Turns out we didn’t need an alarm, the kids got up 10 minutes before the alarm went off. The magic of Disney!
We got ready and loaded up the car. Yes – we drove to the parks. I’m not a fan of busses. Not that I’ve ever used them with regularity, I just like having a car and it’s so much easier to be able to load up three kids and all their stuff. DH needed coffee so we stopped at the McDonalds on property (whoa!! That place is way more expensive than real life McDonalds) and ate in the car on the way to MK. We got to MK parking around 7:50. We sat in the car and ate our biscuits and let the kids watch a bit more of whateve DVD was on in the car to kill some time. Then we headed over. We were too early for the Monorail so took the ferry over. We arrived about 10 minutes later, passed through bag check with no problems and waited for the Welcome Show. I’ve always wanted to see it but never was able to get the family out early enough. But this time I did it! We were early, probably earlier than we needed to be – I had some vague hope of being the family of the day. I won’t lie - I knew it was an extremely long shot but the thought crossed my mind. But I got to see the Welcome Show and it was magical and I may have had some pixie dust in my eyes for a bit.
The ropes drop and in we go – with the crazy crush of people. It was April 11th. No idea what the crowd level was but at that moment in time it felt like a really big crowd.
Went first to meet talking Mickey. Oliver, my middle child, had requested to meet him first thing. I had to change the TPs around to get it done, but of course, that’s what we did. Waited like 5 minutes. In hindsight I should have probably warned the kids Mickey would be talking. They aren’t used to talking characters. But they were fine by the time it was our turn. I had made the kids pillowcases to get autorgraphs this trip (previous trips were a picture frame mat and individual character cards I then put in our scrapbook). They like having something to hand the characters, it breaks the ice and gets the interaction started. So they each handed Mickey their pillowcases in turn and then we played for a minute with Mickey, acting like we were lions and roaring at the camera. LOL. It was cute. And the pictures are adorable.
Then we were heading over to Big Thunder Mountain for our first ride of the day. It was a long walk. I had planned to take the train but of course we get there the day it goes out for refubishment. But, no matter, the kids liked seeing everything and stopped along the way to get pictures and window shop. I sent DH on the ride with the boys while DD and I sat it out, as she just didn’t quite make the height cut off. I really really thought Wesley, the oldest, would have graduated to likeing rides by now. We didn’t force him on this one, he went willingly, was even excited. But was in tears, according to DH, as soon as the ride started. Was crying when he got off. My poor baby. He’s so overly cautious. My 4 yo loved it! I got a child swap card to return for me later.
Side note: The CM at the entrance said they were giving out lanyards for child swap at BTMT now and that we would all go through the line together and I’d ride immedietly after they got off. I must have looked really sad at that news because he said I could have a card for later instead. Which was great, because I had not at all planned to ride that right then.
DD and I played at the Laughing Place (is that the name of it?) under Splash while waiting and we got our first pressed pennies there too. I had planned for DH to ride Splash with the boys next but he insisted I ride with Oliver (the 4yo) instead. So Oliver and I went to get in line. I pulled out ponchos on the way – and I have to say I’m glad I did. We were in the fist row and would have gotten soaked without them.
After Splash, we got in line to meet Jesse and Woody, waited maybe 10 minutes but probably less, they had just showed up for their meet when we got in line. My kids love Toy Story (ok I love Toy Story!) so they were excited to meet Jesse – we’ve met Woody and Buzz and they’re always favorites, but Jesse was new to them this trip. It was a fun interaction. Jesse loved DD’s hair ribbons and showed DD her yellow ribbon. It was cute.
After our meet n greet we ran over to watch the Pirate Tutorial. My kids love pirates and stuff but they’ve never seen Pirates of the Caribeean – I just feel they’re too young still. But they enjoyed the show and, though they didn’t get picked to particpate, Captain Jack invited all the kids in the audience up on stage to join his crew at the end. So they were extremely happy to do that – except DD, she clung to me. It was a cute show.
Since we were right there we headed to get on Pirates of the Caribean. So, I’m not sure why I thought this would be ok for my kids. They were pretty much scared from the moment we got on the boat. So not fun. Won’t do that one again with them.
Then we headed to lunch – I had wanted Tortuga Tavern but it was closed (why is it always closed!?). So we walked over to Pecos Bills. I had a bowl and DH and the kids got nachos. Eveyone was happy with the food except DH. But he was already cranky and done with the day so I don’t trust his review of the food.
After lunch we had fastpasses for Jungle Cruise. So we did that. It was ok – I’m glad we did it but I don’t think I need to do it again. It’s just kind of boring, yes? Slow and drifting and I’m guessing the jokes are always the same? But the kids like boats, so they liked it.
Then on to meet Aladdin and Jasmine. We waited a long time for this one because we were the last people in line as the CM there cut the line. I hadn’t planned on a 45 minute meet n greet but that’s what we did becuase the kids said that’s what they wanted to do right then. So I guess this did DH in because he decided that he had to go back to the hotel after this. And he took Wesley with him. So my plan ended mostly. DH leaving put a damper on the rest of us. I got kind of mad at him for this. But I had 2 kids still with me and we went on to ride Magic Carpets. That was fun – Oliver and Ady really enjoyed it and we had a fastpass so no wait. Yipee!
Then my plan was to go meet Peter Pan but we waited so long for Aladdin and Jasmine that I knew we’d be at the end of the line for Peter Pan or not make the cut so I skipped that and we went to ride Pete Pan’s Flight. And while it was fun and we had a fastpass, so no wait, we all were a little off since DH and Wesley left. So I called it and we left to go swimming.
I had planned to watch Mickey’s Philharmagic (I had gems and everything!) and meet Tiana, then see the parade and then meet Tinkerbell. None of those things happend – at all – the whole trip.
But we left and went swimming and it was a great afternoon. Even DH was happier. So, lesson learned, my family can’t hang. So I worked on changing the TPs for all the rest of the days and scale back on the amount of stuff to do. We walked over to POP and ate dinner. It was much better than AoA. And we had a ginourmous – huge - ice cream for dessert. I liked POP’s food and service much better than AoA. The selection at AoA is just not as good as it is at POP.
After dinner, we got the kids ready for bed and I left to meet a law school friend at MK! I’ve not ever been to the park without kids (since I was a kid myself). So I was extremely happy to be going back without them. LOL. My friend picked me up and we parked in disability parking (she’s got a pass). So the walk in was easy. As soon as we got there we had to go to guest services to fix something with her AP. And missed a Space fastpass so Sacha (sp?) at guest services gave us a fastpass for Space. Yay! Off to ride Space, then People Mover, then watched Wishes (I cried). Then we went to got more fastpasses on our mobile apps! And went to ride BTMT and Haunted Mansion (my first time on HM ever!). And then it was like 11 at night and I was fading fast. I had been up since 6 am! So she took me back to the hotel. Everyone was out when I got there. So that was good and I may have taken a few moments to watch the kids sleeping. Because they are so adorable when they’e asleep. Then I crashed. We had another early morning planned for our 2nd park day.
Side note: How to share pictures?