Timing the Magic Kingdom Day 2 Touring Plan with Lunch at Pinocchio Village Haus

by josh on June 21, 2013

The Cheat Sheets on this website are a quick and dirty guide to touring the four major theme parks and include a handy color-coded map, information on rope drop, an ideal morning touring plan, additional information on where to watch parades, nighttime entertainment, etc. and some other useful(?) tidbits.  Today we’ll set out to see how the Day 2 plan works in practice.  As a reminder, this is what it looks like as written:

Ideal Two-Day Morning Plan Day 2:

1. Ride Astro Orbiter: 9am – 9:15am
2. Ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin: 9:17am – 9:25am
3. Ride Space Mountain: 9:30am – 9:50am
4. (Ride Tomorrowland Indy Speedway if desired)
5. Ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: 9:55am – 10:10am
6. Ride The Barnstormer: 10:15am – 10:25am
7. Ride Dumbo The Flying Elephant: 10:27am – 10:40am
8. (Visit Pete’s Silly Sideshow for Goofy/Donald and/or Daisy/Minnie if desired)
9. Ride Mad Tea Party: 10:43am – 10:50am
10. Ride Haunted Mansion: 11am – 11:20am
11. Ride it’s a small world: 11:23am – 11:40am
12. Have lunch.   Columbia Harbour House and Pinocchio Village Haus are nearby. For Be Our Guest lunch, grab snacks and get in line at 2pm.

For a quick look at how long each step actually took and what changes you might want to make, check out this forum thread: http://www.easywdw.com/forums/showthread.php?13144-Timing-Magic-Kingdom-Cheat-Sheet-Day-2-June-18

One of the most common questions I get is, “How early should we arrive?”  My usual answer is: “Being at the turnstiles by 8:15am is best.  Earlier is always better.”  In the case of Magic Kingdom, if you’re staying on property you probably want to take Disney transportation.  If you drive, you’ll start your day here at the Transportation and Ticket Center.  The Express Monorail doesn’t begin running until 30 minutes before regular theme park open and the ferry boat will begin operating around the same time.  That leaves the Resort Monorail as our only option and it will take about 20 minutes with stops at the Polynesian and Grand Floridian before arriving at Magic Kingdom.

I arrived at the TTC at 7:42am and was through bag check and at the Mickey Readers at 8:02am.  There were maybe 15 people in line with the turnstiles/readers already letting guests inside the courtyard in front of the train station.

Not sure if I’ve mentioned I’m really bad at this and you should probably disregard everything I say.  But I forgot my Annual Pass at home and had to get it reissued at Guest Relations.  This is the scene ten minutes later at 8:12am.

I like to line up here to the side of the rope.  The shrub blocks some of the sun beaming down from the opposite direction and it tends to fill in much later than the area straight back from the rope.  Once the rope comes down, you’ll be able to slide past just about everyone coming in from straight on.  Note that you’ll have almost no view of Mickey and the Gang arriving on the train.

Here’s how the morning crowds progressed with the shadows turned up so you can see everyone:







So you can see why my mantra is “Earlier is always better.”  There’s a pretty significant difference in morning crowds in just the ten minutes between 8:15am and 8:25am.  And 15 minutes later, the courtyard is full and you’d have to wait behind the turnstiles/readers, significantly delaying your arrival at one of the morning priorities.

The morning show started at 8:42am and was over by 8:46am at which point the rope dropped and everyone was let into Magic Kingdom Park™.

Yes, a few people will be running up Main Street.  Most will walk at a hurried pace.

When crowds are this heavy and Magic Kingdom opens closer to 8:45am than 8:55am, you may run into internal ropes at each of the lands.  I arrived at Tomorrowland at 8:50am and the rope was taken down as I arrived.

