|A Magical Morning Spent Ahead of the Crowds|
Tip Time: If you plan to take a daily break, and you don't want Mousekeeping to arrive while you are resting in your room, you can request that they service your room in the mornings. Mousekeeping cannot guarantee time slots, but they will do their best to accommodate you.
|Afternoons are best spent in the pool|
|Our little character junkie with her favorite chipmunks|
As I'd learned that morning, it is crucial to allow room in your touring plans for a certain level of spontaneity. However, if you acquiesce to riding each attraction ten times or you agree to meet every character that you happen to see, your morning will fall apart, and you will completely defeat the purpose of a having a touring plan. To avoid this, I identified the most popular characters whose lines typically become prohibitively long in the afternoons and evenings, and I worked them into our morning touring plans. I explained to the kids that, while we would try to meet all of the important characters at some point, we would not be stopping for furry creatures in the mornings. Then, in the evenings, we could be more flexible and Sadie could meet a few characters on impulse.
Tip Time: Arriving early and following a touring plan allows you to enjoy the headliner rides in the morning with very little wait. Consequently, your evenings will be much more relaxed, with plenty of time for spontaneous diversions like giant chipmunks.
|The castle, all aglow|
Unfortunately, unbeknownst to us, Main Street becomes completely clogged immediately after the parade, morphing rapidly into the Main Street Electrical Blockade. A wall of people are trying to move toward the exit, while another wall of people are attempting to head toward the castle for the fireworks. When we hit the Castle Forecourt that night, we came to a veritable standstill where we remained for nearly ten minutes. When we finally started moving, we inched along for almost a half hour until we finally reached the entrance. Needless to say, this was a decidedly un-magical way to end our day.
Tip Time: Since that evening, I have discovered multiple strategies for avoiding the Main Street Electrical Blockade. The content of your touring plan dictates which strategy is best for your family.
Finally free of the crowd, we began our walk back to the Contemporary Resort, feeling frustrated and grumpy from being trapped in a logjam of people. When we had almost reached the lobby of our hotel, however, the first "boom" of the Magic Kingdom fireworks shattered our bad moods.
"Look, Mom!" my son exclaimed, as he looked behind him, squinting between the trees that blocked the barely visible Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. "Fireworks!" Realizing that we could catch the fireworks finale from our balcony if we hurried, we began racing through the lobby to hop on the next elevator to our floor, the kids laughing with abandon. When we reached our room, we flung open the door and tore to our balcony, just in time to watch the night sky explode with color. Huddled together, we stared at Cinderella Castle as it shimmered in the night, not moving until the last ember dissolved in the sky, all of our frustration melting away with it.
Next Up: Epcot
The Magic Minus the Mayhem