Day 2 of my trip took me to Magic Kingdom for a day of fun and fantasy and of course, vintage style, as it was officially Dapper Day. I was up early as LIKE HELL was I going to miss Park Opening. I was determined to leave my room for the bus by 7:45 and I did just that, getting to Magic Kingdom and finding myself walking right down the middle of Mainstreet by 8:15. I happily made it to the bakery, where I ordered a venti white mocha (I’m on vacation! I even let myself have regular milk and whipped cream!) and a chocolate croissant.
I’ve read online about the chaos of the mainstreet bakery pre opening and while it certainly isn’t calm, I can’t help but wonder if this is written by people who have never worked in midtown Manhattan and had to get a latte at 8:00 am and then open a store geared towards children…or maybe they have, I don’t really know. Anyway, it wasn’t busier than Starbucks at that time, and I had my latte and made my way to the hub, to watch the opening show.
Uh, new opening show is fine. It’s cute, but lacks the nostalgic memory of Let The Magic Begin, and the Main Street component, which was always wonderful. I definitely would have lined up on one of the bridges earlier if I’d seen it before, anyway, I after that I worked my way over to Peter Pan, and I really do love that line. And I got my first “real person” compliment of my outfit, with some people who would wind up circling back around later in the day.
As for my dapper day outfit…well, I channeled The Haunted Mansion, wearing a green dress that I’d gotten for Christmas a few years ago, and black lace gloves from my “ghost” Halloween costume this year, and my Black Canary choker. I got a bow on Etsy, and I was really excited about it.
Much like many of my cosplays, I was happy to see that I was in the middle of the Dapper Day spectrum, some people were more mellow than I was and a lot of people were MUCH more intense, but in general I was right along with the others I saw.
After Peter Pan I crossed the street to Small World and then The Haunted Mansion, and you want to know what’s really fun? When a Haunted Mansion cast member can’t keep a straight face and bust out, “OMG I LOVE YOUR DRESS!” as your Doom Buggy crosses the threshold.
After Haunted Mansion I headed back to Fantasy Land to redeem my Seven Dwarves fast pass, and then met up with Merida. THE PRINCESS QUEST CONTINUES! She was very excited by my green dress.
Then it was off to Tomorrowland for Space Mountain, over to Adventureland for Pirates and then to Frontierland, for my Splash Mountain fast pass. Splash Mountain was down, and would remain so for most of the day (at one point, Splash, Space and Mine Train were all down…that’s not great). So I held onto the fastpass all day, because I didn’t want to NOT ride Splash Mountain if I could help it and I knew once it got working again the line would be bonkers, but it was also deadly hot and I was getting really hungry, so I opted for to head over to Epcot to get lunch.
While I kind of wanted to go the Flower and Garden Festival booth route, it was nearly 100 degrees out (yes really) so I decided I’d better sit inside. As I sat on the monorail and rode over, I started fantasizing of a light but filling meal, and something sparkly, refreshing and alcoholic. That left me, really, with 2 World Showcase options, Italy and Japan, and Italy won, because the thought of a glass of prosecco was too tempting. I was going back and forth between getting a personal pizza at Via Nappoli or hoping I could get a seat at Tuto Gusto, and a personal pie would have still been nearly $22, I went with Tutto Gusto.
I was taken almost immediately to a table and looked through the menu. I went with the Prosciutto De Parma Panini, which came with a small wedge caesar salad….light, filling, exactly what I wanted. And that bubbly and refreshing alcoholic beverage I was talking about? There was a “All Bubbly, All Day” flight available, which was HEAVEN. It came with three samplings (but Epcot samples are, you know, normal pours at any other place on earth…that’s why I love it.) One light and sweet bubbly white, another drier option and then a sparkling red. (Not Rose Regale, which is my favorite, but still quite good.)
Once I stepped out of Gusto’s cool dark doors back into the 97 degree heat I knew that I wasn’t going to make it much longer without a break, so I walked out to Beach Club and called a Lyft back to the hotel. (This was my only cab of the weekend, I’m very proud of that. I also had EXCELLENT Disney Transportation luck).
You know how sometimes, you’re really tired and hot and all you can do is get a pina coloda at a pool bar and then go back to your hotel room and strip down to your underwear for about an hour? No? Just me? Well, that’s what I did. Frankly, the whole thing felt very Hannah Horvath, except I kept my bra on and I was in Disney World, which I feel like Hannah would never do. (Marnie and Shosh, DEF, but not Hannah.) After charging my phone and a glass of wine, I redressed and headed back over to the park.
