Magic Kingdom October 2020

Saturday, October 10, 2020

 We booked a last minute trip to Disney World over our Fall Break to celebrate Fox's 10th birthday!

Early Saturday morning October 10th we loaded up and drove to DIA to catch our flight. We had two excited kids.

Southwest direct to Orlando.
As soon as we landed and they opened up the doors of the plane the humidity hit us like a ton of bricks. It was something else! The kids kept asking why their hands were so sticky all the time lol.
The tram to the terminal.
Walking through the hotel area of the airport to claim our bags.
We hired a Lyft to take us to the happiest place on earth!
For this trip we decided to stay somewhere Chris and I always have wanted to stay: the Contemporary! It's currently the only hotel where you can actually walk to the Magic Kingdom.
When we arrived our room wasn't ready yet. It was supposed to be ready by 3:00pm and since it was only 2:45 we decided to wait. By 3:30, there was still no word so Chris went to investigate. 
He came back with good news: our original room in the Garden Tower still wasn't ready, but he got us a room in the main tower on the top twelfth floor. Good job babe!
Every time we've been to Disney World, whether it was when we were children with our own families or on our honeymoon back in 2007, we've taken the monorail that passes through the Contemporary and ogled at the people inside it, wondering what it would be like to be sitting in that restaurant ogling at the people on the monorail. And now we know!
So cool!
Our new room also had a balcony with amazing views of the pool and lake.
The kids hamming it up for me out on the balcony.
We didn't have park reservations (which are required to enter the parks during Covid. And there are no park hopper passes. And no fast passes. And the park hours are much much shorter. Just FYI) for our arrival day so we rested for a bit in our room and then hit up the pool, slide and all.
Mermaid Jane.
Photo op near the pool.
There were lizards everywhere this trip. They would scurry about as we passed them by.
The hotel also had a fun beach area near the lake with lovely white sand.
Love my fam.
She's cute and spunky and silly. 
While our side of the hotel overlooked the lake, the other side of the building overlooked the Magic Kingdom itself. They aren't doing any fireworks shows at night during Covid, otherwise this would have been a great view of them.
Also from this side of the hotel we could see the Grand Floridian hotel and the Polynesian. Beautiful night.
For dinner we ate at the Contempo cafe inside the hotel and Jane got this insane monster cupcake. I swear it was 99.9% frosting!
Spooky cute treats.
Festively decorated shop.
The next morning we got up bright and early and grabbed some breakfast also at the Contempo.
Jane & Fox ready for their first day in the parks!
One of the coolest things about the Contemporary is the monorail right in the hotel! You also go through park screening and temperature checks before boarding which really speeds up the admission process. One weird thing about the monorail from the Contemporary during Covid is you only get to go in one direction, so even though the Magic Kingdom is just one stop away, you HAVE to ride it in the opposite direction and make stops at the Transportation hub, the Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian before arriving at the Magic Kingdom which takes at least 20 minutes. Really weird and inconvenient but we got there in the end.
On the monorail to the Magic Kingdom with a beautiful sunrise over the Grand Floridian and the Contemporary in the distance, which we wouldn't have seen had the train gone the right direction, so, silver lining :)
It was (slightly) Halloween time at the Magic Kingdom. I'm not sure if there are usually more decorations but aren't this year because of Covid? We've never been to Disney World during October before, but they were pretty scarce compared to all the decorations during Halloween time at Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. Just my observations when comparing the 3 we've now been to this time of year. Gimme all the Halloween!!!
We got there right at opening at 9:00am and headed in. They aren't doing the "rope-drop" currently so basically it was a soft open. They would let people in super early, and as the ride workers got ready they would just let people on the rides.
Away we go!
The castle got a new paint job. What do you think?
For comparison's sake - between when we visited this past February 2020 to October 2020 they gave Cinderella's castle a makeover and made the colors much more vibrant:
Then and now:
Getting closer to all the rides beyond the castle!
Exploring Fantasyland before it got too crazy.
Our first stop was Peter Pan.
Then another family favorite: The Haunted Mansion.
The kids survived the scares. Barely :)
Jane loved Big Thunder Mountain our last trip so that was our next stop. 
This silly squirrel was right by us as we waited in line. It was hardly frightened of me!
It's the wildest ride in the wilderness!
Splash Mountain was closed in February, but it was open this trip so off we went. 
