We drove up on Tuesday (day after Labor Day) morning and headed straight for the Magic Kingdom. The kids had picked out Fast Passes ahead of time. The first was for Space Mountain at noon.
The drive up was easy. Actually, it was incredible. The traffic was nearly nonexistent on the Turnpike. The funniest part was that Riley fell asleep in the backseat. I cannot remember the last time he slept in the car - including the drives from North Carolina and Tennessee. Crazy.
This year, Reagan's birthday is going to be overtaken by a cousin's wedding. So we went to Disney early in December to celebrate! This was the first time we had been to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. We've been at Walt Disney World for Christmas festivities a handful of times in the past - including actually being there when Santa came (the two images below are from 12/25/10 at the Magic Kingdom)!
It feels like we were just here... maybe because we were.
Perhaps my goal should be to hit up at least one of the Disney theme parks each month for the duration of our passes. What do you think?
Anyway, the kids had Monday off. Teacher workday. I scheduled some FastPasses and we headed up to the Magic Kingdom. Our first FP+ was for the Haunted Mansion. I was super bummed we didn't ride it in September, so I made sure it was on our list this time. This is one of my absolute favorite rides.
We rested for a bit in the hotel room. Epcot was fun, but we needed a recharge before heading into the Magic Kingdom for the night.
Alright, enough cute young Riley for now.
*sigh* The Magic Kingdom in the fall is so beautiful. I love all the pumpkins and fall leaves. If only the temperature would cooperate and drop a few degrees...
There was a snafu with our Magic Bands at the gate. Something went terribly wrong at the hotel check in... Somehow, my sister-in-law was checked in and Stu was left off. And the rest of us were wearing the wrong bands. We put the Bands in my bag and used our Annual Pass cards to gain entry and for our FP+. No worries.
Since you are only allowed 3 FastPasses per day and we used 2 at Epcot, our only one left was for Buzz Lightyear. That's Riley's favorite ride (next to Splash Mountain - which is currently closed for refurbishment) at MK. And Buzz ALWAYS has a long line. Anyone can ride it, kids love it, grown ups like it... plan to wait or FastPass this ride.
While we waited, Riley and I rode the PeopleMover. This is one of my MUST dos. I love this ride. There is very rarely a line for it. It is long (8 minutes) and it is relaxing. Some of the funniest and best photos we have are from this ride. Want to see some?
That was fun. Good times. Now, back to the present.
We met up with Stu and Reagan. By this time, it was getting kind of late, so we went to the Starlight Cafe for dinner. It's across from the Tomorrowland Speedway. Riley had a tiny meltdown while waiting for the food. He told me he was done and just wanted to go back to the room.
Dinner perked him up though. So we powered through. Both kids wanted to drive the race cars on the Speedway. The standby line was about 30 minutes. We went for it. This was BY FAR the funniest thing we did the entire trip. Reagan and Stu were in the first car. Riley and I right behind. Riley could not see the road ahead, he had no idea there was a rail keeping all the cars in specific lanes. He kept trying to pass Stu and Reagan, which would smash us into the center rail and cause our car to jerk around. I think my back cracked a dozen times. I laughed the entire time. Riley screamed and yelled and laughed the whole time. Luckily, Stu had the foresight to video it:
Reagan and I rode Space Mountain together. Riley was tired and did not feel like trying anything else new. So he and Stu hung out. They went on Buzz again (no line because people were at the castle waiting for the fireworks), then they watched the fireworks from the PeopleMover.
And that pretty much ended our night. We left just as they were doing the slide show on the castle (that's super cool to see, if you haven't seen it before, plan to at least once). The bus was packed, but we made it.
It did not take long for the little Stus to pass out after their showers. Now it's time to rest up and get ready for Animal Kingdom!
And please don't forget to vote & vote often.
It has been a few years since our last Not So Scary party. My mom decided she wanted to take her grandkids to Mickey's Halloween Party this year. Halloween is a BIG deal in our family.
After talking and planning for a bit, we narrowed it down to Grammie, me, the monsters, Jackie and Meghan. I spent a while on the phone with Disney to find a few nights available at the Fort Wilderness Cabins that corresponded with a party night. We booked for a Sunday-Tuesday. The Halloween party was Sunday night. Perfecto.
Disney is magical any day of the year. But there is something extra exciting about it when you combine the Happiest Place on Earth with a holiday. September always kicks off the start to my holiday season, at least that's how I feel when I walk into a store and get overloaded with Halloween stuff. And Walt Disney World transforms in late August/early September into a fall paradise (it's still 90+, but it's pretty).
If my memory serves me correctly, we have spent every single holiday at Disney at least once. The only exception to that is Easter. I can't recall ever searching for eggs at Disney.
Let me give you the low-down on a few of our past experiences. For the sake of your time, I'll post one at a time.
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
This weekend Rea's Girl Scout troop went on their camping trip. But, in true Palm Beach fashion, the girls didn't rough it. They opted to go to Disney and stay in the cabins at Ft Wilderness.
I like Rea's group. And her Group Leaders are AMAZING women. And the other parents are wonderful too. So I wasn't worried about her being there.
But let's be real, I have a tendency to helicopter parent.
Our Disney Sides
We are fortunate enough to live a short drive away from the Happiest Place on Earth! And we take full advantage of it!