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Friday, November 6, 2015

Elsa and Anna Morning at Magic Kingdom

Our last visit to the parks was back in January. Since that visit ALL Britt has talked about is wanting to meet Elsa and Anna. Since we don't stay on property we can't book fast pass plus reservations until 30 days out and, duh, all of them were taken by that point. There was NO WAY we'd wait in a 2 hour long line to meet them. I ended up learning that Be Our Guest restaurant is now open for breakfast. It's a quick service restaurant meaning you don't have to pay per person to dine there. It's the ONLY one in Magic Kingdom that does a quick service breakfast. I was able to get us reservations for 8:30 (30 min prior to park opening). I also got us reservations there for lunch. I'd heard AMAZING things about their lunch and we've never eaten there before so we were all pumped (it made my heart so happy when I surprised the kids with the news of the reservation and ZACH was pumped too!). 

On our way ~ monorail style!



Getting there early was a different experience than the past times we've done it. They didn't allow anyone into the park until 8:00 which was surprising to me as I'm sure many people had 8:00 reservations! They did actually check our info this time and made sure we had a reservation (last time we came early they didn't even check and we met people in line to get in that didn't have reservations at all!).  I was glad we didn't have an 8:00 reservation as we were able to take our time and enjoy being in the park so early!








I'm a member in a Disney Junkie group on Facebook and someone posted a photo similar to this one on the group. I knew I had to copy!!! We had the ears already from the kids costumes last Halloween and I just stuck Britt in a red and black outfit so she'd go with the colors ;) We just pulled over to the side for a minute, snapped the pics, and were done. I LOVE how they turned out!!!




It was funny have both a breakfast and lunch reservation at the same restaurant but there was a method to my madness! When you make a reservation you must include all people in your party...they check at the gate when you get to the park early to make sure everyone in your party is also part of the reservation. However, when you go to check in at the actual restaurant you only need to have ONE person in your party be there. Be Our Guest also allows for you to order in advance. So here's what I did (this is a GREAT tip for how to get in the park early!): 

1. I made a Be Our Guest breakfast reservation for the 4 of us for 8:30. 
2. We all got into the park at 8:00. Got to the check-in at Be Our Guest at about 8:20. Kye and I did the check-in while Zach and Britt went to the bathroom to change her clothes. 
3. I ordered in advance for the breakfast and ordered the cheapest item on the menu ($12 french toast). 
4. Kye and I went through the line to get our food while Zach and Britt went ahead and waited for Elsa and Anna. 
5. The park didn't open until 9:00 but they were there waiting at 8:30. Kye and I grabbed our food and put it in water cups to go and then met them! BOOM!

I tried not to look around too much that morning because I wanted to have the FULL experience later that day at our lunch! I was blown away by the beauty of Beast's Castle (no pun intended!)




They have such a unique system where they give you a "rose" for your table and then people come around and deliver the food. We had to ask for them...but they do have free danishes at breakfast as well. They also have a self-serve drink station with tons of cups and such so we were able to use the cups to make our own "to go" dishes ;)


We enjoyed some alone time together while we waited and talked about the beautiful surroundings!


As I was loading up the food Kye asked if he could eat some haha kid LOVES to GRUB!


Meanwhile Zach got Britt changed into her Elsa and Anna outfit and they had some quality time waiting as close as possible to the princess area. If your main goal is to ride Mine Train then I also want to let you know this would be a fabulous plan for you...they actually start running the Mine Train very, very early and people were already riding it at 8:30! We are going back to MK for Kye's 7th birthday and have plans to do this same exact schedule but this time be in the park early for the Mine Train advantage since it's a ride he loves!





The free danishes came in handy!



The few times we have been in the park early we've never gotten to see it EMPTY like we were able to see. We would typically be in a restaurant eating so it was nice to see the park so deserted. Zach also did a great job being SUPER nice and friendly to the cast member who was in charge of the Elsa and Anna area. She let us hang around that section as long as we weren't forming an "official line"!



Excitement!


The $12 breakfast paid off in a BIG way! We were the FIRST ones to meet Elsa and Anna!!! Not only did we get greeted by all the cast members...but Elsa herself MET Britt in the hallway and walked hand in hand with her to her official meet and greet area. You can't get more special than that!!! Y'all. I totally cried and I kept wishing Mrs. Charlotte was there. I felt so badly that she was missing that moment. It was pure Disney magic (and we invited her to come with us next trip!). 








This was our first trip doing autograph books. I've put it off as long as possible but I bought the kids spiral notecard books and we are making our own character books together. Basically they are each making their own scrapbook with pictures of all the characters they have met and they are including the signatures on the pages of the characters who signed :) It's been really fun to put together. I still tried to make sure the kids VISITED rather than just focusing on the signatures. It wasn't an issue for Britt...she was in AWE of Elsa and Anna!




My one regret is that we didn't think to video tape this experience. Leading up to the trip Britt kept practicing her "Elsa and Anna dance." Y'all. I had NO CLUE that it was some dance she was preparing to do for when she met them! Poor Anna was taken by surprise and was probably thinking "if this is the first kid of the day then I'm in trouble" The moment Britt saw Anna she busted into this crazy, adorable, precious, excited dance. And, yes, it was a moment where I cried. It was just beyond sweet. 











