THE “WOW SO SUMMER IS PRETTY HOT IN FLORIDA” JULY 2022 WALT DISNEY WORLD TRIP (DAY 2 AND LIKE 1 HOUR OF DAY 3!!!!)

Hey everyone!

I’m back with another blog post focusing on our most recent Walt Disney World trip. And yeah, it took place in July. So right. Florida was all…

And this post is a special one. Because since it’s Day 2 that means it’s our first park day. And this park day? It’s insanity. On account of it’s not just the Magic Kingdom, but it’s the Magic Kingdom until 1 AM!!

So right, this post is like Day 2 there’s a little smidge of Day 3 in there. Like Day 2 with a scoop of Day 3 on the side.

Plus, there are a lot of peeps in this post. This post? It’s high peep-age.

Get excited.

Day 2 – Which starts as Day 2 but then becomes Day 3 at the Magic Kingdom

Day 2 started as most Walt Disney World mornings start. With us all up at 6AM, bright and bushy-tailed, excited to meet the new day with promise and a seemingly unending supply of optimism.

Nah.

We were in a room with 3 teenagers. You know getting them up before 7 took some serious doings.

And also, yes. That WAS another Will Ferrell gif. I think am gonna try to only use Will Ferrell gifs in this post.

Because you gotta have goals.

Right so.

We were up at around 6AM. And I woke up to find my Galaxy Watch hadn’t fully charged overnight. Which would usually not be the best news.

But I mean.

Nice.

Yup. I took a picture of that.

This is the comedy you can expect today.

Oscar Wilde this ain’t.

Like I said, getting the kids up was a bit of a challenge. But it did eventually happen. I know this because I have a picture of Myles being up.

Have I talked about how hot it was in Florida in July yet?

No?

Oh ok. Well, it was hot. And very VERY humid. Like, if I walked out on the balcony with my glasses on, it was Fog City.

Population: me.

But the humidity did make it possible for me to perform this grand gesture of love for my beautiful bride.

And we weren’t up early just for the heck of it. We had reasons you guys.

First off, we did purchase Genie+ (https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/genie/) today, which is Walt Disney World’s new pay-for-play ride reservation system.

Basically, it works like this. You pay $15 for every person that’s going to use Genie+. And then, if you are staying at a resort, you can book whatever is the next available window for a “Lightning Lane” (translation: like FastPass, but more expensive) attraction you want to experience starting at 7AM. Then, you can keep booking throughout the day but you can only book a new attraction when one of the following happens:

  • You redeem the current Lightning Lane you have booked.
  • Two hours have passed since you booked your last Lightning Lane.
  • You cancel your booked Lightning Lane.

But one other wrinkle to keep in mind. The whole two hour thing starts at official park open, which was 9AM. So, like, I was up at 7AM to book a Lightning Lane but that didn’t mean I could book mine at 9AM. I still had to wait until like 11AM.

Also every park has 1 or 2 “Individual Lightning Lane” attractions that are exempt from this situation and you have to purchase a separate Lightning Lane for that one attraction. For example, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is an Individual Lightning Lane attraction.

Right.

So yeah.

I know. But this is the world we live in right now.

The Disney World.

So OK, I booked a Lightning Lane for a 9AM ride on Space Mountain. And I booked it not only for us but also for Kayce, Bella, and Lani.

Space! Pew Pew!

Also though. We were up early because we had breakfast reservations. And our breakfast reservations were over at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. So we called up a Lyft at 7ish and were at the Contemporary within 20 minutes.

The Lyft dropped us off downstairs at the main entrance and our breakfast reservation was up on the 4th floor. So we had some escalators to traverse.

Well, except for Owen. Dude always gets a little weird around escalators.

3. That’s 3 Will Ferrell gifs.

But it’s true. He def doesn’t love an escalator.

Escalator? More like esca-hater. Amirite?

So he took the stairs. Here is a picture I took of him climbing the stairs. From the escalator.

But regardless of how any of us got there, we did eventually make it up to the 4th floor.

I am sure most of you Disney folks have figured out where breakfast was on Day 2. But for the rest of you n00bs, breakfast today was at Chef Mickey’s.

I love this whole concourse in the Contemporary. It’s so kinetic with all the open shops and restaurants, all the people milling about, and the monorail going through.

It’s a good way to get amped up for the day, for sure. It’s like eating in a fancy subway station. But you know, without the vermin.

Haha oh. I see what you did there.

But back it up. We haven’t quite gotten to the “huggable rodents” part of our meal yet.

