Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring Break Day 3 Magic Kingdom Trip Report

Okay, I am back with day three of our spring break trip report! We had Magic Kingdom on our docket this day and we were up bright and early to attempt to get there for rope drop and be in the park right when it opened. Our resort was just about 15 minutes away off of I-drive but it took us about an hour to get from the door of our condo to the door of the Magic Kingdom with parking, walking, monorails, bag check and tickets. 


Here is our plan for today: 


Since were not staying onsite at a Disney resort, I was only able to book my fastpasses 30 days before our trip. I did stay up until midnight on the day our booking window opened to try and get the times I wanted and I was happy to get at fastpass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train even if it was at a bit later time than I wanted. It actually ended up working out really well as we could hit it right after the parade and then leave for a break after that before it got too crazy in the park. 


Our schedule (above). We didn't leave our resort until 7:45 and ended up pulling in *right* as the opening show was starting. Any later and we would have missed it! Definitely plan for extra time in the mornings at Magic Kingdom. We stayed pretty much on track with our plan, although we skipped Astro Orbiter and fit a ton more stuff in before our Enchanted Tales fastpass at 12:10. 


On the monorail! They were not moving quickly this morning and this was definitely foreshadowing for our experience later this evening. 


However, we did see the characters ready for the opening show waiting on the train as we sped past on the monorail! It is always such a fun surprise and they all waved to us! 


The above shot I took while we were on the monorail and the below one is when we were finally through the bag check and ticket line. I also got selected for extra security measures (yay me, I must look like a creepster) so that took about 7 minutes. 



Here comes the train!

The opening show is so awesome and it is one of my favorite things. The first time we saw it on our trip 10 years ago, it was a total surprise and now I try to make it a point to see it when we are at Magic Kingdom. It is a great way to start your day! 



Family that shades together, stays together. As you can see, we were just inside the ticket tapstiles when the show started. 


Look who we saw coming down from the train station as we were entering the park! 




We headed down main street and took a right at the Plaza restaurant and cut through the Tomorrowland Terrance Restaurant because we were going to Tomorrowland! 


Space Mountain was first on our list for the day! 

You do have to be a bit taller to ride this one and so this was the first time Michael was able to do it. We were excited! There was a bit of a line already and I think we waited about 15 minutes. The time stamp on my photopass is 9:12 a.m. so not too shabby, especially since visiting it first thing saved a fastpass and waits are easily over an hour later in the day. 



Michael thought it was awesome and thought it was cool going into "hyperspace". It was more wild than I remembered! 



All smiles from my brave boy (s) ! 


Next up was Buzz Lightyear! 



Scott won - easily beating me by 100,000 points. I was having fun spinning around and pretending to shoot Michael! 


I tried to plan our day so we could do attractions in order of the way we were walking instead of criss crossing all around the park. So next up was Tomorrowland Speedway, on our way from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland. We did use a fastpass on this one and even though it was early, I think it saved us some time as this is a hot and sunny wait and seems long no matter what. 




I actually hadn't done this one before so I was surprised at how much fun it is! It is a scenic little drive and I felt cool in my own car. 





Stinker! Michael loved it. 

Up next was Teacups- a walk on this early in the day. 


Michael, giving me the middle finger salute in the above photo. :o) I think he was pretending to be a dinosaur so it only looks bad- not intentional! 




We escaped without too much spinning and waved to Alice who was meeting outside afterwards! 


Dumbo was next and Michael was so excited to play in the playplace because we didn't get to last time (it was a walk on). Well bad news- it was closed this early in the day! :o( He was so disappointed but we did come back here later for just playtime and he was happy to play in the place he remembered so well. 



Barnstormer was next and we even convinced Grandma and Grandpa to come with us! 


"This is the face I made on Space Mountain!". 



Here we go! 


Since we were in the area, Michael did a quick lap through the sprayground after using the nice restrooms back here. 


There he goes! 


Under the sea was next- we love this queue! 




Michael kept telling us that if we got hungry or needed a break, we could go to Gaston's and get a snack. He told us this several times- I think because he remembers it so well from our previous trip. The inside really looks just like the movie! 



Gaston ain't got nothing on this tough dude! 


Michael was pretty excited to be in here again. He even got the exact same snack he remembered from last time- apples and caramel dip. 


