May 29, 2006

Walt Disney World Day Three

Learning our lesson from the day before we got up early and headed to the park first thing for Magic hours opening this time at the Animal Kingdom. While Animal Kingdom has a lot there we decided there were only a few things we really wanted to spend time at because we planned to spend most of our time at Magic Kingdom given the ages of our kids. Serona had one ride he really wanted to do that only he would do and that was the new Everest ride at Animal Kingdom so we headed right there and dropped him off without a need for a fast pass, he rode that once twice in a row while the kids and I headed over and secured fast passes for the Safari ride we wanted to take and then ate breakfast. We walked through one of the zoo like areas while we waited for him to rejoin us for the safari. He loved Everest but it was wise that it was just him who went on it as you go backwards down some substantial drops in the dark and it would have been too much for Rhia.

We met back at the safari and that ride was outstanding! We saw giraffe's, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, lions and elephants up rather close. Our kids had never seen elephants before so that was a real treat and one of my favorite animals is the giraffe. I would say if you love animals or have never seen these animals this is a not miss ride, everyone in our party loved it. Our plan was then to head to the Lion King show but we ran out of time because we had a lunch scheduled at the castle in Magic Kingdom. I would have really liked to have seen this show but there is always another time and we never did make it back to Animal Kingdom.

We headed to Magic Kingdom and changed Rhiannon into her Cinderella costume for lunch at Cinderella's castle with several of the princesses. It was good we left Animal Kingdom when we did as we just made it on time for lunch. The castle is beautiful and it was fun to look at all the architecture and paintings and decorations. You begin your lunch with a line to see Cinderella but it is a short line and in air conditioning. She takes time and poses for pictures (two of which are included with your meal beautiful 8 by 10's that also include 8 by 10's of the castle), signed our hats and talked with the kids awhile. Then you head upstairs for lunch. Everything is set beautifully and makes you feel like you are dining high brow. Again we had to see the chef and talk menu options and he was very accommodating and even found some soy meat and tofu to add to our dish which was a treat as our bodies were craving some protein from anything but cheese. The castle presents each boy with a sword and each girl with a fairy wand and each child with a wishing star. They do a little presentation with the wishing stars and of course the princesses walk all through the meal.

My only complaint about this meal is that they cluster the characters so you see none for awhile and then all of a sudden they are ALL there and they whip through your tables quickly and then you are done with the characters. It is easy for your table to be overlooked and I had to call out to two of the characters so they did not miss our table. The character selection is great and they are good with the children. We met with Aurora, Snow White, Belle, and the Fairy Godmother. Belle spent the most time with us and was VERY good with the kids, really taking her time and showing genuine interest in them. This was good for us since Belle is Rhiannon's favorite. Snow White is Sirah's and she did pay some extra attention to her, sometimes I think the characters just must be able to read kids and know when they are a child's favorite. We took our time at the castle lunch and enjoyed ourselves.

We headed immediately to redeem the fast pass for Buzz Lightyear we got upon entry into the park (as usual) after so much for everyone else Ciaran needed a little something for himself. As we exited the ride we saw Buzz standing there and we stood on line and got some great pictures with him. Again he was very good with the kids and played with each of them individually and we did individual pictures with him. I really prefer the individual pictures to the family pictures as you have a much better chance of everyone smiling and getting good pictures. We went into the carousel of Progress which our kids actually really seemed to enjoy (Rhia even asked to go on again) and then headed over for the tea cups in Fantasyland. I even braved them with Sirah as the others wanted to spin fast and Sirah was content to spin very slowly with me. We rode a few more rides together then split up for Space Mountain/Buzz Lightyear and rejoined together for the Storytime with Belle show. We had an insiders tip (thanks Jen) on where to sit to be chosen to join Belle on stage (on the bench with the flowers on the ramp up towards the stage) and sure enough all three of our children joined Belle on stage (Ciaran was Papa, Rhiannon Mrs Potts and Sirah was Chip) I got some great photos and a few short video clips and they were all smiles for awhile after that. Ciaran even had lipstick on his cheek from Belle giving him a kiss and a silly boy grin when he realized that. He asked me later if the kiss was still there.

Another tea cup ride and then a split up so Serona and Ciaran could do the race cars and Rhia, Sirah and I headed into Toon Town. We went to Donald's boat which was perfect for the hot day - the kids got soaked and cooled off. Serona joined us with Ciaran who then took a turn in the water. After everyone was dried off Serona took the older two on the Goofy roller coaster and Sirah and I went to Minnie's house and Mickey's house and then stood on a LONG line to see Pluto (the one character she really wanted to meet)Serona and the kids rode the Barnstormer, took a snack and bathroom break and rode Snow White. Thankfully the line for Pluto was in air conditioning and Sirah took an hour nap while we waited and then she got to see Daisy and Minnie as well. We all met back at the carousel again, then headed over to Peter Pan and then Alladin's carpets. We ate dinner at Pinnochio and watched It's a Small World while we ate. We met a few more characters and rode a few more rides and then headed home after a long day with no naps and two parks.

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