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My Great Escape

by Meghann on May 6, 2014

Oh hey, Magic Kingdom. Fancy seeing you today.

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Sometimes a girl just needs to escape reality for a few hours and that’s where an annual pass to Walt Disney World comes in handy. Especially when I have a random weekday off – I get to break up the work week and sneak a visit to one of my favorite places.

Today’s trip was filled with a lot of firsts. Because, despite being a regular at good ole Magic Kingdom (and the rest of the Walt Disney World Resort), I still have not done it all.

The firsts began yesterday when I scheduled my FastPasses a full 24 hours in advance. I know this is not a new concept at all with FastPass+, but it’s the first time I took advantage of the plan-in-advance feature of scheduling them instead of waiting until day of.

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p.s. Not sure why it says “Meghann’s plans with Catherine” since I did not book the FastPasses with my mom. Random. 

It was also my first time taking advantage of the feature in the My Disney Experience App that allows you to switch out the times for FastPasses after they’re booked. It was taking me longer than expected to get out of the house this morning and I knew there was no way I was going to make my early reservation for Big Thunder Mountain. I just tapped on the reservation and made it for an hour later. Easy peasy.

First time wearing my shiny new pink MagicBand with my passholder charm.

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I felt spiffy.

First time riding Dumbo in it’s new location (also my first time riding it in 10-15 years – maybe more!).

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I’m not sure why it’s been so long since I’ve last ridden it. Dumbo is a great classic ride and it’s easy to see why there’s always an outrageous wait.

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First time eating at Beauty and the Beast!

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One of the advantages to going to Disney by yourself is creating your own schedule. The Beauty and the Beast Restaurant is pretty infamous for their long waits during lunchtime. It’s something that’s turned me away in the past, but I had prepared myself for it this time (even bringing my iPad for line entertainment) and decided to stick it out to see what all the fuss was about.

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The cast members do a great job trying to entertain guests as they wait. I was handed a menu when I got in line, which gave me plenty of time to decide what I wanted to eat and also served as shade/fan in the heat.

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They also distributed umbrellas and had cold water stations on hand.

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I waited for about 30 minutes outside and 10-15 minutes in the AC inside.

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I eventually ended up in a room with digital ordering stations.

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I placed my order at one of the kiosks

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And was given a “rose” to scan to connect me with my order. The roses have radio frequency technology so the servers can locate you via the rose to deliver your food.

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I was worried it would be hard to find a seat after waiting in line for so long, but there were tons of tables available.

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I easily found a seat in the great room and my food was delivered promptly via a cute food trolley.

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I ordered the quinoa salad dish, which was just okay. It was a little bland. Next time I want to try the turkey baguette.

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Was Beauty and the Beast worth the wait for lunch? Eh. It’s up for debate. I mean I would definitely try it again, but I’m not dying to wait in that line again. I REALLY need to try it for dinner. Now, if I could just nail down one of those pesky reservations we’d be in business.

Unfortunately seeing Anna and Elsa was NOT a first today.

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Yeah. No thanks. Not even a little curious for that long.

The best part is, while I was taking the above photo, a family entered the queue and the cast member had to double check with the family to let them know they’d be waiting in line for 5 hours and are they sure they wanted to enter. He seemed pretty shock they were okay with it and had no complaints. He also handed them one of those red cards that tracks time.

I headed to Main Street to grab a great seat for another first – the Festival of Fantasy Parade!

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The Festival of Fantasy Parade debuted last month at Magic Kingdom. I’ve been following the development of the parade from initial mock-ups to rehearsals on the Disney Parks Blog and have been super pumped about it. The parade celebrates New Fantasyland and all of our favorite Disney characters. The initial float mock-ups were gorgeous, but nothing compares to how stunning all of the floats and costumes look in person.

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Sorry to overload with photos, but there were too many I wanted to share! Everything was so vibrant and photogenic. The parade was stunning and I can’t wait to see it again.

By the way, all photos were taken with my new Samsung Galaxy S5! I’m pretty impressed with the camera so far. Definitely worth the upgrade just for the camera.

I left the park after the parade and headed home. Another great day at Disney is in the books – back to reality tomorrow.

Have you seen the new Festival of Fantasy Parade? What did you think?

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melissa May 6, 2014 at 9:50 pm

My husband and I just went to Disney two weeks ago on our Homeymoon. I would definitely recommend the Turkey baguette at Be Our Guest! We were just bummed we missed the new Snow White roller coaster. It opens the end of this month!

