Monday, September 24, 2007

Disneyworld, part 4: Magic Kingdom - Rides, rides, rides.

Our last day at Disneyworld. And although I like the World Showcase the best, I think that the most fun we had was at the Magic Kingdom. My kids were so happy, meaning it was worth dragging them all the way down to Florida with us. We decided to focus on the rides that day, since MK has the highest concentration of kid-friendly rides. There are some shows as well but we opted to bypass those. I think the kids were really sick of shows and we were really sick of dealing with them being sick of shows. But we found more than enough rides to keep them happy. And the lines were short enough that almost everything we liked, we went on three times.

(Porter, look at the camera. PLEASE.)

Because of some promotion aimed at preschoolers - I guess, who else is visiting Disneyworld when school is in session - the Fantasyland section opened an hour early that day. At eight o'clock in the morning. Fortunately Porter got me up at 6:30 so we had no trouble making it to the park within a few minutes of its opening. Fantasyland has a lot of the rides we wanted to go on, anyway. We started off with Dumbo
which if you ask me, is slightly overrated. Unlike the dinosaurs at Animal Kingdom, each elephant only holds 2 people, so the line moves very slowly. And the line was long. I think everyone wants to go on Dumbo because it's tradition, not necessarily because it's mind-blowingly great. That was one of the longest lines we had (listen to me complain, it was still only a 10-15 minute wait) so we only went on it once.
Betsy liked the topiary, though.

The kids really, really liked the Winnie the Pooh ride. It's very closely based on that 'Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day' video we watched over and over when we were kids, complete with the very trippy Heffalumps and Woozles segment. The line for this ride moves pretty fast so we went on it twice in a row, and then once more right before we left the park.

Betsy and Porter particularly liked the ending because Piglet had a birthday cake.
Next up we went on the teacups. I think that's one ride that's more fun for adults than for children. We were pretty crammed with the four of us in one cup. (I think we could have split our party up, since they were running the ride half empty.) I kept yelling at the kids not to spin it too fast, because I didn't want anyone to puke, including myself. Still, Betsy thought it was cool to go in a life sized tea party.

After we had gone on most of the Fantasyland rides (and we caught the rest of them, like Peter Pan and Snow White, at the end of the day) it was only 9:00. The rest of the park was opening by then - except for Mickey's Toontown Fair, where there's a kiddie coaster we really wanted to try. However, we were also adjacent to Tomorrowland. Now, when I was obsessively planning out our days, I always figured we wouldn't have time to go to Tomorrowland (silly me) and I thought it wouldn't be worth it, since the kids couldn't go on Space Mountain anyway. But we once again found ourselves in the slightly surreal position of having time to kill since the lines were so short.

So, we went on the Buzz Lightyear ride. Can you guess how many times?

Buzz Lightyear's face is animated and it doesn't show up well in photos; that's why he looks like that. Actually Porter always calls him Ghost Lightyear (a combination of Buzz's name and the Ghostlight, which is one of the extras on the Cars DVD) and I think that in this case the description is apt. The ride is pretty sweet: if you've never been on it, it's actually interactive. Each ride vehicle has two space blasters, so you get to shoot at targets located all over the ride, and the vehicle keeps track of your score. (Holiday World has a 'turkey shoot' ride which is very similar, and which the kids also loved.) You can also work a joystick to make your car spin around, which is mostly what occupied Betsy. The ride is continuously loading (much like the Nemo thing at EPCOT) so it only took about twenty minutes to go on it three times, and on the last ride I finally beat Matt's score.
Here's Betsy with an alien. She's into aliens right now, for reasons I can't fathom.

It was still only 9:30 at that point, so we had more time to kill before we could go on the rollercoaster. We ended up going on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority - one of those completely overlooked attractions. It's just sort of a slow-moving train that cruises around the second level of Tomorrowland. But the ride does pass through Space Mountain, so at least I can say we went on Space Mountain, kind of.

It was finally 10:00 and time for Goofy's Barnstormer. Porter was too short for the kiddie coaster at Holiday World and he was just barely tall enough for this one. He's like 35 and no tenths inches tall (with shoes on). But he was really excited to go on his first roller coaster ride, even though it was broken. According to him. Despite the facial expression, Porter really did love the ride (we went on it once, and then we went on it again, and then we went on it a final time). And Betsy has learned the fine art of screaming on a roller coaster. She was really funny.

