April 23, 2010

Disney - Magic Kingdom

As we previously mentioned, we were lucky enough to be able to view a shuttle launch (at 6:21 AM from our hotel parking lot in Orlando). Very very cool. The gaseous residue trail illuminated by the rising sun is shown below.

Aside from being a heckuva way to start your day, our early rise also ensured that we were one of the first to enter the Magic Kingdom. (We got a parking spot right next to the monorail, and were on the first monorail in at 7 AM!).

All that early bird gets the worm stuff has some merit. Given that we were (a) in Disney World; and (b) it was a school vacation week, our expectation level for actually getting on more than a handful of rides was pretty low.

With our early start, however, we had done pretty much every ride in Tomorrowland by 9:30 AM! Lauren braved Space Mountain (not for Jacob!). We did the Speedway, the timeless Carousel of Progress, the Buzz Lightyear shoot-em-up ride, Stitches Great Escape, and the hilarious Monster's Inc. improv, Laugh Floor.

Afterwards, we headed over to Adventureland, where we climbed through the classic Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, took in the (revamped) electronic bird singing show in the Tiki Room, the corny-joke electronic-animal filled Jungle Cruise, and (of course) Pirates of the Carribean. Pirates has been redone to include aspects of the Movie, which was based on the ride. So now the ride is based on the movie, which was based on the ride. But its all good.

We then hopped over to Frontierland, where we explored Tom Sawyer's Island and watched the Country Bear Jamboree show. That seriously took me back to my first trip to Disney! Another fave was the Hall of Presidents. Totally all-American and insprirational. Mike did this one with Jacob, while Lauren and Ilena did the Haunted House (Jacob wanted no part of that one!)

Along the way, we hit the 10, 12, and 3 PM parades, which were pretty rocking.

Later in the afternoon, we did the still-amazingly-great Small World, the Carousel, and the Mad Hatter's Tea Cup ride in Fantasyland, before popping back over to Frontierland for Splash Mountain (best ride in Magic Kingdom) and Big Thunder Railroad.

In that time period before dinner, the kids totally glazed over, but got a second wind after a really nice Italian meal. We decided that 15 hours in the park on the first day seemed about right, so we hung around for the night Spectro Magic Parade. While waiting, the kids hula hooped and played hop scotch on Main Street USA.

It was a truly magical first day. The kids were soooo good. And we all enjoyed so many different things. These Disney folks are in the magic business, and they sure are good at it!

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