Category Archives: Disney

New Year’s Eve 2014

I did something this New Year’s Eve that I don’t usually do, I purposely went to be among a crowd of people.  Ms. D told me that on her list of things to do is to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.  We heard it’s one of the better fireworks shows, and we know from experience that Disney puts on awesome firework shows.  So, I told her let’s do it.  She immediately got us some fast passes, and we put it on our calendar.  The challenge of this quest is that I’m a morning person and I’m not found of crowds.  I do ok with certain kinds of crowds, Dragon Con, Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, and marathon runs have never really bothered me.  I think this is because the people are generally very respectful, and well, we all have a common interest that we are passionate about. For example at the sheep and wool festival, the majority of people there love everything fiber, or they are there to support somebody they care about that loves everything fibery.  It always makes me smile to see the spouse that comes to the Festival, not because they like knitting or spinning, but because somebody they love does.

I knew the crowds at Disney would be different.  People get tired and their patience can run thin, maybe some of them lack empathy, and don’t realize how they are affecting other people.  Sometimes that person will be disrespectful to others so they can get that better seat, or have less time waiting etc.  I see it all the time when I go to Disney, the people that cut in line or push to just get a few people ahead of others.  Don’t get me wrong most people are very nice, only a few do this but that few can influence the others.  New Year’s Eve at Magic Kingdom is known to be one of the busiest days for them.  I’ve heard rumor that they have reached max capacity on that day.  With this knowledge we started making plans.

1231traffic11231trafficselTraffic going into Magic Kingdom.

I found some knitting to bring.  I wanted to bring something that was small but could be knitted without much focus, no cables or lace would do.  I went to my old standby socks, just a basic sock.  I chose a yarn that has WOW appeal to me.  Yeah I know another project started without finishing the other two that were on the needles.  The Christmas stockings that I’m making for a friend was to complex, and the hooded sweater was too bulky. In addition to the knitting, we put on sunscreen and brought our raincoats.  I can’t really say when we got to the park but we left the house around 7:30.  I had gotten up around 3:50 am to get in a 7 mile run, showered, and ate breakfast.

1231wowyarnMy WOW yarn

Here’s the bits and pieces from our New Year’s Eve experience at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

It was colder than we had expected.  It did rain but I used my raincoat to stay warm more so than keep rain off.

1231ferry
Riding the ferry boat over seems to be the fastest way when there is a crowd.

The fast passes worked great for us.  We had a fast pass for Space Mountain, and really had no wait. The guy in front of me on the ride asked me where I was from, and informed me he was from Oklahoma.  He said he hoped this ride was really good because they waited almost 3 hours for it.   I think the longest wait we had was for the haunted mansion, over an hour, but we used the fast passes for the ones we wanted to ride the most.

We planned on eating at later times than the majority.  This made the wait times less but we still had a hard time finding a place to sit and eat.

If you think you might need to go to the bathroom, go!  The lines to the bathrooms for the ladies was awful.  If you waited until you felt like you really needed to go then you will have to hold it extra-long.  I usually drink more when I’m at the parks, but I purposefully avoided drinks because I didn’t want to wait in lines.  Otherwise, I would have gotten that Starbuck’s tea when we were waiting on the fireworks.

There were the expected rude people.  At one point we were in a large crowd, a woman and her family kept pushing us.  I looked over my shoulder and asked her to stop pushing. They were nice after that and stopped pushing.  There was another incident were a man got miffed because they closed one of the men’s bathrooms and converted it to a woman’s bathroom.  There was no line for the men’s bathroom, and the women’s was wrapping around the restaurant. The man was told to use the one across the street.  He got miffed and started swearing at the Disney employee.  It went on for a while.  I could see both sides of this.  The man was probably tired, and didn’t like the idea of having to go outside the building and walk across the street.  It was busy and there was a lot of people to walk around.  On the other hand they had a lot of women, some with children waiting for a long time to go to the bathroom.  I told Ms. D this would be a toddler’s parent’s nightmare.  Anybody that has gone through potty training understands what I’m talking about.  It’s usually the mom’s that are trying to get these kids to the bathroom.  I’m sure Dad’s do it to, but I usually see this job go to the moms, no matter what sex the child is.

The worst incident of people for me happened while trying to find a place to watch the fireworks.  It was really crazy in front of the castle.  There was one family that practically blocked a lot of people in and used force to keep them from walking through “their” area.  This blocked everybody behind them.

Disney gave all guests hats and horns to help bring in the new year.  There was a lot of horn blowing going on throughout the park.  Some groups where very creative and musical with their horns.

1231hat Festive hats.

Because of the rain and cooler weather the line for Splash Mountain was less then 30 minutes.  We had on our raincoats and avoided getting wet.

We got a good view of the Christmas parade and avoided the crowds by riding the steam boat during this time.

We did manage to find a spot and waited around 3 hours for the fireworks show.  Ms. D is shorter than me and had a harder time seeing the show on the castle because of all the phones and tablets people raise over their heads to record the show.  The impressive thing with the New Year’s Eve fireworks was that they shoot them all around the park.  However, I have to confess I liked their Christmas fireworks show that they did earlier better.  After the show Ms. D looked disappointed and told me it probably would have been better to watch them outside the park.

123114fireworks

All in all we had a good time.  It was a fun day.  A long day for me.  We didn’t get home till just before 3 am.  I was impressed that I made it 23 hours without sleep.  Ms. D. told me that she has an urge to lock herself up in her room for 3 days to recover from all the crowd exposure we went through.  I think if I ever go through that again I will try to stay on site, and maybe pick one of the Magic Kingdom resorts to see the fireworks.  You will miss the show on the castle, but get more of the awe effect of the fireworks.

I hope everybody has a wonderful 2015.

Happy New Year!

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Goodbye Maelstrom

10414norway

We live about an hour drive from Disney World. I would only visit every once in a while, but once the kids were born we became regulars.  Ms. D mentioned to me that they were closing the Norway ride Maelstrom to refurbish it to a Frozen ride.  This will probably make the ride more popular/crowded, but made me feel sad in a sentimental way.  I’ve always enjoyed Maelstrom.   I would have to say it’s one of my favorites in the world showcase.  I wanted to ride it one more time before it closed so, I filled up the car with gas, drove by to pick up Ms. D at UCF and off to Epcot we went.
norwaylast

norwayself

The food and wine festival was also going so we indulged a little bit in that area.

10414dessert

 

10414cheese Some of the foods enjoyed
Ravioli alla Coprese in Italy,
Bedgian Waflle in, well of course-Belgium,
Keerygold Cheese Selection in Ireland,
The dessert trio,
Vegetarian Haggis in Scotland, and
Nueske’s Pepper bacon hash.