After a long week of "vacationing", there were still quite a few rides at the Magic Kingdom that we had wanted to experience with the kids but had not had a chance to. So, like you read about here, we had a character dinner with my family scheduled on Friday, our last day at 4:00. We were planning to go to dinner and then hang around the park for the rest of the night to watch the night parade and fireworks.
Steve and I decided that since it was our last day, we would make it count and do a marathon day, from the time the park opened until after the fireworks ended at night.
We knew it was going to be a long and exhausting day, but we are SO glad that we chose to do it. It was the most fun day we had in the parks by far. There were lots of things that we didn't even know about that we got to experience since we got there at opening.
We started out bright and early at 7:00, hoping to get to the parks before it actually opened at 9:00. We got into the outside gate around 8:15 and waited among the crowds (remember this picture from Wednesday?).
The first surprise came at about five minutes to 9. A "welcome show" was held right outside the entrance and all of the characters arrived by train to open the park. It was exciting...you could feel the energy. I didn't get any pictures because we were looking right into the sun, but we did get some video of it. Noah passed some time by taking silly pictures of Steve with my camera.
When we first walked into the park, we headed right to the "lands" that we wanted to do.
The first thing we came to was Aladdin's Magic Carpet. No line! Cool!
The boys and I jumped right on while Steve went to get fastpasses for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
After riding it once, the ride operator told us we could go again if we wanted since there were no people. After two more times, Steve came back, got on and we went yet one MORE time.
Hyped up from our good luck, we headed to Pirates of the Carri bean. Again, NO WAIT. Walked right through and onto a boat. We were even more amazed when we discovered the operator of the ride was a student at the school my taught at before he retired. What a small world! Although the ride was dark and eerie, the kids handled it quite well and we were off to more stuff.
We moved on to Splash Mountain (again, no wait) but as we loaded, the ride broke down and we had to get off...first broken ride of the day.
So off to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Our fastpass was for 10:15 and it was 10:00 with a five minute wait. Let's go ahead and go...
Here came our first glimpse of the day of Noah's "demons" from the Everest ride two days previous (which I mentioned in this post). The kid who LOVED every roller coaster he had ever been on in his life, started crying uncontrollably because he was so scared to go on the ride. Steve and I struggled between one of us taking Aaron and the other sitting off with Noah or just biting the bullet and doing it.
Yup, the bad parents that we are, we just moved him along. I kind of felt that if he was going to get over this issue, we needed to just do it. The part that he was scared of was because that DARN Yeti jumped out at him. It took a lot of convincing that nothing would jump out at him on this ride.
We got through it one time and our fastpass was ready so we just turned around and rode it again. I still can't believe we were able to ride that ride TWICE in a row.
So off we headed to Haunted Mansion. Once again, NO WAIT. We walked right in again.
Noah had recuperated a little from his "trauma" and we loaded into the cars. The spooky music kind of freaked them both out a little but they were fine...
Oh yes, yet another ride broke down. And where should it break down? The spooky graveyard with loud creepy music and ghosts continually popping out at them from behind gravestones. We sat there for a good 8 or 9 minutes before we went again. No one was interested in doing this one again.
So it was now around 11:00 and we had done most of the rides we had wanted to tackle the entire day. So we headed to Dumbo and waited in a line (still only 30 minutes) and checked that ride off the list.
We did actually get back to Splash Mountain, where Noah started in on his minor panic attack again, but he got over it when we told him to just watch the story of Brer Rabbit which we had read at home. Once again, the ride was still not quite working properly, and there were major "log jams" and we kept ramming into the logs in front of us while the ones behind us kept ramming into us. The good thing was that I didn't get wet, which was good because everyone else was coming off it soaked and I really didn't feel like being wet for the rest of the evening.
Then it was off to re-ride Space Ranger Spin, which had been the favorite on Monday. My score, sad to say, did NOT improve. I still don't understand how Aaron can get 1000 points, Noah can get 1400 points, I can get 4000 points and my STINKER of a husband can get 50,000 POINTS.
While over there, we took in the people mover through Space Mountain and the Monsters, Inc. Show (which was very funny).
We stopped to eat our sandwiches we had brought for lunch and were starting to get tired so we headed up to ride a few spins around the park on the railroad. By that point, it was time to start gathering for the afternoon parade, and then head over to dinner with the family.
We also were caught by surprise by a neat character show right out front of the castle that even included it's own little firework show. Aaron was talking about seeing "the REAL Peter Pan" for days afterward.
After dinner, we needed to actually WAIT for rides since the fastpasses were gone, but we didn't mind. We made it to the jungle cruise, where Aaron was invited to drive the boat for a little while
I thought it was kind of neat that every time there was a crowd waiting for a parade, a Disney "cast member" would put out fun activities in the streets for kids to do. Noah is quite the hula hooper!
Are you exhausted reading this? I am again just writing about it. But it really was a good thing that we did it. I was glad we did it on the last day so that the "grumpies" from being tired the next day were spent in the car on the ride toward home.
My T13 for next week will be the images from the evening from this long and eventful day. But for now, I need to go take a shower, get dressed, and take Aaron to the park.
Have a great Friday!