Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Disney Day One- Princesses Galore

Well today was our official first day at Disney! And the plan was a big one, including lots of princesses. We were all up extremely early and got out the door by like 7:40am or so to walk to the Magic Kingdom. 

Brynley had a BBB appointment for a princess makeover at 8am at Magic Kingdom.  I recommend booking a pre park appointment (or breakfast at Crystal Palace or Cinderella’s Royal Table) as you will get in the park early and can be ahead of the crowds before they come in. I wasn’t sure they would let all 11 of us in since it was only one little girl that had the appt, but they did, no problem.  If you do have a pre park reservation, there is usually a cast member at the far left with a clipboard or ipad and they will verify your reservation and let you go in early! It is always fun to explore Main Street with no one there.  And that is exactly what we did.  see how empty it is?

Since BBB won’t let all 11 of us in there to watch Brynley get her makeover, my immediate family just wandered Main St. a bit and took some photos and took it all in, the music, the smells etc. My parents went to watch Brynley become a princess.  Unfortunately Olivia was too young as they only take three and up.  While they do offer a package with a dress, I highly recommend saving your money and bringing/wearing your own princess dress from home.The MK was decorated for fall and just gorgeous. 

Look there aren't thousands of crowds around! 

After exploring some on Main Street, we headed back towards the castle, just in time to see Brynley all princess’d up! She looked adorable.  

Btw- they do have all the “lands” blocked off with ropes and cast members, so you can’t just stroll on into Tomorrowland, you are limited to stay on Main ST only and into the castle since that is where BBB and Cinderella’s Royal Table are located.  There is a rope at the back of the castle blocking entry to Fantasyland as well.  

So now that she was done, we headed for that rope and staked out a spot.  It was about 8:35am.  We parked the strollers and mom’s scooter and stood by the rope.  Princess Fairy Tale Hall where the elusive Anna/Elsa meet is, was immediately to our right, literally like 5 steps away behind the rope.  We knew we would head there first thing.  While we did have a fastpass for it, it was on our last day and my sister would have to leave for her flight before it.  So now was our chance.

I would say about 50 people or so ended up around/behind us- all folks that had pre park reservations like us for breakfast or BBB.  Way back at the front of the Magic Kingdom everyone else was waiting to get in.  All of those people were being held in the courtyard area before you enter the train station and would not be let in until 9am (sometimes a few minutes before).  So we had a HUGE headstart on almost everyone.  We were as close as you could be.  The CMs were super nice standing at the rope and chatting with us.  We learned they would lead us around “slowly” to the left of the carousel and then to Anna/Elsa.  It was a roundabout way, but they do that to force folks to not trample each other.  We ended up being in third in line as the rope came down. We literally walked right in to Anna/Elsa waiting on only  one other family ahead of us.  It was great.  

The interaction with the sisters is wonderful.  Although they no longer pose together, they are in the same room, but you miss the banter they used to have when they stood together.  Regardless, it was still great. Anna was truly adorable. We all got our pics, including some photopass shots for our Memory maker photo package and headed out. 

We found the first of our pressed penny machines! The first of many this trip and a new obsession for my son.  He loved doing this, so I highly recommend it.  My mom cleaned all the pennies for us ahead of time and I put all the quarters and pennies in a round M&Ms tube and decorated it (removed the M&Ms label).  This worked well to store our quarters and pennies.  I ended up buying him a pressed penny book as well to store his final product.  The pressed pennies are 51cents- two quarters and a penny.  There are some machines that are $1.25- and require five quarters too. These are cool since the final product is so much bigger.  Each machine has a choice of 2-3 imprints, almost every machine is different with characters, parks, resorts, restaurants and more listed on it.

So next up we hit Peter Pan really fast. The line was already getting long and we noticed how long the line was already for Anna/Elsa as we exited! Everyone enjoyed a ride to Neverland before the crowds hit. Next up, the kids wanted to do the carousel, so while it isn’t a must do early morning attraction, we did it.  Alan took Sam and William on while I waited out with Charlie- we had moved the strollers and lost our place in line with them.  

Next up was our 10:10am Cinderella’s Royal Table breakfast in the castle.  This is one of the hardest reservations to get at Disney and I highly recommend booking it at 180 days out when reservations open.  They do serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.  All are order off a menu (not buffet, not family style).  It is prepaid if you are paying for it vs using dining plan.  If using dining plan, it is two credits. Tip is included in this one whether you pre pay or use dining plan. The kids also get a sword for the boys and wand for the girls, plus a wishing star for a special ceremony. We also got a matted/framed photo with Cinderella! They are no longer offering this in 2015.  You can get the photo added to your memory maker photo package digitally, but they will no longer offer the printed photos. 

