Our recent trip to Walt Disney World was focused on celebrating our daughter, MacKenzie, turning 5. After cancelling our trip in the Fall due to Hurricane Irma we looked at the calendar and DVC availability and decided that our rescheduled vacation could and should land upon MacKenzie’s birthday. When we were making our plans for which parks we would be going to which days we asked MacKenzie where she wanted to spend her actual birthday and she chose Magic Kingdom.
We planned the day according to her must do’s. She had a lot of wishes but they were all very reasonable and extremely sweet and simple. Check this link for what she wanted to make sure happened on this special day. The celebration started bright and early. We wanted to get to the Magic Kingdom by 8am. We had realized the week before that they open Main Street U.S.A. an hour before the park actually opens. So we wanted to be here by then to skip the crowds, do the shops and bathroom breaks before the park even opened.
MacKenzie chose to wear her polka dot dress from Gap, her new Minnie ears she’d purchased the day before at Hollywood Studios and her Tiana dress from home over top. We always wear clothing underneath princess costumes at the Magic Kingdom so she can take off her costume later when she gets too hot or finds it too cumbersome. And of course her Celebrate button was worn proudly. The moment we entered the Magic Kingdom we hopped onto the double decker trolley, a dream of mine. We went to the top floor and got taken all the way up Main Street and were dropped off at Cinderella’s Castle. We then perused the shops while we waited for the park opening show to happen.
At 5 minutes to park open there is a little stage show in front of Cinderella’s Castle to start the day. With many of your favourite characters joining Mickey Mouse. It’s a short show, less than five minutes which conclude with fireworks. Then the ropes drop and guests are welcomed into all the lands of the Magic Kingdom. MacKenzie’s first wish was to ride Prince Charming Regal Carousel. Our kids have very vivid imaginations and very often pretend to be riding horses on their way into the car and then while driving in the car. They both have their own horses with names. Lincoln’s is Caulimer (who knows where that name came from) and MacKenzie’s is Rain. As they both picked out horses M yells out to Lincoln. “Lincoln are you riding Caulimer, I’m riding Rain”. Oh my heart!
It was then onto meet Rapunzel and Tiana. We didn’t have a FastPass for this meet and greet so I wanted to get them done early before the lines got too long. And then, even though we had gone on the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train the week before, we had to go on it again. With FastPass reservations, we scanned our Magic Bands and went right onto the ride. It was then onto It’s A Small World. One of Grandma’s favourites. The two kids know the song from one of the Disney Greatest Hits Albums we have, so they were singing along and asking all about the different countries. One thing I love about this ride is the boat is so big. We were all able to sit together in the same row. Making it something we got to share together.
Next up was Enchanted Tales with Belle. Another perfect experience for our little performer. Lincoln was chosen to play Chip, MacKenzie got to be a plate and yet again Jeff was picked out of the crowd to play a soldier. We had hoped to squeeze Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire in the morning before our lunch reservation but alas, once we left Belle we didn’t have time. So, as we did with the whole day, we asked M what she wanted to do next. “Onto Dumbo” she said. I love this whole area of Fantasyland. It’s so bright and colourful, with characters around every bend. Once we arrived at Dumbo she changed her mind and opted for the Barnstormer. Which my mom hadn’t been on before. Poor Grandma didn’t know what she was in for. The three of us, MacKenzie, Grandma and myself fit into a cart at the very front. We laughed and screamed the whole way.
Now it was time for MacKenzie’s birthday lunch. I picked the Plaza Restaurant for MacKenzie’s birthday. I knew I wanted to eat here and at Skipper Canteen during this vacation and figured the Plaza would be better suited for M’s birthday. I didn’t want to do Cinderella’s Royal Table because we have done it many times before and Crystal Palace as well. The Plaza was new to us and I knew we would have a beautiful view of the castle. I think she was slightly disappointed during this meal because two other tables were celebrated while we were there. One was celebrating their honeymoon and received a gift. Another family was chosen as the Citizen’s of the Day during their meal. The Fire Chief came in and made a big hoopla over these two kids. Which was wonderful for these other two kids but I think made M feel like her birthday lunch was a little underwhelming. She did receive a special dessert with a candle. And of course we sang happy birthday to her. I think she was quite pleased with her sundae.
