Timing The FastPass+ Enabled Magic Kingdom Ideal Morning Plan Day 1 – Wednesday April 30

by josh on May 2, 2014

Last week we went over the website’s Ideal Morning Plan Day 2 from the Magic Kingdom Cheat Sheet. Today, we’ll cover Day 1, which is primarily focused on Tomorrowland and Fantasyland:

Ideal Two-Day Morning Plan Day 1:

  • Use FastPass+ at Mine Train (12pm-1pm), Enchanted Tales with Belle (1pm-2pm), Anna and Elsa at Fairytale Hall or Alternate (2pm–3pm)
  1. Ride Space Mountain: 9am – 9:20am
  2. Ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin: 9:25am – 9:35am
  3. Ride Astro Orbiter: 9:37am – 9:55am
  4. Ride Tomorrowland Speedway (if desired): 10am – 10:20am
  5. Ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: 10:25am – 10:40am
  6. Ride Dumbo: 10:45am – 11am
  7. Ride The Barnstormer: 11:03am – 11:15am
  8. Ride Journey of the Little Mermaid: 11:20am – 11:40am
  9. Have lunch: Use FastPass+ at Be Our Guest Restaurant if possible. Pinocchio Village Haus is closest. Cosmic Ray’s is relatively close.
  10. Ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with FP+: 12:45pm – 1p
  11. Visit Enchanted Tales with Belle with FP+: 1pm – 1:30pm
  12. See Mickey’s PhilharMagic and/or Prince Regal Royal Carrousel: 1:35pm – 2p
  13. Visit Anna and Elsa at Princess Fairytale Hall with FP+: 2pm – 2:15pm
  14. See Festival of Fantasy Parade in Frontierland: 2:30pm – 3:15pm

Since the Mine Train isn’t open yet, we’ll hit Peter Pan’s Flight instead in the same time slot. As I’ve mentioned countless times, the Cheat Sheet timing is written for your average family with padding on both sides. Usually when I go over a plan myself, I’m 30 or more minutes ahead of schedule. In the Day 2 example from last week, I’m 15+ minutes behind an already conservative schedule and the plan still worked perfectly with virtually no waits and minimal walking. This time, we’re going to enter the queue for each attraction at exactly the time noted and see how we do. This is how morning crowds progressed:

You’ll notice the stark contrast between 8:25am and just 15 minutes later at 8:40am. By 8:45am, you’re too late to even be inside the Mickey Readers and would have to wait until everyone clears out around 8:53am to enter the Park.

Day 2 begins in Frontierland and is a bit more relaxing and less time sensitive than Day 1, which is going to hit multiple high priority attractions like Space Mountain, Astro Orbiter, Buzz Lightyear, Winnie the Pooh, and more. Only a few people are headed to Adventureland.

Somewhere between one and five people are headed through Liberty Square to the left of Cinderella Castle.

If you’re headed to the Mine Train first, it may be prudent to head down the path to the right of Cinderella Castle and then take a left at Mad Tea Party by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

I did the Anna/Elsa walk again just to see if anything had changed.

It hasn’t. Guests are still corralled in front of Prince Regal Carrousel and guided all the way around it to the left into the extended queue for Anna and Elsa.

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports10/countthesmiles.jpg. Behind me is a nice opportunity to play my favorite game, count the smiles, which is usually reserved to the summer heat and crowds.

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports11/iknowagirlnamedelsashesintoalkaseltzer.jpg.

Your 4-hour wait for Anna and Elsa at rope drop, literally the worst possible time to get in line other than when they aren’t meeting after 5pm, I suppose.

A lap around the Mine Train, which now has an official opening date of May 28th.

I sort of lied about getting in line for everything when the Cheat Sheet calls for it as we’ll be skipping Space Mountain since it’s the only attraction I won’t willingly ride. It’s 9:17am with a stream of people leaving after riding on the left and a few people arriving. We’ll pretend we’re among them.

There was a time when we started with Astro Orbiter first, but this is unnecessary as very few people head here before 9:45am, even if it loads atrociously slow.

