An hour wait for coffee (and very little wait for anything else): A Trip Report

I’ve been a very active lurker here off and on for years. I don’t post very often, but you have all been so instrumental in making our recent trip (March 26 - April 2) insanely successful, so I wanted to post a detailed trip report as I turned everything I learned here into an incredible (and much needed) 7.5 days at WDW, during spring break, with very little waits for much of anything. Except Joffrey’s.

Once upon a time, in June 2019, my mom and my grandmother took my three daughters to Disney on Ice. The older two enjoyed it. The youngest (then 4) didn’t blink for two hours. $17 popcorn went uneaten. $40 bubble wands went unbubbled. “Should we consider a Disney World trip next Spring Break?” my mother asked. “She’s the only one who hasn’t been.” We booked a four night, three day trip to Disney World followed by some time at Fort Myers Beach. We planned. We ADR’d. We Fastpassed.

And we canceled everything on March 13, 2020 (the same day that my county shut down schools for the remainder of the year). I more or less survived teaching high school virtually for eight months while supervising remote school for my three (including a kindergartner). We rebooked six times - June, July, and then October, November, and Spring Break 2021 over the next year. By the time our extraordinarily patient travel agent booked us for the last time, the trip had grown/evolved/metastasized into a 7.5 days at Disney, 6 days at the beach monstrosity with five park days (all with G+), two pool days, and many many sangrias. Saturday - Wednesday for me, DH, DD11, DD9, and DD7. Wednesday - Saturday my parents joined us too.

Me and DH, just excited to be somewhere other than working during a pandemic. Finally being back at Disney is just bonus.


Oh yall are adorable


I can’t recommend flying into Sanford and booking private transfer with Mears enough. The Sanford airport was entirely stress-free, our bags were at the carousel almost instantaneously, and our Mears driver was prompt, attentive and professional.

We arrived at Port Orleans - Riverside at 2:30, dropped our bags, and grabbed lunch at the food court. The vegetarian items took nearly a half hour, a theme that was repeated throughout the trip, but were pretty tasty once we got them. After spending some time refamiliarizing ourselves with the resort, we wandered down to FQ to compare the two pools and, most importantly, locate the beignets in anticipation of breakfast the next morning.

Despite my attempts to magically make our room number appear by repeatedly refreshing the app, we hadn’t gotten an update well after 5:00, so DH, DD9 and DD11 said hello to the carriage horses while DD7 and I got in line in the lobby. We waited for ten-ish minutes before we were able to speak to someone. We grabbed a first visit celebration button for DD7 and asked if we might have a check-in time estimate. The sweet CM made a call and got us a room immediately, despite my reassurance that we were happy to wait and enjoy the resort if it might be a bit longer.

We found our room (a 5th sleeper in Alligator Bayou Building 28). The children argued over who got the murphy bed while we freshened up and headed to DS. We waited for at least 3 boats before we made it to the front of the line - in retrospect we should have walked to FQ as they had much shorter wait times. Our captain was fabulous, better than the best skipper I’ve ever had on JC. I’ve had a secret wish to someday stay in the treehouses at Saratoga Springs, but after hearing his bit and listening to all the boat beeping that apparently continues late into the night - never mind!

