by Angie Carreiro
All-Star Sports Resort:
We didn’t want to miss rope drop at the Magic Kingdom, so we woke up an hour and a half before the park was scheduled to open. While I got ready for the day, Kevin went and got breakfast. If you’ve read any previous posts from me, you’d already know what we wanted for breakfast; vegan, gluten-free Mickey Waffles! Per usual, Kevin requested the special waffles from the cast member working the food court station. The cast member called out the person making the waffles. It was an easy exchange. We learned that though the special order Mickey Waffles are the Kids’ sized waffles, they are double the Kids’ portion! The Kids’ portion is 2 waffles, while the Adult order of gluten-free, vegan Mickey Waffles is 4 waffles of the Kids’ Waffle size. I wish I would have known this before hand, because with the fruit, orange juice, and coffee on top of that, I was actually only able to eat 2 of the four waffles I ordered. Next trip I will order the Kids’ portion!
We walked out to catch the bus at 7:20am. The Magic Kingdom (MK) bus was already sitting at the bus stop and the driver waited for us to board. Thank you for the kindness, cast member! The ride seemed shorter than usual and we arrived at MK 20 minutes before rope drop. We were the first ones in line at our turnstile. For some reason, our park tickets weren’t on our Keys to the World, which was unfortunate because being sent to Customer Service made us miss the show, after having stood in line for 20 minutes! It’s tough to recover from a disappointment like that, but we did after our first ride on the Haunted Mansion (by the way, I am listening to “Grim Grinning Ghosts” as I write this line!) I won’t name all of the attractions we experienced that day, but I WILL brag that the number of attractions we experienced was over 20 and, according to Touring Plans, MK had a rating of 9 out of 10 for the day! I will also say that we stayed in MK until 11pm that day with a 4 hour nap break midday, though!
We had heard the song mashup for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh earlier that day which is an all time favorite of ours. I think it’s safe to say Heffalumps and Woozles is “our song.” I wanted to ride it because it was stuck in my head… “a heffalump or woozle – is very – confuzle.” On our way around we noticed Peter Pan’s Flight was a FIVE MINUTE WAIT! I don’t even think we spoke to each other, we just looked and turned and walked onto the ride. It was almost as if speaking would make it not true, like maybe they would notice if we said something and somehow make it a 45 minute wait. So, I guess it is a good thing to note that if you want to ride Peter Pan’s Flight on your next trip to WDW, go early!
No matter how many times we tried to charm cast members into letting us in the Fantasyland Enchanted Forest preview only available to Annual Pass Holders, we were only able to experience the open section from the expansion, which is the Storybook Circus section, which was so well themed! Please read one of my upcoming posts for a review of the snacks you can buy at the gift shop there, Big Top Souvenirs.
“I want popcorn. I want cotton candy!” I kept bothering Kevin with this chant, so he suggested lunch-time. Of course lunch-time meant what it always means for us at MK; Columbia Harbor House. Something about Columbia Harbor House’s theming and it’s “secret nook” (the whole second floor), deemed it my favorite lunch spot in MK since my family’s first visit. Since then it has remained my favorite for one simple reason; the vegetarian chili. Chili has always been one of my favorite dishes, but it’s rare to find a vegan one, especially one that actually tastes good on top of that, and, let me tell you, this chili far surpasses my standards for chili! It’s hearty, the portion size is filling, and it’s guilt free; not just because it’s vegan, but because it’s full of good-for-you ingredients! Oh, and it’s cheap! Well, let me rephrase: Oh, and, for Disney, it’s cheap! Together we ordered 2 chili’s, 2 sides of fries, and 2 cups of ice water. It came to about $15 for 2 people for a filling lunch.
After a few more attractions, and defeating 2 villains trying to sabotage the Magic Kingdom with our sorcerer powers, we really started to see why Touring Plans called today a 9 out of 10 for MK that day. Kevin was getting cranky from the lack of sleep and a post-lunch crash, so we decided to try and get some energy back with the best thing we could come up with (besides sleep); ice cream. We made our way over to the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and got our Tofutti ice cream. It’s nice that they actually have Tofutti and Rice Dream ice cream listed on the menu, in case you either didn’t know they offer them, or were too shy to ask! I got vanilla and Kevin got chocolate. We were disappointed to hear that the cones had milk powder, because last time they didn’t. Maybe they switched brands, or the supplier changed their recipe, or maybe we were misinformed either this time or last time. This reminded us that asking to be sure is always a good idea!
The ice cream was good, but didn’t change the pushing and shoving in the queue for our second ride on Haunted Mansion, so we decided a nap at the resort would serve some good. But, before I talk about the nap, let me talk about Haunted Mansion. It seems like every trip to WDW, we get a higher appreciation for this attraction. This year we did a couple things to enhance that experience. First, we hung back in the stretching room to hear the gargoyles whisper, do you know that they do that? It was so exciting! When we heard the whispering we turned to each other with our jaws dropped to the floor! Next, we took our time walking to the Doom Buggies and I said to Kevin, “Pretend we aren’t in a ride, look around and really imagine we are in someone’s old abandoned mansion.” Something about that made me have a new feeling about the ride, and I actually got a little scared during the ride-through pretending I was walking and not riding on a track!
Anyway, it was then nap time back at the resort until 6pm, so then we headed back to MK. I wanted to eat somewhere different for dinner, but that chili was calling to me, and we were on a budget so didn’t want to do table service, so we had to go to Columbia Harbor House again. It was actually pretty busy, which I didn’t expect, but we still got a window seat upstairs.
More attractions and exploring followed dinner. I recommend riding or at least visiting Dumbo once during the daylight and once at nighttime to experience the two looks it has. If you haven’t already seen what they’ve done with the attraction, they are two completely different visuals!
One highlight was seeing some of Wishes during Splash Mountain! We decided not to watch the show from the castle because we wanted to see it from Splash Mountain and didn’t mind if we ended up missing it since we’d seen the show from the Polynesian Resort the previous night. We didn’t catch the finale outside, but saw some of the fireworks during one of the outside parts of the attraction.
After the park started winding down, Kevin and I decided to ride Space Mountain and someone came up to us and kindly gave us their FastPasses! It was the first time this happened for us, ever! Sadly, the ride was closed, but the PeopleMover wasn’t, so we thought we should ride it. One the way up to the ride, we realized we MIGHT just see Space Mountain with the lights on on the way through! We got our cameras ready, and, sure enough, we saw what we’d never seen before: the whole Space Mountain track with the lights on, and now I am even more freaked out by the ride than ever before (though that will never stop me from riding it!)
We strolled over to the castle to get our tradition of eating popcorn on Main Street. We walked over to a bench in front of the castle and just gazed at it as we snacked. It was perfect. Popcorn on Main Street in front of Cinderella’s Castle. What could be more perfect?
It was hard to get to sleep that night because the next day would be the WDW Radio Dream Cruise 2.0!
Angie has been a WDW addict since her first visit at age 8, and since then her life has never been the same! She lives in upstate NY with her boyfriend, Kevin (fellow Disney lover), and their 3 dogs, Flip, Josie, and Hildy, where she works at Farm Sanctuary as an animal caregiver. Please join Angie every week in “Fish Are Friends, Not Food: Eating Vegan in WDW!” Angie believes that WDW is the most magical place for people with special diets, so, should you have any special diet questions (especially about vegan and gluten-free dining) she’d be happy to help!