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Disney World October 2015 Trip Report Part 3: Magic Kingdom/Epcot

on November 17, 2015

Note: Terrorists are cowards, and I hope they are brought to justice in every way possible.  I feel for all victims and their families, and have renewed my determination to take my children all around the world to learn and grow.  I will not be made afraid to travel, and I hope none of you will be, either.

Trip report, continued…

I woke up on Monday, October 5th with a pit in my stomach.  All the time spent daydreaming, planning, and anticipating my little boy’s first visit to a Disney Park was about to happen, and here I was, a bundle of nerves.  I was apprehensive.  Not that he wouldn’t like WDW, but that he wouldn’t LOVE it.  What if he didn’t find it fun, or cried and asked to go home, or screamed when we tried to take him on rides?  I could kiss my whole rosy picture of future planned family vacations goodbye.  DD and I would have to leave the boys at home, or be forced spend half our Orlando time at Camp Jurassic and Seussland on every trip.  Now, we HAD had fun at Universal, but remember when I said that just 1 full day was enough for several years?  I was serious.

On the other hand, I was happy to the point of bursting.  I was about to walk down Main Street, USA, toward Cinderella Castle and all kinds of Disney fun.  There is nothing like the atmosphere of a Disney Park, especially in the morning.  The sidewalks are freshly washed, the Cast Members (CMs) are smiling, and something wonderful is in the air.  I put aside my worries about the little guy, strong in my belief of Disney Magic, and we all got ready for the day.

It was morning Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom (MK) that day, so the Park would be open for us Disney Resort Guests at 8am, versus 9am for day guests.  We took our long walk from the room to the bus stop and MK bus line, which was pretty full already at 7:25am.  We were able to get on the first bus that came about 10 minutes later, and pulled up the Magic Kingdom right at 8am.  We sailed through the tapstiles (obviously, our CM had linked our tickets to the new MagicBands properly 🙂 ), and we emerged from under the tunnel to a bright and glorious day on Main Street.  I blinked several times.  It was happening- I looked at my husband, daughter, and son, here with me at Disney World.  And I realized that barring catastrophic illness/disaster, we were about to have the time of our lives.

We power-walked to New Fantasyland.  Even though we had 2 FastPass+ selections for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for later in the trip, I wanted to see if we could do it first thing.  As we approached, we could see the line extending beyond the indoor queue, and decided to keep walking.  We headed to Dumbo for my son’s first ride.  And…we rode all alone, which was totally magical!  It was deserted back there.  We quickly got onto Goofy’s Barnstormer, and also rode alone.  We asked to stay on for a second ride, and our wish was granted.  We saw Prince Eric’s castle, and decided to ride Under the Sea with the Little Mermaid.  The ride was pretty cute!  We all liked it.  Then we walked back toward the hub and rode another classic, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel.  My daughter made sure to find Cinderella’s horse- the one with the golden bow on its tail.

We made our way to Liberty Square.  It was time for the Haunted Mansion, a ride we had been talking about for months!  We were moving forward in the short line when we suddenly stopped.  A few minutes later, a CM announced that there would be a delay, and we could wait or get out of the line and come back later.  We chose to wait it out, distracted by the cool effect in the cemetery around the ride queue and the funny puns on the gravestones.  A few minutes later, the line started moving again and we were on our way to the Doombuggies.  DS loved this ride! We reminded him it was OK to be nervous and close his eyes whenever he needed to, but to remember that the grim, grinning ghosts were coming out to socialize, not terrorize.  We also made him familiar with the ride music before leaving home so he could hum along.  This was the strategy I used when DD was little, and it worked for her, too.  We encountered a PhotoPass photographer by the ride exit, and got our first Magic shot of the trip.  A hitchhiking ghost tried to make its way home with us!

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It was time for our first FP+ of the day.  DD and DH were going to their happy place, Splash Mountain!  We made our way to Frontierland and they got in line.  DS and I sat this one out, so we went into the Briar Patch shop and got a huge lollipop, because candy for breakfast is just fine at Disney.  We walked over to the bridge where you can see the logs coming down the big drop, and were able to watch our people splashing down.  There is a cute play area right at the exit for Splash, we were headed there when DD and DH came off the ride and DH signaled to me that there were characters nearby.  When we took a peek, we saw that Woody and Jessie were greeting!  We decided to get in line for our first character interactions of the trip.  The line took a while, I want to say at least 15-20 minutes, but the kids were calm and we were fine to wait.  While we waited, I embraced technology and pre-ordered our lunch entrees for Be Our Guest later that morning using the My Disney Experience app.  Pictures taken, we walked back toward the Castle.

It was starting to get hot, especially by the Castle Hub as there aren’t many shady areas there.  We were about to walk right through the hub toward the Fantasyland entrance near Tomorrowland, when we heard the distinct sounds of a marching band!  I love a marching band, so we stopped to listen/look.  It was the Main Street Philharmonic, and they performed several songs.  They handed out maracas to the kids that were watching and started a little parade to the Mickey Mouse Club march at the end of their set. A PhotoPass photographer was roaming around, so he took a bunch of shots and handed out cards to the parents of the kids who had participated.  Nice touch!