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2 Jen May 6, 2014 at 10:28 pm

I go to Disneyland by myself when I have a random day off, but I don’t stay all day. I’m too cheap to pay for parking, so I cheat and park in the Downtown Disney lot where it’s free for three hours. Judging by the number of cars there and people on the monorail into the park, a lot of season passholders do the same thing!
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3 Cecilia @ MommiesRun May 6, 2014 at 10:31 pm

It is so awesome that you live that close to Disney to just hang out there for a day. I can not believe people wait in a line for 5 hours to see Anna and Elsa. We plan on taking our girls there next summer as a kindergarten graduation gift!
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4 Jojo @ RunFastEatLots May 6, 2014 at 10:46 pm

I went to Disney World for the first time about 3 weeks ago! I saw the parade, which I really enjoyed
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5 Sarah May 6, 2014 at 11:30 pm

yay disney! come visit me in two weeks. i’ll be back at the seas with nemo and friends. 🙂
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6 Runner Girl Eats May 7, 2014 at 6:24 am

I wish I was able to just pop into Disney! How fun. I haven’t been in yearssssss. I am dying to check out all hte new attractions 🙂
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7 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner May 7, 2014 at 7:58 am

I’ve never been to Disney, but I love seeing all your pictures. I can’t believe a family with kids would wait in line for 5 hours–I doubt I would have that patience, especially if I was a child!
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8 Meghan R May 7, 2014 at 8:42 am

I was about to ask what you used for pictures because they turned out GREAT. Might have to think about upgrading soon (I have the S2).

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9 Bridgette May 7, 2014 at 3:39 pm

I had the s2 and upgraded to the s5, she isnt lying when she said the camera is worth the upgrade… its an incredible upgrade from the s2!

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10 Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} May 7, 2014 at 8:42 am

I have seen the parade online but we are going in August so I can’t wait. That is crazy about the wait for Anna and Elsa! Crazy!!!
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11 Lesley May 7, 2014 at 8:49 am

Holy moly, 300 minutes?! And I thought the line in EPCOT was bad. I love the movie but not that much.
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12 Jessie May 7, 2014 at 9:19 am

We took my 5-year-old for the first time on Monday (and did not wait to see princesses, he said he didn’t like princesses). The fast pass is the most genius invention ever. It made our day so much more enjoyable. We never could get one for Peter Pan, but waited until it turned dark to wait in line and it was only 30 minutes. Then for splash mountain waited until the parade of lights and just walked on. We missed the parades, unfortunately. Next time. You forgot to mention the other amazing Disney invention of the play area in dumbo. Instead of making a 5 year old wait in line there’s a play area with stuff to climb on and they give you a buzzer like in a restaurant. There’s places to sit in the air conditioning. It’s brilliant.

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13 Rebekah May 7, 2014 at 10:52 am

I live near Disneyland in CA and I am 100% jealous of how different our parks our. It is NOT FAIR!!!!!!!! D-World seems so fancy compared to D-land.

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14 Sara @ LovingOnTheRun May 7, 2014 at 12:51 pm

This looks like so much fun and I’m glad you were able to relax and get way for a little while!
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15 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs May 7, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Sounds like a great day! I’m so jealous of your proximity to Disney 🙂
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16 Angie May 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm

My last trip to Magic Kingdom I was able to snag a fastpass for Anna and Elsa and Be Our Guest. Totally worth it considering I was not standing in a 3 hour line with two kids. I had the turkey sandwich at Be Our Guest, and I thought it was really good. I have dinner reservations there next month. I am excited to try the dinner menu.
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17 Ashley May 7, 2014 at 4:05 pm

I am happy to hear you were not totally in love with Be our Guest. It killed me I had not checked my emails while there for princess half marathon, and they had sent me a reservation for dinner there as like a surprise? FAIL. I was so mad on the plane home as we at at downtown Disney and I had stalked reservations all weekend. I wish I didn’t live a day away!
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18 Christina (Sisters Running the Kitchen) May 7, 2014 at 9:46 pm

that is so cool that you went for the day alone. I love it!!!
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19 Natalie @ Free Range Human May 8, 2014 at 9:46 am

While I’m not a big fan of humidity and heat (so a Floridian I am not!), I am super jealous of your ability to go to Disney World whenever you like. It’s such a special place, and I would really like to make another trip soon! The next one is definitely going to be for the Princess Half 🙂
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20 Courtney May 8, 2014 at 2:41 pm

5 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry future children, but that is never going to happen.

We were last in Disney for the Princess Half in Feb. The Disney Experience App is the absolute coolest thing ever. Constantly updated (and correct) wait times were the perfect fit for my type A heart. It adds a lot more walking back and forth across the park, but we barely waited for anything.
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21 The Many Thoughts of a Reader May 11, 2014 at 4:30 pm

I was just thinking about when I’d want to take my daughter and then the tought of a 5 hour line made me think yeah, no again ha. Maybe when she’s 8 or 10. Less whining then?OMG.
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