Day 2 Part II - January 24th, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

When I last left you on Day 2, we were riding Thunder Mountain.

After exiting and taking a quick time check, we decided it was time to grab lunch. Our next stop was our FP+ reservation for Peter Pan's Flight. Time was going to be a bit tight and it was prime eating time. This was not in the plan. It was either stay close to Frontierland or head closer to Fantasyland. With kids in tow, we chose Pecos Bill's Tall Tale Inn and Café to refuel. (All restaurant information in this post links Touring Plans, thanks Touring Plans!) It was literally right there on our way back to Fantasyland. The natives were getting restless and we didn't want to push them too far just to get back towards Columbia Harbor House or Pinocchio's Village Haus. When traveling with kids, eat before they announce through deplorable behavior that they are in fact, hungry. As we walked to the door, a Cast Member was standing out front with menus and somehow we said "hot dog" near him and he loudly and clearly declared, "there are no Hot Dogs at Pecos Bill's." Ok, then. I am not sure how or when hot dogs came up as the option the kids wanted for lunch. If you are like me, when your kids ask for something by name, you try to give them what they have decided randomly is an acceptable food item. I knew that there was a Hot Dog Cart in Frontierland, so I left Steve, Caroline and my cousin to order the adult meals and headed over yonder with my little buckaroo to get two hot dogs, two bags of chips (we only needed one, but the thought of the argument over who got to hold the bag...) and a water.

I walked those hot dogs and chips right back through the doors of the restaurant and snagged a table for our group towards the rear of the dining area. I'll have a more thorough Pecos Bill's review soon! Long story short, the kids absolutely scarfed their hot dogs down. Connor ate his typewriter style which was... interesting. We took a much needed quick restroom break at the restaurant, and we were on our way to our second FP+ after we parted ways with my cousin.

No sooner had we turned toward Fantasyland when we saw characters for the Frontierland Hoe Down start converging in our area. I located a link with photos of the characters that participate in this and you can find that information from http://charactercentral.net over here. I am less familiar with these characters. This event happens near Country Bear Jamboree and times are listed in the Times Guide. As we were walking Big Al just sauntered by and attempted to sit in the stroller beside Caroline. This photo was taken just after he tried to sit, much to her delight.


These characters do not stop to take photos on their way to their hoe down location and will not sign autographs at that time, but we had a good time walking through the street party. We were on a mission for Peter Pan and wait you ask, Where is Connor? Connor was ONCE AGAIN on my shoulders. I am realizing writing these just how much time he spent perched on top of my head. (Far too much!) We watched the show for a moment before heading on towards Liberty Square and then we caught sight of a rather short line for Chip and Dale in western gear. The short line was probably due to the diversion of the Hoe Down happening just beyond them. We were cutting it close, but like most other times in this trip, characters took priority and we lined right up. Connor was already whining that he didn't want to meet them, panicking really, and we assured him that we wouldn't make him and Caroline could meet them solo, but he would give high fives from the safety of his little nest in my head.

Then this happened.


He is SMILING. Chip, thank you. You were the ONE and only character to pry this boy off my shoulders. Chip pointed at him and then at the ground repeatedly until he got down, then circled his arms protectively around him and BAM! LOVE this photo.



Or you can watch the Flip video Steve took, there's a pause there for a smartphone pic, but it comes back. We kept the Flip in the side mesh pocket of our day bag for handy access. I didn't even realize Steve had this video until last night. You can see at the end how EASY Memory Maker was, just a quick scan of the Magic Band and we were on our way.



 
Our time with the Chipmunks only cost us about ten minutes and we were walking quickly now through Liberty Square towards Fantasyland.

A note here on Stroller Parking because OOF. You cannot park your stroller wherever you want. Correction, you CAN park your stroller wherever you want, but odds are it will not be there when you get back. There are designated Stroller Parking areas in all the parks, but at Magic Kingdom in particular, it is best to park your stroller in a central spot and just leave it there until you are ready to move to a different part of the park. There are big lines of strollers in each of the lands and it will be fairly obvious where to park. At the more spread out parks like Epcot, you can find stroller parking locations at each attraction, but this is not the case over at Magic Kingdom where you will also undoubtedly find the most strollers. Heed the cast member's warning or you will be subject to the fun stroller shuffle. We often found ourselves doubling back to the parking or scooting the kids out to have Steve solo park it alone and then walk back to meet us. This was a total waste of time. Find a spot, leave it there, and get it later when you move on.

