What is up, friends?
Can you guys believe summer is like pretty much over?
Wow, man. Time. Amirite?
It seems like only yesterday we were boarding that plane heading for Orlando and now, 10 weeks later, I am only on frikkin Day 7 in the blog.
My blog writing be like…
Disney Reference!!!111one one
So yeah. Enjoy Day 7.
Day 7 – A somewhat impromptu Magic Kingdom Day and switching resorts!!
So Day 7 ended up being a different day than we initially intended it to be. Since we were switching resorts today, the plan was to have a no-park, relaxing kind of day.
But Disney being Disney, they were all, “Oh are these your plans? Can I see them real quick…”
Being that Day 7 was July 1st, this ended up being a big day at Walt Disney World post-COVID. Since it was announced that fireworks would be returning on July 1st to both Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. Once we heard that news, it was decided pretty quickly that we would add a ticket and get a Park Pass for Magic Kingdom.
Of course, we were mainly concerned with getting some evening time in the park but the boys and I decided that since we had the Park Passes anyways, we should try to get an early morning visit in before having to head out and switch resorts so we could hop on a couple rides including Space Mountain. Nickie once again was not having any of that early morning nonsense.
Also, this was our last day at Wilderness Lodge so it was a good time to take advantage of the boat over to the park.
I feel like a broken record in these posts explaining how WDW is opening parks earlier than posted time but suffice to say we were on the boat by around 8:00 AM for Magic Kingdom, which was posted to open at around 9:00.
We were at the gates at around 8:20 AM and were let right through.
Which was, like, yay right?
But you know what wasn’t yay? While they let us through the gates early, they DID stop us over on the way to Tomorrowland.
And guys, that crowd got big.
And guys, that heat was INTENSE today. It didn’t help that we were pretty much just standing out there in the open, unshaded, on like hot-as-hell concrete.
Echoes of Smash Mouth rang through my brain chamber.
Not to be gross, but I was sweating so much that – I kid you not – there was just like a pool of sweat at my feet.
It was good times.
Is what I am saying to you now.
And yeah, the cast members waited until EXACTLY 9:00AM to lift up the ropes and allow us to walk briskly towards whatever attraction we wanted.
Like I said before, Space Mountain was the main reason we were here so off we went.
To Space Mountain.
Because it was the main reason we were here.
While the line did seem to kind of build, we made it through pretty quickly and were on the ride within 10 minutes or so.
As you can see, we were all VERY angry about how sweaty we were.
In space, no one can hear you scream.
At your children.
When we returned to Earth, the lines were still pretty short so we decided to hop on Astro Orbiter for a quick spin.
I don’t know, man. I kind of really dig Astro Orbiter. I mean, sure, it’s pretty much just a standard arial carousel ride (a la Dumbo or Aladdin’s Carpets there) but it packs a little bit more of a thrill because of its height and speed.
Plus it offers some pretty schweet views, including a good look at how Tron is progressing.
All that space exploration left the three of us a bit famished so we went to the Lunching Pad for some sustenance.
Being that we were living in COVID times, the world was topsy-turvy. This meant that while this is normally available at the Cheshire Café, the Cheshire Cat Tail was being sold at the Lunching Pad. I know. Mind=blown, right?
What a world.
The boys both got a Cheshire Cat Tail each.
And they were good for sure. But you know what? Owen made these with my mom a few months back using the Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook and theirs was actually better. I think maybe the Disney Park version actually could do with a little more chocolate. You know, compared to the homemade one.
Myles also ordered a Frozen Coke and Owen got a Blue Raspberry Slushie.
I got a Cream Cheese Warm Stuffed Pretzel and a water.
And like. OMG. How have I never gotten one of these before? Seriously, this thing was all kinds of warm, creamy awesomeness. I kind of feel like this is now a must-get snack for me every time I go to the Magic Kingdom.
Yup. Must-Get Magic Kingdom Snack #768.
And that was our morning at Magic Kingdom. We were out of the park before 10AM so we essentially spent an hour riding two attractions and eating some snacks. Pretty fun stuff.
Back to the resort!
When we got back to the room, Nickie had packed most of it up as we were going to be moving to a new home for the rest of the trip. We finished things up, said goodbye to the Wilderness Lodge, got our insanely small car packed up, and headed to a destination I was looking forward to alllll week….
Aw. Yeah. Wal. Mart.
