We were at Disney World for 8 days this trip and we typically spend the first day and a half and the last half day at the Magic Kingdom. When I left off in the last post, we were about to leave for the Magic Kingdom. We took our first monorail ride of the trip and arrived mid-day at the MK. We had an early dinner, so we didn’t have a whole lot of time in the afternoon left, but we hit some of our favorites like Haunted Mansion, Pirates, and It’s a Small World, and we even had time for a walk through Toon Town, which I didn’t remember at all. Maybe I never saw it? I’m not sure. I wanted to see it before they started up the big Fantasyland expansion project, which is set to be built on top of Toon Town and in some of the older unused areas of Fantasyland (like 20000 Leagues Under the Sea). The project looks pretty cool and it looks like the area/ride closings are pretty minimal (except Toon Town), but it’ll be a bummer to have walls up and construction going on for so long until it opens in 2013. Anyway, it was cute, but we had a reservation to get to! At one of my favorite dinner spots: Cinderella’s Royal Table! I love it there. We requested “our” seat by the window, and though we didn’t get the exact one, we got one by the window, so I was still happy. We saw 2 engagements while we were there – one of which was at “our” table, so I guess that’s why we didn’t get that one, even though it was open when we got there. Dinner was very good – actually maybe my favorite of the week – I had some sort of pasta and Chris had lamb.
After dinner, we used the pathway through the castle to the front to find a spot for the parade and fireworks. I took a few pictures of the castle as we walked through, since it seemed as if they were getting ready to rope off the pathway, so it was pretty empty.
The parade was cute, as usual, though some lady and her kid showed up 2 minutes before it started and tried to push in front of us. Sorry lady, find another spot. Get there early if you want a clear view. It’s not like getting in front of us would’ve helped much anyway, we were standing in the back, too. Not pushing, though, I might add. After the parade, we moved a bit since we were still really close to the castle, which would’ve made for too close pictures of fireworks. I didn’t have my tripod that night, since it was in the suitcase, which hadn’t been delivered to our room yet, so I just took some normal pictures. I tried a few slow shutter, but despite my delusions that I can hold still for a clear picture, I cannot. They were terribly blurry. I even tried sitting down and using my elbows on my knees as a makeshift tripod, but no.
After the fireworks, we meandered out of the park and took the monorail back to the hotel. We had an early morning the next day!
So on our second day, we woke up bright and early (actually dark and early) for our 7 am Chef Mickey’s breakfast at the Contemporary. I don’t know what possessed me to make our reservation that early. Egads. The monorails apparently don’t even start till 7 am, and they were running late that day, so we got to Chef Mickey’s kinda late. But we got in right away, no waiting. Breakfast was good – very filling. It was a big buffet and we each had stuff like eggs, bacon, chocolate injected croissants, and a really yummy apple/grape/granola liquidy goodness. We met all the characters (Minnie even motioned to me that Chris was hot!) and took some pictures:
Once we were done, we headed back to the MK. We started out with Space Mountain, which was probably not the best idea on a very full tummy. I felt icky till about lunch time. It was fun though. I’ve heard some complaints about the renovation of Space Mountain, but overall, I thought it was pretty good. We didn’t get to play at all with the in-line games:
but I saw a few people shooting things before it went to that screen (and stayed at that screen for the rest of our fast walk through the non-existent line) and it looked kinda cool. The ride itself seems smoother and also faster. Although it’s possible it just feels faster because it’s completely dark now. No more glowy stripes on the sides of the coaster, no more thrill of “oh my God, am I going to hit my head on those low beams”, and even the stars weren’t terribly bright. That may be my only complaint. I can do without seeing the track, but seeing the stars and other coasters was kinda fun. Now you barely see anything. Maybe it would’ve been better for me if I hadn’t been so full. After Space Mountain, we decided to hit some tamer rides, like the People Mover (also refurbished, with a new script – no more “paging Tom Morrow”), Carousel of Progress (I still love it), Autopia, and Laugh Floor.
