Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day 3: Our Return to The Magic Kingdom (Part 5)

We could hardly wait to return to The Magic Kingdom on Day 3 of our trip. We knew we wanted to pack as much into this day as possible, so we caught an early bus to get there before the park opening and the train's entrance. Knowing what to expect this time, the girls were even more excited!

We chose a different location to position ourselves to enter the park more quickly, but it was also brighter, so Addison borrowed my sunglasses to watch the opening show.

 It was as spectacular as the first day!
 When we got into the park, we had a prime spot to watch the characters enter, and I posted this picture because Addison had an odd fascination with Cinderella's stepsisters. They stayed in character just like everybody else, and I couldn't help but wonder if their faces had frozen that way. ;)
 On this day, we were interested in riding all of the rides that we could, so we started in the back of Fantasyland in the circus area. We had NO wait, so we rode Dumbo a couple of times.
 Ansley loved it.
 Then we rode the Jr. Rollercoaster, The Barnstormer, and it was a HIT. You only have to be 35 inches to ride this one, so it is very accessible, but it's no joke either--it's pretty rickety and fast. We had no wait for this one either, so we rode it 4 times at Ansley's insistence. I mean, look at her face:
She loved it. Both of these girls were ready to go--ready for whatever on this day. I love this photo of them--captures exactly who they are in this phase of life.

One of our remaining characters to meet was Daisy Duck. We asked a cast member where we could find her, and they told us that she is always in the back of the park in Pete's Silly Sideshow. There were two lines: one for Daisy and Minnie, and one for Donald and Goofy.  

 I was a little bit disappointed that we met Carnival-Daisy instead of Classic Daisy, but we got her autograph AND a picture, so I didn't dwell on it. ;) Of course the girls were thrilled to see Minnie again-- and this time she was in her Minnie's Bowtique ensemble. They complimented her make-up again and talked to her like they were old friends.

After we exhausted the circus area, we went back to Peter Pan's Flight, and as we rounded the corner we lucked out to find Peter Pan AND Wendy.

There was a girl--who was probably in her late teens--who had written Peter a love letter and essentially kicked Wendy out of the Meet and Greet, so she came over to the cast member who was right by us and we got some extra Wendy-time.

After this special meeting, we headed to Liberty Square and rode the Liberty Square Riverboat. We enjoyed a shaded leisurely tour around the beautiful park. It was a good slow-down escape for us.

We had an early dinner scheduled at the Crystal Palace, so after our boat ride, we ate an early lunch at Columbia Harbour House. We used quick service credits to get a fish basket, chicken basket, and allergy-free chicken and fry kid's basket that we shared among the four of us. We were strolling out of a gift shop, walking back to Main Street for the Move It, Shake It mini-parade when we randomly, AWESOMELY, ran into some of our friends, the Malone family.  We had seen each other beforehand in Nashville, knew we were going to be in Disney World at the same time, commented back and forth on Instagram pictures, but we NEVER expected to see each other. We screamed, laughed, gushed, and shared "magic moments" and happy tears. So, so fun! 
After our chance encounter and the short parade, 
we headed over to Frontierland to meet Woody and Jessie from the Pixar Toy Story films. It was one of the longest character lines that we stood in, but we were closing in on completing our books, and we were tired, so it was a nice break. 

We also were able to introduce Addison to what Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad looked like. We weren't sure if she would be interested, but she seemed to at least like the idea of them. Waits for both rides were for an hour and a half, so we reserved Fast Passes for after dinner and headed over to catch another Castle Show (Dream Along with Mickey) at 2:15.

 From there we ventured over to Tomorrowland, the only area of the park that we had yet to visit. We rode Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, and Patrick was pretty proud of his score. ;) The girls loved it, but it took both of them about half way through to catch on. If we'd had time to do it again, I think they would have liked it even more!

 We crossed over to the Monster's, Inc. Laugh Floor, and even the girls enjoyed the humor. We all enjoyed being inside in air conditioning, and we escaped a brief afternoon pop-up storm. We reserved Fast Passes to come back to Space Mountain and then stopped for this--probably my favorite family photo with the castle:
before heading over to our Crystal Palace dinner reservation. This restaurant was beautiful and probably had the best food that we enjoyed all week. The girls were so excited to meet their favorite 100-acre friends.

 Ansley was soooooo excited--jumping off the walls excited--that after the last character had come to our table and we'd filled our plates, she took a bite, looked at me, said, "Mom, I am tired," and nodded off. Right there. In her seat. At the table. She had taken in all the excitement that she could handle and crashed mid-bite. Thankfully, I scooped her up before she fell to the floor, but I ate the rest of my delicious dinner like this.
After our dinner, we went back to Frontierland and used our first Fast Pass for Splash Mountain. Ansley was still snoozing, and she wasn't tall enough to ride anyway (she's 39+ inches with shoes, but we couldn't stretch her any more), so we took advantage of our Rider Swap option for the first time. It really was too good to be true. Addison and I walked right up, used our Fast Passes, and picked up a ticket for Patrick to present when he returned to use his Fast Pass.  I honestly was nervous about how Addison would do on this ride. She seemed excited, but she also got quiet right before the ride began. This is a cute--and rather lengthy--ride that takes you through the story of Brer Rabbit in a boat with fun songs. There are a few dips along the way, but it is relatively tame... until you get to the final drop. 
Addison and I clung to each other, and she LOVED it. She could not WAIT to tell her daddy about it and ride it AGAIN, and AGAIN. When we returned to Patrick and Ansley, that little girl was wide awake and raring to go, cheering us on! This is Addison and Patrick after they conquered it. 

