Magic Kingdom! What a magical way to start the week.
Before we dive in, let’s cover some logistical things first. While you could probably wing it at Disney, they have made it increasingly difficult to do that. Advanced dining reservations (sit down restaurants, there are still plenty of counter service restaurants) need to be booked 180 days out from your trip, and Fast Passes are booked out 60 days if you’re on property, or 30 days if not. We chose to only make a dining reservation for our Epcot evening, since I just didn’t know where we would be at any given time. As far as Fast Passes go, I like the new system. Basically, you can book 3 fast passes each day, and you can do so on your phone or the website. The new system allowed them to do fast passes for a lot of attractions that didn’t previously offer them, as well as character meet and greets. I didn’t love that you have to go to a fast pass kiosk to book them after you use your initial three, since the kiosks were difficult to find.
Also, I had touring plans for each park from the guide book I bought, but since our fast passes didn’t line up with their recommendations, those touring plans didn’t work for us. I used them as reference to see what we hadn’t hit yet, but we didn’t even attempt to follow them. Last time we were there they were just starting to publish wait times on their app, now they are posted at each ride as well which is really helpful.
We are an early rising family, so were up and out the door hoping to make it to Magic Kingdom in time for the opening show. But, the whole park, walk, take the monorail, get in the park deal took longer than expected and we got to the park about 15 minutes after they opened. Even though it was cool when we left the house, by the time we got to the park it had warmed up enough that we were able to just go in short sleeves! The plan was to head home in the middle of the day for a rest, then come back in the evening for the parade and fireworks.
I had hoped we could meet a few characters at the front of the park, but every character we saw had a huge line (easily a 20 minute wait or more). Luckily my kids weren’t character focused, but if that is what you want to do, be prepared to skip the rides and just wait in line over and over. I would recommend doing Fast Passes for anyone you really want to meet.
Our first fast pass was for the Peter Pan ride. The girls loved it! Super glad I fast pass’d this one since the wait time quickly climbed to 60 minutes. We tried to go on it again later, but the wait was too long. We wandered around a bit and hit It’s a Small World and the tea cups. Loved both! After we headed to the Buzz Lightyear ride which was our next Fast Pass. LOVED IT!
We had packed apples, apple sauce, protein bars (for me), and pb&j sandwiches hoping to dole those out to hungry kids in case meals weren’t at normal times. Everyone kind of filled up on these though, and we ended up snacking our way through most of the day. This worked for everyone else, but not for me. I assumed we’d still sit down for meals, but when there is so much to see and do, it was hard to take a break. My protein bars did not get me far and at some point every day I neared meltdown hangry status and demanded protein (hopefully nicely?). Were I to do something like this again, I would hard boil eggs and cut up rotisserie chicken and pack that as my snack food. It would have made things much easier. (Unfortunately I didn’t think of this until the end of the week.)
Anyway, parade time! We happened upon this parade as we were heading over to Adventure Land.
Jungle cruise! This is such an old school ride. Our ‘tour guide’ was hilarious and totally made the ride fun. After the kids went on the Aladdin ride and my mom and I hit the Dole Whip stand. Mmmm, dole whip. Thank goodness for dairy free treats! It was perfect since it was starting to get really hot at this point.
My time frames are a little shaky, but I think this was when we separated a bit and everyone found lunch. It was close to 3:00 by this point, and there was still a lot we wanted to see. If we had left at this point, we wouldn’t have gotten back to the park until 7:00pm, and then it would have essentially just been time for a ride or two and then the parade and fireworks. We made the decision to try to push through and stay all day.
Swiss Family treehouse! This picture was either right before or right after Delaney (shockingly) tripped and skinned her knee really badly. Luckily I had packed a full first aid kit in my backpack, so we were able to bandage her up quickly.
We wandered around a bit trying to decide our next move. At this point all of the rides had long wait times, and no one was really in the mood to wait. We didn’t have dinner reservations, and it was becoming clear that it was going to be difficult to make it all day. The roller coaster riders really wanted to hit Space Mountain (we had ridden Splash Mountain earlier), but our Fast Pass wasn’t until 7:00. We decided to just go stand by. The kids headed to the Dumbo ride with the grandparents, and we all met up after.
My parents gave the kids lanyards for Valentines to keep their money in at the park (you can see them in the first pic). As we were walking from the tea cups to Tomorrowland, Delaney realized that her money pocket was gone. It of course had all of her money in it. I retraced our steps (at a run), but it was already gone. She was crushed. CRUSHED. I didn’t want it to ruin her trip, so I told her we would work something out. As we were leaving Kristina suggested that I check lost and found. That idea hadn’t even occurred to me! Luckily the Lost and Found was in the building right next to where we were at the time, so Delaney and I headed inside to see if they had it. My jaw hit the floor when the woman came out of the back room with it! I seriously could not believe that someone had turned it in. Granted, they took $20 before they turned it in, but still, Delaney got most of her money back.
Leaving early was a good call. We were all worn out by this point, and the kids just wanted to get back to the pool and hot tub. Total steps for the day (per my phone which is super accurate I’m sure) – 16,327.