Before I get into recapping my recent trip to Walt Disney World, I wanted to mention a few upcoming things as Disneyland kicks off their 60th Anniversary Celebration this weekend. First off, on Wednesday, the Disney Parks Blog announced that they will have a live web cast of the premiere of Paint the Night Parade and the Disneyland Forever Fireworks TONIGHT at 8:30pm PDT! Also, on Friday, they will be webcasting from the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration 24 Hour event! Check out the announcement here. So, if you can’t make it out to Disneyland on Friday or the special invite premiere of Paint the Night Parade and Disneyland Forever Fireworks tonight, you can go there virtually. Can you guess what I’ll be watching tonight?
Are you going to the 24-hour event at Disneyland or Walt Disney World? Check out Tom Bricker’s post on the Disney Tourist Blog for advice in how to plan for your fun-filled 24 hours at the theme parks here.
With current Disney business covered, I want to get around to covering my recent trip to Walt Disney World. As I mentioned before, my first full day at Walt Disney World started with 3 miles of running through the All Star Resorts.
After the run, it was time for breakfast and my first Mickey waffle of the trip before heading off to the first theme park.
The first day was Magic Kingdom day. Here’s the group of peeps Brooke and got to hang out with all trip long. For many of them, it was their very first trip to Walt Disney World!
One thing that was kind of sad is that they were working on the hub and the Partner’s Statue. So, that meant no pics with Walt and Mickey.
We did make sure to get a picture with Cinderella’s Castle, though. Cinderella’s Castle is huge and towers above everything at the Magic Kingdom.
We headed back to Fantasyland and found the fast pass machine to schedule our fast passes for the day. Unlike previous trips for Brooke and I, we were with a group that wanted to just “go with the flow.” So, the fast passes weren’t planned before we arrived in Florida. We scheduled fast passes for the Haunted Mansion, The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, and Space Mountain.
So, the first ride on the schedule was the Haunted Mansion. Going through the fast pass line for this attraction cuts out some of the coolness of the queue line. However, it was a fun ride like usual. I really enjoyed experiencing this attraction with those that were used to the Disneyland version. It was fun to compare and contrast with them. One thing that was surprising to me was that the ghosts at the end of the ride moved around as we went by the mirrors and even sat on top of our Doom Buggies. I thought that was really cool!
I couldn’t resist snapping this picture of my wife with the tombs of the other loving wives….LOL!
There was some time after Haunted Mansion before we had to use our fast passes on the Little Mermaid attraction. So, we stopped to take in Mickey’s Philharmagic. I absolutely LOVE this 3-D movie and wish they could find a way to bring it out west!
By the way, the back of the sign above looks like this! I’ve been to this attraction before and never noticed.
Coming out of Mickey’s Philharmagic, I finally saw this! There are many bloggers and Mice Chat trip reports that have contained the above photograph and I always wondered where they got the picture. So, when I noticed, I was pretty excited. Now I have a photo of this Donald of my own!
This is the whole picture of what’s going on with Donald. Mickey as the conductor totally fits with Mickey’s Philharmagic.
After Mickey’s Philharmagic, we headed off to use the fast passes for the Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. I love, love, love the queue line for this attraction!
For those unfamiliar with the version of this attraction at the Magic Kingdom and have only experienced it at Disney California Adventure, you’ll notice that they have a different mural in the loading area from the DCA version. I think that both murals fit perfectly with the queue lines at each theme park.
The ride itself is almost identical to the version that resides at Disney California Adventure. Being a huge Ariel fan, this is Brooke’s fav attraction.
After going under the sea with Ariel, we made our way to see if we could get into the Be Our Guest Restaurant. I somehow missed that Disney has made lunch another time to eat there with an ADR. When Brooke and I were at the Magic Kingdom for Marathon Weekend, they didn’t have this policy. As you might imagine, were a little bummed to learn this and were initially turned away. The cast members did say to check back in the next 45 minutes to see if anything opens up. They didn’t get any more specific on how much time to allow. So, the ladies saw that the line for the carousel was pretty short. As they were in line, I ended up going back to see if anything had opened. The person in front of me was told nothing was available and to check back. So, I asked the cast member when they started taking ADR’s for lunch at the Be Our Guest and that I wished I had known that before we went out. I think he sensed that I was a little bummed. So, as I gave up hope and walked back to let the group know, the cast member came running up to me and ask if my group was ready. I told him that they were on the carousel and were about to walk over. So, he told me we got the last spots for lunch! Score!
So, I texted Brooke to let her know of the good news and to hurry. Needless to say, there was much rejoicing!
Lunch was as awesome as we remembered! If you’ve never dined here before, I could not recommend it enough! The food is good and the theming is out of this world!
After lunch, our friends headed off to ride Space Mountain. Brooke and I got a spot in front of Tomorrowland to watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade!
Since Disney is milking Frozen for all it’s worth, Elsa and Anna were in the parade.
Brooke loved that Ariel was part of the parade!
I really liked the Peter Pan float.
