By Soarin’ Diva
My husband and I were taking our first “adult only” trip to Walt Disney World in February. In the midst of the planning stage of the trip, Disney announced updated dates for their Early Morning Magic event. The Early Morning Magic event is a hard ticket held on select Sunday and Tuesday mornings from 7:45am-10am in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland, meaning you will have to pay an extra fee on top of the regular day’s ticket price. The price we paid for the Early Morning Magic event we attended was $69 for each adult tickets. If you are also purchasing a child’s ticket, that will run $59 per ticket. During the Early Morning Magic event, guests are permitted to enter Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom at 7:45am, where they can go straight to Fantasyland and will be able to ride Peter Pan’s Flight, Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train and The Many Adventure’s of Winnie the Pooh as many times as they like before the park opens to other guests. There is also a breakfast buffet offered at Pinocchio Village Haus during the event.
We were a little hesitant to pay $69 per ticket for an event that only lasts 2 hours and 15 minutes. We also needed to factor in that Magic Kingdom opened at 9am for all other park guests, that meant that the hour from 9am-10am included in the event really couldn’t be included in the “ride as many times as you like” idea of the event, because everyone knows that the bulk of guests at Magic Kingdom rush straight for Fantasyland at park opening. With that in mind, and attempting to build a plan of how to best conquer the limited time frame of the event, we booked the tickets.
We felt like we had a good plan, we were going to ride Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train a couple of times, head over to Peter Pan’s Flight and ride it a couple of times, ride The Many Adventure’s of Winnie the Pooh once, and then go back to Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train and ride it continuously until 9am, when the park opened. At park opening, we decided we would try to head for Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion while everyone else was overtaking Fantasyland, then we would head back to Pinocchio Village Haus and enjoy our breakfast right before they closed it down at 10am.
It seemed like a good and solid plan. As we all know, plans tend to have to change when things go slightly awry. Our Early Morning Magic day dawned and we were up bright and early to greet the day. We made sure we were at the resort bus stop very early and we were on the bus to Magic Kingdom by 6:15am. We arrived at Magic Kingdom’s security gate by 6:40am, but they don’t actually open to let you through until 7:00am. We were through the turnstiles by 7:11am and waiting to get into the park. We were sent to the same line guests who have early breakfast reservations stand in. From there, we were checked in and given a special Early Morning Magic bracelet to wear on our right wrists, which Cast Members would use to identify that we were permitted to ride the attractions.
At this point, I want to mention a huge drawback to this event that I feel like Disney could have handled better. As the event is supposed to begin at 7:45am, I feel like the people attending the event should have been allowed to enter the park and been at the Fantasyland rope waiting by 7:45am, however, we weren’t allowed to even get into the park and start heading back that way until 7:48am. That’s right, I said 7:48am, 3 minutes AFTER the event started. Now, I know 3 minutes isn’t a huge chunk of time, but let’s think about this for a minute. The event itself only lasts 2 hours and 15 minutes. You have already lost an entire hour of that event because the park opens to every other park guest at 9am, not 10am, so from 9am-10am, you get no special treatment in Fantasyland just because you paid to attend this event. You have to fight this same morning rush crowd for all the rides that everyone else has to fight. So now you have lost an hour and another 3 minutes because they let us in late.
Now…let’s factor in something else. It takes us seven minutes to walk from the front of the park to Fantasyland. That means we didn’t even get onto our first ride, Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, until 7:55am. We have now lost an hour and 10 minutes of the 2 hours and 15 minutes we paid for, leaving us only an hour and five minutes to realistically be able to ride the three rides an unlimited amount of time. In the middle of our very first ride, the Mine Train broke down. There we sat…in our sad little broken down train, wondering if we had done the right thing by spending the money to come to this event. Thankfully, they got us back up and running after a several tense minutes, but add those few minutes to that hour and ten minutes we had already lost. We did ride Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train two more times, for a total of three, before we decided to head over to The Many Adventure’s of Winnie the Pooh.
We had a great time riding in our little honey pot with no crowd and no issues. From there, we headed to Peter Pan and took flight to Neverland. It was on our first Peter Pan’s Flight that we decided to abandon our original plan of riding Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train as many times as we could. We decided instead to ride Peter Pan’s Flight as many times as we could before park opening. Honestly, we were terrified Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train would break down again, causing us to lose more time. Time is money people, we had to keep moving & not get stuck! We ended up riding Peter Pan’s Flight for a total of six times before the clock struck 9:00am. Not too shabby for a ride that normally has a wait time of 120 or more minutes. So, that leaves our grand total at riding Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train three times, The Many Adventure’s of Winnie the Pooh once and Peter Pan’s Flight six times, all before 9:00am.
From there, we headed over to Pirate’s of the Caribbean and were able to walk on and ride it right at park opening. After riding Pirate’s twice, we were able to squeeze in a Haunted Mansion ride before heading back to Pinocchio Village Haus to enjoy breakfast at 9:45am. Guys, the food laid out at Pinocchio Village Haus for the Early Morning Magic event was Deeee-lish! I don’t know if it was because we had already been up for several hours and pretty active, building up an appetite, or if the food really was that good, but I thoroughly enjoyed every scrumptious morsel I indelicately crammed into my mouth. From the vegetable frittata, to the scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, seasoned potatoes, cheese, meats and fruits, I feel like the breakfast was a great and valuable addition to this event. There were also assorted pastries and french toast available, but I opted for more protein in my breakfast, topping it off with chilled orange juice. Never fear though ye old coffee lovers, there was an assortment of coffee for you to consume, along with tea and apple juice as well.
So, now you have read about the pros and the cons of the event, it’s ultimately up to you to decide if it’s worth paying $69/$59 per ticket for an hour and fifteen minutes tops, along with a delicious breakfast. For me, in all honesty despite the few drawbacks the event had, I would do it again. If you think about it, we were able to ride everything we wanted in Fantasyland, more than once for two of the three rides, before 9:00am. That means we didn’t have to use any of our initial three FastPass + options for the day on any of those rides, opening up more options for us. For the food we ate at breakfast, you would honestly pay more than half of what we paid for the tickets to the event just to have a breakfast like that on Disney property, so when the breakfast is combined with the unlimited Fantasyland rides for an hour, it still pays off to attend the event. My husband and I both had a wonderful time and we don’t regret spending the extra money on the event at all.
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