Waiting for the boat to Disney Springs

DS was more crowded than I’ve ever seen it, something I should have anticipated as it was a Saturday night during Spring Break. We put our name in at Jock Lindsay’s and were given an hour wait. We’re all Indiana Jones fans, so we were willing to wait it out. DH hung back near the entrance while the girls and I enjoyed the live music on the plaza stage. We had a table within 15 minutes, but while there were plenty of empty tables inside and quite a few other locations on the porch available, they put us in the most exposed corner outside. By this point it was in the low 60s F (15ish C) and incredibly windy. Despite being of hearty Wisconsin stock and wearing sweatshirts, we were freezing. We asked if we could move inside or at least to an unoccupied table out of the wind and when he finally reappeared after a 15 minute absence, our server said no, it was impossible: this was our table and we must stay here come hell or high water. We’d already ordered drinks (sangria #1 for me) and some small plates (tuna tacos, empanadas, and sliders) so we stuck it out. The food was good, the drinks were passable and we watched the fireworks at both Epcot and Magic Kingdom simultaneously from afar, but between the poor service and the cold, it was a let down. We popped over to Ghirardelli for a hot chocolate in an attempt to thaw out DD9 and a sundae for the other two (who were now cured of the chills apparently). It was a madhouse. DH and I took turns waiting for our order, about 30 minutes in all, while the others visited The World of Disney. The only thing any of my daughters desperately wanted was the gigantic model of Cinderella castle and the (much) larger than life water-spitting Stitch statue on the marquee. Our dessert order was eventually ready and was nearly worth the wait - I could eat the hot fudge with a spoon. We made our way through the crowds back to the boat launch, waited for about 45 minutes and headed to our room to crash.

DD9 at Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar, prior to the being seated at the coldest, most exposed table that ever was.


We followed up a blissfully late lie-in with beignets and chicory coffee at FQ. We arrived just in time; the line was out the door within a few minutes of grabbing our order. The beignets weren’t the best I’ve ever had (Lucile’s on Colorado’s front range has my heart), but its hard to mess up fried dough covered in sugar. The chicory coffee was just ok, and I wished we’d had the option of steamed milk or half and half - adding CoffeeMate seems borderline sacrilegious.

DD7 was more covered in powdered sugar than her beignet by the end of breakfast

After a day at Ol’ Man Island pool, we hopped a bus to Animal Kingdom at around 3:45 and another bus to AKL for a 5:00 PM dinner reservation at Sanaa. We had some time to learn about the various animals outside the restaurant. DD9 felt a particular connection with the Ankole cattle. Once seated (near but not at a window), we ordered the bread service (good, but nothing we hadn’t had at an Indian restaurant), sangria #2 (Mickey ears!) and a beer. I ordered samosas and the salad sampler. DH and DD11 split the Potjie inspired braised beef and rajma masala. Both DD9 and DD7 had the kids’ butter chicken. The ambiance and service were delightful and the meal was tasty. Pumba’s Dessert Grub was a particular favorite of the non-Disney adults. We walked off our meal back at POR before an earlyish bedtime in anticipation of a RD at MK the next morning.

My Sanaa sangria had Mickey ears! (and was the second best one of the trip)


MONDAY: March 28
Magic Kingdom (TP Crowds 9/10)
7:30 am - 7:00 pm (used early entry)

Morning: Space Mountain (RD), Buzz (5 mins SB) Astro Orbiter (20 min SB :roll_eyes:), Tiana & Rapunzel (15 min SB), Sleepy Hollow (breakfast), Mickey’s Philharmagic (walk-on SB)

Midday: Carousel of Progress (walk-on SB), Journey of the Little Mermaid (25 min SB), Hall of Presidents (walk-on SB), Tiki Tiki Room (walk-on SB), Skipper Canteen (lunch)

Afternoon/Evening: Big Thunder Mountain (LL booked @ 11), Jungle Cruise (LL booked @ 7), Teacups (10 min SB), Winnie the Pooh attempt #1 (offline after 10 minute wait), Mickey (walk-on SB), Tomorrowland, Speedway (15 min SB), Splash Mountain (LL booked @ 1), Pirates (30 min SB, offline after 20 min wait), Winnie the Pooh attempt #2 (anytime LL), Haunted Mansion (LL booked at 3, offline), Pirates (LL booked at 3:50 tap, never comes back online)

At 5:30 I finally decided to stop staring at the inside of my eyelids and get myself ready and prepped for our first G+ bookings. Both my cell service and Wifi were painfully slow in our room, so booking LLs outside at the bus stop was helpful.