The real reason to see this parade? The fire-breathing dragon! This guy was AMAZING! Overall, I loved this parade! They had a great mix of Disney characters throughout the years and a fun music track. It’s totally worth the time to watch!
After the parade, we were off to Tomorrowland (by the way, the movie Tomorrowland opens Friday! You should go check it out!) I love the entrance and vibe of Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom.
Since I was dressed as Buzz and the line for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin was small, we had to check it out!
When I was here for the marathon weekend, Buzz wasn’t working. So, I was thrilled to see Buzz out giving us instructions!
I still prefer the Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters at Disneyland to the Magic Kingdom because the guns you use are more mobile. I also prefer the trigger. It’s still fun, though to be in the world of Buzz Lightyear!
After playing with Buzz, Brooke and I headed off to Gaston’s Tavern for a bit of a break from the heat.
As we relaxed, I saw this cool view of Cinderella’s Castle. So, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a pic.
After our break, we headed off to Pirates of the Caribbean. On the way, we noticed that there was a short wait for It’s A Small World. So, we decided to check out the Magic Kingdom version.
This is one of the few things that the Magic Kingdom version is smaller than the Disneyland version.
The whole crew was in good spirits!
After It’s a Small World, we headed off to Pirates. Right across from the entrance there was this little show with Jack Sparrow! Fun!
Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me!
Captain Barbosa was looking for Captain Jack Sparrow….
My favorite scene!
So, one thing that’s cool about the Magic Kingdom version is that it’s easier to get a picture of Jack Sparrow at the end of the attraction. At Disneyland, you’re heading up when you pass by. At the Magic Kingdom there is no incline. Even though I prefer the Disneyland version of Pirates, it’s still a fun ride.
One happy Space Ranger who just rode the Caribbean in search of Jack Sparrow!
After riding the Caribbean, we headed off to Aloha Isle. As strange as it may sound, I had my very first Dole Whip! For a person who is as big of a Disney fan as I am, it seems strange that I haven’t had one before. But, I finally got to experience this amazing treat! I’m hooked!
After the Dole Whip, we went off to see the Country Bear Jamboree!
As a kid, I loved this show at Disneyland! One of the ladies wanted to see this show because she hadn’t seen it since it left Disneyland. So, we went. I must admit that it was cool for the nostalgia part of the experience. However, the show seemed a little shorter than I remember. In spite of the shortness of the show, I still enjoyed what we did see.
After the Country Bears, we headed to the Hall of Presidents. Since many of our group had never been to the Magic Kingdom before, they wanted to make sure to take in attractions we don’t have out west.
Across the way from the Hall of Presidents, we briefly stopped at the Christmas store.
I think any runDisney runner needs this ornament. Coast to Coast anyone?
Up next was a stop at the Tea Cups. Brooke and her sister has lots of fun on this attraction. I can’t do rides that spin. Brooke loves the tea cups. So, my job is to get pics while she enjoys the ride.
After the tea cups, we decided to get dinner at Cosmic Rays in Tomorrowland. I had read about this place and wanted to go there during marathon weekend. However, I couldn’t find it. Needless to say, it was fun to take in food with Sonny Eclipse entertaining us! So much fun! The food was pretty good for a counter service restaurant!
The sun had set and it was time to head off to get a spot to see the Main Street Electrical Parade!
No one does night-time like a Disney theme park! The Magic Kingdom sparkled as it was all lit up!
When Brooke and I were here for marathon weekend, this float was not in the parade. So, I was pretty excited to see it!
We were at Walt Disney World just before the Expedition Everest Challenge. However, I knew the following weekend would be the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland.
There are so many fun floats in the Main Street Electrical Parade. However, outside of the one with Mickey, I think my favorite is the Pete’s Dragon one. I have totally missed the Main Street Electrical Parade ever since it left Disneyland. It is a parade that belongs on Main Street U.S.A. That’s why I never saw it at Disney’s California Adventure for its brief stint there. Seeing on Main Street U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom is just as awesome as it was on Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland! I can’t wait to see the new night-time parade at Disneyland! From the YouTube videos I’ve seen of Paint the Night Parade in Hong Kong Disneyland, it looks like it will be the Main Street Electrical Parade for the 2000’s.
After the Main Street Electrical Parade, we went up Main Street U.S.A. and found our spot for the next two things of the evening. Up first is Celebrate the Magic.
Gotta have some Frozen you know!
Let’s all remember that it all started with a mouse.
Even it it’s at the end of the show.
Then, it was time for Wishes!
This is a really wonderful fireworks show!
What a great way to end our first day at Walt Disney World!
On the way to our bus, I saw this bus! An Avengers bus!
Sadly, this wasn’t our but. However, would it be cool if it was? Promotions for Avengers: Age of Ultron was everywhere. And why not? The film did premiere on the Friday I was at Walt Disney World. I had a wonderful time at the Magic Kingdom and it was only the first full day!
I know that this post has a lot of pictures in it. However, I took a lot more than is here. If you’d like to see all of them, check out my Flickr Gallery for the 2015 Magic Kingdom here.