Anniversication! (Nov. 10- 16)

This trip was a wonderful way to celebrate our 30th Anniversary!!! It was so much fun, and a lot of credit for that goes to you guys and the things I learned here. Thank you all.

At the end of June, when we chose WDW as our place to celebrate, my idea of planning a trip to WDW was to call my parents, who live about 40 minutes away from WDW, and tell them we are coming to visit. They have lived there for about 15 years and knew WDW way better than we did. We had never stayed on site. I had never made an ADR, or advance FPP reservation myself. I had used the kiosks in the parks to make more on days I was there. I was one of the people with no plan, but my parents did a pretty good job of getting us around the parks, and we always still had good trips. The main thing we knew at the beginning was that we wanted to avoid the 40 minutes of driving at the beginning and end of the day. DH started checking at work to see when he could take a week off, and I started looking at the Disney website for things we could do, and researching further by reading a lot of other sites for better explanations of things- the Disney site is really good at causing more confusion than they clear up.

On the 4th of July I made my reservation for Nov.10- 16. One easy thing we could do leading up to that was pick out some places we wanted to eat- that is actually a big deal to us when we go places- and we had found some things we really wanted to do- things that we were never aware existed before. In the process of making a reservation I was asked about adding a dining plan. I had no idea what it was, but I did Know I did not have to make final decision about it right then. More research, but no one who does any of the websites about traveling to Disney likes the dining plan. They have a lot of reasons for not liking it that have nothing to do with the numbers. I got very frustrated by this. I ran my own numbers and found that the DxDP would easily save us money with the meals we already had planned, so I added it to our reservation.

Everything went forward, FFP day was Sept. 11. no issues. Then, on Sept. 12 DH came home limping. He had hurt his knee, and overnight it got worse. I took him to the hospital and we found out he had torn is Patella tendon. Surgery to repair it was on the 17th. The doctor said he would be able to walk, but would have to wear a brace to keep it straight for 6 weeks. Then it could be unlocked gradually after that. He was determined to keep our plans as they were. No matter what we would still have a good time, after all- it was WDW. At 4 weeks after surgery he started PT and they did start working to where he would be able to unlock the brace safely at 6 weeks. It all worked out well, and he was able to sit on all the rides, but because of some weakness when walking he also used a crutch in the parks.

Since my parents live close we asked them to join us whenever they wanted to during our week there. I did ask them early in planning to let me know if they wanted to come for any of our meals, or have FPP with us on any day. Looking back, I should have just added them to everything from the beginning, (I did not know I could get FPPs for them when I got mine. I learned it later) then I could have easily removed them from things they would not be doing. 3 weeks before our trip they asked me to go ahead and get FPPs for all the things I had them for. What? I tried. I changed some things and got 4 FPP for almost all the things I had 2 for- of course no FoP. I did not have one for SDD or SDMT anyway. However since we had been linked up on MDE, and they have AP, I had been watching the FPP availability for the current day and I knew a few things. One is that even outside of the regular drop times there are many FPPs available everyday. FPPs for everything. I saw SDD, FoP, FEA, and SDMT during many times of the day. I figured I could get anything on the days we were in the parks.

