Tag Archives: Magic Kingdom

The End of a Wonderful 2013

So as 2014 begins, I wanted to get back on here and reflect about the year and look forward to what promises to be a great 2014.  I was able to make 5 separate trips to different parks (2 solo) and visited 7 different parks total.

A quick summary of the trips:

Jan – A solo trip to Orlando to hit Universal Studios Florida and Islands Of Adventure.  By getting to the parks early, I was able to ride 9 different rides a total of 10 times in 3 hours and 40 minutes.  Made the entire trip in 31 hours.

June – A 5 day trip covering over 2000 miles.  Kaswell (my eldest daughter and partner in fun) and I left very early on a Wednesday in order to be able to spend the afternoon at Universal.  Was at USF by 6:15 am for the opening of the Transformers ride.  There was a great show put on for the opening and we ending up spending all day at the park, finally leaving the park just after 9.  Friday brought a drive to Richmond, VA, and KIng’s Dominion.  We arrived at the park just after 5pm and managed to ride all the rides we wanted, including riding the Dominator 3 times.  A quick drive to Williamsburg after that put us right next to Busch Gardens for the weekend.  If you have never been, I highly suggest going to Busch Gardens Williamsburg.  The park has great theming and landscaping combined with world class roller coasters, including Apollo’s Chariot and Alpengeist.  The food and wine festival was also well done.  We spent 2 days and was able to ride all of the roller coasters at least twice.  These five days equaled a great and exhausting trip.

August – After flying into Tampa to pick up a car for Sean (my stepson), I drove to Orlando and spent the night so I could get in another solo trip at Universal.  Thanks to Universal’s early admission for passholders at 8 am with onsite guests, I was able to be the first person to ride Forbidden Journey followed by breakfast at the Three Broomsticks.  Between 8 and 9:30 am,  I rode 6 rides (Forbidden Journey, the Dragons, Hulk, Dr. Doom and Spiderman).  After the quick walk over to USF, I rode the rides I wanted (Rip Ride Rockit, Mummy, Transformers and MIB) and had a great lunch from Krusty Burger.  After hitting my favorites one more time (Mummy and Transformers), I headed out with another successful solo trip behind me.

October – In what is becoming an annual tradition, Julie and I went to both Halloween Horror Nights and Mickeys Not-So-Scary Halloween along with the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.  The details of the trip have been covered here so I will just say it is a tradition I look forward to continuing.

November – Some of the details have already been posted here so I will fill in the rest.  The day at Epcot was better than expected.  The Candlelight Processional was even better than expected and walking from country to country listening to the presentations on Christmas traditions was an unexpected surprise and a great learning experience.  Sunday brought the Magic Kingdom and Mickey’s Christmas party.  We arrived early to see the Welcome show and ride a couple of rides early.  This also put us in a great spot to eat at Be Our Guest, which we managed to do before the line formed.  The restaurant was very well done and the food was good, only wish we had been able to try the Grey Stuff 🙂 (only available at dinner, when you have a special occasion).   After taking a break, we went back for the party.  The Jingle Cruise was a great change from the normal ride and show and the cookies and hot chocolate make most anything better.  The Tommorowland dance party with Stitch/Sully and Mike Wazouski was quite cute as well.  The parade and fireworks were well done but the Halloween versions are still my favorite.

As you can see, it was a wonderful year filled with theme park trips and good times.  Plans for 2014 are still forming with two on the calendar so far.  I have a solo trip planned for January, which I will be revealing details for in the next few days, and Julie and I are taking a trip in March.  There are many more ideas and possibilities and I look forward to sharing them with everyone.  Have a Happy New Year!!

A Belated Trip Recap

So thanks to life getting in the way, I was never able to finish a more detailed recap of the trip.  After all the Halloween fun was over, we spent Saturday at Epcot enjoying the many offerings that were available at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.  Some of highlights included the tacos at Mexico, more Cherry Wheat, and the lamb at Australia.  I also continued to wear my rainbow afro visor that I picked up the night before, which continued to get several double takes and compliments.  The following day brought Islands of Adventure along with the sadness of having to make the trip home.  IOA was solid, as always, and attendance was surprisingly low.  We only waited 15 minutes for Forbidden Journey and that was the longest that we waited for anything.  We also picked up some candy from HoneyDukes for the kids and slowly made our way out of the park for a bit more shopping offsite and then the ride to the airport.

