We began my 10th visit to Disney World (husband’s sixth) at the Magic Kingdom. To me this is a requirement. The Opening Ceremonies at the Train Station, and the walk down Main Street USA to Cinderella’s Castle are the things that signal to me I am finally back where I belong! This was a great trip of firsts even from the start. We entered the park and turned to the right, entering the Town Square Theater for a meet and greet with the main Mouse! This was a place we usually just rushed right past on our way to another attraction, but hitting it first thing after rope drop meant there wasn’t a wait, and it only seemed polite to say hello to our host before heading farther in.
While we spent some time with old friends like Goofy, Minnie and Pooh and Tigger (who I again made bounce with me), we met some new ones as well, like Merida from Brave who was wonderful in her interactions along with her three little bears who are just adorable. I have to say she has been my absolute favorite face character to meet. We also met Fairy Godmother for the first time, and Daisy!
We took a moment to ride The Haunted Mansion, skipping through the Cemetery this time. We’d seen it during a soft opening, and had reservations at the Tusker House for lunch, which meant park hopping so we didn’t want to take the time. I’d forgotten about the new animations of the Hitchhiking Ghosts so was pleasantly surprised and greatly amused as we got to the end of the ride!
The Tusker House was chosen because we’d not yet managed a picture with Daisy. The food was just an added bonus. Both husband and I were greatly impressed not only with the character interaction, but with the food! I will be returning for the salmon while my husband will once again want to fill his plate with the seafood stew. This restaurant will be added into our regular rotation!
Of course from here we headed to the Kilimanjaro Safaris, where we found we didn’t miss the poacher plot-line at all. It had rained during our lunch at Tusker House, so many animals were up and moving. We even saw the lionesses for the first time!
From Africa we headed to Asia, were I alone braved the Forbidden Mountain – Expedition Everest. I’d never experienced this attraction before, but decided this trip I would face the Yeti! As much as I would have liked company, I will say the single rider line is the way to go! By the time we reached this massive mountain the wait time was 90 minutes, but as a single rider I practically walked right on. After one minor moment after the bar dropped and the train started moving where I wondered what the heck I was doing I found myself having a fantastic time and couldn’t figure out why I’d stayed away all these years! I loved it enough I rode it again later (single rider line of course!).
We also experienced Kali River Rapids for the first time. We both enjoyed this attraction, and the cooling off we got in the middle of a hot August day. We didn’t get as wet as we expected, but a little damp!
Though I couldn’t convince the husband to join me on Everest, he had decided that he’d join me for the first on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. This was the longest wait we stood in during our visit, and the wait time was posted at 80 minutes, but it definitely didn’t feel that long (We almost never stand for longer than 15 minutes — fast passes rule!). Of course one of the things I love about Disney is the people you meet. We spent time in line talking to a woman who used to work at the park and was now enjoying it with her nieces.
I adored the Tower. The random drops and wonderful view of the parks when the doors open at the height of the rise were fantastic. I won’t deny I grabbed my husband’s leg and let out a shriek as the first drop happened, but I loved every minute of it! My husband can’t say the same thing. I will never get him back on this ride, so who wants to go with me next time??
Of course we had to experience the improved Star Tours — twice. With more than 50 new combinations of experiences this ride was definitely worth the return trip! I will say though I was very sad to see Rex (RX-24), the previous pilot in a row of junked droids marked as “defective.” Poor Rex. He may not have been the best of pilots but he always got us to Endor in one piece!
So our day began at the Magic Kingdom, took us to Animal Kingdom and ended at park close in Hollywood Studios. Oh! I almost forgot! We’ve only managed to ride Toy Story Mania once, not willing to stand in the lines or rush at rope drop to get a fast pass, but this trip as park close came closer and the crowd headed to Fantasmic we found ourselves in Pixar Place. The posted wait time was 60 minutes, but we were on in less than 20 minutes this close to close! For the first time ever I beat my husband at a shooting game! Definitely worth the 20 minute wait for those bragging rights!