The Magic

We got up early this morning to visit the Magic Kingdom. We wanted to be there right at opening, to take advantage of the The Unofficial Guide‘s touring plan. Getting up early was tough, but I have to say, it is worth it to be at the opening of Magic Kingdom.

We stood outside with a small crowd of people. We had gathered near one of the entry gates. A mother and son that we had met on the bus (they had on Detroit Tigers gear) were standing near us, and we chatted with them briefly. Guests who had early breakfast reservations at Crystal Palace or Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique reservations were let into the park through a special walkway.

Then, just before opening, the show began, above us on the train area. I was not expecting it at all. A group of cast members who introduced themselves as residents of Main Street U.S.A. began singing “Good Morning!” (from Singing in the Rain). They told us that Mickey and all his friends would be coming soon on the train to help open the park. They sang more, and the train whistled in the distance. Then, we saw Mickey, Pooh, princesses, and other characters coming around the bend in the train. It was so very cool. I nearly cried.

A family had been selected (as is tradition) to help Mickey open the park by sprinkling pixie dust on the crowd. They, and Mickey, threw sparkly glitter (with mousehead bits, of course) over all of us, and the cast members that were staffing the rope line tossed some, too.

DH and I had agreed that he would run/jog ahead to Tomorrowland with the rope line. I would take a slower pace (I was still a little hobbled by my blisters and sore feet.) to Tomorrowland. DH would go immediately onto Space Mountain, while I got us fastpasses for Buzz Lightyear (and potentially went on it myself while waiting on him). The plan worked without a hitch. DH was able to get onto Space Mountain in the second car (the mother and son that we stood near were in the first car). I zipped through Buzz Lightyear fast enough to do it three times before he returned. Our fastpasses were for the same time as our brunch reservations, so we saved them for later. The line was short, so we went through Buzz together once. Strangely, I was very successful on Buzz the first and second time, but the third and fourth time, I either got a faulty gun or was just off my game. Oh, and I had made friends with the cast member standing by the photos. He liked my Tanuki Mario sweatshirt.

Then, we went to Fantasyland. We rode the teacups together once (the Teacups were on my must-do list), and I rode it alone a second time, as my DH gets dizzy easily. I spun very fast. Zoom! We got through Winnie the Pooh, Small World, and Peter Pan’s Flight with minimal wait times. We ended up finishing just in time to rush over to Crystal Palace for brunch.

Crystal Palace was another item on my must-do list. It’s a buffet brunch that has character visits from the Winnie the Pooh gang. The food was plentiful and delicious. I particularly liked the Mickey waffles and Pooh’s Puffed Toast with honey. They also had really good sausage and bacon, as well as chocolate croissants that had a great balance of dark chocolate and buttery croissant. Our server kept the soda and coffee coming, and she even gave us to-go cups of soda as we finished. The characters all stopped by gradually. (It takes around 90 minutes for all of them to make it to your table.) There was a mini-parade, where all the kids waved their green napkins in the air and marched around behind the characters. It was very fun and totally worth the price. We took lots of pictures of all of us with the characters. Tigger gave me a kiss. Also, we learned that I am the same height as Piglet (who is much shorter than the other characters). That made me love Piglet a little.

I’ve been a Tigger gal since college, but after the breakfast, I loved all of them. It was like my stuffed animals had come to life. I’m telling you, I was reduced to the age of six, and it was wonderful. I nearly cried again, and I was so excited that I had trouble eating. I hugged Eeyore and told him, “Maybe it’ll be better tomorrow…but probably not.” 🙂 Then, we had to go. My Mom decided to head back to the room. Tom stayed with us to go to Adventureland. My Dad wanted to go back to Epcot and DHS. So, we divided up after brunch. We took Tom to Pirates of the Caribbean, which I had not seen since they Depp-ed it up. We also went to the Tiki room (at DH’s insistence). I think the Tiki room was probably better before Iago took over. We went to the Haunted Mansion, which was a little bit of a walk away. And, we did our fast-passed time for Buzz Lightyear, and DH did Space Mountain one more time.

We did the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Factory, which was a hoot. While you’re standing in line, you can text jokes to the show, along with your name and where you’re from. My texted joke made it into the show! The neat part of the show is that the show is with animated characters, but they interact with the audience (thanks to two behind-the-scenes cast members providing the voice and keying the characters’ actions).

Then, Tom wanted to do the Jungle Cruise, but I wasn’t interested in it. I wanted to do some shopping on Main Street. DH wanted to go on a few more rides (of a sort that didn’t interest me). So, we split up. But, DH and I decided that we wanted to try a Dole Whip, having heard so much about it in the podcasts. It is, in fact, delicious and refreshing. They do not do an orange-and-pineapple swirl (our request), but they swirled them together just for us. 🙂 We agreed to meet back in front of the castle, near the One Man’s Dream statue, at 4pm. DH and I were going to ride the boat ferry over to Ohana (at the Polynesian) for dinner.

