Oh hey – remember that epic Disney recap I was working on? You are either a) breathing a giant sigh of relief because you thought you would never get to hear more about Disney! or b) breathing a giant sigh of annoyance because OMG are we hearing more about Disney?
Or you just stumbled here by accident so why don’t you get caught up? You can read about the start of our trip here, as well as Day 1 , Day 2, and Day 3. Our photos from the trip can be found on my flickr page.
Thursday morning would be the last day we spent together as a family at Disney. We slept in (relatively) after a late night at Epcot watching Illuminations.
(Side note: Mike was so ready to be done at Epcot before the evening fireworks. Frankly, I was, too. We’d been there since it opened and had been going at breakneck speed. I insisted we stay – we’d never seen it before and it was not to be missed! And then a few days ago, while packing, I found photos from our first Disney trip … including a viewing of Illuminations. Oops.)
If you have kids 10 or under and enough time, I highly recommend taking 2 days to see Magic Kingdom. It’s huge, it’s full of everything kids know and expect from Disney, and it’s a big hit. It’s impossible to cover it in one day without rushing the entire time. We’d already been to Magic Kingdom earlier in the week, for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We took advantage of lower crowds that evening to ride the really popular rides: Dumbo, Space Mountain, and Toy Story. It also gave us the chance to ride the attractions the kids loved more than once.
Because we’d had that opportunity earlier, our game plan for Magic Kingdom on this day was more laid back: visit attractions we’d missed earlier and go back to anything the kids wanted to do over later in the day. And most importantly, finally make it out of a theme park before 9 p.m.
The highlights of the day were visiting New Fantasyland and meeting Captain Jack Sparrow. All of New Fantasyland wasn’t open yet, but we did get to walk around and ride the new Ariel ride. I’m not sure the coolness factor of being one of the first to ride it quite outweighed being stuck in front of this scene for 15 mintues, with an endless loop of “Part of Your World” playing. Still, we were better off than the those poor unfortunate souls with a screaming toddler stuck in front Ursula the Sea Witch.
We’d skipped anything related to Pirates of the Caribbean on our first trip with Elena because she was scared of it. This time they both loved it. What’s not to love about being on stage with Captain Jack Sparrow?
About halfway through the day we experienced something that could’ve ruined our vacation had we not had a helpful tip passed on to us … and so I’m passing it on to you. Mike was trying to get us Fastpasses for a ride. Doing this involves swiping your park ticket in the Fastpass kiosk. You can only get one Fastpass per park ticket for the attraction, so you have to swipe each one. This kiosk was acting squirrely, and he had to swipe our park tickets several times before it would spit out the Fastpass, As if that wasn’t confusing enough, Eli kept trying to “help,” picking up tickets and trying to swipe them on his own. After he finished and we got to our next destination, he realized that we were missing his park ticket.
Thankfully, our ticket broker told us to make copies of our tickets before leaving for our trip. Not only did I do this, but I also took photos of the backs of our tickets with my phone. If you lose your park ticket and show a copy of the original, Disney will replace your park ticket at no charge. If you lose it and have no documentation? It’s buy a new park pass or be done visiting parks.
If you only do one thing to prepare before you visit Disney, MAKE COPIES OF YOUR TICKETS. It’s very easy to lose them. Don’t let it ruin your vacation – imagine if you lost your 4 Day Park Hopper pass the very first day? Instead we faced the minor inconveniece of finding guest relations and waiting 5 minutes in line.
Alright, stepping off my soap box now to share a few more of my favorite photos of the day.
My favorite, the toy soldiers. Disney at Christmas is just a sight to behold.
Everyone needs this photo op in their childhood bin of memories.
Eli photobombs Elena. Or Ariel photobombs Elena and Eli. Who can know for sure?
Coming up next: our final day of vacation. Does Eli ever make it to Legoland? Does Mike make it through more day of theme park fun? Will this series ever be over? Tune in soon-ish to find out.