12 Day Trip Report!

Day 1- We happily started our WD trip on a Sunday in late August. The Magic Express was pretty fast- we landed at MCO at 12 noon and left on the bus around 1. We arrived at the Contemporary around 1:45 and our room was ready before check in time. We got exactly the room we requested in the Garden Wing so I was psyched. We dropped off our carryon luggage quickly in our room and took the super easy Resort Monorail over to the Polynesian for a late lunch at Kona Cafe. We got in despite the fact that we didn’t have have an ADR since it was super late for lunch (close to 2:30pm). We had a slight hitch (read: pricey) with the water we had ordered to be delivered (read my previous post on unexpected receiving fees) but took it in stride cuz, hey, we’re in Disney! We then went back to our hotel room, found our checked luggage waiting for us, and unpacked a bit to settle in before heading over to DS for the evening. DS4 is nuts about dinosaurs so we headed over to T-Rex cafe for dinner. I was still pretty full from my delicious lunch at KC but shared some light appetizers with DH. Like the Unofficial Guide says, T-Rex is NOT for a nice quiet meal but the kids loved it. We browsed a few shops but decided to head back around 9 to get an early start the next day.

Day 2- I had been excited about our upcoming breakfast reservation at KC as I thought to take advantage of a late park opening. We were heading to Blizzard Beach, which doesn’t open till 10am, so I thought, hey, let’s have a nice breakfast at KC! Unfortunately, the resort monorail ran late on the morning of our KC breakfast reservation due to scheduled maintenance work so I had to cancel the night before. I wish Disney officially published the monorail times ahead of time. All I ever found was a very generic schedule time on the My Disney Experience page. When you check into your resort, they give you a much more detailed monorail schedule for the week. If I had known ahead of time about the delayed monorail hours, I would’ve scheduled my theme park days a little differently. sigh So, goodbye macadamia nut pancakes and pulled pork eggs benedict. sniff

We got to Blizzard Beach at just about opening time after a decent breakfast at Contempo Cafe. It took a little longer than I expected as we had to first take the bus to AK and then transfer to BB (no direct bus service from Contemporary to BB). We took the Chair Lift after just a few minutes wait and got to ride Teamboat Springs twice before the lines started getting long. DH then took DS4 to Tike’s Peak while DMIL and myself took DS7 to Ski Patrol Training Camp. Both kids had a blast. I was happy once I got my Frozen Cappuccino with Kahlua. Heh. We then spent about an hour at the Wave Pool before heading back to the hotel. A word of caution about the bottom of the Wave Pool: somehow my little guy got both feet pretty scraped up from just the bottom of that pool. Because of his cuts, we were afraid to take him to water play so we had to reschedule our scheduled water park/pool days a bit.

After a quick shower, we had a late lunch/early dinner at Captain Cook’s at Poly again. We then headed back out, this time to Epcot. We met Baymax and used the Disney Visa Character Meet N Greet to meet Mickey and Goofy, both with a 15 minute wait. We also wanted to meet Joy and Sadness but the line was 45-60 minutes long. We actually checked the Joy and Sadness lines multiple times at different times of day during our trip (basically whenever we were in Epcot) and the line was ALWAYS long at 45 min minimum. We finally bit the bullet on our second to last day and waited the hour.

We had a FP for Frozen Ever After at 6:15pm but the ride was down. Since we were there anyway, we then joined the standby line to meet Anna and Elsa (not a bad wait at all). We walked around “Norway”/Arendelle about an hour to see if FEA would come back on-line but it didn’t by 7 and my kids were pretty tired by then. So, DH took DS4 back to the hotel while DMIL, DD7, and myself took the replacement FP to ride Soarin. Headliner rides being down was unfortunately a recurring theme this trip. Although it was nice that Disney instantly issues you a replacement FP (to either ride your original selection anytime the rest of that day or to use it for any other FP ride at the same park that day), it was frustrating that we usually didn’t get a chance to ride the original FP selection in the end as the ride didn’t come back on-line within the time we were willing to wait for it. Just as luck would have it, most of the times we had this happen to us was for our last scheduled ride of the day when we were already wiped out and didn’t really have the energy to wait around more.

