Relaxing on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority!

Oh, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover!  This is one of my favorite attractions in all of the Magic Kingdom.  For me, it’s a simple and relaxing way to enjoy the sites of Tomorrowland, and it is especially cool to ride when it is night out.

When it comes to the TTA, as I like to call it, the futuristic mode of transportation only has one flaw — it doesn’t do anything but go in a long loop.  It would be really cool if they would expand the TTA as a way of traveling from one land to another land.  One thing that I really miss and wish they would bring it back — even if it was only for a short period — is the old Skyway.  That was such a cool way of both moving from one land to another and also seeing a side of the Magic Kingdom that you don’t see often.  Expanding the TTA to other lands as a means of travel would be a neat way to bring back some of the aspects of the Skyway, but in a different way.

For now, though, the TTA is exactly the way it always has been, and that isn’t likely to change much.  So, take some time next trip and ride the TTA, and enjoy the relaxing nature of this classic attraction.  “Paging Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow.”

For a quick Disney fix, enjoy this YouTube video of the TTA that was recorded at night — and while Space Mountain was being refurbished a few years ago!  Enjoy!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad — A Trip to the Old West!

Before my last vacation, my favorite roller coaster bar none at the Magic Kingdom was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  The main reason for this statement was because I hadn’t ridden Space Mountain in so long, and the twists and turns of the coaster — especially at night — really makes for a wild ride all the way to the old west!

Then I rode Space Mountain — and suddenly, the world of the Magic Kingdom roller coasters wasn’t nearly as cut and dry as it was prior to June 8th, 2012…

As much as I loved my two rides on Space Mountain, I’ve got to tell you that my two rides on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad were as good a series of rides as I’ve ever had.  Both of them were at night, and to me, there isn’t anything that compares to BTMRR at night.  On one, it was the same night that Stephanie and Shane became an engaged couple, so the ride could have been at a measly five miles an hour and it still would have been great.  But it wasn’t, of course.  The night air was great, and of course, watching for the dancing ladies above the saloon is always fun.

Then, later on in our vacation, we were able to ride it again, and during this ride, it was right when the fireworks were about to start, so I pulled out my iPhone and took some pictures of the fireworks while we were riding.  Most of them were not any good, but I did get a couple.

 

In the end, the roller coasters at the Magic Kingdom are as different as night and day, and if I had to choose one that I like best, I’m not sure that I could.  So, I’m ranking them as 1A and 1B, and I’m not telling which one fits where.

Which is your favorite roller coaster at the Magic Kingdom?  Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad?  Tell me in the comments please!

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Space Mountain — One of the sickest rides I’ve ever been on!

Space Mountain — that majestic flight to outer space that you can enjoy each and every day when you visit the Magic Kingdom.  That ride, where you are virtually in the dark the entire ride, as you and your spaceship navigate around and around in your journey through space!  That ride, which until I rode it during our trip to Disney World in June, I had never been on the left hand track!

Now, before you villify me, I must explain that I rode Space Mountain twice during our last vacation — and before that, it had been several years since I had ridden it before, and to my memory, I think I had ridden it only twice before in all the times I had been to Walt Disney World.  So I doubled my ride experiences during this trip!

The first time I rode Space Mountain was around 1:45 AM on Sunday evening (Monday morning.)  The extra magic hours were about to expire at 2:00 AM, so we needed to get over there if we were going to make it.  In line for this excursion were Stephanie, Shane, Kyle, Kerry, Cindy, and myself.  When we went through the line — which was dead, by the way — we were directed to the right side as we approached the loading area, and we were in positions 1-6.  Cindy was first, then Kerry, then me, then Kyle, Stephanie, and Shane (I think that was their order.)

This was Kerry’s first trip on Space Mountain, so she was understandably nervous!  As for me, I was excited.  As we started off, we got going for just a short while, and then we stopped for a moment.  It was at this moment that Kyle, who knew that Kerry had never been on before, decided to give out a blood-curdling scream!  As soon as he did that, we were off!

Kerry was screaming the whole way it seemed, but so was I, because that is what I do on roller coasters — I scream!  It was incredible, we had so much fun, and even though Kerry was scared to death, she still had fun!

Three days later, we were at it again.  We were in the Magic Kingdom that night because the girls had their outing at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and then we ate at Cinderella’s Royal Table.  That was the night that we saw the fireworks from inside the dining hall!

