“Will We Move Back to Florida?” Day Five, Part One

In honor of my Disney friends I met on Passporter.com and the loss we all share of Lorie Lippoldt Holland, who lost her life in the Joplin, MO tornado, I will continue this trip report to celebrate what we all have in common – our love for Disney.

The Magic Kingdom

MKI don’t remember what we had for breakfast, other than coffee, but we headed for our secret parking spot (can’t mention it or it’ll disappear – used to park at our not-so-secret spot at Ft. Wilderness campground when we lived there but now there’s a gate there) and took the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. It was a beautiful day, the humidity was low, but it was still quite hot. I think it was in the mid-90s for our entire trip – about 10 degrees warmer than usual for that time of year.

It was also more crowded than we expected it to be for early May – perhaps Easter being late this year influenced the post-Easter crowds or perhaps it was because it was Mother’s Day week or perhaps there’s so much pent-up longing to travel and have fun and the economy is picking up that it’s just plain busier these days.

The other thing that slowed me down was that the day after we booked the trip, I told myself it was time to get my walking program started again and I must have been too enthusiastic because I twisted my knee and I’m still recovering. Walking isn’t too bad but standing around in lines is brutal.

We totally love soaking up the scenery at Disney – these days it really isn’t about the rides, although we wanted to catch some of our favorites – plus the fact that we go to Disneyland often and the rides at the MK are so similar to the ones at home. But, Pirates is a must. We headed for that immediately, but we noticed the line was backed up to the front – this never happens – it’s always a walk-on for us. Well, then we heard the CM announce that the ride wasn’t working. Oh dear.

We sat down at a nearby table and chairs and chatted about what we were thinking of things so far, and what we wanted to do next. It was so pleasant having our impromptu chat in the park – we love this kinda stuff! And, sure, we always love to ride Pirates, but it isn’t as good as it is at Disneyland – everybody knows that – lol! So we moved on, walking along Rivers of America in Frontierland, which we truly do love at WDW – it’s quite spacious and pleasant – one of our favorite areas at the MK.

Our next stop was the Haunted Mansion – we love this new twist with the stairs going nowhere at the MK, which Disneyland doesn’t have. We’d heard something about this new interactive queue and wondered what that would be like. Well, for the most part, the tombstones are like the ones at Disneyland and while there was some interactive stuff not at DL, it just slowed down the line and we really could have lived without this new addition. We loved how you used to be able to just walk right in – unlike DL. So, to us, this was a move backwards.

Then we were off to Peter Pan. This line moves so slowly and my knee was hurting so much, but I kept trying to stick with it. Finally, I had to give up – I was in too much pain! So we rode our fun and faithful PeopleMover, which DL no longer has. It’s a must ride for us when we’re at the MK at WDW.

I can’t help but miss Disneyland when we’re at the MK at WDW – this is the part about WDW that is so much better at DL. The Fantasyland rehab should make the MK a lot more interesting, and I can’t wait to see how that turns out. We walked through the rest of the park, recalling what we did with Rich’s Brother Bob when we were there together last October. By this time it was getting hot and I needed to give my knee somewhat of a rest, so we boated over to Ft. Wilderness for lunch. Now, I could ride on Bay Lake all day long – these days that is my favorite ride!

The Trail’s End used to be a buffet and we used to stop by here often when we lived nearby. Parking in the Ft. Wilderness lot and then walking to the lake was a favorite activity of ours. You can’t just pull in and park there now – not without checking in at the gate. We would have been so disappointed by this if we still lived nearby.

Now it’s been transformed to a sitdown restaurant with some yummy southern pickings – we loved it. We love the atmosphere, the food, the service. It’s so laid-back – you feel like you’re at Grandma’s house, especially if you grew up with a southern grandma – or step grandma, like I did. I could live at Ft. Wilderness.

Anyway, our boat landed, I took a swipe at the tetherball in the sand (my tradition since I used to have my own tetherball in my southern California backyard), and we walked over to the restaurant. We were seated right away next to a party of four from Alabama, who were chatting about the Fried Green Tomatoes.

Even as a west coaster, I knew about fried green tomatoes before the movie brought it to the national radar. I had some green tomatoes in the backyard of my apartment and, so my step dad told me how to make fried green tomatoes, and I lived on those things for weeks – lol! You know how it is when you’re young and in your first or second or third apartment (I moved practically every month back then – my stepdad was getting tired of moving around that heavy sofa bed for me – lol). Anyway, there’s never enough money for food so I appreciated those fried green tomatoes. Anyway, back to the trip report.

Rich ordered their famous chili for an appetizer and I had a couple of bites. Then he had the Fried Green Tomatoes as his main course, paired with some Sweet Tea. And I had the spicy shrimp and andouille sausage over Grits – the best grits I’d ever had – very smooth – with a diet coke.

We boated back to the MK, and then hopped on the boat over to the GF – have I told you how much I love boating on Bay Lake? lol! We walked the grounds and then over to our secret parking spot. 🙂 It was back to the pool home for another afternoon of pool and nap before dinner at Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

PS – We tried to get a last-minute ADR at Jiko, but couldn’t so we booked Boma, which is also a favorite. We were determined to get back to AKL one way or another. More on that in part two.

Next: Animal Kingdom Lodge

About Kathy

Novelist, Singer/Songwriter, Music Producer