The day proceeded as follows:
At 7:00am I book Jungle Cruise for 4:30. We arrive at MK and are held outside the park until about 7:30. We are through the main entrance tap and EE tap and are held at the rope on the Tomorrowland bridge until 8:26. The next few minutes attempting to make our way toward Space Mountain are harrowing as a hoard of teenage boys are pushing through people and jumping over barricades and garbage cans and several fathers are using strollers as battering rams while dragging older children and shouting irritatedly at anyone with the audacity to be moving at anything slower than a jog. DD9 asks me “Do they think that Disney isn’t going to have enough Space Mountain if they don’t knock people down to get there first?” Despite our relatively sedate walk to Space, we are off by 9:00 and off Buzz by 9:20.

DD7 sights Stitch on the Space Stage and DD9 wants to go on the Astro Orbiter. Stitch disappears as we approach, so we queue up for AO at about 9:25 and are off by 9:45, approximately 15 minutes more than AO deserves. Stitch is still nowhere to be found. I place a 10:30 mobile order for Sleepy Hollow as we head into Fantasyland as I optimize my TP. Lines suggests that Tiana/Rapunzel is a good bet time-wise. We wait for about 15 minutes, discover that Tiana had enjoyed her time as a frog and that Pascal was presently out in the garden. We also catch Anastasia and Drizella at the castle on our way to Sleepy Hollow. 11:00 rolls around as we eat our Nutella and fruit waffles in Liberty Square, I grab BTM for 3:45 and reset our alarms. We spend a good 5 minutes removing Nutella from DD7, and catch the Celebration Cavalcade as it passes the Liberty Bell. It is now 11:15 and the park is getting crowded and my offspring still want to see Stitch. We detour to Mickey’s Philharmagic as we make our way back to Tomorrowland. Stitch is back! There is much rejoicing! At this point, somebody makes the fatal error of complaining that they are tired, so onto Carousel of Progress we go (“It smells weird!” “This is sexist!” “Is that the guy from Christmas Story?”). By the time we are off COP, it is about 12:15. We catch the tail end of Festival of Fantasy from the Tomorrowland bridge, and then wait 25 minutes (probably the longest attraction wait of our trip) for Journey of the Little Mermaid (posted at 60 minutes).

My kids humoring me for a castle pic, when all they want to do is see Stitch

At 1:00, I book Splash for 5:00, grab a pair of spring rolls, and do Hall of Presidents and then Tiki (no wait for either). We have 2:00 reservations for Skipper Canteen which is a lovely, and air-conditioned break. DD7 had mac and cheese, both DD 11 and DD9 chose the kid’s curry and everyone selected the desserts as their sides (the volcano cake was fantastic). DH enjoyed the thai noodles and I enjoyed both my falafel and salad. I also had a sangria (#3 my favorite of the trip).

At 3:00, I book Haunted Mansion for 7:45. This is where things start to go south but also where we get some Pixie Dust. DD11’s shoe breaks. She and I stop by a blue umbrella in Adventureland and ask where we might buy a pair of flip flops. The CM directs us to the Emporium, but after seeing DD11’s teary face, tells us to go buy a pair of “comfy shoes on Mickey” and gives us a coupon for a free pair. DD11 and I head to the Emporium while DH takes the other two on the teacups.

Reshod and reunited, DD7 requests Winnie the Pooh, which breaks down after 10 minutes of waiting. She insists that meeting Mickey will ease her disappointment, so she and I head down Main Street to meet the boss while DH, DD9, and DD11 ride Tomorrowland Speedway. Based on his video footage, DD11 is never allowed to get her driver’s license. Ever. Mickey has no wait and so I have time to get Starbucks at Main Street Bakery on our way back to Tomorrowland and it’s time to start reaping the benefits of stacking just as the rest of my family walk off the Speedway.

