Welcome to my Disney trip recap. This was my 11th trip to Disney and because of that, we decided to approach things differently this trip. The emphasis for this trip was to see as many new things as possible. It was a huge success and I think that this was by far my favorite Florida trip.
After a smooth flight, things got off to a bit of a bumpy start when we arrived at Pop Century to check in. It turns out that their internet was down which didn’t let them do much of anything. We couldn’t complete our check-in which meant that we couldn’t activate our park tickets or our dining plan. The MagicBands that we were so excited to use were currently only good for FastPass+. I had set up some FastPasses in the Magic Kingdom in case we had some time there after checking in, but the long wait due to the internet outage put the kibosh on those plans. We were sent on our way with old fashioned tickets for the night, a temporary room key, and instructions to save receipts for any food purchases we made so that they could be applied to the dining plan.
Due to the delay, we decided to skip eating at the resort and grab some food at the Magic Kingdom. That plan didn’t work out as well as planned since most of the food carts and stands that we passed were closed for the night. We had a good night though. It was slow going upon entering the park due to the Main Street Electrical Parade so we took the first opportunity to ditch the crowds and hung a right at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and went down past the Tomorrowland Terrace. I jealously gazed at the goodies being offered at the Wishes Dessert Party. We didn’t partake on this trip, but we had a great time at the party on our last trip. If you haven’t done it before, it’s definitely worth checking out. You get some great desserts, a nice seat before the fireworks begin, and an area to stand in that’s not very crowded once Wishes begins.
We wanted to get on at least one ride since we had some free time before our Wishes FastPass and the 5 minute wait time at Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin was calling our names. We walked right on and taught Zurg a lesson. Unfortunately, I hadn’t picked up my PhotoPass+ yet and forgot to write down our picture numbers so we lost those ride photos. I had my highest score ever, but Cassidy beat me. Right near the exit to Buzz, we saw that the Tomorrowland dance party was in full swing and went to check it out.
We weren’t there for long, but the dance party was the first thing on our list that we’d never done before. This is a cool thing for parents to bring their kids to if they want to wear them out before returning to the hotel for the evening. Stitch was there dancing along with everyone along with Chip ‘n’ Dale in their space outfits. Jenne and Cass did some dancing while I took some pictures.
From there, we made our way to our Wishes FastPass with the goal of acquiring food on the way. We got to the Rose Garden successfully, but the only food we saw was popcorn which none of us were really in the mood for. So, we weren’t in the greatest of moods as we settled in for the show.
For those of you considering the use of one of your three FastPasses for Wishes, there are some pros and cons. The biggest advantage you have is that you don’t have to stake out a spot an hour or more before the fireworks begin. The time lost waiting for parades and fireworks is one of the worst things about a trip to Disney and avoiding that was one of the things I was most excited about.
The biggest disadvantage that you have of watching from the Rose Garden is that you have an obstructed view of Cinderella Castle. If you haven’t seen the Wishes pre-show before, this could be disappointing. That being said, I thought this was a great place to watch the fireworks. The explosions are high enough in the air that the tree wasn’t an issue even when I was sitting on the ground. The area wasn’t crowded and you didn’t get bumped and poked while watching the show. Getting a viewing area like that with only an investment of around 30 minutes is totally worth it in my book. If you don’t mind spending a little more time, jump in the line for the Rose Garden early and make sure that you get the exact spot that you want.
I normally never leave the park right after Wishes, but we were all hungry and joined the herd moseying down Main Street. We fell for the Cast Member tricks and ended up in a very long line for the ferry. The line did more pretty quickly, but since everyone was being directed away from the Monorail, we would have gotten back to Ticketing and Transportation a lot quicker that way. It was a nice ride across the Seven Seas Lagoon though and there is that great view of the park that you get from across the Lagoon.
Our night concluded with dinner at Pop Century (along with a hundred or so people who had the same idea) and finally completing our check-in. With our MagicBands working, Cassidy now became the official door opener for the trip. Not a bad way to start off the trip. Our first full day was going to be spent at a non-Disney park, but we had to fit in a little Disney first. After all, we don’t make this trip if Disney World doesn’t exist.