First-timers August Trip Report


#1

Hello folks. I’m more of a consumer than a producer at this site, but I got so much great help from the site/forum, I wanted to give back a little. I’m a few weeks late in posting, but hopefully some of my experience can prove helpful to others.

Sunday Aug 12-Friday Aug 17, 2018.
Driving to/from IL, staying at Contemporary. 37yo dad (me), 38yo mom, 3 daughters 8, 5, 5 (twins). We spent one and a half days in Disneyland a couple years ago, but never any time in WDW. The DL experience of semi-educated wandering left me searching for a better way, which was nicely remedied on this trip, thanks.

Sunday Aug 12
Arrive CR mid-afternoon with intent to chill at the pool until getting the text about our room (did online check-in). No park scheduled this day. We actually left home Friday afternoon and spent two nights on the road, which worked out nicely as our drive on arrival day was only around 3.5 hrs. Unfortunately although it was sunny when we arrived there supposedly was lightning in the area so we couldn’t use the pool. We took the opportunity to explore the hotel outside and in. After about an hour of that and still no text, with nothing else to do I decided to stop by the check-in desk and make sure all was well. This proved a fortuitous decision. After some time at the computer and consultation with her manager, our helper told us our room was ready and she would get us confirmed. Then she walked away and two suits came toward us from across the lobby smiling and carrying balloons. We were told we were selected as the “family of the day.” I assumed this was just a nice Disney touch and admired the balloons, but was I in for a surprise. For those unaware as I was at that moment, the Family of the Day is a big deal. First, our garden wing reservation was upgraded to the tower (7th floor bay view, but park view from the corridor door). This alone was incredible. Second, we were given a free one hour boat rental from the hotel marina, which costs over $100 on its own. Finally, the big kicker: we got a bonus anytime FP for each day in the parks. This would be good for any ride except Pandora/TSL/Frozen. Unbelievable.
Eventually the weather cleared, we got some food from Contempo Cafe, and I strategized on how best to use this shiny new touring weapon.

Monday Aug 13, MK - CL6
I was fairly confident in my plans, and I fortunately have a family that’s not afraid to walk and willing to trust me. That said, I decided not to be too ambitious with our day 1 morning, opting simply to be in the park before the 9a open, take stock of what the RD lines looked like, and go from there. We wanted to wait through the welcome show, so I assumed that meant forgoing a prime spot in the 7D line. Our scheduled FP were: 9:55 PP, 10:55 Space/Speedway (one of the twins wasn’t ready to commit to Space yet), 12:20 Enchanted Tales, with an assumption that we’d use the magic FP (which I started calling the anytime one) on 7D early evening. The goal was to stay through the 3p parade, then take a hotel break and return in evening.
I timed it, we left CR at 8:03am and arrived through the tapstiles into Town Sq at 8:17am. For those able to walk, the CR is worth every penny for the walkway. I can’t emphasize this enough. It’s about 2/3 of a mile from the CR tower to Main St, and you get to pass through the always empty bag check on the way.
In hindsight, for a perfect maximization from a plan perspective, we should have gotten right into the 7D RD line, which at 8:20 wasn’t bad at all. Tomorrowland rope was basically empty. It being our first day, we decided to actually go back to Main St and look around. We actually ended up just sitting and applying sunscreen and killing time before the welcome show, because by that time I’d settled on the less-ambitious of the two personalized plans I’d put together. (For other newbies, I would recommend this, as you don’t really know what your going to be ready for until you’re in the moment, and the only thing better than one plan is two.)
Here’s what we accomplished:
9am RD to Speedway, used RS
Astro Orbiter
Buzz Lightyear
Dumbo
Barnstormer
Minnie/Daisy meet
break for snack/sunscreen
FP Peter Pan
Cinderella Castle
FP Space Mtn (3 people) / FP small world (2 people)
Little Mermaid
break for pretzel
FP Enchanted Tales w Belle
break to sit down/search for FP for 15min
FP Haunted Mansion
Lunch Columbia Harbor House
Stakeout spot then watch Parade from Liberty Sq
Linger in Main St shops, then walk to hotel
Arrive CR 4:00pm
Relax/pool/etc
Arrive MK 6:40pm
Anytime FP 7D
break for shopping 15min
FP Winnie the Pooh
Dinner Friar’s Nook
FP small world
FP Dumbo
Monorail back to CR
Ice Cream at hotel then kids in bed by 10:00pm

