Hi, and Welcome to the Walt Disney World Top Must Sees, a new weekly photo blog I will be doing for the Disney Driven Life. This countdown will focus on the top things that I enjoy about Walt Disney World, and will be written in the spirit of the great “Top 7 Must Sees,” which means that my blog posts will be filled with excitement, and quite possibly, corny catch-phrases.
In sharing my Must Sees, I will present an image each week illustrative of the theme. As a Neurotic Disney Person who spends a great deal of time photographing Walt Disney World, I think I have a unique perspective on the parks that others may miss (and I don’t mean because I only see the parks through a viewfinder!). Enough prefacing of the blog; let’s get it started!
Early to rise? Why not head over to the Magic Kingdom, where you can participate in the “E-Ticket Dash” each morning at the park’s Rope Drop! Just be sure to wear a helmet…
The Welcome Show ends, and the turnstiles begin flowing. You insert your ticket, press your thumb to the biometric scanner. Nothing. You quickly insert your ticket again, mindful of the individuals to your left and right who are slowly trickling in before you. Bingo. As you walk briskly onto Main Street, you hear the area music, and see the beautiful Castle looming in the distance. You get chills. You stop briefly to take it all in, smelling that sweet magic in the air. As you snap a couple of photos, you realize you must hurry along if you want to be there first. Stiff-arm that tall lanky dog (“Aww, Schucks” he says as you speed past him).
The other “dashers” are heading the same way as you. Luckily, you’ve been training for this all summer, and are in peak Disney-shape. You do two hours of cardio daily at the gym while studying TouringPlans and quizzing yourself over the best routes through the park. At this point, you could make your way from the front entrance to Splash Mountain with your eyes closed. Juke to the left past a dad frantically pushing a stroller, yelling “WHERE IS DUMBO?!” You’re in the clear. As you distance yourself from the bulk of the crowds, you enter Frontierland. Dart to the right, where you enter the boardwalk. Don’t walk too quickly now, the planks are still damp from last night’s powerwash. Now you see no other guests, and only a few Cast Members. Your heart rate rises even further, as you soak in the atmosphere together. Then you look up seeing the Twin Peaks of Frontierland as you hear the delightful instrumental twang of Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah play in the background music. You’ve arrived. Now, which to ride first?!
Such are the typical thoughts racing through our heads when my wife and I enter the Magic Kingdom on a typical morning (well, perhaps with just a smidge of dramatic embellishment). One of our Top Must Dos is starting out the morning in Frontierland after after racing through the crowds at rope drop. There is something about that soft golden sunlight hitting the weathered wood of the attractions and refelcting off of the Rivers of America that makes for just the right atmosphere. Couple that with the deserted planks of the outer pathway that typify the Frontier (if desolateness fits any land well, it would be Frontierland), and you have a setting that becomes an attraction in-and-of itself. The Magic Kingdom definitely has the best atmosphere at rope drop, and for those reasons described above, Frontierland is our favorite place to be right as the park opens. It’s an experience that has few rivals, and one we always look forward to greatly!
Contributed by: Tom B. (NDH#25). Tom is our resident “must see” expert.