Posts Tagged ‘Magic Kingdom’

Ha, bet you thought I had forgotten about this!  As you can see, I’m not good at the short version of a story.  Day three will eventually come.  In the meantime, enjoy day 2!

Before going to bed on Saturday, we decided that we would sleep in and take it easy in the morning.  I think we were going by 10:00, though I guess I rushed Matt a little in the morning.  I’m just not used to taking things slow!

We were heading to Magic Kingdom first so we decided to take the resort bus instead of the monorail.  As we were getting close to the bus stop we watched a bus pull away.  Of course it was the Magic Kingdom bus.  We were told another one would come in 10 minutes.  After 15 minutes of waiting, watching two Downtown Disney and two Animal Kingdom busses going by; we decided we’d rather be in motion to our destination than waiting there any longer.  We walked back through our hotel, made a stop at one of the carts on the boardwalk for some iced lattes and danishes, then walked over to Epcot to catch the monorail.  As we were walking through the UK and Canada, we thought it might be a good idea to check out what the wait times over a Soarin’ looked like.  We figured we had to be back later for our dining reservations at France, so maybe we could get a fastpass for later in the day before we headed to Magic Kingdom.  So we made a detour over to the Land Pavilion.  The fastpasses for Soarin’ weren’t late enough in the day yet, but the standby wait was 40 minutes, so we decided to ride. 

I have to admit that I find it trying to wait in lines that are wider than one or two people across.  I always seem to be in front of the line jumpers or the people who have no idea what personal space is.  (More on the type of people you meet in line over here. http://www.thedisneychick.com/2010/04/five-people-you-meet-in-line-at-wdw.html  It’s one of my favorite posts.)  Anyway, Matt and I spent the 50 minutes in line fighting off the group of rambunctious teenage boys behind us and the bratty little children behind them to keep our place in line.  I had the <cough> pleasure <cough> of seeing a teenage couple sucking face for a little bit while in line, and Matt and I were amused at the group of people behind us that were so mesmerized by the group games, that they didn’t realize it was INTERACTIVE.  “Why does the bird keep running into trees?”  Because YOU have to work to make it move silly foreigners.  Disney people watching is the best kind of people watching. 

After our “flight” on Soarin’ we walked over to the monorail and took it to the Magic Kingdom.  While we were waiting for the Epcot loop to come we had a nice conversation with one of the Cast Members (who was on the college program) about the state of Disney’s monorail line.  They need to start replacing them soon, though this guy was pretty convinced that Disney was going to expand the line to Studios before they would buy/make new trains.  I find that highly unlikely due to the cost of adding even a mile to the line, but hey, what do I know? (A more interesting article on WDW monorails here http://thedisneyblog.com/2011/07/11/the-monorails-must-roll/ ) Anyway, we had fun dreaming about a monorail white, then our train arrived (lime) and we were off!

Here is where I start to get a little fuzzy, as we went to Magic Kingdom two different times on Sunday, and we were so hot and the crowds were so oppressive, that I really can’t remember what order we did which rides!  I can tell you that during both times we didn’t get to do much, as there were SO MANY PEOPLE.  I know our first stop of the day was to get fastpasses for Space Mountain, and then I forced Matt to ride Carousel of Progress.  I had heard rumors that they may close it in the next year to two, and it was air conditioned.  The last time I was that hot in the parks, I was working.  Yikes!  We ended up sitting through the ‘90’s-rific Christmas scene twice because it broke down somehow.  Poor Matt who didn’t even want to go in the first place was a trooper.  Since every ride had a ridiculous wait time (the TTA had a 15 minute wait. 15 MINUTES!), we decided to head in for more A/C and lunch.  Cosmic Rays had a longer line than Buzz Lightyear, and nothing looked appetizing at Pinocchio’s Village Hause.  Then we remembered the bliss of Columbia Harbor House and made a beeline over to Liberty Square. 

There were almost no lines and I got to enjoy relative peace while I ate my tuna salad sandwich.  One of the many reasons I love CHH is there is a second floor that tends to be less crowded and has great views of Liberty Square and on to Frontierland.  I got to watch the crowds ebb and flow around the Haunted Mansion as we ate.  I will save you my soapbox rant on the bad parenting that so often is seen while vacationing at Disney.  You know, how I feel no pity for the parents with kids that won’t stop throwing fits and whining because for the first time in their lives they didn’t get something they wanted.  I also won’t go off on how I forget how OBEASE so many people are until I go to Disney World and see the family of four who are all over weight chowing down on their popcorn, fries, ice cream, turkey legs, churros, double cheese burgers, and washing it all down with a giant soda, honestly parents, do you not see what you’re doing to YOUR CHILDREN?!  No.  Maybe I’ll save that for another post.  Maybe not.   I’ll just mention again that I’m thankful Matt and I are all about life lessons for our eventual children and that you can sub a bottle of water for your dessert when you’re on the dining plan. 

