Our first day at Magic Kingdom for this Disney World in February trip was also our 12th wedding anniversary. We started a leisurely day by gazing down Main Street USA from the train station, a view from solitude into chaos that we’d grow to adore on this trip.
With several more trips to look forward to during our Annual Passholder year, we could take it easy and not rush around all day long knowing we’d be back at Disney World again soon if we missed anything. With that mindset, when a train pulled into the station and blew its whistle, and Jasper very excitedly asked to ride despite this not being part of the plan, we immediately said “yes.” And this was just the trigger we needed early in the trip to show us that our touring plan was not set in stone and it was more important to seize opportunities and go with the flow.
WDW Railroad Main Street Station to Frontierland
snack – Gaston’s Tavern
Splash Mountain (FP+)
Tom Sawyer Island
Pirates of the Caribbean (FP+)
Jungle Cruise (FP+)
boat to Wilderness Lodge
lunch – Geyser Point Bar and Grill
pontoon boat rental
relaxing at Wilderness Lodge
boat to Magic Kingdom
monorail to TTC and drive to Disney Springs
dinner – Earl of Sandwich
shopping – Disney Springs
We got off the train just one station away in Frontierland and walked to the Haunted Mansion where the 13-minute posted wait time means “no wait.” The Haunted Mansion is a family favorite and an easy choice for first ride of the day.
Always trying to avoid crowds, we visited an empty Gaston’s Tavern at an off-peak time around mid-morning to fulfill Gavin’s request for huge, yummy cinnamon rolls.
Our first FastPass of the day was for Splash Mountain, one of Mommy’s favorites for its perfect combination of length, theming, and thrill, and one she’s surprised the boys agreed to (“as long as we don’t get wet!”).
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We briefly explored Tom Sawyer Island where the boys love to search the caves and tunnels, and then it was on to Adventureland. We used back-to-back FastPasses for Pirates of the Caribbean (the last time we would see it with the original red head scene) and Jungle Cruise with Jason, the BEST skipper in memory. His constant running gag of each animal being the fastest at 33 miles per hour was hilarious!
The forecasted rain moved in as we made our way out of Magic Kingdom and onto a boat to our favorite Wilderness Lodge for an anniversary lunch. Geyser Point Bar and Grill had opened barely a month after our stay last year so we had been eagerly anticipating a relaxing meal with a beautiful Bay Lake view. My fried chicken sandwich and quinoa salad meal did not disappoint and the quiet atmosphere outside in the light drizzle was perfect – just like our wedding day!
We continued our low-key day with an hour-long pontoon boat rental from the docks at Wilderness Lodge. After a rare glimpse of a river otter in Bay Lake – even the attendant cast member had never seen one! – we motored toward the Seven Seas Lagoon, passed the Magic Kingdom, Grand Floridian and Polynesian, and back into Bay Lake for another loop past the remains of River Country. Boating at Disney was an activity we had been looking forward to but we weren’t prepared for just how perfect this afternoon ended up being. To be in the middle of Disney World yet share such peace and solitude together as a family is a very unique experience.
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We dried off back inside Wilderness Lodge as the boys played Munchkin in the fireplace alcove overlooking the beautiful lobby. Despite not being Wilderness Lodge guests on this trip, it sure was nice to visit for so long and enjoy the atmosphere that we love so much.
While others watched the Super Bowl, we headed to a desolate Disney Springs to shop and answer the beckoning call of Mommy’s favorite Holiday Turkey sandwich at Earl of Sandwich for dinner. Such a lovely way to end our anniversary day!
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