Day 1: The Magic Kingdom

So, first day. We’ve mapped out our plan of attack for the Magic Kingdom (rides, lunch, etc.), have rejected the hotel’s $9 per person shuttle in favor of Disney’s own $12 a day parking (valid at any park once bought and valid all day so you can leave and come back), and are off bright and early.

We drive over to Disney on Rte. 4 and discover that our lunch plans at Downtown Disney are not feasible. Turns out ‘Downtown Disney’ is not so much downtown as it is a whole other park separate from the Magic Kingdom. Fine, we’ll deal. T. Rex will have to wait.

We arrive, park in the Pluto lot, take the shuttle to the ticket booths, get our tickets, jump on the monorail, walk to the entrance lines, arrive in Main Street USAand are already exhausted. We see Chip and Dale, which reinvigorates the boys and we are off to Tomorrowland. We pass the castle which both boys agree is awesome. But, I am quickly horrified to learn that Space Mountain is closed for the year. All I ever heard about Disney when I was growing up was about Space Mountain. But, we soon see a sign for the Monsters Inc. laugh-floor and my lamentations are ignored in favor of Mike Wazowski. It was a cute show. Jokes are aimed at the younger crowd with some subtle adult humor too. My dad was chosen as “that guy” that the characters repeatedly make fun of during the show. Lots of seamless audience interaction too which was impressive since most of the show is projected on a screen. The boys have now decided they like Disney.

Out into the heat and we begin the project of mapping every restroom in the Magic Kingdom.

That started, we head around the corner to Buzz Lightyear’s ride, simultaneously trying to prevent the boys from seeing the Lilo n’ Stitch ride they’re too short to go on (C sees it, but I am able to distract him). Buzz is a huge hit. An 8 foot tall animatronic Buzz greets you in line while your mission is displayed as if looking through a huge ViewMaster. We go to get in our respective space ships and I almost go flying through the air as the attendant has failed to mention that I am stepping onto a conveyor belt. At any rate, we board our vessels in twos and get ready for our mission. the ride is essentially a shooting gallery where you can “steer” (a/k/a rotate in wild circles) your ship and shoot at targets on Zurg’s minions as you wind through various scenes. The closer to the bullseye on the target, the more points your ship gets. K and C (mostly K) out do themselves. The boys declare the ride the greatest thing ever. Zurg is imprisoned and we have our pictures taken with him (except M who is incensed that the ride is over).

Next up is the Astro Orbiter and our first real wait in line for something. We wind our way to the front, ride the elevator up to the ride and get in. It is here I first learn of Disney disposition towards tall people. I barely fit in the car and my knees are being squeezed against the outside of the car opening. No matter, we are soon up in the air and spinning. This ride is also not for a) people who don’t like heights (you’re two stories above the park before the ride starts and then it take off higher) or b) people who get motion sick from spinning. Unlike Buzz, which you could control, this is a carousel ride and spin is all you do. K and my mom are a little green in the gills when we get off, so we go back down and agree to find lunch.

First oddity is soon discovered. Like a renaissance fair, Disney has a thing for turkey legs. The first place we find for food serves only smoked turkey legs. In Tomorrowland? Does Disney have some grim theory of the future for us where we’ll walk around gnawing on meat? Thankfully we find one of the many cafeterias (which have really good deals for kids meals) and settle in for some food and AC.

Refreshed, fed, watered and re-sunscreened, we head out for Mickey’s Toontown Fair. First up, The Barnstormer at Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm, The boys’ first rollercoaster and a great success. Next up, a visit to Mickey’s house where we explore all the rooms and head out the back to wander through Mickey’s garden and meet the master of the house himself.

Next stop, face painting! We paused just long enough for the boys to notice the tent and they were instantly sucked into its orbit. Our pleas to keep walking ignored, we headed in. We left with a tiger and a super-hero.

And now, the next piece of evidence of Disney’s dislike of tall people: the Tea Cups. It may be my fault, we did try to fit three adults and two kids in a single cup. Not the best idea. K opted out of another spin fest, but we had a blast.

It was now heading deeper into the afternoon and we decided to head out. We briefly stopped to attempt, but fail, to become the King of England. We meandered our way behind the castle (why, Disney, why is the smoking section right behind the castle?) and grabbed some balloons on our way out. No sooner had we made it back to the car than the skies opened up and poured. We happily drove away, tired, but roaring to come back tomorrow!

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