 Next, on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, I got so tickled as we rode it because I realized that Addison and I both screamed at the same parts and giggled at the same parts. It was a bonding moment. ;) She rode it again with Patrick too, and here is a glimpse of them.

 After those fun adventures, it was time to go secure some spots for the Electrical Parade.  We loved capturing Cinderella's Castle in this light. It never fails to take my breath away.
 The girls were restless, and it got super crowded, so we bribed them with some gum. Ansley's first try with gum EVER was on the plane, and she swallowed it. Go figure. This time, however, she proudly chomped it and would randomly show me this face when yelping, "Gum check! Still got it!"
 The Electric Parade was definitely the most spectacular. The girls were mesmerized.
 So was I.

 After the Parade, we stuck around for the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular--which was this magical animated show projected onto the castle itself. Addison and I both shed "happy tears." It was like nothing I had ever seen. Beautiful fireworks followed it. We decided around this time to forego our Space Mountain FastPasses (It'll make us come back, right!?!) and head to the bus stop after the fireworks show. We knew that if we pushed it too much further, we could be waiting in a bus line forEVER.  Patrick headed to City Hall to pick up our souvenir purchase from earlier in the day, and I stayed for The Wishes show. I knew that I wanted to be closer to the entrance by the time the fireworks show, but by the time "Wishes" ended, the crown around me was so thick that I simply could not move. I glanced from side to side, trying to come up with a plan, but I hadn't even uttered the words, "excuse me," when a Cast Member appeared at my side. He said, "Stick with me, and I'll part the sea." It was amazing, and just another special "Magic Moment."
 We had had such a magical day, we just didn't want to leave. This was my pitiful big girl.
 She cried, "The dream that I wished did come true, and now it is almost over. I don't ever want to leave Disney World!" Bless. I felt the same way.  This one below had been reenergized by her earlier nap and was as happy-go-lucky as could be.
When we got off of our bus, we went to the resort gift shop to look around, went to the restaurant to cash in on some snacks, and somewhere during those few interval minutes, our girls hit their breaking points. Addison bumped her head, and her ricochet had a domino effect and she bumped Ansley. Tears were spilling from both of them, and a cast member appeared out of nowhere. She hugged the girls, told them that Mickey didn't want them to be sad, and handed them two twisty Mickey straws. Their tears immediately evaporated. Another "Magic Moment."

 We headed back to our room, cleaned up, and gathered our bedtime friends. We had earned a $200 Disney gift card from using the Disney Visa in our first month as cardholders, so I had purchased most of their "trip gifts" beforehand (which were also Birthday gifts) at the Disney Store and a few other places. They opened up something each morning, and each particular gift revealed a clue for how we were going to spend that particular day.

I mentioned what I gave them on the big reveal day--Stride Rite Princess Light Up Shoes, Sofia gowns, and autograph books.  On our first MK day, we gave them their personalized Minnie shirts and Minnie water cups since we were dining with Mickey and Minnie. On our Epcot Day, we gave them Ariel socks and Princess Fall coloring books since we were dining with the princesses that night. On MK Day 2, we gave them their Pooh and Piglet shirts and their stuffed Poohs. On Hollywood Studios Day, we gave them their stuffed Doc McStuffins.

We had also earned an additional $60 after paying the balance of our trip, so their actual Disney World park souvenirs were the Minnie ears, and one other thing of their choice: Addison chose a stuffed Minnie, while Ansley (who is already Minnie Mouse overloaded thanks to her last Birthday party) chose a stuffed Daisy. Needless to say, their beds were full on this last night in our Royal Room.

***For the record, I strongly recommend purchasing gifts beforehand. Not only did it save us money, but it saved us a TON of time--time that we were able to spending riding, eating, meeting and greeting. Patrick and I have a tradition of buying a Christmas ornament, a coffee mug, and a deck of playing cards from each destination we travel, and we seriously just ran out of time to purchase these things. Don't worry, we ordered them as soon as we got back.
Our last day was spent in Hollywood Studios, and I hope to be back to write about that soon, but until then...

Here are my other Disney posts in case you have missed them:
Part 1 (Planning, budgeting, researching)
Part 2 (Revealing the surprise of their lives)
Part 3 (Our first day in the parks, Magic Kingdom)
Part 4 (Our second day in Epcot)

1 comment:

Haley said...

Yall did such a good job with the character check-offs! I guess since we only had one kid who would get anywhere near them, we weren't able to get as many good pics. Wish we'd eaten at Crystal Palace also! My kids would love the Pooh gang. Mary Ella will die when she sees these Sofia gowns. Oh, and Ansley's gum face = hilarious!