Friday, August 24, 2012

Magic Kingdom Day! (March trip report pt. 6)

I think I've decided that the only think I really don't like about Disney's moderate resorts are the buses.  It seems like a person must either have an uncanny ability to be at the bus stop at exactly the right time, or you have to wait for quite a while.  Needless to say, on our Magic Kingdom morning, we were up and at the bus stop really early, and still had to wait too long.  We missed the rope drop ceremony, which is one of my absolute favorite ways to start the day, but we still got there early enough to be through the gates and in the park shortly after opening.  There was a lot of work being done on Main Street, so several buildings had the tarps made to look like buildings.  I'm glad Disney tries to keep it magical, but I have to say, it's just not that pretty.
After getting our picture taken in front of the castle, we headed for Fantasyland to torture my mom by making her ride "It's a Small World."  I warned her that since it was Ari's first trip, she had to ride it, but I think she was secretly hoping I would forget.  I didn't!!  Up next, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.  The boys had a great time in the queue, with Ari banging on the drums and Payton testing his strength against the gophers.  Of course, every parent's nightmare, the honey wall, was touched frequently.
If you haven't seen this thing, it is a neat idea in theory, but a germ infested mess in reality.  Disney created these "walls" with digital honey running down them.  If you wipe across them vigorously, you can uncover Winnie the Pooh characters.  So everyone is wiping their hands on them...yuck.  Thankfully, the line started moving fast once we reached this point, so the boys didn't get to do as much wiping as I'm sure they would have liked.  (Mom didn't care for this ride either, but if you are wondering how I got her on it, read the above about It's a Small choice Grams, suck it up!)  I also got a chance to get a few pics of New Fantasyland over the construction walls!
My favorite attractions in Fantasyland were next, Mickey's Philharmagic and Peter Pan.  I firmly believe that Mickey's Philharmagic is one of the best additions to Disney World in a long time.  The 3-D film is amazing, the extra special effects make it magical, and you get to hear some of the best in Disney movie music.  What more could you ask for?!  We had picked up fast passes for Peter Pan before riding on It's a Small World, so we were able to use those now and take a flight over London and Neverland.  I will never get too old for this ride!
We decided to move on out of Fantasyland, so Ari and Grams headed to the Haunted Mansion while Payton and I picked up Jungle Cruise fast passes and did a little shopping.  Payton isn't a fan of the Haunted Mansion and no matter how much I would like for him to love it, I just can't convince him.  Oh well, maybe he'll come to appreciate it when he's older.  We did find some great pins and Payton got a Star Wars pin set.  We met up with mom and Ari and headed to Crystal Palace for our lunch date with the Winnie the Pooh characters.  Lunch was delicious and we had so much fun watching Ari meeting some of his favorite characters.
After lunch, we moved over to Adventureland to try and use our fast passes.  The crazy thing was, the fast pass line was just as long as the regular line, so we opted to skip it and moved on over to Pirates of the Caribbean.  I guess I'm spoiled because I'm used to basically walking on this ride with no more than a 5-10 minute wait, max.  Needless to say, we were in line outside the building for that long, then slowly moved through the building.  It was nice to see some of the details, but it was hard waiting so long.  After Pirates, we made our way over to Frontierland in hopes of a ride on Big Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain.  Big Thunder was down and Splash had a horrible line, so we opted to catch the train and take a ride around to the front of the park, then back to the resort for a rest and some swimming.

 We decided to try dinner at the Pepper Market at the resort, and it was wonderful!  It was nice to have so many options, and we had a great server who tried his best to help mom, who was losing her voice.  He kept bringing her tea and honey.