I have to say, this day went flawlessly. It started with the pleasant surprise that I somehow missed in planning that we could do a rider switch on the Speedway so all three kids could drive with only one pass through the line, which allowed me to change the original plan which called for one kid to FP the Speedway while the other two went with mom to Space. (I feel the need to explain ourselves here as well as RD to the Speedway is sorta wasteful. Beyond all reason, my kids LOVED Autopia at DL, such that for one of them the Speedway was maybe her number one anticipated attraction. What can you do?) This ended up making the entire morning extremely easy, as we were only doing standby on easy rides. Again, for inexperienced WDW people, I highly recommend this approach. We didn’t wait more than 10-15min for anything all day, and my kids didn’t require a break until around 12:45pm, then again when we hit the hotel, and this on a very hot day. Of course the huge luxury of being able to do 7D anytime we wanted with the magic FP was invaluable.
Other observations:

  • The general crowd level was manageable. It was definitely busy but didn’t get in our way.
  • The heat was also manageable. I think not having to wait in long lines exposed to heat was key here. The 30min we spent waiting for then watching the parade was brutal, but we knew we had a hotel break coming.
  • Recommend watching the parade from right in front of Liberty Sq Market. It’s exposed to the sun, but the view facing west allows you to see the whole parade approach, and we were allowed to follow the parade as it headed toward the hub after passing us.
  • CHH was nothing special, basically like a Long John Silvers. Friar’s Nook loaded tots were good though, and my kids loved the big hot dogs there. We didn’t do the dining plan and saved a lot by ordering strategically and packing snacks in our bag. Also, if you know someone in your group will have a craving for a specific item like a pretzel, know where to go for one in advance. I spent 10 minutes walking around Fantasyland before finding one right next to where I started.
  • Dumbo is pretty blah ride during the day, but the lights and colors at night are pretty amazing. Winnie the Pooh we found to be the least interesting of the dark rides. I thought Enchanted Tales was really well done, but none of my three girls really got much from it. Barnstormer seats/backs are terriblly uncomfortable but it’s very short.
  • There is nothing really to see at the Castle. Having loved the walkthrough at the DL castle, this legit disappointed my kids.
  • Having one of our kids over 7 was extremely important as it allowed her to ride alone on the many rides that had only two-seat cars. If you’re an odd-numbered family I would advise waiting until your oldest is 7 before doing a trip.
  • I had moderate success doing the MDE refresh for extra FP in the park. You can see not counting the anytime FP, we were able to do 7 FPs without much difficulty and leaving before the fireworks. I wasn’t able to get much headliner stuff for when we were looking between 12:45-8:00pm, but most of the others were more or less readily available without requiring us to jump around the park. In fact, we never went into Frontierland or Adventureland at all this day.
    part 2 to follow as a reply

#2

What awesome Disney magic you experienced!


#3

How exciting! Can’t wait to hear about the rest of the trip.


#4

Looking forward to the next installment


#5

Hello again.

Day 2, Tuesday Aug 14, MK - CL6
Plan to RD Adventureland.
Scheduled FP: Jungle Cruise 10:00, BTMRR 11:05, Splash 12:10
Before we were gifted the 4th anytime FP, my original reservation was for 7D at 3:45 instead of Jungle Cruise, but it seemed better to adjust and plan to try 7D in early evening like day one.

