Sunday, January 9, 2011

Magic Kingdom beckons again...

Wednesday and we are back at the Magic Kingdom ~ it was to be one of the most magical days of our vacation, so it is only right that we should spend it here!

We got to the gates early again and headed over to Tomorrowland. I snapped this shot of the Astro Orbiter as we walked past thinking how much fun it would be to pilot my own rocket on top of the world!

From the ground.
Next stop....Buzz Lightyear! We picked up some fast passes, as this is once again one of the more popular rides in this part of the park. Of course Buzz is one of Peyton's favorite characters and he was so excited to see him in the lobby talking to everyone!

Buzz chats with the guests while they wait in line.
We all hopped in our star cruisers and went off to "save the galaxy from Zurg!" What fun as we shot the lazers at the various targets and racked up points. It was so much fun we rode it TWICE since the standby line didn't get as long as quickly as it normally does.
Once we finished the ride we stepped outside and there waiting for us was Stitch, NO LINE! We visited with him and got some autographs, then it was off to ride the Astro Orbiter.
Maddie was really not so sure about this one, no matter how many times I told her it would be just like the Dumbo ride we rode the first day. No amount of talking could convince her that piloting a rocket standing on top of a building would be like flying an elephant on the ground. She made me promise to ride with her ~ an easy promise to keep!

Sydney and Candy ready to fly.
Peyton and Chris wave goodbye as they ready for takeoff.
Pepaw at the controls ~ taking pictures as always!

Of course Maddie and I had a great time and we both agreed that this was a "must do again soon" ride! She decided it WAS just like Dumbo, and nothing to be frightened about.

Our next stop would be Space Mountain. I'd heard a lot about this one and couldn't wait to fly my spaceship through the inky blackness of deep space.

The entrance.

Of course we had to do this one more than once too! I loved changing partners and riding over and over again!
We finished this one walked over to Tomorrowland. Here we would take a trip though Monster, Inc. Laugh Floor. While you are waiting in line you are invited to text in a joke, if you are lucky yours will be picked and actually used in the show. Sydney and I were in a competition...she had asked me to find a joke for her, but then decided she had another that she liked better than mine so we were going to text them in and see who's got picked. During the show they came on with this one, "Where do ghosts go on vacation? Mali-Booooo!" From Sydney....darn...thought I'd been beat again. However; here came CJ's, "Why doesn't Cinderella play soccer? She always runs from the ball!" We were BOTH winners!
Laughing and celebrating our victory as we exited from Monsters, we headed on the secret path towards Mickey's Toontown Fair. The kids wanted to show us the Barnstormer...a rollercoaster they ALL loved. (Sydney really isn't much of a roller coaster girl...although she has gotten better about trying most of them at least once! This is one she actually enjoys.) While most of us chose to ride, Rick went back over to the train station and took pictures of the different trains coming in and out of the station.
Hidden Mickey in the line.
After riding the Barnstormer a couple of times we caught the train. Pepaw had mentioned the first day that this was something he really wanted to do, and we were trying to fit in all we could for everyone! We rode the train to the Main Street depot and then walked from the station over to Adventureland and the Jungle Cruise.
Hidden Mickey on the Horse Drawn Carriage Ride.
Candy had predicted that I would love the Jungle Cruise. Something about my "quirky sense of humor and LOVE of puns". Of course I didn't know this until after most of the ride...I just enjoyed every minute of it!!! (Guess she understands me pretty well!)
The entrance.
The shack across the river.
Masks in the waiting line ~ remember, we are in the jungle!

Gorrillas attack the campsite...
It doesn't look good for the jeep...

Love the detail!
Elephants getting drinks at the river.

Remeber - don't run with the zebras...
Our guide said he warned them about the Rhinos, but they wouldn't listen very well...

Alligators or Crocs???

The Hippos were hiding...
Beware the cannibals...
And just around the bend we saw them!
Jungle scenery....
The elephants frolick in the river...
As you depart you can see another reason I LOVE this ride...look at the puns!

After departing the ride we went over to the Crystal Palace to prepare for our character lunch with the Winnie the Pooh gang. I don't know which of us was the most exited! This was a buffet and as always the food was absolutely amazing!

Peyton points out Pooh in the autograph book as we wait for the characters to come to our table...

As we ate and met the characters there were so many FUN moments. A couple of the most fun and memorable....

Piglet joined us at the table and signed all the autograph books then got ready to pose for a picture. Peyton wanted to give him a little kiss on the cheek ~ a first for getting so close to a character without prompting! He leaned over, gave him a peck and then laughed and pointed saying, "It's still there!" I glanced over at Piglet and sure enough...there was an outline of Peyton's kiss on Piglet's fur...IN MACARONI CHEESE!!! I was so embarassed as I tried to rub it off the fur, but everyone else...including Piglet was laughing so hard, and Peyton just wanted to hug him again!

The next special moment came with Pooh. Candy has loved Pooh since she was 5 years old. I can still remember her joy when we made Pooh Butter when she was in Kindergarten. When Pooh came to the table and she got her hug I nearly cried at the expression on her face. It was, I could tell, another magic moment to treasure, maybe not for Candy ~ but certainly for Mommy.

Now it was time to walk off some of that amazingly good food. We started moving toward Adventureland so we could see The Enchanted Tiki Room.

On the way Peyton was fascinated by these snakes and spiders.

I loved the smiling camel.

During the Tiki room show, there really aren't any bad seats ~ as in nearly all the shows we went to at Disney World. The entire show takes place in the sky over your head so it is pretty easy to follow along.

One of the beautiful birds...

Now it was off to Frontierland and the Country Bear Jamboree. This is another I was looking forward to seeing. I can remember seeing episodes of Wonderful World of Disney where Walt Disney talked about the Country Bear Jamboree as he showcased some of the animitronics used in his "new" park. I wanted to see if it was like I remembered it and I'm very happy to say it was!

