3 generation trip with celiac and shared deluxe dining plan

Was going to insert next day’s trip report (that I already composed, even, in a word document. But everybody in the memory maker share I coordinated is back now so I downloaded all of my photos and am excited to post some of ours from the first half of our trip before I post any of the recap of the latter half of the trip. We didn’t take many but I like the ride photos even if they look like everyone else’s!


Space Mountain–I had no idea where to look.

Artist Point

Meeting Minnie

Meeting Elsa, wearing my hat. Maybe don’t want to use this one for a holiday card…



Lovely pictures!

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Wonderful memory maker pictures!

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Trip Report Day 6. Thursday, August 15, 2019. REALLY REALLY LONG.

Today was our day at Hollywood Studios. Kind, lovely @Shmebulock had gotten our FPs for us because I was on a flight during my 7am/60 day time period, and she had managed to get us SDD FPs! They were for the evening, but that was fine. I was a little nervous we might get rained out of SDD, but decided based on all the reports I’d read here that my family just wasn’t up for the insanity of the SDD Rope Drop dash. I was planning on TSMM until the bus ride there, when I decided to check what a touring plan that did ASS first would look like. The ASS line seemed to build quickly so I decided we should do that first instead. The bus was filling up so I made my 3 year old sit on my lap. Some random woman sat next to me.

While I was optimizing my new plan, the woman next to me asked, hey, are you on Lines? And that’s how I met @mamaluvsdisney.


We arrived at Hollywood Studios at maybe 8:10 or 8:15 for a 9am opening. My mom was still feeling awful after our lunch at Homecomin’ yesterday and had spent much of the night in the bathroom, so she stayed in bed. My wife was feeling weak but didn’t want to miss any more of our trip, so came with us. She thought she might rent an ECV.

We were through security and in the crowds by 8:25.

At 8:25, we are just in front of the intersection with Sunset Boulevard. My dad asks me what time the park opens, grunts, and goes to sit down on the large cement planter. I worry that we will lose him in the crowd. Wife has already peeled off to use the bathroom and maybe get an ECV, but I was slow through security because the stroller line was waaaaayyy to the left.

Wife looked at ECVs as we entered but they were charging $70/day to rent one and wife decided to skip. She told me later she felt so bad that she wasn’t sure she’d make it more than an hour or two, and didn’t want to rent the ECV and get such little use out of it. Made me feel even worse for putting her through rope drop at HS after I realized how ill she still was. Too late!

So we stand in the crowd. I can’t see the front but the back is rapidly filling in behind us. Cast members urge us to crowd in. There is space diagonally to my left, but I can’t easily move the double stroller into it. It gets filled in by people who are not my family. My dad and wife finally join us. Kids are this point are very frustrated with the wait especially because I won’t let them use my phone (my external battery charger stopped working) to kill time.

At 8:49 (I had expected earlier!) the crowd finally starts to shuffle forward. There’s a jam at the doorway/passageway. I go left but that may be a bad decision. I am just trying to keep my family with me. I accidentally clip 2 people’s ankles with my stroller. I feel awful but I can barely see the end of the double stroller and at least 1 of the women had stopped short right in front of me at the entrance to TSL! I really did feel bad, though.

99% of the crowd peels off for SDD and I realize that we should have either just ridden SDD or not bothered to rope drop (coming 15 minutes later and being at the end of the crowd would have been fine). Being in the rope drop crowds only to skip SDD is dumb. Don’t do what we did.

That said, we got to ASS and were maybe 3rd or 4th in line after parking the stroller. It was 8:55am.They hadn’t opened the ride yet and I worried that maybe we should have gone to TSMM instead. But at 9:01 exactly, they let us go into ASS, and we were of course in the first run.

ASS doesn’t get a lot of love around here, but my family loved it. It was DS3’s favorite ride across all of the parks. For him it was a thrill ride, and for the rest of us, it was just a nice, silly ride.

When we got off ASS, Jessie was right at the exit. We waited for about 5 minutes for a few people ahead of us, and met Jessie! We hadn’t brought anything for her to sign because we hadn’t planned on doing characters this AM, but we got pictures and hugs.

Then we went to TSMM. Wait time predicted about 25 minutes and this was accurate. Ride was fun. My dad thought he did well (22k) until he saw the rest of our scores. Even my 3 year old beat him! (with 29k). My dad was a good sport about it, though.

