Magic Kingdom day 2: Adventure and Frontier

Disney World promenade

We spent most of our first day in Magic Kingdom yesterday around Main Street, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland (with a brief detour into the outskirts of Liberty Square for some funnel cake). But with a late afternoon case of the sore feet and aggravated from one more too-scary roller coaster (yes, my 5 year old son is officially Too Little for roller coasters if he can even be scared by the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train), we hopped on the train and rode it all the way to Frontierland.

It was like being dropped off in a different century. The whole aesthetic of Frontierland seems tied to the same decade that brought us the Berenstain Bears — a nuclear family where the mama wears a bonnet and dad wears overalls and they live in a wood paneled country cabin style tree house. Which is to say, I walked through and instantly felt as though I were back in 1981 during my first visit to the Magic Kingdom. I even had a powerful flash of déjà vu walking from Frontierland into Adventureland. I knew that stretch of Old West street. I had walked it. I had gone to the Country Bears Jamboree in it.

The fact that going around the corner brought you to Aladdin’s Magic Carpet (and a character meet and greet with Jasmine) didn’t dislodge my memories—these attractions sit cheek by jowl next to the Enchanted Tiki Room and still are around the corner from the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. If Tomorrowland has received a big grafting of 21st century product, Tomorrowland and Adventureland felt something like 90% pristine.

Which is interesting to me. I think the original theory of these two lands was that they would be the “boy” lands while Fantasyland and Main Street would be the “girl” lands. But today’s kids have never heard the theme song to “Davy Crockett” (which was, to my surprise, playing on the bus to the park yesterday morning). There are no free range outdoorsman or cowboy kids any more. So what explains the enduring power of these attractions?

I guess the difference between Tomorrowland and Frontierland is that, when it was built, we still thought that there was more Tomorrow to be discovered. But the frontier celebrated by Frontierland had been largely explored a hundred years before Disney got to it. Frontierland was nostalgia from the beginning, grown into archetype, and now all but into myth.

Missed-a-day-cause-I-was-in-Magic-Kingdom blogging

Yesterday was our first day in the Magic Kingdom’s parks, and of course I didn’t blog.

One of the things this exercise in daily blogging has taught me is the importance of carving out time to write, which is impossible when sharing a room with three other humans, two under the age of 10. So I’m writing this while the kids bounce off the walls.

We learned some important things yesterday at Animal Kingdom:

  1. Timely breakfast is important for everyone’s happiness.
  2. The five year old was not ready for Expedition: Everest or for the time traveling Dinosaur ride.
  3. Neither was his nine year old sister. Or his mom.
  4. In fact, I’m probably the only scary ride aficionado in the family.
  5. Even a nine year old gets tired of chicken nuggets. That doesn’t make her want to try new foods though.
  6. It’s nothing short of a miracle to find good beer in a big amusement park. Thank you, Victory Golden Monkey.

It’ll be interesting to see what today brings.

Travel day

Don’t know that I’ll get much blogging done today, as we are flying far away from the frozen Northeast for a few days at the Magic Kingdom. So far I’ve learned that there are four magic things to help kids wait for a plane:

  1. The promise of lunch
  2. Reading a story, preferably some Roald Dahl (we’re working our way through The B.F.G. at the moment)
  3. Chocolate 
  4. iPads with headphones

More later.