Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Magic Kingdom, Day 2, June 2016

Sometimes we're lucky we get two days at Magic Kingdom.  This trip was one of those times.  I honestly don't remember what fastpasses we had pre-planned here at the 60 day mark, because I know we were changing these after our first day at Magic Kingdom.  I also have to admit that I'm writing this much later than I should have and our fastpass list was crazy this day.  We accumulated 11 fastpasses this day! However, 3 of them became "choice experience" passes after the ride we chose to get a fastpass for broke down during our fastpass return time.  No, these weren't completely free passes like we got Monday night when Jungle Book at Animal Kingdom was canceled, but instead these provided a group of attractions that they deemed as a similar attraction to what we originally had.  I'm pretty sure I know where we used two of these passes, but I don't remember the last one, sorry.

Anyway, the park was open from 9-11 this day with extra magic hours from 8-9 in the morning.

As I've stated on my posts about the last 4 park days, we always try to be at the bus stop, when staying on property, an hour before the park opens. Today was no different, which allowed us to make it to Magic Kingdom in time for the welcome show.

Since today was all about doing things that didn't get done the first day, and of course repeating our favorites, we started the day visiting with Mickey, character #1.  

As we left the theater where Mickey meets, Snow White, character #2 was greeting guest right outside the door so we jumped in line to meet her.  

When we finished meeting Snow White, we headed to Enchanted Tales with Belle, attraction #1.  This was the first time we had ever done this experience.  It was cute and the details were amazing, but Littlecjc might have been a little young.  At the end of the story, everyone that wanted to was able to get their picture taken with Belle, character #3.

After telling our story to Belle, we headed over to Tomorrowland for another first time ride for Patrick and Littlecjc, Astro Orbitor, attraction #2.  

This ride always seems to have a long line, but I think it's just that it's a slow-moving line.  I'm not personally excited by it, but I think Patrick and Littlecjc enjoyed it.  While still in Tomorrowland, we also rode Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, attraction #3.  

After our galactic adventure, Littlecjc got to ride her first big girl coaster The Barnstormer, attraction #4.  I was so excited that she was tall enough for this ride, and she was super excited to ride the "airplane." This was actually one of the attractions we had a fastpass for that broke down during our return time, but I think it started running again quickly and I believe we used our guest choice pass here.

We even got a front row seat for her first ride.

She was nothing but smiles the whole time!  When we got off, Patrick asked her if she put her hands up, and she said "no, I hold on tight" and actually squeezed her fist real tightly, basically shaking.

After riding the Barnstormer, we headed to the Be Our Guest restaurant for our 10:35 reservation.

When we finished our yummy lunch, we headed back to Tomorrowland with fastpasses for Space Mountain, attraction #5 & 6.  I rode first, and by time I got off, Kara & Eric joined us in the park so they rode with Patrick.

Even though we only visited Fantasyland and Tomorrowland so far today, we really did bounce back and forth.  At this point, we headed back to Fantasyland to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, attraction #7 & 8

Once everyone had ridden the ride, we were lucky enough to meet up with some friends that had moved to the area and happened to be in the park that day as well.  We spent some time here just catching up.  We also said goodbye to Kara and Eric who were heading to the coast that evening, and Mamaw and Papaw who headed back to the hotel to rest for a while.  

We must have originally had another fastpass by this time that got changed to guest choice, because I remember hanging out with our friends in front of Winnie the Pooh and that was all Littlecjc wanted to do.  So, Patrick looked and was able to grab a quick fastpass.  We did have a little time to kill, so we decided to ride Mad Tea Party, attraction #9.  After our spin, we headed back to Winnie the Pooh and said goodbye to our friends before using our fastpasses on attraction #10, Winnie the Pooh.  

Now just the three of us, we decided to head to the Storybook Circus area to finally ride the classic Dumbo the Flying Elephant, attraction #11.  If you have little ones in your party, you may actually not want to get fastpasses for this ride, because they have an amazing line experience.  When you enter the big top, they give you a wait buzzer like you would get at a restaurant and you can turn your kids loose to play in the play area while you cool off in the AC.  Just be aware, that they may not want to leave when your buzzer goes off and it's your turn to go fly with Dumbo.

When we left Dumbo, we put Littlecjc in her stroller to cut across the park and she crashed.  When Patrick and I came across Anastasia and Drizella, characters 4 and 5, we decided to stop and get pictures even though Littlecjc was asleep.

Since it was just the three of us at this point and it was our second day at Magic Kingdom, we didn't really feel  the need to get a lot done while little one napped.  So, Patrick and I checked out A Pirate's Adventure - Treasures of the Seven Seas, attraction #12.  This is an interactive treasure hunt, something we've never taken the time to do before but was perfect for something to do while Littlecjc slept.  We started with The King's Ransom, and completed 4 different quest.  Each time you are given a new map, which will lead you to about 5 different spots in Adventureland where something magical will happen only if you find the correct spot.

As always, so many little details that made this activity so much fun.  Even Littlecjc enjoyed the magic once she woke up.  At some point during our pirate adventure, we acquired fastpasses for Pirates of the Caribbean, attraction #13.   As soon as we scanned our bands, we searched for our next fastpasses and were able to grab immediate ones for Magic Carpets with Aladdin, attraction #14.

For dinner this evening, we ate at Columbia Harbour House, and luckily missed out on the short downpour that rolled in.

After dinner, we jumped in line next door at Haunted Mansion, attraction #14.  

At some point during this evening, we were able to pick up fastpasses for Peter Pan's Flight, attraction #15.

Being that this was our last day, we took a little break from rides to meet back up with Mamaw and Papaw who came back to the park to make sure that Littlecjc got some souvenirs.  While shopping at the Emporium, Patrick was able to get fastpasses for Mamaw and Papaw to ride Peter Pan's Flight, attraction #16.  After their flight, Mamaw and Papaw decided to head back to the hotel again, and we decided to head to Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid, attraction #17.  Here's a video of Littlecjc waving to all the fish and Ariel.

If you have little ones that would still be awake at this time of night, I encourage you to hang out in Fantasyland during this time, because you can pretty much walk onto any ride.  After walking onto the Under the Sea ride, we headed to Storybook Circus area again and rode The Barnstormer, attraction #18 and 19.  Littlecjc said again, again.

When we were able to leave the Barnstormer, we headed to Dumbo the Flying Elephant, attraction #20.  We actually got fastpasses for this so that we didn't have to spend time in the play area, but again at this time of night we didn't need to worry about this.  Riding this at night also gives you beautiful views.

After briefly getting stuck up in the air on Dumbo, we walked over to another new favorite and took one last spin on Mad Tea Party, attraction #21.  

Littlecjc was able to play with her new bubblewand while we hung out on the back side of the castle for Wishes.  Since we had already seen the show once this trip, we watched from this angle instead of spending time sitting in front of the castle scouting out a good viewing spot.  

Right as the fireworks were ending, we walked right in to see Anna and Elsa, characters 5 and 7.  

As late as our Dumbo ride, we were still able to pick up fastpasses and it was now time to use them.  We were off to Adventureland for an after dark adventure on Jungle Cruise, attraction #22.  At this point, we made our way back to the front of the park and made a stop at Starbucks.  It was just about 11:00 when as we were finishing, so we sat down right on the curb and watched the Main Street Electrical Parade.  Littlecjc was wide awake taking in every character and float.

This was the perfect way to end our Disney trip.  To recap our day, we used 11 fastpasses helping us get in 22 attractions and 7 characters.  Just look at that face in the picture above.  How can you not start planning your next trip after seeing that face?