We had Fast Passes for something like 10:30 PM or so, and the Magic Kingdom closed at 11:00 PM that night, so after we experienced the Fireworks and left, we were able to head on over to Space Mountain to turn in our passes.  In the end, this ride was just Kerry, Monica, and myself.  Kerry was experiencing Space Mountain for the second time this trip, I was experiencing Space Mountain for the fourth time, and Monica, well this was Monica’s first trip on Space Mountain!

The difference this time was that we were directed to the left side of the loading area, and while Kerry and I didn’t think anything about the difference, when we started going, it was evident that this was a completely different ride — and the biggest difference was the speed!

I thought that this was the fastest trip on Space Mountain that I had ever been on — it was crazy it was so exciting.  In every turn, it felt like the speed just kept going up and up and up — and I almost thought that it was going to go so fast that we would rocket off the track at one point!  Hands down, this was the best single roller coaster ride that I have ever experienced!  It was so crazy, here was our ride photo that they took for us while we were riding!

So tell me, what was your favorite roller coaster experience?  Why not tell me about it in the comments?  Thanks!

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Eating our way through Disney

In January of 2001, Cindy was pregnant with our daughter Sophie, and we had a long weekend, so we decided to spend it at Walt Disney World.  Since Cindy was pregnant, we couldn’t ride any of the rides we would normally ride — no Space Mountain, no Big Thunder Mountain, nothing like that, so we made the decision early on to eat our way through the parks.

Since it was January, there really wasn’t a big crowd, so we were able to walk right into Guest Services at the Magic Kingdom and make a reservation for lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table!  In addition to that great treat, we also ate at Liberty Tavern and several other wonderful restaurants.

That trip was special in it’s own way.  It is amazing to me, when Cindy was pregnant, she got some morning sickness (like almost every woman that has been pregnant).  But you know, I don’t think a single thing that we ate at Disney World made her sick that weekend.

This trip was a way for Cindy and I to just be together, even though Sophie was there, it was just the two of us, just enjoying a great weekend, and taking the road less traveled at Disney.  We watched the shows, we enjoyed the small rides like “It’s a Small World“, and we just enjoyed being there together.

It was a great way to kick off the year Sophie was born, and it gave us the chance to enjoy being a couple before Sophie arrived. Here are a few other pictures from that trip that you might enjoy!

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My first Disney trip

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This picture is from 2006, the next time that my Mom would visit the Magic Kingdom!

I was about 10 or 11 years old when I first went to Walt Disney World.  My Grandma and Grandpa had retired the previous year, and moved to Florida, so the following summer my Mom and sister and I went down to visit them.  In the course of that trip, Grandma and Grandpa took us on a trip to Walt Disney World.

I don’t have any pictures of the trip, but I do have memories.  I remember that at that time Disney World consisted of the Magic Kingdom, the Contemporary Resort, the Polynesian Resort, and the Grand Floridian resort.  We didn’t stay on property, and we had to decide which rides we wanted to enjoy because the park had tickets for the individual rides.  The more popular rides took more tickets than the less popular ones.

I remember that I wouldn’t ride Space Mountain.  Robin (my sister) tried really hard to get me to go, but I was chicken.

Remember when the Theater on Main Street showed silent Mickey Mouse cartoons?

So many things have changed at Walt Disney World, but regardless of that, so much of the Magic Kingdom has remained the same.

Despite the changes, the predominate things that make Walt Disney World special remain.  The Magic began for me with the moment we would get into the car to make the trip to Disney.  The closer we got to the park, the more the excitement would build, and when we saw the “Walt Disney World Sign”, I was about ready to bust with excitement.

The excitement continued to build as we passed the parking attendants, got out of the car, and memorized where we parked (we were usually in Grumpy or Happy).

Then, as you ride the tram to the the Transportation and Ticketing Center, reality continues to fade into the background as you are magically transported to the world of Walt Disney.

For us, as we rode on the Monorail to the park entrance, seeing the famous Magic Kingdom landmarks approach always started a discussion on what ride we would ride first.  The answers always varied, but for me, and that first visit, I didn’t care which ride I rode first.

For me, the experience of it all is what was really special to me.  I didn’t care which rides I rode, that first trip I was all about where it all begins — Main Street, U.S.A.  Seeing the train station, experiencing the buildings around the circle, and then taking in all of the shops, that is, in many ways, what it is all about.

Even now, after years of visiting Walt Disney World, to me, nothing is as special as the feeling I get when I enter Main Street, U.S.A. and take it all in.