Let me start by saying, you cannot do Magic Kingdom in one day if you want to see and do all there is. We tried. We failed. We’ll have to return.
Seth and his Da (and girlfriend) visited us over the recent weekend. They arrived tired, but talkative late on Friday evening. They had already eaten, so only snacked a bit on some cheese and crackers. Seth, after hugging us tighter than you would believe a four year old could, was coaxed to bed with the promise of, “We are going to DISNEY tomorrow and you have to get up early!”
I set a “must leave the house time” by 8:00 am (as Seth’s Da and the girlfriend had to purchase tickets). We nearly made it.
After arriving, parking and allowing Seth to choose our mode of transport to the park, we boarded the monorail. It delivered us to the gates, of course. Bags checked (very cursory check too, I might add. We had several with us. Two small soft sided coolers with sandwiches, drinks, carrots, grahams, etc.) we went through the turnstiles, which was followed by an explanation for why Seth couldn’t carry his AP.
Appeased, we entered and checked out the barbershop. The line was out the door so we headed up Main Street on our way to Splash Mountain. Seth was able to take in a bit of the show that was underway at the castle. He enjoyed seeing Mickey AND Minnie!
Splash Mountain was nearly a walk on. Three of us, and Seth went, one stayed behind with all the bags. One of us doesn’t like thrill rides, so that made for a nice sentry.
Seth and I were given the first seats in the log, with Da and GF directly behind us. We laughed and talked about Brer Rabbit and the many different scenes as we made our way through the attraction. As we were heading up the last incline Seth instructed me to “HOLD ON! THIS IS WHERE IT GITS GOOD!” Good indeed! We came flying down the flume with Seth shouting that he wanted to do it again!!! I ended up soaked. There is something about Splash Mountain. It drenches me every time. We dutifully waited for our photo, but passed on the ridiculous purchase price. It wasn’t even a nice shot!
Seth, given the choice opted to go to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad instead of doing Splash again. Luck continued as we walked on to this attraction as well. Great fun screeching and shouting, “Whoa Nellie!” on our train ride!!! At the end, we departed and headed for Pirates of the Caribbean. The line appeared long, and we joined it while discussing what to do. One of us noticed that the doors were not open and that the line wasn’t moving. Seth’s Da was dispatched to ask the CM what the wait time was. He came back saying it was down due to technical difficulties and the CM didn’t know if it would be back up in an hour or five minutes. We chose to move on.
After a short discussion we decided to do The Jungle Cruise, followed by Aladdin, and the Tikki Room. Seth had never been on the Jungle Cruise so this was a first for him. He seemed to enjoy it, but was suspiciously quiet which usually indicates concern. The CM that we had did a great job with the silly jokes and had Seth’s Da laughing nearly the whole way. When it came time for Aladdin, two of us sat out at nearby tables and watched as the camel spit into their flying carpet! It was great fun to see Seth trying to control the carpet and keep it away from the camel. It didn’t work, of course!
When the three of them joined us it was time for a snack, so out came the peanut butter and Maine blueberry jelly on whole wheat, and turkey and cheese on whole wheat sandwiches. Seth was coaxed to eat some bites of his Da’s as he wasn’t really too interested in eating. He did have some Teddy chocolate grahams though.
After the snack off we went to the walk in for the Tikki Room. Seth was excited to recognize the bird from the Lion King. He likes the original Tikki Room song, so wasn’t too happy when they didn’t sing it all the way through. We’d been listening to Disney music on our way to the park this morning, so the original was fresh in his mind. Upon leaving it was decided that although fun, we all still prefer the original.
Back we go to Pirates, and yes! It is now up and running so we joined the line. It wasn’t a very long wait at all before we were on our boat cruising through the Caribbean. Seth’s Da and GF had not seen the new version, so it was great fun watching them discover Jack Sparrow. Seth made sure they saw him, too!
After Pirates we decided Seth did, after all need a stroller (we had debated and against our better judgment left our stroller home) so as the three of them went off to Tom Sawyer’s Island, two of us went to rent a single stroller. While doing that we noticed that the barber shop was no longer crowded at all. Oh well, that’s the way things go sometimes.
Oh their way to Tom Sawyer, they ran into Woody and Jessie who were happy to pose for a photo with them. This was the extent of the character contact. We never did see any other opportunity to interact. Seth surely didn't mind though, as he never commented.
We met up at the raft loading dock, and Seth merrily hopped into the stroller and commanded his father to, “LET’S GO!”
