Day 2 – More fun at Magic Kingdom

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A couple times a year, it’s so hot that I’ll have an iced coffee instead of a hot cup of joe. Today was one of those days.

Barrak and I stopped by the Starbucks in the Magic Kingdom for our morning coffee, then knocked out a bunch of rides, which I’ll detail below.

En route to the Magic Kingdom, we had to get off the monorail at the Polynesian due to some maintenance issue. Instead we took a boat across the lake. It was fun. The captain said the boat, named Voyager, is modeled after The African Queen.

Here’s the Voyager:

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Branda, you did the right thing moving from the Polynesian to the Grand Floridian. The Polynesian is all torn up and under construction. We even got a message from them about our Thursday morning breakfast reservation at ‘Ohana, basically warning us that getting there could be tricky.

Here’s a picture of the Grand Floridian that I snapped from the Voyager:

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Our first ride of the day was Pirates of the Caribbean. We had a fast pass but there was really no one waiting anyway. It’s such a nice leisurely water ride through cool underground caves.

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From there, we left our stroller parked and walked down to Jungle River Cruise. It’s cute. You take a 10-minute boat ride down an Amazon or Nile-style river. There are all kinds of fake African animatronic animals on the shores, and the tour guide does some humorous schtick.

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Across the way, we rode Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride, which is just like Dumbo. Even though these are comparatively tame rides, they’re not my favorite. The kids like them though.

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Next up: Thunder Mountain, which we had a fast pass for. This was the first roller coaster Barrak ever rode as a kid so he was excited to take his own kids on it. After yesterday’s Seven Dwarves Mine Train, I was nervous about taking Magnus on it. Magnus didn’t object or say he was scared, but he wasn’t enthused either. It turned out OK. Greta loved it but held my hand the whole time. Magnus was fine to go along for the ride. He sat with Barrak and Barrak held on to him pretty tight. I think we’re riding it again on Thursday if that tells you anything.

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One of my favorite things at Magic Kingdom is simply walking through the different lands: Main Street U.S.A., Fantasyland (Rapunzel’s tower, Beast’s castle), Adventureland and Frontierland (Tom Sawyer-like) and Liberty Square, where a big white paddlewheel boat eases along the waterway.

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Liberty Square is also home to the Haunted Mansion. Like last year, this was a disaster again this year because Greta was scared. There were also some mechanical problems (or guest problems, we weren’t sure) and our car stopped several times. I just love this ride but it was hard to enjoy it today knowing how miserable Greta was.

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The big hit of the day: Splash Mountain. Getting a fast-pass is a must. With ours, we breezed past an incredibly long line of hot, miserable people waiting an hour or more. You get in a wooden boat (all four of you can sit together in one row) and ride through cute scenes from Song of the South, with Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear and Uncle Wiggly. There are two or three little plunges, and one big monster plunge. It looks steeper and scarier than Thunder Mountain but we all enjoyed it a ton. All smiles afterward, and we weren’t supersoaked.

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So Branda, the day is only half through but here are my tips for you so far: don’t be like me and only pack flip-flops and tennies. I wish I had another pair of open-toed flats to change into. And second, get a fast-pass for Splash Mountain if you think the kids will ride it. Lastly, you might want to invest in a visor. I’ve been wearing one because the sun is just ridiculous.

We are eating at California Grill for dinner tonight and I’m excited about it. It’s on the top floor of the Contemporary. It’s supposed to be very good and the menu looks fantastic. They require a collared shirt and closed toe shoes. I’ll let you know how it goes.

We left the park around Noon to eat lunch at the pool. We got maybe an hour of pooltime before a storm rolled in. Barrak and the kids are on a walk around the resort at the moment.

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