Thursday was our Magic Kingdom day. We had been told about two behind-the-scenes tour from friends. Backstage Magic is a 7 hour tour that spans across Magic Kingdom, Epcott, and Hollywood Studios. Keys to the Kingdom is a 5 hr tour just at Magic Kingdom. Since we haven't been to Magic Kingdom in over 10 years, we wanted to do the half-day Keys to the Kingdom and then spend the rest of the day at Magic Kingdom.
The Keys to the Kingdom tour is quite good. The tour guide explains the various names written on the windows on Main Street, the history of Walter and Roy Disney, and the history of the company. She also took us on two rides: Jungle Cruise and Haunted Mansion and gave us a lot cool information about the rides and also some of the tricks to create the rides. Then our tour guide took us behind the gates to some of the backstage areas: trash collection, parade float storage, back of Splash Mountain, etc. I can see why this tour is not allowed for anyone under 16 years old (we weren't allowed to take any photos). It definitely brings the stark reality of Magic Kingdom to life. Lastly our tour guide took us into the Utilidors, the underground tunnels below Magic Kingdom. Cast members use the tunnels to move from place to place within Magic Kingdom without disturbing the "theme" of each area (heaven forbid you see a Tomorrow Land cast member in Frontier Land) and basically get the day-to-day business of running a park completed without disturbing the visitors to the park.
After the tour, we took our time walking around Magic Kingdom and just having fun riding the rides and enjoying the entire atmosphere. We did figure out that Universal was so empty because EVERYONE was at Magic Kingdom instead. The place was quite packed with people, but it was still less crowded than the busy seasons. The rides only took about 15-30 minutes total, including Space Mountain. We had a great time at Magic Kingdom, it really is easy to get sucked into the atmosphere.
We spent friday just wandering around Orlando's tourist section. We wanted to take it pretty easy so we caught Clash of the Titans and did some of our Disney shopping then just relaxed at the hotel for the rest of the day.
We had a fantastic time in Florida. It was nice to get away for a week, and I know the dogs also had a great time in their vacation homes. I'm quite surprised they didn't sulk when they got home!