Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Florida, Day 3: Magic Kingdom

Woke up in the Grand Cypress once again and boarded the hotel shuttle, this time for The Magic Kingdom.

The Magic Kingdom holds a special place in my heart, probably because it was the only park in existence the first time I experienced the magic back in June 1978. Since it's the oldest, it's also the one I've been to the most; three times not counting this trip.

We left the bus for the monorail that travels from bus parking to the main entrance plaza. We paralleled the train that transports the Disney characters to the plaza right at the park opening time for the last quarter mile or so, and it was as if they were all waving right at us, and us alone. Very cool. Entering the park about as early as possible, we "ran" the Disney Marathon, heading straight to Tomorrowland
to get a FastPass for Space Mountain later in the day.

Since there was no line, we rode Space Mountain first.

Tristan was a little apprehensive, as he's not sure how he feels about roller coasters, but he quickly changed his tune. Right after riding, we got FastPasses for later in the day when there would be crowds.

Now's a good place for me to say something about toting camera gear around Walt Disney World. I carried my Lowepro CompuDaypack with me the whole time, and there wasn't a thing I couldn't go on with my bag. That's not to say that I didn't wish I had something smaller. That backpack barely fit under the seat on Soarin', and also barely fit in the car with me on Space Mountain. If I were to do it again, I would've picked up the Lowepro Slingshot 200 AW. That would've held all I needed to take with me (camera body, two lenses, spare battery, memory cards, filters, hoods) and would've fit in the stowage spaces on most rides much easier.

After Space Mountain. . . who can remember. The Speedway, which was the only ride that Zoe at ~50" couldn't go on by herself,

followed by the Lilo & Stitch thing (which was "Mission to Mars" in 1978 and 1985, and "Extra Terrorestrial" in 1997")

followed by the Pixar thing, It's a Small World, Haunted Mansion, a parade, some lunch, a few more times on Space Mountain, Carousel of Progress (There's a great big beautiful tomorrow. . .)

hot Brazilian chicks,
Q: How many hot South American chicks are at Disney World? A: Four Brazilian

Swiss Family Robinson treehouse, Thunder Mountain (which Tristan also eventually warmed up to), Pirates of the Caribbean, more food,

another parade, and finally the fireworks. Phew!

We left when the park closed, and took the monorail back to the bus parking lot. I remember waiting in this exact same lot in 1978 with my Mom and Dad, and brothers Tom and Andy when some strangers gave us their unused ride tickets (each ride required a ticket back then) since they weren't returning to the park and we were. Amazing what sticks in your brain.

We took the shuttle back to the Grand Cypress. From there we walked to the Waffle House, since Nevada doesn't have one, and Jonas really wanted a Texas Cheesesteak. I guess maybe Waffle House to him is like In-N-Out to me, so I understand. Wanting to see what all the hub-bub was about, I got a Texas cheesesteak too. Not bad. The kids were beyond tired at this point, but pretty good sports.

We walked home and called it a night.


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