It was Day Three of our Disney Adventure to celebrate our First Wedding Anniversary. We did Animal Kingdom, we did the Magic Kingdom, now it was time for Epcot.
The second day of our Disney vacation to celebrate our First Anniversary brought us to the Magic Kingdom.
We took the free bus from the Coronado Resort and to get to the Park. (You can arrive by boat if you stay at the nearby Grand Floridian or Polynesian (among others).
The Magic Kingdom is the jewel of Disney; it’s amazing, it’s unbelievable, it’s magical.
To get to the magic you need to be prepared to wait in some long lines to get through security if you have a bag with you. Once you make though security you are taken back in time and place to Main Street USA.
It’s so cute with nostalgic looking, gingerbread ornamented shops, and stores with a little park at the center. All your senses become engrossed with the small train going by, the Barbershop quartet singing, or the caramel shop opening. It is the head of Main Street where you get the view of the Magic Kingdom. The one that will have any kid young or old saying “WOW!!” Everyone stops for that photo, you kinda have to.
We walked down Main Street USA looking in all the shops and stores for goodies to eat or trinkets to buy. It was early in the day so we stay away from filling our bellies too soon or have to walk around with bag all day but we did get ideas for things to buy later. The castle beckons everyone to go to it, off we went.
We took a bunch of pictures in front of the castle. The gardens and flowers were so beautiful around the castle all just in bloom which was amazing. Our walk continued up the stairs of the castle, where you have a great view back towards Main Street USA.
With a few thousand steps already under our feet, our bellies began to growl. We stopped off at the Sleepy Hallow Refreshments for breakfast. I got the Belgian waffle and Price got a Funnel Cake. Of course we couldn’t resist topping it off with strawberry sauce and whipped cream. The sweet smell was just so intoxicating. We sat in some shade next to the castle munching on our breakfast right by where a couple had just gotten engaged, magic!
After a short break we checked our map and decided the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride would be our first ride. The line was short so we didn’t have to use our Magic Bands just yet.
The Pirates of the Caribbean Ride was fun and easy. For the two of use it was a good start to the day since the seats are made for two. The ride takes you through all the Pirate movies and a glimpse to key scenes. Plus you get a short and much needed break from the Orlando Summer heat which had bitten Price early.
Mickey Meltdown Meter – 30%
Our next stop was The Hall of Presidents, which houses a visitor area with historical artifacts along with a huge theater. The show was about 30 minutes long and very impressive. The animatronic Presidents were all dressed in historical clothes and all appeared just like you would imagine. Abe’s Hat, Washington’s coat, and Taft’s big belly. There was even a speech by our current president, Barack Obama.
Besides enjoying the show, it gave us a chance to enjoy some AC. I highly suggest stopping here when you need a real break from the heat!
Leaving just makes you wanna walk outside, blow off some fireworks, drape yourself in the American flag and drink a Sam Adams in the bed of a Ford F-150! #Merica!
Still on the west side of the Magic Kingdom we visited the Haunted Mansion. So at this point, we did the castle, pirates, Presidents, and now ghost. Oh Disney!
The Haunted Mansion was something I did when I was little and always had fun memories of so I was looking forward to doing it again. The line was extremely long but it moved fairly quickly. Plus there’s fun activities to do outside- like play music on the decorations. \
The haunted House is corny, fun, and sweet. It was fun to do again after all these years.
After all our morning activities we had to get inside, get well hydrated, and have a real meal. Prior to getting to Disney we made a reservation at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant in Main Street with our Disney Travel agent. She told us about a brand new deal they had that allows you to get a 3 course lunch and get reserved seats for a parade later. Sounded fun to us so we had to do it.
Tony’s is a really nice Italian restaurant, big portions, good food, ice cold water (I’m sure each place has it but Price was drinking as if he was melting from the insides!!!). We enjoyed great service, amazing food (the tuna! omg!) while there. Unfortunately, my tiramisu dessert was frozen. We received our bill with to free passes to see Tinkerbell, which we presume is due to the frozen dessert.
These character interactions usually have very long lines but not with the free pass, we went right to the fronts.
Meeting Tinkerbell was so neat (and a bit silly). The cast member was on point with anything to say to stay in character.
