Parker Family Disney Trip 2017: MK Morning

I realized on this trip that while I LOVE Disney…Magic Kingdom is truly my happiest place. Usually on Disney trips we do Magic Kingdom first so I have always assumed the giddy feeling I get when I wake up at Disney is just b/c I’m at Disney in general and not specific to a park. While I was pumped when I woke up on our Animal Kingdom day…I was SUPER MEGA pumped when I woke up on our Magic Kingdom day. I’m an MK girl, no doubt πŸ˜‰

When I did all of our planning for the MK day I took a LOT from the lessons I learned on our little family’s MK day the month prior (which was one of the most crowded times we’ve ever been to Disney). While I wanted the Animal Kingdom day to go well, I wasn’t overly concerned about it b/c there wasn’t a long list of “must do” items at AK. It’s pretty easy to fit it all in, especially when you have a full day at the park.

For Magic Kingdom though I wanted to make sure that everyone got to do things they REALLY wanted to do. I knew we’d have to miss out on some stuff. I knew we’d have to prioritize. So I talked to Colt and Payton personally on a couple occasions. Out of all of us, they were the two that I wanted to MAKE SURE had the most magical day. My kids go often and Carter isn’t three yet and has already been on two Disney trips. Colt and Payton haven’t been to Disney since they were around Tess’s age. I wanted them to have THE best time possible!

When I planned our day I did two itineraries from Touring Plans. I know I talk about Touring Plans a LOT. I mean really I should get some kick back from them or something at this point πŸ˜‰ But seriously it’s my FAVORITE planning site. I like to create my own itineraries because I know the parks well and already am familiar with predicted wait times etc. I’m a total Disney planning nerd. The itinerary making part of things is SO FUN to me. If you are ever needing/wanting help seriously let me know, I LOVE Disney talk πŸ™‚

Anyways I made an itinerary for the little kids and another for the big kids. I divided up fast passes when needed and had the itineraries in sync down to the minute to make sure everything matched up and that we’d all be together for majority of the day. I made sure that we did items that every person in our party would enjoy. I also put in a LOT of optional activities that I knew we might have to skip if crowds became an issue. I did all the planning and then a week before we left Disney changed their opening times and opened the park an hour earlier! ALWAYS check y’all before you go to Disney!!!

While the extra hour in the morning was a GIFT it was also a burden in that I had to replan everything for our day and we all had to be up an hour earlier. Since the park now opened at 8, we planned to be at the gates at 7. Magic Kingdom now lets guests enter the park an hour before park opening so we wanted to use that time to knock out our castle pics!

We were among the first group of guests to go through security at the ticketing area rather than in the entrance of the park. I liked the change! I thought it went VERY smoothly and I liked that it made approaching the park an easier experience. Once we got to the gates though…we waited. And waited. We asked a couple cast members (I actually had my first experience with a rude cast member who ignored me!) and found out that on mornings they open an hour earlier, they do NOT do the whole let guests in an extra hour earlier thing. Bummer. I’m thankful no one in our group was too annoyed by it. I think Zach and I were the most frustrated! But we were at the very front of the group waiting to enter and we just stayed ready to go in for whenever the time came!

Cousin time makes even waiting fun πŸ™‚

All of the kids shirts (and Casey and Courtney’s shirts) were done by Casie’s Custom Designs

They finally let us in about 10 min before the park opened. We rushed to the front to be able to see the Welcoming Show on the castle stage! We stood by Tomorrowland so we were ready to hop on Buzz as soon as the opening show ended πŸ™‚ 

Buzz Lightyear!

Zach was making sure he got the pic of his high score…

We just recently learned that if you show them a picture of your high score that they give you a sticker! Guess who will be collecting these each time we visit? πŸ™‚

Our Galactic Hero!

We defeated Zurg!

We went ahead and split up at this point in the morning! The “big kids” went to do Space Mountain and the “little kids” went over to Tiki Room!

We walked up to Tiki Room and asked how long the wait was because they had it roped off and two cast members were standing outside of it like it wasn’t opened yet. They said there was no wait because we were the VERY first people of the day to experience it! We literally opened the attraction!!! How awesome is that?!?!

Tess’s attempt at holding up a “1” πŸ˜‰

We were the ONLY people in Tiki Room. It was such a cool feeling to have the entire place to ourselves! Britt loved sitting next to the Tiki Guys on our last trip and said they kept winking at her so she wanted to sit by them again this time too πŸ˜‰ Y’all we just love some Tiki Room!

So if you’ve ever visited The Enchanted Tiki Room then you know that a cast member always kicks off the show by waking up Jose…since we were literally the only people in the room the cast member in charge asked if BRITT wanted to be the one to wake Jose! Y’all I about died! It was so awesome!!! The cast member told us it’s something they never ask guests to do but since we were the only ones there that she was making an exception πŸ˜‰ Disney Magic right there!!! I took this video (it’s dark but you can still tell what’s going on) and had her get a quick pic with Jose before we exited!

