A Californian's Florida Adventure - Part 6

Edited: November 24, 2017, 9:16 PM

Now that we've reached the halfway point of this report, let's recap what has been covered so far...

-On Sunday, September 24th, I arrived in Orlando after an overnight flight from Los Angeles. I spent this day and the following day visiting Kennedy Space Center, Aquatica, and a number of other tourist attractions.
-Tuesday, September 26th was my first theme park day, and I ended up visiting three parks this day. The morning and afternoon was spent at Disney's Hollywood Studios, while the evening was spent at the two Fun Spot America parks.
-Wednesday, September 27th was a full day at Epcot, with plenty of Food and Wine sampling.
-Thursday, September 28th was Disney's Animal Kingdom, including Pandora and the best Disney coaster ever (at least outside of Asia).
-Friday, September 29th was a break from Disney, as I spent the day riding some top notch roller coasters at Busch Gardens Tampa.

When I look back on it, I unintentionally ended up scheduling the less exciting parks for the first half of the trip. While I enjoyed everything in the list above, none leap out at me as an automatic must re-visit on my next trip (well, BGT does if they get a new coaster). The second half, however, was full of time at the Florida parks everyone talks about.

I mentioned previously that I used a Four Day Magic Ticket for Walt Disney World on this trip. These tickets allow four days at the resort over a two week period, with two restrictions: You may only visit each park one time, and all visits had to be complete by Saturday, September 30th. Therefore, we were forced to spend our Saturday at a Disney park, and it had to be the most popular theme park in the world.

Part 6: Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

As the title of this report suggests, I live in California, and I have for my entire life so far. More specifically, I live in Orange County, about a 45 minute drive from Disneyland (with typical traffic). So, naturally, I visit the park all the time. Due to costs, I usually follow a two years on, one year off pattern with my annual pass, but when I have one it is rare that I go more than 5 weeks without a visit (barring blockouts). While I don't know that I'd call Disneyland the absolute best theme park I've visited (at least on an objective level), it remains my favorite park, and despite the number of days I've spent there I still enjoy it each and every time. There is just something special about the place, and it is exceptionally difficult to describe to someone who hasn't experienced the park first-hand.

With that in mind, I fully expected Magic Kingdom to be a disappointment. Roughly half of the park's attractions are clones of those found at Disneyland, though according to most reviews the Florida clones are said to be inferior. The remaining attractions are largely either long-gone relics from the Disneyland of the 70s or modern creations that can't hold a candle to the classics. Unlike Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, or Shanghai Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom doesn't have a signature ride that is wholly unique to the park. The closest, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, is little more than a highly themed family coaster, and the rest of the park's E-tickets were built in the 1970s and 1980s. On paper, it didn't look like a particularly compelling park for a Disneyland local.

Like many of the rides at Epcot, however, what something sounds like on paper and the actual experience it provides can be very, very different.


Due to Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa the night before, we didn't get back to Andrew's house until after 2 A.M. Magic Kingdom opened the next morning at 8 A.M., and with 16 hours of operation it was going to be a long day on little sleep. However, I insisted upon being at the park for rope drop, so after about 3 hours of sleep we found ourselves arriving at the parking lot at about 7:15 A.M. Like Disneyland, parking is quite a ways from the front gate of the park. Unlike Disneyland, however, arrival is not by a rather pedestrian tram, but by monorail or ferryboat. On this overcast morning, we opted for the monorail. Shortly afterward, we arrived at the gates to the Kingdom and headed inside.


My first impression upon entering the park was the difference in scale between it and Disneyland. The latter is very compact, with a narrow Main Street stretching to a Sleeping Beauty Castle, a small structure (77 ft. tall) just large enough to draw you in.


In Florida, Main Street feels twice as wide (it's actually only slightly wider), and the quaint buildings along its length are dwarfed by the massive Cinderella Castle (189 ft. tall) at the far end. Upon reaching it, a very different hub design presents itself...bridges, rather than direct pathways, connect to the lands within the park. Unlike Disneyland Paris, which feels very much like an alternate reality Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom felt distinct. The themes were familiar, but the design was not.


