Honeymoon Trip Report: Magic Kingdom

EDIT: If you click on an individual picture if will give you the full size image (or at least a larger image). The quality of some of the in-text pictures is…bad.

Magic Kingdom is THE park to visit when you go to Disney World. There are so many classic attractions that we ended up spending the majority of our time there. Let’s get right to it.

Starting in Fantasyland (non-logical here) Snow White’s (Not so) Scary Adventure was gone. In its place will eventually be a Princess meet and greet but for now a large scrim covers it.

Dumbo has moved and doubled in size. It’s over in “Storybook Circus” by other yet-to-open attractions and Goofy’s Barnstormer. There is a big play area for the kids in the middle of the line. We decided to skip it but it could be very fun for kids. The only problem I see is getting them to leave when your buzzer goes off and it’s time for you to board the ride. Although I have heard if you go up to the desk they will swap your pager for a new one with more time on it.

Goofy’s Barnstormer had been re-themed and the queues were swapped. The lengthy entrance has been turned into the exit and the entrance queue is shorter now. The ride, however, is still the same length and very kid-friendly.

Is Google Street View available?

There were a lot of scrims and walls up around the back side of Fantasyland making way for the NEW Fantasyland.

The crane is a nice addition

Above the walls you can see Beast’s Castle and Eric’s Castle (?).

Read on

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Paging Mr. Morrow

This is a mini post. The TTA (Tomorrowland Transit Authority) is still in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom (thankfully). A favorite of my family, the TTA has gone through some changes in the last couple years. When Space Mountain was renovated in 2009 so was the TTA.

Your party from Saturn has cancelled their trip

While the track itself is largely unchanged, some of the views along the ride as well as the iconic narration has changed. Therein lies the problem. My family tends to latch onto small details of the rides in Disney and cherish them.

Of course we like the rides themselves but we remember simply phrases said during a ride or one prop and always count on it to further enhance our Disney experience. You can imagine my dismay when we hopped on the TTA, whizzed off and, upon entering Space Mountain, could no longer see much of the glow-in-the-dark “shuttles” zooming around.

Construction covered up one of the previously open loading bays, thus impeding on the view from the TTA. Disappointing to say the least.

Preview the black walls inside Space Mountain aboard the TTA

Then, we groove around the Carousel of Progress and I wait for my favorite line: “Paging Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow, your party from Saturn has arrived, please give them a ring.” Well…the line never came. A mysterious announcer did cry out for a certain Mr. Morrow but his request was different.

Mr. Morrow’s party from Saturn has apparently ended their daily trip to Earth to see him. Not only do I feel bad for Mr. Morrow that his friends have abandoned him but I felt horrible because the line is GONE.

Sure, the newer attractions were added to the narration loop and that’s cool and all but the ride just isn’t the same anymore. I will still go on it multiple times every time I visit Disney but until they bring that line back and let you see Space Mountain again it will be sub-par.

Apparently, I am not alone in my love of the line. There is actually a t-shirt, sold at Disney, with the famous line on it. You can’t find it at any official Disney store online but there are some places that sell them online.

http://www.magicaldefinition.com/disney-shopping/disney-merchandise/2047/paging-mr-morrow-mr-tom-morrow-t-shirt-tomorrowland-people-mover.ashx

(Side note: another family favorite line heard on the Monorail – “Por favor mantangase alejado de las puertas:” Please stand clear of the doors in Spanish – has been available as a t-shirt for the past few years. I own one.)

My only fear is that because it’s a rather old attraction and the number of people who ride it are much lower than other Tomorrowland attractions that some smell-me executives will decide to replace it with a newer ride. Mark my words: If this happens I will never step foot into Tomorrowland again.

Before 2009

After 2009

Magic Kingdom Skyway

The worst part of visiting Disney World (besides the herds of Brazilian teenage tour groups) is all the walking. One day of walking around the Magic Kingdom will have you wishing you were gellin’.

Gellin' like a felon

The genius that Walt Disney was, he found the perfect solution: a Skyway. Visitors to the Magic Kingdom could conveniently (wait in line for 15 minutes because it took forever to load) board a colorful pod suspended by one metal bar and glide atop the park, forgoing all the annoying walking normally necessary for the trek between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.

