We were very fortunate to have arrived just as some pretty bad weather was leaving the area. Remnants of the flooding and rain were still present when we arrived on Sunday. Storms and rain were still expected for the next several days, but we never saw any of it.
At the orientation, they gave the four of us three day park hopper passes at Disney, 2 day tickets to Universal Orlando, and one day at Sea World. There was also a list (several pages long) of other parks that we could visit for free (or at a discount). Despite the bad weather that was expected for the day, we decided to start at Magic Kingdom.
Before we headed to Disney World, there were some special activities Monday morning at the Give Kids the World Village (GKTW). Several days a week, some of the local parks send characters to GKTW to visit the families that are staying there for the week. On Monday morning, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Mary Poppins came to visit. Autumn was told that she could bring the Mickey they gave her the day we arrived and Mickey and Minnie would sign it for her. They said that this is something special they do just for kids in the village. (I guess they’ll only sign their names on paper in the parks.)
Next, we found our way to Magic Kingdom. We’d tried to plan ahead, but it still took some time to come up with a plan for the day. We had passes for free parking and stroller rentals. After all that was taken care of, our first stops were at a parade making its way down Main Street and a special show at Cinderella’s Castle. From there, we visited most of the attractions in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.
Since it was Columbus Day (and the kids were out of school), it was pretty crowded. Thankfully, we had been given a pass that let us skip most of the lines (or at least let us get in the Fast Pass line). After every ride, Silas asked, “Can we do that one again?” Since Criss can get a little queezy, I was the official delegate for all of the spinning rides.
One thing I didn’t do a good job of the first day was realizing where all of the characters were. We ran into Rapunzel and found out that Autumn’s pass also let us skip the character lines. (Wow!!!) You can imagine some of the looks we got. I just tried not to look at the people who’d been standing in line for 20-30 minutes (with a tired child) just to see one character. Rapunzel was so sweet to the kids! Later, Silas’ eye lit up when he got to meet Buzz Lightyear. Another freebie – GKTW gave us a special photo card. We could have as many pictures taken as we wanted (by the Disney World photographers). When we got home, I could order a CD of all of the pictures at no cost. (That alone normally costs $150+.)
The park closed early that day (for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party). We chose to attend Mayor Clayton’s Hare Raising Halloween Extravaganza at GKTW. The kids changed into their Halloween outfits (Cinderella & a football player), and we headed to the party. The kids enjoyed climbing into a police car, motorcycle, and fire truck. They also made crafts and played games.
There was also a racecar the kids could sit in. Since the door on a racecar doesn’t open, the man had to help the kids in through the window. While he was being pulled out of the car, Silas told the man, “We use the door handle on our car.” It was hilarious!