Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Adventures at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot

Wednesday, April 29

One very important tip I have for your trip to Walt Disney World trip is this: make sure you take one day during your stay to just RELAX. Or at least try to relax. I should learn to follow my own tip...but I'd rather be at the parks. You, on the other hand, might be one of those 'non obsessed' people who actually get tired of the parks - and if that's the case...then by all means please follow my tip and have a relaxing day at the resort pool!

OK, moving on...

Today, my dad and Kevin were headed to the Palm golf course at WDW. They had a 10 o'clock a.m. tee time and so the girls and I were on our own for a while. My sister and her husband had decided they were going to relax poolside (see, they follow my tips) and my mom was going to join them (they did go to the pool...but then decided to shop and eat in Downtown Disney).

Olivia had decided the night before that she wanted to head back to the Magic Kingdom and that was FINE with me! (I should note here that I could spend every single day of my trip at the Magic Kingdom. It is my laughing place.)

And so, after a quick breakfast at the resort, I packed up the diaper bag and the kids and loaded all of us onto the bus headed to the Magic Kingdom. I wasn't sure how this excursion was going to be....I mean, I was going alone - without my spouse or any other responsible adult, with two kids in tow. Could I handle it?

You betcha! We made it through the bag check line and the ticket line without incident and as soon as we walked into the MK we saw Snow White! We lucked out and the cast member who was 'in charge' of line control let us in -- we were the last people allowed in line! [That has got to be a not-so-fun job -- this poor guy had to keep repeating "The line is closed. Snow White will be back out at 9:45. Thank you."]

Anyway, after meeting Snow White we walked down Main Street toward the castle and happened upon a performance of "Dream Along with Mickey". I love this show! Mickey and friends sing and dance along with other Disney favorites including Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Peter Pan and Wendy, Capt. Hook and more. A great way to spend 20 minutes of your visit, if you ask me.

After the performance, Olivia decided she wanted to ride it's a small world again. So we did. And then we headed over to the Haunted Mansion (which was quickly becoming Olivia's new favorite ride!). We wandered through the MK for a little while until the girls decided they wanted to head back to the Wilderness Lodge for lunch and some pool time. As we were walking out of the MK, we had a chance to see the "Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!" parade as it was going down Main Street. That was rather cool, since I didn't get the chance to see the "Celebrate a Dream Come True" parade this time (I'm still bummed about that!).

Lunch at the hotel. Then we went swimming!!!! The pool at the Wilderness Lodge is really nice. There is a baby/wading pool for the wee ones (but even Olivia had fun in there). And then there's the 'big kids' pool, completed with a water slide! For your small ones who might not be able to swim alone yet, the resort provides life vests. Head down to the beach area at the WL and at the rental shack you can sign out a vest for each child and keep the vests for the duration of your stay. Very, very convenient.

Once Kevin returned from his golf adventure, we decided to head over to Epcot for dinner. My parents were eating dinner at Artist Point at the resort and my sister and her family were going to the Studios to eat at Toy Story Pizza Planet.

If I had to rank the parks, I would definitely put the Magic Kingdom as my absolute favorite. Epcot would be second and the Disney Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom would have to duke it out for 3rd and 4th place. And right now, Epcot is looking gorgeous, thanks to the Flower & Garden Festival!

The girls still had some countries to visit to get the passport stamped and work on their Kidcot masks, so we started in Canada (EH!) and worked our way through the World Showcase. In England we ran into Winnie the Pooh and friends at the toy shoppe/bookstore. And let me just say, I could seriously eat my way through the World Showcase if it wouldn't cause me to gain 20 lbs. The fish and chips in England smelled divine!

Kevin and I decided to eat in Morocco at the Tangierine Cafe. The food here is amazing! We ordered the Chicken and Lamb combo and the Vegetable combo (and you get Baklava for dessert!!!). The food was so delish. I highly recommend this counter service. After pigging out at dinner we kept walking through the Showcase, stopping at various Kidcot fun spots so the girls could have some fun.

At some point near Italy we decided to head out of Epcot and take the Monorail back to the MK for the Wishes fireworks show. My sister and her family and my parents were still at the Studios, thinking about seeing "Fantasmic" -- however, you need to get a seat for that show about 45 minutes prior to showtime, so they gave up that plan and rode some rides instead.

We arrived at the MK just in time to find a good spot for Wishes. We planted ourselves in front of the castle, near the Hub (right by the popcorn cart that is on the Hub). It ended up being a perfect spot to watch Wishes.

I love Wishes. It is a great fireworks show. And yes, you should see it from in front of the castle. The last time we were at WDW in 2007, we watched it from behind the castle and it just wasn't the same. Hint: Watch for Tinker Bell's very magical entrance at the beginning of the fireworks.

Wishes granted, we headed back to the hotel, knowing we had to be up bright and early on Thursday for our breakfast with Jo-Jo!

Overall thoughts:
- Taking the girls to the MK by myself was so easy!
- Someday maybe I'll "eat and drink" my way through the World Showcase!

- Make sure you find the time to see 'Dream Along with Mickey' and the parades at the MK
- At some point in your trip, take the Monorail from the MK to Epcot or vice's so fun to ride!
- Passports and Kidcot fun spots are a great thing for the kids
- Take time to have some fun at the pool

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