Making Magic

Trip Start May 20, 2012
Trip End Sep 22, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Thursday, August 30, 2012

We were all up at a completely unreasonable time this morning, but for a very reasonable reason. Our plan was to check out, store our luggage, eat some breakfast, and make it to Magic Kingdom by 8AM. We achieved everything except for the whole making it to the Magic Kingdom on time part. After just missing a shuttle from our resort, it took another 25 minutes for the next to arrive, and we didn't end up walking through the gates until half past ish. But it really was magic. It’s so hard to describe just how amazing it was walking through the front gates and on to Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. As an added little bonus, everything was draped in purple and orange and covered with pumpkins in preparation for Halloween. We took a few photos in the beautiful morning light in front of Cinderella’s Castle, and then hurried off to Tomorrowland to get a ride on Space Mountain before the park opened properly.

Space Mountain was like a slightly less awesome Rock’n’Rollercoaster, completely indoors and in complete darkness but with a whole bunch of awesome little effects that made you feel as if you’d been jettisoned off into space. Pumped full of endorphins and high on magic, we wandered over to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and all squeezed onto a carriage that was clearly only meant for two people. Caitlyn was wedged in the middle and controlled the spinning of the carriage, and Kelsey and I manned two little laser cannons on either side. The ride takes you through a massive neon wonderland of aliens and robots and other things that are fun to shoot at. Unfortunately it broke down right near the end, and instead of sitting still like everyone else’s carriage, ours decided to throw a tantrum and spin back and forth completely out of our control. Needless to say, it was hilarious.

After our Tomorrowland excitement we ran to the other side of the park to ride Splash Mountain before the line got too long. After ten minutes or so we made it on (at the very front might I add) and had a fantastic time, even with the whole being completely soaked part. Still damp, we took a ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad right next door and screamed and cheered and had a bunch of fun. Then we boarded a ship and sailed through Pirates of the Caribbean, were serenaded by birds and Tiki statues in the Enchanted Tiki Roam, and were bombarded with pun after pun on the Jungle Safari. We explored the Swiss Family Robinson tree house, signed up for Merlin’s Sorcerer something (an awesome park-wide attraction that had you battle villains on hidden screens all over the Magic Kingdom by holding up special cards with Disney characters on them), got scared out of our wits on the Haunted Mansion, and waited patiently for the Australia section on It’s A Small World. And we weren’t anywhere near done. We caught a screening of Mickey’s Philharmagic (amazing 3D movie production thing), rode The Barnstormer in the new Fantasyland section of the park (a little underwhelming really), lined up for almost an hour to ride The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh (so much more fun that we could have imagined – in a ridiculous kind of way), soared above London on Peter Pan’s Flight (that one broke down too), and the girls rode the teacups on the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (I don’t deal well with spinning).

With most of the park out of the way, we headed back to Tomorrowland to check out the last few attractions left. I got picked on in the interactive Monsters Inc Laugh Floor; at one point they had me on camera on one of the big screens in the theatre with a caption that read "this guy’s shouting churros for everyone after the show", and the next time I was up on the big screen again after one of the monsters on stage asked, “What do you get when you cross a human with a chia pet?” The answer was me. We all had a good hard laugh at that. Then we walked over to Stitch’s Great Escape which was a show with animatronics and lots of flashing lights and when we eventually sat down it was in seats that made you feel like things were happening to you in the dark. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it for yourself! Finally, we rode the animatronics-filled Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, the oldest attraction in the park. We all left humming It’s A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow and smiling from ear to ear.

After some amazing ice cream (tofutti for Kelsey) and some sneaky last minute souvenirs (Disney pyjamas, amongst other things) we decided that we would try and make it to Hollywood Studios to catch that evening’s Fantasmic show instead of waiting around for the Magic Kingdom fireworks. And boy are we glad we did. Sure we had to take a ferry to the bus terminal and then a bus to Hollywood Studios, sure it rained a little in the 90 minutes that we were sitting outside in the amphitheatre waiting for it to begin, but it really was the most amazing way to end our Disney World experience. The show itself featured massive fountains with movies projected onto them, fireworks, Pocahontas, Jaffa turning into a giant snake, a whole bunch of neon Lion King animals, lasers, more fireworks, and Mickey Mouse shooting things at Maleficent with a sword. All in all it was a pretty bad ass half an hour. We left just as the show was finishing and managed to beat the mad rush to the exit, hop on a shuttle, and make it back to our resort before half past nine.

But that’s really where our luck ended. Our cab driver not only took us in the completely wrong direction, he dropped us off at the wrong frigging hotel! Unfortunately, we only found out after entering the hotel and trying to check in, so he’d driven off already. We just walked down the road to our real hotel, but even in the middle of the night it was incredibly hot outside and our bags were laden down with souvenirs and new clothes, so it was an effort. Then, once in our new hotel, we were greeted with an ancient TV, unusable Wi-Fi in our room, an unbearably bitchy concierge, and a business centre with a printer that somehow ended up charging Kelsey $7 to print three pieces of paper. We all went to bed a little peeved, but pumped for the days ahead!
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