A First-Timer's Trip Report

WDW trip report for 3/7-3/13. First time posting here—I’ve posted only on the Lines app, but too hard to do a trip report with the character limits there, and I read these boards regularly in planning our trip. I found others’ trip reports to be very helpful for my planning, so I hope this helps some of you. This was our first trip to WDW (DH and I had each been as kids, but at least 35 years ago). We were originally planning to go April 2020, but that was obviously cancelled. Family of 5; kids ages 6 (boy), 8 (girl), 10 (boy). We had G+ for whole trip; no park hoppers. Did AK (day1), MK (day2), EP (day3), HS (day4), and MK(day5). RD’ed everyday to take advantage of EE. Stayed at the Riviera. Despite the stress of trying to figure out G+, we had a fantastic trip. While G+ was stressful, we combined it with rope drop and a good touring plan, and did everything we wanted with minimal waits. In fact, think we did every ride currently running in WDW other than Peoplemover and only skipped that because I couldn’t convince my family to ride.

**Day 0 (3/7): Arrival day. Checked in. Went to the pool. DD and I went to Publix to stock up on food for the week. Ordered Primo Piatto to eat in room for dinner (didn’t want to cook our first night).

**Day 1 (3/8): AK. Drove from Riviera and arrived a little before 6:30am for a 7am EE opening. About 15 people back waiting for taps to open. Tapped in just before 7; as we walked to Pandora, grabbed a 5pm ILL for FoP and an 8:25am LL for KS (two devices on same MDE acct). RD’d FoP and NRJ. LOVED THESE! FoP ended up being my favorite ride in all of WDW, so really glad we got to do it twice. Headed to KS for our 8:25am LL. Tapped in and grabbed LL for FoLK (9:30LL for 10am show). Had a great Safari. Baby rinos were SO cute! Lots of animals out at this time. After KS, did Gorilla Falls, grabbed some coffee and then headed to FoLK. After tapped in for LK, grabbed a 4:20pm LL for NRJ. After the show, walked back to Pandora to explore the gift shop while we waited for our mobile order at Satulli Cantina (very good; I had the shrimp bowl and DH had the beef bowl). At 11:50 (2hrs after getting the NVR LL), I got a Kali River LL for 1:30. After lunch, took the train to Rafiki’s. Did the animation class and affection station (nothing happening at Conservation station). After Rafiki’s, caught some street performances in Africa on our way to Creature Comforts for some much needed coffee, and saw some of Kite Tales on our way to Kali for our 1:30LL. After we tapped in, grabbed a Dino LL for 5pm. Kids absolutely loved KR. I had a poncho, but didn’t the heed the advice about shoes—if you don’t want to spend the rest of the day with soggy feet, definitely bring some flip-flops! Walked through Maharaja. Went to Dino Bite for ice cream for kids and beer for the adults. Kids explored the Boneyard, while DH and I finished our beer. Was surprised how much time they wanted to spend at BY. Triceratops was closed and the Dino line was really long (think it had gone down for a bit), so we watched the full Kite Tales; I liked it, but wouldn’t schedule around it (just watch if you’re walking by). Couldn’t convince anyone to do the bird show, so did Tough tba Bug; DD8 hated it, but the rest of us liked it. Back to Pandora for our NRJ 4:20LL then our FoP 5pmLL. Back to Dinoland for our Dino LL. TriSpin was finally open after being closed all day, so rode that with no wait, then back to the hotel to freshen up before a 7:30 reservation at Sanaa. Really like Sanaa - definitely lived up to the hype. Awesome first day!

