A trip report

We were in the world from Sep 3-13, which still wasn't long enough to do everything!

The first five days were at Riverside. We left after a half day at work and landed about 7p. On the plane i realized that I forgot a few important things like my swim suit and collection of DWAs. I thought I'd have to take a trip to a Target on the way to the resort, but we had friends who are coming down the next day and they went to our house and grabbed everything I forgot. We were a little slow leaving the airport, so I canceled some fast passes for splash and 7dmt, but kept one for msep with the hope we could still make it. While driving from the airport, it looked like bad storms were in the distance, so we just went to the hotel since we expected the parade to be canceled. We were right, and I got an email saying we could have a replacement fast pass for any ride. In an attempt to take advantage of NTKS' s orbitz promotions, I had booked our first night separately and in a regular room. At the front desk I learned that we would get to be in the royal guest room that I had booked for the rest of our trip-bonus night upgrade! We briefly listened to Ye Haa Bob, grabbed dinner at the food court and settled in for the next day.

We went to DHS for our first day. We had FP+ for ToT and TSMM (I cancelled the third). We got the first space in the parking lot with the diamond AAA pass (I'll hate to see this benefit go) and joined the crowds at the tapstiles, not all were open, and the ones that were had quite a few people at them, except for the very ends, but right as we were about to be first in that line, another savvy individual swooped in front of us, putting us second. We did the march to the hat, got right up to the rope, and watched the welcome show.
While I liked the 15-20 minute early openings at DHS, I do like opening shows to kick off the day at the parks. I wish other parks still had them.
We headed to tsmm, got buzz and woody's autographs then went to RnR and ToT. We probably use rider swap passes to the point of exploitation, but I lost count of how many times we rode and re rode various rides. Back to tsmm to use our fpp, and then we rode again using the anytime fast pass we got the night before. The CMs recognized us coming back so soon. My wife and I worked hard to team up for the different games and we had our best scores ever, but still nowhere close to the 400k+ that I see. We proceeded to get fpp after fpp, but I lost count as to how many we got, but we rode tsmm a few more times RnR as well. We walked up to a fpp kiosk at 1124 and got an 11 25 arrival time. While I wish there were more kiosks, I'm glad that you don't have to walk all the way to the attraction if you are on the other side of the park to get a pass.
It was raining of and on, so we missed the character palooza. We saw the frozen sing a long and thought it was fantastic. We had a fpp for that, but we got great seats without it. The girl in front of me kept turning around and smiling as I sung Hans' part.

We had lunch at Brown Derby. We split the cobb salad. But it looked like the appetizer portion, we were charged for the full size, but ours was smaller than others I saw. I ordered the burger, which was delicious. I wasn't impressed by the four small potato wedges that came with it, but the burger was huge and filled me up. My wife ordered the chicken Alfredo which was dreadful. Hardly any sauce. What was there just looked greasy. My wife requested more sauce, and even when it arrived, it didn't help. Olive garden would have been better. We shared the dessert trio. Blueberry cobbler, chocolate sphere, and banana toffee cake. The server brought the caramel custard instead of chocolate. I don't know if the server knew he was getting 18% because of TiW, but he was miserable. The only table nearby that didn't leave before us was another table he was waiting. After he cleared our main course, he was gone for 10 min then came back and asked how we are doing. I Should've just asked for the check and gotten a carrot cake cookie. Instead I asked for a desert menu. But really? You leave us for 10 minutes with nothing and we have to ask for the dessert menu and you ask us how we are doing? Not well pal. We were looking forward to eating here again, but we won't be back soon.

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Hooray for the upgrade! Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.

I love trip reports. Thank for sharing @keithloveswaffles.

Awesome start! Thanks for sharing and can't wait to read more! smile

Trying to do this on my phone is tedious, so this may take a while... Or I'll just give up and recount done observations

The rain cancelled all but the first scene of indy when we watched it. Fortunately muppets is always dry, so we saw the key under the mat and Annette Fullofjello.

There was no Fantasmic that night and I wasn't feeling too great, so we headed back to the resort to catch a nap and watch Ye Haa Bob. We grabbed a couch and some drinks. My 1 year and 364 day old son had fun listening and dancing to the music. I got a sidecar, which was delicious, well mixed, and pleasantly boozy--until the little guy knocked it over and spilled half of it. When I went to get some napkins at the bar, the bartender asked what I had ordered, and before I knew it, he brought me a new one on the house. Every time I needed something, he was reading my mind.

