On 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.
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…
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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? 😉
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!
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!
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…
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!
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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. 🙁 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.
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!We 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!