Day 17: Early morning!
Yesterday I decided to set my alarm at 5:30am. Yes you read that right, and know I don’t really like it anymore. But let’s just continue with the plan I’m awake now anyways.
At 5:55am I’m in the car towards Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s to score a boarding pass for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. This a is a brand new ride, open since just over a month and apparently the best theme-park ride in the world at this moment.
But why wake up and what is a Boarding Pass you might think? A Boarding Pass is a virtual ticket from a virtual queue system. To get a boarding pass you need to be inside the park, this is known the moment you use your ticket or magic and to enter the park. The park opens before it’s official opening time of 7:00am but the distribution of boarding passes starts only at 7:00am the parks official opening time. To get a virtual boarding pass you need to use the app or stand in line with guest experience. And then cross your fingers to be within the first 96 boarding passes as only these are guaranteed access.
I parked my car at 6:10am, entered the park at 6:15am found a nice spot to sit a bit covered the wind. Here I finished writing yesterday’s blog before it was 7:00am. At 6:59 I was fully prepared and less then a Minute later I got boarding group number 16. People around me got way higher numbers and a couple even got backup boarding group numbers (97 and up).
Now that I had my boarding pass with a low number and the park officially opened I followed the crowds into Galaxy’s Edge on the planet Batuu, also known as Star Wars Land.
What an unbelievable detail, it really looked like being somewhere else. I decided to directly step into the line for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, the other new ride in Galaxy’s Edge.
At 7:30 I stepped out the ride again, I was the right pilot and we actually made it to our target location. Beautifully done, from the queue to the exit of the ride everything is very detailed with many interactive elements. I loved it.
After the ride I walked around a bit and got a Photopass picture taken.
Now I started to feel a bit hungry after all this excitement, but I was also completely disoriented in this land. I went for Mobile Ordering in Ronto Roasters, the Ronto Wrap. Delicious.
The moment I finished the wrap, a notification came in. It was 8:06am and it was time for Boarding Group 16, my group. Way earlier as I thought actually.
And I won’t put any ride spoilers in this post but it was amazing. I had only seen one picture so far, so most of it was a surprise. And I fully agree with the reviews, it’s the best ride I’ve ever been on. It’s also more an experience as a just a ride. Disney is just great at story telling. Too bad I can only ride it once.
I took one more Photopass before I left the park to pick up Daniëlle and Emily. But not before I got Daniëlle a Flat White from the Starbucks inside the Target besides our resort.
I got “home” around 10:15 and at 11:30 we got back to the park for some more excitement. First stop was the Disney Junior area where Emily met with Pluto an Vampirina.
Next stop was Mike & Sully’s meet and greet. Before we got something for lunch at the ABC Commissary.
When our lunch was finished we continued with out Fastpass+ for the Voyage of The Little Mermaid, a musical. Before we got inside the heather we found a cool sweater for Emily: “I speak fluently Disney”.
After the musical we went by Mickey and Minnie Mouse for some pictures in their Red Carpet outfits.
Time for our second Fastpass+ of the day, Toy Story Mania. Emily loved this Shootings ride, this time I had the highest score among us with 158600 points.
We know walked through Galaxy’s Edge. The Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run had a wait time from just 40 minutes and a single rider line, Daniëlle needed to take this opportunity. She got to be engineer and nailed itu with a 100% score (pirate).
Emily and I tried out a restroom on Batuu and they work the same, lucky us. Then I decided that we should try Star Tours, another 4D simulator ride.
I was a bit scared that Emily would not like it and would start to scream/cry. But she actually like it a little bit, the part she didn’t like was that where we went underwater.
We went to meet Doc McStuffins next, and we also found the stroller we parked here earlier again. Daniëlle joined us here too.
We went to the Starbucks and here we decided to fly to the International Gateway with the Skyliner, the second entrance to Epcot. During the ride we talked about going to Canada in Epcot’s World showcase to see the new film.
When we entered the park we walked directly into Mickey Mouse and a couple steps later Goofy.
Then we quickly went to Canada to watch the new movie, and back again to the Skyliner station. A very short visit to Epcot, just to make sure we’d be back in the Studios for Fantasmic on time. We easily made it back and shared Chicken Nuggets and frites at Rosie’s All-American Café.
At 7:25 we walked into the Amphitheater. We picked seats close to the exit to make sure we could get back to the car quickly after the show. Emily loved it, her highlight was seeing Moana in board of the ship at the end of this fabulous nighttime entertainment show.
The show ended close to 8:30pm, and we made it back to our Airbnb by 8:56pm. Emily fell a sleep during the ride but woke up again while we put her PJs on.
And at 11:15pm I’m really exhausted now and decided to upload the blog tomorrow morning as I still need to add pictures but I can’t keep my eyes open.
Day 15: Magical!