I know I'm talking about Britt a lot, but Kye was excited to meet them as well. He got less attention in that moment being that he didn't bust into a crazy dance routine ;) But he was sweet and happy and I'm thankful he's still into the magic of it all!




Back at the condo the cute cousins were having a blast together! Tess is getting old enough now where I do have that achy heart for her when we are doing things with the older kids without her. I know in the long run she won't remember (or care) but Zach and I both still miss her a lot and are so excited for the day when her first visit comes!



We were done WAY quicker than I had anticipated with Elsa and Anna. I assumed we would have had some sort of wait! We headed over to Dumbo and could have walked right on but decided to try out the play area they have. We've NEVER had a line for Dumbo before so we've never taken advantage of the indoor play place and y'all it was fantastic. It was a highlight of the day for our kids!!! Seriously!









He loves riding with me on these type of rides because I hate heights and he loves making me go high haha! I love riding with him and being overly dramatic about my fears so I can see his smile and soak up his laughter :) We both get SO HAPPY at Disney!





When we walked up to the ride they were filming a commercial! We got to see the actors who were in it while they did a scene and also watched from the sky above and saw them finishing up when we got done riding. It was neat to see and I'd love to be able to see the commercial! 



All actors!


We headed to Barnstormer next and Zach took turns riding with each child as Mama don't do coasters ;)




My Disney girl!




I love this face. He's such a BIG KID now and he's like "Yeah I rode a coaster. Duh. No biggie" 




It was a lucky morning for unique experiences. We walked up to the carousel to see Lady Tremaine riding with a little girl! It was so cool! Even neater was that she was on the horse that we know is Cinderella's horse (if you look at the horses its the one with a golden ribbon on the tail...I believe it's horse 34 but I may be wrong on that). 



Our turn!






Disney tradition: taking turns attempting to get sword out of stone!





I love her cleverness in that she's trying to figure it out!






Zach's favorite ride ;)



Clearly Britt is a pro at her glasses game! 


At our last visit in Jan Britt started off the day in a funk. This time she was a LOT better but still wasn't quite in the "Disney groove" for a little bit. I realized that not everyone is going to feel the happiness I feel at the parks. Britt's personality is a glass half empty type, even at Disney. While she had a BLAST and we all had an AWESOME day she still had her moments, still had some complaints, and still put on that Britt whine on occasion too. That's just Britt. And that's okay! SHE had an AMAZING day even if the way she acted while having an awesome time isn't how I would necessarily act while having an awesome time ;) We are all different and that's a good thing. She brings her own unique personality and perspective to life! This time I didn't let it bother me or take away from the fun we all had. She didn't want to wear the glasses and watch Phillarmagic (which in the past has been her FAVORITE) then fine, she didn't need to do it. I wasn't going to push her or try to persuade her and I think that was the best route to take. I also think she does better with NO build up. Kye likes preparation and does better when we give him an idea of what's to come but Britt does better when we just toss her in the situation and she experiences it as it happens. She is much less "afraid" when she doesn't know what to expect. So we tried to do that more this trip too and it worked much better!

We did go ahead and skip Peter Pan this time around as the line is always long and last visit Britt FREAKED out on it. We figured we'll do it again next time! This visit Pirates was also closed for refurb so we plan to do it next time for sure and also to not prepare her for the darkness ;) 


We waved to the Fairy Godmother!



Kye and I LOVE looking at the ground at Disney and pointing out all the little things they do to make it authentic to that specific area! Can you guess what ride we were heading towards here?



Yup, The Little Mermaid!






My Mr Incredible :)


Something I have been wanting to do is meet Gaston. He's Zach's favorite and who doesn't love him? I've seen a lot about his meet and greet being AMAZING. We had a fast pass for Belle's Story Time right before we had our lunch reservation at Be Our Guest. My plan was to have Britt put on her Belle dress then meet Gaston, do the Storytime and then eat lunch in Beast's castle. When it came time to change she wasn't interested in putting it on. I regret giving her the option as SHE ended up regretting not wearing it. If we do the same thing next trip then I will just tell her it's time to put it on rather than ask. 

When we got done with the potty break we realized Gaston wasn't there yet. Looking back we should have stayed and waited. He was due to be back in about 20 min and there was practically no one else there. But we didn't want to spend the time waiting and figured we'd come back later. 

I love this of Kye. He was so intrigued by this small door. You can tell he's trying to figure it out!


This trip we went with something a little different with our clothes. Usually we coordinate but I thought it'd be fun for everyone to have a shirt representing their favorite Disney character! I searched EVERYWHERE for a Gaston shirt for Zach, even called Disney Parks to ask, and didn't have any luck. But, duh, Mr Incredible is a close second :) I found my Little Mermaid shirt on Amazon and LOVE it. I went with Baymax for Kye and, of course, Elsa and Anna for Britt!



I think it's funny on the Junkie group when people post pics of the "red card" like it's something magical to receive haha. We get them pretty often? They are just to let the cast members know what the wait times are for the rides!