We were seated immediately once we checked in. We put in our drink orders but there was no need for us to order any food on account of everything is served all-you-care-to eat family-style. Which might come as a surprise to anyone that hasn’t been to Chef Mickey’s since before the ‘rona. Chef Mickey’s used to be a buffet but things changed once we all realized how gross people actually are and that maybe it would be best if we all didn’t fondle the same chicken nugget.

Though I mean buffets are coming back. Attention spans be short y’all.

But for now, Chef Mickey’s remains family style. Which means they bring all the food to your table. And that’s cool. Because it’s like a buffet without all the work. And you know what that means.

Double the fatness.

Speaking of. The meal started with a basket of pastries and breads.

Up in there you got some Harvest Sweet Rolls with honey butter, sea salt, and cream cheese icing and some Fried Sweet Fritters, which were kind of like plussed up donut holes dusted with vanilla-cinnamon sugar. Everything in that basket was fire emoji.

These also came out with fresh fruit and yogurt parfaits.

Which were also good. The fruit tasted really fresh actually and the yogurt was a nice little palate cleanser as well.

Soon after though, the main event began.

Our server brought out a pan filled with Scrambled Eggs, Pork Sausage Links, Smoked Bacon, Mickey Waffles, and Slow-Roasted Beef Brisket.

Honestly, everything here was good. That Beef Brisket kind of stood out as the…well…the stand out. But I mean. Who doesn’t love a Mickey Waffle?

Communists. That’s who.

This was also accompanied by some Banana Bread French Toast.

Which was fine, I guess. It was much less “French Toast” and more just straight “Banana Bread.” Like, which is fine. But I think we were expecting a little more based on the name. Just call it Banana Bread guys. That’s fine. Banana Bread is like totally fine. Stay in your lane, Banana Bread.

We were also served a “Celebration” Mickey Pancake. To share.

Which felt odd in and of itself. I mean, sharing a pancake? Is there some sort of pancake shortage?

I mean, to be fair, you can order more of anything that you want more of, so we technically all could have had our own pancake but that would have been uncomfortable.

I also don’t fully get why “Celebration” is in quotes.

Also, according to Disney Food Blog, this is what this pancake used to look like.

Now take a look back at the pancake we received.

Yeah, I guess I understand the quotes now.

But I mean, the star of the meal was this “Loaded” Potato-Cheese Casserole.

Yeah, again with the quotes.

But still, this stuff was yumtastic.

The food, of course, isn’t the only reason people come to Chef Mickey’s. Let’s see some characters.

First up? Mickey the Mouse.

And Goofy followed close behind.

Minnie came next.

And being she was my first crush, Nickie made sure I got a hug.

And ugggh I can’t. With how cute Pluto is.

Donald was the last to visit our table and dude didn’t hang around for long. He was all business.

We got through ALL the characters in like 15 minutes. It was like Disney character speed dating.

Which, I mean. That wouldn’t always be the best thing but since we wanted to get to the Magic Kingdom, it worked out well.

I’d rate Chef Mickey’s as a win though, overall. I mean there were a couple of misses on the food, but most of it was above-average and we got to see the Fab Five in, like, record time. Plus, our service team was great as well. In fact, our main server gave Nickie and I a couple coffees to take over on our walk to the Magic Kingdom.

Score!

After we paid our bill, we gathered up our stuff and headed back down to the ground floor. Since one big advantage of breakfast at the Contemporary? It’s only a short walk over to the entrance to the Magic Kingdom!

And you know what goes really well with a 100 degree walk? Hot coffee!!

But seriously, it is a nice walk over. I like the whole “preview of Magic Kingdom” vibe it has.

See you at 9AM, Spacey.

Being that the park opened officially at 9, they opened the gates at 8:30 to let everyone in, but only people that were staying at a Disney resort were able to actually access the attractions beyond Main Street. Also, resort guests were allowed to enter the park earlier, at 8ish…which was when Kayce, Bella, and Lani got there.

Mark my words. Most universities will be offering a course in Visiting Walt Disney World 101 within the next ten years.

Shizz is complicated. Is what I am saying to you now.

Deep breaths.

8:30.

Let’s go.

We were walking up Main Street. Which meant it was time for some totally-not-posed-and-completely-candid photos.

OK, first. Owen and Myles. Hold hands.

Right. Great. Now, Myles, Owen, and Hannah. Hands, please.

Awesome. OK, Myles and Hannah. How about a little kiss on the cheek.

Hannah, pretend its hilarious.

Love it love it. Now, strangers in the front. Look at your phone like you’ve just now discovered the “Charlie Bit My Finger” video.

Perfect.

That’s a wrap, everyone.

As we were making our way – very slowly – up Main Street, Bella, Lani, and Kayce were boarding Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

So we made a plan to meet up with them in Fantasyland.