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Magic Kingdom Day 1, June 2016

I know not everyone is down for my touring style, but I like to do everything I can while at Disney World. This means I plan some, but leave a lot up to the current lines or more so what attractions have shorter lines.  Of course, no one enjoys standing in line, but for me that means running all over the park and this is what works for me.  I'll explain with the breakdown of our first day at Magic Kingdom for this trip.  We planned for this day by booking our 3 advance fastpasses at the 60 day mark and succeeded in acquiring Splash Mountain (9:25-10:25), Tomorrowland Speedway (11:25-12:25), and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (12:40-1:40.)  I always like to plan my fastpasses early so that I open up the opportunity to get more fastpasses earlier.  I usually try to avoid the first hour the park is open, though, since the lines are always best the first hour the park is open.  On this day, the park was open from 8-11.  I wouldn't always recommend a fastpass for the speedway, but my husband didn't know if he had ever ridden it and I refuse to stand in line for that attraction.  This is something that we will probably continue for a while, since my daughter really enjoyed it.  I will highlight the attractions to help keep track of them and breakdown our day by the hour.

To start our day, we always try to be at the bus stop, if staying on property, an hour before the park opens.  This way, you arrive at the park in time to get through bag check and security before the opening welcome show and follow the mad dash into the park.

First things first, even though I like to run around the park, I still think it's important to take a moment to breathe in the fact that you are in the most magical place on Earth and there is no better way to do this than to get your picture taken in front of Cinderella's castle.

After our picture was taken, we headed straight to Peter Pan's Flight, attraction #1.  As Patrick parked the stroller before meeting us at the start of the line, he noticed that there was hardly any wait at the Princess Fairytale Hall, so when we got off Peter Pan we hurried over to meet Anna and Elsa, characters 1 and 2.

At this point, we got in the classic It's a Small World, attraction #2.  No, this isn't a priority that needs to be done first thing in the morning, but it is a classic, the kids love it, and I definitely don't want to ever wait in line to ride it.  We also got to experience the new goodbye incorporated with the help from our magic bands.

The same goes for attraction #3, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel.  There was no way we were going to walk past that carrousel one more time without taking a ride.  Ironically, she didn't even want to sit on a horse.

While leaving the caroussel, we noticed there still wasn't a line on the other side of the Princess Fairytale Hall, where we met Cinderella and Rapunzel, characters 3 and 4.

We started our 2nd hour on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, attraction #4.  By this point, we did have to wait in a short line, but there are so many interactive activities for little ones to play with that we actually were continually asking LittleCJC to move up.

Cute, right?  We then headed to a ride Patrick didn't think he had ever ridden that became a new family favorite this trip, Mad Tea Party, attraction #5.

This conveniently led us to our next meet and greet, Alice and the Mad Hatter, characters 5 & 6.

By now, we needed to cut across the park to get to splash mountain for our first fastpasses.  We passed The Haunted Mansion, attraction #6, and decided that we had enough time to get this ride in first.

It was now time for us to ride Splash Mountain, attraction #7 & 8, since littlecjc was too small for this ride, we needed to use the rider swap option.  Under the nearby train tracks, there is a nice, shaded, little play area that she took advantage of during this time.

We knew we needed to head back to the other side of the park since our next fastpass was for the speedway, so we thought we would take the Walt Disney World Railroad.  However, as soon as the train pulled up to the station and we walked through the turnstile, they announced that the train was shutting down due to inclement weather approaching. So we decided to take refuge while still moving to the other side of the park.

Therefore, we visited The Hall of Presidents, attraction #9.  We were lucky, and missed the rain all together.  A little off track, we stopped in at Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid, attraction #10.  Finally reaching the destination of our next fastpass, we rode the Tomorrowland Speedway, attraction #11.

Patrick didn't think he had ever ridden this ride, and I don't think I had since I was a kid, but we now know to never sit 3 to a car again.

We spent this hour eating lunch at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe.  We usually try to avoid eating at this time, to avoid the rush, but this is what worked for us this day.

Time for our final pre-planned fastpass, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, attraction #12 & 13.  Again, we had to rider swap, so I'm counting it twice.

