After checking in, we made sure our bag had everything in it that we needed (I later realized I’d forgotten about 4 things, but oh well), put on our silly hats, anniversary pins, and some sunblock, and headed off to the bus stop to wait for the bus to the Magic Kingdom. It was a bit weird not arriving via monorail, but soon we were there, walking through the gates! As it was the middle of the day (around 3:30 pm), we didn’t need to rush to any rides to beat lines, so we strolled in leisurely (I love that first sight of the castle!) and decided to use our daily snack credit since we were hungry. I’d heard great things about Dole Whips and Dole Whip Floats, so we each got a Dole Whip Float (mine was pineapple, Chris’s was orange, both are soft serve with pineapple juice) from the stand in Adventureland. MMMM. They were really good and quite refreshing. Definitely lived up to the hype.
We walked over to the Haunted Mansion, one of my favorite rides, while eating/drinking our Dole Whip Floats. All before dinner, we managed to hit most of the rest of our favorites: Pirates, Buzz Lightyear (I beat Chris’s score! haha!), Carousel of Progress (I know most people think this is dumb, but I love it), It’s a Small World (much to Chris’s chagrin), the Laugh Floor (for the first time), Jungle Cruise, and Mickey’s Philharmagic. For some reason, the park looked fairly packed, yet all the lines were pretty short. The longest line we waited in was the 20 minute Jungle Cruise line. Everything else was 15 or less, which was great!
As we knew beforehand, Space Mountain and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority were closed for renovations, so neither of them for us this time. 😦 They also ended up closing down Thunder Mountain for a while due to technical difficulties, so we didn’t get on it that day, but we knew we were coming back the next day, so it wasn’t a problem. We did grab fast passes for it, since they said it shouldn’t be down too long, but once we got to the front of the line to get fast passes, the time had changed so much (due to the huge amount of people getting turned away from the broken down ride), that our return time would be our dinner reservation time, so we just gave them to another couple. Splash Mountain’s line was actually pretty long (I think at least an hour), so we just skipped that. We should have saved the fast pass for this, but oh well. Anyway, all the rides we got on were fun as always. Chris hates IASW, but he was a trooper and rode it for me. It was weird though, lots of buildings were under renovation, so there were a lot of those paper facades up, which kind of tarnishes the magic a bit, but I understand they need to do the work (I guess I just think they should probably pick a less busy time of year to impact as few people as possible). IASW was actually one of them, so Chris had a glimmer of hope that it was closed, but we just had to find the makeshift entrance off to the side.
On the upside, Chris really liked the Laugh Floor, so that was a plus for him. It was pretty cute. It’s animated and somewhat interactive (I think someone who can hear the audience does the character voices backstage, I just don’t know how the animation is always appropriate to what needs to be said and as we later found out, different for different shows, perhaps depending on people’s answers?). Anyway, it was pretty cool.
I got a bit of a headache midday (and Advil was one of the things I forgot to put in the backpack), but we found some in a store and then found out that you can ask for ice water at any CS restaurant and it’s free, so we at least got free water. And now you know you can get free ice water! Finally, something free at Disney World!
After all the rides, we were off to our late dinner (8:25 pm – general closing time was 9 that night, but there was extra magic hours for resort guests) at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, which is Italian food. I had spaghetti and meatballs and creme brulee, and Chris had chicken parmesan and an ice cream bomb. We also shared bruschetta for an appetizer (which wasn’t included in our dining plan, so we just had to pay for that out of pocket. Everything else was included and everything was very yummy. Their meatballs were fantastic (very dense, I love dense meatballs). Though we were starving when we got there, the food really filled us up quickly and by the end of dinner, we were beyond stuffed. There was no parade this night, so we didn’t get to see that, but we had it slotted in for the next day, so no worries. We heard, but didn’t get to see Wishes, the fireworks, but again, we knew we’d be back the next night with an early dinner, so that was ok. Plus, I love the music for Wishes, so it was nice even to just hear it anyway. 🙂
After dinner, the MK was open for EMH until 1 am, so we decided to just walk around a bit and take some pictures. It was so romantic to just stroll around the paths around the castle holding hands, just enjoying the scenery and each other. 🙂 It actually might have been my favorite part of the trip. You’re typically racing around in an effort to get to all your favorite rides, so it’s nice to just take your time and enjoy the atmosphere sometimes.
After we were both feeling a little less full and done taking pictures, we decided to call it a night and head home, so we went back to the bus stops and got on a bus fairly quickly. After the long drive down to Florida and the excitement of the first day of parks, we were exhausted, but happy, and fell asleep really quickly. Next up: Animal Kingdom/MK again!