When you walk into Disney's Magic Kingdom (or run, as I did, with my Mickey ears firmly bobby pinned to my head and pulling Jeremy behind me), the first thing you see is NOT the castle. Slightly disappointing, but you have to get through security and actually, you know, show them your ticket first.
So after walking through the turnstile, the first thing you see is this:
Note the cute fall decorations they have, getting ready for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.
As this was the second day of our trip (and our first full day at a park), I woke up excited and full of energy. After jumping up and down on the bed to wake Jeremy up, we rushed to the park to get there before it opened.
And we waited.
In reality, it was no more than 20 minutes. But when you're staring through a tunnel onto Main Street, USA, and all that stands between you and your Disney dreams is a small-framed cast member that you could easily knock over if you got enough momentum, it feels like an eternity.
But finally we hear music playing and a bunch of dancers appear...where we can't see them.
You see, we were right in front of the entrance tunnels so that we could be the first ones into the park. I craned my neck to see the dancers, but I wasn't giving up my prime spot to the mothers pushing strollers or European tourists who had been eyeing it greedily. Then, all of a sudden, we hear a whistle and felt the rumbling of the train as it passed over our heads.
And there he is. Mickey Mouse, in the flesh (or should I say costume?). I'll admit, I teared up a little bit. Something about that anthropomorphized rodent just says to me "This IS the happiest place on earth! You're finally here!" I was too excited to take my camera out in time, but when the cast-member threw confetti at us (pixie dust, of course), we ran in.
And that's when you see this:
And you die of happiness. Especially knowing that all your friends are back at home, driving through the rain to get to work
Since our reservation wasn't for an hour or so, we took advantage of the non-existant crowds to get in a few rides in Tomorrowland (and a few pictures!)
After killing some time we headed over to the Crystal Palace, located in between Main Street, USA and Adventureland.
Once they seat us, guess who we see right away?
What could possibly be better than breakfast with Winnie the Pooh?! So we grabbed some plates and hit the buffet.
This was my first plate, and the only one I thought to take a picture of. I know it's boring, but I'm a simple girl. Give me mickey waffles (normal AND chocolate!), some scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon and I'm a happy camper. Oh, and did I mention who was there?
I know I'm supposed to talk about the food, but that isn't the reason you eat at this restaurant. It's those adorably fluffy guys in the pictures. They make rounds around the restaurant, making sure to hit every table and pose for every picture. And every 20 minutes there was a pooh-rade around the restaurant in honor of friendship day!
And the food was good! As much as you'd expect from a breakfast buffet at Disney, they had pretty much everything you'd ever want. When I grabbed my camera to take pictures of the buffet they had already started breaking it down for lunch. Oops! I was more attentive for the later meals, I promise.
But this restaurant was great, you could eat as much as you want, shove it into your purse or backpack if you're into that (we only smuggled out a few bananas) and they had a friendly staff and wonderful characters.
The building itself was beautiful, very cheerful and sunny, and a nice touch that I appreciated was that they had a mirror lining the back wall. So while I was facing the windows and the center of the room, Jeremy could still see everything that was going on. (At other restaurants, Jeremy and I would switch seats halfway through the meal so that we could take turns looking out, confusing the hell out of our waiters!)
I would highly recommend this restaurant, though reservations are a must. It's the quintessential Disney experience, you get great face-time with the characters without the waits, and the food is plentiful and tasty.
It was a perfect start to our day at the Magic Kingdom!