Julia’s Best Week Ever, July 28, 2016: Summer is too Short!

Like most parents, I had all sorts of plans for my daughter over summer break. There would be play dates, arts and crafts, vacations, local field trips, and so much more. There would be time to read books and learn as much as possible. We’d go surfing tidal waves, creating nanobots, or looking for Frankestein’s brain. Finding a dodo bird, painting a continent, or driving each other insane. (Thanks for setting such high expectations, Phineas and Ferb. We almost nailed that last one, though.)

Locally, school starts on August 15, and needless to say, many of the plans for greatness never happened. And with the start of school looming ever closer, I decided it was time to play hooky from work and spend a mommy and me morning at the Magic Kingdom.

We got up at the crack of dawn to try and make it to the 8 AM rope drop. With the monorails not running, we boarded a ferry boat right at the stroke of 8—not bad at all, all things considered. It was a beautiful summer day, with blue skies and not a cloud on the horizon.

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I try not to take pictures of other people when I’m in the parks, but I had to snap this one on the way over. Seeing this young girl, not much older than my daughter, seeing the castle for the first time and being so amazingly excited as it got closer and closer—that’s what this whole experience is about.

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I had booked a couple FastPass+ options the night before, but we had plenty of time to make those happen. Even at 8:15 in the morning, Main Street was still a bustling center of excitement.

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It is both a surprise and a shame in my view about how many people skip the performers on Main Street. The show is only a couple minutes, but their happiness really can set the right tone for the day.

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Once we arrived at our first FastPass+ selection, I decided to play a little guessing game with people following the @TouringPlans Twitter account. I tried to see how many people could guess the attraction from this picture.

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There were some good guesses, and some people got it right from the start. This was clue #2.

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For anyone who was in doubt what it might be, clue #3 was a total giveaway.

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Because some people had guessed Winnie the Pooh, and because crowds were still pretty non-existent for anything but the major headliners, we decided that would be our next stop. With no wait whatsoever, we did take a few minutes to play in the interactive queue. (Minus the “honey wall”, because there’s not enough hand sanitizer in the world for that…)

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My daughter has never been a big fan of Winnie the Pooh, and so this ride isn’t a favorite on her list. Let’s face it, the Heffalumps and Woozles section is more than a little creepy, right?

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Once we got off of that, it was time for one of her favorite rides, it’s a small world. It was now about quarter of 9, and there still were no crowds to speak of.

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Some people may be a little unnerved about the ability to pull names “out of thin air” at the end, but it’s something that is rather enjoyable for kids.

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With her favorite ride done, it was time for my favorite ride—the Haunted Mansion. Again, we played in the interactive queue on the way in because, why not?

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Truth told, this ride scares my daughter a bit—not because of the ghosts or anything spooky like that, but because of the part where you ride backwards. (She has the same dread of riding Spaceship Earth for the same reason.) Still, somehow we made it through the ride in one piece, with only minimal terror.

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At this point, it was time for a drink break, and a good time for breakfast. I personally love the waffles at Sleepy Hollow more than Mickey Waffles (yes, I should have to turn in my Disney Fan Card over that). How can you not love this for breakfast, though?

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We had a second FastPass+ for the day, and my daughter surprised me by choosing the Jungle Cruise. Our skipper was awesome, and dealt very well with the woman sitting next to me who wanted to have her umbrella open during the ride while she was on the boat. Just to be my own kind of weird, I too a picture of the FRONT side of water. You’re welcome.

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A glance at my work e-mail while my daughter was hunting for hidden Pascals at the Rapunzel tower area let me know that my presence was being….sorely missed. Still, one more ride wouldn’t hurt, right? It’s often a tradition for us that the last ride we get on during a quick visit to the Magic Kingdom is the Peoplemover. No reason to break with tradition….

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And yes, for those who are wondering, we are riding facing backwards because apparently riding backwards on trams and in the Peoplemover is awesome in my daughter’s mind. Everything else is certain doom.

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Out of curiosity (and research for an article that I was finishing up), I checked to see if you could access any Pokestops on the Peoplemover. The answer—yes, you can.

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We grabbed some drinks at Starbucks and made our way back to the tram, our fun-filled mommy and me morning coming to a close. We may not have given a Yeti a shower this summer (seriously, Phineas and Ferb, you set the bar really high!), but we’ve had some fun and made some good memories in a whole summer filled with the Best Week(s) Ever.


For my daughter’s birthday, she received a LEGO cupcake store kit, which she built during this summer. After a visit to Sprinkles at Disney Springs, she felt that her cupcake store looked a lot like it, except it didn’t have a cupcake ATM. Over the weekend, we went to the LEGO store, she picked out the parts she needed, and designed and built her own working cupcake ATM window to go on the kit that she has. I was so proud of her for coming up with the idea, figuring out the parts she needed, and putting it together so that it looks like it came with the kit, that I had to share the results here. Way to go, Lily!

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Julia Mascardo

Freelance writer and editor, living the dream in Central Florida with my husband, cats, and spirited eight-year-old daughter.

5 thoughts on “Julia’s Best Week Ever, July 28, 2016: Summer is too Short!

  • July 28, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Such a clever DD. Well done.

  • July 28, 2016 at 8:17 am

    What a wonderful article! You are a great mommy for sure. And yes summer is coming to an end too soon!

    Love your daughter’s creativity with the Lego ATM. She has the makings of an engineer.

  • July 28, 2016 at 10:29 am

    I thought I was the only one scared of the Heffalumps and Woozles. That part of the movie scared me so badly as a kid that I still won’t go on the Pooh ride (I’m 32 now, so it seems I may be scarred for life). Loved your daughter’s Lego creation! Thanks for the article, I really enjoyed it.

  • July 28, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    But you don’t have to touch the honey wall to draw in the honey! Just put your hand close to it.

    • July 28, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      You beat me to it! As noted above, you don’t have to actually touch the walls the get the effect.

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