It was just an awesome trip.  We had all the fun of the Halloween event, plus the food and wine festival, combined with relatively small crowds and beautiful weather.  Fall is just an awesome time to visit Orlando and the parks.  Julie and I plan on continuing to make this an annual event for as long as we can and maybe one of these days we will get some friends to go with us on the trip.

As far as what is next for the blog,  I plan to start sharing theme park news from various sources and talk about upcoming trips.  We are considering a trip Thanksgiving weekend to attend the Christmas party at Magic Kingdom and I am working on planning my next solo adventure.  Maybe first I will detail my previous solo trips.  Thanks for reading!

Magic Kingdom and the Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

You wouldn’t know it from my lack of posts after Friday, but the trip turned out awesome.  Friday saw us spend the day at the Magic Kingdom and we spent the day just experiencing the park instead of rushing around.  We walked around the new FantasyLand, and I have to say it looks really good.  Still quite a bit of construction going on, so I expect it will look even better as time goes on.  We grabbed Fastpasses for the new Under the Sea ride and then headed for Pirates of the Caribbean.  The classic ride that never disappoints and always provides a nice cool ride in the middle of the day.  This led us to our lunch reservation at the Liberty Tree Tavern.  We were excited about this as this is a restaurant we had not tried before and requires reservations.  What we found was a nice place with great food and very generous portions.  I got the Pilgrims Feast (turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and green beans)  and I think our waitress Conseula was stunned that I finished the whole thing, and was even more so when I finished Julie’s pasta dish (also quite yummy), followed by a piece of their ooey gooey toffee cake.  This was a preview of what we will get with the dining plan when we go back in March and I am pretty sure we are going to gain 20 pounds in the 5 days we are there.  Back to Under the Sea after lunch to use our Fastpass, which included one of the highlights of the day when one of the females working the ride snatched the full drink right out of Julie’s hand as she was getting on and said, “Thank you”.  It was hilarious.  The ride was a well done, similar to Haunted Mansion, in that you are in a clamshell moving along a fixed track.  Once done, we still had a bit more time to kill before we could pick up our wristbands for the Not-So-Scary Halloween party, so we headed for Stitch’s Great Escape, another must do on our list since Stitch is Julie’s favorite character.

Finally we were able to get our wristbands and bags for the party.  Since we had decided not to wear our costumes into the park, we looked around for ways to dress up a bit.  Julie decided on a “Nightmare Before Christmas” top hat, and I went with a rainbow colored wig with mouse ears, attached to a visor which was awesome and I ended wearing not only that night, but also to Epcot on Saturday.  Lots of double takes and compliments on it over the course of the two days.  As it started to get dark, we decided to head for the Haunted Mansion.  Part of the awesomeness of the Magic Kingdom is that even though lots of things change, some things remain constant such as the pre-show for the Haunted Mansion, with your ghost host and the classic phrases like moving to the dead center of the room. We continued to tour the classics by making our way over to Space Mountain.  The old girl is showing some signs of age but is still great and illustrates how far rides have come over the past 40 years.  After a quick turn on Buzz Lightyear (I won), we decided to go get our spot for the fireworks.  The year before we had been off to the right of the castle and decided to get a more central spot this year.  We learned that we really should have moved closer to the front along Main Street for the best view.  The show was just as awesome as the year before and is the best fireworks show Disney puts on.  At one point, the fireworks cover a full 270 degrees and it is just a bright as the middle of the day.  This left us with only 2 things to do – the parade and getting some candy from the multiple trick or treat spots.  We staked out our spot at the Liberty Square so we could see the Headless Horseman and have a good view of the floats and performers as they approached.  The highlight of the parade for me is always the gravediggers with their shovels.  We were able to get several good pictures of the parade and they are posted on the Flickr account.  This left only candy.  As soon as the parade passed we headed for the stations and we were not disappointed.  As we had read, the people handing out the candy were much more generous late in the evening and the lines were almost non existent.  We each walked out with over a bag of candy and most of it was good stuff, such as Skittles, Reeses, and Twix.

Getting to trick or treat as an adult is great and combined with all the other elements, the Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a must do for any Disney fan and in particular Disney villain fans as they figure prominently into the whole evening.  Look forward to seeing you there!