This week on Wandering in Disney, Darrell (of the Wandering in Disney Podcast and guest posting fame) is taking over. Well, mostly taking over. Along with some of our usual content, Darrell is going to have a post each day about one Disney Parks thing or another. I may be your fearless leader but I am scared about what’s to come. Fate comes for us all though so without further ado, here’s Darrell.
I like doing silly things. This week’s takeover is kind of silly. That is mainly why I am doing it. On my personal site I am attempting to beat over 300 Nintendo games. So while planning my trip to Disney I thought it would be fun to try and ride every attraction at Magic Kingdom. My wife and I were pretty set on this until I used the internet to see if anyone else has tried this. The Parkeology Challenge is what I found. This is a challenge that has you attempt to ride every ride at Walt Disney World. In total that is 50 attractions (actually 48 because the Railroad and Primeval Whirl were closed.) We signed up, looked at previous attempts, picked the day with the best hours and made a game plan. For this post I will go over our attempt at the Parkeology challenge.
On this day we got up around 6:30 and went out for a quick breakfast, not knowing how much food we would be eating that day. We then waited for the bus to get to Magic Kingdom with plenty of time before the park opened at 9 AM. Due to an early event happening at the park. They let us in right away. Honestly, we wanted to start the day in Hollywood Studios, that being the hardest park because of all of the long lines. The official rules of the challenge though make you ride the Main Street Vehicles which, according to the website, are open from 9 AM to 10:15 AM. A very short window. So we started our adventure here. During our wait for rope drop we noticed the MSV were already going. So we rode them. One ride down. We waited for our next ride to open, being the Riverboat (which opened at 9:30) and the rafts to Tom Sawyer Island (which started to transport people beginning at 11) before we headed to our next park. During that time we rode Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain, the PeopleMover and the Carousel of Progress. We had a whopping 7 rides in only two hours.
After that we headed to Animal Kingdom. We waited for the bus, and waited and waited. I really didn’t want to spend money on a rental or an Uber during this attempt, but next time it might be a necessity. We waited in the loading zone for way too long as an older couple complained about how much better Universal was at Christmas decorations and made weird racists comments about their Asian friend. It was the first low point of the day. The bus took so long that the next time we got on a ride was 12:30, that being Kali River Rapids. It was a tough time. We thought that about three hours in each park would get us to victory and we were a half hour behind. After that we used our first Fastpass for Flight of Passage. It also happened to be the first time we went on the ride. It was early enough in the run to not be over stressed and we actually got to enjoy it. We knew we needed a lot of luck to win this challenge and after coming out of Flight of Passage we saw the ground was wet from falling water. We thought it was raining and people would start leaving. We were very humored to find it was just wind affecting the waterfall in Pandora. After that we found ourselves in a slump. Na’vi River Journey was a 55 minute wait, the best it had been all day. So we reluctantly got in the line. This had two moments of hope for our strange journey. The line contained some food you could purchase. We got so hungry, but we didn’t want to stop so this was a nice convenience. The second thing that made things look hopeful was that the “55 minute wait” only took about 25 minutes to get through. Things were looking up. We rode everything we needed to. Unfortunately, the bus did put us behind and by the time we got in line for our last ride it was already 3, the time we needed to leave by. The last ride we needed to do was Kilimanjaro Safaris, which also had about a 50 minute wait. Unlike last time though this took about that long. This is one of my favorite rides. It really seems like a safari. A dream of mine is for an animal to walk next to or, even better, walk in front of the vehicle. Somehow, someway this finally happened. A giraffe literally walked in front of the car and then stopped. The one time I did not want it to happen, it did. In retrospect, it was a huge highlight, but in the moment I was filled with stress. My wife was laughing at the situation immediately, while I rubbed my forehead in anguish. We had to stop for another giraffe and a couple of rhinos fussing. The actual ride took over 30 minutes. Any other day, this would be a dream, here it was our downfall.
We left Animal Kingdom, broken. Hoping Epcot would be kind to us. About an hour and a half after getting on Kilimanjaro Safaris we entered our next ride, Soarin’. Luckily it only took a couple hours to complete this park, only waiting about 15 minutes tops before we rode our last ride there, Frozen Ever After. Yeah, Epcot is easy. If you couldn’t tell already, we did not complete the challenge. I think the real strategy here is doing Epcot last. On Tuesdays it is open until 11. It’s odd because the rides usually have no waits anyhow. I will take this moment to give great praise to my very claustrophobic wife. She hates Mission: Space for this very reason and freaks out just thinking about it. Even though we knew we were not going to win, she still rode this ride so we could complete Epcot. She freaked out the entire time and I am very proud of her. Anyways we entered the Frozen ride at about 8:15. This was our ultimate defeat. We knew after this Hollywood Studios was out. We never made it there, luck was not on our side (or park times) but that was okay.
We left Epcot and headed back to Magic Kingdom to get as much done as we could. At 9:30 we rode our 25th ride Splash Mountain. We got off that and rode Pirates next. By then it was 10. We rode two rides in an hour. It was tough at this point. We were tired, our legs hurt and we were starving. So, to make ourselves feel better we rode the rides that had low wait times. By 11 we rode Mermaid, Dumbo, Barnstormer, Tea Cups, Speedway and Buzz Lightyear. After that we waited way too long for Space Mountain. We gave up on winning Magic Kingdom. It was okay, we were still proud. So we rode Space and went to Astro Orbiters. We went there because we had never ridden it before. It was nice. We saw a lot of Magic Kingdom, the announcer said it was the highest point there. It was a wonderful view. We got off barely making it on and off the attraction because our legs hurt so much. After that we realized that if we didn’t get food then we wouldn’t eat until the next morning (I wish we knew this then, but Cpt. Cook’s at the Polynisian was open until 1:30 AM) With twelve minutes left we stepped in to Casey’s Corner and got an average hot dog. We got our picture in front of the castle, exhausted. One of us holding up a three, the other a four. We made it to 34. We’ll be back, maybe not to win, but certainly to beat our record.
Have you tried to complete all of the rides in one day? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney! If you enjoy what you’re reading then please subscribe to the blog via WordPress and email. You can also like our social media pages. Links to all of those are on the right side of the page. Have a great day!