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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Thursday, May 29, 2014

More Milestones Reached For Summer Vacation!

Many more milestones reached in the planning and preparation for our upcoming summer vacation!  One milestone was checking in on-line at our Disney Resort.  Easy!  When it came to room amenity requests—such as location—I had to stop and think.  I ended up leaving that section blank, as all rooms at Port Orleans French Quarter are near transportation, etc.  A “corner room” isn’t necessary, though we have had them before.  So, we will take our chances.  My greatest hope is that the room is ready upon our arrival as we disembark the ship.

Another milestone, and one you may be more interested in, is our FastPass + selection process.  The “window” in which to begin selection opened and I stayed up late to get on-line at midnight Eastern Time.  I had read reviews that the process could take up to two hours.  It took me 20 minutes and we had all of our selections nailed down.  I already had the “which park on which day” decisions made which also sped up the process.  Hints/Tips:  When the screen asks for you to prioritize your top three choices—take a moment and do that, as it will save you time adjusting later.  And, if you are trying to select a time and it looks like no times that you want are available—say an early in the day time—for a specific attraction, double check the times for your other selections as the system will not overlap times and will instead not make them available.  For example, we wanted an early time for Soarin’ but it looked like the times weren’t available.  The reason—the system had assigned an early time for Nemo.  I had to change the time for Nemo and then early times opened up for Soarin’—hence the recommendation to set the priorities during that screen.

Also, we left plenty of room to make more FastPass+ selections for later in the day, especially at Magic Kingdom, now that the system allows users to select additional FastPass+’s after the three selections have been used or return times have passed.  Of course, the addition selections can only be made one at a time and only at a kiosk in the park or at another park if guests take advantage of Park Hopper. 

Highlights of our FastPass+ selection include an early morning meet and greet with Anna and Elsa!  Also, we plan to spend an evening at Magic Kingdom, after enjoying Typhoon Lagoon, so we selected FastPass+’s for Wishes and the Main Street Electrical Parade.  Oh, so appreciate the lazy person’s way to enjoy the nighttime spectaculars at Walt Disney World—reserved viewing for Wishes, Fantasmic Dining Package with Reserved Seating, and dining at Rose & Crown during Illuminations!

Packing was another milestone!  Took advantage of the long, holiday week-end and dedicated time towards packing.  I’m trying a new packing plan for this trip instead of our usual one checked bag per person with all of their belongings, I am using the same amount of luggage, but dividing up needed items based on parts of our trip.  All of our clothing for Walt Disney World is in one bag, while another holds our daytime cruise wear, and the third is for evening attire and needed items before we get to the ship.  This way, we can stash the Walt Disney World bag while on the ship and only deal with two suitcases.

The system, so far, is working well.  I laid out our matching shirt sets, coordinated bottoms, and designated them to either ship or resort.  Then it was easy to pack one suitcase at a time, rather than divide clothing items into three separate bags.

A fun milestone of making stateroom door decorations was also reached.  While enjoyable, it took me a while to figure out how to do it again.  Once every year and a half isn’t often enough for me to remember how to make all of the pieces go together.

And, a portion of our Universal tickets has been purchased.  Due to us designating just one day for Universal, we had decided that Express Pass was essential to get the most out of our day.  Express Pass grants guests access to the Express queues and is an additional fee.  Universal limits that number of Express Passes on any given day and when I peeked at the website, it looked like there were not any Express Passes available for the day we wanted.  This seemingly limited supply got me worried.  Originally the plan was to purchase Universal park tickets with Express Pass one at a time, sprinkling the hefty price tag out over time so as not to disrupt the household budget.  But after the “scare” of non availability of the Express Pass, I purchased three of the Express Passes for our designated day.  (The Universal web-site allows for that and I can purchase the park-to-park tickets when I like, including from a discount retailer.)  The Express Passes were available for “print at home” which was the option we selected.  I’m breathing a sigh of relief as there is no longer a concern about the availability of Express Pass.  And, with the announcement of the opening of Diagon Alley it makes our Universal visit even more exciting!

I might also add that the pet sitter has also been secured.  Small detail yet one to cross off the list!

Still counting down!


  1. I'm so glad you got your early FP+ for Anna and Elsa. We are hoping to do the same for our upcoming trip in August. We were able to meet them at Epcot in January; however, my husband had to spend a couple of hours in line while my daughter enjoyed two attractions and met two other characters. The princess line was full of dads and hanging out tasting beer from around the world.

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