After our super fun DHS day we headed to Magic Kingdom the next morning for park opening. Yes, Disney Springs felt more normal. As did Hollywood Studios but man I was just ITCHING to get to Magic Kingdom to truly feel the vibe with reduced guidelines.
It. Was. Awesome.
Yes it was 93 degrees at 8 am. But we still didn’t mind being in the MASSIVE crowd of people at rope drop. It just felt like Disney in a way that hasn’t felt like Disney in almost 2 years! It restored my hope that we WILL get back to Disney being the fully magical place it once was!
Rope Drop was def back as well and our “new” routine of showing up an hour early and getting to leisurely walk straight into the park isn’t possible anymore. We still didn’t have any issues or major crowds, but we were back to the days of hanging out waiting around for a bit! Guess I will go back to packing breakfast for the kids 😉
Even with the heat it was a GORGEOUS morning so we took advantage of the chance to get some cute castle pics of the kids 🙂
The bigs headed straight for Thunder Mountain at opening while Spear and I went to ride Pirates. AT opening it was already 60 min for Jungle Cruise (pretty sure it’s thanks to the new movie!) so we hopped on Aladdin’s carpets instead.
Tess was pumped to get to ride parent-free on Thunder!
Spear and I also had time to hit Tiki Room and he LOVED it. It’d been a LONG time since I’ve done Tiki Room and it made my heart happy how into it he was. We also got to be the show openers for the day and were the only ones in there! Britt was my first Tiki Club Member and it’s been fun through the years to experience it with each of my littles.
Tiki has always been my go-to when older kids are riding thrill rides at MK because it NEVER has a long wait. Is in the AC. Is relaxing and CLASSIC. It’s one that kids age out of pretty quick and I know my Tiki Club Days are numbered.
In trying to keep up with my kids…I made the decision to RIDE 7 DWARFS MINE TRAIN. I know. What was I thinking?
Spear is officially tall enough to ride and it breaks my heart a little that I’ve reached the stage as a Disney Mom where I AM THE ONLY ONE NOT RIDING THINGS. So I joined the club. And I hated it. Ha!
Spear enjoyed it but I felt SICK. I explained to the kids that me being a “wuss” is really more about me feeling motion sickness than it is any sort of fear. I just truly don’t enjoy this kinda thing. I’m glad I did it once! And glad I had Brave Britt beside me helping me stay strong (I also love that Tess really wanted to sit completely by herself since she’s old enough now!).
Zach sweetly worrying about Spear when he should have been checking on me haha!
Next we headed over to Dumbo because leading up to the trip Spear had been saying he was most excited to ride Dumbo with Mommy so you know I had to make sure that happened 🙂
Since we have an uneven number everyone paired up and Zach opted to watch from the sidelines and take pics of everyone rather than ride solo. Which was a good call because Dumbo is STRAIGHT sun beating down on you!
As we exited I happened to turn around and see the couple sitting behind us! I do NOT know their names and don’t think they have a social media or anything? I just randomly have seen them over the years in a Disney Facebook Group I’m in. THEY ARE ADORABLE.
I actually have a picture of them together screen shot saved in my phone from like 5 years ago. They are eating pasta together at Tony’s recreating the Lady and the Tramp scene and it is SO PRECIOUS.
They are totally goals for me. Anytime I happened to see them post anything it makes me smile and meeting them didn’t disappoint as they were so sweet and kind and precious and SO proud of their children and grandchildren and told me about their daughter’s new job at Disney. It was SO cute.
Yay for the splash area being back open in time for the summer heat! We let the kids run through and cool off for a second (I love how Spear is hesitant until he goes with Kye!).
Then we headed over to Philar! We’ve avoided a lot of the indoor attractions since they dropped the outdoor mask rule as we’d just rather be mask free even if it means not getting to side inside in the AC. It was so great to be back at one of our favs and not having to worry about the masks!
I think the 50th decor is very tastefully done but not a MOMENT like it could have been! Any castle view always makes my heart happy though 🙂
Sometimes you gotta just bust out the toys and let ’em play. Spear LOVES any sort of vehicle and just loves to sit and play on his own. We hit a part of the day where lines were just LONG and while Zach and the bigs went to ride Space, G-Mama and I just opted to let Spear sit in the shade for a bit.
I also took him over to the tiki splash spot but he wasn’t a huge fan and mostly was just super content to sit and play and line up his toys.
The bigs had a little birthday treat for Tessie too and shared a milk shake on their way back to meet us!
