One More Disney Day: Mid-day update

February 29, 2012, 4:04 PM · At 6 this morning, "One More Disney Day" kicked off in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, as Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom opened for its 24-hour Leap Day celebration.

Magic Kingdom entrance
Photo courtesy TPI reader Amy

The New Fantasyland, at 6am
Photo courtesy TH Creative

Three hours later, at 6am Pacific time, One More Disney Day started on the west coast, as Disneyland Park opened for its 24-hour run.

Video courtesy Disney

Here's the view I had, having arrived at the Mickey and Friends parking structure 20 minutes earlier. Disney held everyone entering from Mickey and Friends outside the security tables until the esplanade, which was filled with overnight campers, cleared.

Waiting to get in

All together, several thousand visitors were on hand in Anaheim to start the day. And Disney cast members were there to greet us, lining Main Street and offering us "High Fours" with Mickey hands.

High fours

I started the day in Tomorrowland, with the idea of working my way around the park, counterclockwise. With a Fastpass for Star Tours in hand, I started my day with a ride on Buzz Lightyear, where I learned a 6:30am start does not help my score. But today's not about racking up points on Buzz. It's about experiencing all the rides at Disneyland in a single day. From Buzz, I continued with Space Mountain, Finding Nemo, Astro Orbiter, Star Tours and Autopia. Captain EO started the day down, and Innoventions wasn't slated to open until 11:30, so I had the rest of Tomorrowland finished by 9.

It'd been a long time since since I'd gotten to drive one of the Autopia cars!

From there, I hit the rides in Toontown, then started into Fantasyland - Small World, Storybook Land, the tea cups and Alice.

That's where I hit the day's first snag, as Alice went "101" (Disneyspeak for "broke down") as I was waiting. I chose to stick it out, and ended up getting on the ride within its posted 30 minutes wait time anyway.

By then, it was 11am, and decided to get an early lunch (or late breakfast - I hadn't eaten yet) over at the just-opened-in-January Jollu Holiday Bakery Cafe.

That turned out to be the longest line of the day (or as Homer Simpson would add, "so far"). I waited 45 minutes to get a ham and cheese quiche, side salad and the day's special Lobster Bisque. I'll file a separate post in the next few days with my review.

After lunch, I had a big surprise waiting for me. TPI reader Victoria emailed me at park opening to let me know she'd reserved a couple seats on the Disneyland Railroad's Lilly Belle car for the 1:30pm Grand Circle Tour. So thanks to Victoria, I got to experience my first trip on this "hidden Disney" gem, a comfortably appointed Victorian private rail car.

The Lilly Belle car

Inside the Lilly Belle

Thanks again, Victoria!

After the Lille Belle, I walked across the esplanade to visit the new Blue Sky Cellar exhibit on Cars Land, which I will write up in a Cars Land construction update tomorrow. So at "halftime," if you will, here's what I've visited so far:

Buzz Lightyear, Space Mountain, Finding Nemo, Astro Orbitor, Star Tours (Stormtroopers, Hoth, Leia, Naboo), Autopia, Roger Rabbit, Gadget's Go Coaster, Mickey's House, Chip n' Dale, Goofy's House, Small World, Storybook Land, Mad Tea Party, Alice, Jungle Cruise, Pirates, Tom Sawyer's Island, Disneyland Railroad.

Jungle Cruise
Keeping cool in the Jungle

So that leaves the following: Disney Gallery and Lincoln, Main Street Vehicles, Casey Jr, Dumbo, Carousel, Toad, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Snow White, Castle, Thunder, Columbia, Mansion, Splash, Pooh, Indy, Treehouse, Tiki Room, and the skipped Innoventions and EO.

Time to head back into the park! I'll keep Tweeting - @themepark - as long as the phone battery lasts. And then I'll check back tomorrow with more news from the rest of the One More Disney Day. (Send in your photos and observations, and I'll include them, too!)

Replies (8)

February 29, 2012 at 4:22 PM · How do you reserve a seat on Lille Bell??
February 29, 2012 at 5:01 PM · I wish I were there but thanks for the updates and pictures! Good luck on getting through everything!
February 29, 2012 at 5:15 PM · Awesome stuff! Glad you are having such a great time!

More importantly... TH you are one handsome dude! #mancrush

February 29, 2012 at 5:27 PM · Awesome! That sounds great...and there don't seem to be too many long lines(minus lunch). Nice sign TH!
February 29, 2012 at 6:02 PM · I'm pretty sure I've read in several places that riding in the Lilly Belle is reserved for Club 33 members and their guests only.
March 1, 2012 at 12:09 AM · For the record, it takes 18 hours to:
Ride every ride,
See every show,
Watch two parades and one fireworks show,
And eat three meals at the Magic Kingdom.

It was fun but exhausting. We left at 1:00am.
Good night world!

March 1, 2012 at 12:35 AM · Anyone can make a reservation for the Lilly Belle. You just have to do it first thing in the morning at the Main Street station. As they say, seats are limited and go quickly.
March 1, 2012 at 10:01 PM · Excellent!

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