Cast members will walk guests around to the left of Astro Orbiter to Space Mountain.  This is sort of going to mess up our plan to head to Space Mountain third and I will instead be picking up a FASTPASS to use after first riding Astro Orbiter.  There are two problems. One: Without this walk, guests would be headed to several different attractions.  The organized walk is going to make it “feel” like they should go to Space Mountain and nearly everyone will.  Two, you can expect Disney to let in certain large tour groups early in an attempt to move them through Tomorrowland so they’re on their way by the time the Park opens.

Causing the line to look like this by 9:10am.

Astro Orbiter is up first because of its dismal capacity and boring, outdoor queue.  Just 100 people in line will cause actual waits to inch toward a half hour.

Orbiter may be a spinner, but this is no Dumbo.  If your party consists of two or there people, you may be seated in just one rocket.  And unlike other spinners where riders sit side by side, you’ll ride one in front of the other.  If you don’t want to, tell the cast member that each person is a party of one.  It can be kind of uncomfortable with more than one person and it’s awkward climbing in and out.  Or if you’re on a date, it’s a good excuse to grab onto your significant other.

Astro Orbiter is otherwise terrifying and I’m not really kidding here.  At its highest, the rockets lean inward and it “feels” like you’re going to fall out.

Views are otherwise great.

Astro Orbiter took seven minutes – 8:53am to 9am.  This is the line stretching out of Space Mountain.  Without waiting, it’s hard to say what’s going on in there – they may only have one side open or they might not be moving guests through the switchbacks, resulting in a line that “looks” long even though the actual wait will be much shorter than in the middle of the day when there’s nobody out here and the wait is two hours.

Since we’ll be in the area later anyway, I opted for a FASTPASS, which will keep us ahead of the crowds for another hour.

Buzz is up next: 9:04am to 9:14am.

There were about 20 people in line in front of me.

When we swing back around in the afternoon, the wait is going to be 85 minutes.  Yes, people will be waiting for one ride in the time it takes us to move through eight attractions in the morning.

By 10:30am, the posted wait will be 30 minutes and it will probably take longer.

By the time I disembarked at 10:14am, guests were already filing around the extended queue outside.  The Cheat Sheets are designed to get you to each attraction right before they start getting busy.

Tomorrowland Speedway complicates things for a few reasons.  It loads slowly and unloads even slower and Disney often operates it at half capacity in the morning.  If you’re interested in riding, I would FASTPASS Space Mountain and then head straight here instead of Astro Orbiter.  Then Orbiter, Buzz, and Space Mountain with FASTPASS.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is up next – 9:18am to 9:30am.

It’s too early for regular FASTPASS users to return, but not too early for those with FASTPASS+ reservations during the expanded test.  Even though no FASTPASS users were waiting, we still waited at the merge point until the load area cleared just in case FASTPASS+ users showed up.  If they did, they would be let through to the load area before standby riders.

It will be interesting to see how FASTPASS+ affects wait times first thing in the morning.  Part of why first hour touring works so efficiently is that there are no FASTPASS users with priority.

Barnstormer is prioritized over Dumbo because it’s a shorter attraction and there’s no chance you’ll be required to wait in a playground area before riding like there is with Dumbo.

With about 20 people in front of me, it was seven minutes between when I arrived and when I was back out in front of the attraction – 9:33am – 9:40am.

In just those seven minutes, we’ve gone from 20 people in line to quite a few more.

After a quick bathroom break, Dumbo had a 25-minute posted wait for some reason.

I’m not real sure why. Riders were given an option to play in the playground if they wanted or you could proceed directly to the ride.

This is the line.  It took a total of nine minutes before I was back out front – 9:45am – 9:54am.

Dumbos on the other side were flying empty.

You can disregard the posted waits this early in the morning. The posted wait is still 25 minutes.

Mad Tea Party is up next if you choose to partake.

Empty teacups.

In the old days, when Magic Kingdom was open until 3am with evening Extra Magic Hours, I once rode Mad Tea Party “literally” by myself.  Nobody else on the ride.  It took seven minutes to wait for and ride – 9:56am – 10:03am.

Heading back down to Space Mountain to use the FASTPASS.

