Orlando Part III: Disney Day 3 (12/12/06)

Associated parks:
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Wednesday, December 20, 2006 10:13 AM
We saved Magic Kingdom for the last full day on the Disney property. At this point it was very much a get up whenever we get up thing, because we were pretty tired. We tried to get breakfast in Cinderella's Castle, but apparently missed the cut-off by a few minutes. (I should mention there was a huge crane next to the castle doing something.) We settled for crappy chicken tenders and fries next to the castle on the edge of Tomorrowland. I swear it's the only food you can find at Disney.

The first thing we did was get a Space Mountain Fastpass, though it proved to be unnecessary. We went to the new Stitch show in Tomorrowland, which used to be the Mission to Mars venue. It has roughly the same arena, only instead of shaking seats, there's a harness of sorts that pipes sound into your ears, blows stinky air at you, etc. The animatronics are really impressive here, including the robot in the pre-show (voiced by Richard Kind, the guy from the TV show Spin City).

Space Mountain is as fun as ever. It's amazing how well it runs despite its age, and it's a fun ride. A real people eater too with the dual tracks.

We made our way to the road of many dark rides and got fast passes for Pooh. In that time we did a number of different dark rides, all of which were somewhat forgettable. The real score was the Pirates of the Caribbean, which is excellent as it ever was. The new Johnny Depp characters are very lifelike, right down to the drunken pirate thing.

The Enchanted Tiki Room is under "new management" with Iago from Aladdin and Zazu from The Lion King. The show is still entertaining, but they cut the "Tiki Tiki Tiki Room" song and that sucks. Bastards.

Splash Mountain had about a ten minute wait and no Fastpasses, and wow do they run a lot of boats. We got stopped so many times as boats moved around through the blocks. They were six deep at the base of the lift to the big drop. It wasn't nearly as cool as our ride a few nights before because of the crowding factor.

We also did Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with a Fastpass, I can't believe how smooth that ride is given its age. It seemed a lot faster the last time I rode it, maybe because it was dark that time.

The Hall of Presidents was cool as always, if a little creepy. I mean come on, humans don't move their heads that slow! Animatronic Dubya's speech really calls him out as a hypocrite who isn't true to his own alleged beliefs. Overall, the show makes you proud to be an American, but at the same time makes you sad by showing how far from our core ideals we've drifted.

We ended our Magic Kingdom visit in the early afternoon at a small restaurant off of Main Street that wasn't bad. Very nice waitress from South Africa took care of us.

Returning to our room, we tried to make reservations at the Japanese restaurant in Epcot, but it was booked solid. Instead we got a reservation at Restaurant Marrakesh in Morocco, a real branching out for me.

Upon returning to Epcot, we worked our way around the countries from the east this time. It was, again, ridiculously crowded. We didn't really see much this time, but there was a very neat tin toy exhibit in Japan. A really good live band was playing in Morocco and a fake Beatles cover band played in England. Really great live entertainment overall.

There was a live chorus playing in the big outdoor amphitheater across from The American Experience, and people were lined up in both directions to get in. You could hear and see it just fine from the midway later on.

When we returned for our dinner reservation, I was initially alarmed. The restroom was a disaster, and there was something nasty on the side of our table cloth. But our waiter was excellent, and when a musician and belly dancer came out, I was more at ease. Cath got chicken couscous and I got chicken kabobs. Absolutely amazing food and I'm really glad we got to try something different.

After dinner we walked on to Test Track. It was kind of fun. The high speed part is pretty neat. Cath recognized the "test guy" in the video pieces from some movie (I think maybe Best In Show).

While I was not really excited about dealing with the enormous crowd around the lake gathering for the fireworks show, I was drawn in by the big flaming torches, so we hung out on the edges to watch. I'm glad we did, because Illuminations is a pretty remarkable show. I can't believe they do it every night!

Being on the south end of lake, we got out really quickly and were among the first to board one of two buses. For the first time since we arrived, we were able to get back to the hotel quickly and with minimal inconvenience.

Back at the hotel, Cath got a strawberry milkshake and I enjoyed the big chocolate chip muffin I snagged from Magic Kingdom earlier that day. We had a lot of good times at Disney, but pushed ourselves to the point of exhaustion. I would welcome the relative calm at Universal the next day...

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006 1:32 PM
It really is amazing how exhausted a trip like this makes you. When my girlfriend and I were there this fall we did Animal Kingdom and the two waterparks over four days and were ridiculously tired.
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Wednesday, December 20, 2006 4:49 PM
The crane was there for the cleaning of the castle. It was up a few days the previous week. They clean the blue spire roofs and such every few months.
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Wednesday, December 20, 2006 5:42 PM
^One of the cast members told me that they've been painting the castle since September.
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Wednesday, December 20, 2006 7:41 PM
Great TR (as well as the others). I echo your thoughts on Space Mt. But, I hope they soon give our Florida one the treatment the California one got....it's now in my top 10. It's truely a night andday difference.
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Thursday, December 21, 2006 4:11 PM
Yeah, when Lady T and I did Disney last year, I purposefully scheduled in downtime. I think we only did park stuff every other day or something like that. It's just too much walking (and too many kids even during the height of schooltime) to *not* plan for rest. Which is another reason why I marvel at the marathon trips some ppl around here plan.

BTW: Could the restaurant of Main Street have been Tony's or something like that (themed to Lady and the Tramp)?

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