Florida 2009 Vacation


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Magic Kingdom

[ View photos from October 11 (95 images) ]

We spent Sunday at the Magic Kingdom. This is the park you think of when you think Disney, with the famous Cinderella's Castle in the center. The park is broken down into various sections: Frontierland, Liberty Square, Adventureland, Main Street USA, Fantasyland, Mickey's Toontown Fair, and Tomorrowland.

Our first stop was Buzz Lightyear. This ride is interactive -- you are in a car with laser guns in which you try to hit as many of the targets as possible, with points accumulating on your display os you hit the targets. It took us 1/2 the ride to figure out what you're supposed to shoot - maybe we missed listining to instructions or something at the beginning of the ride.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a voyage through the Hundred Acre Wood.

Snow White's Adventure is a ride through the story of Snow White.

Peter Pan's Flight is an airborne journey through Peter Pan's tale -- you're in a seat suspended from above as you fly through the various scenes.

The famous, or infamous, "It's a Small World" was next on the list. This nauseatingly cute boat ride takes you through the different regions of the world by way of small animated dolls dressed in their nation's attire and surrounded by native scenes. The dolls and creatures sing and dance the It's a Small World song the entire ride. The guide book suggests you schedule therapy afterward to get the song out of your head, but fortunately the lyrics aren't too clear, as the sounds from the different scenes overlap throughout.

The Haunted Mansion is a spectacle to behold. This very well done ride showcases an old, worn down, dusty mansion where you are driven through the various rooms and virtual reality and holographic ghosts and figures surround you. Really fun!

Pirates of the Caribbean is a classic. This boat ride takes you past pirates, city scenes, and even a sea battle between two ships. The ride now features Captain Jack Sparrow and other characters from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a roller coaster set in an old time mining scenario. Right next to it is Splash Mountain, which begins as a journey through the movie Song of the South in a boat shaped like a hollowed-out log. Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear and the wolf are the featured characters. The ride ends with a plungeto the bottom of the mountain where you are sprayed with water. Some travelers get wetter than others. Ginger suggests looking down right before you hit the bottom of the ramp. Everyone else on the ride got a face wash.

The Walt Disney World Railroad is a train that takes you all around the perimeter of the Magic Kingdom, from Frontier Land to Mickey's Toon Town Fair, to the Main Street USA station, then back to Frontierland. We just rode the train on the whole circuit without getting off. It was good to rest our feet.

The Enchanted Tiki Room is a sit down feature with animatronic birds which sing and interact with each other. Iago, from Aladdin, is now featured in the show.

Jungle Cruise is a boat ride through a jungle narrated by a comedic Cast Member (a.k.a. Disney employee). Animatronic jungle animals are featured. Funny and cute.

The Swiss Family Treehouse is a walk through exhibit showcasing the dwelling of the Robinson family from the Swiss Family Robinson movie. You climb pretty high in the tree house, giving you several great elevated views of the park.

The Magic Kingdom had "Extra Magic Hours" this night, during which the park was open longer at night for guests staying on a Disney properly. So we could leave and come back without worrying about having enough time to finish our rides and shows -- this night the Magic Hours went till 2:00 am! For dinner we headed back to our resort and ate at the steak and seafood restaurant Shutters. It's at the sit down restaurant that the meal plan really pays for itself. The food at Disney is quite good and well portioned, though the price is quite high. Even a burger, fries, and a drink will run you $12. Not to mention a steak dinner.

We planned to make it back to the Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks show, but we ended up arriving just as it was finishing. No problem -- we have seen fireworks before and saw the other two park-closing shows the other two nights, so it'a ll good. Aside from fighting the crowds exiting the park as we were getting back in, the nighttime activities were just fine.

The Monsters Inc Laugh Floor Comedy Club features Mike Wazowski and others of the movie Monsters, Inc. It's a somewhat interactive comedy show which uses both jokes texted in from the audience and camera shots of various people in the audience asked to do different things at their seats. Very well done.

Next, it was on to "Stitch's Great Escape". Not being familiar with Lilo & Stitch, we didn't know what to expect, but it turned out that it was a simulation where we witnessed Stitch's capture, and subsequent escape into the chamber we were sitting in after a system malfunction. Stich would bounce noisily from place to place in the dark, spitting and breathing on us (yes, water and smelly air were dispensed) as he went. Neil thouhgt it was pretty cool; Ginger hated it.

A liesurely ride around Tomorrowland on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (a small tram) rounded out the evening. No, we didn't ride Space Mountian -- it was closed for renovation, BAH!