Day 190- Magic Kingdom

Today it is lightly rainy. It has rained all night, so the flowers are especially beautiful and everything looks refreshed. We decide to wait until this afternoon to go to Disney We grab our rain jackets and head for Magic Kingdom. It isn’t misting any more and the weather feels great. It was cool this morning, and now the sky is full of clouds; looks like it could rain again.

As we get to the Transportation and Ticket Center, we are surprised that we are parking so close. As we enter the parking area, it pretty empty, which normally means that it is not going to be very crowded at Magic Kingdom. We park, walk to the Monorail, and board. When get to Magic Kingdom, there are plenty of open tables to get our bags checked, so we each pick a table. Then, we scan our MagicBands and enter into Magic Kingdom.

Pluto is meeting guests near the Main Street Confectionary. He is usually out by the flagpole, but he’s under the covering today since it was rainy. Everyone is so happy to get to meet him!

Going down Main Street USA, the kids check for pins to trade. Twinkie finds one right away and trades for a fun pin. Today is going to be a good day for pin trading.

As we make our way down Main Street, the family behind me is talking about how something must be getting ready to happen, since there are so many people lining up on the sidewalks. They’re right! The Festival of Fantasy parade will begin in just a little while, as long as the rain stays away. If it rains again, they will have the Rainy Day Motorcade instead.

The sky is beginning to clear just a little bit. It will warm up quickly! It is fun to hear people talk about how hot it is right now, in the mid 70s, especially with so many families coming from snowy areas! It’s a nice day today, and it is only going to be near 81 as the high.

We got our hot drinks at the Main Street Bakery, then sat and drank our drinks at the parade was going by. The parade is beautiful! We talked to the family near us, the little girl was so cute. After our drinks, Tooti and I grabbed a gluten free beef and bleu salad at Tomorrowland Terrace, and Twinkie went to Casey’s Corner and got a gluten free, corn free hot dog with apple slices.

The wildlife was busy today. A pigeon sat near us, ducks flew overhead, and the dad behind us pointed out a baby duckling swimming near the Loch Ness Monster shrubs; the duckling was so tiny and looked so alone. I guess he was catching up to his family. It’s so fun to see the little ducklings swim together.

We made our way back to Main Street USA, walked across the street, and as we were going past the doors of Main Street Clothiers, we saw the new spring line of Minnie Mouse clothing. Everything is so very cute! We had to check these new styles out.

As we got near to the front gates, Twinkie was asked to do a survey, so she followed to cast member into the Chamber of Commerce building, where she filled out the computer survey. Toot and I waited, and I saw that the Easter Bunnies are here to take pictures with. Oh, I will have to do that before Easter arrives!

We sat and we talked to a lady who was waiting on her husband to finish a survey. She was very nice. Soon, her husband and young son joined her. Twinkie joined us just shortly after that, and we were off to the Monorail.

It has been fun, and now it is time to head home! See you soon, Magic Kingdom!

Day 78- Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is beautiful today! The sun is shining and the clouds are so pretty! We arrive and it is busy as we wait to get our bags checked, scan our MagicBands, and enter into Main Street USA. The Christmas season is in full swing at Magic Kingdom with beautiful garlands, lights, and festive window displays.

First, we walk down Main Street USA to the Main Street Bakery for coffee. It is busy today, but a nice busy. We know our cousins are at the park and we are going to get to meet up with them in a few minutes. We grab our coffee and head for Tomorrowland, since they were at the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor just a few minutes ago. On the way to meet them, I needed to get some hot water to add to my coffee, since it was a little bit too strong. So, I asked at The Lunching Pad. The cast member was really, really nice as she got me hot water for my coffee. I sat down to add the hot water to my cup and the kids hollered. They found our cousins!

We moved over to their table, where one of the babies was sleeping in the stroller while we visited. I love hearing the adventures that they have been on these past couple of days. Then, we were all hungry and we were going to have supper at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, so they joined us for dinner. We had a lot of fun eating together, and their kids are so cute! Sonny Eclipse serenades us as we eat. Soon, we are finished. Our cousins head out to enjoy the rest of the evening, and we begin walking back to the entrance.

Guess what! 24 days until Christmas!

There are plenty of visitors arriving this evening as we leave Magic Kingdom. We arrive back at the Transportation and Ticket Center, where the arriving trams are completely packed with visitors coming to the parks. We get on the tram and it is lightly filled as we are leaving. It is beautiful tonight, the wind is picking up, and it is beginning to get chilly. We had temperatures in the high 70s today, and the low should be the mid-60s this evening. As soon as the sun sets, it gets chilly.

