Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Cinderella Castle

Finding the Magic in the Magic Kingdom – Day 1

I have been looking forward to Miss O’s first visit to Disney’s Magic Kingdom for ages. It’s my absolute favorite park. I hadn’t been since senior year of college, way before the new Fantasyland expansion (yes, that’s a long time ago, kids) and I could not wait share it with Miss O. I knew our day at Animal Kingdom would be a success because ANIMALS, but I worried Miss O may have grown tired of princesses. I knew Mr. A could care less about them and I worried about his influence on her. There’s a lot more to the Magic Kingdom than princesses, but is there enough? Did we wait too long to share this part of the magic?

As part of our week-long trip, I planned for two days at Magic Kingdom. There is so much to do there, especially with the expansion, that I didn’t want to be rushed any more than we had to be. Since we went in late August, the park closed at 6 PM for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, too, so I knew we’d have a lot to fit in each day. I decided to split the park down the middle and focus on one side each day. If we got through our wish list for each area on the first day, we could head over to the other side and get a head start on Day 2 or start repeating rides from Day 1.

We headed to the park for rope drop Tuesday morning and paused for a quick picture on Main Street, because I just had to have one, and we ran into one of Miss O’s Daisy Troop friends! It’s a small world after all!

Everyone has their favorite ride to target for rope drop and Peter Pan’s Flight is always on those lists somewhere. I was able to score a FastPass+ for 9:40 that morning, so we headed for the Barnstormer instead. Miss O decided she wanted nothing to do with that, so while everyone else enjoyed that, she and I got some quality girl time on Dumbo that I will treasure forever. She loved it so much and there was no one in line, so we did it twice!

It’s not a day in the MK without a ride on the teacups, so we headed straight for the Mad Tea Party where we spotted Alice having a go in a teacup! After a very dizzy and very fun ride, we paused for a visit with Alice before Miss O changed her mind. I won’t lie, I was disappointed, but I had to remind myself this trip was for her, not me.

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Alice in Wonderland Teacups Mad Tea Party

We headed off to Prince Charming’s Carousel and walked right past Peter Pan on our way! Miss O was having a ball and the morning had barely begun. I was in desperately in need of coffee but seriously grateful we started so early. No lines and no heat!

By the time we regrouped and made our way to Peter Pan’s Flight, I was glad we had a FastPass+. We waited less than a minute to board our ship and Miss O was in awe the entire time. I love that ride. There’s just nothing like it. Pure, simple, fun.

It’s a Small World was up next, which I can never think of without thinking it’s my mother’s least favorite ride. Miss O ADORED it. She would do that all day if she could, but we had a lot of ground to cover in a short day and I wanted to explore the Tangled area. I knew it wasn’t big, but it’s the only bathroom I’ve ever wanted to see that badly. It’s darling!!

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Tangled Fantasyland

We grabbed at snack at the Liberty Market and I was reminded why I love cold grapes on a hot day – so refreshing! We got Miss O a slushy complete with Mickey Straw and we were all rested and refreshed in no time.

Most of our group was ready for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but that’s another ride you couldn’t pay Miss O to get on. I’m not big on roller coasters, so I didn’t mind missing out. The Pixie Dust was working hard the day I made our FastPass+ reservations, because I was able to score one for meeting Rapunzel and Tiana at the same time the rest of our family were braving Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We said our goodbyes outside the market and Miss O and I headed back to Fairytale hall for our first Magic Kingdom Princess visit with Tiana and Rapunzel.

Our experience took way less time than I budgeted and the rest of the group wasn’t off Thunder Mountain yet, so Miss O and I decided to try our luck with meeting Ariel in her grotto. Miss O loved that Ariel had her sparkly tail!

By the time, we were out of the grotto, our family joined us to ride Under the Sea: The Journey of the Little Mermaid with no wait. We were in line and off the ride in less than ten minutes. We probably would have ridden it again if we didn’t need to rush off to the Liberty Tree Tavern for our 12:45 reservation.