We were ahead of schedule and I had been wanting to check out Woody’s lunchbox—I really wanted the totchos! Sadly I hadn’t realized they would still be serving breakfast. I also couldn’t mobile order because then I couldn’t use my wife’s dining plan credits—this was annoying the ENTIRE trip. Never let someone without his or her own MDE account be the only person who can access dining plan credits.

I stood in line. Whatever. We got the smore’s sandwich with a root beer float with a meal credit and the yogurt parfait with cash. Initially I was told I could get the yogurt parfait as a snack credit even though it wasn’t listed as one, but then (of course) it didn’t work and we had to do 2 separate transactions. I was annoyed since I had told the cashier it wasn’t a snack credit, and the whole process took forever. On the upside, my family managed to find a table. I was hungry but nobody else was. DS3 knocked the yogurt parfait off the table, spilling most of it. Didn’t matter because he said he didn’t like it anyway. DD7 had really wanted the s’more sandwich but then didn’t like the bread (wheat). I ate some but it was very very sweet. I really just wanted the totchos. I would have settled for breakfast ones, but nobody else wanted any so I’d skipped them. The only good part about the woody’s stop was that they had tons of cups of free ice water, and it was really hot out.

My wife was looking green at this point, but said she wanted to stick with us through our FPs so she could help out with DS3.

We headed to the lightening mcqueen dance party, which was seriously underwhelming.

DS3 refused to participate or even to pose by his favorite car! He said he was sick and wanted to go back to the hotel and watch Mickey. I didn’t think he was really sick but couldn’t figure out what was going on. DD7 participated a little. DS3 decided he absolutely had to have another souvenir. I left my wife in charge while my dad, DD7, and I went to use our ToT FPs. We had a FP for my mother as well, but she was still stuck in the hotel. I think I cancelled it but honestly don’t remember.

Those of us who went on it loved ToT, or at least, as my dad put it, “survived it.” My dad is a Twilight Zone fan but we hadn’t really explained the drop. hehe.

After ToT, wife left. It started to rain so we just went and saw the lightening mcqueen show (again, for DS3). It was cute but very very skippable. DS3 barely paid attention and just played with his new car that Wife had bought him outside… Everybody was a little cranky and I tried desperately to figure out what to do next. Our RnR FP wouldn’t start for another 45 min.

We ended up walking back up sunset boulevard and going to the Disney jr show. The kids liked it. My dad took his hearing aids out and liked it better that way. It was fine—I spent most of it in the back on the phone with housekeeping/being on hold with housekeeping (about our lack of it). Finally I spoke to a manager and they threw 3 fastpasses at the 6 of us for our next day at AK (pandora blocked). That was fine and I sat through the rest of the show. DD7 really liked the paper leaves and tried to collect them, but they fell out of the diaper bag later that day in a bathroom and I said we were absolutely not taking trash from a show that had then touched a bathroom floor home with us. So.

They must go through SO many paper leaves. And soap flakes in the frozen show.

DS3 was upset that Mama had gone back to the hotel, but he was surprisingly into the Disney Jr show for a kid that has very little exposure to Disney Jr. I didn’t even know he knew who Vampirina was! He liked her well enough to want to stand in line and meet her afterward the show, but then got shy and wouldn’t actually hug her.

Mid-way through the line for Vampirina, DS3 relaxed his death grip on me and decided his Papa Gene (my dad) could hold him instead. Since his legs “didn’t work” after all… So DD7 and I took the opportunity to run away, and we used our FPs for RnR. These were actually DS3 and Wife’s FPs, since they weren’t doing anything that required FPs and hadn’t wanted to go on/were too short for ToT. So some band switching, but that was fine. My wife and I carried an extra copy of each other’s bands every day, me for the dining plan access, her because I had only been able to get the band she wanted that way. My mom finally enters the park and meets up with my dad and DS3 at Vampirina. They then head to BB-8 at my direction. DS3 has zero star wars knowledge but has somehow decided that BB-8 is his “favorite robot.” They also meet Chewbacca, whom DS3 called “the furry dog.”

