When you visit Disney as often as we have over the years, it is hard to imagine that another trip to the Magic Kingdom could bring a day full of new experiences, but our most recent visit did just that. Maybe it was the magic of the leap year or maybe it was arriving before dawn, whatever the reason we found new magical moments to enjoy.
On February 29, Disney celebrated 2012’s bonus day by staying open for 24 hours for the first time in history. (No, we did not stay for 24 hours.) Not wanting to miss this historical Disney moment, we woke the kids at 4 am and headed out the door. Yawn, it was early.
Arriving at the park before dawn was eerie and exciting. Sure, we’ve been at the park after dark plenty of times, but never before the sun rose. Plus it was a particularly foggy morning, even once the sun rose we couldn’t see the castle from the middle of town square — it was wild.
More than 1,000 people gathered for the special 6 am opening. It looked like a lot of people, but as everyone headed into the park and people dispersed it was like having the park to ourselves, at least for a bit.
In addition to our unusual pre-dawn arrival, we managed to find new and experiences. Whether you have never been to the Magic Kingdom or you are a regular guest, I challenge you to try something new on your next visit. Here are a few of our new experiences:
- Waffle Sandwiches – Sleepy Hollow Refreshments (in Liberty Square) recently added waffle sandwiches to the menu, and they only need one word to describe them – YUM! I went for Nutella and fruit while the hubs went for a chicken sandwich.
- Pixie Dust Sprinkling – Did you know that if you stop by the Bippity Boppity Boutique in Cinderella’s Castle, you can ask to have your princess sprinkled with a little Pixie Dust (no charge).
- Verizon’s Disney Parks Mobile Magic App – I’ve heard about the Disney Parks app before, but this was the first time I had a Verizon phone to test it. Way cool. Not only does it show up-to-date ride times, but it uses GPS to give you recommendations based on where you are in the park. Verizon customers can download the app for free from the Android Market here or the iTunes store here.
- Tom Sawyer’s Island – While a visit to the island isn’t new, I haven’t been since I was a kid so it was new for the girls. It’s a great place to get away from the crowds. It’s shaded too. We saw a number of families having picnics on the island, definitely something we will be doing in the future. Plus the caves were way cool.
- Astro Orbiter – Again, not new, but the line is usually so long we skip it. Not at 7 am! 3-2-1 Blast off!
Of course, there’s always time to have a spin on the Tea Cups too.
I can’t think of a better way to spend the extra day than with my family making memories at Disney. I am already looking forward to February 29, 2016.
Disclosure – I was provided media passes to attend the event, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.