The last time we went to Disney, Jodi was two and I was six... And I had the chicken pox. Literally the only thing I remember about the actual park was meeting Mulan and getting her autograph for my book. Oh, and having to swim in the hotel pool with a t-shirt on. Yuck. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I got to go, I just wish I could've remembered more.
This time, we arrived about an hour early. Honestly though, it was probably a good thing since the people at Will Call had an issue finding our tickets, but it didn't take too long to get resolved. When we received our tickets (basically room key cards), we hopped on the ferry over to the Magic Kingdom! As we only had one day for Disney, we wanted to dedicate our time to our favorite stories and movies.
The first ride we went on was the Snow White Mine Train, as we were told the line would be one of the longest. By the time we got to the ride, the line was already at a 30 minute wait... Might have gotten there a tad sooner, but first thing was first: we had to take a selfie with Cinderella's Castle.
For most of the morning, we spent our time in Fantasyland. We spun in the teacups, flew with Dumbo, met Alice and the White Rabbit, explored the Hundred Acre Woods, found out how small the world really is, and Jodi's absolute favorite: we met Peter Pan. This was her ultimate goal for this trip and we fulfilled it. Unfortunately, Princess Aurora was not seeing guests that day, so my dreams were dashed. Alice was a nice second choice, though.
After we met Peter, our FastPasses were about to begin. The nice thing about Disney is that everyone gets to choose three rides on their visit to use FastPasses, which really helps alleviate stress about not having time for everything. For ours, we chose to use them on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, meeting Mickey Mouse, and Space Mountain. For the two coasters, it saved us A LOT of time. I think for each we only had to wait fifteen minutes or so in line. The only FastPass we probably would've switched out was to meet Mickey - and that's only because people with FastPasses were the only ones in line to meet him at our scheduled time. Everyone else was looking for a good spot to see the afternoon parade. Luckily for us, we got to meet Mickey and make it outside in time to see the floats riding down Main Street.
In between Mickey/the parade and our Space Mountain time, we were able to squeeze in one ride and Stitch's Great Escape was right on the way. It was very anticlimactic. At first I was excited because I love Lilo & Stitch, but this ride lasted about five minutes longer than necessary. There is more walking involved than movement in the ride. The only thing that ride achieves is making me paranoid by having me strapped in while all the lights are off and they're shooting air at my ears for minutes at a time. No thank you. Being in the dark for Space Mountain is another matter entirely. Mainly because it is expected.
Once we finished our Fastpass stuff, we decided it was time to meet some princesses. First up was Enchanted Tales with Belle. We weren't sure what to expect, but it was so adorable. Basically, you go in with a decent-size group and they use audience participation to reenact the story of Beauty and the Beast. The cast member ended up choosing me to be the Wardrobe, thankfully all I had to do was hold a cutout of the wardrobe and walk around the "library". I was also one of the lucky few who got a picture with Belle!
After Belle, we decided to meet Ariel! This was one of the two really long lines we were in. The other one we were in directly after the Little Mermaid ride: Peter Pan's Flight. If we could change anything about our day there, we'd switch out our FastPass from Mickey to Peter Pan's Flight. Both meeting Ariel and flying with Peter were worth the wait in our opinion, but maybe we should've done that before my feet really began aching. Or maybe I should've just worn better shoes.
If you're looking for a theme park with high intensity rides, the Magic Kingdom is probably not for you. But if you're looking for a theme park to allow you to relive your childhood and actually experience the stories you've always loved, than this is the place for you. My favorite rides were the ones that took us through the stories, like Peter Pan's Flight, The Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh, and the Little Mermaid. They paid great attention to detail with the stories and made you feel like you were a part of them. As the best stories do.
While we didn't have time to do everything in one day, most notably, Adventureland, we are both kind of glad. It gives us a reason to plan another trip! And maybe even exploring the other parks, as well.
Jodi and I could not be more thankful to our parents for making this trip happen. It was one of the best experiences we could share before beginning the next chapters in each of our lives: her, going off to college in the fall; and me, moving out of Ohio. Whatever the future brings for us, we'll always have the magical and wondrous memories of Universal Studios and Disney World.