Tag Archives: Magic Kingdom

Lines you WANT to wait in at Disney

They say patience is a virtue and I agree.  I just don’t happen to have that virtue.  I do things to try to practice patience – I meditate when I’m in the doctor’s waiting room, I play loud music and avoid looking at the clock when I’m in traffic and running late.   One place where most people (either patient or impatient) can get a little frazzled is in a long line – couple that with a few cranky kids, cranky husband, hunger, heat stroke, and fatigue – and you have a perfect storm for a meltdown.   This perfect storm is almost guaranteed at some point when you’re at Disneyworld.

However, there are some attractions where the lines are part of the fun – I’m disappointed if we happen to get right through with no wait!  Here are the best along with the worst lines – but luckily all of the worst have Fast Pass availability, so I’d highly recommend taking advantage unless you have a surplus of patience that day!

Here are the best and worst lines to wait in at Disneyworld:

Magic Kingdom

Best Line – Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid (New Fantasyland)

The path to this ride leads through a coral-like rock formation that looks like it was just pulled from the seas.  There is an animatronic show that sings every few minutes, keeping people entertained.  But the most captivating part is the interactive hologram in the fish tank windows.  Guests’ actions in front of the windows cause sea creatures to appear and react – it was pretty entertaining and made the line go by fast.

Worst Line – Big Thunder Mountain 

This line is pretty barren – just up and back, up and back until you zig zag your way to the front.  The worst part is the lack of fresh air, especially in the summer. There’s just a lot of humid air and unpleasant odors at times on a hot day.  Wrangle yourself up a Fast Past, partner!

Animal Kingdom

Best Line – Expedition Everest

This line is pretty cool from the get go.  The theme is a mountain expedition with detailed displays of the supplies, artifacts and anything else that the Sherpas have left behind from their journeys.  In the middle of the line there is a wishing well structure, except instead of water there is a monkey sculpture in the middle, representing the sacred status of monkeys in the area.  Once inside the last room before you get to the ride there are books, documents, masks, and even a giant Yeti footprint cast that makes you question if it’s really real…

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Yeti - Real or Make Believe? Yeti – Real or Make Believe?

Worst Line – Kilimanjaro Safaris

The part I hate most about this line is that it’s very wide and there are several sections where the cast members direct you to ‘fill in all available space’ even if that means you’re coming up beside (what seems like cutting) the people in front of you.  I just don’t like doing that, and there’s not much interesting to look at in this line. Say ‘Jambo’ to a Fast Pass!

Hollywood Studios

Best Line – Toy Story Midway Mania

This line puts you right into the Toy Story movies.  There are giant crayons leaning against the walls, a game board on the ceiling, barrel o’monkeys strung from side to side.  But the best is the interactive Mr. Potato Head at the front of the line who talks to the guests.  This line has so much to look at and is so recognizable from the movies that it can keep you entertained for a while.  I guess with 240 minute wait times they had to come up with something to keep people occupied!

disney vacation 2012 127

Worst Line – Tower of Terror

Until you get up to the entrance of the Hollywood Tower Hotel there’s not much other than a cement path with walls that kids can’t help but want to climb all over, to parents’ dismay.  I’d suggest you take the Fast Pass!

Epcot

Best Line – Test Track

This line was pretty interesting under the old design but with the newly re-imagineered design it’s a look into the future.  The first section has prototype futuristic cars that lend themselves to conversations about what the future will be like, how these cars would work (the car below would run on tracks in big cities – no driving required!)   There’s a little lull in the line when you’re getting into the design room, but then you’re back in action designing your car.  The surprising part about this ride is that after the ride is over, we probably stayed for another 30 minutes in the exit rooms – driving the car we designed around a virtual racetrack, picking a soundtrack for our car, and getting our picture with some of the model Chevrolet cars (all of our car info was on a swipecard that we kept throughout the ride.)

Future car - no driver necessary!

Drive your virtual car after the ride

Drive your virtual car after the ride

Worst Line – Soarin’

This line reminds me of a long hallway corridor in a hospital.  It’s drab, there’s nothing on the walls and it seems to go on forever.  Disney attempted to make this interactive by having giant screens on the wall that you’re supposed to be able to wave at and make plants grow, fly birds around… but the only person who can reach high enough to activate it is my 6 foot 3 husband, not 5 foot 2 me and certainly not a kid!  Upgrade to first class and get a Fast Pass!

I guess we can all take comfort in knowing that in the bubble, even at the end of a bad line is a magical fun time!

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Feelin’ hot, hot, hot!

I love hot weather.  I mean REALLY hot weather.  So today when the temperature hit a balmy 80 degrees in Cleveland, it made me think of my favorite month of the year to go to Disney – August.  Most people think this is crazy but I guess I’m just a cold blooded person. The only time I really feel warm-to-the-core is August in Orlando.   Luckily, with a little preparation you don’t have to melt if you’re not as enamored with the thought of spending 8 hours in stifling humidity and scorching temperatures characteristic of Florida summers.

August in Orlando

August in Orlando

Tip 1: Bring a refillable bottle.  We use the Brita water bottles that have a filter in the lid so you can re-fill at water fountains throughout the parks.  It’s way cheaper than buying water every time you’re thirsty, which is all the time!

Tip 2: Personal fans help in two ways when you’re waiting in lines – blowing air to cool you off and re-directing any sweaty fumes that may be lingering in the area.  Standing in close quarters with a hundred other guests at the end of a 95 degree day can become quite unpleasant, if you know what I mean!

