Magic Kingdom… the most magical place on earth… where dreams come true…

The last few mornings have been foggy, like really foggy, where you can hardly see the car in front of you foggy. It starts to clear up around 9.30 am but it makes it hard to have great first impression of the park when you can’t see it! (The bottom image was taken an hour later)

MummynmephotographyMummynmephotographyToday was Magic Kingdom Day and it certainly didn’t disappoint! Beautiful princesses, thrilling rides and the most spectacular fireworks display you have ever seen! So, during my research (which took weeks mind you) I had read that the 7 dwarfs mine ride was the hardest one to get onto. And if you didn’t arrive early, it could be up to a 2.5 hr wait! So, of course we arrived at the park at 8 am, hoping to get somewhat up the front of the line. Now, those of you that know me, know I can be slightly competitive… this was my challenge. I’m happy to say that I won and we were 2nd in line and rode the first train of the day. Now, I had also read, that you could scan your park ticket at the end of the ride, and if you had Memory Maker (you purchase this before you arrive and whenever you have a photo taken in the park by one of their photographers, It gets downloaded into the app. You are then able to download the high res images to keep. A great investment considering each photo to purchase is a min of $15) would receive the coolest video of the ride. I couldn’t find where to do this when we got off so asked one of the staff. She said that that was not true and that I needed a magic band. What the?? After explaining that we had just waited over an hour to ride for that video she said that if i went and purchased one, she would give us a fast pass to hop straight back on. (I forgot to explain this yesterday to those of you that have not visited Disney before. Every day, you are allowed 3 fast passes. This is something you book in advance, and allows you to skip the line for that particular ride, at the time you have chosen) Yay! Pixie dust! (another Disneyism. translation – when a cast member does something nice its called pixie dust). Of course I rushed to the nearest store, purchased my magic band and off we went! See the cool video below.

 

Luckily the park was still fairly uncrowded so we were able to get onto the next few rides without more than a 5 min wait, Barnstormer x 2, Ariel’s grotto and the tea cups all done by 9.45 am. Somewhere however between the Test Track and Haunted Mansion, Ayrlie realized she had lost another tooth. That’s 3 in two weeks. We couldn’t find it and decided that we would write a letter to the Tooth Fairy when we go home explaining what had happened. I’m sure she will understand. I had heard that Tales with Bell was a really lovely play so we headed there next. We were sprinkled with more pixie dust when both kids got picked to act out characters. Apparently it’s a reenactment of the Beauty and the Beast with the kids playing vital roles. Benjamin was picked to play Philippe the horse and Ayrlie was the Beast. They did such a great job and at the end, only those who acted in the play, were able to get a photo with Belle….. and after a little begging so was I. (she is my favorite princess and I know the move off by heart).

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Magic shots… If you have memory maker, another one of the cool features is Magic Shots. This is where they can add a character to your pic and as you can see, its heaps of fun.

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After a lot more rides, Peter Pan, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean it was time for Mickey’s Very Magical Christmas Party. It goes from 7 pm – 12 am but we’ll see how long we can last. But at least we get hot chocolate, cookies, parades and fireworks! There are more images to come on the Christmas Party but with the computer I’m using at the moment, it takes me a good 4 hours to edit the images just for these blog posts. So stay tuned for some more visual beauty when I get home.

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The fireworks and light show on the castle were second to none, truly breathtaking. The kids lasted till 11.30 pm. I think it was the dance party that took it’s final toll… surely not the 15.5 hours or the 17 km we have walked today!

 

 

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Exciting!! Our first day at Disney World!! Hollywood studios was on the agenda and we were excited! First up was registering for the Star Wars Jedi training. That took a little longer than expected so it was then a quick rush to make our first fast pass, Frozen – a sing along adventure. It was super funny and at the end it snowed in the theater, something which tickled the kids pink.

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Next we headed to the Indy stunt show. It had real explosions and fire and the kids were mesmerized. A true highlight of the day.

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There were a few meet and greets before they headed to their Jedi training where at the end they battled the sister Sith. The favorite of the day had to be the 3D Star Wars ride.

