Monday, May 23, 2011

Disney 2011 - The Magic Kingdom

I am determined to get all my Disney posts done by the end of this month.  I have been so slack about getting these on the blog.  Maybe it's because the 800+ pictures per day are a bit overwhelming, but I know I will one day want to go back and enjoy all the photos so I must push through the annoyance that I created for myself!!!  Onward....

Magic Kingdom
February 15, 2011
It was a beautiful Florida morning for us to visit the Magic Kingdom.  We had a very excited three-year-old to see Cinderella's castle; she had been patient for two full days. We took the ferry from parking to the main gate.  On the way there, Danny checked his IPhone app, WDW Lines, to see how long the waits looked and to see which direction we should head once we got into the gate.  We weren't getting any wait times or any information....a bit concerning (more on that later).  

Our first sight of the castle from the ferry!  I never get sick of seeing this site!!

Entertaining all of us on the ferry ride

The main gate

Cinderella's Castle

Once inside the gate we decided to head to Adventureland and get several rides under our belt.  But once  in Adventureland we found out there was a massive electrical failure and all the rides were down for at least another 30 minutes, hence the reason Danny wasn't getting any ride updates on his phone.  Good thing we noticed the re-located (since Fantasyland is under construction) princess meet-and-greet at the entrance to Adventureland.  We quickly got in line to meet the princesses and kill some time until the rides re-opened.  

Patiently waiting to see her favorite princesses.

Aurora, Sleeping Beauty.

Emerson's favorite princess, Cinderella.

Belle, Danny's favorite princess.

Success!!  Visiting the princesses killed enough time for all the rides to re-open.  We quickly left the princesses and headed for the Jungle Cruise, Aladdin's Magic Carpet, and the Pirates of the Caribbean rides.  We love them all!!  Emerson did much better at age three, then she did at age two.  The flashlight really helps with the scary, dark parts of rides.
The Jungle Cruise

Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride

Pirates of the Caribbean

Goofy Character Greeting

After our jaunt in Adventureland we walked through Frontierland and checked out the wait for Thunder Mountain.  The wait was too long, but Danny and my dad got fast passes.  So we headed to Liberty Square to have lunch and brave the Haunted Mansion.  I'm not quite sure how Emerson made it through the Haunted Mansion.  I was pretty scared myself, but she put on a brave face and sat between Birdie and Danny.  My mom and I rode in a separate "casket" and halfway through the ride, it stopped.  Technical difficulties again.  Of all rides to get stuck on, we got stuck in the graveyard scene of the Haunted Mansion.  I'm surprised Emerson didn't have nightmares that night.

The Haunted Mansion

After the Mansion, Danny and Birdie ran back over to Thunder Mountain to use their fast passes.  Mimi, Emerson, and I headed to the Christmas shop to pick out our 2011 Disney Christmas ornaments and possibly a character greeting with Tiana from Princess and the Frog.  Danny and Birdie got all the way over to Thunder Mountain and there were more technical difficulties, so they weren't able to ride.  The line for Tiana was also too long, so we decided to check back at a later time.  Once we met back up with them, we took a quick snack and rest break before heading to the castle for the Dream-Along with Mickey show and the Celebrate a Dream parade.  

No better snack than an ice cream cookie sandwich!!  We found these last year and fell in love!!

Dream-Along with Mickey Show

Look how little she looks....

After the show, Emerson and I attempted to go see Princess Tiana.  Unfortunately they had just shut down her character greeting for the afternoon and we weren't allowed to get in line.  So, this is as close as we got to her.  I told Emerson I would take a picture to remember Tiana and maybe we will catch her on the next trip!!

Waiting for the parade to begin

Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade

After the parade, we headed over to Tomorrowland to use our fast pass for the Buzz Lightyear ride.  We had a blast riding this ride; I think Danny and my dad had the most fun.  After the ride, it was time to just relax a bit, so we decided to get in line for the people mover.  Guess what, just as it was time for us to board, you guessed it...technical difficulties!!  Unbelievable, but I did get one of my favorite pictures of Emerson from the day waiting in line.  Emerson was itching to ride a ride, so Danny took her on the Orbitor.  Just as the two of them were getting on the ride, someone cut in front of them and jumped in the car they were going to get in.  The attendant saw it, and instead of making a scene, asked if it was okay if Danny and Emerson waited one turn and then gave them 25 fast passes for their trouble.  Now that's Disney customer service!!  After the Orbitor, Danny and my dad headed over to Space Mountain for some roller coaster action.  They were still bitter after being gypped with Thunder Mountain and since they had fast passes, they had no excuse.  Emerson and I made our way over to wait in line for a character greeting with Buzz Lightyear.  
The Buzz Lightyear Ride

She loves Mommy's sunglasses!!

Waiting for Buzz

Buzz Lightyear
After all our fun in Tomorrowland, we finally made our way to Fantasyland for a ride on the tea cups, the newly named Prince Charming's Carousel, It's A Small World, and Mickey's Philhar-Magic.  Mickey's Toontown is closed for renovations, so we didn't spend a ton of time in Fantasyland.  After all the fun, it was time for dinner.  My Mom, Dad, and I headed to Cosmic Ray's to order dinner and Danny and Emerson waited in line for one last ride on Dumbo.  From the patio of Cosmic Ray's we were able to catch the new nighttime spectacular The Magic, The Memories and You.  Although we only saw the side of it, it was a great show.  This year, Disney is all about the memories you make with your family at their parks.  Pictures are taken from the entire day throughout the park and projected onto the castle.  I embedded a YouTube video, so you can see the magic for yourself.

The Tea Cups

Prince Charming's Carousel

It's A Small World

View from the patio of the Magic, Memories and You Nighttime Spectacular
I love all the colors on the castle. 

After dinner, we headed to the bridge between Tomorrowland and Main Street USA.  We found this spot last year and it proved to be a great place to watch the Wishes Nighttime Fireworks Spectacular.  The spot didn't fail us this year, we had a great "front row" seat for the show.   Emerson was so excited when Tinkerbell, who starts the show by flying from the castle, literally flew right over our heads.  It truly is a magical end to a magical day.  
The many colors of the castle


Wishes Nighttime Fireworks Spectacular

After the show, it was time to head home.  It's always crowded getting out of the park via Main Street, so we took our time.  Emerson had been promised a surprise at the end of the day, so we still had some shopping to do.  I could tell Emerson was getting tired, and she asked if she could lay back in her stroller until we got to the store to buy her surprise.  I leaned her back and my mom began to stroll her.  It wasn't two minutes that I looked back down and she was OUT.  No way was I waking her up, so Danny headed in to find a surprise for her.  He came back out with not one, but two Cinderella dolls.  I think his comment to me was, "There was no way I was buying the wrong doll, so I got them both; a big one and a small one!!"  Such a great dad!!  Needless-to-say, when Emerson woke up the next morning, she was super excited to see both Cinderella dolls sleeping right next to her.  
Main Street USA at night

A very sleepy princess

One last shot of the castle....(it never gets old!).

Until next time....

Whew, so that was our day at Magic Kingdom in a nutshell (or one really long blog post).  It really is the most magical place on earth.   We had a great day full of adventures, fun, laughs, smiles, tears (yes, I even shed a tear or two watching my parents and my sweet baby girl) and memories.    Just writing this post makes me want to start planning my next trip!!  Who's game??

1 comment:

  1. I'm always in for a Disney vacation....Thanks for sharing, the pictures were super as was the blogging. : ) M