Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
We got to Magic Kingdom about 5 minutes before it opened at 9 because the bus ride was longer than we thought it would be [about 25 minutes] but we didn't have to wait long for the bus. We were unsure of how chilly the night would get so we brought jackets with us and rented a locker for them. When we went to Epcot later that day we found out that you can rent a second locker in a different park for only the price of the deposit, which you do get back again, so really if you buy a locker in one park you get a locker all day in any park.
Splash Mountain was scheduled to be open that day, so we headed there first [after not having to wait in line to get in the park, even though it just opened]. But when we got there we learned it wouldn't reopen until tuesday, which was a huge disappointment. But this didn't ruin our day; we walked right on to Big Thunder and Mansion, did a sweep through Fantasyland and Toontown Fair, did Space Mountain, the People Mover, the Carousel of Progress, and the Laugh Floor, had lunch around 1 in the Tomorrowland counter service restaurant, and since it was getting moderately crowded [the wait times were like a half hour now], we then took a monorail to Epcot. We did literally everything we wanted to do except Adventureland all before lunch. And Magic Kingdom had magic hours that night, so we figured we'd come back later and do Adventureland then.
We got to Epcot around 2:30 after eating lunch and taking the monorails. The monorail trip took about 45 minutes between waiting for monorails and the trip itself which had a pause while we waited to enter the station. But we were in a very relaxed mood since we'd already gotten a days worth out of MK. Once at Epcot, all the major attractions had long lines and no fastpasses. So we did many other things that had absolutely no lines and we now had more time for the major attractions and World Showcase when we visited Epcot later in the week. We walked on to Spaceship Earth, Living with the Land, Nemo, and Captain EO. We took pictures with characters and had dinner in The Land's Restaurant. By now it was 7, so we headed back to MK. This time the monorail trip only took about a half hour.
MK closed at 8, but the magic hours kept it open until 11. We went on Pirates, then discovered that although Jungle Cruise was listed as being open during magic hours it was actually closed. So we did Big Thunder, Space Mountain, and Mansion again, and hit it's a small world since we had skipped it earlier due to an unbearable 20 minute wait [we walked on to everything that day, including Peter Pan].
Overall, there were no crowds [I actually took pictures of walkways with no people in them], minimal lines, and we did all we wanted to do. As for food, lunch was good, it was counter service after all so it's not gourmet but it was a good amount of food for the money. The teenagers each got a side of chicken noodle soup and split a french fry side and it was enough to last til dinner. Dinner in the Land was not very much food for the prices we paid at the counter service place. But the entire trip we got ice water with our food instead of sodas and that saved us a bundle.
On our last trip we didn't get parkhoppers, and wouldn't have used them. But already on the first day we had hopped parks and it wasn't as difficult as we had thought it would be. And the time needed to switch wasn't a big deal since there were no crowds. I will probably get park hoppers every time now.
Although it was 11:30 when we got back to our hotel, we were up and ready to leave at 7:30 for Animal Kingdom the next day.
However, I am a little confused about the Jungle Cruise. I have been there for Magical Hours at night and it was one of the attractions opened. Hmmm, that is weird! Its a real shame though because the Skippers are better at night!
Walt Disney World
Tokyo Disney Resort