A week later I was asked to add them to our BOG dinner ADR for 6:00 on the 12th. Well, it was a party reservation, and you have to call to make changes to those, unless you get lucky and there is still availability. Bu I did not want to change my time, so I called. Once I got through it was easy to add the 2 people to that one. Then a few days later they asked if I could add them for our dinner at H&V on the 11th. That was F!DP for us, but they did not want to go to the show. No. It was not possible to just add them without the show. I had to do something different. I also had a PPO breakfast there for that morning- one of the things I wanted was meals with Goofy. I had 2 that day. I just had to be able to switch them. Not so easy, but I knew something most of the CMs who do reservations on the phone do not know. All meals at restaurants that are part of the various dining packages only have one pool of available reservations. If there is availability during the times that you can schedule meals with a particular DP at a participating restaurant, and there are still any dining packages available they are the same as the non-package meals. I had to be sure I could get dinner for 4, and still get a PPO breakfast for 2. I knew that I might be able to cancel the meals I had and get them back again, but I also knew I might lose them. So I set the res finder to find an early breakfast for 2 and a dinner for 4. As it usually does, it came through. I was able to get an 8:50 F!DP res for 2, and I changed dinner to a regular meal for 4 a little later than the original. I was able to move dinner back to my original time that I dropped right then. The 8:00 breakfast res was gone as soon as I dropped it. I was hopeful that they would in fact still let me in to start early, like everyone on here said they would, and they did. They took in all those who had earlier reservations and had checked in before us first, but we were still in the restaurant at a table before 8:15. I am pretty sure many people get PPO ADRs just to skip it and be at the front of the line to go into the rest of the park. That restaurant was no where near full while we were there, but there were no more ADRs available.

Finally it is time for us to go. It is a long lead in, but all part of the story. Without all of that our story would be different. It is easier to appreciate the best parts when you know the struggle to get to them.

We left home on Friday the 8th and drove to GA to spend a couple of nights with good friends. We had a wonderful visit, and left Sunday morning- destination POP Century resort. We got there around noon. I had done online check in and had not received any word about a room. We decided to wait for it and collected our mugs and got some drinks. We then set off to explore the resort and AoA. We shared a bacon cheeseburger, fries and a tie dye cheesecake. Around 2:45 we went to ride the Skyliner to HS and back- just to check it out. We were back

Around 3:30 and I went to stand in a much shorter line to check on our room. Almost as soon as I got in line I got the room ready text. 1329. Not what I was hoping for or requested at all, and I felt a bit of disappointment, but we were at Disney world, and those few extra minutes of walking really would not make a difference in the grand scheme of things. We moved in and got on a bus for DS. We walked around for a while and then headed toward Morimoto Asia- Dinner scheduled for 6:45. We were early, but they checked us in and would text us when our table was ready. Well, MA is right next to Raglan Road, and they had musicians outside the restaurant- entertainment while we waited. When we went in for dinner we were taken upstairs and had extra entertainment of watching the tables below have all kids of different food delivered to them. We ordered Fried Mushrooms and Shumai as appetizers, Morimoto Peking Duck, and the Chef’s Choice Gelato and sorbetto. They were all good. We had a fun night and a wonderful meal. Then we had a LONG walk to the bus back to POP- that is actually a recurring theme in this story. Time to sleep so we can be ready for a long day in HS.


11/11- Veteran’s Day in HS. Actual CL 7 Original FPP- TSM 9:05, M3D 11:00, ST 12:05. ADRs H&VF!DP 8:50, H&V 5:10

