Observations: June 17, 2014: A Magical Evening

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I hope you’re ready for a magical evening, because earlier this week the rain finally stopped, and I couldn’t wait to get back to the Magic Kingdom! Before we get started I wanted to remind everyone that the new monorail schedule goes into effect in just a few days. Be sure to check it out.

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Actually, maybe the monorails not being around isn’t such a bad thing because it took me almost 40 minutes to get from the parking lot over to the Magic Kingdom gates. I can’t complain, because I did end up in the most magical place on Earth, but I would’ve liked to have been there earlier than 8pm! In any case, you can see this time of year I had plenty of sunlight left to take photos for you. :)

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It wasn’t terribly crowded, and I wandered up Main Street taking it all in. I have a question for you: if you don’t have kids, what do you do when you buy a balloon? I’ve been tempted to get one before, but without a stroller to tie it to, I’m not entirely sure what to do with it on rides. I can’t be the only person without kids who has been tempted. What gives?

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Okay, last one, I promise. But take a look at that castle! Everyone was already saving spots on Main Street for the parade. I didn’t have to worry about that because I had a FastPass+ for the Main Street Electrical Parade in about an hour. I made a point of walking right through the castle to cash in my first FastPass+ of the night.

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Stepping into Fantasyland without it raining was such a treat! I hadn’t seen this park dry in several weeks, so it was pretty exciting to not need a poncho. Of course, my first stop was the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It’s been impossible to get FastPass+ for this ride since it officially opened, so I wanted to see how long the line was. At just a little after 8pm the posted wait was 65 minutes, which isn’t terrible. However, I wasn’t interested in waiting when I had a FastPass+ for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh(Ed. – I’ve always found the honey-covered Pooh at the end of the attraction to be the thing of nightmares. It would only be worse for me if he were wearing clown make up.)

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The ride was great, as always, and I still had a little time to kill before heading back for the parade. I decided to head over towards Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Normally I’d check the wait time on my phone before heading over, but I was very close by, and with the crowd level I couldn’t imagine the wait being too long.

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In the end, I was right. The posted wait time was 15 minutes but I ended up waiting a little less than that before taking a spin on Dumbo. I thought all of you might like to ride along with me! Remember, my “channel” on Youtube is just to link to my blogs, but for all the latest (including a FULL Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride through), check out the Touring Plans YouTube Page.

After this, I went looking for a snack to take to the parade viewing. I had planned to use my parade spot for Celebrate the Magic and Wishes, so I didn’t want to go without a snack. I stopped at Big Top Treats to see what they had. It looks like most of the special treats introduced during the 24-hour party are still being sold!

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I also noticed these. I’m not sure if they are new, but I didn’t remember seeing them before. How yummy do those candy Dumbos look?

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I didn’t find anything in Big Top Treats that I couldn’t live without, so I ended up at Cheshire Cafe. For just $3.99 I scored a Raspberry Lemonade Slush, which was a nice cold treat on a hot night. I liked it much more than the regular Lemonade Slush I’ve gotten in the past. One note of caution: there are no trash cans in the parade viewing area that I could find. I was stuck with this cup for quite a while!

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For anyone debating if FastPass+ is worth it for Main Street Electrical Parade you might want to take a look at my article on that subject. Here is the view from that area. Pretty amazing for not having to arrive more than a few minutes before the parade!

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I noticed just as the parade started they did take down the ropes marking the FastPass+ area, but many cast members were on hand to boot people out that tried to sneak in. I love this spot for photos. I wonder who caught that kiss that Tink blew?

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Of course, it wouldn’t be the parade without a picture of the big cheese himself!

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I wanted to give you another view zoomed out of how the floats look with the castle in the background. I have to tell you, I think this is the best use of a FastPass+ in the park. I’ve been keeping an eye out, and I’m normally able to book the parade same day.

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I love Cinderella in this parade. It seems like every time I watch it, I end up with 20 photos of her. But this time I managed to capture one I like. What do you think?

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I couldn’t help including the pirate ship, too. (I spared you Pete’s Dragon!) I can’t say enough good things about this view of the parade. I think it’s actually better standing toward the back. I’m not normally one to get into the mess on Main Street, but this is worth it.

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Here is a quick video of the parade finale so you can get an idea what it looks like going by.

After the parade I held my spot, but people rushed in from all sides filling in the space. I had a moment where I thought I’d just leave because it wasn’t worth being stuck in the crowd. But I kept telling myself it was just 15 minutes until Celebrate the Magic. Pretty soon the show started, and I forgot all about the mass of humanity all around me. Here’s the best part:

Wishes was next and just 5 minutes away, so I pulled out my GoPro and my head strap. It sort of looks like I’m wearing a miners helmet when I wear that thing! But it was so crowded, and I wanted to get video of the full show for you. It was way too cramped to use my larger camera. But when I got home I noticed the video gradually kept tilting to the right. It was pretty funny and made the video unusable. Note to everyone considering a GoPro head strap: be sure you can hold your head up straight! ;)

After Wishes I was in a hurry to get to The Haunted Mansion since I only had 20 minutes left on my FastPass+ window. When I arrived I noticed it wasn’t running. I looked at my phone and, sure enough, they’d emailed my quite a while before letting me know that I could use my FastPass+ at a few other locations as a replacement. Can anyone guess from the photo below what I picked?

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That’s right: Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid! I know a lot of people hate on this ride but I visit every time I’m there. I hope they redo ours like the one in Disneyland! The below is the new scene I’m trying to get a decent photo of. I love this part of the movie, but the ride scene has really bad lighting. One of these days I’ll get a really good one!

