Thursday, April 04, 2013

Disney Broken Down

There is a bit of double entendre with this title.

But I will get to that in a minute
(or two).

Yesterday we went to Magic Kingdom.

Monte had us up and ready before 6:00 am.

That's right, 

before 6:00 am.

He wanted to leave at 6:10.

Our condo is maybe 10 minutes away from the park.

The park that doesn't open until 8:00 am.
(Unless you are staying in a Disney property, which we are not, then you could get in at 7:00 am since it was Easter week.)

So I had another cup of coffee and let Monte pace around.

We left at 6:50.

It was foggy so we didn't get to see all the neat park signs come into view to get us more excited.

We parked in the Aladdin lot.

We waited just a moment or two for the monorail.

Long enough for me to price out buying a sweatshirt 
at a little shop since it was COLD!

But $44.95 for a gray sweatshirt with a big mouse on it?

No thanks.

We were in the park walking down Main St. when it "officially" opened at 8:00 am.

It was still so foggy that we couldn't really see the castle super well.
The castle is back there somewhere in the fog.

We let our youngest daughter, Ellie, drive our schedule and we zoomed to Space Mountain to get Fast Passes.

These are AMAZING.

Why everyone doesn't get them,

I do not know!

A Fast Pass tells you when to come back
(it gives you an hour interval)
so you can get right on.

Like, right on.

Every ride has a wait time displayed on it so you can gauge if you'd rather just ride the thing right then or get a Fast Pass and come back later.

At 8:00 am the wait time for Space Mountain was 15 minutes

but Momma needed something to ease her into Space Mountain

so we took the Fast Pass which we could use between 9:50-10:50 am.

Then we went to Goofy's Barnstormer roller coaster in what used to be called Toontown but now is Storybook Circus somethingorother.

It is a very easy kiddie coaster that apparently has been toned down a bit since the last time we were there six years ago.

We walked right on the Goofy ride with no wait.

Then we rushed over to the revamped Fantasyland area to the Under the Sea ride inspired by Little Mermaid.

It was awesome! So beautiful to see scenes from the movie and they make you feel like you are going underwater.

Oh yeah, we walked right onto to that ride too.

Then it was time to head back to Tomorrowland and use our Fast Passes for Space Mountain.

To say I was dreading it doesn't cover it.

I was dreading it since before we left Ohio.

The Fast Passes allowed us to walk right on by everyone in line.


It felt like we were cheating line cutters.

I didn't have time to really regret agreeing to come on when we were placed in cars with safety bars pushed into place.

I was trying to figure out where to put my bag so it wouldn't fly around when I realized I was in the front seat

of the front car.


We were off.

I could see some sort of control type center with astronautish looking mannequins looking through fogged up glass at us.

I quickly thought that maybe it had changed since 1984 and they had actually thrown in a few educational tidbits about space exploration.


We were zoomed into a rotating tube of light like the one in Bionic Woman (or was it Bionic Man?) you know, the episode with Big Foot.

Oh my goodness, please tell me that is all true 
or I will feel bat crazy.

Ok. Thanks to Google, I am not bat crazy. But it was Bionic Man, not woman.
Didn't that episode freak you out? Why was this tunnel
so creepy?

And it did involve Big Foot.
I'd research it more, but I have a lot to cover.

Stay with me.

Quickly we were sucked into total darkness
going Mach 5.

Every once in a while I could hear my daughter, McDaniel, who was behind me, say,

"Mom? You okay?"

in between screaming her head off.

She felt my neck at one point,

"I think Mom is dead!"

I was too busy trying not to flat line to answer her.

I heard my other daughter Ellie say at one point,

"Look, it's a black hole!"

I thought,

"If I see Uranus, I'm going to lose it!"

But that was really what I was trying to do,

not lose it. 

My breakfast.
My coffee.
My cool.
My life.

McDaniel reached forward and started feeling my face with her hand.

So I bit her.

I needed to concentrate.

After the ride, I barely had to ask,

my family KNEW,

Momma needs a root beer.
Sweet queasy squelching nectar.

Disney doesn't carry root beer.

In the whole ever lovin' park.

Not Barq's, A&W or even Dad's.

So I soldiered on.

The park was still not that crowded so with more Fast Passes and shrewd time management,

we had ridden everything we wanted to ride

except Splash Mountain

by 10:00 am.

I know.


We should have just left then.

But we watched a parade

(where some sleepy-eyed slightly snookered looking cat character from Pinocchio came up to McDaniel and pretty much pawed her face).
Just found out, thank you Google, that the
cat's name is Gideon. Imagine him 7 feet tall.
And pawing your face.

She just stood there

arms firmly at her side

while this cat used her like a play toy.
I have a picture! Kinda. That is the patched arm of
Gideon the handsy cat. Ellie is delighting in the
public display of affection happening to

We also watched part of a play at the castle.

But we all grew hungry and decided to eat lunch before 11:00.

Why not?

Getting weary during the castle play.
We couldn't use our Fast Passes for Splash Mountain until 3:15.

By 1:00, we were trying to talk Ellie out of staying for Splash Mountain.

We were content, tired and getting pretty hot.

Monte's foot was killing him.

My hip had some type of hitch in it.

We both limped a little.

