This is the first time on any of our trips that we had real downtime built into our plans. It was actually rather strange. There had been days with late starts, but that meant at the parks between 10-11am. Our first FastPass window for the middle day of this trip opened at 4:45pm. We had the entire day fairly unplanned.
My kids aren’t very good at sleeping in, even though we had been up until after midnight partying at Magic Kingdom the prior night. They were up before 8am. We started to clean up our room so we could transfer to the other side of the resort to Beach Club Villas for the next part of the stay. I also had a virtual doctor’s appointment schedule. Yep, I visited with my doctor from the patio of our room. He enjoyed the palm trees and pool view, though I had to educate him on the geographical difference between Disney World and Disneyland.
Following my appointment, we went for a very quick breakfast at Cape May. Grumpy wasn’t feeling well and isn’t a big fan of breakfast. Diva just wanted to go back to the room. The two of them ate and left. Peanut and I hung out for a bit before joining them to finish packing up.
As bell services rolled away our luggage I was sad to be leaving our amazing room, but looking forward to moving to the Villas.
Now, I use the word “unplanned” above pretty loosely. We intended to the Character Warehouse at the Vineland Premium Outlets. It was our first time leaving the “Disney bubble” even though we were heading to a Disney related-store. We called for a Lyft ride to take us on our shopping adventure. Diva chatted the driver’s ear off during our short ride. Luckily he had two young kids and was used to it.
It was interesting to be at the Warehouse. The prices on the products were pretty reasonable, but many of the items we really liked were too big to transport home. There was an awesome Christmas train that Grumpy eyed several times for $50 which was nearly $100 off. He thought it would be great around our tree, but it wasn’t worth it to ship it home. There were also many home items plates and other glassware that I really liked but size and fragility prevented us from purchasing. It’s definitely something for us to consider next time we visit.
The kids each found a few toys that they purchased with their own money for under $10 per toy. The best find was Tokyo Disney pins for only $.99! We picked up enough to share with Diva’s class when they celebrate her birthday once she’s back at school. The only thing that was surprising was the size of the store. “Warehouse” certainly had me thinking there would be much more space and a more massive inventory. If you’re thinking of going it’s worth a look, just make sure you have the capacity.
It was getting warm. We thought about walking around but we didn’t need to shop at stores we can find at home. While we debated what to do the kids were spoiled by a little chair massage.
We contemplated going to go to Disney Springs and grabbing lunch over there, but instead, we pulled out or magical extras card and decided to play mini-golf at Fantasia Gardens! Magical Extras are also something that never fit into our park-filled schedules during prior trips.
Grumpy and I thought this would be a good surprise for the kids rather than going through the shops at Disney Springs. It was really fun and also quite comical. Diva is super carefree and we thought she was going to take someone out with her golf club. Peanut and Grumpy are competitive. And me, well I have no aim, so I’m pretty terrible at putt-putt.
It wasn’t crowed, but it was hot. We skipped over some holes that had other groups at them. You can see by hole #17 Diva’s cheeks were looking super rosy even covered in sunscreen. The course was located almost directly across from our hotel, but I even after talking with the Cast Member working at the entrance I didn’t feel confident crossing the busy street so we called for another ride to get us right to the door of the resort.
I had been checking my phone for room ready alerts even though it was early and there was nothing. It was time for a late lunch and Hurricane Hanna’s provided a shady spot with a view of the pool and some new duck friends to hang out with. The little guy below wouldn’t leave Grumpy’s side– especially after the first french fry fell to the ground.
I decided to walk over to the Villas to check on our room while the rest of the family went to the arcade. I’m not sure if our room was actually ready or the man was just kind enough to assign a room because I was there but he handed me a resort map and pointed me to the first door on the left. Another first-floor pool view room (more on the rooms and resort in my next post). I sent a text to Grumpy explaining where he could find me and then enjoyed a few minutes of total silence.
We still had time after getting our bags delivered. It was really strange for me to still have “nothing” to do. The kids were the decision makers– and they wanted pool time. We spent a bit of time by the pool before a friend arrived to visit. We met her by Beaches & Cream and snacked on some ice cream while we dried off.
The time was now moving along. We skipped the first FastPass window for Buzz Lightyear Space Spin, showed our friend around our studio villa, and then hitched a ride with her to Magic Kingdom. It was 6:15pm when we arrived at the park. We couldn’t miss the next FastPass. It was for Peanut’s first ride on Space Mountain. He was a bit nervous when he saw we weren’t riding next to each other. He asked to hold my hand during the ride and although his face doesn’t say it in the picture below HE LOVED IT! It could be a new favorite.
Another first for our family was a ride on the Peoplemover. How have we not done that before? I love the views of Tomorrowland and Main Street!
Peanut needed to get back on Space Mountain. Grumpy used rider swap to go with him. Diva and I agreed to meet them by Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for our first ride on it this trip! We took a bathroom break, snapped a picture with a PhotoPass photographer, grabbed a snack, and slowly made our way towards the ride. The snack was gone and the boys still hadn’t found us. No text. No answer to my call. I was hoping they weren’t stuck on Space Mountain or that Grumpy didn’t get lost in the park.
The FastPass window was inching to a close. I couldn’t remember exactly what the grace period was so I asked the Cast Member, Kayte, working at the ride entrance. She didn’t give an exact answer but said we still had time. I noted to Diva that Kayte was from Lakewood, Ohio, just a few minutes from our home and where other family members live. Diva thought that was cool and told Kayte about her cousins. As we walked away Diva told me she wanted to ride just the two of us. I told her we couldn’t because the wait was 75 minutes and if we went with our FastPass we couldn’t ride with the boys. She didn’t like the answer and pouted a little.
Kayte yelled to her, “Hey Princess!” and when we turned around she was motioning for her to come chat. Kayte asked Diva to rate how much she wanted to ride with just her mom. She stretched her arms out wide– “THIIIIISS MUCCCHHH.” “Well, then go ahead,” Kayte told us unlatching a rope and pointing us into the FastPass line.
I almost couldn’t speak as I was trying to stop Diva from running off without me. “What? Really?”
“Yeah, but you have to come back with your brother when he gets here.”
I’m pretty sure I cried as we walked into the mine. I was so surprised. I didn’t even know she had been listening or could hear us from where we were standing. It was pretty cool pixie dust!
I finally got a text when we were about to ride and asked that they meet us by the FastPass entrance. I also sent a picture as we were about to dart away.
Diva was thrilled. We exited and then met the boys to use our FastPass right away! I thanked Kayte again as we walked through and let them know we had found Diva’s big brother and could ride as a family. I was still shocked as we went back through the line and I explained to Grumpy what had just happened.
It wouldn’t be a visit to Magic Kingdom without visiting Storybook Circus and riding the kids favorite. You know it. We went to the Barnstormer. Grumpy wasn’t in the mood for riding again and Peanut was enjoying his newfound freedom to ride alone. Just two quick rides this night and then Diva got silly at Casey’s Splash Pad.
Magic Kingdom had Extra Magic Hours until midnight if we chose to stay. Really the only intent of the day had been to use our FastPasses and hang out. We were making the most of our downtime and really going with the flow. We wandered towards Main Street to use up our snack credits. While ins the Confectionery loading up on rice krispie treats– some for now and some for home– the music for Happily Ever After started. A quick glance at them as we barreled through the crowd and out the gate. I couldn’t believe we were leaving during fireworks.
And then we turned around….
I was amazed a few nights earlier when we watched fireworks over the Tangled Lanterns and now again watching from outside the gates. The view over the Main Street Train Station with a tiny glimpse of the Castle was spectacular.