DD7 LOVED RnR. I was terrified. Also, it hurt my head! DD7 swore it didn’t hurt her head but I have no idea how it wouldn’t. DD7 wanted to go on again and again, but I was barely willing to ride it with a FP. I told DD7 that me going on rides like this was proof I loved her. I had also taken a pregnancy test that morning and it had been negative, so I felt very “what the hell, let’s do crazy things.”

After RnR, we just made it to Frozen. We were in the very back, so no snow, but I still liked the show. Wife really loves the historians, so I was sorry she was missing it, but nothing I could do. The Frozen show was at 1:30 and our lunch ADR at 50s Prime Time was at 1:55, so I knew we would be a few minutes late but I figured it would be fine. However, when we came out of Frozen, I couldn’t find our stroller! I looked for a few minutes but didn’t have time to look longer. So we just headed to 50s Prime Time, which was terrific. DS3 was a total grump (hungry, tired, maybe a little under the weather) when we went in and so I was letting him watch something on my phone. The waitress made a couple of comments about his walkie talkie but he very seriously told her it wasn’t a walkie talkie, it was a phone. Then he went back to watching and snarled when she tried to comment further. I felt bad but also needed him to have that distraction. He was literally trying to climb the walls of the restaurant before I gave him the phone.

We all loved 50s prime time. My mom still didn’t feel good so she only had the chicken soup, but she liked it. She managed to dump it all over her lap, unfortunately, but the waitress kindly brought her another. My mom also had a root beer float and spilled much of it. The waitress didn’t notice but did offer to refill the root beer later when she noticed my mom only had ice cream left. DD7 ordered something unremarkable but was happy to have her own food and not have to share as she’d been made to do at most of the prior meals.

My dad ordered the mixed platter and I got the meatloaf and a chocolate shake. We ordered the crab cake appetizers. I liked trying my dad’s, but the meatloaf was really terrific and I was glad I had a whole plate of it. I saved the crab cake for later and had it for breakfast the next day—really delicious. DS3 ate at least half of my meatloaf and then his mood dramatically improved. By the end of the meal he was actually smiling at the waitress. The green beans were also very good. I didn’t eat a lot of vegetables on this trip, but I am realizing that the ones I did eat were mostly green beans… We got the desserts to go because we were full. Don’t think I ever ate mine (apple crisp) but my dad liked his cheesecake back in the room.

There wasn’t much here that Wife could have eaten (gluten free and low fat), so I was glad she was back in the room resting. Still, at this point I both missed her and was worried we had way too many dining credits left.

After lunch it was raining. We ponchoed up and found the stroller—it was just in a different zone than where I had remembered parking it. We took the bus back to Pop and we all crashed hard. DS3, again, was asleep in the stroller before we got to the bus. I was grateful for my mom, who carried the stroller onboard. The double citi mini is just not a one-handed carry.

After naps, we snacked a little and headed back to HS. My dad decided to stay at the hotel and rest but gave us his magic band with precious SDD FP on it. Wife was really excited about SDD so roused herself to come as well.

When we got to HS, we had a little time to kill. We tried to go meet Olaf but there were a LOT of people waiting. We abandoned that mission since the kids didn’t seem to care much. DS3 really wanted to meet Buzz since he had a Buzz Lightyear shirt on. We got in that line and it moved very very slowly. I wanted to murder the families that took photos with 10 different configurations of their families. Maybe not murder, but at least ban from WDW. :stuck_out_tongue:

We felt a few drops of rain and Buzz’s handler warned us that if it started raining Buzz would stop signing. We mentally urged the people ahead of us to hurry. The woman ahead of us did so out loud, lol. It made no difference, but she promised us that she and her daughter would be quick, and they were. We were also quick and Buzz got through us and the family after us before the rain. Not sure about after that, as we’d walked away.

I was so so glad DS3 got to meet Buzz. DS3 is just a little nugget. He can be very challenging sometimes, but he is often so so sweet and was very sincere about wanting to show Buzz his shirt.

After that we set up rider swap at SDD and I sent my mom, Wife, and DD7 to ride first while I waited with DS3. We told my mom that SDD was not scarier than BTMRR. Apparently that isn’t true.

I wasn’t on the ride, of course, but Wife reports that my mom held on for dear life and then, at the part of the ride where it stops and beeps, my mom really thought the ride was broken and started freaking out. Then, when it does those gentle little up and downs, she said through gritted teeth, “I am not pleased with this ride.” Hahahaha.

