Saturday, April 14, 2012

Disney - Day 5

After our success the day before of arriving early, we decided to do it again for the Magic Kingdom.  Although arriving at opening was a tall order since extra magic hours started at 7am!  Good grief.  We didn't make it that early but we did make it by 8am.  The park is so much quieter and cool at that point, it quickly made everyone see that it was worth the effort to get everyone out of the room by 7:15am. 


We scooted quickly to Tomorrowland so we could ride Space Mountain.  Jason and the girls decided to ride Buzz Lightyear again and then the Peoplemover.  Bryce LOVED it!  I had forgotten how much you have no clue where you're going, but I remembered how much I liked it.  We could have ridden it again but I didn't want to make the girls and Jason have to find something else to do so we kept on moving.

At this point, we employed the TouringPlans.com method.  My mom and I took the kids to ride Dumbo and the Barnstormer while my dad and Jason went to snag fast passes for Splash Mountain for later.  This worked perfectly and just as we finished up the Barnstormer, the men were back. Dumbo was great - they really have made an old ride new again - it looked so festive!  I will look forward to seeing the dueling Dumbos the next time we go back.



I was proud of Caroline for riding the Barnstormer next.  It is a rollercoaster, but a kid coaster and while it's pretty short, it's an actual coaster.  She said she liked it but didn't want to ride it again.  This was also where Bryce left his Goofy hat - but we didn't realize it until later.


Next we worked our way through Fantasyland where we saw Mickey's Philharmagic (love!) and It's a Small World.  The kids really liked both.  We wanted to do Peter Pan but the line was too long and FastPass was for much later.  (I just don't get that ride - I hear they are going to be revamping it after the new Fantasyland opens.)

It was in the waiting area for Mickey's Philharmagic that Bryce suddenly realized his Goofy hat was missing. I was pretty sure that he had left it in the pocket on the Barnstormer because he had ridden on that ride alone (I was with Piper and Caroline with my mom).  So after we got out of the show he and I ran back to the Barnstormer (I think it added at least 1,000 more steps to my count that day!) and talked to the cast member at the gate.  On the run over, Bryce kept insisting that it wouldn't be there but I reminded him that this was Disney World and things are different here.  The cast member was so friendly and went right up to check.  There it was and I told Bryce that this was an example of "Disney Magic."  We ran back to Fantasyland to meet the rest of the group and Bryce had this big smile on his face the whole time.

Then we rode Splash Moutain and the kids LOVED it.  So much that we immediately grabbed another set of fast passes for after lunch.  They loved getting wet and all the dips.  My dad took some pics and a video, I think - but I haven't seen them yet.  Since we were now cooled off, we decided to go and check out Tom Sawyer's Island for a bit.  The kids really liked it and ran all over the place.  I made sure they got to fire the guns since it was a distant memory I had from when I went to Disney in 1981 (I don't remember going in 87 or 92.).



We made our way through Adventureland and found the wait for Pirates was too long for kids ready for lunch.  This is one of the only rides I'm kind of sad about not riding.  (Bryce got to on Sunday though.)  But since we did have time before we were ready to eat, we went to the Tiki Room and the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.  Not even thinking about it, the five of us went up and Jason told me later he was pretty freaked out.  I forget how intense his fear of heights is and even in a sturdy, safe climb like that, he gets very unnerved.  But he ended up doing okay and the kids liked seeing everything from the movies.  Of course Piper kept asking, "Where's Roberta's room?" the whole time since she has watched the movie a few more times than the other kids.


We had a quick lunch at Tortuga's Tavern (a quick, counter service) where Bryce mistakenly dipped his Goofy hat's teeth in some salsa.  Those teeth were gross - not white anymore. We kept telling him that he needed to take it to the dentist for a whitening.  A few days later I used soap and got them cleaner just after Caroline picked it up and said, "Ew, Bryce, your hat smells like salsa and sweat!"



Lunch was done so we rode Splash Mountain again with our fast passes!  (My dad LOVED fast pass!)  At this point, I could have gone for another ride or two, but the kids were done.  So we caught the Disney Railroad back to the main gate which was a nice rest for everyone's feet.


One of the great things about the railroad is that it lets you off at the main gate so you can bypass a crowded Main Street.  We came out of the station and saw a perfect opportunity to get a family photo.  Nevermind the fact that I look like a semi-drowned rat thanks to two Splash Mountain rides.  It makes me laugh that the instant the random person taking our photo took the picture, fireworks came up from the castle.


We made it back to the resort in good time and headed over to the pool for some more swimming.  Piper made good use of the pool bathroom (again!) and they all did he slides a few time.  Jason and I were appreciative of the poolside bar and had a few drinks.  After swimming in the main pool for a bit, we went to the "quiet" pool closer to our room for a short bit and then went back to the room to get ready for dinner - Chef Mickey's!  We caught the bus to the Magic Kingdom and then rode the Monorail to the Contemporary.  Why does the Monorail still smell like that?  Seriously, it has smelled like that since I was a kid - what gives it that hippo house smell?  But the kids liked the ride and I liked the nostalgia of it all.