I know. Super exciting stuff. We needed some supplies like Beer and Seltzer and Doritos. Plus, the boys needed some socks so like, here we were.
On our vacation.
But in Orlando? Even Walmart is like, “ohey Disney.”
I don’t know guys. I can’t make our Walmart trip exciting. Sorry. It was Walmart.
But like, afterwards? It was lunch time. And lunch time’s exciting right?
For lunch today, we were heading to a location close to where we were moving for the rest of the week. Our lunch today was at Disney’s Beach Club.
And lunch was somewhere we had many times planned on eating but never actually gotten a meal there.
Well, that’s not completely true. We did have ice cream for lunch there once. But some people would call that “not lunch” or “dessert” or “irresponsible parenting.”
Yeah, you know where I’m talking about.
Oh. You don’t?
Well, then. I am talking about Beaches & Cream!
Like I said, we had been to Beaches & Cream before but we had only done so for ice cream and even then, we hadn’t actually ever sat down at a table and had a chance to explore the place. It’s got a cool “here is what we in the 90s think the 50s were like” vibe to it.
Hey, look. A jukebox.
But eh, to Myles’s chagrin, you couldn’t select any music. It just sort of played whatever it wanted.
Jukebox? More like jokebox.
As I said before, today was HAWT. Thankfully, Beaches & Cream had a cure for that Smash-Mouth-level heat.
Beer is good.
For lunch, the boys both got the Beaches & Cream Grilled Cheese with Creamy Tomato Soup.
Of which Myles was a fan but Owen…eh….Well, Owen likes his grilled cheeses like of the standard-Kraft-single variety. And this one had all kinds of extra going on with like six different cheeses making up the blend or some shizz.
For research purposes, I tried his and I thought it was a pretty stellar grilled cheese.
Owen’s palate is…not the best.
Nickie ordered the Angus Beef Burger with Cheese and a side of onion rings.
Which she said she really liked. I believe she even went back to it later on as her favorite burger of the trip. Which is high praise because we eat a lot of burgers.
I went for the French Dip with Swiss and Fried Onions.
And man oh man. This thing was magnifique.
You know. Magnifique. On account of it was French.
Whatever. Uncultured swine.
But yeah, anyways – this thing was real good. And REAL BIG. And real good.
Plus, I got it with a side of Chili Cheese Tots.
So that elevated that whole French Dip situation to Eiffel Tower levels of good.
Oh and I should mention none of us were INSANELY hungry so we opted to forego the whole ice cream thing (though if you do get ice cream here and you are a peanut butter fan, for 1000% sure go for the No Way Jose.)
But Myles still managed to get some ice cream-ish-ness going on by ordering a Cookies and Cream milkshake with his meal.
Dude loves a good loophole.
Overall, a really good lunch at Beaches & Cream. Nothing super fancy or anything but some good comfort food be happening up in here. And our server was super happy and attentive. Which made us super happy…but our attentive levels remained at a solid 5.
Next order of business?
NEW RESORT TIME!!!!
Yup, it was time to check into our new resort, where we would be spending the next 9 nights!
I know. I’m sorry. I feel like it was that last sentence that confirmed to you these blog posts are like never going to end.
So like, buckle up buttercup.
But yeah, a new resort. We were checking into our studio at Disney’s Boardwalk Villas!
We had already gotten the notification that our room was ready so we just parked and headed right over to our penthouse in the sky, with a view of the entire…
We were on the first floor again. But we did have a water view at least. This is what we were looking at from our patio.
Not too crabby, eh?
Oh. It’s shabby? The hell does shabby mean? That’s nonsense.
Isn’t it like, “oh, it’s not something that would make one mad, right? Or crabby?”
From now on, it’s crabby.
Ugh. My over-reliance on GIFs in this post is a bit desperate.
So we checked into our room. And you know what that means.
I mean, sort of. I think I have like three pictures.
Living space. And Myles.
Cutie patootie Dumbo bed.
But yeah, a nice room for sure. A good amount of space for a studio and did I mention the cutie patootie Dumbo bed?
Pretty much immediately after we checked in, we made straight for the main pool. Look at all this glorious-ness.
I legit LOVED this waterslide. At least once I learned that if you arch your back a little bit so it’s just your shoulder blades and your butt touching the slide and point your toes, you rip. Srsly.
