Sunday, October 3, 2010

Disney World Part 2: The Magic Kingdom

After finally having a restful night of sleep, we got up Friday morning to head to the Magic Kingdom. Classic Disney, here we come!

 We took the monorail from the parking lot to the entrance of the park. 

 Brant entertained us on the ride over. :)

 When we got there, we found the whole place decorated for Halloween! Earlier that week, the rest of the gang had gone to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, which sounded like a lot of fun! Too bad we weren't there yet and couldn't join them. I was looking for an excuse to dress up like a Disney Princess all week, and I had missed my chance! 

 Once inside, I made a bee-line for my favorite ride: The Haunted Mansion. It was just as cool as I remembered! Although, the ghost in your cart at the end was a lot more convincing when I was six. Still a lot of fun! Robert enjoyed it too, and we didn't even have to wait in line long at all. 

 After the Mansion, we headed to Treasure Island to ride the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. We saw Goofy on the way in, so we creeped a shot of him with a bunch of kids we don't know. We actually did that with a lot of the characters. ;) The ride was neat because they had added the characters from the movie to the animatronics. Johnny Depp appeared many times in the story line as well as among the mannequins. Even Captain Barbosa and Davey Jones were represented! It's a fun little boat ride through several pirate scenes, although I found the "Bride auction" scene a little sexist? I'm mildly surprised Disney left it in there.

 I showed off my pirate pride in the gift shop... 

 and then we ran into the real Johnny Depp outside!!! 
(Ok, so he's not the REAL one, but oh. my. gosh. is he not the most convincing impersonator ever?)

 After our pirate adventures, we headed over to Tomorrow Land to find the new Monster's Inc. ride. 

 The laugh floor is a really neat 4-D show where the characters on screen actually interact with the audience! They'll pick people out of the crowd (i.e. Hey! You in the blue polo!) and then use them in the show. It was so cool, and I know if I was a kid I totally would have thought it was real. 

 Inside the waiting area to get into the show, they had all sorts of Monsters, Inc. props to make it seem like you were actually in the company. This was the former "Scarer of the Month" wall that was converted into the "Monsters of Comedy" feature. As you can see, Mike was a good choice for our show's MC (Monster of Ceremonies, that is!)

 We left the show and headed towards the teacups. We found them, but didn't ride because the line was too long and we were hungry. We had some "tea" with the landscaping instead...

 challenged King Arthur's throne, and then grabbed pizza at Pinocchio's restaurant. 

 After lunch we rode on Snow White's Scary Adventure, which wasn't scary at all. It was just Snow White's story as seen from a car on a track. We said "Hi!" to Dopey on our way out. 

 We made our way back to Mainstreet, and stopped in Cinderella's Castle. The mosaics on the inner walls are beautiful! And I think it would be really fun to eat at the restaurant someday when we go back, just to say we did. 

 After viewing The Hall of President's with Paula, Johnny, and Paisley, we emerged to discover that it was pouring down rain! We decided to wait out the storm at a shooting range and spent a couple bucks to do some target practice. 

 Once it cleared up, we headed towards Mainstreet USA. We had really early dinner reservations, so we wanted to be near the exit so we could watch the parade, then leave and quickly meet up with everyone. I hung out with Minnie and Walt on the way over. 

 We grabbed a snack, and then parked ourselves on the street to watch the parade! It started out great, but it began to rain again soon after the Muppets had passed by. All the characters walking the street had to run for cover, but they let the floats roll on. 

 Here's Mickey! "You said it!" (I bet you never noticed how much he uses that catch phrase. Listen for it next time you see a Mickey cartoon, lol! It's kind of funny, because I don't think normal people could say that in real life. :P)
 We left the parade and headed to the dock to catch a ferry to the Wilderness Lodge for our dinner reservations. There was a fake geyser near the pool at the resort, and no one was really sure if it actually erupted or if it just steamed ominously. One man said he'd been there all week and hadn't seen it go off, and my dad joked that somebody upstairs had to flush a toilet to get it to work. We didn't have time to find out if that was true or not. 

 Dinner was... interesting. I expected it to be a really nice restaurant, but the server's were very loud and mildly obnoxious. They were great service wise, but randomly they would make you stand up and do the hokey pokey or yell yee-haw or who knows what else. Also, don't ask for ketchup whatever you do! To get it they make you yell across the restaurant to the table that has all 10 bottles of ketchup, then they  have to get up and bring it over to you. Ridiculous! Robert and I were hoping to eat in peace after spending all day around the kids in the park, but we appreciated the novelty. It was definitely fun for the little ones. They thought the ketchup thing was hilarious, and at one point the servers brought out stick horses and the children had a little race. 

 After dinner some of us were going home and some of us were going back to the Magic Kingdom, but we took a little time to explore the resort while we waited for the ferry. 

 And discovered that the geyser does actually work! Still don't know about that flushing theory though...

 Bert and I headed back to the MK and were happy to see that they took down the giant crane that had been behind the castle all morning. We took advantage of this and shot a pic of the two of us in front of the iconic building. 

 Then we ran into Tiana! My college room mate and I used to talk about how Disney needed a black princess all the time, and here she finally is! I have such a soft spot for her because every time I see her, I think of Ashley and sophomore year. I was very impressed with the actors at Disney too! They look so much like the characters and they even sound just like them! They practice their autographs so their names match the character's personalities. I think it's incredible and can't imagine how much time goes into rehearsing for something like that. 

We wanted to stay for the fireworks, but we were warned about the crowds by my family. They said it took them 2 hours to get home the night they stayed, so we just watched the electrical parade and then headed to the shuttle. It still took us a while to get home, so I'm very glad we didn't stay for the 9pm fireworks! We needed to rest up for our final day in Animal Kingdom. 

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