Unlike the basic rope drop of Disneyland, Magic Kingdom begins each day with a small introductory show. Mickey, Minnie, and a number of other characters come out onto the stage before Cinderella Castle to welcome guests to the park. It's a cute little show that helps to get everyone excited for the day ahead. Afterward, the rope is speed walked into the park. Evan and I decided to head first for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, as we were unable to secure a Fastpass for it. Unfortunately, it was down, along with several other headliners in the park. Therefore, we just started walking toward Frontierland, hoping that attractions would open as we reached them.


It was during this walk that I made a decision I never thought I'd make. I had spent months planning for the Magic Kingdom day. After all it was a Saturday, and I expected the park to be extremely busy. Therefore, I created about a pair of core plans, along with about a dozen contingencies in case something went wrong. However, walking through the Magic Kingdom, I decided I didn't want to be tied to a strict sequence of attractions.

I deleted every single one of them from my phone.

It was a Saturday. We saw 2 hour waits at most of the E-tickets for a majority of the day, and even mid-tier attractions had hour-plus waits for significant periods of time.

We had Fastpasses for Thunder, Space, and Peter Pan. By the time we used those, Small World was the only worthwhile ride that still had Fastpasses.

We had absolutely no plan and just went with the flow, checking the app as needed.

We never waited more than 45 minutes for a ride.

We experienced 31 attractions during the day, including multiple rides on Thunder, Space, Mansion, Pirates, and Jungle Cruise.


Sorry for the blurriness...the overcast weather was playing with my camera a bit on this morning.

Speaking of Jungle Cruise, that ended up being our first stop of the day. Admittedly, I don't remember the ride much at all...I think it was about the same as Disneyland's other than a section inside of a temple. However, I do remember our next ride, because there is no way you forget the wildest ride in the wilderness.


Looming over the western half of the park is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a runaway mine train coaster through the mountains above Frontierland. While the ride itself is very similar to its California cousin, the setup is quite different. In Florida, guests enter an elaborate queue inside the mining operation, with plenty of interactive elements to keep everyone entertained during the typical hour-plus line. Eventually, the queue descends into the mine, where guests board a possessed train for their adventure.


The coaster itself is a mirror image of California's with one exception: prior to the second lift, the trains pass through the flooded town of Tumbleweed, where a fancy trick-track element gives the feeling the trains are about to derail. It is a neat effect that caught me off-guard on my first ride. Overall, I do give the edge to California's version of this ride, as it is smoother and Florida's version lacks the updated effects, but this Thunder Mountain is still an outstanding family coaster.


Next door stands Splash Mountain, the second E-ticket in Frontierland. However, it is nearly impossible to visit Walt Disney World and not miss an E-ticket. For this trip, Splash is the one I'll miss. It's not a huge loss as I can ride it whenever I want in California, but I was interested to see the comparisons. While my family members felt differently, most say this is one ride that is improved in Florida.


At this point, I noticed that Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was open, so we made a beeline for Fantasyland. By the time we arrived, the queue had grown to 45 minutes, but we decided to chance it. 35 minutes later, we were on. Now, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train gets a lot of hate among fans (probably because it essentially remade a classic dark ride), but evaluated on its own the coaster is a really good junior coaster. The ride consists of two short coaster sections with a short dark ride section in the middle, but it is a fun little ride that adds a bit of uniqueness thanks to the swaying cars. It won't make any top ride lists and doesn't deserve the wait times it gets (this is usually the longest line in the park), but it's not a bad ride by any means.


Following our ride, we took some time to explore the rest of Fantasyland. I don't remember the exact order, but I remember doing The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (longer and better themed than Disneyland's version, but still a lower tier dark ride), Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid (very elaborate queue, but the ride itself is 100% identical to DCA's version), and Barnstormer (another junior coaster, identical to Gadget's Go Coaster but themed to Goofy's farm, and far superior due to the ability to operate with two trains).


Saving the rest of Fantasyland for later, we then continued down a long, empty pathway that brought us to Tomorrowland.


All lands in the Magic Kingdom bear some semblance to their counterparts in Walt's original park, but Tomorrowland is probably the most different. While the general layouts are similar, Tomorrowland in Florida has a completely different aesthetic design, coloration more reminiscent of Disneyland's 1967 Tomorrowland, and every attraction in its rightful home. Yes, attractions that have long since left Disneyland continue to entertain guests in Florida, and as a result Tomorrowland still feels (semi-)futuristic and not simply "Space IP Land."


Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland is also the origin of two well-known exports from Walt Disney World. First up is Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. The predecessor to the later Astro Blasters rides, this attraction was repurposed from an old omnimover ride known as Delta Dreamflight. The plot is the same as the others, but the scene design is different to fit with a different track layout and different ride vehicles. Unfortunately, while the dark ride elements are slightly better here, the interactive component is far weaker, with mounted guns that make it difficult to aim and fewer targets to shoot throughout. It's still a fun ride, but not a must do like the later versions.


The most famous export from Walt Disney World, however, is located on the other side of Tomorrowland. Beyond the railroad surrounding the park stands the original Space Mountain, a magnificent white cone housing a thrilling, high speed roller coaster ride in the dark. Or, rather, two of them. Unlike the later installations, Florida's Space Mountain is more like the Matterhorn Bobsleds, with inline seating and two intertwined tracks. The coaster itself features only a single lift hill, but that gives trains enough energy to traverse a wild ride full of quick directional changes, drops, and helices. Effects on this coaster are much more limited, with most of the ride taking place in a dark star field and the only audio coming from speakers mounted to the walls of the building, but the ride is thrilling enough to work without synchronized audio and effects. The one downside of this ride is the technology of the coaster itself...rides built in 1975 just aren't that smooth anymore, and due to the darkness you get jerked around quite a bit on this one. So, which is better, California or Florida? If you're looking at the overall attraction, California's wins due to smoothness and effects, but if you're solely looking at it as a roller coaster, Florida by a significant margin.


Above the walkways of Tomorrowland runs the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, Disney's ultimate relaxation attraction. Long gone in California, the ride is a 10 minute scenic tour of the land, with inside looks at several attractions to complement the outside portions. Unlike the original, this ride is powered using magnetic motors, and due to Florida's frequent rain a covering is built over the entire length of the track. It doesn't look like much, but I actually found this to be one of the more enjoyable attractions at the park, both due to nostalgia and due to the simplicity of the attraction.


One other long lost Disneyland relic of note survives in Tomorrowland. Tucked away in a corner, the Carousel of Progress continues to turn toward a great, big, beautiful tomorrow. While the presentation is quite dated, this is a very unique attraction due to the rotating theater system in use, and like any dark ride it is a good way to escape the heat and humidity for a bit. I've always wondered what this show was like, as it closed in California long before my time, so getting to see it was more fun than I expected.


By the time we finished the main Tomorrowland attractions, we were due to meet Dan for lunch at the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen. Founded by Alberta Falls (the granddaughter of Dr. Albert Falls), the Skipper Canteen ties into the story of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.), with a hidden library where members would gather to conduct business. Service is provided by off-duty skippers, who crack a joke every time they come to your table. The menu contains many interesting options representing cuisine from around the world, many with names that tie into the theme (I opted for the "Tastes Like Chicken"). Of the three full service restaurants I tried at the parks, this was probably my least favorite. That's not to say it was bad...all three of us enjoyed our food, and the theme and staff is great, but it's a tad pricier than some others and the food wasn't quite as good as 50's Prime Time Cafe or Yak and Yeti.

After lunch, it was time to take a look at our itinerary. We managed to complete 10 attractions before lunch, including several high priority rides. We still had Fastpasses for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Peter Pan's Flight, but those weren't good until a bit later. So, with time to kill, we opted to indulge in the part of Magic Kingdom that is underrepresented at Disneyland: Shows.


It has been said that Disneyland guests don't care for shows, and more likely than not there is some truth there. However, while not as popular as the rides, Florida's shows still play to reasonable crowds. This is evidenced best by the Enchanted Tiki Room, one performance that exists at both parks. In California, the show is generally about a 1/3 full, with most viewers simply taking a break from the sun while enjoying a Dole Whip (in Florida, Dole Whips are not allowed in the Tiki Room). Florida's show was probably about 90% full, despite the content of the two shows being nearly identical (there are a couple minor length trims in Florida).


The design of this attraction is another good depiction of the differences between the parks...California's Tiki Room has a wonderful garden with an interesting pre-show featuring the Polynesian gods, then guests enter an intimate cross-shaped room for the performance. Florida instead utilizes a typical holding pen with a much less exciting preshow, then the room is a big rectangle with long rows of seats to maximize loading and unloading efficiency. In contrast to the rest of Florida's Adventureland (which is actually superior to California's, and is probably my favorite area in the park), this attraction just doesn't work quite right.


