Day 1 – Sunday, May 5
We left home at 6:30 AM for a morning flight. It was relatively uneventful, except for a big meltdown from my 5 yo at the airport. She wanted a breakfast pastry right when it was time to board, so she melted and I had to drag a screaming, thrashing child onto the plane. She settled down once we were seated for an easy flight.
Upon arriving in Orlando, we made our way to Magical Express. We waited about 25 minutes to board, but departed immediately once we were seated. My 5 yo melted again while waiting in line. I think she was just amped up and struggling with waiting. Once the bus left, it was an easy ride. Our second stop was the Polynesian. It was about noon and we got our room ready text while on the bus. We went right to our room, dropped our luggage and put our kids in swimsuits. We wanted to get some of their energy out after a morning of sitting and lines.
We headed over to the pool, but stopped for food first at Captain Cooks. We made our kids have lunch so they wouldn’t get hangry—this is a big issue for them. We had a good enough quick meal of noodles and a Dole whip. The weather was lovely and sunny. I took the kids to a quick bathroom break, only to step out of the bathroom to a clap of thunder. They blew the whistle and cleared the pools. Dark storm clouds were on the distant horizon. My 5 yo melted. She had really, really wanted to swim. My almost 3 yo melted too.
We scooped up our crying kids, went back to the room, put them back into clothes because it didn’t look like a short storm, and waited out a terrible squall that rolled in so quickly. Super heavy wind and rain for about 30 minutes.
We quickly regrouped, and told them that we were going to the parks early to ride rides. They perked up. We popped them in the stroller with a rain cover, pulled on our ponchos and headed to the monorail for MK in a steady rain. Upon arriving at the MK station, the squall started up again bigtime. Super heavy rain and wind. Big thunder and lightning. Lots of people, even under the shelter, were getting soaked. We waited out the worst of it for about 30 minutes before heading into the park in a steady downpour.
All of our FPP were set for after our 4:05 dinner at CRT because we were planning to swim and I didn’t want to worry about flight delays. So my new goal was just to do easy things to kill some time before dinner. We did a quick ride on the teacups with no line. Happy kids. A quick ride on the carousel. Happy kids. Micky’s Phillharmagic. Super happy kids—they loved this show.
Coming out of that show my husband commented that it looked like Disney was full of homeless people. Large numbers of soaked people were laying on the gross ground under every overhang. It was hard to get past them carrying kids to exit the theater. I checked MDE and decided to head towards Small World, but when we got there it was closed. I looked at MDE and literally couldn’t find anything that was open without a 100+ minute line. All of the outdoor rides were closed. Almost all of the indoor rides were closed. We started wandering in the drizzle, which perhaps wasn’t my best moment. I didn’t want to stop for food because we had a reservation coming up. We tried to see if anything might be reopening Haunted Mansion, Country Bears, Magic Carpets, Jungle Cruise, Splash, Big Thunder, and Pirates, but they were all closed with no sign of reopening. Completely thrown off by the closures, I asked a cast member what we should do. She suggested Buzz, but that had a long wait on the other side of the park. We wandered a bit more—sopping wet with now grumpy kids. The rain had stopped and it looked like things might reopen. We happened to be near Magic Carpets as it reopened, so we jumped on that. Happy kids.
We decided to head over to CRT to see if we could check in. It was 4 PM. The CM told us that we could check in at our reservation time, but that really we should come back after 4:30 PM because they couldn’t get us in sooner. We wandered again. Most rides still hadn’t reopened even though the rain had mostly stopped, so lines were pretty long everywhere. We got the kids pixie dusted at Castle Couture, got some smashed pennies, and went back to check in. Got into the castle at 4:40 PM. Met Cinderella at 4:50 PM. Seated at 5:05 PM.
Our kids were ridiculously excited to meet the princesses. Our almost 3 yo had a prioritized checklist of who she had to meet. It was all she’d been talking about for weeks. Our 5 yo was really amped up too. Our table, however, happened to be on the side of the room such that we were the very last table the princesses visited on their rotation. Our kids thought this was agony. We had planned to distract them with food, but our food took at least 45 minutes to arrive. The wait for food and princesses was pretty miserable. Our kids were hungry, overexcited and bored all at once. The ballroom did something with wands, but we couldn’t see or hear with a pillar in the way and our waitress had never brought their wands so my kids started sobbing. Still no food. Still no princesses. Now no wands. We put them back together and finished strong with princesses, dinner and a wand from the waitress, but it wasn’t a great experience overall. Everything was crammed into the last 20 minutes (yes, three courses and all princesses). We got out right after 6 PM. If you asked my kids, they felt like they waited from 4 PM-5:45 PM to meet the princesses—an eternity for them.
Our 7DMT FPP had been from 5:30-6:30 PM, but had converted to an anytime FP. The ride had reopened, but the FPP line went all the way around past BOG. A cast member said it would take about 45 minutes. We couldn’t make this work with angsty kids and needing a childswap, so we stopped at the guest relations booth just across from 7DMT and waited in a line several families deep. That cast member was pretty incredulous when I asked if they’d extend our anytime FP because we couldn’t wait for 7DMT that evening with little kids. He only wanted to extend it to the next day, but we weren’t going to be back at MK the next day. He offered us a tier 2 at Epcot for the next day, but that seemed like a pretty crappy trade. He eventually relented and extended it to Thursday, so we could use it on our MK day. Awesome.
We headed over to Space Mountain for our 6:30 PM FPP. We got a childswap. I rode with my DD5. It was her first rollercoaster ever and she looooved it. My husband planned to take my DD2 on the People Mover during the swap, but the PM closed so he just ended up waiting with her. We swapped kids and he went to ride Space with DD5, who was so so so so thrilled to show her Dad her new favorite ride. I went to take my DD2 on the PM, which had just reopened. Right as I sat down on the PM, he texted that Space was down. He waited with my DD5 while we finished the PM. He was pretty miffed because the cast member had told him that his FP had expired because the ride was open during our FPP window, but that childswaps don’t convert to an anytime FP and that he was out of luck.
By that time, our FPP for Buzz was open, so we went to ride that. Tons of fun. Happy kids. My husband can’t do spinning rides and our prior rides were teacups, carousel, and magic carpets, so this was literally his only ride of the day. He was pretty bummed overall, but had a really good time on Buzz. I snagged a FPP for Tinkerbell for our way out of the park thinking it would be an easy end to the night. We waited in line for Tink for more than 30 minutes without moving forward a single person. We finally bailed when our kids declared themselves done with waiting and monorailed back to the resort for an 8:30 PM bedtime.
On the way back we realized that, for two of us, MDE had used anytime FP for Tink instead of the specific FP for her. No idea why. We were in the middle of the FP window. My husband stopped at the desk at our hotel after bedtime. They fixed our anytime FP and gave him a FP for Space to replace the one he didn’t get to use, but wouldn’t give him one for our DD5 so that they could ride together. They told him that childswaps can’t be extended for ride closure. Leaving that interaction, he was pretty grumpy that they wouldn’t just set it up so he could ride with DD5. The whole point for him was to ride with our 5 yo on her first roller coaster. He doesn’t really care to ride alone. Spoiler alert, he never did use that FP.