So the first two steps are:

  1. Ride Space Mountain: 9am – 9:20am
  2. Ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin: 9:25am – 9:35am

Buzz Lightyear is about a minute away from Space Ranger Spin, but the plan affords a full five minutes.

I waited outside for seven minutes and proceeded inside at 9:25am.

Despite the queue spilling out the door already, there is virtually no wait because we’re able to stream right on with few FP+ returners this early.

I am absurdly bad.

You could ride again with about a five minute wait, particularly if you’re skipping Astro Orbiter and/or Tomorrowland Speedway.

As it stands, I’m out at 9:33am, which is two minutes ahead of schedule.

I just missed the previous load cycle at Orbiter which was half empty, so we’re first in line for the next.

Astro Orbiter is a bit wilder than you might expect. There is only one seatbelt and one person sits in front of the other, which is a lot easier when it’s one kid/one adult. Pairs of adults may want to identify as a party of one in order to enjoy the comfort of their own rocket. Of course, if you are on a hot date you might want to play it cool and “be surprised” by the seating arrangement.

The views are great though.

Step 3 was Ride Astro Orbiter: 9:37am – 9:55am. This is the scene at Space Mountain after.

It’s 9:51am and a few people are headed toward Space Mountain, which still has a ten minute wait.

Astro Orbiter is up to a 10-minute wait.

Buzz is still at five.

I double checked that my FP+ were intact while we wait for Speedway.

Tomorrowland Speedway is about a minute and a half away from Astro Orbiter, but the Cheat Sheet allots a full five minutes. At this point, most people should already be about ten minutes ahead of the game.

But we’ll wait for 10am with a 20 minute posted wait:

4. Ride Tomorrowland Speedway (if desired): 10am – 10:20am.

I really don’t desire, but here we are anyway.

We hit Speedway right around 10am because that’s around the time the second side will open and capacity will double, in turn halving actual waits.

Gunning it on the straightaway. I race for team Dogecoin. Don’t worry I’m not behind – I’ve already lapped them several times.

The end of the ride is where the wait can really pile on as you wait for every car ahead to unload, load, and then start along the track very slowly. This early, the wait will be just a minute or two.

That took a total of 15 minutes, though the Cheat Sheet affords 20.

Disney had raised prices at virtually every quick service on April 29th. Table service followed on the 30th.

We’ll take a closer look in a future post, but most increases are 10 to 30 cents. The only two new items I noticed were a BLT Hot Dog (barf) at Lunching Pad and a Pot Roast Macaroni and Cheese at Friar’s Nook (probably barf).

Winnie the Pooh is about two minutes away from Tomorrowland Speedway, but the Cheat Sheet gives you five:

5. Ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: 10:25am – 10:40am.

You’ll recall that we waited seven minutes for Buzz and nine for Speedway and now we wait outside The Many Adventures for another seven, so that’s an extra 23 minutes of stroller gathering, picture taking, etc. The average family should be here by 10:15am-ish instead of 10:25am, if not earlier.

We are going to get bogged down here a bit as the Cheat Sheet assumes the Mine Train is open and pulling away around a thousand people by this time. Like Dumbo, The Many Adventures has a fun interactive queue for kids and there are worse places to wait. Fast forward a month when the Mine Train is open and the wait here should be 10ish minutes instead of 20.

FP+ ruins standby waits at Pooh with its limited capacity, much like legacy FASTPASS did.

Forever alone.

And we’re out at 10:50am, which puts us 10 minutes behind schedule.

Dumbo is about two minutes away from the Many Adventures, but the Cheat Sheet again gives a full five minutes.

6. Dumbo: 10:45am – 11am

.

It’s 10:52am so we are seven minutes behind.

With less of a wait, you would have the option of entering the air-conditioned tent or going straight to a Dumbo.

We’ll rock the pager for a few minutes.

Despite a full tent waiting, they were running the ride at around 65% capacity with three Dumbos in a row empty. Hence, the wait.

