I woke up and started to get myself ready for the big day we had planned and much to my surprise my dad got up and got going in time to join us. I told him to go ahead and sleep in since he was up so late with my mom the night before, but I guess he didn’t want to miss the Magic Kingdom with the kids. We were all up and at ‘em almost on time and on our way for our 8 a.m. Crystal Palace ADR.
This is when we discovered the wonder of our proximity to the TTC. We thought “oh let’s just try it” and it worked out fabulously! There was a queue for the monorail, but no one seemed to realize the ferry was an option. We hopped right on and we were off. The best part about the ferry is that you can zip right on with strollers, wheelchairs, or ECVs without any issue. I will keep that in mind if I come to WDW with my mom and her scooter again. Also, keep in mind we are a family of boat people (Jamie has his captain’s license) so a few minutes on the water are always good in our books. Use the ferry!
Once we arrived, we checked in for our breakfast and only had to wait a few minutes before our little pager went off. The kids got to check out the castle while we waited on the big front porch so that was nice. Soon we were seated at a big round table and our server explained the deal to us. I had never been here before, but I get the general gist of character meals.
Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger all make appearances at the Crystal Palace. James dove right in and loved seeing, poking and hugging them; the girls needed a little time to warm up to the idea. Claire looked pretty freaked out when Tigger hopped over to her and wrapped his arms around her. Eeyore and Piglet were more her speed though and by the time they came around she was more relaxed. It was so much fun to watch them interact with their furry friends!
The food at Crystal Palace was pretty good as far as Disney buffets go. If you go make sure you try the puffed french toast in the kid’s section. Why this is in the kid section, hiding from the hungry adults I will never know. It is delicious. Otherwise, it’s pretty typical Disney breakfast buffet fare. I’d definitely come back to Crystal Palace though. Decent food, nice atmosphere, good character interaction, and a chance to get into the park before opening.
When I made the 8 a.m. ADR I thought the park opened at 9. I thought “this will be awesome; we’ll get in, eat, and get out before official rope drop. Whoops, the park opened at 8. Disney has been changing their operating hours like whoa lately so maybe it was 9 when I made the ADR, who knows. Anyway, while the crowds were heavier than I would have liked, it wasn’t HORRIBLE since we were still there pretty early. My family definitely said “so this is why you get up early when you’re here” multiple times.
We walked through the castle so the kids could check it out and I pointed out the mosaics since I think they are so awesome. Once we were into Fantasyland (always bang out Fantasyland first, kids) the first stop on our tour was to get Fast Passes for Peter Pan. Then, I figured we’d do Pooh since they had the interactive queue even if we did have to wait a little while. Pooh was a rousing hit with everyone! The kids had fun playing with all the stuff in the queue and they kept saying they wanted to ride it again.
As with most WDW attractions, we were dumped into a gift shop where, of course, the kids needed a stuffed animal. They were very cute picking out which ones they wanted. James grabbed hold of two different Mickey’s and was hugging them himself for dear life.
After Pooh we only had time to hit the carousel (which was found in Jersey!) before our appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbiti Boutique. The girls were both shy during their makeovers, but they loved the finished products. It is quite possibly the cutest operation in WDW. If you aren’t familiar the women who do the hair are called “fairy godmothers in training” and they face the little princess away from the mirror so they can have a big unveiling when the makeover is complete. The girls were called Princess Claire and Princess Sophie the entire time too. Sophie holding the little face guard they give the kids when they spray hair spray up against her little nose was pretty priceless.
After the makeovers, guests can head over to Castle Couture to get the kids’ pictures taken. Well now they were more comfortable and got more into things. And of course James had to get in on the action too! My God those kids are cute.
After all the excitement of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, the fam learned the wonder of Fast Pass when we redeemed ours for Peter Pan and left the standby queue in the dust. I rode with Kim and Sophie who was loves her some Tinkerbell. I made sure she saw her, but I’m pretty sure she was more exited to see the mermaid who looks like Ariel. Go figure. Jamie said Claire wasn’t so sure of Peter Pan cause it was was a little dark. Man, these kids are wusses.
Mickey’s Philharmagic was next on the tour. We had gotten a “bonus Fast Pass” when we got our FPs for Peter Pan, but the line for the Fast Pass return was longer than the standby line when we approached the entrance. It was busier than I’ve ever seen it! We made it into the next show without any issue, but it seemed like every seat was taken. Sophie sat on my lap since she couldn’t see over the people in front of her. I’m not sure she was all that impressed with my singing along with the show, but otherwise she seemed to like it. Claire needed to be convinced to put her glasses on so she wouldn’t mess up her freshly done Bibbidi Bobbiti do.
