Daily Archives: June 16, 2012

Wishes Come True at Magic Kingdom!

A Magical afternoon at Magic Kingdom

We had a little bit of time to kill before lunch, so we decided to hang out around the main train station near the park entrance. If you go up the stairs at the station and head out to the patio facing Main Street, you can get some of the best views (and pictures!) of Main Street. Being up above the crowds gives you a nice panoramic vista of the Main Street U.S.A. section of Magic Kingdom.

Main Street USA & Cinderella Castle

A Great view of Main Street from the train station

After our delicious lunch at Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh & friends, we were off to enjoy the rest of our day at The Magic Kingdom. We like to spend our first day, and our last day at Magic Kingdom because it just feels right!

We headed over to Adventureland to ride another of our favorites, Pirates of the Caribbean. Even at the peak of the day (mid-afternoon) the wait was short, and we always enjoy it. Although we were tempted to ride The Magic Carpets of Aladdin we decided to skip it and head over to Liberty Square and Haunted Mansion instead.

Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Magic Carpets of Aladdin

We never get tired of Haunted Mansion– it’s always a treat and never gets old. I think we ride it every day we go to Magic Kingdom. We hit a few more of our favorites on the way back to Main Street. At around 4:30, we decided to head back to the condo for a few hours before coming back for the evening fireworks. We did a little shopping at the Emporium on the way out.

Wishes Fireworks at Cinderella Castle

Wishes Fireworks show at Cinderella Castle

We probably stayed at the condo a little longer than we should have. We got caught in some traffic on the way back and didn’t get to do everything we wanted to do. We took the train around from the entrance back to Frontierland and had time to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain one more time. We rushed back to stake out our spot near the bakery on Main Street for the Wishes fireworks show.

The show was great (as usual), but they changed it a bit. Usually Tinkerbell flies down near the beginning of the show, but this time she (apparently) flew in during the projection show that directly precedes the fireworks. We missed her because we were still on our way back from Frontierland.

Still, the show was great (as always) and we headed to the bakery for our traditional ‘dinner’ of cinnamon rolls at the end of our day. What a great first full day of our trip!

Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom

You can’t miss the cinnamon rolls (and other yummy desserts) at Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom

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Disney Dining at Crystal Palace

Character Dining with Winnie the Pooh!

Crystal Palace restaurant at Magic Kingdom

Dine at Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh & Friends!

A trip to Disney or a day at Magic Kingdom is not complete without a trip to our favorite restaurant at Walt Disney World – a character dining experience with Winnie the Pooh and friends at the Crystal Palace!

We go to Crystal Palace on pretty much every Disney trip. Usually we save some money by eating a late lunch which is quite a bit cheaper than dinner. Even at that, our late-lunch (2:15 reservation) for five ended up being over $160 including tip.

While definitely not cheap, the food is delicious, the service great, and nothing beats lunch with Winnie the Pooh (and Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore too!)

Winnie the Pooh character diningThe Crystal Palace, located just off Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom is a beautiful restaurant inside and out. The architecture is gorgeous and the large atrium at the center of the restaurant is stunning… and don’t forget the all-you-can-eat buffet!

The lunch menu features chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese for the kids, but sadly Crystal Palace dropped pizza from the menu. The menu includes ham and flank steak sliced to order, ratattouilli, and assorted pastas and salads. The dessert bar is huge and includes various cobblers, pies, cakes, and other assorted baked goods, as well as a self-serve ice cream sundae bar! Yum!

Winnie the Pooh and friends circulate through the restaurant regularly, and you’re sure to get at least one visit from each during your stay. Be sure you’re at your table when the characters get close because you won’t want to miss meeting them! They’ll be happy to pose with you for pictures, and are you to offer a high-five, fist-bump, or a hug to the kids. Kids young and old will really enjoy this experience, and their trip to the Crystal Palace!

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Visiting Magic Kingdom

A Magic morning at Magic Kingdom

The first full day of our vacation was (of course) a visit to the Magic Kingdom! It’s our favorite park and we usually visit it the first day and the last day of our Disney vacations, plus a day in the middle for the longer trips!

Entrance to Magic Kingdom - Let the Memories Begin!

Let the Memories Begin!

This time we visited on Saturday. Having a light day when we flew in, we were refreshed and made it to the park earlier than we ever have. The park opened at 9:00 a.m. and we were parked and waiting for the monorail by 8:15! We were so early that we didn’t even need to take the tram from the parking lot. We were right there- Aladdin 38!

We tried a new strategy this year. We went straight to the main train station and took the train around to Frontierland to ride Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! We got there in about the same amount of time as if we walked, but since we knew we’d be doing plenty of walking throughout the day, we figured we’d save our energy!

Barnstormer - Storybook Circus

Barnstormer featuring “The Great Goofini”

We rode both Splash Mountain (first) and Big Thunder Mountain with no wait. Then we took the Walt Disney World Railroad around the park to Storybook Circus in the NEW Fantasyland to ride “Barnstormer”! This the same ride that was formerly known as “Goofy’s Barnstormer” in the old Toontown at Magic Kingdom. It has been reworked to fit into the circus theme at Storybook Circus. The ride is lots of fun for both kids and adults, and not too crazy.

After a quick spin on the Barnstormer, we took a ‘hidden’ back sidewalk shortcut over to Tomorrowland for our favorites there- Buzz Lightyear and Space Mountain. This is much quicker than going out through Tomorrowland and heading over that way. Just follow the sidewalk between the tracks at the Fantasyland station and the Barnstormer.

Shortcut to Tomorrowland

Take the shortcut from Storybook Circus to Tomorrowland

Maximum score on Buzz Lightyear!

Since Space Mountain already had a 30 minute wait at this point, we decided to grab a FASTPASS and ride Buzz Lightyear (which only had a 10 minute wait) first. For the first time ever, three of us maxed out our scores! 999,999! It was pretty fun, and we were excited to score so well.

Buzz Lightyear - maximum scoreAfter we were done on Buzz Lightyear, we rode Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA) and checked out Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. This is the ride created for the World’s Fair… “…it’s a great big beautiful tomorrow…” Lots of fun.

By this time, we were ready to use our FASTPASSes for Space Mountain. We’ve packed a lot of fun into the day, and it’s not even noon!

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Day 1: Arriving at Floridays

Floridays Orlando 2-bedroom condo

The living room of our 2-bedroom unit at Floridays

Today was a great day. The flight (Delta) Left and arrived on time. With no checked bags, we were out of Orlando pretty quick. Met a nice grandma on the plane. She was pretty excited to be treating her granddaughters to a Disney vacation.

She bought the Park Hopper option, and said the girls were pretty excited about going to the Disney water parks- especially Blizzard Beach. I had to break the bad news that the Park Hopper option does not get you into the water parks. You need the Water Park Fun and more option for that. Too bad she didn’t buy my book, Discover the Magic: The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Walt Disney World. That would have saved her some heartache- and some money.

Floridays resort

View from our Balcony

When we arrived at Floridays, we decided to see about upgrading to a three bedroom unit. Since we booked through Expedia, we had to call them. Bad idea! Expedia is great for price, but horrible for customer service. After sitting on hold for 20 minutes we decided it wasn’t worth it. Their phone customer service has always been horrible. If you book with them, just pray you never have to call them!

You lose Expedia! Could have made some extra money!

Once we settled in, we ordered room service. Pretty good,and the food even arrived hot! Next, we went to Publix. What a great grocery store! Great service too. Spent the evening swimming and relaxing to get ready for our big day at Magic Kingdom tomorrow! 🙂

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