Saturday, June 9, 2012:
We were up at 6:15 this morning. We had an 8:10 a.m. breakfast reservation at the Magic Kingdom and didn't want to be late!
The bus stop was mostly empty.
Despite the lack of sleep, the kids were excited!
We were at the resort bus stop at 7:00 a.m. We caught a bus to the Magic Kingdom at 7:15 a.m. and we were here for this picture about 7:30 a.m.
The park opened to the public at 9 a.m. this morning. This was our first time ever with an early breakfast reservation before park opening. There was a few dozen people waiting at the gates, all with early breakfast reservations.
About 7:45 a.m. they let all the early breakfast people in. I must say, if you are an early riser, this is a great way to get into the park early with not many people. There was a small rush down Main Street, but the boys had to use the bathroom, and by the time they were done most of the breakfast people were already well into the park.
Nothing but open space!
Additionally, the Pooh family characters are not present on the Disney cruises (I think it's a licensing thing). So we wanted to catch them on land in the Crystal Palace.
It was around 8:00 a.m. We were seated ready to go to the buffet at 8:08 a.m.
Immediately after him came Eeyore! So by 8:25 a.m. we had seen 2 of the 4 characters.
All of the characters were great when they visited our table. They spent some time with the boys, but also tried to engage Alyssa, who was in her high chair.
We had a great time with this early morning breakfast and I would totally recommend a pre-park-opening reservation time for anyone who is a natural early riser (like our kids!)
After paying the bill and taking the kids to the bathroom (again), we headed straight for Fantasyland. Most of the touring recommendations for Magic Kingdom with small children recommend starting in Fantasyland first.
The boys were playing with this sword (from The Sword in the Stone) while Brian ran to get us a fastpass for the Pooh ride. While the boys were here, a boy ran up to Nathan and started talking to him. It was someone from his karate class here at home! Seriously, what are the odds of running into so many people we know at Disney World?
Our first ride was Dumbo. This ride has been newly refurbished and moved from its original location, now in the new circus themed part of Fantasyland. Such a classic ride, we had to do it.
We wanted to hit Goofy's roller coaster next, but it was closed down due to technical difficulties. Bummer. Not sure if it ever opened that day, we never made it back to that corner.
I went on the teacups with Joshua and Alyssa.
And Fantasyland was done! It was about 11:30 at this point. We had a 12:00 lunch reservation at The Plaza restaurant with our friend Pam, but Brian decided we had time to make the Haunted Mansion before that. So he took the boys on that ride while I grabbed fastpasses for Splash Mountain.
Thus far, the park crowds were not too bad. But it was definitely picking up. After all, it was a Saturday in June. I guess I was hoping that since EPCOT was so empty the day before, maybe the Magic Kingdom wouldn't be that bad. I was wrong.
Therefore, getting fastpasses was critical to getting on rides in a timely manner. Especially when you have kids that don't do well in lines.
The return time for our fastpasses for Splash Mountain was 12:20-1:20 p.m. Since our lunch was at noon, I figured we'd probably be ok to make it over there by 1:20. (A few months ago, Disney World stopped allowing people to use a fastpass after the printed return time. They used to be really flexible about this).
But, we ended up waiting almost a half hour for our table at The Plaza restaurant! (Oh, and in case you're wondering why we had another reservation at a sit-down restaurant, we prefer to eat lunch inside sit-down restaurants when we go to the parks. Depending on where you go, it's not much more expensive than the fast food and it's easier to sit down and get cooled off).
Here is everyone at lunch:
The kids' meals came with a great ice cream dish for dessert.
So based on taking longer to get seated, it was now close to 1:30 and past our fastpass time. We figured we would have to start over and get either a fastpass for Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain. But we decided to try and see if our fastpasses would still work for Splash Mountain based on us having to wait for our lunch table. And they did! The cast member waved us through and said it was no big deal to be 10 minutes later. Woohoo! (Thank goodness, because the wait for Splash Mountain in the regular line was now 95 minutes long!)
So we also got a rider-switch pass for this ride since Alyssa was not tall enough to go on it. A rider switch pass allows the first part of your party to ride the ride while the someone waits with the baby/toddler, and then you switch so everyone gets to ride it without getting in line twice.
I started out on the ride with Nathan and Joshua. And Joshua liked the ride until the very last hill, the big one, and then after going down that one he started to cry loudly. Poor guy.
While we were on the ride, I sent Brian to get fastpasses for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Then he parked the stroller with Alyssa at the exit to the Tom Sawyer Island boat (my secret quiet place to take a kid in a stroller to fall asleep). Unfortunately, Alyssa didn't fall asleep. So then it was Brian's turn to ride Splash Mountain, and the rider switch pass allowed him to take 3 other people with him. Joshua didn't want to go, so he stayed back with me and Alyssa while Brian and Nathan rode. And Alyssa still didn't fall asleep in her stroller!
By the time they were off the ride, our fastpass window had opened up for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. So again, we did the rider-switch pass so that we could both ride it and Nathan could ride it twice. This is my favorite ride at Magic Kingdom, and I didn't get to ride it last time since I was pregnant. Such a fun ride! While Brian and Nathan rode, I took Joshua and Alyssa to the Pooh playground nearby:
By the time we made it to the pirate gift shop, it was full on pouring rain. After a few minutes in the store, Alyssa finally fell asleep.
Alyssa was still asleep in her stroller, and we wheeled her over to Tomorrowland where we spent some time getting fastpasses for Buzz Lightyear and Space Mountain. The boys rode on the People Mover while we waited for our fastpass timing to come up.
I don't have any pictures of our time in Tomorrowland because it started raining, pouring actually, and Alyssa woke up and I tried to put her in a poncho but she HATED IT and screamed the whole time it was on. So I took it off.
The last thing we did was ride Space Mountain--just me and Nathan. When we were here 2 years ago, Nathan was just a hair too short to get on Space Mountain. Not this time! He was screaming for joy the entire time in the ride! "Awesome! This is so awesome! It's like we're flying through space!!!" He was sitting in front of me on the ride, so I'm surprised I could hear him. He wanted to ride again, but the standby line was 90 minutes. So, no.
At this point I think it was almost 6:00 and we had had enough. We were drenched and tired. I think part of what kept Brian and I going even that long was knowing that this was our last day in the parks, and that for the rest of the vacation we'd be on a cruise! Seriously, the parks are exhausting! (But fun!)
Overall, a great day at Magic Kingdom. Since the park was so crowded, we definitely had to be strategic with our use of fastpasses. We made it on 13 rides. I read that the average person only makes it on 9 rides a day at the Magic Kingdom. So considering we left around dinner time, I think we did pretty good.
We hopped onto our resort bus and got off at the food court stop.
There was a dance party going on in the food court. When we arrived it was mostly cast members doing the electric slide, but then the dance party grew as people started to enter the food court. Not sure if this was an impromptu thing or what, because I didn't see it mentioned on the activity schedule.
After dinner, Nathan wanted to stay in the room and play with his pirate and Star Wars toys he had bought at the parks. Joshua wanted to go to the pool. So I left Alyssa and Nathan back in the room with Brian, and Joshua and I went out.
On our way to the pool, we stopped at one of the beaches and got on a hammock.
Then we looked across the lake and saw that the campfire was still going on. So we crossed the bridge and toasted marshmallows.
And then I let Joshua cut loose on the pools. Our last night at the Caribbean Beach Resort! What a great place!
Up next: Our first night on the cruise!