Thursday, August 27, 2009
The Magic Kingdom
The day started early for us. The group consisted of Noni and Popi, M, Emma, Little J, C-man, and me. We wanted to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hour from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. which is reserved for guests of Disney's Resorts. We drove to the park and then took the monorail to the front gate. We headed straight through the Magic Castle toward the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride. My goal was for Emma to get Dumbo and the Teacups under her belt early. Once M and the kids were in line I bee-lined it across the park for Thunder Mountain and got Fastpasses. When I got back they were still in line. Blech.

After Dumbo we tried out "It's a Small World." I'd noticed on my walk back from Frontierland that it had no line. We all got on it except Noni and Jack. Emma was enthralled. She loved it and wanted to go again (we didn't know at the time, but this was a recurring theme with her). The second time through we took Noni and Jack. Jack wasn't as impressed. After small world we did the Cinderella's Golden Carousel (twice) and then the Mad Tea Party. All the adults were happy to let the kids do that one by themselves. We finally had to head for Thunder Mountain because our fastpasses were coming due. On the way we stopped at the Haunted House. Emma opted out of that one, wisely, it turned out.

We coaxed Emma onto Big Thunder Mountain, knowing we might be bringing down her wrath upon us. As it turned out, she loved it. She cried because we couldn't go again. We went next door and picked up Fastpasses for Splash Mountain. On the way back through Frontierland the kids decided to take the floating raft to Tom Sawyer's Island. They spent a long time over there while Noni and I chatted on the bridge, watching them. Then the clouds started rolling in so I took the stroller and found shelter on the porch of a candy store. We ate our packed lunch while waiting out the rain.

We trekked over to Tomorrowland to see what we could accomplish. The answer was not much. The lines were just too long by then. We saw the Carousel of Progress. Then Little J coaxed most of them into seeing "Stitch's Great Escape" (from Lilo & Stitch) show. When they came out M pronounced it stupid. Emma didn't like it either. I'll give C-man credit, he tried to warn us, but it was the one thing Little J really wanted to do. While they were in the show I accomplished the feat of going to the bathroom while holding Jack in one arm. Much harder than you suppose. I also bought C-man and myself an ice cream. Word to the wise: There is no lingering over an ice cream cone in the Florida heat.

We gave up on Tomorrowland and headed back to Frontierland to use our Splash Mountain Fastpasses. M and Emma bowed out along the way because Emma didn't want to get wet. They went to Adventureland and did the Magic Carpets of Aladdin and the Enchanted Tiki Room instead. Splash Mountain was fun. The irony is the whole ride is still based on the theme of "Song of the South" a movie Disney had buried in it's vault and will probably never release again. When we were done we had two leftover Fastpasses. I scanned the back of the 50 minute line for a twosome (harder to find than you'd think among all the family units) and gave them our Fastpasses. It's fun to make someone's day. They turned out to have British accents, so I was advancing diplomacy too.

After Splash Mountain we rounded up M and Emma and started meandering toward the exit. We hit the big Swiss Family Robinson Tree along the way. When we got to Main Street USA the parade was about to begin. From the back of the pack we were able to see it pretty well. A fun parade featuring all the elusive Disney characters. When the parade was over we hit the gift shops, bought some goodies, and then headed back to our apartments. All and all a fun day, but it wasn't nearly over...

The iconic Magic Castle...

The Dumbo ride. Everyone should be able to say they've "been there, done that."

Emma taking in the wonder of "It's a Small World."

Jack is not so impressed.

Emma got the pretty horse she wanted the second time on the ride. The first time it was snatched away by a girl who intercepted her. Not cool.

Neither one destined to be King. Sigh.

The Teacups of Doom (only for adults).

Jack says, "Am I tall enough to ride Space Mountain?" We had to tell him it was closed.

The Crew on Tom Sawyer's Island.

Noni and Jack, the dynamic duo.

Beware the Jack Attack!