Daddy's Spring Break - MK One Day Solo Trip Report

I’m in Orlando for a conference this week but I did go ahead and use my arrival day for a “quick fix” of WDW magic. :smile:

Pre-Trip: I bought my MK ticket one week from my arrival day. I was really curious about Fast Pass Plus and was really eager to try it out for myself. Initially, I was able to get Splash, BTMRR and Space - No 7 Dwarfs. But, I kept going in and checking and lo and behold - I was able to trade Space for 7 Dwarfs. I also booked an ADR for Kona Cafe for that evening. I used to work at WDW so I still have friends here. So, one of them was going to be my dinner buddy. Staying at the Hilton, Lake Buena Vista (right by Downtown Disney). FPP times: BTMRR 3:10 - 4:10, 7DMT 4:10 - 5:10, Splash 5:20 - 6:20. Kona Cafe Res: 6:40 pm.

Park was schedule to be open until 11 pm. The day before (Monday, 3/23), I noticed that the hours had changed and the park was now going to be open until midnight. I was excited but also thought “uh-oh, that probably means they are expecting big crowds!” But, I haven’t been in the parks at midnight since I worked there (that’s 20+ years ago). With the kids, we always leave earlier. So, thought this would be a good opportunity to take advantage of late hours.

Day of - Tuesday, March 24th.

Flew out of Houston at around 10:15 am. Smooth flight all the way. Got to Orlando by 1:20 pm. Got my luggage and took a cab over to the Hilton. Checked in, dropped my stuff in the room and headed out to the bus area. Got there at 2:25 and the MK bus pulled up five minutes later. (They run every 1/2 hour). Nice!

Bus swung by a couple of other hotels but no one else got on. So, I took my private bus over to the TTC. There, at TTC, I was quickly able to pick up my ticket and from there I was directed to the Ferry Boat (monorail wasn’t running for some reason). That was great because I can’t remember the last time of used it. It was a really nice way to get over to the park.

I was in the Magic Kingdom by 3:20 or so. Time to use that first Fast Pass Plus!

When I got in, the parade was going. Took a few pics as I walked toward Frontierland.

Ok - To Be Continued…Gotta head out for a little bit. I AM here on BUSINESS after all! :smile:

Will add more later.


Alright, so I asked a Cast Member how I could best get to Frontierland with the parade going on. He advised me to wait 5 minutes and it would be over and I could cross. Sage advice. I waited and then made my way over to Frontierland. This is what it looked like heading there. (WARNING, the image you are about to see may be disturbing to some viewers!)

Edit - Trying and trying to upload picture and it’s not working. Will have to come back later and try again, I guess…gotta run just now.


[quote=“TallAndGoofy, post:2, topic:11534”]
Trying and trying to upload picture and it’s not working[/quote]
I’ve had to resize many pictures I’ve taken to make them smaller before uploading them to the forum. You’ve said enough that you have to post this picture now.


Looking forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing!

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More more more!!! :slight_smile:

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Sheesh! That was alot of effort for this stupid picture!! :confounded:

But, at any rate - you see what I mean about the Warning! WOW!

So, the day was “supposed” to be a “7”. I just checked the TP day after report and it was, in fact, a “9”.

But, friends and neighbors, I am here to tell you, you can still have an AWESOME time on a “9” day. I did! I know I am preaching to the choir here but because I had a pretty good plan, I did just fine in spite of the fact that my “7” day jumped to “9”.

I weaved my way through the crowd and headed over to Big Thunder. First, I stopped for a hot dog. I had not eaten since breakfast so I needed something to tide me over until dinner. As you can imagine, lines abounded at pretty much every food venue on the way through Frontierland. For some reason, though, not many people were in the mood for hot dogs so I jumped in line as I noticed there was only one person in front of me. Nothing special to report about the hot dog. It did the job.

Big Thunder had a 60 minute wait. This was around 3:30 or 3:40 I think. Not for me, though. You see, I use a little thing called Fast Pass. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Apparently, many have not. I was a little worried because there was actually a roped line just to get up to the FPP entrance. I think that took about five minutes and then I was off to the “wildest ride in the wilderness”!

After BTMRR I walked to Fantasyland as my 7 Dwarfs ride would be next. I got there right at 4:10 which was when my FPP window started. The wait for 7 Dwarfs was 110 minutes. Yeesh! For me? Subtract about a hundred minutes. This was my first time on 7DMT and I found it to be delightful. Very smooth and then the part where it slows in the mine is very cute and well done. I don’t know if it’s 110 minutes of waiting good but I really liked it and can’t wait for my family to get to see it when we are all back together.

When I got off 7 Dwarfs, it was around 4:30, I’d guess. My next FPP was Splash but not until 5:20. Most waits around the park were pretty long but I knew one place I could go that wouldn’t let me down - Mickey’s Philharmagic. As suspected, it only had a 15 minute wait posted and, in fact, they were just loading up the theater when I got there so I didn’t even wait that long.