We then spent the next hour or so in front of Cinderella’s Castle. We stationed ourselves to be right in front of the stage show, Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire and to be able to enjoy the Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It Parade. There were more people prepared to watch this parade then I expected. The floats stopped around the circle in front of Cinderella’s Castle and the dance party began. Jeff and I each took a kid and we made our way around all the different floats stopping to dance with characters along the way. M and I stopped at Jessie, because she’s one of M’s faves. We danced along with her, high fived, and hugged. It was another special moment on a very special day.
Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire was next up on the agenda. We’ve watched this show many times on parade day so the kids were singing along. But mostly they were awestruck by all the costumes and their favourite characters. It’s a beautiful show, starring Tiana and Naveen, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider and Anna, Elsa and Olaf. I would recommend adding it to your Magical Kingdom day. You can really see it from all over the courtyard.
By this point the kids were running on fumes but we snuck in a meet and greet with Cinderella and Elena of Avalor, we had a FastPass reservation for this one so got right in. Of course as we were about to get into the meet and greet room, Linc admits that he has to go poop. Oh dear. All those fries and nuggets do a number on these kids. So we’d decided I would just go in with M; my mom was out shopping the Fantasyland shops. We were the next in line and who should walk in but Jeff and Lincoln through the exit. What’s hilarious about this story is as Jeff walks through Sir Mickey’s shop, the exit of this meet and greet, he gets to the door he knows is for the princesses and there are two. Which to choose. Choose the wrong one and ruin the magic, choose right and you’re a hero. He chose right! Family photo with two princesses achieved.
At this point we knew the kids needed some down time so into the stroller they went and my mom graciously offered to hang out with them while we went on Space Mountain. Friends, I hadn’t been on this ride since 2013. 5 years! So Jeff and I waited in line and made friends with the wonderful family behind us. While were waiting we’re texting back and forth with my mom. She happened to be waiting beside the only face painting place in the Magic Kingdom. Naturally, MacKenzie asks to get her face painted. Worked out well for everyone. M got her face painted, Lincoln had a nap, we got to ride Space Mountain.
The day was starting to turn into afternoon so we boogied over to Minnie Mouse and Daisy in new Fantasyland, two things on M’s birthday wish list. And since we were there we met Goofy and Donald too. Lincoln was appropriately wearing a Donald t-shirt and his new Goofy hat which of course Donald loved. The whole time we were at this meet and greet I was thinking about which snack I would choose at the Big Top Souvernir Shop. Caramel and Peanut Covered Apple it was. It was so good. The kids had Slushies as it was starting to get very warm out. Gotta love the Dining Plan and it’s countless snacks. Phillarmagic was next on the list before we went for a ride on Aladdin’s carpet where we were spit on by those foolish camels.
The last attraction to do was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Jeff offered to grab supper with Lincoln at Peco Bill’s while the girls went on the big roller coaster. We had FastPasses for this one, thankfully. The regular line was long, I think because Splash Mountain was down for refurbishment this ride was made even busier than normal. The FastPass line moved very quickly. The three of us got in one row. MacKenzie wasn’t nervous at all. She’d been primed with the Barnstormer and the Dwarf’s Mine Train. She was ready and she loved it. It was great to be on the ride with her and my mom because she was able to sit between the two of us so I wasn’t worried about squishing her as we came around the turns.
We purposefully ended the day over in Frontierland so we could take the train back to Main Street USA, another item on MacKenzie’s wish list. Once we disembarked at Main Street USA, Jeff and Mom grabbed a spot to watch the nighttime entertainment while the kids and I went to meet Tinker Bell. MacKenzie made some friends as we waited. They became so tight in the 20 minutes together they wanted to get their picture taken together. How quickly friendships are made at the most magical place on earth. Although we missed Once Upon a Time, the projection show, to do this meet and greet it was worth it. Entering in to meet Tinker Bell is very magical for youngsters and again it was on M’s wish list. We had seen the projection show on our other Magic Kingdom day so I don’t think the three of us were saddened by missing it.
The finale of the day was Happily Ever After. This was our 3rd viewing of this firework show and by then it brought me to tears. Being in our favourite place on earth to celebrate this beautiful gift, our now 5 year old daughter, was a moment to capture. Sharing it with my mom made it that much more special.
I am so grateful we made the decision to become DVC members 6 years ago. It makes doing these spectacular things possible. We’ve now made a promise to Lincoln that we will be sure to celebrate his 5th birthday at Walt Disney World. It will be fun in a couple years to compare and contrast these two days of our incredible kids lives. Happy Planning, Friends.