We may or may not have offered cash to Ellie so we could just go home.

But Ellie would have none of it.

She bought a huge pink hat to keep the sun off of her.

Ellie and her big pink hat.
McDaniel is ready to go home,
can't you tell?

Monte killing time with a Mad
Hatter hat. Notice the sunglasses hanging
around his neck. They come into play

And we soldiered on until 3:15.

Monte decided that a ride on Tomorrowland's People Mover might be a nice break.

The line was forever long.

But the line for the Carousel of Progress was really short.
 That should have been our warning.

We decided to check out Walt Disney's exhibit for the 1964 World's Fair in St. Louis.

It was an animatronic family set in 4 different time periods to show all the advances, "progress" that each time period afforded.
Circa 1900. The dog was a little spooky.

Instead of us walking around each time period of progress,

we sat in an auditorium and "we" 
and all, 
moved to each new time period stage
a la carousel style.

Cool in theory.

We should've just left when we had to listen to the intro 4 times and a harsh woman over the loud speaker kept threatening us with,

"Whatever you do, don't get up!"

People in the crowd starting shouting.

But the lady said we couldn't leave, so we didn't.

Finally, the stage moved and the show started.

The animatronics was eerily real--especially for 1964 standards.

The last scene had been updated to the "future" which had all the fashion of the 80s and the technology of the 90s.
Circa 1980 with "Grandma" playing a video game with
"Grandson". I think I had that rugby shirt in college.

Then the animatronic family went crazy and started saying their lines over and over.

Then their mouths started moving and no sound came out.

Then sound came out at different times 
than their mouths were moving.

All the while the lady started yelling at us from the loud speaker again,

"Whatever you do, don't get up!"

It was starting to get all Space Mountain CREEPY up in here.

Finally, a guy jumped up from the crowd and ran to the exit.

The exit doors with no door handles.
(How had I not noticed that before?!)

Somehow the panicked guy pushed them open.

Monte looked over at us,

"Let's go!"

And we ran out.

Monte hates clowns
and dead-eye dolls.

This animatronic flip out was more than he could take.

We needed to cleanse our palettes from that nightmare, so we decided a Mickey Dilly Bar style ice cream on a stick might help.

Monte complained that his was rock hard frozen.

So he started massaging it thus breaking up some of the chocolate coating

which broke into pieces on the ground

that I watched melt quickly

and then get stepped on by many many people.

As we stood to leave, Monte said,

"Uh oh, I need to go to the bathroom."

As a mother, experience has taught me those words never lead to good.

He was holding up his fly fishing sunglasses

the ones on the rubber holder thingy that hung around his neck

horrifying McDaniel and Ellie.

One lens of his sunglasses was filled


with melted chocolate.

Upon further inspection,

one of Monte's eyebrows was fairly coated with chocolate as well.

The hearty round of laughter dictated I better use the bathroom as well.

We headed back across the park for the umpteenth time to Frontierland to use our last Fast Passes.

I pleaded "hitched-up hip"and sent the others on Splash Mountain while I found a place

 to stand in the shade so I could text and read emails.

An older British lady decided to come quite near me

and sit on my arm

that was resting on a railing.

I would've shoved her off immediately but I was interested in what she was saying into her phone.

Things like,

"You are stuck?"
"On the splash ride?"
"Right now? Stuck?"

And all in that adorable English accent.

I'm not sure if she hopped up or I pushed her off my arm, but I rushed over to the look out point where I could see all the boats as they went down the big drop of the ride.

None were dropping.

I walked around to see 3 boats idling waiting.

More walking around

more idle boats full of people

not moving.

I got a text from Monte.

In a dark tunnel.
But they turned on the lights.

They were fine.

At least they weren't the boat that got stuck half-way up the big hill.

Or the boats stuck out in the blazing sun.

As I walked around trying to see what boats were moving and what ones weren't,

over 30 minutes, in all,

I got fried.

And really done.

After they were "freed" from the ride,

we couldn't get gone fast enough.

Except there were a cablillion people in the park,

and it was 118 degrees
and every baby was crying
and everyone was touching me.

When we finally were seated on the monorail to get us out of the park,

a woman came over the loud speaker to announce that the monorails would be down for servicing.

Monte gave me a look that said,

well, let's just say it was a look

and I knew what it said.

But then the monorail took off.

A raised eyebrow (still slightly caked with chocolate) from Monte said,

"Ohhh! AFTER this ride, the monorails will be down."

Thank you, Lord!

We got home, jumped in the pool and laughed until we cried.

Disney has a dark side, we decided.

It isn't perfect because it can't be.

And we are probably just one of the very few who got to see it as less than stellar.

But it was still a great day.

Monte said it was all so I'd have a better story to tell.

Imagine that.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:56 PM

    This warms my heart in so many ways.
    1. Way to go Monte in getting the family up and at em'... poor Nate only knows this so well and would totally sympathize with you Karmen.
    2. I LOVE that Ellie promptly took y'all to Space Mountain- that is what I did at her age too!
    3. Did you think of the time you got that DQ dilly bar all over your pants when we first met? Love ya! Gretchen


Just Another Rat Story

Happy Summer! Our summer started with Monte and I sitting on the back patio after dinner chatting while a rat ran across our yard. This...