Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 1 At Magic Kingdom!

As hard as it is to see, this first picture has tons of memories. It is on the monorail at 7:45 in the morning of the first day when Addie saw the CASTLE for the very first time. The look on her face was worth a million dollars.
Walking into the parks for the very first time. Much of it was just like I remembered as a child. The smells that greet you help take you to another world.... buttered popcorn and warm cookies. Music is playing, cast members are standing out on main street waving with their BIG Mickey hands and trolley's are coming by with acapella singers on them to set the magical scene.
We were just about to enter the castle and I turned around to see Addie's face taking it all in.
Our first stop was the classic Dumbo ride.
Once Addie found the lever to control going up, she NEVER came down.
Our whole group had fun sticking together the entire day. We did every single ride in Fantasyland including Winnie The Poo, Peter Pan's Flight and It's a Small World.
The gorgeous carousel grabbed Addie's attention.
We heard Ariel was around and after waiting for almost 45 minutes, Addie decided she really didn't want to meet Ariel after all. Carter was a trooper and got good bonding time with Price Eric.
Then in was off to Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It was Carter's VERY FIRST REAL BIG ROLLER COASTER! We sat him near Marshall and he did really great. It was really loud so I think that is what scared him the most but by the end he was wanting to go on it again! We were all so proud of him.
At lunch, Addie LOVED getting to stand in her chair and sing the hokie pokie. When they asked on the microphone if anyone wanted to come to the front and lead the entire restaurant in a song, Addie was half way to the front before we noticed she was gone. She got to help sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."
Hip Hip Hooray for NAP time!
After a 3 hours of rest, we headed back to the park to ride Buzz Light Year, a ride we all loved!
Then it was time to claim our front row seats for the the Electrical Parade.
I can't say enough about this parade. It was totally worth the late night and crowds.
One of my favorite memories of this night was watching Carter rand Addie here, waving to every single character that came by and then turning as far as they could see down the path to see the next lit up float coming their way.
Our Day's Favorite Memories:
  •  The look on Addie's face, when all 15 of us were on the 7:30 AM monorail to Magic Kingdom and I showed her the Disney Castle between the trees.  If I could only have one memory from the whole trip, this would be it. I am sad I didn't think to have the video camera going at this moment. This is the moment in time to freeze for me.
  • All week, Addie and Carter called the monorail, "The Flying Train."
  • From day 1 to the very end, Addie added an extra syllable to the word "DISNEY." It sounded something like, "Dis-sin-ey." It was so catchy though, several of us adults found ourselves copying her version. (I have her on video saying this.)
  • The night at the Electrical Parade, watching the 2 of them, sitting in their strollers, watching everything so intently. They both leaned out as far as they could during any break to catch the first glance of what amazing character was going to be on the next float. They were in total and complete ahh. (I have video of this.)
  • The Customer Service at Disney, even during the busiest week of the entire year. On this morning, after Dumbo, I pulled out my map to find our next stop and within 5 seconds I had a cast member over my shoulder asking me where I was wanting to go. Blake noticed that same morning in the bathrooms, a cast member going into each stall after each person disinfecting it.
  • The 15 of us sitting at lunch on this day at the Wilderness Resort when they came on the microphone asking if anyone wanted to come up and lead the huge room in a song. Addie was 1/2 way to the front before we noticed she had climbed out of her chair and was gone. (I have video of her singing up front.)
  • Once entering the very first ride of the trip, Dumbo, Addie racing all around insisting on only riding in the PINK elephant.
  • Carter wanting nothing but rides, not at all interested in meeting characters on this first day!
LOGISTICS:
We left on a early 7:30 bus to get the monorail to Magic Kingdom for the Early Mickey Hour (EMH) and Blake ran all 15 of our tickets to Space Mountain to get a Fast Pass (FP.)
Tour guide Mike was right on with his recommendations and we were able to see 13 HUGE attractions by lunch time!
1. Dumbo
2. Winne The Poo - cute. (We loved the honey comb screens when you walk in.)
3. Peter Pan's Flight - the best ride in Fantasyland.
