Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom

OK…back to vacation. Which was like a month ago now, but who cares.

As much fun as our first few days of Disney were, we were all looking SO forward to our Magic Kingdom day. Because Magic Kingdom and the castle (even if you’re a boy and don’t like princesses) is just the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Disney, right?

We got a pretty early start on our MK day, arriving at the park shortly after it opened. We knew we’d spend the whole day there doing all we could, and that we likely wouldn’t be returning. In retrospect, as I look at all the rides we missed, it makes me a little sad, but we really packed our day as full as we could, especially considering we had an at least 90-minute rain delay in the middle of the day, where all rides were shut down due to lightning. Nothing you can do about that.

We were able to FastPass a few things that day, and we really felt that our agent’s traffic-patterns recommendations (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, read about us using a Disney travel agent here) helped us pick our MK day well. It was definitely busy, but lines just weren’t that bad anywhere in the park.

Here’s a breakdown of what we did that day:
Mickey’s Philharmagic (20-minute 3D movie): boys and I went first thing in the morning while Matt went to get a FastPass. It was cute, and would be good to see midday when you’re hot and need some A/C, but in the morning, we were able to walk right in, which I knew we wouldn’t be able to do later in the day.
Haunted Mansion: everyone liked fine. I was surprised that no one thought it was scary!
Splash Mountain: definitely the family favorite at this park! We rode this again later in the day.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: while I could have ridden this (I really don’t like roller coasters of any kind, at all), I was happy to run and get a FastPass and leave this to the boys. They all loved it! Even Jack Henry! They ended up riding it a second time later in the day.
Jungle Cruise: meh. Boring.
Pirates of the Caribbean: entertaining, and we literally walked right on the ride with no waiting, but this is a once-and-done kind of ride. (The Jack-Sparrow-lookalike outside the ride doing a little show was pretty good, though!)
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin: we had high hopes for this, knowing how awesome Toy Story Mania is at Hollywood Studios. Fun, but not nearly as cool. However, Buzz was doing a meet-and-greet right outside the ride, so that was really fun for the boys.
Space Mountain: if only Jack Henry would have been tall enough to ride this! Matt, Luke and Bennett rode it, and then later, rode it again. Definitely a highlight for them!
Tomorrowland Motor Speedway: again, meh. Not that great.
Astro Orbiter: so, while I knew that the Spinning Tea Cups were out for me (I would certainly throw up, which is crazy – spinning rides TOTALLY used to be my thing!), I thought this one would be fine. Um, wrong. You take an elevator up to the ride, and then sit in these rocket ships that spin around the center (think carousel-style, but, of course, much faster) and then go up and down as you control them. I walked off this ride with a horrendous headache, and later had to track down Advil at a gift shop…it was insanely expensive, but I seriously would have given blood to get those pills. I’m so fun.
Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor Comedy Show: Hilarious! Highly recommended. They really do a great job with this.
Tomorrowland People Mover: not exciting, but a good sit-down break in the heat.
Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse: fun little walk-through, since we love the movie
Tom Sawyer’s Island: it was ok. The boys thought it was fun, but I was hungry and had a little bit of a bad attitude at this stop. To me, this is a miss if you’re short on time.

We were so bummed that Goofy’s Barnstormer was closed during the period of time we went over to ride it – not sure what was going on, but I know that the boys would have enjoyed it! I’m also bummed that we didn’t do It’s a Small World, just because it’s a classic. But oh well…

We did get to see the Electrical Light Parade, and I swear it’s unchanged from when I first saw it in 1990 when I first went to Disney World. We had a great spot to watch them from, and then hightailed it over to our predetermined spot for the Wishes nighttime show. This was easily my favorite: the light show on the castle is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen, and then, of course, there’s Tinkerbell flying over the castle, and the phenomenal fireworks show. Honestly, I had tears in my eyes more than once during this…partly, I’m sure, from exhaustion, but mostly from how awesome and fun it was to share this with my family.

This video doesn’t do it justice, but here’s a little peak at the light show they do on the castle now…

It was a long, fun day…I think we got on a bus to head back to The Boardwalk at after 10:30pm.

5 responses to “Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom

  1. The Walt/Mickey statue in front of the castle is my all time favorite spot and get a pic there every year! Jared stayed clear of there last Sept. knowing that was my #1 spot for a proposal. He bought the ring a month later, stinker!

  2. I am looking forward to referring back to your blog spot for this information when I am planning our trip to Disney. First goal: Pay off debt – Thanks Dave Ramsey. Second goal: Save 6 months emergency fund while saving for this trip because I will be paying cash for it! YAY! Thank you for all of the links, tips and planning my trip! LOL. I am glad you had fun. It looks like it was a true success!

  3. Reading this just makes me so sad that I have so little recollection of our trip w/ the kids (I’m thinking ’89 but would have to go find pics to make sure). And, of course, back in the pre-digital camera days, I took a miniscule number of photos, compared to what I’d be able to take today! When we’re all up at the lake later this month, I’ll have to ask M, H, & A what they all remember–I’m hoping it’s way more than I do. Having your blog & all your pictures is such a treasure!

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