Nice, shady area to stand in line. Look closely throughout the photos and you'll notice the "PLEASE WAIT HERE" stickers on the ground spaced 6 feet apart. I actually really like this about the parks since we get a nice bubble around us whereas before when we waited in lines everybody was always all up in everyone's business. Finally a perk to social distancing :)
Disney has announced that they are changing the theming of this ride to Princess and the Frog (I LOVE that movie!) so this may be our last chance to ride the original.
Almost to the loading area. 
This Splash Mountain is a lot of fun with several different drops. We had a blast.
Catching a glimpse of our future as we started. 
Hidden Mickey on the left. 
Woo hoo!
That's why they call it Splash Mountain.
So fun.
We were very surprised at how crowded it was. I hear they're only at 25% capacity, but our Lyft driver told us their maximum capacity is like over 100,000 so even at 25% that's over 25,000 people... We missed the window of when it wasn't very crowded and the lines were short. I would say our average wait time was a half hour, so, not bad at all, but we were hoping to walk on every single one lol.
The mountains are calling and I must go! (Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain. Get it?) :)
Leaving Frontierland we headed towards Adventureland.
A lot of the restaurants are closed during Covid which is big bummer.
Pretty tiles.
Hot pink spotted plants - wow!
We always love Pirates of the Caribbean.
This raspberry and pineapple Dole whip is delish! And quickly melting in the 90 degree weather with 90% humidity. With masks it was almost unbearable, but we powered through just like everybody else to make the magical memories!
Mainstreet U.S.A.
Since our hotel was so close, we decided to take a short break in the early afternoon to cool down. We hopped on the Monorail and in one short stop, we were back. That's more like it!
Festive treats from the hotel bakery.
After naps and hydration, we were charged up for another go in the Magic Kingdom.
We found some of the Disney photographers and stopped for our family shot in front of the castle with added special effects.
Then it was back to Fantasyland and the Little Mermaid ride. 
Under the sea!
Just behind the Little Mermaid is the Dumbo circus area with the Goofy coaster. Really short, really fun.
We had a late reservation for lunch so at this point we headed over to the restaurant INSIDE THE CASTLE! We've never ever eaten there before so we were super excited.
Waiting our turn to dine in the castle. We had a reservation but still had to wait almost an hour to enter, I dunno if that's normal or not.
Lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table! Everything we dreamed it would be and more!
The waiters aren't allowed to take photos during Covid so Chris snapped one of the rest of us.
Fancy schmancy cuisine. 
Beautiful ceiling details.
Cinderella herself came out to greet people twice, though she didn't get very close to people and only lingered for a couple minutes. I wonder what it's like during not Covid restrictions?
It was a great break before we dove back into the park.
We left the castle and walked over towards Tomorrowland.
The sound of the Autopia cars is so quintessentially Disneyland/World.
Speed racer.
Waiting for the slowpoke boys to finish their lap.
Buzz Lightyear was up next. 
Neat foliage.
The Tangled rest area is a fun looking section of the park. There needs to be some sort of Tangled ride.
Then we decided to just grin and bear it and wait in line for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
After a fifty minute wait, we were on. We got the back of the train, too! Woohoo!
It's a great ride. Smooth as butter.
Seven Dwarfs' Home.
Mosaics inside the castle.
Family selfie in front of the castle.
Darling Mainstreet U.S.A.
Fox doing what Fox does best: eating popcorn.
Passing the lovely buildings on our way out for the day.
Fun first day at Disney World was in the books!
Our last day of vacation we went back to the Magic Kingdom to celebrate Fox's actual birthday! But first, Mickey waffles for breakfast.
The weather was fitting for October and all things spooky.
This time we took advantage of our proximity to the Magic Kingdom and walked over. We made sure to arrive about thirty minutes before the official park opening.
Let us in! Let us in!
Huffing it over to the Mine Train.
Lovely shot with almost no people in it.
The special guest of the day: Fox turned 10!!!!!!!!!!!!
Early bird gets the worm!
Fox & Jane trying to pull the sword out of the stone.
We got on the Mine Train in almost no time. Great way to start the day!
Look at Fox with his hands up and everything! He's even braver than Mom!
Hi Grumpy, Dopey, Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Sleepy!
Then we had an epic moment: we convinced the kids to ride Space Mountain for the first time! I think they even had fun.
After our expedition to space we wandered back to Fantasyland to check off a few rides we had missed during day 1 in the Magic Kingdom, including Winnie the Pooh.
And It's a Small World. It was still early so we walked right on both rides. Now that's what I'm talkin' about!
The happiest cruise that ever sailed.
Can you hear this photo? :)