Here is what we accomplished:
8:45am Arrived park after walking from CR
Big Thunder
Splash Mtn
Big Thunder
FP Jungle Cruise
Swiss family treehouse
Tiki room
break for Dole Whip
FP Big Thunder
break for Mickey bar
Tom Sawyer island
FP Splash
FP Tea cups
break to hotel, arrived 2:00pm, lunch/pool/showers/etc
5:15pm return arrival to park
Pirates
Carousel
Philharmagic
break to shop, get out of rain
FP Peter Pan
Dinner Cosmic Ray’s
Anytime FP 7D
Barnstormer
FP Dumbo
9:00pm wife and 5yo twins leave
FP Big Thunder
Big Thunder
FP Space Mtn
Stop for cookie on walk back, all asleep by 11:00pm

This was quite a day, and went almost as well as day 1. The RD pretty good, we only arrived 15min before open and got through the main Adventureland rope fairly well. However, it seemed like the Liberty Sq rope may have dropped earlier, or many people there were running, because once we got to BTMRR a decent line was already ahead of us. Not too bad, but it wasn’t a walk-on and took around 10+ min to get to board. From there, Splash was about a 10-15min wait, as expected. Then one of the twins wanted to sit out and I took the other two back onto BTMRR, which had an expected wait of just 12min. We must have timed it just exactly wrong because it ended up closer to 30.
My kids (and me) absolutely love BTMRR, so we resolved to do it as often as possible, and for at least two of us, that meant five times in one day.
By time we got off BTMRR the second time, the wait for Splash had gotten prohibitive (still probably only like 40min), so we moved along. Unfortunately, Pirates was closed for most of the morning, so we had to push that to the afternoon. The tea cups FP was done spontaneously as we were leaving the park. After the couple morning snack breaks, we were all able to hold out on lunch until we returned to the hotel, which was nice. My wife and kids actually ate something at the pool while I got in a little workout.
The weather was turning ominous once we returned in the evening. We went directly to Pirates to get that done, and had to wait maybe 35min. I believe the ride closed again for mechanical issues right after we got off. I managed a Peter Pan same-day FP for maybe 6:30pm, so we went that direction as a big thunderstorm hit. The Carousel/Philharmagic provided good chances to stay out of the rain, but we still had to mill around for about 20 more minutes waiting for it to clear.
I really wanted my 8yo to get one nighttime in the parks, so when the younger ones had to leave around 9:00pm, I stuck around with her. She was thrilled when I was able to get a BTMRR FP while boarding Dumbo. After walking, we ended up on the ride exactly as the fireworks were going off. This was amazing, and because of the lower crowd at that time, we were able to walk right back on and do it a second time. THis was just after the fireworks had ended, leaving the whole area smokey, which added to the experience. From there the Space Mtn FP was really nice because the standby even close to 10:00pm was easily more than 45min. I booked the FP just minutes earlier, so pity those in line unaware.

Other day 2 observations:

  • I know this is nuts, but the high prices for snacks in the parks aren’t bad because they’re usually pretty big snacks. A $5 Mickey bar is really like two ice cream bars in one, and the $8-9 pretzels are huge.
  • Our first time on Splash Mtn, after seeing what looked like a huge drop, the ride stopped for what felt like 5 minutes while we were halfway up the dark climb to that drop. The 5yos needed some encouragement there, but of course the actual drop wasn’t bad.
  • I didn’t think we would waste our time on Tom Sawyer, but it was pretty fun, especially around the fort on the north end and the tunnel through the middle.
  • I liked Cosmic Ray’s. The “band” was a little loud but fun to watch, and while the food wasn’t 5 star, we were able to get a lot of it for not a lot, helped by the toppings bar. It’s also possible to get a salad/chicken sandwich for fairly healthy diversions.
  • I don’t remember heating Big Thunder mentioned as a fireworks-time ride to target, but wow it was great. It’s far enough away from the crowd that it was almost a walk-on, and the sights were fantastic.
  • My wife wouldn’t confirm this, but I am still totally convinced that Space Mtn has different lighting late at night vs during the day. I swear that the “stars” were lit up so bright this night that I could somewhat see a decent amount of the track, which is good since this was my first time riding and have a little bit of motion sensitivity. Also, the WDW version feels much less intense than the DL one, for whatever that’s worth. This might be due to the more heavy usage of light effects at DL.
  • Quick ride reviews: I really like Pirates, but it didn’t do much for the kids. Philharmagic is underwhelming but a good passage of time in AC if you need it. The Tiki Room felt like a dud, and the Carousel is a waste of time. Splash Mtn is great, and better on multiple trips, we liked the song and the leisurely pacing. I wasn’t prepared for how different and special Peter Pan was going to be vs the other dark rides. I didn’t understand why the waits would be so high for it (still don’t exactly get that, as we never had to wait in them), but it’s pretty nice. Finally, I said before but we loved everything about Big Thunder. It feels better than the DL version.
  • From a planning perspective, I really recommend getting Family of the Day and the bonus anytime FP that comes along with it :slight_smile: Failing that, the biggest thing for me was understanding what we’d be capable of physically/emotionally beforehand, and trying to respect that. We actually went to a Six Flags earlier in the summer and I paid close attention to my kids’ reactions to the stresses, and actually changed our plans because of it. We are an early-rise family, so RD was a given, but other little things like packing familiar snacks in our bag were helpful in keeping the sugar overload at bay, and letting us eat lunch later which opened up the parks. Making sure the third FP is done as early as possible is key too. For us it worked to grab lower-tier FPs immediately after and try for something better upon return from our afternoon breaks. Also, those afternoon breaks need to at least partially be a real break, not just more wild kid time in a different venue (the pool).