The line for Peter Pan was looking miserable, but we scanned right through using our Magic Bands We were whisked off to Neverland in less than 10 minutes. This is a favorite of mine. It is classic Disney and the kids loved it, especially Tick Tock Crock at the end.

Afterwards, Connor was dying to go back on Buzz, so we checked the wait times through Touring Plans and MDE and it didn't look too bad. Perfect, right? No. Problem was the stage show at the Castle was just about to end as we tried to plow through the Hub towards Tomorrowland. By the time we got there, the crowd from the show had started their migration back to other parts of the park. Buzz was now 40 minutes with the line out the door and snaking through Tomorrowland. To say Connor was upset... No big deal we thought, Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor was just next door and we used some parent voodoo to convince him that this line was too long. We told him that by the time we got through with Monsters just NEXT DOOR, this line might be more manageable. He bought it, reluctantly, and we walked confidently up to Monsters only to discover it was DOWN. WOE.

New plan, new plan!! Adventureland!! Pirates, LIKE JAKE! Let's go.

We paused in front of the castle for these shots. Steve was an excellent Photo Pass spotter this trip, putting our Memory Maker to good use. If Steve loved finding the Photo Pass Photographers, Connor hated them with the heat of a thousand suns. The kids' cute shirts were a birthday gift from their Aunt and Uncle and we wore them more than once.



We tried another one at another location on our way the Adventureland bridge and Connor was not enthused, but we have these great Daddy Daughter shots.
 



We knew the lines were at their peak right now, but we had no FP+ reservations until our Rapunzel Meet and Greet at 4pm. We had a couple HOURS to go. In retrospect, we COULD have (and maybe SHOULD have) left the park for a quick break at the hotel, but we pressed on. We were at the Magic Kingdom! I knew the crowd predictions for Monday at the Magic Kingdom looked tough, so we wanted to do as much as we possibly could today. The line for Pirates was quite long, 30 minutes at least, and the cue started way,way outside the physical entrance. We could have gone on the more kid friendly Magic Carpets of Aladdin, but we couldn't convince the kids to do Pirates last time. We were striking while we could before they changed their minds.  A CM handed the kids a Red tag to update the wait time and that was enough to get us through the boring outside part, well, that and a call home to Kiki on Facetime to tell her everything we did that day. It was getting warmer too and we were all shedding layers.


I wasn't sure how the kids would do on Pirates. I knew there was the drop in total darkness at the beginning and we knew from Barnstormer how well things that went fast down hills went over. The cue for this attraction can be quite scary for young kids. It looks all dungeony and creepy.  I just kept reassuring them that the ride would not be scary, that it would be funny and everything was just PRETEND. Pirates was a hit! The liked the boat and I didn't hear any complaints about the dark drop. We were 2/2 on dark rides and things were looking good.

It was definitely getting warmer now and at Steve's suggestion, we checked the wait times for Jungle Cruise and headed there after Pirates. (Look at my anti-Disney Steve, making plans! on the fly!) We stopped on the way at a cart for a drink for Steve (he loves his Diet Coke) and a Mickey Bar. I took this selfie for old time's sake. It was all I could do to resist the glazed almond cones stacked neatly in their pretty pink heart paper. Those almonds haunt my past. I was a bit indignant that this CM didn't have to actually MAKE the almonds a la my CP where I was often on Adventureland Nut Wagon duty, burning myself daily, but I got over it because mmmm, Mickey Bar.


Steve took this one.


 

We polished off the Mickey Bar while waiting in the cue and boarded the Jungle Cruise. This was the kids' first time on this ride. I thought it might have been a bit too scary for them last time with the dark caves and headhunters. This attraction's scare factor seems really based on the narrative of your skipper and in our case, it was funnier than scary. The kids LOVED it. The animatronics were a huge hit and since we were headed to Animal Kingdom the next day, we knew that would also be an enormous success.

Our group diverged into same sex pairs at this point. We walked back over to Tomorrowland together and the ladies dropped the boys off at Buzz Lightyear. The wait was still high, but the kid was so committed and excited that they waited in the standby cue. Those keeping track, this was THREE times today for Connor on Buzz.


The girls had a date with Rapunzel.

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