Upon returning home from our NCTE Disney trip, I made a photo book on one of those photo book sites. I subtitled it ‘Doug and Tracy vs. The Happiest Place on Earth’, and my husband laughed at that title, even though it was beyond fair. After all, after hating Paris, how could I like Disney World? The answer to that–very, very easily.
We arrived at the Magic Kingdom 40 minutes or so before it opened. There were no lines. We walked up to the ticket office, got our pre-paid tickets, used the very clean and very empty restroom located outside of the park (for our convenience, thank you Walt Disney) and stood in ‘line’. There were fewer people waiting to get into the Magic Kingdom than there were waiting for a cab at Gare du Nord (ok, I promise that was my LAST Disney vs. Paris comparison!) Maybe ten minutes before ‘opening gate time’, there was a little show, and Mickey and Minnie came out on the train with several overly-enthusiastic sidekick dancers, and then they let us into the park.
I swear to god I cried as I entered the park. It was just all too overwhelming; it was like being ten years old again, except this time I actually liked it there, and could move about freely (seriously, the park was creepily empty).
We half-jogged down Main Street, pausing only to take a million or so pictures of the castle. My whole ‘plan’ for the day was
‘enter park, walk down main street, turn left’. Really–my only plan was ‘turn left’. Anyone who has been reading this blog for any amount of time will know how very non-OCD that was of me–and imagine this: it worked! We entered whatever land that was–Adventure Land, maybe–and encountered the opposite of lines. There simply wasn’t anyone there. We rode the Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the sort-of-lame Aladdin ride with no lines whatsoever.
We then made our way to Frontier land, and jogged yet again through the ‘line’ for Splash Mountain. I had no idea how wet we’d get on this ride, but…well…brutal honestly alert: I had to wring my underwear out after. But for the underwear wringing we’d have gone on a second time–it was a great ride. But instead we looked at Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road, shuddered in fear, and made our way to Fantasy Land.
We rode everything in Fantasy Land in under an hour, minus the Pooh ride, and then checked out my most highly anticipated event, the Teacups. I don’t know why I was so excited about the teacups, but I was, and they did not disappoint. I loved the teacups.
By this time we were nearing our lunch reservations, but decided first to check out
the Haunted Mansion. And then we circled back to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad…but chickened out again. So we decided to ride the train, thinking it would be scenic (it wasn’t). Anyone reading this who knows anything about Disney knows that all of these things are moderately far apart, and should take a significant amount of time to experience, but as there were ZERO crowds and ZERO lines, we completed this entire paragraph in under 45 minutes. In fact, I specifically remember being on the train at the main entrance stop at 1:15, with lunch reservations at 1:30 in Liberty Square. We rode the train to Frontier Land, got off, rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (finally–and it was great) and MADE OUR RESERVATIONS.
After lunch we walked out of Liberty Tree Tavern and walked onto the Steam Boat which was about to depart. I could not have planned it better. After said steam boat ride, we disembarked to find everyone lining up for the afternoon parade–again, no planning. We viewed the parade, continued on to Tomorrow Land, were
completely freaked out by Space Mountain, thoroughly enjoyed something about Buzz Lightyear, and then backtracked to ride our three favorite rides yet again (the teacups, the Haunted Mansion, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad). This was all before 5:30, when my husband had to leave for his meeting.
I stayed after he left and shopped (more on that later) and checked out the castle lit up at night for Christmas (awesome). I honestly cannot
remember ever having a better day.
Have I mentioned that I LOVE Disney world?
Up next…my solo trip to Animal Kingdom!