Thursday, January 17, 2008

The First day of Magic

We concluded our drive to Orlando on Saturday, Dec 29th. We had beautiful weather. It was close to 85 degrees and sparkling blue skies. We got something to eat, picked up our 6 day magic your way park hopper passes, went grocery shopping and then checked into our house. By the time we were all situated and ready to go we headed to Disney World around 4:00 p.m. We hadn't always planned to end the day in the park, but when we realized that the difference in price between 5 day MYWPH and 6 day MYWPH was 2 dollars per ticket, we decided to splurge and spend the extra 10 bucks for another half day in the park. (For all the details of the money we spent check out my other entry -- The Disney money game). We were excited to have this day to take our time, enjoy the smaller things, and do the events that might not make it into our busy agendas on the days when we open the park. We decided (of course) to spend our extra day in the Magic Kingdom. We parked and walked to the Transportation center. There you have to decide how you will get to the Magic Kingdom. There are 2 ways . . . the monorail and the ferry. We decided to take the ferry and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The kids were taking it all in. Isn't it beautiful? Who could have asked for a more perfect day?
Here is Dad and the gang waiting to get on the boat. (Yes, I do dress my kids alike at Disney world. They are so much easier to find that way! and they are so cute that way!)All aboard!
Mom and the kids on the ferry boat. (We were glad to take the ferry this day because it was nice and relaxing and the weather was warm. It is also super easy with a stroller. We took it both ways, but on our 2 other days in the Magic Kingdom, we took the monorail. The monorail is not very scenic and although you can get on it just pushing your stroller there is a bit more maneuvering required, but it is a bit faster than the ferry. Also the freezing cold weather we had on our other 2 days didn't exactly make you want to get on a windy, outdoorsy, ferry boat.)You just have to wonder what is he thinking? "Where are they taking me? It looks so fun! But what is it?"As this was our "leisure" day, we immediately stopped and posed at the main entrance. From there we split up. Trent headed to Splash Mountain to pick up fast passes and the kids and I headed down Main Street. We went in and out of all the shops. The kids really like seeing all the merchandise. Ok, actually they loved it!
I couldn't even keep Adam seated in the stroller. He thought each new stuffed animal was the most exciting thing ever!I took him out of the stroller and he started filling it with all his new friends.
We were quickly joined again with Trent (who probably set land speed records as he ran all over the park to get our fast passes). We found a jewelry store with all the charms and let the girls each select 2 new charms for their disney charm bracelets we had purchased on our trip to Disneyland 18 months ago. Julianne chose 2 Sleeping beauty charms, Catherine chose Cinderella's castle & a ballet slipper, and Madelyn chose a different Cinderella castle & a Belle charm. The charm bracelets have been big hits with the girls, but that just wouldn't do for Adam. We looked and looked and found a cute set of the 8 cars in Cars. We didn't buy it that day, (in case we found something better), but we never did and so we bought his cars on Friday.
As we made our way down main street, we ended up in front of the castle at 5:45 pm right as the Cinderella's holiday wish show began. She wishes that the castle would be all decorated for the holidays. They said there are a quarter of a million lights on it to give the ICY look. Again, the kids . . . well, they were in AWE!
Next we entered Fantasy land. Without fast passes for any of the rides and it being late in the day, all the rides had hour long waits. We bypassed them all knowing we would catch them another time and went on Cinderella's Golden Carousel. Our ridemax tips had let us know that pretty much regardless of the time of day the carousel had little or no wait.
As we kept walking, we stopped and let the kid's play at Pooh's Playful Spot. It is a cute little play area for kids mostly designed for the 5 and younger crowd. Although it is cute, it is the kind of place to hang out only when you have nowhere else to be. For us, it was the perfect escape from the crowds. (I don't think I have mentioned yet, that it was CROWDED. . . not just a little crowded but very, very, very crowded. The week following Christmas, through New Year's day and then the next few days are THE VERY BUSIEST days at Disney world. But that couldn't keep us away!)
We then made our way over to Toon town. Toon town is full of things that are best enjoyed at your leisure. We went through Minnie's Country house and the kids enjoyed trying out all the chairs and activities.
The kids especially like playing around in Minnie's kitchen. It had all sorts of "surprises" inside.
Here we are on Minnie's front patio.
This is at Mickey's Country House. The kids loved that it was still all decorated for Christmas.
In the back of Mickey's house is the Judge's Tent and the Toontown Hall of Fame. We were able to see Mickey and get his autograph.
There is a train station at the back of Toon town and so we hopped aboard and road the Walt Disney World Railroad to Main Street, USA.
Yes, not the best picture of the gang . . . but then they can't all be great, can they???
Along Main street, we enjoyed the Spectromagic Parade. Our kids (especially Adam) really enjoy the parades. The songs and dancing and the chance to see so many characters make them favorites.
A little later it was time for the firework show called Wishes. It was great. It is amazing how well the fireworks are timed to the music. From here Trent ran to get another fast pass for us (Winnie the Pooh)
Then we all went to the Hall of President's. It is a great activity to do when everyone is tired (or hot or cold) as there is no line, and it is indoors. Since we wanted to do every single thing at Disney, we thought now would be the best chance. Also we were killing time, we could not use our Splash Mountain fast passes until 10:00 p.m. and so we learned a little history. The kid's did not LOVE it, but they seemed to enjoy it. I was surprised how much I was enjoying it -- my brain seemed to ache trying to remember when last I learned American history -- that is until Madelyn informed me of her urgent and immediate need to go pee. I guess I'll have to review American History another time.
Following the fireworks, we headed over to Splash mountain to use our fastpasses. This is Julianne's favorite ride. Since Madelyn and Adam did not go on it, we took turns. First, Julianne and I went.
Look carefully and you will see our picture on the back row of the toboggan. Julianne had her face delightfully covered by the person's hand in front of us. Next it was time for Trent and Catherine. Catherine grew to love Splash mountain by the end of the trip, but was unsure about it this first time. She doesn't even appear in the photo at the end because she is ducking so low. Butt, here is Catherine's favorite spot. (Aren't I clever with the word play???) She told everyone about the bear's bottom and giggled and giggled.

Despite having 1 more fast pass for Winnie the Pooh, the kids were getting tired and so were we so we called it a day and left the park about 11:00 p.m.
But for 6 hours in the park we did a lot . . . 1 parade, 1 fireworks show, 1 castle show, and 10 attractions. We did all of them without waiting at all!


rangersRus said...

How fun! That did really look like a gorgeous day:)

The Sorensen Bunch said...

It looks so dreamy. I really beleive dinseyland/world (never been to disneyworld) is magic!!! You were brave to take it on yourself's~ we have only been once and had aunts uncles and grandparents extra hands!