Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day Eleven - Magic Kingdom

I woke up feeling pretty sad that our vacation was almost over at this point.  Only two park days left, both Magic Kingdom.   At least they promised to be full of our favorite rides!  Thursday was a morning Extra Magic Hour day which we had been mostly avoiding, but we wanted to have a chance to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes, so we had to go against the Disboards wisdom this time.  It was foggy, and when we arrived, we could barely see the castle.  We hit up Tomorrowland first, with Doug, Colwyn, and Lachlann getting a ride on Space Mountain while I rode Buzz Lightyear with the littles.

When we met up after, we went to the Tomorrowland Speedway to get in a ride before it too sunny and busy.  The line was actually annoyingly long (as in, 10-15 minutes).  I drove with Fiona and Niall and Fiona steered, but boy, was Niall ticked off.  When our lap was over, Doug ended up taking Niall back on (I grabbed Fastpasses for them) while the rest of us headed over to meet Merida.  We were the second family in line (we got there at about 10 to 9:00), so we were glad not to have to wait forever.  When we got our few minutes with Merida, the kids were all totally wooden - Merida jokes that the kids must have had haggis for breakfast since nobody looked happy.  It was a pretty funny joke, considering I'd let them have leftover brownies and chocolate milk for breakfast!  They were all happy to have a turn practicing their archery afterward, though.

We had a late breakfast reservation at 1900 Park Fare, so we were running out of time, but I wanted to see if we could meet the Fairy Godmother before heading over to the Grand Floridian.  Unfortunately, we got bad advice from a CM on where she meets, so we missed her.  But Fiona and Niall got an extra ride on the Carousel out if it, so it wasn't a total loss.

1900 Park Fare was running really late, so we had to wait for a bit in the lobby.  The kids were happy to finally get seated and hit the buffet (oh, how they love buffets), and we had enough time to get everyone food before characters started appearing.  Tigger and Pooh were appropriately interactive with Fiona's stuffed animal, Sharp Claw, and Niall's monorail (Tigger pretended to be afraid of the Yeti), but the Mad Hatter was pretty meh (especially disappointing since we had so much fun with him last time).  Alice totally made up for it, though, and had a really long conversation with Fiona and Niall about their toys.  First, she called the monorail a caterpillar, which elicited crazy giggles from the kids.  Then when Niall showed her the Yeti Train, she asked why the Yeti was trying to scare Mickey.  Niall told her that the Yeti was actually trying to kill Mickey - and you should have seen the look on Alice's face!  They had a fun conversation about why the Yeti was so grouchy, then went back to calling the monorail a caterpillar.  It was so much fun, and quite a nice surprise as the last time we met Alice, she was a little flat.  We missed Mary Poppins during our extended visit with Alice, but our server was nice and got her to come back.  She was fun, but being Mary Poppins, a little stiff.

We took the monorail back to the Magic Kingdom and went right in to meet Tinkerbell.  We lucked out with yet another great interaction with her.  Lachlann had his sword with him and she wanted to know if he was a pirate, and if so, whether he was good or bad.  This involved checking out his teeth to see if he was missing any (pirates always have missing teeth), and smelling him to see if he smelled like a codfish (he did not, so apparently he's a good pirate).  Lachlann had been generally annoyed at having to meet girly characters, but I think he really liked the attention.

After we finished up with Tink, we ducked into Tony's Town Square Restaurant and got Lady and the Tramp's autograph, then found their pawprints in the cement outside the restaurant.  Marie was next, in the blazing sun by the flagpole.  But she didn't have a long line, so we went for it.  She was very cute, and Fiona was happy to meet her since we missed her last time.  We finally signed up for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom after that - the kids love the game, but we'd avoided it thus far because so many of the portals are right out in the sun.  We had forgotten our Key from our last trip, but the CM asked how far we'd gotten and set our new game to start after the first round or two, which was nice.

We did Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor after that, even though I would have been perfectly happy never setting foot in there again after getting picked on horribly during our first trip.  But the kids enjoyed it and thankfully, we were left alone (no tie dye shirts on!).  We got frozen slushes to soothe our sore throats, then caught Carousel of Progress.  I love CoP for the nostalgia (and the song!), and Lachlann admitted afterwards that it wasn't as bad as he thought it would be.  I'm sure you can imagine my exasperation!  Next up was meeting Buzz Lightyear, and Niall thought he was awesome.  Buzz took Niall's Yeti Train and got down on one knee to roll it back and forth with him - which I found really impressive because of his limited mobility (which makes him sound like a senior citizen in an ECV, ha).  Niall was over the moon, though.