In neighboring Frontierland, the Country Bear Jamboree continues to perform for guests on a continuous basis. I only have vague memories of the California version of this attraction, as it closed when I was pretty young to be replaced by Poo(h), plus California played the Vacation Hoedown incarnation of the show. In Florida, a heavily abridged version of the original performance plays, sort of like a highlights reel in live-action form.


Truth be told, I enjoyed this a lot more than the California version I remember, which ran on too long for what it was. Despite being similar in concept, this show is more entertaining than the Tiki Room (at least in Florida), and is the perfect way to escape the heat for ten minutes or so.

In nearby Liberty Square, the Hall of Presidents sits closed while Disney decides what to do about our current leader. I was slightly disappointed to miss this, but given the cringe factor that would have accompanied a Trump animatronic, I may be better off. Moving on...

Fantasyland hosts Magic Kingdom's best show: Mickey's PhilharMagic. This show centers on Donald, who borrows Mickey's sorcerer hat and accidentally sends himself on a voyage through famous moments from Disney's animated classics. While I'm not a big fan of 3-D movies, this is probably the best show of that type I've seen, with plenty of effects to accompany the on-screen action and a reasonable story that actually makes sense and isn't just a cheese-fest like MuppetVision. Sure, it's full of obligatory 3-D gags, but that's part of the fun.

The biggest surprise among the shows, however, lies in Tomorrowland. Tucked away behind the Tomorrowland Terrace is Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, an interactive attraction similar to Turtle Talk with Crush but much, much more interactive. Audience members are interrogated by monsters, as well as cast in role-play stories, with predictably hilarious results. While I didn't expect much from this, I was laughing for nearly the entire duration, and I almost went back for a second show (if I'd had a full second day at the park, I would have).


The Swiss Family Treehouse is up there somewhere.

Beyond the shows, Magic Kingdom also offers a handful of walkthrough attractions (with minimal lines) and character greetings (with maximal lines) to entertain guests who need a break from the rides. In addition, the park contains a park-wide interactive game: Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. Hades has decided to take over the Magic Kingdom, but it is protected by a powerful crystal owned by Merlin. During an attempt to steal the crystal, it is shattered into eight pieces (one per land of the park). To recover the crystal before Hades can, Merlin has recruited Sorcerers to track down the pieces and claim them. The game is played through a series of magic portals scattered around the park, with guests using spell cards to fight villains and solve puzzles. Each land has its own quest, with most taking about a half hour to complete. While not a must-do attraction, the game is a great way to entertain yourself while waiting for a Fastpass reservation, and it is a nice implementation of NextGen technology.

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Edited: November 24, 2017, 9:27 PM

Continued from above

Eventually, our Fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad arrived, so we made our way out to the attraction. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a closed queue, as the ride was experiencing technical difficulties. When this happens, you are given two options: Use the Fastpass at the ride anytime for the remainder of the day, or use it at any other attraction. Since we wanted to grab a bonus Fastpass, we decided to just use it elsewhere. I pulled up the app and was greeted with a nightmare scenario...every single E ticket in the park was down save Haunted Mansion and Pirates, both of which were posting 90+ minute waits. As we began walking toward Mansion, a line stretching to the riverboat dock could be seen in Liberty Square. Therefore, we made a turn and headed for Pirates, which was slightly less busy.


Difficult to see, but the posted wait is 75 minutes.

It is a widely held opinion that Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean is the best atmospheric dark ride ever built. In my opinion, the Paris version is slightly better, but that's a discussion for another time. It is also a widely held opinion that Magic Kingdom's Pirates of the Caribbean is a complete disgrace to the original and doesn't deserve to exist. While I wouldn't go that far, I see where the opinion comes from. In Florida, the ride begins with a short trip through dark caverns, then a single small drop sends riders into the ship battle scene. From here, the ride proceeds nearly identically to California's until the jail scene, after which there is one final scene with Captain Jack Sparrow before the unloading dock. It is a much shorter ride (8 vs. Disneyland's 15), and is undoubtedly bit underwhelming compared to the original, but I'd still rank it an above average dark ride. The heart and soul of the attraction remains mostly intact in this version, with a lot of the less interesting content trimmed out. The ride could definitely use a little more set-up, but other than that it's a fine D+ ticket attraction.