And since we had a little bit of time left until our Lightning Lane, we hopped on the closest ride with the shortest wait – It’s a Small World.

Today by the way? Today was the day we all acted far too excited on every single ride.

Also everyday is that day.

But yup, the first attraction we rode this trip was It’s a Small World. This was a good sign.

Right that too. That was a good sign too.

I obviously take WAY TOO MANY pictures on It’s a Small World.

I know it may not seem like much to a lot of people, but man do I love Small World. It’s super quintessential Disney. Whatever you guys. There are two types of people in this world. Those who like Small World and those who don’t have a soul.

Also, while we were on Small World, I was able to make another Lightning Lane reservation for Pirates of the Caribbean at around 11ish.  

I think.

Look, I am gonna do my best to remember the whole Genie+ experience but it’s hard. I’m old. And I drink a lot. So my memory is. Um. Ugh, what’s the word?

Oh. Right. Bad. My memory is bad.

The next pre-Space Mountain attraction up? Haunted Mansion.

I rode with Owen and, like, obviously it’s insanely easy to take pictures in the Haunted Mansion.

We did get stopped at the ballroom scene, which allowed me to take some semi-kind-of-ok pictures.

I don’t know why it’s so hard to take pictures in there.

Ghosts, I guess.

But once we got outside, back into the land of the living? Pictures were back on, sucka.

By this point, it was time for us to redeem our Space Mountain Lightning Lane so travel with me.

To the future!

Zoom. Zoom. Pew Pew. Space lasers.

Aw yeah Space Mountain. Amirite? Still an incredible attraction even to this day.

I love how it’s so dark and you don’t know where you’re going and there is like this super cool soundtrack and it really does feel like you’re on a space…

Mountain?

Wait.

What?

What the hell is a space mountain anyways? Like in Space Mountain, you’re supposed to be flying through space in a rocket, right? Even on Disney’s website, it says:

Dip and careen into the inky blackness as a futuristic soundtrack echoes all around you. Fly past shooting stars and celestial satellites. Roar past streaking orbs of light, wayward comets and migrant meteors. Feel the pull of gravity as you’re drawn into a swirling wormhole!

Where is mountains? I see no mountains. Why are you mountain?

I mean, is it me?

Sorry. I know. Usually, I would say I shouldn’t make a mountain out of a molehill. But at this point, it seems like we’re making mountains out of anything.

Still though. Nonsensical as a Space Mountain might be. It’s a great attraction.

Since we were already in Tomorrowland, we headed right for the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover.

Which, though unnecessarily long, is a name I can get behind. Because look at these dudes. Totally moving.

And us too. We were also moving.

So like. It checks out.

I love the Peoplemover. I know I’ve said it before but like only at Walt Disney World, can we all get super excited about a ride that’s essentially an advertisement for other rides. And I am not saying any of that facetiously. I’m serious. I love deeply in my heart this ride that shows you everything else you could be riding instead.

But this time around, it was especially neat since they had changed over the narration to something completely new.

And the Peoplemover also gives riders a really good look at the current state of the soon-to-open Tron Lightcycle Power Run Coaster.

It’s crazy how long they’ve been building this thing. I mean, construction started back in February 2018. I was just looking at an article online that came out just before they started construction that said the plan was to be done by August 2021, barring any delays.

I can’t figure what’s kept them.

OK fine. Obviously COVID did a number on this thing. But still…early 2018 to late summer 2021 is like…

Counts on his fingers.

3 ½ years?

That’s a real long time. Even without a pandemic. But it does seem to be pushing along. Some are speculating it could potentially open by end of this year but others think it could push out to next summer.

Who knows, really?

I just hope it opens before all the hype around Tron dies down. It’s like, I know society is obviously still Tron-crazy and all that and I can’t go a day without getting into some deep conversation about Tron Easter eggs and fan theories. It’s a real phenomenon. But how long can that last?

Eh, you’re right. It’s Tron. Tron will never not be popular.

After we hopped off the Peoplemover, it was getting kind of near our Pirates of the Caribbean Lightning Lane time so we all decided to head over towards Adventureland. Which brought us again right past Cinderella Castle. And, like, you know I had to take some pics.

Plus, walking through the hub in front of the castle gave me my first chance to get an up close look at some of the Fab 50 50th Anniversary statues.

Oh sorry. If you don’t know, Walt Disney World has put up a bunch of new golden statues all over the four parks to celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th. There are, according to the research I could find, 36 total statues around the park, showcasing a total of 50 different characters (some statues have multiple characters.)