We had a grand time, and we were soon met by friends who flew in that day. They had an adjoining room to ours, which was great for letting or soon and their 19 mo daughter play.

The next day we had an 805a crystal Palace reservation to celebrate my son's 2nd bday. We were at the TTC by 0715 to activate the military salute tickets for our friends. 30 minutes later we finally had them. The process took way too long. And the cm helping us kept having issues. My grand plan of walking up mainstreet at 0745 was shot. Only ferries were running, so we had a slow ride over and were late to our breakfast reservation. At that point I knew we couldn't improve the situation, so we enjoyed our meal and met everyone. The breakfast casserole was delicious, and I had my first of many Mickey Waffles this trip. I found a lot of the food to be under seasoned and bland.
My son got a birthday card signed bythe characters and a cupcake.

We then went to the rides. We used fpps at 7dmt and got a bunch of rider swaps. The birthday boy was now tall enough for his first rollercoaster, so we went to Barnstormer. He wouldn't stand very still at the measuring stick, but the cm saw his head bump the line and let us past.

We also took a few trips on Pooh and Peter Pan before going to splash and big thunder. I have never gotten so wet on splash before. On the first little drop we got soaked. We were in the front of the log and caught a huge wave that drenched us from our necks to our shoes. I think I've left KRR drier. The big drop was nothing in comparison. We didn't stay much longer and went back to the hotel for naps and birthday celebrating...

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We ordered pizza from Flippers, thanks to Liner recommendations. The pizza was delicious. We also ordered a cake from Disney. It took some back and forth. They require 48hrs notice, but I took a few weeks of back and forth trying to find the right price point. Sure Disney can make anything, if you give them an unlimited budget, but it's a two year old's cake...I didn't need or want to spend hundreds.

This is a link to the picture of it.

We thought it turned out great. And for the price, it was worth it. I was originally told the checkerboard "base" would be $30 and any white chocolate picture would be $30. I had seen a picture of a cake where the "Cars" shield had the child's name, and I wanted that, but recent policy changes prevented them from customizing it like that. Oh well.

After cake and pizza, we went to Epcot. We thanked the Phoenicians, did an Agent P in Germany, and walked around some, but it was drizzling and my wife wasn't feeling good now. Due to the rain, the sparkling dessert party was moved into the Odyssey building. It was cool getting to see the inside of it, but I wish we could have been in the regular spot. The desserts were tasty, we drank a bunch of champagne, and had fun, but my wife wasn't able to enjoy any of it unfortunately. I didn't mind the $50 price per person, but think that there should be an under 21/non drinker price. The desserts were better than our TTDP later in the trip, but the mood was off not being outside and boozing and stuffing ourselves during the fireworks...though I tried a little by carrying as many glasses of sparkling wine and cookies as I could. I must say, as many times as I've seen Illuminations, the view from the front of the house was pretty cool. I've always watched from a country, and it's cool, but I did prefer the designed view...

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@keithloveswaffles is AAA parking at all parks still? We will be there next month, and heard rumor that AK not accepting AAA parking? Just curious if you know. Also are AAA lots open for pre-RD ADRs do you know?
Love reading about the trip report!

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Enjoying reading your report! Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip!

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Thank you for sharing your experience with the Sparkling Dessert Party. We have it booked in November and I'm looking forward most to the view from the designated party area. Good to know that you really enjoyed it!

So, since real life has taken over and writing up what I originally envisioned ain’t gonna happen, I’m really going to t̶r̶y̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶c̶a̶p̶t̶u̶r̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶f̶e̶w̶ ̶t̶h̶o̶u̶g̶h̶t̶s̶ be way too verbose for my own edification so when I look back 10 years from now I can read this and have a twinkle appear in my eye.

Saturday, we went to Epcot for the AM. As my wife and friends prepared to get in the long bag check line, I told them to follow me and trust me and walked to the other side for no wait. We were there 30 min before rope drop, but the open tapstiles all had pretty long lines. It didn’t seem like many were open, which probably contributed to this. My wife and friends wanted to just jump in one, but I wasn’t content with that, so I went toward the dining check in area, saw that there wasn’t any crowd and convinced the others to come over to me and trust me once again. Once the other tapstiles started letting people in, we walked up to the empty dining ones and went right in.

