Hi everyone! We just got back from our trip on Saturday and are trying to settle back into the routine of making our own coffee and having to make my own bed every morning. Geez, you get so spoiled on vacation. Oh, and Christmas is in
4 3 days but who’s counting? We had a great time at Disney, and forged ahead through lack of sleep, a grumpy nine year old, and a pulled calf muscle (ouch!)
We pride ourselves on saving money on our Disney trips, but usually treat ourselves once each trip. Disney is well known for offering upgrades or add-ons for your family vacation. Many folks choose to pay a little more to have an exclusive event added to their itinerary. These include dessert parties, holiday parties, and after hours events. Last spring, Disney debuted a new event known as Early Morning Magic-Fantasyland, and soon after started a similar event in Hollywood Studios. For $69 per adult and $59 per child, your party gains entry to the Magic Kingdom early and has unlimited access to 3 of the most popular rides in Fantasyland-Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Peter Pan’s Flight. Also included in the price is a breakfast buffet, which takes place in Pinocchio Village Haus. I figured, “Hey we’ve paid more than that for a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table, and I’d much rather ride rides without a wait for an hour. What the heck!” So, I booked our party of 2 adults and 1 child for Tuesday morning (it only occurs on select Sundays and Tuesdays) and planned how I was going to get the 3 of us up and ready so early while on vacation.
We were ready to go by 6:45 am (miraculously) and decided not to trust our fates to Disney transportation. We drove to the Ticket and Transportation Center (did you know you can park free at any of the parks with your resort parking pass?) and as we entered the TTC, a Cast Member asked us if we had early dining reservations. We explained we were doing Early Morning Magic and he ushered us over to an area where a bus was waiting-apparently only the resort monorail runs that early in the morning. We were whisked away on our “private” bus to the front of the Magic Kingdom by 7:25, got our bags checked quickly and were greeted by a cast member asking if we had early reservations. We were directed to a line at the far left of the entryway to the park. This queue consisted of the Early Morning Magic folks as well as all people with pre-park opening reservations at Crystal Palace, Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table. A cast member came through and checked our Magic Bands for our reservations and gave the three of us each a special wristband.
At 7:44, there was quite a crowd behind us, and at 7:45 am on the dot, the rope was dropped and the crowd surged through the tunnels under the train station and out into Town Square. We walked at our quick but relaxed pace, got some nice shots on Main Street (they did have Photopass photographers out!) and in front of the Castle.
We immediately went to 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, where CMs were checking for wristbands, and rode 5 times in about 20 minutes. We then walked over to Winnie the Pooh, and rode twice. You had to get off of the ride each time, but walking back through the queue took only a few seconds. Then over to Peter Pan, which we rode 4 times. We each sat in a different spot each time so we could see new unique details in the ride. It was approaching 8:45 am now, and folks who had rushed through their early breakfasts were already lined up at 7DMT, but were not yet permitted to get on the ride. We sailed past them and rode again 2 times. Then it was 9, the park was officially open, and we decided to get over to Space Mountain to ride before the lines started. We actually waited about 20 minutes to ride Space Mountain, and then it was time for breakfast!
We sauntered back over to Fantasyland and showed our wristbands to the CMs at the front of the restaurant. There was a well-stocked double sided buffet with breakfast goodies, as well as coffee, juice and hot water for tea. There was fruit, frittatas, french toast, bacon, sausage, assorted meat and cheeses, and a selection of pastries. The restaurant was not at all crowded and the food was hot and fresh. We went up several times and only felt slightly rushed when a CM offered to “clean all that up” for us as we sat lazily talking and sipping coffee (this was about 10:15 am) Understandably, they had to get the dining room ready for lunch. All the staff there was very friendly, and a couple of Cast Members stopped to talk to us and offered to take our picture. So, by 10:30 am, we had ridden 4 of the most popular rides at the Magic Kingdom, got some great photos taken and enjoyed a delicious breakfast.
So, the question is always, “Is it worth it?” To which I usually reply, “It depends.” Is it in your budget to splurge a bit? If so, I think this add-on is a good value for what you get. Do you like rides? My daughter is crazy about the Mine Train and I adore Peter Pan, so for us, it was really exciting to ride multiple times without waiting. If your little one is more interested in meeting princesses, an ADR at Cinderella’s Royal Table is a better splurge. We had a blast and I’d certainly consider doing it again. Disney Early Morning Magic-Fantasyland runs on select Sundays and Tuesdays from 7:45-10:00 am, breakfast is available from 8:30-10:00 am. Regular theme park admission is required.