Disney Vacation 2014 – Monday: Magic Kingdom

Keep Moving ForwardMonday was Magic Kingdom day. For some of the family, it was the first Disney park experience ever. We wanted to get to the park right at the open so we could see and do everything we wanted to see and do. We did pretty good about getting out on time, although not quite right as the gates opened.

We hit the classics like “It’s A Small World” and the New Fantasy Land right away. We got in and through several rides before the lines started growing. It was pretty nice to run through so many rides without too much waiting.

We worked our way around to the Pirates of the Caribbean to find that it was just closed moments before for maintenance. So, we went to the Tiki Room instead.

Tate hugging PoohIt was time for lunch, so we headed out to the Crystal Palace to meet up with the rest of the clan and see Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and the other characters from the 100-Acre Woods. We ate lots of food and met and got signatures from several characters. The kids loved it.

After lunch, we headed over to Tomorrowland to try to find some shade and perhaps a quiet spot for Jasper to take a nap. We saw Stitch’s Great Escape and Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor. We tried finding that quiet time on the People Mover, but Jasper wasn’t interested in taking a nap. Next we did the Carousel of Progress, one of my favorites in Tomorrowland. I guess I’m nostalgic for a time well before I was born.

Giving up on the idea of quiet time, we started walking back over to Frontierland to go on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. We had made a FastPass through the “My Disney Experience” app (which also made several other FastPass reservations on our behalf, none of which we were interested in using) and we wanted to see if it had reopened. We “beeped” in using our Magic Bands and walked through the maze of the queuing area and waited less than 5 minutes to get on the boat.

Tate on the Polynesian beachWe’d had enough of the crowds, so we headed out of the park to find somewhere else to hang out and find an easy dinner. We got on the monorail (monorail!) and rode around to the Polynesian resort on the other side of the Seven Seas Lagoon. We wandered around the Polynesian resort, found some dinner, and made our way out onto the beach to sit for a couple hours while the sun set. The resort entertainment crew was roasting marshmallows and playing a movie on the beach and the weather was just right. It really was a perfect way to spend the evening.

But, we weren’t yet done for the day. We wanted to get back to the Magic Kingdom for the evening fireworks show before calling it a day and heading back to the Animal Kingdom Lodge and our beds. We hopped on a boat to cross the lagoon and wandered back into the park to find a place to watch the show. We found a spot on the bridge into Tomorrowland and found Joe, Deanne, Tina, and Birdie to watch with us.

Joe, Tina, and I snuck out just before the end of the show to ride Space Mountain. We walked right on. We met up afterward, caught up with our families and headed out to the buses to head to our home for the week.

It was a long bus ride (only about 20 minutes, but it seemed a lot longer). The A/C in the bus didn’t come on until the last 5 minutes of the ride, so it got really hot and stuffy with all the people on board. Jasper actually fell asleep in my lap. I can’t remember the last time he did something like that. We walked him up to the room, cleaned him up a bit, and got his pajamas on, all without him waking up.

Originally we had planned on going to the Animal Kingdom tomorrow, but the family decided that we would rather do Hollywood Studios instead. So, we’re heading over there tomorrow. I imagine that it won’t be quite as long a day as we had today…

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