Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Adventures in Disney World

Well. I'm back from Disney World, and I'm just glad that I survived it :) I know that many people love Disney World, so once again, I'm thinking that I'm the freakish minority. At any rate, where to begin...

When we arrived at the park, I was amazed at the size of the property. The place is a fiefdom unto itself. We took a tram from our assigned parking lot (Pluto) to the main entrance. I was a little surprised to find that we had to take either the monorail or a FERRY over to the Magic Kingdom itself. A ferry? We chose that option, and I was happy to view some laughing gulls, tree swallows and double-crested cormorants on our voyage. As Cinderella's castle came into full view, Hank was trembling with excitement.

After we entered the park, we started off at Dumbo, and Mike took Hank on. They waited for about 15 minutes, and while they did so, I did what I always do in these waiting situations: I whipped my book out. Mike is always amazed at my ability to tuck a book away in my handbag and read at every possible opportunity. Line at the bank? I'd rather use my time wisely and get another couple pages in. Strange, but true.

So I read, Mike and Hank finally got on Dumbo, and everyone was happy. I waved to them as they flew by. We moved over to the teacups, which are one of my favorites. I took Hank on this time, and we only waited for 5 minutes before we were able to get on. We got our own cup and I spun the wheel enthusiastically so we could swirl about. Hank laughed in delight. I think I overdid it, because when the ride stopped, I could barely stumble my way out of our cup. It looked like I had slipped a little something extra into my tea. Hank wanted to go on again, and thankfully, my father-in-law offered to take him. I was still recovering from the first trip.

After that, we headed to Thunder Mountain. We found that Disney has a new system called "fast passes" for the main rides. You register with your ticket, and receive a return time. When you return during the given time, your wait time will be at most 15 minutes. Our return time was about an hour away, so we ate lunch, and headed back. It worked out really well. After that, things started to deteriorate...

We went to the Haunted Mansion. The wait wasn't too bad, under 30 minutes. Hank loved that. That's when things got dicey. Mike and I headed over to Space Mountain to fetch a fast pass, and well... It was only 2 pm, and the fast pass returns were already at 6 pm. By 6 pm, with a 4 year old, we would be long gone. We glanced at the wait time: 60 minutes. Sigh. We probably should have just gotten in line at that point, but not being Disney savvy, we didn't. We did a little browsing at the stores, "$20 for 3 Mickey Matchbox cars? I don't think so..."

We met back up with my in-laws and Henry, and tried to find some more rides for Hank. Everything had a 60 minutes plus wait time, even the little kidde rides. Henry was starting to reach his expiration point, so we formulated a plan. Hank would go with his grandparents to the parade to see Mickey, and Mike and I would wait in line for Space Mountain. I'd never been on it, and since I'm fairly certain that I will never, ever repeat my Disney experience, I wanted to get that in.

Mike and I headed over. The wait time was now 90 minutes. *groans* I persevered though, and Mike, true to his wedding vows, stayed by my side. We waited. We eavesdropped on some conversations in the line near us to pass some time. We chatted. We snaked along. We finally got up to the point that we could see people entering the cars. We still had a ways to go, but I was feeling optimistic. We had been in line for 45 minutes. Then, disaster struck.

Space Mountain broke. I don't know what happened to it, but suddenly, the lights came on and an announcement over the loud speaker informed us that they were "experiencing technical difficulties. Please be patient." We waited for about another 15 minutes, and soon we were nearing the time that we had to meet back up with my in-laws and Henry. We waited for another announcement, and were told that things were still being repaired and we had to continue to wait. Feeling extra cranky, we extracted ourselves from the line and went back outside. The ride was totally closed; they weren't allowing anyone to even stand in line. Not a good sign.

So, I didn't get to go on Space Mountain, and most likely, I'll die without ever having the experience. Alas. I suppose I'll live.

Overall, it was a very, very long day. Mostly, I felt disappointed. Given that it was a Monday, and schools were back in session, I thought the crowds wouldn't be that bad. Naive, yes, it's true. The crowds were overwhelming, and we were only able to ride less than a handful of things in 7 hours. For me at least, a true introvert and sometimes clausterphobe, I can't enjoy myself in those circumstances. Especially when it costs what it does to gain admission. For $80, I want a personal champagne brunch with Cinderella. Or at least, Chip and Dale.

Henry had a great time, and that's what's truly important. For me, I'm happy to be staying in today, reading my next quilt series installment, and packing to head home to the arctic tomorrow. Several feet of snow and counting, just the way I like it...

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