Unfortunately, I sat next to some guy who, as the movie began, proceeded to hold up his iPad to record it. Really, dude? Are you gonna slap some 3D glasses on it too? I saw that there was an open seat a couple of rows ahead so I quickly moved. I also made sure (afterward) to chastise Mr. iPad on Lines Chat. :smile:

I like Philharmagic. It’s a fun movie with many of my favorite characters. Normally, I do like to sit more in the middle but it was almost 100% full so didn’t have that option. Still great, though.

When I got out, I still had about 20 minutes before my FPP window would open. I took a leisurely stroll over to Splash Mountain then had another 10 minutes to wait. (That’s actually when I went onto Lines chat to complain about my Philharmagic Phriend)

Finally, it was time to go on my favorite MK ride. I have always really loved Splash Mountain. 1. It’s just a great ride but 2. It opened while I was a Cast Member and as a Cast Member, we got to “test” ride it before it opened to the public. That was so cool and fun to be a part of. So, it just brings back a lot of really fun memories for me.

One thing I have to say, though, I wish they’d do some kind of refurb to the boats/logs. Man do they stink. Not really when you sit down but if you touch any of the foam parts in front of you, your hand or arm stinks like mildew.

Splash was mostly good but there were several stops. At one point we stopped at the top of one of the first little drops and then the log behind bumped into us. And then again as others hit them. I was in the back row and turned to the ladies in the front row of the log that hit us and asked if they’d like to exchange insurance information. :smile:

Here is a picture I took as we were stuck.

I figured, though, there are certainly worse places to be stuck on a Tuesday afternoon - am I right?


At this point, I had used all three of my scheduled FPPs. I wanted to try out the scheduling of a 4th so started looking for a kiosk. There was one over in the thruway that goes from Frontierland to Adventureland. The line for this seemed to me to be longer than some of the rides. (That’s an exaggeration but, geez, it was quite long.) I asked the Cast Member working there if there was another one around and he told me there was one by Jungle Cruise that is usually less crowded. I went to that one and found that, while there was a line, it wasn’t as bad as the one I’d just left. I think I waited about five minutes or so before I got to the kiosk. I wanted to book something for after dinner. I figured an 8pm - 9pm would be good. I didn’t really care what because I also wanted to try making changes to it using the app. I went ahead and booked Jungle Cruise for an 8pm - 9pm time. Then, I headed to the monorail so I could meet my friend for dinner at Kona Cafe.

Kona Cafe

I got there at around 6:20 so I was early for my 6:40 reservation. I went ahead and checked in and they actually sat me around 6:30 which was nice. My friend arrived shortly after.

I didn’t really take any food pictures except for the appetizer because I promised my wife that I’d get the crabcake so I texted that to her. :smile: And here it is for your enjoyment:

I thought it was very good. I’m really picky about seafood tasting like it came from the sea (i.e. “fishy tasting”). This tasted fresh and seemed to have a good amount of crab. My friend and I both agreed it was worth getting. We also got the pot stickers which were also good.

I wanted to try their beer and got the Beer Flight which had samples of the three “Kona” beers that they serve. One was a lager, one a pale ale and the other was an IPA. I liked the pale ale and the lager best. After the “flight” i ordered a pale ale on its own.

For entrees, I got the New York Strip and my friend got the Sea Scallops. I thought my steak was good. It was more on the medium-well side than the medium I ordered but still very tasty. I thought the maple butter it comes with was a nice touch too. The potatoes and broccoli that came with were fine but nothing spectacular. Interestingly, it was not served with a steak knife. Had to ask for that. I don’t know if that’s the norm or if it was just our server. Based on the overall service we got, I’m gonna guess it was the server.

Oh- I forgot to mention the Kona bread. Man, that was GOOOOOD. And the Macadamia butter. MMMM. I could snack on that all day.

We ordered the Kilauea Torte for dessert and it did not disappoint. It was delicious and chocolatey.

My friend and I agreed it was a great meal overall…Except…the service.

Our waitress was not very attentive and when she was at our table she always seemed to be in a rush. Like if we asked any questions it seemed to put her off. On top of that, at the end, when we gave her our credit cards to pay, she charged somebody else’s meal to us. We should have gone with it since it was less expensive (just kidding) but we let her know and she corrected it. At least, I hope she did and didn’t double charge us.

Anyway, that aside, it was a good meal and I would probably try it again in hopes of getting a better server.

Next - Back to the Park!


That was my experience the one time I ate at Kona (breakfast); OK food, but not very attentive service.


