A late Xmas & NYE report

I’m writing this up now finally so I can remember it all. Included on the trip is my lovely wife, DD9 and DS 1 who will have his 2nd birthday at WDW! This is part 1 which is travel from Wisconsin and Legoland. Part 2 will follow with the Disney activities!

12/25/22 Christmas. While at my in-law’s house we are opening presents and I monitor the weather on multiple weather websites. Turns out snow is coming and my plan to leave at 4am will put us right in the middle of it leading to a whole day of snow driving. I move up leaving to about 11pm so I pack the car and try to sleep at 6pm or so. It works as we get on the road, DW and the kids can sleep and there’s zero cars out on the road making for a relaxing drive.

All good until about sunrise around Bowling Green KY where the snow catches up with us. For awhile between there and Nashville it snows with the road covered. On I 24 south of Nashville we stop for breakfast, it’s only 9am or so but seems much later! We decided our next stop would be the Buckees in Calhoun GA as we’ve heard so much about it. I’ll just say it didn’t live up to the hype.

I should have known what we’d be in for when there was a traffic jam on the off ramp just to get there. It was packed and crazy! We ventured inside and it was just nuts, totally packed with people and a big line to get into the World Famous Bathrooms. DW and DD9 went in while DS and I wandered around. By the time they got out I was done and ready to get the hell out of there. Figured I might as well get gas at one of the 200 pumps and they didn’t even have squeegees to get all the salt off my windshield so I left bitter and unimpressed. Maybe on a less crazy day it would have been better.

We decide to call it a night pretty early at 3pm in Cartersville GA as everyone is sick of being in the car and challenging Atlanta seems like a bad idea. We swim and have pizza and are asleep by 7pm!

12/27/22 we get up and have free breakfast then it’s time to pack which is never easy since we can’t travel light with a DD 9 and DS 1. On the road about 8am and of course there’s a crash or something in Marietta so we lose some time. Make it through Atlanta easy after that but Google advises us to take an alternate route off I 75 south of Atlanta because of another crash.

Stop at a Zaxbys after awhile and are pleased to not need our coats as it’s 45 degrees out. Coming from below zero temps in Wisconsin this feels great! Smooth sailing until Ocala FL (of course) where Google says there’s a 50+minute delay on I 75! We end up bailing and take state road 22 across the Ocala National Forest which is a pleasant and scenic route. May not have saved much time but was far better then stop and go traffic for who knows how long.

Eventually make it to our rental house in Davenport around 7pm, look around and unpack to get settled in for the next 6 days! We love this place, it has 4 bed and 3 bath, it’s own pool, full kitchen with everything else we could need in a quiet gated area. The price was also amazing considering it was the week between Christmas and New Years.

12/28/22 we wake up and our plan is to get the car washed then rope drop the grocery store (Aldi) at 9. It’s funny getting into a line of filthy cars with Michigan, Ohio and other northern state plates. After returning to the house we decide to forgo swimming for now and head out to the days destination, Legoland!

This day ends up being less than ideal and reminds us why we like WDW so much. I knew going in it was a risk as we’d be missing rope drop and didn’t have much of a plan like we would at WDW. My brother and his family went there last year and stayed at the Legoland hotel had a great time and loved it. So they gave a positive report but it was not to be for us. Allot had to do with it being super crowded being the week between Xmas and new years and all. Also the food was bad, it was dirty and the rides were mediocre and inefficient.

At one point we decided to bite the bullet and got in a 75 minute line for the Ninjago ride, something that looked cool and had no height requirements. While still in the outdoor part of the queue we hear a terrible coughing behind us. It continues and we see this guy just cough away without a care in the world. In these Covid times the idea of being in queue next to this guy for an hour plus wasn’t happening and my wife and I wordlessly said as much with just a look as we bailed.