#6

Thanks for sharing! I’m planning our first time trip for November and your lessons learned are very valuable.

It looks like you criss-crossed the park a decent amount, i.e. Dumbo -> Big Thunder -> Space.

How did your kids fare with that? If you could go back would you do it this way again, or would you try and minimize the walking distance even if it meant cutting out an attraction or two?


#7

Really glad this can be useful for you. The sequence you mention was just me and my oldest (8yo) and was right at the end of the day. She was totally gung-ho about BTMRR and Space so it wasn’t a problem. You have to set worry aside when booking headliner day-of FPs. I do not recommend that kind of traveling earlier in the day.
That said, if you and your family are good walkers, the distances around MK aren’t too bad. BTMRR to Space is about as bad as it gets, and without mapping to confirm I’d say it’s only half to 2/3 of a mile.


#8

Day 3. Wednesday Aug 15, HS - CL5 (I think)
Plan morning half-day before returning to CR for late lunch reservation at Chef Mickey’s, then rest.
Scheduled FP: TSM 9:05, ToT 10:05 (yes we only reserved two)
This was an 8:00am open with 7:00am EMH, due to the fairly new Toy Story Land. The general plan was to drive from CR to HS, do the TSL rides in standby, then a few shows, the drive back for our 12:50pm Chef Mickey’s reservation.

Here is what we accomplished:
Arrived inside tapstiles at 7:40am after leaving CR at 7:15 and driving.
SDD
Aliens
FP TSM
Little Mermaid show
break for light snack
FP ToT (for only wife and 8yo)
break for 15min of shopping
FP Beauty and the Beast show
more shopping
Depart and arrive back at hotel at 12:10pm
relax then Chef Mickey’s
Pool/rest/frozen adult beverages/etc

Observations

  • We didn’t all do ToT because of my motion sickness concerns and worry about it being too much for the littler ones. I think this was a mistake and we should have pressed on. My wife and eldest loved it.
  • This bit of detail may not be as relevant anymore, but I planned our arrival to TSL very closely. I had been checking the wait times lots of morning in the couple weeks leading up to our trip and noticed that there was a sweet spot in the SDD waits after the RD people slowed off and before the non-EMH people arrived. It mostly worked out, as our wait ended up being around 30-35min after getting in line a little after 7:45. The ride itself was great, maybe top 5 across all parks for our family.
  • Aliens was an easy wait at 8:30ish, but the ride was pretty underwhelming. I’d recommend skipping if you can’t get there with a 15min wait or less.
  • TSM was also somewhat disappointing. I’m not sure what more I was expecting, but it was just a 3D shooting simulator. The ride vehicles were essentially unnecessary. We went with FP as that was the only one I could get in the morning, but the standby line was not a lot longer.
  • The Little Mermaid show was not great from a musical perspective, but pretty good with the theater effects. Beauty and the Beast was a better musical, but sitting in the heat was unpleasant, since it’s covered but not enclosed.
  • Chef Mickey’s was wonderful for the kids. My daughters are really big on the meet and greets, but they really lit up when the characters came around. Also, we didn’t wrap up the meal until maybe 2:30pm, and since it’s a buffet that meant we didn’t really need to eat dinner, which is a bonus because the meal cost our family of five $200.
  • I’ve never seen this mentioned before, but a little bonus to the Contemporary is that its pool is totally shaded by late afternoon, much earlier than you’d expect but the tower is pretty tall after all. It’s nice when you’re supposed to be relaxing not to have to worry about sunburns.

