2002: Magic Kingdom

Monday – 9th June, Magic Kingdom

Well, the morning past in a blur of breakfast, laundry, trying to brush Katie’s hair and at some point pulling a muscle in my side that had me in agony.  I don’t know what I did but I have never been so uncomfortable, at one point even breathing out hurt.  I took the other 2 tylenol, put on a brave face, and we left for Magic Kingdom about noon.  On the way we noticed that the road was very wet, and as we entered the car park the heavens opened – they had closed again by the time we had parked, so we made sure we had our ponchos and headed into the park.  As we entered the park, we attempted yet again to buy some stamps, and finally found them in City Hall.  Postcards finally posted, we stepped into Main Street and a slight drizzle which soon turned into a downpour.  We decided to try the Plaza Restaurant for lunch, and even though we had no PS we were quickly seated.  I had a cheese steak which was yummy,  Phil had soup and Katie had nothing – not a bite.

The Plaza was nice, but what struck me was how tiny it was,  I can’t imagine it can seat very many people, so I would expect it is normally quite hard to get a table.  After lunch, the rain had stopped, and we went to Tomorrowland.

As we entered, we saw there was no queue for the Timekeeper we went straight in.  This is exactly the same as the Disneyland Paris show – and while quite enjoyable, I wouldn’t want to stand in a queue to see it.  After timekeeper we got a FP for Buzz,  it was 2.30 and the FP was for 5.30-6.30.

We decided to see the Carousel of Progress (say Prrrooo G ressss) because I had never seen it.  It’s very corny, but there was no line and surprisingly we really enjoyed it. ‘There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, coming at the end of every day’  Katie particularly enjoyed the final scene where they burned the turkey, and is still talking about it now.  As we left the theatre it was raining again,  it didn’t seem to affect the crowds though,  but as it was now parade time we tried to get on Buzz again – the line was posted at 45minutes but it didn’t look that long so we chanced it and were on the ride in under 20 minutes.  Buzz was great fun, Katie steered while Phil and I shot,  so we got very dizzy, and I blame my pathetic score on her steering.
After Buzz we decided on a ride on the TTA – I love this,  ‘calling Mr Tom Morrow’,  again very corny, but a lovely relaxing 10 minutes, and I like the displays you can see in some of the buildings (like the model of Epcot as Walt wanted it to be).  When we went through Space Mountain, the ride was stopped and the lights were on.  It looked really naked  in the light, you can see that it’s really just a fairly ordinary roller-coaster which is made more exciting in the dark.
After seeing most of Tomorrowland, Katie fancied a ride on Goofy’s Barnstormer – I wasn’t sure my side should be jarred, so Phil and Katie lined up while I shopped.  Again the sign said 45minutes but seemed much shorter.  I stood by the exit and saw them go off,  Katie’s hands high in the air.  This child is scared of ghosts and witches but she’s got no fear of heights or speed.
The Barnstormer was quickly over, and we had a quick look at Donalds boat which has no water in it this year either,  so we decided to take the train around to Splash Mountain.
The train was fun, although we missed the ’Grand Canyon Diorama’ from Disneyland Paris.   When we got round to Splash Mountain the queue was posted at 75minutes even assuming it would move faster than that,  I don’t do 75 minutes,  so we got a Fast Pass.  It was about 5pm and our fast pass was for 9-10pm.  We walked back through Adventure land a little disappointed.  We had a PS for Liberty Tree Tavern for later on, so we checked where it was and when went into Fantasyland.  Peter Pan was also showing 70 minutes, and the queue never got any shorter all night.
We were hot and getting frustrated at the long lines, so we decided to sit on a bench and have a lemonade.  While we are sitting Snow White appeared behind us, so Katie dashed up for an Autograph, and got virtually a private audience with Snow White.  She was just tucked away in a little area by the back of the Haunted House, near it’s a small world.
After drinks and the visit with Snow White, we took a look at  It’s a Small World which was posted at 30 minutes, so we decided to do that, and the line moved quite quickly.  Katie absolutely loves this ride, so we always seem to ride it each time we visit the MK.
After IASW it’s time for dinner in the Liberty Tree Tavern.  The food was ok,  but we had a terrible table,  it was right in the middle of the aisle and it seemed like everyone needed to push past every two minutes.  We saw Chip n Dale, Pluto, Goofy and Minnie.  To be honest,  we are not really getting that excited at the character meals this year,  I’m not sure why as last year they were the highlight of our trip.  Maybe it’s because the parks are busier, so we are getting less personal attention,  or it could be that we did so many last year that the novelty has worn off, I’m not really sure, but while it was a nice meal and I have no real complaints,  the thrill of the character meal has somewhat worn off for me.
After dinner we head back to Fantasyland in search of shorter queues.  They are scarce but Tea Cups isn’t bad at 20minutes,  so we do that as Katie loves it – then we head back into Tomorrowland.


Phil and Katie want to drive the cars (what is that ride called?) but the line is way too long, and has been all day,  so instead Katie and I decide to do Astro Orbitor.  This was only posted as a 25minute wait but it seemed much much longer.  As we finally went up the lift I suddenly got very nervous,  it’s really quite high.  Katie, of course, has no fear and as she is driving we spend the whole ride very high,  so I just hold onto her tightly – not sure if I am protecting her,  or she is comforting me?
By the time we had done Astro Orbitor, it was 8.10 and we had missed the parade, so we decided to walk back round to Splash Mountain for our fast pass.  We got as far as Liberty Square when we caught up with SpectroMagic – there was no way we could get through Liberty Square,  so Katie sat on Phil’s shoulders and they watched the parade while I found a quiet wall to sit on and just watched the tops of the floats as they passed by.

After the parade we fought our way through the crowds to Splash Mountain – I was worried that we would miss the FP slot but we just made it.  Katie was measured and she was just tall enough,  so on we went.  I can’t believe the difference a year makes – last year she was worried about the Pooh Bear ride and this year she strides onto Splash with not a care in the world (although it has to be said she still wouldn’t step foot in the Snow White ride).
Splash Mountain was great,  this is the first time we have all been on a big ride together, and it was really good fun,  much better than baby swapping and doing it by yourself.  Of course, I got absolutely soaked, right at the beginning of the ride, before we had even gone very far.  Katie ended up totally dry and was quite happy about that.  We had the front row seats which I think contributed to my dampness.  We bought the picture from the drop because it was just so funny – Phil looks normal, Katie is laughing and I have my eyes shut and look terrified.  Just as the ride ended, the fireworks started over the castle,  so we stood a while to watch them from the exit path of the ride.
It took a long time,  but we made our way slowly out of the park, across on the ferry and back home.
All in all a fun, wet and extremely busy day at Magic Kingdom, probably one of the busiest days we’ve every experienced.

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