Wow, 6:00am and the first alarm went of! Daniëlle and I are awake. 6:30am the next alarm went of, Julia is awake. Alex followed a bit later and as always Emily woke up just before 7:00am.
At exactly 7:30am everyone is where they are supposed to be, in the car! Now it was my job to get us to the Ticket & Transportation Center as quirky as possible. We got to park in Row 208, closer to the entrance as where the tram would bring you nowadays.
We took the boat to the Magic Kingdom from there as we believed it was the quickest option. At 8:15 am we passed the gates and just a couple minutes later we scored our first picture of the day inside the park.
Main Street was still relatively empty and we first went to the Main Street Bakery (a Starbucks). Here we spilt up, Emily and I went to stand in line to meet Mickey Mouse himself, 30 minutes prior to park opening we were 3rd in line. Soon the rest joined us.
After getting our hugs and pictures we left for the first ride of the day, Jungle Cruise. Amazing Skipper, extremely energetic and I believed he pulled out every single joke he could remember. When we excited the ride we directly went in the Magic Carpets of Aladdin as there was no line.
Next up was Big Thunder Mountain, Emily was a bit scared as she didn’t like the long dark tunnel in the Paris-version. But I promised that this one was different, as soon we had the first corner behind us she loved it. As did everyone else.
On to our appointment with Cinderella and Elena (our first FastPass+ of the day), being inside a Kingdom you need to at least try to meet a princess or 2! Fabulous meetings, after the autographs in the books from Julia and Emily and pictures we waived goodbye.
Now Emily wanted to ride Goofy’s Barnstormer, luckily we had a FastPass+ for this one. It’s an epic coaster with a ride length of just 60 seconds and a top speed from 40km/h.
While in line we placed a mobile order for lunch at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe as this was on the way towards our 3rd FastPass+ of the day.
The next FastPass+ was Pirates of the Caribbean, we waited maybe 10 minutes while the regular wait was 70 minutes when we entered. I immediately booked our 4th Fastpass+ for It’s a Small World at 1:15pm.
Before our next FastPass+ was due we stopped at the Hall of Presidents, a sit down attraction. The oldest person in the party actually took the opportunity to rest his eyes a while.
Fully rested we went on to the little cruise around the world, we rocked the boat and many pictures were taken by Julia and Danielle before we set foot on land again.
While Danielle was waiting for the parade and saving a spot for 5 with just herself and a stroller (this is the first day we used it during this vacation) the rest went to the Enchanted Tiki Room. A must do for first-timers, and since Emily barely remembers her first visit here it seems to be a new experience for her too.
Alex & Emily joined Daniëlle soon after but Julia and I were brave enough to stand in line for a must have, the Dole Whip Pineapple Float from Aloha Isle. A delicious treat everyone should try.
3:00pm sharp Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade started. The parade was beautiful as always. Julia suddenly screamed when one of the lost boys suddenly came by to ask what the communication device with an apple on it was. Spoiler: An iPhone. Emily waved at every single character she recognized, that’s just about everyone.
After the Parade we went on to Tomorrowland, the only land we had not yet visit. First ride here was the Astro Orbiter, 60 minutes wait according to the App bit 15 minutes in reality. After we left the ride we went on another classic, the Tomorrow Transit Authority People Mover.
Off course we could not forget to visit the Carousel of Progress to put the song in the head of the first timers.
There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day.
There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, and tomorrow is just a dream away.
Man has a dream, and that’s the start.
He follows his dream with mind and heart.
And when it becomes a reality, its a dream come true for you and me.
So there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day.
There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, just a dream away.
Emily wanted to drive the cars, the Tomorrowland Speedway to be exact. What a fun ride that is, she bumped her head once in the steering wheel as we bumped into Julia and Daniëlle which made a sudden stop.
At 5:45pm we watched the Move It! Shake it! MousekeDance it! Street party.
By now the crowds where getting lower and the line for the Haunted Mansion got shorter. With just 30 minutes wait we decide to go for it. Very nice ride, our expressions on the ride photos don’t do it justice.
Finally time for our 5th and last FastPass+. For Julia this was a true trip back to her youth as “The Little Mermaid” is her favourite Disney movie. As last ride of the day we went for the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party!
Since it was already 7:20pm when we exited the ride we needed to go find a good spot for the firework show “Happily Ever After”. We found a great place to watch it from right in front of the castle.
The firework show was the clear favourite of today, an absolutely stunning combination of projections, fireworks and music. Somewhere half way during the show Emily fell a sleep in her stroller.
Most people started to leave, we decided to wait a bit to have the crowds clear a bit more before we went towards the Monorail. Suddenly it was announced that there would be another projection show on the castle.
After seeing it, we all agreed the real show was still way better.
Now we decided to leave the park, on the way out Emily woke up. We took the Resort Monorail back to the T&TC from where we drove back to the Airbnb where we arrived around 10:00pm.
Emily went straight to bed, we had a couple drinks and some snacks before we called it a day too.