We were way ahead of our schedule and had plenty of time before our 12:10 fastpass for Belle. So we hit up the carousel where we waited just one go around before we were one. 


He was excited, I promise! 


When we got off the carousel, we were just in time for this cute little show by the Sword in the Stone where these two characters were trying to find someone who could pull it out and this little girl actually did!! I had never seen it come out of the stone before!! 


Michael, however, was not so lucky. :o) 


We walked back to Storybook circus where Michael played in the Dumbo playground for a bit and then we hopped on the train for a ride around the park. This is such a fun thing to do and a good rest.


We spied Woody and Jessie!


When we got back to the station, it was about 12:30 and we figured we'd do our Enchanted Tales with Belle fastpass and be done by 1:00, which is when our lunch was at Be Our Guest (right next door). Again I was trying to minimize walking and I thought the two experiences paired well together. I feel like the wait for Belle always takes a while and most of it is outdoors so this was a good use of a fastpass. 


Michael was excited to be selected as the barking footstool and Dave was a brave knight (I think they pick the adults who look the least enthusiastic about being there!). 


The show was cute and adorable as always! 


Michael was so funny- he would not hold Belle's hand or give her a hug! Look at his hands stuck in his pockets and Bell trying to hold his hand! 



I think he might be outgrowing visiting princesses but he was excited to meet Belle, I promise! (because they both love to read, he said). 



We headed right next door for lunch at Be Our Guest! 

It is quick service at lunch but you do need a dining reservation. I was happy to snag one as they are easier to get than dinner and I was looking forward to it being a nice mid day break. 



We got to spend a bit of time with the suits of armor as there was a bit of hold up while the restaurants computers were restarting. It was funny to hear them sneeze, snore or whisper things to you! 

We chose the West Wing to dine in- it was so neat! 



Michael absolutely loved it. It was dark and periodically it would thunder loudly and the painting would shift just for a second from the prince to the Beast. It was fun to look at all the details while we were eating- Michael especially loved the magical rose. 

Of course we got the gray stuff. It was delicious. :o) 






We caught a showing of Mickey's Philharmagic before staking out a spot for the parade. We were lucky and walked into the theater as it opened- no waiting! This is such a cute show, especially for those of us who love Disney music! 


I wanted to stay as close to fantasyland as we could for the parade so we weren't squashed in somewhere when trying to get to our mine train fastpass and we found a nice little corner right by Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square. It was right by the bridge between Liberty Square and the Hub and it was a nice spot. I think it might have normally been a sunny spot but today it was overcast so it wasn't too bad. 


Same photo spot: one on my dslr and one on my iphone! 



Even though we literally just ate lunch (with cupcakes), Michael wanted a Mickey bar and I had promised him one yesterday when we couldn't find them at Epcot. Hey-- when in Disney, right? 


Parade time!!






We were really close to the floats and it was neat to see the people up close. It was fun to watch the performers keep on the show as they crossed the bridge, even though there weren't any people until they got to the hub. I love the lost boys! 






Yes, the Malificent dragon is the coolest!!! I was crossing my fingers it would breathe fire as it crossed the bridge and it delivered! I think it normally won't breathe fire when it is close to people- we didn't see it on our last trip so I was excited to see it happen twice in this parade! 





We were right by this nice family who let Micheal squeeze up to the rope by their boys and he got a surprise when Chip and Dale came past! 


The photo is totally blurry but you can make out Michael's smile from Chip and Dale's high five! (Michael said he wrestled him). 


After the parade we headed up the path right by the castle back to fantasyland for our Seven Dwarfs mine train fast pass!! 



We were so excited to finally ride it and it was awesome!!! It was fast, smooth, had cool animatronics, and was so fun. Dave and Margie did not ride it so Scott and Michael used their fastpasses on their tickets to ride it again. I staked out a spot by the wall to catch them in a photo because although we did purchase the memory maker package, we did not have magic bands and this ride will only shoot your photos to you (magically?) if you have a magic band. Luckily there was a man shooting in the spot before me and he gave me some tips-thank you! 




Success! Two times with no wait in a row! Thank you fastpass!

We gathered up Dave and Margie and headed out of the park for a little afternoon break at our condo. We swam, threw in a load of laundry, and then Scott and I got showered up and headed back to the park around 7pm (sans grandparents and Michael). 