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After a long first day, we realized we hadn’t stopped for lunch or dinner. So we headed for the nearest Denny’s (again) to fill up before crashing!  Tomorrow it’s the biggest day by far with Magic Kingdom and Mickey’s Very Magical Christmas Party!

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We were up and out the door by 4.45 am to catch the 8.30am flight to Orlando this morning. We walk outside….. and its snowing! Hard! Not this again! Fortunately, the lady at the front desk said the roads hardly ever get icy here so we should be right to go. She was right and apart from some slow traffic, we reach the rental car drop off just 10 min late. We are expecting the plane to be delayed apparently but it its leaving on time. What they don’t tell us tho is that they need to wash the snow off which takes 30 min and that they only have one runway open, and that’s for incoming and outgoing planes. So that then takes another 45 min. Finally we are in the air and sit back to enjoy the very turbulent ride to sunny Florida!

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After an hour wait in line to collect the car and a sting charge of $45 a day for insurance (we have the car for 10 days, at a cost of $235???) We head straight to our holiday home. OMG it is amazing! A 4 bedroom house, complete with Christmas tree, heated pool, spa and games room. A TV and play station in every room and goodie bags on the beds for the kids.

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Now if only I can get them to bed and out of the house in the morning to head to Hollywood Studios! 🙂

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We wanted to stop at Vail on our way to Denver today and since it was already a 5.5 hr journey we were on the road early. The temp was dropping like crazy the closer we got and just on the outskirts of town, it started to snow! We were all so excited to arrive and have a play. We headed into Vail village. It looks like a little town in countryside Switzerland with Bavarian cafes and decorative buildings. We wandered around in the snow before stopping for a hearty German lunch. The snow was heavier when we emerged and it was snow fight time! There was a Christmas tree roundabout in the middle of the square and that’s where it all went down! I felt sorry for the passersby as they were ducking snow bombs left right and center! Needless to say, the hour we were supposed to spend here turned into three, all the while the snow was getting heavier and we were all loving it.

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Back to the car and out we go, first roundabout….. ohhhh, did the back wheels just spin a bit…. put the traction control on….. take the freeway corner……. ohhhh, did we just slide a bit? ……. no one has chains on, must be ok…… 20 min later….. pure chaos!!! Traffic was down to 15k’s. That was just for the cars still driving! It was more like an ice skating rink for cars than a freeway! Doh! We didn’t think of the downside to a snow storm 😳. Only trucks had to have chains on which was good, because the car company didn’t give us any and bad because we probably needed them but couldn’t stop to put them on! If you didn’t keep moving, you got stuck in snow and would slide to much to move. At one point in the 3 lane freeway, there was 10 lanes of cars with parked and spinning tires everywhere. We were very happy we had the beast car then let me tell you.

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The 1hr 20 min drive to Denver ended up taking us 5 and we were more than a little relieved to have made it! After re packing all the bags for tomorrow’s flight to Orlando it was bed for a couple of hours shut eye.

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Late last night we realized that we only had one night in Moab and not two! 😳. That meant we needed to head off super early as we wanted to visit both the dinosaur park and Arches National Park. It was a long 3 hr drive as the scenery wasn’t that great except for Mexican Hat Rock. We did happen across an old historical village in Bluff tho where the kids were able to earn another award. We walked through the village built in the 1800’s. The kids decided they much prefer our time! The staff were dressed in period costume which really added to the feel of the place and after filling in their worksheets the kids could choose two stones from a tub.

Arriving in Moab around 12.30 pm we headed straight for the Arches. While there, the ranger rang the dinosaur park to find out it was closed. Looks like we have all afternoon to check out the park now. Lucky too as the first ‘short little track’ took us nearly two hours! That left us rushed to finish the rest. Double hole arch was a definite favorite and we could have spent a good hour there. It was quite magical. The kids were stoked too as they were able to earn their third Junior Ranger Badge!

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We are staying at the Quality Suites Moab and the room is a great size. It has a heated pool and gym. Next door is a micro brewery where we head for dinner. Yum, yum, yum! We have a Jack Daniels pasta and slow roasted rib eye. Whole baked apples wrapped in pastry and chocolate brownie Sundaes tops off the night. (Along with a few beer samplers of course)

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We have a big day of driving to do tomorrow so it’s an early night for us.

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