More shots from the Tangled-themed rest area. Tangled is one of my most favorite Disney movies.
Fox wanted to ride the Haunted Mansion again, and whatever the birthday wants, the birthday boy gets, so we did that next. Unlike our first time when we walked right on, this time we had a pretty long wait. 
Every two hours, every ride is cleaned, disinfected, wiped down, etc. It makes the lines grind to a screeching halt and adds about 30 minutes to the wait time. This happened to us several times every day in the parks and while I appreciate the attempt at cleanliness, we all got impatient and frustrated when the posted wait times were misleading. Have to take the good with the bad though, and it was all worth it!
During the current protocols, they skip the part in the elevator and you just walk right on through.
Lookin' good.
Fun shot with the Mississippi delta, Tom Sawyer's Island, the Haunted Mansion, and the Tangled tower. 
Not an animatronic. 
Fun Halloween parade.
I loved Jane's halloween Minnie dress. And, can you believe Fox is 10 now! I just can't believe it.
The kids love Big Thunder Mountain so we headed over towards Frontierland again.
Jane doesn't like all the noises of the coaster getting going.
We all wanted to ride Splash Mountain again but the line was over an hour long so Chris hopped in the queue while I took the kids to one of our family favorites: the Enchanted Tiki Room.
"It's the tiki-tiki-tiki-tiki-tiki room..."
And then we saw Johnny Depp. I mean right???
We got back to Splash Mountain just in time to join Chris before the line snaked into the building and we couldn't have met him anymore. Just a few short minutes later we were on!
Chris and Jane up front ready for the first drop.
My, oh my, what a wonderful day!
We still had a few things to ride back over in Fantasyland. Chris went off to a store near Winnie the Pooh to get the kids a Powerade and was able to get Fox his special birthday button! His first Disney button! We didn't know you could get them at random stores - we had always gotten them in the Town Hall at Disneyland before when we were annual passholders back when we lived in South Pasadena from 2009-2013 - but the lady in front of Chris in line asked for one and got one so Chris had a fun surprise for Fox when he met us in line at the Teacups.
As you can see, I am not in the teacup with the rest of my family. Paige doesn't do spinning rides.
By this time it was 12:45 and we had a reservation at the Be Our Guest Restaurant. Another first!
This time we got right in.
The restaurant is themed like Beast's castle.
We got a table in the Grand Ballroom.
Yummy and cheesy French onion soup.
Fruit and cheese plate for the birthday boy.
Another of the restaurant rooms was the Beast's west wing...
...complete with the enchanted rose.
I think our entryway needs one of these chandeliers :)
The third room is the Rose Gallery. In the middle is a seven-foot tall music box that twirls and plays music.
The windows in the Grand Ballroom where we ate look over the grounds with gently falling snow.
Chris and I both got the Poulet Rouge Chicken with Savory Bread Pudding and Seasonal Vegetables with a Chicken Glace. The bread pudding in particular was really good. 
The Beast made a couple of quick appearances.
The dessert plates were really fun and honestly the whole reason we ate here :) The adult dessert came with a really yummy macaron, a white chocolate "Chip" cup filled with "the Grey Stuff" and a dark chocolate truffle.
Fox got a plate of extra Grey Stuff since it was his special day. 
The kids' dessert plates included fun food decorating kits to personalize their macarons and Chip cups.
Our little Picassos.
Selfie in the ballroom.
The Little Mermaid ride is right next to the restaurant so we rode that again.
It's musical and colorful and fun.
Jane posing in the gateway under Cinderella's castle.
Liberty Square.
While Chris got in the hour-long line to ride Pirates, I took Fox & Jane up into the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse. 
Coolest flower!
Details from the treehouse.
One of the best parts of the treehouse is the views. At Disneyland Paris you can even see the Eiffel tower from the treehouse!
Nice shady spot to explore. 
Fox has always loved Pirates.
At this point we still hadn't ridden the Jungle Cruise so we bit the bullet and got in the hour+ long line.
Thankfully it moved pretty fast and we got on our boat.
Hope the hippos don't get us!
Love this ceiling.
To cap the day we walked over to Tomorrowland and rode Buzz again.
 Jane can pose like a champ while Chris and Fox stayed into the game and I'm squintymcsquinterson lol.
'Twas another magical day in the Magic Kingdom.
Riding the monorail back to the Contemporary - such a cool looking building.
Back at the hotel our final night, I went down to the shop near the Contempo cafe to indulge in an apple pie apple but they were out so I got a classic chocolate chip cookie sandwich. When Chris and I went on our honeymoon to Disney World over 13 years ago, I lived on pineapple, cheetos, and these chocolate chip cookie sandwiches. Good times :)
Goodnight Florida!
Until we meet again Disney World!
Up next: adventures at the Animal Kingdom.

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