Friday, January 11, 2013

Monday at the Parks -- Another Disney Adventure

I got a good start on Monday, arriving at the Magic Kingdom before it opened. In fact, my original plan was to go to the Polynesian Hotel and have a good cup of Kona coffee until the park opened. However, after getting off the bus, cast members told me the park was open, so I proceeded, until I found I was all the way to walking through the train tunnel and then prevented from going any further. That's when I'm glad for the Kindle. I found a wall to lean upon and read a book for awhile.

You can see there is a crowd and I'm not the only one staring at something in my hand!

A few minutes before 9:00 a musical group appeared and began performing. You can see them a bit in the center of the photo -- perhaps see a man waving his hat.

Then the first train of the day arrives carrying all of the major Disney characters, and Mickey Mouse opens the park.

A nice part of getting to the park early is that one gets to see things that only appear then.


Here is the omnibus that carries guests up Main Street towards the castle.

And an old car --
or even a fire truck.

I wandered up Main Street towards Cinderella's Castle.
The passageway was full of families ready to go have breakfast with Cinderella. This passageway is very beautiful with mosaics on the wall illustrating the Cinderella story.

I walked past the carousel to the new gates for Fantasyland.

This takes one into an area called Belle's Village. Because it was early in the morning I was able to take a look at the new restaurant in the Be Our Guest restaurant.

It looks spectacular! I didn't eat here this trip. Dinner requires a reservation, and by 10:00 AM the lunch line was long, long, long. I wasn't about to wait in a line more than a hour to order a sandwich! Next time!

I kept walking and exploring and decided to go on the Under the Sea ride. The sign said it was a slowing moving ride. I didn't understand where the entrance was and found a big sign for Ariel's Grotto. The line was short. After a bit I became puzzled. The line was moving one family group at a time about every 30 -45 seconds. Boy! it must be a slow moving ride. Only at the very last minute did I figure out I had gotten into the line for a photo with Ariel.

A nice mistake! When I put this picture on Facebook, one person asked me if Ariel was a statute. I replied, "No, she told me to put my bag behind my back!"

Got back into the right line. Under the Seas is a great ride. Everyone can enjoy it.

By now the oatmeal I had eaten around 7:00 was disappearing. And as I've noted above Be Our Guest wasn't going to be an option so I went to Gaston's Tavern.

 I got a coffee and cinnamon roll.

Oh, this isn't a cinnamon roll! It's half a loaf of bread! Every bite was good, and every bite showed up on the scale, too, when I got home. It was nice to relax and enjoy this new space. The crowds had disappeared. Learned a lesson. If I take my older daughter next year at this time, we will go just a few days later.

When I had been in the Magic Kingdom on Saturday night, the line was long, long, long for Peter Pan even at 10:30 PM. So I headed to get a Fast Pass for that ride.

A surprise Fast Pass bumped out as well for Mickey's PhilarMagic. This show is a 3-D cartoon set to classical music with parts from the legendary film, Fantasia.

Then off to Peter Pan.

One travels in a pirate ship over scenes from this classic story.

Now I was ready for the activities that could take large crowds. I headed towards Frontierland. The day had been hot and cold, rainy and sunny. I kept putting on and then taking off my coat. I found some two-legged visitors who were keeping warm in feathers.

I boarded the Liberty Belle for a ride around the river.

 On the boat one gets a great view of Thunder Mountain.

video


Then to the Hall of Presidents for the history show.

This show concludes with a presentation of animatronic figures of all the U.S. Presidents. Lincoln gives a short speech. Later in the day I went over to Hollywood Studios to see an exhibit there and found a model that shows the technology inside the Lincoln figure.

Country Bears was next.

Then I went to the Frontierland Train Station and took the train around to Main Street Station. Then I took a launch to the Polynesian Resort.

I still had the Kona Cafe on my mind. I found it easy to get a seat for lunch and truly enjoyed a grilled tuna sandwich. After lunch I took a bus from the Polynesian to Hollywood Studios.

My first stop was at American Idol.

I arrived when one of the producers was doing a warm-up for the crowd. Soon we were seated. I heard someone say, "Oh, they even have the cool steps."
video
 There were three contestants. Two were young women who somewhat semi-professional singers. The third was a young man from North Carolina, who explained he was at Disney on a senior class trip. It was easy to hear the nervousness and fear in his singing voice, even though he sang quite well. Much to my surprise he ended up winning this session. I think it was because everyone of his classmates voted for him. This was a fun show and I do it again.

I also went to the exhibit, One Man's Dream, to recall some of the history of the building of the Disney theme parks.

I had been on the go since for 10 hours and it was time for a rest. I took the bus back to Saratoga Springs, picked up a sandwich from the restaurant and went back to my room.  A good day.






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