Andrea’s aunt lives in Winter Park, pretty close to Walt Disney World and the other attractions in Orlando. We decided to take a mini-trip, driving up from south Florida to spend the day at the Magic Kingdom and stay over night in Winter Park.
Andrea took the opportunity to try one of the spa’s at the Disney resorts while I took the boys into the park. It was pretty crowded when we arrived early afternoon and we immediately got stuck in line for lunch. The lines continued to be long the rest of the day but unlike the food line, the ride lines moved very quickly.
Before we met up with Andrea, we explored Adventureland. We led off with a ride through the Haunted Mansion, then a trip around Tom Sawyer’s Island on the Liberty Belle. I though the river boat would take us over but I was mistaken. It was probably just as well since it gave us all a chance to sit rather than running around the island. Next we defied the 40-minute wait sign and rode The Pirates of the Caribbean. The additions from the movies were nowhere near as obnoxious as I would have feared. We finished out Adventureland with a walk through the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House, at the boys’ insistence. I was a bit surprised but they clearly enjoyed it.
After we collected Andrea in front of Cinderella’s castle, we hit Tomorrowland. We started with a ride on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority so the boys would get a sampling of the rides and attractions in that part of the park. We all enjoyed it, especially the sneak peek into some of the newer additions. We snagged a Fast Pass for the Buzz Lightyear ride then got in line for the Speedway. Liam of course wanted to drive while Calum showed his budding pre-teen sulk and just passively rode alongside Andrea.
We then decided to see the Carousel of Progress for a lark. It was as dated and silly as we expected, even the relatively new addition from the 80′s.
We caught a very nice dinner at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe then headed over to Main Street. We had some ice cream then shopped for the souvenirs I had promised the boys for their patience and good behavior. I really was surprised at how well they dealt with the lines and the heat. Better yet, their good behavior was unprompted. They were so enthralled with the park that they didn’t squabble or fuss.
With Goofy hat firmly planted on my head, I led everyone back to Tomorrowland. We had just enough time before our Fast Pass came up for one more ride, so we tried out the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. It was better than I expected. The live audience interaction made it more enjoyable than a themed comedy act would have been on its own.
The Buzz Lightyear ride was definitely worth the wait. It reminded me of the long gone Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, frenetic and crazily lit. Each car in the ride had a joy stick to spin it and a pair of blasters to shoot out targets scattered throughout the tide. The long line and multiple hour wait for the Fast Pass definitely seemed justified.
We got a bit snarled in the crowd watching the Main Street Electrical Parade. It was quite a bit different than the version I remembered from my youth but enjoyable nonetheless. We managed to fight the crowd, moving upstream back to the monorail.
The boys had such a good time they asked to go back the following morning. Thankfully, they took it in good graces when we said no since we spent the morning with Andrea’s aunt and then had to get on the road back to Grammie’s.
Everyone had such a good time that I suspect we may do more planning around Disney World for next year, for either a longer stay or trying to get a bit more out of the park in a single day than we did this year.