We used our vouchers to enjoy the breakfast buffet. The buffet included an omelet station, cereals, muffins, croissants, fruit, yogurt and chafing dishes of eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage and french toast/pancakes. Pretty standard for a hotel buffet, but we were happy with the freshness and quality of the food.
After eating, we got on line for the shuttle. I’m not sure if I misunderstood the receptionist at check-in or if she gave me the incorrect information, but we were way too early for the shuttle. The printed schedule we received listed the shuttles as starting at 6:10 and running to the parks on the 10 and 40. The actual time of the first shuttle, however, was always 50 minutes before park opening, THEN following the 10 and 40 pattern. So we got on line for what we thought was the 7:40 shuttle…when the first shuttle was running at 8:10. Not a huge deal.
After getting the shuttle and making one stop, we were at the park gates by 8:30. We weren’t as close to the turnstiles as I would have liked to be, but we were through fairly quickly after the countdown. (That’s one thing I do miss about Magic Kingdom in Florida…the opening show.) On my Disney trips, I love the thrill of walking down Main Street for the first time. Since it was still about 10 minutes to 9:00, ropes blocked off each land. I was surprised how close to this rope we were. It made being farther back at the turnstiles less important.
After the music and announcement, we were off into Fantasyland. Our first stop was Alice in Wonderland. This is Bean’s favorite ride in Disneyland. Why not run to Peter Pan? That’s actually the strategy when we are in Florida, but the line for this was pretty long about 3 minutes after rope drop. It always seems to be a solid 20-30 minutes, and it doesn’t make sense to waste shorter morning lines on Peter Pan. Fortunately, we were able to ride Peter Pan later that day with no wait.
After Alice in Wonderland, we split up: Bean, my mother and I went to the Storybookland Boats and my husband, dad and Sport went to the Matterhorn. The boats weren’t running yet, so we waited a little longer than I anticipated. By the time we got off, we saw that the Matterhorn group had just boarded the boats and we waited a few minutes for them to finish.
After that, we headed into Tomorrowland to get Space Mountain Fastpasses. We detoured, however, when we saw the line for the Finding Nemo Submarines was only 5 minutes. We hadn’t ridden this ride last time because the line were always too long. I know this ride gets very mixed reviews, but we took a chance. I’m glad we did! My mom has wanted to ride this since it was originally 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Since I had such low expectations, I was pleasantly surprised. The loading and unloading is slow, so even a short line can eat up a lot of touring time. But, the ride itself was very cool. Everyone in the group liked the ride, so it was time well spent.
After the submarines, we grabbed Space Mountain passes, then rode Astro Orbiter. I’ve never gotten to ride the Florida version, but I think being up that high would make it more exciting.
Fun ride, but would love the views if it were higher.
Next up was Buzz Lightyear, then we took some Photopass pictures.
…Which brings me to a great example of how Disney goes out if its way to make customers happy. I visited the photo store at the end of Main Street. This was after I had been unable to purchase the multi-day Photopass option online and wanted to do it in the park. However this was easier said than done. My family went to get snacks and drinks after about 10 minutes of waiting. Overall, I spent about a half an hour in the photo store and walked away without the photo purchase. None of the cast members could figure out what the issue was. After many attempts to sign into My Disney Experience and make the purchase, it was simply not going through. There was no way for the Cast Members to ring it up without my account. I expressed my frustration to one cast member and he offered an anytime Fastpass for any ride. Only when he did this did I realize that he was wearing a plaid vest. Plaid cast members are awesome. I find they have a little more discretion when helping and offering remedies. I picked Peter Pan-it doesn’t have a Fastpass option and the lines are consistently long. It was a no-brainer.
Overall, I was impressed with how well the Cast Member handled the situation. At no time did I raise my voice, but he could tell I was really frustrated with the app. I appreciate that he attempted to “give back” some of the time I’d lost.
Met back up with my family and they’d also picked up ‘First Visit’ buttons for my parents and birthday buttons for the girls (we couldn’t go on their actual birthday, but it was within the week). We rode the carousel and tried to pull the sword from the stone. I’d love to hear if anyone has ever done this-we’ve never done it or seen anyone else pull it out.
After that it was a stroll down Main Street for our lunch reservation at Carnation Cafe!