1/2/23 now we finally will be getting to the parks after being oh so close for a week. My parents will be joining us for only the first park day and staying one night at ASMovies. They have a pretty sweet deal where they get to do the snowbird thing by staying with my Aunt in Fort Lauderdale for January and February. So since Orlando is on the way it only made sense for them to hang out at WDW with us for a few days.
In the weeks leading up to the trip I did all the necessary research into G+ and figured out BG1 and all that. I still had more than one weird anxiety dream over G+ so yet another reason I miss FPP or how our previous trip was when there was none of that to worry about! We had to get up early to finish packing and cleaning up the house and ensure we get to the EP tollbooth right at opening.
Luckily my parents understood from hearing about our previous trips that for us going to the parks isn’t a “relaxing” vacation, as Liners we want to be efficient and get things done. And of course we hate waiting in lines so doing things that may seem unnecessary like arriving to a theme park over an hour before it opens would be done. They just said tell us what to do and we’ll follow.
So around 5 am I’m awake and quietly swallowing my rage at paying $29 a person for G+ (soon enough even more for ILL) I ride with my dad in his car as we make the 20 min drive to EP and are there just before 730 so we have to loop around. I get a LL for Remys just after 700 and the return time is already 1045. I use BG1 and get boarding group 95 for Guardians so I was several seconds to slow apparently. All the reaserch means nothing until you actually do it and I’d get better the following days.
I also had anxiety that we would have a smooth entry into the parking lot and then in for EE as we’re checking into ASmovies later that day. I fear those MDE related technical snafus so much but luckily it all went smoothly. We all get in with minimal issues at the security and taps then hustle to the rope for Frozen, which we all decided was a good first ride as it has no height requirements and would kick off the day in a good Disney way.
We wait at the rope from about 800 to 825 while more and more people arrive behind us. My parents see this and begin to understand our need to be everywhere early lol. The rope drop rush is fast and somewhat chaotic as usual but we all manage to stay together pretty well, get the stroller parked and into the queue quickly. We move almost all the way to boarding the boats before stopping so not bad. We all enjoy the ride with my parents particularly impressed by the aninmatronics and it helped that they’d watched the movie with their grandchildren.
Now it’s about 850 and we need to hustle to get to Soarin before EE ends. We make it into the land pavilion and set up rider swap DD and my parents go with me while DW waits. Here is where we encounter our only unpleasantness of the day. We walk briskly down the long hallway queue and soon reach the next group in front and fall in line. I start hearing this loud guy behind us complaining about slow people and those blocking paths and such. I kind of assume he’s just discussing his rope drop walk over or more generally people walking in big groups slowly around the parks especially when they suddenly just stop in front of you. I soon realize he complaining about us and is mad he can’t get around us in the line for Soarin! I sense him right behind me even trying to get around and I more or less block him from doing it. He’d gotten around my parents already and wasn’t satisfied even though in front if me was another family with kids so nowhere to go. It’s like the A-hole in traffic who speeds up, cuts you off then has to slam on the brakes at the red light. What the hell is the point?!
So we get to where the CM asks the number in each group and I say 4 but this guy and his girlfriend or whatever are between me, DD and my parents. He makes some mean comment to my dad (who’s in his 60s with his wife) about walking slowly and blocking the way. My dad says something back along the lines of “hey buddy you need to relax there’s no need for this”. I pipe up and say “yeah you were trying to cut the line, chill out” I don’t remember what he says but we both decide not to respond as this seems like the type of nut who would start a fight at Disney World at 9 in the morning. Thankfully he’s not seated in our row on Soarin but the whole thing just put a bad feeling over what had been a great day so far.
Luckily Soarin absolutely blew my parents minds! They loved it so much from the pre-show (hey isn’t that Puddy?) To my mom being freaked out when you lift off and all the scenes after. They were amazed how scents and wind are pumped in, just loved it. The rest of the day my dad said it was one of the most amazing things of his entire life which is saying allot because he’s seen and done ALLOT lol!
Next we go sit in Sunshine Seasons while DW and DD ride and give DS a snack. We go to LwtL which is a walk on still at 1000. DS is a little freaked out at the beginning in the dark part and starts yelling “out out”! I pull some emergency mini cookies out of my dad cargo pocket which soothes him. My mom loves Lwtl especially the greenhouses as she’s into gardening and nature.
By now everything has long lines and I can’t make a LL yet so we go to The Seas to checkout the giant aquarium. DD is very excited anytime a shark comes into view and DS is just overwhelmed by how big it is. My mom is very excited to go see Manatees my dad is also just overwhelmed at the crowds of unmasked people indoors (they’re pretty much the only ones wearing masks).
Our plan is to make LL for Figment then go to Les Halles for lunch and it was certainly satisfying to pass a 45 minute line for Figment lol. I realize it’s the first LL we’ve used as I desperately justify the cost in my mind.