I was still so pumped about that magical experience that my emotions went into overdrive when we left Tiki Room and literally walked up to Jasmine and Aladdin! They took Carter’s and Britt’s hands and walked with them!!! (We ran Tess up and she got to hold hands with Jasmine too) Our kids literally were the first ones to see them that morning and it was beyond awesome. I cried. I’m crying now remembering it. Def one of the most magical moments we’ve experienced yet!!! I’ve read about characters riding rides with guests who are the first at attractions and that would probably really bring on the tears for me haha They spent a TON of time with us all. It was seriously awesome. I recorded it all, of course πŸ˜‰ Here’s video 1 and video 2. Jasmine told Britt she reminds her of her tiger Raja because she has so much energy hahaha #preach

I was probably pretty funny to watch b/c I was crying and just kept thanking them and hugged each of them SUPER tight hahahah 

I know it was super special for the kids…but really I think I freaked out the most about it and totally need to frame this in my room πŸ˜‰ 

I know Mrs. Charlotte felt so bad that the little kids had such a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the big kids missed out. But trust me, they were FINE. They all loved Space Mountain and had a blast!

That poor girl riding with Brad and Mr Rusty bahaha!

We all met back up to ride Jungle Cruise!

Waving to all the animals πŸ™‚


I’ve mentioned this in a recent Disney post but it’s been fun for our family to mix things up in our typical routine. Usually we end with Tomorrowland and now we start with Buzz. Usually we do Adventure land in the afternoon and now we’re knocking it out in the morning. It’s been working really well for us and will probably be something we continue doing! The extra hour that morning was SO crucial!!! We literally walked on everything until about 10:00! 

We rode Alladin’s Carpets next! Having such a large group always made each ride and experience different and unique because we could all switch up our riding partners. Britt missed out on a lot of Payton time since Payton wanted to ride all the “big kid” rides. Britt is tall enough for most of them, but didn’t want to ride them which was fine but it also meant she did miss out on times she could have been with Payton. They made up for it though on all the rides we rode as a group! Tess was SO cute and was just all about Uncle Brad and wanted to ride the Magic Carpets with him πŸ™‚ Usually this ride is mine and Kye’s together but I loved seeing him have fun with Colt and didn’t mind one bit riding solo while all the kids were paired off with people they chose to ride with! I just LOVE seeing everyone have FUN!!!

Colt looks thrilled haha

She LOVED it!!! 

Courtney snapped this of the big girls and it’s def a favorite from the whole trip πŸ™‚

Riding solo!

Btw my shirt cost me under $5! Here’s a direct link!  I wanted to wear it since it was the last time I’d get to see Wishes πŸ™‚ I thought it was the perfect shirt for the occasion…just FYI it runs SUPER TINY. As in I usually wear a small and I ordered an XL and it was still a snug fit!

Yo ho! Yo ho!

I loved the hour earlier opening…I think it really allowed SO much more cast member interaction! Our kids all got TONS of stickers from cast members throughout the morning and just a lot of personal moments…like how often do you get to play drums on a barrel with a lady pirate (true story: I started to refer to her as a wench…but that’s offensive, right? I bit my tongue luckily haha)

Zach was a MUCH happier pirate this time around…a 15 min wait early in the day def beats waiting over an hour and closing down the park πŸ˜‰

Hidden Mickey in the rocks!

Disney Ducks on parade!

Belle is Payton’s favorite princess so it was a must do! I debated Fast Passes for it but opted to experience it early in the day in hopes of not too long of lines. We got there around 9:30 (so 90 min into the park being open) and actually had to let people in front of us b/c part of our party had to go potty! It was a short wait which was both surprising and awesome! 

I have mentioned before about how much I LOVED the live action Beauty and the Beast and that my favorite thing from it was how they incorporated Magic Kingdom into the movie. In the original movie, Maurice is an inventor. No mention of music boxes is in the original. When you visit Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom a cast member will tell you about the BEAUTIFUL music box in one of the rooms…it was a gift from Maurice on Belle and Adam’s wedding day. Well in the live action movie, he’s no longer an inventor (actually Belle is the inventor) and is actually a music box maker. They’ve now added that detail into the attraction too! There is now a block in the corner show the start of a music box that Maurice is designing for Belle and Adam. The cast member now makes mention of this as well. I love when Disney ties things together so beautifully!

Every time, without fail, Zach gets chosen as a guard for the play. When they were choosing parts they headed our way with the cape for the role of Beast and I got all excited thinking it was Carter…but it was COLT who they chose which was seriously SO EPIC. Colt had no clue what he was in for and we were all so excited to see him have to dance with Belle hahah He’s a really quiet person. Not shy, but just reserved (very much like Mr Rusty and some Parker cousins…Cole and Jake) and this is just NOT his kind of thing. AT ALL. Which just made it all that much more awesome!

The two littles enjoyed watching

Def the sexiest guard I know!

Chip was the perfect role for Britt! Here’s a video πŸ™‚

And Kye was Filipe! (video)

And our BEAST πŸ™‚

 When she asked him to dance hahaha Here’s a video of him dancing!

 He was not pumped about the dancing…at one point he tried to sit down but she made him keep going. He was a great sport about it though! I know it wasn’t his favorite part of the day but it was still adorable and I know the rest of us all enjoyed it πŸ˜‰ 

My favorite line “Get off my Man Belle!”