We encountered another fantastic PhotoPass photographer on the walkway near the entrance to Tomorrowland.  He was great with the group in front of us, so I looked forward to our shot.  He positioned us nicely, with the Castle behind us, and got some really nice images.

I was getting caught up in the fun and didn’t realize the time- we were about to be late for our reservation at Be Our Guest!  Mon Dieu!  We raced over the Beast’s Castle and got to the podium to check in.  They gave us a plastic yellow rose to put on our table and sent us in to choose a table.  The rose has a chip in it, so the server knows where to deliver the pre-ordered food even though they didn’t seat you.  I had also splurged on the souvenir light-up goblet.  The food was delicious!  I had the braised pork, and closed my eyes in pleasure several times at the rich flavor.  Of course, we had to get the Master’s Cupcake, with the Grey Stuff on top.  To answer your question, yes, the Gray Stuff was delicious.





You can barely see my goblet here. Believe me, it was giant. Just look at that stained glass, though!

Lunch eaten, we continued the Beauty and the Beast theme with a silly picture in front of Gaston’s Tavern, and a FastPass+ for Enchanted Tales with Belle.  This is a well-done interactive show that loosely acts out the movie.  All the kids who want to participate get a “part” in the show, and are able to get a PhotoPass picture with Belle at the end, along with a souvenir bookmark.  Guess who was NOT in the mood to participate?  If you guessed DS, you are right.  He was not into the show, and he didn’t even want to meet Belle afterward!  I wasn’t going to miss my chance, so I just picked him up and stood next to her.  Go figure, he WAS pretty interested in the souvenir bookmark.  Overall, it went fine.

We left Belle and headed back towards classic Fantasyland- we were almost done with the MK morning.  We had a FastPass+ for Peter Pan’s Flight, but DS saw It’s a Small World right across and asked to go on.  Sure!  We walked on, and took the happiest cruise that ever sailed.  Peter Pan’s flight had a LONG standby line at this point (a little past 1pm)- I remember it being 35-40 minutes.  But not for us!  Thanks to FP+, walked on.  I was given a red card, though!  A Cast Member gives it to a Guest near the beginning of a line, and the Guests gives it to the last Cast Member before getting on the ride- it helps them know how long it takes to walk through and get on the ride.  I did my part to help Disney’s business analysts, and hopped into my pirate ship to sail over London and Neverland.  We all love this ride.


Ladies and gentlemen, it was really hot by now and we had reached the time for a midday break.  We made the short walk to the Fantasyland Railroad Station to rest our feet while we rode the Walt Disney World Railroad to the Main Street Station. Once there, I had one very important task to complete before heading to the busses.  We stopped at Le Chapeau for my boy’s embroidered Mickey Ears!  He loved them, and they are now on a shelf at home right next to his sister’s 🙂

Grabbed a bus back to Art of Animation, and just rested in air-conditioned comfort.  I think I napped for a bit.  We changed shoes for the evening shift and walked back to the bus stops, this time with the stroller in tow.  We saw a fun friend near the Lion King family suites along the way:

Ooh! A mandrill!

Ooh! A mandrill!

Once at Epcot, we passed by the Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog, and stopped to buy my Epcot 20th Anniversary Food & Wine Festival magnet.  Entering World Showcase, we stopped at the Mexico Pavilion to try on sombreros and ride Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Three Caballeros.  Cute as always.  Once again we were cutting it close on time for a dining reservation, and we hoofed it over to the Italy Pavilion for some pizza at Via Napoli.  So, you know my husband and I both grew up on the East Coast, with my husband born and raised in the Bronx.  All this is to say, we know about good pizza.  Via Napoli has GOOD PIZZA.  It was absolutely delicious, and our Sicilian server was the cutest.  This restaurant is a definite must-do for us on future trips.  *dfhorighrogh*  Sorry, I just drooled on my keyboard.

We rolled out of there in order to catch another attraction before the IllumiNations fireworks show.  I had been wanting to see the American Adventure, a show at the USA Pavilion, for a long time.  I just kept missing it on prior trips.  This time- success!  I felt the audio-animatronics were really well done, and I just love that Golden Dream song.  DS fell asleep during the presentation, which was just fine.  In fact, he slept right through the end of the show, the exiting, and the waiting for the fireworks!  We got a prime lagoon-side spot, and waited just about 10 minutes for the show to start.  I did my watching (and crying during) IllumiNations, and was loving life.  With DS still asleep, and knowing that the end of the fireworks meant the Park was closing, we walked as slowly as possible around the lagoon heading back towards Future World and the Park entrance beyond it, to avoid the crowds.  Thank goodness for the stroller! We took a good 30 minutes to get near the Fountain of Nations, and the cool fiber-optic sidewalks near there.  I danced around on the lights w/DD 🙂


We were able to get on a bus pretty quickly, and made our feet carry us all the way to the room.  My worries this morning had been for naught.  Disney Day 1 was done, and we all feel asleep easily, dreaming of more Epcot and some Hollywood Studios the next day!





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