Trip Report for Day 2 of August 2018 Vacation
Park visited: Magic Kingdom (full day) + Hollywood Studios (evening/EMH)
# of FastPasses used (or no wait): 11 FP used, 5 attractions w/no wait aka “walk on”
Longest wait: Big Thunder Mountain clocked in at 25 minutes, bleh (unusual for us.)
Approximate crowd levels: 2 for Magic Kingdom
Arrival time: park arrival at 9am, started touring at 9:30am
This may have been one of the most balanced days at the Magic Kingdom ever. We were able to do everything super efficiently, which meant it was also relaxed. Why, you may ask?
The crowd level was a 2! While I believe that there’s really no such thing as “the parks were dead!”, at least not compared to what that statement meant back in the 90’s when it was true…the flow of our day went beautifully due to the smaller crowds.
These are days where Line Hacks just works incredibly well, and we get to walk minimally and experience everything with zero waits. Minimizing walking is becoming more important to me since I’ve had issues with my neck this past year.
Now, we didn’t participate in actual rope drop, but we did go through those turnstiles right at about 8:55am and caught the morning ceremony. After, we hit Starbucks for Amy, and then headed to Sleepy Hollow so I could start the day with my Nutella Crack Waffle (I think Disney calls it fruit though, not crack). SO GOOD.
What happened next, guys…I am incredibly ashamed to admit.
We had planned to go to Big Thunder and jump in stand-by, since it’s typically quick before 9:45am or so, and we don’t use it as a FastPass reservation. We decided to just eat first and delay our trip there…
The stand-by was posted at 15 minutes, which is my max limit for entering a stand-by (really, I don’t even do 20). We decided to jump in line instead of having to worry about getting a FastPass later. Well, the line ended up being a 25 min wait. BLERGH.
Shoulda used Line Hacks for later, but oh well. Still a fun way to start off the day. We played WDW trivia while in line, and Amy also mentioned spotting the “man in the bathtub” for her first time this trip. 😉
Since the below is a pretty good itinerary to follow, and I’m trying to give a behind the scenes look for the Line Hacks skeptics (I’m a diagnosed skeptic, too) – I’m going to slam it out step-by-step for you all:
10am Rode Peter Pan’s Flight w/FastPass
10:10am Rode It’s a Small World, walk on
10:35am Mad Tea Party, walk on
11am Space Mountain w/FastPass
11:30am Backtrack to Frontierland, rode Splash Mountain w/FastPass
12pm Pirates of the Caribbean w/FastPass
12:25pm Splash Mountain 2nd time w/FastPass (can’t get enough, all-time favorite ride)
1pm Haunted Mansion w/FastPass
1:25pm Lunch at Columbia Harbour House (eat upstairs for less chaos!)
2:05pm Winnie the Pooh w/FastPass
2:20pm Under the Sea, walk on. It also started raining at this time, but was a smaller and quick shower that lasted about 20 minutes. We donned our rain gear and it did not stop us!).
2:45pm Space Mountain 2nd time w/FastPass
3:05pm Buzz Lightyear w/FastPass
3:20pm Buzz Lightyear 2nd time w/FastPass (if you’re curious about all the FastPasses at this point and aren’t in the know, see Line Hacks to get in on the party) – ALSO GUYS I SCORED OVER 650,000.
3:45pm Carousel of Progress
4:05pm TTA PeopleMover (the best!)
Indulged on a Plaza Brownie Sundae and people watched as the Mickey’s Not So Scary guests were entering the park at this point, wearing entertaining and fun costumes!
We took our first monorail ride of the trip (I want this shirt) to the Polynesian, and headed straight to Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar! The lovely hostess gave us an estimated wait of about 15 minutes, which ended up being about 6, so it didn’t take long till we were seated.
We had planned for about 3 hours at the Polynesian, so we had plenty of time to enjoy tiki drinks and walk around the hotel. However, after finishing our first round of tiki drinks, the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate. I didn’t get the impression it was real.
We ended up out on the Trader Sam’s terrace, due to the cast members letting us know that it’d be at least an hour before the fire department arrived and gave the all clear. And lovely Disney as usual, they covered our first round and then the next. While there’s not as much “enthusiasm” as there is at the indoor bar, the beautiful weather, fun cast members, and ukulele player made the outdoor patio an equally charming experience.
After enjoying an evening at the Polynesian, we were off to Hollywood Studios for our dinner reservation at Prime Time Cafe!
This is another nostalgia love of Amy’s, and I hadn’t been in forever. It was a blast, although the menu wasn’t much my speed (classic comfort food, mainly meat). I ended up getting the fried chicken plate, which ended up being huge and delicious. Guess who’s room at Pop Century ended up with a spare fried chicken leg hanging out in the fridge up until the last day of vacation…heh.
The reason we had a later dinner reservation was because Hollywood Studios was hosting the Extra Extra Magic Hour Night (yes, double extra, because they had one in the morning also) – so we watched the later Fantasmic! showing right after dinner, and then stayed for rides.
Fantasmic! is incredible and while Illuminations has always been my nostalgic favorite nighttime show, Fantasmic! may be my new one. The soundtrack is amazing, and I drive Amy crazy with the fact that I can sing the entire 22 minutes of it. Sorry Ames.
Afterwards, we made our exit and hit Tower of Terror (which, like Haunted Mansion, is so much better at night). It was essentially walk on.
It was already 11:15pm by the time we were done, so we decided to head to Toy Story Land to scope out the crowds.
Toy Story Land is the main draw, so we did not expect lines to be short. I estimated that both Toy Story Mania and Alien Swirling Saucers were about 25-30 minute waits, and Slinky Dog Dash was posted as 60 minutes.
Dilemma. We don’t wait stand-by, but there is no FastPass distribution during EMH. What are we to do? We couldn’t wait. I estimated that if we waited until closer to midnight and then got in line, the stand-by actual wait would be shorter than posted.
We enjoyed taking pictures around Toy Story Land, and then got in line when the posted wait dropped to 50 minutes. We ended up being in line a total of 38 minutes until we were on the ride. Not terrible, but we don’t get how people do this all day. Between Big Thunder and Slinky, over an hour of our day was waiting in lines.
Besides that, we crushed our day at the Magic Kingdom, and had a ball with our evening as well.
Reminders to always go at lower times of year if you can, make sure you’re hitting the right parks on the right days, and use Line Hacks!