So my Mom didn’t want to use the rider swap on her band anymore after that.

That left us with 6 more available rides: My mom’s RS, DD7’s RS, my RS as the original waiting person, my original FP, DS3’s original FP, and my dad’s original FP. And we had 3 people who wanted to ride. So Wife, DD7, and I rode 2 (more) times, meaning I rode 2x and they each rode 3x. Pretty great. My mom took DS3 to ride ASS, since DS3 loved it and my mom had missed it this morning. They “Went crazy,” as DS3 put it. My mom confirmed this meant they screamed a lot. DS3 loved it and my mom loved riding it with him.

It was now 8:30 with park closing at 9. We decided to get in line for TSMM since we didn’t care about fireworks and my mom had missed the ride earlier. Unfortunately, the line did NOT move quickly. I have no idea what happened, but it took about 50 minutes for the line + ride. The ride had been posted at 25 and TP had said 20. When we got near where we had loaded previously, we were instead directed up a flight of stairs and down another hallway. Finally we rode and everything seemed normal, but it was the longest line all trip and we definitely would not have stood in line that long if we’d known in advance!

We hurried out of the park as fireworks were going off all around us. The star wars show looked cool (although the fire was very hot!) but I just wanted to get out, as we had AK in the AM and hadn’t planned to stay that long at HS.

I was disappointed that we never made it to the muppet show attraction, as my kids love the muppets, but it was over by the time we got back to the park in the evening and just didn’t happen before lunch.

We had FPs for one of the Frozen shows (the latest show) but cancelled them because we had seen the show earlier w/o FPs. Probably would have been better to get FPs for everyone to ToT and for RnR to allow for repeat rides for the people who wanted to ride them, but I wasn’t that quick-thinking. Also I kind of felt bad planning to have some people not use any of/only use one of their planned FPs. But at HS, if you rope drop with a small kid, what on earth does that small kid need a FP for? Ah well.

We also had our last FP scheduled for night, so there were no 4+ FPs happening. With an afternoon break, those seem hard to make happen anyway.

Overall, it was an excellent day. Last year I hadn’t gotten to ride SDD and really wanted to, and ASS and 50s Prime Time were great surprise hits. I can’t imagine we’ll be back at HS anytime soon, but other than Muppets we really did everything we wanted to do and some extras.


We were there at HS! We met @MamaLuvsDisney in the TSM line at RD.


Hard to believe it’s been almost a month since we got back, but based on the amount of detail I’ve forgotten, it has been that long.

Last park day, Friday, August 16.

We went to Animal Kingdom for our last park day. We got in the lines at Pop about 8:20 with a park opening time of 9am. I was angsty with our lateness but my family had learned to ignore me by this point. Plus, we had three extra fastpasses each because of the housekeeping issues, so I tried to chill. Lines were LONG to get through the tapstyles and through bag check. Eventually the whole family made it through, about 9:10 am. We headed to the Safari first and used our first fastpass for this. The lines were already pretty long in standby, I think 35 min posted. For FP we waited under 5 minutes.

Our safari was terrific. We saw SO many animals. We had only been on afternoon and evening safaris before, and so this was a huge change. It really could not have been better. I asked a CM if we could wait a vehicle and be in the front so my father could hear the guide better, and they had no problem with that request. He could hear AND we could all also see out the front window as well as the sides—pretty terrific! A group of rhinos blocked our vehicle for a bit. We were thrilled.

Afterward we hopped on the train to go visit the goats. The best part of this was that I remembered they have strollers available to borrow in that area, since they don’t let you bring your own. DS3 was still convinced his legs didn’t work, so I grabbed a stroller and it was glorious. Unfortunately the goats were not really interested in being petted, and they were all in that little circle in which you can’t reach them. DS3 pet one for a minute. DD7 said, “why did we come here?” My wife was in love with the goats and kept trying to get them to let her pet them.

I herded us out of there as quickly as I could manage. The goats were a big hit for my crew last year, but not at all this year. My dad was still struggling with his toe (he has Type 1 diabetes and had hurt his toe at the beginning of the week on the Little Mermaid ride), so I was sorry I’d made him do the extra walking. My dad and DS3 liked the train ride, at least, but the whole process took a very long time. My mom is scared of birds and there was a large bird demonstration near the goats, so she was afraid to use the bathroom there.

