(I apologize again for the picture overload….I’m a photographer…I express my words better through images! You also might want to get a bowl of popcorn and a beverage…this could take a while!)
Day 4 – Magic Kingdom!
I love Magic Kingdom! It’s my favorite park of all of them. This park really is magical! I think it’s more magical to me because it truly was a park that Walt Disney himself created, even though he never lived to see it finished. There are touches all around of Walt—from the perspective he required of all buildings (bricks are larger toward the bottom, and get smaller as you go to the top—it makes it appear that the building is actually taller than it is!) to the fact that most of the store windows are designed so that children can see in them without being lifted up! Who doesn’t get a thrill when you walk down Main Street USA and see this….?
Our day at Magic Kingdom didn’t start as soon as I would have liked. We were a little tired and overslept. I was not happy! I really like to see the opening of Magic Kingdom. The Cast Members do a nice little opening number that includes Mickey Mouse, welcoming you to his park! We arrived just as this got over and they opened the front gates. As per my usual recommendations, I headed straight back to the new Fantasyland, where I was planning on getting in line for the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride, but when I got there at 9:22am (the park had opened at 9am), the line was already 120 minutes long! Yikes! Not a good way to start out the day! Since I had a FastPass for it later in the day, I opted to hop in line to ride Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid ride. This was a new ride since we came last, and since the line was almost non-existent, I decided to check it out. Disney really does a great job of keeping your eyes busy while waiting inline queues, and Under the Sea did not disappoint! The ride was very much like Nemo at Epcot, but it was cool and such a cute little ride.
After checking my handy-dandy touringplans.com Wait Time app, I decided Big Thunder Mtn. Railroad was my next stop! On my way, I ran into my brother and his family, who also just happened to be heading to BTMRR. After a short time in line, we boarded the ride. This is another ride that has some amazing details in the line queue. Be sure to check them out next time you’re in line! Last time we were at WDW, I made several attempts to ride BTMRR, but for some reason, it was always broken down, or broke down, while I was in line! I love this ride! It’s probably one of my all-time favorites!
After BTRR, we noticed that the lines for Splash Mountain weren’t too bad, so we headed next door to jump in line. Splash Mtn is another ride that had alluded me last time we went to WDW. While it’s a pretty sedate ride, the drop at the end is a 4-story drop! And you can get pretty wet, depending on where you are sitting! I love the ride through Splash Mountain! The ride is based on the movie “Song of the South”, so you can find all the Brer characters: Rabbit, Fox, Bear as well as all the other wonderful characters from this classic movie. I rode next to my sister-in-law….you know the perfect one that got soaked on the Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom!!??! Yea….she got wet again! Lol….good times!
After Splash Mountain, my brother’s family had FastPasses for Big Thunder Rail Road, so they went to ride it, and I decided to take a little time to take some pictures of Frontierland and Liberty Square. While I love Fantasyland with all it’s castles and magic, I adore this section of the Magic Kingdom!
By the time I finished my stroll through Frontierland and Liberty Square, it was time for our FastPass lunch at Be Our Guest, Magic Kingdom’s newest dining sensation. This restaurant is so popular that you can hardly get a reservation for the evening meal! I had a little special knowledge on how to get a lunch time reservation FastPass to BOG. Check in was super easy. I gave them our name, let them know we were all there, and they gave us a beeper to call us when they were ready. When our beeper went off, we were escorted inside to place our order. The lunch menu has some delicious sandwich choices as well as a quinoa salad or braised pork. What else is on the menu?!? Why the Grey Stuff, of course!! The braised pork was very tender and tasty, and was served with green beans and mashed potatoes. It was a huge portion so I ended up sharing it with my dad, the human garbage disposal! For dessert, I had a triple chocolate cupcake, but my daughter had The Master’s Cupcake, which was frosted with the Grey Stuff. I got to try some of the grey stuff and it was quite delicious! Almost everyone in our party had one of the sandwiches and they looked quite delicious–they were also HUGE! They are served with “pomme frites” (french fries). I would give the lunch an “A” for the food and the atmosphere!
