Last Saturday morning, the Disney Parks Blog announced a Monstrous Morning Meet-up for Friday May 24th to kick off the All-Nighter planned at the Magic Kingdom. Almost without hesitation, I send in my request for a spot and as Kevin Flynn would said, “I got in”. Early last week, a package was delivered with everything I needed to know for Friday morning.
With a week to prepare for the big day, I did not do much of any studying for this monstrous day at Walt Disney World. Looking back, I should have crammed more sleep time in to my agenda on Thursday, but who really needs sleep? The alarm went off just as I finally fell asleep and I got up and headed out the door. I set a course for the Magic Kingdom and cranked up the Monsters Inc soundtrack to keep me awake.
Disney Parks Blog Monstrous Morning Meet-Up
I arrived at the Ticket and Transportation center just before 4AM and checked in near the ferry boat launch. After about a 45 minute rest, we boarded the first ferry of the morning to the Magic Kingdom.
Upon arrival, we all made our way through bag check and the turnstiles and were guided to the area in front of the Train Station where we were given a pair of Mike Wazowski glasses, a Monsters University button, and bottled water.
Mickey and Minnie (still in their pajamas) were finishing up their early morning press interviews.
The excitement began to build toward the 5:50 AM special Monstrous Summer ‘All-Nighter’ Magic Kingdom Welcoming Ceremony featuring special guests Mike Wazowski and James P Sullivan decked out in Monsters University attire.
At 6:00 AM, Magic Kingdom was officially open for the start of the 24 hour day. I walked right down the middle of Main Street USA and took the opportunity make use of this rare opportunity to photograph the park at such an early hour!
The next scheduled Monstrous Morning Meet-up event was a Monstrous Donut Bar in Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café near Splash Mountain. The donuts were indeed monstrous; not in size, but in color! The mini donuts were delicious. Additionally, there was a fruit bar; but who wants to see pictures of fruit when you can look at donuts.
I was so happy to finally have some coffee in my system, that I did not even try the Sulleyaide.
Following my monstrous breakfast, it was time to enroll in Monsters University. So, as all incoming freshman do during orientation, I got in line at the Office of Campus Life to have my student ID photo taken.
There was this one monster, said his name was Jimmy, who showed up for his student ID. He was quite popular; I figured he must be famous or something as the local media was all over him. I could not figure out what the big deal was with this ball of fur – this guy was a shedder… blue and purple hair all over the place and still people were lining up in the next room to get a picture taken with him with the Monsters University entrance sign in the background. Crazy humans.
It was now a little after 7 AM, and we had about 2 hours to enjoy the Magic Kingdom, which was surprisingly not busy. Based on the outcome of the day, people were more excited to arrive later and stay all night than arrive at 6 AM and stay the day. This worked out perfectly. I walked onto Haunted Mansion & then took a nice morning walk around to Tomorrowland where Space Mountain only had a 10 minute wait!
Around 8:30 AM, I made my way back to the new Tangled restroom area of Fantasyland to charge up my batteries. Seriously, hidden in tree stumps are outlets to charge up your devices.
The theming of the area is remarkable, considering it is basically a rest stop between Liberty Square and Fantasyland; even Rapunzel’s tower is integrated into the area and is barely visible from Liberty Square. I am sure in a few years when the trees grow you will never know there is a Fairy Tale tower behind the Haunted Mansion. Hidden throughout the Tangled rest area are 10 Pascals which provide a fun hide-and-seek game even for us big kids! Even the inside of the bathrooms are themed with frying pans above the sinks and ‘Wanted’ posters (which still do not depict Flynn’s nose properly) on the walls.
On a side note, I really hope Disney integrates more of these rest areas into the parks with charging stations. At least in the Magic Kingdom, there is no longer a need to search for an inconvenient outlet to recharge the phone. The only thing about this area (which is not at all a bad thing) is that is an open air space and will not provide cover during a rain storm. So, if you are charging your devices, keep a watchful eye on the sky in the event you need to unplug and go in a hurry.
It was about the time to head back to Frontierland to catch our bus to the AMC at Downtown Disney for the Monsters University screening. I cannot believe I am going to say this, but I am glad the Disney Cruise Line bus was not headed to Port Canaveral. We arrived at AMC and checked our electronics and cell phones (note to self: wear a watch next time).
On our way into the theater, we were offered a monstrous bag of blue and green kettle corn along with a choice of soda or water. Chris Ostrander, Director of Disney Parks Synergy, led the audience in a Monsters Inc trivia contest with quite a few tough question. Winners received a choice of a Monsters University bag or a Monsters University one sheet. I knew parts to most questions, but not enough to win one of the prizes. Regardless, it was a great way to pass time and in keeping with the university theme, and I learned some new things. Plus, in Mike Wazowski fashion, I was barely in one of the photos posted by the Disney Parks Blog.
Monsters University Teaser Review
I know in the title I teased you with a Monsters University teaser, but the movie does not come out for other a month so I am not going to spoil any of the movie. All I will say is that the movie is visually spectacular, and it took me back to my days in college. We were shown the 2D version, so I cannot speak to the what it looks like in 3D, but if it looks anything like the 2D, it will be worth the extra few bucks if your a fan of 3D. Before the movie, we saw new trailers for The Lone Ranger, Disney•Pixar’s Planes, and DisneyNature’s Bears, but that was not the best part… We got to see the new Pixar short, The Blue Umbrella! Again, all I will say is it is visually stunning, and make sure you get to the theatre early to see the all-new short. Check out the trailer to see what I am talking about.
A full review of Monsters University will be posted on June 21st when it is released in theaters. Until then, enjoy the trailers!
After the movie, we received our Monsters University Student IDs, which I must say aside from seeing Monsters University was one of the coolest parts of the Disney Parks Blog Monstrous Morning Meet-up! Thank you! Next, I will see if Adobe will accept this for educational pricing when it is time to upgrade software.
Additionally, we were all given a monstrous swag bag which included a cool print Know Your Doors Magic Kingdom Park.
One of the doors is even personalized with my name! (Ok, that’s a stretch, it is not personalized, but it’s still a door with my name on it.)
Outside the AMC theater, there were buses waiting to return us to the Magic Kingdom or the Transportation & Ticket Center.
After an amazing morning, I decided to call it a day and head back to the car and to head back home. Did you attend the Monstrous Summer ‘All-Nighter’? How long did you last?