The views are pretty lousy these days with trees blocking New Fantasyland and the Mine Train.

Over to Barnstormer about 30 seconds away at 11:17am.

7. Ride The Barnstormer: 11:03am – 11:15am. Now 14 minutes behind we’ll see if the plan falls off the rails.

It can always be worse.

With the new ability to add a 4th FP+ after using the first three, you could conceivably skip Barnstormer now and either schedule FP+ later or return after 8pm when waits will again be short.

We’ll soldier ahead.

A fleeting view.

Up to 11:36am.

55 minutes at Ariel’s Grotto.

Over to Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid.

8. Ride Journey of the Little Mermaid: 11:20am – 11:40am which is the last time sensitive step in the plan.

You’ll very rarely see a posted wait shorter than 20 minutes here. You can generally subtract 10 minutes from whatever is posted.

In this case, we’ll walk the entire outdoor queue without resistance and find ourselves at Scuttle.

The best part of the queue is almost always closed off these days.

The actual wait ended up being about 10 minutes.

And I’m back outside at 11:58am with Ariel’s Grotto down to 20 minutes.

Overall, the morning portion went well, even with the inclusion of the optional Tomorrowland Speedway, twiddling my thumbs for around a half hour to enter each queue at the stated Cheat Sheet time, and the Mine Train not being open to pull people away from the nearby attractions, pushing up wait times. We do end up 18 minutes behind schedule but first FP+ is for 12pm – 1pm theoretically for Mine Train. We could either ride now since the window is open or visit after lunch with a full 75 minutes until the window expires. Remember you can enter the queue for a FP+ attraction up to 5 minutes before and up to 15 minutes after the one hour window.

Pinocchio Village Haus sustained a major refurbishment over the past few months and reopened in April.

The menu returns largely the same, though the removal of the cheese flatbread is pretty strange. There’s literally no reason not to offer one.

Especially considering they are already making them and cutting them in half for the kids’ meals.

Upstairs seating is open again inside and outside on the balcony.

A $4.49 Blue Raspberry Slush – A favorite of the blue fairy outside. This is your typical slushie with whipped cream and berry syrup on top. It’s a refreshing use of a snack credit in the afternoon heat and an average value out of pocket.

I’m the only person up here. There’s a stairwell up to the second floor inside near the condiment stations on both sides of the ordering area or you can walk up the stairs outside and then enter through one of the doors. There’s just a handful of tables upstairs – maybe eight.

The flatbreads are similar to before – the chicken pieces are much thicker and the BBQ Chicken version has less cheese than the pepperoni, which still works fine in my opinion as it gives you something to hold onto, much like pizza crust.

I thought it was pretty excellent. Without a FP+ for Be Our Guest, Village Haus is a good choice in the Fantasyland area.

If none of the Kids’ Picks at Be Our Guest sound good, you could also grab a Power Pack at Village Haus before getting in line at BOG.

Fantasyland crowds at 12:15pm in a jungle of strollers.

The Cheat Sheet calls to: “Use FastPass+ at Mine Train (12pm-1pm), Enchanted Tales with Belle (1pm-2pm), Anna and Elsa at Fairytale Hall or Alternate (2pm–3pm)” but the Mine Train is out so we’re subbing Peter Pan’s Flight, which should be a similar experience around the same area.

10. Ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with FP+: 12:45pm – 1pm. It’s at least exactly 12:45pm.

One of the harder scenes to capture in a dark ride.

Also.

Flight took exactly 10 minutes from the time I got in the FP+ line to the time I was back out front.

small world at 25 minutes with the whole queue full at the same time.

After some meandering and picture taking, it’s 1:20pm and we’re ready for our Enchanted Tales FastPass+. Enchanted Tales is going to take 30 to 40 minutes even with a FP+. We prioritize FP+ here above most other attractions because of its length and solid afternoon waits in the sun, though FP+ seems to be pushing the majority of people visiting to that line instead of standby. Still, it just takes 100 or so people in front of you in standby to push the wait up to 30 or more minutes.