We stopped for a quick lunch at Cosmic Rays, but I was still so full, I didn’t eat much of my salad/soup and Chris only had about half his wrap. I think we even passed on the meal plan-included desert. After lunch, we finished out most of the rest of the park, except Thunder Mountain (saving for nighttime) and Splash Mountain, which was in the middle of being refurbished – actually it was completely drained. It looked pretty weird. After a short break, we had dinner at the California Grill at the Contemporary (Contemporary twice in one day!). The food was amazing as always – I had lobster salad and sweet potato/ricotta ravioli and Chris had really tasty sushi and I think some sort of fish. This was definitely Chris’s favorite meal of the week. My only complaint was where they seated us: they put us in the back room, which was meant I guess to be romantic and quiet, but we didn’t have the famous view of the Magic Kingdom! Way off in the distance you could barely make out Spaceship Earth at EPCOT, but otherwise, it was just a big dark expanse of wetlands.
Anyway, we wanted to get back to the park to see the fireworks again, so we skipped desert and headed back.
Tonight, I had my tripod, and we got set up nice and early near Casey’s Corner (the hot dog place) on Main Street. I wasn’t in anyone’s way, and most people left me a small box to work in. Of the few people who obliviously stood directly in front of me, most quite willingly moved over a foot as to not block my shot. Except for one. Who we shall refer to as Ms. Big Head Magic Stealer (Ms. BHMS for short.) She showed up about 2 minutes before the fireworks started and plopped her kid (not a small kid either, she must’ve been 8.) on top of a trash can a few feet in front of us, which completely blocked out the entire castle in my shot. Chris politely asked her if they could move over just a little bit, and her response was “We’re fine.” Fine, my ass. I complained loudly that they were blocking my entire frame and then yelled at her that it was not fine and that they were rude and completely in the way. I was there first! Again with the getting there last minute and expecting to get in front of everyone! I freakin’ hate people!! But anyway, the show started, and I didn’t really have any choice but to start trying to take pictures since I didn’t really have time to find a new spot, set up again, and set all the settings again. Therefore, most of my pictures came out like this:
Which, yeah, the fireworks look pretty cool. But imagine how much nicer it would’ve looked without the 2 abnormally large heads in the way. Near the end of the fireworks, I realized I could move over a couple inches, right to the very edge of the curb, for a better shot of the castle, but it threw off my focus, which I didn’t notice immediately, and by the time I got the castle back in focus, the show was practically over.
Ms. BHMS and her large headed daughter practically bolted after the fireworks ended, but not before glimpsing at me and receiving a good stink-eye look. Boy, she made me mad. I wanted to pick up my tripod and plop it directly in front of her and her daughter and then get up on Chris’s shoulders (haha, boy, that’d be a funny sight. I’m pretty sure Chris would topple as soon as I tried to get up! Ooh, but hey, maybe we could’ve fallen backwards onto them!!) or maybe abandon my picture taking attempts and stand directly behind them and talk about highly inappropriate things. Or at the very least, show my camera to them afterwards and demand payment for their private photo shoot. It just really upset me. Cool fireworks pictures was one of my huge goals of this trip, certainly my main photo goal. And that night was our last planned MK night, so I wouldn’t get another try that trip. And worse, it really soured me to even trying to get good fireworks shots in the future at the MK because people just suck. And I don’t like being angry all night because of one insignificant bitch. With a big ugly head. (Bitter much? lol). I don’t even know how to combat it. Other than to get there late and be a jackass myself setting up in front of others or getting an extremely tall tripod. Either way, I block someone else’s view and ruin their magic. Which I don’t want to do. I care about other people’s fun (when they deserve it). I don’t want to be in the way. Bah, enough about that.
We finished off the night with a ride of Thunder Mountain (still prefer it at night!) and another ride of the Haunted Mansion. We had another early morning the next morning with Extra Magic Hours at Animal Kingdom! However, since I’m trying to keep each park within one post, we did stop back at the MK on the last day of our trip as well. We only did a few rides that last day since we had to pack up and check out before going to the park and we had a bus to catch at 4 back to the airport, but we did Laugh Floor, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates all again, as well as eating lunch at Pinocchio’s Village Haus (where we actually got some pretty good meatball subs). Our last ride was Pirates and it was obvious that that next week was going to be busier than our week, since we had our first 20 minute line. I was exhausted by the end of the trip and almost didn’t want to wait the 20 minutes, but afterwards, we got some Dole Whip Floats and relaxed in the shade for a little while, so that was a nice way to end the trip.
A few more Mickey pictures:
And a few scenery pictures:
Next up: Animal Kingdom!