The decor above center stage.

Melvin participated by harassing some of the performers on stage.

Main stage.

Liver Lips
Part of the finale

More of the finale
Now it was time for the Riverboat ride. We were looking forward to viewing different parts of the park from the paddleboat as we traveled along the 1/2 mile "river". Mark Twain was our narrator as we floated between the scenic banks.

Tom's not done whitewashin' yet...
Beautiful bird at Harper's Mill...
And Wilson's Cave Inn...

A diving helmet on board.
As we pulled into port to dock the boat Peyton was watching all the people on shore when he saw Santa! We decided Santa must be on his vacation since it was so soon after Christmas ~ he must be recooperating from his very busy Christmas season. Our exit from the boat led us right to where Santa was sitting and he was very gracious and talked to Peyton personally, asking him if he was still being a good boy, and did he like the gifts that Santa had brought him? Peyton was totally enthralled that Santa "remembered" him...and was particularly tickled when as we left Santa said goodbye with a hearty "Ho, Ho, Ho!"
It was beginning to warm up (finally) and everyone was getting pretty thirsty so we decided it was time for a rest stop. We were close enough so we went back to The Columbia Harbour House where we had stopped for lunch the very first day and got some drinks, found a nice quiet table in the corner and relaxed and chatted about all the fun we had already had, and tried to determine a plan for the evening. Sydney pulled out my Hidden Mickey book since we had a few minutes because we both remembered that there should be some close by. We were right!

The Columbia Harbor House Hidden Mickey.
As long as we were on track for looking for Hidden Mickeys, and since the PhilharMagic was one of PePaw's favorite activities from our first day, we decided to go visit that show again. Back to Fantasyland and into the line we went....This is one of the most amazing 3-D experiences I've ever had! Of course it is done as only Disney could and you experience so much more than just the 3-D visuals.

Hidden Mickeys in the mural in the line.

And along the panel next to the screen for the show
Now it was getting close to dinner time. We couldn't believe it...every other day by the time it was time to eat we were all starving. Today we'd had that all you can eat dining experience at Crystal Palace (where the food was so good you just couldn't get enough!) and then instead of doing the fast paced walking and moving from ride to ride as we had in the past we had done longer, slower paced rides so we really hadn't burned the lunch off like we had in past days. No matter...we were off to the Liberty Tree Tavern for dinner.

Walking past Cinderella's Castle at sunset.
The dinner was served family style and included Salad, Roast Turkey, Carved Beef, Smoked Ham, Mashed Potatoes, vegetables, stuffing, Mac and cheese, with Apple crisp topped with ice cream for dessert. Can you say STUFFED??? The food was fabulous! While at dinner we discussed what all we wanted to do before the fireworks over the castle. One of the things I had mentioned during the planning of the trip was that I would really like to ride the with an extremely full tummy I said if we skipped that it would be OK, I'd just have to come back and try it again later! We decided to tackle some less "active" rides for a bit to let all the wonderful food settle and make a decision about that dream later.
Off we went to ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover ride. This lets you sit and enjoy a leisurely 10 minute journey above Tomorrowland. You also get to see some of the original architectural designs for Epcot and Space Mountain...and even get to ride through Space Mountain!
Next came a ride Sydney had been looking forward to and talking about...the Carousel of Progress. This ride is also in Tomorrowland and takes about 20 minutes to get through. You actually revolve around the stage as you move through the decades to see progress from the 40's to the present. It was so cool to look at the homes change throughout the decades. Brought back so many memories for me to share with Sydney!
We decided to walk around and enjoy some of the decorations in the windows and then thought we would work our way over to Toontown and the tea-cups since the girls really wanted to ride them with me.
The tea party on the ceiling in a Tea Shop.
Designing hats
And a completed hat in the same window
The castle at night
Changing colors
Once we got to Toontown I was surprised to see Mickey's house. I hadn't noticed this in our first walk through the park and I was tickled to death that we would have a chance to walk through.

Mickey's front door beckons you in.
Mickey's Bedroom
Me taking the picture in the hallway mirror
The living room fireplace
The kitchen entryway
The kitchen is being remodeled with a little help from his friends!
The game room
Another view of the gameroom
Pluto's house in the backyard
Tomatos in the garden
Mickey's workbench
Had to smile at the "Craftsmouse" tools and the "Last Aid" kit
Right next door to Mickey's house is Minnie's. Her house is much more interactive, and thus much more crowded and hard to get pictures in. I was able to get a few anyway...
Minnie's mailbox
Her crafts and ribbon display
Her garden room.
As we left the houses we started walking toward the tea-cups. Just as we passed an alleyway I glanced over and saw Marie the cat and two of Cinderella's mice just coming out the door. Maddie has a Marie pin that she refused to wear on her lanyard because it meant so much to her. I asked Candy if that was the same character and it was! We walked over and sure enough, they were doing autographs and photos. There was no line so we grabbed the opportunity and pulled out the autograph books. By the time we finished getting photos with Marie there was already a short line forming for the mice, but we jumped in anyway...after all, we had the time! While we were getting the autographs from the mice they took the glow wands from the girls and danced around with them and acted like they were granting wishes. They played with the kids and made them feel really special! Maddie thought they signed the autographs because they had their magic wands with them!
We walked on over to the tea-cup ride and the girls and I got in line. We decided we would start out slow and see how our tummies held up. Well that lasted about 2 seconds and we were spinning about as fast as we could make it go. What a great time! More fun even that I had imagined.
Now it was time to set up for the fireworks so we all gathered together again and set off for the primo area we had scoped out earlier...
Next Fireworks...surprise show...and THE MAIN STREET ELECTRICAL PARADE!!!

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