My dad was interested in seeing more animals and said he was okay walking, so he, DS3, and I headed off on the gorilla trail. There were tons and tons of people, so maneuvering the stroller was tricky, but we saw the baby gorilla! My dad has always loved zoos, and I have many memories of him taking us to zoos as a kid, so this was nice.

My wife, my mom, and DD7 had gone to Starbucks. They were happy with that choice.

We met up and headed to Kali River Rapids. We had only gotten 3 FPs for this, as I didn’t think DS3 was tall enough. But he wanted to go, and it turned out that he was JUST tall enough (oops…guess he would have been tall enough for all those 38” rides at every other park. I can’t imagine he would have liked them, as he expressed zero interest in riding any roller coasters, but I did feel badly that I never even tried. Also, ugh, it would have been so much easier if we had all just ridden 7DMT together instead of struggling to deal with rider switch at rope drop…).

They have a special wristband for kids between 38” and 44” that lets the CM at the loading area know those kids need to be in a special seat with a lap bar.

We all loved Kali River Rapids. Most of us wore ponchos, but my dad did not and got soaked. He was a good sport about it, though. We got off KRR and were ahead of schedule because I had planned for rider swap. We did a long bathroom stop and my dad spent some time on the phone trying to deal with setting up doctor’s appointments for the next week. He has a lot of different health issues… The real world was encroaching on our escape. : (

But we headed to Yak & Yeti for lunch and that was very nice. I had bought a Landry’s membership specifically for this lunch and we waited only a few minutes. We had a lot of credits to use so I wasn’t worried about how we ordered. Each kid picked a kid’s meal, even though I knew they wouldn’t finish it. DS7 ordered fried rice (and loved it); DD3 got lo mein noodles. They were both thrilled even as a part of me cringed at spending a deluxe dining credit that way. Their meals came with go-gurts and grapes, which they devoured. My wife ordered the chicken tikka masala. She liked it but I tasted it and was not a fan. I had expected more of a creamy sauce and it was a straight vegetable curry. Looking at the menu now, I see it says masala curry, so I was just wrong.

My parents shared an order of the teriyaki chicken. They were very happy with it and finished it completely.

Of course the deluxe dining plan also comes with appetizers, so we had 4 appetizer credits to use. I used 2 to order myself the ahi tuna nachos (I had wanted these since I first heard about them over a year ago!). We also ordered the pot stickers and the wok-fried green beans.

I ended up not liking the ahi tuna nachos as well as I had expected. They were okay, but a little spicy for me and just so much food. I ate all the tuna out of it and ignored everything else. However, I LOVED the battered green beans. They come with a sweet Thai chili dipping sauce and are really the best thing I ate all week. Maybe the steak at Skipper Canteen was better, but it would be a close call. Unfortunately we couldn’t finish them even with me completely ignoring the nachos in front of me in favor of the green beans.

I assume we had dessert because it comes with the deluxe dining plan but I don’t remember it at all. Maybe we skipped it? Huh.

We headed over to Pandora after this. We had 4 FPs for FOP and 2 for Navi River. We got Rider Swap set up for the adult who wasn’t going to be able to ride FOP the first time, but then wife decided not to ride. So we had 7 FPs for FOP and only 4 riders. My parents loved FOP but neither of them had a ton of interest in riding it again. Also my dad had trouble with the stairs leaving the ride. I told them we couldn’t waste the RS and my dad rode again. This time I asked for the ground floor, which was fine, but then there was some sort of technical difficulty so we spent a very very long time in the pre-ride room being “matched” with our banshees. I was wondering if it was just extra long to compensate for people in other rooms needing to climb stairs first, but it seemed far too long to compensate for that. Like, everyone in the room was annoyed, long.

After FOP for the 2ndtime, DD7 decided to spend all of her savings in the Pandora gift shop. Nine million years later, she picked out some pretty polished rocks/crystals. She has a large rock collection that she likes to pull out and sort frequently, so I was pleased that this wasn’t some piece of plastic she would soon forget. The rocks were $4.99 each I believe, and she bought 3.