#9

Thanks for sharing! Your reflections and details are keeping the magic alive while we are away from the World! You have fit so much in so far! Looking forward to reading more.


#10

Day 4. Thursday Aug 16, AK - CL4
Plan was to RD to Navi River, then slowly circle the park before leaving by 5:00-6:00pm.
Scheduled FP: Rapids 11:10, Dinosaur 12:50, FOP 4:45
Lunch ADR at Yak & Yeti, 12:15
Best laid plans never materialized here. We intended to to NRJ at RD, meaning we’d get into the park maybe 8:45ish and do that ride with minimal wait while everyone else went to FOP. We had a FP for FOP which allowed this. Like the previous day, we drove from CR to AK. Unlike the previous day, when we were getting into the car, my eldest daughter realized she’d lost her magic band. After some room searching to no avail, we were able to get a replacement issued at the hotel front desk, but the damage had been done as we didn’t end up getting into AK until 9:10. The effects of this 10-30min delay really underscore the importance of the whole planning enterprise.

Here is what we accomplished:
Arrived at NRJ 9:15am
Safari
break for snack
FP Rapids
break for shopping/etc
Lunch Yak & Yeti
FP Dinosaur
Nemo show 2:00pm
Anytime FP Everest/Rapids (we split up)
break Dole Whip
Lion King show 4:00pm
break to wander Pandora
FP FOP
Left park 5:45
Dinner on the way back to resort, relax, pack up and mostly load up car. Kids asleep before 10:00pm

Observations:

  • The wait for NRJ was 25-30 min, so we exited the ride around 9:45, instead of just after 9:00, which would have happened had we gotten to the park at RD as planned. This meant we were 40-45min behind in arriving to the Safari, which compounded of course.
  • Our longest wait of the week, easily, was the 45ish min we waited at the Safari. The initial line wasn’t too bad, but a ton of FP returners almost constantly streamed past us. I guess 10-10:30 is a fairly popular FP return time.
  • I wasn’t expecting much from Yak & Yeti, as we booked it primarily to guarantee a cold place to sit for an hour in the middle of the day, but it wasn’t bad. We eat at various Asian restaurants regularly, and while it wasn’t as good as a good one, it was a passable imitator. They have 24oz large draft beers which really hit the spot on a hot day in the AK.
  • Beware, the bench seating at Finding Nemo is awful. The show was enjoyable but I would not do it again simply because of the seating. It was standard flat bench & back but they are made out of open slats. My skinny self found it impossible to settle into a comfortable spot. The Lion King benches were similarly flat and unforgiving, but at least they were solid. It didn’t help that by that point the little ones needed a lap.
  • Like many before us, we fell in love with the Dole Whips. They sell them at a counter I think at Dawa bar which is very close to the Lion King theater.
  • Also, like many others, we were thoroughly impressed with FOP. I was nervous about it with my motion sickness and concerns that my 6yo twins might not like the ride apparatus and force us to bail altogether, but everything went well. Anyone with motion sickness, I’d recommend watching a video of the ride a couple times beforehand so you are prepared for the big swooping parts. It’s really unbelievable how realistically they can create the sensation of movement without actually moving you much. I actually looked off the side a few times to check on my kids and got a pretty good view of the whole structure of the ride. I was on the far left end of our pod or whatever they call them so had a good angle to see all the other pods stacked around each other. There were I think 4 stacked up and down and 2-3 next to each other forming a big wall that pitched forward/back at varying angles, though even when it felt like we were hanging directly facing down, it wasn’t more than a small tilt in reality. Apologies if this undermines some of the effect for you but I found it interesting. Overall, unsurprisingly, FOP provided the best experience of the week, and was a nice one to send us on our way.
  • On a different note, this park was easily my least favorite in a general sense. The jungle-like effect from all the foliage, both real and not, made it very difficult to see anything beyond what was right in front of you, and even on a below-average crowd day, what was right in front of me was often just people. There was also something profoundly displeasing about how almost everything in the park is themed to a third-world aesthetic. My kids were asking why everything looked so dirty and broken. I had to say that it was intentional to make it feel like you are in the jungle or in a remote village, but it felt a little irresponsible that the entire continents of Africa and Asia had to be represented that way. Maybe the curated fake-ness was not quite fake enough for me, but I certainly prefer the more aggressive unreality and ubiquitous MIckey-ness of MK.
  • All that said, my wife thought the best rides were at AK. Those who did Everest loved it, and all of us enjoyed Dinosaur and NRJ. We weren’t blown away by the animals on the Safari, but riding through the animal areas isn’t something you get to do at a regular zoo. On the other hand, the Rapids ride was a little disappointing. There is a similar ride at our local Six Flags that we think is clearly better.
  • I’d heard this before, but driving to/from AK is not as easy as HS, at least coming from the MK area. It took easily 15min longer to get in and parked at AK.

