Day Two of our vacation was a park day. The golden rules for park days is WAKE UP EARLY. Like 6 AM early and also to take breaks in between all the excitement. This is how our second day went down.
We woke up at 7 AM (see statement above) and got ready really quick. My little one got all dressed up in her Elsa dress and accessories. We all put on our Mickey Ears and headed down to grab a quick breakfast. We just used one of our snack credits to grab a muffin and the coffee was free (you get the refillable tumbler with the dining plan).
Then we did something wonderful, and one of the reasons we stayed at the Contemporary… We WALKED to the park. It is a 10 minute walk from the lobby to the gate. After going through security you are in the park.
Things have changed a little bit now with the new opening show. A burning question I had before our trip was how the opening being at Cinderella’s Castle affect early access to the park. For those of you that don’t know, you can make a very early breakfast reservation at a restaurant in the park and they will let you in early, which means getting the park practically to yourself and getting lots of pictures “alone” in the park. Well now with the opening ceremony being at the castle things have changed a bit. I will discuss early morning reservations on the Day 3 post.
You are allowed to go all the way up to the castle where you will be treated to a welcoming ceremony by favorite characters and Mickey himself. Note that all of the stores and attractions along Main Street are closed until the end of the opening ceremony.
The ceremony is beautiful and our little one was entranced by the castle and her first view of all the princesses and all the fireworks and effect. From there we rushed back to the Main Street Theater so that we could see Mickey before it would get really crowded. We waited about 20 minutes in line which ended up being one of our longest wait that whole entire day.
Meeting Mickey was MAGICAL. This was the most amazing moment we had. Our daughter was transfixed, she loved Mickey, she believed he was real, and for a moment we were all able to witness the Disney magic; a child seeing the beloved characters come to life. She kissed mickey, she hugged him, danced with him, and called him her prince. We were not rushed at all, everyone was super nice and very understanding of the magic that was taking place. This one experience by itself made all the work, effort, and money that went into planing this vacation worth it.
I had a very tight schedule planned for that day. Even though it was early in the morning I made sure to get FastPasses for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride. Even though it was early the wait was already in the 40+ mins. So we got to breeze by and get on right away. This was my daughter’s first roller-coaster ever. She loved it, we have a little daredevil. She was just tall enough to be able to get in and she though it was great fun, we all did.
From there we went to Gaston’s Tavern for a treat and saw the man himself standing outside. There was a very short line, so we decided to meet him. My husband happens to like Gaston, and I think he got the biggest kick out of meeting him.
Before we had to go to our next fast pass we noticed that Mickey’s PhilharMagic had no wait. So we went right in and watched the show. While it is a bit dated, it was still fun and entertaining, plus a quick break from the Florida heat.
From there we went to Princess Fairytale Hall to meet Cinderella and Elena of Avalor. We had fast passes for this as well. While it was still in the morning (11 AM) the wait was about 30 minutes for no fast passes. We waited less than ten and then my little girl was saying hello to Cinderella, which was nice, but my daughter loves Elena of Avalor, so she was a little start-struck. There were lots of hugs, and talks about adventures, and they even spoke in Spanish (yes the Elena cast member can speak Spanish fluently which adds to the authenticity of the character).
Then it was time to run to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for her appointment. I called to make a reservation 5 months before our vacation date. By that time the only appointment they had left was a noon spot. I would recommend calling 6 months ahead if you are trying to get the highly sought after morning appointments. Most parents want their money’s worth so they all try to get in there early so that their children can have their hairdo last all day. So if you want early you need to call early.
We had to wait over half an hour before it was her turn, thankfully they have a sitting area inside, but it is constantly full (lots of kids and parents waiting) so be super grateful if you get a sit. My little one came dressed up already with her Elsa dress, but you can also get a dress and purchase it right there. They will take you to their sister store where you can choose and put on your gown and then they will bring you back to do your hair, nails, and makeup.
After the boutique it was time for our last FastPass of the day (we could have reserved more after we used our three, but honestly our schedule was pretty packed as it was, so we did not feel the need); Enchanted Tales With Belle. This was what I would consider an “enhanced meet and greet”. Children get to participate in a mini play before getting that picture with Belle. It was short, but my daughter got a kick for being plate #3, lol.
Lunch was a skip and a hop away at Be Our Guest. Once again we had our ADR booked for this and the best part, besides the beautiful theming, or good food, is that breakfast or lunch here counts as a “Fast Service” credit. So skip the burger joints in cafeteria stile eateries, and come sit at this wonderful restaurant where you can have something a bit more classy for lunch. Only thing is that you need to make your reservation early since it is a very popular spot.
After such a busy morning, we went back to the hotel for naps. It is so important to do this if you have a young child in your party. They get to recharge and not be cranky for the second part of your day. But just as important YOU get to rest and recharge. Get out of the horrible Florida heat and humidity, take a quick nap and a shower, so that YOUR night is also more enjoyable. If you are able to take this break at your hotel then you do not need a stroller. We brought a stroller thinking our almost 3 years old was going to be using it a lot. It turned out she did not use it much, save for a few minutes here and there. Since we went back to the hotel for her nap (which is honestly the main reason you might want a stroller) we did not need a stroller at all for this trip.
We walked back to the park around 5:30 PM so we made it with plenty of time for our dinner reservations at Crystal Palace. A jolly time was had by all as we met the friends from the Hundred Acre Wood. The food was ok, not the best Disney buffet we have been to but it was not bad. After all the pictures were taken we just came out and found a great spot to watch the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. We waited less than half an hour before it started. The show was absolutely beautiful.
At this point, half of our party decided to retire for the night. The rest of us headed for Tomorrowland, where we got to ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, with no wait at all. Then we took a turn on the People Mover, just to rest for a bit. From there we ended our night by having a dance party with Mr. and Mrs. Incredible! My little one dance for over half an hour with Mrs. Incredible, it was a great one on one activity that we were lucky to participate in simply because we decided to stay after the show ended, unlike most of the other families. So short lines and more interactions with characters can be had at this time.
After such a full day we went to our hotel, and as we walked to our room we heard the same loud music we had heard the night before. It was a floating parade! The Electrical Water Pageant to be exact. It was beautiful, we had a front row seat, and absolutely loved it. It was just a nice additional bonus that we did not even know we would get. So we went to bed that night extremely tired, but extremely happy and satisfied with our choice of hotel.