The alarm goes off at 5:40 and we get up and prepare for a full day. Magic bands, sunscreen, mugs, battery pack for the phone and out the door we go. We have breakfast in the park, but need coffee now, so we stop in the food court on our way to the bus. 6:45 and 5 of us are on our way to the park. Early morning busses are a great ride. We have to wait for security to open, but once we get through that it is a short wait to get in the park. I am not expecting greatness from this meal, but as long as I do not have to make it and Goofy is there it is good for me. It turns out to be great. Typical breakfast items are not any better or worse than they are anywhere else- sausage, eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, not too difficult, and all fine. Fruit is fruit. There is something they call apple crisp, which I really like, and while the plan is not to fill up too much I do get more of this. Excellent service, fun characters, especially Goofy-no bias here. It is a wonderful meal. My parents are meeting us for our first FPP- TSM, but they will not be there at 9:05 which is when our time starts. We ride-walk on-AS2 first, then meet them at TSM. I can move 12:05 FPP for ST to 9:45, so off we go. Then I am able to move M3D from 11:00 to 10:10. We are done with our first 3 FPP. SWGE and MFSR are the next things. We wait for about an hour and it is fun. My son and I have watched Star Wars the Clone Wars series and Rebels together, so Hondo Ohnaka is a familiar character- one I was always happy to see in any episode he showed up in. The ride is fun. Could it be better? Maybe, but I am not sure how you would give everyone a chance to do stuff if it was different. I love that you can all work together to complete the mission. I love that if someone just wants to ride they are able to do so. We have another FP for TSM, and then one for the next Frozen show, and then the next LM show. Then we have another for ST and then it is too close to time for dinner to do anything else. We sit on a bench at H&V and wait for check in time and just visit. There are FPP for SDD at 6:35!!! Yay for that!! We go in for dinner- once again another delicious fun meal. Good service, fun characters, great company, Festive Feast- what’s not to love? Smoked chicken, butternut squash soup, egg nog cheesecakes, apple cranberry tarts, I could go on. All of that plus Goofy as Santa! Okay, I can admit it- I love him, always have always will. My parents are pretty picky eaters, and they are able to find plenty to love at that meal. Slinky Dog Dash! I have been skeptical about the new coasters. Can they really be that good? SDD is a really fun coaster. After we ride SDD Mom and Dad leave, and I get our final FPP of the evening- ToT at 7:55. For the first time that day we head down Sunset Blvd. On our way we are able to watch the cool Christmas show with the projections on ToT. Fun times. I love ToT. Something about it makes me so happy. This is the first time DH has been on it. Then we get drinks and go to our special seating for F! After F! it is time to get to the Skyliner back to POP. Fun day at HS!!


wow with all your excellent planning, I would have never guessed this was the first wdw trip you planned on your own

All of the people here on this forum- credit to all of you. You are excellent teachers.

11/12- MK MVMCP Actual CL 2 Original FFP- HM 10:05, SpaceM 1:05, PPF 4:35. ADRs LTT 11:20, BOG 6:00

5:40 alarm. Today we get breakfast in the food court, Bounty platter and pineapple cup to share. Even this, while nothing exceptional is fine. There is nothing bad about it. Out for bus before 7 and on our way with about 7 people. Mom and Dad plan to meet us after we have lunch. Once again we wait for security to open, we check out the Christmas tree and walk down Main St. We find a place to sit near the Adventureland entrance where we can see the castle and watch people see the castle. When they dropped the ropes we ride PotC- walk on. Then at SplashM they let us go around to avoid stairs which are difficult for DH if there are very many. BTMRR is closed so we go to HoP, then to use Our FPP for HM. I trade PPF FPP for 2:35 SDMT and we go to lunch. Cheese dip, Clam Chowder, and Lobster Fritters. DH enjoys a Pilgrim’s Feast and I am in awe of the lobster roll. It is amazing- huge chunks of lobster, lots of them. I wish I had a picture of it. Nothing I found online resembles the sandwich that arrives at our table. So tasty. We also try the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake. It is delicious. It is also very rich. One of few plates we will not quite clean. Time to meet Mom and Dad in Tomorrowland. CoP, then FPP for SpaceM. MiLF. Mickey’s Philharmagic, IaSW, then our SDMT FPP. It is fun, but way too short. I prefer SpaceM, Splash M, BTMRR, SDD, RnRC. Next we are going to get a return time for mom to get on Jingle Cruise (we have to use the special boats the ECV can go on). We have a 45 minute wait so we go to ETR, and claim our Dole whips that have been ordered earlier in the day. By the time we are done with them it is time to go for our ride on JC. It is fun to have some new “punnies.” Next on our agenda is get our party wristbands. Mission accomplished. There is not really time to do much except for check out some of the shops on our way to Beast’s castle for dinner. None of us have any complaints about this meal either. The soups were delicious. Pork for DH and Dad. Dad wants green beans and mashed potatoes with his, and that is not a problem. Scallops sound good to me, and Mom likes the Filet Mignon- she just can’t finish it so the rest of us have a chance to like a taste of it too. The dessert trio is interesting- not bad, just different. My dad does not like dark chocolate much, so Mom thinks she will get his, but he likes that dark chocolate truffle. When we are done DH and I head to PPF, Mom and Dad want to find the Party Welcome Treat and go to Main St. We will meet again in Tomorrowland. We get there first and are able to walk on BLSRS. When Mom and Dad get there I tell them I want to go to MiLF again. Dad does not get it, because we already did that. I told him it would be different, and he says well, of course it will- like it is always a little different. Finally when we get in and he looks around he starts to understand. Roz in a Christmas sweater, and the fun that always happens in there… I love that and could really do it many times and enjoy it. After this Mom and Dad leave and tell us they will not be with us the next day. DH has no interest in riding SpaceM again, so we go on TTAPM and can at least experience the overlay a little bit. In order to avoid the crowd in the hub we walk back through Fantasyland It is about 9:45, and we find a place where we can see some of the castle and a lot of the sky and get some popcorn and water and sit to watch the fireworks. The show is great and we have that whole area to ourselves. We finish our evening with another ride on PotC and JC. Then we head out of the park just ahead of the 11:00 parade, and really have no problem getting through. Hike to the POP bus, and time for sleeping.


