Our busy week at Disneyworld continued, as we headed to the Magic Kingdom via the ferry shuttle from Fort Wilderness. Our Fastpass rides were not until the afternoon, so we did our best to see as much as we could before meeting up with the rest of our party. This was our first daytime visit to the park, and it certainly had a different vibe than our nighttime visit.
There is a lot of construction going on around the park. You can see some green walls to the left, and there is a green box in the lower middle of the picture. Apparently that box is covering up a statute of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse. Some of the construction was recently finished, so we are looking forward to seeing the changes when we go back to the Magic Kingdom for a visit in March (trying to take advantage of our annual pass before we leave Florida!). You can also see a crane behind the castle, as they were taking down their Christmas decorations and doing a few minor repairs.
And it would not be Disney, without a huge parking area for strollers!
Or lots of balloons for sale!
Since we had seen the 3D film Captain EO at Epcot, Al and Karen recommended we see Mickey’s PhilharMagic, which is another 3D movie to get an idea of how far 3D technology has improved since the 1980’s. We loved the movie, and recommend this for all ages. The 3D technology is impressive, and the wait time for this attraction was only 10 minutes.
We wandered over to the Liberty Square section of the park, to view the replica of the Liberty Bell, and check out the Hall of Presidents, which contains artifacts from a number of former Presidents, as well the story of the United States, complete with Audio-Animatronic figures of every single President. It was a very informative and impressive display of the technology that Disney perfected back in the early 1970s.
After lunch, we met up with the rest of our group, and headed over to the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, for our first FastPass ride for the day. As far as roller-coasters go, this one is pretty mild, which made it a very enjoyable ride for me.
Next up was Splash Mountain, which you may want to use as one of your three FastPass options, as this can have a long stand-by waiting line. This is a log flume ride, so you will get a little wet, or in Al’s case, a lot wet! (he was in the front row of the ride!) These are some photos of our group, although not everyone went on the ride. And the young man in the front row with Al was not with us. And yes, I did put on my raincoat for the ride!
If you double-click, you can see the photos better. Dan and I are in the 2nd row, I have my hood up!
Al was pretty soaked, and Fred never lost his hat!
We had some time to kill before our next FastPass ride, so everyone headed out into different directions. Al, Karen, Dan and I went over to see how long the wait would be to get on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It was close to the 3:00pm daily parade, so there was not too many people in line, so we were able to see that attraction. Although we didn’t notice anything wrong on our boat ride (you won’t get wet on this one), Karen and Al commented that ‘things were not working right’ and after we exited the ride, we heard the announcement that the ride would be temporarily shut-down. So we will have to go back on this in March, to see what was not working.
We quickly headed over to Tomorrowlands, on the other side of the park, to go on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. This is another shooting arcade game, similar to Toy Story ride at Hollywood Studios, but it is not in 3D. We thought the Toy Story ride was better. There were several other attractions in the Tomorrowlands that we plan on seeing in our future visit. This is also the area that has Space Mountain, which is an indoor roller-coaster ride that has been around since 1975. We did not go on this, and maybe will consider it for a future visit….maybe if Dan can talk me into it!
We headed back over to the Liberty Square area for our last FastPass ride for the day, the Haunted Mansion. You sit in what they call a ‘doom buggy’, and go through various rooms in the mansion. Personally, I found this boring. There was a long wait to get on this, so I am glad we didn’t have to wait in line for this. But I have no interest in going back to this ride.
180 days before our visit today, Al’s sister Ginny set her alarm for 5:00am to make reservations at Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom. Apparently this is the most popular restaurant on Disney’s property, and very difficult to get into for dinner. Disney allows advance dining reservations up to 180 days ahead of your visit. So thanks Ginny for doing this! In preparation for this dinner, Karen loaned us a copy of her Beauty and the Beast DVD, so we would understand the story, and the various rooms in the Beast’s Castle. If you are going to dinner here, I would recommend seeing the movie as well. It does add to the experience.
The dinner was excellent, and we appreciated the fact that Disney knows you have been in the park all day, so there is no dress code for such a formal meal. Even though the Beast was all dressed up!
And here is our entire group: Fred, Al, Jim, Kathy, (Judy behind my head), myself, Sue, Denise, Bill, Karen, Patty, Dan and Ginny. We were happy to be ‘adopted’ into their family!
After an excellent meal, with our belly’s full, we headed back to the campground to make sure Makena’s belly was also full!
As with the other parks, there is really not enough time to see everything, unless you just run yourself ragged from the time the park opens until it closes. And since we already knew we would be back, we decided not to wear ourselves out (we did that enough at Amazon!)
Quote for the Day: “Life itself is the proper binge.” – Julia Child