The great thing about staying at a monorail resort is that you can depend on the monorail to get everywhere in the Magic Kingdom/Epcot area.
The bad thing about staying at a monorail resort, however, is that you need to depend on the monorail to get pretty much everywhere in the Magic Kingdom/Epcot area.
This transportation system, while innovative, hasn’t seen major updates or fixes in the better part of two decades, and the monorails can be… unreliable.
Since we were just going over to the Magic Kingdom, walking was a viable option, but I thought the monorail sounded more fun. After all, we kept seeing them in the lobby.
We missed the first train that we saw because it had already filled up before we could get on, but we knew it wouldn’t be too long before another one came along. In the meantime, we checked out the lovely Mary Blair mural and tried really hard to find the five-legged goat.
A cast member even handed us a couple of the transportation cards that we’d heard about before—if you’re looking for a free souvenir, be sure to ask for some of these!
It really wasn’t that long before Monorail Blue pulled into the station and we climbed aboard.
Easily the most exciting part of taking the monorail was hearing the familiar “Please stand clear of the doors/Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas” announcements.
And we were off—zooming around the track until we stopped at the TTC.
Once there, we were treated to the announcement that no one wants to hear on the monorail (I’m paraphrasing): “Due to construction, this monorail is going out of service and this will be the final stop. Please exit now.”
So, you know, just to recap—rather than walking a half-mile from our hotel room to the Magic Kingdom entrance, here we were at the TTC with no option to get to the park except for taking the ferryboat. Our “commute,” which should probably have been about 15-20 minutes if the monorail had kept going, would now easily top out at around 45 minutes to an hour. Oops.
Shockingly, the ferryboat becomes a lot more popular when it’s the only transportation option available, so we followed the throngs of people into the queue area. I think the first ferry filled up before we could get on it, but we made it onto the second boat.
We weren’t exactly thrilled with how our process of getting to the Magic Kingdom was going at this point, but we just tried to suck it up and make the most of it.
It was fun, for example, to see our current home from the lake (even if it emphasized just how close we were to the park when we set out on our misadventure).
And it’s also neat seeing the castle and train station come into much clearer focus as they draw nearer. As you can see, there was no more fog at all by this point in time.
We always try to position ourselves so that we are at least some of the first people off the ferryboat. Once we reached the Main Entrance area, we unloaded and quickly made our way through bag check.
And then it was time for the next task. We had to upgrade the Magic Your Way tickets we’d purchased online to our Premier Passports. I think there are only five places on property where you can make this particular upgrade—the Guest Relations kiosks outside each of the four parks and one in Disney Springs.
We got into the lengthy Guest Relations queue and just hoped that it would move somewhat quickly. We had already donned our MagicBands for the first time (remember, we hadn’t been to WDW since before they were a thing!).
The line definitely wasn’t the best. Unfortunately, people only get sent to this Guest Relations booth in general if they have particularly difficult issues. Cast members kept working the line and pulling out people who could be helped at one of the regular ticket booths instead, but we knew that we weren’t included.
When we made it to the front, the upgrade was relatively easy (though our wallets took a hit). We were particularly excited about this year’s APs because they spelled the opportunity for lots of Walt Disney World and Disneyland trips—and we actually would end up coming east far more times than anticipated. We also asked the cast member for Happy Anniversary buttons, and he wrote in “10 ears.”
All in all, at least an hour-and-a-half had passed since we had left our room at Bay Lake Tower, but we were finally ready to enter the park!
At least we didn’t have MagicBand troubles after the whole ordeal, and we passed the touchpoint without any issue!
Here we were, finally in front of Main Street Station once again!
And here were our shiny new passes that we were looking forward to using for the next 12 months!