11/13 EP Food & Wine. Actual CL 2 Original FPP- SE 9:15 and TT 10:50 (Hoped to get one in after tap in for SE, missed by 2 minutes.) ADR- CMC 5:10

5:40- alarm. Up and at it. Repeat of Tuesday adding parfait to meal. Then we go out to get on Skyliner to ride to EP. Waiting at IG. When we can go our first stop is Soarin’. We wait for one flight to finish then we can go. Next is SE, and we tap in at 9:52. Oh well. NP, MSO is practically a walk on then it is time for TT. Since it is after 11:00 and F&W is a main thing this day we start hunting for the Foods we want to try. We track down about 6 items when we get to Germany. We know that we want to try all 3 foods there, but if we do we will not want anything else. There are also picnic tables there, right by the lagoon, so we decide to make that out spot to watch EF if it is available later, and that we will use the dishes at the German booth to make our own firework party. We try a few other single things as we continue to make our way around WS, and end up at the Imagination Pavilion. It was time to stop eating anyway so we start working our way through the things we had skipped earlier- Figment, Nemo, Crush and LWtL. There were plenty of FPP for all of them, but they were not necessary. At this point taking a boat to BC seems like a very good idea, so that is what we do. CMC- DH is not impressed, I am only here for the crab legs, and they are fine. Pina Colava is delicious. I did not even look at desserts. Apple strudel is calling me. Back on the boat to EP. Back through security. Back into the park and make our way past the crowd at the EttB concert- “Bye Bye Bye”. We find an empty picnic table right in the corner in a great spot for EF. We claimed one side of it and happily share the other side with several groups of people as the evening goes on. We can hear the final concert, but it is background form there- rather than blow up your ear drums. There is a restroom nearby, the KK (treats to take home) and the German F&W booth. It is the perfect spot for us. Around 8:45 I get our “Party” meal and we have our final snack of the night. We are not disappointed. There have been so many good things to try, and these last 3 prove to be the equal of any of them. When EF starts there are so few people around and none behind me so I can sit on that table and have a wonderful view. I enjoy every single moment. After it is over we wander through no crowds back to IG and Skyliner. It is the end of Wednesday, and we only have 2 days left.


11/14- AK actual CL 3 Original FPP- EE 9:15, FoP 2:00. ADRs- TH 8:00, Tiffins 4:00 (FotLK DP with show at 2:00)

