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Early morning at MK, it's still dark out.

Early morning at MK, it’s still dark out.

by Soarin’ Diva

You’re on vacation, so you should be able to relax, sleep in, retire early..right? Wrong! You are at Walt Disney World, you don’t sleep in at The World!  Not in my family, anyway. We are the “full steam ahead” and “burning the candle at both ends” kind of family. Can a family of four really and truly handle an eight-day vacation, being at whichever Walt Disney World park they have chosen for the day at least 45 minutes before rope drop, and not leaving that park until it closes? You bet your bootstraps it can be done.

Due to work, school and extra-curricular activities at the moment, our family is only able to visit WDW one week out of the year.  One tiny, pixie dust filled week.  As we only have one week, we absolutely MUST make the most of this week.  We have to cram as many WDW attractions, shows and dining experiences in that week as we possibly can.  The only way to achieve this lofty goal is to arrive at the parks before rope drop and to stay until the park closes.  “But how do you do that for seven to eight straight days?” you ask, “Don’t you get tired?”  Of course we get tired, but it’s worth it.  A vacation at the beach is a vacation where you sleep in, not WDW.

We never arrive at the gate for rope drop any later than 45 minutes before, we usually try for an hour before though.  Being near the front of the line (if not at the front of the line), makes it much easier to do that fancy speed walk (as you hear the cast members ask you not to actually run through the park) through Hollywood Studios so you can get your first morning ride through Toy Story Midway Mania.  Once you have finished TSMM, you are still early enough to ride Tower of Terror as well as Rockin’ Rollercoaster, all before the crowds have hit and before you need to use any of your limited and precious fast passes.  This insures that you get to ride most of these at least twice in one day, as well as watching the shows.

Early start waiting for rope drop & the CM had the crowd singing Happy Birthday to my husband & son.

Early start waiting for rope drop & the CM had the crowd singing Happy Birthday to my husband & son.

When we visit Magic Kingdom, our first attraction to hit is Peter Pan.  If you don’t ride Peter Pan first thing in the morning and/or you don’t have a fast pass for it later in the day, it doesn’t matter what time of year you visit, you will be standing in line anywhere from 45-110 minutes.  Not our family, we aren’t about to stand in line all day and only get to experience a handful of attractions.  We are cramming in as many in one day as we possibly can.  If we weren’t at the park well before rope drop, riding Peter Pan twice in one day would be an impossibility with us.  Staying until park closing, especially if there are extra magic hours, is another way to enjoy attractions with much lower crowds.  It’s the same no matter which park we go to and I can’t stress it enough, get there early and stay until closing!

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A little extra sleep before hitting the park

Yes, we have our moments when it catches up with us and we need a serious sit down.  If that’s the case, we are heading for somewhere like Carousel of Progress, Hall of Presidents, Muppetvision 3-D,  Ellen’s Energy Adventure, you get the idea.  I won’t lie, I’ve actually fallen asleep from exhaustion in a couple of these before, but only for a moment.  When we are done with these attractions, we are energized and ready to power on.  If you and your family want to be a “Full Steam Ahead” family, the best Diva tips I can offer you is to first, mentally prepare yourselves, exhaustion kicks up toward the end of the week, and second, drink LOTS of water.  It’s amazing how awake and alert you can feel just by staying hydrated.  I’m not talking about sodas and coffee, I mean pure, clear water.  It can be done, our family has done it every year since 2009 and we have a blast doing it.  By the time we get home, we need another vacation to just rest, but it’s so very worth it.  Our family wouldn’t have it any other way.

Are you ready to start planning your magical vacation and enjoy all that Disney has to offer, but you aren’t sure where to start? Contact our recommended travel agent, Patricia at All Dreams for Travel, and she can do all the work for you. Best of all, all of her services are FREE, all you have to do is click here to request a quote!

Hi, I'm a Disney loving wife and mom to two awesome Devos. We love all things Disney and when we aren't at WDW, we are usually planning our next trip there! I love to give tips on how to make your WDW trip better.