We arrived back at the Magic Kingdom just in time to get a great spot for The Magic, The Memories & You castle show, followed by Wishes fireworks.  It makes me teary every time!  We decided to take advantage of being in the Magic Kingdom after dark by spending time in Tomorrowland, which I think is much cooler at night!  We picked up fast passes for Space Mountain, then enjoyed Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Carousel of Progress and Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor Comedy Club.
Gotta love that intensity!!
The boys decided to get their own car for Space Ranger Spin, so mom & I battled for the high score (I got it!).  I was so proud when both boys began singing along to "There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" during our ride on Carousel.  We all laughed like crazy at the Laugh Floor.  Then it was on to Space Mountain.  Mom was nervous about riding, and I wasn't too excited myself (I've had some bad experiences on this ride, I'll tell you about it some other time).  But we soldiered on so that the boys could ride it.  Ari got the front car, followed by Payton, myself and mom.  Mom kept asking if Ari was in tight enough.  He kept saying, "I'm fine, Grams!"  Needless to say, the cast member sensed mom's anxiety and triple checked him just to make sure.  Then it was launch time.  Ari was seriously excited!  I could hear him whooping and giggling and counting down.  The ride was a lot like I remembered, and made me a little queasy with a bit of a headache.  Mom wasn't feeling too great after either.  I don't know if it's just the ride that does it though, because I always start feeling yucky as I go through the building to get to the ride.  Might be the air in there combined with the lighting that starts my downward spiral.  Who knows?  But the boys loved it and that's all that mattered.  I can say this, next trip, Payton can ride it with his dad, and I will do some shopping or eat some popcorn and wait for them outside!!
We decided to wrap up our ride experience of the night with a spin on the People Mover.  It was nice and cool and we were able to relax and just enjoy the views around Tomorrowland and of the castle.  After the People Mover, we headed back to Main Street, stopping for a photopass pic in front of the castle.  I made everyone walk nice and slow and take it all in.  The crowd had thinned out significantly, so we just enjoyed our stroll and looking in the various windows.
We were even there for the Kiss Goodnight!  (If you aren't sure what that is, check out this link:  Kiss Goodnight.

After a very magical night, we made our way back to the bus, and both boys managed to doze a little on the ride back to the resort.  Unfortunately, they are way too big to carry, so they both had to wake up just enough to get to the room and roll into bed.

So what do you think so far?  Do you enjoy the parks more in the morning or at night?  Please leave comments for me and stay tuned, coming up next is our full day at Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Evening at the Poly: March trip report pt. 5

**I know, I'm a bad bad blogger!  Before this part of the report begins, please forgive me for such a delay.  I promise to do better!  Thank you for your patience while waiting for the next part of this report.  :) **

(still Monday, March 5th)

So after leaving the Animal Kingdom with two drenched little boys, we headed back to Coronado Springs to change clothes and rest a little bit before dinner.  When it was finally time to head to Ohana, we took the bus to the Magic Kingdom then caught a boat ride over to the Polynesian Resort.  For whatever reason, the boys seemed to be getting on each other's nerves at this point.  Payton was having a hard time handling Ari's energy level, which I think was partly due to Payton being a Disney expert from all his trips and knowing what was coming, as well as not being used to having a little brother type around asking tons of questions and wanting to do whatever he does.  It was great when we finally made it onto the boat and took that relaxing trip across the lake to the dock at the Poly.  Unfortunately, when we got off the boat, the boys decided the dock looked like a runway and they needed to pick up speed.
Needless to say, Payton took a dive, and we had some tears and skinned knees, shins and hands.  We got him cleaned up and settled down, then headed in to the great ceremonial house and upstairs to Ohana.  We were a little late for our reservation, so we didn't get a table near the windows to be able to see Wishes.  I was really disappointed, but luckily the food was fabulous as always, so I did my best to just focus on that!
As I said, our food was fantastic, but one thing that I was very impressed with was the vegetarian options offered to Ari.  Even though he is a child, he was offered adult size portions and options that I would never have imagined.  And Payton ate Ari's share of the wings!!
After dinner, we made our way down to the Poly beach to hang out and wait for the Electric Water Pageant.  For someone who has been to Disney many many times, this was one thing I had never had a chance to do before, so I was super excited. 
What we didn't expect was how cold it was going to be that night.  While Mom and I huddled on beach chairs using towels we found to try and cover up a bit, the boys did what you would expect boys to do...they played in the sand.  Digging, running around, making sand angels...they went nuts!!  We tried to settle them a bit because some of the Poly guests were out there watching a movie and we didn't want to disturb them, especially since we weren't staying there, just enjoying the view.  It didn't work, so we just let them run until the water pageant began.
I have to say, I thought this show was really magical and fun.  Probably my favorite moment was when every float became patriotic.  Payton stood at attention and saluted the line of American flags.  It was so cute.  I'm really glad that I had a chance to see the Electric Water Pageant this trip!

After the water pageant was over, we attempted to de-sand the boys before heading back in to the Poly to warm up and catch the monorail back over to the Magic Kingdom.  We took our time checking out the shops and various tikis on our way up to the monorail platform and made it just in time to catch one.  Once back at the Magic Kingdom, we took the long walk back to the bus and again, made it just in time to catch one.  We were wiped out by this point, and a bit on the giddy side, so there was a lot of giggling on the way back to the room.  Both boys crashed the minute their heads hit the pillows.
Next post:  our day at the Magic Kingdom!!