Day 1 - Magic Kingdom, Part 2
During our snack break, I checked the wait times and decided our new plan of attack at least 3 times. We ended up going to Tea Party, which my parents sat out. MIL and DS5 spun themselves silly while DH, DS2, and I had a very leisurely ride with minimal spinning. I did have to give DH the eye at one point, because I was NOT going to come off the tea cups feeling woozy. I’m the trip captain after all, and I have work to do!
We wandered (read: speedwalked) to the Liberty Belle. While waiting for the boat to dock and unload, we spotted the celebration cavalcade coming down the street and had a decent view from the waiting area. Not how I had planned to see Minnie in her 50th dress (she’s not currently meeting with Mickey), but I’ll take it.
I thought the Liberty Belle would have more benches, because I really wanted to sit at this point (I have plantar fasciitis that I’ve been working on healing up), but we enjoyed the boat ride and it was a nice ‘first’ for us. We got off the boat at 11:15 so we grabbed a couple of benches in the shaded walkway between LTT and Diamond Horseshoe and broke out our cooler. I had intended to sit and eat lunch a little closer to noon parade time, but this was still a triple win for us: actual seats, on the shaded side of the parade route, and with exit access to our next ride.
I’m guessing a lot of people were waiting for the 3 pm parade, because there was actually room for me and the boys to get up and stand right at the rope with only a few minutes to spare before the parade. Quadruple win! A highlight of the day for sure and I got pixie dust in my eye as we waved to the characters and got high fives from Chip.
Next up was the Tiki Room, which I have vague memories of from our childhood trip. A seat with a back and air conditioning, so it gets an A+ for the day from me. We exited the attraction to some very menacing clouds, so we stopped for dole whip and stood under the awning while everyone on MC got drenched. The forecast hadn’t called for a rainy day, so we had left our serious rain gear at the RV, but we had enough ponchos for everyone and a stroller cover, so off we went to Jungle… I mean Jingle Cruise.
Another vague memory from childhood and a ride we missed on our previous trip, this was one of my dad’s must-do attractions and we all had a knee-slapping good time. This was probably our slowest moving line of the day and our first with G+.
At this point I was apologizing to my group for all the crisscrossing we were doing around the park, having been in both Fantasyland and Adventureland twice already, but at least we’d get to do Tomorrowland all in one go. We crossed the park, stopping to take a mediocre photo with the Mickey & Minnie statues in the hub when I spotted a photographer CM with no line.
Next with G+ was Buzz, which had a long G+ return line, but moved pretty quickly. It was raining again, so everyone paused under the overhang as each group dashed out into the rain to scan in before getting under the awning again. Got in line at 1:55 and on the ride at 2:07. I was also very distracted trying to book split G+ for my crew. The way my kids wanted to ride left me on my own, which was initially a bummer, but I wiped the floor with them! My score was 159,000, because I was in charge of my own swiveling. This made my day, because last time my score was abysmal and I originally planned to skip this and send my family on it without me.
People Mover was a 20min posted wait, but a very quick ride. Then I sent DH, my mom, and the boys to the speedway, while my dad, MIL, and I rode Small World (both G+). They also hit Dumbo again because it was a 5min wait and not currently raining much.
After meeting up, we watching Philharmagic. DS5 is sensitive to noise, so he had his hands over his ears for most of it and didn’t have his 3D glasses on. After the show, I told him I was sorry it was so loud and asked if he liked the Aladdin and Peter Pan parts (current favorites at our house), and he excitedly said he loved it all!
We walked down Main Street to meet Mickey with our final G+. DS5 had been so shy with Aladdin and Jasmine, I had pretty low expectations for this one, but he launched himself at Mickey as soon as the other family was done! This was the only photo he genuinely smiled for all day, which makes the hand placement all the more unfortunate. (It went on our Christmas cards anyway )
After leaving Mickey, we gave our boys hugs and kisses and left for our ‘date night’, leaving the kids with their grandparents. While waiting for Philharmagic, I had grabbed one more G+ for Pooh at 4 pm (which they didn’t end up using). I think they looked in a couple stores because DS5 had asked to shop all day before heading back to the campground.
We walked across to Guest Services to get our park hoppers added. I had tried to do this earlier in the day, but the app wasn’t allowing any additions or changes to park days including the 10th and 11th because of the incoming storm (I guess), so we had to talk to CM. Our CM was very friendly and helpful and actually had a birthday the same day as DS5, so we chatted about weekend plans while he swiped cards. I asked if he needed my credit card or could use the one on file and he said he took care of it. Our second pixie dust of the trip! (And it’s a good thing, because what’s coming is… )
I don’t really recommend hitting GS at 4:15 on a rainy party night, because the line was lengthy and doubled while we were in line. But we walked out at 4:40 with FREE park hoppers, so it was definitely worth the wait for us!
We walked out just as the celebration cavalcade was coming by again, so we got one more wave from our favs before we headed out of the park.
It was party night #1 so I kept an eye out for bloggers, but didn’t spot anyone familiar. And since we no longer had a child in tow that would whine about photos, we took a selfie and then a kind guest offered to take our photo.
At 4:48 we hopped on an AK bus, and I grabbed a photo of the ears I made with one of the 50th busses. I went back and forth so many times on fabric choices, so it surprised me when I saw just how well they matched!
Our photo at the train station seemed to be the last of the clear weather for the day. It was a steady rain from here on out and we got pretty wet in spite of the ponchos.
Finally a poncho selfie, even though they were on and off all afternoon.
We mobile ordered dinner from Satuuli Canteen and I FINALLY got to eat the bowl everyone’s been raving about since it opened. Delicious. We also walked over to Dino Land in hopes of getting DH an ice cream cookie sandwich, but we got the closing time of that booth wrong and ended up with an orange vanilla swirl instead.
We walked back to Pandora at 6:28 and against our better judgement got in line early for FOP. Look, it was raining and there was no where to sit and we might as well get in line, right? Well, everyone else was also escaping the rain and had been for most of the afternoon so everyone’s ride wait time tolerance had been thrown out the window and we found ourselves waiting in a 95min posted wait. Our actual wait was about an hour to pre-show, because we found ourselves in the 2nd pre-show room at 7:33. But those first 30 minutes of waiting outside in the rain and in the first cavern room with very little movement were pretty brutal.
FOP was worth it though. My 2nd time on the ride and just as breathtaking, teary-eyed, and amazing as the first. I love this ride!
We had plans to hop from AK to Epcot for Harmonious but the rain wasn’t letting up and my back was DONE. I was in constant foot and back pain at that point and it was time to call it quits.
We’re gonna end this night on a high… because coming up next… how it all fell apart.
Daily step count: 23,429 steps and so much back pain I could barely stand up
Characters hugged: 3 (plus a high five from Chip during the parade)
Photo pass photos taken: 60
Park hours: 12 with EE
Attractions completed: 17 for most, 18 for me & DH
G+ booked: 5
G+ used: 4
Crowd Level: MK 4, AK 8