Plus, it no longer was the slide of horrors that used to grace this pool. Check out the nightmare it used to be.
The only thing scarier than a clown is one that vomits small children.
It’s a fact.
But now, we have Mickey and Friends all over the place. Way nicer. And way less murdery.
Since we were at the pool, it made complete sense to go to the pool bar. I mean when else would one do such things?
Actually, that’s a silly thing to say. We often visited this pool bar even when we weren’t actually pooling.
It’s a bar, guys. Don’t judge.
Plus, look how cool this bar is.
Nickie and I both ordered Captains Mai Tais.
Which were obvs squad delicious. And don’t worry. We definitely do order some of the signature drinks from here a little later in the trip.
I love how much you worry about me.
We ended up bringing our drinks back to the room to enjoy while we got ready for the night. And at around 5PM or so, we headed out.
Back to the Magic Kingdom!!
We didn’t want to drive or anything, so we ended up taking the bus over to the park. Which, including wait time, took us about 30 minutes. So I mean, not too bad.
I don’ t know if you can tell from these pictures…
…but the sky? She was looking a little threatening. Storms were definitely on the way. In fact, pretty much once we got onto Main Street, the sky opened up and let loose a frikkin deluge.
So we immediately ducked into The Emporium to try and wait it out.
But erm, it definitely was not letting up any time soon. And of course, I left all of our raincoats back at the room.
The rain was also standing in the way of something Myles came here to do, which was mail a postcard from Walt Disney World to his girlfriend, Hannah. This was a whole situation.
Seriously? ANOTHER gif? I disgust me.
Myles brought his postcard, filled out, to the Magic Kingdom. And like I said, we ducked into the Emporium to escape the rain, right?
Well, while in the Emporium, a cast member told Myles there was a mailbox out on Main St. So he walked out in the rain with the postcard tucked in his jacket looking for a mailbox.
He couldn’t find it. So he asked the guy with the balloons. “Oh, its up near Cinderella Castle,” he said.
Up to the castle he went, the rain at this point an afterthought. I mean, sure. It was still raining hard. But there is only so wet a person can get.
As he got to the hub surrounding the castle, he looked around but the unending precipitation made it difficult to see so he checked again with another cast member who informed him the mailbox was all the way down the other end of Main St., at City Hall.
So he trudged down the rain-soaked thoroughfare and took a right at the end of the street towards City Hall.
And there it was. The mailbox. Myles walked triumphantly up to it, removed the postcard from his jacket, reached to slide it into the mailslot, when…
The postcard fell out of his hands into a puddle. He picked up his now-soaked postcard, slid it back into his jacket and shuffled, head-down, defeated, back to the Emporium.
Yeah, I know. It’s definitely not the feel-good story of 2021.
This whole time, the rest of us were hanging out in the Emporium, watching the rain fall and lamenting the fact that, as mentioned, I forgot our raincoats in the room.
And. Well. I did something I really wasn’t proud of. I bought ponchos at a Walt Disney World gift shop.
I just always feel like that’s such a Disney novice thing to do. Like, pros either come prepared or they simply go without. But we had dinner and what not. And no one wants to be soaking wet at the dinner table.
Whatever, you guys. I’m sure you’ve done things you’re not proud of.
Like, remember that time you were craving a BLT and you didn’t have any bacon, lettuce, or tomato so you just had a mayonnaise sandwich?
Oh wait. That was also me.
Speaking of….who’s hungry?
For dinner, I made reservations earlier that day at the Crystal Palace for the four of us, but Myles had other plans. He wanted to grab something quick to eat and maybe hop on a few attractions while it was raining. Low waits and all.
Owen was left with a decision. Go off for a wet, but fun, time of attractions OR have a dry, but less ridey dinner with his parents. He grappled with the decision for a little bit but he finally landed on dinner with us.
So off Myles went. Into the rain. While the rest of us walked over to the Crystal Palace to put our names in and wait for our table to be up.
Because of the rain, they were a bit behind since people weren’t really in a rush to leave their tables. So it probably took about 20 minutes or so to get seated. We hung out on the porch for a bit and I mean, if you have to hang out for 20 minutes on a gray July 1st, at least it’s a pretty great view.
We were let into the restaurant at around 6:20PM.
And while, due to COVID, Crystal Palace is not a character meal right now, there were still little touches of Pooh here and there.
