Wednesday, February 29, 2012

One More Disney Day!

Happy Leap Day everybody!

Today the Disney Parks are keeping two parks (Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom) open for 24 hours.  You know where I am not? Disney World. Or Disneyland. Sigh.
Since I am not, I instead offer my fantasy day of 24 hours of Magic Kingdom park magic.

The parks opened this morning at 6am, but let's face it, there's no way in reality I'd make it there that early, but for the sake of this fantasy, let's say I did.   Since Thunder Mountain is down for refurbishment (even in my fantasy, alas), I'd actually start by heading for Fantasyland itself.  I think I'd take my first ride on "It's A Small World" just like I did when I was seven, plus there's the added bonus of having it stuck in my head all day!  I'd ride Snow White before it closes for good a few times, Peter Pan before the line forms, Pooh and the teacups.  After a few rides on the carousel, it would definitely be time for a first breakfast.  Since we're talking about 8:30am at this point, I'd head toward Main Street and grab a cinnamon roll. Maybe a chocolate croissant too. I mean, it is my fantasy, so calories don't count right?  I'd love to spend some time on Main Street during the morning since I never do that. I'm assuming that by this point some of the main street vehicles would be running so I'd ride those, I'd do some meet and greets, and then I'd take the train around the world a full lap and then continue on to Frontierland.  I'd grab a fast pass for Splash (it's still too early in the morning to even chance getting soaked) and I'd go on to Adventureland where I'd visit the Tiki Room and Pirates.  I might even snag a daytime ride on Jungle Cruise, which I never do since it's usually more fun at night. 

Now by this point, it's totally time for more food, so I'd go to the Crystal Palace and engage in multiple meal brunch.  Hopefully I'd be seated while breakfast is still out but transitioning to lunch.  That's the best secret for getting the most out of a meal there.  Combine that with a visit from Eeyore and Piglet and you can't go wrong!  After a very filling brunch, I think it'd be time for a trip to see Mickey's Philharmagic.  I'd love to catch the show at the castle as well for the afternoon. 

At this point (let's say it is now 2pm), I have to decide, am I really staying the full 24 hours in the park or do I go back to the room and take a nap?  Since this day may never happen again, I guess it is time for naptime at the Hall of Presidents.  I might even sleep through one show and then watch the second.   I'd step outside and grab a spot for the parade just as it was coming by Liberty Square.  I'd be sure to get a good ice cream cookie sandwich at the same time.  After that it is on to ride Splash Mountain finally, then the Haunted Mansion, and then off to grab some extra evening fastpasses in Fantasyland.   I think this is where I'd spend some late afternoon time trying out the new Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game.  I don't know how long it would take, but after I'd continue on to Tomorrowland, where I'd spend time with my audio-animatronic friends in the Carousel of Progress (also perfect for another nap!).  A spin with Buzz Lightyear follows and then a ride on the TTA.  Hopefully I'd have time to grab a Space Mountain fastpass now too. 

At this point, I imagine it's starting to get dark, and I am starting to be hungry again.  I think I'd grab something fast at Cosmic Ray's and then head to the hub to watch the parade, Magic, the Memories, and You and the fireworks.  I'd totally have popcorn while watching!

Now starts the fun overnight.  I don't normally do a lot of character meet and greets, but since they are going to be out in their pajamas, I think I'd have to go visit with as many as I could find.  I'd enjoy watching the dance party at the castle for a good half an hour, and then I think I'd ride the few things I had fastpasses left for.  Among the things I would be sure to catch is the Frontierland Hoedown.  I also have a suspicion there maybe some extra entertainment out, like maybe the pseudo Rennaisnce Faire style Pirates from the Halloween party. 

I'd grab a light night dinner (say 2am) at the Plaza since I do love their broccoli slaw and a cheesesteak sounds pretty perfect late at night.   I'd stay on Main Street for a bit and then head back to Tomorrowland to ride Space Mountain. 

I don't quite know when sunrise will hit, but I do know that I'm going to watch it from the top of Astro Orbiter.  I rarely ride this ride, but the view is pretty incredible from up there, and some I'd love to get some photos of both the last showing of Magic, the Memories, and You as well as the sun rising above Cinderella's castle. 

Hopefully there would still be some beautiful sunrise colors as I got a last Photopass picture on Main Street as I headed out for a well deserved rest.

Too bad I'm stuck getting lots of work done for school instead!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Flights of Wonder

I first went to Disney's Animal Kingdom the year it opened (1998 for those of you keeping track at home), and while Flights of Wonder was an original show there, I didn't see it until a decade later on a trip in 2008.  Since then I've seen it three or four times with a number of different actors, birds and handlers.   When I did finally see it, I found it more entertaining than I had originally expected.  To be more accurate, I expected nothing could be entertaining enough to sit through in July in the hottest park in Florida.  I'm still not sure I'd sit through it on a truly hot day, though there are fans, but I have been there on each of my last four trips that I was in that park. 

What makes the show interesting is the combination of education and entertainment.  That is always a hard balance to achieve, and I'm not sure that the entertainment portion of the show, featuring a lost tour guide who is afraid of birds overcoming his fears, is really all that exciting.  Some of the campy humor in which the script makes fun of the fact that is a theme park show and pokes fun at the expected outcomes at a Disney attraction (ending in a gift shop, etc.) is amusing.  However,  it's the birds that truly shine.  

Each show they present several dozen birds all doing behaviors that are natural to them.  It's not always the same combination of birds which means that it can be fun to go back.   I'm a particular fan of the little guy who sings "Camptown Races".  Every show I've seen they do bring out the Bald Eagle as a hopeful sign of the success of conservation efforts to up the population.

Just be warned! These birds do fly all over the theater.  There are handlers who come out to catch them as they fly over your head but it does feel like you're going to be dive bombed.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Trash Can Thursday

Last week's trash receptacle comes from the bridge between Downtown Disney West Side and Pleasure Island.

How about this week?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Trash Can Thursday

Last week's cans come from Pixar Place in Hollywood Studios.  You can find them across the way from Toy Story Midway Mania.  I picked up the Wii Toy Story Mania game back in December and I think it helped my score on this last trip!

Here is the picture for this week. Hopefully it's a bit more of challenge.  Any thoughts where this might be?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Trash Can Thursday

Two for the price of one!  Make sure you recycle!