While they wanted to go straight to Soarin’, I called an audible and headed to the character meet first, waited a few minutes for them to get ready, but when they were, we were the first guests and Mickey came and met us and walked my son by his hand to meet Minnie and Goofy


We enjoyed getting pictures with the three of them together, and then separately. Once again, I looked like a genius.
We spent quite a bit of time letting the children look at the fish with Nemo, rode it a few times, and went to World Showcase. They hadn’t seen the Voices of Liberty or Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps, so we caught them before a meal at Via Napoli. We ordered the frito misto, and while I enjoy calamari, my wife avoids seafood, so when the majority of the platter was squid, she was disappointed. We liked it, just wished there were more veggies/cheese and less calamari. Our friends ordered a large pizza, and the waitress was about to walk away when we piped up that my wife and I were going to split a large, too…we should have caught the hint that the one large would be sufficient for the whole table. Instead, we had two larges (ours was half 4 cheese/half melon & prosciutto) and proceeded to eat ourselves silly so that we wouldn’t waste any. We still took several slices back to the room. We made sure we rode Maelstrom with FPPs, shed a small tear, and headed back to the room for naps and swimming.

We really liked the pool at POR. I liked the slide, thought it was a good length to be fun, but still quick enough that the wait was never too long. It sprinkled while we were there, stopped, and then picked up again and was heavier. It was entertaining watching the people who hurried out of the pool and seemed concerned to be in the rain–you just were swimming, you are still wet, how much wetter will the rain make you?

After waiting a little, we headed to DHS. After a few rides on RnR we went to to draw Piglet at the animation academy, but the class was full, and we were the last in line, so we all got split up and had to use lapboards. I was a bit surprised how full it was, but wouldn’t fully grasp how crowded things were until fantasmic. I figured we could grab seats and alternate riding tower of terror while we waited. We arrived 40 minutes before the start and were held near the top of the hill. The loud speaker announced it was standing room only. The crowd grew denser and denser. We waited until just before show time, because they were seating all the FPP holders, dinner people, and people who were rained out the previous night with rain checks. If there was ever a time that I wished I had a FPP for a show, this was it. It was hot, it was humid, the crowd was impatient, we were thirsty, tempers were getting short. It was predicted to be a 3 day, actually a 1 day, but because of a perfect storm of events, it was a completely packed house. We ended up being in the bleachers on the other side of the walkway, horrible spot with a limited view and could barely see the tops of the water sprays. I have never seen the theater that full. Fortunately, as people started leaving early for the Frozen fireworks, we were able to move up to the top of the normal section to see the end.
And of course, once it was over, we were far from the exit, and the streets were packed. I wanted to stay for the Frozen fireworks, but was overruled and had to settle for glimpses as we shuffled to the exit.

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The 7th was a full day at the Magic Kingdom. We made rope drop, and on the way in, there was some tour group that had lined the street. As we went past, a gentleman reached out and handed my son a little Mickey figurine, that made for a special moment. No idea who he was, who he was with, and we never saw him again, but definitely a fun little moment.

We rode the mine train several more times, utilizing fpp and rider swaps, rode pooh several times since the children liked it so much, and once while we were in line waiting for the next ride vehicle, they stopped the ride for maintenance. The wheelchair accessible vehicle’s door got stuck with a guy on board, so they had to take off panels and work at it to get it to open so he could get off. I asked the attendant jokingly why they didn’t just keep sending him around again to keep the line moving, and she replied that they had been doing that until maintenance showed up! Poor guy! To keep everything moving, once the guest was off, the worker climbed inside and started repairing it while they ran the ride again, so he got to experience it in all of it’s glory a few times.

The wives and children got in line for the carousel, and when they were buckled in a ready to go, the cast members began circling it. After at least 10 minutes, and countless safety checks of the ride, they got to go. I don’t know what would make that ride unsafe. Can it spin so fast that the horses start flying off?

Lunch was at BOG, I got the roast beef sandwich, which I liked but my fries were pathetic: limp and not very warm. We ate in the ballroom, which while pretty and the snow is cool, the babies still are creepy, and it’s a lot noisier than the Rose Gallery, which is what we would normally eat in.

Lightning in the area cancelled the parade after we had staked out some good spots and had been waiting, which since our friends were leaving the next day and we planned to spend it at AK, they would miss it, which was a bummer. We went to get Dole Whips and were able to get a table under the glass area before it started pouring. A little DWA and we enjoyed the time.

We got to enjoy the “future/90s” on CoP twice due to someone exiting the ride in another scene and lots of frantic announcements over the loud speaker for people to remain seated and not get up.

Back to the rooms for one more night at POR…

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