My mission was to try and get pictures of all the statues on this trip and, honestly, I have no idea if I did it. So I am going to count them out as we go through them to see if we made it happen or not. And I will count by character, not statue. So the goal will be to see all 50. We will get to find out if it actually happened together. Won’t that be fun?

No?

Whatever man.

OK, so there up above there is Mickey and Minnie. Two characters so far.

We also saw Goofy and Pluto.

Donald and Daisy.

And Chip and Dale.

Oh and then walking out of the hub towards Adventureland, I snapped a pic of this legitimately heart-melting Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet.

Alright so that’s ten total characters. Only forty more to go.

All that statue-seeking is making me hungry. Gosh, I wish there was a snack cart nearby.

Ah right. The Adventureland Spring Roll Cart. Perfection.

We have visited this spring roll cart in the past, but the best thing about this cart is that the menu is constantly changing. There have typically been two different spring roll options available here. And while the cheeseburger spring roll is a pretty consistent feature, the other option is a rotating one. The last time we visited, the other option was a solid buffalo chicken option.

This time around, the non-cheeseburger option was a pastrami spring roll. And the best part? Each spring roll order comes with two spring rolls. So like, you don’t even have to choose. Sometimes I really feel like Disney gets me.

Both rolls were once again good, but I am still giving the edge to the cheeseburger version. It’s a classic, man.

When we reached Adventureland, we still had a little bit of time until our Lightning Lane and it had been like 5 minutes since our last snack. So we were obvs famished.

Kayce and the girls stopped off at Sunshine Tree Terrace for what is kind of now a classic float at Walt Disney World – the I Lava You Float (Fanta® Strawberry Soda and Passion Fruit flavor served with DOLE Whip® Orange and topped with Popping Candy.)

Which is a classic for a reason. Thing is super refreshing and who doesn’t love Pop Rocks popping candy?

Yeah, popping candy. Don’t wanna get sued.

But the rest of us headed over to Aloha Isle for a new float option situation thing. Behold – the Tropical Serenade.

Now, I should mention I was a little bummed out Aloha Isle dropped what was my favorite float at Walt Disney World – the Kakamora Float. I talked about the Kakamora Float when I was recounting our summer 2021 vacation and I kind of fell in love with the thing.

Yes.

I was in love with an ice cream treat.

Nickie is aware.

But the Kakamora Float was rull good. It had coconut soft serve, pineapple juice, a cute little Kakamora cake pop thing. It was nice.

So yeah, bummed.

But I think the Tropical Serenade actually took what was the Kakamora Float and improved on it. In most ways. Here, let’s put the picture back up first off…

TROPICAL SERENADE 1 JULY DISNEY TRIP 2022 DAY 2

So this still has that coconut soft-serve, which was the main star of the float anyways. But this float? It swapped out pineapple juice for pineapple-orange-guava juice. Yeah man. Pineapple is one thing. Pineapple, orange, and guava? Those are three things you guys. Three things are better than one thing.

That’s like an inarguable fact.

The float did swap out the chocolate Kakamora cake pop for a pineapple upside-down cake pop. And I think I give a slight edge to the Kakamora one. Both are delicious and to be honest, I would probably slightly prefer pineapple upside-down cake to chocolate. But it was a little more crumbly compared to the chocolate cake pop’s density and I really liked the hard chocolate shell on the other one.

Plus, I mean. The other one was obvs squad cuter.

I really like my food to be as cute as possible.

But overall? Down with the Tropical Serenade.

By the time we finished our floats and powered through the unavoidable brain freeze, it was finally time to hit up our Pirates of the Caribbean Lightning Lane!

This is one of my favorite selfies of the trip.

Because I can’t really see myself. So that’s a win.

Now, the debate always comes up. Every trip. Which is better? Pirates vs. Haunted Mansion.

And depending on the day, you could find me giving a different answer each time I’m asked. But these days? I’m kind of feeling Pirates, you guys. I think the sets are a little more extravagant.

I think it has a better song (“Yo Ho” frickin slaps). And it’s a boat ride, you guys.

Boats > non-boats.

Like I said, though, you could ask me tomorrow and I might say I like Haunted Mansion better.

Especially if I wanna seem more dark and gothy.

It was around 11:30 when we exited Pirates. Which meant a couple of decisions had to be made. We very often leave the parks midday to avoid both the heat and crowds so were we going to do that today?

And also, there was the matter of lunch to be discussed. I don’t even think we had eaten anything since before 11:15.

We all “discussed” this in the middle of the Pirates gift shop and it came down to a split decision. Kayce, Bella, and Lani were going to head back to their resort to nap. Myles and Hannah were gonna have lunch in the park and then head out.

And Owen, Nickie, and I decided to get back to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for some lunch and pool time.  And maybe a nap?

