It has kind of become a tradition that we must go to the Magic Kingdom on the first full day and last full day of our trips to Disney. Nothing says Disney magic like this place! We set our alarm for 7am and planned to leave the resort by 8am.
Even though we had two hotel rooms for our family of 6, when we all were awake and trying to move around it was chaotic! We immediately set up some sort of organization that the kids could understand. We had a place for them to line up their shoes, a place for them to throw their dirty laundry, a diaper drawer for Allie, and we dragged our two chairs into their room so that there was a table with 4 chairs for them to eat at.
Before I tell about our wonderful first day at Magic Kingdom, I want to share a few tips about strollers. Last year we used the Disney double strollers that you can rent at each park. The Make a Wish Foundation gave us a pass that allowed us to rent them for free. This was a huge blessing because each double stroller costs $31 per day, or $27 a day for multiple days. Either way, renting two doubles for the 6 days we were at the parks would have cost us $350+. If we rented from Disney, the kids would have had to walk to and from the parks each day, and believe me after 8-10 hours at a park, the kids aren’t doing much walking after we leave the front gate!
This year I did some research and found a company called Magic Strollers. They are a non-Disney company that delivers your strollers right to your resort. We picked our strollers up from the luggage area the day we arrived, used them all week, then returned them the morning we left right at our resort. We used them when we weren’t at the parks, which is a huge advantage over renting at each front gate. They were very clean, so easy to collapse and push, and the kids were able to sleep in them which they didn’t last year in the Disney strollers. The best part? For two doubles, delivered to our resort, for 8 days, it cost only $219 including all taxes and optional theft/damage insurance! I know that sounds like a lot of money, but it was money well spent. We don’t have double strollers at home anymore, but the kids definitely still need them at their age at Disney.
Back to the trip…we arrived at Magic Kingdom with plenty of time for the rope-drop show! There is an adorable show every morning on the train station platform. Several of the characters arrive on the train at the end of the show, and then there is a mad dash to the front gate! So exciting:)
Here are the grandparents, every bit as excited as the kids!
Here is our first family shot, minus half of Matt’s head!
Here is the part in the trip report where I admit that I did quite a bit of planning before our trip. I didn’t want to have every minute planned out, but I know enough about Disney to know that if you want to maximize your fun time and minimize your wait time, then you need to kind of have an idea of what to do and when. From everything I read, it is best to hustle to Fantasyland (where all the rides geared to small kids are) first thing in the morning. Most people arrive at the parks mid morning so by mid-day Fantasyland is packed, therefore hitting those rides first things is the best bet.
We followed this plan on our first day, and it worked out great! We rode pretty much every Fantasyland ride in the first hour that morning. There were virtually no lines at all! Later in our trip we would find out that the crowds would get much worse, but for Wednesday, the park was really slow!
Another awesome part of the low crowds that day was getting to meet many of the characters with little or no wait! Right after a bathroom break (I wish I could have kept track of how many bathroom breaks we had in 8 days!) we stumbled upon Pinocchio! I told Eli and Cara to hold hands to not get separated as we walked up to meet him. I’m so glad I did, because look how cute they looked!
While the big kids rode the carousel, I captured my favorite picture of Allie of the whole trip!
The evil stepsisters, two of the funniest characters at Disney.
One of the most exciting parts of our day was meeting up with honorary Grandma Lynn and Grandpa Wes who spend their winters in Florida! After they joined us, we were an even bigger, happier group of 11:)
After we finished up Fantasyland, we headed over to Adventureland. This is where we ran into a string of bad luck. We wanted to ride Pirates of the Caribbean, a Williams family favorite. We got in line, and then the line just kind of stopped. It moved again after 10 minutes, then it stopped again. It became clear that something was wrong with the ride, so after wasting 30 minutes, we decided to ditch the ride and try again later. The funny part was, we went through an exit door that was nearby…but it didn’t lead to the main park area. We ended up “backstage”, along with like 10 other people, in an area clearly only meant for employees. We eventually found our way out and back to Adventureland.
Our bad fortune didn’t end there. Last year we all really enjoyed eating at Liberty Tree Tavern, so we decided to cut over to Liberty Square to eat. As we went to cut through, we were stopped by several employees who told us that the area we were trying to get through was closed. We could see a fireman and several park personnel gathered around the building ahead. They asked where we were going, and they told us that the restaurant was closed down for whatever this emergency was too.
