Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wake Up, Tinker Bell!

NOTE: This article was published based on information gathered before Tinker Bell's Treasures was renovated. The experience is still there, but now you no longer need to be there first thing in the morning. You can wake Tink any time of day. Just ask a cast member about it.

Disney offers a young child many opportunities to live in a magical world. The parks are an immersive experience and children often believe that they are in Mickey's world... where he lives, walks, sleeps.

So like many websites or games today, Disney has built in a few surprises or "Easter Eggs," as they are called in the online world. These are special treats that aren't advertised, but happen anyway, sometimes spontaneously, sometimes only if you know the secret password. Some are more secret than others. This is one you will find described all over the web, but I assure you, it's still very special and even a little bit cool.

Your child can wake up Tinker Bell first thing in the morning at the Magic Kingdom.

To do this, your child (or children) must enter Tinker Bell's Treasures--a gift shop within Fantasyland--and be the first person to ask the cast member if he or she can wake up Tinker Bell. I don't want to spoil the magic of what will happen exactly, but let's just say that a convincing special effect will make anyone believe in fairies for just a little bit at least.

The hardest part about this is getting there first. We've tried three times and failed twice. It will take some serious dedication, and I'd suggest you not tell your child too much about it to pump them up for it, just in case they end up watching someone else do it. I would also suggest that you do NOT do this the first time you go to the Magic Kingdom. It is better to enjoy the magic of that first entrance into the park. This one is more for the experienced visitor.

Here's the strategy we used when we succeeded:
  • Have your child in a stroller or carrier. - Unless your little one is a major track star, you will not get there in time if you rely on leg power alone. Rentals won't work for this because you will need to have it from the moment you get into the park. There is no time to pick it up.
  • Get to the Magic Kingdom thirty minutes or so before opening. - You don't need to be right up front here, but I would recommend standing by one of the arches under the train station so you will get in before those standing more front and center. You can still see the opening show just fine from here.
  • When you are allowed into the park, proceed quickly (but don't run... be safe) to the hub. - Bear left so that you are standing at the rope located at about 10 o'clock on the circle. This is the bridge into Liberty Square. Get to the very front so that there is nothing between your stroller and the rope. Stay right.
  • When that rope drops, power walk (or run, but don't say we told you to). - Stay on the right side of the path, and at your first opportunity (at the Sleepy Hollow snack hut), turn right to veer into Fantasyland.
  • Find the store. It's located on the left up the path from Sleepy Hollow close to the castle. There IS a back door in from the direction you are coming. You do not need to go around front. Go in and go directly toward the back counter, stopping at the first cast member you see.
  • YOUR CHILD must ask the cast member if she can wake up Tinker Bell. It cannot be an adult, it has to be your child. So you will want to coach your child before you get there, and be sure he or she isn't shy about asking a stranger for something.
  • Watch the magic!
Some folks recommend getting to the store through the castle. The problem we've run into with this plan is that the castle is not always open for you to walk through first thing in the morning. So rather than walk up there and risk being turned away, we recommend heading in via the left path. It's actually pretty equidistant.

It is possible that you succeed in your quest, but when faced with the pressure of actually waking up Tink with so many people watching, your child may chicken out. It's okay. There are other kids there who will be more than happy to do it. Sometimes, having another child do it with them is helpful. See what your child wants and adjust.

And don't worry... if you miss your chance or you're just a late riser, go to the store when you can and ask a cast member about seeing Tinker Bell. Once she's awake, she flits about all day.


lorilovestigger said...

I did this with Cassidy once. It was the last full day of our trip and we were at rope drop. Well, needless to say I dragged her up Main Street to get there with her yelling "mom my legs are tired!" There was another family doing the same thing but once they turned to Tomorrowland we started walking. We get there and she yells "I want to wake up Tink." The CM looked at all of us like we were on drugs. She did her thing and that was it. I thought there was going to be pixie dust or something fun to go with it. Oh well, Cassidy enjoyed herself that's what really mattered.

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