In my alone time, I walked through the main street shops. I particularly wanted to try on the Mickey crocs. I hate how crocs look, but I bet they’re comfy, and my feet were aching. Sure enough, they felt great on my feet, but the sizing was all wrong. The smallest adult size was huge. The largest kid size was a bit cramped. This is a common problem for me in “one size” type shoes. I decided they weren’t worth it, but I did enjoy the opportunity to air my feet out. My socks were soaked from foot-sweat (another reason I’m returning those sneakers!), so I took them off and went barefoot in my sneakers. That helped a good bit, although I was still slow-moving. The problem is that, if my toes are cramped, my little toe’s fatty part tends to go under the other toes, such that I’m stepping on part of my toe as I walk. That’s no big deal for a short walk or one day of walking, but for the mileage I’d been doing this week, the whole toe had practically become one giant blister.

I ended up stuck watching the parade; I got trapped in the shops. After the parade, I took up a comfy spot near our meeting place and Kindled. I had finished Outliers: The Story of Success (Malcolm Gladwell), and I was rapidly becoming enthralled by Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (Mary Roach). It was so nice to sit in the sun, with my feet propped up on a bench, and read while occasionally people watching. I only had two people stop me while reading to ask about the Kindle, which is a lower-than-normal number for public reading, but it made the experience more pleasant.

Soon enough, DH joined me. We walked through some of the stores that I’d had to skip before (due to the parade), and DH wanted to try the crocs, too. (He didn’t like them.)

Then, we caught the ferry across to Polynesian. Our reservations were for 5pm, hence going with a brunch and snack during the day. Ohana is a Polynesian buffet, somewhat akin to the churrascaria concept. People come by with skewers of meat, and you get as much as you like, along with a host of sides. They start you off with Hawaiian bread and drinks. Then, they bring a salad with lime-ginger dressing (really good, but don’t stuff yourself!). Appetizers are wings and spring rolls. And then finally, the main course comes, along with sides of noodles. The steak is particularly tasty, but all of the items are good. The best part is that they have chimichurri sauce. I, in my typical fashion, doused EVERYTHING in chimichurri. We also got drinks. DH had a mai-tai and I had a drink called a backscratcher, which came with an actual backscratcher. It was fun, and I got some great pictures of the castle at night from across the lake. We sort of wanted to hang around for fireworks, but, if we did that, we wouldn’t get to see Yeeha Bob at Port Orleans (which was on DH’s must-do list). So, we left after dinner.

DH had to make a pit stop, and I, in a drunken haze, thought that, since we’d have to go downstairs to leave anyways, I’d just go downstairs and browse the shops while I waited for him. As I was slow-moving, I figured a head start would be a good thing. One problem: my cellphone coverage in the hotel was spotty, and DH had no way to know where I was. But, we found each other eventually.

But then, it turns out that to get to our hotel, our best option was the monorail…back up the stairs. My feet were killing me, so I suggested we just hop a bus to the first park that came up. DH protested, but I just couldn’t stand the idea of backtracking at this point. So, we waited on a bus. And, DH was right…it took forever. We caught a bus to DHS, and there, we had to walk all the way across the parking lot to catch the Port Orleans bus…so it bought us almost nothing in terms of saving walk time.

At the hotel, I put on flip flops and a sundress to head over to the show. Our plan was to stop and dip our feet in the jacuzzi for a bit, but it was over-crowded with folks who had the same idea.

Yehaa Bob was awesome. It was a great singalong evening. The place was very crowded, and we briefly shared a table with a woman who was there alone. Her friend had gotten sick before the trip. We tried to chat, but Yehaa Bob’s show is not really chat-friendly. It is loud and boisterous and interactive. My Mom and Tom joined us after a bit, and they seemed to have fun with it, too.

We have to pack up the room tonight. We’re moving out tomorrow morning. More tomorrow!

Relevant photo albums: Magic Kingdom

3 thoughts on “The Magic”

  1. So cool to hear your description of the Crystal Palace buffet. I was not a Pooh-a-phile, but I had a lot of fun and enjoyed seeing the excitement in your eyes. What occured to me in watching is that Pooh and Friends are a lot like Sex in the City, in that each of Pooh’s friends are an exaggerated trait with Pooh providing the balance. I also love our gallary picture with Tigger. Tigger likes to jut his head forward just before the picture is snapped, so it looks huge compared to everything else.

  2. During the “enlightened” 70s there was much ado about the “Tao of Pooh” and gang. You’d enjoy reading the book, I bet.

    I enjoyed getting a “sneak preview” of Yehaa Bob, as he played piano near Casey’s Place on Main Street before we met up for brunch. We enjoyed the brunch alot and are grateful that you included us in your reservation. I’m still anxious to see my Piglet pic. (I’ll check the gallery in a bit.)

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