Jan. 28 & 29
And now we get to enjoy the fruits of our volunteerism, spending a day at a Disney park. We debated which park to attend, and finally settled on Magic Kingdom, mostly at the urging of our son the theme park fanatic who wanted us to check out the reputed innovations on Space Mountain. That attraction, however, turned out to be a bit of a letdown, as the face-lift was, so far as we can tell, merely cosmetic. The ride itself is no more thrilling than ever – if anything, it seemed less so.
Another new twist he’d heard about is a little scavenger hunt that takes place on Tom Sawyer’s Island. He’d learned through one of his grapevine sources for such information that paint brushes (as in the kind Tom used on the fence) would be concealed on the island somewhere at the beginning of the day and the guests who find them receive prizes. We thought perhaps we’d be among the few to know about this, and thus we’d have a good shot at being the winners. So we were at the front of the line for the first ferry to the island. But alas, the boat crew announced the little gimmick on the ride over, so as soon as we docked all the passengers scrambled willy-nily, helter-skelter and Mickie-Minnie, and we missed out on our brush with a brush.
As usual this time of year, Splash Mountain was closed. But this time It’s A Small World also was closed and undergoing maintenance the whole time we were there. We kept hoping that it would be up and singing by the time day was done, but we were disappointed. What’s a trip to the Magic Kingdom without hearing that peppy little ditty sung in a stew of every language under the sun?
The thing we seemed to enjoy most this time around was the Buzz Lightyear game, which we rode about a dozen times, with ever-intensifying competitiveness. It was a blast.
At the end of the day, we were on the Astro Orbiter, the ride with the little rockets that swirl around like a flying jenny high up in the air, when the fireworks began at the castle. What a great vantage point to see them from!
Before we left the Orlando area, we visited some of our friends from FOTR (Families on the Road) who were camped in the vicinity – including one family who was staying at Fort Wilderness, Disney’s own campground. Then it was goodbye to Orlando until next year, and goodbye to our fellow travelers until… well, until the next rendezvous point, wherever it may turn out to be.