Go to MK for opening, take a nap around 1, and return to park after dinner
Lunch at CHH, Dinner at Artists’ Point
What Actually Happened:
Today was David’s actual birthday! I got up at 6:15 and got ready for the day. While Ben got ready for the park I walked to the lobby to purchase some milk for David’s cereal. It was a 10-minute walk, with me stopping a few times for pictures. I got to watch the sunrise over El Centro, how beautiful! Panchito’s wasn’t open yet, so I went to Café Rix. You’d think that I wouldn’t have much of a wait at 6:45 for a pint of milk but I was in line behind a woman who was trying to use her snack credits up from the DDP and didn’t understand what was included despite the Cast Member personally walking her around the store pointing out what was available and showing her the little DDP icon. Finally, she bought 15 granola bars in a huff, threw them in her bag, and stormed out. I had decided that coffee and fruit weren’t a good use of a snack credit, and I think the CM was happy that I decided to pay with cash! This was a recurring problem this week. It seemed that many people took the free dining package but did not do any research at ALL about what was included in the plan and kept harassing the CM’s. Everything at Café Rix was clearly marked (and there was a message board) but people seemed to be too impatient to read. The CMs were very polite about explaining the plan over and over though.
While the boys ate breakfast I filled our thermos bottles with ice and water. Those bottles were great to have in the parks- despite being out in the sun all day, they still had ice in them 10 hours later. We got to the park about 20 minutes before opening and were about 4 people back from the front of the line. Not bad crowds at all! We chatted with some of the other guests while we waited for the opening show to start. A woman in front of us had gotten very crafty- she had made purses and dolls for everyone in her group. She gave her doll to David because it was his birthday, which was sweet. I love mornings at the Magic Kingdom- I really feel myself wanting to be a nicer and better person when I’m in the World. This is what makes these trips refreshing, even though I get less than 6 hours of sleep each night
Mickey arrived as scheduled, the rope dropped, and Ben carried David into the park while I got to deal with the stroller. I was very nervous about hitting someone, especially our new crafty friend! Ben and David received lots of birthday wishes on Main Street as we made our way towards Fantasyland and Dumbo. I waited on the side as the boys rode. Lots of construction barriers in Fantasyland and the occasional distinctive noise of concrete trucks backing up! Can’t wait to see it all when it’s done. After Dumbo, we rode Snow White, Pooh, Peter Pan, and Small World before walking to the Haunted Mansion. We liked the new interactive cue elements at the HM, and liked that the crowds were so low that we could pass them. Ben was super excited about taking David on his first ride on the Mansion and he enjoyed it, especially the end with the ghosts playing the drums on our heads! After this we watched the Country Bears (Blood on the floor…..) grabbed some FPs for Splash Mountain and a turkey leg for Ben, then headed to the Columbia Harbor House for lunch. I had the fish and chips, and used my dessert to get a yogurt for David. We ate on the second floor, which was great. The turkey legs seemed a lot bigger to me on this trip… and they were a lot more expensive than I remember paying last time.
Here’s where our plan went awry. We had originally decided to leave after lunch, which was a big change for us since we’re usually in the parks from opening to closing. However, with the crowds so low, Ben wanted to try to get on a few more rides. We so we went on the Jungle Cruise (with one of the least engaging CM’s ever! Thankfully we rode twice more this trip with GREAT skippers!) followed by Pirates. David was a bit surprised by the drop… I felt his little hand squeezing my knee as we went down the fall! Then we went on the Tiki Room and David had a bit of a meltdown during the end of the preshow. We were in the back row and I was able to settle him down, but the poor kid was exhausted and resisting sleep. He finally passed out in my arms in the Tiki Room. Liked the new (old?) show but I missed the pre show. The old one just isn’t as engaging, I think, plus I liked hearing Phil Hartman!
Since David was asleep, we walked over to Tomorrowland to see if one of us could ride Space Mountain but Tomorrowland was PACKED! Seemed odd because there were so few crowds in the rest of the park but here we couldn’t walk without walking into someone. So, we headed back to the resort with David curled into a ball on the seat next to me. We hoped to get him back to the resort and to bed but he sat up just as we came to our stop and refused to lie down afterwards. We gave him a birthday present for him to play with to try to settle him down while we changed for Artists’ Point. We took a bus to DHS and transferred to a WL bus, which took about 45 minutes altogether, including the walk from the room.
Dinner at Artists’ Point was much better than it had been when we went in 2007. (I was willing to skip it this time around but Ben invoked his “Birthday Trip” privilege and insisted that he HAD to have the buffalo steak again.) We were given the corner table by the waterfall. The couple next to us kept giving us and the little girls on their other side glares (the girls were dressed like Cinderella and very cute and well behaved). Ben had his buffalo steak as an entree with the peach upside down cake for dessert. I had the “Wild Caught Jumbo Prawn and Crab “Hot-Pot” with Mussels, Crispy Pork, Jasmine Rice, and Spiced Thai Coconut Broth” followed by the cobbler for dessert. All of the food was great but I thought that the hot pot was especially interesting- slightly Thai in flavor and spicy! I had a hard time figuring out how to eat the prawn politely. The berry cobbler was the essence of comfort food. It was topped with a small scoop of raspberry ice cream. We used our drink credits on the DDP to order cappuccino to drink as we watched the waterfall and the thunderstorm that rolled in during dinner. Our server, Jim, was friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive. He suggested some nice wines to go with our meal.
After dinner we took the boat back to the Magic Kingdom and saw that there was only a 10 minute wait to meet Mickey and Minnie. The CM’s in this area were wonderful and engaged all of the children in line. We really appreciated this because David was over tired at this point. We got some family pictures and then strolled to Tomorrowland. We went on the Carousel of Progress (which someone behind me said smelled like a locker room!) and hopped on the TTA while we waited for the crowds to die down for a bit. David called the TTA the “Space Train” and yelled “Weeeee!” during the fast parts. I told David that he was well on his way to being an Intercot member! We grabbed FPs for Space Mountain, visited the Laugh Floor, and finally made it onto Buzz. The posted 20 minute wait was almost a walk on. Ben and I split up for a bit so he could ride Space Mountain (or, the “Space Castle”) and I went back on the TTA. We swapped and the boys went on Buzz while I got to ride Space Mountain. Love that coaster. It was my first ride since the rehab and I was happy with the results. Finally, we strolled back down Main Street and got a picture with Walt and the Castle, and then one with the castle where David is asleep in my arms. It was evening EMH’s that night but we didn’t want to stay out too late.
Day 5, Animal Kingdom!