Well…it’s over and we didn’t last 24 hours this time 🙁 There are a few reasons we didn’t last and I’ll cover them later but first let’s start at the very beginning. We woke up at 3:30am and we headed to Magic Kingdom at 4:15am. We parked in Zurg 102, walked to the TTC and got in line for the monorail, which was to begin operating at 5:15am. We waited patiently and chatted with other Disney enthusiasts in line until it was time to cram into the monorail. We were stuffed in like sardines and we could barely move. We got through bag check and Ron went to get our locker while Kim, Verlin and I secured a spot up front for the rope drop ceremony. Last year’s rope drop was awesome and we didn’t want to miss this one.
Rope drop was nothing special, except that it included some villains. The park opened and we headed back to Fantasyland. We had our group photo taken in front of Cinderella’s carriage…it is on our Photopass, which I won’t purchase but none of us had it taken on our phones so…no group photo this year! We finished with our photo and saw a line forming, so we got in it, assuming it was for the not-yet-open Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. We were right! In less than 30 minutes we had played in the interactive queue and ridden the crowning glory of the New Fantasyland expansion. It is an amazing ride, but the seats are much too narrow. It is a very uncomfortable ride for plus size riders.
Our original goal was for at least one person in our group to ride every attraction in the park. While we didn’t quite succeed at that feat, we did complete 77% of the attractions not including meet ‘n greets. We completed all 3 attractions in Liberty Square and all 8 in Tomorrowland, yes, we all rode Stitch’s Great Adventure and the Tomorrowland Speedway. In Adventure land we did 5 out of 6 attractions, our plan was to do A Pirate’s Adventure-Treasures of the Seven Seas in the middle of the night. In Frontierland we completed 4 out of 6 attractions. We didn’t get to that side of the park until after dusk so we missed Tom Sawyer Island and when we headed to Splash Mountain is was “out of order” and we never made it back. In Fantasyland we did 6 out of 11, our worst land. Again, we were saving Peter Pan, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Mad Tea Party, Dumbo and Barnstormer for middle of the night rides due to the long lines during the day.
So, what happened to send us home at 1:00am? Three things actually heat, crowds and pain. Last year during the Monstrous Summer All-Nighter the high temperature was 92° with a breeze. This year it was 97° with no breeze. The “feels like” temperature this year was 102° and we were all really zapped by the heat. Last year the crowds dissipated after the evening parades, this year that didn’t happen. When we left at 1:00am people were still streaming into the park, wait times for popular rides were still 60+ minutes and the crowds were everywhere, not just concentrated on Main Street, USA. Thirdly, Ron was in pain. He didn’t just have sore feet. he was hurting, bad. If we just had a few hours left, he would have plopped himself in Tomorrowland and watched “The Incredibles” on the Rocket Tower screen while the rest of us played in the park. Five hours was too long to ask him to suffer for the rest of us. Since we only brought one car from the hotel, we all decided to leave together.
What will we do differently next time?
- Pay closer attention to the weather forecast. We wore sunscreen and stayed hydrated with non-caffeinated beverages and water but we need to plan differently if the temps are forecast to soar again.
- Probably leave and come back. We aren’t young kids anymore but I hated missing the overnight fun. Next year I will still arrive early and play in the park from 6am-1pm ish then I will get a good lunch and head to the hotel to sleep. I’ll head back to the park 9pm-6am and continue the fun.
- Plan better Fastpasses. We had A LOT of trouble organizing our Fastpass+ in advance because we couldn’t sync the 3 accounts necessary for all of us to get our Fastpasses together at the same time. I know this is something Disney is working on so hopefully, a year from now, it will be improved.
What do I wish Disney would do differently?
I missed the original 24 hour party on 2-29-12 because I had surgery that day. That being said, I’d like to see the 24 hour party moved off of a holiday weekend due to the crowds AND back to February or post-Easter April, when the weather is cooler.
Did you attempt the Rock Your Disneyside 24 hour party? Did you make it? What are your thoughts about Disney doing 24 hour events?