I do not have to tell you that I was awake at some ridiculous hour today. I don’t have to, but I will. 4am again. I dozed till 6am. Maybe this is my life now?
Breakfasts were had by many, readying happened and we finally climbed into the van at 8.20am. We were returning to Magic Kingdom today hoping that the crazy crowds we had seen so far had eased off a little as we were now on the 10th of January, one of the quietest times at WDW……once.
Hook 312 welcomed us into its warm bosom at 8.50 and once again we walked all the way in admiring the trams we could see parked up in another section of the parking lot. We took the monorail and whilst riding I took some very average photos….
and blew another $45 or so booking us a LL for Seven Dwarves Mine Train later. This meant on principle we would not be buying the Genie+ thing today. It was bound to be a lot quieter today though, right?
After once again waiting in the queue for several folks to work out how Magic Bands and fingers work, we were in. We decided to start with Big Thunder before the wait got too bad. The wait was too bad, showing a 60 minute standby. Instead we thought we’d get some breakfast for Freddie who didn’t have any at the villa, before trying Haunted Mansion. To keep him company we all got a second breakfast too.
We went to one of the stands in Frontierland and had breakfast sandwiches or Bear Claws. Like some sort of startled deer in the headlights once at the front of the queue, I panicked and ordered a Cold Brew Nitro with little clue what it was.
It was, it has to be said, absolutely awful, until a helpful daughter told me to put some Coffee Mate in it, which made it tolerable. Whilst we ate and drank I was watching the MDE app and the wait times. In that ten minutes Big Thunder showed 65 minutes, then 30, 50 and then returned to 65. Shambola? Just a bit.
Recognising that Big Thunder was not going to get any better today and wanting Freddie to experience it for the first time we braved it and everyone but Rebecca joined the queue.
I’d like to say it wasn’t as bad as it sounded….
but I can’t. It took an hour, not helped by one of the two tracks going down for about fifteen minutes whilst we waited. Splash Mountain was at this point down for maintenance, which would mean Big Thunder wait times were bound to be horrible.
It was, as ever, a fun ride and one that Freddie really enjoyed. We wandered back to Rebecca who was outside the Liberty Tree Tavern.
Tom pretended that Freddie wanted an ice cream so that he could have one, so they wandered off in search of some. I sat refreshing the app, studying wait times and tutting. It was looking pretty grim to be honest and if we were to have any sort of day, I would have to give in and fork out for Genie+, so I did.
As we waited for Tom and Freddie to return, I have to say that I was in reflective mood and not really feeling the Disney Magic at this point. Why?
Well, so far today I had paid $45 for Seven Dwarves Mine Train, $79 on Genie+ and $65 on breakfast. We had stood in a queue for an hour, and managed on ride. It was now almost midday.
Over the years I have been an enormous and endless advocate of the WDW experience. I will probably say this again before this trip report is over, but had this been our first ever trip it is unlikely we would have fallen in love with the place as we did all those years ago. Things felt, at times, like a normal theme park, which is probably one of the harshest things you could say about WDW.
Trying to block out the financial pain and the feeling of being rinsed, I booked us onto Buzz Lightyear for 12 o’clock. Funny how there are LL slots immediately but the standby is over an hour. It’s almost as if they are forcing gullible chumps like me into buying Genie+.
Whilst we waited for Tom and Freddie to return a cavalcade came by. I was delighted to discover that we could watch this without additional charge.
Tom and Freddie were still not back, held up in another long queue, this time for Dole Whips, so the rest of us wandered down to Tomorrowland and waited on a bench outside Monster’s Inc.
We walked onto Buzz and this time I rode solo, scoring an average 163,000.
Emily, showing Freddie no mercy, as it should be.
Rebecca and Tom said they would take Freddie on Astro Orbiter next. I would pay another $45 not too, as there would be Bear’s Claw over everything, so Emily and I opted for the People Mover. Discovering a 45 minute wait for Astro, they decided against it and went off to meet Buzz whilst Emily and I did a loop.
Tron still wasn’t ready.
Whilst riding I booked us all on the Tea Cups at 1pm. Normally I would avoid this like the plague too after a distasteful incident some twenty years or so ago, after a buffet breakfast at 1900 Park Fayre, but we were getting every dollar’s worth of value out of Genie+ today and if that meant vomiting over some four year olds, so be it.
Tom rode with Freddie so they could spin all they wanted. I rode with the girls for the first time since the incident above so we were filled with nostalgia and a shared desire not to even touch the sliver wheel in the middle, so it was a sedate ride.
