Today is supposed to be the #bestdayever, and in the most important way it is…because I woke up at “home”, Walt Disney World’s POP Century Resort. But the shirt that I planned on wearing to announce that it is the #bestdayever is no wear to be found along with the entire contents of my suitcase and the suitcase. It never arrived to Orlando early this morning when I arrived. So I have my carry on bag, my Vera Bradley Disney cross body bag and the clothes literally on my back. On top of it all, if I was wavering about still trying to run the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Sunday morning, all hopes are completely dashed. As I went to exit my row, apparently a lady behind me several rows could not wait and made a rush past me and I lost my balance and fell sideways in to my seat twisting the entire knee down the back of the calf, on of course my bad leg. The pain was so sharp that it took my breath away and I had to wait for the many of the other passengers to leave before I attempted to hobble off the plane. As long as I walk stiff legged I am okay, for the most part…not the most magical start but it is going to be the #bestdayever even if it has not started out that way.
I know you are looking at date stamps from my social media posts and this blog entry and wondering why I am up ready to go at 6:30 am after arriving well after midnight, after all I am on vacation (even if it is a “working vacation”).
Disney Vacation Tip: When on a Disney park’s vacation, RESIST THE URGE TO HIT THE SNOOZE BAR!
Mornings are the very best times to visit a Disney park if you want to avoid crowds which result in long attraction wait times as well as lower temperatures for those times of the year when heat is a factor. You can get so much done in a morning if you will arrive at your Disney Park 30-45 minutes prior to rope drop (official park opening time). In most cases you can get more done in the first 3 hours then you can the entire rest of the day, simply because many park guests are in the typical “vacation” mind set of sleeping in.
But Tammie, 6:30 am? Yes, but today is a little different as I am headed to Animal Kingdom for Extra Magic Hours. Extra Magic Hours (EMH) is bonus time in select Disney parks each day, either before or after regular operating hours, for guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort. Today, Animal Kingdom’s rope drop is scheduled for 9 am, but for EMH the park opens at 8 am.
Disney Vacation Tip: Avoid Disney Parks with Extra Magic Hours UNLESS this not your first Disney vacation and/or you have Park Hopper tickets. Why? Basic psychology… When people see Extra Magic Hours they think they need to be there. Crowds will build first thing in the morning and stay heavy throughout the day defeating the whole purpose of getting to the park early for low crowd levels. However, parks with evening EMH are not dramatically impacted because the majority of park guests have been there all day and/or have young children who are ready to call it a day.
Clearly it’s not my first vacation and I have park hopper tickets so Extra Magic Hour crowds are not going to affect my plans…just the opposite, they are going to work in my favor for 3 simple words…Flight of Passage aka the hottest FastPass at Walt Disney World. At my 60 day booking window for FastPasses, I was not able to secure a FP for Flight of Passage which means I have to use the stand by line. Disney Imagineers do a great job making lines fun and interactive, but after reading lots of trip reports the stand by line for Flight of Passage within 30 minutes of rope drop has a wait time of 2-3 hours. So the need to be at Animal Kingdom by 7:15 am is imperative if I want to experience Flight of Passage and not waste much of my morning waiting for a few minutes of fun. Disney park buses begin running approximately 1 hour prior to park opening so I intend to be on the first for bus to Animal Kingdom to be towards the front of the line for entrance into Animal Kingdom when it opens and then head directly to Flight of Passage using the tips that I have gathered from various posts and blogs (one of those perks you have access to when we plan your Disney vacation together).
In yesterday’s blog post I shared my confession of being in a “rut” doing the same things on my Disney vacations and how since this is a “working vacation” I am challenging myself to a daily bucket list of new experiences that will help me assist you in planning the most magical vacation possible.
Remember that I am doing a full out social media blitz this week to make you part of my “working vacation.” Content will be different on each site to make it fresh, so you will want to follow me on…
I am also going to be giving everyone* following along and interacting, a chance to win up to $200 in a Disney Vacation Credit* as well as a few daily giveaways as a thank you for being a part of my “working vacation.” The more you interact, the better chance you have to win.
There is so much magic waiting for me that I need to get going, I will C U real soon and remember that life is always better when you are wearing ears.