Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Our Disney World Vacation- Day 6- Magic Kingdom (again!!)

It has almost been a month since I last blogged about our Disney vacation! The month of July was busy for us and now that school has officially started, (today!), work has settled down some, too. So, here I go again! Back at it. Enjoy!

Thursday was Magic Kingdom day. I cannot put it into words the way this park makes me feel. Those who have visited, I'm sure you understand what I am trying to say. On this particualr day, Magic Kingdom opened at 8:00 AM whereas Monday they opened at 9. So you have to double check times and don't assume! So, with it opening at 8, that meant it was really 7:00 our time, which meant we really had to get up and get going and not lag around. Waking up early might be hard when you are at home, but when you're at Disney World, you pop right out of bed and your tiredness doesn't phase you! We hopped on the bus from our resort and before we knew it, we were standing in front of Magic Kingdom. Literally, maybe 40-50 people were there by the time we arrived. Maybe!! I can't stress it enough, get there before the park opens!

My Minnie Mouse girl!

Look closely at the clock- it says 7:10...6:10 our time! Just yet another reason as to why taking a break during your day is a must to refuel!

See how small the early morning crowd was at that time?! I swear I'm like a little kid. I was so giddy at this point. The excitement was over flowing! 

Unlike Monday morning when we visited Magic Kingdom, instead of parking it directly in the front, we headed over the gate and stood in line there. We still had an excellent view of the welcome show, but were just able to officially walk in a little bit quicker. 
Something to keep in mind when visiting, Tinker Bell is located on the right side of the gates in the Town Square Theater. We parked the stroller and walked straight in. Believe it or not, a married couple who looked to be in their 50's were right in front of us to meet her so officially, they were the first to meet her for the day and we were second. I wouldn't really suggest wasting a fast pass to meet her. It's just too easy to go as soon as it opens with no line wait. Make it your first priority if she is a must for you! You will be in and out in 5 minutes tops. If you wait until afternoon or evening, you will see a 60 minute wait time. Go when it opens- trust me!

(Landon hugged every single character as we walked away. Oh it was precious)

Tinker Bell was so cute and bubbly!

5 minutes later, we were back on our way! It was maybe 8:05ish by this time and we headed straight back to Frontierland to ride Splash Mountain. This is the area in which we started our day on Monday and sure enough, we experienced ZERO wait times. We rode Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Railroad, (2 of the most popular rides at MK) The Magic Carpets of Aladdin twice(!) AND met Princess Tiana all in ONE HOUR!! Crazy is what that is! I am a broken record when it comes to this, get there before the gates even open for the day!!!

See, again with the goodbye hugs!

Next, we met Aladdin and Princess Jasmine. They were adorable!
I knew where there greeting spot was located thanks to the Disney app. It even tells you the times they will be out to meet people. We had about 15 minutes before they were due to come out, so we sat down and started talking to a sweet family who was in front of us. We were second in line and so once Aladdin and Jasmine came out, we were in and out!

After meeting them, we knew we were finished with this "side" of the park so we started to make our way to Fantasyland. I noticed Jessie and Woody would be coming out soon and we would be walking right by where they meet. I asked a cast member the exact location (they can be camouflaged and you may not even know it's a spot where characters greet. It can just blend into the surrounding decor. So always  ask to be sure!)
We were first there and sat down under the tree for shade. We waited maybe 15 minutes before it was time for them to come out and a few people figured out what was going on and they stood in line, too. We were the first to meet them and then forward we went! Both kids really really loved getting the characters autographs. I will share what their autograph books look like later, but they would get so excited to pull out their special picture and to pick a colored Sharpie for them to sign with. It was sweet to see how much they really enjoyed it!

They liked each others braids ;)

They were really fun to meet!

Next, it was time for our fastpasses to meet Rapunzel and Cinderella. By this point, we had met Cinderella two different times, once while eating lunch at the castle and the next time at The Grand Floridan, but this is the only place in Magic Kingdom you can meet Rapunzel and they do greetings together, so, we met Cinderella for a 3rd time :) But, could you really meet a princess one too many times?

Next, we took a break. It was HOT so we grabbed some ice cream and sat down. 

After our snack, we rode The Journey of the Little Mermaid and then met Ariel herself!

While on this ride, it makes you feel as though you are directly inside the movie- it's so neat!

After this ride, we met Ariel and then did some souvenir shopping in The Big Top Souvenir tent and then made our way to the Be Our Guest restaurant. 

We had lunch reservations to dine inside the Beast's castle. It was beautiful! I pre-ordered our meal online a week or so before we left and when we walked in, a lady checked us in and handed us a rose and told us to pick any table we wanted. There are 3 rooms you can choose from to dine in , the ball room, rose gallery or the west wing. We chose the ball room- it is bright, grand, and you could watch the snow fall outside the windows-just like in the movie!My pictures just do not do that room justice. We checked out the other two rooms as well. The west wing was super dark and would probably be a little difficult to see your food and each other. The rose gallery was beautiful and well lit with a huge statue of Beast and Belle dancing in the center. Anyway, once we sat down, we got our drinks and in less than 5 minutes, our meal was brought out to us. It was delicious!

Finding Dory was releasing the week we were at Disney World so everywhere you looked, it was being advertised in some sort of fashion. Landon really got hooked on it and two different days worth of choosing a souvenir, he chose Hank (his favorite!) and chose a set of the characters the next day. He took Hank everywhere, it was adorable.

"Try the grey stuff, it's delicious! 
Don't believe me? Ask the dishes!"

Landon got ahold of my camera :)

After lunch, we had a fastpass for Winnie the Pooh then we made our way back to the resort to nap! It was around 1:00 by the time we were leaving the park. 