Besides the fact that it would take about half the amount of time to walk it (thus burning off a few calories from all the food your cram down your cake-hole while on vacation at Disney), the feeling that at any second the car could disconnect from the cable suspended between each towering support and the nauseating up-and-down bouncing motion that occurred every time a new car left the station or surpassed a support, it was a GREAT ride.

I would include a photo of the actual pods, buckets, cars, whatever you want to call them, but all of the pictures I can find are from the ’70s.

There really isn’t much to say about the ride itself. It took you from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland. That’s it. It was cool (as long as you weren’t afraid of heights). It was convenient for families with small children. It’s gone now.

The station in Tomorrowland was only torn down a couple of years ago. Before that it served as a bathroom with a “forbidden” upstairs after the ride closed. I was actually quite fond of the building itself. I loved the little waterfall and I think it added to the aura of Tomorrowland as a whole.

There just aren't enough waterfalls at Disney anymore

The station in Fantasyland is still standing, a reminder of former childhood bliss. It still looks awesome sitting up on top of the little hill it is on. I always imagined that’s where the dwarves from Snow White lived.

A slap in the face to the building, it is now used for stroller parking, which, if I must complain about one thing at Disney now, it is the stroller parking. It is EVERYWHERE. Check that. Strollers are everywhere. There needs to be more strolling parking. Maybe they need multi-story automated stroller parking garages like you see in the movies for cars.

Your number one choice for prime stroller parking

In formation they look even more menacing

Alas, it seems as if all Skyways across the entire Disney World Parks spectrum have closed in an apparent attempt by Disney to help curb the obesity epidemic effecting (mostly America) the globe.

If walking from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland weren’t bad enough, the fact that the Strawberry Swirl is gone is thrown right in your face.

Alien Encounter

Touted as a teleportation exhibit, Alien Encounter was, if nothing else, corny to the point of hilarity. Before going on it the first time, I was terrified. Wanting to go back every time after that was in hopes of getting a good laugh.

The most fun you can have with aliens

I was always a big fan of the pre-show as I tend to have a sweet spot for animatronic characters. Maybe this is something instilled in my from countless trips to Disney as a child but whenever I see an animatronic character giving a presentation I am drawn toward it.

Effectively a fake demonstration of a new teleporation device, Chairman Clench of X-S Tech was willing to show a few lucky people (the 50 people they crammed into the room ever 15 minutes) his company’s latest, greatest invention. Good ol’ S.I.R. shows us how it all works.

Skynet's sister company

Poor little Skippy was the guinea pig for the demonstration. I always felt bad for him. He looked so innocent and unwilling to be in the demonstration, yet he was picked on every 15 minutes for 8-12 hours a day, 360ish days a year.

Hopefully he got a cut of the money from the merchandise

Once inside the demonstration chamber, everything goes awry. Instead of Chairman Clench appearing in the gigantic teleportation tube in the middle of the room, an alien pops up (first round of screams).

As you can imagine, madness breaks out as the alien escapes from the tube and terrorizes all the guests in the chamber. This is where the discrepancy between the advertised and actual occurs. Well, not entirely: there were always plenty of adults screaming and children crying (which added to the hilarity of the whole situation).

Yes, it was that terrifying(ly corny)

I found it amusing when the alien “jumps” on your shoulders and “breathes” on your neck (which always elicited the most screams, and thus, the most laughter from myself and my family). Luckily, the good guys come through in the end and corral the alien back into the chamber, teleporting him back to the nasty place he came from.

As with a lot of Disney attractions, Alien Encounter was closed and remodeled into a new attraction. Apparently other people besides my family found it not only un-terrifying but quite funny since they themed the new attraction to be funny (which, honestly, it’s not – at least not as funny as Alien Encounter was).

Sure, what 8 to 80-year-old guy doesn’t love the fact that Stitch bounces around the room belching on people and eating loudly? At the same time, because it’s supposed to be funny( and Disney usually caters to the younger crowd) going on the ride as a 20-something doesn’t make me chuckle.

Stitch's Great Escape

I found it more amusing that Alien Encounter wasn’t supposed to be funny…yet was hilarious. I still enjoy the new attraction and don’t love going to Disney any less because of it, but I could use a good not-as-scary-as-they-want-it-to-be-alien-catastrophe induced chuckle now and then.