Out AirTran flight to Atlanta was on time and uneventful.
In the airport restroom, I went into a stall, and from within I heard this conversation between a father and his evidently young son:
Dad: "Do you have to pee-pee or poo-poo?"
Dad: "Do you want to go here [Presumably indicating a urinal.] or go over to a toilet?"
Boy: [Presumably walking toward a urinal.] "Here."
Dad: "Okay, but... [Then sounding a little on the hysterical side.] "...DON'T TOUCH IT! [A second or two later.] ]Wait! No, come in here instead. [Presumably encouraging him toward a stall.] In here. [A couple of seconds as kid presumably comes over to a stall and enters.] DON'T TOUCH IT! [Then again.] DON'T TOUCH IT!"
I just started laughing.
After our hour layover in Atlanta, we took off for Orlando at 8:40. That flight, too, was on time and uneventful. Just the way we like 'em.
Since we had no checked luggage, we proceeded directly to the Disney Magical Express complimentary bus service to take us to our resort, Port Orleans–French Quarter on the Disney property. The bus was also servicing other resorts, and our stop was the third of four. For the record, I'll give you a topic. The Disney Magical Express was neither magical nor an express. Discuss.
Check-in took just a tad longer than it should have, with only two "cast members" (that's what they call everyone who works at Disney, no matter in what capacity) staffing the check-in windows. We ended up with Hugh—of whom there was a lot—and he was nice and helpful. To our absolute delight, our room was ready even though it was only 1:00 and check-in time was 3:00.
We went up to our room, had an outfit change, freshened up a bit, and then headed out to "the magic." Entering the Magic Kingdom, in general, and Liberty Square specifically, we came upon the Character Parade. Cool start to the visit.
My jaw couldn't have dropped any further than it did when I bounded around the corner to enter one of my most favorite attractions at Disney to find "Closed for Refurbishment" signs hanging all about the building.
They're probably really doing it up with Obama's historical presidency—adding his figure in. I was so looking forward to seeing this attraction with Robert. When I was there in January of 2008, I had to sit and listen to Bush as he did his spiel toward the end of the attraction.
We proceeded to the Haunted Mansion, which is just another classic on my list in terms of imagination and special visual effects. Following that we got "it's a small world" out of the way, successfully making it through without our boat dragging bottom.
Okay, maybe my jaw dropped just a little bit further, when toward the end of the "it's a small world," the guys in the seat in front of us heard us talking about heading over to one of my next favorite attractions, Space Mountain, and said, "Oh, that's closed for refurbishment." I believe I let out an expletive at this point.
So instead of heading over to Tomorrow Land (today), we went to nearby Frontierland, where we saw the incredibly corny Country Bear Jamboree, but an attraction I always see. I just like it. They do need to work on the sound quality of that show though. It's very difficult to understand the words to most of the songs, though that may be part of its twangy charm.
Next on the agenda was a quick lunch break and the sticker shock of food at Disney. (Although, it really wasn't a shock as I've been there so many times that I've come to expect it by now.) For $13.65, we were presented with two hot dogs, a very small bag of Doritos, and one 20 oz. semi-flat Diet Coke.
On our way to the next attraction, we ran into the "Celebrate a Dream Come True" parade, which I guess was Walt celebrating his dream coming true of emptying our wallets on such a meager lunch. But I digress...
We enjoyed the parade, watching a bunch of homosexual young men singing their hearts out, being flamboyantly "expressive," and pretending to be this prince totally in love with that princess—all of which heterosexual America just ate up. Dreams, indeed.
Our next stop was the Pirates of the Caribbean, after which Robert climbed the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House, while I waited for him sitting on a concrete seat between the entrance and the exit of the attraction. I sat just to the right of the spilled, leaking chocolate ice cream on one section of the seat. Magical melting.
We ended our first day in the Magic Kingdom on the Carousel of Progress, whose concept I like, but whose presentation usually leaves a taste of, "It would have been a little bit better if they'd..."
We were witness to a couple of classic temper tantrums by kids that I'm sure Walt never imagined in his grand magical scheme. They were only outdone by some of the adults screaming at each other about how this or that was bothering this one or that one.
We took advantage of the biggest perq of staying at a Disney resort, and that's being easily able to stop back by your resort during the day to take a break. And that's what we did.
At about 7:00, we headed out to Hollywood Studios, where we got our first "FastPass," since the wait for The Tower of Terror was the longest we'd encountered yet—40 minutes.
In the meantime, we walked to the attraction next door—the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, which surprisingly only had a 25-minute wait. I love that roller coaster.
Since we had about an hour before we could return to use our FastPass on The Tower of Terror, we strolled over to the other side of the park to check out the Indiana Jones Stunt something to find that it only operates up until 5:30 each day, so we started looking for a place to grab some dinner.
There was a diner that looked interesting, but when we tried to get on their list for seating, we were told that they were only serving reservations at this point—no more walk-ins for the day. We checked out the nearby Prime Time Cafe, but I wasn't thrilled with the choices on their menu, which we checked out at the door.
On our way to find another place, we passed an attraction called The Magic of Disney Animation, and we stopped in for that. It was short and interesting enough—about what goes into creating a Disney character from its inception idea by an artist to it eventually "coming to life." They example they used was a character I wasn't familiar with—a dragon named Mushu from Mulan.
Right near there was an attraction called The Great Movie Ride, but its wait was about 40 minutes long and we wanted to eat and get back to the Tower of Terror, so instead we asked the guy at the entrance for a recommendation for cheap eats—if indeed, such a thing at all exists at Disney.
He pointed us to the nearby "Commissary," where we had a most delicious Asian Salad and an adequate cheeseburger, some fries and a drink. (The burger was a little dry, but some ketchup helped it out.)
Following dinner, we returned to The Twilight Tower of Terror with our FastPasses and pretty much walked right up to it and got on. Such a great ride. Classic Disney.
Coming to the close of a long day, we walked to the buses at 10:00, where we found the most incredibly long line for the bus back to our resort. It stretched across three different bus stops. To their credit, though, within between five and ten minutes, they had five buses there and the line moved fairly quickly.
Back at our French Quarter resort, we checked out the music in the lobby, which was okay, but not compelling enough to suck us into staying for a drink and listening. We walked by the jacuzzi and pool area, just to check it out, and then headed back to the room, where in short order we were in our magical beds.