 Tess and Carter joined in for the parade! Here’s a video!

Our crew!

Payton wanted a solo pic with Belle πŸ™‚

and so did Carter!

I know so many of you were touched by Casey’s raw and honest post regarding her miscarriage last May (you can read it here). It’s been such a truly difficult time in her life and she waited to make an official pregnancy announcement for her third pregnancy until we were at Disney (hence my not mentioning it). I know she appreciates each and every prayer being lifted for her. She’s due in mid-July with another boy! This is the pic she used for the announcement…so cute!

We split up again after Belle. The big kid crew headed over to Thunder Mountain (Mr. Rusty…he was SO BRAVE this trip with all of his big kid rides ha!)

I know Zach really loved getting to spend some ride time with his best friend!

While they were at Big Thunder, the little kid group went over to Fantasyland. I got in line with the girls for Daisy and Minnie and Mrs Charlotte wanted to get signatures for Colt and Payton from Goofy and Donald so she got in that line. Casey didn’t wanna wait for any of them so she took Carter out to play. It worked out great because the girls were able to go wait with Mrs Charlotte and meet Goofy and Donald and then hop in line with me and meet Daisy and Minnie! So fun! And we waited less than 30 min which isn’t bad at all for a character meeting!

Britt’s posing and Tess’s facial expressions are always so awesome!

Here’s a video of them meeting Daisy!

And Minnie!

So typical Britt πŸ˜‰ 

Can’t leave without a kiss!

The crowds started being noticeable around 10:30 which wasn’t too bad! We had 2 1/2 hours of pretty much just walking on experiences! We had a good wait for It’s A Small World and the big kid crew wasn’t back yet from Thunder Mountain so Mrs. Charlotte waited in line and Casey and I sat in the shade with the little ones to keep them out of the sun (the wait was under 30 min but it was long enough where it did go into the sunshine). The big kid crew turned up right when we were about to have to enter the line anyway so it really went great!

Britt later said that It’s A Small World was her favorite from the day because all the big cousins sat together πŸ™‚ (I think they did for Pirates too though?)

And these two got to sit together too!

It’s blurry but I gotta get a pic of Zach SMILING on It’s a Small World. He loves it now that Tess cuddles with him the whole time!

I love the new changes adding in personalization to the exit!

Phillarmagic did not disappoint (Does it ever? Such a family favorite!)

It’s handy having men around to go get strollers πŸ˜‰ We get to chill and wait!

Heading to Country Bears! 

When we got to Country Bears I wanted to take Tess potty because she hadn’t gone in a couple hours. She is my kid who CHUGS water and I worry that she’ll be my most easily dehydrated kid as I feel like she needs water so much. Casey had to go to the bathroom too so we walked over to Pacos Bills and went to use their bathroom. There was a medical emergency in the women’s restroom so it was closed (like we saw someone on a stretcher and everything). Pregnant Casey just went on by the cast member and went into the mens bathroom hahaha! So I followed πŸ˜‰ She later pointed out that all this bathroom stuff about people identifying with a different gender and being allowed to us whichever bathroom they identify with really kinda allows us to use the boys bathroom when needed. I ain’t gonna fight that logic! The cast member who we raced by was super nice and kept watch for us and everything so we were the only ones in the bathroom πŸ˜‰ 

Playing Simon Says while waiting for Country Bears!

It’s a running joke in my little family how our big kids can’t stand Country Bears. And I don’t see why they don’t enjoy it! It’s Mrs. Charlotte’s favorite so it was a MUST DO on our list and Mr Rusty later said it was his favorite too. I warned the kids in advance to have good attitudes about it and I think we all enjoyed it!

After Country Bears we headed for lunch! We ate at Pecos Bills and it was SO GOOD. Y’all I mentioned before that I had some awesome food luck this trip and I really did! Yak and Yeti and Pecos Bills are my two new favs for quick service at Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom! We packed the big kids food and just Zach and I bought stuff (I think this is our new go-to. It’s easy to pack kids stuff but harder for adult food and really we deserve to treat ourselves a bit!). We struggled a bit to find tables all together but it worked out great. The big kids all ate together and Zach and I had some quality Tess time! I will say that having the cousins together really did free up Zach and I a LOT on this trip. We were able to enjoy each other and enjoy Tess in a way we’re not usually able to. We always enjoy our time with all of our kids but it was a different experience with just Tess a lot of the time and we all enjoyed it!

So much food and SO GOOD!!!!

Tess ate everyone’s applesauce ha!

We had such a great morning. It all couldn’t have gone more smoothly and I still can’t get over our luck with some pretty amazingly magical moments! Planning for a large group can be intimidating and I took it very seriously b/c I know people look at me as “the Disney person” so I felt personally responsible to make sure everyone had an awesome day. Seeing all the cousins together was beyond precious and we were able to do everything I had planned for us to do that morning! We didn’t have to skip a single thing and we were literally timed up perfectly with the time on the itinerary! 

Part 2 of our day is coming up next πŸ™‚ 


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