Our 6 a.m. alarms came early on Saturday morning, which would be our last full day at Disney World. We were so excited about the day we had planned at Magic Kingdom, but we were also not as sad as we expected to be that it was our third and final day of vacation. We’d had the very best time the previous two days, but we were feeling pretty confident that three days of going strong was the perfect amount for our family.
We started our day by leaving the resort at 7:30 and heading to Magic Kingdom for our 8:30 breakfast reservation at Be Our Guest, the mega popular Beauty and the Beast restaurant.
Hadley was super lethargic and cranky on the bus ride and as we headed into the park, but we tried to be super patient with her knowing that in just minutes she was going to finally get the surprise of her life and see Cinderella’s castle. We rounded the corner onto Main Street, and her face was worth a million bucks. It was amazing.
We utilized our Memory Maker and took a few pictures before heading back to our breakfast reservation.
I would highly recommend this 8:30 time slot because it got us into the park before it opened. Since we had preordered our breakfast before we left for the trip (another great suggestion from our travel agent), we were served our food within a couple short minutes of finding our table. We finished up right at 9, the exact time that the park opened. Since we were already back by some of the most popular rides, we were able to knock out several rides back to back that only had 5-10 minute waits each.
Quick opinion: We were not impressed with Be Our Guest overall. The castle was beautiful inside and I enjoyed eating while listening to music from the soundtrack, but the food was just okay and the experience was nothing special. It was as simple as walking in, picking a table, filling our own drinks, and being served our breakfast. Everyone was very nice and the atmosphere was great, but I wouldn’t say this is a “must do” by any means. Beauty and the Beast do not walk around or anything. It is considered a quick service meal if you’re using the dining plan, so it’s expected that it’s not nearly as nice of an experience as a table service character meal. Just a heads up, and of course just my own personal opinion.
Our first few rides were the carousel (Hadley actually ran to it!), the spinning teacups, and the Winnie the Pooh ride.
Sadie loved Disney World. Absolutely, positively loved it. I’ve said before that she was our biggest surprise. We thought she was just going to be our little tag along and not be that into it (especially since her schedule would be so out of whack), but she laughed, smiled, bounced, and clapped with every single activity we did. She was so much fun!
We booked Fast Passes for Dumbo, Peter Pan’s Flight, and It’s a Small World. After the Winnie the Pooh ride we had some time to kill before our first Fast Pass for the Dumbo ride, so we waited about 30 minutes to meet Princess Elena and see Cinderella again. These pictures say it all!
Jamie would tell you that seeing Cinderella and Hadley interact was one of his top moments from the trip. She was so captivated by her, and we actually had to tell her to let go of their hug. It was so, so sweet.
Hadley is a big fan of Elena of Avalor, so she was tickled to meet Elena. 🙂
Sadie took her first snooze of the day after seeing the princesses, so we let her get in that short nap while we each took Hadley on Dumbo.
After the Dumbo and Peter Pan rides, we slowly started making our way to Crystal Palace, our final character meal with Winnie the Pooh and gang. A big, musical show was going on in front of the castle, so we hung around to watch and dance along before our noon reservation. We really enjoyed this and considered it to be one of our favorite things we did that day.
Our lunch at Crystal Palace was fantastic! The buffet food was excellent and obviously meeting the characters was thrilling for both girls (and for us to watch!) Having meal reservations was so awesome and I can’t recommend it enough. We thoroughly enjoyed having a comfortable break from rides and walking around to sit down and enjoy a slow-paced meal with built-in entertainment.
After lunch we walked around for a while killing time before our 2:50 Fast Pass for It’s a Small World. Hadley ended up breaking out a few hive patches (no idea why), so we visited the First Aid clinic. They gave her some Benadryl and warned us that it might knock her out. I found a Christmas shop to grab an ornament to remember our trip by and we hung around to see a few more of the little “shows” that take place throughout the streets.
We were all getting a little tired and feeling like we’d had our fill of Disney, so we decided to cash in our leftover snack credits on treats to take home to Hadley’s friends and teachers and call it a day. While Hadley and I picked out snacks, Jamie snuck over to have this hat made. He received one during his first Disney trip when he was 6, so he wanted Hadley to have one too.
Hadley went out cold as soon as we put her back in the stroller, and we headed for the bus. We didn’t mind leaving the park a little earlier than we’d planned. We had said from the beginning that we’d try to work around the girls and their needs, so leaving before they melted down was the best idea.
We ate dinner later that night at our resort, and then Jamie suggested we go swimming before winding down for bed. He knew I was a wreck about taking Hadley swimming again for the first time since her near-drowning accident, but we both knew we needed to get the first “post accident” swim over with. I’ve struggled a good bit the last six month since her accident in a number of ways and for a number of reasons I’m not super comfortable discussing in this space, and I was terrified of this first swim for her sake and for mine. Even typing this makes my heart pound a little. I’m saddened to think that I may never fully enjoy the innocence of swimming again like I used to (flashbacks are so cruel!), but only time will heal and tell. Anyway…
We did it. And Hadley liked it. I’m not sure if it helped me much like I hoped it would, but I was relieved that Hadley enjoyed swimming again and wasn’t afraid. She can recall most of the accident and aftermath which is upsetting to us, but we know that those memories will fade for her.
Once we were back in our room, Jamie bathed the girls and I started packing up. We all fell asleep around 10 with alarms set for 3 a.m. We had to catch the Magical Express bus to the airport at 4 a.m. for our 7 a.m. direct flight back to Kansas City. Not only was this flight less expensive, but we really like getting home from a trip with enough time left in the day to unpack and settle back in before starting a new day or new work week.
Sadie snoozed in my arms for 3.5 hours… poor baby. 🙂 She was so tired! I was kind of in Heaven holding my sleeping girl and watching the sun come up over the clouds. There are worse ways to start the day!
We were in our Jeep by 9:30 a.m. with a two-hour drive ahead of us home to Manhattan. Hadley didn’t sleep a wink on the plane, but before we’d even paid the airport parking fee, we looked back and saw Hadley like this. Out cold under her blanket, which is how she semi-stayed for the entire drive home. Sadie went back to sleep too, so Jamie and I were happy campers to have a quiet car.
What a trip. We’re so glad we did that. I think one of the best parts of planning this trip spur of the moment is that we didn’t dwell on any small, silly details. There wasn’t time to! We didn’t worry about perfect outfits or going on a million rides or nap schedules. We just went with the flow and embraced the idea that the girls had no expectations.
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