#11

Very much enjoying the detail in your reports!


#12

This is our families favorite park. However, I totally understand having to explain " why everything looked so dirty and broken" to your kids. Loving your trip report.


#13

Thanks for that summary! I also am not a fan of the rough theming in AK and agree it could have been done with a bit more Disney-ness. What took longer about getting to AK by car? Was there a line to get into the parking lot?


#14

First, AK is just a little farther away geographically. But also the entrance weirdly doubled back a couple times and there was a 5-10min line just to get parked, which we didn’t have at HS. Not a big difference, but a difference.


#15

Last one–Day 5, Friday Aug 17, MK - CL3
8:00am regular open, 7:00EMH, also first Halloween party of 2018, with the corresponding early close.
Plan was to hit it hard first thing and do as much as possible before hopping in the car and heading for home sometime early afternoon. Pre-trip, this was the only day I left basically unplanned (aside from the FPs, of course), opting instead to wait and see what everyone liked and go from there. I spent the evening of day 4 doing an ad-hoc plan, but even that was proved largely moot as will be seen.
Scheduled FP: Space 9:05, 7D 10:10, Splash 12:25

What a day this was. One of my 5yo twins woke up vomiting around midnight. She was mostly able to fall back asleep but repeated a couple hours later, and then again couple hours after that. The other two kids essentially slept through all this unmolested, but myself and my wife lost a lot of sleep with the cleaning and tending to the sick one. I basically stayed awake from 5am onward, and resolved to stick with the 7am RD plan with the two healthy kids, with my wife hanging out with the sick one until she was well enough to hopefully at least enter the park and absorb some of the atmosphere on her last day. As it turned out she never had a fever and it was just a stomach flu, so she was able to meet us but alas was unable to do anything other than the people mover, bless her heart.

Here is what 3 out of 5 members of the family accomplished:
Arrived MK 7:05am
7D
PP
10min wait at rope to Frontierland
BTMRR
BTMRR
Space
break for water/catch breath
Buzz
People Mover
Tea cups
break for popcorn
FP Space
Speedway
break to say hello to sick sister
FP 7D
Little Mermaid
Anytime FP HM
Lunch - turkey leg from Liberty Sq
Leave park at 12:30pm after grabbing a couple treats for the road from the Confectionery.