Tink was a great sport saying ‘hi’ to a friend of mine on video. My bud loves Tink so it was so fun to send her that video. ha!
We started to make our way back through Main Street Disney and towards the Castle. Price splayed out on the “lawn” area with a Mickey Meltdown Meter set at about 50% when we noticed people lining up to watched a parade.
We soon discovered it was time for the Festival of Fantasy Parade. We stuck around to see the characters, floats, and musicians for a long time. The parade ended with a fire breathing dragon. (FB live video!)
The next area of the park that we ventured into was Tomorrowland. The sculptures, exhibits, and buildings appear futuristic or sci fi. It’s silly looking but still fun.
We jumped on the People Mover Ride. This allowed us to loop around above Tomorrow Land in the shade. Bliss.
Then we headed over to the Carousel of Progress. It was personally created by Walt Disney for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair using cutting edge animatronics technology. It is so dated but fun. It shows how life has changed for the average middle class American family since at points in time from 1900, 1920’s, 1940’s, and ‘today’. That today Act looks like it’s in the 80’s? early 90’s? It’s so strange but fun. (Again, more AC!)
We decided to speed things up from the slow pace of the People Mover by heading over to the Tomorrowland Speedway. Accept there was no speed…
I understand that this is for ‘All Ages’ but it’s really for kids, maybe 12 and under, that would get a thrill of driving on a track but this ride is a huge waste of time and space for Disney. The cars were very difficult to maneuver on the guided track, it was impossible to steer without hitting the middle guiderail that would jerk you to your lane and around the track. The other aspect was that pushing the peddles was very difficult. Price said it took all of his 220 lbs to keep the peddle down the whole time, so how could a little kid do it? In Prices opinion, it was the worst thing about Disney. Mickey Meltdown Meter: 60%
We perked ourselves up with a treat after that lame ride on the Speedway. After all, we couldn’t resist get Mickey shaped ice cream and having the castle in the background.
Towards the northeast corner of the park is the Casey Jr Splash ‘N’ Soak. Sorry kids, the adults need to cool off too. We walked through some sprinklers and cooled off a bit without being drenched the rest of the day. By this time it was mid afternoon but we still had a lot to see and do.
Near the Splash Park is Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid ride….
This was my dream come true!!!!!! I have always loved The Little Mermaid. So this was something we had to do while at the park. I loved every bit of it from the clam shell ride seat to the music and animatronics.
I mean… come on now!!! Ugh! I loved it.
Early in the morning we made a FastPass+ reservation for Space Mountain with our Magic Bands. Good thing because the line was almost 2 hrs long!! We skipped a majority of the line (to the point when the regular line and fast Pass lines meet) so it was a great use of one of the 3 FastPass+ reservations you get a day.
I was really surprised Price did so well at Space Mountain, as he doesn’t like roller coasters much. Space Mountain is dark, fast, twisty, with lots to laser lights all over. It’s was a blast for me but he was glad that we are not going back any time soon. ha!!!
We needed another cold beverage and I had to have the infamous Dole Whip. We were on a mission for one so we went across from Tomorrowland to Advenureland to get to the Aloha Isle stand. While Price would have used all our food vouchers on Dole Whip, we shared one and moved on with our day.
During our wait at the Haunted Mansion earlier in the day we saw a bunch of people on an island and wondered how would we get to it. Well, we figured it out!!
It was Tom Sawyer’s Island which was accessed by a few boats and docks. Pricer and I waited around a few minutes until we saw a worker and asked if we could go. There response; “You can now!!” (I assume they were closed for a short while). We had the entire island to ourselves for about 30 minutes; we wandered the caves, we walked the bridges over and over, we got into all parts of the forts, we sat in the rocking chairs, and no one else was around. For a short time, we had our own private island at Disney! We had been surrounded by thousands of people for two days so getting away from everything, was really nice.
We used another one of our Fast Pass+ ride reservations for Splash Mountain. Again, really worth it since the line was crazy long.
Thankfully, we ended up in the front seats since you get the biggest splash in those seats when you down the log flume part of the ride.
Our lunch and afternoon treats were so filling that we didn’t want a ‘real’ diner so we opted for using our Snack Credits from our meal plan to grab a Churro and Pretzel from a cart. I didn’t love the churro that much. It was decent but not stellar. But it was still so nice to just hang out with Price and take a moment to reflect on our busy day.