Finally we left Pandora and headed toward Everest. My wife and DS3 had ridden Navi, hated it, and gone to see the Nemo show. They had just missed one showing, so waited a very long time.
Unfortunately DS3, who had refused to try the bathroom earlier, decided just after Nemo began that he had to pee. They made it through the show, but my wife said it was challenging. However, they loved the show and I kind of regretted riding FOP 2x rather than getting to see it. I like FOP, but I would have been fine with just 1x, too. Only DD7 truly loves it.

Anyway, my Dad was really struggling as we walked to Everest. He kept sitting down to rest. Finally DD7 and I went ahead, since we were the only ones planning to ride EE.

We rode it via FP. It was quite fun. I liked the line and how well-themed it was. We had extra FPs still so I considered riding twice, but I was a little dizzy. So we walked ahead and met up with the rest of the family outside of the Nemo show. There was a photographer nearby so DD7 and I got some photopass photos taken.

We all rode triceratop spin next. This was fun but DS3 was getting tired and a little cranky. Also it was drizzling on and off. I liked the ride but had contemplated doing it first to ensure we weren’t rained out of it with FL’s typical afternoon thunderstorms. It would have required a lot of extra walking so I didn’t and after riding it, I was very glad I hadn’t prioritized it! Not worth it at all.

After the ride I used a snack credit to get popcorn for DS3. He had been asking the whole trip but I didn’t want one of the buckets and didn’t realize a snack credit would work for the smaller containers. He was very pleased with the popcorn and cheered up immensely.

My mom, wife, and DD7 had gone off to ride Dinosaur, but DD3 wanted me to stay with him. We could have done rider swap but it didn’t seem worth it. We were all getting tired. I noticed that the Dino-Riffic Dance Party was starting and DS3 was excited to join in.

(note DD7 in the back row middle, hiding! I don’t understand why she wants to go on scary rides but then hide so much! shrug).

DS3, my dad, and I then checked out the Boneyard while we waited for the Dinosaur crew to finish up. I had heard there were places to sit here, but most of the sitting places seemed to be designed for children’s climbing. So I didn’t want to take those. There were a lot of parents doing so, though. They need more adult benches in that thing! DS3 wanted me to come with him on everything, though, so I didn’t get to sit down anyway, but my dad would have liked to sit.

We went to the Lion King show next via FP. It was really good but we were all feeling tired. I tried to sit near the front but we got directed to the very back. People who came in late without FP got to sit in the front—felt a little unfair! I loved the show even though the people ahead of me were tall with big hair. I did ask one to remove her mouse ears, which helped a little. #shortpeopleproblems.

We had dinner reservations at Tusker House, but they were 45 minutes later. I tried to see if we could get in earlier, but no go. So then we decided to use our last multi-ride fastpasses for the safari. Unfortunately the safari line was NOT moving. We ended up abandoning our FP and our spot in line to go back to Tusker House, where we then proceeded to wait another 15-20 minutes to get a table. This was not going so well. The safari manager said if we came back after dinner we could use the FP line and he would just remember us, but we never made it back. Oh well.

Tusker House last year had been terrific, but this year it did not go as well for us. We started off poorly—we were in a very noisy area, versus the quieter side room we were in last year. DD7 said there was nothing she wanted to eat. She had gotten a whole plate of olives and then discovered they were not the type of olives she likes As a non-olive eater, I have no idea how olives taste different from one another. They all taste like salt licks to me. DD7 felt awful wasting food, but also she was sad because there was nothing else she wanted to eat. Finally I think she ate some cornbread and grapes. Not sure what else.

Drinks took a very long time to be delivered. Somebody knocked over a water glass. We were at the end of the vacation, all a little sad to have it over, but also very very tired and had maybe spent a little too much time together over the past week. Kids were not as into the characters as I’d expected. Some of them (mickey) they had seen already, but also, they were just TIRED.

That said, I liked the food. We all found something to eat eventually. We all got into the characters eventually. It really wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the magic time we’d had the year before. Ah well. You neve know what will be a hit. Kids had been disappointed Yak & Yeti had no characters, but then loved the food! You can’t win 'em all.

My parents decided to head back to the hotel right after dinner. DD7 and I raced around the park and made it to Rivers of Light. Wife and DS3 were going to do a little souvenir browsing before heading back to the hotel.