5:40- get up go to Classic Hall and find that the Christmas tree had been set up overnight. From the far end of the hall it makes me think of my tree. It has a blue glow that makes it seem like they did what I do. I use at least one string of just blue lights for every string of colored lights I put on. I recognize that blue glow, and it makes me very happy. We go to the food court for coffee and get to bus. Arrive at park super early, but there is a bench, and more Christmas music. We are in the park in plenty of time to get to breakfast. We check in and wait- not long. This meal is special. There are some more unusual things, that are very good. Goofy is silly with us, I think he figured out I love him. At the next table he swipes the MBs off their wrists and only the last person in the group notices. Well fed we wait for Mom and Dad to be allowed across the bridge so we can got ride KS together. Then it is time to use FPP for EE. Mom does not ride that, but Dad said just to go ahead and get it for her too, so DH and I ride using FPP and Dad goes SR. We still have 2 FPPs and DH did not want to do it again, so Dad and I use the other 2. Some of these rides just make me so happy, and that is one of them. Twice in a row is a real treat. Next we go to MJT. I really want to do this and see all the animals. I also want to change 2 FoP FPP for 2:00 to 4 for sometime earlier if possible at the 11:01 FPP drop. I do get to see 2 tigers, and some really pretty birds. I also have places where I have zero wifi and zero cellular. We exit at 11:00 and I am ready and get 4 FoP FPP for 12:05. My dad is amazed. He had no idea that happened. Apparently Mom’s favorite part of AK is the Night Blossom at Pongu Pongu so we make that our next stop, and wait for our FoP time. Mom and Dad are going to the Margaritaville play that night, so they walk with us up to Tiffins, where we have to get our passes for the FotLk show, and say goodbye. The weather for the next day is not looking bright and sunny- actually, it is looking rainy- so they do not plan to join us. We go to check in for our show and sit down to wait for time. I had seen where some people had said that the theatre for FotLk was small so the numbers of those exiting the show before ours is a big surprise to me. So many people keep coming out of that “small” theatre. That is an excellent show. So much fun. We use a pointless FPP for the bug show- necessary if we want one for NRJ that evening. Before dinner we catch the FPP for NRJ at 5:35. Tiffins is so relaxing. We have a very quiet meal of Corn Chowder, the Cheese plate, and Charred Octopus- DH is much more adventurous than me, but I try a taste. It is good, but I like my corn chowder better. Next comes the surf and turf meals, with perfect steak and scallops, and the potato thing- yum. A Tiffins trio for dessert is the perfect end of the meal. NRJ next. We enjoy Avatar, so the ride is very pleasant. I love the colors of Pandora at night. Once the ride is over we just sit and enjoy watching night settle and the colors come out in the park. Finally it is time to go watch Awakenings at the ToL. We do not have to wait long. It amazes me what they do with those projections. Time to make the trek to the bus, only the bus to POP at AK is not quite the hike it is at other places. One, last day to play.



These were our steps too!!!

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I saw that. we were following but we did not move super fast.

Edit- That is the way we always went through MK. Adventureland first.

Love the report!!

11/15 HS Actual CL 2 Original FPP- ToT 9:05, BatB 10:30, IJ 11:30. ADRs- 50sPTC 12:50, SoA@PVR 8:15

5:40- yep, alarm- up, breakfast in food court, Skyliner. We are able to go right in when we get to HS, so we can wait to be allowed down Sunset Blvd. Around 8:45 they let us go and we are walking onto RnRC at 8:55. it is kind of strange because there were people where we were waiting, but by the time we get to RNRC we do not see anyone. No one even walking into the buiding. No one in line. No one until we get to the loading area and we get on with a group of people. Never even see the band. Then FPP time for ToT. We still have a long time to wait before BatB, and DH is not into to doing either ride again, so we walk on at ST. We could have also done M3D, but it was down. Back for BatB then right to IJ then lunch. 50sPTC is the only place we have eaten on any other trip. We liked it so much other times that we are eating there again. So totally not disappointed. Waitress is fun, and the groups eating around us are all happy to play along. Such a friendly wonderful meal. DH gets soup and wedge salad as well as the sampler plate. I am a little concerned because I know what I want from the menu online. The menu in the restaurant looks different, and it turns out all the things I want are in the little bubbles at the top of each list- Crab cake, pork chop, and apple crisp. I order the bubble meal. That pork chop is huge. DH got a little bit of it, but not much. After lunch our next stop is MFSR. Still fun. Able to get FPP for SDD, then TSM, then we have to head out to find a bus to PVR- turns out also GF. We do, but there is a crowd leaving HS at 6:15. We get there with plenty of time to spare. We explore a little, check in for meal, walk to Luau Cove and wait. Here the show is good. The food is half very good, and half very bad. The ribs were probably very good for the earlier meal, but now they are dry. The chicken is still very good. They will bring as much as you want so we are fine. When it is done we have to get on the monorail to go to MK to get on a bus to get back to POP. Done.

