Taking seven children going to Disney World is a huge undertaking and a dent in your wallet. We had gone to Disney before and had all gotten food poisoning in the park and vowed never to go back. However, time changes everything and I wanted to make sure that now all seven kids had a chance to go to the Worlds largest theme park. We forked over $1,300 for one day hopper park passes. They also included the fast pass. I thought we could drive down to Orlando from our summer home in Amelia Island, Florida and spend the entire day there, until the park shut and drive back. I got everyone up at five in the morning and wheels were up at six. The kids were all excited and we were off. We stopped for a treat at McDonalds for breakfast and headed down Interstate 4 to Disney!
I almost felt like we were living in the movie Vacation only with seven children and two SUV’s in tow. We arrived and parked rather easy. This was going to be a great, memorable day. We had to pick-up tickets at Will Call and be thumb printed before going into the park. Something that sounded so easy was way to good to be true. After standing in line for two hours in 97 degree heat we had all the tickets. The ferry was the way to go to get across to Magic Kingdom, the Monorail had a line which I did not want to wait in after waiting two hours for tickets. Once across the lagoon we waited again to get through the gate and then we were like horses at the starting gate to get in and make-up for 3 hours of lost time. We bought three autograph books , matching pens, and three waters for $70. The autograph books were to ensure the memory of seeing all the kids favorite characters in person. There were people everywhere but the Fast Passes would be helpful in the long lines. Wrong!
We had a map at hand and passed thousands of people passing us. We sat in Adventure Landing and realized we had better figure out how to use the Fast Passes fast because the lines were 3 hours long! It was 1 o’clock and we were all feeling sick from the heat. There was no shade and no relief. My oldest daughter got on her life saver iPhone and registered 7 of the eight of us, the baby did not need a ticket, in hopes our Fast Passes would work. Once we got that done we needed drinks, we were all feeling the heat. I thought I could have brought a cooler but the thought of dragging that around was not appealing. We went to a huge cafe/restaurant in Tomorrowland and again waited and 45 minutes later we had lunch. We had to eat outside because every table inside was taken. Our lunch consisted of 2 hamburgers split 8 ways, 4 orders of french fries, and 8 drinks all for the magic number of $70! We actually felt full on a quarter of a hamburger each because the heat just sucked out any feeling of hunger. I can honestly say it is the first time I have eaten out with the kids that we ate everything, even the ketchup! After feeling born again and hydrated we began to get our Fast Passes registered and ready to use. NOT SO FAST!
We had to make reservations which were up to 3 hour waits. This was hard for me to figure out because the last time I had visited the park with 4 kids Fast Passes were great. So we began to make reservations to all the rides and found out some overlapped and the dreams of riding on one of the popular rides were over. The Magic Kingdom was not really magic unless research and schooling had been done before going.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Disney Adventure!