After breakfast at 'Ohana, we returned to our rooms for outfit changes, bathroom breaks, etc. This was the only day where the girls had an outfit change. For reasons no one can remember, we decided to take the monorail, instead of the boat, over to Magic Kingdom. As we were heading out of the lobby to the monorail platform, another guest walking in the opposite direction told us that the monorail was down. What? WHAT? Just then her husband came running up behind her. "They just announced that it's back up and running." We took our chances and fortunately, did not have to wait very long.
We did have some FastPasses booked for the day but unfortunately, none were for Anna & Elsa. We tried but that one was never available and at some point, you realize you are wasting far too much time checking to see if any have become available and you give up and accept the fact that you will be waiting in the stand-by line. (Or convince your husband that you will be waiting in the stand-by line because 7 year old girls cannot go to Disney and not meet Anna and Elsa.) We had two main goals for our first full day in Florida: meet Anna & Elsa and to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade.
We arrived at Magic Kingdom not too long after it opened and headed back behind the castle to check out the Anna & Elsa line. But then we spotted the Fairy Godmother and we had to stop because she's only out in the morning and it's not something you can just come back too. Plus the line was fairly short.
While we waited in that line, I checked out the nearby Anna & Elsa line, which was marked at 60 minutes but the line was pretty long and snaked through temporary roping set up out front. Hmmmm.
My first thought after meeting the Fairy Godmother was to just get into the A&E line but it was already long and the girls wanted to do some rides. I have a line app on my phone and I had been checking it here and there in the weeks prior to our vacation. I noted that the wait time for the stand-by A&E line seemed to shrink slightly after all the rope droppers made their way through. We rode It's a Small World and Peter Pan, took a bathroom break and then stepped into the Anna & Elsa stand-by line, which was now shorter but still had a long wait time. 70 minutes. The girls never once complained.
The one thing that I have to commend Disney on is the attention to detail with respect to theming.
Total wait time was (oh, you better believe I timed it) 95 minutes. What I found interesting was that there were two Anna & Elsa meet and greets going on at the same time. I know this because after waiting in line for 95 minutes, you become friendly (hopefully) with the guests waiting in front of and behind you and when we were finally ushered into the room with Anna and Elsa, those guests were no longer in line with us.
Next up was Splash Mountain. I'm not a huge fan of this ride but I didn't complain too much as it was hot outside. We don't subject Grammy to torturous rides and lucky for us, this is one that I can ride with two kids. The girls really, REALLY wanted to go swimming so we decided to eat lunch and then head back to the resort for a few hours of downtime before returning for more fun and the Electrical Parade.
We were walking past Pecos Bill and Rich suggested that we check it out. One of my planning downfalls was winging our quick service meals. I think that there were better options that we didn't explore. At this point, it had started to lightly rain and it was well past our normal lunchtime. We quickly (regrettably) made our food choices and left Rich in line while we attempted to find a table. Emily did not like the seating area. It's dark and CROWDED. Thankfully, a table opened up on the end, which gave us a little bit more space. The tables are TINY as well.
Grammy and I ordered a taco salad to share, not realizing that they were going to give us a taco shell with a layer of meat and we would be expected to fill in the remainder of the salad at the fillings bar. Not exactly the taco salad of my dreams.
After lunch, we took the boat back to our resort
and then made our way over to the "quiet" pool after stopping by the rooms to change clothes. The main pool at the Polynesian was under construction and I had been fearful that the quiet pool, being the only pool available, would be packed. This turned out to not be the case. The resort was offering complimentary tickets to Blizzard Beach, one of their water parks, so I'm not sure if that helped keep the quiet pool so quiet.
We were at the pool for all of five minutes when it began to pour. Thankfully, the pool area has some table areas that are completely covered so I was able to stay dry with all of our stuff. We could hear thunder in the distance and after 15 minutes of swimming, I pulled the girls out. They were bummed. As we were leaving the pool area, the lifeguards closed the pool due to nearby storms.
Rich and I left Grammy and the girls in the rooms and returned to the main building to purchase rain ponchos. We also stopped by the front desk to ask how we would know if the Electrical Parade was canceled. The response to our question was, "They want to have the parade as much as you want to see it. Sometimes they won't make a decision until five minutes before." This was not the news we wanted to hear. We returned to the rooms with the rain ponchos and eventually headed over to Captain Cook's for dinner. It was freaking POURING rain. I didn't bring my camera because of all the rain but I can tell you that I shared a flatbread pizza with Emily for dinner. It was pretty good. My only complaint is that the bottom was a bit soggy in the middle.
So now came the great debate. Do we return to Magic Kingdom in the rain not knowing if the parade will be canceled or do we just say forget it, we'll see it Wednesday night? I had scheduled Monday and Wednesday as Magic Kingdom days because the Electrical Parade was slated for both nights. (We don't do Park Hoppers.) I figured that if the kids were too tired Monday night, we could just catch it Wednesday night. I never thought about it being canceled due to the weather. We eventually decided to head back over to the park and keep our fingers crossed that the rain would stop.
We arrived around 7:00 and found a spot on the sidewalk in front of the candy shop. If you're not familiar with the park, this is fairly close to the entrance/exit. We were able to hang out under a covering so at least the kids weren't sitting out in the rain. A few other hopeful guests had secured spots around us. At 7:30, it was announced that the parade was canceled and a mass exodus began. As we were leaving, I thought to ask a cast member if the fireworks at 9:00 were also canceled. She said no.
We returned to the resort and got the girls ready for bed. At 9:00, we heard the first boom marking the beginning of the fireworks. There was a beach area untouched by the construction next to our building and we were able to watch the fireworks and light show around the lagoon from there. Thankfully, the rain had finally taken a break and we were able to enjoy the show without getting soaked.
Up next - Animal Kingdom