And if there’s one thing that really makes a good restaurant and a delightful meal, it’s little bits of Pooh sprinkled throughout.
We were seated near a window by the back. And by “we,” I mean my Millennium Falcon popcorn bucket.
The windows offered us a nice view of the bridge to Adventureland and the water nearby, which was both comforting (because of the drops of rain calmingly falling against the water) and hilarious (because of all the Disney guests getting soaked.)
I wanna start off the meal by saying we LOVED our server. He was great. And I really wish I remembered his name. I must make a point to note awesome servers and cast members next time we visit WDW.
But for now? You must deal with how awful of a blogger I am.
Oh, also. Like I said, this was not a character meal due to the whole COVID situation. In addition to that, Crystal Palace was now serving plated entrees as opposed to a buffet, along with some shared starters and desserts. At least when we went. They are actually going to be switching back to a buffet soon.
We were started off with some bread – Traditional Cornbread and Cheddar-Bacon Cornbread Muffins.
This was a pretty sweet bread service. On account of it was served with Whipped Butter AND Hot Pepper Jelly. Which our server insisted I mix on the Cheddar-Bacon Cornbread. And man, this was the best idea. On account of yumtown.
Our server also brought out a Seasonal Salad (Mixed Greens, Cucumber, Tomato, Carrot, Pickled Onion, Candied Pecans, and Red Pepper-Dijon Vinaigrette) for the table, which was rull good.
And being that we were in a table-service restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, our alcoholic beverage choices were limited to beer and wine. Which, I mean…yeah. No whiskey. But still. Bud Light.
When life gives you lemons, right?
For their entrees, Nickie and Owen got the same thing – The Crispy Fried Chicken with Panko-topped Macaroni and Cheese and Green Beans.
Nickie shared a piece of chicken with me and MAN, this was good chicken. Dig it.
For my entrée, I asked our server what he recommended and he said, no question, to go for the Blackened Catfish and Shrimp with Creamy Cheddar Grits, Fire-roasted Corn Salsa, and Sauce Creole.
OH. MY. GOD.
You guys, this was DELICIOUS. The catfish and shrimp were both very fresh tasting and both had a bit of a kick and those grits. Mmm-mmm. This is honestly probably why I loved our server so much. First the hot pepper jelly/butter situation and now this? Dude knew what he was talking about.
As mentioned, dessert was a shared affair. Tonight, we were served Peach Cobbler, Banana Cream Pie, Hummingbird Cake, and a “Honey of a Chocolate” Cupcake.
The desserts were…fine. I mean, I actually did like both the banana cream pie and the hummingbird cake. But you know how it goes with these dessert platter things. Nothing was like…spectacular or anything. But it was presented really nice and like I said, I didn’t hate the banana cream pie or hummingbird cake.
Overall though? A pretty good dinner. We had no idea what to expect here honestly. I mean, we have done the buffets at Crystal Palace before and, like, you never really went for the food per se. It was to get some Pooh action.
The food was always satisfactory but didn’t blow you away or anything. But srsly you guys – that Shrimp/Catfish situation was ON. POINT. I’m kinda bummed it’s going back to the old buffet style actually. But I am really glad we got to experience it.
As mentioned before, there was a specific reason we were at Magic Kingdom on Day 7. Being that it was July 1st, this night was the first time fireworks were back in Walt Disney World since before the pandemic. The shows coming back tonight were both Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom and EPCO Forever at EPCOT so I mean, excitement levels were high.
Also high? Crowd levels.
So yeah. I mean. It was 7:30PM and the fireworks weren’t starting for another hour and a half but the three of us figured we should probably try and secure a good spot in the hub to watch the show.
We walked out of the restaurant and made our way towards Cinderella Castle. And place felt like a straight-up Rihanna video.
Look at those umbrella-ella-ellas.
Owen and I were firework-ready.
And while we were there, Myles (remember Myles? Our oldest son?) returned to us!
Then Nickie immediately told him to leave.
She did so because Myles’s shirt was soaked and she told him to head back over to the Emporium to get a new shirt.
And the shirt he returned with?
A white t-shirt that says, “Disney Mom.”
And I mean, I couldn’t have been prouder.
I love how the castle looks against the sky as it gets darker and darker and the lights start to come on.
Oh and YOU. GUYS.
Not only were we in the Magic Kingdom. At night. Near Cinderella Castle. Waiting for Happily Ever After.