Observations

  • This day is probably the least generally-applicable to other people, except for those currently planning to go to MK on a Halloween party day with an early entry. With the low crowds, it was really a free-for-all.
  • Thanks to the scene at our hotel room, we got out a few minutes later than expected and ended up getting into the park after opening so not truly a RD. Nonetheless we headed straight to 7D and maybe only a 15min wait. From there we did PP for the third time of the week, but first via standby. As advertised, standby experience is way better with the queue features, but everything feels better when you’re only in the line for 15min or less.
  • We had enough time to get through a line-less small world, but opted instead to be the literal first people in line at the rope to Frontierland. For those unaware, only Tomorrowland and Fantasyland are open during EMH, and they actually have a rope immediately west of small word/PP preventing you from even entering Liberty Sq. This was exciting from a nerdy point of view, as it was our first chance to actually stand at a rope. The CMs ended up leading us all the way up to the point where the riverfront path merges with the one from Adventureland, when they finally turned us loose. Nonetheless, my littles and I were still swarmed by 100+ people. DIdn’t help that our CM missed the timing by a little and the Adventureland pack passed through the merge a little before us.
  • The waits for BTMRR were maybe 5min followed by 20+ min. We then wasted about 5min deciding whether or not to do Splash, ultimately deciding against it, in favor of a cross-park hike to Space. The 5yo had missed the two prior Space rides and had finally worked up her nerve. My planning self didn’t approve, but it wasn’t crowded and I knew we were leaving early so why not.
  • I still don’t believe this even though it happened, but Space was basically a walk-on at 9:05am (posted 15min), just over an hour after regular open. I tried to convince my girls to keep getting back on the ride (it was still posting 15min after we made it back out front), but my 8yo calmly informed me that she gets too dizzy on that ride to do it twice in a row. Instead we took a water break and went and walked on Buzz, then did the People Mover.
  • Tomorrowland was jarringly empty. I’m pretty sure the flippant decision to cross all the way from BTMRR to Tomorrowland ended up being perfect as we must have been going almost totally against the flow of traffic. If I’m ever in MK on an EMH morning, I will definitely plan to try this again, intentionally.
  • By maybe 10am, the wait times had gone up but still not so high that we couldn’t have done our FP returns via standby instead without it ruining our day. I can’t emphasize enough how strange it felt to have a fairly free hand at picking rides as we went. You may notice that we didn’t even end up using the Splash FP because we got so much done by that time it wasn’t really necessary.
  • My wife and sick daughter ended up joining us in time for my wife to take the healthy ones onto the Space FP return, while I did People Mover for the second time with the sick one. She spent the rest of her time relaxing in the air conditioning in an empty corner of Cosmic Ray’s where we could people watch and keep tabs on her sisters while staying away from other people. I think we all would have pushed on longer if everyone had been healthy, but we certainly didn’t feel cheated as it was.
  • My turkey leg for lunch was delicious. They are way more smokey than I expected, so much so that I needed to get a chocolate-dipped chocolate chip mickey cookie on the way out. Oh well.
  • Our final tallies for MK rides we did more than once:
    BTMRR - 7 times
    Space & 7D - 4 times
    PP & Dumbo - 3 times
    Splash, Buzz, TS, HM, Mermaid, Barnstormer, Tea cups, small world - 2 times

Finally, I forgot to note these previously but here are my walking distances per my iphone counter for each day:
Day 0 (arrival): 3.7 miles
Day 1: 8.0 miles
Day 2: 10.5 miles
Day 3: 5.9 miles
Day 4: 5.8 miles
Day 5: 6.3 miles
Nothing to sneeze at, but pretty manageable considering all we did.

Thanks for reading. Have fun on your next trip.


#16

Morning EMH at MK on a Halloween party day is awesome. We did it the week after you (Aug. 24th) and got so much done without any fastpasses. EMH started at 8 am that day. We rode Space, Buzz and Under the Sea in the first hour and even stopped to eat cinnamon rolls at Gaston’s Tavern. We then headed over to do Haunted Mansion, BTMRR, POC and Jungle Cruise and were on our way to Epcot before 11 am. Such a great morning!


#17

Thank you for putting this out there. I thought I was crazy because everyone raves about AK, but we thought it was just “meh”.


#18

So sorry your little one was sick, but it sounds like you guys managed a great day out of it! Glad you guys had such a good trip! Now time to plan the next one! :wink:


#19

Loved reading your reports!