Jeff & Joe's First Trip as Annual Passholders! Woo! **Added link to pics**

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Jeff & Joe's First Trip as Annual Passholders! Woo! **Added link to pics**

Joe and I just got back from a week at Disney.....our first as Annual Passholders! Woo!!

Fantastic trip, as always yay muchlove clapping awesome biggrin mickey

We stayed off-property, at an apartment in Celebration. We had never been to Celebration before, but a friend allowed us use of their apartment for the week, and we were able to bring the dogs! Bonus! Really enjoyed the small town, and were close enough to be at the parks in 10 minutes or less.

First some tips, notes and observations. Pics to follow. I hope....

Magic Kingdom Bag Check at the TTC!
We were surprised to see the bag check was right before the ticket gate the Ticket & Transportation Center for MK, and not at MK itself. Once at MK, all we had was the Magic Band scan. When we came from the Polynesian to MK, the bag check was at the Poly on the upper level outside before you got on the Monorail.

Magic Kingdom Rope Drop Changed!
We got to the park about 45 minutes before opening, and were equally surprised to see they were letting people in to the park instead of holding you in front of the train station. Everyone was let through as far as the Castle and hubs. They did a new opening ceremony show on the Castle stage instead of at the train station. You could pick a hub direction but only got so far.

Tip for 7 Dwarves Mine Ride w/o A FastPass!
We were not able to get any FPs for 7 Dwarves before we arrived, and I was thinking I was fine not riding it if the Stand By lines were too much (and they were). But as we were on the Monorail and closing in on MK on morning for Rope Drop we decided to try the Dash to 7D and see if we could get 1 ride in before it got crazy.

I researched and found there were 2 suggested approaches. 1 was to take the hub that goes to the right of the castle, towards Cheshire Cat/Tea Cups and takes a left up to 7D, and the other suggested taking the hub that goes around the left side of the Castle to the merry go-round/BoG area and hang a right and come down to the 7D entrance.

We opted for the hub that went to Cheshire Cat/Tea Cups, and were glad we did. Before opening we were allowed as far as where the hub intersects with the walkway to TomorrowLand.

I don't know how far they let the Castle group go before park opening, but when the let us all go, we got to 7D before they did. And what's worse, as we arrived at the entrance, they started pushing us up against the wall to the right, and worked us back towards the Teacup, so as the other group started coming down from the Carousel/BoG point and down to the 7D entrance, they kept having to go further and further down towards the Tea Cups because our side was filing in all the space.

Worked out well " we were on in about 10 minutes and then went on to the rest of our day.

Flight of Passage FPs " If at first you don't succeed, try, try again! And again! AND AGAIN!
Passholders can start looking for FPs at 30 days, and at 30 days, we had zero luck. But we kept trying and trying, and finally at about a week before our AK day, Joe scored a FP for our last day, on Friday. Yay!!

BUT...we also had plans to spend Wednesday at AK, and had FPs for River of Lights and Na'vi River. When we got up around Wednesday, I decided to do a quick check on FPs and low and behold, a FoP FP popped up for that evening! So I quickly swapped out my Na'vi FP for the FoP one.

In the end we did get 2 FoP FP rides in during the week. Very pleased, very impressed and so glad we got to ride!

The Stand By lines were ridiculous " lowest I saw was 60 minutes but routinely at 150 " 180. Na'vi was just as bad. Disney also had morning EMHs every day, so by the time 9 am rolled around, the standby was already at 60 minutes or more.

I will say the FP line was super quick " took us maybe 5 minutes, and most of that was walking to the boarding area.

Na'Vi River Journey without a FP Tip
When we switched out our Na'vi FP for the FoP, I figured we would never get to Na'vi, as Stand By was stupidly long and I could not find another FP.

But...after River of Lights finished at 9:30 pm, we decided to walk over to Pandora to check it out at night. As we were walking, I decided to check wait times. Na'vi as showing 15 minutes! So we picked up the pace a bit and when we got there the Stand By time was indeed 15 minutes! We went in and to our surprise, walked right on the ride.

Other Highlights
My favorite Disney Artist, David Doss, was at EPCOT on Friday 5/4, so we made it a point to go over and get another signed print! YAY!

Mini Mango Pie at Yak & Yeti Local!
You may recall my slight obsession with the Mango Pie at Yak & Yeti. I. Love. It. I think it was last year that the Yak & Yeti quick service spot started offering the mini mango pie. So I had to try it. Seriously, it is every bit as good, if not better, than the restaurant version. I went back for a second the next day. Next time I am bringing a cooler and buying 100 to bring home with me.

Favorite Overheard Conversation
On the Safari at AK, just as we got to the open area with the giraffes, the small kid in the row behind us says to his Mom, "Mom, when do we get to the ride?". The Mom said "Honey, this IS the ride!". The kid responded with a very disappointing "Oh". Everyone laughed. Except the kid.

