A NOT Live Trip Report of an Amazing trip! Spring Break, Split Stay, Connecting Rooms, Park Hopping, BB, Skyliner, RoR and all the Good Stuff!

I was well aware that there was now way I would be able to keep up with a live trip report, so I didn’t even attempt one. I learned so much from recent trip reports and thanks to this forum and chat, questions asked and answered, Liner knowledge, we had an absolutely fantastic trip.

Quick trip summary:
Family of 6: including me, DH, DS12, DD10 and DD’s 7 (twins), Rescheduled from planned May 2020. 7 day Park hopper + water parks. I had never previously considered going to Disney during Spring break, but this worked out to be the best time. We have been fortunate to have had in person school this year so taking the kids out of school didn’t sit well, and I think there is so much pent up demand for travel/Disney and non-Disney that the sooner the better.

Our original May 2020 booking was for 4 nights in an AoA Nemo suite and 3 nights in a 2 bedroom Villa at Kidani through David’s. I decided to use our 3 night Kidani credit from David’s to book 4 nights/2 rooms at Pop in a preferred pool view room, and also booked 2 rooms at Coronado Springs for 4 nights using the Spring Disney deal, but later booked the CSR portion using a Hotwire hot rate (thanks @JTT!), so I bumped up our trip from 8 days/7 nights to 9 days/8 nights for the same cost, or less.

I was a little concerned prior to the trip about getting connecting rooms at CSR and Pop, but there was no issue at all. Got connecting rooms at both resorts as if it were a given considering we are a single family under one address.

The plan:
Day1: Friday 3/19 Travel day/resort day @CSR
Day 2: Saturday 3/20 AK RD, CSR pool/rest, Hop to HS for TSL and walk GE
Dat 3: Sunday 3/21 MK RD, Lunch @LTT, CSR pool/rest, Hop to Epcot
Day4: Monday 3/22 HS RD, trying for RoR, AKL exploring and lunch at Sanaa, Hop to AK and back to CSR for relaxing evening
Day 5: Tuesday 3/23 bag pickup for transfer to Pop and head to Blizzard Beach! Dinner at BnC and skyliner to Pop!
Day 6: Wednesday 3/24 RD Epcot with lunch at San Angel Inn, afternoon pool at Pop and Hop to MK evening for dinner with 3 DD’s at BOG while DH and DS12 go to go kart arena.
Day 7: Thursday 3/25 RD HS with lunch at Sci Fi, pool/rest, hop to Epcot
Day 8: Friday 3/26 RD MK, pool/rest, hop to HS evening
Day 9: Saturday 3/27 RD AK, then swim/lunch at Pop until tragical express pickup in the afternoon

Day 1:
Because I wanted to maximize our time, I booked a super early flight leaving Dayton, OH at 6:15am, transfer in PHL and landed MCO 11:40, got on DME to CSR with maybe a 15 minute wait at that time of day and arrived at CSR at 1:15pm.

Our rooms were not ready yet. Because our flight was so early, I didn’t have my coffee, we had a quick layover in PHL but had to book it to the gate to make out connecting flight. With no beverage service on the plane, I did’t still have a chance to get coffee and ended up with a caffeine headache and not feeling so great. When we got to CSR, I just wanted to drop our bags and go hang out at El Mercado, but the CM at the desk offered to look for available rooms so I was grateful for that.

I had requested Cabanas but two connecting rooms in Ranchos were available immediately (6B 7344/7343) so we took it. At that point I was so happy to have some place to go change and lie down for a few minutes. Turns our Ranchos is lovely! It’s peaceful, beautiful and although furthest from the lobby, the bus situation turned out better than it would have been at cabanas (see day 4: HS), and an easy walk to the Dig site pool.

