Monday, August 31, 2009
Magic Kingdom Redux
We felt we hadn't nearly done justice to the Magic Kingdom the first day. We had a list of more things we wanted to do that would fill another day. M, Emma and I made the effort to be there at opening again. We headed straight for Thunder Mountain and planned to grab Fastpasses. We got them and then got on the ride. The wait was only supposed to be 10 minutes. That's about how long it took to walk through the wandering queue. When we got off the ride the wait was still only 20 minutes. We decided to get in line again. Once we had gone on the ride twice we felt like we didn't care whether we got to use our fastpasses later or not.

Next we headed to Adventureland. We went on the Jungle Cruise, which you will love if you're into corny puns. It was also my first encounter with a sarcastic Disney employee. Boo for him, yay for sincerity and helpfulness. We did the Pirates of the Caribbean ride next. Feh. What was it before Jack Sparrow? Still kind of lame.

We trekked across the park to Tomorrowland and were able to get on the Astro Orbiter. The 5 minutes sign was a big liar. It probably took us 20 minutes to get on it. We were impressed with the level of centrifugal force on that thing; much better than expected. M was famished so we ate in Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe. Awesome cheeseburger. Makes me sad for what I get from McDonalds. We ate around 11:00 a.m. so we beat the lunch crowd and were stoked for the day. Next we hit the Tomorrowland Speedway. My advice on this one is when the line splits take the left right lane (Yes, I'm directionally challenged. So sue me). It's faster.

Mad Tea Party Tea Cups were next. M had to bite the bullet and do it with Emma that time. The good news for him was he could control how fast his cup spun around. I don't think he was any worse for wear when he got off. From there we went to Mickey's Toontown Fair. This was our best chance to see characters. When we arrived we decided to begin by catching the train that circled the whole Magic Kingdom from the train station in Towntown. That was a nice ride, nothing remarkable.

When we arrived back in Toontown we tried out Minnie's house. It was lame, Minnie wasn't even there. We tried the big souvenir shop that had lines to meet some characters. The line to meet the fairies was 60 minutes and the line to meet the princesses said 15 minutes. Which line to choose...? It was all a lie anyway. We stood in the princess line for 20 minutes (air-conditioned minutes) and it barely moved. We finally gave up on the whole idea of meeting characters.

Emma and M did the roller coaster The Barnstormer. I spent some time in the gift shop, but M had all my money so I wasn't a threat.

After we left Toontown we quickly realized that the park had filled up to the point where most rides had long lines and we'd done most of what we'd wanted to do. On Popi's behalf we took Emma back over to Frontierland to see the Country Bear Jamboree. That hadn't changed in thirty years.

We decided to meander our way back to Main Street and do some souvenir shopping before we left. On the way Emma caught the Magic Carpets of Aladdin ride twice more while I took my turn to see the Enchanted Tiki Room.

We stopped at a Bakery on Main Street USA and had pastry. Then we hit the shop, loaded up on goodies for the final time, and headed home. While we were doing that it rained on their daily parade and drove lots of people indoors. Plenty of people headed for the exits, but not enough to make it unpleasant. We headed back to the villa and I spent most of the rest of the afternoon packing for the trip home.

High in the air on the Astro Orbiter.

M holding on to his lunch.

Sweatin' on the train ride around the park.

In front of the Magic Castle with the top of the castle strategically cut out of the picture. They had moved in a big crane that was doing repairs up top.