Day Five: The Magic Kingdom Redux

Before returning to the Magic Kingdom for our last day of fun, we stopped at Downtown Disney, a huge shopping/dining complex in the middle of all the resorts. There the kids saw more characters than we ever saw in the actual parks (although it’s true these were not animate, and some were made of Legos):

After some serious shopping, we headed on to the park. This time, at Mallory’s suggestion, we rode the ferryboat to the gates instead of the monorail. We all agreed that it was a far superior way to ride:

It was, by some stroke of fortune, only in the mid-80s on this day – and it turned out to be the best day we had. Being only moderately hot and sweaty, instead of miserably so, does wonders for one’s attitude (especially Phoebe’s attitude). We got off the ferry, then immediately hopped on the Walt Disney World steam engine for an express ride to Toontown, where we visited Mickey’s house and garden (adorable!):

And then Minnie’s house and garden (also adorable!):

Next to the Mouse houses was a big tent where you could stand in line to get autographs and photos with the characters…but we’d already done that, so we moved on to Goofy’s rollercoaster. This was another stand-in-line-for-twenty-minutes-for-a-thirty-second-ride kind of ride, but it was fun:

Next up, Tomorrowland! We stopped first at the Speedway, a ride wherein small children give their parents whiplash.

Next up, Buzz Rider’s Space Ranger Spin, which was similar to the wonderful Toy Story ride at DHS – you spin around and shoot things with your laser gun. It wasn’t quite as fun, but it was full of Little Green Men. I love the Little Green Men:

Then we saw Tomorrowland’s famous robotic storks:

Just kidding! It was a real bird! And it flew off with an abrupt flourish after I took this picture, which scared me quite a lot.

We were thisclose to Space Mountain, but the line was over an hour, so we went instead to Stitch’s Great Escape, another very cute show – although this one was also very loud, and sometimes completely dark, so I’m not sure if the kids liked it was much as some of the others. We got sprinkled with water in this one too (a common theme of all the shows, as though Disney is trying to make amends for building their park in the hottest place on earth), but we were led to believe that it was Stitch sneezing on us. The kids found this amusing.

Almost all the rides and shows exit into a gift shop, of course. We did not buy this hat:

We went out to find a dance party going on, led by Space Goofy, Space Pluto, and Stitch.

Phoebe boogied on down:

Mallory ended up getting a hug from Stitch, and Phoebe ended up telling the emcee that it was her birthday, but I can’t find those photos. So close your eyes and just imagine those things. It’s Disney, after all.

Next we went back to Fantasyland, because the kids wanted to ride Peter Pan again. Alas, the line was too long. We settled for It’s a Small World again, and then Snow White’s Scary Adventure. Which was really quite scary – not great for small children. The witch was around every corner:

But there was also Dopey:

And kissing (“Ewww!” said my children, when this came into view):

The mine carts for this ride, by the way, each bore the name of one of the dwarfs. “I hope we get Dopey!” Phoebe said before we boarded; in fact, we got “Sneezy,” (appropriate, with all the allergies betwixt the girls and Chris) while Chris’s parents ended up on “Grumpy.”

We went back to Tomorrowland to check on Space Mountain. Broken! It was broken! This happened when my family went to Disneyland, way back in the 80s, as well. Phoebe was bitterly disappointed; Mallory was relieved. Instead we hopped on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, which is a tram that tours through all the Tomorrowland rides and attractions. This turned out to be Mallory and Phoebe’s favorite thing, weirdly enough. There was no wait, which was a big plus, and it was just zippy enough, with enough sudden swerves, to make it kind of fun. Still – my kids are weird. The tram does go through a section of Space Mountain, and you can hear the screams and the ratcheting of the cars (must have been on an audio loop, since the actual thing was broken) – and that’s when Phoebe said, “You know, I don’t think I want to ride Space Mountain after all.”

After the tram, we went to our final show, the Monsters Incorporated Laugh Floor. And we laughed.

By then it was getting late – too late, in fact, for us to find a good spot to watch the night parade and fireworks. We should’ve left then, to beat the rush to the parking lot, but the kids didn’t want to go. They wanted to ride the tram again. So we did.

And then they wanted to ride it one more time, so we did.

And then they wanted to do the Buzz Lightyear ride again, so we did. (It’s Disney World! And it was our last day. You think I was going to say no?)

When we exited Buzz, the fireworks had begun. We had an adequate view; and then we had a heck of a time getting out of the park when it was over. The crush of people! The horror! The humanity! I had a child in each hand and told the other grownups in our party: “I will not let go of the kids. If any of us get separated, remember – we’re parked in Donald 23.” We managed to not get separated, after all; Chris had to carry Phoebe part of the way, because she just gave out; he finally had to pass her to his dad:

And then we found our car, and then we went back to the hotel, and that was the end of one of the best weeks of our lives.

Honestly – it was a great vacation. I remember the heat, of course, and the standing in line and the maddening logistical problems of getting from here to there – but mostly I remember how much fun we had. And that’s all my kids remember, which makes the whole thing more than worthwhile. They keep saying they want to go back. They’re not the only one.


aimee said...

It makes me want to go so badly! It does sound like the best vacation ever.

Chris said...

You forgot we rode the steam locomotive around the park into Toon Town...that was fun. We also did The Haunted Mansion a couple more times too. And we saw the fireworks finale with Tinkerbell flying down from the castle.