We got hydrated, caffeinated, changed and headed to the Dig site pool for a relaxing afternoon. DH headed to the lobby to pick up our Amazon Fresh order. The dig site pool was at capacity when we arrived, but we only had to wait about 5 minuted before we were escorted to our very own table. This was actually preferable than competing for a table on our own. One of my pet peeve’s at resort pools/beaches/cruises is when people stake their claim on seating by leaving their stuff and then disappear.

The pool is beautiful, the slide is fun and the hot tub is huge! We ordered lunch/dinner from Siesta’s and spent the rest of the afternoon there. Later that evening we explored this lovely resort, rested by the hammocks on the beach and got settled in.

We were excited for out first park day bright and early the next day: Animal Kingdom!

Will post about Day 2 tomorrow!

28 Likes

Yay!! :purple_heart:

Everything looks great so far! Thanks for letting us tag along, even if after the fact! I’m sorry about the lack of coffee, but man that pool looked like it made up for things!

I don’t like when people stake their chairs and leave for hours after either.

3 Likes

Small world! I was in Ranchos 7B on the 20th and 21st, and rope dropped MK on 21st and EP on 24th. Looking forward to hearing details to see if we may have crossed paths and not known it.

3 Likes

Minus the caffeine headache, looks like day 1 was a success!! Your kids are adorable! Looking forward to hear more!

2 Likes

Thank you for sharing, looking forward to more!

1 Like

Small world indeed! I just perused your trip report last night, and wondered if some of our days matched up! I remember you said test track was down, we headed there first also and I also realized I should have known since I didn’t hear the cars! We must have crossed paths!

3 Likes

Yay!!! More plz asap thx :grin:

2 Likes

We were there at the same time! Sounds like a perfect start, great pics!

1 Like

Day 2: Animal Kingdom!

Our first Rope Drop day and first park day beginning with the beloved Animal Kingdom. My family was prepared to rope drop and be at the bus stop at 6:30 to make the first bus. I packed our park bag the night before and set my phone alarm for 5:45. Well, I woke up without the alarm and knew instantly that something seemed off - it was 6:11! Unbeknownst to me, my alarm was set to M-F!! I ran around waking everyone up, handed them nutrigrain bars and juice boxes, hard boiled eggs from our amazon fresh order and ushered them out the door. We got to Ranchos bus stop #3 (2nd stop) by 6:35.

We saw an empty MK bus circle CSR a few times starting at 6:38 and noted the time for the next day. A few other families were arriving at the bus stop and the AK bus finally arrived around 6:50am. We almost didn’t make it since we have 6 people but the kind bus driver told us we could board if 3 of the kids sat on laps - so yeah, we got on and lined up for temp checks prior to opening, breezed through security and taps and headed to FoP by 7:15!!
Walked on and entered link chamber at 7:35! Great way to start our touring!

After FoP, we went to navi and waited 7 minutes. Our DD10’s BFF was also in Disney this week and in AK that day, so we wanted to meet up with them for a ride on EE. They were a bit behind us so we went to see It’s Tough To be a Bug and Dinosaur, and met up with them at EE. We rode EE 2x walking through the queue the whole time, and DD10 got to ride with her BFF. Then we took a coffee/ice cream break at 9:45 and sat in the relaxation zone watching a calvalcade.

We boarded a train to Rafiki’s planet watch a little after 10am with no wait to do the Animation Experience and petting zoo. My 3 DD’s love to draw and we had never been to that part of AK before. We all enjoyed it, and then spent some time at the petting zoo. When we finished up and got back, the line for the train was very long, so I’m glad we did it early. We drew the Ongi from Raya.

.

We left AK at 1:30 to relax around CSR and the pool and hot tub (it was chilly!)

The plan was to head to HS for about 2 hours in the evening and have dinner at Sci Fi (7:50 ADR). Wanted to ride slinky, TSMM, and MFSR. Headed to SDD and waited about 35 minutes. The lines for TSMM and MFSR were longer than expected, so we decided to head to MFSR and save TSMM for another day.


