Monday, October 27, 2008

Our Disney World Vacation--Day 2, Part 3

We went to the Magic Kingdom for the evening parade and fireworks this evening.

I didn't write down what time everyone woke up and when we got going, but it must have been relatively early because we got a lot done this evening.

Our first stop was for supper at Pinocchio's Village Haus. There are tables there that overlook the Small World ride, so that's a lot of fun. Now one of the annoying things about Disney World is their kids' menus. You'd think that a place with so many kids would have good kids' menus, right? Well, that's wrong. There are only 2 or 3 choices on each of the kids' menus at counter service restaurants, and they're never the same thing that's on the adults' menus. So if the park map says that a restaurant is a pizza restaurant, it has pizza for the adults, but not for the kids. Likewise for hamburger joints. Apparently it's cheaper for them if all of their pizzas at one restaurant are the same size so their employees don't get confused. The park patrons get very confused with their system, though.

So anyway, on the Dining Plan, you have to order kids' meals for the kids under 10. No exceptions. Well this restaurant is a pizza restaurant, meaning adults were going to be eating lots of pizza here. Piglet loves pizza. You can't take him into a pizza restaurant and not give him pizza. So I did what every other mother would do at this restaurant--I ate a kids' meal so he could eat pizza. I've read on the Internet that the pizza here is horrible, and according to Chris, that's right. He said it was hideous. But Piglet wolfed his down, so I guess he was fine with it. He got a combo meal with a salad, so I ate his salad. Tigger and I both had kids' meals with turkey and cheese rollups. They were good, but each one was just 3 one-inch slices from a tortilla rollup. He got his with applesauce and grapes; I got mine with grapes and carrot sticks. I was still hungry when we were done. Chris was getting two deserts at each of these counter service places, since they were included in the Free Dining. I couldn't ever eat the deserts because I can't eat nuts, cinnamon, or eggs. That only leaves ice cream in the desert category, and the counter service restaurants don't usually have that.

Our next mission was to get FastPasses for Buzz Lightyear. We love that ride. We got them, and then we noticed that the sign said that the wait time for waiting in the regular line was 5 minutes, and we could tell by looking at the line that it was an overestimate, so we just got in line and rode it. I got 397,400 points! Chris and I were in different ride vehicles, and he was certain he had beat me, but he had under 100,000 points and couldn't believe it when I told him my score. I did a silly thing, though, and told him my secret, and I don't think I won again for the rest of the trip. Here's a picture of the stuff you shoot at on that ride.

Now it really, really looked like it was going to rain this evening. In fact, when I parked Roo's stroller so we could go on Buzz, a Disney employee started moving it right away, telling me she was putting it under an awning because it would be raining before we got out. It didn't start raining then, though.

Next we rode Carousel of Progress, which is a great old ride that Walt himself worked on. It never has a line. In fact, it isn't always open, but we make a point to ride it when it is.

We got on Tomorrowland Transit Authority next. This was another ride that we had ridden already our first day and another family favorite. It's a slow ride on an elevated track that goes all around Tomorrowland. There's really no point to it, but it's a relaxing ride, and you can see lots of stuff from it. It's another ride that's always a walk on.

By this time, it was time that we could use our FastPasses for Buzz, so we got on it again. Despite all of the tips that I know, I only got 24,000 points this time. I didn't write down Chris's score, but he used my tips and did much better than I did.

Now it was getting time to find a spot for the parade. We walked to Frontierland and got a spot by the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon. It was 7:40. While we were waiting, Chris went to the Enchanted Grove snack stand and got us all something cold and yummy to snack on while we waited (using our snack credits on the Dining Plan). He got a Coke float, I got a frozen raspberry lemonade, Piglet got frozen orange juice, and Tigger got vanilla ice cream (he's not crazy about berries or fruit with much flavor).

We also got out some fun things that I had bought ahead of time for the trip. As soon as it gets dark, vendors start coming out at Disney World selling all kinds of glow-in-the-dark jewelry and light spinners at outrageous prices. I bought a package of 25 glow necklaces for $1 at Dollar Tree, and I got some light spinners for about $5 each at Party City. I also got these cute bunny ears (which I told the boys were Mickey ears) at Dollar Tree for $1 each.

Finally, the parade started. It starts at 8:00, but it starts on Main Street, so if you view it toward the end of the route like we did, it takes about another 10 minutes before it gets there. They alternate the parades at Disney World every few years. Right now, it's Spectromagic. It's a great parade with light-up floats and lots of characters. The characters all wave to the people, and some of them waved right to our boys. Piglet and Tigger were sure it was because they liked our light spinners. Here are some of the pictures.

Our next goal was to see the fireworks that start at 9:00. The main place people like to watch the fireworks is on Main Street, with the castle in the background. If you watch them there, you stand shoulder to shoulder with strangers, many of whom don't use deoderant. Another option is watching them behind the castle in Fantasyland. We took that choice. The fireworks show was changed a few years ago, and now they shoot them off from two different places, but I'd read that if you stand in just the right spot in Fantasyland, they look almost as good as they do from Main Street. It's a spot right by Dumbo, so we walked over there.

When we got to Dumbo, there was no line. We hadn't ridden it because it's one of those rides where you have to get to the Magic Kingdom at least 45 minutes before it opens so you can be first at rope drop, and then you have to run over any grandmothers and toddlers who get in your way. Otherwise, you stand in a long line that's out in the sun. It's a really slow-moving line, and since the ride is in every Disney commercial, every kid wants to ride it. We weren't willing to fight for the right to ride it, but Chris did take the older boys on it then since it was easy while I held our spot.

We had our first snag in our plans when Chris called me from the line right before they got on and said that Piglet needed to use the restroom. I walked to the exit, and Piglet was supposed to go straight to the exit when they loaded the ride, rather than getting on the ride vehicle, so I could take him to the restroom while Chris and Tigger rode. Well, he took one look at that flying elephant up close and decided that he didn't have to go to the restroom that badly. He got on the ride. By this time, I'd lost our perfect fireworks viewing spot.

The fireworks started while Chris and the boys were flying through the sky. Because of the way the fireworks are set off, I had to keep turning from one side to the other to see them all. It wasn't perfect, but we were at Disney World. What did I have to complain about?

Well, maybe the rain. You know that rainstorm that the Disney employee told me was immenent a few hours ago? Well, it finally started while the guys were on Dumbo. It got pretty hard fast, too. Dumbo soon ended, and we all ran to the awning by the carousel, despite the fact that we could only see half of the fireworks from there.

Then Piglet realized that he really did need to go to the restroom, and he couldn't wait. By this time it's pouring, but Chris has done all of the bathroom trips until now, so I volunteer to do this one. The first bathroom we went to was closed for renovations, so we sludged through puddles now 3" deep and found another one.

We made it back to the others before the fireworks was done and finished watching them. They were okay, but not spectacular.

Next we had to join the throngs of people leaving. The park closes right after the fireworks, so everyone was headed out. We put Roo in the front pack on me so that we could put Tigger in the stroller, and then Piglet was the only one we had to hang onto. It wasn't too bad, though, and a bus got there almost as soon as we got to the bus stop, so we were at the hotel and in the bathtub very quickly, and then we settled down for a good night's sleep.

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