A beautiful Florida morning was upon me- the sun was shining, the humidity was in the air, and I took a deep breath as I slid into my car. I rolled down the windows, turned up the tunes, and let the wind carry all my worries away- how can you not love life as you drive under the Walt Disney World arch? I walked into the Polynesian Resort, grinning from ear to ear, knowing the day that lay ahead.
I love walking into the Poly and smelling the air and listening to the waterfalls. I enjoyed my Coke as I headed upstairs to the Monorail. I thought about grabbing a bakery item, but opted out as I was already getting close to being late. The Monorail arrived and soon I was on my way to the Magic Kingdom.
Gowalla has become my own personal game of “Where is the World is AFP?” so, yes, I have fun checking in when I remember. The problem with checking in so much and posting my adventures on Facebook is that it completely eats my battery. I have yet to buy a charger because I love to procrastinate when it comes to something I SHOULD buy but I am to cheap TOO buy!
I have found the butterflies I used to get when entering the Monorail Station at the MK have been replaced with a more safe and peaceful feeling- almost like coming home. I hit the turnstiles hoping my ticket would work- some days it does, sometimes it doesn’t. Knowing my monthly payment already came out is the only thing that doesn’t make me question when the red light comes on- just my luck I guess. I was through and enjoyed a cement bench in the shade while I waited for my friend Otis to arrive. I am always rushing in to get to Fantasyland for the coveted small wait for “Peter Pan” in the morning that I never just sit in those opening minutes and enjoy.
He came shortly and we walked down Main Street U.S.A., running into several Disney old-time vehicles out and about- a rarity I must say. We headed to Fantasyland to see what the Peter Pan wait was already. At 9:45 a.m., the wait said 20 minutes, but it was around the building outside- there was no way it was that short. After grabbing some fast-passes at Winnie-the-Pooh, we were on our way to “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad” for a morning ride in the Old West. Walking right on, we screamed and hollered as the train twisted and turned- so much fun!
From the West to the best, we rode Pooh on our way into Tomorrowland. We then fast-passed Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, and then took a ride on the Speedway. Now, I stalled out on this ride last time, so I had Otis drive while I snapped pictures. I enjoyed not having to drive so I could look around from that perspective- it’s very cool to see the TTA moving by as you put-put along in an old car.
Lunch came quickly and after perusing the menu at Cosmic Rays, we felt like Pecos Bills more. A walk past the Castle show playing, we headed into Pirate country. As we got closer to the ride, we saw that “Tortuga Tavern” was open and we jumped at the chance to eat there. I had always seen it closed, so I was super happy to try it out. I ordered a chicken burrito which came with chicken, rice, and black beans and a soft burrito shell. With my free water and sour cream in tow, I headed to the best fixings bar on property. Hidden in a back room, the bar was filled with salsa, tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce. I hadn’t had Mexican food on property since Epcot, but I was hesitant because the once loved taco at the Mexican Pavilion fell apart and didn’t taste the best. Here, it was like having lunch and dinner- it was HUGE! You could easily split the burrito with another person, plus save some money while doing it. I loved eating in the hidden room, it was pirate themed and was a small haven from the down pour that would have moments after we sat down to eat. I would highly recommend eating here for something new, but keep in mind they are usually only open for lunch or not at all. Call ahead if it is something you really would like to try.
I had been hoping to find a reader, Alicia, who said she was working “Pirates” for the day. She was indeed there as we boarded the boat- she found us after the ride ended and gave us a tour of the shop and where real props are hidden from the movies. She was so sweet and I hope to see her again soon.
The rest of the day consisted of doing things that we would come across and say “Why not?” Yes, we did Stitch, Laugh Floor, Country Bear Jamboree, and so on. I have to say, if you want to be clapping and stomping your feet at every musical number at the Jamboree, go with Otis- the man is a ball full of energy. We did wind up getting stuck on the TTA, but thankfully had just board, so they just let us off. During the course of our day, Pirates was down, TTA was down, and Splash Mountain was down.
Speaking of Splash Mountain, they had Jessie and Woody by the exit of the ride now- in case you are looking for them. We also saw Alice and the White Rabbit by the Tea Cups, Space Chip and Dale in Tomorrowland, Space Pluto, Goofy, and Stitch in the Dance Party, Ariel with her feet and Eric in Adventureland, Pirate Goofy in the POTC area, and Daisy and Pluto in the hub in the front of the Park. On the topic of Characters, we went to visit the Princess line at Exposition Hall at 6 p.m. and it was EMPTY- not a soul in line. Once we got into the room, there were about 10 people total- so we said hello and Otis got his beloved Belle picture. We also walked right into Mickey’s room after that- got our pic with them and were quickly on our way. Keep that in mind if you want to visit them- fast pass them or go around 6 for a pleasant and quiet experience.
One of the most pleasant experiences of the day was riding the Steamboat as it poured. The weather let up the humidity and the cool breeze danced raindrops off my hands and face- it was really peaceful. It had been ages since I rode it, and it seemed so mystical sitting there at the dock while it rained that I had to ride it at that moment. A beautiful moment made.
We made It to dinner time and then parted ways so we could go home to our loved ones for the rest of the evening. I had such a great time with Otis, and I am blessed he is such a good friend. Nothing makes me more happy then when I can be myself with someone and know that they will still like me the next day. I hope we get to do other Parks together in the future- it was a blast.
Otis, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”