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Next the heat was really getting to me, so I stopped off at Gaston’s Tavern for an ice water. Pro tip: lots of places give small cups for the free water, but here you’ll always get a big cup! Even though it was only about 10:30 pm, the place was empty!

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I decided to stop by a FastPass+ kiosk and see about getting a 4th FastPass. The choices were pretty limited, and most of the rides remaining didn’t have any wait at all. I decided to get The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh again just because the line was still long and it’s a ride I always enjoy. (It also allowed me to check the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train line again, which was still over an hour.)

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I included the below photo just because I can’t decide if I like it. What do you guys think? It’s at an odd angle because someone was sitting in front of me. I either love it or hate it… but I’m not quite sure which.

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Afterwards, I started towards Tomorrowland. It was that time of night when I’m drawn to the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. As I walked up I was struck by two things. 1) I remembered that the ride is down for refurbishment until August 5. 2) I realized #1 because the Astro Orbiter is GONE! I understand it’s under refurbishment… but for it to just not be there was wild. That along with the construction walls make the land look really sad.

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I checked the wait time for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and it read 20 minutes. As light as the crowds were, I just didn’t believe this wait time, so I hopped in line. Sure enough, it was only a 5 minute wait.

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After this, it was getting close to 11pm, and I decided with it being a school night that I should head home. But when I got to the hub the second parade had started and it was difficult to exit. I mean, I tried to do the responsible thing, right? You guys are my witnesses! After making an effort to exit, I spun on my heels and went back to Mickey’s PhilharMagic. My favorite seats for this show are all the way in the back in the middle. From there you can really see everything!

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Once the show was over, I didn’t have any excuse to not start the long walk back to my car. I stopped along the way to take a look at the construction walls all along Main Street. I can’t remember a summer that the park has been so torn up. They are trying to make it look nice, but I’m so ready for there to be no construction in Magic Kingdom!

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Ok, I had no excuse to not walk out… but there’s always time for shopping, right? I miss the Main Street Cinema, but I do like the artsy store that replaced it.

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After a slow, slow walk and sticking my nose in several stores, it was really time to leave. I said goodnight to the train station and hopped a ferry boat back to reality.

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I hope you enjoyed coming with me to the Magic Kingdom! Is there anything you’d like to see next time? What do you think is the best FastPass+? Which one of those sweet treats above would you like to try? Let us know the answers to these or anything else in the comments below. As always thanks so much for reading!

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Posted on June 23, 2014

12 Responses to “Observations: June 17, 2014: A Magical Evening”

  • Hmmm…. Starting to think the MSEP FP+ might be worth it. Question though: Do you need to show up before the actual start time or can you slide in after start time as the parade makes its way down main st.? And I assume the afternoon parade works the same?

    • by Daisy Lauren on June 23, 2014, at 2:51 pm EDT

      Hey Tom- I would get there before the parade starts. Not because they run out of space but because I’m not sure they allow late check-in. The FastPass time has a cutoff. And you’re right, same with the afternoon parade.

  • Thanks for the great article, Daisy. Our family was at WDW from June 6-16 and in the MK on June 15, just two days prior to yours. While the rain affected our touring on multiple days (yes, we remembered our ponchos from home), the park was almost completely cleared out afterwards.

    On Tuesday the 10th, we were on the front row for MSEP in Frontierland, grabbing those spots just minutes before the parade passed through. On Sunday the 15th, we rode Dumbo & Barnstormer multiple times in a row after the rain stopped, never needing a FPP for any of these.

    I think we would have tried to get an extra FPP for the parade if it hadn’t rained, but if that’s not possible, adding a rain caveat for hard to get FPP may be a good addition to TP advice.

    • by Daisy Lauren on June 23, 2014, at 2:52 pm EDT

      Hey Brian! I’m so glad you enjoyed the rain. I agree that it can makes things so much better. I’ve done a couple different pieces on why people should head towards the park in a storm! Glad it worked for you!! :)

  • To answer your question about what adults do with a ballon: you hand it off to the cast member before getting in line for some rides or before boarding at others. If you exit the ride from the same location as the entrance, you pick up ballon on your way out. Otherwise your ballon is magically transported to the exit.

    • by Daisy Lauren on June 23, 2014, at 2:53 pm EDT

      Hi Sarah – that makes sense! I never knew that. Thank you so much for sharing. Now I have to get a balloon!

  • I have determined that counter service locations that actually serve kids’ meals are the ones which try to stick you with tiny cups of water…because they HAVE tiny cups. Usually they will give you a larger cup if you ask. However, the locations that don’t carry kids meals (like Gaston’s) don’t have those small cups, so you will always get the adult sized cup.

    • I’ve always avoided the small water cup by just asking for a large cup of ice water, and I’ve never been told that I couldn’t get it. Yay, hydration! Especially in these hot summer months!

      • by Daisy Lauren on June 23, 2014, at 10:14 pm EDT

        You know, it is hit or miss. At the cronut cart in Epcot I was told I couldn’t have a larger cup for free.. but I was welcome to buy a bottle of water. At Lotus Blossom Cafe I’ve been turned down for a larger cup too. It just depends. I appreciate you both commenting on your experiences. It’s always nice to hear form you! :)

  • We going too be there in Aug. and was torn about getting this FP as that day we will only need 3 and 2 for the MK. Now I see the view and you pic I went and got one and update my TPs which free up time for a few more rides! Thank you – Love your articles and pictures!!!!

    • by Daisy Lauren on June 23, 2014, at 10:15 pm EDT

      Aw, I love you for reading! Thank you. I’m so lucky that Touring Plans lets me do this! :) Please let me know if you have any requests. I love sharing the parks with you!