Trip Report for July 7th and 8th - Day 1
Being annual passholders, my wife and I attempt to be on Disney property at least once a week, just so we can take some of the magic with us (you know, to make the week in the real world a little more bearable. :P) We love being there, but typically we fill in a marathon Saturday from 9am to midnight with park hopping. This week, however, I decided to supply the love of my life with a night on property.
My wife and I live down near the University of Central Florida, so we typically start our Disney excursions off with a quick breakfast (to go, of course) at the McDonalds near the Waterford Lakes shopping center (right past the 408 on Alafaya.) We've found this to be the best of the fast food places near us, and the service is always top notch. After that and a $ 1.25 in tolls, it was down I4 to Disney World!
At around 9:30, we parked at the TTC and hopped the resort monorail. We love the resort monorail, as it's typically much less crowded than the express, and truthfully, it lets us get a glimpse of the Polynesian, which is our favorite resort. The monorail was a bit slower than normal, it took us until about 9:55 until we actually got to the park - but it sure beat being crammed like sardines into the express train. http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/for...ies/smiley.gif
We got there and made a beeline for Pirates of the Caribbean, since this was the day of the grand reopening. When we made it to the line, it was stretched past the Jungle Cruise, and was almost to the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House. Immediately we began despairing, as this was almost a guarantee of at least a 2 hour wait. I'm very happy to say, however, that we were through the line and onto our boat within 45 minutes. (We came to find out later that the line ended up stretching all the way to Main Street - which absolutely baffles me.)
In short, and since I do not want to spoil it for anyone, the ride revisions are fantastic. The new audio is well done, and the animatronic Barbossa and the three Jack Spar...excuse me, Captain Jack Sparrows were so lifelike they were frightening. Be sure to listen to Jack at the closing scene - he has some great lines! Exiting the ride lead of course to the gift shop, which was absolutely overrun with people - needless to say, we didn't stick around very long. http://www.disneyworldtrivia.com/for...ies/smiley.gif
After this, we made our way to the Frontierland Mercantile, which is my new favorite place to buy pins. I think there were a grand total of 20 people in the store, as opposed to the at least 200 in the Pirates gift shop attempting to buy all manner of piratey goodness. I picked up three pins, including the Dead Mans Chest Opening Day and Ride Reopening limited edition pins. After this, we grabbed a bottle of water and two ice creams (Mickey Head on a Stick and a Nestle Crunch bar) and sat down on the rocking chairs in Frontier Land and relaxed for a bit.
We grabbed a FastPass for Peter Pan, watched Mickey's Philharmagic (Which I love), and then made our way to Tomorrow Land to ride the WEDWay PeopleMover. This is my favorite of the Tomorrow Land rides, it's just so relaxing...and you can't top the voice over of "NOW APPROACHING, WALT DISNEY'S CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS"...it's so Flash Gordon it's fantastic. We wandered about for a bit until it was time to cash in the Fast Pass, and we headed to Peter Pan.
It is my sad duty to report that this was the first time I'd ever ridden Peter Pan's Flight - and I'm absolutely offended with myself that I waited as long as I did to ride this marvelous attraction. This, I truly believe, is exactly what Walt had in mind when building the Magic Kingdom. This ride truly has not lost its charm and soul, and I cannot WAIT until I ride it again. I loved it!
Post Pan, we decided to head over to Cosmic Rays, and eat lunch. We also discovered this magical thing they call a 'Topping Bar' which included grilled onions, mushrooms, and cheese sauce for the fries. I was in heaven. After securing a table, the wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our burgers and split a carrot cake - we were also lucky enough to have a table offered to us by a fellow Red Sox fan who was just finishing lunch!
Around the time we polished off lunch, it was time to get out of the parks, as the sky looked literally pitch black - storm clouds were rolling in, and rough waters lied ahead, mateys. We hopped in the Corduroy Cruiser (our car) and headed off to the All Star Music.
On the drive there, the skies opened up the rains poured down. By the time we got to the All Star, there was at least an inch of water on the ground. We got there about an hour before we could actually check into our room, so we got all our information and farted around the gift shop, and then went and waited in the car since we could call in and get our room number at 3.
Well...this was the only bad part of the trip...we had to wait until almost 4 before we could get into our room. We were told, after the fact, that rooms are guaranteed to be ready between three and five, despite signage saying otherwise. It wasn't a big deal, but my wife had a baby shower to get to at 5, so it was a bit of a scramble for her by the time we got into the room.
I ended up meeting a very good friend of mine, who is now a Cast Member, at the Magic Kingdom, and we hit up a few more rides (WEDWay, Haunted Mansion) before he got to see Pirates for the first time. As big a fan as the two of us are of both Pirates and Depp, it was great to see that I wasn't the only one floored by how great the ride was.
We then did the Jungle Cruise, and had the most adorable skipper on our boat - a girl from Japan who was absolutely wonderful. She had some trouble with the english language, but I give her so much credit for trying as hard as she did and really making people laugh with her jokes. She even gave us an improptu Japanese lesson when we were delayed before getting to the docks. She was great!
Around 9:45, my wife got back to the park, and we ended up back on WEDWay, just as Wishes started up. We got to see the opening of the fireworks from the People Mover, and saw the rest as we beelined to get to the Haunted Mansion. It's really amazing seeing this beautiful fireworks show while travelling...it's overwhelming.
The Mansion was great, as always, and after that we decided to hit up the Pirates one last time to cap our day in a perfect way...it was such a good day at the parks. We ended up leaving at 11, just after it was announced that SpectroMagic was cancelled for the night due to the horrible weather the park experienced. I was soaked from head to toe, but had an amazing time at the World. However...sleep never felt so good when we got back to the resort.
Day 2 report (as small as it will be) to follow later today or tomorrow.