Funny you say this - I was just commenting to someone else the other day that I liked Kona’s food but the service was severely lacking! It was almost word for word what you said - like we were inconveniencing our server because we asked for some napkins. Hmmm - I wonder if we had the same lady? eeek!

By the way - love your trip report - can’t wait to read more. :slight_smile:


Love the details and the photos in your trip report. Looks like you’re having a great trip!


Quick update while I have a few minutes then I’ll add more around lunch time.

One of the things I’ve been intrigued with for FPP is the ability to switch your FPP on the fly. As you recall, I had added a Jungle Cruise FPP for 8pm - 9pm. As I was leaving the park to go to dinner, I went into the app to see choices for switching. One of the choices that came up was the Anna and Elsa meet and greet. Of course, anyone on any of the boards or chats knows that this is akin to opening a Wonka Bar and finding the Golden Ticket…(starts humming “I’ve got a golden ticket, I’ve got a golden twinkle in my eye!”)… Anyway, I thought “wow! I should book that!” at the same time thinking “wow! I am a 45 year old man and isn’t that a little weird to show up alone at a princess meet and greet??” But, there was rhyme to my reason…I slowly hatched a plan. You see, I have a 7 year old daughter who, crazy as it sounds, is a big fan of Disney Princesses and most especially the two from Arrendelle. So, I went ahead and switched my FPP from Jungle Cruise to Anna and Elsa. The time was different - 10:05pm - 11:05pm which I was fine with.

My plan was to go to as many Princesses as I could and video them saying “hi” to my daughter. I thought that just might get me some “cool dad” points from her and may also help her to forgive me for going to the Magic Kingdom without her. :smile:

More on how the plan shook out later…


Dude, that is a GREAT idea!!! I have my 1st solo trip later this year & thought about doing the “ultimate TP”, but thought, “It would be silly to meet any characters.” But your idea is genius. Gives a real reason to do so. Kudos. Looking forward to reading how this came out.


Can’t wait to hear about meeting all the princesses… yes I’m in my thirties and just wrote that! :slight_smile:


Thanks for that suggestion - that’s what finally made it work. Weird, though, that is the only picture I’ve had trouble with so far. Not sure why that one and not any of the others.

LOL Thanks! I was pretty pleased with myself! :smile:

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[quote=“TallAndGoofy, post:11, topic:11534”]
My plan was to go to as many Princesses as I could and video them saying “hi” to my daughter.[/quote]

I’ve thought about doing something similar with character meets for some of my friends’ kids (and for my nephew, when he reaches an age where he’ll understand who these characters are and that they’re talking to him). I’ll be interested to know how this worked for you. I’m gonna guess standing in line was the most awkward part.


Ok, so after dinner we monorailed it back to the park. We arrived as the first of two Main Street Electrical Parades was going on so it must have been around 9 pm or shortly after. My friend Jim and I are both big WDW fans and ex-Cast Members. He lives about an hour away from WDW, though, so gets to visit on a regular basis. He let me choose where to go and since I hadn’t been on it in forever and because I knew there would most likely be a minimal wait, I chose…Stitch’s Great Escape!

True to form, this most popular of Disney attractions was a walk on. I’m not a huge fan of Lilo and Stitch nor am I a big fan of this attraction but it does hold some fond memories for me. In the 90’s, when I worked at WDW there was a lot of talk about the “Disney Decade”. One of the pieces of that was a brand new attraction called “Alien Encounter” which would utilize 3D sound to create the experience of feeling like you are in the middle of an actual alien encounter. It was going to replace Mission to Mars in Tomorrowland. I was so psyched about that because it was going to use the same technology that they used in these booths that used to be in the Monster Sound Show building (which then became Sounds Dangerous) at the Studios. I don’t know how many of you remember those but you would put on head phones and people would talk and then they even gave you a haircut and it actually felt like you were getting a haircut! All using sound! I used to LOVE it and would always insist that people go in them when they came to visit. So, the thought of a full blown attraction utilizing that was really exciting to me.

I was there when it (Alien Encounter) opened and got to participate in cast previews. I am trying to remember what my initial reaction was. I think I thought it was pretty cool but at the same time, I remember being disappointed because the 3D sound in Alien Encounter didn’t seem as good as the sound in those booths. Still better than average but I think I had hyped it up in my mind more.

As many of you know, Alien Encounter ended up getting LOTS of complaints because of how intense, dark and scary it was. Eventually, it was retooled and brought back as Stitch’s Great Escape. Some of the AE components still remain. My favorite being “Skippy”. He’s the little alien on the left (if you are facing the 90210 robot) that they say is a “Level 2” or something like that.

Overall, Stitch is pretty “meh” but not a bad diversion. I have never taken my kids on it but now that they are older and my DD7 actually likes Stitch, I think they might get a kick out of it.

Well, got a little sidetracked there. Gotta go to my next session but will be back to talk Princesses! :smile:


Which is what made it one of my favorite rides. I’m still sore that they ruined it lol.