Day 3- We started our third day with breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table, which was a great launch to our first MK day. We had an ADR at 8:05 and finished just as the park opened at 9, which was great since we were primed and ready to start our TP in Fantasyland. We rode Winnie the Pooh, MTP, Barnstormer x2, Dumbo, Under the Sea, FP with Enchanted Tales with Belle, Regal Carrousel, Philharmagic, and PPF with FP all by 11:30! We had a nice lunch at Columbia Harbour House and waited around in the AC comfort while DS4 napped in his stroller. He woke up after a nice 1 1/2 hour nap and we then rode 7DMT with FP and waited about 20 minutes total to meet Stitch. Word of caution here: be vigilant about guarding your spot on-line for Characters! I turned to speak to my kids for a minute and when I turned back, the group in front of me seemed to have doubled in size. After quickly assessing that the second group were not friends/family of the original group, I politely informed the attempting line cutters that we were there first. They tried to argue they were there first but when I politely corrected them again, they slinked off. This taught me to pay a lot of attention to what the people in front of me were wearing when I was on-line. :confused:

After about an hour rest at our hotel, we walked over to MK to catch a bus to AKL for an awesome dinner at Boma for an ADR at 6. We finished around 7, had time to browse the grounds at AKL for over an hour, and then appeared to take a truly magical bus back to MK as were were back by 8:40pm, just in time to find a quick spot in Liberty Square to catch the MSEP.

That’s all for now. Will continue later!


Thank you for the trip report! I appreciate warnings about BB. My DSs will be the same ages next year when we go as yours are now.

Line cutters? That stinks! We were waiting for Tinkerbell for about 30 minutes. In that time, the family in front of us swelled from three to seven. Then, about ten families back,they spotted 4 more people they tried to cajole into cutting the line and joining them…luckily the last four declined the invitation…and luckily we were inside with ac! Thank you for sharing your report! Sounds like a great time so far!!

I’m sorry you had problems with rides being down! It’s such a disappointment.

Great trip report! I remember the bottom of the wave pool being scratchy, not nice :smirk: Line cutters are so rude, glad you stood your ground and they left…yay!

Day 4- To get to a breakfast ADR at Trattoria al Forno (in the Boardwalk area), we walked over to MK to catch a bus to Boardwalk Inn. We had a great breakfast before taking the boat to the International Gateway of Epcot. We arrived at just about 11am, when the World Showcase opened. We browsed around UK, Canada, Mexico, China, and Germany that day. We also met Mary Poppins. DD7 had tons of fun getting her passport stamped at each of the above countries. DS4 had more fun filling the passport with the stickers that were part of the kit. The “activity” at each Kidcot stop was the same though- color the same Duffy Bear sign. That was a little disappointing as I was hoping for some culture specific arts and crafts. Some kids had the CMs at each Kidcot stop decorate and stamp the back of their free Duffy Bear sign instead of the passport (available for sale at most Epcot stores), which was pretty and cost-effective. In late afternoon, we headed back to the Contemporary to have a good counter service meal at CC and dessert at the Wave Lounge.

Day 5- Epcot Futureworld Day! We arrived for morning EMH at 8am. We went immediately to TT and Soarin on standby lines (shorter than 15 minutes wait on both) before using our FP for Soarin for a second ride. We then did the Seas with Nemo and Friends (FP, though we didn’t really need it), some of the Seas’ exhibits, and Turtle Talk with Crush before a good lunch at Sunshine Seasons. Since we were already in the Land Pavillon, we then did Living with the Land and Circle of Life. DH fell asleep in the latter but we all really enjoyed the former, especially the greenhouse portion. We then did Journey into Imagination with Figment (my kids loved it), Ellen’s Energy Adventure (a must for dinosaur lovers but caution, it’s a LONG ride), and then FP with Spaceship Earth. My kids spent a good hour in the interactive exhibits following SE. We then scooted over to France/Japan for a mid-afternoon snack (shaved ice in Japan’s Kabuki Cafe and ice cream at L’Artisan des Glaces) before going back to the hotel to rest for an hour. We then took the monorail over to the Poly again for dinner at KC.