So in our first hour, we rode everything in Fantasyland, and in our second hour we had done absolutely nothing! We eventually ended up at Pecos Bill Cafe for lunch. It is a counter service place and I thought that the food was pretty good! On average, we were able to feed our family of 6 at counter service places for around $36-$38. Matt and I each ordered a meal & drink for around $10-12 a piece, and then the kids split two kids’ meals for $5-6 a piece. I would then purchase two extra drinks for the kids and we were all set. Sometimes it wasn’t enough food to split among the kids, other times it was WAY more than enough. We always had extra food on our plates to share with them. If you consider that we ate breakfast in our room and packed our snacks, we spent roughly $80 a day to feed our family of 6 at Disney. Not too shabby.
After lunch we had a big surprise for the boys! Given that Eli and Brady are so into pirates these days, we knew that we had to take them to the Pirates League. This isn’t included in your park admission, but we splurged a little and took them to get their very own pirate makeovers. They each got a pirate name, their face painted like a pirate by a pirate, took a pirate oath, received swords, scarves, & medallions, and got to go into the secret treasure room. They both were quite stunned throughout the entire experience, a combination of being overwhelmed and exhausted.
Here they are getting their new pirate names…Nathaniel Sunbane and Jason Lockmonger. I brought their pirate shirts from home, rather than pay extra to buy one there.
Eli chose a pirate with a black eye and scar. The pirate lady doing his make up started off by holding her fist to him and saying, “Do you want your black eye the old fashioned way?” He promptly winced and started to cry, “No!!!” I nicely told her that she was dealing with a sensitive pirate…after that, she toned it down:)
Brady chose the Captain Hook look.
After their faces got painted, they had to take the Pirate Oath. Can you see that cute little smile underneath that beard and scarf?
The four of us got to go into the secret treasure room, but no cameras were allowed!
And here they are…my little pirates…Nathaniel and Jason. Can’t wait to show them this picture in 15 years!
While Matt, the boys, and I were having all of this fun doing boy stuff, the girls and the other 5 adults were over at Mickey’s Toon Town Fair. I thought a great use of time would be for the girls to wait in line to meet the princesses. I had read that this line can be up to an hour and a half, but they only waited 20 minutes! Allie had fallen asleep in her stroller, so Grandpa and Wes waited outside with her. Cara had Grandma Kathy, Grandma Sandy, and Gramma Lynn all to herself! I’m slightly devastated that I missed it all, but am so glad that we have the pictures and video! Mom said that the princesses each really took their time with Cara. Actually, every character we met spent a lot of time with the kids. We never, ever felt rushed. These pictures are so precious to me.
Once our group met up again, we rode Pirates of the Caribbean with our own two pirates, The Magic Carpets, and the Jungle Cruise.
At 3pm we watched the Share a Dream Come True Parade for the first time ever! Last trip we took a mid day break each day for the kids’ to nap. This year, we just kind of pushed through each day, which allowed us to see the parade! It was so worth it…the kids loved it and so did we! Allie got to see her beloved Pluto for the first time! Grandma Kathy had bought an adorable Pluto charm necklace for her, and she just proudly held that necklace up when she saw Pluto in the parade. I’ll never forget it!
I only have one picture for the whole rest of our day. Honestly, Brady didn’t feel all that great throughout the day. He was kind of reserved and had a few episodes of diarrhea after lunch. After changing him a few times, I was out of extra clothes! It was dinner time, we were all exhausted and he wasn’t feeling well. We had planned to stay through to the 8pm fireworks, but decided that we had all had enough.
We headed back to Pop Century to get dinner and get Brady settled in. After we ate dinner, I brought dinner up to Matt and Brady who were back in the room. Cara, Eli, and Allie got to be in the Pop Century Parade which takes place nightly in the main building. This resort plays the best music…all the best songs from the 50s-90s. For the parade, they carry a big radio playing a fun song and all the kids follow along banging on instruments. They walk all through the food court, store, and check in area.
That was the longest day recap ever! We definitely fit a lot into our first full day! Oh wait, there was more to Wednesday. After the kids settled in bed, I went and did laundry! I started to panic that we would run out of underwear for everyone:) A momma’s work never ends!
Tomorrow we would take on Epcot and have some more special visitors!