Day 4: Magic Kingdom! Sara Lee “Podium Cake”! And the Revenge of Free Dessert!!!

Today was a full-on Magic Kingdom Day! We took the bus cuz they say it’s the fastest route, but it took every ounce of my strength to resist the urge to flee the long line at Pop and just get in our car. While we were waiting, a fellow DISer managed to spot the Lime Green Mickey Head Jenn sent us, which was pretty well concealed in the mesh pocket on our backpack strap (we never could figure out how to display it properly). It was nice to chat with her to pass the time, and she filled us in on the fabulous DIS boards invention known as the Stroller Swap – what a great idea!

Once again, we ambled into a park around 10am instead of getting up in time for rope-drop, and the crowds were still so light! Patrick had to take a picture of City Hall because it was behind tarps on our last visit.

We started with rides on Big Thunder and Splash Mountain. The latter was down for rehab in February, so we were eager to try it.

We don’t have this guy in our Splash Mountain…

We were on a mission to take pix of Donald for our pal Wazzo…expect many, many more shots (that duck really gets around!)

After that we did Pirates and Haunted Mansion, then headed up by the former Skyway. So pretty!

At lunch we returned to our fave counter service place in the MK – Columbia Harbor House (more for the atmosphere than the food).

Fish & Chips, meat-filled Salad, Apple Crisp-thingy, and Chocolate Cake

We started joking about how we were being forced to eat desserts beyond our appetite and stomach capacity simply because they were free on the Dining Plan. When I pulled a face like a sobbing child being forced to gag down dessert, Patrick started laughing so hard he could barely breathe. It was one of those “had to be there” moments but boy were we entertaining ourselves snapping pix of our various faces….

Must…finish… free dessert…

On our way to Tomorrowland, I made Patrick snap a pic of this pretty spot on the path to the castle – I never even knew about it until it started popping up in people’s Magic Kingdom Bridal Shoot pix.

We cut through Cosmic Ray’s, where Patrick stopped a moment to rock out with Sonny Eclipse…

Our first stop was Space Mountain, which we were going to give a second try on the advice of some DISers who suggested our underwhelming honeymoon ride was due to selecting the right-hand queue. So this time we were sure to bear left….

Hmmm… it wasn’t as jerky as the right side, but we were still underwhelmed… We followed it with a far more exciting ride: the Peoplemover!!

Still haven’t managed a decent shot of Progress City (aka, The Epcot That Never Was)…

When we passed through Space Mountain, the work lights were on – whohoo!

It started raining while we were on the Peoplemover (OK, OK – Tomorrowland Transit Authority – there! Are you happy?!), and by the time we got to the ground floor, it was pouring. We made a dash for the Carousel of Progress.

Fun! I enjoyed it much more this time because I was awake. The sky had cleared by the time we were done, so we went back to Fantasyland for Mickey’s Philharmagic. It also is much more enjoyable when one is awake. And we got another opportunity to get a pic of Donald for Wazzo in the gift shop….

LOVE the loading area for Snow White – it’s so much more detailed than ours…

And now, a not-quite-comprehensive photo tour of Small World. Think of it as a way to enjoy the ride without the song!

Patrick is obsessed by the amount of money to be found in Disney ride waterways…

When we got off the ride, I realized I’d left my umbrella hanging on the arm of my seat in Carousel of Progress… Back to Tomorrowland!

Apparently the retrieval of my umbrella was not so urgent that we couldn’t stop to snap this pic

The umbrella was not at the ride operator station’s lost and found. So I asked if I could search each auditorium as it circled back around (cuz I couldn’t remember the number of the one we were in – TIP: Always make a note of the number of your Co’P auditorium if you plan to lose something there!)

That took 30 minutes of waiting for each auditorium, searching, and waiting. I looked in them all, but my umbrella was nowhere to be found. Booo! Who would steal someone’s umbrella? Next time you’re in MK and see someone with a pink umbrella, you’ll know – that person is a low-down dirty THEIF!!!

The Co’P cast member suggested the umbrella might have been taken to Buzz Lightyear’s lost and found, but the CMs over there laughed and shook their heads at that theory. So we rode Buzz….

