Friday, March 30, 2007

Disney 2007 Trip Report, Chapter 3

Previous chapter links: Chapter 1 and Chapter 2

March 15: The Magic Kingdom, Part 1

We were up and at 'em around 7 AM for our first day in the parks. Early enough to beat everyone at the hotel to breakfast (since the parks didn't open until 9), but not at dark-thirty either. Since we usually eat breakfast at home before getting dressed, we even let Luke go down to the dining area in his pajamas, which he thought was great fun. We weren't sure if he would eat what they had at the free breakfast; he is particular not only about what he eats, but where he eats it. For example, he devours scrambled eggs at IHOP, but will not eat them anywhere else, including at home (and my eggs are good, even if not quite as good as IHOP, thank you). Anyway, I knew they had waffle makers, but I wasn't sure if he would eat them since they were not Eggo waffles, and since we were not at home. I had also never tried the waffle maker at the hotel before because there was usually a huge line waiting to use it; I'd rather just eat cereal and/or a bagel and go! But no lines due to the early hour meant I was game to try it. To my great surprise, he said "waffle!" as soon as I sat it down, and once I cut it into quarters, he *devoured* it. I even went back to make myself one, and let me tell you, it is a good thing those waffle makers are too bulky for home use and that I don't have the recipe for their waffle batter. They were excellent! Luke and I both had waffles every morning after that, they were that good.

Back to the room to get changed and lathered up in sunscreen. I had no idea how Luke was going to do with that. He is as pale as I am, but his skin coloring is different. But regardless of how easily or not he might burn, he still needs protection, and he was going to get it, even if it killed us both. I knew he wouldn't like having the lotion rubbed on him, so I took a chance and went with the new spray kind. But I didn't know how he would handle being sprayed with the stuff either, so I demonstrated by spraying myself first. I held my leg out and sprayed it all around, then did the other leg. I then turned to him and said, "your turn!" He grinned really big, came over to the wall we were using as a backdrop, and immediately held his leg up. So we sprayed his legs, and he thought it was great fun! I then did my arms, and then his arms. Again, no trouble. You could not, however, spray that stuff in your face. It said to spray it in your hand and then rub on your face (don't forget your ears!). No thanks, we'll use regular lotion for that. And as I suspected, he did not like that at all. Took both Nana and me to get him well covered, but we finally managed. Did a quick ticket check, grabbed the backpacks, and off we went.

We took the tram from the parking lot to the Transportation and Ticketing Center (you can't get to the Magic Kingdom directly from the parking lot; it is specifically designed that way). Luke thought that was a great ride in and of itself. Then came the great debate: monorail or ferry? We decided to take the ferry to the Magic Kingdom instead of the monorail for our first arrival. It is actually my preferred method, but we debated because we knew Luke would love the train. But he loves the water so much (and the line was so much shorter), we went with the boat, figuring we would hit the monorail later, probably when we left for our afternoon nap. And just as we suspected, he *loved* the boat, even though he couldn't see out. So far, so good.

We arrived at the park entrance about 9:15, which actually worked out great. All of the folks who were there before they opened were in, and all of the people waiting for "the crowds" to be out of the way were not there yet. Security took a little while (that's what happens when three adults and a child have four backpacks total!), but we made it in. I had no idea what to expect from him as we went through the short tunnel and entered Main Street. He certainly seemed fascinated with the surroundings. But we didn't really stop on Main Street, for two reasons. #1: It is mostly shopping, and trying to go in shops with all sorts of small items with a two year old is a nightmare. #2: We were on a mission! There were four rides on our "must do" list: it's a small world, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, and Peter Pan. Anything beyond that was gravy. Peter Pan is one of *the* most popular rides at the Magic Kingdom, and it is definitely one of my favorites (probably second to Buzz Lightyear). But the wait line is routinely 60-75 minutes, and the Fast Passes are usually gone by late morning. So we wanted to go on and do it as early as possible! It would also give us an idea early on of how he would handle the dark rides. But Peter Pan is at the back of the park, about as far from Main Street as you can get (okay, maybe that is the Haunted Mansion, but still, it was a long haul). We did stop long enough for the obligatory "here we are in front of the castle" pictures, but that was about it.

We got there about 9:30, and the wait was already 20 minutes. We thought about just grabbing a Fast Pass and coming back later, but the Fast Pass times were already for 1-2 PM, which was no good. (No, I'm not kidding. They were completely out of them by 11 AM.) Knowing the wait would only get longer, we decided to go ahead. All things considered, Luke did very well. He didn't understand why he couldn't just crawl under the chains, so that was a struggle. He did get the hang of it by the end of the trip. It was pretty hot in the queue, which is covered (nice for keeping us out of the sun) but also prevents much air flow with the walls. You also have to pass a point where you can see the ride vehicles (they look like small ships with sails), but you still have a good 5-10 more minutes in the queue, which really frustrated him. And since we hadn't been on a ride yet, he didn't understand that the wait would be worth it (something else he did eventually learn while we were there). There were two other things that I should have caught on to earlier but didn't (bad mommy). One, we think he might be teething. He was doing a lot of chewing on his finger, stuck way back in his mouth, and he was unusually cranky, even accounting for the change in routine and such. I thought he had all his teeth, but who knows. And two, as we got to the end of the wait, it was nearing 10 AM, which is past his usual snack time! In our minds, it couldn't possibly be time for snack since we had just arrived. But he'd been up for 3 hours by this point and he gets a 9:30 snack at daycare, so I'm sure he was hungry, but we just didn't think of it at the time.

