Sunday, December 21, 2008

DISNEY: Magic Magic

I headed to the parks this time because I was on holiday from work and I wanted to have that bit of magic towards the start. I was hankering for some Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Haunted Mansion, plus it's been a while since I've been on Pirates. I hardly did anything the last time I was at the Magic Kingdom when I got a real late start, so I went there first thing in the morning.

I was sporting my dark plaid shorts, my orange goofy challenge jacket, and a Santa hat, with Stitch tucked in my cleavage. I felt good for the early and quick start. I got to the TTC a few minutes before 9am and was in MK a few minutes after. At the front end of Main Street, I saw the Omnibus loading, so I got on and climbed to the 2nd level. The ride was something different and set a good pace. The Taiwanese girl beside me started talking with me, which was a nice surprise, and that started a wonderful, amazingly personable visit.

We all got off at the hub, and I headed to Space Mountain per the plan. I grabbed a FP for it then headed in (less than the 20 mins posted). I rode the alpha track, and it was really good -- smooth, Quiet, dark, and peaceful.

Next, I started counter-clockwise towards Splash Mountain. I considered stoppingn in Fantasyland to "try for a dream" but decided not to push my luck and risk disappointment, so I continued on. Upon reaching Liberty Square, I detoured onto the Haunted Mansion since it was on the list. There was no line to get in, but after the stretching room, we saw that doombuggies weren't moving. Thankfully, the crowd wasn't restless though one mother had to tell her son "Hush now, Mama loves you" -- and I couldn't help but smile. It was maybe 5 minutes before they were running again, but no bother. The ride did stop for a couple minutes while I was with the hitch-hiking ghosts, adn that provided some extra time with Phinneas.

After Haunted, I continued onto Frontierland and considered doing BTM, but seeing people walking back on the queue signaled that the attraction had just gone down, so no distraction there; I was riding Splash. The family in line behind me (from Pennsylvania) was great to talk to. The grandmother was so energetic and positive. The ride was as I hoped -- classic and charming. I rode with another family, and they were also a hoot. After the big drop, the little boy asked his dad if he got wet, and the dad told him "I didn't get much wet, but I did pee myself a little." (Ha!). I like the funny fathers.

Well, the list goes on, and Pirates was next. I took a pic of Stitch in the queue, which prompted a conversation with a family from Atlanta about Flat Stanleys and annual passes to theme parks, so there was more positive reinforcement (in the social sense). The ride was also good -- no rogue flash photographers.

By then, it was time to redeem my Space Mountain FP, so it was back to Tomorrowland. I rode Alpha again but in a louder rocket -- fine though because it was another smooth ride. Next, I jumped onto the TTA. There was a CD in the next car over (niiice), but I more took the ride as an opportunity to relax.

Dream Along With Mickey had just started in front of the castle, and I went to go see if my favorite dancer was performing -- he wasn't -- so I headed over to Adventureland to pick up a FP for Jungle Cruise (one hour to kill). I went shopping (a lot was on sale -- 50% off All Christmas Hats, Tree Skirts, Stockings and Ornaments, and All Red Boxed Jewelry and Timepieces -- 40% off All Baseball Hats, Beach Towels, T-Shirts, and Mugs) and found a panda shirt for my little sister.

I somehow ended up in Liberty Square and saw people lining the streets. It was almost noon, and yep, time for a parade. I had no problem finding a small front-row spot near the Liberty Bell in front of a popcorn vendor (mmm...). And the parade was quite refreshing.

Afterwards, I went to redeem my Jungle Cruise FP, and omg, I had the best JC captain ever, Doug from Beverly Hills. He was Totally family, and quick, witty, sassy... and he had some fresh material -- all of which kept me in stitches the entire time. My favorite part was probably his ragging on the Hall of Presidents, which is under refurb, then saying how he was really the Obama animatronic ("My parents are so proud... of my sister").

That was the super high note that I wanted to leave on, so I headed out. I took a small boat to the Polynesian to check out their holiday displays. They had a working chocolate monorail one year; this year they had a few gingerbread houses. I also did more shopping, picking up three mugs and four holiday totes, which were an awesome deal!

From there, I just walked back to the TTC since taking the resort monorail would mean a near-entire circuit of the Seven Seas Lagoon. I probably should've headed into town then, but being in the shopping mood, there was a specific t-shirt at Epcot that I knew that I wanted, so I drove over to pick that up.

From the Epcot parking lot, I quickly felt a change of moods. I went in and first thing picked up a green Epcot 25th anniversary shirt from Gateway Gifts, then headed deeper into FW with the thought that LWTL would be a quick-and-easy attraction. The crowds were heavy at the Land Pavilion and there was about a 15 minute wait, which would typically be exciting for me (good for this attraction) but everyone just seemed tired and cranky. And I suddenly felt that it was probably not worth it. Afterwards, I nixed the idea of trying for JII, and just headed out.

The difference between the visit to Magic Kingdom and the visit to Epcot was quite stark but the visit to MK was just so fantastic, and the completed shopping made the visits successful. The magic moment(s) for me today would be the rides, but especially the Jungle Cruise for Doug's awesome tour. I did find the magic at the parks today.

Pictures are below after the itinerary:
Here's what I did this visit:

8:50am TTC (PLUTO 15)

- Omnibus to Hub
- Space Mountain (alpha, nice & quiet)
- Haunted Mansion ("Hush now, Mama loves you")
- Splash Mountain ("I didn't get much wet, but I did pee myself a little")
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Space Mountain (FP, alpha again)
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority
- Agrabah Bazaar (bought "Hanging Wit' My Boo" shirt)
- Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas Parade
- Jungle Cruise (Doug, Best Captain Ever)
- Emporium (to look around, nothing)

- Trader Jack's (bought 3 mugs and 4 xmas totes)

WALKED back to TTC


- Gateway Gifts (bought green Epcot shirt)
- Guest Services (left positive comment for Doug)
- Living With The Land (15 mins)


Scaffolding is down off BLT
The Omnibus and both ends of Main Street
Oh my. (Team Inappropriate Shorts?)
Parade Time :)
Chip 'n Dale snowball fight
Very colorful but kinda scary
"If a crowd applauds and there's no supervisor to hear it...
did it really happen?" (ha!)

Kawaiaha'o Church at Poly
Stay Hydrated, Stay Sane
Happy Holiday from Rosemary at LWTL

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