Magic Kingdom

Posted by Roneil Icatar On 1/17/2010 01:31:00 PM
For the third day of our vacation, we contemplated sitting around the pool or hitting another theme park.  We were pretty tired from Animal Kingdom, so a nice relaxing day would have been nice.  But, we also knew that the next day would be New Years Eve and we had a 7am flight back home on New Years Day.  We didn’t decide until Wednesday morning that we would actually do the theme park that day.  We figured that the parks would be really busy on New Years Eve, and we could relax on Thursday so we wouldn’t be too tired for the flight home.

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The kids check out the monorail to Magic KingdomSince we knew that Magic Kingdom would be open until midnight, we didn’t have to rush to get there in the morning.   We got there later in the morning and we thought that most everyone would be there already, but there were plenty of people still arriving when we got there.  We wouldn’t see how many people were actually there until we got into the park.  After parking, we jumped on the Disney monorail to get from the parking lot to the park itself.  Once we got into the park, there was a parade that was about to start on Main Street so they shuttled everyone walking in around the back lots to the Tomorrowland area of the park The kids enjoy a nice boxed lunch of cold cuts and crackerswhere we started planning out the day.  So, to make the most efficient use of our time, I took the kids to wait in the line for the Speedway while Julianne ran and got a FastPass for one of the other rides.  On the Speedway, the kids were able to drive racecars around a track.  By the  time we were done with the ride, it was time for some lunch, and after that we moved on to the next ride.

I mentioned that there were plenty of people at the park and the lines at each ride certainly reflected it.  We made our way to It’s a Small World and Mickey’s Philharmagic (a 3D movie featuring all the Disney classic movies) and spent at least Waiting for Mickey's PhilharMagic45 minutes in each line.  At this rate, we knew we would never be able to see the whole park (plus all the shows and events) so we had to prioritize.  We knew that we wanted to see the 8pm fireworks,  the 10pm parade, and the midnight fireworks, and we would have to cram everything else around that.

While we were walking in front of Cinderella’s Castle, we were able to snap some  nice family pictures.  There was also a nice holiday musical show that the Disney characters put on in front of the castle.  Soon after that, we made a very important and wise decision to have an early dinner.  At around 4:30, we went to Tony’s Restaurant, which is an Italian restaurant inspired by the movie Lady and P1010295the Tramp.  We had virtually no wait to be seated and were able to enjoy a niceLady and the Tramp? dinner pretty quickly.  By the time we left, there were a ton of people waiting for 45 minutes to be seated.  Also, since we were done with dinner when most people were eating, we were able to have some shorter lines when we got back to the  rides.

Some of our favorite rides included the Mickey’s Philharmagic movie, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Cinderella’s Golden Carousel, the Jungle Cruise, and the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.  The kids likes the Tea Party (which is basically the spinning tea cups ride), that they jumped into line a second time to ride it.

P1010337 The time flew quickly, except of course when we were standing in line for some of the rides, where the wait could take over an hour.  During that time, it was a challenge to keep the kids under control, especially Nathaniel who would like to run around and between and into people.  We also noticed that as we got into the evening, the park started blasting some really loud techno based versions of modern pop songs all around the park.  We must be getting old because we thought it got obnoxiously loud, but it was an effective way of keeping the kids up way P1010371past their bedtimes.  By the time we knew it, it was 10pm (long after when the kids would normally be up) and it was time for the SpectroMagic Parade.  This parade consisted of beautifully decorated and lit up floats and characters.  We were able to get a great seat ride on the parade route and the kids were able to  wave to several of their favorites.

After the parade, we figured that most everyone would head home and we would have the park to ourselves till closing.  However, the techno music kicked back in and it looked like everyone had the same plans as us and would stick around for the midnight fireworks.  We jumped on a couple more rides, then finally made our way to try and find a nice spot to view the P1010416 midnight fireworks.  The midnight fireworks show was a practice run for the New Years Eve fireworks that would take place the next night (check out the videos above to see the fireworks).

Finally, by the time the fireworks were finished, it was past midnight and we were all exhausted, but our adventure was not finished yet, as the many thousands of people left also were heading home.  It took us another hour and half before we actually were able to exit the park, get the monorail back to the parking lot and get back to the hotel.  And even though we were thoroughly tired at the end of it all, we felt we planned it out perfectly, since the next day, we would sit back and relax by the pool before we went back home.


The Magic Kingdom held a practice run of their New Years Eve fireworks display on the 30th which we were fortunate to see.  We had a decent view, but it was difficult to capture on video the 360 degree show.  The second video below (from someone else) shows the display from further out and you can see exactly (well, almost) how awesome the show really was.

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