What a great day!

Day 76- Magic Kingdom & A quick stop at the Contemporary Resort

Today we are going to the Contemporary Resort first; we have family in town that arrived this morning. We see them and get to say a quick hello before they go back to their Disney resort to rest. It is so good to see everyone! We say goodbye and head for Magic Kingdom on the Monorail.

There is a little dude who is 3 and he was fixing to have a melt down. That little lip was sticking out and his eyes were tearing up. I smiled at his mom, looked back at him, and said, “Hey, how are you?” We talked to him for a little while and found that he got to dance with Baloo earlier today! I asked many questions and he finally smiled, but he was intrigued with his bottom lip sticking out. His mom said that she was glad for the help, and thanked us for taking the time to talk with him.

Magic Kingdom is beautiful, and today is much hotter than expected. It is in the mid-70s, and very busy. We visit a few of the shops on Main Street USA. It is so pretty and festive in its Christmas Season. All of the Christmas lights are beautiful.

We check the Main Street Bakery to see how long the lines are, and it is so very busy. We have waited in these lines for Starbucks before, but today we decide to skip it and head for Adventureland. As we enter into Adventureland, I turn and see the line to meet Peter Pan. Peter Pan is a pop-up character; he doesn’t have a set schedule like many of the other characters do, so it can be a little bit tricky getting to meet him. There are several people in the line sitting and waiting. We have been wanting to meet him, but the line closes quickly. So, we are elated and step into the line to wait. As we stand and wait, they close the line immediately after us. I am totally surprised, but so glad we got in line when we did. I am glad we get to see Peter Pan! While we are waiting, I see a lady we met on the Monorail a few days earlier, this is their 14th day and they go home tomorrow. We chatted while we waited in line.

It is the coolest thing to see Peter Pan interact with everyone. He has this amazing ability to make it seem like you are the only one who is here talking with him. I have seen him from a distance and he is so much fun to watch. One time a mom let her kids meet him, then told them to “move it” and she jumped in, talked to him, and got a picture. She looked like she was a kid again!

We were so excited to see the family finish in front of us… it was our turn! Tooti and Twinkie walked up to Peter Pan and it was so much fun watching them! Peter Pan is now one of my favorite characters to meet! Oh, it is my turn now! Yay!

We have not eaten, but the sun has set, and the chill of the night is rolling in quickly. I suggest a Dole Whip, and a quick walk to the front entrance. I know we will be shivering, but a Dole Whip is my favorite! We make our way past the beautifully lit Crystal Palace. I can see Tigger inside interacting with people at their table, and Pooh is in the distance! It is a great place for a character dinner; they have a buffet and are very good about food allergies.

Main Street USA is glowing with lights and happy people. I love the bustle of the holiday crowds as we make our way to the front entrance. We have met so many nice people today. I love hearing about their Disney experiences, and the parents having a ton of fun, I wonder if they’re having more fun than the kids sometimes!

We get on the Monorail, it is so very full, and it is only 6:30pm. It has been a wonderful day! Once we get to the Ticket and Transportation Center, we take the tram out to our car. What a nice day!

Day 75- Sanaa at Kidani Village and Magic Kingdom

Today we are going to have naan at Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas – Kidani Village. We found that they have perfected gluten free naan! We have eaten here several times and it is a most favorite treat to get to eat here! I cannot wait to taste the 9 different flavors of dips. It is a good thing to have a reservation here, since they can be really busy.

It is really chilly today, so I am glad when we walk into the warmth of Kidani Village. It is absolutely beautiful to see all of the details. This is so fun to see if you visit Kidani Village. It takes me a minute to walk through the lobby and enjoy all of the details of this resort, especially with the festive Christmas decorations. The Christmas tree is so beautiful and wonderfully decorated specifically to go with the African style of Kidani Village.

Also, just past the Christmas tree, you can see the animals through the giant windows. It is a beautiful view. As we walk downstairs to Sanaa, I hear a drum beat. There is an authentic feel to the whole African-themed dining experience. We will be seated in a few minutes, and I am glad for the delay. If you are waiting, there is an outdoor viewing area that is wonderful. You are very close to the giraffes, the wildebeests, the zebras, the cattle, and the various other safari animals. There are also ostriches, and many other birds. It is quite an experience to be that close to the free-roaming animals.

It was about 5-10 minutes when we were called to be seated. Where will we be seated? Yay! Today, we are seated by the windows and it is so much fun!

They have new gluten free menus; this is nice and gives you a minute to see what is available. We have had the lamb shank before and it is an amazing dish. We have had some other ones as well, and they have been out of this world, really wonderful meals. If you are ordering an entree, the chef will come to your table and answer any questions that you might have. However, today we are just having the gluten free naan. It was totally worth the wait, and the dipping sauces are so amazing! We order another round of gluten free naan to finish the dipping sauces with! That is how wonderful the gluten free naan is.

We had fun watching the animals out the windows and the East African Crowned Crane was right outside of the window for most of our lunch.

Now, we go back upstairs. The Kidani Village sitting area is fabulous. I love walking through the lobby, the décor and unique lighting features are absolutely incredible.

Now, we are off to Magic Kingdom for a short visit. We park and hop on the tram. We arrive to the Heroes drop off, and it is not very busy as we walk up to the Monorail. On the Monorail, we have a very nice little family sitting by us, and Tooti compliments the little girl’s pink coat with shiny stars. The little girl loves her coat, she showed us her little black boots with a bow on the side. We giggle and as she is showing us her bracelet, her mom starts laughing. They were so cute.

Soon, we are on Main Street USA and it is very busy. We stepped into Uptown Jewelers to look at some of their new accessories. It is decorated to make it feel like you have stepped back in time. I love seeing the new items they have, the purses, scarves, jewelry, and various other accessories.

As we leave, you can hear the Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! music as we go to Starbucks in the Main Street Bakery. Starbucks is filling up quickly, and it takes time to go through the line to order and then wait for our coffee. I mean, it is busy! I haven’t seen it this busy until today. I know the holiday crowd is in full swing with the chilly evening setting in. We checked for FastPasses, but most of the ones available were for later in the evening… Magic Kingdom closes at 1am tonight! We are going to make this a short trip, the temperatures are dropping quickly and the wind is picking up. I am so cold, even with a hot coffee.

We leave Main Street USA and walk up to the Monorail. I enjoyed talking to a family as we waited, they were continuing to Epcot. We have a full car and it is a pleasant ride to the Transportation and Ticket Center.

The tram was pretty full, but there was still room to get on, and we had fun talking to the family who invited us to share the double front row with them. This family was fun! We waved at the little kids who were waving as we pulled away from the station. Part of their family was behind us, and also on the third row back. I asked how many grandparents were on this trip. One said there were four and a great aunt! They all laughed! Then, a grandparent asked a question we are asked often, ”Do you all work for Disney?” No, but we love it!

Day 70- Magic Kingdom & Talking Mickey Mouse!

Happy Sunday Morning! It is a beautifully HOT day today! We were cold last night, but today, we are putting on our summer clothes and the kids also put on their Keens sandals. We park at the Ticket and Transportation Center and walk to the Monorail. It is almost a half-mile walk from the car to the Monorail, and we parked close today, in the Zurg parking lot! We hop on the Monorail and soon we are at Magic Kingdom! It is busy today as we get our bags checked and our MagicBands scanned!

It is only 4 days until Thanksgiving and 32 days until Christmas; we checked the countdown board near City Hall. Across the way from City Hall is the Town Square Theater where we are going to meet Mickey Mouse! I love what Walt Disney reminds us of: “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” Well, we got to meet that wonderful Mouse today!

After we scanned our FastPasses, we were directed into a waiting area, where we were happy to find the character’s mail station, complete with a bag of fan letters to Mickey Mouse himself. Soon, it is time to enter Mickey Mouse’s Dressing Room! Mickey was looking into his mirror as we walked in with a couple of other families. He greeted the first family and they had a few moments to get to meet with him and take pictures. Then, it was our turn. Do you know how much fun it is to have Mickey Mouse greet you, TALK to you, and hug you? He is so kind and warm… it’s almost like being in a dream. We all got our big Mickey hugs and he even asked if he could take a picture with us! Of course! After our picture, he walked us to the door, and thanked us for visiting as we said our goodbyes. I love Mickey Mouse!

We walked out of Mickey’s dressing room and into the little shop. I could hardly see anything, my heart was full, and my hugs were complete for the day. The gardens outside of the shop are just beautiful and so Christmas-like, poinsettias surrounded by greenery.

Oh, OK, back to reality. Oh, wait! This is my reality! We make our way to Main Street USA see all of the windows decorated with beautiful Christmas colors, hats with Mickey ears, and many of the characters you will find in Magic Kingdom. The Main Street Confectionary is full of wonderful sugary smells. The Main Street Gallery has beautiful art on display as we pass through.

Of course, Main Street Bakery is our next stop. We grab a coffee and have a little over half an hour until our next FastPass+. As we are finding a place to sit and visit, we see the Tomorrowland Terrace quick service restaurant is now open! It has been closed since we started our 365 at Disney journey, but today, it is open again! There are plenty of visitors that have found this little oasis. It is decorated in a fun, futuristic way.