We headed towards the exit.

But on the way out, I grabbed this little guy.

I mean, I didn’t just grab it. I paid for it.

That there is the Mickey 50th Anniversary popcorn bucket. Not only is he a cute way to carry around your popcorn (which, as I mentioned – when it comes to food, cuteness matters), but now that I had him, popcorn refills only cost $2 for the rest of my trip.

So yes, after the floats and the spring rolls and on the way to lunch, I bought popcorn. And ate it.

Oh right. No, I totally agree. I’m gross.

As we were making our way out, we were treated to a Dapper Dans performance at the train station.

The bus came within ten minutes or so of us reaching the stop.

Oh I should also mention it was on this bus where I noticed I made a boo-boo. So when we redeemed our Pirates of the Caribbean Lightning Lane, I immediately tried for another one and thought I had booked a meet with Mickey and Minnie in Town Square for everyone (all 8 of us) for like 4pm. Which would have been perfect as it was when we were thinking we would be back in the park before dinner.

Unfortunately, when we were on the bus, I checked my MyDisneyExperience app and IT WASN’T THERE.

Blargh.

Worst=me.

And now, there were no more available for us to use before dinner. So, I booked a different Lightning Lane for around the same time for Peter Pan’s Flight.

Myles and Hannah, still in the park, landed on Casey’s Corner for lunch.

Given that our bodies were at this point used to a steady intake of calories, we went straight to lunch when we got back to the resort so as to not send our bodies into shock. Lunch today was at the Mara, the casual dining spot at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Well, we weren’t just here for lunch. We also had to replace a refillable mug since Myles left his at the pool.

Yes, the refillable mug we bought yesterday.

Thankfully, the woman working the register seemed to be familiar with such a situation and scanned in a new mug for us at no charge.

Because otherwise, that would have come out of Myles’s college money.

But right. Lunch. I only have pictures of what I ordered on account of I am selfish. But I think Owen got a cheeseburger and Nickie regrettably ordered a chicken Caesar salad.

I had the Tamarind Barbecue Pork Sandwich (Tamarind-seasoned Barbecue Pulled Pork on a Brioche Bun with Kool Slaai (Coleslaw) topping on the side and served with French Fries).

Which is a lovely sandwich. Very tasty, especially for a counter-service location. And it’s good because I probably won’t be eating any more barbecue tonight.

Foreshadowing.

At this point, Owen said he was feeling a little tired.

Well “feeling a little tired” is code here for “acting like some sort of rage monster.”

So he decided to hang back in the room for a little bit while Nickie and I went to the pool.

Bar.

We went to the pool bar.

The Uzima Springs Pool Bar, to be exact.

Nickie ordered the trusty Disney bar staple – a Captain’s Mai Tai (Captain Morgan Original Spice Rum, Bols Amaretto, and Tropical Juices topped with a float of Plantation Original Dark Rum), which never disappoints.

And in my quest to try as many Uzima Springs Specialty Cocktails as I can (I know. There aren’t many that would do what I do), I went frozen today and ordered an African Sunset (Cruzan Mango Rum and African Starr Rum, blended with Mango and Strawberry Purée), which was very good. I dig frozen drinks though I can’t drink, like, a ton of them because they fill me up. And I like drinking tons of drinks. So I think I still preferred the Flamingo Mule I had on Day 1.

While we were enjoying our drinks, Myles and Hannah found their way back to the room and got their suits on to meet us at the pool. Owen was very FOMO-focused so the whole “hanging back in the room” thing didn’t really take.

He also came to the pool. Is what I am saying to you currently.

We probably spent an hour or so down at the pool before it was already time to get ready to get back to the park and, ultimately, more food.

I am really starting to feel like I have an issue.

While we were getting ready in the room, look who came by our balcony to say hi.

These guys came by our balcony quite a bit throughout the trip. We saw at least 4 giraffes a day. Swimming in giraffes we were.

It felt like we won some sort of gi-raffle.

I know. I apologize.

After we all got ready, it was back down to catch the bus to Magic Kingdom.

That last picture really captures how important I obviously think I am.

We were back at the park by 4:15pm.

We met up with Kayce, Bella, and Lani and hit up our Lightning Lane to Neverland.

We went on Peter Pan’s Flight. In case that wasn’t clear.

Also, I grabbed another Lightning Lane for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. I can’t remember if I did that while in line for Peter Pan’s Flight or beforehand because my two-hour window was up.

I am really good at this blogging stuff.

After Peter Pan’s Flight, though, we made the short walk over to Mickey’s Philharmagic.

