Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Disney Day 2--Magic Kingdom

After a busy travel day, we got a decent nights sleep and woke up ready to go!  On our first full day in Disney World we had early reservations at Chef Mickey's and then were heading to Magic Kingdom for the day.

We made the decision to drive to the Contemporary Resort for breakfast and then just catch the monorail to Magic Kingdom.  We parked and walked into the Contemporary and located Chef Mickey's and checked in.  We only had to wait a few minutes and were quickly seated at our table.  This is a character breakfast and there were tons of families there with little kids.  I wasn't sure if the characters would come by our table and/or spend any time with us since we were obviously all adults!  This is one thing Disney does so well--they make everyone feel like they are still kids.  Not only did they come by and spend time with us, Mickey actually came back to our table because Mattie was in the bathroom the first time he came by.  They definitely do everything right!!

Here are some pictures from our breakfast:

After breakfast, we hopped onto the monorail and headed for Magic Kingdom!  There is just something so wonderful about Magic Kingdom--it instantly makes everyone a child!  We all literally had smiles plastered to our faces all day long!

Of course we had to buy Minnie Mouse ears and a princess hat and get pictures in front of the Cinderella's castle!

After we took some pictures, we started walking towards the castle.  We had fast passes for Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but we still had a little bit of time to kill.  Imagine my surprise when I saw Mary Poppins and the line wasn't even that long!  Mary Poppins was absolutely my favorite movie when I was little--I wore out two VHS tapes of it!

We spent the rest of the day riding lots of rides and walking around the park.  I swear there is not enough time in one day to do everything!  We didn't even make it to ride Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  We just saved it for next time!

Here are a few pictures from our day at Magic Kingdom:

Our big treat was our dinner reservations--we were eating in Cinderella's castle!  While Mary Poppins was my favorite "live-action" Disney movie, without a doubt Cinderella was and is my favorite Disney cartoon.  This is a must-do if you are going to Magic Kingdom--it was absolutely wonderful!  When your name is called you enter the castle and have your picture taken with Cinderella.  Then you climb stairs to the dining room.  While you are eating, different princesses walk around to chat and take pictures with you.  I'm not kidding, this was one of the major highlights of the trip for me!

We finished dinner up just in time for the fireworks.  They wouldn't let us out of the tunnel through the castle, so we didn't get full view of the firework show, but it was a very neat vantage point that few people get!

As soon as it was all clear for us to walk out, we headed over to grab a Dole Whip before we headed back to the room.  I had never had one before and it so did not disappoint!

We left Magic Kingdom and headed back to the room to get ready for our SUPER early morning to run the 10k.  That is one thing to note if you are considering running a race at Disney--you have to wake up at 3:45 in order to make the shuttle and get to the corrals on time!  Definitely worth it 100 times over--just don't stay out too late the night before!

Coming up tomorrow--Disney Day 3: Disney Enchanted 10k and Epcot!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Disney Day 1--Travel Day and runDisney Expo

In preparation for driving down to Orlando with my mom and sister, I left Virginia on Wednesday and drove to North Carolina.  We had an early night so that we could wake up SUPER early and hit the road {and hopefully miss most of the traffic}.  Little did we know that we would all be so excited about going to Disney that we would end up leaving over an hour earlier than we thought!

The drive down was pretty uneventful--due to leaving so early, we missed all of the traffic that we had anticipated and as far as I'm concerned any road trip that is uneventful is fine by me!'

As soon as we got near Orlando, the traffic picked up which is always the case!  Our excitement was palpable in the car--we could not wait to be in Disney World!

Mattie was so excited when we started seeing the signs around Disney--she was just looking out the window and waving at everyone.  Disney should have paid her to be the welcoming committee!

We finally arrived!!!

We stayed on property {at the Caribbean Beach Resort} and with their new-ish Magic Band system, they e-mail you when your room is ready and you can go straight to your room.  We had let them know beforehand that we would like to check in early, if possible.  Luckily, mom received an email when we were about an hour away that our room was ready!  We drove straight to the room and unloaded the car.  We freshened up and headed over to the runDisney expo.

I am not sure what I expected the expo to be, but it far exceeded what I thought.  There were SO MANY booths and people.  I'm glad we went on the first day to do packet pickup and look around the expo, because we went back the next day and it was SLAMMED.

We first walked around the expo before picking up our packets.  We bought some new running belts to test out {I really liked mine!} and Mattie waited for her number to be called for the New Balance booth.  Every year, New Balance and Disney team up and release a few different Disney designs specifically for runDisney.  Thank goodness Mattie did her research and signed up on the waitlist for the queue the night before we left--it quickly filled up and was closed for the first day of the expo.  With her entrance, mom and I were able to tag along and pick out a pair, too.  We did go back on the last day of the expo and they were no longer running on the queue system and Mattie and I were able to grab another pair of shoes. Just so you know!

After checking out the booths, we saw a line to meet Jeff Galloway.  My sister is a huge fan of his and mom has read several of his books on running.  That was a pretty neat experience for us!

We left the expo area and headed to pick up our packets at another building.  That was so quick and easy!  Disney definitely knows what they are doing--everything was ready to go!

We walked back over to the expo to exchange our race shirts for different sizes and to make sure that we didn't miss anything.

We drove back over to our hotel and tried to decide what we wanted to do for dinner that night.  For the rest of the week, we had reservations at the different parks for dinner, but the first night we really had no plans.  We unanimously decided to drive into Orlando and try out Shake Shack.  When Tom and I were in Washington, D.C. this past summer, I grabbed a milkshake from Shake Shack but had never eaten at one {and we don't have one any nearer to us than D.C.}.  Oh my goodness--it was so incredibly tasty!!  We all got the regular cheeseburger and split an order of fries.  After dinner, we all got a different milkshake/cement for desert and oh man were they good!  I can't wait until Tom and I are back in D.C. this summer to get another one!

We drove by the outlets and walked around for a little bit, but we were all too exhausted to really want to do much shopping.

When we got back to the resort, we went by guest services to try to figure out the best way to get to our breakfast reservations at Chef Mickey's for the next morning.  We then went by Port Royale to grab our refillable mugs and see what all was over there.  We then headed back to the room to shower and head to bed to get ready for our early morning to go to Chef Mickeys and Magic Kingdom!

I have joked with Tom about this before--I only wake up early to go to Disney!  Not even kidding, this was one of the most exhausting trips that I have ever been on, but we kept on going because it was DISNEY!!

Coming up tomorrow: Day 2: Magic Kingdom!

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