I want to get these memories down before I forget the details.
I loved Epcot the first day. Primarily because it was so open and spacious, and even though that meant walking a lot, it also meant breathing room. :) We partly chalked that up to the rain, and it might have been, but overall, Epcot felt the least crowded to us.
On Monday morning, we headed for the bus to go to Magic Kingdom. It was 40 degrees, but sunny. I also found this map online (click for larger).
We arrived at about 10 a.m., and decided since we had two days here that we’d focus on Tomorrowland, Mickey’s Toontown Fair, and Fantasyland, and leave the rest for Friday.
Our situation, I think, might be a little unique - our kids haven’t seen that many Disney movies. I know, right? But Rowen is very sensitive to any kind of conflict in a move (she doesn’t like Toy Story, for example, because they are arguing at the beginning). So their main heros are the ones from Playhouse Disney - Mickey and friends, the Little Einsteins, and Winnie the Pooh. Luckily for us, this meant skipping the dreaded long lines at the Dumbo ride! Hehe.
So Jared headed over to the Winnie the Pooh ride to get FastPasses for all of us, and we rented a stroller. I didn’t know until Friday that you could rent a stroller for multiple days at once. They give you a little yellow ticket, which you can take straight up to the stroller delivery rather than waiting in line every day - and I think it’s a $4.00 savings per day. The double strollers were really nice, and had a canopy on top where we could stow all our stuff, and we just left most of it with the stroller when we parked to go see something. I had a pouch with my phone, room key, money, credit card, and then my camera, and Jared had a bag he kept with him. Everything else (we called it “The Day Bag”) including first aid kit, guidebook, sweatshirts, water bottles, wipes (bring wipes if you have little kids! The MK is the happiest place on earth, and also the stickiest), and the assorted “friends” we accumulated along the way to bring home with us.
Ok, so on the way up to the ride we encountered our first parade! Guys on stilts, characters on floats, music, dancing, the works.
Rowen LOVES dancing.
The parade ended just in time to go in for our Winnie the Pooh ride. One that the whole family could go on, and it was SO fun. My parents got the kids a little Tigger toy in the obligatory “go through the gift shop on the way out of the ride” gift shop. Those Disney folks are no marketing slouches, I’ll tell you what.
Kids also got a big ol’ lollipop. I have no idea what Ele was looking at here. But I LOVE the look on his face.
We had switched our dining reservation from the Crystal Palace to a quieter lunch at Tony’s, which is a replica of the italian restaurant from Lady and the Tramp. It was excellent, and SO laid back. We were totally in the mood for something quiet and easy, and it was great to be able to just sit and talk, since the vacation was partly to catch up with my parents and let them hang out with the kids. :)
My dad doesn’t eat sugar, and they had an amazing sugar-free granny smith apple sorbet. Totally recommend.
On our way back over to Tomorrowland, we caught the tail end of a show on the steps of the castle. We actually weren’t very good about catching the shows here. Something on my “let’s do that next time” list, for sure.
First stop in Tomorrowland was for me to head for Fastpasses for Space Mountain. We had two rollercoaster people with us, two who were too short, and two (that’d be my mom and I) who are lightweights. So the rest saved me a place in line at the Astro Orbiter. Ele wanted to actually ride one of the planets, and was somewhat disappointed that he only got to ride in the rockets that went around them, but he got over it pretty quickly when the ride started.
We jumped on the TTA - the Tomorrowland Transit Authority train that circles Tomorrowland. We ended up riding this ride four times in the two days we were there, and it was a huge hit with both kids every time. It gave great views of Tomorrowland and was a great diversion while my dad and Jared rode on Space Mountain.
They said what they always said whenever they came out of a ride, “You wouldn’t have liked that one.” Well, having ridden Space Mountain, I already knew that. ;)
We stopped and bought hats. It felt like the right thing to do.
Of course Ele wanted the pink ears one. But we persuaded him with a blue one instead…
We spent only a little time in the Toontown Fair, on account of the crowds beginning to pile up there. My dad and Jared took Rowen on the Barnstormer roller coaster, and then we wandered back over to Fantasyland.
Just as we got there, we spotted a lineup just begining to meet Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. This ended up being the ONLY character line we stood in. The kids just weren’t into it, and we weren’t about to try to force them to stand in a line. But Pooh Bear! And Tigger! were worth it. :)
Line was about 30 minutes long. That part, wasn’t so great. But Rowen hugging Winnie the Pooh, who she sees all the time on TV, was awesome. She told Pooh Bear how warm and soft he was. :)
We toured around near the castle, got some snacks, ended up getting in to the PhilharMagic show with no wait (it was awesome!), rode the carousel, and hit up It’s a Small World while everyone was lining up for Wishes.
We went back around the castle and turned right over near the ramp coming down from the castle - there was a huge space right in front of the castle, and we ended up getting an awesome space to see Wishes.
Rowen with her hands firmly over her ears, kept shouting, “This is the best day EVER!” “This is the best day EVER!” And Ele (also with hands over ears) kept going, “WoHOOO! WoHOOO!”
On the way out of the park, back to the bus, Rowen said, “I think the fairies got together and made this day special just for me and Ele.” It was heartbreakingly cute, and one of those yeah-this-is-worth-it moments.