The Magic Kingdom – Technical Difficulties in the Land of the Mouse

24 11 2009

There are several reasons to go to Walt Disney World.

You go there to experience the fun and joy that is the Magic Kingdom. To spend time in the “happiest place on earth“.

To see the expressions of wonder on the faces of small children as their favorite Disney characters are brought to life and the chance to pose for photographs.

You pay the money to be able to ride on state of the art amusement park rides, to marvel at the animatronics that bring dead presidents and drunken pirates to life and to watch choreographed celebrations of all things Disney.

In the Land of The Mouse, you are not just a customer but a beloved member of the family. Your happiness is their goal, your day should be a never-ending rollercoaster of positive emotions.

That is their plan anyway.

If I can quote  the Scottish poet Robbie Burns “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an‘ men gang aft agley“.

Let me tell you how agley our day at Walt Disney World in Florida went.

We arrived at the park @ 10.45 AM.

  • Queues for the rides were advertised as being between 30-60 minutes. This was normally hideously inaccurate. For example,  the Pirates of the Caribbean ride had a sign saying 30 minutes and we queued 50 minutes for a 5 minute experience that made you wonder how Disney managed to cobble 3 films out of this “ride”.
  • The only two proper thrill rides at the park, Space Mountain and Thunder Railroad were a) either so busy that you needed to get something called a “Fastpass” to return at a specified time – at 11 AM the boards by Space Mountain advised that this should be possible around 7PM      OR       b) not working by the time you returned with your Fastpass – Thunder Railroad actually broke 10 minutes before we got there, annoying as we had just wandered over to SM which was also closed for an undetermined time due to “technical difficulties”.
  • The park was supremely busy despite it being a weekday. Result : 5 Rides in total.
  • It is Thanksgiving this week but that happens on Thursday. As far as I know, today was not a holiday but the amount of parents not at work and kids not at school ensured that stroller rental was the big winner of the day.
  • If we weren’t being menaced by small critters (or children as I believe they are known), then the possibility of being run down by octogenarians or the morbidly obese in their motorised buggies was a very real hazard.
  • The TomorrowLand “Speedway” was so slow that walking the course would have been quicker.
  • We were too tired to stay and watch the fireworks.
  • We left the park @ 6.45PM

On the plus side, Splash Mountain was fun (although it was another hour plus wait in some serious humidity while the Fast-passers walked past with an air of intolerable smugness) and the only adrenaline rush of the day.

But my pulled pork sandwich at lunch was edible and reasonably priced at $8. Washed down with a tasty beverage and ensuring that my thirst was quenched.

Favorite ride? The rocking chairs by the exit as they were free and there was no queue.

Apart from that, the day was only notable for the company kept as we wandered the park with serious cases of the giggles, mainly from the vast canvas of humanity that presented itself to us.

Put it this way, human beings on mass are just not an attractive proposition.

And I will leave it at that.

I know that rides fail occasionally and I know that parks around holiday time do get busy but when you pay $300 plus for a two-day pass, you expect that your experience will have some value for money. Not to feel that all you have done is just put more money towards the next Hannah Montana movie or Jonas Brothers LP.

I want to blame The Mouse, but he is just the public face of Disney. It is the suits that work for Mickey who really benefit from the millions of punters that pour in through the turnstiles.

They call it The Magic Kingdom.

It certainly made my time and my money disappear.




3 responses

26 11 2009
Tom Baker

You left a comment a while back on one of my posts and I just came by to say Happy Thanksgiving.

28 11 2009

And to you, hope you had a good one.

18 12 2009
tony b

Great blog, but “on mass” is spelt “en masse” I think, or were you referring to people in your adopted state? May work either way, I suppose.
Keep on blogging – they are unfailingly amusing (whenever intended) and interesting.

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