Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas Vacation - Magic Kingdom

We hit the Magic Kingdom on Wednesday, December 28. This was a record setting day crowdwise in the Disney Parks - three of the four parks went into closures in the afternoon, the first time since New Year's Eve 1999/2000. Magic Kingdom was the first to reach closure status which meant that it was VERY crowded. To us though it didn't really seem any more crowded than Spring Break earlier in the year. Touring Plans recommends getting to a park at Rope Drop (8am), but we didn't have any problems getting into the park by being at the Ticket and Transportation Center by 8:30am. First up was what Wesley was looking forward to - riding the monorail!

The view from the monorail station ramp.

The Main Street tree and other holiday decor'.

Following our Touring Plan for Young Pirates and Adventurers, we rode Space Mountain first on rideshare and then went straight over to the Tomorrowland Speedway.

Next it was time to battle Zurg on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin.

We got to meet Buzz outside after the ride. Wesley made sure to show off his Buzz pin on his lanyard.
From there we walked onto the Carousel of Progress (one of Parker and Mommy's faves!) and then grabbed fast passes for Peter Pan and hit the line for It's a Small World. This wait was right at 30 minutes; we only had a few waits longer than 30 minutes with our plan (some people were waiting in lines later of over 2 hours).

Then it was time for the Haunted Mansion. We loved the new waiting line through the redone cemetery. It was very elaborate and interactive.

We caught part of the Holiday Parade and then grabbed lunch at Pecos Bill's Tavern. We even managed to run into a few of Mommy's church members. From there we rode the Walt Disney Railroad all around the perimeter of the park and saw a few glimpses of the construction on the expansion to Fantasyland. Here's a few views of the park entrance from the railroad.

Then we did something we've never done before - Tom Sawyer Island. The boys loved riding the raft over and RUNNING all around the island exploring. Wesley made us do the walk over the barrel bridge 3 times in a row.

A view of the Haunted Mansion from Tom Sawyer Island.

Our boys weren't interested in the roller coasters of Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain so we skipped those on the plan and threw in a couple of other things.....Hall of Presidents and Winnie the Pooh before catching our Peter Pan fastpass time. The Pirates of the Caribbean was next, followed by a walk through the Swiss Family Treehouse at night and then a ride on the Jungle Cruise (also another first for us!). The boys really liked the Jungle Cruise - our guide was hilarious and kept Parker laughing out loud the whole way.

We cut through the center of the park next to head over to Tomorrowland for dinner and a show at the Laugh Factory.

Then we grabbed some spots in front of the castle for the 9pm Main Street Electrical Parade. We ended up being asked to move and while the boys could see from their vantage point on our shoulders, Mommy and Daddy couldn't see anything.

It was back to Tomorrowland then for a ride on the People Mover, per Parker's request. Then we
were able to catch the 10pm fireworks show without a huge crowd of people around us.

We had snagged fastpasses for the Buzz Lightyear ride earlier during dinner so we surprised the boys with one more ride there. Then we headed down to Main Street and cruised through the stores to check out the cast member pins on the way out. We forgot that the Main Street Parade was playing again at 11pm and it started just as we walked out of the shops at the front of the park. We sort of stood off to the side behind the crowd - a cast member asked if she could give our boys a better vantage point to view the parade. She had some folks scoot over on the edge of the street and gave the boys front row spots. So they watched it again and the grownups actually got to see it this time. It was awesome!

Wesley decided he wants to grow up and be Captain Hook on this float at Disney World.

One of the dwarfs came right on up to say Hi!

Daddy's favorite Disney movie of all time - Pete's Dragon.

And the finale - a Tribute to America.

We left the park, rode the monorail, and caught a tram to the car. By the time we got in the car it was midnight! We had two very tired but very happy boys though and we were so glad for our perfect day of Disney Magic.

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