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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Tale of Two Turns of Splash Mountain

The Tale of Two Turns on Splash Mountain begins like this. . .

We detoured from our usual touring plan for Magic Kingdom when the boy said he wanted to ride Tomorrowland Indy Speedway. Well, if he was going to ride, it would be first thing. So instead of the husband going off to get Fastpasses, I did, while the husband and the boy rode the Speedway. “I’ll meet you at Jungle Cruise,” I said as I headed off to Splash Mountain to obtain our first Fastpasses of the day.

I walked through Liberty Square and made my way to the Fastpass Distribution kiosks. With 3 Fastpasses in hand, I walked back through Adventureland to Jungle Cruise. Within a few minutes, the husband and boy arrived after riding the Speedway and taking a bathroom break.

We checked in with each other while waiting to board Jungle Cruise.. OK, I have the Fastpasses for Splash Mountain. We can get the next Fastpasses at 9:45am, so the boy and I will head to Toontown to be there when it opens at 10:00am. You get Fastpasses for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, then take the train to Toontown and meet us at the County Bounty Store.

So, the husband headed off with all the Key to The World Cards to obtain our next set of Fastpasses and the boy and I went to Toontown to meet the Princesses and Fairies. When we arrived at the County Bounty Store, the line for the Princesses was quite short. Within a few moments, we had visited with Belle, Aurora, and Cinderella. We circled back around and got in line for the Fairies.

While waiting, I heard the train whistle. I remember thinking that the husband was most likely getting off that train. Sure enough. Within minutes my phone rang. “We’re inside, waiting to see the Fairies.”

The husband joined us and the only question I asked was when we could get the next set of Fastpasses. Answer: 10:20.

We waited quite some time to see the Fairies, and when we were through, the Barnstormer was next on the itinerary. “Fine, I will go get Buzz Lightyear Fastpasses while you ride Barnstormer.” Just past Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, I realized I didn’t have the Key to The World Cards. I phoned the husband. He left the queue to meet me and give me the cards. This meant the boy navigated the queue for the Barnstormer on his own. Yeah! I headed off to Buzz Lighyear, got 3 Fastpasses, and met the boy and husband between Dumbo and the Carousel. It was time for lunch!

We had lunch at Pinocchio’s Village House and kept an eye on the clock. We could get our next set of Fastpasses at 12:20 pm. Peter Pan’s Flight was just across the way. Score! Another set of Fastpasses. Now we were set.

After lunch, we rode It's a Small World and then we were headed to the “mountains.” We were walking past Haunted Mansion and the boy wondered why we weren’t riding. He actually wanted to ride. Detour—we rode Haunted Mansion. This was the first time he had wanted to ride! While in the queue he consoled another young guest who wasn’t so sure about riding. And, he covered his ears with his hands the whole time he was in the Doomobile. I still can’t figure out if the room is moving or the ceiling is moving in the first room. Hmmm. . .

Now, the mountains. That’s when we discovered it. The husband hadn’t gotten Fastpasses for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, he got Splash Mountain Fastpasses instead. So, we had two sets of Splash Mountain Fastpasses, but NO Big Thunder Mountain Fastpasses. We couldn’t get our next set of Fastpasses until 2:20pm. It was about 1:20. The return time at Big Thunder was around 2:00 pm. We headed to Splash Mountain and eye-spied Jesse and Woody at a character meet-n-greet. We’ve got some time. Let’s wait and meet them.

While the boy and I waited, the husband went to Big Thunder to find someone to trade Fastpasses. He even attempted to gain the sympathy of the Cast Member at the Fastpass entrance. No luck.

By the time we had greeted Woody and Jesse, it was 2:10 pm. We headed over to the Big Thunder Mountain Fastpass Distribution Kiosks. OK, the return time for Fastpasses was still pretty good. 2:15pm, 2:18 pm, 2:19 pm. Finally, 2:20 pm. The Key to World Cards went in and out come three Fastpasses for a return time of 3:10pm. Whew!

At that moment, we had 5 sets of Fastpasses. We were ready to ride! We went through the Fastpass return at Splash Mountain and rode almost immediately. When we passed the ride photos, I wrote down the number of the photo—I may want to buy that one, but not right now. Then we whipped out the second set of Fastpasses for Splash Mountain and rode again. Yep, we walked right by many of the same people in the Stand-bye queue that we did the first time and rode again, almost immediately. The cosmic justice was that we got soaked. So wet that the waistband in my shorts still wasn’t dry when I put on my pajamas some seven hours later. But, now we had another picture number.

I went into the store and asked to see both photos, by number, to determine which one I wanted to purchase. That’s when the Cast Member told me I could purchase both, side by side, as 5 X 7’s. Deal! When the purchase was complete, the time was 3:08pm. We used the two minutes to walk to Big Thunder Mountain’s Fastpass entrance.

By 4:35 pm, we had ridden Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean, met Peter Pan, made a wish at Cinderella’s Fountain, and had a fireworks photo taken in the hub. We saved our Buzz Lightyear Fastpasses for after dinner, as we were coming back.

All in all, it was a great day! How can it not be a great day at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World?

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