted it our least favorite ride of the park. Hubby & I both agreed that we were glad an hour had passed between the ride & lunch…catch my drift!?!
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin was next. This one was an A+ and Hubby, Peanut & I returned later in the evening for another go around.
The kiddos were getting tired so we headed back towards Main Street and caught the tail end of Dream Along with Mickey while Hubby ran off to rent a double stroller. While planning out today's activities all 4 parental units agreed that a double stroller would be the only way to make it through the 14 hour day. Rather than contending with two strollers all day, we opted to rent the double in the afternoon when the kids would need the rest.
|Have I mentioned my kids are not fans of loud noises?|
Locked & loaded we were headed across the park to finally ride Splash Mountain & Thunder Mountain. YiaYia & Bopi smartly opted out of Splash Mountain and tended to Bear. After an hour wait, Hubby & Belle climbed into the front of the log with Peanut & I right behind them. I am not a roller coaster person…I am deathly afraid of heights, but watching the pure joy on my little boy's face as he held his arms up over his head & smiled ear to ear made the few seconds of white knuckles & screams well worth it.
A quick pause from rides as the little ones picked out Christmas ornaments to commemorate our trip. Then we were off again to ride Peter Pan's Flight, It's A Small World, The Carousel, Mickey's PhilharMagic, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
On our third trip atop Dumbo Belle asked to ride alone; a bittersweet reminder of how very fast time is passing. After the ride, I was finally able to snap the coveted Dumbo & castle pictures. A heartfelt "Thank You" to YiaYia for the contorted way in which you held Bear up without being seen.
After exploring the park for nearly 12 hours, we were exhausted and famished. It was comical to watch us one by one each order cheeseburgers (with the exception of Bear) for dinner. We dined at The Plaza Restaurant, the location provided an unobstructed view of the castle and to some extent electric parade, the atmosphere left much to be desired. Nonetheless, the cheeseburgers hit the spot and we were ready to pound some more pavement.
After catching a glimpse of the parade, our group split up. Hubby, Peanut & I headed off to Buzz Lightyear while the others made their way to the Jungle Cruise. The two boys & I spent the next hour and a half upon as many rides as possible, including multiple trips on Goofy's Barnstormer and Thunder Mountain.
All day the kiddies were rock stars…hardly a whine or whimper out of them. I heard countless, unsolicited "I Love You Mommy" come from their mouths as they grinned ear to ear. My kids aren't huge Disney fans, they have probably only seen a handful of the movies, so their elation came not from a character in the park, but the time we spent together. Today each one of us simply relished the moment….holding hands as we walked; giggling together; sharing ice-cream. Each little memory forever bonding us. Best. (Vacation) Day. Ever!