I was hoping we would have an awesome evening with less crowds and smooth sailing but it turned out to be kind of a disaster. First of all, when we got back to the Ticket and Transportation center, the monorails were blocked off and they told us to take the ferry. There was a HUGE crowd of people waiting to get on the ferry and it took a long time- probably like 45 minutes. I did say that I wanted to take the ferry on this trip so I guess my wish came true. 


When we got to the park, it was super crowded and wait times were sky high. We knew the nightime parade was starting in a bit and we didn't want to get stuck somewhere so we headed to Adventureland. We thought maybe if we ate supper, the crowds would dissipate after that? So first we tried to Skipper Canteen which had previously been walk up only now only took reservations. Bummer. Then we tried Tortuga tavern, but it was only open for lunch. Finally we made our way back to Pecos Bills which was super busy. We waited in line for like 30 minutes just to order and get our food. Not exactly quick service! It was hot and it seemed like people were cranky. However, once we got our burritos and loaded them up on the super sweet toppings bar (with all the guacomole you could eat!), we found a quiet table and enjoyed our dinner.  

After dinner we stayed in Adventureland and decided to try the Jungle Cruise at night- something we'd never done before! It was a walk on which was a nice surprise. Our skipper was really funny and it was neat doing it at night as it gets pretty dark back there. 



We also did the flying carpets which was fun at night too and no wait! 

It suddenly was like 9:30 so we hiked over to fastasyland to use the Tangled Toilets (so pretty at night) and then get a spot for Wishes behind the castle. Behind the castle is a great spot to watch because you don't have to stake out a spot an hour ahead and it is neat to see the fireworks exploding around you. There are speakers built in to the gates leading to new fantasyland so we could hear the soundtrack well. 


After the show, I checked wait times again and things were still swamped so we hit up the peoplemover in Tomorrowland to relax and see if crowds started moving out. I love the people mover and it was fun to do at night! However, from our highway in the sky we could see the huge lines everywhere- astro orbiter, buzz lightyear, space mountain, even stitch. We finally decided that it seemed like people had at least filtered out of the hub/main street and we would call it a night (I hate getting stuck in the bottleneck of people all trying to leave after fireworks). 


We did catch a special surprise as we cut through the hub- an encore performance of Celebrate the Magic, the castle projection show! Scott had never seen it and thought it was really neat. He loved the Wreck it Ralph part, which I knew he would. It is crazy what they can do with technology these days! 



We even got a special surprise when we got our photo taken! The photographer said, "wait one second" and then she snapped the photo right as the fireworks burst. Neat!


We stopped in the Chapeau (which I had never been in before but loved seeing on "The Middle" when they visited Disney) to get some special souvenirs for Anna and Brynn. While we were waiting we had fun looking around the Confectionary next door but didn't buy anything because the lines were literally...out the door. It was crazy. 
We headed out of the park, disappointed it was still so crowded at 11pm but that was just the beginning. We accidentally left the park before hopping on the express monorail so had to get in line for the resort monorail. The line was huge and no trains were moving yet. We waited, and waited, and waited. Remember how the monorail was down earlier? We should have taken the ferry but it was also a huge crowd of people. At some point, a big family cut in front of a whole bunch of people and people ahead of us got upset and wanted the monorail workers to call for security. People were trying to get the crowd all riled up and I thought it was going to be a riot. Well, they did call security and ended up holding up the monorail in the meantime. All in all, we waited probably 60 minutes to finally get on the monorail (which thankfully left the station right away) and get to the parking lot. There was another mob of people waiting for the trams so we decided just to hoof it to the car. We were tired but it felt good to be doing something, not just standing and waiting. We didn't make it back to the condo until 1 a.m.- TWO HOURS after we left the park. It was crazy. I was almost in tears, I was so tired and frustrated. 
Later, I looked it up on and they said although they predicted crowd levels at Magic Kingdom to be a 7/10, they were actually at 9/10 which explained a lot. It was Saturday and a beautiful day. Despite the evening fiasco (which was mostly the monorails fault), we got a ton of stuff done and most of it was done before noon! 

Did I mention it was daylight savings time and the next morning we had an extra early breakfast reservation? Yes, after just four hours of sleep we were ready to head back to the Magic Kingdom. Stay tuned! 

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