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 36- Smash Mouth at Epcot!

What an absolutely fabulous day! Epcot is in our sights and the sun is shining. It is busy, but nice! There is a steady stream of people arriving during lunchtime.

Smash Mouth is playing later today and we got reserved seats with the Eat to the Beat Dining Package. We chose Teppan Edo for lunch! This is a place we have never been and I am looking forward to seeing the Hibachi Chef cook at our table! We are seated at a table with a young family of four. Of course, I have to ask, “Where are you from?”

They were a very nice family, and as we talked, I found out that their son is going to be 10 soon! The waitress overheard us talking about his birthday, which made me very happy! You see, if it is your birthday they celebrate with you. Today, the boy was given a Chef’s hat, a candle in his dessert, and a song with the table across from us! He was so very happy! His sister has a birthday soon, too; her dad said that she wanted me to know!!! She was so cute and sweet! I loved getting to visit with that family.

After lunch, we have a little time, so we grab a Kaki Gori in Japan and sit in the American Adventure Pavilion to eat our shaved ice with sweet milk.

It’s almost time for the concert; we have our tickets, and get in line about 30 minutes early. The lady behind us is really nice, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to talk with her. She was from New York and worked with special needs kids. I thought I knew what that meant, but I am totally impressed with her heart for the kids she worked with. She is an amazing lady. Then, a lady behind her began talking, too. I like when people enjoy talking to each other!

Yay! Time for the Smash Mouth concert! We sit on the front row and it is so fun!

Great concert!

Now, we make our way from The American Adventure through Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, Canada, and out to our car. What an amazing, beautiful day!

Day 35- Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom parking is so very busy at 4pm. There are two lines of cars going into park. The tram is very busy, but we are parked close to the Transportation Center and it is only about a 5 minute walk to get to the Monorail. As we get close, we see the Monorail is not running at this time, so we are redirected to the Ferry Boat. The Ferry Boat is a few minutes out, and the dock is filling up, but the Ferry Boat can hold a huge group of people.

The little girl behind us is a little hesitant to go on the Ferry, so I said, “If you go upstairs to the front, the breeze blows through your hair and your (Elsa) dress. It is so much fun!” Her mom repeated it to her. Soon, we were on the boat and her dad was walking up the stairs with her, heading for the front of the Ferry Boat! It is so much fun this time of the year.

Magic Kingdom is bustling as we arrive, and there are so many people just getting there. If you plan to come for the Not So Scary Party, you will need to plan ahead! Tonight’s party is sold out again. Now, we are off to our first FastPass+ for Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor. It is fun to hear the parents and kids laugh in what is a very fun, interactive attraction!

Our next destination is Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin! The lines are really moving fast today, we have our FastPass+, and just as I step onto the moving sidewalk, the ride stops. My spinning car is just behind the rail. I stopped and froze, just as the Cast Member advised me to step back towards him. Oh, good, I didn’t know what to do! In less than a minute, it was up and going once again. I got on my spinning car and was off, looking forward to playing this game! Tooti had the highest score of the day, Twinkie had a good score, and mine was way off today.  We exited onto the moving sidewalk after the ride. Then, we see several TV screens and we have to find the funny faces we made when they took our pictures during the ride!

We are thirsty, so we go towards Adventureland to get a Dole Whip! It is cool and creamy, perfect with a hot, sunny, Florida day! While we are waiting in line, I see a very young family of five with a Dole Whip Float. It is so sweet, they had their 5 straws and the little girls were helping put them in the float. The mom got a sip and gave the littlest boy a sip. I remember when we would share our special treats when the kids were little. Makes me smile to see how kind the family is as they share!

Yay! We got through the long line. Now we look for seating, but it is full, so back across Main Street USA. We see the yellow umbrellas standing over the tables outside of the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. What a wonderful place to see the costumes! Look! That whole family is dressed like mimes! We saw some absolutely great costumes, and more are going by as we see eggs and bacon, peanut butter and jelly, Mary Poppins and a penguin, and so many others.

Now, it is after 6pm and we must exit Magic Kingdom before 7pm, when the Not So Scary Party begins. The Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party is starting and we get watch as we are leaving. Oh, there Waldo and Ms. Waldo! Picture, please?

