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Monday, June 18, 2012

Magic Kingdom

     The day had finally arrived- Magic Kingdom Day! We got up early to hit the park before opening.

The Disney World property is MASSIVE! A friend of John, who is a travel agent, said the property is about the same size as San Francisco! Not  what we are used to with Disneyland in California. As we approached the property, this is the sign we were greeted with.

 As you get near the signs, there are several rows of flashing road sings that say, "No Stopping". I guess this could be a popular photo opportunity for families traveling all over the world that visit.

 Our parking area- Aladdin 35-43. Took this on my phone in case we forgot where we parked. My travel tip of the day to you :)

 It wasn't long before we started seeing Mickey Mouse everywhere!

This was inside the park- love the Mickey and Minnie topiaries!

 There are 2 ways to get to the Magic Kingdom main gates from the parking lot- take the Monorail or ferry boat.

 We opted to take the Monorail! 

 We passed by the Grand Floridian hotel on our ride.

 As well as a golf course that hosts a PGA event every year.

 We finally arrived to the main gate- along with a jillion other people. It was a day that the crowd had to stay in front of the train station rather than have Main Street open prior to the rides opening. The crowd grew thicker, and thicker by the minute and a preview to how hot this day was going to be.

 Finally we were released into the park! It was a mad dash by many down Main Street. I didn't notice when I took this photo, but catch the people wearing JEANS! What were they thinking???The forecast was hot, sunny, chance of thunderstorms with a high around 95. Not what I would call a jeans day, but to each their own.

 Cinderella's Castle! Quite grand in appearance and size. Much more so than Sleeping Beauty's castle in Disneyland.

 Had to get the obligatory shot in front of the castle. *Please note I wouldn't normally be so fashionably challenged with Tshirt, shorts and tennis shoes. I dressed for comfort and didn't want my feet to be sore with all the walking. We did see so many wearing flip flops, which are great for the heat, but  I wondered how they felt later in the day.

 Close up of the castle.

 We had a cast member offer to take our photo by the castle. I love this shot.

 We decided to head to Tomorrow Land for Space Mountain. After the ride, we found Chip and Dale! The only characeters we took photos with all day. They had no line and since we were sans kids, focused on just the rides this time.

     After Space Mountian and Chip & Dale, we headed over to Buzz Lightyear's  ride.I love this ride because you get to shoot a gun at targets and compete with your riding partner.

 My score....

 John's score. He kicked my booty! We rode one more time later and while I performed better, so did he. Oh well, it's still a fun ride!

 We then trekked across the park for Splash and Thunder Mountain rides.

 We were ready to get some relief from the heat and hoping for a bit of a splash on the ride.

 The view as we are just about to go down the 5 story drop. So much fun!

A preview of the new Fantasyland! Most of this land is still open, but there is a huge expansion in the works. Ariel's castle is being built, a new Snow White ride, and a Casey Jr splash pad area will be in this new portion. They are also adding a 2nd Dumbo ride, a duplicate right next to the existing Dumbo ride. I believe these will be completed sometime this year.

We then went on several more rides, not taking too many photos as my phone battery suddenly decided to not hold a charge like usual and Courtney's camera I borrowed I was not an expert at with the settings. Blurry shots galore. 

By afternoon, John and I were hot and miserable. We sought out any and all rides that offered relief from the sun and heat.

 It's a Small World. This ride que area was the most different from Disneyland. It's basically entirely inside. We found most of the rides had covered que areas and went inside more so than at Disneyland. Makes sense since Florida gets a lot more rain than S. California and get much hotter as well. Glad this was factored in for the guests.

 Sporting stylish 3D glasses for Mickey's Philharmagic attraction. A 10-15 minute movie feature that is cute with some unexpected tricks. Don't want to say what, as we want the kids to be surprised when we take them. We went to this attraction twice during the afternoon. The air conditioning was SO nice!

 After the sun set, we headed out to drive some cars. A nice stranger in another car took this photo of me driving. Besides the disgustingly sticky steering wheels, this was a fun ride like always.

We did get hit with a strong thunderstorm about 2 hours before closing. Thankfully we were at Space Mountain and we stayed dry and safe. When we came out of the ride, we found lots of people taking shelter in the store Space Mountain feeds into. We looked at the line, saw it was only about 5 minutes and quickly ran back inside. We ended up riding about 5-6 more times while the storm passed. It was a blast to have such quick access to Space Mountain. After the storm passed, we headed back for a few more turns on Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain, our last ride.

As we were leaving at the parks closing, 11 pm. The fireworks that had been delayed by the weather, were finally being shot off. It was a perfect sendoff to a magical day.

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