Monday, April 10th was our second full day at Disney World, and we were planning on spending it at the Magic Kingdom. The day was going to start early because we had an 8am reservation for breakfast at “Cinderella’s Royal Table” in Cinderella’s castle. Fortunately, we had come prepared for this early start by bringing our espresso maker from home.
We had learned from our attempt to park at Magic Kingdom the day before, which involved two transfers and one spousal fight to actually get into the Magic Kingdom, and this time we took the much faster, much more direct resort bus.
We made it with time to spare and actually got to see the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street without wall-to-wall crowds. Turns out there are stores and sidewalks and stuff.
Arriving early was also advantageous because we were able to purchase an “autograph book” and pen for McKenna to collect character signatures, a Disney necessity which we had forgotten. We atoned for our parental negligence by paying a 9,000% markup on these items at a Disney shop. Armed with an $8 pen and $20 memory book and pumped up on 6 shots of homemade espresso, we went into the restaurant.
The restaurant was perfect for people with short attention spans, like all of the small children there and many of their parents. Every few minutes, a princess would be announced and then start circulating through the room.
So instead of being trapped in that post-food ordering temporal anomaly that every parent knows, where in between ordering and the food’s arrival time ceases to move, McKenna’s food was there before she knew it.
The princesses even distracted the children as breakfast started to wind down with some kind of magic wand, wish-making ritual, giving me time to finish off McKenna’s unwanted bacon.
After breakfast, the park was still relatively empty.
And you know what you can never do too much in one day? Meet princesses. Especially when there’s a $20 autograph book that WAS GOING TO BE FILLED, by God.
There were still more princesses at “Enchanted Tales with Belle,” a show with audience participation involving kids acting out a quick-quick version of Beauty and the Beast and then meeting Belle.
Later, we ran into Blake and McKenzie, two of McKenna’s school friends that she has known since preschool. Unfortunately for McKenna, she was riding in the completely uncool stroller when we saw her friends, which was embarrassing enough for McKenna that she vaulted out of the stroller and immediately accused Laura of forcing her to ride in it.
The humiliation of being seen in a stroller at age 7 couldn’t have been that great, though, because McKenna jumped right back in when Blake and McKenzie rounded the corner.
It was around lunch time at this point, and, having failed to use our snack credits at the first sign of hunger during the first day in the park, we used some of our snacks on enormous ice cream treats and vente lattes.
While we were enjoying our massive snacks, the noon round of the Disney parade came by. This was the same parade, identically, that we had seen yesterday, but McKenna really wanted to see it again. Watching the same parade twice live seemed like overkill, but then I noticed people videoing the parade. Every. Single. Second. Holidays at that person’s house must be awesome: “Hey, how about we watch Mickey’s float again? This time, we can count the fist pumps he does to the hip-hop version of the ‘Mickey Mouse’ song!” On the plus side, Disney authorities will have plenty of Zapruder-like film if there is ever some kind of hit attempted on Mickey.
After the parade ended, we used our final Fastpass of the day to ride Space Mountain a second time. Unlike the parade, Space Mountain clearly involved some surprises for some passengers the second time around.
At Disney, once a visitor uses up the 3 original Fastpasses they can reserve a new Fastpass. That worked well for us on the first day, as we were able to grab Space Mountain in the evening. On this day, though, there were so many people in the park that we could only get…
The Magic Kingdom was extra full for Spring Break. At one point we stood in line with a lady who told us that she always comes down for Spring Break but had never seen the park as crowded. So if we have to suffer, it might as well be historically awful suffering. By 3pm, EVERY ride had a line.
We stalled a bit more by going out on Tom Sawyer Island.
While we were visiting all of the attractions that people only visit during peak crowds at Disney, we lost our stroller. We had parked it next to the “It’s a Small World” ride, which we intended to go on until we noticed that the wait was about an hour and a half. After a couple of hours, we returned to where we had parked the stroller but found no stroller.
While I recovered the stroller, Laura and McKenna went to redeem more snacks. Back on Main Street, they ran into a balloon vendor, and McKenna decided that she wanted a balloon. Laura agreed to get the balloon, but tried to talk McKenna into waiting so she wouldn’t have to deal with a balloon on a windy night. Nope. McKenna was sure whe wanted it immediately, but when we bought the balloon, she intantly regretted it, telling Laura, “I thought I knew what I doing.”
While Tom Sawyer Island and the Swiss Family Treehouse did provide some degree of entertainment on a very crowded day, we finally decided to bite the bullet and wait in line for a real ride. The Haunted Mansion was supposed to have a 70 minute wait.
The wait ended up being only about a half hour, and we were then able to use a Fastpass we had managed to grab for It’s a Small World.
We thought we had timed everything perfectly to go see the fireworks, which had been at 9pm the day before. We even scoped out the perfect place to see them… only to discover that the fireworks would be at 10.
Next up – our day off from the parks and the quest to find the perfect pool.