I can’t believe they let that guy run the equipment!

…And I got a consolation hug from this guy…

He’s not as cuddly as he appears…

After that we decided to mosey out to the hub.

I wanted Patrick to get a pic of the Swan Boat Landing for my Weddings & Honeymoon Board buddies – it’s the only place you can have a wedding in the Magic Kingdom.

Just $25,000 gets you a wedding ceremony in this glamorous former boat dock!

More Donald for Wazzo…

One of my favorite vistas in the MK!

OMG! It’s a bunny and a duck hanging out together!!

The duck kept trying to chase the bunny away. He looks pretty P.O.ed about the whole situation…

Pretty Main Street!

I wanted a treat and nothing at the Main Street Bakery sounded like what I wanted, so I invented the S’mores Brownie a la mode. I was told that it would only count as one snack credit if the cashier rang it up as an ice cream sandwich! But then he rang it up wrong and we woulda had to wait for a manager, so we just took the 2-credit hit….

Not worth it!

Patrick had the classic Dole Whip float

We rode Jungle Cruise and decided to cash in our Big Thunder FastPasses.

Then it was Back to Main Street to kill time before dinner at Tony’s.

Wall o’ Mickeys!

Candy shop treats for the folks on the DIS “food porn” thread!

Overpriced AND off-model!

Pssst… can I interest you in a wooden nickel?

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party was about to begin, and the CMs were sporting their scariest costumes.

Patrick dragged me to the end of Main Street to see… Dream Along With Mickey, I think it’s called? Because the suit characters have moving mouths. We tried to figure out if the actors were operating the mouths themselves or someone else was doing it remotely (later we were told they do it themselves – wow!).

Donald for Wazzo

A little before 7pm, we checked in at Tony’s Town Square and asked for a 6-inch celebration cake, since MK restaurants are about the only ones that serve the Sara Lee version.

I guess because I picked Tony’s for the atmosphere (and cuz we weren’t paying) I made Patrick take a TON of pix…

We decided this was the worst table-service meal of our trip. The service wasn’t bad, as I’d heard, but perfunctory is about the nicest word I can come up with. The food was greasy, with low-quality ingredients.

Spaghetti and meatballs (you kinda have to get it at Tony’s!)

“Catch of the Day (yeah, right! It was salmon) with Orzo Pasta tossed with Pancetta, Roasted Garlic and Seasonal Vegetables topped with Balsamic Maple Glaze”

Once again, we got dessert just because it was free – even though we had an entire 6-inch cake on the way. But my ice cream bombe was so bland I pushed it away after a few bites. Patrick ate all the green out of his spumoni.

“Ice Cream Bomb – chocolate and vanilla ice cream covered in rich chocolate sauce”

“Spumoni – layers of ice cream with pistachio nuts and cherries”

The server brought our cake out in a box so we could eat it later. Then we decided to see how long we could stay in the MK for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party without wristbands!

We didn’t last very long – we kinda chickened out. But it did pique my previously non-existent interest in MNSSHP. It’s never been on my radar cuz I’m not a fan of parades and it sounds like the candy and extras get fewer and farther between every year while the price keeps going up. But it would be kinda fun to go into the MK in costume, I must admit…

So instead we caught the bus back to Pop, grabbed our car, and went to the beach at the Poly to view the MNSSHP fireworks! The plan was also to *finally* get to see the Electrical Water Pageant, but when we got to the beach I discovered my iPhone was missing and pretty much had a meltdown. We ran back to the car, where Patrick found it buried under some stuff – hooray Patrick! But we missed the EP once again!

Fireworks from Poly beach

When we got back to the room, I discovered one square inch of space in my tummy with which I could try the Sara Lee podium cake.

It was WAAAY better than the WDW-made podium cake we got at Coral Reef! It was also twice as high and had real buttercream frosting, not whipped cream. And it just looked better. Sure, it tasted like a supermarket cake, but some of us like supermarket cake.

I officially declare Sara Lee readymade cakes the victor over WDW bakery-made cakes!

Then I fell into a sugar coma until… DAY 5! Coming up next!

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