There is an amazingly huge crowd of people leaving, and as I turn to look back, there is an amazingly huge crowd of people going into Magic Kingdom for the party! Wow!

What a wonderful afternoon of rides, dole whips, and sunny weather!

Day 34- Epcot & Captain EO

Today is a pretty day, so we are off to Epcot! We are parking in the Wonder parking lot; I have never seen this area! As we pull in, the tram is filling up quickly and is taking off as we get out of the car. We have about 3 minutes before the next tram comes and it fills up quickly, too! Off we go! Soon, we are at the entrance and getting off the tram. A quick bag check, a scan of our Magic Bands, and we are in Epcot!

Our first stop is Captain EO! I am surprised that we have never see this. I really liked the 4D and the story line of “Change the world!” He, Captain EO, was freeing the people from the dark side with his music. It was a fun 4D experience!

We headed toward the exit as a young girl found a lone pair of sunglasses and tried to catch the owner, but she lost him. I suggested maybe she could turn them into the cast member that was down front. Her family seemed pleased to know what to do with a lost/found item.

My favorite jumping water fountains are just outside Captain EO. I watch as so many kids, young and old, try to catch the water as it jumps over the sidewalk. There are little ones trying to jump up and catch it. A sister uses her brother’s ball cap to catch the water as it jumps over! Then, her brother has to try to catch it with is hat! Funny stuff!

We decided to sit for a minute as we were going towards the World Showcase Lagoon. As we were sitting there a guy came up and put his hand out running past us saying, “One for the home team!” We don’t know what that means, and as we sat there looking at him walk off, he yelled back, “Is it because of Ebola?” We laughed and said, “No! Food Allergies!” EW!

After our laugh over the awkward situation, we head towards Canada! There is the new Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, but the shows stop at 5:15pm. Again, we sit to decide what we want to do next. As we watch the floods of people go by, we find ourselves enjoying watching people that go by. There are so many people and so many accents! It is fun hearing so many different people talk, and watching as kids see Twinkie’s Frozen backpack and smile at her! The Food and Wine Festival is in full swing; all of the countries are so packed with people eating and drinking their way around the world.

As we head toward the front of Epcot, we catch the water in the fountain dancing to the music! It is spectacular! We look at the new pin releases on our way out. The new Snow White pin even has red rhinestones! We had a wonderful early evening at Epcot!

Day 33- Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf & Pizza Planet at Hollywood Studios

Mini Golf day! We see the Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course whenever we head to Hollywood Studios, so we’ve been looking forward to playing here.

This is a really great course! It has some pretty fun theming from Fantasia… Some of the holes have a special sound or surprise that happens, too! Today, I chose a purple golf ball, Tooti has pink, and Twinkie has green! There are two little guys with their mom following behind us, which makes it even more fun! We start on the first hole and off we go… Each hole has a fun riddle to read and gives you hints on the best place to hit the ball!

This afternoon is pretty busy since it’s Friday. It’s nice to hear the happy golfers on the course as we play!

Next, we are off to Hollywood Studios.  It is pretty close, in fact, just across the road! As we go through the parking gate, the cast member asked us what part of Texas we were from… “Dallas!” Found out she was from nearby Greenville and she was glad to see a fellow Texan!

The park is busy, but not too crowded as we walk through down Hollywood Boulevard. We noticed that the shops have put out some more Christmas merchandise! So beautiful!

We decide to eat at Pizza Planet! It is a fun quick service restaurant themed from Toy Story and there is even an arcade inside! They are fast and very accommodating for our gluten allergy! The gluten free pizza is great and we ordered sides of Caesar salad. While there is plenty of seating inside, we decided to enjoy the cool evening by sitting outside at one of many umbrella tables. You can see the Christmas store and the Stage One Company Store, which has a lot of Muppets merchandise, across the street!

It was a great day!  🙂

Day 32- Magic Kingdom

What a gorgeous day today! The high is only going to be 82 with a nice breeze. The day is relaxing for us as we head to Magic Kingdom. We asked if we could take a picture of this family, they were dressed as characters from Peter Pan and Jake and the Neverland Pirates! They are really cute and fun! We end up riding the Monorail with them and found out that they lived in Texas for a while. We enjoyed talking and hearing their story; their sons were amazing!

