This is part of a series on our visit to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I recap each day, the park we visited, where and what we ate and drank, the very best parts of each, and what we'd do differently or skip altogether for next time.
Here's What's Been Covered:
The overview of this trip to Orlando
A Decoding Disney Guide that helps you understand the many terms and features
Day 1: a little warm up at the Magic Kingdom, at night, just for a few hours, and just for the girls
Day 2: a full day at Universal Studios, which was the highlight of the trip for the guys - my husband and his brother
Here were are now, at Day 3. It's our full day at the Magic Kingdom, the best day for me, my sister-in-law, and my niece!
Day 4 will be Epcot and the Best Food
Day 5 is Hollywood Studios and the new Toy Story Land
If you're visiting Figs and Flights for the first time, please stay a while and take a look around. Start here if you're looking for all things Disney.
This is THE Disney day of my dreams - a full day at the Magic Kingdom. Tighten your Magic Band and get ready for the fun.
This recap is broken up first by land, then by ride, restaurant, or whatever!
Early Magic Hours and First Rides
Thanks to Magic Hours we were able to get into the Magic Kingdom at 8:00 am. We giddily bounced down Main Street USA and promptly had a family photo shoot in front of Cinderella's Castle. This was a specific request of mine, to get our pictures at the castle in while we were still bright eyed and bushy tailed and before the crowds arrived.
For a few hours hopped around the Magic Kingdom without a care in the world, popping on rides with short wait times.
Tomorrowland: Joffrey's Espresso, the People Mover, and Space Mountain
My instinct always takes me on a hard right at the castle and into Tomorrowland. This trip was no exception.
First, you need to know about the BEST coffee at Disney. It's Joffrey's Coffee and they have everything for your coffee snob wants and needs. Espresso, iced drinks, and non-dairy milk. You can find Joffrey's in many parks! We may have visited the Tomorrowland location twice on this particular day.
I rode the Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover for the first time and LOVED it. It's such a nice way to see the park from above, not to mention it's a great rest for tired feet. Plus, if you've got a kid (or adult) in your group who loves TRACTORS, you can see them working on park expansion projects from this ride since it sits high up in the air. We rode this one first in the morning, then again at night, and I'd recommend doing just that!
My 2 year old nephew and I survived our first solo time together while everyone else rode Space Mountain. He was the only one who cried and he later showed his appreciation by adorning my head with my Mickey Ears and willingly delivering a kiss! This isn't his typical love language, but a well-earned moment of gratitude from him to me, in my adoring and very biased eyes.
Fantasyland: Be Our Guest, Gaston's Tavern, Teacups, the Seven Dwarves Mine Train, and Castle Fireworks
While I like to begin in Tomorrowland, Fantasyland is my FAVORITE part of the Magic Kingdom. This is my favorite part of my favorite park, so get ready!
Our late breakfast/early lunch reservation was at Be Our Guest. It's the castle of the Beast from Beauty and the Beast. The decor and theme were unique and amazing. We sat in the main dining room/ball room. The experience overall was below par. All vacations, like our normal lives, have high points and low points. Our time at Be Our Guest was the low point of this Magic Kingdom Day and our trip overall. To sum it up, we arrived a little hungry and/or grumpy, we had our only poor service experience of the whole trip, and the food wasn't memorable. I'd meant to try the "Grey Stuff" but totally forgot in the meal-time madness. While our time at Be Our Guest wasn't a highlight of our trip, we left full and energized for many more hours in the park! I won't specifically avoid Be Our Guest in the future, but with so many other restaurants in the park I'm not sure I'll be compelled to come back again.
I'm the person who can always eat and drink, even after a meal. Just next door to Be Our Guest is Gaston's Tavern. There you'll find LeFou's Brew. It's a non-alcoholic drink named for Gaston's side-kick LeFou. It's frozen apple juice and toasted marshmallow topped with passion fruit mango foam. It's cold, sweet, and refreshing and PERFECT for sipping while running around in Florida. Yum.
My niece and I are huge fans of the teacups ride. Officially called the Mad Tea Party, she and I always ride it together at Disneyland. While we spun together in the Magic Kingdom on Day 1 with her Mamma, she and I rode them again, solo, on our full day there. I hope I never ever stop loving this ride and the crazy spinning. I'm sure my family hopes for the same because I'm the only one who wants to ride it with the kids, HA! I can never decide if I like this ride better at Disneyland or Walt Disney World. At Disneyland the ride is outdoors and the lanterns hang from the trees above, it's adorable. At WDW the ride is covered and much bigger. I love them both!