We checked in a little early at 10am or so and were told it was too early to check in.  Go figure.  I waited 5 minutes and tried again and this time she took us.  After some diaper changes and bathroom roulette with all 11 of us, we waited in line to meet Cinderella in the lobby.  This is where they take your photo.  She will sign autographs first too. Next you wait to be called and then head upstairs when called.  We were seated fairly fast, faster than previous meals here. We got a great table in the back to seat us all together and two high chairs. There really isn’t a bad table in the place, but those near the beautiful stained glass windows overlooking Fantasyland are cool.

We were immediately greeted by an awesome cast member who took our drink orders and brought out plates of muffins, mickey bread and more. The twins loved the blueberry muffins and were covered in blue on their new white onsies.  Then we all ordered.  Alan had the healthy breakfast.

The princess music and stories started as they introduce each princess individually with a back story and music.  It’s very cute. One by one they came out and started their rounds. We were able to see them all and did not feel rushed at all.  Our service was great all around. Food was good too.  They also do a wishing star ceremony where they play the song and all the kids make a wish too.  It’s very cute as well.  The kids were given their swords and wands, which they loved. I wonder how many times the servers get hit by those things? 

Everyone finished up their food and all the princesses.  They loved our custom autograph books that I created in shutterfly for about $20 each.  There are some great 8x8 templates you can google and import into shutterfly to use for specific meals, characters and more. It’s super easy, cute, and unique.  We used clickable/retractable sharpies and stored them in ziplock bags to keep dry and together.

This was Olivia and Brynley’s first character meet, as well as the twins. It was funny because Olivia was picky about which princesses she liked and would meet.  I think it was Ariel she refused to meet or hug.  But she loved Sleeping Beauty (Aurora) which is who she was dressed as.  It was so cute.

William got a cupcake for his birthday.  Be sure to note all special celebrations on your dining reservations! 

After breakfast, we left the restaurant sufficiently stuffed. Next up on the agenda? Our fastpasses! This was our first fastpass plus- Enchanted Tales with Bell in New Fantasyland.  This was a first for all of us as it was in soft opening while I was there in November 2012.  Of course I hadn’t been back since that trip since I had the twins. Our fastpass was for 11:20am-12:20pm, so we just needed to arrive in that window.  The FP entrance means you miss going in a portion of the cottage, but that’s okay.  We waited about 5-10 minutes for the next show and headed in. The attraction is extremely cute and I won’t ruin it for you, but definitely worth doing.  William was chosen as “Maurice”- Belle’s father, my dad was chosen as a knight and Brynley and Olivia were spoons/forks.  Definitely get the kids to volunteer for a part, as they will take their photo with Belle after.  Everyone did a great job with their parts and we got some cute photos.

Next was our fastpass for Ariel’s Journey Under the Sea.  This attraction was newly opened in late 2012 too.  We had a little time to kill, so we looked around the area including Gaston’s Tavern where we got William a frozen drink after waiting in a long line.  It was already pretty hot outside and lines were building at MK.  It was time for our FP, so we headed to park the stroller and ride. 

After our visit under the sea, we had a FP for Splash Mountain in Frontierland. There is a cute playground area near Splash, so we found spots in the shade near that (under the railroad bridge). My mom and Jeff ended up sitting out while the rest of us rode.  William was scared.  He had ridden it several times before, even at 3 years old, but I think the older you get, the more afraid he got.  Plus he had read something online about the drop at Splash being faster than Space Mountain, so that had him riled up for no reason.  He ended up loving it after.  I rode in front with my dad and got soaked!  

The wait for the ride was over 50 minutes I think now, even the fastpass entrance had a line a good 30 people deep.  It was getting crowded and extremely hot, even for us Texans, so we decided to head out.  It was about 1:45pm or so. We found a few more pressed penny machines and made our way out stopping at a few shops.  It was time to walk back to Bay Lake Tower for a break.  I can’t explain how awesome and easy the walk to BLT is.  If you are at the Contemporary (especially Garden Buildings), it is a little further, but BLT is so easy. Faster than the monorail in most cases.

Our first morning was a success, we met Anna/Elsa, flew through Neverland and met a handful of other princesses. The kids (and adults) were beat, so everyone went to rest. We got the babies down for a nap and then I started organizing our stuff more in our room etc.  We had an easy evening planned at Downtown Disney and I think we planned to meet at 6pm to head over by car.  

William loved opening the door every day via his band. 

1 comment:

hjbarra said...

Great report! Cannot wait to stay at BLT. Good information about the monorail-- I guess I assumed it traveled in both directions!