Favorite Passholder Benefits
20% discounts on a lot of food and drinks and snacks and merchandise; the special Passholder entrance at the parks (though not always faster); free parking at the parks; and the free Minnie Flower & Garden Passholder car magnets at EPCOT! (I traded for 1 Mickey Holiday Passholder magnet and 1 Mickey Flower & Garden magnet )

Pretty sure that for the $289 we spent for each Annual Passholder ticket, 5 days of park hopping and free parking easily made it worth it.

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And here's a review of our park plan and FPs:

Monday 4/30: HS in the morning and EPCOT in the afternoon and evening, with evening FPs for Living with the Land, Soarin' and Spaceship Earth. Didn't really need LowtL or SE but since I had 3 to fill, took those.

I decided to not do any FPs for HS in the morning. TSM was not offering them, and all I really wanted to do there was Rock N Roller Coaster, ToT, Star Tours and Muppets. And since everyone was mad-dashing to TSM at rope drop, we got in 2 rides each of RnR & ToT before heading over to Star Tours and Muppets. Plan worked perfectly mickey

We explored Celebration a little in the afternoon before heading to EPCOT and doing all our FPs.

Tuesday, 5/1: MK morning and evening. FPs for PoTC mid morning, and HM & BTMR early evening. This is the day we did the rope drop mad dash to 7D and successfully did it without a FP in 10 minutes, then did our usual HM, Buzz (OMG I sukk...Joe was a Galactic Hero at 999,999 by Room 2 and I may as well have been scrubbing toilets...that bad.....)

Wednesday, 5/2: Animal Kingdom!! All day too! FPs were Lion King mid-morning show, Navi'River Journey and River of Lights at night. As noted in the first post, I got a last-minute FP for FoP in the morning and swapped out the Na'vi River Journey FP for that. Well worth it!!

River of Lights was a really pretty show. It was packed, but it seems all seats were good seats (there were plenty of people arguing with CMs when asked to "move all the way to the end!" because they were afraid poles would obstruct their views. They wanted their center seat! I can't say I followed the story line as well as other night shows, but we totally enjoyed the show.

And Pandora at night = prettiness!! For that matter, AK at night = prettiness!!

Thursday, 5/3: A repeat of the Monday HS morning / EPCOT late afternoon. This time my only FP was for Frozen.

Friday, 5/4: Animal Kingdom in the morning, EPCOT early afternoon and MK late afternoon/evening. A 3 park day!!

I had FPs for Everest, Safari and FoP. Holy smokes what a ridiculous day!!! We left a little later than normal, at 9 am. There was a healthy backup to get through the entrance just to get to the parking lot! That alone took 20 minutes, and it took another 15 minutes to get parked. It seems everyone was headed to AK that morning! But once we got parked it only took 5 minutes to get through bag check and scanned.

It was so busy we were glad to leave the park by 12:30 after our FoP ride. All the cheerleaders seemed to converge on AK that day. laugh

We left and drove over to EPCOT, where we met David Doss at Art of Disney and got another signed print, rode SE and Figment, then took a break with the dogs before heading to MK for the late afternoon/evening.

The monorail was down and they were sending everyone over to the ferry! Which turned out to be nice and a fun ride across the lagoon.

I got a few more FPs - HM, BTMRR, and then as we were standing in the queue for HM, I scored a FP for 7D that started just as we would be don with HM! Woo! I love that ride at night.

We did one more round of Buzz, where I continued my sukkiness, walked around a bit and called it an evening.

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Sounds like a great time. Hope we get to meet up in October.

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Ugh! Some of those wait times in Pandora are killer. I'm really going to have to plan carefully when we are there in October. I'm hoping that I fit on FOP, but I'm not so sure that I will.

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Sounds like you had an amazing time!!! For all of that you can't beat the price!!

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If memory serves me correctly, it seems like back in the 80's they used to have rope drop at the far end of Main street. Does anyone else remember that?

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Sounds like you had a great time!

I must confess, I've never tried the mango pie eek

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Here's a link to some of our pics if you want to take a look. mickey (You shouldn't need a Snapfish account to view; check the "Show Photo Titles" box to see my captions)

https://www.snapfish.com/photo-gift/share?via=link&token=hJADnVgK3IcL-6QS33S6qg/SFO/27947586562060/SNAPFISH

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JeffC wrote:
Here's a link to some of our pics if you want to take a look. mickey (You shouldn't need a Snapfish account to view; check the "Show Photo Titles" box to see my captions)

https://www.snapfish.com/photo-gift/share?via=link&token=hJADnVgK3IcL-6QS33S6qg/SFO/27947586562060/SNAPFISH

Great pictures Jeff!

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Looks like you had a great time!

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Sounds like you had a great trip!! When my mom was here in Feb, we got a DAS for FoP then walked onto Na'vi River Journey and walked on to Safari as well. This was first thing in the morning.