Traveling to Florida in a Pandemic – Part Three – Magic Kingdom

Okay, the Quiet Cruiser has to travel, and travel we did one week in August 2020.  And it was so nice to get out and do something halfway “normal”.  So…what did we do? We went to Florida and DisneyWorld! And here’s what we thought of the “temporary abnormal” at the parks.

Part Three – Magic Kingdom 

Magic Kingdom hours were from 9 am till 7 pm.  Since we didn’t have to worry about getting a pass to Rise of the Resistance this day, we didn’t get there until almost opening time.  Now, we’ve been to Magic Kingdom probably hundreds of times since our first time on our Honeymoon years ago.  And it’s my favorite park ever.  I will never get tired of it.

Again…masks…even in the parking lots

Again, you have to wear your mask anywhere on Disney property, including the parking lot, and they will tell you to put it on if you don’t have it on.  I found that Magic Kingdom was more fussy on this than Hollywood Studios was, although the announcements weren’t quite as frequent and annoying.  Nothing like a “virus” announcement over and over again to take away the magic.  Once you get to the first entrance they take your temperature and you put your items in bins for security and hold your umbrella in front of you if you have one.

The boat to Magic Kingdom

We decided to ride the Ferry over to the Magic Kingdom entrance.  We walked right onto the boat.  Once on there are green circles.  Your family group is supposed to stand on a circle in order to social distance.  As you get off the boat on the other side of the lagoon the bottom deck unloads first, then the top.  There really was no social distancing at this point. 

And walking onto ride after ride!

Once we got into the park I used the system that always works for me.  Down Main Street, and to the left into Adventureland first.  First to Jungle Cruise because the lines to that later are long and hot.  We walked right on.  Then to Pirates of the Caribbean, one of my favorites.  Another walk on.  After that was going to be Splash Mountain but it wasn’t open yet, so we went to Thunder Mountain Railroad.  That took maybe 10 minutes to get onto. After we got off of that, Splash Mountain was open, and it was a walk on. I am going to miss Splash Mountain once they change the theming to Princess and the Frog.  I’m really not all that familiar with that movie, it came out after my kids were grown.  Not likely I’ll ride it after the change.

And I have to say…Cinderella’s Castle has a new paint job, and it is gorgeous!  

Pecos Bill’s for lunch

We had lunch at Pecos Bill’s in Frontierland.  Once again, we used the app to order.  He had a Fajita platter that looked delicious, and I had a Southewest Salad with chicken, which was delicious.  We asked for four glasses of ice water, and they had no trouble with that.  There is indoor seating in the air conditioning.  They have some of the tables blocked off, but there seemed to be enough.

Low crowds

They do have mini cavalcade parades during the day, but since we didn’t spend much time on Main Street, we only saw Tinkerbell.  Country Bear Jamboree was open but it was kind of sad because there were only about 30 people watching.  Good think they’re not real or there would have been some hurt feelings.

Space Mountain was walk on, which is unheard of and also the race cars. The People Mover is not in service right now, but the rockets are.  Also, Carousel of Progress is working. 

It looked like rain so we went into Hall of Presidents for a cool break.  Because it was raining it was more crowded than Country Bear, but they were using every other row, and had only four seats together with four empty seats between.  The nice part of that is that no one tall can sit in front of you and block your view.  When we came out the rain had stopped, and once again the weather was cooler and more pleasant. 

My new favorite Magic Kingdom treat

After that we ran back to Adventureland to get a treat at Aloha Isle, near the Magic Carpet ride.  I had really planned on getting my favorite, a Dole Whip Float, but something new caught my eye.  We both go a Kakamora Float, Coconut soft-serve in Pineapple juice and Blue Curacao Syrup, and garnished with a chocolate cake pop.  And boy, that was good!  So refreshing.  We found a table under a roof, and enjoyed it slowly.  My new favorite!  And the cake pop is delicious also.

Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe for dinner

Dinner was at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café.  This is a fun place to eat because you’ve got an alien “comedy show” as entertainment.  We both got Greek Salad with Chicken.  It was okay, but the chicken breast came whole, and I’d rather it was cut up.  Not my favorite meal in the park, but lighter than the rest of the fare.  And then we went back to Aloha Isle and got my Dole Whip for dessert.  I just couldn’t not have it this trip, and it’s so refreshing. If you’ve never tried Dole Whip, or a Dole Whip Float, you have to next time you’re in the Magic Kingdom!

And what do I think of Disney during a “pandemic”?

So, what’s my view of Magic Kingdom right now during the pandemic?  Wonderful!  Except for the masks, it was more like it used to be before all the other parks came and everything got so crowded.  The last few times I’ve been there before this it’s been wall to wall people.  It was nice to see people, but to be able to move around the park without strollers hitting you in the ankles.  I like that there are no fastpasses, because the waits for rides were so much lower.  We walked onto quite a few rides, and barely stood in line for others.  The crowds were actually higher than I’d thought they’d be, but still it was a great day.

We rode Pirates of the Caribbean three times.  They sit one family in the front row and one in the back row, plenty of distancing.  That makes for a rocky ride though, especially down the small waterfall.  I think that the weight keeps the boat from traveling so rough normally.  We rode Haunted Mansion three times also.  No problem with distancing on that ride, although they seemed to be loading every other car.

If you’re on the fence, and not living in fear, I’d suggest that you go now.  Wear a light mask and get a fan to hang around your neck at a local Kissimee Walmart.  Batteries aren’t included, so buy a four pack.  There is plenty of hand sanitizer everywhere, and lines are social distanced.  Cast members are on the alert for people with their masks down or off and will tell them to fix it.  I believe it’s as safe a place as any, and it’s so nice to get away from this “temporary abnormal” craziness that’s going on everywhere and enjoy a little magic.

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