So, I've been slack about getting these Disney blogs out. Life has been pretty crazy since we got back and the daunting task of going through pictures and writing about our trip hasn't been the most appealing thing to me but I have now vowed to myself to get them out, so I can be done with them and move on. Ahhh...so to much avail, here is the next installment of our Disney Vacation; with the last installment (I hope) to soon follow!
Click on these links if you missed the first three posts:
The Dever's Disney Vacay -Travel to Orlando
The Dever's Disney Vacay - Animal Kingdom
The Dever's Disney Vacay - Chef Mickey's
*I have a couple of new readers that may not know this, but you can always click on any picture in my posts to make them larger.
After a hectic start to the morning on Day 2 of our trip followed by a wonderful breakfast at Chef Mickey's, it was time to head to the Magic Kingdom. The planners of the trip (Amy and I) decided that we would spend 2 days (Day 2 & 3 of our trip) in the Magic Kingdom. We wanted to be able to take it all in and not be rushed, plus we had been told by several people that we would need two full days. We ended up doing half the park on Day 2 and the other half on Day 3. The Hermans and the Devers actually separated for a bit after Chef Mickey's. The Hermans had to meet up with a friend that was going to get them in the park for free that day (score!). Danny, Emerson and I were headed to the main entrance of Magic Kingdom to meet Gretchen, Danny's friend from college, his fraternity's sweetheart and now great friend of mine. It is so hard to believe that Danny has know Gretchen for almost 16 years and I have know her for almost 13. It was also great to have Gretchen with us, since she lives about 40 minutes from Disney and is a regular to the park, she really knows her Disney stuff and gave us the grand tour.
We had about 30 minutes to spare after Chef Mickey's while we waited on Gretchen. We decided to ride the monorail (or Choo Choo, as Emerson called it) over to the front gate where we were going to meet Gretchen. Before we could ride the monorail, though, Danny and Emerson made the first of what would be many Disney souvenir pennies. Souvenir pennies are actually a tradition in our family; something Danny and I started doing while we were dating in college.
Penny, Monorail, and Waiting for Ms. Gretchen
After meeting Gretchen, we got on another monorail to head to the famous Main Entrance of the Magic Kingdom. After a quick photo op, a slight poop issue by Emerson (yes gross but worth mentioning for my memory when I look back on this one day), our bags being checked, and going through the turnstiles, we were in and ready for a "Magical" day at Magic Kingdom. We met up with the Hermans on Main Street U.S.A and were promptly greeted by the "Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party". You know you are at Disney World when the first thing that happens when you walk in the gates is a parade/street party.
The Magic Kingdom's main gate
Main Street U.S.A and parade
After the parade, we made our way down Main Street U.S.A, around Cinderella's Castle and into Fantasyland, where most of the "kiddie" rides reside and where we spent most of the day. We analyzed all the rides on the map, decided the ones we wanted to ride, decided the ones we wanted to FastPass, and then we were on our way. We had a great time riding all the rides; It's a Small World, Cinderella's Golden Carrousel, Mickey's PhilharMagic, Peter Pan's Flight, Mad Tea Party, and the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. The girls were excited to wear their flashlights around their necks (another hint from friends) when we had dark moments in some of the rides. It really did help alleviate the "darkness fear". I am glad we decided to FastPass a bunch of the rides because even though it was January, the lines were still long and I would have hated to stand in line for some of the rides longer than about 15 minutes. It is hard to know what ride was Emerson's favorite because she said all of them were her favorites but I can safely say that It's a Small World was my favorite. You can't get off that ride without feeling happy, not to mention, you have the song in your head the rest of the day.
It's A Small World
Cinderella's Golden Carrousel
A note about Mickey's PhilharMagic...since it really isn't a ride, then I can't say it was my favorite ride; if it was, it would be tied with It's a Small World. It was one of my favorite shows, though. We actually saw this show once each day we were in Magic Kingdom. I loved it and could have seen it over and over again. The show is a 3D show that features Donald Duck traveling through all the famous Disney movies looking for Mickey's Fantasia hat. It is jam packed with action, flying objects, real splashes of water, and blasts of wind on your face. Emerson jumped on more than one occasion when objects came "flying" at her but once she got the hang of it, she really enjoyed it. She loved reaching out and grabbing for all the different items that seemingly came close to her. By the time we headed in for the show on Day 2, she was asking for Donald to splash her face again.
