Disney World Trip Countdown: 15 Days

As I count down the 15 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, the trip was winding down.  We started our departure day with breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table.  Once we finish breakfast, we should be able to spend the rest of the morning doing whatever we want in the Magic Kingdom.  Our flight leaves at 4:30, so we’ll have to head back to our resort in time for our Magical Express bus.

As I mentioned before, there is a chance we’ll cancel that breakfast reservation.  There are a few reasons for this.  If we are tired and feel like we have seen and done everything we want to do, we might opt to relax on our departure day.  Maybe hang out at the pool or Downtown Disney. 

There’s also another possibility.  I have talked a lot about the Fantasyland Expansion and the potential to see a “soft opening”.  Currently, Disney has a schedule for previews for everyone from cast members to annual pass holders to DVC members.  Sadly, we do not fit into any of those groups.

It is not expected that Disney will allow regular guests into the previews for annual pass holder or DVC members.  Although it is possible that when they see my girls’ smiling faces, they will make an exception.  I can’t really count on that. 

Our first day at the Magic Kingdom is actually the last day of cast member previews scheduled.  That makes it one of our best chances to get into the Fantasyland Expansion.  But currently, our best chance is on our departure day.

At present, there are no previews scheduled for our departure day.  In theory, that should leave it wide open for regular guests like us.  After breakfast, we should have at least a couple of hours to explore the new land which should be sufficient. 

However, Disney just announced that they will be adding additional previews for annual passholders as demand exceeded supply.  Honestly, I can’t say as I was surprised to hear this.  It is almost always the case when Disney offers an exclusive event with limited availability.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Nov 6 will remain open to all.  It’s election day.  What could be more democratic than allowing the masses into Fantasyland?  Or at least my family.  Come on, Disney!  Have a heart!

I like to think I won’t beg, but there is potential for a scene on our last day.

Assuming my tears fail to gain us entry into Fantasyland, I have nothing scheduled for our remaining time in the Magic Kingdom.  We will use the time to catch any attractions we may have missed in our previous two days.  Or to revisit favorites. 

When the time comes, we’ll head back to our resort to await the Magical Express bus back to the airport.  Hopefully, my children can console me.  We haven’t even left yet, and I am sorry to see this trip coming to an end.

Next up, changes to the plan.

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Posted on October 17, 2012, in Magic Kingdom, theme parks, Trip Countdown, Walt Disney World and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I hope you get into the new Fantasyland while you’re there. It looks like you’ve got a good shot. Would park hopping have been a good investment under these circumstances? I usually feel like there is enough to do in each park and good planning is the better option, but I would be picturing myself standing in EPCOT and hearing someone say that a soft opening was happening right then. Ugh. Park hopping is expensive, though.


    • If park hopping gets us into the FLE, I will stop by guest relations and upgrade our tickets without a second thought. But my guess is that by the time we hear about it and make the hop, it will be too late.

      As it stands, we have a fair shot on 11/02. Almost no shot on 11/05. And a realy good shot on 11/06 just before we head home. However, that changes if they make 11/06 an annual passholder preview date which seems pretty likely at this point.

      If anyone is interested, here is the current soft opening/previews schedule:


      Soft openings began October 12 2012, running from 10am to 6pm.

      Cast Member only previews are being held October 20, 21, 22, 23 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, November 1, 2. During this time, it is expected that only cast members will be able to enter, and it is unlikely that any regular parks guests will be admitted.

      Annual Passholder previews are being held on Nov 3, Nov 10, Nov 11. As with the cast member previews, it is expected that regular park guests will not be admitted during these dates.

      D23 member previews are being held on November 3 and November 4. It is expected that regular park guests will not be admitted during these dates.

      DVC member previews are being held on November 4 and November 5. It is expected that regular park guests will not be admitted during these dates.

      Officially announced previews for all guests begin on November 19 2012. During this time you can typically expect the land to be open to all guests, but since it is still in previews, it may close at any time.

      The grand opening is December 6 2012, when the land is officially declared open and should operate as normal along with the rest of the park.

      As you can see from those dates, there are gaps between some of those phases, and we have no information as to what will happen during that time. Disney may well choose to resume guest soft openings, or the area may be closed for additional work. With any soft openings or previews, there are absolutely no guarantees that it will open.


    • I did get a bit of good news just now. Park hours have been extended almost every day of our trip. We got an extra hour at the parks on days 3,4 and 5! Better still, extra showings of the Main Street Electrical Parade and Fantasmic!

      The small cloud around my silver lining is I am going to have to go back and tweak my plans again.


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