Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 3 in Disney! The Keys to the Kingdom

When you go to Disney World as much as we do, there are very few experiences that are "new" to us. Every once in a while, Disney comes out with a new attraction and it's a big deal. But for the most part, we are doing the same fun things we did 10 years ago.

However, today we had a completely new experience that made us look closer at the place we thought we new so well. My husband and I with brother and his girlfriend gave my parents (and ourselves) a Key to the Kingdom for Mother's Day and Father's Day - A Key to the Magic Kingdom. The Magic Kingdom Keys to the Kingdom tour is a six hour guided walking tour that teaches you about the history of the park and all the little details that you would never notice that makes the guest experience better.

Does a six hour guided tour sound boring to you? Well, it certainly wasn't. We started off on Main Street U.S.A. staring at windows and names that you would never notice. The names on the windows on Main Street are deeply rooted in the history of the Magic Kingdom and the Walt Disney Company. From there it only got better, including several trips "backstage" and in the elusive "tunnels."

Did you know the Magic Kingdom is on the second level? Beneath it lies the tunnels (formally known as the Utilidor or Utility Corridor). I used to travel the utilidor every day to get to work during my College Program. Disney handles all of the utilities, including garbage removal and transportation, below the Magic Kingdom It is truly amazing. In addition to the back stage experiences, we rode several rides including the Jungle Cruise, the Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion.

We planned the tour on this day because we didn't care about the crowds. Yet that wasn't an issue. There was a Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party so the crowd level was low to begin with. Because the park closed at seven, many guests opted for other parks. After our tour, we hung around and did a few more attractions at little to no wait. We saw them finally light the castle and then went over to the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for dinner.

We took the launch over to the Grand Floridian and ate a terrific meal at Narcoosees. Narcoosees is predominately a seafood restaurant, but everyone enjoyed their meal. In fact, my husband got a really ugly looking snapper that was looking at me, but he loved it! We were also able to watch the Christmas fireworks from the dock at the Grand Floridian.

After dinner, we walked through the lobby at the Grand Floridian and made a stop at their famous life-size gingerbread house. Tom purchased a few gingerbread "shingles" and we took at ton of photos. All in all, we had a wonderful day. So much so, that I was too exhausted to write this post until now!


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