There is, however, a ride in Florida that fits the title of "complete disgrace to the original and doesn't deserve to exist." That ride is It's a Small World.


Full disclaimer...I actually enjoy Small World. It's not a must do attraction, but it is a relaxing ride with lots of pleasing visuals (and a slightly annoying song). Plus, the facade of the attraction still remains among my favorites. In Florida, the first time I passed this attraction I didn't even realize I'd passed it, because it looks very non-descript from the outside.


Once inside, a miniature recreation of California's grand facade is visible, and this somehow summarizes the entire ride. In Florida, this attraction just felt...empty. The singing dolls were there, but unlike the large sets in California they were often placed before a simple painted backdrop with a few set pieces. It was so disappointing that I mostly avoided Fantasyland for the remainder of the day.


In a way, this ride embodies the problems with Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland, by far the weakest area of the park. In California, the area is full of energy, with a lot of attractions packed closely together. In Florida, the attractions are spread out, losing the intimacy found in California.


New Fantasyland doesn't help this problem, as there is such a discontinuity between the style of this area and the original that it is a bit jarring to walk between them. There is not a single Fantasyland attraction I rode more than once, partly because most of them are weaker versions of California originals (I'm not even going to get into Peter Pan's Flight), but mostly because I just really disliked the area.


There is, however, one attraction at Magic Kingdom that is vastly superior to its California counterpart: The Haunted Mansion. Built on a hill overlooking Liberty Square, Florida's Haunted Mansion nails the creepy abandoned mansion feel, with a large gothic mansion towering above those waiting to ride. A covered queue full of interactive elements winds along the river and through the graveyard before guests enter the mansion's basement. The foyer and stretch room are mostly the same as California's ride, though the latter is entirely stationary and is not an actual elevator. The ride itself contains everything found in the California version, along with several additional scenes lengthening the 6 minute ride to 8-9 minutes, and the upkeep seems to be a bit better here. As much as I like California's version of this attraction, Florida's is better in every way.


As night fell on the Magic Kingdom, we grabbed a quick dinner at the Columbia Harbour House (fairly decent quick-service food), then found a spot to watch Happily Ever After, Magic Kingdom's nighttime spectacular.


A combination of fireworks, projections, and a few other effects, this is a solid pyrotechnic performance, but it seems to be a bit too reliant on projections rather than fireworks. It wasn't a bad show by any means, but I'd probably rank most of Disneyland's firework shows as superior, along with IllumiNations over at Epcot. Granted, it could have been partly our viewing location, or it could have been the rain.


By the end of the production, all of us were soaking wet. Immediately afterwards, we sought cover in Frontierland, at which point I decided to check wait times again. To my surprise, a lot of people were leaving the park due to the rain, and waits at popular attractions were dropping rapidly. We spent the last couple hours of the day bouncing around the park and hitting all the headliners again, finishing off the day with three consecutive rides on Space Mountain (it was down to 15 minutes by this point). It was a magical way to end a 16 hour day at the most magical place on Earth.


Now, we are at the moment of truth. How does the Magic Kingdom stack up against the other Disney parks? Let's examine this in a few ways.


In terms of attractions, the Magic Kingdom has more than any other Walt Disney World park, and (if everything on the park maps is counted) more than any two of them combined together. However, it doesn't have as many attractions, nor as many E-ticket level attractions, as Disneyland does. Additionally, many of the equivalent attractions are weaker at the Magic Kingdom. That said, if the lineup is evaluated as a whole, I'd say that Magic Kingdom offers the stronger attraction collection, as the park has a wider variety of offerings and has more attractions to suit different tastes. As much as I like Disneyland, there is definitely some redundancy among their attractions, as well as a few that don't really seem to draw enough visitors to justify their existence.

Looking at food service, Magic Kingdom has a lot more variety among their offerings, though Disneyland's food is probably better (particularly at quick service restaurants). Both parks share an interesting phenomenon where the best food is found on the western side of the park, with offerings getting progressively weaker as you work eastward.


In terms of theming, I'd say that Magic Kingdom mostly wins. With the exception of Fantasyland and possibly Main Street U.S.A., the areas at Magic Kingdom are generally better themed than their Disneyland counterparts, and because everything is a larger scale there is less of a need for them to bleed into each other. Disneyland does have a couple excellent areas (namely Fantasyland and New Orleans Square), but other parts of the park are either outdated (Tomorrowland), too small (Critter Country), or just don't work well (Toontown).