Which I don’t know. I really love Mickey’s Philharmagic you guys. It’s one of those rides that hit hard on the Disney. With the characters. And the music. And the smells. And the A/C.

Yeah the A/C cannot be undervalued here. It. Was. Hot.

Like, around this time, Myles hit me on the back and it literally sounded like he was splashing in a pool. Rubbing my sweaty back at some point in this trip became a “Buddha belly” type of situation, heralded to bring good luck to anyone that attempts it.

I don’t know about that, but I did really like the attention.

Right though. Mickey’s Philharmagic. It’s great.

And I was even more excited for it this time around as a new Coco-focused scene had been added. Which I thought added a lot. But I will say, the “newness” of the scene definitely made the “oldness” of all the other scenes stand out a little more.

Still though. Good stuff.

Like I said, though, we had a Lightning Lane for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin coming up. So it was time to head back to Tomorrowland.

On the way, I passed some more 50th Anniversary Statues near the Mad Tea Party.

The Mad Hatter.

And the Cheshire Cat.

So that’s two more characters, bringing our grand total to 12.

When we got to Buzz, we split into cars and I rode with Bella because she said she hated this ride. On account of she isn’t very good at it. Right – for those that don’t know, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin isn’t just a ride. It’s also a laser shooting game thing.

So, she thought I could maybe help her with some tips on how to score some more points.

Which is a lot of pressure to put on someone with as fragile an ego as mine.

But I tried. I offered up the following tips:

  • Don’t feel like you have to keep pressing the trigger. Holding it down the entire time causes a steady stream of lasers.
  • In the first room, the red robot has targets on both his hands. Shoot the left hand. That target is worth 100,000 points on its own.
  • In the second room, there is a volcano. Shoot the top target there. That top target is worth 50,000 points each time you hit it and you should have a few opportunities to hit it. Plus, it makes the volcano erupt. So that’ fun. Natural disasters and what not.
  • And in the Zurg room, there is one more big target. Directly under Zurg, there is a battery and on the bottom it says “pitiful.” Shoot the target directly under that for 100,000 points. The trick in that room is you can’t hit it when you’re right in front of it so you have to try for it before and after.

In the end, these were our scores. Bella was on the left and I was on the right.

I mean, she says this was the best she’d ever done but I felt like I still failed her.

Plus, I came within like mere inches of being Galactic Hero that day (which is 999,999 points). So there was a lot of shame to go around.

But you know who did make Galactic Hero? Again?

Yup, Myles.

So proud.

After Buzz, we were still feeling that Tomorrowland glow so we hopped into a just-about-to-start Carousel of Progress.

Which, I mean. Always a winner.

Plus, I guess they updated some of the animatronics’ wardrobes or something?

I mean, I don’t know about any of that. But I do know “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” is a BANGER. And if you don’t clap your hands every time it plays at the end of a scene in this attraction? I don’t wanna know you.

Tomorrowland had its hold on us by this point so we stuck around and walked into Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor next.

Which is always a good time. And, like, I have been both “That Guy” and the guy who has to dance in this attraction, but this time around was the first time anyone I have been in a party with has had their joke told.

For those that don’t know, at the start of this attraction, you are able to text in jokes and if yours is selected, it gets read on screen.

And this time around, Owen’s was selected. For posterity’s sake, his joke was:

Q: Why did the scarecrow win an award?
A: He was out standing in his field.

Kid’s a regular Judy Tenuta.

While we were having a BLAST in Tomorrowland, it was getting close to dinner time and dinner had us leaving the park so it was time to head towards the exit.

But on the way, we did see a couple more 50th anniversary statues that were like two of my favorites. One was at the Tomorrowland Terrace. Ugh STITCH!!!!

And the other was down in Town Square, near the exit.

Lady and the Tramp. Best.

So that makes three more characters. Up to 15 now.

We exited the park and we had a bit of a quandary. We had to get over to Fort Wilderness for dinner and while we would normally take the ferry over, the skies were a bit lightning-y so we weren’t sure if the ferry was still running or not.

But taking a bus to Fort Wilderness is sucktown. On account of the resort is so huge we would have to take one bus to the resort entrance and then another internal bus to our dinner destination at Tri Circle-D Ranch inside the resort. The boat dock, meanwhile, was a short walk.

We walked over to the bus stop, but just didn’t feel right about it so we left the bus stop and backtracked to the boat dock. And well, ferry did end up coming but, guys, this was a lot of walking.

Sweaty back, remember?

But yeah, we made it on the ferry.

Also, I don’t know if you noticed, but the girls’ hair theme of the night was obviously braids.

And Myles’ hair theme of the night was “under a coonskin cap.”

So that may be a bit of a hint towards where we were eating tonight.

