Monday, April 28, 2014

Our Epic Florida Trip: Day 13- Magic Kingdom

On our first full day of vacation with my parents we decided to go big and start with the Magic Kingdom itself!  And let me just say that place was CRAZY!!!
I think it could best be summed up for us like this:  It was unbelievably crowded and it was hot, but the kids had a great time, my parents and I had a good time because the kids loved it so much, and it was pretty much Joe's worst nightmare (though he really did try)!
We thought we were getting there at a decent time in the morning (right around when it opened) except what we didn't know is that it would take us nearly an hour from when we parked in the lot to when we walked through the entrance gates.  There was a tram car, then the ticket counter, then the monorail, then the ticket collector, and the bag check and then finally we walked through the entrance...seriously almost an hour!

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We got our classic Disney photo shortly after entering the park...and you can sort of tell we already look a little disheveled (good thing Bubba was in line at Starbucks while we were taking this photo)!  We then made a classic mistake and separated from my mom while she got our Fast Passes for the day.  Honestly, as we waited in line for "It's a Small World" I wondered if we would ever see my mother again!  Thank goodness she found her way back to us and was waiting for us at the end of the ride!:)  Liam got a little nap in with Joe will we rode a few rides (The Little Mermaid ride that morning was Lily's favorite).  And all of us (except Bubba) got to ride the teacups...

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Magic Kingdom28 (1 of 1)  Those things can really spin!
And then we had lunch and got a break from standing in lines.  Oh my, the was crazy...a few of them weren't too bad, but many of them had wait times over a hour!
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Eli waiting in one of the many lines!:) We were so thankful for our Fast Passes- especially for this ride...

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My mom took these pictures of the pictures that the ride took of them shooting the aliens on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin!  I kid you not when I tell you that Eli actually shot more aliens on this ride than I did (but in my defense I was holding Liam)!  And I just can't get over my mom's face in the picture!!

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And then Eli insisted on meeting Buzz Lightyear! Buzz ended up being the only character we waited in line to see the whole vacation...and for Eli it was worth it! Meanwhile Joe was changing the baby's diaper and Lily and Bubba got trapped on some ride that stopped working so I think that mom, Eli, and I got the better end 
of the deal on this one!
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Then we battled some serious crowds, saw the Monster Comedy Show, and visited a few more attractions. With the baby due for a nap everybody else headed off for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride while Liam and I managed to find a little secluded spot in the shade where there weren't too many people.  It took a little work, but pretty soon...

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I was so happy that he finally fell asleep (and that I could sit down in the shade and rest too)! Magic Kingdom27 (1 of 1) 
Considering how crowded and hot it was this little spot (right near the back of the ride)was quite the find. Except that what I didn't know is that the Magic Kingdom has a pirate themed treasure hunt of sorts that had guests searching for clues. It just so happened that we parked ourselves near two of those clues. See those skulls in this picture? Every time somebody came in search of a clue those skulls would come alive and start talking! That was annoying, but not too bad. What was awful was that right across from us was another was some sort of carving and when people waved something in front of it it sort of came alive and made an awful sound like a loud air compressor being shot. It made the baby jump every time (but mostly stay asleep thankfully). There was really nowhere else I could see that was in the shade or not surrounded with people so we stayed put, but every time I saw somebody approaching I felt like offering to pay them money to skip those clues!:)
The family was in line for the Pirates of the Caribbean for a little over an hour (crazy, I tell you)! It was Eli's favorite ride, but I think it was sort of the last straw for Joe and Bubba!  Joe had been trying really hard all day to have a good attitude and have fun, but crowds, heat, and long lines are just about Joe's least favorite things.  Poor guy.  He was hanging in there until this ride.  Then we all needed a little blood sugar boost so we stopped for a snack.  While we were eating we could see Goofy and Donald Duck dancing around by Cinderella's Castle and Bubba decided to take Lily and Eli down to check it out.  Well, that ended up being very cool.  Turns out it was a whole show being put on with all of the major Disney characters including Micky and Minnie AND all of the Disney princesses.

Magic Kingdom9 (1 of 1)  It might look far from here, but it was actually decently close. Magic Kingdom10 (1 of 1) Magic Kingdom12 (1 of 1) Lily and Eli were totally engrossed in the show and it actually ended up being one of the best parts of the day (and one that we didn't even plan)! Magic Kingdom13 (1 of 1) Magic Kingdom14 (1 of 1) 
It was pretty great to see all of the characters so close (without even having to stand in a single line)! And that gave us enough energy to agree to one last ride...The Flying Dumbos! Magic Kingdom15 (1 of 1) The cool thing about this ride is that the area you wait in actually has a whole play place with slides and other things for the kids to climb on (they should do this for ALL of the rides)! Magic Kingdom16 (1 of 1) Even Liam got to ride Dumbo! Magic Kingdom17 (1 of 1) Magic Kingdom18 (1 of 1) Magic Kingdom19 (1 of 1) And then we loaded up and headed out (which might have been Joe's favorite part of the day)... Magic Kingdom21 (1 of 1) Magic Kingdom20 (1 of 1)
And then we tried to leave the Magic Kingdom...but apparently it's as hard to leave as it is to get in!:)  We tried to ride the monorail back to our car, but apparently the monorail doesn't operate during any of the afternoon/early evening hours (we were trying to leave at about 6:30p.m.).  So after going back and forth a few times we finally got in a massive line to ride the water ferry back to our car.  Honestly this is where I thought we might ALL loose it.  The line was SO long and I imagined that we were going to be there for well over an hour...but we didn't have any other choice.  But amazingly a few minutes later the next ferry came and much to our amazement we made it on that ferry (they hold an incredible amount of people)...we were so happy!
And that, in brief, was our day at Magic Kingdom!  Joe will in fact tell you that it is not the happiest place on earth, but all things considered it was a pretty good day!  The kids were AMAZING...seriously amazing!  Lily and Eli waited patiently in every single line without fussing or complaining or fighting (truly they fight more over which chair they will sit in at dinner when they are home)!  And Liam was incredible...barely a fuss out of that sweet baby all day long.  I couldn't have been happier with them.  And while the crowds and heat may have gotten to the adults a bit the kids really had a wonderful time and that was the most important thing!

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