Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Disney World - Magic Kingdom

We were up at 6:30 for another day of fun and frolic. Today, our target was the Magic Kingdom.

Sunrise from our room
Someone is slow to get going
Jolene and I set out on another day of adventure

Disney parks are busier in November than they were 30 (or even 15) years ago. But in 1985, there were only two parks and two on-site hotels. You could wander the parks and climb on whatever ride struck your fancy with very little waiting. Not so today. This was compounded by a phenomenon called Jersey Week. It seemed that every second person was from New Jersey as the state shut down for a combination of election plus teacher conferences. One knowledgeable site does suggest, however, that as many people stay away during Jersey Week as come for it so it balances out.

We had an early meal scheduled in the park so we skipped breakfast and walked over before the 9:00 AM opening. Since Kim hadn't been able to book a FastPass for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster, we intended to rush in as soon as the gates opened and make a bee-line for that way back in Fantasyland.

Cast members about to open the park

Our idea wasn't that original. It seemed that half the people at the gate headed the same way and the line was already long when we got there. A few of us laughed about this but we decided to stick it out and it didn't take us that long to get to the front.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Part Deux

And down we go

We had a gap before our meal reservation so we wandered over to the Carousel where there was no line.

Robyn on the Carousel

Grandma and Mommy


Mike wasn't self conscious at all

Next, there was a short line for a photo up with the ugly step-mother and step-sisters. They looked pretty good to me.

Cinderella's step kin

We still had some time before our food reservation and Enchanted Tales With Belle was right there. They had to keep telling me what each princess was famous for because I am way out of touch with the newer Disney stories. This attraction was an interactive scenario and the girls got to play roles in the story.

Jolene was Mrs. Potts

Jolene and Belle

Robyn and Belle

The Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Beast's Castle was right next door. This was the only Quick Service breakfast or lunch that took reservations. They took our orders at the front and gave us the locator device. Before long, someone came around with a rolling cart that had our food on it. I had a roast beef sandwich that proved to be massive along with fries. I don't recall what the dessert was.

Settled in for lunch
Robyn likes her mac and cheese

It was hotter when we came out at 11:20 but the humidity seemed to have dropped. We left Fantasyland for our next FastPass reservations in Frontierland, stopping at the Trading Post for hats. Then we took advantage of a walk-in with no lines to the good old Country Bear Jamboree before moving on to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Big Thunder Mountain does not have any major drops but there were a lot more dips and dives than I remember. Once upon a time, we rode this many times in rapid succession.

Done Big Thunder Mountain

The next adventure was Splash Mountain, a flume ride, but we had some time to kill. Down by the water, we found a pair of rocking chairs and a checker board. This was adjacent to one of only three designated smoking areas in the whole park. It is amazing how much the anti-smoking Nazis have managed to prevail.

Checkers, anyone?

This is the smoking area

When the time arrived, we entered the FastPass line for Splash Mountain and were soon seated in our hollow log, floating along through dioramas where Br'er Rabbit and others sang Zippity Doo Dah with gusto. It was interesting that the song survives but Uncle Remus was nowhere to be seen. At the end of the ride, we went over the drop and were rewarded with a cascade of water spraying up over parts of the log.

Splash Mountain - down we go

We stopped at a vendor for ice cream. A young fellow tripped over my foot and said "I'm sorry". I complimented his parents on his manners and found they were from Waterloo, Ontario. I should have known.

Snack time

Jolene wearing as much as she ate

On the way back to Liberty Square, we were crossing a bridge when Mike looked down and saw a small alligator. It was hanging out in the shade and moved around enough for us to be sure it was real.

Small gator in residence

Kim moved FastPasses around with her app (you can do that) and lined us up for the Haunted Mansion. This ride has been around forever but was still fun, although the girls didn't think it was that scary.

Looking back at Frontierland

Now that all three FastPasses had been used, we went to the FP Kiosk in Liberty Square and added a new one. We picked Buzz Lightyear over in Tomorrowland for just before our supper reservation on Main Street. As we came out, it was obvious that they were preparing for the afternoon parade, so Kim and Mike and the girls settled down to wait for it.

Waiting for the parade

 Everyone loves a parade

 So many princesses

And magical chipmunks
Sandy and I went up to the Liberty Belle riverboat dock where they had shade, benches and water fountains that were colder than any others we had found anywhere on the property. When the parade was over, the rest joined us and we took the twenty minute riverboat ride around Tom Sawyer's Island.

Setting our course to supper by doing a lap of the park, we walked back to Fantasyland. One word about strollers. Are there ever a lot of them. And they have special parking places. And then there are electric scooters for (mostly) older adults who can stand and walk but choose not to for one reason or another.

Stroller parking

There was no lineup for the famous Mad Tea Party Teacups ride so we did that and then moved onto the even more famous Flying Dumbo's where Mike and I watched the girls ride.

Mad Tea Party

Flying Dumbo's

Tomorrowland was right next door and we were soon at the Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. On this ride, you can spin your space vehicle around to shoot lasers at various targets. I managed to score 68,000 but found that the I was nowhere near the high score of 509,900. Yikes! I thought I had done well.

Master Blasters

Don't mess with Mike

Interesting expressions

After Buzz, we took a ride on the Peoplemover. We were stopped for a bit because the moving sidewalk up to the loading platform wasn't working. Eventually someone realized that our legs would do the job and people started walking. Moments later, the walkway fired up again. This ride takes a leisurely route above Tomorrowland and, most interestingly, goes through Space Mountain. We'll have to ride that tomorrow.


It was a very short walk to the Plaza Restaurant on Main Street, stopping for a couple of photos along the way.

Classic photo

Main Street, USA

Waiting to be seated

The Plaza has lighter fare at a Table Service price, but it was good. I had a club sandwich with home made potato chips. I wish they sold just the chips. Maybe they do. Anyway, I was doing well until they brought out the brownie sundae dessert. Holy crap.

I'm going to eat it all

I finished most of mine

We took the Monorail back to the hotel, arriving about 7:00 PM. The girls came over to our room and fell asleep while Mike and Kim headed back to Epcot for Date Night. I admired their determination, but I was asleep not long after the kids.

 Not me, I hope

Kim and Mike's night at Epcot

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