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Old 10-08-2012, 01:29 PM   #1
leannej613
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Only going to MNSSHP

Hi Everyone!
New here, and haven't been to Disney world since I was 5, which was a long time ago!

We are going to Florida to get married in a few weeks and decided to take my boys (8 and 9 years old) to the Halloween Party and one full day a Universal Studios. I have read a lot on here and hoping to get in early to Magic Kingdom for the parade, seems most say around 4:00.

The plan is to try and go on some rides while we are there, and go to the last parade/party. But I was wondering if we will have any opportunity at all for character autographs while we are only there from 4:00 to closing after the party? I have read that you probably wont get any AT the parade, but what about before or during the first parade? Will they be out walking around still?

I know we won't have a lot of time there but honestly we know we make it to florida as a family again, and money wise, my kids might not ever go again. So we wanted to do something for them. I am happy we can do what we can on top of the wedding expenses!

Any advice and suggestions are welcome! I really want to make the most of our time at Disney World!
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:11 PM   #2
Alice1386
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If you get a map or see if you can find if someone has posted it on the web, it will definitely help you plan out what all you can do and let you know where all the characters are. Characters only appear at certain locations (these will be marked on the party maps). We went last week and were able to ride a few rides, meet a lot of characters, and watch both the parade and fireworks. Make sure when you go that you know what rides you want to ride and which characters are important and where they will be (I remember where some were, but I am sure plenty of other dis-ers will be able to locate the rest). Which characters do you want to get pictures/autographs of?
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leannej613 View Post
Hi Everyone!
New here, and haven't been to Disney world since I was 5, which was a long time ago!

We are going to Florida to get married in a few weeks and decided to take my boys (8 and 9 years old) to the Halloween Party and one full day a Universal Studios. I have read a lot on here and hoping to get in early to Magic Kingdom for the parade, seems most say around 4:00.

The plan is to try and go on some rides while we are there, and go to the last parade/party. But I was wondering if we will have any opportunity at all for character autographs while we are only there from 4:00 to closing after the party? I have read that you probably wont get any AT the parade, but what about before or during the first parade? Will they be out walking around still?

I know we won't have a lot of time there but honestly we know we make it to florida as a family again, and money wise, my kids might not ever go again. So we wanted to do something for them. I am happy we can do what we can on top of the wedding expenses!

Any advice and suggestions are welcome! I really want to make the most of our time at Disney World!
4:00p is the confirmed entry time.

Character autographs will be available both when you arrive in the afternoon and all during the party. Recommend you go to a website like http://www.kennythepirate.com to study up on which characters and where to find them.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:33 PM   #4
leannej613
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Awesome! Thank you so much! Honestly it was a spur the moment decision and just bought the tickets over the weekend and we leave the 24th. Going to the party Friday the 26th.

My kids had never really even heard much of disney world and have no real idea what to expect, so ANY characters will be good, we won't be pick on which ones we HAVE to see.

I just want them to experience disney world for the short time we have. I am going to figure out the top rides we would want to do and make sure we get those done. Everything else is just a bonus for us ya know what I mean? But I am an organized follow a plan type of person so for me to not have major anxiety I have to come up with a plan. Just soo little time to read for hours on the internet and plan our wedding when we leave in two weeks. lol I didn't think this would be in the budget for us to go otherwise i would be more prepared!

I will check out that other website you gave me too, and I saw disney has an interactive map i can use. I have looked at Magic Kingdom's page to see about which rides, but I haven't narrowed it down or found the most popular ones that we don't want to miss.

If you had to pick your top 5 rides at Magic Kingdom what would they be?

Are there any areas or things to do that you consider are a MUST do on our first and probably only trip there?

Thank you all so much!
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:40 PM   #5
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Honestly, if it were me, & my kids were getting possibly only 8 hours in their entire childhood to spend in the Magic Kingdom? I wouldn't be spending a single second in character meet lines, with the possible exception of Mickey himself. Character lines can kill time like you won't believe... people stand in line for well over 90 minutes for certain meets during the parties.

Be ready & waiting at the gates by about 3:45 pm, which means pulling in to the parking lot by about 3:00.

Check out a guidebook from your local library & plan which rides you want to see, and read on this site until you understand everything there is to know about FastPass. Pull FPs first thing when you get in the park to one of your must-do rides. When you get your list of must-do rides together, post it on this site & people will help you make a logical touring plan.

Lines for the rides should be on the short side during the party, since most people are there for the party-specific events. You should be able to ride most of the rides in the whole park in your one evening. You can get in line for a ride up until the very end of the night, so save something with a longer line until about 11:50 pm. If you want to ride Jungle Cruise, it will be closed during the party so you have to do it before then.

I would try to make time for the fireworks at 9:30 and the 2nd parade at 10:30 - both are spectacular and really set the mood. Those two events, plus waiting time for them to start, will kill about 90 minutes of your night. Make your way to the Hub in front of the castle about 15 minutes prior to the fireworks, see them, and then go directly to Frontierland & find a spot along the rope for the parade. You'll all have to sit there & hold your spot... you can't walk up at 10:30 and expect to find an area big enough for your whole family to stand. You will see a lot of characters in the parade, and the kids might get high fives, etc. but you won't get pictures with them or autographs.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:42 PM   #6
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Top 5 rides for 8 & 9 year old boys, in my opinion:
Big Thunder Mountain
Space Mountain
Splash Mountain
Pirates of the Caribbean
Haunted Mansion
Buzz Lightyear's Spaceranger Spin

Ok that's 6! Sorry, I can't pick between buzz and HM. I have post on my blog about MNSSHP. The link is in my signatur. Have fun and congrats on the marriage!
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:48 PM   #7
leannej613
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Thanks gator_Girl!