I had booked Barnstormer next. See how Genie+ allows you to easily book all the headliner rides? That was not until 2pm so we rode Dumbo via the standby line, waiting just 20 minutes. As we were boarding it started to rain so we get considerably moist as we rode.
Being damp already, Freddie was allowed to get damper in the water playground thing. I restroomed and wandered off to get us all some sugar. It had been a while.
Why I only took a photo of two I don’t know. We didn’t share, as if I had to tell you that.
Freddie was very wet by now….
and was welcoming all comers to the gun show….
I had a bit of a speed walk around the park trying to find him a dry T Shirt to wear. This was much harder than I imagined it would be and I had to go all the way to the gift shop at Winnie The Pooh to find one. It was not a perfect fit, but it was dry.
Now, we could ride Barnstormer.
An exciting thirty seconds.
On this tour of headliner rides, I had booked us onto Aladdin’s carpets next so we walked across the hub to get there.
On a day when I was feeling very grumpy and non-magical, one of those “perfect timing” things happened as we were walking. A cavalcade came just as we got to this spot so we had a front row view(ish)….
My ability to have characters not look at my camera is second to none….
We boarded our carpet at 2.35, as more rain came down.
It was now 2.45. We had an ADR at 3.10, so I thought we would kill that time with yet another headliner….
I honestly cannot remember the last time I did this. I’m not sure the girls ever had. I may have last seen it with my parents all those decades ago.
Having sat through it, I understand why.
It also lasted longer than I had anticipated and were now a few minutes late for our Skipper’s Canteen reservation. I had checked in via the app mid-show but now sped ahead to let them know we had arrived whilst the others found the stroller and followed along.
We were seated at 3.25, eager to experience the place for the first time.
Rebecca and I had the It Tastes Like Chicken, Because It Is
Emily had what I wrote down as “Curry”
Freddie had Crunchy Chicken
Freddie’s Kid’s Menu selection included a dessert…
The bill was $150 including tip. The verdict? It was good. Nothing spectacular and not one we would be desperate to do again, but would if you know what I mean?
It was now time for our very expensive ride on Seven Dwarves (could also be a film title) and on our way over there, our cavalcade of cavalcades continued.
Like some sort of death star tractor beam in human form, I drew them in….
I have to admit to not knowing who this is….
I found Aurora’s expression borderline offensive. I am not a piece of meat….
I think whiskey may have been taken….
We rode. The only thing that made it worth the $45 investment was Freddie’s excitement levels waiting to board. Seeing that kind of unbridled joy and giddiness was lovely.
Philharmagic was a walk on. I’ve not been using that phrase very often have I?
Here we are, walking on.
Here’s a photo of no queue. Enjoy.
Because it was half empty the Cast Members were allowing folks to sit down before moving all the way to the end of their row. I understood it, but could not agree with it. They are just forming bad habits that will impact everyone when it’s fuller.
Makes me uneasy….
You will have noticed a lack of dessert at Skipper’s Canteen? We decided to rectify that now with something sweet. We found a table outside of Gaston’s Tavern and I got drinks and Cinnamon Rolls for the girls and I. Tom fancied ice cream so he and Freddie went off on another quest.
They deserve two photos.
We all sat and sugared up. Freddie got his hands on the camera again. I have edited heavily…
We had a LL booking for Haunted Mansion at 6.30 so that was our new destination. I’d like to say Freddie still had the camera but I cannot.
It’s always better to ride Haunted Mansion in the dark in my view.
We had another LL at 7pm for Winnie The Pooh so we went straight there.
I said earlier in the day that we endured the one hour wait for Big Thunder as it wouldn’t get any better today. Obviously now it was showing a 30 minute standby. So off we went to ride it again.
Again, a ride better for the dark I think.
There was more excitement….
That was as good a way to end the day as any and we made our way to the exit, reaching Main Street just as the fireworks were starting. We had plans to watch them another night so didn’t want any spoilers tonight. We kept walking and not looking back.
Oddly, no doubt due to higher crowd levels than a crowd scene from Ghandi, we were being directed out via a backstage area.
I allowed myself one photo, to capture us being back stage.
By default we chose the resort monorail and headed back to the TTC. The trams were running but were very busy. It was very hectic and this time Tom ended up walking back to the car.
On the way home I put $30 of fuel in the tank and went through the traditional laughing at how cheap it was over here. We were home for 9pm and did some packing for our two day trip to Universal which started in the morning.
Till the next time…….