Trip Report, AK-Kidani & BLT - Day 4 (3-19-17) MK


#1

So this plan wound up being extensively reworked practically at the last minute when my constant refreshing of the MDE BOG page finally paid off with a lunch ADR (note: the TP reservation finder worked several times too but I was never able to log onto MDE fast enough to actually secure the reservation). This plan also was the most ride-heavy of the trip, concentrating primarily on Fantasyland, with no big breaks so as to maximize ride-time. To make this work we packed a lot of snacks and drinks this day to give us sustenance as lunch wasn't till 1:20.

Here are my back-of-the-envelope calculations:

And it worked almost spectacularly well! There were a few lines that wound up exceeding predictions, but we were able to move through a few others faster than predicted, so it all evened out. I was pretty proud of this plan, our longest wait of the day was ~20 minutes on IASW. Also, we were able to hit up Carousel of Progress and People Mover on our Saturday quick MK visit, so I was planning on subbing those out and moving up Philharmonic and Regal Carrousel to those slots. Smoother and less walking that way too.

We walked out the door of BLT around 8:15 am. Let me echo the beauty of staying here for the super-easy journey to the MK, complete with own bag-check entrance. We were thru the tapstiles by 8:35, but stopping at the Starbucks on Main St might not have been wise. I sent the family to watch the opening show while waiting in the very long line for coffee. I made it out of there to get up to the castle RIGHT at the moment the show kicked off to find my family in the front row. As the show ended we moved over to the right stairway to be able to go up through the castle at RD. We walked up and over into Fantasyland without a hitch and were among the first 10 or so people to Pooh, which we hopped right on.

From there it was a blur of rides. Pooh, then Dumbo, then the Barnstormer. Both kids rode the Barnstormer, even the 8 yr old roller coaster hater, and it was a valuable confidence builder, as 7DMT was on the agenda for later in the day. Next came the Mad Tea Party, where in accordance with the 8 yr old's wishes we did not touch the center wheel and rode completely spin-free the whole ride. Next, it was time for the "new Fantasyland" rides that were brand new to all of us.

Enchanted Tales with Belle - what cool effects! The 8 yr old played Maurice and the 6 yr old was the dog - great pictures from Photopass here! The whole family quite enjoyed this attraction. Then off to Under the Sea. Hot take: I'd put "Part of Your World" above all the other Disney power ballads, don't @ me. :grin:

We then trekked over to the Haunted Mansion, which we somehow persuaded the 6 yr old to go on with his nightlight. Maybe not the best idea, he did not exactly enjoy it, though he was brave during the 3 or so breakdowns where we sat in the dark for minutes at a time. This one took a bit longer than planned as a result. Then IASW, FPP at Peter Pan's Flight, Philharmagic, and the Carrousel in short order.

And now for the moment of truth. 7DMT FPPs - the 8 yr old roller coaster hater had done Test Track with no issues, as well as Barnstormer, and was building up his ride confidence. He agreed to ride it - and loved it! He wound up calling it his favorite ride of the day. So we were all exhilarated as we headed back over to Beast's castle for our 1:20 BOG ADR, where we arrived around 10 minutes early. We had successfully navigated our most ambitious TP of the trip without a hitch.

We sat in the room with the rotating Beast/Belle dancing in the middle. We had forgotten to add drinks to the pre-order but the server just told us to help ourselves and not to worry about it - very nice! I had the Croque Monsieur which was fine, though not the finest example of the style I've ever had. My wife had the Tuna Nicoise salad which she quite enjoyed. I also had the Potato Leek soup which was very tasty. The 8 yr old had the grilled shrimp which he scarfed right up. Overall, I wouldn't say this was among our more memorable meals food-wise, but the food was fine and the atmosphere was spectacular. I would be interested in trying it out again for dinner.

Post lunch, it was around 2:10 or so. We took the train over to the Frontierland station just for something different. We arrived around 2:30 and crowds were already forming on the parade route. My wife volunteered to find somewhere to sit - she hates being in the sun and wanted to ensure a shady spot. So I took the kids to the Country Bear Jamboree, the highlight of which was the Cast Member busting on Universal Studios at the beginning. We walked out and found my wife who had found spots in front of the Christmas Shoppe across from Sleepy Hollow. The parade was very impressive. What do all the performers do the rest of the day beyond the 30 min they are in this parade? It's quite an undertaking with a huge cast of characters. Very cool.

We had been scared of getting cut off if we had tried to grab Dole Whips before the parade, so now we wandered back over to Adventureland for this treat, and ate it leisurely. I had failed miserably in trying to get day-of BTMR FPPs, best I could do was Splash Mountain FPPs which no one wound up wanting to do anyway (I used the "modify" trick repeatedly to no avail). So our itinerary was pretty much done. We wanted to see the Jack Sparrow pirate show at 4:30, so to pass the time till then we played a round of Pirate's Adventure, which the kids were really into.