I agree, I would not want to spend 90 minutes waiting in line for a character either.. and my oldest did not like them at kings Island when we went, so good point! lol

I have heard and read that rides might be very busy during the first parade, and that is what I am hoping for. My kids love rides and we go to kings island all the time and even that doesn't get old or tiring to them. So rides are a must. I have watched the you tube videos from the parade this year and it looks amazing with the fireworks so we won't miss that and will get there to get good seats.

We were thinking we would spend the morning at downtown disney before magic kingdom to get the shopping/souvenirs part done ahead of time too.

Another question.. would you spend the money on the photopass for just that short amount of time? I have read all the threads on here about it and even went to the preorder but then decided to wait and see if you all thought it would be worth the money knowing we won't be there but only 4-midnight. I will spend the money on it if i know we will have the opportunities for the pictures though because I want to make them a book with pictures.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:59 PM   #8
leannej613
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Thanks lovemy3girls! I will check out your blog and those rides!

Any suggestions on to get the photo pass or not? Just want to know if it is worth the money for the 7-8 hours there
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gator girl View Post
Pull FPs first thing when you get in the park to one of your must-do rides.
Perhaps there is a different setup for MNSSHP tickets picked up at will call, but from my experience with print at home tickets, you wouldn't be able to pull Fast Passes with just a party ticket. They won't have a ticket that feeds into the machines, so I'm not sure this is an option given their circumstances. Fast Passes definitely aren't available once the party begins, though they also aren't really necessary at that point.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leannej613 View Post
Another question.. would you spend the money on the photopass for just that short amount of time? I have read all the threads on here about it and even went to the preorder but then decided to wait and see if you all thought it would be worth the money knowing we won't be there but only 4-midnight. I will spend the money on it if i know we will have the opportunities for the pictures though because I want to make them a book with pictures.
Photopass photogs will also take photos with your own personal camera. Given the short time span you're there, I would simply have them take pics with your camera, and then turn it into a picture book later with a service on the web.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:18 PM   #11
gator girl
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I would not do Photopass for a one-evening trip. Take lots of your own pics and then you can purchase several individual shots taken by the PP photographers if you want to get posed shots in front of the castle, etc. for much cheaper than the cost of the CD. You can always ask other guests to take a pic of your whole family using your camera, as well.

Good idea to get shopping done before the party, so you don't have to stop at every gift shop all night.

If you don't have ride chickens, then definitely plan to hit:
All three Mountains, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, several Fantasyland rides. Peter Pan will have the longest line by far in that area - either FP it or wait until near midnight. Kids the age of yours seem to enjoy the Monsters Inc show as well. You'll probably have time to pop in to one of the dance parties for 10 minutes where they can dance with characters. I've seen the one in Frontierland with only 2 or 3 kids in there near the end of the night, dancing with Woody & Jessie. That's a fun party-only treat.

Don't stand in long lines for candy. Either hop in line if you see one with no wait or wait until later in the evening when the lines generally get shorter. In any case, I wouldn't prioritize getting a handful of candy you can buy at Walmart over getting to experience a Disney ride for the first time ever. You might have to drag the kids away from the candy lines for their own good!
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mlsjmu View Post
Perhaps there is a different setup for MNSSHP tickets picked up at will call, but from my experience with print at home tickets, you wouldn't be able to pull Fast Passes with just a party ticket. They won't have a ticket that feeds into the machines, so I'm not sure this is an option given their circumstances. Fast Passes definitely aren't available once the party begins, though they also aren't really necessary at that point.

Yes, I was talking about using FP from 4 - 7 pm. I forgot about print-at-home tickets... I've always done will-call and gotten one of the credit card sized paper tickets. I believe that you can use those Tyvek party tickets in the FP machines until they are turned off for the night.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:31 PM   #13
leannej613
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Wow you guys are awesome! I sooo appreciate all your help and advice!! We won't try too hard on the candy part either!

Ok so I won't worry about the photo pass then. Since we are getting married there I know some of my relatives going have a better camera then I do so I will ask to use theirs. Are the individual photos purchased by the photogs there expensive where buying 4 or 5 would add up to the advance purchase of the photo pass though? I will admit even when we go to small kings island I end up buying a ride photo if they turn out good lol but we also know where all the cameras on the rides are now lol but that would be the $169 for the ride pictures to be included.

My boys are actually good with money and they will have $100 each to spend on what they want and when it's out it's out! Which should be plenty for the time we are there.

I don't know if I am more excited to get to take them to Disney world and universal studios or my own wedding on the beach lol I just can't wait to see their faces! And I know we will all be nice and wore out for the wedding! Good thing the reception is back at home after my fiancé and I get home from key west!

Again I really appreciate all of you taking time to help me out!
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:12 PM   #14
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Character Lunch

Have you thought about doing a character lunch at one of the disney resorts before the 4:00 MNSSHP entry time. That way, everyone is well fed and the kids get to see some characters without having to wait in line.

My kids love meeting the characters during a meal and rarely ask to stand in line at the park to see one.

I know the Poly has Ohana's for breakfast/brunch. Contemporary has Chef Mickeys (pretty much all day). I know there is Cape May at the Beach Club but I don't know the character hours. Others I am sure can add to this list.

Chef Mickey's is our favorite but it will be hard to get a reservation with only a couple of weeks to go. I loved the breakfast at Ohana's.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:35 PM   #15
leannej613
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Do you have to be staying at those places to do that?? That would be awesome if I could find one. We are staying close to the beach we are getting married at not at a Disney resort.
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