Once upon a time in Magic Kingdom

PROLOGUE

Saturday morning we woke up at a reasonable time. Because of my lost passport, the plan to get to Magic Kingdom for around 10 went out the window. Glen and I went for breakfast at the hotel restaurant before Glen went off for his conference – he was presenting today, very nervous about it too. I stayed in the hotel and called numerous offices to find out if my passport had shown up.

Because it’s a weekend, most offices are closed. The baggage claim desk for Air Canada at Orlando had someone monitoring it at some point but I’ve never been able to get a hold of that person again. Instead the call goes through to a voicemail system which, I’ve been led to believe, is the manager’s phone number, and she’s not in until Monday. Great system.

I also called Air Canada Lost and Found in Toronto and Canada Customs in Toronto. After a lot of phone calls, I eventually gave up and decided it was time to get on with the day, blindly optimistic that something would turn up.

Julian came and got me from the hotel. We went back to his Disney hotel for a bit, then on to ESPN to get tickets for the cheerleading finals (which we didn’t get) and then went off to Magic Kingdom. We’d arranged to meet Dave, Antony, Josh and Kim there.

CHAPTER 1

We arrived a little before 1, caught the transport from the car park to the ticket centre, got our tickets (I was Donald Duck, Julian was Mickey) and then we waited for the others to arrive. Despite the trials of the morning and the day before, I was suddenly very excited to be at Magic Kingdom. All those years as a kid watching Saturday Morning Disney had obviously had a profound effect on me.

The others arrived some time after 1, Julian and I very excited to see not-so-baby Josh. We caught the ferry over to Magic Kingdom. It was while on the ferry talking to Dave that we realised that as they were going home on Sunday night, they could get my British passport and courier it down to me so at least I’d have some way of (hopefully) getting out of the US. This made me feel much calmer.

We got inside and were met by a sea of people. It was packed! We wandered for a while, up to the castle, and then around to the Peter Pan ride. The others had used FastPass to book this ride so they went off and did that while Julian and I got some food. We were just sitting down to eat when they got out.

From there we tried to add our tickets to theirs so we could jump on their FastPasses. It didn’t work as planned so we had to seek help. We were able to book for It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Space Invaders ride for later in the day. Thank god we did because most of the rides had a 60-80 minute wait time.

It’s A Small World ride was cute. We had Josh in the front. I’m not sure what he made of it all. He seemed more interested in my phone.

From there we went to Splash Mountain and Antony, Julian and I waited the 45 minutes to go on the ride. I have the strongest feeling that Glen and I went on this ride at Paris Disney. Anyway, it’s a long ride through the Brer Rabbit story and there’s a wet drop at the end. Everyone screams when they go down it so I was hyper-tense about going on it. In the end it wasn’t as bad as expected but Antony and Julian were loving how apprehensive I was.

CHAPTER 2

After Splashdown, Julian, Antony, Josh and I went to the front entrance to meet Glen, who’d finished his presentation and was now free to enjoy himself. He’d caught the shuttle to the ticket centre so that meant a couple of monorail rides to get him. We then went back to Magic Kingdom in time to go on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Glen took Antony’s ticket and off we went.

It’s not so much a ride as a journey through some animatronics. It was funny to see Johnny Depp’s character pop up all over the place. After it finished, we added Glen to the Space Invaders FastPass then went to find food.

It seemed that there were even more people in Magic Kingdom in the afternoon/evening than there had been all day. People were getting ready for a parade, and, what with it being nearly dinner time, the restaurants were all chockers with people. We bought some fast food, then went looking through the shops. Julian then had to leave to pick up Tanya.

CHAPTER 3

The rest of us then went on the Buzz Lightyear Space Invaders ride where you shoot the Zs with lasers. Glen and I did this twice in Paris Disney and it was just as much fun this time too.

From there we went to the Tiki Tiki Experience, which is another animatronics show, this time with singing and dancing birds. It’s a bit trippy.

After that, it was time for Dave, Antony, Josh and Kim to go. Then Julian returned with Tanya.

CHAPTER 4

The number of people had increased again. Julian and Tanya grabbed some food and then we went on the Aladdin Magic Carpet ride, which was a lot more fun than expected. Glen and I also got some food nearby as I was in need of something that wasn’t fries. I should have stuck with fries.

We then got trapped by an electric lights parade made up of different things from Alice in Wonderland. We turned around and headed back towards Cinderella’s castle, at which point it got very difficult to move because people were waiting for the light show on the castle and then the fireworks. We stayed. It was impressive, with different movies projected on to the castle.

Then the fireworks began. We had picked the worst location as the majority of the fireworks were blocked by a turret. We could have picked a better spot.

After the fireworks we went to the Laugh Floor, a Monsters Inc inspired live show where they pick on different people in the audience and show them on screen with things like “Likes to Dance” or “Will buy everyone churros”. I was nearly dying before we got in though, as tiredness had finally come to claim me. Thank god we could sit down.

The show was fun. We laughed. Then we left. There was a big queue for the monorail and then another queue to get on the tram to the car. We were all so tired. We’d walked so far, done so much, and there was so much stimulation. It was a lot of fun though and I’m glad we went.

I was very happy to curl up and go to sleep though.

EPILOGUE

Oh that I could have slept all the night through. About six hours after eating dinner, which made it about 2:30pm, I was awoken by a terrible pain in my stomach. I tried to convince myself if was nothing but that didn’t work. So not long after I was hurling up into the toilet. I managed to get back to bed eventually, only to be awoken again twice more during the night to go through up. Food poisoning. How wonderful. This holiday just keeps on giving.

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