This is long-winded, so get comfy...
Friday, June 28 – Magic Kingdom
Cast of Characters
Mom to Ben and Trip Planner
Friend to just about everyone (6 going on at least 16)
– Ellen’s cousin, partner in crime and “mountain mama”
When the phone rang Friday morning, we all expected a wake-up call from Mickey. I handed the phone over to Ben whose eyes lit up. I expected him to say that Mickey had called, but instead he said that Stitch had called! His report was that Stitch said: “Aloha. Stitch is at Disney MGM Studios,” and then launched into his Stitch laugh. It worked just like a jolt of Kid Java because after that, he was ready to go (more or less), but he did get dressed faster than he ever did for school!
We made our way over to the bus stop and settled in. Luckily, it wasn’t too long before the Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom busses were there and off we went. We went through a short line at security and waited around 15 minutes at the turnstile. Boy, was I psyched. Soon enough, we were let in and off we went down Main Street to the Crystal Palace. We were maybe the third party to check in, and then we settled in to wait and wait and wait to be called. When they finally did call us, there was a surprise waiting: Ben was named Chef of the Day, was given a chef’s hat that had been signed by all the characters; he then had a grand time decorating his Mickey pancake with Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Tigger.
Tigger was a huge instigator during the whole thing, egging Ben on to add more whipped cream, more syrup, more strawberries, more sprinkles. I think I've found the energy source for Tigger's bouncing! [img]graemlins/muscles.gif[/img] Chef Bill was on hand also, and we made sure to get a picture of Ben with him (when we're not watching Toon Disney, we're watching Food TV). This was a very unexpected and enjoyable Magical Moment!
After breakfast we headed over to the rope drop at Tomorrowland. Ben was bent on riding Space Mountain, and his “mountain mama” Mallary was willing to go on with him. I will confess for all to hear: I’m the chicken of the family! [img]graemlins/blush.gif[/img] While they were getting online for Space Mountain, I got us Fast Passes for Buzz, and contemplated riding Alien Encounter but decided against it since I didn’t know if I’d miss Mallary and Ben when they got off SM, and also I wasn’t sure if the ride had harnesses (if it did, I wouldn’t be able to ride because of my Mediport). Why could I handle AE but not SM? Simple, no heights and no drops!
I headed over to SM and asked where the exit was… Duh! Through the gift shop, of course! What was I thinking? And since I was there, I shopped. Before this trip, I decided that Mallary needed a collection of costumed Mickey and Minnies, and I brought her down Statue of Liberty Minnie as well as Tinkerbell Minnie. While waiting, I added to her collection with Space Mickey. After a good while, they exited the ride (Ben told us that his legs were “wobbly” but he really did enjoy it and is still talking about it), and we went off to more terrestrial pursuits at Tomorrowland Speedway. Ben rode with Mallary and I rode in a separate car. I know that this ride has plenty of detractors, but we’re not in their ranks. After the Speedway it was time for our date with Buzz Lightyear. Once again, Mallary had a much better score than we did (last year she had a perfect score).
At that point we decided to head over to Fantasyland, and ride Peter Pan and see if we could get Ben on Snow White. Friends of ours from home were eating breakfast at the Castle at just about that time, so while Mallary went to get Fast Passes for Peter Pan, I went off to see if I could find them in the lobby downstairs at CRT. Instead, I found them outside by the CRT check-in desk. Her kids were pretty surprised to see me there and they had a great reunion with Ben. We decided to ride Snow White; Ben would have never ever
gone on it without his two little buddies! There is something to be said for peer pressure! We went our separate ways after that: they headed over to Pooh, and we headed over to Peter Pan. Since it still wasn’t time for our Fast Pass, we rode IASW which had a 0-minute wait posted outside. Indeed, it was a walk-on. I know that it’s going to date me, but I remember this ride from the NY World’s Fair. Soon it was time to ride the pirate ships over London, something Ben was very much looking forward to doing in December (hehehehe).
Another first that we had planned for this trip was the Hall of Presidents. We hadn’t been able to experience it on our previous trips due to the crowds and always arriving at the wrong time. When we got there, it was only 15 minutes to show time and the waiting area was still rather empty. Ben asked for his camera (another first for this trip was giving him one disposable camera per day) and took pictures of everything from the presidential portraits to the walls, the carpet and lots of people we don’t know! It’s going to be interesting to see what’s on those rolls!