As you may have gathered from our trip thus far, or experienced in your own gang, there are not a lot of rides that everyone can or wants to ride. My nephew is still to small for some rides, I'm not a fan of the "big" coasters, most of the adults don't like to spin, and so on. We were ALL so excited, and tall enough, to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It's the Snow White themed roller coaster, it's new, and the line is always long. We used a FastPass+ for this one and we all loved the ride. It's cute and fun and I never felt queasy. Plus, the PhotoPass picture perfectly captured the joy on my 2 year old nephew's little face. Don't let anyone tell you that small kids don't enjoy a Disney trip!
Once we were finished in Fantasyland and making our way out, passing the castle, we caught some daytime fireworks! Ahhh so magical.
Adventureland: Aladdin's Ride, Dole Whip, and the Swiss Family Treehouse
Our time in Adventureland was quick but so good.
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin is a ride just like one you've been on before. It's an up and down, round and round ride just like Dumbo. I'd ride this alone, again and again, but we can blame the small kids if you'd prefer.
I had only three things on my MUST-DO list for this particular day: 1. Family photos at the castle first thing. 2. Family photos at the castle at dusk. 3. Dole Whip at Aloha Isle. You cannot, mustn't, shouldn't visit the Magic Kingdom without getting Dole Whip, the cold, sweet, pineapple soft serve treat. Aloha Isle is just next to Aladdin's Carpets and the line is always long, so if you've got someone who doesn't want to ride, send them into the line for Dole Whip! You can get your Dole Whip in a cup or as a float with pineapple juice. Both are great but I usually go for the float. DO IT.
Nearby is the Swiss Family Treehouse which I'd never before cared to explore. Much to my surprise I loved it! The walk through the family's tall and adorable tree house is quiet, calming, and a great way to see the park from inside the park (much like the People Mover). It's a nice little break from the long lines and loud madness of the park for just a few minutes. At Disneyland this same attraction has been turned into Tarzan's Tree House while still staying almost exactly the same.
Liberty Square: The Haunted Mansion
I'm pretty sure we skipped everything else in Liberty Square and only stopped at the Haunted Mansion.
The Haunted Mansion is another one you've got to ride twice: once during the day and once at night. It's my sister-in-law's favorite and another ride for the whole family. The kids get a little scared but they get over it, HA! It's haunted, creepy, silly, and so fun. I'm told there was once a movie to match but it's not worth watching.
Dinner at the Crystal Palace and Discovering Orange Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding
The Crystal Palace restaurant is right at the end of Main Street USA. Our experience there was amazing and made up for everything that our previous meal at Be Our Guest was lacking. The Cast Members took great care of us and the food was incredible.
This was our first and only "Character Experience" and the kids absolutely LOVED meeting Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore. The nice part for us grown ups is that the characters come to the table and we can stay seated and keep on eating! They do make sure that everyone gets a proper greeting though. Even if you're the child-less Aunt and Uncle on the far side of the table taking photos, the characters will come around and greet/hug/say hello to you before they move on to the next table!
The buffet options at Crystal Palace seemed to go on forever. The highlights for me were peel and eat shrimp (far better than the shrimp cocktail at Trail's End), a million types of salads, really tasty salmon, and PIEROGIES topped with a generous amount of cheese. Anyone who's Polish and/or from Pittsburgh, PA, will appreciate these little potato filled dumplings from heaven as much as I do.
Now, get ready, because I fell in love with another Disney dessert. Crystal Palace had so many options: "rabbit's garden" chocolate pudding, a s'mores tart, and more. The absolute stand-out best was the Orange Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding. I'm not typically drawn to bread pudding but the combination of orange and chocolate is irresistible to me. This dessert is incredible. It's soft, sweet, punctuated with chocolate chips, and made bright by the orange juice and/or zest. I went back for more and to get pictures, just for you! I've since tried to make this myself and failed. I must try again… one of these days.
Castle Photos at Dusk and Main Street Shopping
After dinner our group was quickly losing energy. We fulfilled my third wish (HA! An Aladdin joke.) with a quick photo shoot at the castle at dusk and some of our gang went home for relaxing and early bedtimes. The rest of us slowly strolled down Main Street, shopping and gabbing, until we finally left.
Until next time, Magic Kingdom! The countdown to April 2020 is ON.
Hello, I'm Angela.
Figs and Flights is all about traveling near and far & eating great food both at home and away.
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