Monday morning found us somewhat rested and having breakfast at Chef Mickey's. It was a delightful breakfast, with a superb buffet and five Disney characters walking around. We got to see--in order of appearance--Goofy, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Pluto. Goofy and Pluto are two of Bug's favorite characters, but he was still tired and hadn't eaten anything when Goofy first appeared. He hid in my shoulder. Mickey and Minnie had him opening up a little, possibly because Grandmom got him to eat a banana. He was still shy for Pluto, though. Pluto gave him "kisses" and "sniffed" him, but he clung to Mommy.
The food at Chef Mickey's was fantastic. They had you typical buffet offering of fresh fruit, sausage, bacon, eggs, and pancakes. But they also had kid-sized Mickey waffles, buttery croissants, and a tasty quiche. The orange juice tasted freshly squeezed. The coffee was the perfect strength. Overall, this was the best character meal we went to, and I highly recommend it.
We took the monorail back to the Magic Kingdom after we ate. We didn't walk because we weren't sure of the path. Once there, we went into Tomorrowland and got Fast Passes for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. This was a bit crazy because the line was long, and none of us knew how to do it. I got to try, but when I put Bug's "key to the world" into the machine it said it was invalid. Luckily there was a cast member there to help me. Apparently, if you have an "infant" "key to the world"--what they call the card we were each given to use for charging and park entry--they don't run it through when you enter the park. If the key doesn't go through upon entry, you can't use it for anything inside. Frustrating! (Apparently it depended upon the person who helped you through the gate because some of them ran Bug's card, and some didn't.)
We saw Chip & Dale and Stitch in Tomorrowland. Chip posed for a photo, but he wouldn't sign the autograph books. I guess maybe that's only for the character meals. Dale was harder to catch and successfully evaded us. Stitch, however, stopped and danced with Tommy, delighting both boys.
Of course we had to ride the Mad Tea Party again. This time Daddy rode with me, Bug, and Tommy. He doesn't do skinny things well, and was using Bug as an excuse to take it easy. Bug on the other hand wanted to make the tea cup spin as fast as possible. Either way, all enjoyed the ride, and Daddy took delight in watching Bug's jubilation first hand.
We had issues with lunch in that we couldn't decide on a place to eat that used "counter service" on our Disney Dining Plan. The first place we stopped didn't have anything on the menu that my mother would eat. Enter the beginning of stressed-out freak-out. Because she was unsatisfied, Dad got huffy. She got huffy back. Thank goodness, Tom was there to say that he didn't see anything for the kids there, effectively neutralizing the situation. I don't even remember where we ended up. Maybe back at Contempo Cafe in the Contemprary?
But I digress.
|Bug & Tommy with Emperor Zurg|
We went back to the room for a rest around 2:30, which is a bit late for Buggy to be napping, but oh well. He snuggled in between Mommy and Daddy on our bed for about a two-hour siesta. A day in Disney without a nap is just plain crazy, especially with a 2 year-old.
An enchanted dinner with the princesses in Cinderella's castle started our evening off right. We had a picture taken with Cinderella before going up a staircase that wound around inside one of the towers. Mom and I were greeted by our server as "Princess" and tended to first. The men and boys were "Prince" and tended to in order of age. The boys got swords and "wishing stars." I fell in love with the menus which had Cinderella and her Prince in stained glass on one side with the options on the other. Our server let me keep two.
While we reveled in our mouthwatering desserts, the princesses began their procession through the dining room. Each was introduced by an excerpt from her movie. Snow White was a beautiful representation of the animated princess, right down to her facial features and structure. Princess Aurora was much less impressive, as I didn't find her to be up to par in the looks department. (Shallow, I know, but she is an iconic Disney princess and therefore held to a standard.) Some of my negative view of her might also stem from the fact that she basically ignored Bug as he sat in Daddy's lap. Ariel was elegant and much prissier than her animated counterpart. But that is not an insult. She was pretty, and her dress gorgeous, and she interacted with Bug very well. His favorite, however, was the last princess to greet us, and she came dressed in her everyday dress instead of a gown. (A shame, really, because I love her golden-yellow ball gown.) Belle was so very friendly with my little man, talking to him about his Lightning McQueen shoes and how she was friends with Lightning. He showed her how his shoes flash and actually began talking to her in an enthusiastic tone. She listened very well, and they conversed for a few minutes. It was too cute.
|Watching The Barnstormer|
|Waiting for Dumbo|
We checked The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh after riding Snow White's Scary Adventures, but the line was long. By the way, the Snow White ride is scheduled to close this year. I think they are opening a new one that involves the dwarves a little more, but don't quote me on that. I felt obligated to take Bug on this ride since it is the only thing I remember from my first visit to Walt Disney World when I was his age. It must have terrified me because it is a very clear, although inaccurate, memory. Bug, being the adrenaline junky he was bred to be, and afraid of nothing, found the ride quite entertaining.
