Last week Disney announced it would host a special coronation ceremony making Merida an official Disney Princess. Although Brave is actually my least favorite Pixar movie, it was rumored that all the other Disney Princesses would be there, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see them all together!
The ceremony was at 9:30am, so we needed to be at the park pretty early for a good spot. With 2 toddlers, a very slow McDonald’s Drive-Thru, and a not-so-magical on-property traffic ticket, we were a bit late. We got to Magic Kingdom just a bit after Rope Drop and headed straight to Cinderella Castle. Most of the area directly in front of the castle was roped off for the Social Media Moms conference, and invited media and regular guests took up most of the hub. We wandered around a bit before settling on a spot just at the back of the hub in front of the Partners Statue. The view wasn’t great, but I would be able to get a glimpse of the princesses, and we would be able to hear.
At 9:30 people started shifting around, and kids began going up on shoulders, so it seemed the festivities had started, but we weren’t sure because we couldn’t hear anything. If we listened very carefully we could just faintly hear an announcement being made up at the front. We quickly realized they weren’t going to use the speakers back where we were, only the ones right at the castle stage. All around us guests were looking around and trying to figure out what was going on, and people were really disappointed. We were all okay with having a very obstructed view, but not being able to hear or anything was frustrating. It wasn’t like we were halfway down Main Street or anything, we were right there in the hub! It seemed silly that Disney wouldn’t at least let us hear what was happening. After a few minutes we decided it wasn’t worth it and headed off to go on rides.
Since it was Saturday I had my kids with me, and we decided the whole day would be for what they wanted to do. We began with one of their favorites: Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. Okay…it’s also one of my favorites. I have actually had days where I go by myself to the park and ride over and over practicing so that I can get the Galactic Hero rank (for a score of 999,999). Now that I’ve gotten good I really enjoy the extra challenge of trying to score that high while a toddler is controlling the spinning of the car. Today my youngest son felt like we should spin a lot so my score was nowhere near 999,999, but everyone had a great time.
When we left there we went for a quick spin on the PeopleMover and then headed to get the stroller from where it was parked. When we approached it near Lunching Pad we suddenly noticed that there were flies everywhere! At first we thought it might be because they were attracted to the food at Lunching Pad and juice and snacks left in strollers, but as the day went on we realized they were all over the park. They flew around us and landed on everything we had…we even noticed other guests complaining about them. It is also love-bug season in Central Florida, but the flies at Magic Kingdom were even worse. I don’t know where they came from but I really hope Disney does something to get them under control soon.
From there we went to another favorite area: Storybook Circus. This is a perfect area for toddlers to burn off some energy, and as a huge Dumbo fan I love spending time there, too. We went straight to Dumbo The Flying Elephant so they could play in the playground. I didn’t even look at the wait time as we got in line. Since they added the play area, it doesn’t matter if the line is 10 minutes or 2 hours; the kids are happy to play, and I can sit in the air conditioning…I wish every queue was like this one. It was a somewhat busy day, and the area was at capacity, yet I still didn’t feel it was too full…I managed to get a seat where I could see the entire playground and could watch my kids run around, and they didn’t seem to have trouble getting a turn on any toys. After a short wait our pager went off, and we headed to the ride.
After Dumbo the kids made a beeline for the Casey Junior Splash ‘N’ Soak Station water play area. It was a hot day and I always carry changes of clothes for the boys, so I let them go. I found a semi-shady spot on the edge and relaxed and chatted with some friends while the boys ran around and got absolutely drenched. Again, this is another play area I think is great, but I noticed a couple of things that bothered me. I saw a lot of kids running around barefoot or not wearing clothes…that is seriously unsafe. If you’re going to let your children play in a water area, bring a change of clothes or be prepared for them to walk around wet while they air dry. Their having a good time isn’t worth their stepping on something and getting badly hurt.
When they were worn out we took a quick trip on the Walt Disney World Railroad to dry off a bit and then headed to get some lunch. I had heard that Be Our Guest had taken the Steak Sandwich off the menu and replaced it with a Prime Chuck Roast Beef Sandwich, and I wanted to try it out. We got in line at 1:00pm and were at our table 45 minutes later. The food came fairly quickly, and I was immediately impressed with the way my sandwich looked, it had more meat than I expected, and the bread looked fresh. However, when I tried it, I wasn’t blown away. It was okay, but not great. The Horseradish sauce could have had more kick, and the meat was a bit cold, but it was edible. I actually liked the sandwich, itself, more than the Steak Sandwich it replaced, but the Steak Sandwich became amazing if it was dipped into the restaurant’s delicious Potato Leek Soup. The new sandwich didn’t really work when dipped in the soup, so overall I wish we still had the Steak Sandwich on the menu.
We spent some time after lunch doing a couple of easy-going things (Tiki Room, it’s a small world) and then saw the afternoon rain storm coming in and decided to head out. On Main Street we ducked in to Uptown Jewelers to look around and saw that they had removed all the pins and Vinylmation from the back of the store. The area is now used for purses, scarves, phone cases, and other merchandise usually found in the front part of the store. When I asked a Cast Member she said that all their pin and Vinyl stock was spread throughout the park with most of it going to Frontierland Trading Post.