We didn't have much else to do until our Fastpass for Anna and Elsa opened up, and since it was so busy, we just played Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom a bit.  Finally our Fastpass window opened up and I took Fiona and Niall in while Doug and the boys continued their game.  Fiona was just in absolute heaven.  Both Anna and Elsa were very sweet - they thought the Yeti was Marshmallow - and Fiona and Niall got big hugs from Anna.  Fiona thanked me profusely on our way out, so I got to feel like Mom of the Year.

We had some time to kill before our Be Our Guest reservation, so we went over to Under the Sea.  It listed a 20 minute wait, but we got in line anyway because the queue is at least shaded and air conditioned.  The line was one of the longest we'd been in so far, but still not more than 15 minutes (probably more like 10).  Fiona and I had a great time pretending that we were turning into mermaids as we descended under the sea, and vice versa when Ariel turns into a human - but funnily enough, the ride stopped just at the transition between sea and land, so we had a great time pretending we had to hold our breath and that we were running out of air.  That little girl is so funny.

Be Our Guest was next and we were seated in the Rose Room.  It was beautiful, and Fiona was relieved to not be in the West Wing (she doesn't like the thunder and lightning).  The service and food were great, and the kids were so excited to get to try the grey stuff (okay, I was, too).  But it took a lot longer than we thought it would, so we were really worried we were going to miss the Main Street Electrical Parade.  Well, Lachlann was all for skipping it and going back to our room, but I was looking forward to it (and Wishes) so much that he got outvoted.  We lucked out with no wait for Beast and then practically ran over to the Hub, struggling to find entrance to the Fastpass viewing area since it was already packed.  We managed to find our way in and secured spots to sit in the 'second row'.  Huge relief!

It started to sprinkle a little, but we assured the kids that it would stop soon.  We did cover the stroller anyway, just so our autograph books wouldn't get wet.  We only had to wait a few minutes for the parade to start, and Doug and I giggled like little kids as soon as we heard the music start.  I can't really explain it, but we both totally love the MSEP.  Anyway, just after the first float got to us, the skies opened and we got hit with a torrential downpour.  The littles jumped into the stroller, where they stayed dry under the rain cover, but us bigger people (Colwyn and Lachlann included) were not so lucky.  It was literally like someone was just upending buckets of water on us.  Thankfully, we were all able to keep our sense of humor and thought it was quite funny, and a novel way to view a parade.  Some of the characters got into it, notably Smee (everyone was yelling at him to row faster!).  It was very strange, though, watching CMs covered in what are basically Christmas lights dancing around in the rain.  We were mildly worried we'd end up witnessing an electrocution (okay, not really, but still, it was weird).  I can't stress how much it was raining - I could barely see for the water pouring down my face and had to shield my eyes just as if it were sunny.

I also took the opportunity to hug the boys as much as possible.  During our trip, Colwyn got into the strange habit of asking for hugs at our most hot and sweaty moments, and I felt bad for telling him no all the time.   But we were not hot and sweaty then!  We stayed for the duration of the parade (20 minutes!), partially because we were already soaked, but also because we were surrounded by crowds and they tell you not to leave your spot when the entertainment is going on (since they dim the streetlights).  After the parade was over, though, we left with the majority of people.  I assume they canceled Wishes, but we saw a surprising number of people entering the park as we were exciting.  Leaving the park was tricky because I could barely see and I was pushing the stroller.  We were walking through rivers of water that washed almost ankle high.

The bus ride home was fun as there's nothing like a downpour at Disney to make people chatty, I guess.  I got to talk with a couple other adults, but Niall was really the star of the show, entertaining the whole back of the bus with his chattering to another little girl.  Of course, I can't remember any of the specifics of what he said, but he had most of the adults back there cracking up.

Once back in our room, Doug changed his clothes and ran to get Mickey Bars for everyone (the rain had lightened up to a light shower by then).  Of course, both Niall and Fiona dropped their ice cream bars on the floor, but not after enjoying most of it.  I was a little disappointed to have missed our one chance at Wishes, but the 'unique' evening made up for it.

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