Our lunch reservation was at 1:00 so we still had some time to kill after the roller coaster. We were planning to go in 'It's A Small World' later, when the kids were really tired, but we also stopped in on our way over to the restaurant. I remember riding 'Small World' at Disneyland when I was 5, so we have to go mostly for nostalgia's sake. (I suspect that's why most people are there.) Betsy liked the dolls and singing along with the music; Porter liked the goat, the elephant, and the giraffe, all of which were broken.

I liked the short line, and the fact that it's very relaxing (plus air conditioned). And Matt... umm, tolerated the ride. Enough that we rode it two more times that day.

We had a delicious lunch at the Liberty Tree Tavern. The whole Liberty Square section is modeled after places like Colonial Williamsburg, and we actually visited Williamsburg in 2003. The Disney version is obviously more, well, Disney, but it was a fun trip down memory lane for us. And the kids got to have ice cream for dessert. I popped in the Christmas store after lunch and picked up an ornament - my usual souvenir from any trip. (Fortunately we don't travel that much, or I'd have to get a whole separate tree.)

We split up after that, because Matt and Betsy had FastPasses for Splash Mountain and Porter's too short. I took him on Pirates of the Caribbean, because he a pirate. Arrg!

The ride actually broke down shortly after we went on it (something actually was broken) so Matt never got to go on it. But I think Betsy wouldn't have liked the pirate ride. It's a lot like Small World, only scary. Porter actually didn't seem to notice: not just the scariness, he didn't notice the ride at all. (He did really like playing in the gift shop after, though.) I Think that was mainly because he was tired. Porter fell asleep while we were waiting for M & B to get back from Splash. He slept through Jungle Cruise,
he slept through the parade (now we will never know if Mickey Mouse was functioning correctly or not), he slept through the rain, and he slept through the delicious orange slushy the rest of us shared while we were waiting for the rain to stop. Sorry, buddy! He did wake up in time for the third trip on the Magic Carpets of Aladdin,
or as Betsy called it, the Jasmine ride. (Note: there was no Jasmine to be seen. She was extrapolating.) The magic carpets were very similar to the dinosaurs from the day before, complete with really short lines. Porter actually liked the ride a lot: he was mad when I took the picture because he had just woken up, bless his little heart.

We had gone on almost everything, and it wasn't even 5:00. (The park was open until 7 that day.) So we went back towards Fantasyland to hit the rest of the rides over there. Matt and Betsy went on Peter Pan because they had FastPasses. (That's one of those rides like Dumbo that has inexplicably long rides. It's similar to the Pooh ride but you don't see people standing in line for 45 minutes for Pooh. Huh.) I took Porter over to the Snow White ride which, despite being (marginally) princess-themed, she wouldn't have really liked. It was scary. As I was making our way back to the stroller, Porter spotted Cinderella's Golden Carousel.

Now, I hadn't planned on riding the carousel, because we can go on the one at the Children's Museum pretty much any time we want (we have a membership, so rides are free). Two things changed my mind: 1) There was practically no line, and 2) "MAYGWOUND!" That was Porter.

So we got in the line, but the ride was already going so we couldn't get on it right away. Do you think that sat well with Porter? No, it did not. He was full on, throwing himself on the ground, square-mouthed crying. We didn't have to wait very long before Porter was seated on his 'horshey' (at the museum, he usually rides on a giraffe; the Disney version only had horses, but he didn't seem to mind) and with still a slight wobble in his voice told me "Maygwound broken." He was one happy little boy, I tell you.

We went on the carousel one more time as a family after M & B came back, and then it started to rain again so we went and had dinner. We ate at the Pinocchio themed restaurant, which was cool because it overlooked the Small World ride. And once the rain let up a bit, we rode Winne the Pooh and Small World one last time (for a total of three). Usually I'm consumed with regret when I know my vacation is finally at an end, but really, we had done everything we'd planned to do. In triplicate. And we wanted to get in line for the bus back to our resort before 7:00 so we wouldn't have to wait as long. So, I shopped a little along Main Street as we were heading out, and we left by 6:45.

And that was that, really. It was an extremely satisfying day and the kids had a really great time. We took them back to the hotel so they could play with some of their new toys and have baths. I think we all went to sleep early that night.

1 witty remarks on "Disneyworld, part 4: Magic Kingdom - Rides, rides, rides."

fatty mcslowslow said...

Tourism epic
Hilariously charming.
Everything "broken."


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