As the sun began to set we started to make our way back to Main Street, USA to get our seats at the Town Square Viewing Area for the Main Street Electrical Parade.
Man, getting reserved seats with our lunch package was so great! We sat right in front for perfect viewing, without being crowded.
Characters and floats of all sizes will lit up for a fun parade around Main Street. Everyone was there from Tink to Snow White to Pete and his Dragon.
Yeah, this might be the best photo of the day!
Everyone was great, but this guy was extra awesome. He saw me taking pictures and ran right up to my and yelled (in character!) so I was able to snap this.
(The Light Parade is moving to Disney Land in October, so be sure to see it while you can!)
There was a little boy waiting for the nightly fireworks who had just had enough and decided that laying down on Main Street was a good idea. To be more specific, he decided that laying on my right foot and looking up at me was perfectly acceptable. I didn’t even have the heart to make him move since I couldn’t blame him at all. If it was acceptable for a 31-year old woman to lay down and whine on Main Street USA, I would have.
Thankfully, the Fireworks show (9pm) was well worth the wait. It was magical to watch it all. The start of the fireworks was awesome with (an illuminated) Tink flying all around The Castle, and then a real life one flying (ziplining) away from The Castle for the fireworks to begin. The Castle gets all lit up with fireworks going boom all around it.
We were so thankful to get back to the room and just collapse in the bed. It was a day filled with lots of miles walked, lots of food eaten, and lots of fun had by both of us.
My feet were beat and Price’s knees were sore from our endless walking, but so worth it!! Mickey Meltdown Meter 70%
And we still had 1 more day to go!!! Next up: Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow).
It had been just over 20 years since I had been to Disney and over 25 for Price, so when we were trying to figure out what were going to go to celebrate our belated honeymoon/first anniversary we quickly considered Disney. It just seemed like the prefect situation as it’s close by and something we had never done before. The first Anniversary is paper, surprisingly we didn’t spend as much as we thought we would.
We worked with Victoria, a great Disney travel agent at Hi-Ho Vacations to help book and plan out our trip. It was no-cost to us and it was comforting to know that we had someone comparing prices and looking for the best discounts to get us the best deal. We compared a few different resorts and got the best deal by staying at the Coronado Springs Resort with Park Hopper Passes and the Disney meal plan.
Before we knew it our anniversary was here and we were checking into the Coronado Springs Resort.
Leading up to that moment, Victoria sent us information on different plan options for us to book. There were several we could consider at different price points. As well, she sent information on the different parks, restaurants, and attractions we wanted to see. It’s Disney, so the options were endless.
Here’s to one year, and many more!
Now that we live in Florida, Disney is no longer a “maybe next year” or “in our lifetime we will go” now it’s less than a 2 hour drive and Voila, Mickey Time!! We got up early and drove in, around the park, around the complex, and finally to our destination, the Coronado Springs Resort. No lie, the magic is all around you and it better be, because people come from around the world to see something we hopped in our cars and drove to. We checked in which was very pleasant. This is Disney! So of course checking in is an experience. “There are your magic bands… This is where we are… your room is here… pool… restaurants… buses to any one of our parks located here…” I could go on and on but we were given so much information and every question we asked was answered.
Mickey Meltdown Meter – 0%
After getting our stuff set up in our room in Casitas 4, we headed over to the closest bus stop (#2) to get to the Animal Kingdom theme park. A short wait and then a bus ride later, we were at the park for some much needed fun.
We didn’t really have a plan, aside from dinner, when we got there so we wandered around checking out the animals a bit since it was just fun to be there. We ended up heading over to the Tree of Life since pretty much centrally located in the resort on Discover Island. Plus, it’s just so cool. The central location basically screams “um yeah, I’m the Tree of Life”
On our way there, we noticed we were perfectly timed up with heading in to the “It’s Tough to be a Bug!“ show. We didn’t know what the show was about but decided to just wing it and head in. It was geared more to younger kids with the animation and he characters from It’s a Bug Life, but it was fun to learn about bugs. Plus, the special effects were just cool. I recommend it for anyone.