We stuck to our plan of going back to OKW for a break, but not without stopping at the gift shops on Main Street first.
There were only two other people on the bus going back. Ben changed into his swimsuit and it was off to the pool which had a good amount of people in it. There was a DJ who was playing games with the kids. The big mistake we made was thinking that we could sit by the pool and not go in. Man, it was hot. And, of course, being a true “New Yawker” I was in black. An unidentified floating object in the pool ended swim time, and we went back to our room. Lunch was leftovers from the previous night’s dinner, which we heated up in our microwave. I reportedly fell asleep and was busy sawing wood. [img]graemlins/sleepin.gif[/img] I woke up to hear Mallary trying to convince Ben to nap, which he finally did ˝ hour before we were to leave for our dinner reservation. [img]graemlins/shakehead.gif[/img] We managed to get him up and changed, and headed out to take a bus to the MK where we would switch to the launch back to Wilderness Lodge. (I really wanted to see Wilderness Lodge this trip, as it’s our home resort and I’d never actually been there.) I asked Randy, the CM who brought our luggage to our room when we arrived, if he knew how much a taxi would cost. He said that he would be our taxi, and off we went in a van to WL. (I’m writing a letter to OKW about what a wonderful CM Randy is… every morning he said hello to us and asked Ben what he did the day before and what our plans were for that day. He became “one of the family” to Ben, and I truly appreciate that.)
Wilderness Lodge is truly amazing. What a beautiful resort! We had reservations for Whispering Canyon Café but arrived early. After we walked down to the pool and geyser, I went to Guest Services to get the list of clues for Hidden Mickeys. We were having a tough time of it and Ben was getting frustrated, so I went to check in early. They were able to sit us right away. We really liked the atmosphere of the restaurant, and Ben was ready to play. As soon as we sat down, he let out a “yee haw” which was answered by the waitress from the next table. Soon they were yeehawing back and forth, and the inevitable happened. Ben fell in love with her. The manager also came by and traded pins with us. He and I agreed to meet in December and I’ll be bringing him down some NYC pins. Dinner was very good but between the three of us we were barely able to finish one skillet. The BBQ sauce is very, very good. I was hoping they’d have the recipe for it in the “Cooking with Mickey” cookbook, but no such luck.
Our timing worked out well, because we had just enough time after dinner to walk down to the geyser to see it erupt. It was then that it started to rain, but that didn’t stop us from returning to the Magic Kingdom in hopes of seeing Spectromagic and the fireworks (again, firsts for me). The rain was still going pretty strong but we staked out spots on Main Street, and I set out to look for our own MainStreetJim. Alas, I couldn’t find him. We met some nice people from Wales, and their grandson and Ben hit it off. The gutter had quite a bit of rain in it, so I went over to the watch store to buy a poncho (and a new watch). It wasn’t until days later that it occurred to me that the water in the gutter was clean (an astonishing thought to a city girl). The rain finally died down and all of a sudden, Ben says, “look it’s XX and YY” — his friends from back home. I thought he was kidding, but sure enough, there they were right across the street
! SpectroMagic was about to begin so we couldn’t go visit (plus I needed a tow truck to get me to a standing position so I wasn’t about to move). Ben and his Welsh friend snapped pictures like photojournalists throughout SpectroMagic!
After the parade was over, we headed back towards the Castle to watch the fireworks from the corner of the circle in front of the castle and the bridge to Tomorrowland. Tinkerbell flew right over us and I made sure to thank her for the pixie dust sent to me by all my Intercot friends. Getting there was quite a trick… I now know how salmon must feel when they swim upstream! [img]graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] After the fireworks, we got Ben the popcorn he had been begging us for and sat down for a few minutes while the crowds thinned. As we headed down Main Street, we stopped at the Bakery to pick up some goodies for the next morning’s breakfast. Soon we were out the gate (but not without looking for Jim who I had been told was working the turnstiles… I found a Jim, but not ours).
Our chariot (bus to the rest of you) whisked us back to OKW, having ended a great day at the Magic Kingdom. We didn’t accomplish everything we had planned for that day —mainly riding Splash and Big Thunder Mountains in the evening— but they’ll be there when we go back in December. Unfortunately, I don’t think Ben’s “mountain mama” will be with us again so I’ll have to build up my courage in the next few months! Help!!!