Following our delicious lunch, we headed across the way to ride the Dumbo ride! I love Dumbo! The Dumbo ride is one of the most popular rides in all of Walt Disney World! With the expansion of Fantasyland, Dumbo was moved from it’s original spot, and they added an additional Dumbo ride! With the additional ride, they also added the cutest little play area for the kids waiting in the queue.
Next up was the Haunted Mansion! Now, I must admit I have never ridden the Haunted Mansion, and wasn’t really interested in ever riding, but I was encouraged to ride this classic by none other than my boss! He was appalled that I had never been on the Haunted Mansion, which is a Disney classic ride, just as Dumbo is. Well, I had to prove to him that I was not a scaredy cat! We didn’t think the line was that long, and it was posted as only a 30 minute wait….that is until we got in line, when it suddenly moved up to a 45 minute wait! All told, I believe we actually spent more like an hour in line for this ride! Once again, the queue is rich in details, and has a lot of fun things along the way. Getting on the ride was like trying to herd 300 cattle through one chute!! You had to basically go from 10 people wide to jumping on a moving walkway, and then jump into a car! By the time I was safely ensconced on the ride, I was hot, I was tired and my feet were killing me! To tell the truth, I was not at all impressed with this ride. I don’t understand why it is a classic ride! I kind of feel that I wasted an hour of precious Disney time! Oh, well….I can now say I rode the ride and won’t ever have to do it again! Lol…
By the time we got done with the Haunted Mansion, it was time to use our FastPasses for the day. First up–Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road–again! Next, the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride, the Magic Kingdom’s newest roller coaster! This ride had only been open for a few days, so we felt pretty special getting to ride it the third day of it’s opening! The queue for this ride was amazing! So many details! The cars of the coaster actually swing individually like a real mine train. I really liked this ride—it’s a lot like Big Thunder! This is one of the only stop-action roller coasters in the world. Once you go through half of the tracks, the coaster slows down and goes through the mine, where you will see the Seven Dwarfs and all the jewels they are mining. It is absolutely stunning!
Next up…my girls’ FP’s for Space Mountain (I’m not a big fan of it!), and time for me to go get my camera set up for the new Festival of Fantasy Parade! As a photographer, I spend an inordinate amount of time finding the perfect spot to set up, and then waiting around for the event to start. Although it was only 2pm, I knew I had to get set up about an hour early in order to get a prime spot. Even at that early, I still didn’t get as good of a spot as I wanted. The new parade is dazzling with colors and detail. It’s almost an overload for the senses. The parade starts in Frontierland, and makes it’s way up Main Street USA, ending at the Fire Station. Of course, while the stars of this parade are Anna and Elsa from Frozen, I feel the real star is the huge Maleficent dragon! It’s a big, metal, fire-breathing dragon! Very cool. While the parades at WDW are crowded, hot and hard on the feet, they are SO worth it!
After we finished Pirates, it was dinner time! Dinner tonight was at Tony’s Town Square. Tony’s is based on the Italian restaurant that featured the famous scene between Lady and the Tramp, eating spaghetti. I didn’t really get too good of a look at the inside, as they rushed us right in, through the restaurant and out on the patio. Can you believe I didn’t even take any pictures!?!?!? The food was good. I ordered the cannelloni. It wasn’t fantastic Italian food, but it was pretty good.
After dinner, we headed back to the resort just to rest for a bit before the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes. We went back to MK about 8pm so I’d have time to get set up to shoot both of the events. I love the MSEP and Wishes…. This time I positioned myself right in the middle of the hub by Roy Disney and Minnie. It was a great spot to view Wishes! After Wishes was over, we rode some rides because the park kind of empties out after that even though it was open for a few more hours. I also took some more pictures! It was a long day filled with rides, lots of picture taking and fun! I leave you with some final images….
All photos ©Monica Bryant Photography, 2014. You may not copy, screen shot, download or print any of these images without express written permission from Monica Bryant Photography.
Interested in booking a vacation to any Disney location? Please contact me at monica@ mousetriptravel.com . Also visit our website at www.buildabettermousetrip.com .