DD7 easing the pain of an offline Winnie the Pooh

At 3:50, we LL Big Thunder and then use the pass-through to Adventureland for Jungle Cruise. We take an ice cream break and I grab 8:00 a Pirates LL as we pass-through back to Frontierland for our 5:30 Splash (which gets stuck next to the waterfall for a good 10 minutes and I get wetter than I ever have). At about 6pm, we notice that Pirates is 30 minute standby and decide it’s worth it if we can leave earlier than our 8:00 LL. After 20 or so minutes in line, we are next to get on the boat when everything shuts down. We stick around for another 20 minutes with fingers crossed, but it never comes back online. Haunted Mansion (our final LL) is now also down. Both turn into anytime LLs even though we’re hours from our return times. We have time for another snack break before using our first anytime LL on WtP, which initially doesn’t scan. The CM takes a look at my app and lets us on anyway. Everyone is tired and hot and both PotC and HM are both still down. We decide to cut our losses and head out. We have a second MK day planned for the end of the week, and tomorrow we’re off to Animal Kingdom.


You packed a lot into that day! Beautiful family.


It’s sad that a 9 year old has better manners than teenagers. Sigh.


Awesome :clap:


#RevengeTravel (and I love it!)


Great tip!


to any warm beverage.

One of the best dishes there! :drooling_face:



I love this!


TUESDAY, March 29
Animal Kingdom: TP Crowds 6/10
10:00am - 6:30pm
Morning: Tamu Tamu Refreshments (breakfast), It’s Tough to Be a Bug (10 min SB), Trails (probably spent 1.5 hours total)
Midday: FoTLK (15 min SB), Face paint in Harambe (Wait + application = about an hour), Kusafari Coffee & Bakery (lunch while in line for facepaint), Safari Train to Conservation Station (walk-on SB), Animation Experience (LL booked @ 1:30, not needed), Safari (booked @ 8 to get a later return time), Dinosaur (LL booked @ 11:30, not really needed)
Afternoon/Evening: NRJ (LL booked @ 9:30), FOP (LL booked @ 7), Satuli Canteen (dinner)

Although we’d originally planned to RD Animal Kingdom, being there by 6:30am sounds pretty unappealing after the longest day I’ve ever spent at MK. I’m still up before 6:00, so at 7:00, I buy ILLs for FOP at 5:30. I spend the next hour refreshing to get a late afternoon return time for Safari (at 7:58, I finally get a 3:00). Everytime it gets close to a late afternoon time, it resets to late morning, but the later times slowly crawl outward. At 9:30, I book NRJ while at the bus stop. We arrive by 10:00 and grab croissants, muffins, cinnamon rolls at Tamu Tamu, watch the Tam Tam drummers, and head to It’s Tough to be a Bug, which is less interesting than the roots of the Tree of Life, which everyone adores. We spend some time on the trails and I book Dinosaur at 11:30 for 4:30, which is probably unnecessary, but I had G+ for the entire trip, so I might as well use it.

Ready to tackle Animal Kingdom

After we’ve done our fill of the trails, we jump into the line for FotKLK. We are seated in the last row, which turns out to be just fine as it means my dinky kids can stand up to watch and not block anyone else’s view. All three girls desperately want their faces painted, so we eat ice cream and hand pies in line while waiting for their makeovers in Harambe. DH goes off on a margarita hunt and returns victorious.

DH was inordinately excited about this shirt. And his margarita.
At 1:30, I book the Animation Experience (which is definitely not needed). We jump on the train to Conservation Station, an area of the park I’ve never visited before. I’m so glad we did this - DD9 is a budding artist and it was really so much fun and totally different from anything I’ve ever done at Disney.

The Animation Experience at Conservation Station was an unexpected gem of this trip

We exit the train station in perfect time to head to a 4:00 Safari and have one of the best ones I’ve ever experienced. African wild dogs in a full pack play-battle, both a baby hippo and rhino, lions, and lots more.

Baby rhino butt!

Dinosaur is next, and we’re in great shape to do NRJ and FOP. FOP ends up being everyone’s first or second favorite ride of the trip. For a variety of reasons, I’d never been on it and have to admit I got teary eyed. We spend a little time in Pandora and then mobile order dinner at Satuli. DD9 has the hot dog and the rest of us have various bowl combinations and we split a very blue cheesecake for dessert. We’re done and on the bus by 6:30, which gives us a chance to shower and relax a bit before bed.

Next year’s Christmas card. Probably.