After lunch we joined the crowds at the Haunted Mansion.  Can I just say that the updates to the ride a wonderful? Yes? Oh, well then, the updates to the ride are wonderful!  I’m not the biggest HM fan, but I definitely like it better now than I used to.  Well done Disney.  The updates to the queue though?  They don’t make much sense to me, but I’ll save that for another post. 

After Haunted Mansion we wandered over to Frontierland to try and ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  That and Splash Mountain had such long waits, we decided to cross over into Adventureland to ride Pirates of the Caribbean before we were stuck on the wrong side of the road during the parade.  Pirates is always fun, though I hope they bring back Davey Jones.  The Blackbeard effect was lost on me, I couldn’t tell what he was saying, and it didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the ride. 

By this time we were getting close to our Space Mountain fastpass time, so we headed back over to Tomorrowland.  I do love the addition of music to Space Mountain.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older, but I don’t seem to remember my neck getting so jostled in the past.  Maybe I was better at anticipating the turns, I don’t know.  What I do know is this is the point when I started to get hoarse from all the excited screaming on rides and dehydration. 

With our dinner reservation time inching closer, we headed to the busses to take us back to the hotel.  We had a small debate on if we should stay and watch the Flag Retreat Ceremony as they were announcing there would be F14’s or something along those lines flying over Main Street during the ceremony, and there was a pretty substantial film crew milling around Town Square, but wanting a swim and a shower won out.  I’m glad we decided to leave when we did, because we got to the bus stop at 4:40 and our bus arrived at 4:58.  My nerves wouldn’t have been able to handle the 20 minute wait on the other side of 5:00 with 6:40 dinner reservations.  When people tell you the Disney Bus system runs every 10 minutes, DON’T BELIEVE THEM.  We had a moment when we debated if we shouldn’t hop in the Yacht & Beach Club bus and walk to our hotel from there, but we decided to stick it out.

After a quick swim (where we found a gross uber tan couple) and a shower, we were walking back to Epcot by 6:20.  Can I say how much I enjoyed that our hotel was a 5 minute walk away?

We checked in early for our reservations at Les Chefs de France and they sat us right away.  With the dining plan you get an entrée, dessert and nonalcoholic beverage.  We’ve found that many of the restaurants have started to offer a Prix Fixe menu that has an appetizer, entrée and dessert, but is still covered by the dining plan.  We both opted for the Prix Fixe menu and I enjoyed my Soupe a l’oignon gratinee (onion soup), Plat de cote de boeuf au cabernet avec pates (beef short ribs with pasta, pearl onions, and mushrooms), and Matt and I shared the Creme Brulee and Profiterolles au Chocolat (chocolate cake) for dessert.  It wasn’t the best food on property, but I enjoyed it none-the-less.  

After dinner we headed back in the general direction of the monorail.  We picked up some treats from the new caramel shop in Germany, which we decided to save for later in the night.  We tried to stop and ride the Malstrom in Norway, but there was even a wait there, so we just decided to keep on walking.  We stopped for a quick picture in front of the Fountain of Nations, then we were back on the monorail and on our way to Magic Kingdom.  We ran over and got Fastpasses for Big Thunder, then I think we rode It’s A Small World since the parade was coming soon and the wait times were low in Fantasyland.  Then I’m sure we rode the TTA since the line had gone down.  Again, this is where I get fuzzy.  Sorry I was tired and in case you can’t tell, we make our trips kind of a whirlwind.  This is our version of taking it easy. 

Anyway, I’m sure we rode Space Mountain, then we lined up for Wishes.  I forgot about the castle projection show, The Magic, the Memories, and You or whatever it’s called until it started up.  It was pretty neat to watch.  I couldn’t see the majority of the castle, because I’m short, or the majority of the pictures, because we were far away and I have bad eye sight, but I got the general idea.  Most of it was pretty ordinary, though I did enjoy when they turned the highest turret into a rocket that seemed to blast off the top.  Matt and I are sure they re-painted the castle so that those projections looked more realistic on them. 

Soon after that was done, Wishes started.  This is my favorite nighttime show at Walt Disney World.  I got pretty annoyed in the beginning when the large Spanish-speaking family (more like Spanish-shouting) next to us wouldn’t shut the hell up.   But after a few minutes of me shushing them, they seemed to realize there was music and such that went along with the show, and they got quiet enough to hear the music.  It was beautiful as always, and after I cleaned up a few tears at the end, we were off to Frontierland again.  We made it there before most of the crowds to find Big Thunder was “101” or down, as in not operating.  After checking on the wait time for Splash Mountain (60 minutes.  At night.) we headed off to ride Haunted Mansion again.  Back again we went to Frontierland where Thunder was back up and running with a 40 minute wait.  At this point it was around midnight and I was starting to feel really tired.  I made Matt sit with me and we people watched for a while until our Fastpasses were good.  This was Matt’s first item riding it in the dark, which is my favorite time to ride, so after our first time through we got back into line and rode in the back, which gives you the “wildest” ride.  It was a great way to end the night. 