It was one of those “oops” moments as while we were waiting on them we told Spear we’d get a snack when they got back. Sooooo they all shared a milk shake and then got our favorite family Disney treat – an Orange Fanta Float 🙂
Perfect way to cool off and there is always seating in the shade nearby so it’s a great snack stop!
Along with the park closures over the last year and a half I’ve also been intentional during this time to not invest in any Disney clothing. I haven’t bought new family outfits literally the entire time! We’ve just worn stuff we’ve had and I’ve gotten Britt a couple things as she outgrew pretty much everything but otherwise we’ve coasted.
With this being a big milestone trip as the first “back to normal” visit I thought it was a good reason to celebrate with new gear and I even got G-Mama a shirt to match with us too!
We were finally able to ride Jungle Cruise! Spear was SO PUMPED about it and I was eager to see some of the ride updates and changes – it was great! It was SO nice not to have the barriers up!
We headed out and rode the monorail back to the car (we did the ferry that morning) and it was the first time the whole trip we’d had to wear masks. It felt SO WEIRD and we just kept saying how we cannot BELIEVE we wore them all day long in the July heat during our trip last year. SO thankful for a healing world!
We went back for plenty of chill time and nap time and cool off time and then G-Mama and Mommy time back at MK that evening!
With the news of Happily Ever After being BACK my mission was to get to go see it as it’s my FAV and I invited anyone who wanted to come along to come with me 😉 I had quite a few takers!
We rode the ferry in and Kye, Britt and Tess LOVE some big kid solo time at the parks. I’m just a super chill Disney kinda mom and on nights like these where we have no real purpose or agenda other than fireworks it frees us up to go where the night takes us!
The kids went by themselves to do the Swiss Family Treehouse and I’m pretty sure it was their first time doing it!
We then headed over to Pirates and ran into Captain Jack! Britt was BEAMING with excitement as it was a rare opportunity to interact with a face character 🙂
He loved Tessie’s scrunchie hairstyle and showed her his and said they were twins and she talked about that all night 🙂
Back at our rental house Zach and Spear were having some dude time and Spear was pumped to find a “hidden Mickey” sausage ball 😉
We were able to ride Haunted Mansion (my first ride with the bday girl…finally!). The bigs did teacups (they love getting to ride things parent-free) and they also got to play in the Dumbo playground. Pretty hilarious that our “big kid” night and they wanted to play in the playground but they were SO excited that it’s back open again!
Happily Ever After was set for 9:30 so we secured our spot around 7:30 and then traded off to go get dinners and snacks. We have a favorite fireworks viewing spot right to the left of the castle (when the walkway is roped off) so we chilled there and enjoyed our food and visiting with fellow Disney friends and the cast member too.
Britt had her first Mickey pretzel and I had my first one since reopening! It’s been a LONG TIME.
It was SO AMAZING to get to see Happily Ever After again after SO LONG. I had actually reserved a booking for myself to come watch it on the night it reopened but couldn’t make it happen and it was super special to get to watch it again with three of my babies 🙂 G-Mama loves it too and she didn’t want to miss it!
I seriously cried LIKE A BABY getting to watch it again and it just really hit me hard that Disney made the decision to cancel the show and have something new replace it. I am SO thankful they DID bring it back, even if for a short time. I’m thankful we got to experience it again!
Happily Ever After is the only fireworks show at Magic Kingdom that Tess has ever seen and the only one the older two remember. It’ll forever be special to us!
While I LOVE our viewing spot it is a ROUGH spot to try to exit the park. The park also closed after the fireworks so EVERYONE was leaving. It. Was. Insane.
The fireworks started at 9:15 and we were JUST getting in line for the ferry at 10:15. At 10:34 we were FINALLY next to board. I was SO proud of Kye and Britt. They were SOLDIERS. Tessie did what Tessie does…rocked the solid sleep in the stroller and then CASHED when we got to the car.
We all agreed – it was WORTH IT. The late night. The crowds. The line to leave. Totally worth it for HEA. Britt was the most enthusiastic about it too – I love that she GETS IT the way I do. We have that Disney magic in our veins 🙂
We even got to watch the electrical water pageant while in line which we love too! We didn’t get back to the house until 11:30 by the time we rode the ferry, found the car, and got through the traffic in the parking lot. I wasn’t asleep until almost 1 am!!!
Crazy late night and super full day but one we all enjoyed and were thankful to experience together!