Conquering the Walt Disney World Mountains

“Mom, when we go to Walt Disney World this year can we park hop and ride all the roller coasters?”  It’s finally happened, my son is old enough to go from park to park and ride the big rides!

“Of course we can, that will be a lot of fun!”

Our family had two quick days planned at Walt Disney World while we visited family in Florida over Spring Break.

On Day 1 we drove about an hour from Grandma & Grandpa’s house in time to check in at Port Orleans French Quarter, hop on the bus and make it to Hollywood Studios before opening.  While my son, Kyle, and I enjoyed Hollywood Studios, my husband, Kevin, had a special morning with his parents at Magic Kingdom.   I had made our advanced FastPasses for Hollywood Studios, we were both excited to ride our favorite Hollywood Studios rides; Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror and Toy Story Mania.

We arrived at Hollywood Studios right as the park opened.  Since we had not gotten a FastPass for Star Tours, we went right to it and did not have to wait at all!!  Kyle was thrilled to ride Star Tours and see that scenes had been added from the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens.  Then we were off to the Star Wars Launch Bay to meet Kylo Ren.  After meeting Kylo Ren it was all about the thrill rides, with Rock ‘n Roller Coaster first, then Tower of Terror.  Our last stop was Toy Story Mania before going back to the resort for some pool time and meeting up with Kevin, Grandma & Grandpa.

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The evening began with a delicious dinner at Biergarten in the German Pavilion at Epcot.  Not only did we have a delicious dinner, but a wonderful dinner show, both reasons I enjoy returning to Biergarten year after year.  We followed dinner by meeting Joy and Sadness from Inside Out!  It wasn’t part of our original plan, but they had just started their meet & greet and we couldn’t resist.  By the time we were finished with Joy & Sadness, Illuminations was about to begin.  Riding a popular ride during the nighttime shows almost always guarantees a short line. This was no exception as we only had to wait 10 minutes Test Track.   On our way out of Epcot we stopped to ride Spaceship Earth, the perfect way to end Day 1.

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We all woke up before our alarm on Day 2, we were so excited to get the day started.  Animal Kingdom was the first park and our first ride was our favorite, Expedition Everest.  Early in the morning is the best time to ride Expedition Everest if you don’t have a FastPass.  The line was very short, we only waited about 5 minutes so we got off and decided to ride one more time!  Next on the list was Kali River Rapids and Kyle was hoping we would all get soaked!  We lucked out again with a short line, so after our family ride, Kyle rode again as a single rider.  Kevin and I waited on the bridge to shoot him with water from the elephant fountains near the end of the ride.  I’m not sure which was more fun, the actual ride or shooting people with the water.  On our way out of Animal Kingdom we went in to see Bug’s Life, we never get tired of Bug’s Life.  Not only is it a cute show, but it’s a great way to cool off and relax for a few minutes.

 

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Hollywood Studios was our next stop so Kevin could ride some of his favorite rides.  We had decided when FastPasses became available 60 days prior to our arrival that we would get our 3 advanced FastPasses for our afternoon in Hollywood Studios knowing that arriving early at Animal Kingdom would be good for short wait times.  Our first FastPass was for Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, which is a favorite of the whole family.  Tower of Terror followed Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, then we were off to Star Tours.  By mid-day we were all very glad we had FastPasses for all three of these rides.  Our lunch at the Sci Fi Diner was at the exact right time after a very full morning of riding rides.   Having a trained, traveled and trusted travel agent to help navigate making FastPasses and dining reservations can really help make your day smooth and enjoyable.

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We chose Magic Kingdom as our last park because it was open to Resort Guests until 1:00am.  Up before 7:00am to get to Animal Kingdom right at opening, then attempting to stay at Magic Kingdom until 1:00am, we were nuts!  After a few afternoon hours at the pool, we made our way to Magic Kingdom feeling refreshed and ready for a late night.  We rode all of our favorite rides, Pirates of the Caribbean, Buzz Lightyear, Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups, you know, the staples.  During the Electrical Light Parade we got in line for Big Thunder Mountain.  As we hoped, the line during the parade was not very long, only about 15 minutes.  It was almost time for Celebrate the Magic, an amazing light show that is projected onto Cinderella’s Castle, so back to the front of the park we went for a great view of Cinderella’s Castle.  Kyle had not seen this show yet, he was mesmerized!

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We had a few more rides to hit and we couldn’t miss seeing the Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor.  We wandered through Tomorrowland just before midnight on our way to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Fantasyland, we were all excited because none of us had ridden this ride yet.  I’m not sure how long the wait was, because the interactive cue was so much fun we didn’t pay attention to the time.  The ride was a lot of fun and if we weren’t on a mission to ride all the roller coasters we definitely would have ridden it again.

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We left Fantasyland and walked back to Tomorrowland for our last roller coaster, Space Mountain.  It was raining now and we were glad the line for Space Mountain was all inside, at least we thought it was!  As we got closer to the ride we saw a long line outside and a thrity minute wait.  UGH, none of us wanted to wait that long especially in the rain and we were debating just skipping Space Mountain and going back to the resort.  We thought we would go ride Buzz Lightyear one more time then see how the Space Mountain line looked.  Luckily when we were done riding Buzz Lightyear the line for Space Mountain had moved inside and was only about 15 minutes.

We did it, we made it until 1:00am and rode all the roller coasters!  Having a plan ahead of time made it very easy to visit all four parks, use our FastPasses most effectively and ride all the rides we really wanted to.  As a trained, traveled and trusted Wishes Family Travel Concierge Agent, I can help you make the most of your Disney vacation too!

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