From Buzz to Elena, and Belle to the Seven Dwarves, this day was perfect!
Staying on Disney Property gave us early entry, which we made use of each day. I had a strategy for the parks which included going straight to the most popular rides so that we made sure to get to ride that. (This is also the strategy of every other Disney Resort guest, so walking toward these rides is like being in a herd of cattle!) Later in the day the lines for those rides can exceed 90 minutes so we wanted to eliminate that as much as possible.
Even the walk into the park built our anticipation. Cast members were on the sides of the streets waving to all of us as we made our way toward the castle, which has a new look for its 50th Birthday.
At Magic Kingdom we headed straight for Space Mountain, not sure how Anna would enjoy it. Carson has never been a fan of rollercoasters but he has grown into enjoying them.
Waiting in line! We spent every morning together as a family, then the two teens branched off on their own and the rest of us hung together.
Here’s Anna about to board her first rollercoaster.
Anna was very excited to meet Buzz Lightyear. He was on stage and she ran up to him just in time to see him ending his time with the kids. Bailey caught up to us and I yelled, “One more picture, Buzz?!?” and he turned around and waved!!
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Dumbo is a classic ride that I really wanted Parker and Anna to ride. I was pregnant with Parker the last time we were there and he rode it but doesn’t really remember it! I am sure it was underwhelming for my 11-year-old son but he can now say he’s done it!
Anna noticed that the sidewalks outside the Dumbo ride had peanuts embedded in the ground. (She later noticed that there were sea-shells embedded in the ground around the Under the Sea ride. I love that Disney-level appreciation to detail.)
This was the first time we have used Magic Bands. They worked out beautifully! The kids were able to get their own lunches from whatever restaurants they wanted without me having to be there. I am pleased (and not a little shocked) to report that no one lost a Magic Band the entire week!
Memory Maker Photo Pass
With Christmas money from my parents I splurged on the photo pass! I loved it! We had photographers take our pictures as often as we could (without waiting in any really long lines) and I love that the cameras on rides automatically (for the most part) snatched pictures of my kids, even when I wasn’t with them.
Big Thunder Mountain
The bigs were off on their own for lunch while we did a few more things with Parker and Anna. However, Parker really wanted to ride Big Thunder Mountain with Carson and Bailey. So, we gave him general directions and sent him on his way. He caught up to them and they rode that together. After the Princess Processional (below) we also rode Big Thunder Mountain. Anna is such a champ!
The Royal Princess Processional
As we made our way to Big Thunder Mountain we were pleasantly surprised by this mini-parade. This was a moment to remember for us. It was “the” moment she saw the princesses and was first dusted with Pixie Dust… I am so glad I was videoing her instead of the parade!
Something surprising to me was just who made Anna feel the most enchantment. I would have thought Belle, as she and I love Belle and the Beast. But she was absolutely enamored by Elena!! (And on another day, by Vamperina, a show she really doesn’t even watch!)
Oddly enough, this was the ride I was the most anxious about. I hate the drops on all roller coasters and for some reason this one looked massive. I had to practice some deep breathing on the ride. Anna hung in there like a champ and impressed us all over again with her bravery!
The following video is while we were still on the ride. (Side note: I am looking forward to Disney re-theming this ride. If you don’t agree with me, just keep that to yourself. I’m not about “canceling” history, and that’s not what re-theming the ride will do. It will just put an end to the glorification of a part of our past that is abhorrent and will be a step toward recognizing that some of the things we have depicted in films have done a grave injustice to an entire people. Read a bit about the re-theming of this ride here.)
Be Our Guest
I booked this dinner reservation as early as I possibly could. Then I read a few reviews that said it wasn’t really worth the price (which is a high). I almost cancelled out of a desire to be responsible but then decided that it was the one experience on this trip that was for me. Not for my kids. For me. I wanted to experience it with Anna, as I finally have a little girl to do these things with. (Carson and Bailey had finished everything in this park that they wanted to do and didn’t want to wait around for the dinner reservation so they headed back to the hotel. I didn’t have my feelings hurt at all. I promised that I would let them know what I really wanted them to do with us. My dream come true was to eat in this castle with my prince and with Parker and Anna. I think Parker would have been just as happy to head to the hotel but at this point in the day he was with us and I really thought it would be a good memory for him. He was such a good sport, even when he wasn’t thrilled with the first lobster bisque.)
My only disappointment was that, though I had booked our table in the ballroom, they seated us in the Rose Gallery. Looking back I wish I had said something and waited for a table in the ballroom, but the way they called our name and walked us around the castle, I didn’t know where they were seating us until we were in the Rose Gallery and they were putting us at the table. By then I didn’t want to make a scene… but now I kind of wish I had told them my preferences. Anyway, we don’t have great photos from the evening but it was magical and will be a great memory I’ll treasure! (I really did my best to be in the moment as much as possible, which I knew even then would cost me some great photo opportunities.)
The first course was Lobster Bisque for Matt, Parker, and myself, and Anna had a fruit and cheese platter.
I didn’t take photos of our actual meal but Anna got Mac and cheese and the rest of us got filet mignon. For dessert Anna got a white chocolate “Chip” which she got to paint before eating. The rest of us got a dessert trio which included the gray stuff. It’s delicious!
Our dinner reservations were for 4:10, which was the best I could get. I tried to get a more traditional dinner hour but those reservations booked up within minutes. In the end, I was very thankful for the time of our reservations! We were hungry enough to eat, but done with our meal early enough to get to our room at a decent hour. In fact, we planned to go straight to the room but we saw the Seven Dwarves ride and knew that Parker and Matt wouldn’t be back to ride that any other time, so we decided to brave the hour-long wait.
IT WAS SO WORTH IT! It may have been my favorite ride of all!
Check out our faces on this ride! I really do hate Carson and Bailey didn’t get a chance to ride this!
And then it was time to go to our room. Part of the Memory Maker Photo Pass included a few professional shots, so here are two beautiful ones.
Leaving Magic Kingdom was easier because I knew that Anna and I would be back on Day 5 to hit some of the rides we didn’t want to force the bigs to ride. There is just no way to do it all in one day!
We got back to the room and the bigs were excited to hear all about the second half of Anna’s day!
Originally posted on 12-18-21 but backdating to 12-1-21.