Unfortunately, with today's theme park ticket prices, a parent has to make sure their kids are old enough to actually enjoy it. After all, we can't all afford another monthly bill (after down payment) to bask in the glow of the annual passholder. While kids under 3 get in free, ticket prices for older kids and adults are a big consideration when planning a trip.
So when Bailey, now a year and a half (really?), waved her arms and bounced around at a recent Disney World commercial, we decided it was time. Now that Christmas is just around the corner, we opted for the discounted tickets to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom.
|Bailey's first trip to the Magic Kingdom!|
Even though our little chatterbox was silent for the first few hours (taking everything in, no doubt), she eventually became more comfortable and started uttering "Whoas" and "Oohs" as we strolled along the streets.
As the parent of a toddler, you may or may not yet realize that visiting a theme park with a child in tow is very different from your pre-spit-up trips. Generally, you're lucky if you make it to two different areas of the park. I can definitely tell you that Fantasyland and Tomorrowland are still top-notch, but that's as far as we made it.
Being pregnant, I wasn't able to go on any rides, but I did (a lousy job of) videotaping my husband and Bailey soaring through the air on Dumbo. (I'll admit the first 30 seconds of airtime featured some friendly looking strangers since not only were my stars still in line, but they were actually headed for the set of Dumbos behind me.) The ride even has a pretty neat indoor playground for kids to burn some energy as you wait in line. We circled back to it post-elephant flight since the line was pretty short.
|The indoor playground at Dumbo the Flying Elephant.|
Now that she's old enough to recognize her favorite TV characters, the most exciting part of the trip for Bailey was getting her picture taken with Minnie Mouse and Winnie the Pooh and his friends. While she was pretty star-struck seeing them up close, there were plenty of waves and blown kisses as we walked away.
For the Christmas party, candy cane signs sprinkled the park indicating areas boasting free cookies and hot cocoa. This was a much appreciated perk by the end of the night when we were tired, hungry, thirsty, and broke.
Tomorrowland's Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe also transformed into Club Tinsel where Goofy (dressed as Santa), Pluto, and the chipmunk duo, Chip and Dale, raised the roof with dozens of dancing tots. That was both fun for the kids and adorable for the parents.
Main Street, U.S.A. was adorned with festive decorations and Christmas music could be heard nearby. We only caught the end of the parade, but it was great timing since we arrived minutes before Santa Claus made his appearance.
We all had a wonderful time and I can safely say the Magic Kingdom offers enough in the way of toddler entertainment to make it worth the trip. Now if we can only get the folks at Disney to reevaluate their adult ticket prices...