Day 37- Flag Retreat Ceremony and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom

Someone asked me what my favorite thing is out of all of Walt Disney World. Today, we walked into Magic Kingdom and the Main Street Philharmonic band was standing off to the left, by the Main Street Chamber of Commerce. My kids said that they must have been waiting to start the daily Flag Retreat Ceremony. Oh, I love this. As the band starts playing the patriotic music, you will see people stop and honor our country’s flag. These are some of the most heartfelt moments of the day. Look, there is our veteran that is being honored, an older man, a hero of our country. Today, I am able to step close and see the face of this man that has served our country. He is very emotional as they hand him the American flag that flew over Magic Kingdom today. When the enormous group of patrons begins to sing “God Bless America”, he can barely hold back his tears. As they turn to walk down Main Street, he is so full of emotion as he sees all that have come to honor him! I wish you could see this and hear those that say, “Thank you!” This is my most favorite part of Disney life! I love this moment to honor our country and those who served!

Next, we are heading for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland.

Lunchtime! We stop at Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn and Café for a salad and a cheeseburger! We were enjoying our food indoors when this (big) little white Ibis came flying into the restaurant. Of course, a little dude had to chase it, just as the cast member came to let it out the doors. Then, it became really funny as they bird flew across the room. Twinkie headed for the door to hold it open as the Cast Member helped move the bird towards the door. The little dude just started to chase the bird again, just as the Cast Member shooed the bird out the doors.  Cheering was heard all around us as the bird flew outside! Funny stuff! Thanks, Twinkie!

Now, we can split a Dole Whip Float on our way towards the front gate. From there, we catch the Monorail to the Transportation and Ticket Center, ride the tram to our car, and drive home! Oh, Florida has such wonderful sunsets!

Day 1- Magic Kingdom

The days before our start of 365 days at Disney were filled with total anticipation.  Where will this take us and what does God have in mind to send us on the journey?  I am so excited to see this unfold and glad to get to take you along with us on the ride!

We started our beautiful day going to Magic Kingdom. After you park, there are two options to get to MK- the Monorail or the Ferryboat.  We took the boat ride today and were so excited to see the boat not so full.  Maybe that means there won’t be long lines! We started across the water to see Cinderella’s Castle…  So pretty.  As we disembarked, the lines were pouring into the park from the Monorail, resort busses and the boats, so the area was full of people.

As we entered into Magic Kingdom, the place was bustling with Disney Magic.  Mickey’s signature flowers were out front, pumpkins dotted the landscape and the bustle of excitement is contagious.  Little people coming for the first time; their eyes sparkling with anticipation of what the day will hold.  Lots of families laughing together and making their way to the castle!  There, in front of the castle, was the “Move it! Shake it! Celebrate it! Street Parade” dance party going on.

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There’s just something about a dancing monkey… or orangutan!
After we watched the conga line start, we headed around Cinderella’s Castle and noticed the line for Merida was much shorter than summertime lines, so we stopped to meet her for the first time!

After Merida, we headed towards Liberty Square and rode the Liberty Belle Riverboat for the first time.  It’s a great way to see Tom Sawyer’s Island and even watch Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad as you pass by.

We then headed off to Pirates of The Caribbean, but the line was quite a bit longer than expected for an “off-season” September day. We did get to see a bit of the Pirate show with Captain Jack Sparrow though!  Next, we decided to pick up one of our favorite treats- DOLE WHIP FLOATS!  They are tasty and even gluten free. 🙂  Twinkie and I like the pineapple and vanilla swirl and Tooti likes the orange and vanilla swirl.  They make the floats with Dole Pineapple Juice instead of soda.  YUM!

We headed towards Main Street to head back to the front gates, but paused to watch the end of the parade on the way out.  The line for the Express Monorail was short and it was a quick trip back to the Ticket & Transportation Center and MK parking lot.

A fun first day!!