A big reason we decided to go was also the promise of special Christmas stuff and a “Kids new years eve” fireworks at 8pm. We eventually end up going on Lego Movie ride and could rider swap it. It was like Soarin but there was so much going on it was overwhelming! Of course Covid coughing guy was in the queue about 10 groups ahead of us, didn’t see him but heard him lol. By now it’s 745 so we can do one more thing and DD9 and I choose The Dragon which ends up being our favorite ride. We watch the fireworks from the exit so we can bail before the crowd and 40 minutes later we’re “home”

The experience reinforced why we love WDW and just how important rope drop and our Liner knowledge is. Even on crazy busy days at WDW we can always accomplish allot but of course now we have to pay (more on that later).

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Time for part 2
12/29/22 We wake up at our leisure meaning whenever DS1 decides too which ends up being after 6am, not bad! Eat a small breakfast as we have tasty plans later as we’re off to Disney Springs. Arrive at the Lime garage about 930 and head straight to Gideons which we had heard all about but yet to try on our previous trip. In line 945 with only 25 people ahead of us, it opens at 1000 and we’re inside 1015. We get some of the seasonal specials, a giant slice of cake and two iced coffee which were good but not great.

Now we wander around looking at the Xmas trees and some stores. I go into The Art of Shaving as I have this desire to get a straight razor shave, something I’ve never had before. It’s weird and I don’t even know why I want to because I hate shaving and have a beard all the time except when I travel to Florida. Alas, they are fully booked and it can not happen, oh well.

11am finally arrives which is our ADR at Chef Art Smith! We went there in June 2021 which was our first time eating inside a restaurant since the pandemic began! Needless to say we loved it, our favorite meal of that trip which was to be repeated. We ordered those amazing deviled eggs and hush puppies for apps. DW got the fried chicken and I got the BBQ plate and both were excellent. DD had the kids meal burger which she finished it was so good. We purposely ordered extras to bring home for dinner.

After lunch just wandered around DS, went to World of Disney which I was pleased to find had all the doors open unlike our previous visit! DD9 used her Xmas gift card from her uncle to buy a lounge fly and we found some 50th items we liked. Went to the small Carousel and train rides, the Xmas shop, pin traders and the star wars store. Its now starting to get warm out and the crowds are arriving so we begin our exit. Overall a nice time at DS with tasty food for later. The rest of the day is spent just relaxing and enjoying our pool which was a big goal for this trip.

12/30/22 Get to sleep in again as much as DS will allow but no breakfast yet, more tasty plans for that. We have a 9am ADR for Whispering Canyon which DW and I are very excited for. Also excited to check out Wilderness Lodge which is a resort we’ve never been to. It does not disappoint with it being decked out in Christmas splendor. The tree in the lobby is so amazing, probably our favorite one we see.

At Whispering Canyon we all get the skillets of different types as sharing is allowed. Our waiter is fun and we are game for the silly hijinks that goes on. DD needs ketchup which I knew led to something happening but was not quite prepared for the onslaught of ketchup bottles! We were more then happy to return the favor to the next table when the call went out.

We finish up then walk through the lodge to the boat launch to MK. The always lovely sight of a boat at the dock waiting for us. A pleasant ride to MK where we board the monorail for our Xmas resort tour! First is Contemporary where we see the gingerbread house and shop for pins. DD and I also get pressed pennies wherever we go. DW bought a Xmas mystery pin box that revealed an awesome Goofy, Max and Powerline pin! We had just watched A Goofy Movie the week before so it was meant to be!

Next stop is the Poly where we get our pressed pennies, check out the tree and then realize they have Dole Whip. We’d been craving Dole Whip since our last trip so we get some including a fancy special new years one. Hang out in the lobby for a bit, DD pin trades with some CMs and off to our next stop.

Grand Floridian has fine memories for us as we went to a character meal there on our first family trip back in 2018. Entering the grand lobby with that distinct smell is always enjoyed and even better with the Xmas tree and decorations. The gingerbread house here is enormous and even had a little shop inside where DW bought some treats. Last time we were there was at Easter and the decorated eggs were cool but I think Xmas is better.

