Day 1: An Unsuaully Late Start (Magic Kingdom)

We woke up late.

Let me stress that this never happens. We’re usually out the door by 8:25, latest, standing at the gates by 8:50 with 10 minutes to spare. Not this time.


Magic Kingdom is already open. We’re barely entering through the parking entrance gates. I was looking forward to our usual magical ride through the one-track monorail, but this morning was about sacrifice. Our usual routine for the park was already on backlog, and this would add at least a 15-20 minute wait to each ride. We took a plain ol’ non-magical looking bus: the fastest route according to Disney staff members.

Once inside, we snaked our way around the thousands of people stopping for photo ops in Main Street U.S.A., paused for a second to admire the always beautiful Cinderella castle, and then immediately ran past Adventureland and straight to our usual first stop of the day: Frontierland.


We’ve done this route for a while. Start at Frontierland, head straight for Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad to avoid lines at two very popular attractions. Usually, we get absolutely zero line for either of these, but with our 30 minute backlog, we had to wait around 25 minutes at each attraction.

The mornings in Florida are so humid, it looked like I’d already ridden Splash Mountain before I even stepped foot in the boat. I was sweating so much, it was insane. 


Next stop: The Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square. This has always been a long-time favorite of mine, I’m actually quite fond of that one Eddie Murphy movie that most people pretend doesn’t exist. The “time wait” claimed it was about 35 minutes, but in reality ended up being around 17 minutes in total.

Unfortunately the ride somehow managed to break down a total of three times while we rode, each time for a few seconds. The entire situation was made hilarious by an older 20-something year old girl five carts down who would absolutely lose her shit every time the ride stopped. Made my day.

I was pleased that the Hall of Presidents was closed for refurbishment. I wasn’t going to sit through an entire 20 minutes listening to Trompas try and deliver a speech. I read that there was a lot of drama involved in his induction into the Hall of Presidents so it’ll probably be a while before he’s included.


Our first FP+ of the day: Little Mermaid’s Grotto. The ride itself was nice, a new classic. Had the same feel as the old character rides in Fantasyland. However, I do not think the FP+ was necessary for this ride. We could’ve waited a measly 15 minutes of queue and saved ourselves the FP+ for another ride.

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After a quick trip to It’s A Small World, we skipped everything else in this part of the park to head for Space Mountain in Tomorrowland. We had a FastPass for this ride! It was awesome. Everyone else stared at us while we skipped 60 minutes of wait time. It felt like in the films, when everyone is in line for the club and a really cool girl skips the line at the front. I was that cool girl. Hell yeah!


We did a few more rides in the same area, like Stitch’s Great Escape and Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, before heading to the next FP+: Buzz Lightyear Star Command. I love this ride! It’s so much fun competing against my sister. I totally won this time around! She denies it, but she’s just being a sore loser.


Quick lunch at a place called Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. It’s our usual eating spot. This year it was under construction, which is exciting! I’ve been saying it needs a bit of a facelift for years. Thankfully we were still able to eat there. It’s one of the cheapest meal options in Magic Kingdom. We ordered a normal burger and scarfed it down.


So there’s a new ride in Fantasyland called the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It’s a small kid roller-coaster type ride, based around Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This ride is such a phenomenon right now let me tell you. The queue for this was around 110 minutes long… and FP+ tickets were sold out for it all day. We decided to bite the bullet and do the nearly two hour ride… clearly a mistake was made.

Forty minutes into the line, a nice lady comes on the speaker to let us know that the ride is closed indefinitely due to lightening in the surrounding area. It was extremely disappointing. We considered staying in line, but ended up deciding that the ride wouldn’t be worth it in the end.

Maybe I’ll ride it next time around that I make my way to Disney. (Also, next time I’ll know about the new FP+ system a bit more, so I’m sure I could make it work)


Rode a few more rides at Fantasyland, including Peter Pan’s Flight (which we had FP+ for), The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, and Mickey’s PhilharMagic. We also managed to stumble upon the best water fountain in the park! It tasted amazing? Which might be weird to say about a water fountain, but it honestly did! Plus it was amazingly cold and refreshing. 

A quick online search claims that the water has Pixie Dust in it. Who am I to doubt the magic of Disney? 

Not long after, we got hit by the usual Florida rain, and took cover in the few rides we had left, like Carousel of Progress and the Peoplemover. 


Our last FP+ was cancelled because of the rain (Tomorrowland Speedway), and we were given a Multiexperience Pass that we could use to hop the line at almost any ride in the park! Except that Dwarfs ride, obviously. 

We headed to Adventureland to do everything we had skipped in the morning, and used our fancy “sorry-for-cancelling-your-FP” pass to ride Pirates of the Caribbean 

We got stuck on this ride a few years ago. They had to call the Mickey Mouse Fire Department, it was pretty awesome. We didn’t get stuck this time but the ride was still great. They’re refurbishing it in a few years, so this will probably be the last time I see the “wench-selling” scene. Can’t wait to see what they’ll do with it! 


Rode Jungle Safari! I heard that there’s a film in the works based on this ride and I’m so excited! Honestly, the enjoyment of this ride completely depends on how funny your Skipper is. Our Skipper KILLED it. If you follow me on Snapchat, you would’ve seen his best moments. He was the funniest Skipper I’ve ever had on that ride and I loved him for it.


Somehow, we ended up forgetting that the night show requires at least an hour of waiting to get a good spot. Today was full of rookie mistakes, honestly. 

