After a fun night at Disney Springs, my daughter and I woke up early to make sure we made it to the Magic Kingdom a half hour before it opened. “Why?” you may ask…because when you do, you not only get to see a most special show, but you are also one of the first people in the park and can ride many popular attractions with very little wait.
At 8:40am that morning the Magic Kingdom Welcome Show began. Dancers, characters and of course, Mickey himself, arrived on the Walt Disney World Railroad to sing and welcome you to the park. One lucky family is chosen daily to ride the train and join the celebration and the rest of the crowd is showered with smiles, streamers and fireworks. I have seen this show so many times and each time – even though I know it happens daily – I still feel like something special is going to happen THAT DAY. This show makes you feel like it’s opening day at Walt Disney World and that they have planned a very special day just for you!
Once the show is over the “rope drops” and the park is open! Everyone starts flooding the park – racing to get to their desired attraction. We definitely were girls on a mission, but I always like to be sure to take time rounding the corner onto Main Street USA for our first glimpse of Cinderella’s Castle. No matter how old I get, I am instantly transported back in time to my youth when magic and wishes were all that mattered.
As you can see, the park was packed! With Spring Breaks for schools happening and Easter only a week away, this time of year can see extremely high crowds, but never let that worry you! With a good plan and touring strategy you won’t have to wait on too many lines. My daughter and I did everything we planned to do and then some, almost 30 attractions/shows/meals in just 1 day. I plan on telling you all about it, but it’s going to take a few posts!
After having a Disney PhotoPass Photographer take our requisite photo in front of the castle we headed to Frontierland to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! This is a very popular ride which often has long waits, but at that time of morning we walked right on. This rollercoaster takes you through the “mountains” during the “Gold Rush”. It goes fast but isn’t too scary – you must be 40″ to ride. After that thrill we headed next door to Splash Mountain! Splash Mountain may just be my favorite ride at Disney World – not only does it take you through the charming tale of Br’er Rabbit’s adventures but it also has the thrills of the dips, falls and SPLASH you get along the way! Splash Mountain also has a 40″ minimum height requirement and lines can get VERY long, so we rode early and walked right on. This is a PhotoPass attraction so your image is captured as you go down the longest chute of the ride and you can see it on the screens and add it to your account as you exit the ride. Even cooler, if you are wearing a Magic Band like we were, your image is automatically added to your account, you don’t have to do a thing! (Disney World Resort hotel guests are given Magic Bands automatically, but you can buy them to link to your account and use them instead of tickets if you are staying off property). After the ride we took a few minutes to play at the Laughing Place playground and for a bathroom break, both right outside Splash Mountain.
Next we were off to the Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square! I haven’t been on this attraction in years! I was always afraid my kids would be too afraid! I’m glad my 5 year old told me she wanted to try it – and that there’s really not that much to be scared of! We waited about 5-10 minutes and got to enjoy reading the funny headstones while we did. For us the scariest part was the dark room with the portraits that you wait in before boarding the ride.
I do think one of the 999 happy haunts followed us home! (you can ask the PhotoPass photographers to add “magic” to your photos!)
We had time in our schedule so we headed to Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland to meet Cinderella & Rapunzel. My daughter and I both had put braids in our hair so Rapunzel and Owlette talked about how long that whole process took. Cinderella couldn’t get over how her Fairy Godmother magically put her Palace Pet, Pumpkin on my daughter’s shirt or Cinderella’s image on her hoodie – we were cracking up!
We had time to spare before the show we wanted to see on the Castle Stage, so we stopped for an ice cream treat! All of these treats are sold individually or can count as a snack credit if you are on the Disney Dining Plan. We ate our snack as we walked over to the Castle for our favorite show.
“Dream Along With Mickey” won my family’s hearts over the first time we saw it when the older kids were 1 year old. It is a “Disney-perfect” theatrical experience about believing in the power of your dreams. I am sad to report that after (I believe) 10 years they are ending the show next week and a new show will take its place this summer. I will devote a whole post to “Dream Along With Mickey” as we just loved it so so much. For now I will leave you with some photos of our beloved show…and did I mention we did all of this by 10:45 and without using any of our fastpasses yet? We had a fun filled morning and I hope you’ll check back to read how the rest of our day went!