We ended up waiting almost an hour for MFSR and had to check in for our Sci Fi reservation 20 minutes early while we were still on line. Got the text that said they would notify us via text when our table was ready. No text when we got off the ride so we took a few pictures in GE and headed over to Sci Fi. Unfortunately, when we got there they told us that since we weren’t in the area, they gave our table away. Oops!!

Luckily I had a back up reservation for lunch at Sci Fi later in the week, but we were starving, tired, it was getting late and had to figure out where to get food and get to bed (MK RD was the next morning!). Waited for a bus to CSR, but it was one of those larger motor coach buses so it wasn’t making the rounds around CSR. Dropped us off at the tower and we walked over the 3 bridges to Ranchos. Ended up ordering pizza from Uber Eats and DH picked it up in the CSR lobby and brought it back to the room where we devoured it in seconds!

A great first day and lots more to come! We had happy dreams of flying on an ikron!

19 Likes

Day 3: Magic Kingdom! :european_castle:

I double and triple checked my alarm clock this time! Up and at 'em again, waiting at bus stop by 6:36 - maybe two other families there. Hopped on the first bus to MK @6:40, arrived at 7am and noticed walkers from CR were still being held at temp check. Let off the bus and waited a few minutes for temp check, started a few minutes later and taps opened at 7:12. We were walking up Main Street at 7:15, and the sun hadn’t even come up yet.

Quickly made it to 7D and boarded (a barrel?) at 7:28. Walked out to an empty Fantasyland, walked on PP, then went to BTMRR (another walk on) We felt like we had Fronteirland all to ourselves at that point!

We headed straight to Pirates next (walk on), Splash wasn’t running yet, then Jungle Cruse (12 minute wait), then a quick ride on carpets (one of DD7’s favorites). We had a lunch ADR at LTT at 11:20 and still wanted to ride Space. The wait for Space was rising now (it was 8:55am) but we knew we wouldn’t want to ride it after lunch, so we headed over to Tomorrowland and waited about 40 minutes but it quickly grew after we hopped in line.

.

We had time for HM before our ADR, and even though the line extended down towards the riverboat ramp and back, it moved quickly and I think we waited less than 15 minutes.

After HM and a quick trip to Rapunzel’s bathrooms, we checked into LTT and were seated very quickly.
LTT - heaven!! We worked up quite an appetite running around the park and we sure filled our bellies!! It was so comforting and delicious.


That ooey gooey toffee cake is to die for! I have to attempt it at home some day. Our server brought us 3 cakes, which were large enough to share, we finished every bite and she brought more!! In the end we finished off 6 whole toffee cakes and half sleep-walked half rolled out of magic kingdom.

A few pics and headed back to CSR for a nap and to digest :slight_smile:

We literally napped on the hammocks and it was so lovely!

Later we hopped over to Epcot for a short visit . We wanted to tackle Epcot in small pieces: this night we went to the right side of future world to ride Soarin, LWTL, and SE. LWTL went down just as we boarded so we went over to Soarin - got B1 after waiting 35 minutes. B1 definitely has the best view! Everything smelled wonderful and stronger than I remember. I wondered if they upped the scents so guests wouldn’t have a diminished experience due to the masks. Anyway, it was great and hopped back over to LWTL. Since the Land pavilion took long than expected, we skipped SE, took a few photo pass pics and headed back to CSR for sweet ooey gooey dreams.


Next up - HS and trying for RoR BG!

22 Likes

Day 4: Hollywood Studios

Prior to the trip, I studied @bebe80 's guide for getting a boarding group (thank you @bebe80), practiced and learned all the tricks. I liked both the “join join join” method and the hold down the second page and release right at 7. Practiced both methods “successfully”

On the morning of, DH and I got our phones ready, tested our wifi and data speed, loaded time.gov on the laptop to count down. I gave him a 30 second overview - he was to do the join join join method on wifi and I did the hold and release method on data.

I was pretty calm, I had gotten a BG back in Feb 2020 in the morning from within the park, and I was definitely shaky that time. I felt pretty good on that morning.

