Let’s chat about Early Morning Magic in Fantasyland. How does Disney manage to make $550 for one hour of park access for our family sound like a great deal??? It’s crazy, really, isn’t it? Yet here we are. I searched the topic on the board, but could only find older posts from when it was in its old format (with just three attractions.)
This trip is a celebration for me. I am celebrating completing my master’s program and (hopefully) moving on to a doctorate. I’ve been working a second job to save money for this trip and have managed to save quite a bit. It can’t be a “no expenses spared” trip, but we can definitely add some magically awesome upgrades. I considered a celebration dinner for just me and my husband at Victoria and Alberts, but it didn’t seem like I’d like any of the menu (while I LOVE good food, I’m not that fancy LOL) Then I thought maybe some PPO ADRs. Then I saw this, and I just thought, this is like a PPO ADR but with access to the rides!!! So for just a bit more cost than a character meal (because those ADR’s aren’t cheap either!!!) we can essentially ride the things that would have taken up almost our entire park day at Magic Kingdom. When I put it in the touring plans, we had enough time to leisurely do twice the attractions, just by knocking out Fantasyland in this one hour. So, I’m in. I think.
Here is my question. Has anyone here gone with the “new” format? How likely is it that we could do all of the attractions? We’re starting with PPF, then to Pooh, then 7DMT. Could we expect to also still meet the princesses and do Little Mermaid? It’s a Small World seems like such a long attraction when essentially there is only an hour. I guess we will save the princesses and small world as “if we have time” attractions? Also how likely would we be able to rope drop Space Mountain and get to the breakfast by 9:30?
My hand is hovering over my credit card to book it, I just keep thinking of all the other things we could do with that $$$. But then when I think of what we could do in DISNEY with that same amount, it starts to feel like a deal again. I get super giddy when I think even about the fun pictures I could take of my kids in such an empty fantasyland.
I did the new expanded EMM - Fantasyland during my trip last year. We were a group of seven (three adults, two teens, and two toddlers). We were able to experience everything EMM had to offer within the allotted time with one exception. We chose to ride 7DMT a second time instead of meeting the princesses. This is how we approached it the morning we went. We all started with Peter Pan’s Flight, then walked across to Small World. After that I took the two toddlers on Pooh, while the rest went on 7DMT. After Pooh, I went on 7DMT with the two teens. We proceeded to The Little Mermaid ride and the Mad Tea Party after that. It was around 9:00 at that time so we decided to head over to Tomorrowland to “rope drop” Buzz Lightyear. We were in Cosmic Ray’s around 9:25 eating breakfast followed by our first Fastpass at Space Mountain. It worked out great. It’s an expensive upgrade, but the fact that it allows you to knock out most of Fantasyland before the park opens is great, and the breakfast was a bonus. It’s not a buffet like it was when the breakfast was at Pinocchio’s Village Haus. You go to the counter to pick up a plate of food (pancakes, bacon, eggs, sausage) which you can add to by going to the toppings bar (fruit, pastries, syrup, other toppings). You can get as many plates as you want and as many toppings as you want. I’m returning in less than two weeks and already have EMM booked for this trip. You could easily rope drop Space Mountain followed by breakfast.
I have this booked for our trip next month and am really excited! Disboards has a topic dedicated to fantasyland EMM which I read a lot before booking. So although I’m no help in that I’ve never done it before (or been to Disney yet ) it looks like most things are close to walk ons and I’m hoping we can get through alot with the kiddos!!
If you want to do each of the seven attractions offered you will have time. This is one of the few events where WDW doesn’t seem to oversell it. (or at least there aren’t enough people willing to wake up that early!)
I went back to my TP and looked at what I did - 2x Pooh, 4x 7DMT and 2x PPF and met Cinderella all before walking to breakfast at 9:30am. (I remember it was all at a leisurely pace. I could have “walked with a purpose” to fit in more)
I know it’s not cheap, but IMHO - you save money overall by not wasting time standing in queues during regular park hours. PPF usually has an hour queue and 7DMT is often a 2 hour queue - if you translate that into dollars spent on your park admission ticket per minute MK is open, but just standing in line, you recoup your costs by being able to do more.
Oh! I thought the food was pretty good too. I got into Cosmic Rays about 9:40am and the buffet was still pretty fresh and while no one was let in after 10am I wasn’t made to feel rushed to finish my food. According to my notes I left breakfast at 10:15 am and went to Space Mt.
(You didn’t list your travel dates, but if you are going between 2/11/20 - 3/3/20 EMM dates will be celebrating Cinderella’s 70th Anniversary with special Meet & Greets - Prince Charming / The Mice / Step-Sisters during the EMM event)
Thanks for the reviews! It’s great to hear that all or most of the attractions offered can be easily done. We will be travelling with my mother this time, who has a bad knee (but refuses to get an ECV!!!) I was really really really concerned about rope dropping with her in the crowd. If we can do the EMM, and then Husband and I could take the older two to Space Mountain, that would be all of our park priorities done by breakfast. My mom could just take the youngest to AO or Buzz or Merida while we do SM and meet us back at Cosmic Rays for breakfast. The rest of the day would be so much more leisurely and less stressful. I think THAT is worth the upgrade.
Darkmite, what you said about not just paying for that hour, but also regaining those hours spent waiting in line, is exactly how I sold this to my (skeptical) husband. We’re going in mid-may, so unfortunately will miss the Cinderella event, which is so sad because my middle child LOVES Cinderella (although, of course now proclaims she’s “too old” for princesses.)
