Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Magic Kingdom: The Adventures of Winnie The Pooh

I'm still covering our first day at Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom and there will be one more yet to come to finish it. And then (wait for it...) another day in Magic Kingdom, because we only covered half of it!

Today's entry is pretty much all about the Winnie The Pooh ride. Don't expect too many photos of the ride itself, because I feel that would be unfair to Disney, though I'm sure there are plenty of pix to be found on a Google search. I'll limit myself to just one near the end and a zoom of the same photo.

We had no Fast Pass for this ride and the queue was going to be 60 minutes. This article takes a look at how well Disney handle their queue (or line) for this ride. At the start of the queue there is the tiny doorway to Pooh's house. It is small enough for children to enter without hindrance from adults... Inside is a little room with honey pots and Pooh's furniture.

More honey pots are stacked outside. The red tags next to Grace are given to random guests joining the line and are collected when they reach the ride proper. The interval between gives the ride operators the length of time to display for the queue. We saw times of 70-90 minutes for some of the big rides - whether it's worth that time shuffling forward for a 2 minute ride is up to you. For rides aimed at children though, the queue itself can be quite entertaining.

Here along the path of the queue is the house of sticks that is Eeyore's house. Again adults enter at their own peril!

Grace emerges unscathed. (It was on a subsequent visit to the ride that she bumped her head on Pooh's front door...)

And next is the see-saw pump. Gophers appear from under the vegetable plot!

Melons and pumpkins act as bongo drums! The kids loved this bit. So did some adults if there were no kids about... After ten minutes or quarter of an hour though...

This was a wire cage with lots of red ping pong balls which gathered into various troughs. Turning one of the wheels on each side of the bottom of the cage worked little spring-loaded hammers which shot the balls into the air!

Ok, we are now close to the ride itself. Riders sit in travelling honey pots around a grotto with scenes from the various Disney Pooh films.

Gill, Grace and Eddie were in one honey pot and Miss Franny and I got into the following one. Gill took this pic as we came through the blustery day section of the ride. Let's just take a closer look...

Ah yes... back to childhood...

We came out of the ride and left the EGGs (Edward, Gill and Grace) heading for the teacup ride and we went off to find a more tasteful type of teacup. Please note: tea in America is a wishy-washy affair. They seem to think it dissolves like instant coffee. Either that or they have a morbid fear of boiling water. I never really got to the bottom of it, even after sending one cup of lukewarm water back. The waiter returned with one still several miles away from being actually hot and said "That's as hot as you'll get it without me asking the chef to do it!"

You know what was in my mind don't you, dear reader. "I asked for boiling water - if the chef is the only one able to do it, why the **** did you not ask him???" But stiff upper lip prevailed and I thought it instead of saying it. He was obviously inwardly cursing Brits for a fussy race of beings anyway...

If you ask for tea you get a cardboard cup with water that you could happily dip your finger in without pain and a selection of teabags. The trick is to add at least two tea bags and move them constantly. It will go the right colour eventually but you will by then be able to just glug it down in complete safety.

I had a niggling suspicion by this point that a blister was starting to form on my left foot. I was right as it happened and it didn't stop us much, but it was nice every now and then to have a sit down. We found ourselves back in the shade close by Casey's Corner.

This is close by the spot where street entertainers leave the public area for a rest and to cool off and the marching band were still marching to a drumbeat as they passed our bench and nodded affably to us. The trumpet blowers were by now just blowing with the effort of drawing breath after a spell in the heat of the park!

We had a sit and a talk and then heard the sounds of music. The afternoon parade was about to go past. We'll watch it in the next article.

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