DD7 and I loved Rivers of Light! Unfortunately, the show ended early due to technical difficulties, but I think we saw everything except the finale. Sure, it wasn’t as exciting as FEA, but we liked the music, the projections, the moving floats, and being able to sit down and see over the heads of the people in front of us. I would go again for sure.

On the way out of the park we saw the tree of life awakenings. I really liked this but DD7 wanted to leave. DS3 and my wife hadn’t left yet so we all took the bus together. Wife had been trying to get my opinion on a rainbow mickey towel but I had missed the text. Too bad…

We went to Pop’s gift shop to use up a few snack credits and see if they had the rainbow towel. No rainbow towel. LIt took forever and a day to pick snacks. DD7 also picked a souvenir since her brother had gotten several throughout the trip and she hadn’t…had as many? I don’t know anymore. But she picked out a small Minnie Mouse fashion playset that got a lot of use on the plane and in the first week or so we were home, but that I haven’t seen since. Oh well.

I sent wife and kids to pack/bed, and I hung out in the food court trying to figure out how to spend the last dining credit. I knew it would get wasted but some food was better than nothing. So I got a meatball sub for the plane along with 2 sides of mac and cheese for the kids. The meatball sub was delicious and so was the mac and cheese, so this was not so bad. I bought myself some wine but it was terrible and I poured half of it down the drain. Oh well. Not as if I really needed wine to go to sleep with how exhausted I was.

Magical Express to the airport was uneventful except that there weren’t enough seats! We got to the bus on time but apparently everyone else had gotten there early, and we were not the first stop. An under-3 child was taking up a seat and the parent refused to hold the child despite my request and explanation that my over-3 kids didn’t have a seat. This meant that my kids ended up sharing a seat. Also, they weren’t next to any adult in our party. I was not at all pleased about this but they survived.

Overall, it was a wonderful trip and I think the right length. Another rest day and a second MK day would have been nice, but we were tired of eating and tired of schedules. We saved a ton of money with the deluxe dining plan for 1 room of 1 adult, 2 kids, but it was still so so much food and so many ADRs. I feel no urge to go back to WDW in the very near future. DD7 has asked that our next trip (in 3 years or so probably) be to Universal for Harry Potter world, and I said maybe in a few years when DS3 can also appreciate it. I find it hard to imagine we will never go back to WDW as a smaller family unit, so I might be eating my words in a year or so. It won’t be this group, though-- I can’t imagine my parents ever having the stamina again for a similar trip. I’m really glad we went this time, though, and have photos and memories. Now that I’ve finally finished my trip report, I need to get some photos printed! I have a few more photos I might post later, but otherwise this is it. Thanks to all of you for your advice and answers to my questions, @Shmebulock for her incredible work getting us Fps when I was 10k feet above the ground, and to those of you who have liked and commented on this post. I hope it’s been interesting and even helpful to some of you.


Sounds like a great last day! Thanks for sharing.

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Great trip report!

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Thank you so much for all the details!

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What a great trip @zstrass! Glad you were happy with your FPPs. Sorry I couldn’t get SDD at the time you wanted, but glad it all worked out. Your photos are lovely (are they taken on a phone or a camera?). Really enjoyed reading your report. Thanks for sharing.

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@Shmebulock, the non-photopass photos are all from phones. I have an iPhone 8 which takes decent pictures, but my wife has a pixel 3 that takes AMAZING photos. I’m massively jealous of it and she paid far less for hers than I did for mine (she lost an old phone in a canoe accident, and was super patient, going back to a pretty old phone for 18 months before she found a pixel 3 on clearance because of the color…luck, but also patience I don’t have!). Anyway, highly recommended.

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Thanks for sharing all the details! I’m also planning a 3 generation trip with celiac, and some of my kids are close to yours in age, so I’ve been hanging on every word.

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I am so impressed with your parents’ stamina. I loved your trip report and happy you got to spend the time with your family. My parents REFUSE to go to Disney b/c they went during July once with no idea what they were doing and they hated it. But I wish I could share the magic with them one time. Thanks again for sharing. :heart:

You first posted your trip report when we’d started ours and I had little forum time, but I’m glad I read it now! That last day sounded especially good. I hope your dad’s foot healed quickly and that everyone has excellent memories of the trip. The photos were great!