As soon as the magic bands were scanned, we were able to get on the My Magic Experience app and get our next fastpasses, Jungle Cruise at 1:20-2:20.  So, off to Adventureland.  The fastpass line was backed up when we arrived, but it was still better than standby as it moved much faster.  Littlecjc fell asleep on the way and snoozed while we waited in line, but decided she couldn't sleep through the ride waking up as soon as we sat down in the boat.

Before we made it through the line we moved into this next hour, bringing us to attraction #14, Jungle Cruise

 Again, while waiting in line, we snagged our next fastpasses, number 5, for Pirates of the Caribbean at 3:05-4:05.  Since we had a little time before we could use them, we decided to ride The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, attraction #15.  

We also decided to get out of the sun for a bit and take advantage of killing time next to one of the most popular Magic Kingdom snacks, the Dole Whip.  We had it in a float, yum!

After our yummy snack, littlecjc decided she needed to walk through the Swiss Family Treehouse, attraction #16

 Once we made it back to ground level, we made our way to Pirates of the Caribbean, attraction #17.  Again, we searched for our next fastpass as soon as we scanned our magic bands.  Heads up, if you don't make a selection quickly here, you'll have to wait until you leave the attraction as you will most likely loose connection in the building.  We decided on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin for 5:10-6:10.  After our adventure with the pirates, littlecjc talked Mamaw into a repeat ride, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, attraction #18.  

Here is the problem with not doing this sooner.  I have no idea what I'm missing, but I'm guessing we did something else here as it does not take an hour to walk back to Fantasyland which is the next time stamp I had in helping remember our day.  Therefore, the only thing I can say for certain that we did during this hour is Philharmagic, attraction #19.  

While walking towards Tomorrowland, we ran into a few characters that we decided we would take the time to meet.  Fairy Godmother, character 7, who was hanging out on the back side of the castle.

Walking just a little further past the Fairy Godmother, littlecjc noticed the princess in the Fairytale Garden, so we then met Merida, character 8.  

Merida's line didn't move very quickly, which is a trade off sometimes for great interactions.  However, we then needed to move quickly to Tomorrowland and our 6th fastpass at Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, attraction #20.  

If you are familiar with this ride, you will notice that Littlecjc added a new challenge by controlling our spin joystick.  While waiting in line, we again looked to see if any fastpasses were still available that would help us get more in today.  We ended up with an Ariel meet and greet at 6:10-7:10.

After defeating Zurg, we stayed in Tomorrowland to ride one of my favorite rides, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, attraction #21.  

I think Littlecjc is a fan too, as she made everyone ride with their hand's up.  We couldn't leave Tomorrowland without visiting with character 9, Buzz Lightyear.

Yes, we're moving back to Fantasyland, but it was then time for our 7th fastpass, Ariel, character 10.

At this point, we needed to eat Dinner.  My in-laws are a little more picky than the rest of us and we were wearing down, so we opted to eat at Cosmic Ray's again since we were close.  While eating dinner, we looked at the app debating if we needed to try to get a fastpass for anything else.  We decided on a meet and greet with Tinkerbell at 7:50-8:50.

After dinner, we found a great area in front of the castle where we could watch the evening festivities.  We left the in-laws here since they decided they would rather stay seated here than see Tinkerbell, so they saved some space for us while we headed to the front of the park to use our 8th and final fastpass to meet character 11, Tinkerbell.  

When we left Pixie Hollow, we headed back to the castle and the grandparents where we had a little popcorn snack and ran around on the new hub while waiting for the parade to start.

We watched the Main Street Electrical Parade and then stayed put until the projections started for Celebrate the Magic at 9:45.

We of course watched the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at the top of the hour.  Since we had a very successful, but busy day, we decided to just leave with the masses this evening and not try to get in to that last ride before the park closes.

In case you lost track, here are our totals for the day: we rode 21 rides, using 8 fastpasses, met 11 characters (without any dining I might add,) saw 1 parade, and Celebrate the Magic and Wishes.  This was a great start to our trip, and Littlecjc was asleep before we made it back to the hotel.