Day 188- Birthday Fun at Magic Kingdom

Today is a spectacular day! It is a very chilly 67 degrees on this this early morning. We are going to Magic Kingdom and know it will be a hot 89 degrees by this afternoon. The skies are so blue and there are fluffy white clouds in the sky.

We get to the heroes parking lot and can hear they just called for, “No more boarding…” on the tram. The safety message begins as we decide walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center. It is about a 5-minute, fast walk, and not bad at all. If you have little ones, you might want to put them in their stroller and save their excitement for the parks! They can use up a lot of energy dancing all the way to the Monorail. Once they get to the park, 8-10 hours can be a long day for little ones.

The kids have planned a special day for me and gave me a “Happy Birthday!” pin to wear for the day. So, first things first! We arrive at Magic Kingdom and head for our lunch reservation at Be Our Guest. We check in and have pre-ordered our meal, so we are seated in a timely fashion. We sit by the windows in the ballroom and I can watch the snow falling as we wait for our server to hand deliver our special allergy friendly order.

Be Our Guest is a beautiful place to celebrate everything. If it is your first time to Disney, an anniversary, wedding, engagement, birthday, or have any other reason to celebrate, this is one of my favorite places. As you walk across the bridge to the Beast’s castle, it is fabulous! Notice all of the details of the lamps as you cross the bridge, and the lion-creatures that guard the front doors. It is incredibly beautiful. As the doors open, there are wonderful archways before you enter the ballroom.

We are so excited that they have a gluten free roasted beef sandwich with French fries; we also have a gluten/corn free sandwich served with green beans, and order French onion soup as well. The food here is delicious!

After lunch, our next stop is the Main Street Bakery for our Starbucks drinks. They are setting up for the Festival of Fantasy parade as we enter. As we are leaving, the parade is coming down Main Street USA. I love seeing all of the floats, the beautiful dancers, and all of the Disney characters.

We stop for a moment in the shade and wait for Twinkie’s tea to brew. We meet a couple from Pennsylvania and they are talking about how difficult it is to make the weather change from very cold to this 89-degree day with 82% humidity. I sympathized and listened. Then, I remember that I need to get my cooling towels out since it is getting hot enough to need them.

Now, my favorite ride is next. So, we head toward Fantasyland. The kids went to look at Sir Mickey’s and I went to see if Gaston was out greeting his loyal fans. He was not, so I walked back up to go to Peter Pan’s Flight. In the meantime, Twinkie met some of the Royal Majesty Makers and was having quite a fun chat with them. As I approached Peter Pan’s Flight, I saw the kids chatting and quickly Twinkie introduced me as, “The Queen” and I asked if I could get a picture with the Royal Majesty Makers! They are such a delight; do take the time to chat with them if you happen to see them out!

Our FastPass+ time is here, so we are off to ride Peter Pan. I love this ride.

Now, the kids and I walk down to see Gaston and watch the girls swoon over him. It is so fun to see him interact and talk with the ladies. He looks across the way, to where buff guy was standing. Gaston left the girls and told the guy that he would “help him” with his sleeves and rolled the buff guy’s t-shirt sleeves back down to cover his arms. The crowd laughs and Gaston picks on him once again. It is just fun watching all of the interactions and pictures.

Next, we have the Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid ride. I love this one too! I cannot wait, they have added some more fishes and it is so fun to feel like you are in the movie. The kids loved this movie when they were little, so we saw it many times. I take in a moment of dreamy fishes enjoying the music, then listen to “Under the Sea.” I love this large cave full of so many fish.

We decide to grab another iced drink at Starbucks. It is so hot today and staying hydrated is very important. We drink so much water during the day. I love having a glass to refill in between rides. When we get to Starbucks, they are preparing for the second Festival of Fantasy parade of the day. There seem to be several High School Bands passing as we are waiting for our drinks to be crafted. They are really fun to hear and to see passing by the windows of Starbucks.

