A Trip Report: Or a Way For Me to Cope

I have done reports a while back and then kind of got out of it. I think I am doing this one really to just help myself come to terms with the end of an era. The end of the Annual Pass for my family of 4. To be clear, it isn’t a price increase issue. We are from Western NY, so the pass only make sense when we know we are going to have overlapping trips. This was the case when we started the pass last February and it overlapped a trip we knew we wanted to take this February. We were fortunate to slip in a few other trips during the pass, but it won’t be worth it to renew the pass right now. Anyway, this past week was the big trip that wrapped up our Annual Pass. Here is the start to how that trip went.

Day 1, Saturday Feb 15, The Arrival

We landed at MCO on time around noon and made our way to Magical Express after stopping for a snack to hold us over. There was no room notification yet for our stay at Coronado Springs, but I wasn’t worried.Magical Express was easy, maybe a 10-15 minute wait for a bus, we were the first stop and got to the resort in plenty of time. We stayed at CSR back in May, just before the tower was opening, so I was excited to see the finished product. I was not dissapointed. The Gran Destino Tower was amazing and helped to firmly cement CSR as my favorite resort. To be clear, it doesn’t make it the most likely to stay at necessarily, we can get into that later. Room still wasn’t quite ready, but we walked around for a bit to check out the tower then left our bags with bell services and headed to the Magic Kingdom.

We were arriving at MK just before 3pm. The magic started immediately for us once we walked under the train station. 9 years ago on our first trip as a family, my oldest son (now 13) was chosen by a cast member to start the 3 o’clock parade. It is a memory that has always carried through and we look for Eddie every time we visit. Unfortunately, during the year of our AP, we had not seen him at all. Honestly, I was beginning to worry about the guy. But, as we walked into Town Square, my son said “There he is” and we were almost confused. My wife and I had been wondering if it was really more of something that we were holding onto, or if my son actually liked finding him too. It was great to know that it really was something he still looked forward to. After snapping a photo with our old friend, we got our Sorcerer’s cards and headed straight for Liberty Tree Tavern. We were going to be arriving well ahead of our 3:45 reservation, but figured since everyone was going to be out on the street watching the parade, maybe we would get seated sooner. No such luck. We checked in, but they definitely did not seem to bump us up in the order. The meal and service was great, as always, and it was a great way to start the vacation.
From there we had our Fastpasses for BTMRR, Space Mtn and 7DMT. Those all went off without a hitch and we were able to get a great spot in the hub to watch HEA. Snuck in a ride on Dumbo, and a ride on carpets before getting some dole whip along the way. We headed out just before park closing as we had to get back to get our bags and we knew we had to be up early to get to the 8am opening of DHS if we wanted to get a boarding group.

We got back to CSR and our room was very close to the room request I had sent in through the room finder. (Seriously, that thing has worked like a charm on every trip for us). My request was in the Cabanas section. I had actually requested building 8C near the pool, we got 8B (room 8572), but the end that was closest to the pool. Honestly, it was probably closer to the pool then I had requested and was closer to the bus stop. Our other bag that was coming via Magical Express was waiting in the room for us so we got unpacked and off to sleep.

I will post the rest day by day, but it usually works best to take a little break between the posts.


Looks good!
Also from NY so hit your profile. My son is at Houghton and we are in Rochester!


Day 2, Sunday Feb 16, First Boarding Group Attempt

This morning was to be our first attempt at getting a Boarding Group for Rise of the Resistance. But first, my wife was going to do the fun run at Coronado Springs. She definitely enjoys to run, so the idea of a quick mile and a half or so on property sounded like a good idea. the boys and I were going to drop her off at the race and head to the bus stop. We would head to the park without her and hope that she could make it there in time to get in the park in time to join our BG. After getting her to the race start at 6:45, we headed straight for the bus stop at the main building. There was already a long line for DHS. The main building is the last stop at CSR before the bus heads to the parks, so I decided we would walk towards the Casitas stop, which is first, to make sure we would get on a bus. While the boys and I headed that way, the runners went past us, with my wife in the lead. On the way to the bus stop, we decided to change plans and just wait for her to finish and get a Lyft ride to DHS. She would be finishing before 7:20, so after a quick stop back to the room, that should still give us plenty of time. Well, I should have started the Lyft process sooner. The driver nearest to us was already in the parking line at DHS which was backed up, and by the time he got to us, and delivered us to the park, it was already just after 8 and we had to get through security and tapped in to the park. By the time we got in, the boarding groups were gone. That was disappointing, but not too much so, since we knew we had more chances at it coming up.
So, we headed to Rock n’ Roller Coaster to use our FP, then to get our Ronto Wraps. I had fast passes scheduled for Muppets and Little Mermaid, but they were mainly placeholders if we were waiting around for our BG. Since we weren’t, I canceled those. We took a little more time in the park, but then headed to Epcot to check out Festival of the Arts.This is definitely our favorite festival. My youngest loves the art, my oldest loves the food, and my wife and I enjoy the overall atmosphere of it. We made our way around the countries, stopping for plenty of snacks and photos. Snagged a FP for Spaceship Earth and then we headed back to the Hotel for some pool time.

