Monday, December 14, 2015
Our Monday started early. After all, Extra Magic Hours opened the Magic Kingdom to us at 8am. Our goal was to make rope drop in the front row for a prime view of Mickey and friends as they arrived on the Walt Disney World Railroad.
We didn't quite make it, but were going through security at that time and got to see the action from a distance...does it count?
One quick photo to start the day and then we were off...
We were people on a mission to head toward New Fantasyland, but you're never in a too much of a hurry to have a quick conversation with Goofy at the edge of Town Square.
We had kids 'helping navigate' in two ways.
One somewhat successful by map...though frequently the map would get turned upside down.
And one who constantly tried the 'follow me even though I have no idea where I'm headed' method.
And then of course the obligatory castle photo.
The crowds were so light that there were several other photos I wanted to get, but the crew would have no further part of that. They were ready to GO!
I had done enough reading to know that Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was the place to hit before the crowds caused the line to grow, so it was Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho for us! Awesome coaster...easily in my top three ride list at Disney.
And for those that wondered if Mom still had her love of thrill rides...
|(my prediction? she'll be a 'hands up' coaster junkie well into her 90s)|
From there we walked right into Maurice & Belle's cottage and experienced our first bit of princess magic. Nat was utterly spellbound.
Caleb may have been as well, but he was too busy playing the role of Beast dancing with Belle for us to verify. He was a bit giggly though which implies that our hunches were correct...
Even the big girls who proclaimed being 'too old to like the princesses' were happy to stop for a photo with Belle.
We also learned that just because you are older doesn't mean you can't enjoy a good carousel ride.
Of course what venture into Fantasyland would be complete without getting the most loved...or hated...Disney song of all stuck in your head? It's a Small World remains one of my very favorite rides, there's just something about knowing this was Disney in the beginning.
By this point our granola bar breakfasts had worn off, so we decided to take advantage of our free dining plan to get a mid-morning pick me up. I'm pretty sure a waffle has never tasted so good. We sat and enjoyed made to order waffles spread with a thick layer of Nutella and then smothered with strawberries and bananas within view of Cinderella's castle.
If only all snack days were so good...
As we headed toward Frontierland we happened upon a chance to meet Tiana. Chocolate was hurriedly wiped off of faces could smile our best. My favorite part of the interaction was when one of the crew asked, "So do you like kissing frogs?"
And then we were off to Big Thunder Mountain. Several members of the family declared this their favorite ride at Disney. I lost track of how many times we ended up riding. My only regret about this coaster is that there are no hidden cameras to catch you in action.
Lunch at Columbia Harbor House refueled us all and then a few character meet and greets we next on the agenda.
And this seems like a good time for a little comparison from our last trip to Disney in March of 2012.
|taken on DQs 5th birthday...Caleb was asleep in the stroller when I took these three back|
After we got our fill of meeting princesses for the day, we headed on over to Splash Mountain to cool off a bit. Daniel was SO EXCITED as he had been turned away from this one at launch time on our last visit because he was right at 40 inches back then.
As you can see, some of us enjoyed the thrill more than others. Mom proves that even Grandmas LOVE Disney World!
Well, she did. Until she was drenched on Splash Mountain. I mean, water was dripping from her pants for an hour. Thankfully she was a much better sport than I was when I got a second shower for the day on Pirates of the Caribbean. Mom, Ky and I got so wet on that one that Kylie and I have vowed never to ride it again.
Nothing that a Dole Whip, a Jungle Cruise, Flying Carpets and the Enchanted Tiki Room couldn't fix though.
For dinner we decided to get off our feet for a while and so after heading back to New Fantasyland to ride Dumbo and the Barnstormer we took the Railroad back to the entrance and then a boat to the Wilderness Lodge to enjoy Roaring Fork cafe. Bonus is that they have the largest Christmas tree I've ever seen in the lobby.
One of our kids may have reported their favorite part of the day was riding the boat across the lagoon between the MK and the Lodge, so I'm glad we took the extra time for a meal. Besides, a bit of sitting down was welcome at that point...
Upon our return to the Magic Kingdom we caught the end of the Electrical Parade, viewed Wishes and of course, what's a day in Disney without hanging with the mouse?
All in all we logged 15 hours of magic. Not bad for a group ranging from 6 to 70+...
And we were just getting geared up for the rest of the week!