As we are walking to a ride or from a ride, there are characters everywhere, or a play, or a parade – there is something always going on when you are at Magic Kingdom.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is our next ride and we get checked in with the FastPass+ on our MagicBands. The cast member greets me with, “Happy 21st Birthday! Oh, and I see that your brought your younger sisters!” He totally caught me off guard, and all I could do was to laugh and thank him! The line is fairly long, but soon we were on the ride. There is a score that I have not attained yet. That score is 999,999 also known as Galactic Hero. My kids have gotten it a few times, but I’m still working on it! Me? My highest score was today: 339,800!!! Oh, yes! I am happy with this new high score! We stop and get the Galactic Hero celebration pin for the kids!

Well, I have had a blast. It has been a lot of fun celebrating my birthday with my kids at Magic Kingdom. I have had tons of, “Happy Birthday!” greetings all day long! I think I am done for the day! We walk back through Tomorrowland to the new hub where there is a parade in process, so we take our time as we are heading for the front entrance. It gets crowded with people stopping to take pictures. The cast members encourage those taking pictures to go under the rope into the safe zones for those who want to stand and watch the parades. It makes it easier for the people coming up and down the sidewalks and aids in traffic flow. I like days that people are kind and thoughtful toward those around them.

As we are exiting, the cast member waving good-bye says, “Happy Birthday!” The cast member at the monorail hollers, “Happy Birthday!” As I am exiting the Monorail another cast member says, “Happy Birthday!” These are some of the wonderful things that happen all day long when you are celebrating! Be sure to get your special pin! It was a very happy birthday!

Day 181- Dapper Day at Magic Kingdom

Today is Dapper Day at Disney World! I am beyond excited! This is a fun day and there will be so many beautiful Dapper Day visitors, and they will be dressed to the nines. The day is sunny and it says it will be 88 degrees today, but it ends up reaching a very hot 90 degrees in the late afternoon. Even though it’s hot today, there are a few clouds and a good breeze.

We arrive and they are just beginning to park in the Villains parking lot, so the traffic is at a standstill as they are getting the traffic redirected. It doesn’t take very long to get traffic moving again and they are filling up both the left and right sides of the Villains lots now. There are a ton of people arriving – I mean a ton! Soon, we are parked and walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center. There are people going to the ferryboat and the Monorail. After a short wait in line for the Monorail, we are on our way to Magic Kingdom. 

We disembark and head for bag check, where every table is open. There are so many strollers and bags being checked. Today there are so many people. Soon, we are heading to scan our MagicBands and enter onto Main Street USA. When it is busy, I enjoy seeing all of the families taking pictures, so happy to be here! You can hear all of the “oohs” and “ahhs” as they see Cinderella’s Castle for the first time. As you can see, the crane is now gone and the path to the right of the castle is open again!

I am looking to get a picture for Dapper Day! So, we are heading for Cinderella’s Castle… I want our picture to have Mickey and Walt Disney’s statue in it. “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it all started with a mouse.” 

Now, we are off to find the citizens of Main Street USA. Oh, we see Ms. Trumpetto! She is looking beautiful (as always!). She is a lovely, happy lady. You must meet her the next time you visit; she is very fun and so spunky! As we are fixing to take a picture, she says that she needs something more, something fancy. “Oh, you want my furry critters?”  “Sure, that is wonderful!” Then, she is so cute and gives one of the weasels, as we affectionately call them, a sweet kiss! So very funny! As we cross the street, there are seagulls flying past us, trying to get to the crackers a little family spilt! It is surprising how quickly they swoop down, in and out of the traffic flow. Then, we turn and see the most dapper family and ask if we can take their picture! 

Ms. Trumpetto lets us know that Ms. Beatrice Starr is here. Soon, we find Ms. Starr and say, “Hello!” She is so vivacious. She noticed my fur collar and said, “I missed you, Henry.” She said that he was her ferret and oh, how she had missed him!  I said, “Oh, I call them weasels, ‘cause a weasel gave them to me!” She started laughing and said that a weasel is just a flat ferret! We all laughed and then tried to get a picture! As we are blowing a kiss, Ms. Starr begins to laugh and laugh and laugh! She is adorable.

