The Magic Kingdom

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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?

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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!