Beginning the Week in the Magic Kingdom

The park opens today at 8 a.m., with “Extra Magic Hours” starting at 7. I arrive onboard the General Joe Potter at 8:53.

These people are on vacation, so they don’t get up in time to arrive any earlier than 9:05.

Many of them are having breakfast with denizens of the Hundred Acre Wood in the Crystal Palace.

As I photograph people who are photographing each other, I pretend not to have noticed that the horse pulling the streetcar is fascinating several guests with an equine urinary performance. Let the memories begin.

At 9:15 a.m., the Muppets are presenting Great Moments in American History in Liberty Square. You can see why, in this photograph, I prefer to come back to take pictures in the afternoon when the sunlight will not be coming from behind them. (But of course I forget to do that.)

Okay. I almost never do this, so pay attention. In the Haunted Mansion today I break my sacred No-Flash-Photography-on-Dark-Rides Rule. (“We spirits are frightfully sensitive to bright lights.”) But the ride has stopped and there are at least four empty doom buggies both ahead of and behind me, so I feel pretty sure I am not spoiling effects for any of my fellow foolish mortals.

Anyway, here is Dick O’Dell, the caretaker of the mansion’s graveyard, quivering in fear as his dog Boney whimpers at the sight of countless grim grinning ghosts.

Touring the Mississippi on the Liberty Belle, we note that although Aunt Polly‘s ham and cheese sandwiches and cold fried chicken are history, her ample porch still offers plenty of shade, tables, and a few rocking chairs.

Among the top things to do in this village are fishing, skinning, washing and cooking.

The spires of Cinderella Castle reach for the sky at 12:11 p.m., as that scorching mixture of perspiration and sunscreen begins to drip into your eyes…

In Tomorrowland, It’s a Small (Watery) World. Of germs. Young guests gather to give and receive as the world turns.

This is how a deserted Main Street USA looks at 1 o’clock in the afternoon.

At 4:30 I’m back on the ferry headed for the Trial & Tribulation Center where I’ll get to wait for several minutes with no overhead protection from the sun for the parking lot tram. (What were they thinking?)

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