Disney World 2013: Part 3

headerOn December 5th, we woke up bright and early again and enjoyed another Pop Waffle and bacon. We were excited to head to Magic Kingdom for the first time since our arrival! We hopped on the first bus that arrived, but about halfway to the park we started to slow down. Our bus broke down! It’s the first time that’s ever happened to us, but I made sure to capture Louis’s reaction on camera.

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We only had to wait about 10 minutes before another bus pulled up finish our trip! We arrived and headed straight in to the Magic Kingdom! After being at Disneyland all summer, Cinderella Castle looked EXTRA grand and beautiful! For comparison, Sleeping Beauty Castle is 75 feet tall, and Cinderella Castle is 189 feet tall…

castles..obviously at over 100 feet taller, Disney World’s is a little more impressive! Both have a unique charm and appeal, though. ๐Ÿ™‚

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We stopped for a quick picture in front of the castle. The pole Louis is by below is where we stood to call our families after Louis proposed on Main Street 3 years ago! One thing that was a bit of a let down was that the ABC Christmas Day Parade was being filmed that week, so all of the Main Street Garland and giant Christmas tree were taken down for filming. Main Street and Magic Kingdom are beautiful either way, but those decorations are just another special thing about going during Christmas.IMG_1433IMG_1436 IMG_1438

We headed straight for Big Thunder Mountain because it’s one of the attractions we’ve been able to experience the least on previous trips due to refurbishments taking place. It was even more fun than we remembered, and we went on the ride it SEVERAL times during our trip!IMG_1440

Be Our Guest is a restaurant that is part of New Fantasyland, and it is based on Beast’s castle in Beauty and the Beast. They offer quick service lunch and table service dinner. By some miracle (okay, lots of time on Disney forums looking for canceled reservations), I was able to snag us a dinner reservation during our trip about a month before we left! I was hoping to try their lunch menu as well because they offer totally different foods and the experience is different. However, there are no lunch reservations and wait times can get up to 2-3 hours! Just to eat! We had written off enjoying lunch there, but on our 2nd day of the trip, I received an email asking if we’d like to try Be Our Guest’s new Fastpass+ system! We got to pick a time slot for lunch, show up during that window, and wait about 5 minutes before being welcomed in to the restaurant! I felt a little bad for the hundreds of people waiting to get in, but I’m so happy we were offered the opportunity. We couldn’t pass it up! I think Louis laughed at me for calling this an “opportunity.” It’s funny that I get so wrapped up in the Disney bubble, that I feel honored they “invited” me to spend more money at one of their restaurants! Haha! Regardless, after riding a few rides that morning, we strolled over to Be Our Guest and signed in with our confirmation number.ย IMG_1441

These giant statues and beautiful mural are the entrance to the castle at the end of a long bridge over a babbling brook. When you walk in for lunch you go down a hallway where suits of army are moving and talking just like during Belle’s castle tour during the movie!IMG_1447 IMG_1448

I HAD to sit in the Beast’s wingback chair in his study! Glad he didn’t get mad at me like he did Maurice.IMG_1450

After ordering (Carved Turkey Sandwich for me, Croque Monsieur for Louis), we wandered out of the study into the ballroom where my jaw dropped.IMG_1454 IMG_1456

I can’t lie…I definitely teared up a little! The scene was so picturesque and just like the movie! The imagineers did such a great job on this project! The chandeliers were so beautiful…the center one was over 12 feet tall!ย IMG_1462 IMG_1460 IMG_1470

There were so many details including these themed ornaments on the Christmas tree!ย IMG_1472

The frosted windows behind us looked out into the mountains and had snow falling behind them! So picturesque. Perhaps the best part of all was the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack was playing the entire time! Another neat thing was that we simply got our drinks and found our table and moments later our food was delivered to us on a covered cart by one of Beast’s “servants.” We were able to select any table, and they were able to find us thanks to our Magic Bands! The tables must have some sort of technology on them that allows them to sense our bands…very cool!ย IMG_1473

We chose to sit in the ballroom, but the Rose Gallery was another option. This room had portraits of Belle and Beast’s memories together, as well as a giant spinning music box Maurice gifted them.
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You could also sit in the West Wing, but didn’t explore that room until we returned for our dinner reservations! The food was delicious, the atmosphere was (LOUD, but) amazing, and the surroundings were beautiful! Definitely a MUST DO for anyone visiting the Magic Kingdom!IMG_1479

We were even able to finally get an acceptable Christmas card photo! ^^^IMG_1480 IMG_1482

This mosaic looks identical to the movie! Beauty & the Beast is my favorite Disney movie and one of my favorite movies PERIOD, so I was giddy pretty much the entire time!ย IMG_1485

Here is the view from the outside walking back up the bridge…you can see Beast’s castle in the distance! The entire landscaping and presentation around the castle were so beautiful, too. They created basically an entire forest and village around the entrance…so spectacular. After lunch, we stuck with the Beauty and the Beast theme and headed to Enchanted Tales with Belle. Side note: EVERY time I say that out loud it comes out “Enchanted tales with ‘bayle.'” And Louis laughs so hard at me. Every. Time.IMG_1492