Look, Jason, something is taller than you!


Kelly and I in our dueling Minnie ears - yes, I wore them most of the week!



Waiting to be seated, Piper did some posing for me.  Notice the Rapunzel dress that she just had to wear - she felt so beautiful!



Our official Chef Mickey's group shot:


We sat down for dinner and Caroline starts complaining that her loose tooth is bothering her.  I told her she should just pull it and be done with it and well, she did!  2nd lost tooth in Disney!


 We didn't have much time to get food because the characters started coming quickly!  I'll be honest, it kind of stressed me out and the kids weren't 100% sure of what to do.  We tried to do some videoing and taking pictures so we were both focused and on guard for when a character came to our area.  One of the funniest parts of the experience is that I had to remind the kids to STOP eating each time a character was at our table.  Any other time I have to tell my kids to eat and in this case, they sat there and kept shoveling food into their mouths when Minnie was right there.  I guess they're not used to cartoon characters coming by while they're at dinner.  But all in all, it was great.  I'm so glad we had this on the schedule so we didn't have to wait in any lines in the parks to see them.  Minnie was as sweet as can be:


Goofy took Bryce's hat off and put it on Jason and kind of messed with him a little bit.  Goofy also kept putting Piper's hat over her face which was pretty funny too - I liked that he pulled up a chair and just sat down with us.


Pluto was interesting because in order to sign autographs he had to put the pen and book up on his snout to see it.  So when it was Piper's turn to get his autograph, she placed the book and pen right on his nose for him. It was pretty cute.


Mickey was super happy and fun!


And so was Donald although Bryce pulled his tail and Donald and Bryce got into a stare down that had Bryce in giggles.  Of course the girls had to give him a kiss on his beak.


We ended up being seated seperately from my parents and Kevin/Kelly so the kids kept running over to their table on the other side of the restaurant and seeing the characters again.  Apparently, Piper was dancing with Goofy and my dad has it on video.  I need to see that.

After a delicious meal, we rode the monorail around the Seven Seas Lagoon back to the Magic Kingdom to get a good spot for the Electric Light Parade.  We headed in the direction of Liberty Square and there, right before my eyes was something that I've always wanted to do - silhouettes!  I remember sitting near them for the same parade when I was 10 and hoping my mom would want to do them for us.  And then my friend Katie and her family visited a few weeks before and had them done for her girls and reminded me about them.  I'm so glad she did because I was kind of looking for them.  It's truly amazing - they sit and look at the side of your face and cut it out freehand from some black paper and then paste it on white paper.  Piper didn't even have to wake up from her nap!  She was done in less than 20 minutes - I already posted the result here.


Caroline had been begging me to ride the tea cups again so Bryce, Caroline, Bertie and I hurried over to Fantasyland for a quick ride.


We were really pushing it on time though because we had to take a detour to get back to our spot before the parade started.  But we arrived in time and it started.  Caroline, who kept saying she didn't want to see "that dumb old parade again" was sitting right in front and once it started I asked her if she thought it was better seeing it up close.  She turned around with this excited look on her face and said, "OH YEAH!!!"  Disney magic!  A little blurry because I didn't want to use a flash, but you get the idea:


This has always been on my favorite parts of the Electric Light parade - the dancing royals that go along with Cinderella's carriage.  I love that they have illuminated dresses and are able to dance down the street under an illuminated canopy without missing a step.


This photo makes me smile because it is just how Bryce was the whole week - he waved.  He sat and watched that parade go by and waved to everyone (even though I'm sure most people couldn't see him).  It was so endearing.  Also any time there was music playing or a passing parade, he would start clapping and stomping his feet - the magic just filled him up and he had to move!


After the parade was over, we had a great view of the castle and thought we could watch the fireworks from there.  The pre-fireworks show on the castle was truly amazing and I couldn't believe how they could transform the castle right before your eyes into different facades and colors.  I loved it!   But then the fireworks started and we quickly figured out we were in a BAD spot.  So we started walking toward the castle to try for a better view, but because they had already started and the park was packed, we could only keep walking toward the gate or get yelled at by a cast member to keep moving.  There was just no place to stop and watch.  We kept turning our heads back to watch so we did see some of it.  I was a little disappointed but one advantage was that we reached the gate just as the fireworks ended so we didn't have to wait long for a bus back to the resort.  Plus, we had already seen Fantasmic and would be seeing Illuminations the next evening.  We were all tired but it was a terrific day.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Another fun day! We lost Teagan's bow on Peter Pan and ran back to find it too! :) I love the silhouettes. I kinda wish I had done 3 separate though... next time. I asked the guy who did ours and he said he does about 50 per day! Can you believe that?!? It was really cool and they look like the kids! I didn't know about Jason & heights and rides-- sounds like he fits in with L & I. LOL.

Sounds like you found the best way to beat the crowds-- I am impressed that you got out so early!