Monday, November 20, 2017

Day 3: Magic Kingdom Magic!

Today we got to experience Magic Kingdom in daylight! After our party night on Sunday, and then our aborted fireworks trip on Monday, we finally got to really SEE Magic Kingdom and it is fabulous.

We walked to the park a little before 8 to get a few pictures in front of the castle (note everyone's Disney shirts; James and Landon each found one they liked enough to humor me for a day) before walking back to Beast's Castle for our Be Our Guest breakfast.

We even got to walk through Cinderella's castle for the first time since it had been closed for the party and the fireworks when we'd been at Magic Kingdom before. The mosaics along the inside are really amazing.

The castle is so beautiful. I really don't know why they don't use it for a Belle meet and greet (classic Belle is weirdly hard to meet at Disney World; she does an Enchanted Tales experience at Magic Kingdom where you can get a picture with her in her yellow dress but she does not sign autographs, then she is also at Epcot at certain times of the day in France where she signs autographs but she's in her blue and white early movie outfit), but you can eat there and it's great. No character meet and greets (except at dinner when you can meet the Beast), but you get great food in a very pretty setting.

I was not above a little gasp when we walked in the ballroom. I love Beauty and the Beast.

We chose to eat in the forbidden East Wing. It was dark and spooky and lightning would go off and change the prince's portrait into the Beast. We loved it. (Note that Cora made us reinsert her faux pink and blue hair AGAIN; really, the Boutique was worth the money just to watch her sigh happily and pet her long hair each day.)

Since we were way in the back of Fantasyland (and by now I had some idea of how to read the map) we followed our Planner's directions to go meet Ariel in her grotto and ride her ride.

This picture is one of my faves. Landon was actually really awesome about our princess-heavy trip, but in this moment I couldn't help but think he was both too young and too old to appreciate the Ariel meet and greet.

Cora of course was all in. So many questions. Such a long hug. Cora's princesses are real and so special to her and there wasn't a single meet and greet that didn't nearly make me cry (or you know, actually make me cry).

We did Ariel's ride which was cute if very simple. Again, Cora of course absolutely loved it. She loved EVERYTHING.

We walked by It's a Small World and jumped in line since it had a 10 minute wait. I found it less enthralling than expected (I really nothing about it except the song; I didn't even realize it was on a boat), but the kids loved it and the details were cool. Our names popped up on a sign at the end (I guess via the magic bands?) which was fun and the kids found it to be VERY magical.

Next up was a fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and we LOVED it. Loved it. Stood in the regular line just to ride it again with Cora saying over and over "This is going to be SO FUN Mom! it's going to be SO FUN!"

Even James managed to go a round.

We rode it again on our last day and I got a short video clip of Cora that I will treasure for all of my days. This is Cora at Disney, freaking magic:

We stayed in the general area, knocking out the Swiss Family Robinson Tree which I thought was very cool having watched the movie a thousand times as a kid, and which Landon and Claire loved. Landon has read the book and let us know the backstory behind everything as well as anything missing ("mom, I just can't find the grave for the dog.") or inaccurate. He's a stickler for book details.

Aladdin's Magic Carpet ride was great and I finally realized that's where we'd met Jasmine and the Genie on the party night (we just blindly followed Brandon; I had no idea where we were 99% of the time) and Landon LOVED the Jungle Cruise. I thought it was cute but noted I was glad we had a FastPass because it probably wasn't worth the hour long line. Landon disagreed STRONGLY and told me very sternly that even though the animals weren't real, they were VERY lifelike and Disney had done a GREAT job and it was VERY fun. All true. I recanted my statement.

We did Pirates of the Caribbean and realized the kids had never seen the movie and didn't know why we were trying to point out Jack Sparrow. They still loved the ride and we hung out watching the pirate show on the street for a while after.

We took a break for a hearty snack after finding seats for the Festival of Fantasy Parade. This is a GREAT parade and totally worth pausing a half hour early to get front row on-the-curb seats. So many princesses and characters and a really great scene with the dragon from Sleeping Beauty and Prince Philipp is on the ground with his sword fighting him (her?).

As always, sitting next to Cora was the BEST.

Her whole being is like, "can you BELIEVE THIS?! This is SO GREAT YOU GUYS."

Because it is so great. Everything is. Even just walking around- there's a set of (beautiful!) bathrooms made to look like Rapunzel's village from Tangled with her tower behind it and it's just so pretty. The detail everywhere is lovely. The queue's for the rides are beautiful. There's so much detail everywhere and it's all SO CLEAN. I never saw a piece of trash, food, or stray popcorn kernel on the ground for more than 30 seconds. I'm not even exaggerating. Cora dropped her popcorn tin during the Christmas parade and within 60 seconds someone in an adorable (and until then unseen) Christmas themed uniform had swooped in, swept it up, wished us a magical night, and disappeared again. It's uncanny.

We had a FastPass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and it was a definite contender for new family favorite. (Except for James who couldn't vote because he had to sit out while still recovering from Thunder Mountain 5 hours earlier).

It's a great coaster- no flips, not super jerky, just fun and fast and awesome. Cora's 5-star review of the coaster was also her only tantrum of the day- she wrapped her arms around the safety bars and refused to exit the cart upon completion of the ride. Like refused. "I do it again! Again and again and again and again!" I finally convinced her it wasn't our turn (she understands turns) but we still delayed the takeoff of the next mine train. Apologies to those waiting- in that moment, her arms had the strength of 10 men.

I have no idea what we did for the next few hours but I know it was fun. The carousel was involved, as were the Mad Hatter tea cups. We walked and pointed and exclaimed. It was great. Tuesday was a party night, so we had to leave the park at 6. We definitely could have stayed longer, but we'd put in over 10 hours and a dinner in our room followed by a movie wasn't bad either.

This was the only day we had everyone in bed at 8:00 p.m. and though I did a load of laundry and made tea in the kitchen (they slept in the living room on the pull-out couch and chair) and the fireworks show made it sound like they was a small war happening outside our hotel room windows, I never heard a peep.

studying up for Epcot tomorrow

We had 2.5 days down and 3 to go. I remember sitting on our balcony around 9:30 p.m., eating a personal funfetti cake (snack credit!) and watching the little boat show on the lake and thinking things were pretty fantastic.


  1. Oh my gosh, that video of Cora is everything!

  2. Really enjoying this series of posts, but the comment about Landon being both too young and too old to appreciate the Ariel meet and greet was GOLD. Glad it was such a great trip :)