On the way to the Monorail, I saw that the ticket offices were sold out for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party tonight. If you plan on going to this, you might want to plan way ahead for the night you want to attend; I know they are totally out of tickets for October 31. I do love going to Magic Kingdom ahead of the party and enjoy seeing all of the costumes!  There is a tiny little baby in a Minnie Mouse costume… adorable! Then, little dudes decked out in little pirate costumes, and the cutest Elsa in a beautiful dress. I just had to ask her grandmother where they found it, turns out they found it at TJ Maxx! Of course, the little princess’ eyes lit-up as we adored her beautiful dress! The bustle is wonderful and the anticipation of the night’s activities is in the air.

We take a minute to enjoy the busy Main Street. We decide to go to the Main Street Bakery and get tea at Starbucks. We had a moment to wait for our drinks, so we visited with a mom and her son from Tennessee! They are full of energy and enjoying the day. I helped hold the door as she ushered her son out in his wheel chair, then another family came out, nice kids! Now, back inside to wait for one more drink.

I found that we got a last minute FastPass+ to get to go on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin!!! When it is really busy at the parks, like it is today, FastPasses are usually completely out. We begin walking fast and drinking our Starbucks quickly as we head to the ride. Today the standby line is only 20 minutes, but I am glad we have these passes. Again, I absolutely love this ride! I got my highest score ever- 344,000! Tooti and Twinkie made Galactic Hero status (999,999!); we took a pic of their scores and headed to the counter to claim their Galactic Hero celebration badges!!! Congrats, kids!

Now, off to catch the Monorail so we can pick up the pups from school! The costumes are numerous as we are approaching party time. If you are visiting the parks, know if you do not have a ticket for the party, the park closes at 7pm on the nights with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (party guests can stay until midnight). As we get to the TTC (Ticket and Transportation Center), we are seeing costumes everywhere! Ninja Turtles (some with tutus), pirates, the whole group from the Little Mermaid (including King Triton!), characters from Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, and so many more! So many fun and happy people.

Day 31- Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Hollywood Studios

One month ago today, we began our journey of going to Disney for 365 days in a row! We are happier than a kid in a candy shop! Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, we are on our way and have 334 days to go. I love Florida life and living close to Disney, we can watch the fireworks from our front porch. It is so cool! Our pups enjoy watching them with us when we are at home and not at the parks.

Today, we chose to go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios; we haven’t had lunch, so Sci-fi Dine-in Theater Restaurant is sounding like the restaurant of choice for a good hamburger. We arrive with an hour to spare, so we walk around and see how the Christmas lights are coming along. Today I notice they have added the Christmas carolers in front of two buildings in the Streets of America. It is perfectly busy and I can hear some of the crowd singing as they exit the Frozen Sing-along, the funniest is a grandma acting out “Let it go!”  Cute!

Now, we check into Sci-fi Dine-in Theater Restaurant, it is so very busy. Quite a few folks are trying to see if there is availability, but you must have a reservation to be able to eat there in the late afternoon to evening times. I haven’t seen it this busy since the end of summer crowd. After about 25 minutes, they call us to be seated. We sit in a three-seat car that looks like a ’57 Chevy! Tooti and Twinkie are in the front seat, me in the next one. A little later, they seat someone in the third row!

I love it, as you look around, it is reminiscent of the days gone by with the wooden fence, the stars in the sky, and the speakers on the post for your car sound. I remember going to drive-in movies when I was a kid. Mom would pile blankets on the top of our station wagon, and we would have our pillows up top in the luggage rack! I am not sure how many movies I actually saw, seems that I fell asleep more times than not.

Anyways, back to the Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater. There is a full screen with vintage scary movies playing as your car hop takes your order, we got dairy free “milkshakes” and 2 gluten free burgers and a gluten free corned beef sandwich! YUMMY, they have the best French fries too! We finish our dinner and head out.

It is chilly tonight as we are heading back to the front of Hollywood Studios. It is busy, but not too crowded, a nice flow of people. We parked pretty close, so we walk about 10 minutes to our car and head home. I must remember a jacket, it is finally chilly at night! Let’s see: backpack, magic band, water bottle, umbrella, appropriate shoes, now to add a jacket for the sudden drop in temperatures! Yes, it is feeling like fall this evening.