Ok so the ferry docked. And like I said, storms were imminent when we boarded the ferry. But they like…they moved beyond imminent by the time we reached Fort Wilderness.

It. Was. Crazy.

And whilst I did have a rain jacket on me, I ended up giving mine to Kayce to wear. Most others, including Nickie, had a rain jacket or poncho and she was wearing white and what not.

So yeah, chivalry is not dead you guys.

But she did trade me her umbrella. Which helped with the straight down rain. The sideways rain though? Less thwarted.

Here is a video of us bravely braving the elements.

That video btw? A sign of awesome to come.

If you couldn’t tell from my obnoxious voice, we were meeting up with more friends – the Siggins.

Sigginses?

Siggi?

Not sure what the plural is.

But the Siggins be Liam and Ayla (the kids) and Arty and Suzanne (the parents). Liam has been Myles’ best friend since like elementary school and Arty and Suzanne surprised him and Ayla with a trip down at Liam’s graduation party.

Word.

Our dinner reservation wasn’t for a little bit so we hung out in Crockett’s Tavern because of course we did. It’s a tavern.

I mean. Well when I say “we” I meant the adults. The kids meanwhile…

The kids went off to explore the resort (I heard there was a pretty heated game of checkers).

Well, and Liam also.

But yeah, us adults grabbed some drinks and chilled for a bit out of the rain.

A popular drink choice that night was the Ultimate Long Island Iced Tea (Bacardi Superior Rum, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Hendrick’s Gin, Corazón Blanco Tequila, Cointreau, and Sweet-and-Sour with a splash of Coca-Cola.)

Popular because it promised 5 alcohols and only a splash of something that wasn’t.

We have alcohol problems.

Is the point.

I am pretty sure at this point, the Disney fans reading have already figured out where dinner was happening. But for the rest of you normies, dinner tonight was at Pioneer Hall.

And more specifically, dinner tonight was the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue!

Or, if you ask Lani, the Whoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.

But yeah, so excited. Hoop-Dee-Doo is a longstanding long-awesome Disney staple. Part all-you-care-to-eat-and-drink, part Vaudeville-style dinner show. It’s legit the best.

And it just recently reopened after COVID made everything terrible.

So yay.

Let’s dig in.

We checked in and were shown to our seats immediately, encompassing a long table in the middle of the room.  

Liam sat next to his father.

And Lani.

And Bella.

I was in the middle of the always-beautiful Nickie…

And the always-Owen Owen.

We also had a great view of the stage overall, though admittedly the side I was sitting on wasn’t the best since I had to constantly turn around to watch the show.

A small gripe, but still. It was a constant internal struggle between my need to eat and my need to be entertained.

Our server took our drink orders and started us off with some cornbread and salad.

Both of which were good, though the cornbread was slightly. Slightly. On the dry side. The butter was a must.

But you know what wasn’t dry?

Beer.

The beer was wet.

And it was flowing. Because not only is this place all-you-care-to-eat but its also all-you-care-to-drink. And our server could tell I cared to drink. A lot. So she kept the Yuengling coming for sure.

Smart.

Soon enough, the piano and banjo players started up…

And that signaled the start of the show. The Hoop-Dee-Doo players soon entered the building.

Arty was obviously live-tweeting a play-by-play review of the night’s festivities.

I won’t give away the specifics of the show but it’s pretty incredible. All the players are extremely talented and the show is so great. Funny, lively, big on audience participation. I can’t recommend Hoop-Dee-Doo enough.

It’s honestly some of the most fun you can have at Walt Disney World.

And that’s saying something.

On account of it’s Walt Disney World.

But the entertainment is obviously only a part of the whole experience. An insanely very big part of the whole experience, of course.

Still though, we should talk about the food.

For our mains, we had mashed potatoes.

We had mac and cheese.

We had ribs and chicken.

And more chicken.

And more chicken.

Because that’s what they say in the show, guys.

Everything was real good. It’s honestly hard to pick a favorite side between the mashed potatoes and the mac and cheese and both the ribs and chicken were delicious. Everyone else probably would agree if they had to pick, the chicken was the winner. And like, I can’t deny how yummers that chicken skin was. But overall, I think I liked the ribs the most. Super flavorful. Falling off the bone. Just real real good.

Oh and for dessert, we had strawberry shortcake.

Which, of course it was good. It was strawberry shortcake.

And no, none of us were picked to go on stage…

…despite us all being obvs squad oozing with talent.

Seriously, you guys. If you have not experienced Whoop-Dee-Doo Hoop-Dee-Doo, it’s a must. A good chunk of these folks…

…say it was the best dining experience of the trip.