I like to plan out the morning and afternoon part of our days, and leave the evening a little more flexible. So, tonight was a choice between going back to DHS for fireworks, or into MK to catch some rides while others were watching HEA. Since we hadn’t really been on many rides today, the choice was pretty easy for us, and we went off to MK. That time in MK when the majority of people are occupied in the hub can be a great time to get things done. We hit a few rides and then my wife and oldest were ready to head back, but the youngest wanted a couple more rides. So, we split up and I stayed with him to get a short line on BTMRR and the Jungle Cruise. Then it was back to the room, we had to be up early again tomorrow to try again for a Boarding Group. Now that our lesson was learned.


Day 3, Monday Feb 17 (President’s Day), Back for a BG

The plan was to be out of the room again by 6:45, but this time we would head to the bus stop nearest to us in the Cabanas, hoping there would still be room on the bus for us. The bus cam pretty close to 7 and there was still room, so we were on. After making the last stop at the Tower, we left CSR and headed to DHS. Arrival there was fine. There wasn’t a huge line at bag check, the tapstiles were smooth and we were in the park before 7:20. So, we headed to the line for Toy Story Land. The line was already pretty long, we were just past the entrance to One Man’s Dream, and I am not sure how long the line around the corner goes. Knowing most of those people were heading to Slink Dog, which we had a fastpass for later in the week, we stayed to the left so we could head to Mania once we could move. Our Strategy to get a BG was fairly simple I thought. We would be on mobile data, and at 7:55 we would all close the app to be able to get a fresh load. At 7:59, open the app again. Then at 8, all four of us would open the app and try to get a BG. We definitely were not to quickest to move on it, but my oldest son was able to get through and we got group 87. Past the guaranteed groups, but I felt pretty confident that we would get to ride that day. Our actually plan for the day was to be in Epcot, but we started here to try to get the BG, so we took advantage of the earlier opening and did Mania, then grabbed a quick breakfast item from the Market, near Pixar Place. Then headed immediately to the Skyliner so we could stay on track with the original plan. There definitely wasn’t much of a line at the Skyliner station to head out, so we hopped on and made our way to Epcot. Oh, and Rise still hasn’t started boarding any groups yet.
The Skyliner makes it so easy to get from DHS to Epcot that we almost treat them as one park at this point and can bounce back and forth. We made it to the International gateway just a couple minutes after 9, but still basically in the rope drop crowds. Our first fastpass was for Soarin’ but we stopped to see the new Awesome Planet movie first. After Soarin’ we made our way around the rest of our fastpasses, Spaceship Earth and Figment. Then added on a ride with Nemo through the Seas. We had some time to explore the Seas, which we haven’t done very much of over the last visits, so we did that. It got to be lunch time, so we went back to hit some food booths before heading back to the hotel for some more pool time. And to try to stave off the panic, because the Boarding Groups were moving very slowly and were somewhere around 40 in the middle of the afternoon.

After some time in the pool we had decided that we should head back to DHS so that we could be there as soon as possible if our group got called. Over the holiday weekend, they had made the decision to extend the hours of DHS to 9pm on this Monday, it was originally scheduled to close at 8. As we were leaving the hotel around 7, it was looking to be a good thing for us that they did that, cause it was going to be close. The boarding groups were just getting into the 70’s but were moving more swiftly now. We arrived at DHS as the Boarding groups were crossing into the 80’s. We needed food so went to the Dockside Diner for some hot dogs while we waited. we nervously watched as the minutes ticked away and the BG number slowly rose on the giant times board outside of the Frozen Sing-a-long theater. The number went to 86 around 7:45 so we headed toward Galaxy’s Edge. As we were walking into the land, our group was called! We went straight to the entrance and into the queue. The whole experience was a little stressful, but did add some to the anticipation, not that we needed much of that. While we made our way through the line, which was moving a little slower than expected, we began to hear rumblings that they had stopped the boarding groups. I checked the app and sure enough, they had cut it off at group 88. We had just barely made it in.

