Day 4 - Thursday, November 9, 2000 One more time, the cast for this report is: Me Ã¢ÂÂ 42, Single mom and Disney fanatic. The first question my co-workers ask when I return from vacation is, Ã¢ÂÂSo, when are you going back?Ã¢ÂÂ I live in Central Missouri and typically depart from St. Louis Lambert Airport, which is about a 1.5 hour drive from home. DD Ã¢ÂÂ 4-year-old diva. IÃ¢ÂÂm serious; this girl has a future on the stage or screen. She loves to sing and dance and loves all things Disney, too. It was up and at Ã¢ÂÂem early this morning for EE at the MK. I got up about 6:30 and then woke up DD at about 7:00. Since we always walk to the MK from the Contemporary, we left about 7:20 and arrived soon after 7:30. I was amazed at the number of people doing early entry. I just love that first stroll up Main Street early in the morning. The streets are still wet and the air is cool, though still humid. We booked it up Main Street and went through the castle. DD got so excited when we headed through the castle. Of course, by tradition, our first ride is always Dumbo. We got in line and rode Dumbo in about 10 minutes. Next we headed towards Pooh and rode that twice without much wait. Next, came my favorite, Peter Pan. Again, we rode it twice in a row and then did ItÃ¢ÂÂs a Small World twice. We then rode Peter Pan again and headed for the Carrousel. For some reason, last year DD was afraid to ride it. We tried again this year and she did fine. I stood right by her and she named her horse Ã¢ÂÂSqueakyÃ¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂI have no idea why. Then came the big momentÃ¢ÂÂ¦was she going to go on Snow WhiteÃ¢ÂÂs ride? We had talked about it quite a bit the last several weeks. I wasnÃ¢ÂÂt going to force her to ride it, but she decided she would ride it. She hid her eyes in a couple of places, but she did fine. Remember our mantraÃ¢ÂÂ¦.Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs just pretend.Ã¢ÂÂ In comparing the EE crowds at the MK this year with last year, they were definitely heavier. They were certainly doable, but not as easily doable. By this time, the park was open and the crowds were growing. We stood in line about 20 minutes to ride Pooh again. Then as we exited, we saw King Louie and Baloo signing autographs, so we jumped in line for King Louie. Again this year, we didnÃ¢ÂÂt fool the autograph book. I think maybe next trip we will do it. Honestly, itÃ¢ÂÂs just too much stuff to deal with when IÃ¢ÂÂm with DD by myself. It also makes the character greetings go somewhat faster, and DD gets more Ã¢ÂÂconversationÃ¢ÂÂ time with the characters since theyÃ¢ÂÂre not signing the book. We took a potty break and then Ã¢ÂÂstrolledÃ¢ÂÂ back towards Main Street. A word about strollers. I debated whether to even bring a stroller this year. DD is 4.5 and never uses a stroller at home. However, WDW is a big place! I knew she would get tired of walking, so I bit the bullet, bought a new, larger stroller and took it. What we typically did was to use the stroller to go from place to place, but within one location (i.e., Fantasyland) we would park the stroller and she walked. It worked out well and saved my back. My back gets so tired having to slow my pace so DD can keep up with me. We explored the Exposition Hall and took some cute pictures there. Honestly, I was looking for characters, as I had read that they sometimes were there with small lines. However, on this day, there was no one there. I was also looking for the email stations that had been reported as being here last year. They were nowhere to be seen. We were killing time until our 11:00 PS at the Plaza Restaurant. The park was quite crowded by then. We showed up at the Plaza at 11:00 and were immediately seated. This is a lovely little restaurant. DD had the mini burger and mini hotdog combo, which she devoured. I had the club sandwich, which I could hardly get my mouth around. It was very good. The restaurant filled up quickly. Our server was very efficient and friendly. I had called for early housekeeping this morning, so I knew the room would be ready when we returned. We strolled out of the park, somewhat like salmon swimming upstream. Again, we walked back to the room and took a nice break. Although DD no longer needs a nap in the afternoon, she still needed an opportunity to just play, and Mommy needed a break to rest her feet. I was trying to decide what to do this evening. I didnÃ¢ÂÂt really want to go back to Epcot, and there was no way I was going to fight the crowds at Fantasmic. OkÃ¢ÂÂweÃ¢ÂÂd go back to the MK and see the fireworks. We had a quick sandwich in the room and headed to the MK. We were also trying to find Leslea but had no luck at this point. I had emailed her mother to get her phone number since we were having trouble connecting with her. She works as a Main Street Greeter, which means she is usually either at the turnstiles or on parade control at the MK. We strolled through Adventureland and saw the new Tikki Room show. DD just loves this. I think itÃ¢ÂÂs sort of cute. DD didnÃ¢ÂÂt want to do the Pirates of the Caribbean at this point, but we did get pictures with Captain Hook. He seemed to get very nervous when I asked him how the crocodile wasÃ¢ÂÂ¦.I donÃ¢ÂÂt know why. We then headed towards Splash Mountain, which was apparently having some technical difficulties, as the boats were stopped. DD played in the little play area by the exit and had a marvelous time. We then continued to stroll towards Liberty Square and checked out the Christmas Shoppe. I had told DD to look with her eyes but not touch with her handsÃ¢ÂÂ¦apparently, she got a little confused, as she would hold things up till they were touching her eyes! We happened to be in front of the castle around 5:15 and got excellent seats (on the ground, of course) for the Disneymania show. It was great. We hadnÃ¢ÂÂt seen it last year. We got something to drink and continued on to Fantasyland, which was wild. We continued strolling to Toontown and visited MinnieÃ¢ÂÂs House, MickeyÃ¢ÂÂs House and DD was thrilled that I let her get wet on DonaldÃ¢ÂÂs Boat. She also spent some time in the play area, which is an excellent place for kids to let off some steam. We then headed back towards the Castle. By the time we made it to the Castle, it was close to time for the fireworks. I took DD to a place beside and behind the castle, where TinkerbelleÃ¢ÂÂs wire was clearly visible. When the lights went out and Tinkerbelle appeared, I thought DD was going to faint! She was yelling, Ã¢ÂÂLook itÃ¢ÂÂs Tinkerbelle!Ã¢ÂÂ and waving for all she was worth. It was so cute. We then watched the fireworks. I think the FITS is just spectacular! Nobody does fireworks the way Disney does! We then headed with the other folks towards Main Street. We did a little window shopping on Main Street on the way out. Since we had no luck in locating Leslea, I stopped another CM, Chad, who was working at the turnstiles and asked him if he knew Les and he did. He volunteered to go look at the schedule to see when she would be working and returned to tell me she would be working tomorrow at 1:45. I thought it was interesting that people were entering the park at 6:55. Then I realized it was an E-ticket night. We walked back to the room and DD had a bath and went to bed. I again checked email and prepared for tomorrow. It was a great day. I have to say that the MK is my favorite park. It personifies, for me, Walt Disney World. The other parks are fine and we enjoy visiting them, but we always spend more time at the Magic Kingdom than the other parks combined. I think thatÃ¢ÂÂs one reason I love the ContemporaryÃ¢ÂÂ¦.itÃ¢ÂÂs almost like being in the MK!