We were on and off Orbiter in seven minutes first thing in the morning. With the slow loading and abysmal capacity, this would take at least 25 minutes now.

Space Mountain is posted at 55 minutes here at 10:05am. With FASTPASS, it took 17 minutes between the time I stepped into the queue and when I was back out in front of the attraction. 10:06am – 10:23am.

Space Mountain is expected to be closed from September 3-5, 10-12, and 23-26 for brake installation.

They could reduce the speed to two miles per hour and I think it would be a step in the right direction.  It’s the only attraction I don’t like riding.  My little body always comes off hurting no matter what I do.

Here at 10:24am, FASTPASS is out to 11:35am and the wait time is reduced to 45 minutes.

Remember when we walked on Buzz?  This is the scene at 10:25am with a 30 minute wait and the line winding around and around outside the building.

The crowds descending on Tomorrowland.

The line for Speedway already extends outside.  If I ever have a child, I hope I love him/her enough to wait in a 45 minute line for Speedway in June.  I’m not sure it’s going to happen.

Continuing on to it’s a small world.

Crowds are still light-ish on the main walkways. Give it an hour.

I caught Pan and Wendy hustling backstage from their Meet and Greet area across from Tangled.

Since we don’t currently have a FASTPASS for anything, we could grab one for something in the area. Peter Pan’s Flight FASTPASSes were out to 12:05pm and I opted to grab one since it will be convenient after lunch. Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Journey of the Little Mermaid are available around the corner at Mickey’s PhilharMagic if that’s the way you want to go.

Waits are 15+ minutes at most attractions by this time and 60+ at the headliners.  The plan is usually to head to Haunted Mansion first, but after seeing the 20-minute wait at http://www.easywdw.com/waits I decided to head to small world first since we’re here.

Without FASTPASS getting in the way, the line moved fast.

I arrived at 10:34am and was back out front at 10:55am.

The poor hippo still has a lazy eye.

I was hoping we would get stuck for a half hour so I could sue.  Unfortunately, we moved right through.

In the afternoon, the posted wait is going to skyrocket to 45 minutes.

If you know anything about “normal” wait times, you’d know that’s pretty absurd.

Back outside at 10:55am, things remain fairly calm.  Pan is up to 50 minutes with FASTPASS exactly two hours out already to 12:55pm.

The posted wait at Haunted Mansion was 20 minutes, which is probably accurate.  I wasn’t in the mood to wait outside in the heat.  Wait times drop after 7pm and inch shorter toward close.  You’d probably be better off waiting until the evening.

Lunch is at Pinocchio Village Haus, a convenient and often overlooked quick service in Fantasyland.

As mentioned previously, Village Haus received some menu alterations last week. They now offer spaghetti after 4pm.  These digital menus allow Disney to easily make changes.  I would guess we’ll see more and more menus that differ throughout the day.

For lunch, the new item is the Italian Flatbread Sub.

The other menu items are unchanged.

Village Haus, along with Cosmic Ray’s, offer a very good gelato for dessert.  I prefer the Mango, but the chocolate is dark and decadent.  Tortuga Tavern offers the Cookie and Cream version, which is amazing in my opinion.

The Kids Pepperoni and Cheese Pizzas are now half-size portions of the adult Flatbreads.  So if you’re not that hungry, you might want to consider grabbing one of those.  Or you can just split the adult one.

Of course, there is a “just add foam” lemonade.

The Italian Flatbread Sub for your viewing pleasure – Italian Meats, Cheese, Dressing, and Balsamic Glaze.  The meats were ham and salami on the bottom and it’s topped with banana peppers, olives, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and cheese (mozzarella?).  There’s a little balsamic salad dressing on top – you know I love that.  It was filling, but extremely salty.  The vegetables were all fresh and added a nice crunch to the sub.  I’m not sure anyone else has tried it, but my only problem was the saltiness.  It was otherwise more interesting than most of the quick service sandwiches you’ll find in the theme parks.