I won’t go into too much about Rise. There are plenty of other places to get that info. I will just say that it absolutely met expectations for my youngest son and I. He is the most into the parks in our family, had watched the ride videos, and got all of the info he could before going. I had tried to keep myself in the dark as much as possible. I knew the basic plot, and had seen some still photos, but had not seen any videos. We both loved it. My oldest son has seen the Star Wars movies, and enjoys them, but he isn’t quite the nut for the rides like we are, but he enjoyed it too, especially once we got in the ride vehicle and started to move around. My wife is almost oblivious to all things Star Wars. She just has no interest. But, she enjoyed the ride too. We did have to explain a little bit of it to her afterwards. but it was definitely enjoyable for her. So, I think we gave a pretty good variety of the experience within our little group of 4.

After making it on Rise, it was time to head back to the room, so we could catch up a little bit on sleep finally. We didn’t have to be up quite as early the next day, as we were heading to DAK and had our FP for Flight of Passage in hand already.


Enjoying the read; looking forward to the next installment.

Day 4, Tuesday February 18, DAK day

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is my favorite park. It is just so cool to be able to be in a place where you can so easily slip from a relaxing stroll through an immaculately themed jungle animal trail right onto a thrilling roller coaster. I always try to place it into the middle of our trips when we are here for several days, as a way of taking a relaxing day, while still being in the parks.

We went to the bus stop at the tower on this morning so we could grab something from the bakery to get our day started. We were out there a few minutes after 8 and the bus arrived not too long after that. We were at DAK and through security just after 8:30. They had already opened the tapstiles, so we proceeded right in and headed to Pandora to get right onto Na’vi River Journey. To my surprise, they already had the ride running. We made it through the queue and off the ride by 8:58. So, we had a ride done before the park even opened. Next was our fastpass for Everest, so we crossed the park to get to that done, making a stop along the way to peak into some stores on Discovery Island. The leisurely pace of DAK was in full gear as we made our way to Everest and used our FP to walk to the front and immediately get on a train. After another great ride, we decided on our next move. Off to Africa we went to eventually get on Kilimanjaro Safaris, but first we did some of the scavenger hunt looking for Lion King statues. We always enjoy these in Epcot and the little gift for completion is usually something fun, so we thought we would do it here too. After finding all of the statues in the Harambe area (there are a few more down by FotLK) we went on our Safari. We had one of the best drivers we have ever had, got to see the baby zebra, and overall had another great experience. Our Flight of Passage FP was next on our list, but the window wasn’t opening quite yet, so we headed over to the UP! bird show. We actually had never done this before, even before it was UP! themed. It was fun, we love bad jokes and were entertained by the bird acts. Definitely a good way to spend a few minutes at the park. Now it was time to head back to Pandora and take a flight on a banshee.
A couple years ago when we first rode FoP, my oldest son was still battling some motion sickness stuff. But he seems to have outgrown it and now will ride just about anything. So, he was excited to get back on and try it again after deciding to pass on it the last few trips. That meant my wife got to ride too. It never really bothered her, but she knew I loved the ride and she was fine sitting it out so I could ride with the youngest. I am happy to report that everyone enjoyed the ride this time and we got the bonus of being able to exit past the three hand prints. It is one of my favorite “hidden” gems anywhere in WDW. After the ride it was time for some lunch, so we went just across the bridge to the Nomad Lounge. This was AMAZING, it immediately jumped to the top of our list of spots to eat in DAK especially, but also all of WDW. The atmosphere was relaxing, the food was outstanding, the service was great, it is the complete package.
After lunch, it was time to take in some shows, Nemo first, then a quick ride on TriceraTop Spin, where my boys began their “Karen tracker.” Sorry, they are teen/tween boys, it kept them entertained to keep track on their phones every time they saw someone get upset and complain to a Cast Member about something that was relatively inconsequential. In this case, they had to emergency stop the ride because a father had lifted up his son mid-flight to put him on his lap. A perfectly good reason to do so, definitely a safety issue. Well, there was a woman, who admittedly was on the complete opposite side of the ride and probably had no idea why the ride stopped, who was very upset that her ride was interrupted. Even after explaining to her that they would be able to get right back on after they cycled the ride through once to be able to reset it, she was still upset. I insert this story just to say, don’t be like this Karen. If something happens to go wrong like that, the cast members are going to make it right for you as best they can, getting upset isn’t going to ruin their day, but it may ruin yours.