4/5. M&M, Julie and Sean went to Snow White (a little scary for C&A) while we did Cinderella's Golden Carousel with Ya Ya.
6. It's A Small World, which has recently been re-done and is such a classic. This is one I definitely remember as a child.
7/8. Everyone else went to use FP for the famous Space Mountain, the kids, Ya Ya and I went to Mickey's PhilarMagic (my favorite show at Magic Kingdom.) It was so cute and I loved the 3-D effect with all of the most popular Disney songs.
9. We stood in line for our first character greeting (my longest line all week!) - 40 minutes to see Ariel and Prince Eric. Addie did great in line but when it was finally our time, she refused to go up to them. I was so thankful that Carter went and talked to Eric. :)
10. While we were waiting in line, Uncle Sean took Carter to explore Tom Sawyer's Tree House.
11. Big Thunder Mountain was next for the entire group (except Addie and YaYa.) 12. Splash Mountain. I am proud to say I was the WIMP wearing the plastic rain coat not wanting to be drenched before lunch!
13. Pirates of The Caribbean - The kids and I opted out. Blake said it was okay but definitely glad he didn't wait in a long line to see it.
14. We made reservations at Whispering Canyon at the beautiful Magic Kingdom Wilderness Resort. The restaurant was fun however the food was not that good at all and I wouldn't return. However, it was cool to take a boat to the hotel from MK. Also, they had us up doing all kinds of dances in the dining hall including the hokie pokie. They asked if anyone wanted to come to the front and lead the entire restaurant in a song. Before we realized it, Addie was on her way to the front not even looking back to see if we had noticed. Our confident future little star helped sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." 
15. After lunch (2:15), Erin and Ashley went to get FP for Buzz Light Year while the rest of us went back to the hotel to rest before our BIG night.
16. After some good naps, we returned at 6PM, for Buzz Light Year. The line was 120 minutes long but we "buzzed" right by in less than 5 minutes with our Fast Passes.
17. We came out and enjoyed the Tomorrowland Street Concert going on with all kinds of 80's music blasting with characters leading us all in dances.
18. We took night time pictures in front of the gorgeous lit up castle on our way to our spot for the parade.
19. At 8:00, an hour before the INCREDIBLE Electrical Street Parade, we staked our group of 15's front row spot in Frontierland, right in front of the Hall of Presidents. (If we had been a smaller group or obviously not Spring Break week, there would not be any reason to be so early.) We made the most of it together and the cast members brought out huge jump ropes and tic tac toes directly in front of us and we helped entertain dozens of kids!
The 9PM Electrical Parade is one of the TOP 5 highlights for us of the whole trip! It's spectacular and SO WORTH the return late night trip to MK.
20. The Magic, The Memories, and You! Slide show (9:45) and Wishes Nighttime Spectacular (10PM) - we moved closer to the castle and into the enormous crowd. Our group got split up. We watched the slide show which lit up the castle in the neatest way that leaves you thinking, "Wow... how did they do that?" We watched the beginning of the fireworks and made sure the kids had a clear view of TINKERBELL FLYING from the top of the castle, which they LOVED! After a few more minutes, the kids wanted back in their strollers and were exhausted by 10:20, so we decided to start heading to the exit. THE CROWDS AT THIS POINT ARE UNBELIEVABLE in front of the castle and ALL THE WAY down main street to the exit but they do a good job leaving a small walkway on the side. We turned the strollers around and pulled them backwards to allow C&A to see the fireworks and we passed THOUSANDS of people. The last firework went off just as we were out the gate and going to the monorail and we were home IN BED before the rest of the group even got out the park. ;)

TIPS FOR OUT MK Trip NEXT TIME:
Book a 12:30 or 1 or after Character Lunch in or near Magic Kingdom (maybe like Crystal Palace depending on characters there) or just eat good counter service to allow us to have 3-4 good, not as busy hours in the park before crowds are horrible. Find out when short afternoon main street parade is and enjoy that and then do lunch! A good character lunch might me at Chef Mickey's at Cotemporary with all the main characters so you don't have to wait in line at the park. Another good day to do a character meal is the evening you arrive if you aren't doing anything else or on "rest day."
We must see Ariel's Grotto the next time, it was closed when we were there in March 2011.

We also need to see "Fairy Land." I head it is a long line if you don't go early but an awesome experience.

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