Rapunzel, Adventureland, and Nighttime in the Magic Kingdom

Rapunzel & FlynnBy Day 3 in the World, our group of seven had really hit our stride… breakfast in the Sassagoula Floatworks food court, a sizable amount of time spent waiting for and riding on the Disney World bus, then going as hard as the sun would allow until adults and kids, alike, would crash for naps in the afternoon.  On this particular day, we woke up extra early with one plan in mind: get to the Magic Kingdom as early as possible and get in line to meet Rapunzel and Flynn Rider.  Our hope was that if we got their early enough we might wait less than the three-four hours we had heard were to be expected when meeting Disney’s newest princess.  Well, we may have shaved an hour or so off that time, but it was still one heck of a line for the Tangled twosome.

The wait, however, proved well worth it, as everyone had a great time watching the girls dance and color, then taking pictures with Pascal, Rapunzel, and, the devilishly handsome, Flynn.  These Cast Members were spot on with their characters and they patiently entertained us as we took pictures of all of us, some of us, and everything in between, as well as signed our multiple autograph books and 9-inch Vinylmations.

Swiss Family Robinson TreehouseNext up was a whirlwind tour of Adventureland, including a chance meeting with Ariel and Eric, the required Dole Whip experience, Swiss Family Robinson Tree House, and the Jungle Cruise… phew!!  By the time we had covered all of those tropical standards, it was definitely time for lunch, which was enjoyed at the Liberty Tree Tavern… one of my favorites. :-)

Thoroughly stuffed and somewhat cooler, we headed in the direction of the Haunted Mansion.  While I love the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland and the antebellum feel of the area, the old stone mansion on the hill in Disney World has always stood out to me.  Plus, I got to experience the new interactive queue, for which I had somehow missed all of the on-line “spoilers,” so it was a very happy surprise.  The girls loved the fun new elements while we waited as well, although, for the older of the two, the love affair ended as soon as we entered the Stretching Room… with part of our party on a beeline for the “early” exit, the rest of us waited in a crush of other guests for what seemed like an eternity for our Doom Buggy.  Between the oppresive heat and crowds, I really thought I might become ghost number 1,000 before we made it out! :D  It turned out to be worth it though, as there were several elements that had been added since I had last riden the Disney World version, including the new effects in the mirrors at the end, which I absolutely loved!

Photo courtesy of Sue Sullard

Photo courtesy of Sue Sullard

After a quick ride on Pirates of the Caribbean, which, I have to say, always surprises me with its length and lack of detail compared to the Disneyland version, our friends headed back for naps, while my mom and I took a stroll through the rose garden between Main Street and Tomorrowland.  This little gem was one of the best hidden treasures that we discovered on this trip.  My mom is an avid gardener, and we both love roses, so I have no idea how we had always missed this part of the Magic Kingdom before, but even in the blistering heat, it was absolutely breath-taking!  What a special treat. :-)

After re-hydrating and a nice, long nap in a very air conditioned room, it was time for some late-night, Extra Magic fun back at the Magic Kingdom.  It was a really wonderful night and one of my favorite parts of the whole trip.  We had a quick dinner at Pinocchio Village Haus, overlooking Small World, then it was time to line up for Wishes!.  We found a great spot just behind Cinderella’s Castle, which was a completely new perspective on the fireworks for my mom and me.  We have never, in any park, watched the fireworks from behind the show, and it turned out to be really wonderful, even if some of the “shots” were a little too close for comfort for this pyrophobe. :-)

Electric ParadeOnce Wishes! was over, we only had a short wait until it was time for the Main Street Electrical Parade.  This was one of the “must-dos” on my WDW list when we started planning.  For the past few years, I had, somehow, just missed seeing the updated Electrical Parade at Disneyland, so I was super excited that we were finally heading to Disney World and would have the chance to see the new Tinker Bell float.  It was everything that I was hoping it would be… absolutely twinkling and wonderful.  By the time the night was over, I was feeling particularly blessed to have the opportunity to take this trip and enjoy all of these wonderful experiences.

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