Just as the clock was turning from 6:59:59, I released, DH started hitting join - suddenly across my phone I got a motion alert from our home security system (darn squirrel!) - by the time I wiped it away it was too late!!

However, as I was freaking out, I heard DH say “I got it, I got it.” And he did: BG #2!!! I didn’t believe it until I saw it!

I have all the kids lined under my account but DH didn’t, so only the two of us were in the BG. I’m glad I told him not to worry about adding people into the group because he just clicked all the way through. DH for the win #1. (GET added the kids quickly with no issue).

DH was on a roll this AM and quickly thinking like a Liner. The Ranchos bus stop was packed when we arrived at 7:30. There was no way we would have made it on the bus. DH suggested we walk to the Casitas stop - I quickly calculated the improvement in our chances of being one of the first to RD and said, “let’s go”. Got to Casitas just in time, made it on the bus just before it filled to capacity. This bus went right past all other stops and straight to HS.

Got immediately off the HS bus and as we arrived, they opened the right sided temp check tents, we were standing there second in line at 7:58. Walking on Hollywood Blvd at 8:12 for another successful RD: stopped at GET on the way to MMRR (walk on), then “walked this way” to RnRC. Our boarding group got called around 8:30 and while I knew we didn’t have to rush, DS12 was too excited and didn’t want to take any chances, so we went there after RnRC.

Going to RoR early has one benefit - no wait. I did think the experience was slightly diminished compared to when I went pre-COVID. I won’t spoil it but there are some view you just don’t get when you have to stay on one spot. But it was still great and my family loved it!

After RoR, lines were long so we mobile ordered got a Ronto wrap, walked around GE, and exited HS around 10:30 took a bus to AKL to explore and have lunch at Sanaa. We were coming back to HS two more times during our trip so we still had time to ride ToT and TSMM. Other than that we had done just about everything at HS already.

To be continued…off to AKL and hopping over to AK for a few runs on EE!

17 Likes

Well played DH of Ariel79 and good job training him! I hope we can get so lucky. I’m thinking we should bring the IPad so we can use it as the clock like you did the laptop.

2 Likes

Yes! it was nice to have another device to watch so you finger can hover where it needs to be!

2 Likes

Also we went in Jan 2020 and I too was absolutely terrified. We ended up going on our rest day so I could practice before my parents came in the next day and two 4am wake ups because as you know that was when you had to be in the park for the 7am drop and to try and rush to MFSR were rough. But we got it both days.

If we hadn’t after all that effort I would have been devastated

3 Likes

yup, and we were packed like sardines on Grand avenue, ah the good 'ol days! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Oh do I remember and I was even helping people with tips I got on here and DH was giving me stink eye like I was lessening our chances. Ha ha

2 Likes

haha! Sharing is caring :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Day 4 Part II

Since we had originally planned last year to stay at Kidani Village, we wanted to at least visit Kidani/Jambo and have lunch at Sanaa. This was the perfect afternoon to do it. The weather was a little chilly and drizzly and we had plenty of time to walk around, look at the artwork, safari, pools and playgrounds and Jambo and Kidani. Lots if activity from the zebras, giraffes, and others. CM’s around eager and willing to talk about the animals. Definitely enjoyed it!

Sanaa did not disappoint! We got the bread service and Samosas, the kids got the butter chicken and DH and I split the Tandori chicken, and rice pudding for dessert. Everything was delicious and is was a great way to spend the afternoon.

On our way back to CSR we hopped into AK as the sun was starting to peak out, got to ride EE a few times (I lost track of how many) with short waits and headed back to CSR. This is our last afternoon/evening at CSR so we wanted to spend the remaining time enjoying the dig site pool.

I am definitely a CSR fan!! It has such a wonderful atmosphere, and I didn’t think the walking was too bad. Buses worked perfectly at the Ranchos stop (second stop, but station #3) for AK and MK, but for HS, it was critical to be at the first stop. The cabanas stop (3rd stop) was even skipped when we RD’d AK.

