We were watching these fire-works in front of Cinderella's castle. Tinker-Bell had just flown down from the top, all lit up like a Christmas tree, and there were little kids singing "When you wish upon a star" over the loudspeakers. And I was getting teary. Because, truly, I don't think there's anything like watching fireworks at Disney World. And it's watching Disney fireworks that makes you think, "I get why people are obsessed with this place."
We booked our trip to Disney back at the beginning of the summer. Before we'd decided to build a house and move. All of which is coming to a culmination in about two weeks.......so of course......what better time to head to the Magic Kingdom than this? Yeow. Sometimes we're crazy.
My parents and sister joined us and even though this was an insane time to take this trip, it was amazing. I have some advice for you--even though I've only been once with a child--take it or leave it.
First. I'd read online in numerous places that early November was the best time to go to Disney as far as crowds and weather were concerned. I followed that advice. It couldn't have been more true. I present evidence A.
This was taken about 9:30, the first day we arrived. We never waited more than 15 minutes for anything.
We also didn't stay at a Disney resort, which is against all advice I've ever been given. However, if you're heading down in early November as I mentioned above, I don't think it matters. We stayed in Kissimmee and drove about ten minutes each morning to the Disney World parking lot. Since it was an ideal time of the year to go, we were able to get right on the trams that take you to the mono-rails and pretty much walked right into the park.
I'm a sucker for these high school drama sets of "It's a Small World" and Georgia loved this ride. It's perfect for a little kid--so much to see.
We actually found something green to eat at Disney. You can only eat so many chicken tenders and waffle fries. Again, if you go in early November don't feel the pressure to make reservations at restaurants in the park. You'll be able to get into the walk-in restaurants no problem. They're way cheaper than the ones you have to make reservations at and the frankly, the food at the reservation ones is not good.......really at all. This heated up broccoli was way better and way cheaper than the $90 lunch we had at Tony's, where we had to have a reservation.....it wasn't worth it.
However, what is worth it.......eating at Cinderella's castle. Oh my word. This was worth it. Even Chris couldn't say enough good about it.
All the princesses come to your table to meet you, Georgia was in awe, and they are just so nice. And I know......it's their job......but they almost leave you feeling like you wish they were real because the world could use some people that nice. If you're going--do it.
And make sure you scout out Cinderella's step-family. They were perfectly sarcastic and pretty much exist for the adults I'm sure. They're tricky to find, as are all the 'face' characters, so you have to keep your eye out for them hidden away in little corners and behind rides.
I'd also heard that you need to camp out before the fireworks a good two hours before hand to claim your spot in front of the castle. And it's true, you do....even in early November.....so I can't imagine how crowded it'd be at their peak season like Thanksgiving and Christmas and spring break! But seriously, do it.....you'll regret it if you don't. It's amazing. And there's plenty to do in the meantime.....get some funnel cakes, people watch, watch the Electrical Parade, and just love being there.
We headed over to Islands of Adventure on our last day in Florida to see Harry Potter and Dr. Seuss Land.
She picked out an owl at the 'owlry' store and I did have to exert my mom force and insist that if any owl was going to be purchased it'd be Hedwig.
She's thrilled with him and seems happy about the idea that Hedwig delivers the mail and is the cuddliest snow owl you ever did meet.
We watched some Disney on the way home to round out the trip.
And decided that this trip was a success all around. Have so much fun if you ever go yourselves! It really is crazy magical.
A few other things to know:
1. You can bring all of your own food into Magic Kingdom. This is great when it comes to snacking.
2. Bring a stroller. You can leave them everywhere and there is always a Disney staff member to watch them.
3. At the end of the night when you're heading back to the parking lot trams, take the ferry, not the mono-rail. It's way faster.
4. Make sure to watch the parades....all of them. They get you in the Disney mood.
5. Tomorrowland and Adventureland have the most to do. Plan to spend a lot of time there.
6. There is a new Fantasyland opening soon. I'm bummed we missed it.
7. There are two great stores to buy souvenirs at right behind the castle that I liked the most. Hit those up!
8. Dress up costumes are $59 at a minimum. Buy them at your grocery store instead.
9. Make sure to grab the photo pass cards all the Disney photographers will hand you and get on line at night to see if they captured any good shots of you during the day that you missed.
10. Seriously. Go at the beginning of November.