The Pinocchio Lemonade is the same thing served over at Sunshine Tree Terrace.  It balanced sweet/tart well and was tres refreshing on a hot summer day.  I’m not sure it’s compelling in and of itself, but it hit the spot after running around the Park for two hours.

Tourists love a line. Near the entrance, we have 20 people in line.

Just two registers down, you could walk right up.  This is closer to 11:40am when lunch crowds pick up.  20 minutes earlier, few people were around.

The morning went quite well.  The only problems were the line at Space Mountain building so fast and staying long.  The idea with going there third is that all of the people who head straight there will have moved on to the other attractions that we’ve already been on.  But there are just too many people in the summer.  Heading back with a FASTPASS isn’t too difficult though.

In Part 2, we’ll take a look at afternoon crowds, some construction walls, and some odds and ends.

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

tanya June 21, 2013 at 6:56 pm

The other thing I enjoy doing at the counter service registers is go up to the side without a line and order. Each register takes orders from both the left and the right side. But, as you say, tourists love lines. That just infuriates them!

At least you didn’t get stuck on IASW in the white room by the bagpiper. That’s the most painful part of the ride.

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Micklessor June 21, 2013 at 7:09 pm

One of your best, Josh. Very informative – I love the shot of Main St. – the Castle looks like a painted backdrop.

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pfalcioni June 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Those pictures of Buzz are unreal. Seriously, they are better than the reality of the ride. Amazing.

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Shannon June 21, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Hey, Josh! I just wanted to say thanks for the almost daily posts! I haven’t read this one yet (I will, I promise!) But this is a GREAT daily dose of Disney. Thanks so much!

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greyslay3r June 21, 2013 at 7:58 pm

ummmm…. 9:40 and it’s bathroom break time already? Might be time to sign up for some experimental prostrate drug testing. But, otherwise… an excellent post!

stay classy san diego!

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mike June 21, 2013 at 8:36 pm

What are the chances of the mine coaster opening in early December. Thanks again

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Strangeite June 21, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Thank you for suffering for the GREATER GOOD.

Being stuck behind a desk this morning, I tried to my own attempt to discover (remotely) the importance of getting there early. Your pictures of the courtyard demonstrate what I found, far more clearly.

BTW, as a father of three that loves his children dearly, there is no chance I am wasting time in line for the Speedway. I am bringing a cattle prod to keep them moving right past it.

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Elizabeth June 21, 2013 at 9:31 pm

I agree that Space Mountain is not fun to ride. I don’t know if its just because its dark and you can’t brace yourself for the turns and dips, but I feel like I have whiplash after that ride. Loved ever other coaster at Disney but that one.

Love the time lapse pictures.

Thanks again!

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Terri -back home is So. Cal June 21, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Josh I envy you 2 things..how often you go to WDW and your camera! Amazing photos, ALMOST as good as being there, almost.

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websteroni June 22, 2013 at 3:25 am

Love the time-stamped photos watching the crowds build waiting to get in to the park. Another great post. Someday I’ll eventually remember to ride Astro Orbiter; for some reason it never pops into my head until I’m passing by later in the day. And there’s no way I’m waiting in a long line like that!

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Emma June 22, 2013 at 5:18 am

So agree about the Speedway! We waited 20 mins Wed, 5/8/13 and when we do a return trip in a few years, we are going to tell the kiddo that it is closed!

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Emily June 22, 2013 at 5:23 am

This is amazing. I hope you can sometime make these visualized touring plans for all the parks. This is just– WOW!

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Christie June 22, 2013 at 5:38 am

Did you paint your nails again? Is that why you photoshopped your thumb out of the Space Mtn fast pass pic?

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JohnC June 22, 2013 at 5:48 am

Thanks for a great article. The pictures and the information that you give is really good. Hoping to use the Cheat Sheets when we come in November.

