We typically wait until later in the trip to do Magic Kingdom, because we find that once you do Magic Kingdom, the other parks sort of pale in comparison.
But for this trip, with Animal Kingdom being so popular due to Pandora opening, I looked at crowds and determined that Monday would be a good Magic Kingdom day.
We were running a little late, but we still made it to Magic Kingdom TTC by 8:15 a.m. and able to get through security fairly quickly. Like I mentioned earlier this week, I like the new security procedures.
Guests arriving at the TTC get screened there before even getting on the ferry or monorail. Once you go through screening at TTC, you don’t have to get screened outside the park.
That gets rid of one huge bottleneck outside the park.
They also changed the location of the welcome show from the train station to the castle, so that area near the train station that used to be another huge bottleneck is now pretty empty prior to park opening.
The front gates open around 8:30 a.m. now, allowing guests to enter Magic Kingdom early and pretty much set up in front of whatever land they want to tour first.
Obviously, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland had the biggest group of people lined up in that direction. We were going to do Fantasyland first, so we joined that big crowd.
We watched the new welcome show. I thought it was OK, but I prefer the old version better. Something about not hearing “Walking right down the middle of Main Street USA” messed everything up for me.
But we still pushed on to Fantasyland and went straight to Winnie the Pooh. My strategy is to get FP to Peter Pan and Mine Train, then do the rest of Fantasyland with short waits.
We did Winnie the Pooh, then Teacups, then Dumbo, then Barnstormer (Jared’s first roller-coaster and he LOVED IT), then Little Mermaid.
By that time, it was time for Peter Pan FastPass, but we had a little time to play with, so we did Philharmagic real quick. Then we did Peter Pan.
We were going to do It’s a Small World, but the line was 30 minutes, and my limit to wait for that ride is pretty much 5 minutes. LOL
Haunted Mansion also had a long wait, so we bypassed that and ended up stopping in at Country Bear Jamboree to see that show.
It’s a hit-or-miss show and I remembered why. The sound was really low, so it was hard to hear a lot of the characters talking. But it was still a good break from the parks.
Our next FastPass was Big Thunder Mountain, so we went ride that before lunch.
For lunch, we had planned on Pecos Bill’s, but we walked in and checked out the menu and I guess we weren’t feeling the Southwestern cuisine that day because we didn’t see anything we wanted, so we ended up walking across the hub to Cosmic Ray’s.
That put us having lunch about 30 minutes later than we planned and because of that we had to scramble to find a seat. But we were able to find something in the corner near the restrooms and enjoyed a pretty good lunch.
After Cosmic Rays, we had FastPasses for Dwarf Mine Train. Jared was actually big enough to ride and I think he would have enjoyed it a lot more had I not pinched his arm in the lap bar. I was trying to rush to get him seated and I ended up pinning his arm down with it. The lady had to release the lap bar and he cried until the ride started.
Once it started, he did a mixture of laughing and crying. I think some parts might have scared him a little but I think he would ride it again. I just have to watch the lap bar.
After Mine Train, we did the carousel, which Jared loved. We were kind of in a little bit of a crowd rut after the carousel and couldn’t figure out what to do next, so we took a chance and headed to the Tomorrowland area.
It was starting to rain, so we wanted to be somewhere that had a lot of indoor attractions. We were able to get a FastPass for Buzz, then we rode TTA, then watched Carousel of Progress.
After that, the Tomorrowland Dance Party was starting so we went there and let the kids dance a little bit.
While they were doing that, I looked for some FastPasses and found one for Jungle Cruise. On the way to Jungle Cruise, we did Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor.
After Jungle Cruise, we made our way to eat at Casey’s Corner, but it was so packed that we decided to just leave the park to eat.
We ended up eating at Art of Animation that night and it was great. Knowing we had a second day in Magic Kingdom coming later in the week, we decided it was probably best to cut our first day at MK short.
It turned out to rain the rest of the night anyway, so we made the right decision.
Up next: Animal Kingdom and Pandora!