LOL - yeah, a little embarrassing when they would ask “how many?” and I’d sheepishly say “one”. :smile:

But, it went fantastically and I highly recommend for anyone considering it!


The Princess Plan ™

I will start by saying that, without exception, the Princesses were absolutely wonderful with my request. I’m sure I’m not the first one who has asked because they were all so great and seemed to have a polished “spiel” while also being very genuine and extemporaneous. (haven’t used that word in awhile!)

This didn’t necessarily surprise me as I worked very closely with characters back when I was a Cast Member. I speak from experience when I say that most who work in the Character Department have a genuine love for what they do and for bringing joy to people, especially kids.

I started with Tinkerbell on Main Street - this was after Stitch. Jim had to go so we walked back up to the front of the park where I bid him farewell.

Tink had a posted wait of 10 minutes - this was around 9:30, I think. It was after Main Street Electrical but before Wishes.

She was great - said my DD’s name and told her she’d be sending extra Pixie Dust to her.

Afterward, in the shop, it occurred to me that I should have also gotten her autograph. I went ahead and bought a book and pen. I thought about getting back in line but then decided it was ok and to just continue on. I also would have liked to have gone in to see Mickey. His wait, though, was posted at 60 minutes. I thought I could probably go back later after Wishes and it would be lower. I didn’t realize this, Jim told me, but apparently, Mickey talks now. Jim was telling me at dinner about how cool it is and that it is really impressive however they do it. Unfortunately, I never did get to go back but that’s ok.

I headed toward Fantasyland and got in line for Under The Sea just as Wishes was starting. The wait time posted was 15 minutes but it was basically a walk on. After the ride, I got in line at Ariel’s Grotto. I think that was a 15 minute posted wait but I probably only waited 10 or less. Ariel was awesome - she personalized the autograph to my daughter and did a fun message to my “guppy”. I wasn’t necessarily planning to get a picture of myself with anyone but she invited me to so I did.

So, now you see where the “Goofy” part of “TallAndGoofy” comes from. :blush:

After that, it was around 10:10 pm so my FPP was valid for Anna and Elsa. I headed over there.

Standby was 60 minutes. I think I waited 10 minutes or so before going in and then another few minutes as Anna was interacting with people in front of me. I have to say, they really do a nice job of taking their time with people. They didn’t seem to rush people as they took pictures and signed autographs.

Anna was very nice and invited my DD7 to visit her in Arendelle. Then she invited me to pose with her.

Here you can see the “Tall” part of my name. (May need to change it to “TallDoubleChinnedAndGoofy” after seeing this one…)

And then, onto Princess Elsa who was also lovely.

It was a little after 10:30 by that time. I wanted to see Cinderella and Rapunzel but their wait for standby was 45 or maybe 60 minutes. I thought I’d probably have success if I came back later after the second Main Street Electrical Parade. I went over to a FPP kiosk just to see if there were any FPPs available for them but there weren’t. So, instead, I went over to Haunted Mansion which was posting a 13 minute wait (but was actually pretty much a walk on).

After Mansion, I went to Pirates of the Caribbean which had a 10 minute wait posted. Again, pretty much a walk on.

Next, I went and watched the end of the Main Street Electrical Parade. When it was over (around 11:30 or so), I made my way back to Fantasyland to see Cinderella and Rapunzel. The wait time was MUCH better. I think 15 minutes posted for standby.

First, I met Cinderella.

Then, Rapunzel.

Both were fantastic with the videos and autographs for my DD7.

When I got out of the Princess Hall, it was about 11:55 pm. I saw that 7 Dwarfs had a 40 minute posted wait. I figured, I might as well do it one more time while also hoping that it wouldn’t be quite that long of a wait not that it would have been so horrible.

I’m really glad I did this because A. It only ended up being a 15 - 20 minute wait and B. I got to see all the little queue things that are set up (which I didn’t see earlier using FPP).

Again, I enjoyed the ride and thought it was a fun way to end my little jaunt into the Magic Kingdom.

I think it was probably 12:30 am as I slowly headed out. It’s pretty fun to walk through the park after most everyone has left. There were still quite a few there, though, getting last minute pictures of the castle.

Oh - one thing I forgot - I did go into the little shop by the Princess Hall and got my daughter an Elsa doll and an Elsa and Anna music box. I wanted to have “insurance” just in case my “surprise” with the videos doesn’t go over as great as I would like. :smile: Not that my DD7 would be ungrateful but I keep telling her I have a surprise for her and a bunch of video clips probably isn’t what she is envisioning.

I’m thinking I will edit them together and then show them to her. I think she will like them and the autographs. I’ll have to come back on here with a follow up on that.

May also come back on with some random thoughts but that is all for now! :wave: