An early start today as we want to get into the Magic Kingdom for the actual park opening time (or rope drop as it’s known), so we just grabbed a few muffins from the buffet and jumped in the car. Our sat nav decided to take us on a tour of the back roads around the park to a car park entrance that didn’t actually exist but we eventually arrived at the right spot and parked up. As it was early we could walk to the main entrance rather than get the tram and once in the entrance area we got the boat across.
Do wish it was just a little easier to actually make it into the park itself.
We were at the entrance about 15 minutes before 9am and there is a little ceremony with Mickey and some characters to mark the park actually opening.
Our reason for getting there particularly early, apart from we hoped to get dinner not too late and go for a swim, was that we had been unable to secure FastPasses for a visit to see Anna and Elsa which was Rosemary’s top thing she wanted to do. They go instantly 60 days beforehand apparently and as we were staying off site we could only book our FastPasses 30 days ahead. So we headed directly to the Princess Fairytale Hall in the hope of getting ahead of the queues. Our strategy worked and we got in without too much waiting.
We met Anna first who was constantly chatting and quite goofy.
Then onto Princess (or should that be Queen) Elsa who was much more formal.
With our priority out of the way we took a few minutes and had some brunch at Sleepy Hollow. Waffle and Funnelcake with strawberries.
Went down very nicely.
And a quick picture of our MagicBands. We got these yesterday at Disney Springs and they worked really well. Might add a little separate post about them at some point.
We headed off to go on It’s A Small World and found a pressed penny machine, the first of what no doubt would be many.
It’s A Small World (despite being infuriatingly annoying with the incessant song) is the only thing we’ve been on with Rosemary each time we’ve visited the Magic Kingdom so might become the one must do ride in the future to keep that going. And it was just an annoying as always…
The queues were starting to build by this time (it was probably about 10.30) and we thought we’d probably manage a couple more things before it was time to start using up our pre-booked FastPasses. The queue for the Carousel was very small so I took Rosemary straight on for a ride.
That was lots of fun and then we hit up our first FastPass, which was a visit to Ariel in her underwater grotto. She’s in mermaid form there and Rosemary didn’t get to see her on our previous visit. Nice setting but could have been a bit more detailed I thought, just seemed a little sparse.
And as the Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid ride was next door we decided to tick that off as well and used our FastPasses to do this. No really good pictures from the ride this time.
Deciding it was time to seek out some food we walked back through FantasyLand without any great plan beyond that we were heading towards AdventureLand for our third and final FastPass of the day. On the way we went past Rapunzel’s tower and rediscovered the decoration in the toilets (frying pans from the Tangled movie).
We ended up at Peco Bill’s for lunch and managed to find a relatively quiet area upstairs where there were a few tables. Place was packed and is huge.
Unfortunately the Pirates of the Caribbean ride was closed during our visit for a major upgrade so no chance to go on this time.
And so onto our third FastPass of the day and what we thought would likely be our final thing as well, the Jungle Cruise. The queue for this is always crazy on stand-by and a FastPass is a real must for it. With the MagicBands blipped on the way in we were straight to the front and on the boat within a few minutes. It’s just as nutty as I remember it, with awful jokes and puns from the Captain. Great fun!
The heat and humidity was massive by this time. One tip we had read which was brilliant was to just go upto any kiosk or counter and ask for some ice water and you will get a cup for free. We did this regularly throughout our trip and it a) saved a fortune on soft drinks and b) keeps you hydrated. When the water was gone we’d add the ice to our water bottle to keep that cold. But we did get some Dole Whip (much to Julia’s delight as she had missed out the last few times) and I tried the Citrus Swirl, which was very nice.
So at this point we thought we’d probably be leaving the park (about 2:30 I think) but as we were wandering out via a very indirect route we spotted that the Haunted Mansion had virtually no queue. So “never miss an opportunity” is a good motto at Disney and we went in. Last time we went on this it broke down (on a Friday 13th no less) so fingers crossed we’d have no such trouble this time. Rosemary remembered this though and was a little hesitant to get on it. No such problems this time and we had the Hat Box Ghost in a Doom Buggy at the end.
We were sort of getting a second wind by this point and there was a Princess encounter just about to start in the Heritage House with Tiana. It was lovely and cool inside so we sat down in there and waited the 10 minutes or so for Tiana to arrive. She was very nice and it was another Princess who Rosemary hadn’t previously met (that was 4 today).
But by now it really was time to leave as we had left the hotel before 8am and were still a bit jet lagged. But couldn’t believe how many things we;d got done in a single day.
Just time on the way out for some photos in front of the castle.
We headed back to the car, eventually after going on the monorail and walking back through the parking, and grabbed a quick dinner at Perkin’s close to the hotel.
Long post but a busy day!
If you would like to watch a video of some of the day it can be found on YouTube.
And finally for the day, a quick swim at the hotel: