Carrolls do Disney World: Day 2

While I fully intended to condense our trip into two or three posts, right now it’s looking like I may have a post for every day we were there. I don’t want to forget a single thing about it!

Day 2- Magic Kingdom


We were so excited for our first real day at Disney World and we had a breakfast reservation at the Magic Kingdom at The Crystal Palace.

Our hotel, The Wilderness Lodge, is not on the Monorail, but it does have direct boat service from the hotel to the Magic Kingdom. And the boat ride is only about ten minutes, at most. We never had to wait for a boat and it was so convenient!

The Crystal Palace is a beautiful spot located just off of Main Street USA. It is a character  that features Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore. We were there for breakfast and the buffet was good! Typical breakfast buffet items, but the cast members were all so nice and accommodating and the kids absolutely loved it.


They were incredibly excited to meet the characters, and their reactions were just priceless!



I loved Hayes’s mouthful of Mickey waffle when he met Tigger.

When we left breakfast, we were just out to explore the park! We took advantage of the new Fast Pass Plus system, which is just incredible. So this is the thing that will make Disney World seem like a more manageable trip to people. We have our Magic Bands that electronically hold all the information for your trip– hotel, dinner reservations, dining plan information, park passes, and most importantly, they hold your Fast Pass information.

A few weeks before we left for Disney World, I reserved all of our 3 Fast Passes per day on the My Disney Experience website. And then it showed up on our Magic Bands! Magic!

We had three guaranteed times that we wouldn’t have to wait in line that day. And, thankfully, the parks are not crowded at all during the week that we went. It was so wonderful to not have to wait.

We headed straight for Peter Pan’s Flight and the boys loved it. Peter Pan was definitely their favorite ride of the entire trip.

Then we rode Prince Charming’s Carousel, It’s a Small World, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, Goofy’s Barnstormer, and Dumbo.

The Dumbo ride now has a play area in the waiting line,which is wonderful. You receive a pager when you enter the play area, and your kids can play while they wait. And then when it’s your turn to get on the ride, they page you. So wonderful! We were able to ride Dumbo three times that first day and Hayes never wanted it to end. Poor guy! Meltdowns happen, even at Disney World!


We made our way to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and the boys had an absolute ball! We rode it twice, too. I’m telling you, there were no lines.



We were right next to Cosmic Ray’s to use one of our quick service meals, so we ran in there to grab some lunch. The food was good. Maybe a small step up from fast food, but I can’t say enough great things about the Magic Bands.

After lunch, we went to ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and they just loved it. We rode the Astro Orbiter and then went into the Monsters Laugh Floor. Such fun! And then it was time to head back to the hotel for naps. Because, even at Disney World, these boys needed a nap. It saved us from meltdowns. So we headed in around 2:00 and put the boys to bed.


They woke up, we grabbed a bite to eat, and then we headed back to Magic Kingdom for the Main Street Electrical Parade and the Celebrate the Magic and Wishes shows.  The parade is incredible! I highly recommend seeing it at least once. But the Celebrate the Magic show is a showstopper. It’s a projection show on Cinderella Castle and it is quite impressive. The boys also loved the fireworks. Seeing their faces and hearing their laughs were just the best!


We rode Peter Pan one more time after the parade and then went to see Mickey’s Philharmagic 3D show. The kids loved it!


And then it was back to the hotel for a long night sleep! The kids crashed every night and Todd and I would watch a little TV before passing out. Disney World will wear you out!


Carrolls do Disney World: Day 1

Okay, so here’s the plan. For the sake of my memory-keeping purposes, I am going to recap all of the days in a few posts and then I will do one post full of information and tips. Restaurants, hotel, transportation, Magic Bands, Fast Pass +, etc. If you have any questions before Friday, ask them in the comments and I will be sure and answer them in Friday’s post! 

Because this was our first time to take our kids to Disney World, we are clearly not experts, but I am happy to share our experience and what worked for us. 

Back around Christmas in 2012, I started talking to Todd about taking the kids to Disney World for their gift for Christmas 2013. I wanted to go in January after MLK Day because most kids are in school and mine are still at an age where I can take them out of school to do these kinds of things.

So last May, I booked our trip. I contacted a local Disney travel agent (who is paid on commission by Walt Disney World and not paid by the traveler! Score!) and talked to her about our budget, how long we wanted to stay, the meals we wanted, etc. She was such a huge help! I am happy to share her information with anyone who wants it.

We had originally planned to go for four or five days, but after thinking about my kids’ ages and their ability to stay out all day long, we decided to stay for six nights/seven days to make the most of our trip.

So let’s get going with the recap!

Day 1 – Travel Day and Downtown Disney

We decided to drive to Disney World. Our trip from Columbia, SC was right around 7 hours. We brought our own double BOB instead of renting one. We didn’t have a dinner reservation that day, so we weren’t in a huge hurry, but wanted to get there before sunset.

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We finally entered the big gates and everyone was so excited!


I love that Disney World is its own city. Seriously. It has its own infrastructure and roads and signs. And it’s enormous! We found our way to Wilderness Lodge and it felt like being tucked away in a beautiful, secluded mountain retreat in the middle of Florida.


We made our way inside… I definitely should have taken pictures of the beautiful lodgey lobby. Wow. It felt so homey and it was just so quiet and beautiful. We grabbed our Magic Bands and the nice gal at the front desk activated them. We used our Magic Bands to enter our hotel room, use Fast Passes, pay for our food, pay for anything else we needed. It was so easy and seamless.

After parking our car and getting into our room, we went to catch the bus to go to Downtown Disney. The bus ride made quite a few stops on the way to Downtown Disney and it took us about an hour to get there, which I heard was expected. But Downtown Disney was the perfect way to ease into the Disney experience.


We rushed to get our name on the list to eat at the T-Rex Cafe. The wait was incredibly long, but we just didn’t make a reservation for our first night because we weren’t really sure what our plans would be. We waited about 45 minutes for a table… and this was during the slow season. There was a fun place for the boys to “dig for fossils” and they had a lot of fun with that.


The restaurant had huge dinosaurs that “come to life” every 15 minutes all over the restaurant. Hudson was a little creeped out at first and then he got over it. It was a fun, mostly kid-friendly experience. Super interactive and loud, which is great for my boys!


The boys would have been fine with just going into the Disney stores everywhere and thought that this was all there was to Disney World! They were in heaven! IMG_8077

We shopped around a little, but told the boys that on the very last day they could pick out one favorite thing that they wanted, but until then we wouldn’t be buying anything. That seemed to appease them in the midst of all the fun things to look at!


We hopped back on the bus and headed back to the Wilderness Lodge. I was thankful that we didn’t bring our stroller to Downtown Disney. Back at the hotel, the boys were super excited about their fun bunk beds. Hayes still sleeps in a crib and this was his first experience in a real big boy bed. It all went surprisingly well!


Tomorrow, I’ll recap our first day at Magic Kingdom and our day at Epcot.

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