Thursday, April 24, 2008

Solo at Disney

I've decided I'm going to need to break my time at Disney into two posts because I have too many pictures I want to share. So I'll start with the day that I spent by myself at EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom... I was at EPCOT for about 4 hours, and then spent the next 8 hours running around Disney. Yes, I spent 12 hours in total at Disney that day... and yes, I'm crazy.

When you are alone at these parks, it's amazing how much you can get through. Often times they will call single riders to the front of the line to fill in empty seats, but beyond that, you just can make it across the park much more quickly when you don't have anyone else to worry about. Therefore, I'm proud to say that in those 8 hours, I went on every ride I wanted to and then some. The funny thing was, several people felt the need to inquire whether I was alone. Be it someone who I asked to take a picture for me, or another visitor by me in a line or next to me on a ride, people kept staring at me like I was insane. I guess it is a pretty unusual thing to see--someone flying solo at Disney. When I did this in 2006, I was asked the same question back then, too: "Are you by yourself here?!?!"

Anyway, since I am the absolute master of the "Fastpass" system which allows you to bypass long lines in exchange for waiting to return to the ride hours later, I whipped around the grounds and even had time to watch the Country Bear Jamboree and take the train ride around the perimeter of the park. The longest wait was for my favorite ride, Peter Pan's Flight (80 minutes!), so I got a Fastpass for that at around 3 PM and came back to ride it at 8:30 PM.

While the 2008 theme at Disney is "The year of a million dreams," they are also touting their "Pirates and Princesses Party," which, believe you me, I considered going to. But you have to buy a separate ticket for it, and it really is for kids, so I decided I had to draw the line somewhere. I did enjoy this Pirate Mickey sculpture at the park's entrance, though.

My one regret is that I didn't get my picture with this guy who was walking around as Captain Jack Sparrow. He looked EXACTLY LIKE Johnny Depp--it was amazing.

The highlight of the day came in the form of a picture I bought after riding Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. I went on this ride in 2006 and bought the picture that was secretly snapped of me at a particularly intense part of the ride (you shoot at alien targets with a blaster that is connected to your moving ride-pod-thingy). This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of myself, and still hangs on my fridge (click to enlarge and get the full effect for both of the Buzz pictures below).

I still laugh whenever I see it. I don't think I've ever looked as serious as I do in that picture about anything else in my life. I was so focused on ridding the universe of evil aliens--someone had to save the world!

So here I am on the same ride this year (they've added a bunch of effects surrounding the picture now, so I cropped it to make it more comparable). As soon as I saw a bright flash after the climactic part of the ride, I thought, "Ahhh, CRAP! My lips were pulled over my teeth like a freak."

Indeed they were.

Two days later, I returned to the Magic Kingdom with my husband in tow. He had wanted me to get all of the "lame rides" out of my system when I was there by myself so that we could concentrate on the attractions that were more worthy of his time. He didn't really want to go on, say, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (which I'm still mad about, as they destroyed one of my favorites, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, to build Pooh in its place). Now all that can be found of Mr. Toad is a statue of him in the pet cemetery outside of the Haunted Mansion. Boo!

I threw in the towel around 9:30 that night, as I knew I had two more full days of theme park mayhem still ahead of me. I had a great time at EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom by myself, and I highly recommend a solo trip to Disney to anyone who loves the park and can get away with doing it.

When you're alone, there's no one to yell at you for eating Mickey-shaped ice cream bars, funnel cakes, popcorn and waffle cones all day! Not like I did that or anything...

- e


Anonymous said...

Wait a second...they trashed Mr. Toad's Wild Ride?!?! What a freaking bummer. I loved that bit when the train sounded like it was coming at you...awesomeness.

Anonymous said...

I agree about Mr. Toad. I miss seeing the weasels and the chickens. It was one of my favorite rides.

maikib said...

mr toad still lives! it's still in fantasyland at the o.g. disneyland in anaheim (just went on it in march). they have the pooh ride here too, just in a different place. come visit and i'll go on all the 'lame' rides with you... i go on everything! :)

maikib said...

oh! i totally forgot to tell you! when i was in la for christmas, i went to disney with my fam, and we won a DREAM PASS (as part of the year of a million dreams promo) where the "dream team" descended upon us and granted us with-- count 'em, 6 dream passes, which let us go to the front of line of all the major rides at both the magic kingdom and california adventure. it was like winning the lottery! not only did we get to essentially cut in line and not have to wait for a specified time all day, every 'cast' member that saw us (because they give you these big things to wear around your neck) shouted "congratulations" and made a big party out of it all day. it was so great! almost better than the annual pass we had growing up (my dad worked there for 12 years...). :)

twilight said...

i won a free disneyland ticket from the year of a million dreams a few months ago, great promo... if you ever make it down to cali, we should meet up at disneyland :) i go at a very minimum twice a year... and i LOVE every ride and feel the need to go and see EVERYTHING :D

... and we can talk about lost!!!