And happy 40th anniversary to Walt Disney World Resort!
I appear to have started 2011 with a nasty bug though. I have all the symptoms of a cold, and I feel really drained. Ah well, at least I’m off work today, so I’ve been resting and getting better, and not doing any of the things I planned on doing!
Yesterday though, was something else. I failed to get up early, so I thought I wasn’t going to be able to get into Magic Kingdom. This didn’t bother me, as my backup plan was to watch the fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian. So instead, I went over to Downtown Disney, with Terri, for a spot of lunch. We ate at Pollo Camperos, which was lovely, and I will gladly eat there again! We had a little browse round the World of Disney Store, and I popped into the Lego store to see what sale items they had (none of the ones I want) before heading to a bus stop so that Terri could head to work. I decided that I was going to head to Magic Kingdom on the off-chance they were letting people in, so I hopped on a bus to the Grand Floridian (there are no direct buses between the parks and Downtown) with the intention of getting the monorail.
The Grand Floridian is something else. It’s everything I imagine a top class hotel to be, and more. It looks stunning. It feels stunning. It’s just amazing. If I could, I’d live there for the rest of this year. I now know that I’m going to have to try and save up for at least one night there, it really is gorgeous. I had to leave before I settled in and never left! So I made my way to the monorail.
To my surprise, they were letting people into Magic Kingdom!!! Some crazy people were leaving, so people were being let in. However, it really was packed in there. You could barely move along Main Street by the end of the night. The only quiet-ish places were around Fantasyland and Toon Town! It was worth staying though, as the atmosphere was fantastic. I met up with Sandrine (one of my French flat-mates) at 11pm, and we slowly made our way to one of the back-stage viewing areas that they’d opened up to guests. It was a parking lot to one side of Main Street! But, it wasn’t quite as crowded, and the view was still incredible! 11:50 came along, and the fireworks started. They were just incredible. 10 minutes of general, amazing fireworks, and then they did the countdown. In Fireworks! Huge great numbers in the sky, all around us. Not just in front, but literally a circle of fireworks! And then the ones that went off at midnight itself were just incredible. I have never seen so many fireworks at once, all around me, it was just something else. I don’t know that I’ll ever have a New Year quite like that again.
I was quite tired by then (I think this cold had drained me) so Sandrine and I made our way to the park exit. Along with the majority of the parks guests! We felt like waddling penguins, marching our way to the arches out of Magic Kingdom. But it wasn’t a bad crowd (unlike the crowds to get on the cast buses home from Epcot). Everyone knew they’d get out eventually, and everyone was in high spirits, even if they were sleepy. There was no pushing, no rush. Just a general movement towards the exit.
Once we were through the arches, it was a lot easier to move, as the space opens up. We glanced towards the monorail platform and decided to take the boat back to the TTC. I’m glad we did, as we ended up on the 3rd boat that left (and there was very little wait between boats) and it didn’t seem to take very long to get over there. Once at the TTC we had a little wait for the bus, and once on it, the bus driver somehow decided to take a roundabout route to miss all the traffic, and forgot to stop off at West Clock before heading back to housing! We eventually got in at about 2am, by which time I collapsed in bed and fell straight to sleep!
I’m glad I spent NYE the way I did, and I don’t know that I’ll ever get to do that again. But I’m also glad that the parks are now getting back to normal hours, and normal levels of guests, and life can generally go back to normal! Until Spring Break, that is.
I think 2011 is going to be a great year though. I mean, I’m in Florida! I’m working for the mouse! I’m starting assigner training in a weeks time. Things are generally looking great. 2010 was pretty amazing, but I think 2011 might be even better. Which is saying something! So for now, I wish you all a Great New Year, and I’m off to enjoy mine. Mostly, by resting and hoping this cold goes away! Haha!