September 22nd

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September 22nd, 2021            

With Tara and the kids back at work and school, I returned to Kissimmee yesterday afternoon for the opportunity to join Grandpa Gary, Grandma Terry, and Uncle Steve for a few days of togetherness. We did some shopping at the Nike Factory outlet store as well as Wal-Mart before settling on Walk-On's Sports Bistreaux for dinner. From there it was back to the condo to relax for the evening.

Today we made reservations for the Magic Kingdom. I wanted to be able to stay late enough to see the fireworks tonight, so we didn't rush to get to the park this morning. In fact, we didn't leave the condo until almost 1:00pm. Of course, thanks to my forgetfulness, we had to head back so that we could pick up my MagicBand - or else I wouldn't have been going into the park at all! We eventually made it - we got to the Transportation and Ticket Center at 2:30pm, and after some debate we decided it would be quickest to once again take the boat to the park.

Since Grandpa Gary, Grandma Terry, and Uncle Steve had been here just a couple of days ago with Aunt Erica and Marissa, we decided to visit some of our lesser visited rides today. Once inside the park, we headed to Tomorrowland and the Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin ride. Steve and I battled it out in one car, while Grandpa Gary & Grandma Terry faced off in another car. Since the wait was short when we finished, we made the short walk on the the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. This provided us with a pretty good view of the progress taking place at the new TRON Lightcycle Run ride that is taking shape near Space Mountain.

Once we were done in Tomorrowland we strolled across the park to Liberty Square to take in The Hall of Presidents, our first viewing since the addition of President Biden. While we were on that side of the park, we wandered over to Adventureland to climb aboard the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, followed by our first ride on the refreshed Jungle Cruise. As always, I enjoyed the pirate ride, as I did the Jungle Cruise. I can say that I liked some of the new additions, but I missed some of the old parts of the ride as well. We then ambled on over to Frontierland to take in the Country Bear Jamboree show, which we don't often see as it is sorely in need of a refresh, but is still enjoyable when a break is needed from the crowds.

At this point we were getting hungry, and it was reaching the point that we probably should start staking out a spot to take in the Happily Ever After fireworks show. We settled on one of Grandma Terry's favorite spots to eat in the Magic Kingdom - Casey's Corner! The tables outside the restaurant were full, but we were able to lay claim to a spot on the curb right on Main Street, U.S.A. We enjoyed our dinner while waiting for the fireworks show to begin.

It has been a long time since we made the effort to see a nighttime show at any of the parks, but as the Happily Ever After show would be coming to an end soon, we decided to fight the crowds tonight to make sure we got to see it. While I certainly think it was worth the effort, and can't wait to see the new Disney Enchantment show that will be taking its place starting on October 1st, I forgot what a major hassle it was getting out of the park once the show concludes. Fighting the crowds down Main Street, U.S.A. is bad enough, but then you also have the lines at the ferry boats or for the monorail that feel like forever. Thankfully we didn't have to drive all the way home tonight!


Disney's Magic Kingdom

The Walt Disney World 50th banners hanging up at the Transportation and Ticket Center.

A look at the Magic Kingdom across the Seven Seas Lagoon.

The family boarding the Admiral Joe Fowler ferry boat.

Uncle Steven, Grandma Terry, and Grandpa Gary on the ferry boat.

A "hidden Mickey" located at the Magic Kingdom ferry dock.

Mickey and Minnie topiaries welcoming us to the Magic Kingdom as they stand in front of the...

...Walt Disney World Railroad station.

Daisy Duck, Pluto, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Donald Duck waiving to the crowds from the Walt Disney World Railroad station.

Walt Disney World has placed Disney Fab 50 Character Collection statues all over the parks - here is Lady and the Tramp from, well, Lady and the Tramp.

A look down Main Street, U.S.A. towards Cinderella's Castle.

A closer look at Cinderella's Castle from Main Street, U.S.A.

Here is another of the Disney Fab 50 Character Collection statues - this one being Sitch from Lilo & Stitch...


Buzz Lightyear from inside the Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin queue.

Uncle Steve and Grandma Terry on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.

A look at Space Mountain from the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover... well as a couple of shots of the new Tron Lightcycle Run ride that is coming to the park...


A look at Cinderella's Castle from the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.

Cinderella's Castle as viewed from the walkway from Tomorrowland to the main hub.

Here are some more of the Disney Fab 50 Character Collection statues - this one being Dumbo and Timothy Mouse from Dumbo... well as Pluto...

...and Goofy.

The Pluto and Goofy statues together.

Here are some the Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Disney Fab 50 Character Collection statues...

...along with a picture of Uncle Steve joining them.

Here are some more of the Disney Fab 50 Character Collection statues - this one being Chip and Dale...

...and Donald Duck...

...and Daisy Duck.

Daisy Duck and Donaly Duck together.

A closeup of Cinderella's Castle from the Main Street, U.S.A. hub.

Here we are in The Hall of Presidents.

Abraham Lincoln talking to the audience.

A look at all of the U.S. presidents.

A closer look at the American presidents...


Some scenes from the Pirates of the Caribbean...


The beginning of our boat ride on the Jungle Cruise was shrouded in fog.

Some scenes from the Jungle Cruise...


Here are some scenes from the Country Bear Jamboree...


A couple of the Country Bear Jamboree bears outside the theater waiving to the crowds.

Here is another of the Disney Fab 50 Character Collection statues - this one being Piglet and Winnie the Pooh from Winnie the Pooh...

Casey's Corner - our stop for dinner tonight.

Cinderella's Castle lit up at night as ominous clouds move in.

Main Street, U.S.A. lit up at night with those same ominous clouds hovering above.

Another look at Cinderella's Castle.

The crowds were definitely growing prior to the start of the fireworks show...


...not only in front of the castle...

...but all the way down Main Street, U.S.A. as well.

Another look at Cinderella's Castle... the Happily Ever After fireworks show is set to begin.

Presenting a bunch of photos from the Happily Ever After fireworks show...

Please click here for page two of the photos


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