**Day 2 (3/9): MK. At 7am, grabbed ILL for 7D for 4:05 and LL for Splash for 10:40am. On the first bus a little before 7:15. Taps opened approx. 7:45. Tapped in and followed mob to Fantasyland and held near Cheshire Cat; we were about 10-15 ft back from front. Went straight to 7D. On ride by 8:40. Next to HM (walk-on), then BTMR (short wait; in line by 9:30-ish; off before 10). Did Aladdin, Swiss Family TH, then headed to Splash for 10:40LL. Tapped in 5 minutes early and grabbed PPF LL for 3:50. Grabbed Dole Whip from Aloha Isle and found a space near Country Bears to watch the FoF Parade. Kids LOVED the parade! Then back to hotel for lunch, pool, rest/nap, and LL stacking. At 12:36, got SpaceM LL for 5:15; at 2:37, got Buzz LL for 4:55. Headed back to the park around 3:45. Rode PPF (LL), 7D (ILL), Buzz (LL), and Space (LL). At 4:43, grabbed IASW LL for 7:05. BoG for a 5:25 dinner reservation. We saw the Beast! And the enchanted rose! At 6:43, got Tomorrowland Speedway LL for 7:40. Walked over to Under the Sea, but the line was surprisingly long, so went to our IASW (LL). Then watched the fireworks from behind the castle near 7D. DH and DS10 went home. I stayed with DD8 and DS6. We did Tea Party and Dumbo. Got LL for Barnstormer so we could walk on; got LL for Under the Sea so we could walk on. Then back to the hotel. Although there were extended hours for Delux resorts this night, we just couldn’t stay up that late to take advantage of them, but it was a great day!

**Day 3 (3/10): EP. At 7am, got 9am LL for TT. Took SL; already running when we got there; on the SL by 7:15. Close to front waiting for taps to open. RD’d Remy with no wait (we were all surprised how much we liked it!), then to FEA (very short wait and again surprised how much we liked it). Leisurely walk to TT, getting coffee and donut on the way. Tapped in for TT at 8:55, got Soarin LL for noon. Kids really liked the interactive areas after TT; spent some time there designing cars, etc. Next we did MS twice, both walk-on. DD8 and DH did Green the first time, because DD8 was nervous. DH and I then switched, but while I was in line for green with DD, she insisted that we do orange instead, and she loved it (orange x2 was a little much for me, so I was ready for some more calm rides after that). Then we did Nemo (basically no wait), Crush, and SeaBase. At 10:55, got SpshpEarth LL and rode immediately to skip the line. Got a Land LL and rode right away—I was the only one who liked Land; it was everyone else’s least favorite of all rides in all parks. Then Soarin with our noon LL. Grabbed lunch; kids had nuggets from Refreshment Port; DH and I grabbed food from the CitrusBlossom pop-up (really liked the pork belly and tuna tataki; wine slushy was fantastic!). After lunch, it was starting to rain, so DH, DS10, and DS6 went back to hotel. DD8 and I grabbed a Figment LL and immediately used it, which allowed us to avoid the worst of the rain and no wait. Then a leisurely walk through WS starting with Mexico for 3C and the market. We both liked Reflections of China. I got a Tangerine Cream Ale at the Outpost (not usually big beer fan, but this was delicious). DD got a pretzel in Germany. We both loved the dept store in Japan and ended up spending a long time there. We caught some juggling in Italy and Matzuriza in Japan. Took the SL back to hotel by 5 for a relaxing night in our room.