Day 6- Back to MK as we didn’t really visit any other land other than Fantasyland the previous MK day. We arrived at 8am for EMH and met Tinkerbell with a 10 minute wait. After Tinkerbell, we headed to Tomorrowland to ride both TS and BLSRS with 15 min or less waits. We then headed to Frontierland for rope drop at 9am. We got to ride Splash Mountain twice on the standby line with short waits. DD7 was disappointed that we didn’t get to ride in the front of the log flume either time but I THINK it was usually the people with FP who got the front. After SM, we waited about 20 minutes to meet Woody and Jessie (also in Frontierland). We then went over to Adventureland for 2 quick rides on Magic Carpets of Aladdin before going back to CHH in Liberty Square for lunch. (The ice tea lemonade slush is divine on hot summer days!) After lunch, we used our FP to meet Tiana and Rapunzel at PFH. We then went back to Tomorrowland to meet Buzz and watch Monsters Inc Laugh Floor. (In case you’re wondering why we didn’t do these 2 attractions earlier in the day when we were already in Tomorrowland, it’s because Laugh Floor and Buzz aren’t available till after 10am). We then had a treat at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor before doing some shopping at the mega sized Emporium on Main Street. Then back to the hotel for an hour rest before having a walk-in dinner at the Wave at around 5pm. Overall, I enjoyed the food at the Wave but they completely covered the salmon with barbecue sauce so that was all you tasted. Ungh.

Day 7- We got up (semi) early to start waiting for an AK bus at around 7:15am as we wanted to arrive for EMH at 8am. However, 3 HS buses passed before we got an AK bus. That was a common gripe during this trip- there were limited buses to the theme park with the morning EMH but multiple buses to the same non-EMH theme park. It didn’t make much sense to me. I know that there are people needing to get to early AM ADRs at the non-EMH theme parks but I would think there are much more people needing the bus to the EMH theme parks, no?

We finally got an AK bus and arrived around 8am. We were at the back of the masses waiting to get in but were still able to get to KS in good time (by 8:15am or so). The standby line moved pretty briskly, until it was our group’s turn for the next safari truck. At that point, 3 trucks passed with training drivers. We wound up waiting about 15-20 minutes for a truck, which was frustrating since it was eating up the precious EMH hour. On our last trip to DW 2 years ago, we were able to ride KS 3 times before 9:30am hit (what can I say, DS4 LOVES his animals). It didn’t look like that was going to happen this time around. We finally got a truck and the driver/tour guide was great. We were lucky and saw loads of animals (crocodiles, lions, cheetah, giraffes, hippos, ostriches, impalas, elephants, etc.).

After KS, we met Flik (15 minute wait), Dug and Russell (20 minute wait), and then Pocahontas (another 20 minute wait) before heading over to Flights of Wonder for the 10:30am show. We had lunch at Flametree BBQ just as it opened at 11am and had a nice waterfront view and breeze. After lunch, we made an unplanned stop in Dinoland for dinosaur crazy DS4. I had planned for Dinoland later in the day for when we watched Finding Nemo (since it’s in the same vicinity) but once he saw the Dinoland sign when we went to see Pocahontas (her line is right next to the entrance for Dinoland), he kept asking about it all morning so off we went. We rode Triceratop Spin twice and shopped for dinosaur gear. Sadly, Dinosaur was closed for refurbishment but I wasn’t sure if it would’ve been too scary for my kids anyway. Both kids were too short for Primeval Whirl but seemed okay with missing it. We didn’t bother with the Boneyard as it was just too hot from the August heat AND the on and off rain showers that day probably would’ve made it a muddy mess. (No thanks). We then did a FP for Festival of the Lion King at 1pm and FP for Finding Nemo the Musical at 2pm (not exactly fun trekking to exact opposite sides of the park for back to back shows). We then went and hid in a dinosaur store in Dinoland for a while as it POURED for about a half hour. The downpour closed the KRR during our FP time but ta-da, Disney instantly issued me a FP good for the rest of the day. So we went to It’s Tough To Be a Bug while we waited for KRR to come back on-line. Both kids thought ITTBB was hysterical and wasn’t scared by the sensory special effects. Then again, they were sharing a seat so I think some of the special effects (like getting poked in the back) missed them. By then, KRR came back and we used our FP for it. And yes, all of us were in different degrees of soakdom. Me, not wanting to get wet the most, of course got the most soaked. Glad I changed into a swimsuit right before. We then had an early dinner at Rainforest Cafe at the front of AK before trudging wearily back to our hotel.

Day 8- We got up even earlier that day (at the bus stop by 7am!) to catch a bus to HS for EMH at 8am. This time, we learned another hard lesson- ask the bus driver where he’s going if his destination sign only says the hotel we are at. We saw a bus pull up to the drop off point shortly after we arrived and it only listed “Contemporary” as its destination. DH and I shrugged and waited. It then pulled away (never stopping at the pick up spot where people board). As it passed us, the sign switched to HS!!! That almost made me cry. So we got up early to catch the early bus to HS and basically saw it drive right past us. We then waited as 3 separate AK buses (no EMH there that morning!) came before another HS bus finally arrived almost a half hour after the one that passed us by. Out of all the other times we rode the Disney buses for the rest of the trip, the drivers always stopped at the actual boarding point. They would often even verbally check with us about our destination before leaving if we didn’t board. I have no idea what was with that early HS bus driver. Evil incarnate? Having a shitty morning and wanting to pass it on to others? I have no idea but it took a while for DH and I to calm down. I was extra nervous about arriving late to HS as I wanted to sign DD7 up for Jedi Training (which is first come, first served basis) before running to TSMM on standby.

