On the first full day of our visit to Disney World, we started off with a bang in the Magic Kingdom.
Here's how our mornings typically went. I woke up at the crack of dawn to get myself showered and ready, feed Annabeth, and get our junk packed up. I was waking up at 6 am, which was really 5 am to my central-time-zone-self. Ouch! Curtis fetched our breakfast (mostly pancakes) each morning and brought it back to the room. We left at 8:15 to get in line for the bus or the boat, depending on where we were going. That put us at each park just minutes before opening.
On our Magic Kingdom morning, we got to ride the boat. We were beyond excited as we waited in line on the pier.
Our boat finally arrived.
This was the view coming up on Magic Kingdom.
Here was our first view of the castle.
We walked up in the middle of the opening ceremony. There was music playing and some "cast members" were dancing in front of the train station.
Here's Jackson checking things out.
Apparently he thought the music was too loud. It took him a while to get used to that.
Suddenly the train arrived and Mickey, Minnie, and all the other characters jumped out. I know it sounds dumb, but it was so exciting. Then they brought out a family from the train whose job it was to open the park by throwing the fairy dust.
Mickey got everyone counting down. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1! The confetti and streamers (aka fairy dust) went everywhere and then there were huge cheers. Then we all marched into the park to the tune of one of the famous Disney theme songs. I think it was "When You Wish Upon a Star." At that point Curt and I were both on the verge of happy tears. It was so fun.
Of course I wanted a family pic in front of the castle first thing.
Curt got Jackson's Disney stroller (a must!) and Cozy and I took the kids over to the side and waited. All of a sudden Pinocchio showed up and his handler asked if Jackson wanted to be the first one to meet him. Jackson wasn't sure what to think. But we had just gotten him that movie, so at least he knew who Pinocchio was.
Tour Guide Mike had said to make a beeline for the Dumbo ride. We did, but the line was already longer than our desire to ride it, so we headed to the Winnie the Pooh ride. There are two kinds of rides at Disney. One kind takes you indoors and tells a story. The other kind, like Dumbo, is more like a typical amusement park ride. Jackson was a pro at all the amusement park rides but it took him a while to warm up to the story rides. He got a little freaked out by a room on the Pooh ride that had moving doors and windows.
After that we went on the carousel. Always a hit with The Sir.
Next was the Peter Pan ride, which was very cool. It was like you were in a flying pirate ship over Neverland. Jackson rode that with Cozy and Curtis and I rode with Annabeth while she slept in her carrier.
Snow White's Scary Adventure was on our list, but I thought it would freak Jackson totally out. I remember being so scared of the witch in that movie when I was a kid. So we went to It's A Small World instead. Here's the one pic I took on that ride.
Then it was time for me to feed Annabeth. I went to the Baby Care Center near the entrance of the park. That place was so nice, cool, and quiet that it was not a sacrifice to have to do that. There was a kitchen, an area for feeding older babies, a room for nursing, and a room with changing tables. There was also a kind attendant there to help with anything.
While I was there, Jackson rode Goofy's Barnstormer (his first roller coaster), drove race cars, and rode the train. I wish I could have seen him driving the cars. I know he loved it.
Then it was time for our character lunch at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and company. Here's a pic of Annabeth while we were waiting to be seated. It's proof that she actually opened her eyes at least once while we were there.
They put us at the head table where the characters stopped first as they made their rounds. We missed Tigger and Eeyore for some reason, but then Pooh himself came over.
Look! A huge yellow bear! Is he going to like it or hate it?
He liked it!
Tigger led a parade of children through the restaurant.
We were cracking up at Jackson because he marched like a Russian soldier with his arms swinging and legs completely straight.
Jackson really wanted to meet Tigger, so his handler sent him over to our table before he left. I was glad he had to wait for it because it made him extra excited.
Then it was time to visit the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse. I thought I got better pictures than I did. Oh well, there's just no way to do justice to something that cool. Jacks was enthralled by the treehouse.
This is what most pictures of me at Disney World look like.
Aladdin's Magic Carpet ride was across the way. It was the same concept as the Dumbo ride. Aladdin is one of my faves.
By now it was time to head back to the hotel. Not only was it getting very hot and crowded, but Jackson needed a nap. On our way out, we saw Mary Poppins!
When we got back to the hotel, I had to thank Jesus that Annabeth hadn't pooped all over her cute outfit and ruined it. Then I documented it well before it could happen.
Yes, my kids were matching. It was fun for that one day.
I found Annabeth's sunglasses at Janie and Jack right before we left when I went in to exchange a gift she'd been given for a larger size. That item had been marked down, so I got the glasses for $2. Score! They were a big hit at the park.
We were very pleased to find out that Jackson would take long naps at the hotel. What helped was that Cozy's room was connected to ours, so Jackson slept in total darkness and silence while the rest of us hung out in the other room. We chatted, relaxed, cat napped, and played with Annabeth. Here she is sleeping again. I took this picture because it reminded me of one of Jackson when he was 3 months old.
After nap time, we took the bus back to Magic Kingdom.
We sat outside and ate hot dogs for dinner. It was a little crazy with so many people crammed in there, not to mention the mustard incident of 2009.
Here's Cinderella's Castle at various stages of the evening.
The Buzz Lightyear ride was really fun. We also rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It is such a fun ride and Jackson was a champ on it.
Shows that we saw that day included Disney's Philharmagic (which I loved because it had all my favorite Disney songs and was so creative) and the Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor. Those were both great.
Besides being there when the park opened, I think the highlight of the day for me was also being there when it closed. We stayed for the "Wishes" fireworks show that night at 9. We were right underneath the cable where Tinkerbell flies down from the castle. When she flew overhead in a light-up costume I nearly flipped. It was so cool.
During the fireworks, I sat on the ground next to Jackson and held Annabeth in my arms. Before it started, I told Jackson he could put his hands over his ears if it was too loud. He then did so for five straight minutes before it began.
I had a great view of his face the entire time. To say he was mesmerized is an understatement. It really was a magical moment that I will remember as long as I live.
Once the fireworks ended, we slowly made our way out of the park with the masses. Our bus was waiting for us and we were home in no time at all. I was shocked. I think we even made it out of there without any tantrums.
We collapsed in the bed happy and exhausted. The next morning we were heading to Animal Kingdom!