Sunday, December 1, 2013

2013 Disney World Trip Report: Day 3, Part 1

Monday was Rachel's Birthday!

Now, you might remember from another thread that Rachel had requested two things for her birthday - a birthday breakfast and to spend the day at Magic Kingdom.  Because of the free dining promotion which had been offered at this time, character dining was impossible to get.  And MNSSHP was held at MK that night when meant we wouldn't be able to spend the evening there.

I played the ADR game, checking everyday, and character breakfasts eventually opened up.  I was holding a 7 AM ADR for Chef Mickey's and a 10 AM ADR for 'Ohana which Rachel had to choose between.  She chose 'Ohana, so I canceled Chef Mickey's, and a few minutes later, she changed her mind!  Of course, Chef Mickey's was long gone.

On Sunday, I was making our FP+ reservations for the next day and decided to check out ADRs just for kicks - and what do you know!  Availability for 8:45 AM at Crystal Palace!  I immediately booked and canceled 'Ohana.

Our ADR was technically before the park opened, but the buses to MK were running behind that morning (assuming, considering two MK buses showed up back-to-back and there were a lot of people waiting), so we didn't get to MK until after it opened.

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Birthday breakfasts are good!

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I have no idea how many times we've eaten at Crystal Palace, but it's a lot! CP was one of our first character meals ever. I don't know why, but for some reason, Crystal Palace seems to have the worst time with people not waiting their turn for character greetings. Perhaps it's because it's a big open room, so you can see where the characters are at almost all times. Or maybe it's because they're in a hurry to get back to Magic Kingdom and don't want to wait. Whatever the reason, many people want to get photos and autographs from the characters when it's not their turn in circulation.

Well, it was because of many families were wanting to meet the characters out of turn that I got to observe a really great character handler. She was so great that I took note of her nametag - Jeanne from Lakewood. She was really good at being kind but firm. She articulated exactly what needed to happen and made people happy while keeping everything organized. Thanks, Jeanne!

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This guy...

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Birthday cupcake!

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"So do you think that they have all the characters sign birthday cards at the beginning of the day, or do you think they go back there and say, 'Hey, Pooh, guys, it's Rachel's birthday. Will you sign this card?'"

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We got a notification that Space Mountain was down, so we could use our FP+ for select MK attractions during that time period (after re-reading the email, we could've also waited until Space Mountain was open again).

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We tried to use our FP+ for Winnie the Pooh, but apparently that wasn't an option. So we opted for Tomorrowland Speedway because it was right there. Whatever.

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The CM placing people in cars put me in a car group ahead of my family. I asked him about it, and he said a little rudely, "They'll be right behind you." Well that ticked Rachel off, and she came to join me as a passenger in my car. Of course, Mom and Dad were not right behind us. They weren't anywhere near us.

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We then hopped on the People Mover. Space Mountain was indeed shut down.

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We had FP+ reservations to Big Thunder Mountain.

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And then I took us across the park for our FP+ reservations for Space Mountain (we had two that day due to a glitch... which is a good thing considering it was shut down that morning and we didn't know we could wait and ride Space Mountain once it was open). However, I had forgotten that we also had a FP at about the same time for Splash Mountain, so we should've just ridden that while we were in Frontierland rather than crossing the park twice. My bad!!!

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We then went to Main Street to do a little shopping. Rachel bought a birthday balloon.

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A really nice PhotoPass photographer saw Rachel and I taking Instagram photos with the balloon and suggested one to us -

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Up, up, and away!

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