Enchanted Tales remains charming and as I’ve mentioned, has improved dramatically since its inception. Without kids it is not necessarily a “must do,” but it’s difficult to recommend skipping it. I’m not saying you’ll love it and will be pining for another go around, but it is awfully cute.

At 1:51pm, the wait for Be Our Guest is around 10 minutes outside.

At least the price of three grapes, a small bite of pineapple, and half a strawberry hasn’t gone up.

While your Mickey Bar is up a quarter.

Space Mountain with a 30-minute standby and the FP+ line backed up further than this.

After an extended amount of time walking around taking pictures of menus, it’s 2:56pm and we’re in line for Anna and Elsa with a 210 minute posted wait. One of the reasons why the posted waits are inaccurate is that Disney is simply collecting wait times via these yellow pieces of paper, not reacting to them with those red cards on a necklace.

FastPass+ for Fairytale Hall is located on either side of the entrance depending on who you’re meeting. Anna/Elsa are on the far right. You then wait in this short hall.

Scan a second time.

In case you’re wondering what nailing a picture doesn’t look like. It was 13 minutes between the time I got in the FP+ line and was inside the room where they met then another two minutes for this gem.

With thunder and lightning in the area, the afternoon parade was canceled so that’s out.

Kiosk lines are getting a bit longer with the need to visit one to select a fourth FastPass+ after using the initial three or having the window on the third end. Remember that you have to be inside the Park that you want to schedule a FastPass+ for. So if you’re at Magic Kingdom and planning to take a break before heading to Hollywood Studios, you can’t currently schedule that fourth FP+ for the Studios unless someone physically goes over there or you arrive after the break.

Overall, it was a solid day despite waiting a bit longer than we’d like at The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo, and Barnstormer. That should fix itself once the Mine Train begins operating shortly.

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Olga May 2, 2014 at 11:47 am

I am finally first to comment; Can now take that off my bucket list.

Thanks for testing the timing Josh! Picture with A&E is precious….

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alex May 2, 2014 at 12:17 pm

best pic of you ever with anna and elsa. way to rock it you lady killer : )

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Mark May 2, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Out of curiosity, are you by any chance going to test the Ideal 1-Day Plan for MK?

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Chad May 2, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Do you see any changes coming to the May Crowd Calendar with the announcement of the official opening of SDMT? I see that Wednesday has MK as recommended. I imagine it’s going to be a madhouse but it still may be the most recommended day of the week to go to MK.

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Boski May 2, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Elsa does not look amused.

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Selena May 2, 2014 at 1:04 pm

In your photo of the wait time for the speedway my 10 year old nicely pointed out that it says “peed”.

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jeremy May 2, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Josh,

I was going to try to eat a Mickey Ice Cream Bar in the morning. Could you give me a good time to do this. I didn’t see it on the Cheat Sheet.

Thanks

A concerned Visitor

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DixieMitch May 2, 2014 at 2:01 pm

These updates are so helpful. Thanks for doing them! And I love your file names for the pics. Ok…off to work on my Forever Alone shirts for the next trip.

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Pam H. May 2, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Ha, ha Selena! Sounds like something my 12 year old son would notice. He is always flipping to one radio station in our car, because the display says “Lincoln’s Hit radio station.” The space between the s in Lincoln’s and the h in hit is very small… How do they notice these things!
Josh, that picture with Anna & Elsa is definitely a keeper ;) really made me giggle. I wish I could say I never had a picture take of me like that…

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Vik May 2, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Like Mark, I would also like to see you test the Ideal 1-day plan sometime soon. Inthink that’s all the time I’ll have in the MK next visit.

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Dub Dub May 2, 2014 at 2:34 pm

That “count the smiles” picture is amazing. I counted 3 1/2. However, the guy with the Grumpy hat was over-the-top perfect. You couldn’t pull that off again if you tried.

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Michele May 2, 2014 at 2:36 pm

1. Counted 0 smiles
2. A/E pic – should be your new avatar

Really great post, Josh. Thank you.

