Orlando Vacation: {Day 2 – Magic Kingdom}

I planned the whole trip out weeks in advance.  There needed to be a delicate balance between ride heavy v. non-ride days to avoid exhaustion, lack of long line motivation and to save one’s legs.  That’s always the fun killer on these types of trips…legs.

My original plan had been the following: Universal Studios > Epcot > Magic Kingdom > Hollywood Studios.
And then I read {this} little beauty that had me tossing and turning Saturday night.
I woke up Sunday morning and was battling a nagging feeling that we should go to Magic Kingdom that day.  All of this of course conflicting with what would be letting go of control and planning, so it wasn’t really a fair fight to begin with.  But I finally succumbed to my gut and announced that we should go to Magic Kingdom about 5 minutes before walking out the door.  Not to worry, park doesn’t open for another hour so we’d just grab a quick breakfast and head on our way.  This is naturally part of the advantage of going to the park without kids: arrive when the gates open, no navigating with strollers and avoid a bunch of long lines at the beginning of the day.  All part of my master, control-freak plan. 

Pete and I are casually eating our mediocre oatmeal and tiny boxes of cereal in the hotel lobby when I decide it’d be a good idea to check out what times the parades are later tonight only to discover devastating news.  The parked opened 2 minutes ago and we’re eating freakin’ Fruit Loops.  Doomed.
In a matter of 5 seconds I managed to order Pete to leave, throw all our breakfast trash away and jog to the car.  And then I spread the wonderful blessing of flipping out and cursing the moment I decided we should go to MK today.  “We were going to be so behind!  Long lines for everything!  We’re going to definitely have to stay for Extra Magic Hours now!  This is supposed to be the happiest place on Earth, WTH!!!”

This epic Devin-angst last through parking, the walk to the monorail, the wait for the monorail, the ride on the monorail (squeezed between 1000 strollers and screaming kids), every stop on the monorail, the ride to the gate, the walk to the ticket line and then finally entering the park.  And according to my panicked calculations, this looked like it was probably the most crowded the park had ever been.  Needless to say, I was being a real gem.

But then…the Disney magic happened.

Main Street was decorated for Christmas including carols pumping through the speakers.

Pete laid his eyes for the first time ever on Cinderella’s castle and said, “This is WAY cooler than I was expecting it to be!”

We rounded the corner to Tomorrowland and only waited 10 minutes in line for Space Moutain.  And then I screamed like a little girl the entire ride.

IMG_1809[1]We saw the new Fantasyland, sang along with Ariel (built in part by my awesome roommate) and ooh’d and ah’d at Belle’s castle.


We kept moving our way throughout the park: Haunted Mansion – check.  Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – check.  Pirates of Caribbean (which we got stuck on) – check.  It’s a Small World – check!
Before we knew it, we had ridden every single “must” on my list with no Fast Passes in less than 3 hours.  So I took a moment to reflect, eat my words/not-so-magical thoughts from earlier that day and made a conscious effort to be so incredibly thankful for this experience.

It was about that time I asked Pete about what he thought, somewhat afraid that I had hyped up the experience too much.
Pete: “You know, when Spud was saying all that stuff about Walt Disney doing all the crazy things like making the parking lot far away so you’d forget about regular life and how the music was specifically picked to make everything feel awesome, I kind of thought I’d be immune to it.  But I don’t know, I just feel so…happy!”
Yes, yes, YES and YES!

I could have ended my vacation there, but it was only noon and we had 9 more hours at the park until the Electric Parade.  What to do?  What to do?  Welp, we decided to start back in Tomorrowland and ride everything we were slightly interested in.  And 7 hours later, we had ridden almost every single ride and attended every show the park had to offer…and we only used TWO Fast Passes the whole day.  BOOYAH!

IMG_1804[1]Settling in on the curb, we rested our Jell-O legs and enjoyed some warm coffee while we waited the for the Parade.
I don’t remember the parade being quite so long, but by the time the mind-numbing Electric music, I had pretty much lost any nostalgia I had left towards that particular event.  (Note: You should make the effort to see it at least once, just know that there’s only one track of electric music for an hour straight).

And then there was this guy.  Yeah, real life.

And then this…

And then this…

And some more of this.
By the time it was all over a guy next to us had proposed to his girlfriend, I was teared up from pure delight and it was time to make a crucial decision.  Extra Magic Hours or no Extra Magic Hours?
Exhaustion had taken it’s toll, but we had just enough steam to take another tour of the Haunted Mansion, get down Main Street before the Electric Parade began again and make the too-long trek back to the car.

The day was done and we laid our heads down that night with wasted legs and feet but full hearts and smiles on our faces.

Have a magical day, friends!

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