Today we met my brother at EPCOT Center and caught a monorail over to the Magic Kingdom. Once inside the gates, we went straight to Adventureland to ride Pirates of the Caribbean and check out the new Jack Sparrow enhancements. My wife really liked seeing her boyfriend, while I was left wondering why there were no Elizabeth figures added. The Davy-Jones-in-the-mist effect was really cool, but I was a little sad to see some of the music from the movie replacing the original attraction score.
After Pirates, we rode Splash Mountain (once) and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (twice). Other attractions later in the day: Haunted Mansion, It’s A Small World, Mad Tea Party, Space Mountain (twice), People Movers, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (twice), Mickey’s PhilharMagic (twice–the first time the curtain malfunctioned), back to Pirates for a second pass, then finally on the WDW Railroad for a loop around the park.
It rained a little in the afternoon, but we didn’t get too wet. The temps were much warmer today, so I was able to wear shorts and a golf shirt and show off the whitest skin in the state of Florida. Crowds and attraction lines were again really, really good. The only place that had any significant waits was Fantasyland–we walked right on Space Mountain and Splash Mountain and had at most 10 minute waits on all others. Fast Pass wasn’t really necessarily, although we did use it once on Big Thunder.
We ate lunch at the Pinocchio Village Haus, a childhood favorite of mine. They no longer serve hot dogs and fries, though, so I ended up with the ever-present chicken strip basket and fries. I hope the Magic Kingdom adds some additional sit-down dining options in the future–EPCOT has an overabundance and could serve as a model. I know the demographics are different, but even kids like options. And not every “nice” restaurant needs to be a character event.
For dinner, we left the Disney property and went with my brother and his wife to a new Mexican restaurant near his house called Tijuana Flats. They were started by a University of Central Florida student and have expanded to several southeastern states. Their attitude and atmosphere seemed very Gen-X to me, but in a good way. I’m not a big Mexican food person, but I enjoyed my chicken taco and beef burrito combination and the staff was really friendly and nice to our kids. And any place that has a product called Smack My Ass & Call Me Sally has got to be good in my book.
Tomorrow: sleep in, visit my favorite childhood hotels and hit Downtown Disney.Originally published by DK on February 1, 2007 at 11:11 pm