February 2013 Florida road trip – part 6

Thursday, February 7, 2013

There are too many attractions at Magic Kingdom to attempt to cover the entire park in a single day, so we visited for two days to see everything (and repeat a few favorites!) at this park. Unlike our EPCOT day where we had a solid plan of attack, our plans were much looser at Magic Kingdom since we had more time. We just knew that we would explore Tomorrowland on the morning of day 1, save all of New Fantasyland for day 2, and fit everything else in as necessary!

Yes, it’s barely 9:00 AM and Jasper is already snacking.

Magic Kingdom had Extra Magic Hours on this day, opening early at 8:00 AM for guests staying at Disney hotels (whee! that’s us!). We knew we couldn’t get the boys up and out so that we’d be standing in front of the gates at 8:00 AM when they opened but we still managed to arrive before the extra magic hour was over.

This morning shot reminded me of Fuller in Home Alone.

Since the boys love trains, I knew they’d be excited about the monorail. This was one of the things I prepared them for most! They enjoyed the ride in and we walked through the gates around 9:00 AM, still getting a head start on the masses who were only allowed to board the monorail at that time.

We headed straight to Tomorrowland where we knew we could take the most advantage of the early arrival and short lines. First up was Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger spin. We walked right on! This ride always hilariously brings out Gmummy’s inner competitor, but she managed to finish only second to Jeff who earned the highest score in our group while shooting one-handed, filming Gavin with the other, and not even realizing he could spin his vehicle. He’s a pro space ranger for sure! Gavin even managed to rack up 1,000 points! I tried to explain to Jasper that he should shoot the targets, but he never caught on yet still managed to have lots of fun.

Kristen, Jeff, and I then walked over to Space Mountain while Gmummy and the boys boarded the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (although we still call this the Wedway PeopleMover since it’s simpler to say!). A ten-minute wait time was posted at Space Mountain but we had no waiting at all – it simply took about ten minutes to walk through the massive corridor to the loading area! When we exited the ride, Kristen realized the water bottle that had been nestled in an outside pocket on her purse was missing so she continued her tradition of losing personal items while on Space Mountain (she lost sunglasses years ago). Whoops!

We met up with the PeopleMover riders and decided to try the Astro Orbiter next. Jasper was too short to go on this ride, so I was excited to bring Gavin on his first rocket ride! This is an attraction we’ve often overlooked in the past. I only recall going on it once before and boy, it’s scary! It’s high and fast and the rocket is tilted at such a sharp angle that I felt like we were going to fall out! Gavin and I ended up being wimps and maneuvered our rocket to a lower orbit so we didn’t tilt so much! This is honestly the scariest Magic Kingdom right for me – even more nail-biting than any of the mountains!

Our group reassembled again and all headed to the race cars at the Tomorrowland Speedway. I’m using the term “race cars” loosely because we drove very slowly! Those little cars are tough to steer, but even more difficult when leaning over from the passenger’s seat and trying to avoid little toddler hands that refuse to let go! (“I want to driiiiiiive, Mommy!”) Jasper and I are still recovering from the whiplash from being thrown from side to side against the center guide track as we tried to keep our car under control!

We ventured to FantasyLand and rode one of Jasper’s favorites – the carousel. All of the horses on this carousel have waist straps so Jasper was able to ride alone for the first time. He loves it! And I was actually able to enjoy a carousel for the first time in recent memory since I’ve always stood beside him on the Pullen Park carousel!

By now, the lines at the rides in Fantasyland were quite long and we decided to leave them until the next morning. We walked over to the new Storybook Circus area of New Fantasyland and ride the new flying Dumbos. The Dumbo ride that had been located next to the carousel was moved and a second ride was added along with an interactive queue. We were given an electronic pager and the boys played in an indoor playground until the pager indicated it was our turn to ride. The Disney Imagineers are simply genius with all of these new interactive queues! The boys adored the ride. Jasper road in an elephant with me (of course).

Next to Dumbo is a new rollercoaster, the Barnstormer with the Great Goofini! Jasper JUST made the minimum height requirement for this ride (yay! the first height restricted ride he could actually go on!). The coaster is very short and not terribly daring, but it was scary enough for the boys and both ended up crying and making it very clear that they did not want to go on again! I was happy that they both wanted to experience a roller coaster and actually went on their first roller coaster rides, even if they ended up hating it!

Gmummy is nervous already and the ride hasn’t even begun yet.

Uh, nope, don’t think that’ll be happening again anytime soon!

No-so-happy campers! ha!

