I’m pretty sure my mom thought I was crazy when I told her we were going to Disney World. She kept saying, “you know it will be busy there right?” Yeah, we know. We know there will be lots of people, and kids, and those giant double strollers everywhere. And yes, we know we will have to wait in long lines, and it might be hot, and anything we want to drink or eat will be expensive. But we went anyway. And we had a blast.
The last time I went to Disney World I was eight. The only thing I remember is loving It’s a Small World and hating Space Mountain. Well I’m happy to report that the Small World ride was just great as it was all those years ago. I mean, what’s not to love about characters from around the world singing the most catchy tune ever. “it’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all…” You know that one right?
And Space Mountain was not nearly as scary as I remember. But I am still not a huge fan of roller coasters in the dark.
We made the decision early on to spend only one day doing the Disney thing. One day, one park, that’s it. It was a good choice. Sure we missed out on Epcot, Hollywood Studios, the Animal Kingdom, but honestly I think one day was enough. Because my mom was right. It was was really busy. Not sure I want to hang out with that many people for more than one day. We made the most of our one day though. Showed up at little after 9 am and left around 11pm. Yup, 14 hours of Disney magic. Fourteen hours of rides, and shows, and fireworks and french fries (can’t forget the french fries).
Probably the best thing we did was to take advantage of the Fast Pass program which allowed us to choose three rides and skip the lines. We also downloaded the My Disney Experience app on our phones so we could check the wait times for lines without walking all over the park. At the end of the day we managed to fit in 13 rides, 6 shows, a parade, and some epic evening fireworks. We even took advantage of the short lines at the end of the day and made a return trip to two of the rides (the Haunted Mansion and Buzz Lightyear). I did my best to take photos of everything we did, but sometimes the ride was too fast, it was too dark, or we were simply having too much fun too take photos. Here are a few photos from some of the rides.
Just as fun as the rides were all the different shows. We saw animatronic bears sing and dance at the Country Bears Jamboree, watched an awesome 3D show at Mickey’s PhilarMagic Show, laughed along with about a hundred kids at the Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor, and much more. We did a bunch of these shows in the middle of the day when it started to get hot and we started to get tired. It was a great way to rest our feet and enjoy some A.C. and entertainment.
At the end of the day we lined up for the nine o’clock Electrical Parade. We were both pretty tired at this point so we ended up finding a place to sit near the parade route a little after eight and hung out to wait. Following the advice of a How to do Disney website (there are hundreds of these) we parked ourselves near the Pecos Bill Restaurant for optimal viewing away from the crowds around the castle. Turned out to be great advice and for the first time I can remember I got to watch a parade without tall people blocking my view. As expected it was an awesome parade with dancing, lights, and some of our favorite characters.
After the parade we made out way over to the castle and squeezed our way into the crowd to watch the show. First up was an an amazing projection show where they lit the castle up with all sorts of colors and designs. They also managed to fit in the music from every popular Disney movie ever made.
Next was a fireworks show to rival all fireworks shows. I would expect nothing less of Disney.
After the fireworks we took advantage of the diminishing crowds to hit up a few rides we missed earlier, strolled down main street to pick up our one souvenir (a magnet) and took the ferry back across the lake where we left the truck. By the way, we rode the Monorail in the morning and ferry in evening. If we did it again we would skip the ferry and take the monorail both ways – it was faster.
At the end of the day our feet hurt from walking, our eyes were tired from all the lights, our brains fried from the constant negotiation of people and lines…but we were happy. How can you not be after spending the day at the happiest place on earth? Trying to do the whole park in one day is probably not optimal for some people, especially those with kids. We ended up skipping a lot of the rides and shows geared towards small kids, and we didn’t bother to wait in the very long lines to see any of the characters (although how cute would it have been if I got a picture of Tim with Snow White). But for us a one day Disney marathon was perfect, and if we did it again we wouldn’t change a thing.