Disney World Trip Countdown: 31 Days

As I count down the 32 days remaining until my family’s Disney World trip, I am I walking through the agenda step by step.  Once the trip is done, we’ll see how well the plan was executed.  Because there’s no way everything goes according to plan.  It never does.

When we left off, we had just stuffed ourselves with comfort food at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe.  Fantasmic! starts at 7:30, so we should have enough time to squeeze in one more attraction before we need to line up for the show.

According to my agenda, the one must-do attraction left to do is Mindy’s favorite ride in all of Disney World, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Tower of Terror is to other free-fall rides what Splash Mountain is to log flumes.  Disney took the basic idea of a drop ride and built a themed attraction around it. 

The queue takes you through an abandoned hotel lobby down into a creepy boiler room.  From there, riders are loaded onto an elevator by a bellhop.  The cast members here have a lot of fun playing up their parts like they do at the Haunted Mansion.

The elevator stops at the Twilight Zone.  Riders see the ghosts of the former hotel guests.

And then the elevator does something elevators don’t normally do.  It rolls forward out of the shaft.  What follows is a sequence of dizzying drops.  The sequence is randomized, so you never know how many times you will rise and fall.  There are also special effects in the drop area if you can keep your eyes open to see them.

Josie has been talking bravely about riding this with her mom because she knows it is Mindy’s favorite ride.  I’m not 100% certain she’ll make it through the queue, but we’ll see.  If she does make it through, I’m sure she’ll be rewarded with something from the gift shop to commemorate her achievement.

Odds are actually pretty good we will have crossed ToT off the list before dinner even though it’s not on the schedule.  So in reality, this could be an open time to re-ride something everyone enjoyed earlier in the day.  The Great Movie Ride always makes for a pleasant after-dinner experience.

Right aroung 7:00, we will face a decision point.  Do we want to line up for Fantasmic! or not?  Disney recommends getting a place in line an hour before show time.  We’re not about to wait in line for an hour for anything, so that’s not happening. 

Since we are no longer participating in the F! dining plan, we won’t have a reserved seat.  So we’ll need to decide how badly we really want to see the show.  How long do we wait to get in line at the risk of being turned away?

The odds are, we’ll be able to walk in just before the show starts.  We may not get the best seats, but we should be able to get in.  (It might help that Disney will be operating the first official preview of the new Fantasyland over at the Magic Kingdom today.)

Aside from the line, there are two other considerations.  One, staying for the show means dealing with the crush of people leaving the park all at once.  There’s no getting around the fact that the bus will be crowded after the show.

Two, Fantasmic! might be a little too scary for Kara.  She’s fascinated/terrified by Disney villains.  Maleficent in particular.  I think the fact that the stage is so far away will make it okay.  But there is the possibility of a freak-out when the dragon shows up.

I have been preparing Kara for what she will see should we stay for Fantasmic!  She knows that Mickey fights the villains, slays the dragon and wins.  But knowing that and experiencing it are two different things.

In our nine years of family trips, we have missed Fantasmic! every single time.  I am not sure what our odds are for seeing it this time.  I’ll definitely prioritize it.  But I won’t force the issue if it doesn’t look like things are going to work out.

If we do skip the show, we can take it easy on the bus ride home.  Because we have another early morning waiting for us.

Next, Morning at Animal Kingdom.

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Posted on October 2, 2012, in Hollywood Studios, theme parks, Trip Countdown, Walt Disney World and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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