Trip Report - Day Two Part I - January 24th, 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Though technically our second day, Day 2 felt more like Day 1. This was the moment we had discussed in secret for months. We/I had planned, reconfigured, and re-planned this one day several times over. All of that planning and strategizing would hopefully come together and be well worth the hand wringing, internet scouring, and insomnia.

This was Magic Kingdom Day One. My children (like most children) think that Magic Kingdom is Disney World. I am not exactly sure what they think the rest of the property is, jury is still out on that.

The forecast was cooler than normal for Florida and layers were necessary. Caroline selected a tiara (Rapunzel) because you can't go to the Magic Kingdom without a tiara can you? We packed the bag (more on that later), filled up the Camelbak, and dashed upstairs to the Old Faithful Club to take full advantage of the club level.The kids delighted in self service Fruit Loops, leaving a trail of cereal behind them. Steve and I stuck to the more traditional continental breakfast items. I really enjoyed the little croissants and cinnamon buns. Steve surprised me with his choice of greek yogurt. The kids took "to go" cups of OJ and we headed to the boat launch with my wonderful local cousin.

Though there was a line at the launch, the boats had more room than we expected and we were relieved to make the next boat. We arrived at Magic Kingdom just as the Welcome Show was starting. Steve's report of their reaction to the show, "they didn't not like, but they weren't over the moon excited about it." Meanwhile, over at Bag Check, I was grinning so widely my cheeks hurt as I took our bag and stroller through. Steve and the kids watched the characters hop off the train and before I knew it the park was open and we were on Main Street U.S.A. There is a feeling you get when you step out from under that tunnel and on that morning, my warm fuzzy feeling was replaced by overwhelming anxiety about FP+. So much of my first draft of this post was about FP+ that I turned into a stand alone post. You can read all about our experience using the kiosks for FP+ over here. My anxiety was mixed with a good dose of wanting to slow this all down somehow to savor the kids' expressions and happiness about what awaited them.

Though it was my son's second trip to WDW, I am unsure if he has any actual memories of the experience. He was 20 months old and it is difficult to discern what he sees on television, what he sees in photos or the things his older sister tells him, and what he himself can actually recall. In many ways, it would be fair to call this Connor's first trip and this made it all the more special.

Main Street, U.S.A. There really is nothing that can compare is there? For me, so much time was spent there, listening to that background loop, bringing fresh trays of hot dogs out to the now vanished hot dog stand down that little alley on the right where they sell portraits now, I think? It's always good to see that they haven't updated the costuming over there. (Terrible photo of a photo from 1998, that's my fellow CP with the Mickey stickers on her tush and this is in the locker room at MK)

My cousin and I left Steve and the kids outside Town Square Theater to locate a FP+ Kiosk and while we were gone they discovered a meet and greet with Pluto that was just about to start. The Theatre was packed and we revised our plan to head to Stitch instead. While I waited in line (under five minutes) and secured Big Thunder Mountain (11:05-12:05), Peter Pan's Flight (12:50-1:50), and Rapunzel and Friend at Fairytale Hall (4:00-5:00), the kids met Pluto.

We met them at The Hub and went right back into Tomorrowland to hit Buzz Lightyear for Connor. He was so excited about this that he had woken up that morning asking if TODAY was the DAY he got to ride Buzz Lightyear. As you can see, he was THRILLED with the experience. Look how happy he is?!?


The girls had fun too. (We scanned our bands after the ride to have these shots put on our Memory Maker, something I strongly encourage you to look into before your trip.)

We headed directly to New Fantasyland (when will we stop calling it that?) and waited under ten minutes for Journey of the Little Mermaid. It only made sense to meet Ariel ("with a fin") afterwards. This was when we first realized Connor was not going to be too keen on meet and greets.  The leg crossing seriousness was hilarious from Caroline.

I checked the line for Enchanted Tales with Belle at this point. I had hoped to snag a FP+ for it, but they only had later evening time available which wouldn't work with our plans. The line was already at 30 minutes, so we moved on. We decided now was as good a time as any to try Connor on a coaster and walked over to Barnstormer. We had a good start, but he was done when we hit the first hill. I could almost see him crouch into himself and that was it for him and "fast things" for the rest of the trip. (Photo courtesy of aforementioned wonderful cousin)

Dumbo was more his speed and we walked right on. The entire time we were there, I didn't see a line that reminded me of the old days of Dumbo. This new two Dumbo situation with adjacent play area must be working pretty well.

It was hard to ignore the Speedway next door. I cannot recall the last time I did this attraction. I don't even think I did it in 1998 because the lines were always so long and it is so incredibly LOUD. I would estimate we waited about 20 minutes. It was fun to recreate some family memories. I love the photos my parents have of my younger brother and I. We got some insight into what type of drivers the kids will be and I think my insurance premiums are going to be extremely high. That is my awesome cousin with us. He let us win.

Afterwards we checked the wait for Enchanted Tales with Belle again and again decided we didn't want to spend more than 30 minutes waiting, so we bagged it until our second day at MK and last day of the trip. I figured we could almost rope drop it and not waste a FP+ for it then. We hit Pooh on our walk towards our first FP+ reservation at Thunder Mountain. That Honey Wall is the makings of the plague isn't it?I was happy to have the Purell handy, the kids were less keen on using it. I think Connor may have responded in a way that might make you think I actually chiseled through his hand with the bottle. The kids were so much smaller on our last trip.
A quick time check revealed it was time to say goodbye for now to Fantasyland and head over for our first FP+ at Thunder. We rope dropped the park at 9am and had hit five attractions and met one princess. Not too shabby. It wasn't a long walk to Frontierland and Caroline was practically skipping because this is her most favorite attraction in all of WDW. She could ride it twenty times during a trip and I am still not sure that would be enough. We had a FP+ reservation for this, but Connor was not going to be riding based on how he did on Barnstormer. We didn't really consider how I could ride with Caroline until after she and Steve had banded through the entrance. We should have asked for a Rider Switch Pass (which we DID do on our second day at MK), but this day we just had her use Connor's band to ride again with me, no issue. Connor and I did some shopping for Jake merch at Briar Patch and then I switched with Steve. We had absolutely no issue with our Magic Bands or our FP+ reservation.

This is my favorite photo of our entire trip. Caroline and I on Thunder Mountain, her hands up the ENTIRE ride, "woohooing," and loving life. It's a perfect place to pause this story, just before lunch on Day 2, riding the ride of the trip with my girl.

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