Splash was still down and it was still 10 million degrees out, so I decided that it was time for character meet ups, any of which took place inside. I started with Ariel. We chatted about dancing. (Last year, the Princesses were all about my love life, this year they were WAY into the dance parties. I prefer the dance parties…) I then decided to try for Tinkerbell, but quickly realized that there was a Dapper Day special photo shoot in the main square at the double decker bus.
I got in line, and managed to check out the flag retreat right before I took the picture.
Here’s the thing about the flag retreat and patriotism in general, with me, at this particular moment. I really love my country. I love what it stands for theoretically, I love the way that it’s grown in it’s relatively short history. I love it’s capacity for change more than anything. When I hold my hand over my heart and sing “God Bless America,” especially the words, “stand beside her, and guide her,” I mean it. I want my Lord to bless and guide my country. You all know my politics, or, if you’re new, um, you can read, this, or this. I’m not having a great time politically right now, but I still love my country, I just feel like that needs to be justified and I hate that. Anyway, it was really nice, and I was glad I caught it. Also, I don’t think that this particular ritual, in a theme park, is meant to evoke that kind of deep thought, but all my patriotism evokes it in me at the moment.
I moved on and then got my picture taken with Tink, which was very fun. Her meet and greet is delightful and she’s almost more energetic than Rapunzel….
Oh and speaking of. I headed back to Rapunzel and Tiana during this stretch too. Rapunzel was not my favorite this trip, Tiana beat her. Rapunzel and I talked about my purse and hugged a bunch, but Tiana and I had a dance party, because she said my gloves reminded her of having dance parties with Charlotte. So we danced and it was awesome. Rapunzel still has the edge, having been consistently pleasant 4 visits in a row, but LITERAL DANCE PARTY WITH A DISNEY PRINCESS will win the day every time.
After all of this, I decided that I wanted dinner and thought I’d give going to California Grill (lounge) a shot. But even getting to the desk had a line, so I said, “nope,” and hopped on the monorail and headed to Trader Sam’s, which really is just the absolute best. I made friends at the big communal tables, and ate some dumplings, and had a Dark and Stormy. After that, I quickly I hopped back on the monorail and headed back to get into place for Wishes.
I knew this would be the last time I saw this show, which I saw for the first time when I was 11 years old. (Or, that’s the first time I remember it, at least.) And I was ready to cry. As usual “Friend Like Me,” and the final chorus got me, but I didn’t weep. This is probably for the best…
While I was on line for Tinker Bell, I chatted with a couple who’d gotten paper Fastpasses for Splash Mountain but were planning to leave to park, so they gave them to me (WHAT?) I decided to use them post Wishes to visit with Cinderella and Elena. A quick visit got me closer to my ultimate goal. (Upgraded from “visit the Princesses I didn’t see in February” to “ALL THE PRINCESSES!!!!”) Splash Mountain was up again, so after watching Once Upon A Time full through, which I hadn’t done before, I’d seen bits of it in March, but never the whole thing, it’s a very good show. The projections are wonderful and I will seriously never get over the collective Main Street sing-a-long to “Let It Go,” although my guess is when Happily Ever After premieres and “How Far I’ll Go,” is likely included, well, that’ll win. I then went and headed to Splash Mountain. I was joined once I got on the log by the same folks I’d hung out with at Peter Pan. I didn’t recognize them (I’m the WORST!) but they recognized me so it wound up being a very fun ride. We sang, we laughed, we posed for the camera.
I then popped over with my last fastpass to Big Thunder, which, OMG RIDE BIG THUNDER AFTER DARK IF YOU CAN MANAGE IT. I’d never done it before, but it was incredible. Everything feels more intense in with the cool lighting and effects. I then had a choice to make. Ride Pirates again or finish up at Haunted Mansion. I opted for Haunted Mansion.
I was the last person on the ride. Which was both terrifying and really cool. I had a staring contest with the maid running the stretching room, which she won, because I kept laughing.
I haven’t found The Haunted Mansion actually scary in maybe 20 years, but riding it alone, with no one else around is deeply creepy. Fun. but VERY creepy. I then headed back to Mainstreet to head back to the hotel, where I ran into my Peter Pan/Splash Mountain friends again. They’d gone to Pirates. I immediately had regrets, which immediately disapated, when they said my story sounded way more fun. I got back to the hotel, settled in with some more of that wine that I’d brought down and fell asleep watching Nate and Jeremiah: By Design. (My mom had surgery a few weeks ago, I’ve watched a lot of TLC and HGTV, I had 100% seen this episode before, and I was thrilled to watch it again.)
Tomorrow read about my day at Epcot and evening at Hollywood Studios!