Finally, it is our turn. DH, Luke, and I pile into our boat, "and off we goooooo!" He really seemed to like it, just as he did when he was a baby. I'm not sure he knew quite what to make of everything, and he hasn't seen the movie very often, but still, the sensation of flying on that ride is worth it. He did pretty well when we got off, only fussing a bit. Since it was right across the way and had very little wait (and we were still clueless about him needing a snack), we went on and did it's a small world. I really thought he would like that one, with the music and all the different things to see, but he seemed more baffled than anything. I'm sure it is all quite overwhelming when you are two and not used to that kind of thing. (Heck, it is rather overwhelming to more than a few adults!) But he liked the boats, and he was smiling by the end. Again, he fussed a bit when we got off, and he wouldn't smile for the pictures. He was just generally disagreeable (again, unusual for him), which is when we *finally* got a clue that he was hungry, since it was now about 10:20. We popped into the back of Pinocchio's Village Haus, which is one of our favorite hideaway places to stop for a rest in the air conditioning. They also have a window where you can watch as the boats launch for it's a small world. Luke really didn't want to go in, but once I said the magic word (marshmallows), he was good.

One pack of marshmallows, a glass of water, and some air conditioning later, and we were all set for our next adventure. We knew we couldn't take too long, since we had 11:30 reservations at Tony's Town Square (and yes, all of you long-time Disney visitors, they are now reservations instead of "priority seating"). And Tony's, as is stated in the name, is *way* back at the front of the park on the square at the beginnig of Main Street, right by the entrance. So we couldn't do too much lolligagging. There was practically no wait for the carousel, so we decided to try that. And he loved it! We put him up on a huge horse on the outside, and he was a little unsure at first, but once we started spinning and the horse started moving, he broke out into a *huge* grin. And in true child-of-two-engineers fashion, he was more fascinated by the mechanism at the top of the pole that moved the horse than anything. LOL We still had a little time left to kill, and we knew that the TTA (Tomorrowland Transit Authority, though it will always be the WEDway Peoplemover to me) rarely had a wait, so we booked it through Fantasyland and over to Tomorrowland (one land over) and hopped on. As we predicted, Luke really enjoyed it. We hopped off and prompty hoofed it over to Tony's.

We arrived the recommended 10 minutes early for our 11:35 reservations, but we didn't mind. Air conditioning, soft seats, and a video of (what else) Lady and the Tramp playing in the waiting area, one of his favorite Disney films. We were, however, concerned about what Luke would eat. It was possible that he would try the spaghetti, but no guarantees. We were still debating what to do when we were seated. Nothing on the kids menu was Luke-suitable, but we did spot breadsticks (which you actually have to pay for at Tony's; one of the few things I dislike about the restaurant). Luke had a granola bar to tide him over. Once the breadsticks came, though, there was little reason to worry. One order of breadsticks comes with 3. Luke ate 4! (Obviously, that required another order.) DH got the spaghetti with meatballs (how can you not? and it is always excellent), I branched out and tried the baked ziti, and Mom had the grilled salmon salad, IIRC.

Lunch at Tony's was a pre-planned event, not only because we love to eat there, but because we knew it was right by the exit to the park, so we wouldn't have to pass a bunch of fun things that we would not be doing in order to go take a nap. (And trust me, a nap for Luke was *definitely* required if anyone wanted to have any fun for the rest of the trip.) So, after a brief stop on the porch, it was on to the monorail, and then the hotel for naptime. Everyone took a nap, in fact, not just Luke, for about two hours. Luke awoke, we had a snack, and it was back to the park!

In our next installment (sorry, this got a lot longer than I thought it would), our afternoon in the Magic Kingdom, including Buzz Lightyear, bleachers, and more boats. Here is a link to The Magic Kingdom, Part 2.


  1. I'm really enjoying your trip report! We went to WDW last summer. It's bringing back great memories. =) I miss it!

  2. Keep talking - I'm loving it. You know, I can't remember ever having lunch at Tony's! (They do breakfast too, right?) Whenever we were going to splurge on a real meal in the Magic Kingdom, we ate in the Castle... anyway, I can't wait to read the next chapter!!

  3. Hmmm, I'm going to have to plan our lunches close to the park exits too - that way we can make a smooth exit for our afternoon breaks - great tip! :)


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