Soon enough, the time flies by and we are off to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin! We arrive, scan our MagicBands, and start to step inside to the FastPass+ line, but it is absolutely packed and the line is not moving. We know this is not the normal wait, but it is worth the slight delay. After a few minutes, we are moving, and soon, we are scanning our MagicBands at the second scanner. We notice that you cannot see Buzz Lightyear where he usually greets you. Instead, there is a curtain, and I cannot wait to see if they have made some changes. Quickly, we are on the ride and moving along. I got my best score of 305,200, Tooti got 999,999 (Galactic Hero!) and Twinkie’s score was 730,300.

As we are leaving, we see the People Mover has a long line. I have never seen it this long! We love to go on this, but today, I think we will pass. We walk over to Cosmic Ray’s quick service to sit for a minute. As we leave, the cast member has stickers! I walked up to him and asked, “Can I have a sticker?” He chuckles and says, “Why yes, you can have a sticker!” Then, he turns to Tooti and Twinkie and asks, “Would you like a sticker?” For some reason, when you are my age and ask for a sticker, it always cracks them up! TeeHee, I did get my sticker.

We head for the park exit, and the park is really busy since it is Thanksgiving week. I love Thanksgiving! Today was a beautifully hot day, with rain beginning just as we made it to our car! It was the perfect ending to a wonderful afternoon!

Day 64- Magic Kingdom & Gingerbread Houses at the Contemporary and Grand Floridian Resorts

Today we are on our quest to see gingerbread houses! We heard that the Contemporary Resort has theirs on display and the one at Grand Floridian Resort is up too. But first, we need coffee at Magic Kingdom.

We get to the parking area, and there are so many spaces empty! Oh my goodness, does this mean that there are not very many people here? We choose our parking place on the second row in the Villain’s lot! We get out and walk a couple of minutes to the Monorail. There are plenty of people on the Monorail as we jump on and make our way to the Magic Kingdom.

We see that it is still pouring down rain and the area at the bottom of the Monorail ramp is flooded. I smile as I see kids splashing. A dad saw me laughing and he said, “Hey, they are already soaked, this can’t hurt!” I love seeing how some parents handle the extra splashing on such a rainy day. We just join in! Some people behind us are pulling off their shoes and socks to go through this deep water. Just the basic rain pours and instantly soaks into your shoes… too funny!

We entered into Magic Kingdom and made our way down to Main Street Bakery for our Starbucks coffee. It is a little busy, but they are pretty fast. We decided that since it is raining we should sit around the corner, under the covered area at Tomorrowland Terrace. The wind and rain had drenched most of the tables, but there were some further underneath the cover that were dry. There was a cast member drying the tables and clearing the floor of the inch of the water. I asked her a question and we had a nice chat about Disney! She is here on the college program and was truly a delight to chat with!

We are going to see the gingerbread house, or should I say, castle, at the Contemporary Resort. Wow! The gingerbread castle is huge! It is the Frozen castle, modeled in the style of Mary Blair. It is adorable! Anna, Elsa, Sven, Kristoff, and even Olaf stand in front of the gingerbread castle, and if you look closely, you can find fourteen little Olafs hidden throughout the display. To the side of the gingerbread castle, they have a fun kiosk where you can buy Frozen inspired treats, including a Build-your-own-Olaf (not gluten free, but oh so cute!), and a gluten free gingerbread boy by Babycakes! The gingerbread boy is delicious! Also, they have limited release pins, featuring the gingerbread castle with Anna and Elsa! Too cute!

Next, we are going to the Polynesian to see if their Christmas decorations are up. We found out that they will be up in about 2 to 3 weeks. We take a minute to see the resort and venture downstairs to look around. As we are going back up the stairs, a little dude was being a “big boy” going up the stairs all by his little 2-year-old self. His dad said, “Oh, you can go past him!” I told him that I was enjoying watching his son accomplish these stairs. I said that I liked the way he was going up those stairs with his hands and crawling, it is a safe way! The dad was so funny and said, “I know, I’ve gone up stairs that way after a few drinks.” I said, “I go up the stairs that way, but it is just age!” He cracked up! The little dude made it! We all cheered and he was cheered too! We all were laughing and cheering their little dude’s accomplishment! Those were a lot of stairs!