Seriously. Every time we rebooked, we added a day. It was out of hand! :rofl:


That is my second favorite disney shirt ever.


I gave the kids the option of a midday break or ride the “boring stuff” midday. I don’t know if they’ll ever want to do it again, but we did our best!


WEDNESDAY, March 30:
Chef Mickey’s and Pool Day

This was our designated rest/pool day. I probably told my children it was the middle of the night about 1000 times after 8:00am just to get them to go back to sleep. I was never able to score Topolino’s like I’d hoped (though one popped up in MouseDining for 9:00, 10 minutes prior to the time), so we enjoyed a late breakfast (11:50am) at Chef Mickey’s and spent the rest of the day at the pool. The family style breakfast at Chef Mickey’s was borderline obscene, but everything was tasty - especially the cheesy potatoes.

Somewhere in the middle of eating enough food for a week at Chef Mickey’s

Another friend from home boated in from DS and she and I tried new and exciting sangrias from the pool bar while the kids swam.

Coffee by the pool before sangrias at the pool

My parents arrived that evening and we helped them get checked in, find their room, and spent some time enjoying the resort. We also waited another half hour for another Impossible Burger. Lesson learned.


This is how it’s done: caffeinate up before wine-ding down


Oh my, yes. I went for the first time in 10/2020, and it was great!


This also sounds awesome. You are banging out these updates!


I’m a high school teacher and we’re in the middle of standardized testing season. I’m proctoring a test for 20 15 year olds and have nothing better to do! :laughing:


Love the nails!


Hollywood Studios (TP Crowds: 8/10)
8:15am - 11:45am / 5:00pm - 8:30pm
Morning: Tower of Terror (RD), Alien Swirling Saucers (SB 15 minutes), MuppetVision (SB walk-on), Woody’s Lunchbox (lunch)
Break at Resort
Evening: Docking Bay 7 (dinner), MFSM (LL booked @ 7), Droid building (6:40 reservation), Ogas (drinks), RotR (booked @ 7), MMRR (booked at about 3pm I think, didn’t use), RnRC (booked around 5pm I think, didn’t use)

We got on the fewest major attractions today, but had one of our favorite days in the park. We’ve all been raised on Star Wars. DD11 went through a period of time when she thought she was Darth Vader. This was our day!

We were set on RDing HS today and we did - sort of. The plan was for my immediate family to RD the non-Galaxy’s Edge stuff and then return in the evening with my parents to take in everything Star Wars. After our slow Wednesday and some prodding (after a thunderstormy night), we were mostly ready to go by 6:30 and ready to head to the bus stop, when DD11 realized she’d left her MagicBand in my parent’s room (she’d slept in there the night before). She ran ahead of us but didn’t hear my request to stay with them until we could meet her. Instead she darted around the resort. About 30 minutes of absolute panic ensued as we couldn’t find her and kept going in circles. We were seconds from calling the police when she apparently had the sense to go back to my parent’s room where my mom kept her under lock and key until we could retrieve her. It was one of the most terrifying moments of my life. Seconds after learning she was ok, I managed to calm down enough to book a 6:00 MFSR and a 7:30 RotR. Clearly, I have my priorities in order.

We arrived at HS about 15 minutes into EE and SDD, our original first ride, already had a massive line. We switched plans to ToT and waited for 20 minutes. It absolutely delighted DD11 and DD9 and scared the liver out of DD7. DH then took DD11 and DD7 on ASS while DD9 and I explored the park a bit and took in Muppet Vision at her request. DH then waited in our longest line of the trip - Joffrey’s - while the girls and I went and saw Chip and Dale and mobile ordered various grilled cheeses and tarts from Woody’s Lunch Box for 11:30. Coffee and donuts in hand, we headed toward Indiana Jones and caught the first Stunt Spectacular of the day. DH thought it was much improved from the mid-90s version he’d seen in middle school. We grabbed our mobile order and walked to an almost abandoned Pixar Place to eat. It wasn’t yet noon, but lines were off the charts and there wasn’t enough coffee in the world to push through the adrenaline crash we’d experienced after the morning, so we decided it was time for a nap. I grabbed LLs for MMRR and RnRc by randomly refreshing (they may have been at drops, but I wasn’t paying much attention), but we ended up not using them.