Finally we headed back to the hotel as we wanted to be up for Animal Kingdom’s Extra Magic Hours the next morning, and it was already 1am.  So much for taking it easy, right?


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As it’s Veterans Day, I thought I could update you all on one particular part of my recent Disney trip.  Watching the Flag Retreat ceremony.  You may remember my earlier post listing it as something I wanted to see while we were there.  Well Monday nights saw us at the Magic Kingdom (again) and since we were on Main Street around 4:30, Matt’s family was gracious enough to wait with me to watch the ceremony.

I hope they weren’t disappointed.  I sure enjoyed it.  We watched the procession to the flag pole, heard the Disney Band play our national anthem, and my little patriotic heart beat heavily in my chest as many entering or exiting the park paused to watch this time-honored tradition; some even removed their hats or placed their hands over their hearts.  It was a proud and heart breaking experience watching the young soldier selected to carry the flag march past with our beloved stars and stripes held tightly in his grasp, followed by his proud parents and just as young wife pushing their small child in a stroller. 

Then just like that, it was back to the trip, deciding what ride to go on next.  Free to do as we pleased without a care in the world.  Another first added to my Mother-in-Laws list. 

Thank you to Matt’s family for letting me watch the ceremony.  Thank you to Disney for having that ceremony every day.  But most of all, thank you to all those who have served in our US Armed Forces in the past, to those who are currently serving, and to the families who love and support them through it all.  Happy Veterans Day and God Bless America.

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Wow, wow, wow! In a week this countdown will be over and I’ll be boarding a plane to Orlando. I wish I could say my how the time has flown, but it hasn’t. Like I promised in an earlier post, life has gotten busy so sorry for the big gap in posting. Hey it takes a lot out of a girl working 55 hour weeks and having a personal life.

Anyway, on to today’s subject, Peter Pan’s Flight. This ride is a classic dark ride, where the entire experience is indoors and the story telling is done in a few short scenes. This ride is usually something I only do once when I’m at WDW. If you don’t do it right away, the line gets ridiculously long and I really feel my time is better spent somewhere else that waiting an hour and a half on a one and a half minute ride.

But I do love it. I love all forms of the Peter Pan story (not just Disney) but I did grow up with the Disney one. This ride follows that well in only what, 12 scenes? I love that you ride in “floating” pirate ships through the bedroom and off to Neverland. And flying over London?! The best part of the entire ride. There are some really great articles written on how the imagineers created the scene and changed the scale to make it seem like you were getting higher and higher. I’ll try to find some and post them here for you.

In the mean time I’ll leave you with a song that I love getting stuck in my head. Hopefully you will too:
Think of the presents you’ve brought
Any merry little thought
Think of Christmas, think of snow
Think of sleigh bells Here we go!
Like a reindeer in the sky

You can fly! You can fly!
You can fly! You can fly!

Soon you’ll zoom all around the room
All it takes is faith and trust
But the thing that’s a positive must
Is a little bit of pixie dust
The dust is a positive must

You can fly! You can fly!
You can fly! You can fly!

When there’s a smile in your heart
There’s no better time to start
It’s a very simple plan
You can do what the birdies can
At least it’s worth a try

You can fly! You can fly!
You can fly! You can fly!

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Day 38: Flag Retreat

Sorry, this will be a short post.  Believe me, you don’t want me babbling on over supporting our past and present military members and their families.  It would be redundant and probably a little boring.

That said, I really hope I get a change to see the Flag Retreat at Magic Kingdom on this trip.  I’ve only actually seen it once when I worked there and it is a moment I will never forget. 

I had just gotten off from my shift and decided that I wanted to spend a few hours in the park.  I came out from backstage into Town Square and saw an unexpected crowd gathered around the flagpole.  As I walked a little closer I heard the Main Street Philharmonic playing the national anthem, and as I looked closer still, there under the flag, were a few Disney security guards and an older gentleman, saluting the stars and stripes as they were lowered.  You can see the entire ceremony here.  I had a lot of emotions coursing through me while I watched the rest of the ceremony.  Pride in my country, pride in Walt Disney World that they continue to honor our country and it’s servicemen (and women), pride in those that I knew who had served or were serving to protect me and the million other faceless people who lived in “the greatest nation on God’s green Earth”. 

Soon the flag was secured in the hands of that day’s honored veteran and the small parade moved away from the now bare flagpole.  I went back to heading toward whatever ride I was originally going to, but that moment has stuck with me over the years.  It’s another very small thing, especially for those who are serving or have served in the military and have seen retreat countless times, but I truly appreciate WDW keeping that tradition a part of the everyday for the idyllic American hometown of our dreams on Main Street U.S.A. 

Thank you Disney, and more importantly, thank you to those who serve.

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