I snapped this of the kids before getting on the pooh ride. 

The kids fell asleep as we were walking to our bus. We had such an amazing morning!
Our plan was to nap for a few hours then head back to finish up the night! I've said this a lot, but I really believe taking a break during your day, especially if you're at Magic Kingdom, will only benefit everyone in your party! We all woke up so refreshed and we were ready to take on the night!

We had dinner reservations at The Crystal Palace with Pooh and Friends so we were looking forward to that. We were able to ride a few rides before we headed over for dinner. It is a buffet style meal and oh my goodness it was so good. They have something out for everyone- the options were endless. 
The kids loved meeting Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore and even paraded around the restaurant with them and some other kids. It was a really fun experience- I would definitely do it again!

Showing Hank off to Pooh ;)

Once dinner was over, we hopped on the train that takes you all the way around the park. This train ride is something Landon had talked about since we went in 2014. They have themed areas throughout the ride that is really neat to see. There just happened to be a huge boulder with a snake (fake of course) on the rock and Landon and I noticed it back when he was 2 1/2, and he asked me so many times if I thought the snake would still be there. :) Thankfully, that snake was still there and he just got such a big laugh out of seeing it again. Sweet boy loves snakes and I loved that he remembered it from our first visit. The train ride is relaxing and will provide you with such a nice breeze! It was 8:00 or so by the time we rode and of course it was still day light so we were able to see everything. It's something to do if you need to pass some time before you go on to something else and just to be able to sit down and chill for a bit.

Once our ride around Magic Kingdom was over, we decided to find a spot to settle in and wait for the Electrical Parade to start. I want to back up a bit though and go back to when we were coming back into the park after our afternoon rest. I clicked on Instagram as we were walking (doesn't everybody do that?) and saw where Shawn Johnson had posted a picture of her and her friends in front of Cinderella's castle. I laughed, showed the picture to Adam and we mentioned how cool it would be if we ran into her. Well, come on. It's Magic Kingdom! The place is HUGE and I figured she had probably already left for the day. We started our evening off with a variety of rides, stopped for our dinner reservation, rode the train and then decided to find a spot for the electrical parade.  Adam and I were sitting down on the side of the street and the kids were helping some cast members direct people, (I'll get to that in a minute) and who would have thought. I looked up and directly in front of us across the street was a snack stand. I saw a group of girls in matching hot pink tank tops and Shawn Johnson was standing off to the side while her friend was getting something to drink. I smacked Adam's leg and told him to look! I was so shocked. It was funny that I saw her picture she had posted around 5:30 or so and told myself that it was near impossible to accidentally run into her. Well, she was right in front of my eyes! Adam told me to get up and that he would take our picture so that's what I did! I walked up to her and said that I was sure she had been asked this all day but wanted to know if I could grab a picture, she smiled and said sure! I could tell she was exhausted-hello! She had been at Magic Kingdom all day and it was 9:00 by then! But I mean, what are the odds?! After Adam took our picture, I kept laughing because I couldn't believe we were in the same exact place at the same exact time and that I even noticed her. Such a fun memory for me!
Oh, and  I have to say. I'm 5 ft tall. Look how much taller I am than her! Put it down in the record books, folks!

Once my celebrity fix was over, we sat back down and watched the kids play with the cast members. We met 2 sweet girls (and one was from Knoxville!) and they just fell in love with Adalyn and Landon. It was almost time for the parade so they were working on closing down the street and asking everyone to walk on the side and they asked the kids to help them direct traffic! The kids were in heaven and the girls even let them hold their glow wand while they held the kids glow sticks haha It was a neat experience for the kiddos and we loved watching them have fun.

Next thing we knew, it was time for the parade! My pictures are really blurry which is a bummer, but it's such an awesome parade.

See how close Snow White came? She waved right at the kids and they got so tickled by that!

After the parade, we went over to Fantasyland and rode one of our favorites, The Barnstormer. There was no wait and the neatest thing? As we rode up and down on the coaster, we also watched the fireworks go off from the castle. Talk about magical. It was amazing and a memory that is etched in my mind. 
Another awesome thing? Once the ride was over, it came to a complete stop and as we were getting ready to hop up, the cast member told us to sit back down and she was going to let us ride again! What?!? That's unheard of! There was no one in line waiting so they sent us on another ride. I think all 4 of us laughed and screamed our way through that ride for the second time. Once it was over, we got off and immediately walked back up the ramp to do it one last time! So, 3 times in a row we rode The Barnstormer-!
We then rode Dumbo and ended our night on the magic carpet ride and we had a good ol' Dole Whip to as our late night snack. 
What a magical day we had! We started the day early, rode soo many rides and met soo many characters, took a big afternoon nap, and finished up our night having the most fun we could possibly imagine. This was our last day at Magic Kingdom and we only had 1 more day before heading home. It sounds sappy, but I absolutely made sure I soaked up every single moment within that park that day. It just does something to you and it's a feeling you will never forget. I am so glad we spent 2 1/2 days at that park. With us doing that, we were really able to do everything there, see what we wanted to see, eat where we wanted to eat and never once did we feel rushed to "get everything in" since we spread out our time there. Best.decision.ever.

I snapped this as we were leaving the park that night. It's so beautiful, it's breathtaking. 
My heart was full as our vacation was coming to an end. We got on the bus with 2 sleeping kids and went to the room to crash. Animal Kingdom was up for our last day with an early breakfast reservation with Mickey and his gang before the park even opened! My mom and dad were back with us on that day so I will blog about that soon!

Here's a recap of  the first 5 days!

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