Magic Kingdom also wins in the queue line department, with most attractions featuring themed and sheltered queues unlike Disneyland's basic switchbacks outside the building. Additionally, a lot of queue lines in Florida contain interactive elements. In terms of efficiency, both parks are about the same, though the cast members at Disneyland seem to be a bit better than those in Florida.

So, as of this writing, I've been to 8 Disney parks (all outside of Asia). How do they rank? Personally, I'd rank the parks as follows:

1. Disneyland
2. Magic Kingdom
3. Disney California Adventure Park
4. Disney's Animal Kingdom
5. Epcot
6. Disney's Hollywood Studios
7. Disneyland Paris
8. Walt Disney Studios Paris

That said, I am going to add the following: If you've never been to a Disney park before and will likely only be able to visit one, I would pick a visit to the Magic Kingdom over a visit to Disneyland. Why? Disneyland has a lot of history behind it, and for those who grew up with the park or who live around it, the park is a special place. However, despite its shortcomings I personally found the Magic Kingdom a more enjoyable park to visit, at least given the way my day turned out. Disneyland is controlled chaos, with first time visitors mixed in among locals and fans who take Disney to a new level of crazy. It doesn't handle crowds well, and with the current attendance levels it is difficult to see everything without a guide or without a lot of research. At Magic Kingdom, however, you'll be alongside primarily tourists who know more or less what you know while attempting to navigate a park with both a more intuitive layout and enough space to handle the masses. Yes, you'll miss some of the classics, but overall it's likely to be a more satisfying experience.

In the end, Magic Kingdom is not better than Disneyland, but if looked at solely on its own merit it still stands as one of the world's best theme parks. While Disneyland is my favorite, Magic Kingdom still ranks very high on my list, and when evaluated objectively the two parks really aren't that far apart in my mind. In fact, with only a few additions from California (namely Indiana Jones Adventure and California's versions of Pirates and Fantasyland), Magic Kingdom would actually rank above the original in my mind. It is my favorite park at Walt Disney World without question, but is it the best park in Florida? That remains to be seen.


Magic Kingdom Scorecard:

For this scorecard, I'll be including my ranking for the Disneyland equivalent if one exists.

Barnstormer - 6/10
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - 7.5/10 (Disneyland - 8/10)
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin - 7/10 (Disneyland - 8/10)
Carousel of Progress - 7.5/10
Country Bear Jamboree - 7/10
Enchanted Tiki Room - 6.5/10 (Disneyland - 7.5/10)
Happily Ever After - 8/10
Haunted Mansion - 9/10 (Disneyland: 8.5/10)
It's a Small World - 5.5/10 (Disneyland: 7/10)
Jungle Cruise - 7/10 (Disneyland: 7/10)
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - 6.5/10 (Disneyland: 6/10)
Mickey's PhilharMagic - 8/10
Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor - 8/10
Peter Pan's Flight - 7/10 (Disneyland: 8/10)
Pirates of the Caribbean - 8/10 (Disneyland: 8.5/10)
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - 6.5/10
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom - 8/10
Space Mountain - 8/10 (Disneyland: 8.5/10)
Swiss Family Treehouse - 6/10
Tomorrowland Speedway - 4.5/10
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover - 8/10
Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid - 7/10
Walt Disney World Railroad - 7/10
Overall Park Score - 8.5/10

Magic Kingdom was my most anticipated park in Florida, but it was not my final park. So, where do we go from here? I'll give you a hint...the next park is simultaneously the oldest and youngest park in the state.

To see the full photo album from this report, click here.

November 25, 2017, 3:29 PM

Sounds like you had a good time doing this. My wife and I did the same sort of thing in reverse in 2011. We live on the East Coast and have been passholders at Disney World along with the other Florida parks for almost 17 years now. In 2011, we made a trip to California going from San Francisco down to San Diego and hit eight theme parks in 10 days. (Along with a side trip to Muir Woods and the Monterey bay aquarium.) It was a whirlwind, but awesome.

I’d definitely spend more time at Disneyland / California Adventure. One day apiece wasn’t nearly enough and cars land wasn’t open then so half the park was fenced off areas.

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