Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
My party consisted of me (27) my husband (32) and my parents (parent-age!). Our last trip all together was in 2007 so we were all really ecstatic to be back. We started our day at an unusual pace – all previous trips had been fuelled with a sense of urgency that lead to us always arriving at or before rope-drop, but today we strolled in at 10.30am. It felt good!
The crowds were pretty impressive today, but after realising that we arrived at the end of a parade, and that the crowd thinned (slightly) past Main Street, we were okay. We headed straight for Splash Mtn, and believe me, our more relaxed pace certainly did not reduce our excitement! Splash Mtn was amazing, and my (new) husband and I were psyched to get the front row. And even more psyched that we got soaked! I love that this ride is totally not ‘just another log flume’, and I loved drinking in all the difference scenes. My fav has to be the gator with his tail slung over the tree with Brer Frog singing away on his back.
Next we headed to Thunder for a fast-pass and even managed to fit in Pirates before that time came around. Both rides were better than I remembered. Thunder was faster and more hair-raising (but don’t you think experiences become more extreme as you get older?!) and Pirates seemed to have a lot more detail (and I forgot about that drop!)
For lunch we enjoyed another new experience – Tony’s Town Square. As Andy and I were celebrating our first wedding anniversary we had decided to splash out, and they’d even decorated the table with streamers and table confetti :-) The food was delicious, and it felt so wonderful to take a time out away from the heat.
Our afternoon consisted of Space Mtn (Brilliant), Buzz Lightyear (I won!), Alien Encounter (preferred the scarier past version) and Tom Sawyer island. This latter activity surprised me, and I must admit, I wasn’t actually up for it. My dad suggested we checked it out and d’you know what? We had such a laugh, hiding in Injun Joe’s caves and jumping out at each other, taking silly scary-faces pictures, exploring the Old Mines and shooting at enemies from the Lookout. I really recommend this as an alternative way to spend an hour and I think we all enjoyed playing kids again. We also rode Haunted Mansion which was excellent as always. I jsut say - bring back the old ending. The hitch-hiking ghosts aren't as good as when they actually TURNED one of your group into a ghost. It was also fun seeing who got to be the happy haunt!
We watched the Electrical Parade from outside the Pin Trader’s shop in Frontierland, and this was a brilliant place to stand because you got a really good view as the floats came round the corner. After Buzz Lightyear, Andy and I had been given ‘Happy Anniversary’ badges, and although it was lovely to have cast members wish us a happy day around the park, it was even more thrilling to have characters call to us from the parade! The Fairy Godmother waved and asked us how many years, then she made a heart shape with her fingers. Then a pirate on Captain Hook’s float made a rather rude comment to Andy that we all laughed at, (something about, ‘rather you than me’! – Charming!) and even Mickey pointed to us and held his hand on his heart :-) Very happy about that.
Then we watched Wishes from the bridge leading to Tomorrowland, which is another really good spot I recommend. We had a perfect view of Tinkerbell soaring down from the castle (we could even see her smile!) and there were no obstructions in front of the fireworks (also it wasn’t crowded at all.) I really love this production – so beautiful and breath-taking. I used to rate Illuminations higher, but now Wishes is by far the best.
It was actually such a relaxing treat to wander round the park at a slower pace. We enjoyed the gardens and architecture and marvelled at the mosaics inside the castle, we took our time walking down Main Street and took loads of different and memorable photos. We also enjoyed a wonderful treat in the Plaza Bakery – hot cinnamon buns! They were humongous! And delicious. So we left happy and satisfied, and surprisingly serene…it was an excellent first day to kick off the trip.
Glad you enjoyed hearing about our day at MK. And hope you have a brilliant time this weekend. (We've - in the UK - got a bank holiday weekend coming up for the Royal Wedding, so you've picked a good time to go!)
Happy Birthday too! Let me know what you get up to on your special day and don't forget to get your Birthday badge (button) from the Town Hall :-)
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