**Day 4 (3/11): HS. Most stressful day to plan for! We debated whether to take the SL from Riviera or walk to CBR to take it from there. Ended up grabbing it at Riviera and there was no wait when we transferred at CBR. We were on the SL by 6:45. At 7am, while we were still on the SL, got a ROTR ILL for 2:35 and a SDD LL for 10:15am. Once we arrived, we were near the front of pack. They opened the taps before EE and we headed to ToT to wait there. RD’ed ToT then RNRC (DD8 decided at the last minute to skip RNRC because it looked too intense, and I think that ended up being the right decision for her; but the rest of us loved it!). Next to MFSR. I was worried LLs for it would be gone by the time I was next eligible for a LL and was hoping that the wait would still be pretty short by the time we got over there. It ended up being our longest wait of day bc DH had to stop for Starbucks, but it was still only a 45min wait and the queue was great. Explored GE, loved the Ronto breakfast wrap, saw Kylo Ren, Chewie and Ray, and then to SDD for our 10:15 LL. SDD was a hands down favorite for the kids; I thought it was just OK. At 10:19, got MMRR LL for 4:20. Walked by IJ 15 min before show but SRO, so went to Muppets. Lunch at ABC Commissary. Then ST with a short wait (we all really liked this; why is the line always so short?!?). At 12:19, grabbed TSM LL for 5:45. Then we grabbed ice cream and got to IJ 30 min before start time and seated in about the 6th row. Explored shops in GE before going to ROTR for 2:35 ILL. Saw drops of ToT at 2:32, but boys really wanted RnRC and in the time I hesitated, ToT was gone. ROTR broke down while we were on it (as we were approaching At-At’s). Got an anytime ILL. DH and DD went to B&B live on stage (DD8 loved this, but not as much at FoLK). Boys had no interest in B&B, so we did ST again (love the fact that it is different each time! This version ended up being my favorite of the 3 times I rode it that day). Then we all met up to ride MMRR with our 4:20 LL—thought this was really cute, but not our fav (we’re big SW fans), so wouldn’t have done it if we hadn’t been able to avoid the line with G+. Then to Oga’s for a 5pm reservation; kids not happy about standing table (their legs were so tired!), but everyone loved their drinks and the atmosphere. Then we did TSM (LL), and back to ROTR for our second time (with anytime ILL) and no break down! It was also fun to do it at night the second time. ROTR was a great ride, but I was shocked to find that it was not my favorite (or even close) (oddly, it ended up being one of DD8’s favorites even though she is not a SW fan); but I’m really glad we did it (and with no wait) so I think paying for ILL was worth it for our 1st trip. Dinner at Docking Bay 7 (Ronto wrap not nearly as good as the breakfast version; Bantuaan beef was delicious). Then we did ST(again!) with hardly a wait. DH and the boys then headed over to RNRC, but ended up bailing rather than waiting on a line that was at least 60min. DD and I did ASS; tried to convince her to do SDD again, but she was tired (and a little scared of doing it in the dark). We ended up watching the fireworks from the SL on our way back to hotel, which was a lovely way to end the night.

**Day 5 (3/12): MK. At 7am, got JC LL for 9:10 and 7D ILL for 10:55. RD’ed Tomorrowland this time. Boys all went to SM; DD and I did Buzz and Astro. Then we all met up and headed to Frontierland; the BTMR line was already long, so we decided to skip that and use our JC LL, getting a BTMR LL for 12:15 after tapping in. Then to PoC (even better than I remembered from childhood!). We got to PoC right before the rush of people trying to escape the rain, so it was a manageable wait. We came out of PoC during a lull in the rain, but then the skies turned dark and we rushed into the Christmas store to escape the weather, which ended up being a fun way to pass the time. Our 7D ILL turned into an anytime. At 11:10, I grabbed a WTP LL for 12:35. Once the rain slowed down, we grabbed a Cheshire Cat Tail, then Tea Party and the Carousel. Then 7D with our anytime ILL. Stopped by the shooting arcade and ate packed lunches before our BTMR LL at 12:15. Then WTP LL. Then we went to HM (we had passed by earlier and the lines were really long, but it was a much shorter wait this time; with the weather clearing up, I think most people were instead hitting the outdoor rides that had been closed). At 1:10, I was eligible for another LL. Splash was still down, but I grabbed a 1:35 LL anyway, thinking that if it started operating again, we wanted to do it, but that it probably would be down for a while and we’d get an any ride pass—and that’s what happened, so we used it to ride BTMR again and skip the line again. Grabbed Buzz LL for 2:35 after we tapped in for BTMR. DD8, who was the most timid about roller coasters had her hands up for the whole ride–I think she was finally starting to like the faster rides! Then we grabbed coffee at Starbucks. Then CoP (DD and I really liked it; DH appreciated sitting down; DS’s didn’t hate it). I couldn’t convince anyone to do the PeopleMover, so we headed to Buzz (LL). Got on line for Space (which after her success at BTMR, DD8 was up for trying again), but we got there at exactly the wrong time; line was really long and we ended up deciding to bail. Got a LL for Barnstormer for 4:15. Grabbed funnel cake from Sleepy Hollow. Watched the Magical Friendship Faire, then barnstormer (LL). Hit some shops for final souvenirs, then back to the hotel. Freshened up and relaxed before a 7:30 reservation at Topolino’s. The Bouillabaisse was wonderful. DH had the filet; very good, but I think the kid’s filet that DS6 ordered might have been better than DH’s. Saw the fireworks from the roof. Perfect last night at WDW.

