Saturday, August 29, 2015

Disney Day 7 - Magic Kingdom Part 2

Day #7 was another early alarm clock because we had a hot breakfast date with some princesses in a castle!

Since our early morning reservation at Cinderella's Royal Table was at 8:25am and the Magic Kingdom wasn't opening until 9am, we had to do some transportation planning.  Some quick googling told us that the monorail typically opens an hour before the parks open.  Unfortunately, when we walked into the Polynesian Hotel around 8am, we found that the resort monorail stops don't open until 8:30am.  EEEEEK.  Total and utter panic as I realized that we wouldn't be making our 8:25am reservation without a new transportation plan.  A helpful Disney employee pointed out that we could either take the bus from the Polynesian or grab their boat.  With 25 minutes to spare, we jogged down to the dock and found the boat pulling in at that exact moment.  Again, Disney kharma must have been on our side!

Mini-tip --- Although the monorail opens an hour before the parks open, the resort stops do not.  Meaning, we could have gone to the transportation center and caught the monorail to the Magic Kingdom (or Epcot).   Always have a transportation Plan B and always give yourselves lots of spare time to get from Point A to Point B in Disney.

Bottom line - not having the monorail available to us on this particular morning ended up leading to a few minutes of panic and then a beautiful morning boat ride across the lake.

A few minutes later and we were entering the Magic Kingdom.  A quick scan of our bands pulled up our morning breakfast reservation, so we were allowed early entrance.  It's always fun to see the park empty in the early morning without the typical hoard heading down Main Street.

No idea what the photographer was thinking with these poses, but we went with it!

Mini-tip --- If you are in the park early, have the photographers take a quick photo for you since you won't have a mob of people in the picture behind you like you will later in the day!

Disney magic!

Another bonus for early morning breakfast reservations, no waiting!  We checked in and were immediately welcomed into the castle.  

Funny little story about Miss Cinderella... apparently she remembered Georgia from our 1900 Park Fare dinner earlier in the week.  As soon as Georgia told Cinderella her name, Cindy said, "Oh you had dinner with me and my Prince a few nights ago, right?"  Bonus to having a unique name!

As always, our reservation was marked with a food allergen, so a special menu was brought over for Georgia.  Disney has been experimenting with these special allergy menus for a few months now and I absolutely LOVED them!  We spotted them in quite a few places and they were so helpful.  A quick glance showed me some safe items for Georgia and the chef still visited the table to let me know that he could definitely work with her allergies.  In fact, I think the Disney chefs encounter so many crazy allergies that hearing peanut and raw dairy/eggs barely even gets a head nod from them!  It's so nice to feel "normal" in a restaurant and it's one of the main reasons why we will continue to travel to Disney while Georgia is young!

Cinderella's Royal Table breakfast allergy menu

Our waitress brought over a complimentary plate of delicious breakfast pastries for our table to share.  The chef pointed out that there were walnuts in one of the items, so he also sent Georgia her own little plate filled with Mickey shaped blueberry muffins and strawberries!  

I know that people complain about how expensive CRT can be, especially with little ones, but I will say - their food is fabulous!  We ate dinner here last year and breakfast this year and both meals were awesome.  Georgia ordered the Royal Children's breakfast (minus the scrambled eggs), I went with the quiche, Nick the beef/eggs and Mimi had the traditional breakfast.  The presentation is beautiful.

Mini-tip --- Even Disney can make mistakes with food allergies!  Georgia's plate initially came out piled high with scrambled eggs.  NOPE!  NOPE!  NOPE!  We sent it back and her plates came out separately, as they should have from the start.  If you are eating with food allergies, be alert and don't let your guard down.  Also, it's typical for a chef to personally bring out the food allergy plates and not your server!

Mini-tip --- Bring some ziplocs or a small tupperware container with you if you have a little one eating at a breakfast.  Georgia's breakfast was HUGE and she barely put a dent in it.  I hated leaving behind the blueberry muffins knowing that they would have made a great snack later in the morning for her!

Another bonus vote for breakfast --- the princesses quickly make their rounds since they know that most people want to get going to rides as soon as possible!  We were visited by all four princesses within just a few minutes of sitting down.