We got to HS a few minutes after 8am. Again, we were at the back of the masses waiting to get in (extra painful as we would’ve been in the front of the pack had we caught that first bus). DD7 and I ran to Jedi Training sign ups while DH and DMIL took DS4 to TSMM on standby. For the record, 4 year olds are allowed to perform in Jedi Training but DH and I figured that the waiting around would’ve been too much for DS4 so we skipped it for him this time around. It took about a half hour for us to sign up because just as we were near the front of line, yet again, technical difficulties. The Ipads the CMs were using to do sign ups went down and it took them a while to set up an old school paper and pencil system. So, by the time we were done with signups, TSMM standby lines were already at 40 minutes. sigh DS4 apparently really enjoyed TSMM but even he only got to do it once before lines got long.

We then headed over to Star Wars Launch Bay and hung out there for an hour to meet Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, some Jawas, and to look over some exhibits. After SWLB, we rode Star Tours twice (both on standby) and then saw Muppet Vision 3D. DD7, DMIL, and myself then headed over to our scheduled Jedi Training time while DS4 and DH used FP for a third Star Tours ride and then hung out in the Star Wars store. We all had lunch at Backlot Express before riding the GMR on standby and met Doc McStuffins. It was then perfectly our time for our TSMM FP. But yet again, ride technical difficulties. 2 of the 3 TSMM tracks were down so they were only taking FP riders. However, even with FP, the wait was going to be an hour long and DH and I were exhausted. I felt bad that DD7 wouldn’t get to ride TSMM yet again (she missed it due to Jedi Training 2 years ago also) but both kids perked up when offered hotel pool time in exchange. (We felt that DS4’s cuts from BB had healed enough by then). So we took in some pool time amidst some weird sun showers/light rain. It was fine if you stayed in the warm water but cold if you were constantly out of the pool like my kids were doing to go up the water slide. We then got dinner for DMIL and both kids from the counter service eatery at our hotel. DH and myself took the monorail over to the Poly (can you tell that we really love it there?) to make dinner out of the delicious small plates offered at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.

Day 9- We mercifully slept in a bit after 4 straight morning EMH days as TL didn’t open till 10 am anyway. At TL, the kids loved Ketchakiddee Creek and the Surf Pool. I was nervous about how scratchy the bottom of the Surf Pool was but DD7 loved the waves so off we went. Again, it was raining on and off, making it super cold whenever you were out of the water. Who knew it could feel cold in August in Orlando??? And then, 1 1/2 hours into TL, a big wave knocked DD7 over while we were in the shallow end and the pool bottom scratched up one knee pretty badly. Off we limped off to First Aid. DD7 was pretty upset about her knee and the off and on rain made us all pretty miserable and cold. Even the mini donuts couldn’t make DD7 happy so after only 2 hours at TL, we left. Wouldn’t you know it, the sun came out as we boarded the bus back to our hotel. Oh well. DH advises all others that if you stay in the deeper end of the Surf Pool, you won’t get scratched up as much as the waves carry you along. However, being in the shallow end is more dangerous as the waves just knock you over to the very scratchy floor. Learn from our painful lesson!

Back at the hotel, we showered and had some snacks. We then headed out to DS. DD7 and DS4 fell asleep on the way there so once we arrived at DS, DMIL and DH held them while they napped in a covered walkway. I snacked on french poutine from the Daily Poutine and pastries fronm Amorette’s Patisserie. Heh. Once they woke, we shopped around and took pictures with the amazing Lego models before dining yet again at T-Rex (more accurately, they dined at T-Rex while I bided my time for more delicious snacks around DS). We walked around some more after T-Rex. I had planned to grab some To Go options from Chef Smith’s Homecoming but sadly, it turns out they stop the To Go option after 5pm and it was already 6pm. Boo! I consoled myself with some gelato from Vivoli il Gelato.