The main pool definitely will hit capacity in the afternoon on sunny days, but in our experience the wait was quick to get in. It is worth the wait! That pool is awesome! We didn’t go to any of the quiet pools, but they were typical and always relatively empty.

Our only glitch happened on our last afternoon when DH went back to the room to get some drinks and his MB was turned off and couldn’t get into the room. He called the hotel from his app (but got the central line, no help), then was transferred to the from desk. They reactivated his MB to get him access to the room, but it still did not work. I had to walk to the from lobby to get it activated again (still didn’t work). So we lost an hour or two dealing with this on our last afternoon. The CM I spoke to put a $25 credit on our next day’s BnC dining reservation for our troubles, but we never saw it we didn’t bother to fight for it.

I would definitely go back to CSR again, even stay in Ranchos again. I prefer the smaller buildings (Cabanas, Ranchos) over the Tower.

10 Likes

Love it!! And interesting re scifi. How close do you have to be to check in?!

Bay 5: Blizzard Beach!

Let me just say Blizzard Beach is soooooooo much fun! I will definitely be including water parks on our future trips. it was such a nice “break” in the week and gave us an opportunity to relax while still having a blast.

After 3 days in a row of rope dropping, it was nice to not have to set an alarm for the later BB opening time. We packed up our bags to be transferred to Pop! We called around 9:30am and bell services arrived at the room within 10 minutes to take our bags. I expected a much longer wait. Handed our bags off, got a ticket and finished getting ready for BB.

Got to the bust stop at 10:35 and boarded a bus within a few minutes, arriving at BB at 10:45. Got a locker for our change of clothes and wallets, then headed to the warming hut area for lounge chairs. The chairs were nicely set up/spaced out in groups and there were plenty to be had. We picked a spot on the sand closer to the water since it wasn’t yet super hot and we were ready for some sun after a few dreary days. Even though I had looked at maps, I didn’t really get a feel for the layout of the park until I walked around, but then the layout became clear quickly.


We headed up the chair lift to Team Boat Springs, then made our way around hitting all the slides. The view into AK from the top is spectacular! You can even see the Tree of Life.


So, about Summit Plummet: DD7 twin is a thrill seeker and was determined to ride Summit Plummit. I was hesitant, but willing. Why not? The gondolas were briefly stalled, so we climbed all the way to the top!! By the time we got to the top, DD7 sat down and slid away without any hesitation or looking back :grimacing: leaving me there watching her emerge at the bottom within a few seconds. Now I had to go, closed my eyes and just said to myself “it will be over soon” :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

It was a blast - but it oooh it HURTS!! I received two nicely matching black and blues on my bottom for my efforts - then we did it again!! No regrets :slight_smile: Chair lift were running gain so we took that up the second time.


The ski training area is so cool - the kids did the zip line over and over, my other DD7 (less of a thrill seeker) was happy riding the smaller tube ride over and over. Sweet CM lifeguard told her she “broke the record” for most rides in a row.

DD7 thrill seeker and DD10 rode sluser gusher with DH, DH said he “caught air” but they all loved it. Everything was fun!!

Spent time swimming in the wave pool, took a ride down the lazy river, and a few more zip lines/slides, and another trip on team boat springs to end the day.



We would have gladly stayed till closing, but we had an ADR at 6:30 we needed to get to. Changed and headed over to Beach Club for dinner at Beaches & Cream and the kitchen sink! (FYI: buses don’t run directly to BC, we needed to take a bus to AK and transfer to BC, easy peasy but I didn’t realize that beforehand).




We didn’t quite finish it, but we came very close!!

Got our room ready text for Pop (exactly what we requested via TP room request 4171/4170!) Hopped on the sly liner and walked straight into our rooms where our bags were waiting.

This day was our halfway mark of the trip and couldn’t have asked for a better day!

14 Likes