February 9th

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February 9th, 2021            

Several weeks back I had mentioned to Grandma Terry that I would like to go to Disney with Samantha during one of her days off during the week. Grandma Terry mentioned that she and Aunt Erica were planning to go, so I kind of volunteered that we could go with them. Well, that grew into not just the four of us, but Grandma's friend Julie, as well as Uncle Steven (to make it an even 6 of us). Sam had school today, so our departure had to wait until she returned home. Once we left, it was relatively smooth sailing to the Transportation and Ticket Center, where we would park and head off to today's destination - the Magic Kingdom!

With Steven riding in a wheelchair (if he head to walk all day, we'd never make it off of Main Street, U.S.A.!) we are more or less limited to the ferryboat option right now, as we have been told he would have to exit the wheelchair to get on the Monorail. Thankfully the boat was nearly empty during our ride over to the Magic Kingdom, so we were able to have a quiet trip.

Once we got inside the park, we were greeted by a character cavalcade, which for now has essentially replaced parades. Today we got to see Gaston, Peter Pan, Alice, Tigger, Aladdin, and Mary Poppins on the Fantasyland Character Cavalcade. Thankfully these cavalcades don't last long, nor do they draw the giant crowds that the parades would attract. Once this was over, we headed over to guest relations to sign everyone up to take advantage of Steve's Disability Access Service (DAS). While there, they allowed us to pick which ride we wanted our first pass for, and we chose the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as it tends to have some of the longer lines in the park.

While we waited for our time to ride the mine trains, we hopped in the line for the Haunted Mansion. Despite not having a DAS pass for this one, they allowed us to board as if we did, which meant next to no wait (the wait was short enough that it would not have bothered us to stand in the line anyway). Once our ride in the doom buggies ended, we headed over to take in the Mickey's PhilharMagic show. Sam didn't recall seeing this particular show, and Grandma's friend Julie had not done either of our first two attractions.

It was finally time for us to take in the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride, and as always it was a short but enjoyable spin through the Seven Dwarfs diamond mines.

From here we decided to get a DAS pass for Splash Mountain, as it wasn't too cold today to cope with if we got wet while on the ride. Of course that meant some more time to kill. We decided that it would be a good time to head to Aloha Isle for some Dole whip! Steve got a pinapple/vanilla swirl shake, while Aunt Erica and Grandma Terry split a pineapple bowl. I stuck with the raspberry bowl, which is of course my favorite! Julie had already bought an ice cream bar, so she missed out on the wonders of the Dole Whip.

Once we wrapped up our ice cream - and suffered some brain freeze in the process - it was time to head off to Frontierland and brave the drops into the water of Splash Mountain. We got wet, but not so bad that we were uncomfortable walking around afterwards. Once again, this was another ride that Julie had never been on. While we were in the area, we signed up for our next pass, this one for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Of course, with a new pass comes a waiting period. For this one we wandered back across the park to Tomorrowland. Our destination was Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. On our way, we made a quick stop at the "Purple Wall" for Sam to take a few pictures with Steven. Our wait for Buzz Lightyear wasn't too long, which is good because riding this today reminded me that the Toy Story Mania! ride at Hollywood Studios is much, much better. I'm afraid that while the premise of this ride is still good, it probably needs some technology updates to make it more enjoyable.

While we were in Tomorrowland it was decided that we would take a quick spin on Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress. Though it is in need of a few updates, it is still enjoyable. Once again, this was a first in the Magic Kingdom for Julie. Finally, while we were in the area, Sam, Steve, and I headed over to Space Mountain for a rocketship ride through the stars. This ride is much more enjoyable when you are not dealing with the effects of a pinched nerve!

It was time to use our DAS pass for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and we decided to make it our last ride of the day as we were all beginning to get hungry. Once again it was just Sam, Steve, and I, as Aunt Erica, Grandma Terry, and Julie opted to instead hit the shops along Main Street, U.S.A. instead of joining us.

We had intended to stop at Miller's Ale House on our way home, but someone - ahem Grandma Terry ahem - didn't use the GPS and flew past the exit. We settled on Longhorn in Lakeland as our new destination, but someone - ahem Grandma Terry ahem - still didn't her GPS and got off an exit too early this time! We found and Applebee's and decided that would be good enough. Though the service was definitely lacking, the food sure hit the spot. Once we were full, it was back in the car for the rest of the ride home.

All in all, a good day. I certainly look forward to doing it all again soon!


Magic Kingdom

The Transportation and Ticket Center was nearly deserted while we were there!

Of all the times we have passed through the Transportation and Ticket Center, I don't think I've ever taken a picture of the Ferryboat sign!

A look at the Magic Kingdom across the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Samantha and Steven waiting to board the ferryboat.

Here you can see the construction crane for the new TRON Lightcycle Power Run ride next to Space Mountain.

The General Joe Potter ferryboat getting ready to pass us on the Seven Seas Lagoon.

A look at the Walt Disney World Railroad station and Cinderella's Castle from the ferryboat...

...or what we thought was the Walt Disney World Railroad station...


...but in fact turned out to be a canvas version of the station...

...which is even more obvious in this picture!

Here Gaston is taking place in the Fantasyland Friends Cavalcade, which we caught just after passing under the Walt Disney World Railroad station.

Peter Pan, Alice, and Tigger were also in the Fantasyland Friends Cavalcade.

Finally, we have Aladdin and Mary Poppins, bringing up the rear of the Fantasyland Friends Cavalcade.

Here is a look down Main Street, U.S.A. after passing under the Walt Disney World Railroad station.

Here you can see a horse ready to pull a car down the tracks (with Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh inside the Car Barn).

Another shot of Main Street, U.S.A. from the opposite side of the flagpole, looking at Cinderella's Castle.

Samantha and Grandma Terry are making their way down Main Street, U.S.A.

A couple of shots of Cinderella's Castle...

...this time from the far end of Main Street, U.S.A.

A look at the outside of the Haunted Mansion, our first ride of the day.

I'm not sure that this area has an official name, but these are the "Tangled" restrooms in Fantasyland.

Grandma Terry with her friend Julie in front of Cinderella's coach.

Chip 'n' Dale waving from an elevated walkway in Frontierland.

A look down Main Street, U.S.A. towards the front of the park from the Cinderella's Castle stage.

A more zoomed-in view of the previous photo.

A look at Cinderella's Castle.

The Tomorrowland sign had a visitor on top as we walked by.

Another shot of Cinderella's Castle.

Steven and Samantha posed for the some pictures in front of the famed "Purple Wall"...


A look inside of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin.

A couple shots of the middle two scenes of Walt Disney's Carousel of Progres...


...along with the Carousel of Progress sign.

A couple more shots of Cinderella's Castle before leaving the park for the day...


...as well as a couple of looks down Main Street, U.S.A., looking towards the castle...


A look at the sky during our ferryboat ride back to the Transportation and Ticket Center.

Steve and Sam on the ferry boat.

Sam needed a seat to snack on her popcorn, and Steve's lap seemed like as good a place as any!

They were all thumbs up with this arrangement, too.

Cinderella's Castle lit up, as seen across the Seven Seas Lagoon.


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