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Old 29 Jul 14, 06:34 PM  
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Disney with the Dufflers - Day 2 - Magic Kingdom

Pre-Trip Report

Day 0 - The Day Before

Day 1 - Travel Day and Arrival at CBR

Day 2 - Magic Kingdom

It doesnít matter how tired you are, youíre always up early on your first day.

I opened my eyes for the first time in CBR at 3.15am. Then again at 4am. Oh for goodness sake, Tracey. Will you NEVER get used to jetlag? Except this time, I wasnít on my own.

Neil: Are you awake?
Me: Of course I am.
Neil: What time does the main place open for breakfast?
Me: 6.30am
Neil: Nooooooo!

We were both up, showered and dressed by 5.37am. Sigh.

However, Neil had the great idea that we should go for a walk round the lake. What a stellar idea. It was a beautiful temperature, there was noone about aside from a few over enthusiastic runners (Iíll go for a run every day, Neil says Ė he went once for 20 minutes the whole holiday Ė LOL) and a few maintenance men.

On our return to Aruba, we saw Uncle Mark laid on the hammocks, chilling out and then Mum, Martin and OB. Everyone was clearly in the same time zone as us.

We returned back to the room for Neil to grab a shower and then headed over for breakfast. I went for my traditional; chocolate croissant with Minute Maid Lemonade. Neil tricked himself into thinking he was eating healthily and got a wholemeal croissant with Philadelphia and Pomegranate Minute Maid Lemonade.


We headed back to Aruba for our earliest bus stop meet of the holiday.

Now weíd fallen very lucky with EMH on our first day. Magic Kingdom was open from 8am. Perfect for jetlag, really. We would have been more than ready to set off on time.

Neil and I were ready at the Aruba bus stop at 7.15am.

7.15am Ė No-one.

7.30am Ė No-one.

At 7.50am, everyone finally rocks up to the Aruba bus stop.

I really think Iím getting terribly OCD with times. If everyoneís not there at exactly the time I say, I start to properly freak out. And when weíre on the bus, Iím constantly looking at the clock at the front of the bus and the clock on my phone, doing constant calculations as to how long each bit of the journey will take and what time weíll be able to do everything I have planned. Itís terrible. Iím not really like this in real life. But when Iím at Disney, Iím an absolute psycho.

I digress, a picture of us waiting at the bus stop for the bus to MK.

A bus arrived after about 10 minutes and we were on our way!

A few words on a slight trauma Iíd had just before our trip...

I love Magic Kingdom. I love everything about it from the sight of the castle, to the music they play on park opening, to the way Main Street USA looks in the nighttime. I canít get enough of it. But more than anything, what I love about Magic Kingdom is how itís set apart from all the other parks and hotels. Itís across a lake. You just canít get there unless you use special Disney transportation (I know you can walk there from the Contemporary but please humour me). When weíd gone in 2011, weíd actually added about 45 minutes to our journey to get the monorail over from Epcot so we could get the ferry from TTC. The ferry just adds that extra bit of magic for me when you see the Castle appearing in the distance over the water. I get tingles just thinking about it.

Now, unbeknownst to me until about a week before we left, the Epcot monorail doesnít start running until an hour before Epcot opens. So on our very first day, we couldnít arrive by ferry. I know this wouldnít mean much to everyone else, but for me, it was a bit of a downer.

However, when we pulled up in our Magic Kingdom bus right outside, and I saw the tearful looks on the Dufflers faces, I realised that in the grand scheme of things, this really didnít matter that much. Lol. Iím such a perfectionist.

Back to the bus stop. We were all assembled ready to go... later than Iíd anticipated but there you go. And then, not one, not two, but three large women in scooters with five accompanying family members rocked up to the bus stop. Where were they going? Magic Kingdom of course. So the rest of us, whoíd been there nearly forty five minutes by this point, had to wait another fifteen while they were all seated on the bus first. Along with family members. I wouldnít mind, but they all got off their scooters fine and Martin says he saw them walk with ease over to Old Port Royale on numerous occasions throughout the holiday...

Arriving at Magic Kingdom...

Bags were checked, bands were scanned and then, we were there.

The music, the SMELL, the absolute sheer magic of being in Magic Kingdom is just euphoric. Consequently, because this had been the moment the Dufflers had been looking forward to the most, the first half an hour in Magic Kingdom on this holiday was possibly one of the most emotional half hours of my entire life. Right up there (but obviously after) the moment when Neil asked me to marry him, or when we saw Yosemite National Park for the first time.

I hope these photos do justice the emotions of this moment.

And the first ones of us all together (I bought Memory Maker on advance purchase and it was worth every penny Ė weíve got some belters)

Standard smiles

Funny face


And a few more by the Castle, at the beginning of what would be an incredible two weeks for us all.

I absolutely love this one. It really captures the emotion of the moment for Mark and Debsy and their wonderful family.

One thing I loved this time was that we didnít have to rush around to get our Fastpasses. We could just totally chill because it was all taken care of already. My Magic Band really did feel like the ĎKeys to the Kingdom.í It was wonderful knowing that Iíd done everything, so I could just enjoy it more. The Magic Bands really made a massive difference to my own personal enjoyment of the holiday.