We headed over to the Star Wars Galactic Outpost as I was hoping to get some good souvenirs for a SW-crazy nephew at home. However, the SWGO is TINY. If you want SW paraphernalia, I would recommend Tatooine Traders in HS or even the SW section at Mousegear in Epcot over SWGO.

Day 10- Back to Epcot Word Showcase to finish out the countries we had missed. Although I had one more FP for FEA for that evening, I didn’t trust that the ride wouldn’t break down yet again so I hustled my family over to Norway first thing in the morning to ride FEA as standby. We got there at opening and the wait wasn’t bad- about 20 minutes. After all that trouble/anticipation, I was worried that I wouldn’t even like FEA but it was great! Well worth it. We then walked across to the other side of the showcase to have breakfast in France’s Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie. Just awesomeness. We also got to take some great shots in France as we were practically the only ones there. We met Cinderella’s stepsisters and stepmother just as they arrived. After France, we browsed Morocco and Japan. We had tons of fun shopping at the big department store in Japan. We also got shaved ice (again) in Japan and had a nice late lunch at Spice Road Table by the water. The food was delicious at SRT but the portions were pretty small for what you pay. Both DD7 and I got beautiful henna tattoos at the Morocco Pavillon, too. At that point, DMIL had a craving for funnel cake so that’s what we did in the American Pavillon. I wanted to watch the American Adventure but nobody else in my group wanted to (sigh) so off we went to Italy. By that time, some pretty spectacular storm clouds were gathering so we ran for Futureworld to hopefully wait out some rain while shopping in MouseGear. Unfortunately, it rained steadily by then and it was a drenching downpour. I would’ve preferred to wait out the rain in MouseGear but DH had had it and pushed for us all to just don our rain gear and run to the monorail. Enter complete drenching, despite raingear. Back to the hotel and an exhausted dinner at counter service again. And yes, we didn’t use our remaining FP for FEA that evening at 6:25pm as everybody was too tired to use it.

Day 11- Oh oh. DS4 woke up with a fever. So, we took it easy that morning instead of our initial plan to run to Epcot at 9am opening to get in (a hopefully shorter) line for Joy and Sadness. We waited for the fever medicine to kick in and see how DS4 was doing before deciding what to do. After breakfast at the counter service in Grand Floridian (we were on the hunt for simple pancakes for DS4 to cajole him to eat), DS4 seemed his normal self so we went out to Epcot mid-morning. Given how on the previous days we were always at the theme parks for EMH, I had no idea that the monorails/buses got so crowded 9-11am. We often had to wait for the next monorail before being able to board. Once at Epcot, unsurprisingly, the line for Joy and Sadness was an hour long. As they were the remaining characters my kids were interested in meeting, we bit the bullet and hunkered down for an hour wait with the help of old Iphones loaded with kiddie games to pass the time. We then used FP to ride Test Track (DD7’s choice) and Seas with Nemo (DS4’s choice). We shopped a bit more for last minute gifts and then headed back to the hotel for counter service lunch. Dude, CC has some amazing desserts! Try the chocolate chip cookie whoopie pie!

We rested for a few hours in our hotel room as DS4 understandably tired easily. We also needed that whole afternoon practically to pack all the stuff we had accumulated. (Never underestimate the generosity of grandmothers). We went to an ADR at Grand Floridian’s Grand Floridian Cafe that night as I had thought it would be relaxing to have a nice table service dinner our last night at DW. It was really good food but we definitely felt underdressed given the nice surroundings. It’s a casual service restaurant but you may want to forego the muscle tees and tanktops. Heh.

Day 12 (LAST DAY). =(
We had originally thought to use our last day of theme park tickets at MK as it was close to our hotel and thus pick up for Magic Express to the airport. However, we realized as we packed our carryons for the day that we would have to lug all of our electronics with us as DH and I were uncomfortable leaving electronics with the front desk along with the rest of our carry on luggage. So, MK was scrapped. We went instead to Poly to try our luck for a late walk-in breakfast at KC. SCORE! I got my tonga toast, pulled pork with eggs Benedict, and macadamia nut pancakes! Spread out amongst our entire party, of course. Heh. We also wandered around the Grand Floridian after Poly before heading back to Contemporary to wait for our airport transportation at 3pm for a 6pm flight. Our flight wound up being delayed for several hours but overall, this was a great trip. I can’t wait for my next DW trip!


Thanks for sharing, great read! And I agree about doing Nemo and Lion King shows back to back - we did it and it was a horrible trek, especially in pouring rain!

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