Back to the monorail to ride all the way around to the TTC as I want to go to Epcot. I really wanted to get to be on the monorail as it goes through (former) future world and the family was game for that. I was excited to look down at Guardians of the Galaxy where we’d get to be soon enough and also see the progress of the giant dirt pit. We exit and walk down to the bus to get back to Wilderness Lodge. We get there and two nice ladies tell us they’d already been waiting nearly 30 minutes for a bus and may end up late for their ADR! Eventually a bus supervisor summons one after we see the 3rd Port Orleans bus depart! Only “bad” part of the day but not a big deal for us as we had no particular schedule to keep.

On the way home we decide to take 192 for old time sake as we’d stayed at Windsor hills our last trip. DW wanted to check out some souvenir shops and we ended up going to the new Sunset Walk over by Margaritaville. Got some food, walked around DD went to an arcade and had success at two claw machines! I imagine that area is allot more exciting when the nightlife is going on later but was fine for us in the afternoon. Back to the house to swim and relax the night away.

12/31/22 Weeks before the ADR finder had success getting me an ADR for the character meal at Cape May Cafe in the Beach Club. So at 730am we’re on our way over and end up seated early even! This would be DS first real interaction with fur characters and we were unsure how it would go. He’d seen mascots and been near them at Brewers games the previous summer but not much interaction. He was always a bit standoff-ish but not quite scared of them and had an encouraging high five with Chuck-e-cheese at a birthday party so we hoped for the best.

We all really liked Cape May, the food was pretty good and included an omelet and carving station. I think Minnie came around first and he was a little scared but was ok going by her and all the characters signed autographs including a birthday card we brought for DS. By the time Donald rolled around he was fine with them and even wanted to get closer so we were happy about that. DD went and danced with Goofy and I took pictures of her using her Polaroid type camera she got for her birthday. All of the characters ended up by us twice so overall a great success!

Next we explored Beach club including the actual beach they have then walked over to the Skyliner. We had yet to ride it as we had no time or need on our last trip so we’re excited to check it out. It was the perfect time of day for it as the morning rush to the parks had passed so we got our own gondola each time. We rode it to HS and back to EP and while riding my parents messaged saying they’d arrived at the house. They apparently had a harrowing journey from Wisconsin that took 3 days with all the traffic and accidents they encountered. We walk back to Beach Club to get our car and head home stopping to get some NYE supplies on the way.

New years eve is pretty chill for us, my parents had arrived and no one had any desire to go out and challenge the crazy crowds, or even stay up until midnight. So we swim and make dinner and enjoy some fireworks our neighbors were setting off. They’d finished off their supply by 9 or so we thought. Sure enough at midnight big fireworks going off all over the place waking the kids up. Luckily no one had many left so they ended in a few minutes.

1/1/23 Happy New Year! We have a relaxing morning with breakfast and a swim. Now that my parents are with us we plan to have lunch at Sanaa and check out AKL another new resort for all of us. It’s a quick drive over and it’s the first time in 30 years they’ve been to WDW so of course everything is much different. We get to AKL a little early and go see the Xmas tree in the lobby and wander around.

Sanaa is pretty good, everyone enjoys the bread service the most. I guess I thought my parents were more adventurous eaters as they’d traveled overseas and such. We all ordered different variations of the Potjie I think it was called. It was good but just a little to different for everyone. After the meal we went to one of the viewing areas in the savanna to see the animals which we all enjoyed. I had some grand plans of going to try mini golf or back to DS but we end up going back to the house. Now we have the bittersweet task of cleaning up and packing. Bitter because we’ve enjoyed this house and pool allot but sweet because tomorrow we move onsite and go to Epcot! Moving onsite and the parks will be part 3!

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I knew it had to be Bucees! This was our reaction when we stopped at one on I10 just before entering Florida.

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

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I have so enjoyed reading your report thus far! We are also doing an upcoming multi-generational trip and I’m not sure how my parents will be keeping up. Your insight is useful :slight_smile:

I’m so sorry that your daughter got sick!! I hope that it was just for that night and she turned it around.

Thanks! She did rally for the next two park days and was better. It was one of those fluke things where a food or drink just doesn’t agree with you. I’ve done more multi-generation trips with my MiL so if you have questions i’ll try to help!

