Welcome to the fabulous and sometimes insane life
of a working mother who is trying hard not to
let her whole existence be determined by her
cute little munchkins, yet continues to be drawn
in by the adorable and sometimes annoying tiny people!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Disney Diva...Not Part 2

disney diva…not
Part 2
Never Again!
Everyone had a certain order you should go in, which needless to say got very confusing. And given the fact that I have ADHD, I began to get overwhelmed. One thing everyone of them had in common was that you should try your very hardest to make the “Rope Drop” at the beginning of the day and that if you are going to see Anna and Elsa you better head there right off the bat to try to avoid waits. In retrospect, I should have paid attention to the fact that none, I repeat NONE of these people had been to the Magic Kingdom since Elsa and Anna moved there from Epcot at the end of March in 2014, a little over a month before our visit.  

So at 8:05, we exited our car after parking closer than ever before. So close that no tram ride was required. We picked up our tickets from Will Call and boarded the Ferry Boat (the monorail system was not open yet). This was when it started to sprinkle. We were standing at the gates of The Magic Kingdom at 8:40, eagerly awaiting the arrival of Minnie and Mickey on the train to countdown to the opening of the park. We were committed. Of course, we had to be if it was pouring down rain (to the point that my contacts were messing up) and we continued to stand there waiting. Needless to say, the truing never arrived and we never saw the beloved characters my children were so excited to see countdown. Guess they didn’t want to get wet.
This should have been a clue! Stick to what you know. Alas, I plodded on with the plan. We walked down Main Street, not nearly as fast as others due to our party of 5, 3 of them being of short legs, and one of them having knee surgery on Thursday. We went through the castle to enter Fantasyland and ran into a wall of 100-200 people. The entrance to Fantasy Land was blocked by a rope. When it opened there were cast members herding the crowd around the carousel (in a complete circle and into a rope line for meeting Anna and Elsa. (I guess they knew that was what all of these people were going to do.) Apparently, everyone read the blogs. Again this should have been a clue. 

When we got to the front line entrance after being jostled, shoved, heels ran over by strollers, and almost trampled. We saw there were two lines. One for meeting Rapunzel and Cinderella and one for meeting Elsa, Anna, and Aurora. The wait times were side by side: 30 minutes for Rapunzel and Cinderella and 300 minutes for Anna, Elsa, and Aurora. Yeah I know! 300 minutes must be a typo. That’s what we thought too. Someone just messed up. So we continued on. We heard a cast member say, “This is the  longest you will wait every day.” and stupidly we thought he meant that this was the longest we would wait for any attraction. In retrospect (I was in retrospect a lot yesterday, which is a strange place a lot like the room of regret), I now know he meant that in the morning is the longest wait time for seeing Elsa and Anna. Sadly, I did not realize this until we had waited for over an hour and a half and had just gotten to the door to enter the castle and we heard the cast member at the door say that there was another 90 minute wait from there. 
Needless to say, this was not going to happen. We got out of line and hopped into the next door line for Rapunzel and Cinderella, waited 5 minutes, and entered the throne room where the girls got to meet and talk to Cinderella and Rapunzel. 
Notice that we are minus one child. The birthday girl was having nothing to do with this meeting and greeting. This would have been the last straw if we had waited another 90 minutes to see Elsa and Anna, but lucky for her, we did not. 

By the time we left the castle, it was 10:45. By this time we normally would have been almost finished with Fantasyland. My plan had been shaken and I spun around in a stupor of what to do and where to  go. So we just started walking and riding in the order that we came to things. We also tried to use Fast Passes, but that was a completed, befuddled disaster. The new Fast Pass + system is  utterly confusing and even as a cast member stands their at the little Fast Pass+ Kiosk and tries to explain it to you, you just stand there dumbfounded and just nod. We ended up using only 2 Fast Passes for Buzz Lightyear and Space Mountain and that was it. 

With all this, I would still say it was our best trip ever to The Magic Kingdom. The girls had a great time and were in awe of everything especially new Fantasyland. They rarely complained and were constantly talking about how cool  everything was. We saw 5-6 more characters and never waited more than 20 minutes. 

We ate at the Crystal Palace around 3:00 and were rewarded with an all you can eat buffet where we enjoyed delicious food, dessert, and coffee, as well as the ability to charge our very dead phones! Plus the girls got to spend time with Piglet, Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore!

There were absolutely no fits until around 8 that night, when the birthday girl decided that 13 hours in the Magic Kingdom was just too much and proceeded to cry herself to sleep. 

By far the coolest and most magical time was Enchanted Tales with Belle. It was amazing! More to come on this soon, but trust me you do not want to miss it!!!  

Disney Diva...Not

Okay, Disney Diva I am not. I do not claim to be, nor do am I really even a Disney fan. I would choose Universal or Sea World hands down, every time, and twice on Sunday over the Disney parks. However, it is required by the parenting gods that be that we visit the Magic Kingdom. I mean, how can you not if you have little ones, especially little princess ones who love nothing more than to dance around and sing at the top of their lungs “Let It Go”, “Part of Your World”, “Be Our Guest”, and countless other Disney movie tunes. 

So this weekend we embarked on our 3rd Disney adventure with children. I have personally been to Disney over 20 times in my life. (I am lucky enough to have a dear aunt and uncle that have lived in Orlando my entire life.) But being the cheap, thrifty people that we are, we always try to visit The Magic Kingdom right before they turn 3. This way they are old enough to appreciate it but can still get in of FREE! So this year we went on May 3rd, the day before my youngest daughter’s 3rd birthday. 

Now I am an extremely organized person. I mean, I have planning notebooks for birthday parties (man do I do up some birthday parties. Check it out here). So needless to say I spent the last couple of weeks, exploring what time to be where, where to eat, how to avoid the crowds, and basically visited every “Pin” ever “pinned” about visiting Disney World. Check out my board! 

Anywho! (Yes I meant any who and not any how.) On previous trips (keep in mind this is prior to new Fantasyland and the transfer to Fastpass +), I followed the tips from Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World. 
1. Get to the park when it opens. 
2. Go straight to Fantasyland. 
3. Do everything in Fantasyland first, making sure to use a Fast Pass for Peter Pan            because the line is usually 30-60 minutes long for a 2 minute ride. 
We usually go in this order:
Meet Ariel
Winnie the Pooh
Get Fast Pass for Peter Pan
Its a Small World
Mickey’s Philarmagic
Go back to Peter Pan
4. Then we head to Liberty Square, Frontier Land, Adventure Land, take the train to Toon Town (now new Fantasy Land), Toon Town (now circus), then Tomorrow Land and then we go back for a night time ride on The Jungle Cruise. Someone goes ahead in different lands to  grab Fast Passes while we are at other attractions.  

Using this method, we never waited for more than 20-30 minutes for any ride. That being said, the only characters that we waited a long time to see were Ariel (45 minutes) and Mickey and Minnie (60 minutes). We also always make reservations at The Crystal Palace for lunch in the late afternoon. That we we can sit back and relax, including coffee, while we enjoy an all you can eat buffet and the girls get to meet Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger, too!

This time we did not follow this plan…don’t ask me why. I was confused by the new Fastpass + system and overwhelmed with the new Fantasyland and the significant increase of character Meet and Greets. Plus, I discovered all of these blogs and websites by these self proclaimed Disney lovers, divas, experts, and I figured that since they spent 10 days at a time (how in the hell do you afford that with a family of 4, let alone 5, 6, 7…) at the Disney parks every year that they new what they were talking about. 

Rookie mistake! Stick with what you know!!! Here’s what happened: