Places to Go (Vacation) - Disneyworld, Part I - The Magic Kingdom. The First Stop on Our Roadtrip of the South.


We arrive. After checking into our hotel (The Villas at the Wilderness Lodge, more on this tomorrow) and finding Grandma we caught the ferry for our first day of Magic Kindgom bliss. Well, maybe not. First of all, it was HOT, over 95 degrees hot. Second of all, it was crowded. As in, "wow, it's amazing this many people can fit in a small(ish) space" crowded. Both these factors were incredible disappointments to me as we visited in May so as to avoid people and heat. So it goes.

We walked down Main Street and immediately encountered a small parade (one of three parades the park holds throughout the day) with singing, dancing and Minnie. I'd like to say the kids were amazed but truthfully they were just overwhelmed (weren't we all?). I planned on taking about a million pictures but between the crowds, the heat, and carrying the toddler the camera stayed in the bag most of the time. Our first stop was Adventureland and the magic carpet rides of Aladin. After 45 minutes in line, we were flying. F and P broke out of their stunned coma and immediately proclaimed "we love it here!" T rubbed his eyes (there's no napping in Disney!). Off we ventured to Pirates on the Caribbean and the Country Bear Jamboree before F proclaimed "I'm ready for the hotel now." On the way back to the ferry we ran into another parade, one in which Cinderella smiled at P and Belle waved to F. Talk about magic.

The next three days went by in sort of a haze. We spent most of our time at the Magic Kingdom where we quickly learned that the best time to visit was after 7:00 pm (short lines and no heat). So we watched fireworks two nights in a row, while the kids powered through with 11:00 bedtimes and naps during the day. In retrospect, I'm glad we started out in Frontierland because once the kids visited Fantasyland, they never wanted to leave. P FELL IN LOVE with Small World, and after three trips the song may never leave my head. F conquered Thunder Mountain, thus proclaiming herself a "really big girl". And T just kept saying "more rides, more rides" over and over as he rubbed his eyes with exhaustion and fell in and out of sleep while resting on my shoulder. Dan and I both loved the brand-newish Buzz Lightyear ride, where you can point a lazer gun at targets and win points all while spinning around in your little ride-car. My mom helped out a lot, making shadow puppets with the girls and playing eye-spy during 45 minute lines (by the way, Peter Pan, you are so NOT worth the wait). After three days I finally developed a Fastpass strategy and everything seemed to sail along smoothly (well, except that the kids all HATED Haunted Mansion, which is my favorite ride). Best of all, F and P had no interest in princess dresses or the Bibbidi Boddibi Boutique, I guess they really are growing up.

All in all we had a truly lovely time. Though no Space Mountain. Hence why we NEED a second trip.

P - "I'm so glad that the Haunted Mansion is fake, but I wish Small World was real." As the Small World boat moved at a snail's pace, I couldn't help but think that the ride's overly made up dolls probably inspired the Bibbidi Boddibi Boutique.

Nighttime in the Magic Kingdome = perfect time for T's first carousel ride (he loved it).

"Mom, what are they doing? Are they selling those women? What's a wench? Aren't pirates really mean? Why are we visiting them? That dog is so cute! Can I have a dog? WHY NOT?" - Got to love the questions that result when Disney decides not to be politically correct.

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