Leap Day at Walt Disney World – Part 1

a bunch of empty cars going through Splash Mountain

Every screen in the area of Splash Mountain that previews pictures showed completely empty boats. Empty.

In case you missed it, Walt Disney World was open for 24 hours to celebrate leap day. I took that as a personal challenge to stay there the whole time.

Wendy, Marty, and I got to Walt Disney World before the sun came up. First ride of the morning – Splash Mountain. We stood where you can see the boats coming down the drop. Here comes one! Empty. Next one. Empty. Third boat. Empty! That’s right – empty boats, one after another. We walked right onto the Splash Mountain with no wait at all. No one even got in our log when we were getting out.

The morning was so chill. Once Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM) was open, we headed on over there. The feeling was that if the Magic Kingdom was staying open until 6am on Thursday morning, we should take advantage of other parks as much as possible during the regular day.

Originally, I thought “oh, if Disney is open for 24 hours, wouldn’t it be cool if i could try to hit every single ride in every single park?” (I think it’s possible that I just heard a few of you say “HA!” to that preposterous idea. Right on with that reaction, because it is kind of a ridiculous thought.) (Though I do think that it’s maybe possible to make it happen if you have meticulous planning, incredible physical endurance, and luck on your side… this may have to be a real goal for a future leap day… )

Aurora De Lucia playing with the music wall at the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney WorldIt was funny, because in the ghost town that was Magic Kingdom during the early hours, I thought, “wow, you never know. I suppose it maybe could be possible to ride every ride today.” I didn’t even get close. In fact, I didn’t even get close to hitting every ride in the Magic Kingdom alone. (I figured that was going to be the super easy part. In my mind, I’d be hitting rides every 5 minutes starting at about 2am when everyone else cleared out. (And that idea would be completely incorrect. But more on that later.))

Around lunch time, Wendy and Marty headed back to the house to do some work and take naps. I went over to Epcot and kept going strong. (Well, kept going at least.) I visited all of the countries in the World Showcase and got my little coloring teddy bear stamped in each one.

I also went to Journey Into Imagination with Figment. I love that ride! I also adore that area after the ride with all the stuff that asks you to explore your imagination using music and colors and such. One cool thing in there was this huge memory game, stretched out on a wall, involving large panels of colored lights. A stranger ended up coming up and taking the bottom half of the game while I took care of the sequence in the top half of the panels. It was awesome to work together with a random person. We actually did pretty well.

I love anything in Disney that reminds me to keep my mind open and think differently. My favorite things in Walt Disney World by far are those that remind me to dream, or those that teach me something about great dreamers from history. I feel like Disney World can be a pretty inspiring place.

While in Epcot, I absolutely had to hit Caption EO – as well all know, I think it’s pretty much the greatest thing in the world. (I’m pretty sure I could do an entire blog post on the awesomeness Captain EO alone. So for now, I’ll just leave it as “pretty much the greatest thing in the world.”)

After all of that, while Epcot was closing, it was time to go rock Magic Kingdom ‘til the sun came up!

part of the crowd at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World on Leap Day 2012

Only a small part of the crowd

On the monorail, a group of people and I were joking, “wouldn’t it be funny if so many people came out for leap day that the park was at capacity and we couldn’t get back in? Hardy, har, har, har.” The monorail came over the Magic Kingdom. Oh. my. goodness. We literally, audibly gasped. There was a humongous crowd waiting to get in.

We ran down there and were able to get in the park, but it was crazy! At that point I couldn’t even hear myself think,because first off, I had been at Disney World for about 17 hours already, but mainly because there were people everywhere. Every. Where.

Did I survive the final 8 hours? (I probably did since I’m writing this blog.) Definitively find out tomorrow!

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