Disney on a Budget, Part 8: Magic Kingdom, Day 1

Over the last couple weeks I recapped our outings to Hollywood Studios (here and here). This week I will be discussing part of our time spent in the main park, Magic Kingdom. The park with the princess castle!

This park is by far the largest one on the Disney complex in Florida. As such, it takes a lot of time to explore it all. We spent parts of two days in the park on this trip. On previous trips we have spent even more time than that. One advantage to the previous trips–we had already met most of the princesses. On this trip we only had to find the ones who starred in movies released since our last trip.

As strange as it may seem for those of you who know us, princesses were not the main reason for the first day in Magic Kingdom. Our older girls danced in the parade down main street. They danced to the “Happy” song from the Minion/Despicable Me movies. Watching them dance was the purpose of our first day at Magic Kingdom. We got there early. Found a good spot early in the route. Watched them go by. Ran to the end of the route. And watched them again.


Once we gathered the kids, we continued our day of fun. Unfortunately the weather had other plans. As we were deciding where to start, the rain began to fall. Hard. We headed for cover. We found a place to sit and decided to eat while we waited for the weather to break. We were even visited by a friendly duck during lunch. No, it was not Donald, it was a hungry mallard.

Once our friendly duck had eaten a few crumbs of crackers, it was time to move on with the day. Our first stop was the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The kids watched some of the movies on the bus, so this ride was a must see. They recognized many of the scenes in the ride from the movies. Our youngest daughter really enjoyed seeing the guy sleeping with the pigs. Once our swashbuckling adventure was over it was time to move onto the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. The kids were not as familiar with this story, but they still enjoyed it.


After spending some time in the past, it was time to head over Tomorrowland. We took part in the Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor. Twice.  It is a fun and interactive comedy show with many of the characters from the Monster’s Inc. movies. After that we had to take in Stich’s ride. Being our oldest daughters favorite alien, Stich was another must see. The ride was not so much of a ride. It was more of a sit. It was simple and basic and only moderately enjoyable. About the only thing I remember about the ride is the chili-cheese dog burp.  Melissa thought that was gross and almost threw up.

Our next stop is my favorite ride in all of Magic Kingdom: Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Who doesn’t enjoy shooting glow in the dark aliens with a laser blaster? The ride is simple but fun. The only thing that bothers me about the ride sometimes is the bright strobe lights. So my solution is to wear sunglasses (in the dark). Besides, they make me look cool in the pictures Disney takes.  What a Father’s Day treat!


Blasting aliens works up an appetite. So we stopped at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies for  some ice cream. I guess food gives some people in our family the urge to shop. Luckily there were a couple gift shops close by to satisfy them. After finding the perfect items to buy we moved onto our next adventure. This one was one that almost all of us dreaded. The Carousel of Progress. I have nothing against the spinning theater. It is a little dated, but that adds to it’s charm. Plus, it is air conditioned.  The older kids find it boring.  What drives me crazy is the song. “It’s a great big beautiful tomorrow…” The song still gets sung in our house by the smallest family member on occasion. Since it was her request that we see the attraction at least we know she liked it.


By this point we had exhausted most of the activities we wanted to see in Tomorrowland. The kids had a couple more items they wanted to see and do in the park on this day. So we headed half way across the park to do them. The older girls really enjoy the Peter Pan ride. The lighting and scenes Disney created for it are very neat. Floating above the scenes in a flying ship creates a nice cool breeze on a hot humid day, too.

Our youngest daughter was very small the last time we were in Florida. As a result, she does not remember much of it. One thing on her must see and do list was the princess castle in the middle of the park. She really wanted to go inside, but was satisfied walking through and around it. She posed for a lot of pictures. We even humored her and took a couple. Unfortunately none of them turned out very well.


While walking across the park on the way back to our bus we found a few more stores to shop in. How surprising and exciting. We also had to make a stop in the Town Square building to meet Tinkerbell. The older girls and I sat in the shade while Melissa and Jocelyn were fairy hunting. Jocelyn is the only member of the family that had not met her in the past, so she wanted to join the club. Once she was part of the cool group we found our pick-up location and waited a few minutes for the bus.  Jocelyn took a nap on the way back to the hotel.


When we got back to the resort we ate a quick bite in the food court area. Then it was off to the pool for a relaxing evening in the cool water under the hot sun. A wonderful end to another wonderful family day in Florida.

What is one of your favorite ways to spend an enjoyable evening with the family? Share it with us!