Nuggets of Wisdom

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Disney Sunday: My Magic Kingdom Visit

I've lived in Florida for more than ten years now. My folks and I live only an hour away from Disney World. And yet, since we've moved down here, we've only visited the parks twice. That’s since changed last week, when my folks and I purchased annual passes.

The only downside to these passes is that you can’t really visit anytime you want. We can visit anytime except for weekends, most of July, and major holidays like Christmas. But otherwise, we have access to all four parks.

We were originally going to visit Epcot (my favorite park), then Hollywood Studios, and then finally we settled on the Magic Kingdom. It’s still as amazing as I remembered it, perhaps even more so now that they have the New Fantasyland expansion.

Obviously, we didn't ride every ride while we were there, but I think the best part about having annual passes is not having to worry about seeing everything. You get to see what you want at your own pace, and if you don’t get to see everything, you can come back the next time.

For this Disney Sunday, I wanted to share with you my experience at the Magic Kingdom park with photos and casual observations of the rides I went on:

Carousel of Progress: This ride first opened in the New York World’s Fair in 1964 before moving to Disneyland in 1967 and later to Disney World in 1971. This is an old ride is what I’m saying. I say that because I can certainly hear that from the gears squeaking from the audio-animatronics. It’s still one of my favorite rides in the park.

Tomorrowland Transit Authority: I kid you not: I could spend the entire day riding this ride at the Magic Kingdom. Sure, it’s by no means a thrilling ride, but how many other rides allow you take a tour of the other rides at the park? It’s leisurely entertaining is all I’m saying.

County Bears Jamboree: Say what you want about this ride, but even if you consider it to be cornier than a fresh s*** after a corn on the cob binge, you have to admit that watching this attraction seven times in a row would be far more entertaining that watching the live-action movie adaptation even once! Agree?

Gaston's Tavern: My folks and I stopped by for a taste of LeFeau’s Brew, a frozen drink that’s almost like frozen apple cider with a roasted marshmallow whipped topping. It's not Butterbeer, but it was still very tasty and refreshing.

Rapunzel's Pavilion: Cinderella gets her own castle. Snow White gets her own roller coaster. Ariel gets her own ride. And Rapunzel…gets her own restroom pavilion. Yes, you read that correctly: There’s a Rapunzel restroom area in Fantasyland. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great looking restroom area, but in the end, it’s still a place to go poop. Really loses all the fantasy when you think about it.

Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean: These two dark rides were darker than I remembered. By “dark”, I don’t mean “scary”, I mean “I couldn’t see a darn thing it was so dark.” I kid you not, I’ve watched videos on YouTube that provided a clearer view of these rides than actually riding them had. It was still awesome to ride them, though.

Stitch's Great Escape: I know there are plenty of die-hard Disney fans who are upset that this ride is nothing more than a kiddy-fied version of the original “Alien Encounter”, but as someone who rode the original attraction at the ripe age of eight-years-old—and nearly pooped his pants in sheer terror—I can attest that the “new” version is much more fitting. Yes, the original version was one of the more “hardcore” rides in the Magic Kingdom, but it was simply too “hardcore” for the park, and at least the new Stitch ride is Disney-related.

Space Mountain: This was the only ride in the park that I needed to get a FastPass for. The regular waiting time was 70 minutes. Either way, it was worth the wait. The entire ride, save for the light tunnel, is pitch black. There's literally no earthly way of knowing which direction you are turning, and that makes the ride all the more thrilling. How come no other theme parks have considered setting their roller coasters indoors in the dark like this? It would seem so easy to emulate.