April 2015 / Trip Reports

(April 2015 Trip Report) A Magical Garden Evening

We’ve already established that I love the Plaza Gardens at Magic Kingdom. I sometimes refer to them as “my gardens.” They’re perfect in every way and I would permanently move to the Hub grass if Disney would let me. We were finishing up my birthday festivities with an evening in the Wishes FP+ viewing area (a.k.a. my gardens).

Plenty of people question whether Wishes is a good use of one of your three FP+ reservations per day. This particular chapter will show you why I love the new FP+ reservation option.

It was super crowded that evening outside the gardens.

Three people deep along Main Street before Main Street Electrical Parade.

Inside the gardens, however, everyone had room to stretch out on the wonderful Hub grass. The bonus to the Wishes FP+ viewing area is the view for MSEP. Now, you don’t get the full effect of the parade since you can’t see any of the performers at street level. But you have a pretty spectacular view of the floats as they glide by.

After the parade was over, a bunch of the Dis girls made their way to my gardens for Wishes. It was so nice to get to enjoy this evening with friends!

The other knock on the FP+ viewing area is the notion that cast members make everyone stand up for the whole show. This isn’t true.

I the picture above, you can see that a sizable portion of the crowd bunches itself up at the front of the viewing area, everyone behind them is sitting in the grass. The green light is the CM walking around asking people to stand up for the fireworks. Most of us continued to sit. No one yelled or “made” us get up. Now let’s celebrate a world filled with magic…

By the time Wishes was about to start, the viewing area had filled up a little more, but was still much less crowded than Main Street and the hub.

And for the question so many have asked: Is the new viewing area a good spot for the fireworks?

This answer is an unequivocal “yes!” Franklin would like there to be a few less lamp posts in these shots, but the view is pretty spectacular.

Great shows, great friends and a perfect end to a perfect birthday at Disney. And you know what else was perfect? Hanging out in the Hub grass after the fireworks…

… instead of joining the hordes on Main Street.

Eventually, we made our way out of the park (totally exhausted because we’d been awake since 3:30 a.m.!) and walked back to Bay Lake Tower to get some much-needed sleep.

Stay tuned because we’ve got one of our favorite character meals coming up for breakfast, can you guess which one?


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9 thoughts on “(April 2015 Trip Report) A Magical Garden Evening

    • Thanks Kristina! Flipping through our old trip pictures is always the best cure for the Disney blues 🙂

      • Yep, you did it correctly! Your e-mail is on the subscription list. You’ll get an e-mail each time we publish a blog post. We so glad to have you following along!

  1. Beautiful photos!! Did he use a tripod or monopod for the fireworks photos? I take great fireworks photos on the 4rth, but I always use a tripod for long exposures. I just do not feel like lugging it around Disney. The camera is going to be cumbersome enough as it is! Thanks so much for sharing your experience!!

    • Yes! I usually use a tripod for fireworks. The exposures in this post are from 10 to 30 seconds. This was also my first time using a monopod. It’s much lighter and doesn’t need to spread out wide like a tripod. However, it isn’t very stable. The one I have has a foot at the bottom that locks into place so that the monopod can stand on its own. I had to lean my camera bag against it to prevent it from swaying in the wind. The monopod is great if I need to go light or when it gets crowded. For the most part, I’ll stick to the tripod.

  2. Loving your trip report so far! And definitely wishing I was there! Happy belated b-day! I will be going for my own 21st b-day for drinks around the world in December! Also, the pictures are GORGEOUS! What camera is Franklin using, if you don’t mind me asking? 🙂

    • Thank you so much for joining in! Drinks around the world sounds fun for your 21st! I’m using a Nikon D600. In this post, I used the 24-120mm f/4 lens for the Electrical Parade, the 50mm f/1.4 for the castle projections and the Tokina 11-16mm for fireworks.

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