Keys to the Kingdom - WDW 2012 Day 2

Tuesday, October 23rd

Sleep was pretty pitiful last night. We are at the new Disney resort, the Art of Animation Resort. The resort has only been open since June or so. Our wing of the hotel has only been open since late September. So everything is shiny and new. That's the good news. The bad news...the bed is as hard as a rock. I can't believe I've been spoiled by the Hampton Inn. Last night, I was tired, but just not tired-tired. Which meant I was tossing and turning all night long. This isn't the best start for a full week of theme-parking. I think I will need to pop some preventative Aleve each morning...

We haven't been able to explore the hotel too much. It's been less than a day. But we have explored the food court. The Landscape of Flavors gives us a big choice for each meal. That's appreciated. This morning, I started with French Toast. With fruit and sausage. This isn't going to be a normal meal, but it was nice to start the trip off with.

This was the first Disney World trip where I was going to use the Disney transportation. Basically, I didn't want to pay the $400+ to rent a car. Especially since we were pretty much going to be on-property for most of the trip. We ended up getting to the Magic Kingdom way earlier than we needed to. Then again, it was better to be early than to be late. Scott had to pick up the tickets anyway.

As we waited, we saw a bunch of people checking in and getting wristbands. I strained my ears to hear what was going on. Lord knows I don't like when other people get to do things without me. Turns out it was a Cast Member Preview Day for the New Fantasyland opening. ARGH!! Not fair!! I want to see the New Fantasyland!! Scott was wildly unaware how many laps we were going to have to do to see if they were going to do soft openings. I kind of didn't have the heart to tell him how often I was going to drag him back to this point.

We actually did go into the park about 40 minutes early because of our tour. During our trip last year, I was spouting off some knowledge about Disney. Scott seemed to have some interest in this knowledge, so I mentioned the tour I took several years ago. We decided then that the next trip would include a tour. The same tour. I am always fine repeating a tour. Especially cause the tour was cool. Being in the park 40 minutes early was also cool. Especially since we could twirl around without hitting anyone. We could take pictures of the sights on Main Street USA without having people photo bombing our pictures. Perfect.

The tour was the Keys to the Kingdom Tour. There are four "keys" to the Disney park. Dodge. Duck. Dip. Dive. And...Dodge?? Wait. This doesn't seem right. Ugh. These are the rules of Dodgeball. That freaking movie is on all the time these days. And I can't seem to turn the channel. No, the "keys" are Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency. These "keys" are the foundation of everything Disney does.

Our tour started outside of City Hall. We hung Backstage Passes around our neck. Headphones were shoved in our ear holes and we went merrily along our way down Main Street USA. Like this trip in general...I can't really do the moment by moment replay. Partially because I'll get bored and stop writing, you'll get bored and stop reading, and no one really cares. Plus, I don't want to spoil the magic for everyone else. We walked around for 5 hours total. We got direct access on three rides (Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Haunted Mansion), had a snazzy lunch, and walked backstage twice. We also got to see a parade rehearsal for the Mickey's Merry Christmas Party. It was such a good tour.

My favorite story from the tour was at the very end. According to Nicholas the Guide, as Disney World was opened, Walt Disney's brother Roy was supposed to speak at the opening ceremony. Roy was the quiet one of the Disney brothers and had spearheaded the construction of the Magic Kingdom after Walt passed away. Roy didn't think he could give the speech, so he asked another guy to get ready in his place. After a while, Roy figured he could step up for his little brother, and he walked up to the podium to speak. He couldn't do it. So he got off the stage and found Mickey Mouse. Roy said if Walt couldn't be there, Mickey was the closest thing to Walt. Roy was able to give the speech and the park was opened. Two months later, Roy passed away. He had been there for his brother.

After the tour, we headed out as Normies again. The first stop, Sleepy Hallow Refreshments. I've been pouring over the Disney Food Blog for months now, just looking for goodies to consume. A while ago, I found a snack that was completely necessary to try. A Fruit and Nutella Waffle Sandwich. Yeah. Belgium waffle, folded. Nutella smeared inside. Berries on top. This does normally include bananas, but bananas suck, so none for me. We found a table and snacked on waffley goodness. I don't know who made up this dish, but I would like to hug them.

We made our way over to Fantasyland and found the entrance to the New Fantasyland area. People were being let in, but only if they had a wristband. Grrrrrr. I asked if they would have any soft openings today, but they didn't know. Strike one.

In Tomorrowland, we found our way to Buzz Lightyear's Space Rangers. I love this ride. Mainly because I can usually beat Scott. This time, I don't know what I did, but I ended up getting the best score you can possibly get. 999,999. Seriously. I don't know what I did. But I obviously did something right. The best part is I now have something to lord over Scott now for...well, I'll say forever. Woo Hoo!! I love having the ability to bring this up at any time. I'm sure I won't abuse this power. No...not at all...

The park was closing early today for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. This was...unexpected. It was unexpected, because I just never looked to see when the park actually closed. It was kind of perfect though. We went back to Fantasyland to see if they had a soft opening. Nope. Strike two. And then we decided to head out for the night. We were going back to the park for the party on Thursday anyway. Now, we were going to hit the Irish pub at Downtown Disney we had planned to do last night. Before my flight was so rudely delayed.

While we were in line...somewhere, I grabbed a reservation for the evening at Raglan Road (totally loving the Disney Parks app). It was a good choice. The place was packed. We were at the pub about an hour early for our reservation, so we bellied up to the bar and grabbed a pint (ok, two) of Magners. There was a ton of people watching, but we also had music and Irish dancing. Perfect. It actually was a better scene to do this today versus last night. Last night would have been much more frenetic as the area closed at 11p. Today, we could be as leisurely as we wanted/needed to be. It had been a long day at the park. And we were just getting started. Tomorrow was a day I had been dreading...just a little bit. My biggest hope was that I would be able to get some sleep tonight. That would be swell...

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