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Tina Q June 22, 2013 at 6:32 am

Josh, I am amazed at how much you can accomplish without kids in tow! With 2 daughters, our bathroom breaks tend to take FOREVER! We were there on Tuesday, June 4th, a little later than I’d planned, about 8:35. We just wove our way around people and found a great spot, almost exactly where Josh recommended. I couldn’t believe people weren’t filling in those gaps! This resulted in our being the first group for ETwB! So don’t fret if your arrival doesn’t go as planned–it can still work out!

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Scott Martin June 22, 2013 at 7:07 am

It is great to read the information. My wife, children and myself do a lot of research before we go and coming from SC, we are there about every other year. This site just adds more info to streamline the experience. Thanks.

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Jill Marie June 22, 2013 at 8:15 am

These pictures remind me why we go in late January or early February. Those crowds make me want to hyperventilate!

I agree that Space Mountain is painful. We skipped it completely last time. Best decision of the trip, I think.

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Vickie June 22, 2013 at 8:17 am

Josh, you’re the best. Always follow your advise. Thanks for enduring the crowds so people who follow you, ,Iike us, don’t have too. Really enjoy the photos too. Can’t wait till we’re back at Disney this November. You make my day with your posts.

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dusty cheatham June 22, 2013 at 8:52 am

YOUR ADVICE IS ALWAYS SPOT ON . ALWAYS GET THERE EARLY WITH A PLAN
JOSHS PLAN .

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Mike June 22, 2013 at 9:44 am

Does the permanent opening of the walkway between New Fantasyland and Storybook Circus change anything in your 2 day plan?

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Carrie Bowler June 22, 2013 at 9:46 am

Awesome post! I love the cheat sheets and the wait time grids! I didn’t see Haunted Mansion on the wait time grid though. Could you add it when you have a spare moment??? Much appreciated!

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ann June 22, 2013 at 9:56 am

Great post! I loved your visual evidence of the importance of an early arrival.
For the record, my kids have never ridden Tomorrowland Speedway. The grandkids haven’t either, so our lack of love may be carrying on through the generations.

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Donna June 22, 2013 at 10:40 am

I agree about Space Mountain. It’s hard to brace yourself when you can’t tell what’s coming. I’ve only ridden once since the refurb, and I won’t go again. Don’t need a headache for the rest of the day!

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The Real McCoy June 22, 2013 at 10:48 am

Stellar post, Josh. Thank you!

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jill June 22, 2013 at 11:22 am

Thanks, Josh. You know you’re good when you’re making even a self-assured morning itinerary “expert” like me think, “Hmm. Maybe his itinerary is better than mine. I should change some stuff.”

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marshallj June 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm

“mike June 21, 2013 at 8:36 pm
What are the chances of the mine coaster opening in early December. Thanks again”

The chances are 50/50.
Either it will be or it won’t be.
;)

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KB June 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm

I love that you’re out there testing your own touring plans, when other websites just go by attendance and leave it at that. But, seriously, dude, is there some percentage slider on your Lightroom? That first shot looks like it came out of the WDW publicity machine. “Hey, find some place with some fluorescent AstroTurf and then Photoshop in the castle!” And that food! Nothing looks natural. It reminds me of that plastic food they put in the windows in Tokyo. The indoor/shady shots are mostly beautiful, though.

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mike June 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Marshall you seem like a very intelligent person. I would like to know if you could help with My calculas homework. Thanks again

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Ellie June 22, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Astro orbiters scared me as well last trip, first and last time riding it.

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RebeccaMcK June 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Space Mtn is off our MK list until hopefully some day someone reputable like Josh posts that it gets revamped to be a smoother ride, and even better if it can have 2×2 seats like the DLand version. Astro Orbitors is our first ride in the mornings, usually, with PPF being our first FP grab. At DLand, that ride is skippable since it’s not up in the air and as exciting as MK’s version.