We decided it was a time for a break after Philharmagic so we we all headed back to the Polynesian. My head then went to the hospital since we were pretty sure my mom would be released that afternoon. I hung out with the kids and Jamie and Kim back at the Poly. While we were putzing around in the rooms I was playing with Sophie when she asked “where’s Grammie anyway?” Crap. How does an aunt answer that question?
We attempted to have lunch at Captain Cook’s well the kids all freaked out. Claire melted down because she couldn’t go swimming right that very minutes. James melted down because he was exhausted. And Sophie melted down because everyone else was. We divided and conquered and we were in much better shape a few minutes later. I got Claire who instantly chilled out when she saw a duck, Sophie went back to the room to cry it out, and James went for a walk in the stroller and passed out. Did I mention this was the first time I’ve ever traveled with little kids?
After things calmed down and everyone got a bite to eat we went back to MK. The big goal was to see the parade so the kids could see as many characters as possible. We lucked out and snagged last minute spots right in front of the train station without any problems. I don’t think I had ever actually seen the day-time parade. It’s kinda lame huh? At least they got to see a bunch of characters and everyone was happy.
Since we were right there we opted to take a spin around the park on the train. It was a nice, relaxing ride and everyone could see a bunch of the park. James and Jamie stayed behind since the little guy was passed out in his stroller, but the girls and I had a good time. We also sat next to the cutest old couple every for the ride. I want to be like them when I grow up.
Sophie’s one wish for the trip was to see Tinkerbell. So Aunt Kristen sucked it up and got in the line at Tinkbell’s Nook with a posted 45 minute wait time. There was no way around it. We were going in. The wait honestly didn’t seem that bad. I didn’t time it, but it felt like less that 45 minutes. They at least have a TV playing fairy stuff to keep the kids occupied. We also chatted with other folks in the queue a bit which always helps the time go by faster.
Once inside we got to meet Terrance (I had no idea there was a boy fairy) and Tink. They were both very sweet and really talked to the kids and took tons of pictures. They played their roles excellently and I thought it was totally worth the wait. Claire picked up some shiny confetti during the parade and wanted to give it to Tink. She graciously accepted it and brought it over to her table with other knick-knacks and showed some of them to the girls. It was freaking adorable.
After we fulfilled the Tinkerbell quota they wanted to check out one of the other classic attractions. Everyone wanted to see it’s a small world. The line wasn’t terrible, but it was longer than I had seen it in a while. We just got in it since there weren’t a whole lot of other options. While we were standing in line I saw a girl in the switch backs who looked familiar. She was looking at me too, but I didn’t really want to say anything in case I was just imagining things. Nope, I was right she was one of my friends from college’s BBF. How funny! I had a small world moment int he queue to small world.
Everyone liked the ride and Claire kept asking Kim to take pictures of the different dolls. Don’t worry kids, she had the flash turned off. When we came out of the attraction it was raining. It wasn’t too bad so we decided we’d go back to the Pooh store to get something one of the kids wanted and then we’d go back to the resort. We got to the store just in time for a big gust of wind to blow through before the skies opened up. Everyone and their mother was trying to hide in the shop so we couldn’t move, except the kids managed to weasel their way into the toys they wanted.
Items were purchased and then we waited out the worst of the weather with everyone else. When it lightened up a little bit we decided to make a run for the main gain. It has rained so hard that several of the sidewalks had flash flooded. As a result we wound up walking all the way up and around through Tomorrowland to get back to Main Street. This was the only time we even set foot in Tomorrowland, so at least they got to see it. We had a “look, kids, Big Ben, Parliament!” moment for sure.
The lines for the monorail were insane so we were all about the ferry. We tried to take one of the little guys back to the Poly, but they weren’t running with the lightening flashing. No worries, just get on the big one instead. That was packed too, but we hopped right on without waiting like we would have for the monorail. We made it back to the room and Mom and Dad were there waiting for us. It was such a relief to see my mom back at Disney!
We all took it easy that night between the weather and everyone’s exhaustion level. We just did dinner all together at Captain Cooks and relaxed a bit. My dad wanted to buy everyone ice cream cause that’s what grandpas do. The only have Dole Whips and Mickey bars and such at Capt. Cooks so the girls got Mickey ice cream sandwiches and everyone else got Mickey Premium Bars. I’m pretty sure I’ll always remember James and his first Mickey bar.
Before turning in for the night we discussed the schedule for the next day at Epcot. And then everyone collapsed in a heap. On the way back to the room my mom was back to her old self. The ground was wet from the rain and she was scooting along in her ECV when she proclaimed “I’ve got it on high speed now; I might hydroplane!” That, ladies and gents, is my mommy.
Stay tuned for the third day of shenanigans!