Monday, May 14, 2007

Disney Day 2: Magic Kingdom and the Hoop Dee Doo

Before we left for our trip, DH was pretty dismayed to learn that I planned for us to be at that day’s park for the official opening each day. He wanted to sleep in on his vacation. While, I understand that, going to Disney is just not that type of vacation – unless you want to stand in line and do 2 attractions in 3 hours in the heat of the day. By mid-morning of the first full day I had converted him to my way of thinking. (Not that I’m a genius or anything – I just obsessively researched and read online about Disney and the parks and this was the number one tip.) The lines were less first thing, and tended to build by mid-late morning, which is when we ate lunch (lunch places weren’t busy yet cause people were still arriving). We did one or two less popular attractions then after lunch, having seen the “headliners” first thing and then headed back to our hotel for a swim and rest/nap to avoid the busiest and hottest part of each day. This strategy worked out perfectly for us, and it turned out DH was just as happy with the afternoon nap as he would have been sleeping in – so all was well. We then did some more park/activity stuff late afternoon into evening and although we tried to make the evening fireworks/laser shows, we found that they were just too late for us with Katie. That will leave us something for next trip when she is older though.

So Day 2 – our first full day. We get up at 7am, leave the room at 8:15am and arrive at the Magic Kingdom about 8:40am. Gotta love that monorail. We also brought pop tarts, cold cereals, crackers and other various snacks in one suitcase, so we ate breakfast from that all week long and avoided paying the expensive breakfast prices at the resort and the parks.

We got to see Mickey Mouse, Goofy and I think Pluto come out on the train and open the park. Katie was very excited and kept waving at Mickey and saying “Hi Mickey”. Very cute. We went straight for Fantasyland to ride Dumbo first. Since Dumbo has no fastpass and the line is mostly in the sun, we wanted it out of the way first. I read a touring plan online somewhere that said to do Dumbo first, get a Fastpass for Peter Pan, then do Winnie Pooh. That is what we did and it worked out perfectly. We had about a 10 min. wait for Dumbo, got our fastpasses that had 10:30 return time for Peter Pan, then did Winnie Pooh, Snow White, Carousel, Philharmagic. It’s a Small World before getting back to Peter Pan for the return time. I had wanted to take Katie to see Ariel at this time when the line opened at 10am – but somewhere in there we got wrapped up in the other rides and now the line was pretty long. Since I hadn’t mentioned it to Katie and she was too young to really catch onto or see the line herself we just didn’t mention it and she had fun doing other things. I really wanted to take a picture of Katie and Alex flying on the Dumbo ride together, but since DH wouldn’t ride with us (told you he was a big chicken!) we all ended up riding in one car and I couldn’t ride in front of them to take the photo. I settled for taking this photo of them before take-off. (Gotta credit Erin for giving me the tip about taking the Dumbo photo – I think it turned out nice even though it isn’t airborne.) By the way, I sort of had to trick DH onto Peter Pan’s Flight. I told him it was like the Pooh ride, ride in a cart and see scenes from the movie/story. This was sort of true, but you are in a flying boat type thing and everything is below you. DH would not have rode had he known that heights were involved, but afterward he said he had fun and was glad he rode. It was done in a way that the heights weren’t really scary, but had I explained it that way to Sean, he would have refused to go.

We ate lunch at Pinnochios Village Haus (another great tip from Erin!) and the food was pretty good. I had chicken strips and DH had some type of sandwich (cannot remember now, but he liked it). Alex had chicken strips too which we both enjoyed. I was sorta disappointed in the kids menu choices though – there was just mac n cheese and peanut butter and jelly to choose from. We ordered the mac n cheese for Katie and she ate a little of it, but not much (she is used to the out of the box kind, and this was probably better, but just not what she is used to).

After lunch we did the Mad Tea Cups, and then Alex and Sean really wanted to do the Indy Cars, but the line was pretty long, so we headed over to Liberty Square where we had just missed the next showing for the Hall of Presidents and the next trip of the Riverboat. Since they only run each half hour we didn’t want to just sit that long and we headed over to the Country Bear Jamboree and did that. After the Country Bears, we were pretty pooped, and since we had just missed the next showing of the Hall of Presidents and the Riverboat again, we decided to head back to the hotel.