Next, we met Constance Purchase. She was dressed in a beautiful purple dress and had a parasol! We had not met her before today, and she was a delight to meet.

The Dapper Day group is having a meet up at the PeopleMover at noon, well, that is right now. We know it will be very busy getting everyone on the PeopleMover. I think we will skip this meet up.

We have not had any hot beverages yes, so we are going to the Main Street Bakery to grab some tea and coffee. Twinkie gets her drink and goes to find a table while our drinks are being made. We join her and sit in the shade of a yellow umbrella. Everyone seems to be facing the same way since the sun is already bright and it is getting hot. I saw a nice family sitting at the table next to us, so I asked if I could get the son to take a picture for us, and the older sister jumped up and took one for us and it turned out great. Her brother was so disappointed. So, I asked the dad if we could get the son to take a picture of us with the castle, she did a great job, but I would like for him to be our hero and help us out. Every guy needs to be a hero. The dad nodded and the mom looked surprised, but the dad loved that we understood that dudes, young and old, like to be heroes!

Soon, this area is full. I see a dad waiting for a table, so we offer ours to him since we thought about moving to a cooler area of the park. As we step into the walkway, a couple stops us for a picture. 

We move to another area, and soon another Dapper Day couple sits down at a table next to us, so they begin chatting with us. We just met them earlier; they brought their 2 nieces and a nephew. Their nephew wanted to come for Dapper Day, so he asked them if they would drive! Too neat that he asked his aunt and uncle to come to Dapper Day with him! They’ve just come from the PeopleMover and tell us how busy it was, the line zigzagged and it wrapped all the way back to Space Mountain. The funniest thing was that they took a video on their phone that they showed us, and it lasted a few minutes, she was surprised that it had taken them that long to walk that far. 

Twinkie takes a picture of them in their dapper finery and we have a fun time visiting. Soon, a man walks up and tells us that we, my kids and I, should have a picture of us sitting there. We say OK and he takes one for us, as his family sits across the way watching and smiling. He asks if we would mind taking a picture of him and his family in front of the castle. Not at all! So, Twinkie hops up and snaps a couple of pictures for them.

I love days like today, where we meet tons of people and they take pictures of us and with us. We get to explain Dapper Day to a lot of people who ask us about it, and it is so fun! I love talking to and meeting so many happy people.

We have lunch at the Plaza Restaurant. The kids have wanted me to try the gluten free cheesesteak sandwich. They went with some friends and said that it was over the top delicious. So, here we are. I love the ornate woodwork and detail! It is so art nouveau in all of its décor, absolutely fabulous.

As we are leaving, we can hear and see part of the parade. We see Rapunzel, Ulf, and Flynn, and we see Maleficent’s fire breathing dragon, and some of the other floats as we walk toward Tom Sawyer Island. This is where the next Dapper Day meet up is today. We stop to get a picture with the Liberty Belle riverboat and walk on around to the launching of the boats to cross over to the island. It is so very hot, and we meet a nice family as we are crossing. They are from Texas and close to where we lived. The mom says that the kids are having a little trouble with the heat since Texas has been so cold this winter. I totally understand the difficulty of the transition from cold to hot, especially on a humid day like this. I do let them know there is a rope bridge and barrels to cross if they have time to find them.

Once we arrive on the island, we turn to the left and find the rope bridge that leads to Fort Langhorn. This fort is so much fun! Escape tunnel? We just had to go through to find out where it lead, and we popped out at the back of the fort. Now we go back around and explore the rest of the fort. Oh, look, Dapper Day people! As we get down the spiral staircase, we find that the wind has died down. It is hot on this island. I think we need to find something cold to drink. It is suggested that frozen apple juice is at Gaston’s Tavern, better known as LeFou’s Brew. Sounds wonderful to me, so we make our way over to Fantasyland, where Gaston’s Tavern is just past his statue on the water fountain.

