Lindsay looked up the list of attractions, and Elena was available for a Meet + Greet alongside Cinderella at Magic Kingdom. The line to meet Cinderella at Fairytale Hall in FantasyLand can get really long and we didn't have a FastPass for it, so the three of us decided to wake up early on Sunday morning and make it to the park as soon as it opened.
That was the plan at least ... but we had the tough time waking Princess Tory from her slumber. Full days and late nights tired this little girl out! She popped right up with the promise to meet Elena though. Lindsay ordered breakfast to our room so we could get dressed and get a move on the day, and Tory was super impressed by that. She ate her Minnie Mouse pancakes and jelly toast with a big grin. A great day was before us!
Other people must've had the idea to arrive at Magic Kingdom when it opened because the Disney shuttles to the parks were much more crowded at this time of day. Fortunately, the three of us were able to squeeze onto the first shuttle that arrived. There happened to be a marathon race happening at the parks that morning, so traffic was slower than usual. When we made it to Magic Kingdom, Lindsay and I high-tailed it to FantasyLand to see Elena.
Fortunately, the line wasn't too long - about 20 minutes - so we hopped in it to make Tory's big wish come true. And, did we ever! Tory was absolutely SMITTEN with the princess. She'd made a picture for Elena and presented it to her when they finally met. Elena said she loved it and would be sure to share it with her sister Isabelle. Then, she displayed it proudly on a shelf near her greeting area.
Don't forget - Cinderella was there, too. Tory snapped a few pictures with her next. "I don't think she remembered me from yesterday," was all Tory mentioned afterward her princess encounter. (I explained Cinderella meets lots of kids everyday and maybe she'd forgot about meeting us yesterday at our princess breakfast.)
Since the line was short, we decided to meet Rapunzel and Princess Tiana next door. Each of the princesses Tory met signed the autograph book Lindsay had given her for Christmas. Tory liked to look at each signature afterward to see how fancy it was.
Riding the carousel is one of Tory's other favorite things to do and since there was one right across from Fairytale Hall, Tory asked if we could ride it. It's nice not having to mess with tickets for rides at Disney World. There wasn't much of a line, so we got right on and enjoyed a whirl around and around.
Next, we walked over to The Beauty and the Beast's castle for our FastPass to Belle's Enchanted Tales. I wasn't sure what to expect as the description was touted as more of an "experience." There wasn't much of a line which made us question using a FastPass, too. Soon, we were ushered into a room which looked like Maurice cottage and the whole "experience" began.
We quickly learned "Belle's Enchanted Tales" was a group performance and Lindsay was picked among participants in the room to play Mrs. Potts. After all the parts had been given, the organizer asked if anyone else would like a role, and to my surprise Tory raised her hand and shouted, "I would! I would!" She was cast as a plate.
Mrs. Potts (Lindsay), the plates (Tory and a young girl), and all the other characters performed a skit about Belle in the Beast's castle. Afterward, Belle took photos with all the participants. I really enjoyed this "experience" at Disney World; it was fun and personalized.
Next, we decided to ride some of the rides in Fantasyland. First up: "The Mad Tea Party" (aka: the teacups!) Tory isn't a big fan of rides in general, but she really liked this one because she could control how fast our teacup turned. Bonus - we had a Fastpass, so we didn't have to wait long to take a turn.
We also rode "It's A Small World" which was cute. A Disney classic.
For lunch, we stopped at Pinnocchio Village Haus for chicken fingers, fries and macaroni and cheese. I can't say I was very impressed with the dining options at Magic Kingdom. Lots of "fast food" restaurants and for someone trying to eat healthier, it was tough finding many options.
The Little Mermaid is Lindsay's favorite Disney movie, so "Ariel's Undersea Adventure" was on her list of things to do. We had another Fastpass for this ride, so we made our way there after lunch to take our turn. Tory thought this ride was scary because it was dark part of the time.
Mid-afternoon, we gave Tory the choice to stay in Magic Kingdom, ride more rides and see the parade at 3 o'clock, or go back to Animal Kingdom Lodge and swim for the afternoon. This was our last full day at Disney World, so we wouldn't be able to do everything. Tory thought and thought, and eventually decided she wanted to stay. Good choice!
We made our way to the Adventureland area of Magic Kingdom, and waited in line for Alaadin's "Magic Carpet" ride. It was a long and hot wait in the afternoon sun, but it worth it. Tory really enjoyed this ride! For me, this was best "wahoo! we're at Disney World" moment of the day. It was magical flying through the air, listening to Tory's happy giggles.
We made our way back to Cinderella's castle for the Festival of Fantasy parade. Smartly, Lindsay asked a nearly parade employee to suggest a good viewing spot for the parade. I always enjoy a good parade, and we all had a great time watching the floats and Disney characters pass by us.
After the parade ended, we decided last-minute to meet Tinkerbelle. The waiting time on the outside of the building said there was only a 5 minute wait - too good to be true! - but it ended up taking much longer. Tory was excited to see Tinkerbelle, so I suppose it was worth it.
For dinner, we made our way back to Adventureland to Pecos Bill Tall Tail Tavern for the promise of Mexican food. The restaurant was packed with people and we had a hard time finding a table. I ordered the chicken fajitas and made Tory a burrito using my tortilla and toppings from the condiment bar -- that was a nice perk since she wouldn't have eaten much from their regular menu anyway.
I have to admit, I was overstimulated by this point in the day. We'd been at Magic Kingdom for 9 straight hours, and there were kids crying and parents yelling all around us. You know what everyone needed was a glass of wine! Too bad Magic Kingdom is completely dry, ugh.
We walked back to Cinderella's castle and waited for the fireworks show. My grumbles over crowds and kids crying quickly turned when the show started. Seriously, so magical!
I'm continually impressed with Disney's ability to put on a show. The fireworks were amazing and made me appreciate the thousands of people who'd gathered that evening to celebrate the magic with their loved ones.
Lindsay, Tory and I made a mad-dash to the Disney shuttle area following the fireworks show. As luck would have it, we made it onto the first bus back to Animal Kingdom Lodge with one sleepy girl exhausted from our big day.
I was never so glad for the travel-sized boxed wine I brought along in my suitcase! Lindsay and I poured ourselves a nice glass of red after we returned to our hotel room. What a fun and exhausting day!
Monday morning, the three of us grabbed a buffet-style breakfast at the hotel's Boma restaurant and then made our way to the airport. Our weekend trip to Disney was a quick one, but the perfect amount of time in my opinion. We didn't see everything during our trip, but we sure the made the most of our time. The best part was spending three days with Lindsay and my favorite little girl.
Tory was so agreeable and understanding; Age Five really is the perfect age for this trip! I'm so glad she was able to enjoy the things we experienced without needing a break during the day. She also knew we couldn't do everything that weekend, so involving her in our plans helped keep tantrums at bay.