I won’t lie. Despite all the planning and research, there are times when you’re going to do something you’re going to regret. In Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, at around 2:30, we made our worst decision.
Much to our surprise, the weather remained spectacularly nice, if hot and humid. The forecast for thundershowers and lightning had been wrong.
So, we decided to do the Big Thunder Mountain Railway.
Ok, it made sense on paper.
We had a Fastpass for Splash Mountain at 2:45, but we could arrive as late as 3:45 (or 4, since the app told us we could be 15 min late and STILL be fine), it looked like a lot of fun, and the line-up would be inside, out of the sun.
Sure, the wait time was 90 min, but that meant that we’d finish it about 3:30.
Plenty of time to walk 3 min to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, right? Plenty of time.
So we got into the line.
The reality was slightly different. Yes, the line-up was out of the sun, but not quite indoors as the heat filled the open-sided building, making it feel like I was having menopausal hot flashes for a full 90 min. No fans rattled inside. No A/C. It was hot. Humid. We went through all our water.
Like cattle, we shuffled along, and it didn’t matter that Disney World had a ton of neat things to look at in the line. It was hell. People smelled. Likely I smelled. Very few people, including us, looked all happy and full of love for this experience.
Plus, it took more than 90 min, so as the time ticked past 3:30, and we still had a ways to go, I began to stress. We were in danger of missing Splash Mountain.
But what do we do now?
I mean, we’d waited and suffered 90 min in line, but do we leave to go to our Fastpass ride? Do we make our way back THROUGH the line (the wrong way) to leave?
Or do we hope the line moves fast enough for us to get through in time?
We chose the latter, and as the line slowly snaked forward, I really began to worry. 3:40. 3:45. 3:50! But then, we got on the ride.
It was fast, exciting and fun, but I actually willed it to be faster – We needed to get off and get to our next ride.
Luckily, we did. Despite sore feet and heat exhaustion, we made it to Splash Mountain. With our Fastpass, we raced past the sweaty, hot, angry people waiting 2 hours in line for this ride, and got on.
We’d done it!
Splash Mountain didn’t disappoint, (though The-Youngest didn’t get wet as much as he had wanted to).
But the Big Thunder Mountain Railway had cost us more than a ton of time, about 30lbs of sweat, and all our water – It had sapped our love for Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. The magic was gone.
As we made our way through the massive crowds back to our resort, we vowed that we’d do better.
Here’s what we learned.
- Morning was good. Less crowds in the morning meant less time in line-ups.
- Heat was bad. No, really bad. We’re from the West Coast of Canada so we’re not used to that heat and humidity. It saps your will to live. It saps the fun. We had to find a way to avoid that heat.
- Going from 8am to about 6pm had totally exhausted us. Sure, the heat and crowds played their part, but even The-Youngest, our energizer bunny, chose to go back to the resort rather than go on other rides in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. That’s gotta tell you something.
So, after lying on our beds in an air-conditioned room, we came up with a new plan for day 3, The Animal Kingdom, a plan so cunning, it couldn’t possibly fail, right?