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Great report! I can’t wait to read the next installments.

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1/4 Magic Kingdom and DS2 birthday!
We all get up early to try and make the 1st bus to MK and are packed on but make it. There’s already a line at the taps about 20 people at each when we walk over from the bus. We eat our breakfast of granola bars waiting for the taps to open and take some pictures. Once through the taps we walk quickly and get through the EE checkpoint to the Fantasy land rope. We end up right in front of Cheshire Cafe which is nice as it has bathrooms to use while waiting. At RD the main crowd goes to 7DmT but we head to PPF and it takes as long as walking the queue. We realize we’ve never seen the standby queue before having always had FPP.

Next we hustle to WtP but it goes down while in the queue. It’s always a tough choice as it may reopen in minutes or an hour but we decide to bail. The plan at this point is to ride the Carousel then RD Haunted Mansion. Of course at RD we find HM is delayed opening with no idea how long it may be down. So we bail again over to adventure land. We ride Aladdin and then over to Pirates which is still a walk on. DS is a little scared but overall does well on it. At 700 I had success using BG1 to get Jungle cruise for 900 am so that’s our next stop. I’m glad to see it’s still running as "Jingle cruise " which is unique and fun.

After tapping in to JC I get LL for Buzz in 15 minutes where we go next arriving right as the early grace period starts. It’s pretty fun as always but I end up with a low score. Oh well. People mover is next as a walk on and it’s fun to hear the new narration which was fine I guess and to see Tron up close. Now we head back across the hub for our 1040 Crystal palace birthday meal for DS!

The 1040 was somewhat risky as it had been said the characters take a break before lunch but they all came around promptly and Tigger and Piglet came by twice. DS early on in the trip was a bit afraid of the characters but by the end of this meal was obsessed with them. One would enter the dining room, DS sees him and yells “back, back!” Meaning come back here. All the interactions are fun with the characters signing auto books and his birthday card. DD also enjoys hugs and high fives with them. Another positive is lunch items became available so we were able to try some of those too.

After bfast/lunch we plan to see the noon parade but at the last minute it’s canceled for some reason so that’s a bummer. We decide to go to Hall of Presidents next as it’s something we never managed to make time for on previous trips and we had no LL for awhile. I had last seen it around 30 years ago as a kid and needless to say it’s allot different now! We also hope DS will nap but it’s difficult with how loud the film is. Right before it starts I’m able to make a LL for Under the sea so that’s next. DS ends up napping for that ride then we go over to storybook circus. Earlier in the day I’d made LL to the Mickey meet and greet so we plan to do that then leave for a mid day break. First I stop off at the Town Hall GS to use the postmark then mail postcards.

After meeting Mickey we see Mulan meeting right outside with a short line. DS is fascinated by her but also doesn’t seem to understand why we’re meeting her at all lol. Tonight we have 6pm Hoop dee doo ADR so it’s a tough choice to spend time traveling back and forth to ASMovies for a break so we stay and power through. We get in line for the Railroad as it had recently opened after so long and I’d heard it closed at 5 pm, our only other time riding it was on a whim jumping on in Frontierland to fantasyland in 2018 just before it closed.

The wait was maybe 15 minutes so not to bad and it was fun to see some of the changes and the ride past Tron. After exiting back at Main st we realize it’s time for the 3pm parade! We get spots right by the Xmas tree in the town square with a great view down main street. Just as the parade rolls down Main Street it starts pouring rain out of nowhere! On the radar there’s a single rain shower right over MK and nothing else around! Luckily we had ponchos in the backpack and stroller cover, I end up using the Xmas tree for cover!

After the parade we walk up to the Plaza ice cream shop for treats. All the LL times are now for after 7pm so it’s anytime things and Monsters Inc is what DD want to see. It’s pretty funny and a nice AC break to. Now we don’t have time for much more and decide to get the boat over to Fort Wilderness. Going to HDDR is another risk with 2 kids but we had fond memories going to it in 2018 and DW really wanted to again.