Off we went to Haunted Mansion. Seth chose to ride with the two of us, which left his Da and GF to a doom buggy of their own. He was again, suspiciously silent, but laughed merrily when our hitch hiker appeared to be sitting on his lap.
The day was really lovely, weather wise. It was sunny and bright, with a gentle, cooling breeze. Rain was not supposed to be a factor, but we did notice some dark clouds beginning to gather. This is Florida, and the gathering of dark clouds doesn’t mean much. Sometimes.
The park was not hugely crowded. It was busy, but not jammed by any means. We wended our way (stopping here and there at random to poke in a shop, visit a restroom, buy some water) to Small World. This has always been a favorite of Seth’s. He waved with great gusto to the CM who is above, behind the glass. He sang his way through the attraction, although he looked a bit quizzical at the foreign words at the outset of the cruise. I struggled valiantly to stay awake. Later I learned that Seth’s Da had the same issue.
Once safely delivered back on land it was the carousel. We talked about the other attractions in this area, but these were the only ones with waits over thirty minutes. What is with that? Peter Pan, Snow White, Dumbo, Pooh, Mickey’s Philharmagic-all had long waits. We chose to meander down to Goofy’s Barnstormer instead of queuing for those particular attractions.
Goofy’s never disappoints. It had a bit of a wait also, but the line was moving right along. Seth and the GF were in the cockpit seat, so he thought he was just too important for words. After a fast, but short barnstorming session, we were off to the front of the park to try and catch some of the parade. We missed it, but it was deemed no big deal, as the train was pulling in and we chose to make a full circuit. Seth really likes the train, and the GF had never been fully around the entire park on it.
Remember those clouds? Uh huh. It poured. Hard. Even though we were on the train, we got a bit damp (well, ok the GF got more than a bit damp) but it was still better than being out in the downpour. When we returned to the train station, we hung around a little while until the rain actually stopped. I missed a wonderful photo opportunity. Main Street was nearly deserted during the rain. Once it stopped, like magic it was flooded with people in ponchos. Sure would have liked to have captured that!
We decided that although there was once again, a bit of a line at the barbershop, that we’d stick it out and get Seth’s hair cut. After not too long of a wait (and having fun watching three incredibly well behaved little ones, under a year old, get their first haircuts) it was Seth’s turn. Seth does a wonderful imitation of a wiggle worm. He squirmed, and looked back, and looked up, and looked down, and looked to either side, and scratched his neck, and scratched his ears, and tried to see in the mirror, and shifted from side to side… you get the general idea. Mary, from Boston did a remarkable job for all that. She spiked his hair with gel and gave him a good sprinkling of pixie dust. When given the mirror to look at himself Seth declared, “I don’t like it.” Kids. We paid, giving her an indecently large tip, given all she had been through, and went outside to fetch the stroller and be on our way. It was gone. Fortunately, we hadn’t left anything at all in it. It was a simple matter to go and get another one. (This was actually our third stroller of the day. The first one squeaked miserably so we had traded it in earlier).
Seth, having clapped his Mickey ears back on his head to hide the hair do, clambered back in the stroller and declared we were off to the race cars! So, wandering up Main Street, stopping here and there, reading the window signs, getting a drink, using the bathroom we finally found ourselves at the “race cars.”
Seth was just beyond excited when he learned that he was going to be able to drive. His little body nearly had spasms of joy as he wriggled and wiggled with excitement. We’ve not laughed that hard in a long time. Seth’s Da will most likely have whiplash for days. Seth’s version of driving (Da was with him, GF in a car behind) was to jerk the wheel hard left and then right banging the car on the rail, the whole way around. He was grinning literally from ear to ear. Too cute. Too much fun. I love firsts.
We wandered around Tomorrow Land a bit, then decided to do that perennial favorite, The People Mover (or whatever the heck it is called). We all chose to sit in one car and had a relaxing time of it. Seth was excited by the Buzz Lightyear moments and Space Mountain. I think the GF wanted to do Space Mountain, but no one else did so it was passed over. We’d have waited for her to do it alone, but that didn’t seem to be a viable option. Some things are better just left alone, eh?