Then we wandered some more taking it all in.
Plus, we didn’t prepare and make FastPass+ reservations with our Mickey Bands to sign up for up to three events, shows, rides, etc. And we didn’t know which ones to pick from that worked around our dinner reservations. Thankfully we didn’t really need to use it right away since there were plenty of attractions with short rides.
Checking out the monkeys in in the Asia part of the park!
Again, the lines were short and quick so we didn’t need to use our Magic Band Fast Pass Reservations for the Dinosaur ride in Dinoland, USA section of the park.
Ultimately, we needed to head back over towards the Africa section of the part, as our dinner reservation was in that area.
We took a quick stop off to visit the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail before dinner. It was so fun to check out all the animals they had on display. We learned to much from the cast members in the area. We learned the grooming and social habits of the Angola colobus monkeys (pictured above and below). I think they have nicer hair than me they groom it to much!
There were so many animals in there to check out and learn about
Plus, it was nice to walk around in the shade under the canopy holding hands enjoying all the sights. So romanical.
We walked all over and worked up a real appetite so we couldn’t wait for our dinner reservation at the Tusker House Restaurant, which featured a great buffet. This was one of those places we researched from what Victoria sent us weeks before our trip. It had great reviews for the selection and quality of food.
We were so, so hungry by that point that we immediately dug right in. Who wouldn’t be hungry!?! Our Fitbits were telling us that we both crushed our 10k step goal wandering around the park.
We got to take some pictures with Safari Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy. It was so silly but wonderful. Even as an adult they come over to make your night special.
Also, there were a few outlets here so I was able to charge my nearly dead phone for some juice. Finding outlets to be able to charge your phone around the theme park was tough so I was happy to get some time to give it a decent charge.
Our next be adventure took us on Safari! An after dinner safari, sure why not!?!
We went on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride that loaded up groups into jeeps to go on a safari. The guide set up the experience to to guide us on a 2 week Safari, when in reality it was about 20 minutes long.
Why did the Rhino cross the road?
Rhino does what Rhino wants!
There were some natural barriers to keep animals away from the jeep, but for the most part they could roam all over. It was so cool to animals in the ‘wild’.
Both of us were so impressed with the amount and variety of animals we saw on our safari. We have been to plenty of zoo’s before but have never had seen animals like this before. They were active, playful, and were happy to just go about their business while we drove around.
We used one of our three FastPass+ reservations for the safari. At this point we found out how to easily use the magic band by signing up for reservations at kiosks around the park. So long 55 minute wait, let’s go to the front!!
While we didn’t do it, Disney set up a new Nocturnal Encounters experience which allows you to check the African Safari out at duck/night so you can check out the animals when they are more active. The animals were so close you just wanna reach out and touch them. BUT DON’T!
After dinner we also went on the Kali River Rapids, which was so much fun. Plus, it was just so refreshing to get wet on that hot June night.
Since we didn’t drink at dinner we decided that we needed to grab a drink to enjoy while we walked around the park. We stopped off at walk up bar at the Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks as we crossed over into the Asia section of the park. We split the Khumbu Icefall ($8.50), which was a frozen drink make of Cruzan Guava Rum Blended with Coconut and Raspberry Puree, and the Himalayan Ghost($9.50), which was Snow Leopard Vodka, Guava, and Odwalla Lemonade.
As expected, alcoholic drinks are pricey, but can be hard to come by, depending on what park you are in. Understandably, no vendor in the Magic Kingdom has alcohol, which we learned the hard way the following day.
Mickey Meltdown Meter – 20%
We headed over to the Tree of Life with our drinks to enjoy the Nighttime Awakenings light show that is illuminated on the tree. We just missed one show so we snuck to the front of the viewing area to get the best spot for the next show. So worth the 10-15 minute wait between the shows, especially with our frozen drinks on the hot Florida night.
By then we had been on our feet for hours and hours so we were so ready to head back to the room to crash.
In the end, my Fitbit read I had taken 20,671 steps for the day and had covered 8+ miles, which is pretty impressive all around, especially since we did the majority of our steps/distance for the day while at Disney, not at home.
We hopped on the bus which dropped us near the hotel room and crashed in our big comfy king sized bed.
Next Up: One day at the Magic Kingdom