Nine by Noon Contest Entry -
Run Christine Run!
(West Chester, PA)
I personally accomplished the 9-noon challenge as a solo visitor in February of last year, so I know it’s possible! Follow this game plan and I swear you won’t regret it!
Wake up bright and early, grab a muffin to eat on the bus, and arrive in the Magic Kingdom by 8:45 a.m. If you're a single visitor like me, you won't have any trouble excusing yourself to the front of that line (pointing to some random tall guy holding a child at the front of the ropes and saying "Pardon me, I'm with them!" to anyone you scoot past will work just fine). Watch the opening ceremony and sing along. As you count down to opening with everyone else, give your feet a good pep talk for what you are about to subject them to.
Walk, don't run, down Main Street. Feel your adrenaline pumping as you spot mothers speed-walking towards the castle while fathers unsuccessfully try to keep up as they wheel over-sized strollers carrying screaming children. Cut through the Tomorrowland Terrace restaurant outdoor seating and use the privacy to jog towards Space Mountain. If you've timed it correctly, you will be one of the first people to ride Space Mountain.
Hopefully you won't see this sign
Photo by Don Sulllivan
After surviving the twists and turns of Space Mountain first thing in the morning, ride Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. Don’t get disoriented by the psychedelic colors and shoot anything that moves. Shrug off your final score, knowing full well if you were competing against someone else, your score would be the stuff of legends.
It's around 9:30 a.m. now, so it's time for Peter Pan's Flight. It is very important you ride this before 10:00 a.m., for the queue is incredibly tedious. Discreetly hold up one finger to the attendant and ignore his condescending grin as you, a grown woman, climb into your colorful ship and stick your tongue out at the impatient children and judging parents still waiting on line. Enjoy floating through Never-Land.
After quietly lamenting the fact that the Peter Pan ride is so short, double-back and enjoy a rest at Mickey's Philharmagic, an air-conditioned musical extravaganza. Foolishly look behind you every time you hear Donald Duck's voice. After falling for it once, proceed to fall for it a dozen more times, trusting that the children in front of you must be looking back for a significant reason.
All together now ...
Photo by Jeff_B.
If you've hustled to each ride, it still should only be a few minutes after 10:00 a.m. Walk quickly towards Liberty Square, grinning widely as you decide you don't have to ride It's a Small World after all! Allow yourself to saunter through the cemetery queue of the Haunted Mansion and once inside, strategically choose the side of the enclosed circular hall that you recall opens up at the end of the introduction. Kick yourself when you realize you chose the wrong side. Spread out in the large seat that is all your own and immerse yourself in the spooky goodness that is the Haunted Mansion.
As you leave the Haunted Mansion, you may start to have a panic attack. After all, it is getting late and people have surely visited Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain by now! You are behind! You must hurry! Fret not. This is what we’ve prepared for. Make your way, quickly, but not so fast that your legs give out, towards Frontierland. Enjoy the sight of the Liberty Square Riverboat riding leisurely on the water and take a moment to frown at the Hall of Presidents and the Tom Sawyer pavilion, which you have always meant to visit but which will never, ever fit into your Magic Kingdom game plan.
Once in Frontierland, stand between Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Which do you choose? A long, slow canoe through animatronic animals of which the end might be a drop into dirty water or a fun, twisting roller coaster that makes you scream for joy? No contest. You make your way to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, lift your arms in the air, and hoot and holler in appreciation of its wonderful design.
By now, you are probably tired but there is no time to waste. Hightail it (Who are we kidding? Saunter) towards Adventureland. Ignore your achy feet and push yourself towards Pirates of the Caribbean. Take advantage of the slow boat ride to rest and catch your breath.
You have a little over 30 minutes and two rides left. Here's where making the right decision comes into play. You could choose the Jungle Cruise and Swiss Family Treehouse, but the Jungle Cruise's jokes are so lame and though you love the Swiss Family Robinson movie, your legs can't take the climb. So instead, make your way towards Tomorrowland, where Monsters Inc and the Carousel of Progress await you. Considering the Carousel of Progress has the least wait and more comfortable seating, you choose this one and allow yourself to be brought back in time to experience the life of a guy who has a mustache and loves to chat.
The slow ride with a view
Photo by Jeff_B.
Rounding out any Magic Kingdom trip is the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover. Never any wait, you ascend the escalator and enjoy a leisurely ride around the park and a voyeristic path through diaromas of Magic Kingdom attractions. Sneak a peek at people ascending the long incline of Space Mountain. Feel grateful that you tackled that ride first and can now enjoy a rest.
It's noon and you've done it! 9 rides in 3 hours and without even breaking a sweat (let me take that back. It is hot in Florida). Grab a bite to eat somewhere (Cosmic Ray's is a good choice), or better yet, take the monorail, boat, or bus back to your hotel and enjoy your meal in the comfort of your hotel restaurant. Then relax by the pool, knowing full well you have seen Magic Kingdom in all its glory.
Dad's Bottom Line
Great plan Christina. It might just work. Come on over and get your entry in to the Nine by Noon Contest