Magic Kingdom...the one thing that I've been wishing for since I was about 10. It's shameful that most of the day was Lex in meltdown mode, but when you're 2 11/12 and your nap schedule is screwed up and you're going to bed about 3 hours later than you normally do, meltdowns are going to happen. It's inevitable. Needless to say, my camera was in my backpack for the majority of the day, and the only photos I think we took during the day were at the Polynesian with the character breakfast, and pictures of our character dinner at the Crystal Palace later that afternoon.
Initially, we weren't going to go to the Polynesian for breakfast, but I think we decided we should go because we'd spent all this money on the deluxe dining plan, and we were seldom making it to our reservations...little did I know at the time that Dennis was actually having a gall bladder attack and that's why HE wasn't eating, but that's neither here nor there. So, anyway, we go over to the Polynesian for breakfast at 11a at 'Ohana. Turns out it was a character breakfast, so we're VERY glad that we did go. The only times on MK day that we were able to get Lex to comply with ANYTHING was when we were hanging out with the characters. And truthfully, before we left I thought I would be really freaked out by the characters in all their ginormous headed glory, but watching Lex engaging with them took away some of my anxiety. Lex loved meeting all of the characters, and he was definitely very happy when Mickey came over to sign his autograph book and take pictures with him. My favorite part was watching Pluto try to sign the autograph books. As you can see Pluto had to put the autograph book up on his nose to actually see the autograph book to sign it! Hilarious! Lex didn't know who Lilo and Stitch were, but it didn't prevent him from being super excited to get hugs and autographs from them.
After we had our fill of Mickey waffles, we hopped the monorail to Magic Kingdom. I've never been more excited to see something in all of my life. I guess I never told Dennis how much I wanted to go, but man, I was so overwhelmed at all of the 'stuff'! The first thing we did was hopped the Walt Disney World Express train around the park. Lex was already starting to get into his, "I don't want to!" phase, and we figured the train would be the best thing...kind of get his mind on things he DOES like. So, we rode the train around the park once, and then stayed on to get off in Mickey's Toon Town Fair. Holy lord. I can honestly say that I've never seen this many people in one place at one time. It was frightening how overwhelming all of the people are. And since we were having trouble getting Lex to really want to do anything, we spent a good portion of time just trying to get him to take it all in and enjoy it. You could get your picture taken with Minnie in her house, I think, but the line was CRAZY long (you'll start to notice a trend here) so I let the boys wander around in her house while I went to find a bathroom (line!!).
At some point, I decided that regardless of whether Lex wanted to be there or not, damn it, I was going to ride some of the rides that I'd read about as a kid. So, off to Dumbo we went. When we walked up, guess what? LINE! a 45 minute line...but I was dissuaded? Hellz no. So, I made my family stand in line for 3/4 of an hour for 2 minutes of pure bliss. And not just my own. Surprisingly, waiting in line was something that Lex seemed to tolerate (no idea why). And once we got him on the Dumbo, he was stoked. So much so, that I basically had to drag his tiny ass off of the elephant so another family could ride it. We promised we'd come back later.
Dennis downloaded some crazy app that lets you know the waiting time (both fast pass and stand by)for the rides. All of the rides we were interested in all had wait times of 60 minutes or more. So, in frustration, we got on the Liberty Square Riverboat. At this point, Lex lost his shit. He screamed the ENTIRE time we were on the boat. The whole 20-30 minutes. Mostly because we wouldn't let him run up and down the stairs willy-nilly.
After the disastrous boat ride, it was getting close to parade time. Now, parade time is cool, but it is also very well organized and very crazy. My friend, Melissa (here's where she makes her appearance and will have a MUCH bigger role in the next edition ), is a big shot! She works for Disney and on this particular day she was manning the Main Street parade. She'd told me the night before that she would be doing this, and due to our late start we got in touch with her kind of late. We weren't going to be able to see the Main Street's afternoon parade (which I'm sure has a name, but I just don't know it!), but she would hook us up for the Main Street Electrical Parade. While we tried to find a place to view the parade, which never happened, Lex proceeded to throw the tantrum to end all tantrums. So, what did we do? Oh, we headed for 'dinner'.
'Dinner' (which is in quotes because it was at 3:40p) was at the Crystal Palace. Now, when I told everyone we were eating here, everyone said, "Oh, it's so awesome! It's my favorite". Well, it easily became MY favorite too. Another character meal? Yes, please. Because as I've stated on NUMEROUS occasions: You want my kid to behave? Put a character in his face! So, that's what we did. And I'm so glad we did. Because this tiny little face lit up every single time a character came near him. He ate most of his food with out us having to coerce him, he interacted pleasantly with us, he squealed when characters would get near us, and most of all he got over his terrible temper tantrum.
After lunch, we hopped on the bus to head back to the 'Star House' so that Mommy and Daddy could relax after the insane Lex day, and so that Lex could try to wind down a bit and take a nap. At this point, getting Lex past the arcade is proving to be nothing short of a challenge. On the first day we were there, I took him in there to keep him busy while Dennis stood in line for 90 minutes or whatever to check us in. From that point on, every single time we needed to go into the main part of the building, Lex had a cow if we would try to go past the arcade without going in. No amount of pulling, pushing, whatever, kept him from freaking the hell out if we didn't let him go inside. This day was no exception. So, we dragged a screaming toddler (oh, the best part of WDW? We were NEVER the only parents with the screaming toddler)past the arcade...again.
I would have to say that my biggest regret was not taking nearly enough pictures during the day at MK. Oh, we MORE than made up for it at night, that's for sure, but I mean, really? Who wants a bunch of pictures of a red-faced screaming kid on a 2k vacation? Not me. That's for sure.