Last time on Spring Break, I was traipsing around Disney World with my friends, having the time of my life dressed as Ariel, belly full from lunch at Be Our Guest, and ready for a jam-packed evening.
WARNING: This post can only be longer than the last post. If you skipped the last post to come straight here… that’s understandable. This post is both text-heavy and photo-heavy, you have been severely warned. If you think it’s painful to read then consider how much I delayed it because of how painful it was to write. You’re welcome. And also, I am terribly sorry. Looooooong post ahead!
Fresh off the high of finally being able to see the Festival of Fantasy parade, we skipped off to ride through a classic, Pirates of the Caribbean. I love the movies that drew inspiration from this ride and love thinking about how creatively the writers took a simple story ride and gave us the PotC movie franchise. (Sad that “We want the redhead!” doesn’t make it to the movies, though.)
After hearing about how Annie had 7 the last time she went to Disney World, we went to Aloha Isle for the famous Dole Whip! It was pretty hot that day, so the pineapple soft serve really hit the spot. Dole Whip used to only be sold at Disney properties (Disneyland, Disney World, Disney’s Polynesian) and at Dole’s Hawaii pineapple plant, but there are a handful of other spots you can snag this pineapple-y treat. Even if you don’t love pineapple, it’s definitely worth trying because it doesn’t have the super sharp acidity makes folks like me uncomfortable after more than a few small pieces.
There was no line and it’s kind of nostalgic, so we also took a quick tour of the Swiss Family Treehouse, which is based on the old movie Swiss Family Robinson. I never saw this movie but my parents did, so I remember them taking me through it and explaining the rooms and the cool engineering. It’s a swanky treehouse, folks. If I was stranded on an island and had to live in this treehouse, I’d be pretty ecstatic. I worry that one day, this treehouse will be gone or rebranded for a newer Disney franchise (like it was at Disneyland), so I try to enjoy it while I can. Of course, we also checked out Haunted Mansion, which is a fun and spoopy ride and an okay movie-based-on-a-ride. The creepy factor is definitely turned up for this classic Disney ride, so keep that in mind if you are bringing along smaller children.
We really wanted to take it easy in the afternoon, because we had dinner reservations at 11PM. Yeah, we had a long day ahead of us. A lot of people don’t like what I call the story rides, where you sit in a moving vehicle (arms and legs inside at all times!) and experience the story of the movie by passing through. The old Snow White ride was a story ride before it was decommissioned and replaced with the Mine Train. (Replaced as in Mine Train is the park’s Snow White ride now.) We did Under the Sea in the morning (because LITTLE MERMAID DUH) and did The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh before heading to the classic (ultimate classic) It’s a Small World and all its Mary Blair-style splendor. Confession: I used to get quite scared on this ride because there are so many animatronic dolls staring at you…
One of the highlights of the evening wound up being Enchanted Tales with Belle. The wait was one of the shorter ones by this point in the afternoon and there was an opportunity to meet a character so I mean. Maurice’s cottage is adorable and filled with a lot of cute details. There is even a portrait of Belle with her mother, which is a real treat because her mother is not shown or really mentioned in any of the movies. But what made our excursion to Belle’s library afterwards (“Take me to the moment Belle and Beast fell in love!”) was the interactive part of telling that story. Belle came out to greet all of us and chose audience members to help reenact her love story.
Guess what happened when she laid eyes on the Gaston in our group?
Tim became the oldest participant in the reenactment! (He had to promise not to cause any trouble. That Gaston!) It was really cute, especially because the little boy chosen to play Beast was really shy and in awe of Belle. At the end, we got some great photos of Tim and Belle, and Tim and Annie got bookmarks to mark the occasion!
By the time we left Belle’s library, it was dark outside and people were gearing up for evening activities.
Also, I had to get my moment.
We were pretty hungry given how much time had passed since we had last eaten, and I’m not sure why we thought we would make it to our nearly-midnight dinner reservation without eating first, so we stopped by Casey’s Corner for corn dog nuggets because I mean, corn dog nuggets, ’nuff said. This may have been a mistake, given how close it was to dinner, but they were pretty scrumptious to chow on while we took in the lights of the Main Street Electrical Parade. I tried taking photos but they are all blurry. Sadness. It’s pretty magical though, and just hearing the soundtrack from the parade gets me really excited.
As I was taking our tray back, I saw a little girl dressed up as Minnie Mouse, head to toe, carrying her own tray with 6 orders of fries on them very carefully in front of her. She looked me up and down and I could tell she immediately recognized that I was dressed as Ariel. That girl and I had a moment where we exchanged knowing and appreciative smiles before her dad caught up to her with a bunch of drinks and they went on their way. I looked back, she looked back, and I made a soul sister that day, you guys…
Anyway, we were able to catch Celebrate the Magic, which is a spectacular light show against Cinderella’s Castle that really is quite dazzling. There was a moment where Elsa throws frozen fractals onto the castle and basically everyone in the park sang along to “Let It Go”. That’s a nice moment, but I was pretty sick of Frozen at this point, you guys. (Still am, to be quite honest…) But oooh man does Disney know how to do magic.
Just like the fireworks show that soon followed, which honestly will spoil you for most fireworks shows elsewhere. Disney’s daily fireworks outshine many Fourth of July and New Year’s fireworks displays.
I actually started having a really bad stomachache by the time the fireworks ended (curse those yummy corn dog nuggets…), so we were able to duck in to Cinderella’s Castle a bit before our reservation. THEN IT WAS TIME!!! First, we were announced to Cinderella, who greeted us so graciously.
Then it was off for dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table upstairs. This was my first time in Cinderella’s Castle, and my first time meeting a princess (I didn’t get to talk to Belle at her library) so this was a really magical experience for me. We were working REAL hard to get these reservations (and the ones for Be Our Guest) so that we could see the lights and fireworks but it was quiiiiite late. Before I forget, we had some beautiful food that we unfortunately were not hungry enough to finish.
The ladies got adorable star wands and the boys got little swords, and honestly, I thought I couldn’t be happier.
But then the princesses came out and it was lovely!!!
(I switched to my phone camera b/c my other one was clearly a bit dirty…)
MAGIC EVERYWHERE I could have died happy. I was so exhausted at the end of the day but wow, I really had the time of my life at Magic Kingdom. I can’t wait to go back.