EMM is my first choice for upgrades. I’d so much rather have the easy access to our favorite rides and then a leisurely rest of the day than any fancy meal. There are several other things I’d cut from the budget before this.
This is one I really love and I think it works well for a wide range of age groups. We did it in Dec 2018 which I think was shortly after they switched to the new format. We didn’t do it this past trip (Dec 2019) as it simply didn’t fall on the right date and I wasn’t moving my AK days to accommodate it (although I briefly considered doing so). To me it compares more favorably than a PPO ADR so I only consider it a slight uncharge (against a Garden Grill or Tusker House).
My older son (9) is a daredevil. He’d love to just ride 7DMT nonstop. Meanwhile my younger son (7) refuses to do 7DMT. H and I split up and took turns with each boy during EMM in 2018. Other than PPF and maybe UTS the older one doesn’t care about Fantasyland so it’s easy to knock this one land out and then move on to the rest of the park by 9:30. We circled back to do breakfast at 10am. My younger son did everything but the princess M&Gs by 9am.
My mom is 74. About a year ago I, basically, refused to take her to places like the zoo or such if she didn’t get the ECV that I was willing to pay for. When she FINALLY did it she was so happy! It’s just pride about getting older. IMHO - an EVC for someone of your mom’s age with mobility issues at WDW is a must. She may realize it by day two as well! It’s miles and miles of walking each day.
If this is your plan, remember to wait until about 9:15am to walk to Tomorrowland. Otherwise, she’ll be “caught” in the RD crowd rushing to get there.
My DD is now 18 and when we started going to WDW she was 10. (IMHO - any younger is a waste of money, but that’s just me.) At 12 she said she didn’t want to meet anyone / autographs anymore because she was too “big / cool”. It only took one character interaction to make her forget all that! I had to scrap an entire planned out day at MK, later that week, just to make it “autograph day”. So… you never know how kids are going to react to character until they’re at the park. According to TP and the Unofficial Guide Character meetings are the #1 attractions at both WDW & DLR - more than rides!
I can understand where you’re coming from, but to me, taking my toddlers last year and again in a couple of weeks is so worth it. Seeing their faces light up when they meet the characters or see the fireworks or experience the attractions is priceless. They may not remember doing those things when they’re older, but we will have memories and photographs to look back on.
I went for a Moms only trip in May and we did 2 EMMs and felt they were totally worth it. We did the HS Toy Story land one on our first day and the MK FL on our final day (which was Mother’s Day). I felt both were worth the extra cost! I wasn’t able to stay as many days due to my traveling partners time limitations, so this allowed us to get more done in a smaller amount of time. Breakfast included made it even easier to justify. We were a little late to the FL one and we were still able to ride PPF, UTS, Winnie the Pooh, and 7DMT X 3 and still got over to RD SM, then headed over to Cosmic Rays for Breakfast (which served as both lunch and Breakfast, so really saved us on two meals on the days we did EMM).
For me 6 -7 was the sweet spot, but seeing all the families with toddlers/preschoolers, I sometimes wish we had done it when they were younger. They aren’t going to remember their first Christmas or first birthday, but that didn’t stop me from going nuts for those events.
Oh… I know this is a “hot take” and I’m in a minority.
I’ve had other parents look at me like I’m evil because I went to WDW without my kid when she was younger. Before 10 years old, we did “day trips” to local amusement parks / Putt-Putt / water parks. She liked those trips as much as she would have liked Disney at a fraction of the cost / travel.
I’ve worked in the theme park industry for years and have seem 1000’s of tired, crying, screaming kids AND parents walking through the parks. That never seemed like a vacation to me.
I have to say, I am shocked at how much my son remembers from the trip we took 4 years ago. He was 4 then and he’s now 8. Just the other day, he said “remember how you and I were the only ones who got to see the show where Mickey fights the big dragon?” I had totally forgotten that DH and our other kids were late and couldn’t get into Fantasmic. He also talks about fighting Darth Vader and how many times we went on Haunted Mansion. The memories were for me, but I am now confident he will have them, too!
If I lived closer it’s be different. I brought her to Six Flags, as I worked for them at a Corporate level, for years because it was free and because I / she had VIP access to everything. So… I’m not opposed to taking kids to parks - just not spending $5K - $7 and a week of vacation time to do it.
If you decide to do EMM, I would not do Small World during EMM. The ride is about 15 minutes and at the price you are paying per minute of EMM, I think you are better off riding 7DMT and/or PPF a second time. MK is not that big so it’s relatively easy to circle back to Small World during regular hours.
While not the same time commitment as Small World, I would also skip Under the Sea and Teacups during EMM and spend that time on rides that have much longer waits during regular hours.
I agree 100% with all of this. However, since OP stated that they really wanted to do “all” the FL offered attractions I didn’t bother to explain.
IMHO - If they make a TP with EMM included it’s possible to do them all, but maybe only once each. I’d rather lock down the rides, during EMM, that are going to have 1 - 2+ hr waits during regular hours and do Teacups / Carousel / VotLM later in the day with only 15 - 20 minute waits (at most)
FWIW, we did EMM this past summer and would highly recommend it. We met the princesses (nobody at all was in line), rode PP, Pooh, Carrousel, Tea cups, and 7DMT 4 times in a row. We could have then easily gone to either IASW or Under the Sea, but we chose to eat the breakfast right at 9 and then were one of the first in line to see Merida at 9:30. We also got our picture taken at Cinderella’s wishing well with nobody in line.
Edited to add that we were the only ones on the carrousel and DS was excited to easily ride Cinderella’s horse with the golden ribbon…