Another beautiful day at the Magic Kingdom.
No matter how big, or small, a kid you are, you can never get too much of the Magic Kingdom. On our fourth at Disney we headed back to the Magic Kingdom as we had visited the park on day one of our vacation but didn’t arrive until late afternoon. I hadn’t purchased the Park Hopper option for our tickets and that ended up being fine as we had five days to explore all the parks.
Pirates of the Carribean had been closed temporarily for maintenance on our arrival day and was on our must do list so we headed straight to Adventureland to check it out and get our Jack Sparrow on! Adventureland ended up being one of our favorite areas of Magic Kingdom. As luck would have it, a pirate show was going on (and who can turn down a good pirate show?) and while hubby and the girls enjoyed all the swashbuckling fun, I headed to Splash Mountain for Fast Passes. It finally had clicked in my brain that the key to avoiding lines for your “must do” ride was to immediately high tail it to that ride as soon as you entered the park to snag Fast Passes. Then you can enjoy some other rides and activities and plan your day accordingly.
Honestly I tried not to plan our daily Disney agenda to death even though I can be a complete control freak. At one point when we were in line to get Snow White’s autograph I noticed the woman in front of me had a laminated schedule timed down to the minute for their day. Now THAT is a planner. We had our ideas of the must do things we wanted to hit but we could have easily spent another full day at every park. There’s just no way to do it all and I resolved to be all zen with Mickey Mouse about it.
Is that Johnny Depp or Jack Sparrow? Either way, I just had to take his rogue pirate’s picture. Ahem.
One thing you can definitely plan on is getting wet during the grand finale 52-foot plummet on Splash Mountain. Actually hubby and Miss C were seated in front and got soaked! Miss A and I escaped without getting too wet. Splash Mountain was one of our favorite rides. I loved the Song of the South theme and at 11 minutes it was one of the longest rides at Disney. We also rode the Walt Disney World train ride that encircles the Magic Kingdom, which was a nice slow change of pace, and got a sneak peek at some of the construction for the new Fantasyland area, scheduled to open in 2013. The new area will feature an Ariel ride, Belle’s cottage, and more. The conductor and tour guide did an excellent job of giving us some scoop on all of the new rides and attractions being built during this expansion project. This fun time-lapse video from April 10 posted on the official Disney Parks blog gives a sneak peak of the progress being made. And so of course all this means we MUST GO BACK to Disney, right?
Getting ready to get soaked on Splash Mountain!
We enjoyed lunch at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn, which didn’t make my favorite restaurant list. The food is decent enough quick service for a fast burger but isn’t anything to write home about, quite honestly. Because I’d done a lot of research, though, I knew that the food at Magic Kingdom is not the best the parks have to offer. But it’s fine for fast, family fare. The girls loved it. Plus we had dinner reservations that evening at 1900 Park Fare.
After lunch we headed to Future World and went exploring. Tomorrowland Speedway was our final ride for the day at Magic Kingdom and we loved it! I felt like Danica Patrick with the wind whipping my hair. OK not really. I think we went 5 MPH. The girls drove the cars, though, and it was a blast.
We headed back to the hotel early afternoon as we were all a little worn out. The weather was breezy and temperatures were in the 60s so it was a tad too cool for extended pool time but we did lounge poolside for an hour or so before relaxing a little in our room and getting ready for dinner at the beautiful Grand Floridian hotel. All Star Movies does a great job of planning fun organized poolside games for kids.
A little piece of advice for ya’ll. You can consult all the books and websites you want but you will always get the best advice from friends who have been to Disney multiple times! A friend told me that we should definitely take the water taxi over to the Grand Floridian which launches near the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. The boat ride back over to Magic Kingdom late that evening was a tad chilly but it was such a special way to end our last evening at Disney.
The Grand Floridian is one gorgeous Disney property. It reminded me of the Hotel Del Coronado in California. I had made dinner reservations for the Cinderella character dinner back in December. Although my girls are way past the Bibbitty Bobbitty Boutique age and dressing up like little princesses, they absolutely loved interacting with the characters during our buffet dinner. I highly recommend Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner at 1900 Park Fare for a fun character experience and a great meal. The girls got autographs from Cinderella, Prince Charming, and the wicked stepmother and stepsisters (who were absolutely hilarious in character.) Plus you get to see an incredible upscale Disney property. After dinner we walked on the beach and enjoyed the water parade, minus the crowds.
It was hard to believe this was our last full day and night and Disney, but we had the entire next day to spend at Hollywood Studios.
That crazy Anastasia with the girls
I’ve been writing about our first ever Disney World vaca. Check out my previous posts!
Next post: Last day at Disney…Hooray for Hollywood! Hollywood Studios, that is.