Magic Kingdom: ferry, parade, Jingle Cruise

Brad has been spending a lot of time selecting and editing photos, and is finished with our first day in the Disney World parks. It was our Magic Kingdom day! We are splitting the photos into four blog entries on different days so there aren’t so many pictures all at once.

We left the hotel at 9:30AM, and Karin rode in the car with Brad, Felix, and me. Emily, Misha, Deanna, and Chris took the hotel bus to the parks, but with the number of wheelchairs in our party and only two wheelchair spaces per bus, we figured it’d be best if about half of us drove. We ended up right behind the Tolles as we drove into the park!

All the accessible spaces were taken, so we ended up parking at the end of an aisle in preferred parking, right behind the Tolles! Then we had to go through security, which took a long time, too. It ended up taking us so long to get parked and through security that Emily and Misha had time to wait for and go on a whole ride before we got there! Deanna and her husband Chris took off to do their own thing, too.

We finally made it through security, then split up from the Tolles as they wanted to ride the monorail. There aren’t a lot of wheelchair spots close to each other on the monorail, so Karin, Brad, and I (who are all using wheelchairs) decided to take the ferry to the park.

The ferry ride was fun! We were lucky and got to be at the very front of the ferry so we had a great view of the lake with the wind in our hair. Brad got out his camera and started taking pictures! He got a few nice ones of Karin with Callie Mae, her Brussels Griffon service dog, and me with Felix, my Japanese Chin service dog. I am wearing a Mirabel dress and ears!

As soon as we got in the park, we reserved a ride on the Jingle Cruise (that’s what the Jungle Cruise is called at Christmas time). But I was starving, so we stopped for some pineapple Dole Whip while we waited. Callie got to finish the last few drips of Karin’s ice cream! I also got a few pictures of Brad who was wearing an iridescent white sequin blazer, black sequin hat, and purple mouse ears.

Then we headed to a service animal relief area, which was a small strip of astroturf behind a shop in Liberty Square. Callie and Felix liked sniffing around together!

By this time, Emily and Misha were done with their ride, so we met up with them and headed back over in the direction of Adventureland to find an out of the way place to rest before the Jingle Cruise.

On our way there, we were stopped by a parade! As the Festival of Fantasy parade was getting ready to start, two workers caught a huge snake in the area below our bridge, scary! Also before the parade started, I got to do some loving on Lulu, Emily’s Golden Retriever.

The parade was fun! The floats were very large, so even though we were fairly far back, we still had a good view from the bridge that runs perpendicular to the route. Brad used a mirror to get shots that had both the parade floats and us watching them in the same shots. Felix didn’t care too much about the parade, though he wasn’t a fan of the Peter Pan pirate ship float that had cannons shooting off!

After the parade, we stopped at another potty area (no pictures of this one) and found human restrooms at the Plaza del Sol Caribe Bazaar that Brad rated a 10 out of 10! The accessible stalls were near the entrance so you didn’t have to traverse the whole bathroom to get to them. They were plenty big enough to turn a wheelchair around in, and they had their own sinks. Plus they were clean and not very crowded! Again no pictures of the restrooms, sorry!

Next we found a little alleyway to hang out in and decompress because it was extremely crowded! No pictures there, but we did have a good time talking and relaxing while waiting for our ride.

Unfortunately the Tolles and Deanna and her husband Chris went off in other directions and didn’t meet up with us, so it was just our core group of me, Brad, Karin, Emily, and Misha (and our service dogs!).

Since Emily and Misha had already ridden Jingle Cruise, Karin, Brad and I rode that one alone. Brad only wanted to ride rides where he could stay in his wheelchair, and that’s possible with the Jingle Cruise. He drove on the boat, then the lift turned him 90 degrees to face forward and lowered him down into the boat. There are multiple boats, but only the “Wanda” boat does this. Karin and I left our wheelchairs behind and climbed on the boat by ourselves. They sat us up near the front, which at first we thought was a good thing.

Then the ride started, and unfortunately Karin and I had some issues with our guide. I had a hard time understanding her voice through the speaker, but the worst thing was as part of her schtick, she pretended something scary was in a large wooden box right in front of her (and so right in front of me and Felix!) and slammed the lid really loudly right in Felix’s face! After that, Felix was not happy to be on the ride. He just snuggled up to my chest and gave me “I don’t like this” body language. He did relax a little as the ride went on, but I could tell he was just waiting for that wooden lid to slam again.

At least the scenery was nice for the Jingle Cruise! My favorites were the hippos and the elephants (animatronic). And that is where I will leave you for today. Come back tomorrow for part two of four of our Magic Kingdom day!

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