As soon as we have our LeFou’s Brew, we head outside to see Gaston talking with the guests who have come to meet him. It is so very fun to watch, and today there are so many Dapper Day people watching since the line to meet him is now closed. As we watch, the cutest Dapper Day Baymax with his dapper bowtie, Mickey Mouse ears, and his suspendered pants pops up as he’s being carried by a dapper lady! Too cute! With our Brew in hand, we go to find a place to sit and finish our frozen apple juices. As we are sitting, I get a picture of the sparkly fireworks from the Dream Along with Mickey stage show. We stop for a beanstalk picture at Sir Mickey’s, pictures in front of doors at Cinderella’s Castle, and since the crane is gone we can go to the wishing well for pictures.

Today has been fun, hot, and so enjoyable! I love interacting with so many people and I enjoy Dapper Day with so many dapper people! It has been a very good day. With the hot weather, I think we constantly were drinking water and other yummy beverages. Please keep yourselves hydrated, and make sure your kids are drinking enough and you will have a great day at Disney World!

Day 71- Magic Kingdom & Be Our Guest Restaurant

Today is beautiful, with a high in the mid-80s. We are going to Magic Kingdom and it is an absolutely gorgeous day! It is going to be hot; Florida might break a record temperature today… that is toasty.

We get to the Monorail and it is absolutely packed. We came last year, during Thanksgiving week, and it was busy, but today it is so packed. There are long lines just to get on the Express Monorail. We chose to go to the Resort Monorail. We make 2 stops before Magic Kingdom (one at the Polynesian Resort, and one at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa) and at the Grand Floridian, a little girl in a stroller and a grandma on a scooter boarded our car. The little girl was precious and so talkative! We were having fun talking to her when the little grandma started talking to me. Twinkie kept talking to the little girl and she was so smart, she said that her stuffed Olaf had a seat in the cup holder on her stroller. As Twinkie talked to her, she said that Olaf scans his nose, since he doesn’t have a MagicBand, and he gets his hat checked at bag check. What does Olaf keep in his hat? Rubber duckies, snacks, a sewing kit in case if a dog grabs his nose, and so much more! She was adorable!

Our Monorail arrived at the same time the Express Monorail to Magic Kingdom arrived across the way. We know it will take a little while for everyone to get down the ramp and make their way around to get their bags checked. There are so many people, but Disney is ready. We get our bags checked quickly, scan our MagicBands, and step onto Main Street USA.

We have lots to celebrate today, even with the busy, busy streets in Magic Kingdom. We make our way around Cinderella’s Castle on the sidewalks that go up and around the sides of her castle. We have a lunch FastPass for (YAY!) Be Our Guest! We LOVE their gluten free roast beef sandwiches! It takes planning to get to eat here, but last night at around 1am, we found a reservation that became available! WooHoo! So today, we are winding our way through all of the holiday visitors who are visiting Magic Kingdom!

We arrive at Be Our Guest and soon we are on our way across the bridge to the Beast’s Castle. We walk through the giant doors and step into our line. We are greeted by a nice cast member, and she shows us where to order. As we are learning how to order, one of the cast members checks on us and asks if we would like some help. We thank her for the offer, finish selecting our food, and get our order turned in.

I love that they give you a magic rose : you use it to order, then you sit the magic rose on your table, and they find you in this beautiful, huge castle! Be sure to put your receipt near the rose, they will remind you of this when you order since they will double check your receipt to make sure they deliver your order to the right table. We go into the main ballroom and find a table by the window with the falling snow. It is an absolutely fabulous ballroom. If you can make it to Be Our Guest, it is a fabulous place for lunch or dinner!

In the spring of this year, we got to eat in the main ballroom for the first time. As I sat and looked up at the cherubs on the ceiling, I was overcome with emotion. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. I looked up and the little cherub looked like my baby sister who only lived for 27 days. I started crying, it was so beautiful, and they look like they are in heaven looking down. It is beautiful.

