Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The place where all the Magic happens

On the Sunday of our vacation we headed for the Magic Kingdom. We looked over the park map beforehand and decided our plan of attack. Fantasyland (princesses, Peter Pan, Small World, all the fairy tale characters), Tomorrowland (Space Mountain, Astro Orbiter, etc) and then over to Adventureland (Pirates and the Swiss Family treehouse).

The Magic Kingdom is very much like Disneyland in California. I went there when I was 13 and given my foggy memory after 25 years, I could have walked into the same place.

We headed over to Fantasyland and got in line for the Peter Pan ride. This is where we learned that the time displayed on the “wait time” sign isn’t always so accurate. It stated 15 minutes, but it was a good 45 minutes. The kids were somewhat impressed with the ride and so we headed over to “It’s a Small World” next. The wait there stated 15 minutes and was actually more like 10 minutes. Skadi loved the Small World ride. Leif was a bit less than impressed with that one. The kids rode the carousel and when we realized that half the day was already gone (and our in hotel breakfast snacks weren’t sticking with us) we grabbed some lunch at Pinocchios. Very yummy meatball sandwiches.

We wandered around a bit and Skadi started spotting characters – Winnie the Pooh and a few others. Thankfully when I saw the mile long lines and subsequently gave her the choice of riding more rides or standing in line for hugs, she picked the rides. AB took Leif over to the Tomorrowland Speedway while I braved the Tea Cups with Skadi.

I don’t do well with spinny rides, so I was a bit nervous about this. Last thing I wanted to do was puke up that meatball sandwich. Still I was coveting the neat pictures my friend RAB and her husband had taken on the Tea Cups the week prior and wanted some of Skadi in a similar fashion. Happy to say I survived!

We met up with AB and Leif (who was a bit disappointed with the Speedway, “you couldn’t even go fast mom,” he lamented).

Space Mountain had a wait, so I grabbed fast passes and we ran over to Adventureland and made a beeline for Pirates of the Caribbean. The wait cited was about 50 minutes, but I would put it more like 20 minutes. They kept us walking the entire time. Both the kids dug Pirates and of course we ended in a gift shop. Leif isn’t a huge shopper… he whines a bit (kind of like AB) at the notion of having to shop. Skadi eyes it all, but is never overly insistent on buying stuff, she is picky. I am lucky that way, we got out of most everything to this point without stopping in a gift shop.

Then there was Pirate gear, and Jack (the pumpkin king) gear! And well, we spent a little time and money in the Pirates gift shop.

On to the next adventure… the Swiss Family Robinson tree house, which AB and I enjoyed and the kids thought we should just move in.

At this point we agreed that even though the kids weren’t seeming terribly tired that it WAS time for a break before our long evening at the Pirate’s Cruise. We headed towards the entrance to catch our bus and just so happened to make it to main street in time for the Parade!

Finally we hit the entrance, got on the shuttle and went back to the hotel for a quick break.

We had fast passes for Space Mountain and I (yes, Mrs. Motion Sickness) had wanted to ride it. AB was in no way interested. I had remembered Space Mountain from my 1985 trip and remembered thinking I may actually like roller coasters after that one. It was fun! And smooth! (And for the record, I didn’t suddenly like roller coasters, the two I tried after Space Mountain scared the daylights out of me.)

Disney Tip! Skadi couldn’t ride these rides, many of them either AB or I weren’t interested, but one of us would do it with Leif. When you get Fast Passes get as many as tickets you have even if not everyone plans to go on. On occasion we would ride twice – usually Leif would get to go twice and AB and I would trade off. Other times we would ride once and then walk up and hand the remaining fast passes to someone standing outside and more than once felt like we were gifting someone a hunk of gold with the gratitude they returned.

We headed back to the park and managed to hit to the entrance (like earlier, this was unplanned and pure luck) to see the castle frost over and all the colors. We jumped in with a photographer and got the best family picture from Disney that is gracing our Christmas cards this year. We tried to get pictures of the castle ourselves, but it just didn’t work. You really need good photography equipment to do this at night.

