It’s around 10am on Columbus Day and most of America has turned out for the attractions at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. The main high street leading up to that iconic castle is jam packed with families in branded tee shirts so none of them get lost.
Mums are shouting at their little darlings and the Seven Dwarves Mine Car ride queue is snaking back and forth past trees and fans.
As ever there are plenty of lobster coloured Brits. Easily recognisable as they have brand new trainers and bad tattoos. But this is fun, right? The build up. The calm before the storm of excitement? Well sometimes, yes. Obviously as a late forty something I’m not the target demographic, but some of these family friendly rides can be a lot of fun for all ages. You only have to witness the wait times for Toy Story Midway Mania at Hollywood Studios to realise that.
We’ve been in Orlando since Wednesday (six days) and have so far crammed in the wonders of Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney, Downtown Orlando and a fantastic Pixar concert at the Dr Phillips Theater.
In a country and state full of excess, it’s never dull, whether navigating theme parks or stores.
But it’s all worthwhile.
At least I think so. Not sure the 90 minute wait at Epcot for Soarin’ was worth it, but the annual Food and Wine Festival was, so swings and roundabouts.
Oh well. Half an hour to go. Hopefully it will be worth the wait.
Fast forward to that evening
I am never doing Columbus Day in the parks again.
I did three rides and waited in line for around 3.5 hours. The Seven Dwarves Mine ride was ok. A roller coaster with Snow White touches. Fun, charming, but not worth a 90 minute wait.
The new Pirates of the Caribbean ride wait lasted almost as long as the movies. We got soaked. It was fun. (Probably less fun if my iPad had been soaked).
Also not worth the 90 minute preamble.
The problem is all the Fast Passes were snapped up in 1972, so any chance of getting near the front early was impossible. And the Disney guides suggesting we fill all the available space in the queue means the 40 people behind you who fill the space wind up passing you and getting on 30 minutes early.
In short, I was not a Jolly Roger, but the brief bursts of fun almost made it worthwhile.