Friday, December 20, 2013

Disneyworld - Day 1 and Excitement Abounds

I'm not sure who's more excited....me or the kids!  To once again see the first-time excitement in little faces is a dream come true for me.  I have such fond and vivid memories of the first time my son visited Disneyworld at the age of 5 1/2.   For grins, we re-enacted that day in a photo:


Such a cute little 5 year old, now a tall, handsome 37 year old!

Waiting for the Monorail

The "getting into the park" portion of the morning seemed a little more tedious than I remembered, made much more so by the large crush of folks.  Many more visitors than 32 years ago, that's for sure!  Having the double stroller with us was a godsend, but added to the tedium of boarding the parking lot trams as well as the monorail cars.  But Jeremy muscled through it and we were finally at the gate to the park by 9:30 AM or so, after arriving at the parking lot at exactly 9:00 AM.  We found it faster to walk from the parking lot to the Monorail station than to wait in the huge crowd of folks waiting to get onto the next tram.


The square at the top of Main Street has changed significantly since we visited the park many years ago.  They've redeveloped the square in such a way to accommodate photo- and autograph-taking of select Disney characters as guests first enter the park.  It meant for large jams of folks and long lines waiting their turn.  Minnie Mouse and Pluto were the characters-of-the-moment so we stood in line to get Trevor's photo with Pluto. 

Then it was on toward the castle at the other end of Main Street. 


We spent much of this first day in Fantasyland, letting the kids ride the carousel, the Dumbo ride, It's A Small World, and a few more of the classics before the kids started to show their exhaustion.
 



We ate lunch at Pinocchio's - pizza - then, after doing the Peter Pan ride, decided to start heading back to the resort for some downtime.  We still had Mickey's party tonight and it would be a very long day for the kids - and the adults!

As we were leaving the park, Mimi's favorite AristoCat, Marie, was in the square, so we got a photo.   She was beyond excited!  Mimi had dressed up as Marie for Halloween and  was so excited to tell the real Marie this news!

We headed back to the resort to let Mimi take a nap, and to recharge before we headed back over to the park for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party that evening.  Jeremy and I made a quick run to the grocery store to buy some beer and a few toiletries and snacks while the rest of the family had some naps/quiet time.  We had pizza for a quick dinner then piled back in the car.

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The park was magically transformed!  Only those with special Mickey's Party passes were allowed in after 7 PM.  Main Street USA was beautiful!  And so was the Castle!  It shimmered in the dark, appearing to be draped in ice!  Gorgeous!



Christina was happy to stake her spot along the parade route and just people-watch while Trevor, Jeremy, Mimi, and I headed off to find the hot cocoa and cookies, and to do some of the rides that we knew would have long lines the next day.  We did the Jungle Cruise, Country Bear Jamboree - which Mimi absolutely adored - and Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride. 

With perfect timing, we found Christina on Main Street, where she had staked out the perfect viewing spot, and only had a few minutes to wait before the parade started.  Like magic, it began to "snow" on Main Street, adding totally to the wonder and beauty of this spectacle.

"Snowing" on Main Street USA
Waiting for the parade to start

The parade was spectacular!  Every Disney character represented, plenty of Christmas music...it was even scented!  Aromas wafted from the floats as they passed by:  Cinnamon, cocoa, bayberry, freshly baked cookies....

 
Mickey and Minnie
 
Pluto
 
Goofy

Santa

The parade over, it was time to move down Main Street toward the Castle, where the light show and fireworks would begin in just a few minutes...





The light-show set to music was unbelievably gorgeous!  It played against the castle backdrop and covered a variety of Disney story lines and characters.  Then the fireworks show began and wowed all of us!  At one point, Tinkerbell came flying out of the castle and passed overhead.  The effect was magical!

We stayed at the park for a while, letting the crowds thin out and to avoid the crush for the monorail and parking trams, and headed back to Adventureland to ride The Pirates of the Caribbean.  Mimi balked at heading into the cave-like entrance, so she and Christina waited outside while Jeremy, Trevor, and I embarked on the debauchery and villainy with the pirates.  Trevor loved it!

By the time we left the park it was close to 10:30 PM and we had two very tired kids on our hands. Trevor immediately fell asleep in his car seat.  Mimi chattered like a little magpie all the way back to the resort.  She was clearly beyond tired and had moved into the delirium of exhaustion.

Tomorrow would be another long day at Disneyland and all of us adults agreed that we needn't get too early a start...let the kids sleep in as long as they needed before heading back over there. 

What a fantastic day!!  All of the photos can be seen here:  Disneyworld Trip

 

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