The Magic Kingdom

FBF0275F-DC0D-4364-BEC7-4D931CDACE54

Let me start by saying that both Susie and I have been coming to Walt Disney World, since very soon after it opened. In fact, when Susie and I started coming to WDW, the Magic Kingdom, Fort Wilderness, the Contemporary Resort, and the Polynesian Village was all that existed.

We headed out to the Magic Kingdom this morning, arriving about 11 AM, with a fast pass for the Jungle Cruise at 11:25 AM. We have been on the Jungle Cruise probably 30-50 times over the years, and as one of the legendary rides that dates to Disneyland, and one of the original rides in WDW, there is a lot of history on that ride for us! We remember going on it when it was an E Ticket ride! It is the Magic Kingdom to us, and if we can go on it, we do!!

Well, that was one of the last rides that worked for us! We couldn’t get a fast pass for Pirates of the Caribbean because it’s closed, because some people didn’t like the red head scene, so the ride is being revamped. Don’t start me.

Then we had a fast pass for the Haunted Mansion, a ride we love and remember riding shortly after it debuted at WDW. Guess what??? Ride temporarily closed..sorry. It was closed for 5 hours…we never got on it!

So, a stupid ride (well not really a ride), but something we love was next! Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room! If this was a ride at the New York World’s Fair in 1964, we’d call it an “air conditioned/seat ride”. It’s something we do every year, and we were able to do it this year!!

So since we couldn’t get on the Haunted Mansion, we did the Hall of Presidents. It was closed last year due to the election, so this was a brand new show, and it was very different, but very good. Unfortunately, our current President looks like an ass in audio animatronics too! (And the heaviest one! He was huge!)

Then, we were off to a ride I’ve loved since the NY Worlds Fair. No, not, It’s a Small World, but Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress! I remember it as the GE Pavilion at the World’s Fair, and come on….Jean Shepard does the voice acting!!! How could that not be a favorite for me!! Guess what…the ride broke, and we sat there for 10 minutes till they got it rebooted!!

Then to our last fast pass, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and guess what happened? It too broke down!! As were were getting to the end of the ride, it stopped and after trying to reboot it 3 times, it was discovered that our car had come off the track! It was our fault!!!! In case you’re interested, Susie beat me!

In short, the Magic Kingdom was a zoo today! There was a 45 minute wait for the WED People Mover, a ride that, but one other time, have walked right on. We didn’t wait today, but use that as a yard stick to how busy the park was. Did we have a great time today? I’m sorry to say we didn’t, and this is what we think are the reasons for that.

#1 – We have an institutional memory of this place that goes back to the 70s. Not to sound like two old farts, but we remember the “good old days”, and that’s not always good!

#2 – We are 40 years older than when we first started coming here…trust me, that makes a HUGE difference. (Our minds say yes, but our bodies say NO!)

#3 – The park is getting old! Rides like the Carousel of Progress (by my count 54 years old), the Haunted Mansion (at least 40+ years old), Pirates of the Caribbean (again 40 + years old) are showing their age, and breaking down. Hell, even the monorails are starting to look old!

#4 – There is more of everything at WDW, including people. Has the park reached it’s breaking point?

9AFCDF39-3AE8-4D7F-86DD-4BB316D13E97

Now don’t get me wrong, thanks to my Disney Retiree status, we don’t pay for parking and get into the parks for free, but is there a breaking point? We were talking to Tim the bartender at the Boardwalk Bellevue Lounge tonight, and he too wondered when the point will come that people will say NO to spending $160 for a park hopper and find long lines and broken rides.

Saying all the above, let me end by saying we still love this place and always will, and at these prices, how can we not come back! Tomorrow EPCOT, or perhaps a few hours by the “ Quiet Pool”. Stay tuned, and find out!

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

img_6936
Thursday, our last full day in Walt Disney World was dedicated to what Susie and I consider our favorite part of this wonderful place, The Magic Kingdom!! Back when Susie and I first visited WDW, the Magic Kingdom was all it was, and I guess for that, and for a visit I made to Disneyland when I was 10, walking into the Magic Kingdom is, for us, the real Disney experience! So a quick breakfast was eaten, then we were off in the car and did our last traveling by the monorail (another real Disney experience for us) to the entrance of the Magic Kingdom!