Anyway, then we wrapped up the afternoon with a leisurely stroll through the park, we watched FotLK, finished the scavenger hunt, grabbed some corn from the cart in Harambe, and made our way to It’s Tough to be a Bug before going to Rivers of Light, where I had snagged a fastpass for some guaranteed seating. After RoL, we left the park to catch a bus to Epcot for some Extra Magic Hours. The bus stop for Epcot was filled almost to capacity, but conveniently, the stop for the Riviera Resort was right next to it with almost nobody in line. So, we sat on the bench behind the corrals and waited to see which would arrive first. When the Riviera bus appeared, we jumped right into that line and on the bus where we would then take the Skyliner to Epcot. A few other smart families had the same idea and had jumped out of the Epcot line, but not near as many as I thought would have, and definitely should have.

We really just wanted to try to catch Frozen Ever After and Three Cabelleros with some shorter waits during this, but arriving a little before 9, we decided to go take in the Short Film Festival First. We had plans to watch Epcot Forever another night, so we didn’t need to be out there for that. As we walked into the waiting area, we noticed that there was just one family meeting Mickey, who is now in there with his new backdrop, and nobody else in line. It’s not often you get that kind of access to the big cheese, so we took advantage of it and then made our way into the theater for a near exclusive showing of the shorts. As we came out, the fireworks were over so we went against the stream of the crowd towards Mexico. We hopped on the Gran Fiesta tour before coming out and grabbing some food at La Cantina de San Angel while we waited to see if the line for Frozen would let up. It really didn’t get very low and we were getting tired, so we made the decision to skip it this time and just head back to the room. It was another successful day of park hopping.


I could totally see my teenage son doing this too. :rofl:




Day 5, Wednesday February 19, Break Day?

This day was meant to be our “break day.” That is to say that the plan was to just sleep in, wander to Disney Springs, hang out at Coronado Springs, and wander into DHS for the evening. I had fastpasses lined up within the new tier system that went into effect that day for Alien Swirling Saucers, Slinky Dog Dash, and Fantasmic! While nobody intentionally woke up, we were all awake at 9am and a check of the app was showing that MK had some low wait times. So, we got around and headed that way, but of course, by the time we got there, things had begun to pick up. We wandered around a little bit anyway. It was a great time to hop over to Tom Sawyer Island, and we did the Pirate Adventure game so we could snag some fastpasses for Pirates, which we planned on using the next day. By the time we did that stuff, it was almost lunch time, and the 13 year old had one thing on his mind…getting to Chicken Guy! So, off to DS we went.
The buses don’t run to Disney Springs from MK until 4pm, so we hopped on one to Saratoga Springs that happened to be sitting right there.We got off at the stop nearest to Springs and walked over to the boat launch that took us across to the West Side. from there we walked back through, making our way to the home of the chicken and sauces. I had seen plenty of evidence on twitter and such that there can be a line that forms just to get into the place, so I was prepared for it, but it wasn’t there. We walked right and up to the register. We hadn’t been there before, and here is my opinion of it. It’s fine. That’s it. It’s chicken fingers, we did enjoy the variety of sauces, and the cost wasn’t too bad. But it really wasn’t amazing. it was good for something quick, but I wouldn’t wait in line for it, and I think there are plenty of better options there at Springs. So, we finished up there, did a little bit of shopping, and then stopped at the Coca-Cola shop so we could get a flight up on the upper deck to fill the empty place in our vacation left by the absence of Club Cool (may it RIP). It was fun when the guy at the table next to us tried to warn us about one of the selections. My oldest proceeded to pick up the cup of Beverly and chug it. Haha