The coolest part of this new attraction was the amazing technology! The idea is that you enter Maurice’s cottage and Beast has gifted him a magic portal he can use to visit Belle in the castle whenever he wants. The portal is this mirror that somehow transforms into a screen that somehow transforms into a door?! It’s impossible to describe, but it was incredible to see! The new animatronics in this attraction are incredible too! They were so smooth and realistic, I almost though they were real! Who am I kidding? They ARE real. Lumiere welcomed us into the library where we had story time with Belle. It was definitely geared more towards children, but it was still really neat.ย IMG_1496

We always love Philharmagic, so we swung by there right after Tales with Belle. It rarely ever has any wait time, which is crazy because we love it!IMG_1499

Louis is determined to pull the sword out one day, so we make sure to visit and try each trip.IMG_1500 IMG_1501

The front of the castle is beautiful, but I also love all of the windows and detail on the back!IMG_1502

Oh..uh…I also love the side apparently. ๐Ÿ™‚ Is there really a bad angle for this castle? I think not.IMG_1503 IMG_1508 IMG_1504

We hadn’t enjoyed any Mickey ice cream that trip, so Louis got a traditional Mickey bar and I got a Mickey ice cream sandwich and we munched on them during the afternoon parade in front of the castle. Are we cute or what? ๐Ÿ˜‰IMG_1514

For the first time this year, they added some holiday decorations to The Jungle Cruise and made it The JINGLE Cruise! The changes were cute, and we enjoyed our riverboat cruise through the jungle!
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We tried to make a point this trip to ride some attractions that we always deem a waste of time or skip over because they don’t seem interesting. One on our list this trip was Stitch’s Great Escape. Louis had never been on this ride, so we figured we’d give it a shot! We both sort of liked it, but I’m glad Louis got to try it!IMG_1519

Another of our favorite attractions is The PeopleMover. This ride is so relaxing, and it’s nice to sit and enjoy the breeze while you get glimpses of the park and Tomorrowland.IMG_1520 IMG_1521 IMG_1523

After riding several things in Tomorrowland, we realized it was time to get our wristbands for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We’ve been to Disney World during Christmas before, but we’ve never splurged to attend the Christmas party. Yes, even as expensive as Disney is, there is an ADDITIONAL ticket you have to purchase to attend this Christmas party. If you’re at Disney the week of Christmas, some of the perks of the party are shown for free (Holiday Wishes, Christmas parade), but there are a few that are unique to the party. We try to make each trip special in its own way, so one of our “firsts” of this trip was attending the party!ย IMG_1526

The day of the party, you show your ticket for a wristband to wear around the park that night. That way it’s easier for castmembers to identify which guests should no longer be in the park. We lined up on the bridge by the rose garden to get our wristbands, and I think it was one of the longest lines we waited in our entire trip! At least the view was pretty…IMG_1527 IMG_1529

After we got our bands we waited around awkwardly until we could find someone to take our picture headed for more rides! Another “first” for this trip was riding Disney World’s Dumbo together! It was fun to ride it at night because the lights were beautiful!IMG_1530 IMG_1531 IMG_1536

We then wandered back over to New Fantasyland to explore Gaston’s Tavern, ride the Little Mermaid ride, and meet Princess Ariel.IMG_1542

“I use antlers in all of my deeeeecorating!”IMG_1541 IMG_1556

By the time we finished chatting with Ariel, the Christmas Party was in full swing! The crowds were cleared out significantly thanks to the $60+ tickets wristbands and castmembers, so we were able to enjoy everything! One perk was “free” snacks wherever there was a giant candy cane. They had snickerdoodles, apple juice, hot chocolate, and apple slices, and we made sure to enjoy them all.ย IMG_1557

Our first cup of apple juice (it was a little too warm for hot chocolate…though I did try some and it was delish!) with our snickerdoodles in the background! Louis was more excited, than he looks I promise.IMG_1558 IMG_1562

We wandered around enjoying the extra decorations and rode a couple of rides before we found a spot for the Christmas parade and fireworks. I didn’t get any good pictures of the parade, but here’s a great shot of the castle for you to enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_1565 IMG_1569

 

I also took a short video of some of the Holiday Wishes fireworks. No one does fireworks like Disney, that’s for sure!

We waited for too long for a picture with the 7 dwarfs because they’re rarely all together out of the mines, but it turned out a little blurry. ๐Ÿ™ I am so excited because Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a new ride opening in 2014, and I can’t wait to try it! We could see a lot of the progress while we were at the park, and it looks super fun.IMG_1581

The rest of our evening was spent enjoying snacks, admiring the decor, loving the Christmas music, and riding some of our favorite attractions. I’d definitely encourage anyone who has considered attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party to go for it! The next time we’re there during the holidays, we’ll definitely be going!IMG_1578We spent the ENTIRE day in Magic Kingdom and never ran out of things to experience together! I don’t know if I can pick a favorite park, but I think the Magic Kingdom is definitely the most magical because of the ambience and nostalgia I always feel there. We were sad to leave that night, but we knew we’d be returning later in our trip!

Siggy AutumnP.S. Sorry this post is a billion years long. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

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