Off to the Monorail and Grand Floridian to see the gingerbread house! The gingerbread house if huge! Starting on November 21 (at 9am) they will start selling treats from inside of the gingerbread house! That is how big it is! There is so much detail in the gingerbread house. If you look closely, you can find Alice and the Mad Hatter, Rapunzel and Flynn, Princess Aurora, Anna and Elsa, and Mickey and Friends painted in colored cocoa butter over several of the windows. How fun!

It is late so we need to get a bite to eat. We were able to get a last minute reservation at the Grand Floridian Café. It was very good.

I love the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra playing, and the piano. It is fun to see the little ones dancing to both! I love the parents that remember this trip is for you, yes, but for your children also. Enjoy them, and if they tire, let them rest by sleeping on two chairs at the restaurant, in their strollers, on a bench, or by laying their heads on the table, totally asleep. These little ones get so tired trying to absorb all of the new things! Please be patient with your babies, no matter how young or old they are. This is Disney, where dreams come true!

What a wonderful day at Disney, where dreams really do come true.

Day 63- Magic Kingdom & Epcot

Today is an absolutely beautiful day. We are expecting it to be in the lower 80s today and even hotter tomorrow! The sky is a beautiful blue with a few puffy clouds floating by. We are going to Magic Kingdom today.

Magic Kingdom is bustling as we get our bags checked and our MagicBands scanned. We have until 7pm tonight, that is when Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party begins and you must have a separate event ticket. We plan to go later this season, we went in 2012 and it was so much fun.

As we entered by the train depot, the Festival of Fantasy parade was going down Main Street USA. After we watched the parade pass, we waited a few minutes and started down Main Street USA. What’s that I hear? It’s the Dapper Dans quartet singing! Their singing makes you feel like you stepped back in time. Then, we heard the Main Street Philharmonic a little bit later! I love all of the music on Main Street USA.

We headed for Tomorrowland to the Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. I love this ride, and there are so many people today that I am glad we have a FastPass+. The FastPass line moves quickly and soon we are on the ride. I got over 100,000 points today, that makes me smile!

Our next stop is the Main Street Bakery for some coffee. I know we are backtracking a bit, but that is not unusual when you go to Disney! As we step in and order, the cast member remembers us from a few weeks ago. He recaps our story and tries to remember Tooti and Twinkie’s nicknames. This is always fun, today he tries to recall and calls them Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. We chuckle and compliment him on remembering our story of 365 at Disney. We get our drinks, then go to sit and enjoy the Dream Along with Mickey show in front of Cinderella’s Castle.

After we finish our coffees, we head toward the front of the park to ride the Walt Disney World Railroad! We watched and waited as they refurbished the train recently, so this is the first time we have ridden on it since the refurbishment! I am so excited! I love trains and we get to sit at the very back; that is usually full during really busy seasons, so it’s extra special today. Twinkie gets to ride on the very, very last seat! Soon we are off and chugging down the rails! We stop at the Frontierland Station where some people get off and new folks get on. Twinkie heard that the girl who made her Paperman Ears was in Fantasyland, so when we got around to that stop, we got off. She was able to say, “Hi!” and then we made our way to the front gates once again.

We were all a little hungry, so we decided we needed a Power Salad at Sunshine Seasons in Epcot. We hopped onto the Monorail and went back to the Ticket and Transportation Center, where we changed to the Epcot Monorail and were off to find some supper! We met a wonderful family on the Monorail and had a fun time talking and sharing a few tips. The dad was trying to convince his daughter that Spaceship Earth is really made out of chocolate; if you peel back the wrapper you can go up and take a bite… just be sure to put the wrapper back down, though! I like that idea! They were going to be at Disney for eight days. How much fun they will have these next few days! I am so excited for them! They were a really nice family.

We walked down the ramp from the Monorail and got our bags checked, scanned our MagicBands, and we were officially in Epcot! YAY! I love being here and seeing so many happy people. The crowds are thinner than they were during the Food and Wine Festival and it is really nice! As we walk to The Land, there are several people who need directions to various parts of the park. I am always glad to help them and shout, “Have fun!” I hope they have as much fun as we did on our first trip to Walt Disney World!

As we walk up to The Land, Twinkie reminds me that the building is in the shape of a volcano! Really? That is so cool. Also, the sidewalks up to the building are colored to represent hot lava and cooled lava flowing down from the volcano. Now, that is really cool. As we walk up, a couple asks if Soarin’ is near here. Tooti told them to enter, go to the right, take the escalator down, turn right at the bottom, and you can see the Soarin’ sign.

Soon, we are finished with supper and we are back outside going to see the Epcot Christmas Tree. It is beautiful.

After an afternoon and evening of walking in two parks, I think it is time to call it a day! I have met so many nice families whose children were so kind and smart! What a wonderful day!