My one Magical Day in MK - 2/10/2012
Every semester I am required to travel to Fort Lauderdale for my PhD program's residential institutes. Every year I've gone I've had a day or two off and always told myself I would go to WDW on one of those days....I never did...until this last residential.
On February 9th as I drove from Nova Southeastern University back to my Hotel I said..."if the next that plays on my iPhone is a Disney song...I will go to WDW tomorrow. Now I have over 400 songs on my phone alone and only 20 of them are Disney songs, mostly lullabies for DISbaby, but a few full ride soundtracks. So...20 out of 400 not really great odds. But Splash Mountain was the next song...so of to WDW I would go.
I woke up at 3:30 Sunday morning (February 10th) I was excited to take this little adventure. I grabbed my purse, wallet, phone (with GPS) and iPod connector for the car and was off by 3:45. I left waaaaaaay to early.
Now for those of you who are familiar with the Fort Lauderdale/Plantation area...it seems as if it is in a perpetual state of construction and the signage is not particularly great. Even with my "maps" app running I missed the exit for the Florida turnpike and ended up taking a U-turn after exiting near the Ports. I made my way back the opposite direction, found my exit, and hit the turnpike. I decided to stop at the first rest area on the turn pike because I needed coffee and breakfast.
Dunkin' Donuts BABY!! We do not have Dunkin' Donuts in Utah...only Krispy Kreme so I always make sure to get a coffee and a donut or breakfast sandwich when I back east. And...their large coffee's are GINORMOUS! I had a great little chat with the young man behind the counter as my coffee and sandwich were prepared. I was the only one in the rest stop besides them and a cop. I got back into the car and continued to head north. I only made one other stop for more coffee and a bathroom break.
Now my GPS on the phone ended up taking me through Kissamee....which was odd but good because I had left so early it killed another 30-45 minutes of travel time but I-4 would have been much faster.
Driving, driving, driving....and finally reached this:
Yeah, I was bad and took a pic while driving. Thankfully the road was empty.
I debated between MK and EPCOT. In hindsight I should have picked EPCOT for reasons I will discuss later but I wanted "magic" so I went to MK:
I sat in the car reading for about a half hour after parking. Like I said I got there far too early because the GPS said it would take longer to get there then it actually did...so I just drank my coffee and hung out until the ticket booths opened.
I bought my one day ticket and boarded the Monorail to the MK.
Me being a cheeseball....
I had the entire car to myself so I was all giddy and goofy as we traveled to the park entrance.
Eventually they let us pass the gates and I took a spot near the left bridgeway because I'd never seen the welcome show.
As the crowds gathered I played with my phone, took some video and people watched.
To be continued in next post....
Opening Show Part 1
Opening Show Part II
This was my first emotional...I'm away from DISbaby moment here. You hear that song they're singing.."Good Morning, Good Morning"...I have been singing that to DISbaby since she was born. I had no idea it was in the show...thank God I was wearing my sunglasses because I was sniffling like crazy underneath them trying not to burst into tears.
Rope dropped and we all started meandering down Main Street.
My first stop was Tomorrowland...where I worked in the WDWCP in 2001...makes me feel old. I headed straight to Space Mountain and walked right on. I love the new interactive cue...I was blasting meteorites as quickly as I could as I passed the buttons. Space Mountain seemed a lot rockier then I remember but it was fun and afterwards I decided to go straight to New Fantasyland....for one of these:
Very sweet but tasty. I imagine it would be better on a hot summer day.
I wandered around New Fantasyland for a bit, taking pictures and only rode Ariel's Undersea Adventures...I'd never ridden before and I love the colors and thoughtfulness and details put into the cue and ride itself.
To be continued in next post...
Part Three - where things start to get weird.
In Fantasyland...wandering around, watching families I started to really miss my little one. Now, here's the kicker. For YEARS I have loved going to DL and WDW solo. But after taking DISbaby to DL in December everything seems to have changed...I really wanted her there. So I went around Fantasyland aimlessly just taking pictures, checking into shops, wandering around.
I then wandered into Liberty Square...I was hungry so I dropped into Columbia Harbor House which had just opened and grabbed a Lobster Roll with chips. Not my favorite but it seemed a good choice at the time. After scarfing that down I went in to watch Hall of Presidents. Now, being a historian, having written my undergrad thesis on "Walt Disney's Defense of America," and currently in a class on History and Memory I found it particularly moving and propaganda-ish. I have a tendency to analyze everything now but I did enjoy the show.
After I headed to Haunted Mansion to check out the new cue everyone has been talking about...what a great addition to the ride:
After playing with everything in the line I sanitized my hands and boarded my car.
I love the ending to this ride with the mirrors. I'm not going to spoil it for anyone who has not ridden but it's pretty darn cool what they do now with your hitchhiking ghost.
I was sad that Splash Mountain was down so I wandered to Adventureland and got in the looooooooong line for Pirates. They were having some problems with it so the line was moving slower than usual and by the time I reached the boat it was stopped for a good 20 minutes. Again I got sad. There was a family with a little one, maybe a few months older than DISbaby.... :eek: It was a good thing it was dark because I got really teary eyed.
Love the new additions to Pirates as well, keep an eye out for them, some of them are very subtle (mermaids).
At this point I was tired. I'd been up for awhile and needed some sort of boost. I went to Main Street and got one of these:
I sat outside the shop people watching and had a nice discussion with one of the Suffragettes who wander Main Street.
Then I shopped....
Part 4 - The end of the day
After my ice cream I decided it was time to get souvenirs for DISbaby. I wandered through the Main Street shops. I picked up a Mickey Mouse shirt and onesie, a new Baby Lady (our dogs had destroyed the one grandma got her at DL in December) a necklace with her name on it for when she gets older and a set of Mickey Ears with her name....I'd overlooked that in December.
Yup, DISbaby's name is Lillian. I circled the name in the baby book, hubs liked it and I just neglected mention that it was Walt's wife's name...whooops....too late now. :p
I decided to take a trip on the train before leaving the park. I was tired, hot, missing DISbaby so I boarded and just sat back for one last trip around the World.
After leaving the train I hopped the boat back to TTC, got into my car, and braved the Florida turnpike and the INSANE drivers back to Fort Lauderdale. Seriously I thought I Utah had bad drivers but holy cow....Florida drivers scare me. :drive:
In hindsight I think I should have gone to EPCOT. I think I would have enjoyed the day far more then MK without DISbaby. But I am glad I went. I learned a little bit about myself and how I've changed since being a WDWCP'er when I loved wandering the parks solo. I know this TR is short but I hope you enjoy it.
Great TR! :)
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