After leaving Springs we made a stop back at the hotel before heading to DHS. DHS went pretty much as planned. We made it there right around 6 to catch the back end of the FP window for Saucers. Saucers is honestly one of the favorite rides in the whole place for our family. We have never come off of that ride without a smile. It is just so fun and simple to whip around like that. Now, in fairness, we have never waited longer than 10 minutes to go on, and I couldn’t imagine waiting for as long as the wait gets sometimes. But, the ride itself brings this group joy every time. By the time we got off, our window was open for Slinky Dog and we went right over there for a night time ride through Andy’s back yard. We could have headed to Sunset Blvd and got ready for Fantasmic! but we decided to sneak in a visit to our favorite Muppets. We just missed the show, but decided to wait for the next one anyway. This was going to push us farther back for getting to use our Fantasmic! FP. That was fine anyway, because we actually wanted to be a little closer to the top so that we could make a quick exit before the end and try to hop on the Skyliner to Epcot to catch Epcot Forever. We were in fact over to the far right of the theater so that we could sneak out once the steamboat moved past us adn the race was on. We made our way out the front of the park, to the Skyliner, and made it to the International Gateway about 8:59. We tapped in and went up to the bridge to France to take in the show. Then we took a nice slow stroll out of the park to call it a night.

The next day was set to be a big one because it was the last full day we would have in the Magic Kingdom on our AP, and we were going to go Rope Drop to Kiss Goodnight.


My notes so far for my upcoming trip:
Check out the Nomad bar
Find out about these handprints on FoP (I haven’t ridden this yet)
Coca-Cola bar in DS
Check out Epcot Forever from France



Thanks for the laugh and the game tip, “Karen tracker”, my teens would definitely play that! :rofl:

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Nomad Lounge is on our list for April; and we will be looking for the handprints as well as it will be our first time on FoP too @Broph1988

Thank you for the trip report so far!

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Sorry, It was a busy weekend at home so I didn’t get a chance to post the next one as I had hoped. it is coming up in a few minutes. But, in the meantime, an update on the hand prints.
if you hadn’t heard of them before, there are three hand prints on the wall after exiting the ride. They belong to Joe Rohde, John Lando, and James Cameron. I haven’t seen them every time I have come off the ride, so I think it definitely depends on which “theater” you get as to whether or not you will pass them. I am sure someone out there has the details on how to make sure you can see them. I myself like to have the anticipation of not knowing whether or not I will come across them.


I think I know Disney until I read a trip report like yours and learn many new things that intrigue me.
Don’t know about the hand prints coming out of FoP and have never been to the Nomad Lounge. Sounds like a great trip!


I’ve been there. As many times as my family has been. We still had plenty of firsts on this trip. It really is almost impossible to “do it all.”

Day 6, Thursday February 20, MK all day

Originally, this was going to be the last park day in our trip, but we ended up “needing” to extend our trip by a day. But, we still kept the plan of just staying in MK for the whole day. Along the way, the boys then decided that their goal for this day was to ride every “ride” in MK. They weren’t counting shows, and I was very much making this their thing, so I wasn’t going to get technical with what was or wasn’t considered completing their quest. I did have a touring plan prepared for this day that would act as much of our guide to make it happen.
Arrival at the park went as planned. We rolled up to the tapstiles just after 8 as they had begun letting people down Main Street. We entered under the train station and a beautiful blue old fashioned car was waiting empty. So, we hopped on for a ride to the hub. This was one of the things that our family had never done (technically we had been on a bus during a Christmas parade taping, but never during regular operations). Oh, and don’t hesitate to ask if you can sit in the seat and honk the horn. I just asked for a picture in front of the car, but the driver said, go ahead and have a seat. Don’t mind if I do. We then headed to the Tomorrowland bridge where we joined about 8 other people waiting for rope drop.

Given the go ahead from the Mouse on the castle stage, we went with the mass to Space Mountain to start our day. Then from there we went up to the Tea Cups and Barnstormer. I think we got off to a pretty good start, actually well ahead of schedule according to the plan. So, we took a minute to look at the wait times and see if we could sneak in something else we knew would be a longer wait later. Haunted Mansion was still showing a 5 minute wait, so we decided we should go knock that out now and save needing to get a FP for it later. By the time we got there, it was up to 10, but it still was going to be worth it, and it was. We made it right inside the building quickly, so basically no wait. Coming out of there we got back on track and after heading under the Sea with the Little Mermaid, we stopped for a cinnamon roll at Gaston’s.

