Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s to the Parks We Go!
Last year we bought a non-expiring 7 day park hopper ticket and used two days visiting the parks. Being so relaxed here for a week, it was hard working up ambition to go to the parks knowing how exhausting it is but we decided that we would go to Magic Kingdom and Epcot on one day this week – Thursday.
Thursday morning was extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom which means that resort residents can enter the park at 8:00 a.m. instead of the usual 9:00 a.m. so our plan was to catch the boat early. Well, as the saying goes the best laid plans often go asunder and ours did. As we were about to leave the people in the coach next to us started talking to us – they were fascinated by the Kat Kabana so it was well after 8:30 a.m. by the time we left.
We arrived at the entrance to Magic Kingdom about five minutes before the 9:00 a.m. opening – luckily there were no lines yet. Since we have been to Magic Kingdom before, our plan was to go to those attractions that we like the most. I’ll just mention the ones that we went to – I’m not going to bother with any details about each one as that would turn this post into a novel. First we went to Tomorrowland where we went to Stitch’s Great Escape followed by riding on the People Mover. From there we walked through Fantasyland. While we were looking at our map, one of the cast members, an older gentleman started talking to us and recommended the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I think we had bypassed this one in the past thinking it was more for kids. Well, despite the 20 minute wait time posted, we decided to check it out. It was cute but more for kids than us adults so this won’t go on our favorites list. We did go to Mickey’s PhilharMagic show which is a favorite. It is a 3D movie and is a lot of fun.
As we walked along we noticed that there was a lot of construction going on in the area behind Fantasyland. Several existing rides have been shut down – Dumbo, Mickey’s Toon Town and Thunder Mountain. The expansion will include Storybook Circus, a new and improved Dumbo ride, Under the Sea – A journey of the Little Mermaid, and a new “Be Our Guest” restaurant and of course, more gift shops with the usual Disney paraphernalia! The photo on the left is an artist’s rendition of what it will look like when completed.
From Fantasyland to Liberty Square where we went to the Hall of Presidents. It seems the animatronics were improved since the last time we had been there in 2006 with Rob’s parents and of course, Obama has been added as one of the Presidents. From there, it was on to the Haunted House, another of our favorites.
By now, it was crowded, the feet were starting to hurt and our tummies were growling so we stopped at the Pecos Bill Cafe for a burger. Good thing we did based on what happened next!
The highlight of the day (or perhaps I should say lowlight) was on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. For those of you not familiar with this ride, you take a boat and ride through a cavernous pirate’s town where Captain Jack Sparrow hangs out. It’s a pretty cool ride – usually! However, we were about five minutes into the ride when it broke down. An announcement came on telling us the ride had stopped and to please remain seated – this message was repeated every few minutes which quickly became annoying. Even more annoying was the pirate who was chanting “Dead Man Tell No Tales” in his gravelly voice over and over and over and over again! It wouldn’t have been too bad except another couple was seated with us and the benches on the boat are not that wide so there was no room to move or even wiggle. Several times we were told that the ride was about to start, you could hear things start to churn but then it quickly shut down again. After about 30 minutes, they turned the lights on which was neat because usually it is so dark, you can’t take pictures. At the end of the ride, they gave us Fast Passes which are valid until the 31st. Since we won’t be going back to the parks, we probably won’t use these.
Finally behind us we could see a cast member with waders on had jumped in the water and was yelling “Not to worry, I’m here to rescue you”. She had to grab on to each boat and pull it back to an area where there was an emergency exit. Two boats had to be unloaded before she finally grabbed onto our boat and pulled us back to the landing. We then had to go out an exit door which took us behind the park. It was about a 5 minute walk back to the main street of Adventureland. By the time we got out of there, I would say well over an hour had gone by. One good thing about Disney is that things are always under control so there was no need worry.
The last thing we did was to hop on the steam train for a relaxing ride around Magic Kingdom. We found out some interesting facts about the train – Rob will be writing a separate post about it.
By now, it was getting late – it was after 2 p.m. and we wanted to get to Epcot so we decided to leave Magic Kingdom. Since this post is already pretty long, I think I’ll do a separate one on Epcot.
More photos of Magic Kingdom….
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