We ended up at the very back, near Main Street USA. Which was disappointing at first, but the fireworks were spectacular 


My favorite part of a day at Magic Kingdom is Main Street USA at nighttime. It lights up with hundreds of fairy lights and it makes everything look ten times more magical, even after the castle firework show. 

But it was the end of the night, and it was time to go home. We hitched a ride on the Ferryboat and caught a surprise mini-electric parade on the water! It was such a nice end to an otherwise hectic day. 

Time to sleep and do it all over again tomorrow. Biggest park done, the rest should be easy peasy. Should.


How To Use FastPass+ In Magic Kingom

I’ll be honest here. I’m writing the first draft of this blog post on a nearly two-hour queue for a ride. Which is very unlike us, considering we have a hard-set curated-over-the-years routine on how to tackle this mammoth of an amusement park. Two things set us back this year, that we hadn’t anticipated: 1. the new FastPass+ system, and 2. we woke up late.

This post might be a long one, so buckle in and get ready for the tips and learn from my past (and current!) mistakes.

Disclaimer: This advice is based on my own experiences, and on the assumption that the park tickets are bought in advance. This also skips through most “kids rides” and character meet and greets, although you can always do those in between my recs! There’s plenty of time, time that I spent on short 20-30 minute queues for rides, that you could use for character meet and greets! This advice is also based mostly on Magic Kingdom, but I will post info for the other three parks after I’ve gone in with trial and error for the next three days.

First off, if you’re not aware what the FastPass system is, it’s basically a “fast lane” in the queue for rides. You choose a ride, at a specific time, and you’re allowed entry in the priority line for the span of an hour (you’re only allowed in once!) It was a really cool system that, beforehand, required you to go to kiosks and get printed tickets. With the new system, everything is electronic! Which brings me to my first advice:

Make Early FastPass+ Reservations


If you and your party are staying at a Disney resort you’re allowed to pick three FastPass+ ride selections 60 days in advance! If you’re not staying in a Disney resort, you get to pick three selections 30 days in advance.

We, stupidly, did not think this was necessary. We’ve gone many times and always got our FastPass tickets in kiosks at the park! Why would we need to get them so far in advance? This was, as you can tell, a mistake.

I can now say, with a matter of urgency, book your tickets early, and on your 60 or 30 day mark, wake up at 7 in the morning to make ride selections!!

New and popular rides sell out very quickly, and the best way to secure the best FastPass+ selections is to choose early. I’ll get to my selection reccomendations later, but just to double stress: if its 30/60 days before (depending on your hotel choice) please make early reservations. 

Get The App Immediately

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The new FastPass+ system works so much better if you have it at hand. Here’s a couple things you can do with the app:

  •  You can set up your travel party’s information and have quick access to add and change FastPass+ selections.
  • You can add your desired times for parades and scheduled shows to make an itinerary.
  • It is equipped with a map that can direct you to any show, attraction, restroom, or gift shop that you want.
  • The map is also equipped with real-time queue times for every attraction in Disney World! This is such a bonus, you don’t have to walk across the park only to find that the ride you want to get on has a 60 minute wait.

Your life will just be easier with the app, trust me. I also recommend putting touch id for access to this app instead of relying on the password to enter, it’ll make accessing your FastPass+ information so much easier.

FastPass+ Early Reservation Recommendations:

There are so many options for FastPass+ ride selections at so many different time options, it’s really easy to get overwhelemed. This is a list of the rides in Magic Kingdom that I think are most important to get FastPass+ tickets for! Remember that this can be done on the Disney website or app!

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Buzz Lightyear Star Command

Three of these can be selected prior to your day in the park, one can be chosen the day of. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train sells out EXTREMELY quickly, so I would say that should be your first priority on the pre-selections.

Peter Pan averages at a wait time of about 70-90 minutes during heavy hours, Space Mountain varies from 100-140 minutes. Buzz Lightyear is less of a wait, 45-60 minute wait, but it is worth getting a fast pass for this!

FastPass+ Time Selections

As for choice times, your golden window is 11AM to 4PM. That’s the best times to select your early choices! Important things to remember: your FassPass+ Selections cannot overlap! For example: if you select a FastPass+ for 11AM, you will be barred from choosing any other FastPass+ from 11AM to 12PM, because each FastPass+ gives you a window of an hour to get to your selected ride.

It would be ideal to select “Seven Dwarfs Mine Train” at around 11AM, “Space Mountain” at around 12AM, and “Peter Pan” around 4PM, and getting Buzz Lightyear while in park for any time between 1PM and 3PM.

I will be making a separate post on how we managed our time in Magic Kingdom, because it is the hardest park to fit into one day, but I figured a post on how the new FastPass system works would be helpful.

Once you use up your preselected FassPass+ selections and the single in-park selection you made, you are able to choose FastPass+ tickets, one at a time. At this point you can get FastPass+ tickets for rides like the Tomorrowland Speedway, The Jungle Cruise, and Pirates of the Caribbean, or if you want, the various Character Meet & Greet Options in Fantasyland.

Barter With The FastPass+ Kiosk & App

Bit of a tip, if the app is showing you a selection at 11:35 and you want to get it at 11:20, exit out and try again! Or, alternatively, get the 11:35 selection and then click the Modify button and refresh! Usually you can get FP+ selection options for ten or even twenty minutes earlier than the first option that became available to you! Remember, you can make modifications on your app, so you can barter with the FP+ generator while in line for any other ride.

That’s all I have for you for now. Everyone’s asleep, so I’m gonna go join them. Tomorrow will be an actual vacation post with photos and stories! 🙂

Good night all!