Thursday, April 7, 2011

Disney Day 3: Adventure Day!

Our first day in the Magic Kingdom was our Princess Day, and day #3 was our Adventure Day!  We rode all the Disney World classics along with a few rides that were new to all three of us.  We found out that Katie Anne can be a little haunted house, roller coaster, jungle cruising thrillseeker just as easily as she can be the princess!

This second day in the Magic Kingdom got off to a very early but very amazing start.  I had heard that, if you have one of the earliest character breakfast reservations, that you can go into the park before it actually opens.  So, I made sure to make a very advance reservation for the Winnie the Pooh and Friends character breakfast at The Crystal Palace.

Sleepy girl after her 5:45 am wake up time!

Actually it worked out even better than I'd planned - because Katie Anne had to potty, she and I were the first people in the park other than Cast Members on her actual birthday!  It was crazy - but we were fair and, as promised, we pottied at the first available bathroom and went right back out to wait in line until it was our turn to enter.  We all got to enter the Magic Kingdom about 20 minutes before the park officially opened, and it was so neat to be in the park with almost no one else there!  Of course, for this picture-obsessed Mommy, the chance to take pictures in front of the Disney classic locations with no crowds was too perfect!

Two thumbs up for getting in the park early!
Early morning, crowd-free views of the castle!
Normally, the walk-thru of the castle is closed during the park hours due to shows taking place in front of the castle.  Since we got in early, we got to walk through and show Katie Anne the tunnel and murals inside the castle.
Our little model working it in front of the castle!
After the fireworks went off to start the official day in the castle, we headed to The Crystal Palace for our big buffet breakfast.  This was our great view from our breakfast spot!
Cute Minnie Mouse Girl on her official birthday!
Katie Anne LOVED the Winnie the Pooh and Friends Breakfast - even more than the princesses!  She said that, "These guys are just so soft and comfy ... and I can kiss them."
Piglet is her absolute favorite!
Leading the parade at breakfast - right behind Eeyore!
Happy Fourth Birthday, Baby Girl!
After breakfast, Katie Anne and I headed to the stroller rental location while Daddy was busy elsewhere.  We were like 2 salmon swimming upstream - we were trying to get back to the front gates of the park while everyone else was trying to get into the park!  I decided to go way over in front of the Town Theater building and slide along the wall to get back through the tunnel with KA.  As we were walking in front of the Town Theater, a Cast Member with a big Mickey mitt on his hand caught my eye and say, "Hey - want to meet Mickey Mouse?"  

This Town Theater location only opened as a meet and greet spot on April 1 while ToonTown is being remodeled, and most people weren't even aware of it.  It turns out that Mickey was in the "Magical Backstage" area of the theater a little early, and no one realized he was there yet!  Katie Anne and I hurried inside, and the line was only about 10 people long to meet him!  We quickly called Saunders, and he arrived just in time for our private audience with Mickey ... and Minnie Mouse!  Usually, Minnie isn't with Mickey in this area, but somehow they were both there ... in this gorgeous room ... with a professional PhotoPass photographer and a Cast Member happy to take our pictures with our camera!  We got to spend about five minutes all alone in the backstage room with them.  Katie Anne was totally over the moon!  It was an amazing experience to spend time with them in that private setting and not have to wait at all to do it!  Of course, we got tons of pictures of the moment!

What a birthday surprise - Katie Anne is thrilled to meet Minnie!
So excited!
Mickey and Minnie made a big deal over Katie Anne's personalized Mini-Minnie shirt - they loved Tara Rowell's cute design!
Our family with Mickey and Minnie - minus little SJ, of course!  If SJ had been there, this would probably be our Christmas card picture!*
She kept pointing to them and saying, "The Queen of Disney World!  The King of Disney World!"  That made Mickey do his little silent shaking giggle!
Getting a big hug from Mickey Mouse before we leave!
After we left Mickey and Minnie, we got our stroller and headed for a quick stop in Fantasyland.  Even though we'd done Fantasyland yesterday, there was someone special that wasn't there yesterday.  Mary Poppins just *might be* someone we know ... but I think that, since she untagged herself from these pictures on Facebook, that I'm not supposed to blow her secret identity!  So, I'll just say that we wanted to make a special stop by Mary Poppins's location today to make sure that we met her! 
KA and MP!
Of course, since Mary Poppins is stationed right beside the carousel, what could we do but ride it again!  Nothing like time #5 on the carousel!
Then, it was out of Fantasyland and off for a big day in the other areas of the park!  We rode almost EVERYTHING**!  In Adventureland, we rode Pirates of the Caribbean, The Jungle Cruise, and The Magic Carpets of Alladin.  In Frontierland, we rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  In Liberty Square, we rode Haunted Mansion.  In Tomorrowland, we rode Buzz Lightyear's Spin, Stitch's Great Escape, The Carousel of Progress, and the Monsters' Inc Laugh Floor.  Saunders rode Space Mountain, and Katie Anne was sooo disappointed that she wasn't quite tall enough to ride with him!  A lot of rides forbid flash photography, so I just snapped pictures when I could!