Leif and AB wanted to do the Astro-Orbiter. I wasn’t so thrilled, but that was fine. We all stood in line and listened to the music and watched the characters dance. Finally up at the top – you take an elevator up – Leif was my driver.

I guess one of my observations at Magic Kingdon was that everything seemed a bit old. When I think of how everything looked the same as when I was in Disneyland 25 years ago… and it seemed a bit dated then, it made me start to wonder when most of those rides were built?

This is not a good thought to have while getting ready to go up in the Astro-Orbiter. Because what if a few bolts broke and it sent Leif and me – or AB and Skadi hurtling through the air???

Leif insisted on flying us all the way to the top and not going up or down at all.

I told him he was scaring me and the little turkey only laughed.

Cruel child. He learned this from his father.

Soon enough the ride was over and we were forced down.


As though I hadn’t had enough I ran over with Leif in tow to make the Space Mountain fast passes. AB and Skadi went in search of dinner as Leif and I flew past the throngs of people lined up. Here is where the fast passes kind of suck though. As we are walking through Leif is seeing video games that you play while waiting! And lots of information about space!

We aren’t ride junkies. We like the information just as much. Ok, *I* like the information… Leif just likes the video games.

We hop on the ride and can I just say that this was NOT the same Space Mountain as the one in Disneyland. It was bumpy and creaky and wow I was glad when that was over. It is official, I do not like roller coasters at all. Leif went running up to dad and started raving… about the video games he saw.

Can’t we go back in and do the video games?

We hurried ourselves over to an obscure little room at the Contemporary – we weren’t the only ones running late trying to find it – for our Pirates and Pals fireworks cruise. We signed in, got our bandanas and stood in line. (I know, surprise, huh?)

When we were finally released into the waiting room I felt like I was my grandmother. They had free snacks! And free bottles of water! Disney had turned me into my grandmother who covets free items. I think AB and I were so used to opening our wallets for every.single.thing that when presented with “free” things, we went a bit nuts with ordering the kids back to the table to get more packaged brownies and gee mommy would really like another bag of SmartFood, and oh, while you are at it, how about another bottle of water, hmmm?

Yes, I know. Free is in the mind. We had paid big time for the cruise. So it wasn’t really free… just prepaid… but it helps me to think that I was getting something for free.

We hung out and met Captain Hook and Mr. Smee. Skadi walked right up and told Captain Hook to “WALK THE PLANK SCURVY DOG!” This was met with lots of chuckling from the staff.

We headed out to the boats where we watched the electric boat parade, then the Disney fireworks. AB likes to be right up there under the fireworks. This worked best for me. I despise crowds and it was getting crowded in Magic Kingdom as people were saving their spots 1.5 hours before the fireworks. Our emcee for the event was a great pirate, but I did wonder how loaded he had to get to do this every evening?

Leif won a Pirate pistol. Skadi won a pirate ducky. (More “free” stuff.) The fact that Leif won the Pirate pistol made it all the more special and AB and I spent the entire remainder of the trip saying, “no you cannot take the pistol to X”.

When we got back Peter Pan met the boat and then hugged each kid and posed for a picture. One of the staff saw Skadi coming and yelled to Peter, “watch out for that one, she told Captain Hook to walk the plank!”

We finally landed back at the hotel, fully exhausted, with two sleeping kids. Ever try getting two sleeping kids and a stroller and backpack off a shuttle bus? Somehow I got stuck carrying Leif… I can barely lift him anymore, let alone carry him off a bus. AB did have Skadi, the backpack and the stroller though. Yeah, it was brutal. But we got them back to the hotel room with neither waking.

Then we crashed.

1 comment:

RAB said...

Great post! And you got some great photos too!

p.s. Glad to hear you did OK on the tea cups. I think ES took special pleasure in switching directions multiple times during the ride. I survived...(: