Thursday, June 20, 2013

Disney Day 5: Magic Kingdom and a Surprise!

Tuesday, February 5th was probably the day I was most excited for while planning our trip. The reason for this? We had scheduled a lunch at Cinderella's Castle where we would meet several princesses, and it would be our first day in Magic Kingdom. We knew Brianna would be over the moon excited, and we were SO looking forward to seeing her reaction to it all. 

We ended up having a pretty slow start that morning. We planned on closing down MK that day, so we let the children sleep as late as they wanted (which ended up being past 8:00am!). After having breakfast in the room (great money saver!), I dolled Brianna up for our Cinderella lunch date!

She had gotten this Cinderella dress for Christmas, but it was chilly in the mornings, so I put one of Brenson's onesies under it. Brianna was less than thrilled with the arrangement, but it worked!

I also did her hair and made the choker. This was my first try at an up-do. Not too bad!

These photos were taken in the living area at our suite. You can see in the first photo how pretty and wooded the setting is.

Ross, Tia, and our family all headed to MK about mid-morning. I think we got there at around 10:30am. Like I said, it was definitely our late morning. Of course, I didn't realize (having never been to MK before) that there was a little more to getting there than just parking and walking like at EPCOT and Animal Kingdom. We rode the monorail over from parking, and one perk to going in the mid-morning was that it wasn't busy.

Once we got there, we were a little overwhelmed. It is SO overstimulating on all levels! We did have Tia snap this family pic for us, though.

Brianna loved the castle. I was a little disappointed that there was a huge crane in all my photos, but it's the price of progress, I suppose :-).

This is another of the few photopass photos we purchased. I just love that they put Tinkerbell in Brianna's hand (and she loves this photo, too!)

Like I said, we were pretty overwhelmed and didn't really know where to begin. Our lunch was scheduled for 11:45am, so we didn't have a ton of time. We ended up walking around the castle for a bit, catching part of the show at the castle, then going on the It's a Small World ride. We pretty much chose this one because it was only a 15 minute wait, but I thought it was a great ride to start off our Magic Kingdom experience!

Brianna had to ride with Tia and Ross. Forget Mom and Dad!

I wish we would have ridden this ride another time or two. I kind of loved it!

Brenson was a little freaked out by all the dancing dolls. Love his face in this photo, haha!

The end of the ride was my favorite part! For those that don't know, this is another ride where you are in a boat of sorts . . . you can see the water in this photo.

After It's a Small World, we wanted to do Peter Pan's Flight, but the wait was over an hour for that. So, we grabbed FastPasses for it instead and headed over to the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel.

Brianna loooooves carrousels and this one was no exception.

It took Bren a minute to warm up, but once he did, he had a ball! He's throwing his head back in glee in this photo :-).

This is one of my favorite photos of Brianna from our trip. She has a terrible fake camera smile, but this one is the real deal!

After a quick (haha) potty break, we headed over the castle for our lunch. Brianna put her crown on, but her choker was long gone.

She was very excited, but acted a little reserved. Almost like she just didn't know what to expect. 

Now, I must say that I didn't love the way the whole castle experience worked. Basically, we had to stand in line for a while to meet Cinderella before we were ever directed to the dining hall where we ate lunch and met the other princesses. Cinderella was super-sweet (she did a great job of being in character), but the castmembers working the line were pushy and herded us through extremely quickly. They had a professional photographer there taking a photo of "your little princess" as well as your group (if desired), and those photos were included in the price of the meal. This was the only time that I felt super rushed meeting a character, and it put a big damper on our experience. Here is a video of us standing in line waiting to meet Cinderella. 

Cinderella asked Brianna her name, and she replied, "Cinderella!" Haha!

Group shot!

We were actually given our photos before we left the lunch. I was impressed, haha!

At the beginning of the lunch, all the little princes and princesses were given "wishing wands" and told to raise their wands and make a wish!

The BEST part of the lunch was, of course, meeting the princesses. Each princess was introduced to the dining hall, then they each came to every table to meet those of us dining. When Snow White came to our table, Brianna rushed over and literally fell into her arms in a hug. 

Brianna didn't understand why all the princesses kept asking her what her name was. She was very obviously Cinderella (and that was her answer every time!)

Meeting these princesses was SO much better than the meeting Cinderella experience. They actually spent a little time visiting with us and let us take as many photos as we wanted.

Another favorite photo from our trip!

After Snow, Aurora came by to say hi. 

Brianna didn't realize that this wasn't the same Aurora she had met the other day at EPCOT and was talking to her about them seeing each other there. Aurora was great and just played right along.

Here's Bri's cheesy camera face!

Jasmine is a pretty scantily clad princess, and Brianna kept staring at her boobs hanging out of her top. She's not used to seeing women dressed like that!

I was probably most excited for Ariel (my second favorite princess). 

She and Bri had a pretty long conversation. I just loved that they took time to talk to the children!

I think Ariel was Bri's favorite during the lunch. She had already met Snow and Aurora, and she didn't know what to think of Jasmine. Ariel wins by default!

I wanted a pic with Ariel, too!

Brianna was really too excited to eat much, but that's okay. She loved the princess lunch and that was our goal!

As soon as we left the castle, we headed over to ride Peter Pan's Flight. We got there just before our FastPass time, so we were able to get right on the ride. 
It was probably one of my favorite rides. I loved "flying" through the air!

After Peter Pan, it was about 1:00pm, so we all headed back to our suite for some down time. Like I said earlier, we knew we were going to close down the park that night so skipping naptime was not an option. 

We all left the suite to head back to the park around 4:00pm. However, on the way to MK, we somehow took a wrong turn and got separated from Ross & Tia (never fails...). We ended up taking a very scenic route to the park, so they had already ridden a ride by the time we got there. 

I love this "Let the Memories Begin" at the entrance of the park. 

We met up with them at the Mad Tea Party teacup ride. It's such a classic . . . I was pumped!

Ross's goal was to make the cup spin as fast as possible!

I LOVE Bri's face in this photo. I also love that Brenson's face shows his enthusiasm as well!

Hang on tight!

There's Ross and Tia again!

Yay for the teacups!

I think we rode this two more times during our Disney World visit. A family favorite, for sure!

We followed the teacups with a ride on Dumbo. For both of these rides, we only waited about 10 minutes! We were so happy with how quickly we were able to do everything . . . definitely a perk to going in early February! I so wish we had taken two cameras with us so in cases like this I could have taken photos of Chris and Brenson (who were in the elephant in front of us) as well. Here and here are short videos of us on the ride. 
I'm not really sure why, but Brianna kept saying her favorite thing about Disney World was the Dumbo ride. 

Chris and Ross were really wanting to ride Space Mountain, so as soon as we finished Dumbo we headed to Tomorrowland so they could do that. While they were riding, Tia, the kids, and I took a potty break (something we had to do like every hour with kids!) and found a place to grab a quick dinner. We decided on Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe and it was kind of a bust. And the aliens playing music for us were just weird. 

We had one more thing we really wanted to fit in before the fireworks show began, and that was Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. Fortunately, with only a 20 minute wait, we were able to do it!

Poor Brenson was definitely wearing down by this point. 

Brianna enjoyed the ride, but I think Chris could have ridden it like 5 more times! He was a fan. 

Ross is super serious about this ride and has a score he's aiming to beat. Intense!

After the Space Ranger Spin, we parted ways with Ross & Tia. They have seen the fireworks show multiple times before, so they were off to find a specific spot to watch (from a view that was new to them). We chose to fight the crowd and stand right in front of the castle. It was a spectacular view, but we paid dearly for it!

The castle was so pretty all lit up at night. 
Here is a video of part of the show before the fireworks. I'm sorry to say that the fireworks were not the magical Disney experience I was hoping for. Brenson hated them. HATED. He cried during the entire show. And there was NO WAY for us to get out because of the crowd (especially with a double stroller). He was tired and super fussy and I remember just hoping it would be over soon as Chris and I took turns wrestling him the entire time. 

I was so glad that he calmed down as soon as the fireworks were over. Especially since it took us a solid HOUR to get back to our car after the show was through. WOW. We had no idea how bad the crowd would be. And we were there on a low crowd level day. What is it like during peak time??? I can't even imagine. At one point, Tia texted me and said something like, "Don't you wish there was Disney magic for getting out of the park at closing time?" to which I replied, "A big dude who was pushing and shoving came very close to falling in our stroller on top of our children. Then he got grumpy with us. I just looked at Chris and said, "Just think how much we paid for this magical moment :-)". We did, however, get to take the ferry back across to the parking lots, so that was kind of fun. 

We were beyond ready to crash out when we got back to our suite, but there was a special surprise waiting for us. Our friends wanted our first Disney experience to be super-special, so they ordered a room package to be delivered for us.

It included balloons, the Celebrate banner you can see, the large Mickey Mouse (the smaller one we had brought with us), the large red box full of goodies, and the gift bag full of goodies. Oh, and Mickey Mouse shaped rice crispy treats on a stick that spelled out Welcome. 

We had two SUPER excited kiddos!

Just look at those faces! Inside the gifts was a mouse ears hat with Brenson's name embroidered on it, a set of Mickey gloves, a photo album, an autograph book, a Mickey Mouse pen, a framed personalized photo signed by Mickey, and a small plush Mickey doll (I may have missed a few things). 

Wasn't that so sweet of our friends? Their generosity blows us away sometimes. It was a perfect ending to a fantastic day at Magic Kingdom!

Of course, we had WAY more to do in Magic Kingdom, so my next post will be all about our second day we spent there.

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