It was time to use our first FP, which I had for Mine Train starting at a 9:55. It was now closer toward the end of that window, and by the time we got out of there, it was time for our Peter Pan FP to come open. Our next schedueld FP is for BTMRR at 12:15. so, we have a window to play with. We head to Adventureland to hop on the Magic Carpets and then up to cash in the FP we earned from the Pirate’s Adventure game yesterday. We floated through the Caribbean and into the jail scene, stationed right in front of a very happy Jack Sparrow enjoying his riches, when suddenly, we were going no further. After about 20 minutes of being the second boat in line to be able to exit, we finally got going again and were greeted at the exit by a CM tapping our band to give us each an “anytime” FP to use later in the day. That would definitely help us in our quest. So, we headed up to BTMRR to get the last of our scheduled FP taken care of. After tapping in I began the quest in the App for the 4th FP. knowing that I had another in hand. I always go with the “first/best” theory. As in get the best one you can, at the earliest time you can get it. In this case it was for Many Adventures of Pooh at 1:30. We were heading to our lunch reservation at Be Our Guest after the wildest ride in the wilderness. So, that worked well actually. Then, Be Our Guest happened. Check in started out fine. CM found our name on the list, sent us up over the bridge to the next CM. She put us in a line and it was progressing, but slowly. Then we get near the room with the kiosks for ordering and there was a break in the action. Now, we had done breakfast in BOG before, and I ordered ahead in the app, this option wasn’t showing up for me today. I still haven’t looked to see if they quit doing that, or what the deal was. Anyway, after waiting almost 30 minutes, just to order, I was getting hangry. I don’t usually do this, but I put up a frustrated twitter post really just as a reminder to myself to avoid BOG for lunch in the future. Well, the WDW Guest service account reached out to me and offered some assistance for my troubles. I did tell them it wasn’t necessary, but did also accept the two more anytime FP’s they sent my way. In the meantime, Pooh had some downtime, and I was awarded another one for that. So, here we were sitting at lunch now with 4 anytime FP’s in hand and I had gone ahead and booked another FP for the Tomorrowland Speedway. The rest of the day went pretty smooth as we cashed in the FP and easily made it onto the rest of the rides with enough time to spare to get back into the hub in time to catch “Once Upon a Time” while eating some hot dogs from Casey’s sitting on the fake grass in the park of the Hub.
So, we had a little help, and Splash Mountain was closed, but my boys were satisfied that they had been on every available ride in MK that day. It was a great day for sure. we headed into the Emporium to get as much of our end of trip shopping done as we could before heading to the bus stop. We do have one more day in the parks tomorrow, but also have to switch resorts to Caribbean Beach. So, we had a bit of packing to do when we got back.


Never thought there was a real reason for me to use a twitter account until now…


Enjoying the trip report! Just FYI for the future, the BOG pre-order is only available on the website version of MDE. You can’t do it through the app for some odd reason.

Ah, so that’s why I couldn’t find it. I didn’t even think to try that. In that case. I definitely recommend using that service. That kiosk setup was not ideal.

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Day 7, Friday February 21, Last day of AP, and Villain’s After Hours

EPCOT Festival of the Arts is definitely our favorite festival. I think I mentioned it before, but it really is true. And basically the reason for it is that my youngest is a budding artist for sure, and he has connected with Disney Artist Kevin-John. Each of the last two years he has met with KJ and had a great interaction. We have kept in touch a bit through Facebook and we found out that KJ was going to be at EPCOT for his signings on this Friday. So, that is the reason we had to extend our trip. We couldn’t go home on the day that he was going to be there. Essentially, this day was all about making sure we were in EPCOT at 3pm to catch up with KJ. But first, we had to transfer resorts. CSR has been great, but we had to transfer because the room we had was booked on a Passholder promo, and they didn’t have any more rooms available for the extra night I needed. The best deal was to head over to Caribbean Beach. Which actually worked out well for us anyway as we would be hopping from DHS to EPCOT during the day. we just had to figure out how to make sure that our bags were going to get to CBR before we had to go to EPCOT. My son had made a couple gifts that he wanted to take for KJ, so relying on bell services to get them over there early enough was not an option. We decided to get a Lyft to take us to CBR in the morning with our bags and we would just leave them with bell services there, then we could hop on the Skyliner right at 8:30 to head to DHS in time to get a boarding group again. This plan went off without a hitch. FYI, they did check to make sure we had a reservation at CBR.
We were at the Skyliner station pretty much right at 7:30 and hopped right on the line to DHS. Through security and back into the line for Toy Story Land. I had FP’s lined up for RnR, MF:SR, and ToT. But, we were starting with a rope drop of Saucers. There was only going to be 2 of us getting a boarding group on this day, my oldest and wife decided they didn’t really need to do it again (crazy, right?). Maybe we just did better this time, or maybe it was because there was only 2 of us, but we got group 19 this time. That was perfect because we should definitely be boarded sometime in the morning. We were worried that we would get called when we planned on being in EPCOT. After getting the group we went to Saucers, then my oldest and I went to RnR, wife and youngest bailed on that. I think the week was starting to wear us down a little bit. The plan was to meet at the entrance to Galaxy’s Edge at 9am.