Our little pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean!
Smiling - and being scared! - on The Jungle Cruise!
In the middle of all the wild riding, little KA took a sweaty nap Disney style - slumped over in her stroller!  We pushed into a shady area to rest and let her power nap for about 35 minutes, and when she woke up, we were on the go again!
Our little thrillseeker!  Katie Anne loved Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  She terrified Daddy because she wanted to keep her hands up the whole time on the roller coaster.  She screamed and leaned into the turns - it was hilarious!  No fear!  When the trained pulled into the station at the end of the ride, she called out, "One more time, people!  One more time!"  But with a two-hour wait (we FastPassed this ride and didn't wait even five minutes to ride it, but the stand-by line was two hours at this point), even the Birthday Button didn't have enough pull for an extra time around on this ride!
We thought KA might be afraid of the Haunted Mansion, but she loved it!  She was much more afraid of the T-rex at Downtown Disney than the ghosts.  She spent the ride trying to figure out how they made the ghosts move - what a realist!
She loved all the things they have for guests to do while waiting in line - she wanted to pose with the gravestones!  Creepy!
In Tomorrowland, she hit the dance floor for a party with Stitch, Chip, and Dale.  Here she is dancing the Cha-Cha Slide with Stitch!  This was one of the highlights of the day for her.
The new Fantasyland addition will have lots of Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast things, but there's little of that in MK right now.  That didn't stop Katie Anne from asking for a picture with the Beast's cutout, though!
The little model asked to pose for pictures in the sleigh outside the Christmas store while I picked out an ornament to commemorate our trip.  What a little ham!
Then, it was time to snag a spot and wait for the Electric Parade to start.  
People start lining up for that parade an hour in advance!  That left us with a lot of time to kill while waiting.  
Luckily, Daddy bought Katie Anne a light-up Tinkerbell toy before he hurried off to ride Space Mountain before the parade began.  That toy helped her fill the time while we waited.
All that waiting paid off because we had amazing seats for the parade - right in front of Cinderella's Castle in almost the exact same spot as before.  We'd gotten the tip from a Cast Member at our lunch spot (The Diamond Horseshoe in Liberty Square - an amazing lunch!) to sit close to the castle for good views during the Magic, Memories, and You lights show, but not too close so you could see the Wishes fireworks display well, too.  Our spot turned out to give us fabulous views for all the evening events - what a great tip!  I took lots of pictures of the parade, but I'll just share my favorite since this post is so long ... Puff the Magic Dragon flying past us, right in front of the castle!
Katie Anne was such a trooper all day.  Spending 15 hours in the park was a lot to ask a brand-new four-year-old, but she was up for the challenge - she got every bit of party and fun out of her special birthday!  She got up at 5:45 am and was go-go-go all day long, right up until the end.  She watched the Electric Parade and loved it, and it started at 9:00 pm.  She was mesmerized by the Magic, Memories, and You light show at 9:45 pm - she's still talking about the way the lights transformed the castle.  Her favorite parts of that show were when the castle looked like a rocket blasting into space and when the lights made it look like the castle was on fire!  Sadly, in the few minutes between the light show and the Wishes fireworks at 10:00 pm, she fell asleep in the stroller and missed the fireworks.  She actually slept all the way out of the park, on the bus, and into her bed in the hotel room!  When she woke up the next morning, she opened her eyes and said, "Wait!  Did I miss the fireworks?!?!"  She was sad for a second, but I'd filmed the whole thing on our video camera for her, so she was able to watch the whole show in the hotel room bed the next morning.  And it was a fabulous show!

We had such a great time in the Magic Kingdom!

*Where was SJ during our Disney Trip?  At home having lots of fun with Gigi and Granddad - and he also got to spend some time with VJ while we were away!  We knew that he would have a tough time in the heat with few chances to cool down or nap, and we wanted Katie Anne to have some special one-on-one time with Mommy and Daddy for her birthday.  Also, it was good for SJ to spend some time with his grandparents, too.  Although we missed him while we were gone, we think it was a better time for everyone that he didn't make his Disney debut quite yet.  He loved being spoiled by the grandparents - in the air conditioning!  Of course, in a few years, we'll make Katie Anne's birthday wish come true and take both kids to Disney again.  Then, when he has his "Golden Birthday" (turning 17 on August 17th), we'll take him somewhere special on his own and leave Katie Anne (who'll be in college at the time!) at home with the grandparents!

**A special note for Aunt Trisha:  We did NOT ride the Tea Cups.  Katie Anne was very disappointed in us.  But, the line was long (no FastPasses here), and we knew we'd throw up!  So, Katie Anne said that next time we come to Disney, she's bringing Aunt Trisha and "we'll ride 'til we puke!"


Trisha Jones said...

I'm so sad to see that KA didn't get her first experience on the Teacups this time around. They're my favorite ride there. They even top Space Mountain in my book!

But I must say, I will more-than-gladly take KA up on her offer and go with her to ride the Teacups next time she gets to go. I can't say I'll puke, because it's never gone that far for me... but that's just because the person I was with always got sick first!

Let's start making plans, Katie Anne, I'm there!

Vanessa said...

What a marathon day - and a marathon post! Love all the pics and will definitely use all your advice when we go in the fall!