Thursday April 17
We dragged ourselves out of bed so we could enjoy the Magic Hour at the Magic Kingdom. There were still several rides that we hadn’t had a chance to get to yet and didn’t want to miss. I just grabbed a few light food items from the place downstairs because we knew that we had a breakfast reservation at 10:30 at Chef Mickey’s. We took the boat over and got to it. We were able to do a number of classic rides before having to leave to go to breakfast. We rode on Winnie-the-Pooh, It’s a Small World (as we’re getting on my Dad asked me if P knew the song, I said no, but she will) and the Teacups. On our way back to the boat dock we took another ride on the Indy Speedway. P drove G around this time. I really think that this was her favorite ride in the whole place. G got some video of her steering wildly and laughing her head off. She is so cute.
As we crossed in front of the Castle that morning I heard the song “Bicycle Built for Two” playing over the PA system. When we were kids my brother and I would torture my Dad in the car by singing that song as many times as we could on long car trips. There was one trip back from Florida in particular. I asked my Dad if he could hear what song was playing and I hummed a few bars for him in case he couldn’t. He looked at me and said, “yeah” but I knew from the look in his eye that he either didn’t recognize the song or didn’t hear it. He’d never ever say that though. He just smiled his usual blank smile he uses when he wants you to think that he knows everything. I felt broken hearted there for a second. I don’t think he remembers a lot of these things anymore and with my brother gone now I’m the only one who can remember all this stuff. My Mother hardly ever came with us anywhere so it is up to me now. It is all slipping away from me too – the good and the bad and that made me feel sad. It made me miss my brother – he’s the only one who I didn’t have to explain this stuff to.
We made our way to the Contemporary for our breakfast at Chef Mickey’s. I was kind of shocked to see how old and dated the Contemporary looks now. When we stayed there way back when it was so modern and cutting edge – now it looks like a parking garage on the outside. It is still nice and colorful on the inside. The buffet at the breakfast was very large and had a lot of options but when you get down to it – other than watery scrambled eggs and fruit there wasn’t a lot for P to eat there that didn’t involve maple syrup. I think we all enjoyed our food. The highlight of course was the characters. It is a much bigger place then the Akershus Royal Hall where we had the Princess Lunch and the characters didn’t seem to have quite as much time to spend with us as the Princesses did. We got to meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck (who was quite funny with P) and Pluto. Towards the end of the meal P had to go to the bathroom so I took her downstairs with me. This is when they brought the two checks to the table. G and P and I had not used our third dining plan sit-down meal credit yet so we only had to pay the tip. My parents on the other hand had returned to the Whispering Canyon for dinner the night before and so they were all out of their sit-down meal credits. G said that my Dad looked at the bill and when he realized that they were being (correctly) charged for their breakfast he freaked out. He loudly yelled, “what the fuck is this?” Sitting in the middle of the dining room with Mickey and Minnie Mouse steps away, surrounded by little kids and their horrified parents. Then he started yelling for our server to “get back here!” It is truly disgusting what a lack of control he has now. He then went storming off looking for a manager to yell at. P and I came back to the table then blissfully unaware of what had just happened. I was so glad that I wasn’t there then. I would have probably fallen apart or killed him or worse. How mortifying! When I walked out towards the front of the restaurant I found my Father talking to the Manager who was trying to calmly explain to him that he didn’t have any sit-down meal credits left. I mouthed, I’m sorry, to this woman and started explaining it to him myself. I reminded him that he had used two credits the day before (he had forgotten about the Princess Lunch). He said OK and signed for the bill but didn’t apologize to the Manager or to me for getting so upset. Why should he really? Clearly he’s the only person in the whole flippin’ place who matters. I was really mad at him after that. I was just so glad that P and I had missed that display. You’d think that there may have been a chance he wouldn’t have lost it quite so far if his little Grandaughter were sitting there in front of him but I doubt it. We had talked about maybe trying to go to the Animal Kingdom park after breakfast but at that point I didn’t want to make any special trips with him. I don’t think he could handle it. We decided to go back to the Magic Kingdom so P could ride on Goofy’s Barnstormer. This was a great ride. Very fast and fun. She loved it. My little girl is getting so brave in her old age. I think we might have hit the gift shop before we took the steam train back up to the front of the park to catch the boat back to the hotel. It was getting quite warm out by then and we wanted to get a chance to swim before it got too late and cold again. P and I tried the water slide but it was a little too dippy at the end for her. She got dunked under when we hit the bottom and she didn’t want to go on it again. After we got her a life vest she was a lot more confident and she swam back and forth between G and I many many times. She was very proud of herself for that. Lola came down to the pool and sat with us a little bit. She put her feet in the water but didn’t go in. She is not a swimmer and was never too keen on pools, etc. P and I went back upstairs after a little while and G went for a bike ride on one of the trails. We decided to go back to Magic Kingdom for dinner (hot dogs at Casey’s on Main Street) after we all got cleaned up. Right after we finished we walked to the front of the Castle and watched the Million Dreams show. It had some villans in it but P was OK with that. After the show we rode on Cinderella’s Carrousel and then we hopped over to see Mickey’s Philharmagic. This is a 3-D movie and it is AWESOME. Everyone in the family loved it! After the movie we decided to try to pay a visit to Ariel in her grotto. When we got to the gate the Cast Member there said that he was sorry, there was an hour wait and they had just closed the line. I guess he thought we looked disappointed so he asked us if we had gotten to see the Princesses at Toon Town yet. When he started pulling out a little pad, I knew that we were in for a treat. He gave us a special Fast Pass that enabled us to jump the enormous 1 hour+ wait line to have a personal audience with Cinderella, Belle and Aurora. It was truly magical. Those three girls were so sweet to P and made her feel so special. Each one took her time to talk to P, have pictures taken and give her lots of hugs. Before we left Belle asked if she would mind posing for a special picture with all three of them. It was fantastic. P’s smile was as wide as the room. It was really one of the major highlights of the trip. After the Princess bonanza we started to make our way back to the front of Magic Kingdom. Main Street was packed on all sides with people lining up to watch the Spectro-Magic parade. It was amazingly crowded. We wanted Ice Cream so I left everyone waiting in a quiet alley and I went and got ice cream. By the time we were half way done with our ice cream G was wanting to get out of there. It was just getting more and more crowded and you could tell that he didn’t want to be there anymore. He was also worrying about getting out of there once the thing was over. We started squeezing our way through the crowd. At one point my parents decided that they wanted to stay behind and see the parade. We got on the boat and went back to the hotel. We told P that she could stay up a little later and see the electric water pageant. I remembered it from my first trip to Disney and I think I can see it has clearly changed very little since then. It would definitely benefit from a rehab. It took a while longer for P to fall asleep once we got back to the room again. We weren’t going to rush out the next morning so it wasn’t a giant deal but we did want her rested for the ride home. G and I got a nice chance to talk before bed. It had been a long day.