**Day 6 (3/13): Departure Day. We had breakfast at Topolino’s before heading out. Kids loved seeing the characters. Assorted pastries were delicious - we asked them to refill the breads and then ended up taking most of those to go, which were wonderful snacks for the car ride home. It was more food than we could possibly eat, but all very good. Then it was time for the long drive home.

**Thank you Liners for all the tips and advice! I can’t wait to plan our next trip!!


Wow you guys got so much done! Glad you had a great trip and that you had success with Genie+. Which room did you have at the resort? What were the pros and cons of staying there?

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We were in 8571. Used the TP room request and were happy to get a high-ish floor. Our room was all the way at the opposite side of the hotel from the Skyliner (had hoped to be a little closer to that and also facing a little more directly toward EP, but there was a way to be more specific on the TP room request). But we ended up really liking it; we were very close to the bus stop and, despite not facing EP directly, had great views of the Epcot fireworks each night. We really liked the Riviera. The Skyliner was super convenient for HS and EP. The busses were never crowded and no stops on the way. Topolino’s was a great restaurant; Primo Piatto was great QS (but we only got food for the whole family from there once; think DH got another meal there one other night). We had a 1BR standard view, which face away from the pool, but if you are on a higher floor, you have views of the fireworks as noted above. Having a full kitchen was great for making lunch and dinner to save some money on meals and for having the space to store and then pack lots of snacks, etc. for the parks. DD8, DD6, and I were all big fans of the large jetted bathtub - a good soak after a long day on our feet was great. Didn’t end up using the pool as much as we had planned due to the weather, but it was nice. DD10 had hoped for a faster water slide at the pool, but the younger two loved it. And there was plenty of space for a family of 5. The LR had full sized and twin sized Murphy beds for the kids and DH and I had our own separate room. Everything was very new and nice (especially the bathroom). I would highly recommend it. I think we may look for something less expensive next time, but we wanted to splurge for our first WDW trip.


Thanks for your report detailing all that you did and how you rocked G+! What an awesome first trip!

Thanks for a great report! Your trip is giving me a lot of hope that G+ really can be a worthwhile investment if you understand it and use it strategically. We are headed there in early May for what is essentially our first trip (we were there in 2007, but it seems like an entirely different world back then. . . ) and seeing the reports of huge crowds and how frustrating Genie + has been for many people had me worried. But it seems like you had a great plan and really made it work for you. Thanks!!

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Wow, I’m a little tired just reading your report! You guys managed to do a LOT with G+ and some smart touring! Glad you had such a great time.

Thanks for the review of the Riviera! We loved being on the skyliner and but liked the extra amenities of a deluxe and were thinking Riviera might be a good choice next time.

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Thanks, sounds like you all had a great time.

Impressive trip! Hope you all had a blast!

What a wonderful trip full of great experiences! Thanks for sharing all the LL and ride details and the great info on Riviera. We rarely stay deluxe, but all this great feedback is making it work its way up my list. :blush:

Sounds like you had a great trip. Thanks for sharing!

Sounds like it was a great trip! Thanks for posting so much detail about your Genie+ experience. It made me hope that I won’t be on my phone all day when we go in May.

Thank you for sharing! Sounds like all the time you spent on chat and reading through the forum paid off. Watch out though, now that you’ve had a great first trip, Touring Plans will turn you into a WDW addict! :slight_smile:

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Yes - I think I’m hooked. Can’t wait to plan our next trip!!!

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It sounds like you and your family had an amazing time. I love reading a good trip report, it makes me even more excited for our upcoming trip. Thank you for sharing!

Thank you for sharing! Sounds like an amazing trip!

Did you use the 6:59:59 hack to get the early return times for SDD and JC? Those were clutch getting them so early.

We did have another phone open to time.gov, and refreshed MDE at exactly 6:59:59. Assume that’s the hack you’re referring to.

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Sounds like a great trip! Thanks for sharing so many G+ specifics. That was really helpful for me!