It was then that we hit a little bump. We couldn't agree on what to do, but we wanted to see the Haunted Mansion which has a Fast Pass. Well, Mom got into one of her tizzies she has when the stress starts pushing too hard, saying we had to go check the times in a tightly wound, slightly higher pitched voice than normal. I walked away, pushing Bug in his stroller, Tommy in tow.
We hit the Mansion with a 20-minute wait. I have always remembered loving this ride, with it's entry and the hitchhiking ghosts. I do not, however, remember the way you are herded into a confined space and told to keep moving so everyone can fit. The line only reformed once we were almost to the "doom buggies." Our ride was stopped three times. Obviously no one knew why, but it was irritating, even to Bug. The last time he said, "I wanna GO!" The hitchhikers provided much-needed comedic relief at the end, though. The ghost on the "doom buggy" next to us was laying on top and swapping heads. He had us laughing out loud. Even Bug thought they were funny.
|Tommy & Dad on It's a Small World|
Out of the Mansion and back toward It's a Small World for another short wait. Again, this ride didn't possess the magic I remember from my childhood, but then it is sort of geared toward the little ones. Bug loved riding in the boat through the different "countries" while the worldly "children" sang It's a Small World in different languages. He even sang along at times!
Just before the Main Street Electrical Parade we gathered our stroller--stroller parking at Disney is great, by the way--and headed toward Main Street. Big mistake.
While I wanted the boys to see the parade, I was not prepared for the Hell that Main Street becomes for this event. Everyone in the entire park must have been crammed along the parade route. We couldn't move, but yet a very nasty cast member kept yelling at us and everyone else to "keep moving." Well, I'm sorry, but if the mob in front of me isn't moving, just where do you expect me to go, lady? We got pushed one way, then another. People cut us off and stopped in front of us to watch the spectacle that couldn't be seen through the throng of bodies amassed on the sidewalks.
At one point I found a clear spot to stop so I could put Bug back in his stroller. While he was begging buckled in, another cast member yelled at me that I had to move. "You can't leave this here," she said nastily, pointing to the stroller.
That's when I snapped. I stood up in the woman's face an yelled right back. "Well, excuse me," the utter disgust in my voice dripping like molasses because I had had it. "I'm trying get my child buckled into his stroller so he will be safe. Disney is supposed to be about the children. My son's safety is my priority, lady." She backed off and went to bother someone else. Score one for the Sackett-Baker clan.
As we pushed our way through to get out, I got tired of people stepping in front of Tom pushing the stroller. So I got in front of him, grabbed the safety bar, and began pushing right back. I was as nice as I could be, saying "excuse me" and allowing people to move before pushing through. It really wasn't the the other guests I was irritated with. We were all in the same boat essentially. It was the cast members that were yelling at everyone who was trying to do what was "asked" of them, but ignoring those people doing exactly what was causing the problems.
We were able to get out a back way, thanks to those cast members in the restaurants and stores at the circle-end of Main Street. The tension eased as we entered the almost vacant ally behind the storefronts. We asked a very friendly cast member for walking directions back to the Contemporary. She was pleasant, saying "happy birthday" to Tommy, and telling Bug he looked very awake and like he was up to something. I couldn't see his face, but he was probably giving her his flirty smile.
The walk back to the room was quick and relaxing compared to the fiasco we had just left. We had the sidewalk to ourselves, and it ended at our lobby door. We even made it home before the first monorail pulled out of the Magic Kingdom station.
After a short unwind, Daddy took Bug to bed, and I took Tommy back to ride Space Mountain. He kept talking about it, and I knew he wanted to ride it. So at 11 pm we walked back and headed straight for the big white dome.
A 50 minute wait greeted us, and I told Tommy we might not get to ride anything else. He didn't care. It was all about Space Mountain. As we entered the building the cast member gave Tommy a card and told him to give it to the second cast member he saw. It was a method used for determining how long the wait was, but it proved to be entirely useless.
The ride shut down while we waited. Apparently you aren't supped to put your hands up on this roller-coaster because of its confinement, but some brilliant person did just that. A sensor was tripped that stopped the ride. The sensor couldn't be reset by itself, so they had to shut down and restart everything.
Enough people in front of us left that our wait was probably just a little longer than expected. But it was worth the wait because Tommy loved the ride. So did I, for that matter. A ride that was almost completely in the dark, with "stars" surrounding us, it was all tight twists, turns, and corkscrews.
We got back to the room at 1 am. I had been having issues with my key card not working. It let us into the lobby, but I had to wake up Mom to let us in because it wouldn't open the room. But we got in, changed, and crashed out for the night.