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Kacie May 2, 2014 at 2:50 pm

LOVE THE PIC with A&E. Geez. That should be your Christmas card photo. Make it happen.

But where is your pic with Aurora?!

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Milan May 2, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Did you check to see what FP+ were available to book after you finished the third? Just wondering if most rides still have availability in the mid-afternoon.

Thanks for the update.

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Michael May 2, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Great info as always Josh. Would love for you to time run the character centric plans. We are planning a once in a lifetime trip from the UK from aug 23 to Sept 5 with 2 days in MK. The character m&g are what makes Disney unique and will create a lot of memories for my 9 & 7 year olds!

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Jen May 2, 2014 at 4:21 pm

I would love to see a test of the ideal MK 1 day plan too. Great job!

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Sarah May 2, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Thanks so much for trying this stuff out so the rest of us can have fun on our vacations, Josh. We may actually try Pinocchio Village Haus next time.

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Sharon Hall May 2, 2014 at 9:10 pm

I think you need to do your plans with some rented children. I want to know, how much that actually changes your times (parking your stroller, finding your stroller, having to stop and go to the bathroom etc.). Just curious.

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Mike May 2, 2014 at 9:27 pm

I seem to be out of the loop, does FP+ still have two separate tiers? Or is Mine Train and Anna/Elsa in different tiers?

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wongck May 3, 2014 at 2:58 am

Great stuff as usual !!! Thanks for trying out the timing and adding speedway to the plan.

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Dan May 3, 2014 at 6:29 am

There are no FP+ tiers (at least not yet) at Magic Kingdom

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Dan May 3, 2014 at 6:35 am

“The menu returns largely the same, though the removal of the cheese flatbread is pretty strange.”

Pinocchio Village Haus actually didn’t have the cheese flatbread on the official menu even before the recent renovation. The full size cheese flatbread can always be ordered even though it isn’t on the posted menu.

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RebeccaMcK May 3, 2014 at 7:51 am

Nice pic of you with A&E, Josh! I’ll be taking a pic with my own camera when it’s time for the kiddo to meet them, so I’ll try to get the bottoms of the dresses. I have to see the full costumes in our shots. I printed out the Day 2 info minus the photos so now I’ll do that for Day 1 and make it all fit our 3 days (more like 2-1/4) at MK. I hadn’t planned a lunch at BOG but now the menu looks like it’ll suit my two fussy eaters – we’ll try for a late lunch. We already have a dinner reserved there.

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Jenn May 3, 2014 at 10:36 am

Our first day at MK is the 28th, do you think your recommendation of MK that Wednesday will change with the grand opening of 7 Dwarfs Mine Train? Wondering how big of an effect this will have on the crowds that day, I was able to get a Fastpass for it that day!

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Andrea May 3, 2014 at 11:20 am

That extra 30 minutes you stalled? Kids and/or grandparents and/or strollers suck 30+ minutes out of every morning. Considering this is CL 3 & many will travel at CL8, I think many would benefit from an instruction to ride in this order “if on schedule”, but have a couple of rides flagged as skippable due to easy 4th FP+ access based on capacity/demand. Maybe a last ditch completely off schedule morning option for families with small kids: skip Dumbo/Barnstormer – 4th FP+ for Barnstormer & pager for Dumbo.

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Chantel May 3, 2014 at 1:10 pm

So happy the wait for Anna and Elsa with a FP+ was 13 mins, I read elsewhere that it was 45 mins (maybe during spring break crowds?) awesome post as usual!

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RebeccaMcK May 3, 2014 at 5:09 pm

We just booked a Disneyland weekend for Thurs night – Sunday at Grand Californian (my kid is off school Friday)…we’ll try to meet A&E there, but it’s too bad THEY don’t have FP.

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Holly A. May 4, 2014 at 4:26 am

Love your site. As previous posters mentioned, can you please do a MK 1-day (with the SDMT assumptions)?

