Friday, February 6, 2015

I Conquer Mountains-Magic Kingdom

The little girl in front of me bounced liked Tigger.

“I’m going on again,” she announced to the cast member at Space Mountain’s loading dock. “I was scared the first time, but it was fun so me and daddy are going on again.” 

The dad chuckled then briefly explained that his daughter, who looked to be around seven, was scared when they first got on Space Mountain a few minutes ago.  As the cars pulled away from the loading dock, the little girl started to cry, but once the ride got going she had fun and wanted to go on the ride again.

The little girl ended up sitting in the seat in front of me. I wanted to tell her that it was my second time riding Space Mountain too. As soon as the car started moving, the little girl raised her hands in the air and yelled,

After exiting the ride, she was chatting a mile a minute about all of her favorite parts of the ride.

“One more time Daddy, please, just one more time,"  she pleaded. 

A cast member passing by asked,

“Did you like the ride?”

“Yes,” responded the girl. “I was really scared when I went the first time but then it wasn’t scary it was really fun and me and Daddy just went on it again and now I want to go on one more time.”

“That’s great,” said the cast member. “How about I take you the super-secret way and you can get right back on the ride again instead of having to go through the line.”

“Yeah!” The little girl’s hands flurried with clapping.  Her Dad thanked the cast member and off they went to ride Space Mountain one more time.  

I sent out happy wishes to that father and daughter.  I hope that years from now when the girl is home from college break she looks at her Dad and says,

“Remember that time at Disney World when I rode Space Mountain for the first time and the third time the nice lady took us the super-secret way and we got to go on the ride without waiting in line?” Of course her Dad remembers. It will hopefully be a memory they share forever.  That is the magic of Disney.

Thanks to a gift of Disney theme park music from my friend Lenny, we were at the Magic Kingdom bright and early.  

I enjoyed listening to the opening ceremony music during the weeks leading up to our trip, and was looking forward to hearing it live. 

It’s a really sweet and inspiring lead up to the opening of the Magic Kingdom. Everyone should witness the opening ceremony at least once. 

I was equally entertained by a seasoned lady who showed up bright and early donning her Mickey ears.  She appeared to be by herself. 

She worked her way through the crowd so she could be right up front. During the musical numbers she clapped and bopped around to the music and seemed just as excited about the opening of the park as the kids.  I want to be that lady someday. 

As soon as we got into the park, we made a b-line for The Seven Dwarves Mine Train since we weren’t able to get a fast pass.  

This proved to be a good strategy. 

We were only in line for about ten minutes. When we got off the ride the wait time had jumped to 75 minutes.

The ride has a great old school Disney dark ride vibe. The roller coaster part of the ride is extremely tame.  There really is no thrill to it at all.  It was fun, and worth riding once, but it wasn’t worth the 75 minute wait time to ride a second time.

Due to our Peter Pan’s Flight fast pass and barely any lines at the rest of the rides, 

we flew through New Fantasy Land.

We worked our way through Liberty Square where I got to ride my favorite ride, The Haunted Mansion. 

We had a few places in mind for lunch, but discovered that they were all closed.  It’s the one downside to going during the slow season. 

In retrospect, I wish that we had gone back and had lunch at Gaston’s Tavern, but at the time it seemed like too much work to trek back so we settled for taco salads at Pecos Bill’s.  

They were okay but not great.

After lunch we took some time out to watch little buccaneers learn to fight with Captain Jack.  

The cast member playing Jack Sparrow that day was fantastic.  His improve was hilarious. 

 We went to the Magic Kingdom on Shannon’s birthday.  He wore his birthday button all day and got a birthday song when we rode on the Jungle Cruise.

 After doing everything we wanted to do in Adventureland we made our way to Frontierland.  At this point my anxiety started to creep up.  We rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and then I knew it was time to conquer my fear.

I’ve never been a big thrill ride person, even as a kid.  When I was a teen I rode a roller coaster with a really big drop and as it plummeted down I felt everything around me start to go black. It was as if my body interpreted the feelings I was having as being a crisis so decided the best course of action was to shut down.  Since then I’ve been leery of all large drops for fear that I might completely black out someday on a ride.  Because of this I have avoided riding Splash Mountain, but after doing a lot of research and because Shannon (who is a huge thrill rider) assured me that the drop wasn’t as scary as it looked, I was determined to not miss out on Splash Mountain this trip.

I was pretty nervous standing in line. My stomach did flip-flops as we climbed into the log. 

I’m happy to say that I loved Splash Mountain. 

Shannon was right, the drop isn’t as scary as it looks.  I wanted to ride it again right away, but the line had jumped up to a 45 minute wait and we had to move on so that I could conquer my next never ridden mountain in Tomorrowland.

Before heading into space, I visited The Carousel of Progress for the very first time (it was closed on all of my previous trips). We giggled at some of the parts because the wife’s name is Sarah.

The people mover was the first time we spotted the large group of Monks.  We watched as the sea of orange robes moved underneath of us.  They were just ahead of us when we got on Buzz Light year; happily grinning monks boarding the ride two by two. They seemed to either be following us or we seemed to be following them for the next three days of our trip. 

Hopped up on my bravery from Splash Mountain, I decided it was time to conquer my fear of Space Mountain.  

Since one cannot actually see any of the drops in Space Mountain, I have always feared that Space Mountain might not be “Sarah approved.” Shannon assured me that if I could do Splash Mountain, Space Mountain would be a piece of cake.

Guess what everyone, Space Mountain is a super fun ride.   I loved it!  

It’s pretty much tied now with Haunted Mansion as my favorite ride at Magic Kingdom.  Since the line wasn’t long, unlike Splash Mountain, we went on it again.  This was when we encountered the little girl and her father having a magical moment.  We might have ridden it a third time, but we had special dinner reservations for the birthday boy and we had to be off to have a magical dinner, or at least that was the plan…

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