Well, after putting them through the Barnstormer trauma, we went right to one of the most anticipated attractions – the Walt Disney World Railroad that circles the park. The Fantasyland station is right beside the Barnstormer and we wanted to get over to the other side of the park for lunch, so we hopped aboard to Frontierland station.

As we approached our destination, we saw Woody and Jessie signing autographs and taking pictures next to Splash Mountain so we simply had to take a small detour and meet our favorite Toy story characters before lunch! The boys patiently waited in the half hour-long line and had their autograph books signed. While Jasper was shy, Gavin posed for a photograph, unlike the day before when he refused to pose with Pooh and Tigger. The boys were both so excited to have met Woody and Jessie.

The character meet-and-greet was in an open area beside Splash Mountain which, unfortunately, was closed for refurbishment during our visit. Next door, we picked up FastPasses for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad before heading to the Columbia Harbour House, my favorite quick-service restaurant at Magic Kingdom, for lunch.

With tummies full, we walked across the path to the Haunted Mansion. I have vivid memories of this ride on my first visit to Disney World when I was Gavin’s age. The ride broke down as our “Doombuggy” stopped in front of a door with exposed hands shaking it from the other side and ended up falling asleep! Well, turns out Gavin has his mom’s young fear of this ride and he buried his face in Gmummy’s side the entire time. He missed the entire ride! Jasper rode with me (again) but wasn’t phased. He’s still too young to understand that all the ghosts in the ride were supposed to be scary. I love this ride, though, because it’s one of the few remaining rides that has not changed since my first trips to Disney World as a little girl so it was wonderful for the boys to experience some of the same Disney magic that I did!

Our FastPasses were now valid, so Jeff, Kristen, and I quickly boarded Big Thunder while Gmummy watched with the boys from her usual viewing area near the ride exit. We love her location because we always see her during the last few turns of the ride and can wave. It was so cute to see the boys watching with her this time! Kristen and I both had the same realization on this particular ride: It’s our favorite Magic Kingdom ride! We always liked it as much as Space Mountain, but Big Thunder definitely took the lead on this trip.

We continued on to Adventureland and Pirates of the Caribbean. When I described this ride to Gavin before our trip, he thought it sounded scary and didn’t want to go on it, but both boys enjoyed themselves. As I said before, they loved all of the slow-moving boat rides!

A trip to Adventureland wouldn’t be complete with a Dole Whip, so we stopped at Aloha Isle for an afternoon snack and then walked to nearby Liberty Square to pick out Christmas ornaments at Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe.

This looped us right back around to Fantasyland. Peter Pan had a posted wait time of an hour so we decided to try again first thing the next morning and went to It’s A Small World instead. This is Gmummy’s favorite ride and the boys loved this, too. “I like the boat ride with the singing dolls,” Jasper would say.

Deciding that the rest of Fantasyland was a bust for the day, we went back to Tomorrowland (man, we sure got a workout on this day!) to one of Kristen’s favorite attractions – the Carousel of Progress. I love how dated this attraction is and Gavin, “liked it when the building moved.” Weeks later, he was still talking about the moving building and that it was one of his favorite rides!

We chose Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe for a typical cafeteria dinner of burgers and chicken before we all rode the PeopleMover one last time  – the first time of the day for all of us! Jasper, in particular, was so done with the PeopleMover by this point!

We walked through the Emporium on Main Street on the way out of the park where Gavin chose a plush Mickey Mouse and Jasper selected Pluto. Exhausted, we all piled onto the monorail and went back to the hotel.


Daily Disney Summary – Day 2: Magic Kingdom

  1. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  2. Space Mountain (Kristen, Traci, Jeff) / TTA PeopleMover (Gmummy, Gavin, Jasper)
  3. Astro Orbiter (Kristen, Traci, Gavin) / TTA PeopleMover (Gmummy, Jeff, Jasper)
  4. Tomorrowland Speedway
  5. Prince Charming Regal Carousel
  6. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  7. Barnstormer with the Great Goofini
  8. WDW Railroad to Frontierland
  9. character meet and greet – Woody and Jessie
  10. Columbia Harbour House – lunch
  11. Haunted Mansion
  12. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  13. Pirates of the Caribbean
  14. Aloha Isle – snack
  15. Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe – shopping
  16. It’s A Small World
  17. Carousel of Progress
  18. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe – dinner
  19. TTA PeopleMover (all of us!)
  20. Emporium – shopping
Total distance: 14.7 mi
Max elevation: 236 ft
Min elevation: -121 ft
Total climbing: 2592 ft
Total descent: -2589 ft
Total Time: 11:35:57

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