Thursday, December 29, 2016

Disney trip report: Day 2

We always wake up early at Disney! I mean, who can sleep when there's so much fun to be had! Our goal was to get to the Magic Kingdom by 7:30 or before, because that is when they do their Welcome Show. If you haven't been to Disney or haven't gotten to the Magic Kingdom early enough to see the Welcome Show, you need to! It usually begins 15-20 minutes before the park is scheduled to open and it just gets you pumped up for a day at Disney.

We drove to the TTC (Ticket and Transportation Center) and rode the ferry across the Seven Seas Lagoon to the Magic Kingdom. The monorail isn't usually running that early, but the ferry is a nice, relaxing ride. See the castle in the distance?!

We reached the Magic Kingdom in time to get my bag checked, scan our Magic Bands, and catch a spot for the big show. We got someone to take our picture, because usually we're taking the kids' pictures or just trying to keep them close to us so we don't lose them in the crowd.

After the show, we walked through the train station and onto Main Street U.S.A, with the other 3,000 people who were ready for a full day at the Magic Kingdom. I usually take pictures all the way down Main Street, but this time, I was just trying to soak it all in without my camera screen in my face. Magic Kingdom is always a sight, but first thing in the morning is one of my favorites. All of the cast members stand on the sidewalk and wave and call "Good morning!" as people stream down the streets. You can smell yummy treats as you walk past the Confectionary and delicious, delicious Starbucks as you walk past Main Street Bakery.  And of course, in the distance, at the end of the street, is the glorious Cinderella's castle! 

Our goal was to ride the Seven Dwarves' Mine Train before we did anything else. Although around 2-3 years old, the Mine Train is still one of the newest rides at the Magic Kingdom, and very popular. There was already quite a long line when we reached New Fantasyland, but we were on the ride in probably 15 minutes.

We're such kids at Disney! The Seven Dwarves' Mine Train isn't an extreme coaster by any means, but it is very fun, nonetheless. The individual train cars swing back and forth as you ride and it takes you around twists and turns and through the Seven Dwarves' mine as they sing "Hi-Ho". We love it!

Next, it was time for some breakfast! I had planned what I was going to have for breakfast on this day for weeks beforehand--the Nutella and fruit waffle. 

You can find this little beaut at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments, which is on the left of the castle in Liberty Square. They make these waffles fresh and hot after you order them and put on plenty of Nutella and lots of delicious, fresh fruit. I usually share mine with the kiddos, because it's more than enough for one person. As you can see, the tables beside this little stand also have a perfect castle view.

After eating and Facetiming with our babies for a few minutes, we headed on back to Frontierland to ride another one of our favorites--Splash Mountain! Another thing that was extra fun about this trip was that Michael and I got to ride rides together. Usually, one of us takes the boys while the other one stays with Grace and then we switch.

Next, we headed into Adventureland and hopped on the Jungle Jingle Cruise (they change the name of it for the holidays). I'm one of those people who laugh hysterically at every single corny joke on the Jungle Cruise. 

I think we had a Fastpass+ for Pirates of the Caribbean next, so we did that. I love the smell of the water on this ride; I don't know why. Remember to look for the many Jack Sparrows as you ride through the different scenes. He's hiding everywhere!

Then, it was around 11:00, so we took a quick trip to Starbucks for a caramel praline latte and then back to the castle area to watch the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Street Party. I took a little video of that for the kids and then, I think we headed over to our lunch reservation a few minutes early. They let us go ahead and check in, though. We were eating lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern, another one of our favorite spots at Disney.

I don't think I mentioned before, but when you check into a Disney resort, they usually ask what you're celebrating. We told them we were celebrating our 10 year anniversary and received these buttons.

However, they didn't have "10 years" on them yet, so everyone thought we were just married. Well, 10 years is an accomplishment, so when the hostess at the Liberty Tree Tavern congratulated us on being just married and we told her thanks, that it was our 10 year anniversary, she offered to write it on our buttons. 

Our go-to meal at this restaurant is the delicious pot roast. We ordered it on our first trip with Kade in 2011 and have had it almost every trip since. A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, I read that the pot roast had been taken off the menu and I almost canceled our reservation; then, I read that the pot roast could still be ordered from the kids' menu, so that's what we did. It was a much smaller portion, but still very good--and cheaper, too, so win-win.

For dessert, I ordered the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake, which is a legend in its own right. It's sort of like Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, but round and with toffee chips and ice cream on top. It's one of my favorite desserts (I have a lot of favorite food at Disney)!

We paid and headed out and over to Fantasyland, where we rode It's a Small World.

I know that there are people who can't stand this ride because of the song, but I love it! We always sing through the whole ride and we always spot something new that we hadn't noticed before. There are so many details!

The last room of It's a Small World used to just have signs that said Goodbye in different languages. Recently (within the past year), Disney added screens that connect with your Magic Band and say goodbye to you personally as you ride by. Semi-creepy, I guess, but really cool!

Apparently, at this point, we walked over to Tomorrowland. We're the kind of people who just zig zag all over the park, doing what we want, even when we have the kids. We wanted to ride the Peoplemover, but it was down for a few minutes, and when the cast member standing in front of it saw our anniversary buttons, he asked what we wanted to ride instead and took us in the back entrance of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. Disney magic! 

We also did Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor, which is always hilarious and always different! The premise of the show is that the monster world is trying to fill up a can with laughter from the audience. Before the show, as you wait, there are signs that encourage you to text jokes in to a particular number. During the show, various monsters do stand up comedy acts that are very interactive with the audience. They always share some of the jokes people have sent, too. The gigglewatts in the can continue to rise until, at the end of the show, the can is full. 

At some point, we walked back to the Peoplemover and it was up and running, so we hopped on. The Peoplemover is a nice, relaxing ride that takes you all around Tomorrowland, through the inside of Space Mountain, and has a great view of the castle. 

We stopped and had our picture taken, coming out of Tomorrowland. I'm not exactly sure of the order of things after this, but I know we went to the Country Bear Jamboree in Frontierland, rode Voyage of the Little Mermaid in New Fantasyland, saw the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square, and I feel like there was something else, but I can't remember.

We did buy Grace this parasol. Is it not the cutest thing ever?!

I will say, we made a huge mistake on this trip. We thought, being the grown adults that we are, that we could open and close the park. Usually, we take a 3-4 hour break in the afternoon and go back to our hotel before returning to the park for the nighttime activities. If I have any regrets from this trip, it's that we didn't take a break. By 8 or so, I was done--and the park didn't close till midnight!

We wandered back up Main Street and walked through the Emporium. We found this trophy and sent it to the kids, hoping we hadn't scarred them too much by going to Disney World without them.

We walked up into the train station and took some pictures.

Ha! We do look tired. Then, we took a ride all around on the park on the train. We got back and debated staying for the fireworks, but like I said, I was done. There's always next time! So sadly, we headed back to the resort and grabbed some late dinner at the food court. I don't even remember exactly what we got, but mine was really spicy. I know it wasn't very late before we were asleep.

We needed a good night's sleep for a fun day at Epcot!

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