Disney World on New Year’s Eve was a mistake. A huge mistake.
We started the day late, deciding that if we started early we might not make it until midnight. So we slept in, took our time, and headed out around 11 or 11:30, I can’t quite remember now. As we passed the signs for the various Disney Parks, they said the Magic Kingdom was full. We assumed this meant the parking lot, so we decided we’d park at Epcot and head back to the Magic Kingdom. When we got to the monorail, however, they weren’t letting anybody on because in fact it was the park that was closed. It had reached its capacity and they weren’t letting anybody else in. We heard later from a bus driver that the capacity of the Magic Kingdom is 80,000 people.
Anyway, we decided to head to the Disney’s Hollywood Studios because that was the one park we hadn’t seen at all. It’s mostly shows as opposed to rides there, but I did enjoy the Lights, Motors, Action auto stunt show, which was imported from Disney Paris. We also went on The Tower of Terror, which I’d been on before in California, and I must say, this might be my favorite ride. If I ever get to Space and Thunder Mountain, they might win, it’s been too long for me to remember what they’re like since they were both closed my last trip.
It was prohibitively crowded though. Once it started to get dark, we decided to head back to Epcot by bus to grab our coats. On the bus, the driver said the Magic Kingdom was reopened, so in we went, only to be mobbed by crowds when waiting for the parade and the fireworks. It was a very good show, and they did a countdown to the new year with fireworks, which was neat, but really, no call for 80,000 people. We waited after the fireworks to leave, figuring the monorail would be quite busy, but by 1:30, the line was still enormous. When we finally got to our car, the parking lot was, well, a parking lot, and so was the freeway. We finally got home after 3 a.m., and today I am absolutely wiped. I have no desire to go anywhere near that chaos ever again. We still have two days left on our ticket, but I am thinking maybe we’ll wait and use them this weekend since I imagine today will be quite busy as well.
I suppose the miraculous thing is that after the first fireworks show at 8:30, which we didn’t watch except what we could see from our dinner table, we were able to get onto the Haunted Mansion in about 15 minutes, and then walked right up to the Pirates of the Caribbean. So it wasn’t a total bust but it certainly left me with a foul taste in my mouth.
And I’ve finally caught that cold I was expecting.