Soon, I see the Chef walking toward our table; his arms are full of plates, and on one plate he holds our dessert – gluten free lemon raspberry crème puffs! He sets down our toasted roast beef sandwiches with the allergy sticks to show that we need the gluten free option. He is smiling and is very nice and peppy! I feel so welcome to be here! We thank him. He says, “Enjoy,” and he set off to the kitchen.  We LOVED these sandwiches. They are the best ones we have ever had! Then, oh my goodness! The crème puffs! They are so yummy!

We get some pictures and then we bid the castle farewell until the next time.

As we reenter Fantasyland, there are so many people. As we near the Prince Charming Regal Carousel, the area is packed with stroller parking and people trying to make the transitions from all of the various areas of the park. We get tickled and can only imagine how this would look weaving in and out of so many people. Be kind to everyone, because everyone is at Magic Kingdom, where dreams do come true!

At Main Street Bakery, while waiting for my Starbucks, I met a nice lady named April! So, here’s our pic of May and April!

On the way down Main Street, music fills the air and we stop for a few minutes to listen to Main Street Philharmonic. Quite a nice way to end our afternoon at MK!

It is beautiful today and I enjoy seeing so many people having fun.

Day 66- Dumbo the Flying Elephant at Magic Kingdom

It is a chilly, overcast day, the high is in the mid-50s and windy. We are happy to be going to Magic Kingdom! You never know what fun things can happen in a day at the Walt Disney World Resort. As we enter the properties, we see that there are about a dozen Osceola Wild Turkeys on the golf course! I love the wildlife, and I have never seen so many turkeys at once in the wild.

We arrive at Magic Kingdom and it is lightly busy as we get our bags checked. Tooti and Twinkie both are laughing as they get their bags checked. I chose to go to a different security guard right next to theirs. I said, “Kids!” The security officer laughed as he checked my bag and he suggested I tease them, so I said, “I win!” He laughed!

Our first destination today is Dumbo the Flying Elephant! We weave our way down Main Street USA and turn to go to through Tomorrowland to get to Fantasyland. I looked up and a new thing happened. This young boy, with his pirate outfit and face painted said, “Hello, welcome to Tomorrowland.” This is why I love Disney, he was timid, but greeted us anyway. We said, “Thank you!” and smiled.

We passed through Tomorrowland and on to Fantasyland and Storybook Circus. Dumbo the Flying Elephant is the first ride I remember riding when we went to Disneyland when I was about 4 years old. I love this ride and it is so much fun! As we waited in line, it was so sweet to see parents enjoying the ride as they showed their little ones how to make Dumbo fly and soar higher. Now, it is our turn and we are heading for the Dumbo with the yellow hat like the one Dumbo has on in his movie! Twinkie lets me have the control and we soar!

Now, we are going to find those Anna and Elsa Mickey earhats we just saw on our way to Fantasyland. We found some in Big Top Souvenirs! Tooti wears hers with Elsa facing forward, and Twinkie faces Anna forward. What a great idea, making the ears double sided!

The next FastPass+ is for the Voyage of the Little Mermaid. We have plenty of time, so we go towards Gaston’s Tavern and yes, Gaston is there and we need a picture with him! He is so fun to watch, so be sure to watch the people as they get pictures; it is so fun to see how they react. After we get our picture with Gaston, a lady stops me and asks if I could take her picture with the Gaston fountain and Gaston’s Tavern in the background! Sure! I say yes, and hand it off to Twinkie, something I do often. 😀

And we’re off to Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid ride! We scan our MagicBands, and there are several people going through. We get in line and let the 3 people go in front of us to be with their family. Then, there were 3 more, then a couple more. A couple of them said that they were fine letting us stay where we were, but, I’d rather a family get to be together. Then, the young dad in front of me said, as their parents were coming around the corner, “There are 17 of us, we usually can’t all get on one ride!” I laughed and said that we had met another family of 17, just last week. He chuckled and then looked puzzled.

