Monday, April 21, 2008

Disney Report, part whatever we're up to

Back to the Disney Report. Day two. The Magic Kingdom.

We got to the park entrance about 8:30 am. The park opening ceremony is one of my favorite things to see at Disneyworld. Even though the official opening time is 9:00 am, the opening ceremony takes place at 8:45 am so that guests can start filtering into the park. (The folks at Disney are geniuses at handling large crowds.)

The plan was to attack the biggest attractions first. So we headed to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and next to Splash Mountain, sans Fastpasses. Then we picked up Fastpasses for Splash Mountain so we could return later. I think we also hit Peter Pan and The Haunted Mansion before deciding we needed breakfast.

About the only place to really get breakfast is the bakery back on main street. As we approached, we saw a marching band headed down main street. I think it was prime weekend for all those high schools to hit Disneyworld. My first thought was "rats, this is going to slow us down". But they quickly passed by and we got bagels and cream cheese.

The rest of the morning is something of a blur. We did a fair amount of criss crossing back and forth across the parks. The only line we really stood in for any length of time was for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. But Buzz is a continuous-loading ride and I will wait in standby lines for continuous loading rides such as Buzz Lightyear, Peter Pan, and the Haunted Mansion. But only if the wait is 30 minutes or less.

It was around noon that we had a crisis. Julie got sunscreen in her eye and was in great discomfort. We did go to first aid where they supplied her with saline and a contact case, as well as a clean, cool private room where she could attempt to remedy her contact situation. The saline didn't help completely and after a couple more rides we decided we needed to return to our resort for additional contact lens products.

We didn't even have to wait for a bus and soon were back in our room where, much to our delight, we found a bouquet of balloons and a signed photograph of Snow White wishing us a happy birthday. Dave and Merle both denied having anything to do with it. I guess it's part of Disney magic.

With the contact lens restored, we headed back to the park and continued our frenetic zig-zagging from one side of the park to the other depending on wait times and fast pass availability. I don't recommend this approach for small children. I do recommend that if you have a group, you give one person all the park passes and send them on ahead to get fastpasses for the major attractions while the rest of the group works its way through the smaller attractions where wait times are more manageable.

You can count on a short wait for It's a Small World and Mickey's Philharmagic. And I would not miss either of those attractions. During the afternoon parade we were able to ride Splash Mountain again, sans fastpass. If you're not into parades, it's a great time to get in line for an attraction as the crowds are elsewhere.

For dinner we had reservations for Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary Resort. We got on the wrong monorail line at first, but, when we went to board the correct monorail, we were asked if we would like to sit in the front with the driver. Would we? Of course! We did have something of a sultry monorail driver, though. He was the only cast member who did not want to engage us in conversation.

Chef Mickey's was great. Lots of good food again, and we were personally visited by Mickey and the gang. We even got special birthday cupcakes. W00t!

After dinner, of course we headed back to the Magic Kingdom. It was open until midnight!! We rode the Jungle Cruise in the dark, which seemed to lose quite a bit of charm after the sun went down. And the wait time for Pirates of the Caribbean was only 10 minutes. But we literally walked right on the ride. I protested that the wait time was posted as 10 minutes but we didn't have to wait at all.

Since we opted not to watch the Spectromagic parade or the Wishes nighttime spectacular, we were able to revisit the big three "mountain" rides. We were starting to slow down, due to identical blisters forming on our feet and we were back in our resort room by midnight.

Stay tuned for day three, if you're still interested. Coming up -- the Animal Kingdom!

(Yes, I know I didn't link out to all the attractions. I'm tired. You know where to find them, at

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