Things are different with a kid. Everyone says it. Everyone believes it. But no one KNOWS it until you have a kid.
I am a coaster kinda girl. I love riding Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain (c’mon Disney, what’s your fixation on mountains?) and the like. I will happily stand in lines for upwards of an hour and a half just for the 4 minutes of wind in my hair, butterflies in my tummy, and bragging rights. And then I will run across the park to stand in line for something else, and go back to the first side for my fastpass. Lots of ill-planned cross park running to minimize wait times and maximize thrills.
Enter baby. Who does not like to wait in line for anything. Who does not meet the minimum height requirements by a long shot but would probably love all the mountains as much as I do. But who is also equally entertained by climbing on benches and making faces at her daddy to trick him into giving her popcorn. (She is spoiled though, so there is not a lot of tricking that needs to happen.) The park opened at 9 and we were safely and happily inside by 9:30. We headed directly to Tomorrowland so Shelby and I could get in line for Space Mountain. We’d use the wait in line time to develop a plan for maximum coaster time and baby enjoyment and the Magic of the Magic Kingdom would rain upon us in all its super parenting glory.
By 9:30, the wait time for Space Mountain was already 2 hours. how is that even possible???? So we headed over to the terminals set up 500 feet away to load our tickets with fast passes which is when I discovered the fastpass system is completely different than it was 3 years ago AKA the last time I was at Disney World. All fast passes are loaded into the terminals, so you can fastpass any Magic Kingdom ride from the terminals in Tomorrowland unlike before when you had to actually go to the ride you wanted to fastpass. Feelings and opinions and GRRRRRR. Blah, long story short, there were no more fastpass times available for Space Mountain. THE PARK CLOSED AT 11PM. 30 MINUTES INTO THE DAY THERE WAS NO POSSIBLE WAY WE WERE GOING TO SPEND LESS THAN 2 HOURS IN LINE. I mean I like coasters, but not that much.
Once our idea of our day at the Magic Kingdom exploded we had to recalibrate. Let go of preconceived and formerly experienced Magic Kingdom of our Youth and focus on Newly Experiencing Magic Kingdom for our Youngin. We were reluctant to believe it, but we ended up having a really nice time. We just sauntered around like old people. Went into that door because Hannah could and it was only 20 minutes until the next showing. Nevermind it was probably boring and awful cuz Hannah could go in and it was only a 20 minute wait (spoiler alert. We were at the Magic Kingdom. Nothing is boring and awful.) Then we’d saddle up and keep cruising around the park. “Are you feeling a little hungry?” “I could eat a thing.” “OK, let’s see what they have at this place we are conveniently standing outside of.” “Nah.” “OK, let’s grab a bag of popcorn at the cart right there and keep sauntering along.” “Yeah.” “Country Bear Jamboree in 10 minutes. Wanna?” “Sure.” And so on and so forth.
It was relaxing. It was surprisingly eventful. Hannah got to ride several rides and see lots of shows. She got to meet Goofy and Donald. She was terribly excited the whole time we stood in line, pointing and giggling. She just in general seemed to be real into the idea of meeting a giant dog (?) and her current favorite word “Duck”. But as soon as it was our turn she was all “Nope. Where’s dad? Must clutch Dad’s leg! Where’s dad?! Giant DOG THING IS PLAYING PEEK-A-BOO!!! DOES NOT COMPUTE!!! DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.”
We rode the ferry and the monorail. We walked more than 16,000 steps. We had dinner at Epcot and got to watch the fireworks from the warmth of the restaurant window. Hannah got some souvenirs. Everyone was well tired and felt pretty good about the day’s accomplishments. I snapped a very cute pic of Hannah’s silhouette on our way home.
It was magical.