But we were also being joined by more friends!!
Our friends Kayce, Bella, and Lani from St. Louis were meeting up with us.
Which is super exciting because they’re all three of them all kinds of cool. Plus, Bella and Lani? They’re legit weheartdisney superfans.
What I am trying to say is that Bella and Lani? They have much better taste than my own children. Who seem to have just recently realized this blog even exists.
I’m not bitter though. Not at all.
So hey Bella and Lani. What’s up? SHOUT OUT!!
At around 9:00, the lights dimmed, the music started, and we all settled in for a long-long-long-awaited Happily Every After nighttime spectacular.
And I don’t know. There was a crazy energy there that night. Like it just kind of felt like all of us – everyone standing there around the hub, down Main Street, waiting for the fireworks to start – we were all in this together.
When the fireworks started, everyone cheered and whooped and clapped and it just felt like this huge release after a long year of pain and isolation, a year that robbed so many people of so much. This was a moment of just pure shared joy – and those have felt like they’ve been so hard to come by lately.
Maybe I am making too much out of a fireworks display but standing there, in our favorite place where we have made so many amazing memories, with family and friends…it was a pretty fantastic feeling.
Ugh. I want to go to there.
Happily Ever After is always about hitting me right in the feels, but tonight it was like extra in-the-feelsy.
It was a perfect way to end the night.
This wasn’t the end of the night. The fireworks ended a little after 9:30PM and the park was closing at 11PM. Soooo we still had some time to go have some fun.
Our first stop? The Haunted Mansion. An attraction where sometimes it’s pretty much impossible for me to take a good picture during the ride.
It’s spooky how bad I am at photography.
After we left the Mansion, a bunch of us decided to take advantage of a shortish line over at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I say shortish because I believe it still said something like 30 minutes or whatever. But the kids wanted to do it so who was I to refuse?
Oh. Right. A parent. Who is in charge. Eh, I’ve never been really good at that.
So into line we went. Well by “we” I mean all of us minus Nickie. On account of she finds roller coasters, erm…off-putting.
While we were in line, we played a game Bella invented that involves trying to figure out what state each rock embedded in the path resembles. It’s a pretty fun way to pass the time.
Though to be fair, there were a lot of Idahos and Ohios.
The line moved relatively well for the most part. We were through the outside portion of the queue in under ten minutes and inside we wound our way to nearly the end within another ten minutes, naming Idahos and Ohios all over the place.
But once we were maybe 3 or 4 parties behind hopping on our train, we slowed to a stop and didn’t move for maybe 10 minutes or so. As we waited, we all got the funny feeling maybe something non-dwarfy was up. And sure enough, the lights came on after another ten minutes and an announcement came over the loudspeaker saying that the ride was down and they would let us know as soon as it was back up.
Weirdly, no one moved. Everyone in this line just stayed where they were, unsure of what the next move would be. This included us.
Until, finally, another 5-7 minutes later, we made the decision to leave the line. Since we had to pretty much walk back the way we came in, our hope was that us talking about how we were leaving and the journey out would inspire others to turn around and leave. Sort of like, our “for Frodo” moment you know.
Unfortunately, most of the people just let us walk on by, content to wait for the ride to come back up at some unknown time. It was really more of a John Belushi Animal House moment.
I mean, we heard some murmurs of people potentially leaving the line, but it wasn’t the uprising we were hoping for.
Oh also – yet again, a ride broke down just as we were about to hop on. Which obvs means…
After our non-revolution, the kids wanted to take a ride on Space Mountain so they headed off to Tomorrowland. Kayce and I met up with Nickie and headed over to Tomorrowland as well. But as I mentioned, Nickie has some serious coaster-phobia so rather than meet up with the kids for Space Mountain, the three of us jumped on The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.
And unlike the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, this ride worked as promised. We were people and we were moved. So I mean. Success.
By the time we got off the PeopleMover, it was 11PM and the park had closed. So it was time to head out. We said our goodbyes to Kayce, Bella, and Lani knowing we would see them soon and walked over to the bus stop.
The wait for the bus ended up being maybe around 20-30 minutes or so, which was short enough to be ok but long enough, at the end of a hot day at the Magic Kingdom, to have us questioning whether we should ever do it again.
Yeah, we’re spoiled brats.
Anyways, that was Day 7. A super magical day, right?
Last Post – Day 6
Next post – Day 8