Magical Magic Kingdom

Enough of Epcot! Time to visit the Magic Kingdom, this time with our good friend Donna! We took the boat from the parking lot to the park. I wish the parking lot was next to the entrance, but even on overcast days like today, the boat ride provides a nice view!
We started with what one of the oldest shows - the Country Bear Jamboree, which has been here since 1971. I've seen it before, and like "Small World", part of it's charm is that it hasn't changed. 
They have started decorating Main Street and piping in sweet Christmas Carols. Who needs snow!
First ride of the day: The Haunted Mansion. This is one of the attractions where they really focus on the details. Every time we come here, we see something different!

Around the corner is Cinderella's Castle, which is visible from almost everywhere in the park. This is just perfect.

Tucked away behind it is a charming statue of Cinderella as a young girl, instead of a Princess as we normally see her.  
In side of the castle is the entrance to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, where little girls can get a Princess makeover. Across the hall is the entrance to Cinderella's Royal Table (second floor). Both of these require reservations, which can be made up to 180 days. Which suggests they are very, very popular.

The castle used to sit at the edge of the park, but they have opened up a whole section there now, with shows and shops. Lots of shops! 
In one of them I found a Mouse-eared hat that I had to have. Anytime something makes you smile as much as this thing made me smile, you should get it!
Around the front of the castle, people were beginning to gather for the daily parade. The parade here, starting at 2:00, is one of the best! It has everything: A Beauty and a Beast,
Princesses and a Snowman, 
a horse riding a swinging ax on a gauntlet,
and of course, a fire-breathing dragon!
Afterwards we were ready to go so we headed out through Main Street, which was crowded by now. 
Randy decided to go to Guest Relations to learn how to get Fast Passes for a group. The guy at the counter explained that, then gave us a generic Fast Pass. Since we hadn't been to the Enchanted Tiki Room yet, we went there. This was Disney's first audio-animatronic attraction, opening in 1963. It has been tweaked since then, but the basic design is the same. 
We decided to take one more trip to the Haunted Mansion before we left - yep, still fun!

Then it was time to leave, for real. Is there anything prettier than Cinderella's Castle? I can't wait to see it at night!
Just for a lark, we stopped on the way home at a store called "Bulk Nation". It's right on the way to and from Disney, so we will probably be here a fair bit!

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