Back in November, my sister Emily and I had the grand fortune to transform into our eight-year-old selves and romp around Disneyworld’s Magic Kingdom in foam tiaras. You can catch up with our misadventures in Part One in case you missed it! Now on to Part Two:
We started off the afternoon with some window shopping on Main Street.
Frozen balloons, anyone? Where we ran into an old friend… Princess Aurora! Can you tell we’re sisters from our posing? Em’s dress is actually one of mine and from Brooks Brothers Red Fleece (ON SALE here). I was on a desperate lookout for my favorite princess, Belle, who was nowhere to be found. But I did eventually find a halfway decent stand-in complete with Lumière photobomb in one of the shop windows. The shops along Main Street are absolutely brimming with every type of Disney paraphernalia you could ever dream of!How about a collection of Mickey Mouse hat ornaments crafted for each Disney princess?Or a Mickey Mouse oven mitt? We had a blast getting completely distracted by some of the souvenirs…
Eventually we headed over to the Castle for one of the live performances.Which included many well-known characters and a giant cartel of dancers performing on stage in front of the castle. There was singing, skirt-rustling, cape swinging and plenty of dashing princes to go around during the performance.
And, in a finale of fireworks and song, the performance literally ended with an enormous BANG! Sweet victory! After the performance Em and I meandered through the castle gardens and finally found my beloved Mickey ice cream! A favorite since my first visit to Disneyworld in 1989, it’s pretty much a family tradition to eat one of these on any trip to the Magic Kingdom. A lesser-loved tradition is also to get the chocolate and ice cream ALL OVER YOURSELF! Inevitably if you arrive at Disneyworld without a novelty hat, you find yourself seriously underdressed and envious. With hundreds of adults and children donning tiaras and Mickey Mouse ears, our heads felt embarrassingly bare all morning. So naturally we decided to remedy our chapeau shortcomings with a little hat shopping. Being a bit of a Disney villain lover myself, I thought these poison apple mouse ears really complimented my outfit.Em went straight for the princess ears and tiaras, first trying on this pink, sparkly crown of Princess Aurora’s. Then Cinderella Minnie Mouse Ears…But ultimately decided on this classic pastel pink foam tiara. Nothing says class like a princess in a foam tiara, amIright?
Once we were properly attired in our novelty hats, we came across this familiar little house which I immediately recognized as Belle’s cottage from Beauty and the Beast. At last! I’d been dying to spot my favorite book-loving princess all day and this newer attraction called Enchanted Tales with Belle actually has visitors participate in a real-life reenactment of her fairytale story. Complete with animatronic Lumière and the beautiful princess herself! I was thrilled to finally see her in person after searching all day long! Wasn’t Belle’s gown stunning? I was shocked at the level of detail in her gown.
After our rendezvous with Belle (we got keepsake bookmarks!) we made our way to a ride that is as blasphemous to miss as it cliché to hate: the legendary “It’s a Small World” boat ride.
inevitably you will leave the ride with the theme song running through your head for days after.
you will see more glittery, dancing figurines than you thought you could tolerate in a single day.
But, visually this ride is absolutely stunning and is an unavoidable tradition to ride every time we visit. Family traditions must be observed, after all! And I DO love how this ride ends in a room of good-byes said in a multitude of languages. After our boat ride around the world we felt like stretching our legs and travelling back in time at the Swiss Family Treehouse — a gigantic tree house in the heart of Adventureland! You climb up through the various rooms of the treehouse to see how the Swiss Family survived after being shipwrecked on an island in the 19th century.
Luckily this attraction has remained very much the same since we were children and is always lovely to do as the sun sets and bathes the treehouse in a magical orange glow. PLUS there’s never a line for this ride! And when you reach the top there is a breath-taking view of Cinderella’s Castle which gave Em and I an idea…After all that climbing we were absolutely starving and knew exactly where we wanted to go for dinner: Cinderella’s Castle. It was a long-shot but since it was still a little early for dinner we ran up to the front desk hopefully to see if there was room for us.
And by some stroke of insane luck, there was!
Any seasoned Disney veteran will tell you that getting into dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table without a reservation last-minute is the sort of event you can spend your whole life waiting for. So naturally we leapt at the chance!
Sure, we would probably be the only adults dining sans children.
Sure, the meal would probably be overpriced and a little underwhelming.
But how often do you have the chance to dine with fairytale royalty? So we were escorted into Cinderella’s ‘receiving’ chamber to begin our dinner adventure.
The room is remarkably European and yet whimsical at the same time complete with tapestries and stained glass windows. We stood in line for a moment admiring the beauty as we waited our turn to meet…CINDERELLA! We were lucky enough to snag an audience AND a few princess lessons with Cindy herself! As one of our ‘princess lessons’, she advised us that clasping our hands over our hearts was the best way to ensure our dearest dreams come true. #heartclasping accomplished.
Inside the restaurant is a splendid atrium with a giant wall of stained glass windows and a ceiling of medieval flags. The last time I dined here was when I was nine years old. It was magical then, it was magical now.
It doesn’t hurt that when you are seated, you’re bequeathed your own glittery magic wand too. The menu is far more extensive than you might expect with plenty of options for each of the three courses they serve. I’ve already mentioned before how low my expectations were for this meal. Pretty much nonexistent, in fact. But after our first course arrived, I pleasantly realized how wrong I was!Being sisters, Em and I often have identical taste, especially when it comes to food so naturally we both ordered the same first course: the royal cheese plate. The selection was delicious and far more generously portioned than I expected. I nibble on this plate throughout our entire meal and still didn’t manage to finish everything.My salmon entrée was served with black lentils, fennel and a creamy pesto sauce. The salmon was buttery with a beautiful crust and the black lentils and sauce made for a surprisingly engaging entrée. It was a special that evening and I highly recommend it!But the dessert trios we ordered took the meal cake (pun intended!). Rich, fudgy brownies, a brightly spiced carrot cake and a pot of pistachio mousse? YUM! I could have eaten that pistachio mousse for the rest of my life and died happy. It was magical! I even included it in my round-up of the best things I ate in 2014.
I didn’t expect to be ‘wowed’ by this meal but the friendly service, lovely atmosphere and delicious options made for a fantastic dinner to end our day at Disney.
Plus you get to meet some pretty well-known characters while you’re dining!
The rest of our evening was spent enjoying more of the rides and absorbing all of the magical splendor. The castle is lit-up in the evenings like this but after dark it glows in resplendent twinkling lights and looks just like the castle out of Frozen!
It was a magical day — many thanks are due to our dear grandmother who so badly wanted us to go visit Disneyworld and tell her all about it that she sent us out the door with spending money and strict instructions to take photos of EVERYTHING! Thank you grandma, you’ve given us memories we will never forget!
Now if only we could have packed up Gaston and brought him home with us…