Trip Report January 2016 – Day 8
Our last day was easy and relaxed. We had no park tickets which is a new rule we’ve implemented to prevent the crazy last days we usually have. We’ve considering doing this for years, but having a baby to tote really pushed us to implement the rule.
We called Bell Services to our room at 10:13 and were done with Resort Airline Check-In by 10:36. That’s pretty good time since Bay Lake Tower does not have Bell Services and they come from the Contemporary. We also stowed our carry-on bags with Bell Services to free up our hands.
Breakfast buffets are one of our favorite dining treats on trips, but they can be hard to fit in due to the impact they have on park touring. The last day with no park tickets is a great time to squeeze one in, plus you can get full before heading to the airport. Due to our baggage check going quickly we were 30 minutes early to our breakfast reservation at The Wave but were seated immediately.
We’ve had breakfast at The Wave once before and this return visit was just as good.
After breakfast we had some un-fun time fixing something at the front desk, then using up our remaining dining plan credits for plane snacks. We walked around the grounds of Bay Lake and the Contemporary and it was an absolutely beautiful Florida winter day.
We came around one of the Garden Wing buildings just as one of the ferries was crossing the water bridge. Seeing the big ferry on this narrow path of water was neat.
All too soon it was time to gather our carry-on bags from Bell Services and board the Magical Express bus. It took 40 minutes after leaving the Contemporary to arrive at MCO. Although we completed Resort Airline Check-In, they cannot print infant Boarding Verification Documents, so we had to stop at the check-in counter to get one. The Pre-Check line at MCO was hopping, so between all of that it took 50 minutes to get to our gate after being dropped off. I often see people say that a 3 hour pick-up window is too early, but we rarely have time to twiddle our thumbs before our plane starts boarding.
Looking back on the trip, a few things stick out at me. The first is how much I love staying in a Magic Kingdom area hotel. I question the sanity of a split stay with a 1 year old, but switching hotels on a beach day worked out well. Our split stay dining plans didn’t work as well as we planned, but you can only plan when you’ll be hungry so much.
Our frustrations with Fastpass this trip have largely been resolved by updates that happened in spring 2016. 3 Fastpasses per day was excessive many days. We sometimes would scan our Magic Bands at the first Fastpass point just to wipe a Fastpass from the system. The spring 2016 update now lets you book just 1, 2 or 3 Fastpasses per day, in the same park. The 4th Fastpass ended up being all but useless due to the kiosk booking system. They have dropped the number of kiosk locations meaning we had to trek out of our way to attempt to book extra Fastpasses. Since that could only be done in the same park, by the time we park hopped there weren’t enough hours left in the park day to be useful. The spring 2016 update lets you book your additional Fastpasses at a kiosk or the My Disney Experience app in any park. Your pre-booked Fastpasses still need to be used or expired before you can book additional Fastpass in the app.
Bringing a child to the parks reignites that spark of magic that can sometimes dim. Anytime I think about this moment, I feel a flood of that magic that brings me back for more. I can’t wait for our next trip to revisit the magic!