Cinderella’s Castle, a thing of beauty and the centerpiece of Disney’s Magic Kingdom. We all need a bit of magic in our lives, and there is no better place to find it than here. Christmas is special in the Magic Kingdom. Main Street brings back the joy of the old downtowns where Christmas was a world of lights, bows, and hope.
This is the post that nearly didn’t happen, and even tonight I cannot re-create the way I was feeling having returned from a day of fantasy and fun. I’d like to share with you, though, the things that I saw and loved and maybe impart a bit of how I felt.
We arrived early, having eaten a light breakfast at home. Between the parking lot and the entrance is Bay Lake, a huge lake created from the previous marsh land by Walt Disney for the express purpose of broadening the experience and separating the “magic” from the world. He designed two ways to cross, futuristic monorail or historical replicas of the Staton Island Ferries. Town square is first, then Main Street, and at the other end is the beautiful castle.
After visiting the Confectioner’s shop and bypassing the throngs at Starbuck’s (it is somewhat camouflaged), we decided the course of least resistance would be brunch at the Plaza Restaurant. The perfect start to the day, it avoided the necessity of the lines for “fast” food. Then we just let ourselves drift where the mood took us. Back through the shops, then in front of the castle. Having been there many times, we have no need to see it all in one trip. It is fun to stop, find a bench or even someplace to lean, and watch the people. Some are in a rush, some in awe, and more Disney Christmas shirts than I can remember seeing before.
A short walk from the plaza is perhaps my favorite thing in the Magic Kingdom, as you will note from the huge photo. Harper’s Mill is on Tom Sawyer’s Island across from Frontierland. It’s magic, folks. You can cross miles and years in a few minutes. Harper’s Mill is one of the timeless and classic originals from the park’s opening, and people continue to stop and just watch the water falling over the water wheel.
The Haunted Mansion is where the voice of the late Thurl Ravenscroft invites you to “Step into the dead… center of the room” and later intones that there are 99 ghosts living here, “Would you like to join them?”
Press on leisurely, cross the bridges, and find yourself at the beautiful Crystal Palace. Dining there is an incredible experience. Stunningly beautiful inside and out. It currently operates as character meals, and a dear friend recently told me it was a wonderful experience for her family.
In the previous blog I expressed my frustration that the photos I wanted were not recognized. That spontaneously resolved within about a day. Don’t ask me why or what happened. Anyway, I’ve tried to express how we felt that day last week. Disney is where families and couples, young and old, like to come, and the Magic Kingdom remains special. Thank you for joining us on this day, albeit late. Sandy and I wish you joy this season and beyond. Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas from Florida.
Pictures: Main photo is a close up of Cinderella’s Castle. Soaring palace of gray stones and bright blue tiled turrets. There is a golden spire on top. On the front is a clock. Second is a frontal view of an old car. It has a red hood, gold headlights, and a black cloth top. Cinderella’s Castle in in the background. There are 2 dancers on the left. Third is the Plaza Restaurant. It is a 2 story, white columned structure with a brilliant gold ceiling on the second floor. Fourth is Harper’s Mill is a tall, iron red mill complete with a working water wheel. Behind are dense, green trees. Below is the reflection the entire mill in calm water. Fifth is a close up of the Haunted Mansion. Red brick with chimneys on either end and a round turret with a bat weathervane on top. The right side of the mansion includes a glass solarium. Sixth is a huge, fully blooming bougainvillea is in the foreground with the Crystal Palace behind. Some will see the bougainvillea primarily, some the Crystal Palace.