Last year, on June 7th, I finally traveled to Walt Disney World with my Mom. We both have never been to Florida and were so very excited to finally see these parks. When I was a toddler we lived only 8 miles from Disneyland. I went all the time. And then, in Kindergarten, we moved to Central California, which was still a few hours away. Needless to say Disney is a huge part of my childhood. And even now, living in Utah, I try to make it to Disneyland/California Adventure every year. It doesn't always work out, as I didn't visit in 2016, but that's because we went to Disney World and Disneyland Paris. Can't complain. Yeah, I'm that obsessed.
I've been to Disneyland so many times I know it like the back of my hand. It's like coming home. So visiting Disney World was an interesting experience as I didn't know where everything was, what park had what ride and what show, how to get to the parks from where we were staying, where the eateries were, bathrooms, etc. At Disneyland I have a game plan no matter what happens. I know where to go, how to avoid this or that, and so forth. Disney World felt like an out of body experience. So strange, like another World, new and old at the same time.
To save money my Mom and I took a red eye flight into Orlando, and then stayed at the Holiday Inn next to Disney Springs. Though it's not an official Disney Hotel, it's still on site with a bus that goes to all four parks: Magic Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom.
After our plane landed during the tail end of a lightning storm, which freaked me out, and catching a taxi to Holiday Inn, we took the bus to the Magic Kingdom.
I've heard from others how big the Disney property is. I studied the map before the trip and it didn't seem so bad. But man, it's Big. Very BIG. I heard on the radio yesterday that it's the size of San Fransisco. The bus took about a half hour to 45 minutes to get to the Magic Kingdom! Though Google Maps says a car can get there in 13 minutes. The parks are so spread out that it seemed silly to do a park hopper. When the bus dropped us off we had a choice between the ferry boat or the monorail to get all the way to the Magic Kingdom. We took the ferry boat because it seemed fun.
The sign may be a different shape, but the sentiment is the same.
I always pause to read it:
"Here you leave today and enter the World of Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy."
Main Street at the Magic Kingdom feels different than Disneyland. It's more ornate, which seems to barrow from New Orleans, speaking from someone who's only seen photos and watched travel shows. Whereas Disneyland feels more Victorian.
Trying to get my bearing beyond the app.
The Disney band playing in front of Cinderella's Castle. It's interesting, the last time I entered Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea there was a band playing.
I love band music.
Really sets the Disney mood.
The Magic Kingdom doesn't have a New Orleans Square, or Critter Country for that matter, but they have Liberty Square which has some cute stores and the Hall of Presidents. I like this little nook, and wish I had more time to explore.
The first ride my Mom and I headed to was Splash Mountain. With the tropical storm the day before that threatened to turn into a hurricane, the park was lighter than predicted, and the line for Splash Mountain was less than 30 minutes. Maybe doing a water ride right away was a bad idea, but it was fun, and I like how the log has two seats per row.
Between MK and Disneyland, I prefer the Disneyland version. There's a better build up leading to the major drop towards the end of the ride.
At Disneyland you go from the Happy Place to the parents singing about it and then the vultures as you climb. The MK version doesn't have the parents scene. Disneyland's version tells a more complete story.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! Or as I call it: Thunderbolt Mountain! I have no idea why I call it that. It started a few years ago, and now I have to Google the ride to see it's actual name. Brains are weird. Another ride where I prefer the Disneyland version, due to the updates, but this is still a fun ride. The queue line is interesting. They have interactive little things to play with, one of which is watching canary birds.
(On an unrelated note, "queue" has a weird spelling.)
Country Bear Jamboree. I was excited that this attraction was at Disney World, as it's been many years since Country Bear closed at Disneyland. I have many good memories seeing it as a kid. Well, I was actually quite surprised at how adult some of the jokes are! And in the end I can see why Disneyland got rid of it. It was fun for nostalgia sake, but once is enough.
The most disappointing ride award goes to It's a Small World. The Disneyland and Disney Paris versions are so much better. The Orlando version felt very sparse.
The backside of the castle.
Stitch's Great Escape. Hmmm, the lead up to the actual Stitch encounter is better. The whole idea is that Stitch gets loose and causes chaos. The storytelling leading up to the final room was interesting. And then when you get to the final room you sit down, and then major restraints come down and keep you in the seats. It seemed like something really epic was about to happen!! But . . . all it did was get dark, the sound of Stitch running around, and cheese smell. At least I think it was cheese . . .
I miss PeopleMover at Disneyland, so this was nostalgic.
There wasn't a TRON section, but it was still a nice slow ride.
One of the few rides where I enjoyed the Disney World version as much as the Dinseyland version. The humidity really adds to the jungle affect. (Ah man, humidity!) And there's a dark room element at the end of the ride! Really fun.
Pirates of the Caribbean! I liked it. Better than Disneyland Paris, but Disneyland California is close to my heart. I still like the ride. Each version is a little different, so when it comes to preferring Disneyland I think it's just because that's what I'm used to, but it's still a good ride.
Having pulled an all-nighter we left the park early. There was a point in between Tomorrowland and Jungle Cruise where we looked though shops on Main Street.
There was a downpour, which I guess happens regularly during the Summer, so we were lucky enough to have shelter. I'm from the dry Mountain West. We're not used to humidity or random rain showers. Rain is an event. The ground seemed to steam during the rainstorm, which was an interesting experience.
It was a beautiful late afternoon.