11/16 Go home.

7:15- No alarms needed. We will be awake in time to leave. Breakfast at the food court. Because we did not have a meal in SWGE, or Pandora we have 2 meals and also 2 snacks left after we got breakfast. We used them to get lunch we could take with us- ham and cheese sandwiches, rice chips, tie dye cheesecake, 3 halos, and a chocolate croissant. It worked out just right. We only had to stop once for food all the way home. Express check out so no lines to wait in. Pack up and leave. This has been a lot of fun, but I am ready.

We had a wonderful trip. It was so much fun. I learned things all along the way. There are things I would do the same and things I would change. I have no major complaints. Every CM we met was awesome. We were fine with Disney transportation. We parked the van, and it did not move until we left. We love the resort, and will be happy to stay there again.


Some lessons learned-

If we come for F&W again we will spend 2 days at Epcot, and stay in the park for the whole day. Mostly now I really want to come for CP after F&W when EP is in full Christmas/ holiday mode.

I understand why people would do no park days. If I am going to a park for the day that is what I will do. If I want to do things at other places I will plan days with no parks. If I had an AP I might do park and other things on the same day, but if I am paying for a day in the park I will spend the day in the park. I can easily see reasons for having days to relax by a pool check out other resorts, water parks, putt-putt.

I understand the frustrations around ECVs and wheelchairs, however, I also travel with people who would not be able to go places without them. On this trip, with DH needing to have that crutch, I also understand the frustrations of those who have to have assistance to be able to enjoy their vacations. DH did pretty good keeping up with mom on her scooter, and she can really go, so he was not moving that slow. Fortunately because of the crutch he never hit the ground.

One cool thing about having Mom and Dad there for part of the trip, no matter where we are in the park, I could tell my mom where we wanted to go next and she knew the best way to get there. There are some places with smaller walkways, that are also less traveled walkways that eliminate some steps. Without her I am sure all my days would have ended up being 10 mile days.

To those of you who fly- I am so glad I live 10 hours away. The craziness at the flight check in area at the hotel on the day we were leaving… WOW! I respect those who do that.


So glad to meet another true Goofy fan, great trip report


I have loved Goofy much longer than I have known DH, and DH knew How I felt before he became DH. :wink:

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This is a picture at ToL Awakenings near the end of the story. I took the picture with my phone and did not realize it came out so nice until I looked at it on my iPad.


I have a few things to say about the trip and planning and some other things.

One, if we are using park tickets we will stay in the park. If we want to do more, see more, play more outside of the parks I will leave a day for that and not use a ticket. If I had AP that would be different.

I learned some things about FPPs that I have not really seen mentioned here. One is that the night before and early morning people change their minds about going to the park they had scheduled for the day. I watched many morning s as FPPs for many things became available. Also, it is especially worth noting that if people are able to ride things by RD-Ing them they sometimes release their FPPs for them. I have seen quite a few of the harder to get FPPs at and just after park opening times, especially if there are morning EMH. I know about the drop times, and they helped me with what I needed for FoP. Also, people just change what they will do a lot. There is so much change and I have been surprised, many times, by things that just showed up.

It was very educational to be able to use the fact that my mom and dad have APs to watch the true FPP availability leading up to the trip. By the time it was time to go I was fairly sure we would be able to get anything we needed while we were in the parks.

I have some things to say about dining and things related to it and I am working on that, but it is proving to be more difficult. Every time I start to write that part I get… passionate.