After a restful day yesterday, Shaun and I were ready to tackle the Magic Kingdom one more time. We slept in and headed out about 10:30, but we had almost reached the park when Shaun realized he had forgotten the tickets. So we drove back to the hotel, then ate lunch before entering the park.
The park was definitely less busy than New Year’s Eve. It was difficult, sometimes impossible to move if there was a parade going on, but when there wasn’t, there were some open stretches of pavement. We were able to fast pass the three big rides at this park, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain, but we had to wait until evening for our time. We were in Tomorrowland about 30 minutes before our fast pass for Space Mountain started, and we noticed it was closed. There was no one in line and they said they didn’t know when they’d have it back up and running. I was upset, of course, because I have only been on Space Mountain once, about 10 years ago on my trip to Disneyland with my friend Jennifer. I loved it, but when Shaun and I went a few years ago, they were redoing it for the 50th anniversary, and it was closed. So I could not believe this horrible luck.
So we went to get dinner and when we were ordering, a guy came up to us and asked us if we were a couple. It seemed a strangely invasive question, but I said yes. And he said that he wanted to buy us dinner. Apparently he and his wife were on their last day at the park and they had two meals left on their Disney Dining Plan, and they didn’t want them to go to waste. So that was a bit of good luck.
By then our window of time for Thunder Mountain had just begun, but because we were still in Tomorrowland I wanted to check on Space Mountain before we headed over. It was open! What luck. We got in the fast pass line, but of course it was long because I’m sure everybody that was in line when the ride broke had to come back. So I was nervous that we would miss our hour window for Thunder Mountain. But the line kept moving and it seemed we would have just enough time to do both. So there we were, next in line to get on the ride, when things seemed to stop moving. People were just sitting in the cars, waiting to take off, and then, a technical difficulties announcement and the lights came on.
The lights coming on was kinda cool, I must admit, because then you could actually see part of the tracks. But I really didn’t want to miss Thunder Mountain if we were all going to get kicked out like the last time, so I explained the situation and asked the attendant if we could leave. She said the big secret was that fast passes never expire. You have to wait until the first time on the ticket to ride, but they will honor them even if the last time has passed. (Fast Passes have an hour window of time when you get on the ride.) One other thing we learned while waiting in the light, thanks to the kids next to us who kept asking questions about how scary the ride is, is that it has a top speed of only 27 mph.
So a few minutes later we were off like rockets, and about halfway through I started screaming my head off. The ride is dark but not dark enough to obscure the boards passing closely by ones head. It was also very jerky and what I remember liking about the California version is it was very smooth. I really don’t like being jerked around, in any sense of the term. At one point I screamed “I don’t like roller coasters anymore!” which had Shaun laughing for sure.
Thunder Mountain was much better, a very smooth coaster. And Splash Mountain is a perennial favorite of mine. Unfortunately somewhere before the end of Thunder Mountain, I lost a pin that was on my purse. And of course it wasn’t one of the easily replaceable Disney pins, found throughout the park, of which Shaun and I have bought a few. No, it was my cute pin of a Canadian bear, and I was unable to find it again. Now I have to go all the way back to Canada.
We have one day left on our Disney ticket and one day left here, but we had also planned on going to Universal Studios. So now we are torn between going back or trying Universal. But Shaun seems intent on using the last day of the pass, and well, it is definitely the less expensive route. So we’ll see…