We will be there within days of SDMT opening. I do have a FP+ for it, 915am. But I was going to try and do rope drop (morning EMH) standby by. Stay in the area in case the standby by stampede is crazy and the wait is automatically close to an hour. Then ride with FP+. Before moving on from that area on to Frontierland. I am sacrificing ideal Tomorrowland time to do this. Any thoughts or suggestions? Am I blowing my entire day for a chance at 2 rides on SDMT? FYI, we only have 4 day military salute PHWPM. so only 1 day for each park traveling at what I expend to be 8 to 9 day crowd level days.

Thanks again for your site!!

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Amanda May 4, 2014 at 6:33 am

+1 for the 1-day MK w/SDMT : )

Another question…if relying on a hotel shuttle to get to the park and arriving slightly after rope drop, do you recommend skipping to the corresponding ride/time from your cheat sheets, or trying to still everything in the prescribed order and just hustle in between to make up the time difference?

Thanks!
~Amanda

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It's me May 4, 2014 at 8:25 am

Why don’t you ride Space Mountain? Just curious…

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Scherri May 4, 2014 at 3:55 pm

We were there also April 30th. We were at Crystal Palace, so in the park prior to opening. I was amazed that at 9:15 a.m. Peter Pan had a 40 minute wait. We decided not to ride, and waited to meet Peter himself instead. The rest of our touring was great with all of your excellent touring plans advise. We were bummed that they cancelled the parade, and closed down Big Thunder Railroad for the storm. Thanks for all of your help Josh!

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Erick May 6, 2014 at 11:09 am

Thanks for another awesome write-up. I can attest that, despite your testing without children, your plans working perfectly with a 2 year old and 4 year old in tow. We were able to accomplish everything as planned in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland the morning of April 30th. There was plenty of time for potty breaks and impromptu gift shops. My 4yo isn’t big enough for Space Mountain yet so we knocked Peter Pan off first thing and was glad to do that considering the wait later. We discovered one additional perk to following your plan that you never mentioned though – a special meet and greet is possible! We got to meet YOU while waiting for Astro Orbiter. Thank you for taking the time to say hi to me and my family and for all of your advice. We had a truly magical week in Disney.

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Amy May 6, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Hello! Does Tomorrowland Speedway always have a second lap opening at 10 am- or only during busy times?

If you had a fast pass to use at about 4pm on a MVMCP night- would you use it for Small World, Barnstormer or Winnie the Pooh with a 4 year old in tote? The Pooh cue sounds so fun- It seems like that is the longest line- but would be a fun line? Thanks!

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Alicia May 8, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Right before I saw the title of your picture “…countthesmiles”, I was staring at the picture realizing there weren’t many! I’m amazed that people put themselves through this misery (and while they’re in the most magical place on earth).

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angie b'ob May 8, 2014 at 2:28 pm

We were at MK the day before this (on the 29th) and according to the crowd calendar it was supposed to be a low day – a 4 I believe…It certainly seemed a heck of a lot busier than that! Do you Josh, or anyone know what the actual crowd level turned out to be? Wednesday didn’t seem any less crowded either, and it was supposed to be a 3…guess there really are no low crowds anymore :(

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Brian May 9, 2014 at 10:30 am

“Buzz Lightyear is about a minute away from Space Ranger Spin, but the plan affords a full five minutes.”

Where did Buzz go? Isn’t he usually at Space Ranger Spin? Or was he riding Space Mountain, because that is only about a minute away from his ride? LOL!

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Donella May 11, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Thank you very much for doing the walk through. I’m a visual learner and having pictures in my head to go with a cheat sheet really helps. I have a question that I can’t seem to find an answer for on your site ( maybe I just missed it so someone feel free to chime in if I did). I noticed the day you took the pictures and ran through the cheat sheet it was a crowd level 3, how much do you think those times will go up over a holiday week? I’ll be there Thanksgiving week and have planned my parks with your crowd calendar except for the fact that my husband insists that we do MK first so even though it isn’t highly recommended for Sun the 23 we will be there. Thank you for taking the time to make these. You come highly recommended from the Dis boards.

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