We went on Mickeyís Philharmagic first (I ended up doing this 4 times during the course of the holiday! ) Then on Peter Panís Flight before our first FP (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train) was up.

Got this cheeky one of Mum and Martin in the queue to Peter Pan.

My family genuinely looked at me like I was the Messiah when we rocked up to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, already showing a 70 minute queue at 10am and we just tinkled in and walked onto the ride.

On Seven Dwarfs Mine Train...

I really enjoyed the ride, I did. It was a lot of fun for us all as a family, particularly when the music starts playing and we all started singing, ĎHeigh Hoí along with the Dwarfs. The mine itself was undoubtedly the highlight Ė the Dwarfs are truly spectacular. I was very sad I didnít have the foresight to book us another FP for the last day.

However, on the negatives. Given how long it took Disney to build the ride, I was disappointed that a) it didnít go on for longer, b) there wasnít MORE to it c) it was so temperamental. On every subsequent visit to the Magic Kingdom, it broke down for a spell. You can expect this on rides that have been opened for a week or so, which is what was happening with the Gringotts ride in opening week, but not from something thatís been open for a good few months.

After singing our way off Seven Dwarfs, we headed over to Haunted Mansion. For the first time ever, I have to say, I think Haunted Mansion needs updating. Or removing, dare I say. In previous years, Iíve always been awed by it but now, I just think something needs doing to make it a bit more current. We still liked the queue additions.

But even at a walk on, this ride doesnít really do it for me anymore. Unlike the one we were headed for next, which really doesnít tarnish with age.

Splash Mountain this time was the best ride we went on for absolute sheer laughter and enjoyment. Mum always gets terrified on Splash Mountain, and Uncle Mark and Sam had never fared much better.

However, this time, the boys were splashing each other from the water while we were going round, so we were all drenched before we even reached the big drop. Neil had also threatened to put his shirt over his head as we went down the drop for the photo. You know, the way some footballers do sometimes when they score goals. Sigh.

So anyway, we approach the big drop and while Iím contemplating the 5 storey drop and wondering what terrified face Mum will pull, Neil does just that.

We come off the ride, absolutely drenched through because we were sat at the front. Singing along to Zip a dee do dah and all that jazz. Everyoneís just loving it. Except for Mum, who was glad it was over because as you can see, she hates the dips! As I wasnít really familiar with how Memory Maker works, I went up to the desk to retrieve the photo.

To which the CM said:

ĎIím sorry, Maíam, because that gentleman has taken his shirt off, we canít give you the photo.í

Sorry, WHAT?

CM: ĎWas he with you, the gentleman?í

Me: Yes, heís my fiancť. Well, will it be online where we can just download it for ourselves?

CM: No, Iím sorry, they wonít let it on there.

I was torn between frustration with Neil for pulling his shirt over his head in the first place and with Disneyís draconian tendencies. This was a memory, a hilarious memory from our holiday and they werenít going to let us have it because Neil had his belly showing? What is that about?

Anyway, I told Neil off (in front of my Mother and the CM Ė which heís not letting me forget ) still wondering what on Earth we were going to do about the Splash Mountain photo when Disney came to the rescue and said that they could let us straight back on the ride and have another photo done.

Fantastic Disney. Still donít get your draconian tendencies but whatever.

So we all trundled back onto Splash Mountain. Pretty thrilled that we got to experience the best ride in Magic Kingdom again, to be honest. But unbeknownst to Neil, as payback for Ďwreckingí the first ride photo, OB and Sam had a trick up their sleeve.

We went up to the big drop once more...

OB tipped an entire bottle of water over Neilís head as we were going down. Neil came off absolutely soaked through. I have never laughed so hard in my life. OB was crying with laughing, everyone was just loving it. This experience went down as one of everyoneís favourite memories of the holiday.

As it turned out, we got both photos... So, basically, we went on Splash Mountain twice. For no real reason!

Continued below...

Edited at 05:24 PM.
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Old 29 Jul 14, 06:52 PM  
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After Splash Mountain, we headed for some lunch at Pecos Bills: fantastic as ever!

After Pecos Bills, we headed to Pirates of the Caribbean. The queue was posted as 35 minutes, which we did end up queuing because our last Fastpass of the day was for Space Mountain.

I also found myself a bit disappointed with Pirates this time. I think thereís just so much they could do with this ride because of how amazing the franchise is. They could make it a faster flume with more drops. Take out some of those dated animatronics and put in some more characters from the movies. Give it more of a story Ė I donít know, but it just doesnít do it for me anymore. Sorry for any POTC fans!

Then, we decided to head over to the New Fantasyland for a little exploration...

On the New Fantasyland...

Truth be told, I was bowled over by the Beauty and the Beast section. We managed to eat at Be Our Guest for lunch (see Day 14) but the Beastís Castle, Mauriceís cottage, the village square, the quality of merchandise in Bonjour Gifts, Gastonís Tavern... it really was superb. I LOVED it.