After the ride, we went to get some hot coffee, before we headed home. We order and pick up our delicious drinks. As we leave the Main Street Bakery with our Starbucks, we hear the announcement that A Frozen Holiday Wish castle lighting show will be in 5 minutes. We all glance at each other and Twinkie suggests that we watch from the train station balcony! So, we go down Main Street USA, and up the steps to the train station balcony! Listen to the music! Oh, there are not very many people up here at all, so we grab a chair and sit at the front!! “In just a few minutes A Frozen Holiday Wish will begin!” We are so excited. It is beautiful from here! The older grandma in front of us started clapping her hands as the lights on Cinderella’s Castle twinkled and before the full lighting of the castle lights! I love the cheering and the amazement you hear as Cinderella’s Castle is lit for Christmas! There was a little girl to our right, who watched in sheer awe and amazement, the same feelings reflected by the grandmas sitting beside us. It makes me think of this quote by Walt Disney, “Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. And dreams are forever.” This is what I see as I see different generations sharing the same wonderful experience.

We are having a great evening, and it is time to go home! 36 days until Christmas is what the Countdown to Christmas sign says tonight! Sweet Dreams Magic Kingdom, Where Dreams Do Come True!

Day 51- Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom

Today is pretty and it looks cold outside, but actually, it is in the mid-70s with a gentle breeze. Tonight, we have late reservations at Be Our Guest.

It is after 8pm as we arrive at the Transportation and Ticket Center, and we are able to park really close. We walk to the Monorail and head to Magic Kingdom! As we arrive at Magic Kingdom, we begin to see the Christmas decorations as we pull into the Monorail station. How exciting!

We get through bag check, scan our Magic Bands, and go to see the Mickey Mouse formed in the flowers (in front of the train station), along with the new Christmas trees. Christmas decorations are beginning to go up on Main Street USA. It is so pretty.

We make our way to Fantasyland and watch the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It is really fun to be close to the ride watching it go by; it seems that the people riding in the front have their hands up, and the further back you go, the more they seem to be hanging on and bracing themselves. Also, where we are standing, it looks like the Mine Train is coming right at you! It is a fun spot to watch from.

There is still a little time before we can check-in at Be Our Guest so we go to the Bonjour! Village Gift Shop to look at the new arrivals for Christmas.

It is almost 8:45, so we can go check-in at Be Our Guest at The Beast’s Castle. We arrive, and there is a very long line to check-in, but as we wait, there are so many who are checking for walk-up availability and are turned away. We had heard that you should plan several months ahead to get a reservation. We have been checking often and found one three weeks ago, so we get to go tonight.

Soon, we are summoned by the Beast to be seated. We are escorted to the Rose Gallery, Belle’s favorite room, featuring beautiful pictures of Belle and the Beast’s love story on the walls. It is so pretty and the music box that Maurice, Belle’s father, built as a wedding present for Belle, plays in this room. As soon as we are seated, we hear the Wishes Fireworks starting. Oh, I forgot they were early tonight. However, it is fun to hear and the dad at a nearby table says, “They are trying to storm and raid the castle!” His kids laughed, but it did sound like the movie when they storm the castle! The little kids beside us are asleep on their parents, and stretched out on the chair and bench. It looks so cute. These are late night dinners; little ones are so very sleepy.

We meet our waiter, and the chef comes out to check on our gluten free order. We have Potato Leek Soup and Pommes Frites (French Fries) with Truffle Mayonnaise. They are amazing! Then, our favorite dessert! Lemon Raspberry Cream Puffs! Yes, it is totally gluten free and so very yummy!

We are notified that the Beast will be taking pictures until 10:45pm. It is 10:15 and we are on our way to the study to meet the Beast and take a picture with him. It is so fun to meet him and get a big hug.

After our picture, we know it is time to leave Magic Kingdom. The park is open until 10pm tonight. We stop a few times to get pictures and enjoy the Disney Kiss Goodnight as we watch Cinderella’s Castle.

As we near the front exit, we see a sign that says 51 days until Christmas! We three laugh, that is so cool! We are on our 51st day at Disney and there are 51 days until Christmas. What a really neat thing to happen!

It was such a fun evening with such fun people. We even chatted with a mom and her daughter who is working in the Disney college program. They were very nice and it made the ride on the Monorail more fun! What a lovely, cool evening!