Perfect Places, Properly Prioritized, Produce Pure Pleasure!!!
(Fort Collins, CO, USA)
Our Morning Map
*** Unfortunately, this story is fictional... I haven't been back to WDW in almost two years now & miss it terribly! ***
Heading back to Walt Disney World after a year away is always exciting, nerve-wracking and thrilling. It really jolts the pre-planner of our crew (me, of course) into action. This trip would be a quick one -- just one day back at Magic Kingdom before heading off on a cruise -- and so the challenge was set... How could a family of five possibly see & do everything on the "must" list in just one day?
Fortunately, I actually have a copy of the "must" list to work with: Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Mickey's PhilharMagic, Pirates of the Caribbean, It's a Small World and the Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor. I also want to go on a Jungle Cruise if we can find the time, and my fiancee (Amy) has two special requests -- a second trip through Splash Mountain during the fireworks, and that I set a slower pace through the park... No running for her & the kids, although I'm welcome to head off to get Fast Passes provided I'm back with the group by the next ride. Whew! This is a lot to sort out...
Our magic day is June 1st, 2012... A Friday, so the crowds are a bit bigger, but fortunately for us we'll have the Extra Magic Hours at the end of the day to catch up on anything we've missed, and we'll use our room at the Contemporary to catch a nap if we need one in the afternoon. As we walk over to the Magic Kingdom I can feel the stress of pre-planning this day start to melt away -- my only real worry is trying to keep our group moving without making them feel like they're on a timetable.
In through the gates! Our whole groups is nothing but smiles as I lead the way up to the Walt Disney World Railroad. While it used to be a way for us to have the little kids walk less as we moved around the park, with the bigger kids (ages 13, 12 & 9) it's just a great time-saver heading to Frontierland. All three girls are quite athletic, and they are pulling Amy & I off the train towards the Splash Mountain entrance as soon as the train slows to a stop. The brief glance inside of Splash Mountain from the train has really gotten them going and I know we're off to a great start!
As we exit Splash Mountain I whisper to Amy that I'm off to get Fast Passes and that I'll meet up with the family at Pirates of the Caribbean. They're welcome to review their pictures from the ride & to wander in that direction whenever they'd like.
I hurry over to the Haunted Mansion for the passes and notice the park is filling up quickly. I know from experience that if I don't get Fast Passes for Space Mountain within the next couple of hours, there won't be any left for the day, so I shuffle the ride plan in my head on my walk back to Pirates. I also pull out my phone and check to see where the family's at... The "Where's my Phone" app has proven to be great at keeping track of everyone and this time it takes a few seconds to tell me that they're nearing entering Frontierland already. I step up to a jog, meet them as they're finishing a quick second breakfast of french fries, and we join the line forming for Pirates of the Caribbean.
Leaving the ride, I'm surprised by all three girls asking to go see something they remember from earlier trips -- the Enchanted Tiki Room. I'm scolded for glancing at my watch, and agree that we can head there next, provided we head to the back of the park next. Our Fast Pass times for the Haunted Mansion are getting closer and I need to get passes for Space Mountain on the way! The line for the Tiki Room is longer than I'd expected & there's no way we'll make it in for the next show. I ask the crew if anyone would rather go on a Jungle Cruise and am surprised when my daughter agrees that she'd rather go on this pun-filled adventure with me. All the girls get to ride the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, then we split up -- two for the cruise and three for the show.
Our river cruise ends with everyone on board getting to keep their heads, and it's clear we're done well before the family in the Tiki Room, so we're off again. My daughter and I make reservations for the dessert bar at Tomorrowland Terrace as we pass by. I'm sure everyone will be thrilled to have these great seats to watch the first evening show, and with the extra magic hours I'm confident we'll still be able to ride Splash Mountain during fireworks. Our Fast Passes for Space Mountain aren't until this evening, so that will have to wait.
Apparently I've been thinking too much about dessert at this point. After grabbing Fast Passes for Space Mountain, I can't help stopping in at Aloha Isle for Dole Whips... I order five, and we meet back up with the rest of the family outside the Haunted Mansion to eat.
After our ride on the Doom Buggies, the girls are starting to complain about still being wet from Splash Mountain and we decide to hop on the Liberty Square Riverboat that's about to depart. The girls stay standing the whole time and are dry & ready for Fantasyland as we disembark.
We head to some smaller boats with It's a Small World, followed by a showing of Mickey's PhilharMagic, and Peter Pan's Flight wraps up our morning. Seeing crowds at the restaurants, we decide to go see if the Barnstormer is open, and perhaps get some character autographs and pictures, before grabbing lunch in Tomorrowland. The girls are slowing noticeably, and so we'll probably need to get a nap shortly after we eat. A couple hours to nap & we'll be ready to finish off a magical day at the Happiest Place on Earth!
Our morning included (all the highlighted areas in the Magic Kingdom Map):
Walt Disney World Railroad (Main St. to Frontierland)
Pirates of the Carribbean
Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Enchanted Tiki Room / Jungle Cruise (group split up)
Liberty Square Riverboat
It's a Small World
Peter Pan's Flight