Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Magic Kingdom

All right, I might receive some push back from my fellow Californians for this, but I have to say it: The Magic Kingdom at Disneyworld is way better than Disneyland.

Hear me out! Hear me out. Disneyland, like the freeways in California, was built back when the population in California was a lot smaller and therefore was built for that smaller population. Disneyland often gets very, very, very crowded, with people shoulder to shoulder as far as the eye can see.

Disneyworld was built later and planned for huge crowds. The streets are wider, the buildings are bigger, the lines are more thought-out. There are two flying Dumbo rides right next to each other, and while you wait for your turn you sit in an air-conditioned building where your children play on a playground.

The Magic Kingdom at Disneyworld also has a lot more seating all around the park and in lines. The center section of the park has waaaaaay more space to watch the fireworks.

Disneyworld also has technology they haven't implemented at Disneyland yet, the biggest example of which might be MagicBands. MagicBands are way more convenient than paper tickets, fast passes, and room keys, and can also be used for meal plans and the Disney picture people. They're great.

We loved our days at the Magic Kingdom. We went there a couple times, both before and after the hurricane. Here are our pictures from all of our days there.

Our very first day, eating at the Liberty Tavern restaurant:

Susie and Grandpa

The teacups:


Zelda and Grandpa
Banks and Saya
Banks, Sydney (in the back), and Alyse
The aforementioned Dumbo ride (with air-conditioned waiting!):

Jane being cool in more ways than one:

Ellie and Jane were such cute friends the whole time. Jane is like half a year older than Susie, so was a toddler during Disneyworld, and Ellie was just so sweet to her and they both were just buddies.

Grandpa's tickles:

A favorite ride of pretty much everybody was the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Train Mine roller coaster. Zelda was a couple inches shorter than Max and Ezra  at the time of the trip so she couldn't go on a lot of the "big" rides that they could, but she could go on this roller coaster and she loved it. (Since we've been home, she's referred to it as "Snow White and the Seven Gnomes.")

Banks with Max, Alyse with Ezra, and me with Ellie
Alyse + Ezra, me + Ellie, Zelda + Sydney

We got to see the firework show the first night we were there. It was great and the kids loved it. And there was sooooo much more room to watch it than at Disneyland!

 These next photos are from our second day at the Magic Kingdom - day five of our trip.

Waiting for the bus from our hotel to the park:

This was the day before the hurricane, so the lines were amazing (everybody was gone!) and we were able to do so much stuff. It was basically walk-on to everything. 

We got to meet Ariel and Rapunzel:

And had our own crew of princesses:

Who love cotton candy:

Restaurant reservations at Disneyworld can be made up to six months in advance, so the most popular restaurants were already booked by the time we were planning our vacation last year. But since Hurricane Irma disrupted everyone's plans, we were able on the days before and after the park closures to get in to restaurants we wouldn't else have been able to. On this day, we were able to eat at the "Be Our Guest" (Beauty and the Beast) restaurant. It was so cute! I loved all the decorations and everything they had there.

Banks's family outside the restaurant
"The gray stuff" - it's delicious!
We ate in the "East Wing" (not the west wing - that one was spooky) and they had all these cool paintings up on the walls. I took pictures of some of my favorites:

All done!

We then went to a fun activity where the kids got to interact with Belle and be part of the story as she told the tale of going to live at the Beast's castle. 

Afterwards, in adventure land:

For dinner we ate at the "Crystal Palace," where characters from Winnie the Pooh come visit your table while you eat. The kids absolutely loved it.

Susie loved Piglet. We didn't plan it, but the shirt she was wearing also totally matched Piglet. Piglet clearly loved her, too:

We finished off the night with more carousel rides and the seven dwarfs roller coaster:

And coloring at the hotel:

Our next two days were spent on lock down at the hotel due to Hurricane Irma (you can read about that here), but on our first day of being free again we went back to the Magic Kingdom.

Our girls were goofballs at lunch time.

We ate at Cinderella's castle for lunch and they got to meet several princesses who came around while we were eating.

One of Ellie's favorite rides in the park is Big Thunder Mountain, and we rode it lots of times during our trip.

We also went on the Haunted Mansion several times. To help the kids be less scared, Sydney and I called it the "ghost party" ride and tried to make everything seem fun and lighthearted inside. It mostly worked.

We spent lots of time in Tomorrowland (Ellie, Max, and Ezra all went on space mountain a bunch of times while we took the smaller kids on the People Mover) and we got to meet Buzz Lightyear. He was a hit with the kids.

Space Mountain:

Annnnd more Seven Dwarfs roller coaster: 

We ate at a place on Main Street for dinner that had these giant hot dogs. There was also a particularly aggressive squirrel who kept trying to steal food from off our tables, out of our hands, and out of the strollers. 

We split the very last day of our vacation between the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

Getting ready in the morning:

Snow White sightings:

And me with each of my princesses in front of the castle:

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