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Disney Insanecation – Day 3 – Kingdom of Magic

We all got up far too early again, but I had had a much better sleep the night before so it didn’t really bother me as much.  We all ate just whatever was lying around for breakfast and headed out the door.  I was excited because today was Magic Kingdom day!  When I was last at Disney, the only parks we did (I don’t even know if the other two even existed yet) were Magic Kingdom and Epcot.  So I was ready for a return to my childhood.  I couldn’t wait to ride Pirates and the Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain!  I was even excited to see the Hall of Presidents, even though when I was little it bored me to death and all I really remember was having to stand up and listen to a bunch of boring stuff.

We all boarded the bus and headed off.  It was still a pretty nice day ahead, not too hot and not too humid (especially for Florida weather).  When we pulled up to Magic Kingdom, so much came rushing back to me.  I must admit, I cried a little throughout the day.  It brought back so many good memories of being there with my parents that it was kind of difficult to move on.  Although, I’m not the only one who was having an issue.

The day before, my MIL walked the entirety of the day under her own steam.  Now, for anyone else this wouldn’t be a problem, but she has rheumatoid arthritis and so today she was paying for the day before.  She kept up her brave face, but the family didn’t want to see her suffer so they made her get in one of the motorized wheelchairs.  She was not best pleased.  Figment kept poking at her about it (he never does know when to leave well enough alone) and I told him to just shut up and let her be, she’d get used to it and be fine (which she did and she was).  We all knew she’d be happier and be able to enjoy it more if she didn’t have to worry about being in pain all the time.   We were right.

After that mess, Figment and the brother and father and I headed off to hit Space Mountain before it got too crowded while the nephew, mom, and sister went off to Fantasyland.  Space Mountain was my first real roller coaster and was one of my dad’s favorite parts of Disney.  As we had gotten there not too long after the park had opened, we were in luck and the line was minimal.  I must admit, I don’t remember it being so jerky, but that’s probably because it was my very first roller coaster and I didn’t know any better and because I had been on Rock & Roll just the day before and it was such a smooth ride.  In any case, it was just as I remembered it was.

Next we all wandered off to Frontierland to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain.  And the HAUNTED MANSION!  I was so excited.  When my parents and I would go to Disney, we’d spend an entire week doing just the two parks, so there was a lot of meandering and doing things slowly.  My dad didn’t come out with us every day, he was a barfly back then so he’d spend quite a bit of time napping or hanging out in the bar on the top floor of the Contemporary Resort.  The Haunted Mansion and Pirates were one of the few things I really remember us doing all together as a family.  (Except Epcot.  My dad ALWAYS went to Epcot.)  And it was just as I remembered, only better obviously because clearly technology has gotten better.

Then we took the nephew on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad since he hadn’t done it the first time and then had lunch.  I was totally in the mood for chicken nuggets, and I have to say Disney does an excellent nugget.  Actual chicken!  After lunch we headed over to Adventureland for the Jungle Cruise.  Then there was the disaster where we went to ride Pirates (which was one of the few things on my own personal MUST DO list).  All I have to say is at least he didn’t do any screaming or carrying on, but it was a disaster none the less.

Then we got on the train that runs around the park.  Figment and I got off at Main Street while the rest of the fam went back around because Mom’s chair couldn’t make the journey on the train and they wanted to take the nephew to Tom Sawyer’s Island.  Figment and I went off and saw Buzz Lightyear (where the FastPass guy gave us the only bad experience of the entire trip), Stitch’s Great Escape, the People Mover, the Carousel of Progress (which for some reason I confused with Spaceship Earth), and the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor.  Monsters Inc. wasn’t like anything I’d ever seen at Disney.  It was absolutely hilarious and I have no idea how they do it but I completely recommend it.

After we had done all that, we met back up at the front of Magic Kingdom because it was time to go to dinner.  So we went and got on the boat to take us to Wilderness Lodge to the Whispering Canyon Cafe.  At this point, we were all hungry and tired so dinner was looking great to us anywhere, but Wilderness Lodge was absolutely gorgeous and the food was delicious.  I had a mango smoothie and the trout and a fruit plate for dessert.  The men all had the all you can eat meat plate.

Now, if you’ve never been to Whispering Canyon Cafe, you wouldn’t know that the name is completely bogus.  There is no whispering there.  The waitresses are all crazy funny, and when the brother asked for more tea, the waitress brought him out a mason jar the size of his head full of tea.  She told him if he finished that one he could have more.  And god forbid you should ask for ketchup.  Oh man.  We had just sat down when all the sudden we hear from a table at the back “WEEEE NEEEEEDDDD KETCHUPPPPPPP!”  Apparently, if you ask for ketchup, you get it but you have to yell for it.  And people all over the restaurant bring you theirs.  Literally.  So you end up with 10-15 bottles of ketchup on your table until it’s time for the next person to need ketchup then you have to take all your bottles to their table.  Figment tried to swipe one off another table in order to not do this, but our waitress caught him.  It was hilarious.

After dinner, we got back on the boat.  Figment and I decided we wanted to go back to Magic Kingdom and do some more things, like I really wanted to go to the Presidents and hadn’t gotten there yet (and I didn’t know if we’d have time to go back later).  Everyone else headed back to the hotel.  We ended up doing basically everything that was left to do in the Magic Kingdom.

We started off at Presidents which had become amazingly impressive compared to what was there in the 80s.  I mean, you can’t go wrong if your show is narrated by Morgan Freeman.  When it first started it was a movie and all I could think of was, “Where in blazes are the animatronic presidents!?”  Well, soon my question was answered in true Disney fashion.  The curtain went up and there was Lincoln.  Now, when I was little they just kind of stood there.  Now?  They stand up and sit back down and are so realistic it’s scary.  And then at the end, the entire screen goes up and there they all are, including Barack Obama!

I found it all very exciting.  Morgan Freeman’s God voice introduced all the presidents in order, and shone a light on each of them as they were named.  Barack Obama was so realistic that his gaze followed the introduced presidents and even had shifts in his body weight.  I was really blown away.  It was so much more than I ever expected!

At this point we went back outside and I wanted to go through Cinderella’s castle, but they had it all blocked off.  I was annoyed until I found it it was for the fireworks show!  Since it was already pretty late, we decided to just go ahead and stay for the fireworks as I couldn’t remember them anyway.  In the meantime, we rode Winnie the Pooh, where Figment realized that’s where I got the words heffalumps and woozles from.  (It’s what we call the cats.)  And then we visited the carousel, even though we didn’t ride it, and avoided It’s a Small World like the plague.   (I rode it as a child, and the song is still stuck in my head.)And since we still had a little more time to kill we went and watched Mickey’s PhilharMagic.  It was amazing, and I’m not a fan of 3D.  (Mostly because my eyes don’t work well with the glasses so I have to perch them on the very end of my nose in order to see everything.)  It was AMAZING.  They pipe in smells and you get spritzed with water and puffs of air.  I was glad we randomly wandered in.  Then we walked as quickly as possible to the front gates to watch the fireworks.

Now, I love fireworks, but I hate crowds and getting stuck in traffic.  (I love fireworks so much that I’ll brave both frigid and sweltering temperatures to get a good view.)  So we decided that since you can see the fireworks from anywhere in the entire park that we would see them from the front so we could exit fast quick and in a hurry afterwords.  It was GLORIOUS!  Unfortunately, I suck at nighttime pictures.  I’m too shaky to make anything not blurry, but I try anyway and amazingly enough I got a few decent ones.  I have to admit, I cried a little during the show.  Huge displays have a way of doing that to me, and it had been a rough day emotionally but oh so worth it.