The Jack Sparrow show was funny and surprisingly adult in its humor - Jack walked right up to the line of being a bit too aggressive with some pretty young kids in his making fun of them, but my family thought he was hilarious. The kids enjoyed their chance to swordfight and we got some good pics. Only negative is that at this time of day this show is RIGHT in the sun, there's no shade at all.

So with that, it was almost 5 pm, and we were out the gates and back to the hotel. We took the monorail back as the kids were begging for it and at this time there weren't massive crowds. Back at BLT, we changed, rested for a bit, and headed back to the monorail for the trip over to the Polynesian. We were hoping to visit Trader Sam's Grog Grotto before our dinner res, and this proved much easier than we feared, as there were only 10 or so people in there (a bit after 6). My wife got one of the fancy drinks which required cast member hijinks - maybe the Hippopoto-Mai Tai? I got the Kona beer flight. I don't particularly care much for Kona, and this didn't do much to sway my opinion. Fact: when someone ordered the drink that brings out the thunder and makes the volcano erupt, my 6 year old was out the door. He has not having it. :weary:

Then it was dinner-time at Kona Cafe. This was a big hit, despite the host who bemoaned having to be there saying he liked working at O'Hana so much better. We got the back right corner table with a great view of the whole restaurant. We started with the steamed pork buns and the potstickers. The 8 yr old loved the potstickers so much he ordered another round for dessert. He loves what he calls "Japanese noodles" (aka ramen) and we asked the waiter if the chef could make some version of the Pan-Asian Noodles for kids, which they were very happy to do. For the adults, it was sushi time! We ordered the nigiri (which included salmon, tuna, white tuna, scallops, and octopus), the volcano roll, the California luau roll, the kamikaze roll, and the tuna poke. This was a LOT of food, of which there were two definite highlights - the tuna poke and the volcano roll were both outstanding. They definitely didn't skimp on the wasabi, which endlessly delighted the kids as they re-enacted Mater's wasabi scene from Cars 2. I also had a Napa Smith Hopageddon DIPA, which was fine but I didn't find to be the best example of the style.

Wrapping up, we were nervous about Wishes. We left Kona at 8:30 and were pretty nervous about making it back to BLT in time for the show, as the monorail can't always be trusted. Luckily, we made it back at 8:50.

There was much debate on various threads here a few weeks ago, so let me say definitively - as long as you are staying at BLT on points (as we were, seeing that we rented points thru David's DVC), you ARE allowed up to Top of the World Lounge! We made it up at 8:55 and enjoyed a SPECTACULAR view of Wishes. This was no joke one of the top highlights of the trip, just a wonderful setting and so beautiful. I enjoyed a Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale and my wife had a Bay Lake Sunset. We watched the show and then just enjoyed the afterglow in the lounge for a few minutes afterwards. What a day!

Back down to the room to crash (but not without our nightly dose of the Electric Water Parade first!) :wink:


Best restaurant from which to watch MK Fireworks?
#2

Great report!


#3

Thank you so much for reporting! We are renting BLT through David's and I was SO hoping we would be able to get up there to watch the fireworks our last night. What a view!


#4

I needed to come and add- I have only gone to Kina for breakfast but your meal looks delicious!


#5

Yes, it was one of the favorite meals of the entire trip. :yum:


#6

Great report!

We also used the Barnstormer warm-up technique for our daughter before we tried 7DMT. She had ridden Barnstormer the previous trip with some trepidation, but announced she loved it after.

Last trip, she started to freak out about Barnstormer during the 15 minute wait. I had to use all of my Jedi mind tricks to keep her focused, and luckily she toughed it out and had no issue at 7DMT.

Good times. (<-Non snarky usage.)


#7

We are going to do the roller coaster progression in June with our DS4.5 too. Glad it worked for you!


#8

Thank you for testing this out. We are also going to be staying at BLT on rented points in June and I'd love to go up there. Did you have to show them anything at the desk before going up?


#9

What is roller coaster progression?


#10

Starting young kids with the easier Disney coasters and then progressing up the scale in hopes that a good earlier ride makes them less fearful of the bigger coasters. The MK progression is: Barnstormer->7DMT->BTMRR->Space Mountain. Although some would claim Barnstormer is rough not due to thrill but ride. Expedition Everest and RockNRoller Coaster would slot in above those and I think it depends on what bothers you on which is more thrilling - Everest has the backwards part and jostles you more - RNRC has the fast start & inverts...


#11

You had to go to a stand in the lobby to check in. The person there verified you were a valid guest, then you were allowed to go the elevator line. This was 15 minutes before fireworks - there's a good chance if you were going at other times, you could just go right up.