Magic, Blizzards and A Million Light Bulbs

Magic Kingdom, FL

We had a brilliant day today. Beginning to get in the swing of all these parks now despite aching hips, feet and knees from walking so many miles. That’s Bob and me, not the girls of course!!! We were back to the Magic Kingdom for probably our last visit this holiday. Got there nice and early and saw the welcoming ceremony again. It was already extremely hot, nearly 100F at 9am. Urrg. We walked into Tomorrowland and had a ride on Space Mountain. We were on a different track this time and it was faster. That’s odd that there should be a noticeable difference. Then we walked up through the park and rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. A runaway mining train. Not a coaster as such but a fast and thrilling ride. Once, years ago, maybe 30 years ago, I went on it for the first time with my mum and dad. What possessed us to take mum on it I have no idea as she couldn’t even stand going on a carousel. Anyway, once it got underway she actually tried to get off and dad and I had to hold her down !!!! It really upset her system all day. Its a great ride though and I particularly like doing it at night when the lighting effects are very atmospheric. We were coming back to the park at night and I had a fastpass for it.
Then a return to the Haunted Mansion and a break for a snack: A Dole Whip. A Dole Whip is a soft serve ice cream that manages to combine vanilla ice cream with pineapple. It’s absolutely delicious and unusually for American sweets (in my taste anyway) is not too sweet. We saw the Dole pineapple plantation when we were in Hawaii in March. Dole are like the US version of Del Monte. Anyway, after that we went into the Enchanted Tiki Hut. Haven’t been in here for about 20 years and it was lovely. It used to be one of the places we retreated to for the A/c when the girls were tiny and we needed a rest. The idea is that you are in a South Seas tiki (big straw) hut and the ceiling is covered by tropical birds and flowers who sing to you. The carved totems and other structures all join in at times too and at one point a volcano that you can see through the “windows” erupts. It was brilliant! Shall add it back into our Must Sees.
We headed out then. On the way we called into Customer Services to sort out some old paper tickets we still had from 2002!!!!! They were the sort (no longer available) where the days don’t run out. Nowadaysthe tickets are for a given number of days starting the day of first use. Anyway, we thought we had some days left on them. One was for a child (Daisy was under 12 then) and I was a bit worried about that one. Well, the old Disney Magic came through. They converted them to the new plastic media and wrote on each one what was left. We have 1 theme park day and two water park days on each ticket and they are still “never ending”. They converted the child one to an adult one foc which was pretty nice of them. So a valuable find in an old travel wallet!!!
It was about 1130ish and we went to Blizzard Beach. BB is the second water park in WDW and the theming is that a new ice age happened and a ski resort was built in Florida. Then the ice ended and it all melted and became a water park. So there are ski lifts to slopes that run down into the pools and a lazy river, toboggan racers, a raft ride, and all sorts of ski themed watery fun. Its very attractive indeed. I wish I’d brought my waterproof camera so I could post some pictures. We rode the lazy river for some hours and then it began to rain quite heavily in showers. Looked thundery. We headed for home at about 3.
It was a good visit though. The water was so relaxing.
Showered off and rested and then headed back out around 6 to o to a sushi restaurant Bob had found nearby. The sushi was excellent and quite exciting . I really like the traditional Japanese sushi but this was delicious.
Then we headed into the MK again for our evening. We were just crossing the outer perimeter when Bob squeaked and said that the petrol warning light had just come on and was showing we had 4 miles in the tank!!!!! We set the gps to take us to the nearest station but that was 6 miles away. We limped in rather white faced and filled up! However, we were late then and missed our fp on Big Thunder. No matter at least we didn’t break down. It would have been bad as it was absolutely deluging with rain at this point plus massive forked lightning and thunder.
The rain stopped pretty much as we arrived thank you Magic Kingdom and we waked in to find everyone sitting along the pavements waiting for the 9pm Electric Light Parade. We had FP to the 11pm parade so we walked down the street and into Tomorrowland. The sunset was absolutely beautiful and the outlines of the castle and turrets against the orange sky was very dramatic. We just walked around admiring the lights and drinking in the atmosphere. No one seemed very bothered about riding at that point. We had a coffee in the Harbour House restaurant.
We had a fp for the Seven Dwarves Mining Train ride. This is the newest ride in the park and the lines have been ridiculous all fortnight. Never under 90 minutes even right at opening. So this was our Big Chance!!!! There was still a 90 minute queue but with our FP we walked right on in and to the top of the line. A log train pulled in and we got in and buckled up. About a minute later our safety bars shot up and we were instructed to get out and wait. There were “technical difficulties” to do with the rain. We were then given FP coupons to come back any time in the next 10 days and that was that!!!!!! haha it was not to be…..
We were out in time to catch the end of the first Celebrate the Magic show which is an amazing show where the castle itself becomes the backdrop and screen for a light and image show where it is transformed so many times. Then we watched the fireworks which were was spectacular as always. They let off about 100000 dollars worth of fireworks every night to music and lighting changes around the castle. By now it was after 10 and a very large number of people left the park having seen the 9pm parade and the fireworks. We had FP for the 11 pm parade but one of the Cast Members told me that we would get a better view of the 1035 Celebrate the Magic and the parade if we just sat down at pavement’s edge in front of the castle which is what we did. The crowds were very light. I had never seen so few left for a parade . I mean it was enough but normally the night parade is packed. But we had never been to the late one before.
The 1035 Celebrate the Magic was different to the earlier one and it was spectacular. I don’t know how they do the projections on that scale. At one point the castle turned into a space rocket at Buzz Lightyear’s command and actually appeared to take off. Of course being this year, it had a major Frozen section too with snowflakes. Finally the Main Street Electric Light Parade which is just amazing. Perhaps 30 floats themed on Disney films and illuminated with thousands of light bulbs. The floats are populated by the characters and between each float there are troops of dancers in costumes also covered in light bulbs. It is really something to see. We loved it .
We headed off once the parade had passed and were back in the car by midnight. Having a lie in in the morning .

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