Unfortunately it doesn’t live up to our fond memories as what I assume is understaffing leads to a very inattentive waitress and it takes a long time for food and drinks. The food also just wasn’t as good as I remember. DD had no interest in the show, said she has a stomach ache and just drew with crayons the whole time. DS like most 2 year olds just didn’t want to sit still and that was a struggle. I didn’t want to go on a park day but it was the only time we could get an ADR. We end up leaving after a few bites of strawberry shortcake to beat the crowd as both kids are just done.

Now back to MK where we can see the fireworks already going as the boat makes its way over. We go inside which ends up being a mistake as all we do is go to the bathroom and can’t really watch the fireworks as we can’t stop anywhere. I had LL for WtP, HM and most importantly Splash but the family is just ready to go back to the hotel so we leave and are fortunate to just barely stuff ourselves onto a bus. It would have been much better to have had a break and returned to close the park. I’m most sad to not get a final ride on Splash but it had to be done.

1/5/23 Hollywood studios and check out

We wake up really early since we are checking out of ASmovies and want to get to EE. Packing up goes surprisingly well as I end up just stuffing everything in the car and we drive over ending up in the first row of cars. I was surprised at the tollbooth when the guy just asked if we’re staying onsite then waved us in when we said yes. After walking almost to the gates DD says she doesn’t have her magic band! DW quickly tries to find it and precious time slips by. I realize we can just get her a ticket card at window and they get in line as I do that. It works out and we get inside and head to the RnRC rope which is still pretty short. DD is finally tall enough to ride and can’t wait! We set up rider swap and DD and DW go first. After their ride DD and I go to ToT only to see it’s delayed opening with a 115 min wait at 815 am!

RnRC says 10 min wait still so we ride standby then again with the rider swap. Now we have LL for Slinky as BG1 worked again! We do it with rider swap and it’s so much fun as always. I get us LL for TSMM but we have to wait 30 mins and get Poptarts at Woody’s lunchbox then meet Buzz by the TSL entrance. We went to the bathroom near there that has a GS by it. Apparently the night before Splash went down and it gave us an anytime LL that we couldn’t use anyway. I asked GS if they could give me an LL today and he did! Not for Rise, ToT, MMRR of course but we could for MFSR.

After TSMM we go to MFSR and rider swap. It begins raining and DW tells me about this cave to go wait in on the ramp up to Ronto roasters. That keeps me and DS dry while he naps and I mobile order Ronto wraps. The night before after HDDR we decided to ditch our ADR for this day as we have no more desire for TS meals. It works out as I had Sci-Fi Dine at 1030 that would have been difficult to fit in and Brown Derby later that just would not have been good lol.

We like Ronto wraps and they were “free” using my Disney Visa redemption card so it’s enjoyable. After eating its time for our ILL at Rise I’d secured earlier. We set up RS and DD and I go first and it’s just as fun and exciting as our first time on our last trip. It’s running smoothly and booth rides have all the different parts included. After both rides we head over to Gonzos Royal Flush bathrooms and while waiting outside I get ToT LL at the BG1 drop! This is very exciting as DD had been asking me if we could go on it, now we can! We set up RS and since DW doesn’t like ToT we get to ride twice with LL. On the second ride we see Goofy and Max having fun on the balcony by the queue. DD gets high fives and pictures which was great. ToT is probably the best themed ride in all of WDW to me (which puts it high in the running for best themed worldwide) so getting on twice makes this an excellent day!

While DD and I ride DW and DS get popcorn and hang out by the Brown Derby. We had LL for MMRR next and weren’t sure what would be next. About halfway through the ride broke down. We sat for about 10 minutes wondering if we’d be evacuated then it starts up again. We get to the Daisy room and it stops again. After 1 more stop Goofys engine reattached and we limp back to the exit with no effects working. We could have complained and maybe got a LL for something but it’s already 4pm so we decide to leave. Our plan all along was to leave once tired and start the drive back north. So we say goodbye to HS and are glad to be parked in that front row for a short walk. We drive as far as Lake City FL where it’s getting dark and time to stop. I’ll return for final thoughts and answer any questions, thanks for reading

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