Fan 1Fan 2

Tip 3: Find a spray ground. Every park has water misters in various locations so you can cool off as you’re walking between attractions.

Hot weather spray

Hot weather spray

Tip 4: Alternate indoor and outdoor activities to stay cool.  This can mean walking through the shops, seeing a show, or even going in the bathroom!  That cool blast of air from indoors is a welcome reprieve from the burning summer sun.

  • In the Magic Kingdom, there are several indoor rides like the Haunted Mansion and “it’s a small world” but my top recommendation for a super-hot day is Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.  I have to admit, this is my least favorite attraction in all of Disneyworld.  It’s pretty cheesy with a repeating song that will be stuck in your head for days – but there’s hardly ever a wait and I’ll make the sacrifice to sit in an air-conditioned seat in the shade for 20 minutes!
  • At Epcot, Ellen’s Energy Adventure is similar – slow moving and moderately interesting – but a cool place to relax for about ½ hour.
  • Hollywood Studios & the Animal Kingdom both have really good shows to enjoy while you cool off – The Little Mermaid and Finding Nemo, respectively.

Tip 5: Enjoy all the frozen treats Disney has to offer!  From Mickey-shaped ice cream bars to the infamous Dole Whip, nothing tastes better on a hot day than a cool treat.  And don’t worry about the calories – you’ll have no problem sweating them off!

Mickey ice cream

Mickey ice cream

Tip 6: During the hottest parts of the day it’s never a bad idea to head back to your resort and hit the pool for a few hours.  Then you’ll be refreshed and ready to head back to the parks for fireworks!

Re-pin this handy ‘beat the heat’ infographic on Pinterest here.

Beat the Heat at Disneyworld

Beat the Heat at Disneyworld – INFOGRAPHIC

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4 Parks, 1 Day

DISCLAIMER: What I’m about to outline should NOT be attempted by anyone with the following:

  • A desire to sleep late and/or go to bed early
  • A young child (6 and under)
  • Uncomfortable shoes
  • An aversion to running – you can’t dilly dally and hope to get to all 4 parks
  • A park ticket without the ‘park hopper’ option – they’ll shut you down at park 2 (I’ve learned that lesson the hard way)

On one of our trips to Disneyworld our daughter, who was 7 at the time, asked if we could go to all four parks in one day – that’s Magic Kingdom – Animal Kingdom – Epcot – Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Any of these parks could take up an entire day itself so we had to make a strategic plan on when, where and what we would to do at each park in order to accomplish this lofty goal with minimal tears (and blisters.)  With our matching Mickey t-shirts on, we headed out on a mission.

Park 1: Magic Kingdom was our first stop – we were fresh and ready to go.  Our must-see attractions at MK are Big Thunder Mountain (my daughter’s favorite), Mickey’s PhilharMagic and “it’s a small world,” (my husband’s favorite) and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (my favorite.)  It might be one of the slowest moving rides in the entire park, but I love cruising through the dark and relaxing on a hot day!

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

Park 2: Epcot – Since the Magic Kingdom and Epcot are connected by the monorail, that was our next stop.  Our favorite ride is not Soarin’ or Test Track, which are the 2 most popular rides, but the Maelstrom in Norway.  Yes, another slow moving ride, but since my husband comes from a long line of Vikings we just have to ride it every time we’re in the park!

Stop 2: Epcot

Stop 2: Epcot

Park 3: Animal Kingdom – Time is usually a consideration when going to the Animal Kingdom because, like a zoo, the animals come out early and go back to their enclosures at dusk.  Most days the park closes around 7pm (earlier in the off season) so we got there just in time to ride our all-time favorite roller coaster – Expedition Everest.   The line going into the ride has so much to look at that you don’t even realize you’re waiting and before you know it you’re face to face with the Yeti!

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom

Park 4: Hollywood Studios – Last but not least we made it to Hollywood Studios.  The shows are really what makes this park great – Beauty and the Beast, the Little Mermaid, Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show… but the ride we can’t miss is the Tower of Terror.  No matter how many times I go on this ride, my palms get sweaty as we wait in the basement to board the elevator and my legs shake after we get off the ride – so scary but yet so fun!

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios

That’s how we made it to 4 parks in 1 day.  It’s not for the faint of heart, but I’d highly recommend it to make one perfect day in the Disneyworld bubble!

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Cinderella's Castle

Since this is my first post (yay!), I’ll give a little background on why I started this blog and the reason behind the name.  I went to Disneyworld exactly one time between the ages of 0-30 and that one time was just for a single day when I was 25 years old.  I didn’t see what the big deal was and I actually thought the premise of ‘the happiest place on earth’ was ridiculous (I know, the horror!)  I had zero desire to ever go back but my husband, who grew up in California going to Disneyland every year of his childhood, had a different opinion.  After we had our daughter, he had much more leverage to get a trip to Disneyworld!

So when my daughter was 3, I went to Disneyworld again – begrudgingly – and the rest, as they say, is history.  I’ve been back to Disney 10+ times and counting in the last 6 years and what I love most is being ‘in the bubble,’ as I like to call it.  Crossing the border onto the Disneyworld property is like entering an alternate universe of fairy dust and princesses, where all your dreams come true.  It’s funny now to see people’s expressions when I talk about my love of Disney – and often times asking ‘You’re going back AGAIN?’  Yes! Of course!  I understand their skepticism – that was me a few years back – but if I can change just a few people’s opinions then I’ll be happy.

Welcome to the bubble!

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