Walt Disney World

"Spring Fling"

Orlando, Florida

April, 2004

Friday 23 April 2004

Day 4

Friday 23 April 2004

Early Start (for once) to Magic Kingdom

 For the Fug Pilgrimage, I was treated to an actual Disney tune – “You can fly, you can fly, you can fly!”.  I was showered, dressed, geared up, and out the door by 9:00 am, which must be a new world record for me while on vacation.  When I got to the bus stops, the line for the Magic Kingdom was three times as long as the line for Epcot, so I took that bus and did the monorails over to MK.  The first thing I did was run up the stairs to the balcony by the train station at the entrance, and take the obligatory castle shot.  This is one of the few pics I took at Magic Kingdom.  I was running out of room on the flash card, and knew I’d want to take more at Epcot and Animal Kingdom in the coming days, so I was trying to conserve.  Next time, I will bring the little 20GB Archos drive to which I can transfer them.  Anyways, this castle shot shows how awfully crowded it was at Magic Kingdom that morning – a great sea of guests swarming toward the castle.



Breakfast and Cartoons!

I then proceeded to the bakery for an apple turnover for breakfast – sat down by the lagoon to eat it, and watched the Clang! Clang! Clang! Went the Trolley parade.  Doubled back to the Exhibition Hall to scope out the pins, then ducked into the little theater to watch some cartoons.  Flowers and Trees was the first color cartoon, The Band Concert was the first color Mickey Mouse cartoon, and Steamboat Willie was the first sound animation.



Having had my fix of old cartoons, I ambled over to Pirates of the Caribbean, had a Dole Whip (mmmm, Dole Whip!), and watched a very entertaining character meet with Rafiki and Timon, while purging the dud pics I took inside Pirates.  I swear and promise that by my next Disney vacation, I will have figured out how to make this camera work under conditions of motion, just so I can get a shot of the little dog with the key in his mouth, taunting the pirates behind bars!

Tom Sawyer and Some Mountains

A first-ever for me – I boarded the raft and spent a bit of time on Tom Sawyer Island.  Really, I’d never been there before.  There’s not much over there, but it’s nice to climb up the trails and sit in the shade and relative quiet for a bit.  Saw quite a few baby duckies over there.  I took the raft back and grabbed a Fast Pass for Splash Mountain.  Then I went to have myself a taco lunch, and did Pirates again (still no luck with getting any decent shots in there), and had meself a churro.  Grabbed a Fast Pass for Big Thunder Mountain, did Splash, then did Big Thunder Mountain.  The parade was threatening to start, and I knew if I didn’t get out of there soon, I would be trapped.  I started down the path that borders the lake through Frontierland, and stopped when some little kid said, “hey an alligator!”  Sure enough, there was a not-too-big alligator, just floating along in the lake, directly across from Tom’s Landing.  There was already a CM there from Pest Control, speaking quietly to another CM – said something about getting some gear to remove the gator, as it would probably eat up all the baby duckies over at Tom’s.

Mickey’s Philharmagic

Having had his fill of being gawked at, the gator floated under the dock and disappeared from view.  I proceeded on to Mickey’s Philharmagic.  Another first – if my intrepid readers recall, during my last visit to the World, I was pressed for time and made a decision between Philharmagic and the Carousel of Progress, reckoning that the one was brand new and would be around for a while, but you can’t always bet on CoP being open, or around for much longer.


I really liked Mickey’s Philharmagic, but you could tell when looking at certain characters that they had been reproduced not by hand, but by computer generated animation.  For instance, I thought that Princess Jasmine looked very different from her drawn self.


I was shocked when the attraction dumped out into a merchandise area almost exclusively dedicated to the Duck – quack!  He is, after all, the star of that show (but then why is it called MICKEY’S Philharmagic?).  But I think that the plot is very similar to the live show Animagique that I saw at the Disneyland Paris – Donald getting into stuff he should not be getting into, and a wild adventure/mishap ensuing.  So, it’s kinda like Animagique all done up in 3-D.


After Philharmagic, I boarded the Tomorrowland Transit Authority for a whirl in and around various attractions in Tomorrowland.  And then I saw that CoP was actually open – too cool!  Did a turn in there, and consulted the park timetable – no fireworks that night!  What’s up with that? 


So I started cruising shops on my way out of the park.  By this I mean, there were several hours yet until closing, and I filled them with shopping!  By time I got to the Emporium on Main Street and made my only purchase (a sunny yellow golf shirt with a discretely small, blue embroidered Mickey head on the hem), I was hungry.  Picked up a ham and cheese baguette for dinner and dined on it down by the lagoon while watching some duckies.  There was a woman down there chattering away on her cell phone while her child swung a toy light saber at the ducklings!  I started to get up from the table to stop him, but fortunately a “swabbie” CM had seen it and came running down there to take corrective action.


Stopped in at the sweet shoppe to pick up some fudge to take home to Mother (I had the best of intentions, but wound up eating it myself, alas).  After that, I headed for the monorail over to Epcot.


Back to Epcot, Camera Adventures

Why does the monorail always smell like the circus?  I seriously think it smells like elephants and hay in there.  You can see construction on the new Soarin’ attraction as the monorail dips into the park, then deposits you at the monorail station.


Upon disembarking, I checked my mental list of photo re-shots that I wanted to take, and made a beeline for the magnificent topiary peacock by the bus stops.  I also went back to the Universe of Energy to re-shoot the topiary dinosaurs, but there was still a lot of sun glare off the side of the building.  Wrong time of day, both times I tried to shoot it.


Spent some time retracing steps and re-shooting.  Also got some interesting shots in the butterfly garden – I happened to glance up in time to see two Monarch butterflies collide in mid air, and drop to a bush, where I shot them sumo wrestling!



I tried to get a night shot of the Tinkerbell topiary in front of a now-glowing Spaceship Earth, while the pile of pixie dust upon which she stood was twinkling, but it kept ending up blurry, and I was frustrated by that.

Iluminations, and the End of the Evening

Eventually, after a stop at the French bakery for sustenance (wine), I made my way to my favorite Illuminations viewing spot, where I sat and chattedwith a family from Connecticut – but they originally hailed from good old Queens, NY, where I grew up for the most part.  See, most roads lead to Long Island!


Overheard at the bus stop for the Pop Century: “hey dad – how come before we moved, we lived in ‘Ohio’, but now we live in ‘uh-HY-yuh’?”  So cute, but someone who hails from uh-HY-yuh is going to have to explain that one to me!


Resort TV back at the room – I miss it!  Now all we get is the 7 Best Things to Do at WDW or whatever it is called, hosted by Christa the Effervescent in a seemingly endless loop.  While she manages not to be annoying, despite all the bubbly-ness, I still miss hearing “have a zippa dee doo dah day!”


Bed, reading, sleep.


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