Peter Pan's Flight
Mad Tea Party
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
We took a break after the rides to eat a packed lunch in Pooh's Playful Spot. It had a great section with picnic tables where you could eat lunch and people watch. After lunch, we headed back to the Castle Forecourt area to watch the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade. Yes, another parade; we came to find that there are lots of parades at Disney. We strolled up to the parade area about 5 minutes before it was supposed to start. ROOKIE MISTAKE! Parades are popular events at Disney and everyone seems to snag there spots early. Our group hung around and tried to see over the heads of the people in front of them. I, on the other hand, being the 5' 3" gal that I am, ventured over and found a perfect spot to watch the parade and take some pictures with no one in front of me.
After the parade, we headed to Mickey's Toon Town. I knew this would be a popular spot for the girls. They were able to get out of their strollers and walk around Mickey and Minnie's houses. Emerson loved Minnie's house, would you expect anything less? It's PINK for gosh sake. Emerson had a great time sitting at Minnie's table and playing with her tea set. We had a slight meltdown when it was time to leave Minnie's house, oh who am I kidding, it was a full on tantrum complete with body flung on the floor and all extremities flailing. It was quickly soothed with the idea of leaving to see Mickey's House. After the house tours, both girls coaxed there dads into riding The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm. Emerson barely met the height requirement but she was ready ride the "kiddie" roller coaster.
Mickey's Toontown Fair
Mickey and Minnie's Houses
After all the excitement, we decided the girls might need a much needed break from stimulation. We decided to a ride on the Walt Disney World Railroad, which is a 20 minute ride around the entire park. It was exactly what we all needed. Some laughs, goofing off, pictures and even some ZZZ's (Dale)!! Ivie and I got into a camera war taking pictures of each other. She was actually doing a great job with her Mom's camera. It was nice to sit and just relax, even if it was only for 20 minutes.
Walt Disney World Railroad
After our railroad adventure, we headed back to stroller parking which was subsequently right in front of the Toontown Hall of Fame. You see, the Toontown Hall of Fame houses the character greetings for the Princesses and the Fairies. Amy and I looked at each at the same time and said, "let's check the wait". We knew we had to do a princess greeting or we would have two very unhappy little girls. Surprisingly, the wait for the Princesses was only 15 minutes so we decided to check one more thing off our list. We waited "patiently" in line (if that is possible with an anxious 2 and 3 year old) until it was time to go back to, what I have affectionately named, The Royal Room. When we walked in, we saw that Belle and Cinderella were the two princesses there for greetings, unfortunately Sleeping Beauty wasn't there at that time. It just so happens that Belle and Cinderella are Emerson's two favorite princesses (of her very brief princess knowledge).
Belle and Cinderella
By this time, it was time for dinner and we decided to eat in Tomorroland. We were hopeful we could get this last section of the park in before the Wishes fireworks spectacular and the closing of the park. We enjoyed a nice but quick bite to eat in Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe. Then we were off to ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (we had to kill time before our FastPass), and Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. The guys tried to ride Space Mountain, in fact they had been trying all day, but the wait was never less than an hour and the FastPass times just didn't work with Amy and my schedule (Ha!), so they gave up. Maybe next time guys. After our fun and excitement in Tomorrowland, we headed toward the Castle for the evening fireworks display. It was 7:15 pm and the display was at 8:00 pm, but we learned our lesson from the parade earlier. The guys snagged great spots for us on the bridge and were nice enough to stay put while Amy and I took the girls to get their daily toy.
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
Wishes Nighttime Spectacular
I am so glad we stayed for the fireworks. It was a great show with Tinkerbell starting the whole thing off by flying from the castle right over our heads. Although I think both Amy and I would agree that night photography isn't our strong suit (yet), between the two of us, we got some great shots of the display. It was a great way to end a perfect day in the Magic Kingdom. By the time we got to the hotel, our little princess was sacked out....good thing, because the next morning we would be right back to do it all over again.