We met there and they had just called group 18, so we walked on in and right as we got near the entrance, I got the notification. We hopped right in line, while the other two went to get another Ronto Wrap. RotR was even better the second time. There is just so much to take in. I can’t wait to get back there and join the resistance. After we got off, we met them in front of the Falcon and then used our fastpass for that. The RotR, MF:SR double dip was pretty sweet. I am glad that worked out the way it did. I will never claim to be the biggest Star Wars fan, I enjoy it, but I am by no means among those who live the stuff. That being said, Galaxy’s Edge is an amazing place to be. Easily one of my favorite lands to be in while at WDW. After getting one more blue milk and wandering through Batuu, we made our way back towards the front of the park. In the meantime, everyone else had decided that they were good skipping ToT. I was a little bummed about that because I haven’t been on it for a few years and was really looking forward to it. But, oh well. So, we headed towards the exit and back to the Skyliner to see if we could get into our room at CBR to relax for a few before heading to EPCOT. I had already received a text that our room was not ready, but while on the flight over I decided to check the app anyway and see if we had been assigned a room. Sure enough, we had a number, and we would have to walk past it to get to the lobby anyway, so we stopped to see if we could get in, and we did. So, the boys stayed and “relaxed” in the room (pretty sure they were jumping back and forth on the beds the whole time) while my wife and I went to retrieve the bags from bell services.

After relaxing in the room for an hour or so, we hopped on the Skyliner to EPCOT and through the International Gateway where we took a right to head toward the Regal Eagle Smokehouse. We were pretty excited that this opened up while we were here. It was delicious, definitely an upgrade from the old Liberty Inn. I am sure there are BBQ purists out there who will tell you it isn’t great BBQ, but guess what, it is great BBQ for where you are. Next we went the rest of the way around the World Showcase and over to a FP I had snagged for Mission:Space. Then I got a FP for Spaceship Earth one more time as this will be the last time we will be on this version of it. Next, it was finally time to go meet up with KJ. This is what my youngest had been waiting for all week and it did not disappoint. He gave him the paintings that he made for him and had him sign his new pieces we bought. They had a great chat and we definitely enjoyed ourselves. So, we headed back out of the park and to the hotel to regroup one more time before heading to MK for Villain’s After Hours.

Well, we love the Skyliner and realized we hadn’t been on the monorail yet this trip, so we decided to get to MK by going back through EPCOT. Really a waste if you are looking at efficiency, but whatever. It was an unexpectedly cool day in WDW. The day before it had been a high of 84, today’s high was 59, and as the evening set in, it was only getting colder. We purchased some winter hats and gloves as we got to MK to make sure we could stay warm throughout the night. Weird for us Western NYers to be walking around Disney bundled up like that, but we wanted to make sure the cold didn’t affect our night. Before the event started we settled into the Train Station to watch Happily Ever After. If you have never watched the show from there I would definitely recommend it. We got there about 7:15 to get a spot right on the center of the rail. I think I can safely say that was the best view of the show I have had. Now, if you haven’t seen the show at all, by all means, you should be down in the hub. The projections are a little bit harder to make out from the train station, but if you have seen it before you still know what is going on.

This is going to be a short version of the Villain’s party. Others have reviewed it, I am sure. I will say that for us, it was fine. Probably not worth the money, even after a passholder discount. But, it was a good experience with low crowds, free popcorn, ice cream and drinks, and the show was fun. I think you have to make a choice with an event like that. You either want to do the rides and take advantage of the rides having lower waits, or take in the special themed stuff, like the snacks and shows. We tried to do some of both and we found ourselves bouncing around all over and probably could have done better. Anyway, Space Mountain was super cool in the complete darkness and Pirates was fun with the live actors. All in all it was a good night. We were exhausted by the time the Villain’s were waving goodbye from the train station above us as we left the park. We hopped on the bus back to CBR and hit the beds hard.

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