Nap time was supposed to be for both Sean and Katie, but it turned out to be mostly for Sean. Katie just would not lie down and go to sleep in a hotel room with other people awake in the room. We tried having me and Alex go to the pool while Sean and she napped, but she just ended up keeping Sean from taking his nap, so Alex and I ended up taking her to the pool with us. This contributed a lot to us missing the fireworks shows at night since Katie was more tired at the end of the days with no nap. Anyway, we had a lot of fun playing in the hotel pool and Katie especially liked the sprinklers they had off to the side for the kids to run and play in.

At about 4pm we decided it was time to head to our 5pm dinner reservation at the Hoop Dee Doo at the Fort Wilderness Resort. All the stuff I’d read advised leaving about an hour before any reservation if you are taking Disney transportation. I couldn’t imagine it taking that long since we were on the monorail and Fort Wilderness was not far from the Magic Kingdom, but we left at 4pm anyway just to be safe. Good thing we did! Right at about 4 the skies opened up and just poured and poured! The monorail actually waited about 10 min after we loaded onto it to wait for the rain to let up a bit before heading out. Not sure how hard rain would be bad for a train on a rail that cannot be derailed, but I think I’m safe in assuming those operating the thing know more about that than I do. Finally we take off for the Magic Kingdom and deboard there. We had packed cheap dollar ponchos from Walmart in Katie’s Dora backpack (don’t laugh!) and we each put one on and covered Katie and her stroller with one. (she had fallen asleep – go figure!). We ran over to the ferry for Fort Wilderness only to realize the boat was just leaving and we’d have to wait for the next one. By the time we boarded the next boat it was only drizzling, but it was already 4:45p and Katie was awake and slightly cranky. Since the fery makes a stop at Wilderness Lodge, before going to Fort Wilderness we were about 10 min. late for our reservation. It turned out to be no big deal though – we were shown directly to our table and the show hadn’t begun yet.

Oh My Gosh! The Hoop Dee Doo was so much fun! Now, it is expensive, but I really felt it was worth it. It was all you can eat fried chicken, ribs, corn, cornbread, salad, soda, milk, baked beans, beer, chardonnay, sangria, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Not gourmet, but very yummy and filling. The pic above was taken by our server on our camera - it was sorta dark, but I think the pic is still clear enough to see us. The show was a lot of corny, slap-stick, type of humor, but Alex and Sean really love that sort of thing and this show was definitely one of those moments where I could look around to each member of my family and really see that they were having an awesome time. Alex laughed until there were tears streaming down his face. We were in the cheaper balcony seats, but we saw every last bit of the show and didn’t feel that took away from the experience at all! We left there stuffed and happy and giggling to ourselves over the jokes we liked best. I also remember seeing another family in front of us in line for the boat back to Magic Kingdom that were definitely not having a blast. I don’t think they were at the show but perhaps had stayed at Fort Wilderness and were heading out to Magic Kingdom?? In any case the parents were snapping at each other over what to do next and how long the last thing had taken. Sean and I were so glad that wasn’t us. There were several things we’d planned to do, but had skipped cause things just take longer than you think they will and you have to just prioritize the things you want to do most and then anything extra is gravy. I think this family was trying to do everything and not enjoying the things they were able to do because they were upset about what they weren’t getting to. Of course, we probably just caught this family at a bad moment, we were still early enough into our trip that we hadn’t had any big upsets yet, and we had the audacity to feel just a little bit superior. Don’t worry, we were brought down a peg or two the next day when Katie decided to let her inner demon child shine out, but I digress.

Next up – Extra Magic Hours


Kiwi Jo said...

I'm really enjoying reading about your Disney adventures! DH and I went to Disney World for our honeymoon and had a blast. I've already told him that we have to go back for our 5th Wedding Anniversary. I'll be interested to hear what you thought of the cruise as that's something I've been thinking about. It's great to see photos of you and your family too :)

Rani said...

We didn't do the Hoop-de-doo review when we visited. I'm sad now! Oh well, it will be something to look forward to the next time. ;-)