Magic Kingdom is the main Disney park – the one with Cinderella’s castle in it. The plan was to spend four evenings there, to try and avoid the worst of the queues and the heat. It didn’t work out like that because it’s such a palava to get there. You park your car, then take a tram to one entrance, then take either a monorail train or a ferry across a massive lake to get to the actual entrance…
Our first visit was not all that successful. We went straight to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, queued for half an hour and were then told it had broken down. It was another 40 minutes after that till we actually got into a boat. Then, whilst I still loved the ride, I have to admit to being a bit disappointed. The same ride, and the original one in California is longer and better than this one in Florida. Never mind – I still recommend it. Just look out for the queue times, because the longer you queue, the more of a let-down it might be. You can’t beat the animatronic of Johnny Depp – it looks so much like him you think you might be being secretly videoed and any minute now he’ll climb right out the barrel and say hello to us!
Then we did the Jungle River Cruise, which I would rather have missed, but Chris and Rain wanted to do it. It’s a boat ride with old, jungle themed animatronics and statues on the river bank while the driver makes lots of very cheesy, and not-very-funny jokes. Don’t bother with it, really.
By now it was completely dark, so we found a spot for the electric parade and waited. It was fantastic and I’d highly recommend it. However, if you’ve been to the Somerset autumn carnivals, it does not have the same wow factor. It was over quite quickly and the floats weren’t as amazing as I remember them being in the first parade I watched at Disney Land, California 10 years ago.
Rain and I rode Splash Mountain, which was really good fun – one of my favourites at Disney, definitely. The rides all closed as we came off, and walked out while the fireworks were going off. Unfortunately, they finished just before we reached the exit and it took an hour to get out as we got stuck in the mass of people all leaving at the same time.
Our next trip was near the end of the holiday on a drizzly evening. Queues are definitely less on rainy days, so head there when the skies open! We did the Haunted Mansion, which is fantastic and an absolute must. Only the wimpiest of kids would find it scary, so don’t worry about that – the effects are great.
We rode Pirates of the Caribbean again – this time with no queue at all. We spent a long time in the shop afterwards – they have loads of lovely cool stuff and I could’ve spent a fortune there. The kids and I climbed Tom Sawyer’s treehouse in the dark – children with any imagination will love it. Chris dragged me onto It’s a Small World After All. God! I know it’s a classic, but really don’t bother! Opposite was the Peter Pan ride, which looked good, but had a 40 min queue so we gave it a miss. So we just got a good spot for the fireworks display, which was amazing. I love fireworks!
The weather meant the crowds weren’t so heavy when it came to leave, which made the getting out process much easier. I left with a heavy heart though, knowing we weren’t coming back. There were several rides I had wanted to go on too, which we missed completely – we didn’t even walk round half of the place. Shame.