I did not expect to fall in love at the Liberty Tree Tavern. It’s a place I’ve often ignored, mostly because the only joy I ever find in that area of the park is the Haunted Mansion. I was so wrong! First, they had a fairly robust gluten-free menu, so I knew I wouldn’t starve. It was pretty hot that day, so I really only wanted a salad anyway, but it’s always nice to see real choices. I ordered the Colony House Salad, expecting a refreshing little plate. Instead, I got a huge salad brimming with apples and grilled chicken and the most HEAVENLY Honey Shallot salad dressing. I may never eat anywhere else in the park for lunch again. I forgot to ask our server about it, but found it online at WDW Recipes in less than five minutes. Someday I’ll actually make it.

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Liberty Tree Tavern Colony Salad Gluten free Dining

Second, I could not believe our luck to be right there at that time. We weren’t really thinking of making time to watch the parade. The kids don’t usually care about stuff like that. But of course, it’s always better at Disney. As soon as someone mentioned the parade, Miss O wanted to go see it. I wasted no time getting up from the table and walking outside. We had the BEST VIEW. We missed a couple of the floats at the beginning, but we got there for the princesses and saw Mickey and Minnie at the end. It was perfect!

After lunch and much cajoling, I got Miss O to get brave and agree to go on the Haunted Mansion. It’s one of my favorite rides and I was determined to get her on it. I fished out some glow bracelets for the kids and promised the ride wasn’t really scary after that first room. The ride, of course, stopped right before it turns the Doom Buggies backwards, which sent a little panic thorough Miss O, but the lights came on and we only waited a few minutes before it started back up. At that point, she was more interested in how the projection worked than scared about ghosts, so I considered that a win. Double that because it apparently rained while we were in the Mansion, so we were spared a rain shower.

Our third FastPass+ was coming up, which was my incredibly lucky score for 7 Dwarfs Mine Train. Miss O wasn’t having that at all, so I scheduled a FastPass+ reservation for her and me to visit Cinderella and Elena back at Fairytale Hall. They were both perfect!

Our meet and greet exit lead straight into the gift shop this time, which I was not prepared for. Fortunately, mostly for Miss O, the rain had come and we didn’t have our ponchos on. Good thing there’s a store to shop in while we wait…Unfortunately for the rest of our group, the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train temporarily shut down, so they went to Mickey’s Philharmagic instead and were waiting out what was now sideways rain over there. Miss O happily visited with Every. Single. Toy.

Magic Kingdom Cinderella's Castle Toy Minnie Mouse

No, this will not fit in our luggage.

Once the rain subsided enough to make it bearable, we reconvened for the walk over to Tomorrowland. First stop, the Carousel of Progress, which as much as they’ve tried to update it, still isn’t quite there yet. It’s still fun though. The kids were pretty excited about the whole seating area moving and Miss O fell in love with the song and the dog.

We moved on to the Tomorrow Transit Authority PeopleMover, one of my favorite classic rides (no waiting!), and enjoyed a little zip over Tomorrowland while the rain quieted down even more. The wait for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin was about 10 minutes at that point, so we dodged the puddles and got right in line. By then it was around dinner time and my mother-in-law and father-in-law decided to call it a day. The rest of us had an absolute blast on the ride and wrapped up our day at The Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor, which I found funnier than I expected.

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Monsters Inc Laugh Floor

As we headed out of the park, we had some fun taking rainy Disney poncho people pictures, and even got a PhotoPass photographer to take a group picture right outside the Laugh Floor. We missed the parade, but were grateful to also miss the shuttle lines that night.

Hubs and I had an ongoing debate about whether to park hope over to Epcot for the rest of the night, but I was concerned about Miss O making it all night, let alone through the rest of the week. Mr. A was raring to go and almost never sleeps, so Uncle B and Aunti L were taking him to Epcot. I compromised with a ride on the monorail over to Epcot, one of Hubs favorite things to do, and we’d take the shuttle home from there.

I could not have asked for a better day at Magic Kingdom. When I told Miss O we had only done half the park, she was so sad. The second I told her we were going back later in the week to do the rest, she was so excited! Looks like princesses still do the trick after all.

My only regret?

Not. One. Mickey. Bar.

Walt Disney World Mickey Bar Disney treats

Photo credit: HarshLight

 

 

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