After dinner ended, the Siggins. Sigginss. Siggi. Well, they all headed back to their Air BnB and Nickie decided she wanted to call it a night as well so they offered to drive her home.

But.

BUT.

Tonight was a special Magic Kingdom Day. On account of the park was opened until 1AM for Deluxe Resort Guests.

Which we were.

Don’t be jel.

Sooooez.

The rest of us headed back to the boat dock to catch the boat back to Magic Kingdom, y’all.

We lined up behind some other people also trying to catch the ferry.

And we waited.

And waited.

And then waited some more.

And still, no ferry. I asked some people in front of us if they thought it was coming and they weren’t sure. There was no cast member up front to ask either. So we were kind of just living on a dream at this point.

So I decided to run back to see if I could find a cast member. Anyone. Who could tell us if a ferry was coming. But seriously? Place was deserted.

Empty.

Trees rustled.

A receipt blows past my feet.

Off.

In the distance.

Fireworks go off.

Signaling civilization.

Not here.

Loneliness.

Whoa sorry you guys. I went to a really dark place right there.

I walked back to the dock to an impromptu dance party borne of uncertainty. And a shared love of Abba.

So I mean. When in Rome.

Yeah I mean. We were kind of killing it. And not recorded? Bella and I’s flawless acoustic version of Nickie Minaj’s masterpiece SuperBass.

Yeah, it was gonna be a good night.

Fortunately (for those around us), the ferry did end up coming at around 11PM, which was the official Magic Kingdom close time.

But not for us.

To the ferry!

We were inside and o Main Street at around 11:20PM.

Which meant we had a little over an hour and a half of park time left. So it was time to head to the single best “that’s-better-at-night” Magic Kingdom attraction – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

BIG THUNDER 1 JULY DISNEY TRIP 2022 DAY 2

There was a short wait, probably 15-20 minutes or so so we were in our train cars around midnight.

BIG THUNDER 2 JULY DISNEY TRIP 2022 DAY 2

And you guys.

This may very well have been the most epic ride of Big Thunder in the history of rides on Big Thunder.

As soon as we sat down in our seats at the back of the train (which are obviously the best seats) we started clapping and cheering and yelling at the top of our lungs.

Which got the people behind us in line going nuts.

And it got the cast members going nuts.

And it got everyone else in our train going nuts.

And this lasted.

The.

Entire.

Ride.

Like seriously. It was an entire train full of people screaming at the top of their lungs for a straight three minutes.

Eh. Pic.

After exiting the attraction, we made a straight line through the Hub towards Tomorrowland again. But first, we have to talk about the elephant in the Hub.

STATUES 6 JULY DISNEY TRIP 2022 DAY 2

That’s 16.

We wanted another ride on the nonsensically-named-but-hella-always-fun Space Mountain.

SPACE MOUNTAIN 4 JULY DISNEY TRIP 2022 DAY 2

The standby wait time was listed at around 30 minutes but it probably took closer to 20 minutes to get through the line.

And given that we were 7 and the whole rocket train thing only holds 6, I was on my own. But no matter, I still screamed my head off like I was at a monster truck rally and I was a fan of monster truck rallies.

So fun.

Also remember the whole “screaming my head off” thing. It will come into play in later posts.

After we got off Space, it was approaching 12:45 and the rest of the crew wanted to hit up Seven Dwarfs Mine Train but I was feeling exhausted and wasn’t sure how far past 1AM waiting in that line would take and I wanted to try and avoid those end-of-night crowds at the bus stop so I said my goodbyes and headed out of the park, FaceTiming with Nickie as I made my way down Main Street.

When I got to the bus stop, the line for Animal Kingdom Lodge was actually hella-long. So long in fact that I had to watch one bus load and take off before my bus, which arrived at close to 1AM, got there.

But I did make it on and I did feel very self-conscious of how tired, alone, and sweaty I was standing and packed against other strangers in the same boat.

I was probably back in the room by 1:30ish.

Meanwhile, back at the Magic Kingdom, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was down so Kayce peaced out as well, leaving the kids to….ride something? PeopleMover maybe? I honestly don’t know. But look, Bella and Lani were definitely still there as evidenced by what I can only assume is a MySpace post?

1AM 6 JULY DISNEY TRIP 2022 DAY 2

Kids and their MySpaces. Amirite?

Anyways you guys. Woof that was a long day, Day 2. And a long post. Thanks for sticking with it.

And stay tuned for Day 3! On account of Day 3 has us riding two new attractions, hanging with tons o’ friends, and Nickie even gets hit on by a rodent.

You really won’t wanna miss it.

But that’s kind of it you guys.

The post is over.

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