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Mary Ann June 22, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Great post Josh. Thanks for the tour. You did a great job first thing in the morning. Now go swim in the pool and take a nap. You can come back in the afternoon. :-)

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Jamuth June 22, 2013 at 7:14 pm

love your site. I try to follow your advise but with 3 small boys nothing goes as planned:)

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ND June 22, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Fantastic! We went on our first trip as a family May 1-7, with MK two out of our five days of tickets. We had my sister coaching us (she used to work at the Speedway ride) on strategy as well as Josh (thank you!). Even with two small kids age 4 and 7, I can say we successfully rode almost every ride in the park without too much of a wait. The first 2 hours really are key. Slowing down to eat was challenging but obviously necessary. We stayed offsite too which meant we were out of the park by 2 -2:30 and back in by 7:30. The trip was an absolute blast. Best wishes to all on their future trips!

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Erika June 23, 2013 at 4:49 am

Space Mountain is expected to be closed from September 3-5, 10-12, and 23-26 for brake installation.

Hmmm…so it needs new brakes…hope they hold up for our late Aug trip :/

Seriously Love you Josh! Just what I needed this morning! Awesome post!

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Patricia June 23, 2013 at 5:01 am

Fantastic morning touring itinerary!!! Can you ( or ever did you) do the same thing for Liberty Square, Frontierland and Adventureland? Also, can anyone tell me what the crowd level number was for that particular day? Sorry if Josh already mentioned it but I couldn’t seem to locate that info in the Day 2 Blog. I am in LOOOOOVVVVEEEE with the Cheat Sheets!!!! Thank you, Josh!!!!

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Shawn June 23, 2013 at 10:45 am

Is there also a part 1 that includes ETWB and rest of fantasyland? I haven’t located it yet. Thanks for the great website.

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Allan June 23, 2013 at 10:55 am

“BTW, as a father of three that loves his children dearly, there is no chance I am wasting time in line for the Speedway. I am bringing a cattle prod to keep them moving right past it.”

On the last day of school I was held to my promise of an afternoon of go-carting in exchange for skipping the Speedway. We had way more fun. No one was there and they let us race for 20 minutes straight our second time through.

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RebeccaMcK June 24, 2013 at 6:58 am

If the kiddos are tall enough for Test Track, just do what I did a while back and convince them that the little Speedway cars are nothing in comparison. Too stinky in that area, too. I did the same with Dumbo vs. Astro Orbitors (I have a speed demon daughter), except for the stinky part. We only did Speedway once on a morning when we had lots of time. Its DL version (Autopia) at least has FP. We only do Dumbo now (occasionally) because it has FP. Might do standby and go into the waiting tent some day, but the kiddo just turned 8 and might not want to next time we go.

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JillyB June 24, 2013 at 8:39 am

Very nice! I like this new morning plan! The sandwich at Pinocchio’s looks yummy! Never eaten there but it may have to go on my list.

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Pam H. June 24, 2013 at 9:08 am

My husband loves Autopia at Disneyland, so I am surprised he didn’t insist on riding the Speedway. My son rode with his grandparents, and I was allowed to sit for 30 minutes and drink my coffee. :)

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Peggy June 25, 2013 at 4:47 am

Just finished 3 days at WDW, two rope drops at MK. One on Thurs EMH and one Friday. We had success starting at Space, but only because we were *literally* at the front of the interior rope drop. We ran into a problem when we finished space, then headed to PP, to find a 20 min wait. Thanks to josh, we were able to move on and adjust. Hopefully, never to return in summer (yeah, right!)

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Anna D June 25, 2013 at 8:01 am

After looking at the Cheat Sheets and posts like this, where do I fit in “Pull XYZ FP”?

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Melanie June 25, 2013 at 7:52 pm

We made the mistake of taking our then 6-year-old daughter on Space Mountain as her first ride at WDW. Now she dislikes roller coasters.

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JulieC July 7, 2013 at 10:36 pm

I noticed a little typo on the time you left Buzz, “By the time I disembarked at 10:14am” … the forum post said 9:14am, which jives with the rest of your experience. Without a trip in the near future, I haven’t been keeping up, but I was like “whoa, you spent over an hour on Buzz? Maybe they added a Tardis booth?” LOL

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