Sunday, 15 May 2016

More Disney Magic Kingdom, Characters and Costumes

Wednesday 20 April 2016. Continuing our Disney holiday, this is another marathon entry as we continue the tale of our second day in Disney's Magic Kingdom in Florida.

We start this time with a Little Mermaid. Ariel sports a rather more formidable bikini top than her film counterpart and Grace, with the ever-faithful Lambie clutched tightly, shows off her matching hair colour.

Shortly after meeting Ariel in the flesh, we go to see her in the plaster and modelling clay, in Under the Sea, Journey of The Little Mermaid. This is a dark grotto ride with scenes from the film.

There is an effective scene of her treasure trove where the ceiling is a backlit screen showing the sea waves from beneath with a silhouette of Ariel swimming about. The car came to a halt as we passed through the colourful scene for the song "Under The Sea". After a while the figure of Sebastian the crab actually turned and said "Oh, it looks like you've stopped! Don't worry we'll get you going again in no time!". And so they did.

The EGGs (Eddie, Gill and Grace) went off to ride on Dumbo The Flying Elephant and we arrived there after a short detour (man of a certain age you know...) to find there were two such roundabouts next to each other. I took this photo of the wrong one...

And after a period of intense staring which made several riders very uncomfortable, we found they were on the other side, upon which we upped sticks and crossed to the other side of the path to take this blurred photo of them...

Meanwhile they had managed to take this selfie of themselves just before the ride started to whirl them round!

View from a flying elephant... Unlike most rides of this nature each car was joined to the arms by a jointed... er... joint (huh?) so that no matter whether your Dumbo was at the top or at the bottom, he kept an even keel. There we go - flying elephants and sailing ship metaphors... that works...

See! The brown bellows bit! That's what I'm struggling to describe. I saw on one of these blog evaluation sites the other day that some lunatic has valued this blog at over half a million dollars! It will have dropped a couple of hundred thousand after that last photo description... duh...

Lunchtime. We had breakfast with Belle and The Beast so we go downmarket and slurp-a-longa Gaston for our lunch. Lunches were limited in their appeal for us. We had expected to find lots of burger joints but to be honest they were few and far between. There were lots of other concoctions of sugar and sauces with bits of goodness somewhere inside it all, but it was more than my eyes would stand never mind my stomach. We usually got a portion of fruit and a drink and that was plenty. Finding a sandwich was just about impossible other than something that would have fed a family of five...

Miss Franny and I bought a cheese and ham sandwich between us one day and it was in what we would call a roll - 14 inches long or more, three inches diameter, with the entire contents of Cheddar (the village in Devon, UK) and at least two packets of ham slices stuffed into it. The first thing we did was remove three quarters of the ham and the cheese and drop it in a bin. Then I ripped it in half and we had half each. Even then, I could not finish my half.

Lunch over, it's once again Princess Time as we go to meet Rapunzel (greatly relieved since stairs were invented) and Cinderella.

Parade time approaches and we make our way back over to the Liberty Square area to watch it, this being less likely to be swamped by crowds. Before the main Disney parade, a visiting marching band is announced and they solemnly march past in their Mickey Mouse ears.

The start of the actual parade with some wonderful costumes as a set of dancers precede the arrival of the first float. And as an aside, oh for the days when you held your camera to your eye... Modern technology requires you to block the view of everyone else by holding your hands up. On the right a young lady holds up a TV in front of her in order to take a picture...

We are in the Liberty Square area with a backdrop of buildings inspired by the American West of the late 19th century. The first float carries Beauty and The Beast.

Prince Charming slobbers all over the hand of Cinderella on a float that is half garden, half crown and half gift wrapping. That's one and a half floats you're looking at right there...

Anna and Elsa from Frozen have become firm favourites with all who have seen the film. Even I enjoy watching it. [twitch] Down with Prince Hans! Boo! Hiss!

Some of the dancers' costumes are superb. As The Little Mermaid's float draws near, a bit of coral wafts along the path of the parade. Wonderful. Though perhaps a bit much for doing the big shop in Tesco...

And a periwinkle drops a curtsey to Grace - something that has not happened to me in my entire life... It is fairly rare - hard on the mussels apparently...

Tinkerbell takes an instant dislike to somebody. It was probably that woman with the iPad blocking everyone's view... And is it just me or since when did Tink have a wand?

Merida on her float riding a huge set of bagpipes - surely a prospect to make the heart of anyone quail... I've not seen that film - is the tube on those bagpipes concealing a cannon? Does Merida always have a tree growing out of her head?

More colourful dancers - balloons, sceptres with glass (well, plastic...) balls on the end, pink hair and floppy hats - someone has a dream job designing all these things and seeing them come to life! Behind the dancers are Alice, The Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit whilst if you look hard you should be able to spot Snow White and Sleepy the dwarf.

Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio's concience should be ashamed. What will the Blue Fairy think of him? He's lost his little star badge medal she gave him!

We saw Pinocchio the last time I featured the parade from Day One, but here we can see Monstro the Whale properly - apart from the bit blocked by the lady taking photos with her TV... Such a shame that little roller coaster doesn't actually go round the track on top of Monstro's back!

Daisy and Donald try a little tenderness. Donald Duck first appeared in the cartoon short The Wise Little Hen in 1934. He has been very successful as a comic book character and is in fact the most widely published comic book character apart from some Superhero characters. Daisy Duck first appeared in 1940 in the short Mr. Duck Steps Out.

Despite the character of Timothy Q. Mouse on the front of their stand, that blue bit at the left is Monstro's tail, rather than Dumbo's ear. Behind Donald and Daisy are some of the characters from the Dance of The Hours segment of Fantasia.

More dancers accompany some of Mickey and Donald's supporting cast: Chip and Dale, usually written "Chip 'n' Dale" the chipmunks. Their names are a play on the name of the english cabinet maker, Thomas Chippendale. They first appeared in 1943 in the short Private Pluto. Chip is the one with the black nose whilst Dale has a red nose.

Goofy goes back to 1932, appearing in seven cartoons as Dippy Dawg before being renamed Goofy. In 1940 Pinto Colvig who provided Goofy with a voice, left the studio and as an interim measure Goofy appeared in a series of How to... cartoons with a narrator. These proved immensely popular as he caused mayhem showing more how not to do things!

Mickey Mouse appeared in the first talkie cartoon in 1928, Steamboat Willie. He's almost 90 years old now, but shows no signs of slowing down! Minnie also made her debut in Steamboat Willie.

We'll leave this article there. One more article will finish off Day Two and then we'll go somewhere a bit different. EPCOT.

Disney World Holiday Index

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