Was it time for dinner? We thought so. They had snacked on the remaining sandwiches, and Seth had drank his juice boxes, so we opted for Cosmic Ray’s for dinner. Seth chose a child’s salad with chicken, GF who has made it clear that she does not eat red meat, or pork thankyouverymuch had a bacon cheeseburger. Okay. (We won’t go into the many times we’ve rearranged our entire menu, right now, ok). Seth’s Da had the same. Two of us chose to share a rotisserie chicken that came with red skin mashed potatoes and green beans, and a Cesar salad (minus the crouton and cheese) that also came with some chicken. We gave the mash to Seth, who actually ate some of it. The rotisserie chicken was a disappointment. It was almost undercooked, rather tough and too oily for my liking. The green beans were surprisingly good. The salad, after the addition of some tomato, onion and mushrooms from the topping bar was passable. The salad dressing was a horrifying 23 grams of fat per packet (one serving) waste of calories. I didn’t eat much of it. I did resort to my second diet coke of the day though. One benefit from not drinking caffeinated drinks much, is that when you need the caffeine, it works.
Cosmic Ray’s was really crowded, and we had to do the stand and wait for people to look like they are leaving, then ease over and ask them if we could have their table. The GF was surprisingly good at that. The Lounge Singer serenaded us through dinner, which entertained Seth to no end. Seth did a pretty good job of eating his salad, along with some of the mash. He drank all of his apple juice.
Once we were through, and had cleared our table, we made our way back out. It was now dark. Where had the day gone? We took a chance and went over to Carousel of Progress. It was not only open, but still running so we went in and chose seats in a nearly empty theatre. After one false start, we finally go going and turned our way through the decades. Seth was hideously bored. He clearly didn’t get the whole point of the attraction. I will say, he was quiet. He had his head in his hand, and was rolling his eyes and doing some of the best deep sighing I’ve heard to date, but he was quiet.
Greatly relieved to be off the Carousel of Progress he nearly broke an ankle getting back into the stroller he was moving so fast. We poked here and there in Tomorrow Land. Then wandered down to get a decent spot for Wishes. We had decided earlier to forego making a real effort to watch Spectromagic, but did view it from afar.
We planted ourselves to the left of Walt and Mickey and prepared to wait for Wishes. Two of us went off to get some more water to drink and some popcorn for Seth. It took a little longer than expected as we incorrectly though that it would be faster to go back to Frontierland and get the items there instead of getting on one of the huge lines nearby. Nearly all the carts and kiosks in Frontierland were closed. The one that was open had lines just as long as those nearer to the castle, so we didn't gain a thing, except a bit more walking.
When we were returning it was announced that “very shortly, there would be a special fireworks show over the lagoon.” Another guest asked what was so special about tonight, and I admirably resisted replying, “Well, we are here of course.” It turned out (learned form a CM) that the WDW contract with their fireworks supplier is up for renewal, so other vendors are courting WDW.
We returned to find our area encroached upon (as areas will be) but not too uncomfortable. We all turned away from the castle as the special fireworks show started. Although there was no music, no real theme, and no story it was quite a demonstration. We saw fireworks that we’d never seen before. There are some amazing combinations out there. If WDW chooses them, you are in for a real treat.
Wishes, was delayed as a result of the test show. What happens to little boys when they’ve been given a belly full of popcorn at the end of a long day, asked to sit quietly in a stroller and wait in the dark? Yep. Just after the special show, but before Wishes, the little sweetie fell asleep.
Wishes started at almost 10:30 pm. The breeze had stopped after the rain. That meant that the smoke from the fireworks hung for a long time in one place which ended up obscuring some of the following ones. It did detract from the show a bit, but not enough to keep the GF from shedding a few tears.
I was in favor of waiting for the crowd to disperse, since the boy was asleep, but we ended up walking (if you can call it that) in the thick of the crowd to the exit. Da had the joy of carrying a fully asleep child out of the park, to the ferry waiting area, standing and waiting for the ferry, standing on the ferry, standing and waiting through three trams, and walking through the parking lot. By the time we arrived at the car, everyone was in complete agreement. Having your own stroller was the only reasonable way to go!!
Seth was put in our little SUV because the back seat reclines a bit. We started out of the parking lot, but had to crawl behind a clueless woman who was walking down the middle of the roadway. I said something mildly rude about the size of her butt, moving it and letting us get on our way, when OF COURSE, giggles came from the back seat. He had woken up just long enough to hear me. When am I ever going to learn, eh?
We were home by midnight, little guy tucked in bed, GF stumbled up the stairs to bed herself, and the three of us sat to relax and go over the day.
We’d had a lovely time. Seth’s Da hadn’t been in some time, so was impressed with all the new things. He is hoping to return for the Food and Wine Festival. None of us could decide which tune, Small World, Tikki Room or It's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow was harder to get out of our heads.
Next time? Yes. We’ll bring our own stroller. More of our own water. Ponchos. A small towel so I can at least dry my face after Splash Mountain. I’ll remember that no matter how tired and asleep a child is, I will make no unseemly comments on anyone's derriere!