Of course, it was required that Chris get a picture of the four of us on Main Street with the castle in the background (I’m still 6 watching the Wonderful World of Disney in my living room every time I see that castle), and this time he lucked out. At Epcot on Tuesday, and Animal Kingdom yesterday, as soon as we got into the park and got to the perfect “photo spot”, Chris asked someone to take our picture. Tuesday he asked someone who spoke broken English, yesterday someone who spoke no English at all! Today he lucked out and asked a lady from North Carolina!! He finally found an English speaking tourist to help!!

img_6935

She did good I think!

We used today’s Fast Passes for the boys on rides like Space Mountain and Splash Mountain, figuring we’d get in the park in the morning and head right to the older rides and get on when they had shorter wait times. No such luck! Our first ride was again one of Susie and my favorites, the Jungle Cruise. We waited 45 minutes to get on, but honestly it was worth it!


Then it was off to the Pirates of the Caribbean. I was making noises about not standing on line and letting Susie and the boys go, but as with so much that comes out of my mouth, that was BS. It said a 40 minute wait, but in reality, it was more like 30 or less. Don’t we look happy while we’re waiting?

img_6938

Then we were off to the Haunted Mansion! I can remember when I first went on that ride here with my friend David Cohen. We were in our 20s, so it was in the 70s, and boy did that ride seem High Tech! Still one of our favorites!!

img_2321

Then we took the boys into a great 3D movie that we enjoyed last year, Mickey’s Phiharmagic! It was fun again, and the boys liked it too! On the way out, we watched the Sword and the Stone presentation by the Carousel in Fantasyland…always fun!

Then it was time to make our way to Tomorrowland. It was time for the boys to use their first Fastness for Space Mountain, Susie and I found a bench and waited for them, and she allegedly took this picture of me!

img_6939

If there ever was Fake News, that’s it! Like I could fall asleep in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom!!

Then it was time for one of our favorites, and a ride that Chris has never been on…Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress!

img_6940

Narrated by the one and only Jean Shepherd, I have loved this ride since I first saw it at the 1964/65 New York World’s Fair when I was 14 years old. In case figuring out how long that’s been is higher math for you, I have loved this ride for 53 years! It’s never really crowded, and I fear that one day it’s real estate will be given over to some new adventure, but we do love it and it has to be a part of every Disney visit for the D’Elia Family! Oh, BTW, Chris liked it!!

After we’d traveled through the 20th Century, we headed over to Monsters Inc.’s Laugh Factory. It’s a very cleverly done live animation integrated show, and if that doesn’t make sense to you, all I can say is that you’d have to see it to understand!

When we came out, the boys headed over to Splash Mountain to use their next FastPass and Susie and I headed to see about getting some ice cream. We nixed that Idea because the line was out the door of the Ice Cream Parlor! The park seemed to be incredibly crowded today. Oh, we found out that the Louisiana schools are on vacation this week, so perhaps that explains all the kids we’ve seen the last 3 days! Before heading home, we figured we’d hit the Disney People Movers, a cute ride that was the basis of the Ford Magic Skyway at the New York World’s Fair. Every year we’ve been here, this is a walk on ride, where you just walk through the entrance, go up the ramp, and get in a car. Today it had a 20 minute line!! WTF???? We nixed that, just like the ice cream!

So we headed back to Main Street, bought two sweat shirts in the Emporium (God, I do love the Disney Retiree Cast Member Discount of 35%), hit the bathroom, and took the Monorail back to the Ticket and Transportation Center’s parking lot and the Sonata.

We walked over 10,000 steps today, covering 3.3 miles, so we were happy to return to our room, make and enjoy a couple of drinks in the air conditioning, and when the boys return tonight, we are going to go to the Scat Cat Club, drink some drinks, enjoy some nice food, and have a relaxing evening! Tomorrow morning, the boys will leave early, and drive to New Orleans. Susie and I will leisurely leave Port Orleans, the French Quarter and we will head to our overnight in Pensacola, Florida. Krissi and Mike will fly in from NYC tomorrow and spend the night with Kenny and Chris. Mom and Dad will arrive in NOLA on Saturday, and the family will once again reunite one last time before Kenny and Chris continue their trip to their new home, Los Angeles!

So before I leave you this evening, I have one question. Why if Walt Disney World is the Happiest Place on Earth, are there so many crying kids everywhere you venture??? Just asking!

Have a great night…see you in Pensacola tomorrow!