On our last Tuesday of project, the Allergy Pride Carpool (the people I drove around with all summer to work, the four people on project who have super-fun allergies and can’t work around food) decided to go on an adventure to see all four parks of Disney World in one day. We planned it out (which is rare for us) and chose the top two attractions at each park we wanted to see before moving on to the next park. At 12 o’clock sharp (just kidding, we’re never on time, Reid was late), we rolled out and headed to our first stop of the day: Animal Kingdom. Our first choice attraction was the Dinosaur Ride. It’s a thrilling ride where you get sent back in time, and chased by a dinosaur. True Disney magic. The line is almost always short so we figured it was a good place to start. Except we came on the one day the line was an hour long. Now, it’s a fun ride, but we had a schedule to keep! Instead of waiting in line, we headed over to our second choice attraction: Expedition Everest. We walked all the way across the park, over to Asia to get in line for the ride… only to find out it was closed!! We were off to a great start. Fear not, though! We instead went on the most famous attraction at Animal Kingdom, “It’s Tough to Be a Bug,” a 4-D show where Flick teaches us humans what it’s like to be a bug. Fifteen minutes of cringing at creepy-crawlies later, we walked out from under the tree into the sun, and went to check on Expedition Everest one more time. Surprise!! It was open!! We hopped in line, and 30 minutes later we were on the ride, screaming and laughing, comforting Lauren, and trying to outrun the Yeti.
One park down, three to go! The only problem was, as we walked out of Animal Kingdom back to Kathy (the name of our trusty car), rain was beginning to sprinkle. By the time we arrived at Hollywood Studios to look for a parking spot, we were in a full-on torrential downpour. But did we give up?? No!! We braved the rain and walked together in our rain gear, half drenched into Hollywood Studios. We figured the ride that made the most sense to start with in the rain was Rockin’ Rollercoaster, an indoor ride where most of the wait was covered. But, just our luck – it was broken down too! Two for two on missing important rides. As a back-up plan, we headed next door to the outdoor, hour-long wait for Tower of Terror – which was still running in the rain. So there we were, four people huddled under Reid’s tiny UT umbrella for an hour, trying not to be soaked and enjoying our last time together in the park. This could have been the worst hour of our lives, but when you have allergies, you’re used to putting up with disappointments, and when you’re with your three best friends, time spent huddled under an umbrella becomes a memory to last a lifetime. We made it to the front of the line, and stepped on to the elevator for Eli’s first time on the most terrifying ride at Disney World. It was awful. I hate Tower of Terror. But we had fun screaming and holding on to each other for dear life anyway. And after we had ridden it and survived, we decided to check once more on Rockin’ Rollercoaster, and surprise!! It was open again! We quickly joined the single-rider line, and in no time we were on our way to the Aerosmith concert. Two parks done!
The rain had slowed down at this point to a drizzle, so we headed over to Epcot, checking the wait times for the various rides. Soarin’, my personal favorite was over an hour, as usual, so we decided to skip that one and start with some of the shorter lines. First up – Spaceship Earth! For those of you who don’t know, that’s the main ride at Epcot, the one inside the iconic globe. The line for this ride was actually longer than usual – a whopping ten minutes! – but we endured the wait, and enjoyed the ten minute tour of Earth history given by Judi Dench. When we arrived back in the present, we surveyed the rides left in the park, and chose a ride that none of us had been on: Journey into the Imagination with Figment. It’s lead by a dragon, gives you a tour of the mind, and has a very catchy song. It was enjoyable, but a ride that you go on to escape the heat, not for a thrill. If you’re a Disney Cast Member you must experience it at least once. But you could also survive very well without going on it.
At this point in the day, we were cold and tired, so to get a pick-me-up we stopped in (drum roll) Starbucks! We might be white girls. But we were caffeinated white girls, and that’s what matters. So coffee in hand, we got in Kathy and drove to the final, and greatest park at Disney World, Magic Kingdom! It was still drizzling, so rather than wait around for the Electrical Parade, we headed over to Tomorrowland to finish out our day of necessary-but-not-thrilling rides, and sat on the Carousel of Progress. One of Walt Disney’s favorite rides, you sit in a theatre that literally moves in a circle around the stage, and watch an animatronic show about the advances in technology over the past century. It’s as fun as it sounds, and also has a catchy song. That show completed, to get the song out of our head, we went over to The Incredible’s Dance Party, and jammed out to Taylor Swift in the rain. The Incredibles weren’t there (wouldn’t want to get their supersuits wet), but our dance moves were definitely incredible enough to compensate. As if our dance party didn’t cause enough laughs, we decided to enjoy a few more laughs and go to the Laugh Floor! Mike Wazowski from Monster’s Inc. hosts a show for Disney guests that comprises of several Monster Comedians telling jokes about the audience. Certain members of Allergy Pride might have been placed on the screen multiple times. It was hilarious.
Following that, we discovered that the Electrical Parade was just happening, about an hour late, and Wishes and Celebrate the Magic were both delayed. With all the extra time on our hands, we rode the final ride at Magic Kingdom that I hadn’t been on, but wanted to go on – Stitch’s Great Escape. This ride lets you become a part of the beginning of Lilo and Stitch, when Stitch escapes from custody. He runs around, spits on the audience (directly on me, actually), and jumps on your seat. After he escapes the room he heads straight to Florida. So, if you’re heading to Disney World anytime soon, watch out for Stitch. He’s probably running around causing chaos. However, rather than taking time out of our day to help the search for Stitch, we decided it was time for Wishes! We exited Tommorland and headed over to Main Street USA for prime viewing of the fireworks. I know I heard the music every single night at work, but somehow every time I heard it, I still was brought to tears; especially when the fireworks were exploding right in front of me.
Thirteen minutes later, full of feels, we quickly ran away after the fireworks ended to ride our final attraction of the day: Space Mountain! It was a 45 minute wait (short, for Space Mountain), and when we got on the ride, the lights were on! Usually when you space travel, it’s pitch-black, and all you can see is the stars, but this time, the track was completely visible in front of us, and believe it or not, you are very close to hitting the track at several moments in the ride! That was the second time I have ridden the ride with the lights on, and I honestly can’t decide if it’s more thrilling with or without them.
Finally, I knew I wanted to end my last time playing in the parks with Dole Whip. Pineapple-y and delicious, I was so desperate for this dessert that I dragged Reid, half sprinting with me from Tommorowland to Adventureland to make sure I had this magical moment. And magical it was. At the end of the day, if there are ingredients for food left at the food stands, the Cast Members must either throw them away, or give them to guests for free! So, not only did I get my Dole Whip, but Allergy Pride got Dole Whip floats “on the mouse!” Desserts in hand, and grinning faces, we headed over to the Emporium, our little home on Main Street, and said good-bye to some of our friends who were working their final shift of their college program before going home. It was hard, and sad, but I am so glad that I got to know so many great people during my time at Disney World.