Today was Magic Kingdom Day. It was OK, but we’re very tired!
We forewent scheduled breakfast and decided to “wing it” in the Magic Kingdom. Having an early FastPass reservation for Thunder Mountain, we walked in the entrance and went straight up to the train platform–a shortcut to Frontierland exiting right next to the ride. It being so early, there was only one train running and we JUST missed it. It would be half an hour before it returned. On our way there we stopped in Starbucks and got breakfast. We also got notified that the ride was closed and our Fastpass was now good for any of the other rides in the area, anytime that day with no reservation required.
We went to the Haunted Mansion, then It’s A Small World (again for me and Brady!), Splash Mountain, Tom Sawyer Island, A ride around th park on the WDW Railroad, Space Mountain, Carousel Of Progress (at Kyle’s request), the Wedway Peoplemover, lunch with Winnie the Pooh and Friends at the Crystal Palace, the Swiss Family Treehouse, The Enchanted Tiki Room, The Hall of Presidents, and finally (after 4 tries) the Liberty Square Riverboat. After all that, we were pooped and bored and so returned to the hotel. Amanda and I availed ourselves of the pool facilities. Brady had actually returned earlier, nursing a sore stomach. We had dinner at the Contempo Café in our hotel and Amanda and I left the boys to return to the Magic Kingdom to see the Main Street Electrical Parade, “Celebrate The Magic,” and Wishes Nighttime Spectacular (fireworks).
I’ll have another post soon on the folly of my expectations for aspects of this trip, which clearly were unreasonable; but there were a few things today that were disappointing. Today was the only day with “bad” weather. It’s very interesting to see what happens to this place at the mere HINT of lightning. RIdes close down (like the Jungle Cruise). The street vendors from whom you all of a sudden have a nasty craving for a bottle of water or Coke are suddenly nowhere to be seen. The damned Liberty Belle leaves every half hour, SHARP. If you are 3 seconds late, too bad. Now, I applaud punctuality. But when the attendant looks right at me from the boarding ramp as I shout from the gate, “room for one more?!” and ignores me instead of politely, but firmly informing me, “No, I’m sorry, sir!” I get annoyed. Chef Mickey’s, a venue that takes walk-ins for buffet-style breakfast with cartoon characters inexplicably transforms at the end of the day into a hyper-exclusive hot-spot that is booked solid 6 months in advance for dinner. The…I guess I’ll have to call him the Maitre’d…will not only tell you this, he’ll barely contain his contempt as he sneers the information at you. There are 5 elevators in the Contemprary Resort. They dont tell you this, but I was able to deduce that at dinner time they commandeer two of the elevators for express/direct service between the conference center on the second floor and the rooftop restaurant. This makes for a LOT of disgruntled people on the 4th floor (the “hub” of the hotel) who see these two elevators blowing right past floor 4, despite the “up” and “down” buttons being pressed.
If I haven’t said it already, the food everywhere here is amazing. We have not had a bad food experience yet. Staff, presentation, quality–all get top marks! The Electrical Parade hasn’t changed much. But the “Celebrate the Magic” presentation on the face of Cinderella’s Castle defies description. And the “Wishes” fireworks presentation sure makes a hell of a lot more sense from in FRONT of the castle than it did while standing in the middle of Fantasyland behind it, looking up somewhat bewildered (which is where I was on Sunday night). The show is well-choreographed, but has to be seen from in front of the castle to be properly appreciated.
Our shuttle to the airport leaves at 12:20 P. M. tomorrow. We have all morning to do “one last thing” if we want. I think we’re going to take the Jungle Cruise and Big Thunder Mountain Railway!