Our forever guard!


I was proud of Britt and Kye for both WANTING to be part of the play this time! 
















Being that Britt is my own child I kinda forget how stinking adorable she is haha. I'm just used to her because I see her every single day! But sitting in the audience during the Belle show it was crazy the reaction from the other people sitting in the audience when Britt came up. Multiple "awwwws" and several comments on how adorable she is could be heard. It made my heart happy and she was SO cute doing her horse act and then when she met Belle she was just in awe of her. I was never a must-do character meet type person but having a daughter changed that in a big way. Seeing her with the characters is AWESOME and it makes me want to be that crazy mom waiting in line for several hours in order to see that look on her face ;)



Kye still talks about how he was The Beast a few years ago and how he did not like it. Haha! He's really growing up but he still gets excited over some princess meet and greets! He's so handsome :) 





Get off my man, Belle


Time for lunch!!!









We did pre-ordering for our lunch as well. The great thing about Be Our Guest being a quick service experience (for breakfast and lunch, it's a character meal for dinner) is that you can totally bring in your own food. We ordered something for both Zach and I as well as desserts for us all to share and then brought in our own lunch stuff for the kids. It worked out great and was such a neat experience. None of us were disappointed. The food was FABULOUS, the atmosphere was amazing and the prices weren't too bad either. In fact, we plan to eat there for lunch again next visit! 

There are three separate dining spaces in the restaurant. At breakfast Kye and I ate in the main dining area which is the ballroom where Belle and Beast had their dance (and we just watched the movie the other day...yall that ballroom is LEGIT just like the movie! Even with snow falling outside the windows!). Then there is also the forbidden west wing area (too spooky for Britt) and the Rose Gallery which is where we ended up eating. It's a quieter space (which I knew Zach would appreciate) and has a HUGE music box in the center of the room (which was a wedding gift from Belle's father). It's beautiful and played music too. The whole room was so, so pretty and we really just relaxed and enjoyed. The BIG benefit of planning our trips on super low crowd days is that we CAN rrrrreeeeelllllaaaax. We weren't in a rush AT ALL!




Zach got the roast beef and LOVED IT


I got a ham grilled cheese and LOVED IT! And omg my fav kind of green beans too :)


We got the kids a side of fries to share and they had chicken finger lunchables so they were in heaven!


We had to try the gray stuff...of course!



I also heard excellent things about the strawberry cupcake. So we had one of each ($4.95 each y'all) because YOLO right?!?! And yes, we cut each cupcake into four pieces so we could all try some. I'm not a huge cupcake fan and everyone else agreed they weren't that amazing (guess the gray stuff isn't all that delicious after all haha) so it was a one-time thing for us!


After we finished eating we took our time looking around. We were about 45 min early for our reservation for lunch (and were still allowed in with no issues) so we weren't rushed AT ALL and I knew we had a TON of time to get everything in that day so I enjoyed the relaxation. Zach and I took turns checking out the West Wing as Britt was too scared to even enter it. She held the drinks for us haha. Kye thought it was super cool and it is a REALLY neat area. It's very dark and has the sound of thunder, it's also the smallest area so it's hard to find a seat. If you get lucky and have kids who aren't scared it'd be a cool experience! Even if you don't get to eat there, still check it out!


The Enchanted Rose



We all agreed: Be Our Guest is a HIT!!! We haven't ever LOVED food at Disney the way we LOVED what we got there. Usually we pack lunch stuff and just grab something quick for dinner but we have decided to switch that around and probably make lunch at BOG our new "thing" and pack dinner! 



Meanwhile back at the house...these two were having their own magical day together :)



My favorite bathrooms at Disney are for sure the Rapunzel themed ones!


After lunch Zach and the big kids rushed to Splash Mountain. I headed over to the Christmas Shop. We get an ornament each trip and I thought it'd be a good use of time for me to go ahead and get it while they waited for Splash. I wish they had a combo Elsa and Anna one to remember our trip by but I just got Elsa as I feel like she's a little more "Christmasy." right? I know we probably won't get to meet them again for a long time so this trip will probably be remembered as "the Elsa and Anna trip!" 

The Christmas Shop is located right across from this porch with some rocking chairs. The Disney Junkie group I'm a member of on Facebook is founded by this former wrestler guy that lives SUPER close to Disney and legit goes there 5-7 days a week. You can see more about him here! It might sound lame how into this Disney group I've become but I legit really like it. People LOVE Disney and I'm right there with them. The older I get, the MORE I love it. There is the one couple on there that are much older and still get dressed in theme and take their grandkids all the time. That's my grandparent goal FOR SURE! Frank started the group and he is a "Disney celebrity" of sorts. His favorite spot to sit is in these rocking chairs so people from the group often take pictures in them and post them to the group asking "where's Frank?" I didn't post this to the group but you know I'm totally not going to pass up the chance to sit in one and snap a selfie ;) The group is all about the love of Disney and there are SO many great tips I've learned from being a member! The group is Disney World Junkies. They do have some pretty strict rules so be sure to read over them if you join! 


More to come from our awesome Magic Kingdom day!

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