I knew that Nick LOVED the new Seven Dwarves roller coaster and would love another chance to ride so as soon as he finished his breakfast, we sent him and Georgia out to ride again while Mimi and I finished up breakfast. Unfortunately, we were a few minutes too late to get right to the front of the line, so it ended up still being almost an hour wait for them.  However, according to Nick, there was lots to see/do in the line, so they didn't mind the wait.  We didn't even get to see that area since we FP+ the line on our first day in the park.

Spotting Nick and Georgia on the roller coaster

Love that she is clinging to Daddy!

Mini-tip --- If you want to eat in the park for breakfast AND get in line for a popular ride before they officially open the park, you need to eat super early.  Our 8:25am reservation did not quite work out for a 9am opening.  I think 8am (which is a very popular time to eat and a hard reservation to score) would have been perfect for being in line for the 9am ride openings.  Bottom line - know the magic hours, park opening times, and how long it will take for you to walk from the restaurant to the ride!

By 10am, it was BLAZING hot.  I know I've stressed in past posts how hot it was in the parks during August, but the heat just kept climbing all week long.  Luckily, there's lots of opportunities for AC breaks so we hit up some favorites like "It's a Small World"  and the "Country Bear Jamboree!" before we headed to our "Peter Pan " FP+ reservation.  Since we knew now Georgia could pass the 40 inch roller coaster requirement, we also made a FP+ reservation for "Big Thunder Mountain Railroad."

We jumped aboard the Disney train that circles the park to cut down on our walking as we headed back to Fantasyland to hit up the "Voyage of the Little Mermaid."  Even Disney magic struggles on some days and today, Ariel was the victim.  Not sure what was going on with the ride, but we spent quite a lot of time sitting on the ride while a mechanical issue was fixed.  No complaints here - the air conditioning was wonderful and my view wasn't too bad...

Next up... our last FP+ reservation for the day... "Enchanted Tales with Belle."  Luck was again on our side and not one, but two family members got picked to be in the show.  Solider #1 and Chip were a hit!

Our knight in shining armor

Our chip

Next on the to-do list... a dole whip from Aloha Isle.  Nick, Mimi and I enjoyed this pineapple ice cream treat last year on our trip.  It was only after we got home that I learned that they are actually dairy free.  YES!!!!   Don't ask me how this very ice creamish treat is dairy free, but it is and Georgia dug right in.

Just when you think your kid has tired eyes and you're ready to head back for a nap, she gets some sugar in her and is a brand new person!

She begged for Elsa ears and I caved!

Since we used up our 3 allocated FP+ for the day, I wasn't quite sure if we could get any more passes.  Disney cast members are always helpful and pointed me in the direction of their FP+ kiosks that they have all over the park.  We quickly learned that we COULD get another FP+ reservation now that all of ours from the morning had been used.  Georgia really only had one more request... Tink!  So, we made our reservation and slowly started making our way down Main Street.

I turned my back for a minute in the candy store and guess who got herself a free sample of cotton candy...

And then it was time to meet our favorite fairy (whose old home in Adventureland is being upgraded, so she's in a secret location near the front of the park these days)...

We walked out of our Tink meet/greet and the Festival of Fantasy Parade was rolling by, so we took a few minutes to watch.  We saw it last year, so it wasn't on our plans this year (it's smack in the middle of the day at 3pm, so not ideal for families with young kids who want to nap).  However, when it's rolling right by, you stop and dance!

Mini-tip --- Personally, I think the Magic Kingdom is a multiple day event.  I'm sure you could do most of the rides in one day, but if you want to enjoy the character meet/greets, the shows, etc., without dashing around the park, I really think you need to allocate at least 1.5-2 days to enjoy the park and all that it offers.  Plus, 2 days get you to FP+ most of the major rides, which is key to saving time.  

Since we enjoyed a boat ride earlier in the morning, we decided to take the boat back to the resort too.  Disney truly is a boat/bus/monorail/cab/train type of place!

My little Elsa mouse enjoying the ride

We headed back to the resort HOPING that thunderstorms wouldn't roll in later that night.  We had some plans to FINALLY make it over to Hollywood Studios for their nightly Fantasmic show (after being rained out twice in two years!).  Fingers crossed...

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