After the ride I get to bring up what has become a joke in our family about how I freaked out and had a meltdown as a kid when they wouldn’t buy me a Figment toy (this was in 1989 I think). In a self satisfied way I get to mention now that I’m an adult I can go buy all the Figment stuff I want, which ends up being none as I hustle DD out of the gift shop lol. I also get to someday stay in that awesome hotel the monorail goes through (1989 and 2023 me is still having to wait)
We walk up to France pavilion to get to Les Halles which DW and I have talked up about how great it is. We encounter an unexpectedly long line out the door and down the road. We commit to it as everything else is likely slammed too with an eye on the clock for our Remy LL. We use this time to line swap so everyone can hit the bathroom and DD visits the Kidcot station to draw and pin trade. The various sandwiches and treats are well enjoyed as by now everyone is very hungry.
Now off to Remys where the 90+ minute wait is making that G+ purchase look pretty good. I’m glad it has no height requirements so we all ride together. My parents are very impressed by the track less ride vehicle and the 3D effects. DS is adorable reaching out towards the ghost of Gustave lol.
Now it’s into the afternoon and getting hot out, everyone is tiring and the decision is made to head out so we can go check-in at ASMovies. I had received a room ready for our room but not the parents one so we had to stop by the desk and figure it out. I’d requested a room in mighty ducks as it has its own pool and being clever realized it’s much closer to the ASMusic busses too. The nice CM ends up getting us rooms almost next to each other in the wing I’d requested so it all worked out. Another clever thing I did was to avoid having my parents car be charged parking at the hotel by using DW and my magic bands to check in at the gate. I have a moral opposition to that ridiculous charge that of course no longer exists after we leave so don’t feel bad at all lol.
We relax and rest up for awhile let the sun go down some and then head back to EP in our own personal bus that pulled up to ASmusic right as we’re walking there. Our BG for Guardians was called and DW DD and I are super excited! My parents are nervous, the night before my mom watched a YouTube video of it to see if was something she could handle. DW and I purposely avoided spoilers for this ride so we couldn’t explain what it’s like. My dad goes with us first after we set up rider swap and my mom stays out with DS. I have no idea that it would take an hour from entering the queue to boarding which was tough on my dad as he’s not into this kind of thing. DW DD and I don’t mind the queue much as we’re very excited to look at everything and have lots of anticipation for the ride.
So DW, DD and I have our minds completely blown. My dad just says “Soarin was better” lol to each their own! So in the morning I had bought ILL for all 5 of us knowing DW,DD and I definitely want to ride twice, at this time we’re not sure when we’ll be back to WDW so it’s worth it (foreshadowing!). My dad’s report to my mom is that she probably shouldn’t go on this one and I’m inclined to agree. They also really want to go to World Showcase and offer to take DS with them. We now have my mom’s ticket card with the rider swap on it and my dads ticket too with the ILL so we can ride it two more times without the wait!
We ride again this time having the knowledge where to stand in the pre-show and get a different song and love it even more. Next is a bathroom break and DW is craving a Mickey pretzel. I had got LL for test track earlier and it was nearly an hour expired but we went to try anyway and they let us in so that was great! While in line for our 3rd ride on Guardians my parents text to say they’re working around WS and will be ready to go once they meet up with us. Unfortunately I have LL stacked for Soarin and SSE and Harmonious is going to happen but they’re too tired to go on.
We meet them right by where we waited for rope drop and walk out as the fireworks begin. The same friendly driver who brought us to EP is waiting and whisks us back to the hotel before the sea of humanity exits the park. I go down to get some things from the car and have a beer with my dad in the parking lot which was a nice way to unwind after what had been a long but ultimately successful day.
1/3/23 A big part of how we’re able to take as long a trip as this is DW now works from home which means she can work from anywhere which of course includes WDW! We sleep as long as DS allows and all go down to the food court for some breakfast. After eating DW goes back to the room to work while I hang out with the kids. My parents leave around 11 for Fort Lauderdale. The kids and I go to the arcade for awhile then explore the resort then back to the room for nap time.
Once DW is done we all go to the Fantasia pool and have a good time swimming for awhile. This is our work/rest resort day and later we make what ends up being an ill-fated decision to go to Dis Springs for dinner. We go to the Polite Pig and the food is great but DD is not behaving very well which sets the tone for later problems. She sometimes gets all worked up and starts making herself stressed out and that causes stomach aches. In retrospect it was a terrible decision to visit the big Coca cola store with the tasting bar.
Despite her stomach ache DD wants to try all the different sodas and they all mix up in belly and she ends up vomiting in the bathroom. $25 later for a new Coca cola shirt and we’re back to the bus and never got to Chicken Guy. Oh well, next time.
Looks like a part 4 will be necessary I guess