Sunday, April 17, 2016

Disney, Days 3 & 4: Wednesday, 4/13; Thursday, 4/14

Our final Magic Kingdom day was all about princesses and pressed pennies. We’d gotten a few pressed pennies on Monday and Tuesday, and L&G’s collecting gene kicked in, so we found a pressed-penny-machine map online and set out to get all the pressed pennies we could. Our concierge very nicely counted out a ton of pennies for me in the morning, even swapping out the tarnished ones for shiny ones. Disney service, right there.

The day started early, with breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table, which is fun for two reasons: first, because you meet five princesses and get to eat in Cinderella’s Castle; and second, because you get to go into the Magic Kingdom before it officially opens. We strolled down a deserted Main Street and had our picture taken with the castle--and no crowds--in the background. L&G wore pink princess dresses and carried their Minnies. (Seriously, these kids loved Disney. And to think part of me was in doubt.) First, Cinderella welcomed them to the castle, and then we were shown to our table. A plate of pastries arrived. And then--princesses. Snow White, Aurora, Jasmine, and Ariel. They visited every table, autographed books, posed for pictures. L&G almost couldn’t speak, they were so excited. As if the breakfast needed any more fun, they were given sparkly wands before we left.

And then, outside the castle, we met the Fairy Godmother.

But we’d barely gotten started. Next we had Enchanted Tales with Belle, where Lucia and Greta played the parts of Mrs. Potts and Chip the teacup during the little play the children put on as a “surprise” for Belle. Then we met Ariel at her grotto, which may have been the best princess meet-and-greet of all--in a very underwater-like cavern, with Ariel in full sparkly green mermaid tale, remarking on the girls’ singing Ariel necklaces, which they’d worn in anticipation of the meeting.

We met up with Katherine, Patrick, and Thomas after that for some ice cream, and L&G threw some goldfish crackers to a few visiting ducks. Then we all went on Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, also a huge hit. After all that princess-ness, it’s no surprise that L&G wanted to pick out princess dolls at a shop, which we did before heading back to the hotel and pool.

We had a fun dinner planned for Wednesday--the Spirit of Aloha luau right at the Polynesian. Both girls were mesmerized by the traditional costumes, dancing, and music, but Lucia was totally into it--asking why the male dancers were wearing skirts, expressing her amazement at the fire dancer (“THIS IS AWESOME!!!”), remarking on the women’s beautiful dresses, etc. So observant and curious. Afterward, L&G collected some yellow flowers that had fallen from a tree on a path near our room, which Greta declared even better than the luau.

Thursday was our final day. We finished our trip with breakfast at Ohana, where we met Mickey, Pluto, Lilo, and Stitch (neither of whom we knew of). Meeting Mickey was, again, a highlight, and both the girls and their Minnies gave and received huge hugs. Then we went to our room to pack up, and Lucia began sobbing because she didn’t want to leave Disney, and both girls cried in our laps for a while. They perked up when we let them pick out another princess doll from a store *conveniently located* right in the resort. Then it was back to Jacksonville.

So, a good trip. No, more than good. Really fun. Really memorable. Really, yes, magical. We’re not going to be enrolling in the Disney Vacation Club or traveling there sans kiddos, but we’ll be back. I wasn’t sure I’d be saying that, but here we are, happy, with bagfuls of pressed pennies and armloads of princesses. For a six-year-old and a four-year-old, these three days were exactly what they should have been. They loved every moment.


In the park, before the crowds



With no one around, we took advantage of a Disney photographer and had lots of pics taken.


Oh, Disney. You know what you're doing.



Obligatory family / castle photo.

Cinderella greeting guests to the breakfast




Meeting the Fairy Godmother outside Cinderella's Castle

Enchanted Tales with Belle

Lucia played the role of Mrs. Potts


Pouring tea for Belle

Greta played the role of Chip the teacup

Ariel at her Grotto. L&G showed her their singing shell necklaces.



Collecting flowers after the Spirit of Aloha dinner
Meeting Stitch at the 'Ohana breakfast

Meeting Lilo at 'Ohana

Excited to meet Pluto

A final meeting with Mickey at 'Ohana

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