Friday, January 9, 2015

#23 - Mickey's PhilharMagic

Category: Shows
Category Rank: 1

Park: Magic Kingdom
Park Rank: 9

We hit the top nostalgic show within Disney World.  This comes with a couple of caveats, of course.  The top shows within WDW all qualify as thrills (Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo: The Musical, the stunt shows, Illuminations, Fantasmic, Celebrate the Magic, and Wishes).  And, there are other items that are "show-like" that fall under different categories (like the Carousel of Progress or the parades).

Regardless, PhilharMagic is an excellent show, utilizing the 4D technology we looked at earlier.  The show features many classic tunes from movies, such as "A Whole New World" and "Be Our Guest" just to name a couple.  The story follows Donald Duck, who is attempting to set up the orchestra for Mickey, the conductor.  He utilizes the sorcerer's hat to "enchant" the orchestra instruments to come alive, where they immediately get out of hand, causing him to lose the sorcerer's hat.  In the process of retrieving it, he wanders through different scenes of different movies, singing their popular songs, until the end where Mickey recovers the hat and conducts the finale of the orchestra.

The use of classic characters, scenes from movies, and music all make this show perfect for the Magic Kingdom.  Given the composition of the movie, I suggest this one to be much more memorable and nostalgic than the other 4D shows within the world.  Actually, not only the 4D shows, but also other shows like the Laugh Floor or the Tiki Room.  Plus, this show outpaces other nostalgic rides within Magic Kingdom that we just looked at.  Indeed, while #23 might not seem that high up on the list, it sits on the precipice; the list takes a dramatic change at #21 towards items that are mostly nostalgic because of what they mean to our family more so than the general public at large.

That last thought makes this next statement a bit ironic.  PhilharMagic actually does have a valuable place in the Abbey Disney experience which buoys the ranking a bit.  I'm going to refer to it as the "First Day Effect".

Our first day at WDW as a family was December 23, 2009.  It happened to be Hannah's 4th birthday, and while the day was pretty cold (high was high 50s), the Minneapolis we left from was below zero.  Needless to say, our first trip was so magical that we have made it an annual occurrence since then, taking grandparents along the way, and even seeing Kristen and I go there for our "romantic getaway".  I'm going to attribute a lot of this magic happening on that very first day.

We arrived in Orlando at 12:30, checked into the Port Orleans Riverside, and made it over to the Magic Kingdom at about 2:30.  From there, we ate at a restaurant (that will be pretty high on this list), and went to several attractions.  It happened to be an Extra Magic Hours night, so even though we woke up at 4:00 am, we ended up staying at the park until 1:00.

This first day was an unbelievable day for our family.  Hands down, it was our best day ever at Disney.  Everything was new and wondrous, and the Team Members were all so helpful and happy to be there.  Each one of us were having so much fun without any stress, or fighting.  I truly cannot remember another day like that... certainly none on vacation.  And, yes, a week of being together helped create some times where we got on each other's nerves a bit, it still was a rarity for the week.  We just had fun there.

The items we did and experienced on that first day are therefore extra significant to our family and will always stand out.  We happened to visit the "left side" of Magic Kingdom, not really going into Tomorrowland at all.  And even today, we tend to like the items on the left side more than the right.

Wheezy is Two Steps from Hades.  That's an inside joke just for our family.
I've labeled out the items that I consider "First Day Attractions", that have extra significance because of that first day.  PhilharMagic happened to be one of those events.  I can still remember Hannah sitting on my lap for that show, enjoying the food coming out to her during the Be Our Guest scene.  Hannah's too old to sit on my lap anymore (regardless what she says), so it is memories like those that persevere.

We are going to hit one last attraction in this general area that we have been in, before we begin hitting the attractions that have extra significance to our family (be them favorite places to eat, places to shop, or special activities to do).  Our next attraction is another one that will probably be on everyone's list, and typically higher than a #22 ranking.  It is another classic attraction that debuted at the 1964 World's Fair, but unlike Carousel of Progress, this one is much more famous.  Though to some, the song is much more annoying.

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