It’s my first day in Walt Disney World. I begin my ritual of heading to the Magic Kingdom first and riding my favorite attraction The Haunted Mansion.
I walk through the turnstiles. It is 2:25pm. Under the train station, I take time to look at the posters of some classic attractions. Next, I continue past the sculpture of Roy O. Disney and Minnie Mouse. The topiary is decorated for Halloween. Now, I am standing before Main Street, alone! I can do whatever I want. I take in all of the details of Main Street, the shops, the windows, the merchandise. I see things I never took the time out to see before.
There is the mailbox perched on a lampost from which you can send mail from within the Magic Kingdom. I take my time noticing more details. The second floor windows reference Disney Imagineers. I make a left past Casey’s Corner and cross the bridge with the colonial street lamps leading into Liberty Square. I can see the Haunted Mansion down and to the left. It is all mine! I enjoy the experience of the attraction in the way that one would lose themself in a good book. It’s my world.
I spend the entire day indulging. I ride whatever attraction I want. I eat in whatever restaurant I choose. I shop without shame.
I take time to explore attractions I never made time for before. The Carousel of Progress is not all that bad!
I have taken both my Nikon camera and Canon camcorder. One is stashed in my over the shoulder camera bag. The other is in constant use. Having my camera and camcorder added a sense of purpose. The need to document my experience enhanced my experience. I took many pictures.
The park is to close at 10pm. I stay until Wishes fireworks. Then head for the monorail for Extra Magic Hours at Epcot.
At this point I am deliriously tired. Still I have to get those extra hours! I arrive at Epcot. Again I am noticing details. The sidewalk in Future World is glittering with lights. As I make my way to World Showcase, the Illuminations fireworks begin to explode. The welcoming display is relentlessly pleasing. One explosion of sound and color outdoes the next. When it is over I decide to end the night with some late night dinner.
Every restaurant I go into is booked completely at 10pm! Nine Dragons is completely mobbed. Akershus has some seats available but honestly it looks tired. From the staff to the buffet. It has peaked for the night. I make my way to Japan. Teppan Edo has got a line out of the door. No chance. Down the stairs I go and up again across the way. Yakitori House is just what I need. Some sushi (ok California roll but close enough) and a large lemonade hits the spot. I enjoy my food while texting my partner to share my experience.
It was an exhausting but fun day. Time to head over to the Friendship IV and head back to the Dolphin Resort.
In the morning I will get up early. Animal Kingdom then Spirit of Aloha with a last stop at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
Stay tuned for Day 2.