Beauty and the Beast is my absolute favourite Disney film, so this was a really special moment for us. And just to sum it up, hereís a wonderful picture from a conveniently placed Photopass photographer:

And then suddenly, we spotted Gaston!

Gaston was actually one of the best meet and greets of the whole holiday. He was brilliant. We rolled off lines from the movie without even thinking about it, posing needlessly for Ďselfiesí on peopleís mobile phones. We waited about ten minutes to see him and it was worth every second. After boasting about how wonderful it was for everyone to meet him, when us four ladies went to meet him he said, ĎActually, ladies, the pleasureís mine!í

Uncle Mark was also thrilled to meet Gaston. Needless to say, the other men werenít too fussed but Uncle Mark LOVED all the meet and greets. He tried three times to meet Phineas and Ferb (his favourites!) and finally managed on the second to last day.

At this meet and greet, he insisted that you couldnít tell the difference between his muscles and Gastonís. What do you all think?

After this, the heat was absolutely stifling. It hadnít rained yet. So we decided to get in the queue for the Little Mermaid ride. Big mistake.

The standby read 20 minutes. However, after waiting 20 minutes and not even being inside, we discovered through the My Disney Experience App that actually, the queue was 50 minutes. Iím sorry to say, I was disappointed with this actually. I thought the one in California was only okay and I donít really know what they could have done to make it better. Maybe itís just as Iím getting older, I want the thrills more and I see ways in which they could improve some rides and it frustrates me that they donít. Rant over.

The heat was even worse after we got off LMM and we had to take over. We headed round to Space Mountain where our fastpasses were due.

Again, I pulled a blinder with this Fastpass, even though itís one of the more obvious ones to retrieve. The queue was 60 minutes when we got over there. It was lovely to just wander into that wonderful air conditioning and head straight to the front of the queue with no messing.

Space Mountain was much much faster than we all remembered. It was really quite a shock to the system. I found myself screaming the whole way round as it turned you this way and that...Absolutely fabulous. Uncle Mark, Megan and Debsy didnít go back on it. A recurring theme for the holiday haha!

Again, after this, the heat was stifling, rain was definitely due. But there was just one more thing we had to do before leaving Magic Kingdom. See the new Festival of Fantasy Parade. And you canít do this without ice cream. So we got some amazing ice cream and watched the parade.

It was absolutely amazing.

My favourites were the Rapunzel float and the float with Anna, Elsa and Olaf on it. I love how theyíve incorporated so many new characters while still remaining true to the oldies like Snow White, Donald Duck and Pinocchio and of course, the mice that started it all.

We had a quick look around the Emporium after the parade where I resigned to getting myself some of these for my hen do in 2016...

A bit of a chill with the locals...

Before finally heading back to CBR to chill by the pool and get a bit of tea.

The heavens opened as we were leaving Magic Kingdom so we retreated to the room and waited for the rain to stop. I had another Caesar Salad (donít worry, Iím much more diverse with my meal choices in the rest of the holiday haha) and then Neil and I got a couple of beers from the Grab N Go and some crisps and had a sit down on one of the swings on Castaway Cay

Where it rained AGAIN.

We had originally planned to go to Tomorrowland Terrace for tea, but everyone was so hot and sticky, we just decided to head back. The plan before that had been to go to House of Blues, but then Mum made the terrific call that we just do a counter service meal. So we cancelled House of Blues some weeks before we left to give ourselves that breathing space.

Iím thrilled that we did. We ate plenty well enough on the other nights and on the first night, it was good to chill after our first full park day.

I liked to take full stock after the first full day...

I was thrilled with how Neil was really getting into the swing of it all. He was playing the Grumpy role without even knowing it and I just loved it. I loved the experience of being there with him and knowing that he was loving every minute as much as I was. It made me really happy for our future. How gushy is that?

I loved how Mark and Debsy were loving it too.

But most of all, I couldnít give a monkeys as to the crowds, the weather, any of it. I was home.

Day 3 is here

Edited at 05:33 PM.
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Old 29 Jul 14, 07:14 PM  
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Really enjoying reading your reports. It sounds like you all had a brilliant holiday.
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Old 29 Jul 14, 07:41 PM  
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Fantastic report, thanks for sharing. Look forward to reading more x
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Old 29 Jul 14, 08:27 PM  
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Great first day
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Old 29 Jul 14, 08:54 PM  
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Brill MK day
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Old 29 Jul 14, 09:22 PM  
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Fab first day result getting to go on splash mountain twice, I might have to get my OH to flash on our trip haha!
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Old 30 Jul 14, 03:49 PM  
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Completely awesome day

Previous trips (mostly villas,) '98,'00,03,04x2,06,07,11 (first onsite stay SSR),12 villa and RCI cruise,14 OKW,15 RCI cruise, Clearwater and Int Drive. 16 West Coast DL, 17
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Old 30 Jul 14, 06:59 PM  
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What a great day! Loving your report <3
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Old 30 Jul 14, 07:02 PM  
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Great first day.Fab photos.
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