By mid-morning I’d calmed down enough (after losing DD11 for a half hour) to remember to take pictures again

We were back in the park by 5:00 with my parents and very much amazed at Galaxy’s Edge. We spent a great deal of time making approving noises and generally being in awe.

My parents and children very much approving of Galaxy’s Edge

The girls interacted with the Storm Troopers and we spotted Chewie and browsed the shops before mobile ordering Docking Bay 7. It was almost completely empty inside and was my favorite QS meal of the trip. My step-dad and I both had the tuna tataki, my mom had the chicken salad, DD7 had fried chicken tip yip, DD9 tried the felucian kefta and hummus, and DD11 and DH ordered ronto wraps. We agreed that the tuna and ronto wraps were great and most of the the other items were good, my mom said the chicken salad was pretty underwhelming. For dessert we sampled the green and blue milks. The kids enjoyed the novelty of them, though the adults were unimpressed, until we got a boozy green one. That was pretty dang tasty.

DD11. Tie fighter. Blue milk. What else could a girl ask for?

We oohed and awed a bit more as we made our way toward MFSR. My step-dad has a bad back and wasn’t going to be able to ride, but joined us in the queue and we all enjoyed finding various easter eggs and just checking out the Falcon. He used the chicken exit and the other six of us got our assignments. DH and DD11 acted as pilots, DD9 and I were gunners, and DD7 and my mom were engineers. We successfully got both containers of coaxium and ended up with positive points, not a bad first trip for all of us!

DD9 and the rathtar-in-carbonite

As we exited the Falcon, Rise went down and LL was switched to an anytime. We reunited with my step-dad and located Droid Depot in time for our 6:40 reservation. We arrived to find mass confusion and stressed out CMs. Apparently they were having technical issues and had run out of BB unit motors. We waited at the outdoor line for a few moments until I thought to check inside and make sure we were at the right place for reservation check-in. We weren’t, but found it quickly enough. However, another guest in the walk-in line was incensed that we had “cut the line” and started screaming at us and the CMs and threatening to get security to have us removed. The poor CMs were already running around like headless chickens and ultimately stopped taking walk-ins altogether. By the time it was our turn to build, they’d found more BB motors, though my girls all wanted to make R2 units, so it wouldn’t have been an issue either way. They had a blast building their new buddies and the CMs were so fun and interactive and really made them feel special. I’d bought some clear plastic backpacks on Amazon and the girls decorated them with Star Wars stickers. They were perfect for the droids - they could interact as we move around Galaxy’s Edge and didn’t cost anywhere near the price of the backpacks in Droid Depot. They also worked perfectly for the plane ride home.

Droid building was a highlight for everybody. Meet R2E2, Bucky, and Arlo.

The technical issues at Droid Depot meant we got a delayed start on the build and were already late for our 7:20 Oga’s Reservation. This is the one thing I wish we’d skipped. We ended up at a high-top, nearly taller than DD7 for our 7 plus two strangers to the table. Our waiter was great and it was an interesting space, but felt rushed and too crowded and the drinks were teeth-curling sweet. Definitely a one and done, especially with kids.

By the time we exited Oga’s, Rise was back up, so we jumped in the LL. It must not get many early exiters, because I had to explain to multiple cast members that I needed to know when how and when my step-dad could exit. Of course we were all blown away by everything, and the kids asked repeatedly if we could go on it again. (The standby wait was 80 minutes, so no).

DH basically had this expression for the entire night

It started to rain as we exited and found my stepdad and everyone was getting a little tired and cranky. My parents (both in their mid/late 70s) were ready to go and needed help navigating the park and the bus system so we opted to skip MMRR and RnRc this time. I sent my parents to bed with explicit instructions to rope drop MK the next morning, so to get their beauty rest!