Day 2: The Magic Kingdom

Day 2 was Tuesday and followed a very late evening on Monday.  Joel went for a run while the kids ate breakfast, Mommy went for a run while Joel and the kids swam, and then we all got ready for the Magic Kingdom.  We had a special surprised booked for our whole family at 9:20 PM, so we planned to go to the Magic Kingdom in the morning and head back to our hotel for a little R&R after the afternoon parade.  We ended leaving at exactly 5:00 PM, catching the evening flag ceremony at the front gate.

Right away in the morning we hopped in a short line to see Snow White, who had stopped under a tree to rest while out picking berries and flowers.  Aedan refused to see her – he was saving all of his love for the boy characters.  While Emma was chatting with Snow White about woodland creatures, a parade passed through Main Street.

We headed for Tomorrowland next, where we rode the Carousel of Progress and saw Buzz Lightyear.  Like all of the little boys before him, Aedan tried to push his buttons…  Buzz was luck enough to have a stamper for his signature – all of the other characters with weird hand components still had to grip a pen!

Aedan and Daddy raced Mommy and Emma in bumper cars; they were built for drivers like me because a metal track kept you in your lane the entire race.  Phew!

It was cute throughout the trip to see Aedan beg and volunteer and demand to be with Joel; not that Aedan normally doesn’t like Joel, but it was fun to see his idea that boys should stick together and girls should stick together.

We tried waiting in line for some other kid-friendly rides, but everything seemed so long and fastpasses weren’t an option.  We settled in with Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream bars and felt pretty discouraged – it was by far the hottest day and we felt like we were wasting our time just standing in line for characters all morning.  Remarkably, though, the kids didn’t care.

We did make a couple trips on Prince Charming’s carousel.  Emma refused to let me help her mount and dismount because I have ridden a real horse before, Mother…this is just a carousel – I know how to do this.

The parade was a blast and we were glad we waited to see it, especially because when we wound our way out of the crowds to head home, a woman in front of us turned and handed us four fastpasses for the Buzz Lightyear ride, redeemable in five minutes!  Wahoo!  The boys claimed one car and the girls the next as we flew through outer space and tried to help Buzz defeat Zurg with our laser guns.  The targets throughout the ride had sensors, and the cars actually kept track of your score as you rode.  At the end of the ride, you could purchase pictures taken of your voyage.  Emma and I looked really serious in our picture – you could totally tell we were working hard to beat Daddy’s score!

We left and returned via bus, and arrived in time to grab a fastpass for Winne the Pooh and ride the teacups.


Our family surprise was a dessert buffet on the Tomorrowland Terrace – we had unobstructed views of the fireworks, a decent glimpse of the night-time electrical parade, all-you-can-eat desserts and and extra dose of pixie dust when Tinkerbell landed on the roof above us.

Aedan wasn’t too intrigued by the desserts, but Emma really appreciated the tiny garnishes and the ice cream sundae bar.  All of the desserts were yummy and beautifully presented.  We didn’t take the big camera back to the Magic Kingdom in the evening, so our photo accounts come from Joel’s phone.

The evening show is much bigger than just fireworks, and we all loved seeing it from our special spot.  Images taken by Disney photographers throughout the day are projected onto the castle, snippets of songs and movie lines are played together in an amazing soundtrack, and the colors and graphical effects displayed on the castle change it into a Turkish empire, ivy-covered tower or a night sky full of lanterns.

Emma befriended another girl named Emma, and they bonded over gum from my purse and their favorite Disney girls.  Aedan eventually left Joel’s arms to join them, and Joel and I enjoyed seeing the magic through their expressions.

An honest to goodness live Tinkerbell left the very tip-top of the castle at the beginning of the fireworks presentation and flew (via cable) to the roof above us.  As she reached us, she stretched out her wand and tipped it in our direction.  Emma swore she could feel the extra pixie dust in her hair!

After the show (and coffee from the dessert buffet), everybody decided they wanted to stay and try some more rides.  We were able to walk up to all of our rides with little or no waiting, and we also happened upon Tinkerbell and Terrance in Pixie Hollow.

Emma did wonder why Tinkerbell was larger than children, but she figured it was just a little Disney Magic.

In addition to the plush accommodations in Pixie Hollow, Terrance and Tink were quite cute.  They had a playful banter back and forth and were quite personable with the kids.

We used our fastpass for Winnie the Pooh, which was a ride through some of my favorite Pooh stories.  I know that Emma has read several Pooh stories, but I don’t think she has ever seen the movies.  There were actually several Disney classics that we realized our kids have not seen; Lady and The Tramp, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, Swiss Family Robinson (my favorite!), Robin Hood and The Hunchback.

Joel insisted that we ride on The Pirates of the Caribbean; it was his favorite ride when he visited as a nine-year-old.  The kids loved the ride, and Emma fell in love with a stuffed dog from the gift shop.  (Most of the big Disney rides end inside a gift shop – great planning, huh?)  If you have seen the movie, it’s the dog that holds the keys that all the jailed pirates are trying to lure to their cells.  Anyhow, Emma wasn’t certain that she wanted to spend her souvenir money on that dog and if we promised we could return later in the week she would wait and see what the other souvenir shops held.  We ended up returning on Thursday for that dog 🙂

Aedan purchased a set of pirates at that gift shop with his souvenir money, and added a hook to his collection when Emma returned for the dog.

We also made it to the teacups, It’s a Small World, Aladdin’s Flying Carpets, and climbed through the treehouse belonging to the Swiss Family Robinson.

(Contrary to the appearance of this photo, Emma loved the teacups and Mommy hated them.)

Aedan fell asleep on the bus ride home, but Emma and Mommy befriended a young woman who was at Disney for a few days of fun and then auditioning to be a dancer at Walt Disney World.  She and her boyfriend were very sweet to Emma, and we enjoyed hearing her knowledge of some of the ins and outs of the park.

When she asked Emma how she was enjoying the parks, Emma responded, “I love Disney…but there is just one problem – my feet ache!” So, other than the achey feet, Day 2 ended with no complaints.