When: Sunday April 17th-Friday April 22nd
Where: Swan Hotel
Who: Me, DH, DS (15), DD (11)
This trip was supposed to happen in April 2020 and was rescheduled to April 2022! We had a 6 day park hopper pass. I utilized Genie + and Individual Lightening Lanes. Monday thru Thursday, I woke up before 7 and purchased Genie + for the day. At 7am I booked the ILL that I wanted for that day since you could select specific times & then I would wait for the 7:12-7:20 to book my first Genie + of the day.
We rented a car and never got on a Disney bus.
Day 1 April 17th: Travel & Epcot
Flew JetBlue direct to Orlando out of Boston at 7:30am. Despite the April JetBlue issues, our flight landed early at 10:30. Our hotel room was also ready early around 1:30pm!
My husband took the car to Walmart to stock up on provisions like Water, Gatorade and snacks.
We had dinner reservations at Rose & Crown in the UK pavilion at 5:20pm. DH has the Shepard’s pie, the kids both had fish and chips and I had a burger. It was all very good. I had made a 7pm ILL for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure while boarding the plane. After dinner we walked around the entire World Showcase until we got back to France. We all loved the Remy ride. Very fun. Despite the darkening clouds we decided to do Spaceship Earth. Big mistake – we got caught in a massive thunderstorm. It was pouring buckets – the ponchos did nothing. We walked all the way back to the Swan during this storm which looking back was pretty dangerous but it rained hard for quite a while so there was no waiting it out. This was the only rain during our trip.
Day 2 April 18th: Animal Kingdom
Everyone slept in a little bit then we drove to Animal Kingdom. I highly recommend the coffee at Java in the Swan! My kids are not big breakfast eaters so we had some donut holes to tide us over. The weather today was 86, sunny with passing clouds and a little humid.
10:00 Kilimanjaro Safari LL (booked at 7:12am)
10:30 Gorilla Trek
10:45 Snack at Dawa Bar
11:15 Avatar ILL (booked at 7am)
11:45 Hot Dogs at Stand outside Tiffins for DS
12:15 Kite Tails
12:30 It’s Tough to be a Bug LL (booked at 11:30)
1:00 Maharajah Jungle Trek
1:35 Expedition Everest LL (booked at 9:30 two hours after opening)
2:15 Rainforest Café Lunch Reservation
FoP was great! Very excited Expedition Everest had reopened – it was just DS & I that rode this. DD is hesitant on roller coasters. We sat in the back & I saw the single rider line. They selected 3 single riders on the coaster before us. We had a lunch reservation at 2:15 but part of me wishes we rode this again via the single rider line. The Rainforest Café near us closed a few years back so this was a request from the kids. Our waiter was high energy and immediately brought over ice waters. We were famished and cleared our plates plus got the Chocolate Volcano dessert.
4pm Pool time for DH, DD & I
DS had friends who were staying at the Yacht Club. He met up with them and went to Hollywood Studios & rode the RnRC via the single line. The he went to Epcot for Xtra Magic Hours & rode Soarin’.
Day 3 April 19th: Magic Kingdom & Epcot
We drove to the TTC and took the monorail. The weather was 79 degrees and sunny with no humidity. It was perfect.
10:00 BTMRR LL (booked at 7:12am)
10:15-11:00 Haunted Mansion (40 minute wait)
11:00 Hot Dogs again!
11:30 Hall of Presidents
Noon Pirates of the Caribbean LL – booked after check in to BTMRR
12:15-12:45 Tomorrowland Speedway (30 minute wait)
1pm Mobile Ordered Lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Starlite Café while in line at the Speedway
1:30 Carousal of Progress
2:20 SDMT ILL (booked at 7am)
2:40-3:15 Monsters Inc Laugh Floor (15 min wait plus show)
Ice Cream Snack at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies
3:30 Barnstormer (30 min wait)
4:05 Space Mountain LL – booked after check in to Pirates of the Caribbean
7:20 Dinner Reservation at Via Napoli in the Italy Pavilion
9:00 Watched Harmonious
As I mentioned my DD was hesitant about any type of roller coaster. She watched videos of rides on YouTube beforehand. She wisely said no to Expedition Everest. We strongly encouraged her to try BTMRR. I forgot how long the ride was & I kept looking over to see if she was smiling or horrified. When we got off – she said “I LOVED it!”. Whew. We were in the front train of SDMT & she liked that too. Space Mountain was down frequently this day. Since many people had their original LL time converted into anytime LL – the LL was longer than usual. It took around 24 minutes. DD was letting her nerves get to her while we waited in line but we calmed her down. And guess what – she loved it! Since the kids are older it ended up that we barely stepped foot into Fantasyland. I wish we had time for Splash Mountain but we were wiped out and no one likes getting wet especially on day that wasn’t that hot.
DH had left after Pirates of the Caribbean – he’s really not into theme parks. To get back, the kids and I took the monorail to the TTC and then got an uber back to the Swan.
We all freshened up and walked to Epcot for dinner at Via Napoli. It was actually a little chilly and very breezy this evening. DS & I split a pizza and DH had chicken parm & DD just had pasta and a piece of Chicken parm. We took leftover pizza back to our room.
Day 4 April 20th: Hollywood Studios
We walked to the Boardwalk for our breakfast reservation. It was 79 again, sunny, breezy and not humid at all.
9:20 Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno on the Boardwalk
DH had breakfast pizza and it was huge so we took the leftovers back to the Swan then took the ferry to HS.
10:45 Aerosmith RnRC LL 10:45 for DH & DS (booked at 7:12 am)
10:45 Celebrity Spotlight with Olaf for me & DD 30 minute wait
Noon Rise of the Resistance ILL – ride was down so it immediately turned into an anytime pass for the day
We planned on leaving & coming back in evening. I had already booked a LL for Runaway Railway at 10:00 – 2 hours after opening then I added Alien Swirling Saucers LL. We went home & had some great pool time. DD, DS & I headed back around 4pm. DH stayed at the pool. He ordered room service which he said was quick and very good. He then went to bar at the Dolphin to watch the Celtics.
4:45 Slinky Dog Dash LL (booked at 7:12am for me & DD, gave my card to son so he could ride instead of me)
ROTR went down AGAIN. We didn’t have a LL until 6pm so we decided to go to Millennium Falcon. The wait was listed as 75 minutes. In theory we should have been done by 6:30. The line ended up being a soul sucking 124 minutes long. At least 100 -150 people in front of us LEFT during the course of the wait. Some of these people waiting an hour or 90 minutes and bailed anyway!!! The line was not moving at all at various points. When the LL and the regular lane finally met the cast member looked like she was at her wits end – picking up the phone, slamming it down, rolling her eyes & sighing. If the ride was down at any point here – we were not informed. I just think it’s the nature of this ride not taking a lot of people at once. This was our one big mistake – we should have used this time to get something to eat.
6:00-7:00 Alien Swirling Saucers LL Missed because of the Millennium Falcon line
6:30-7:30 Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway LL
We got out of Millennium Falcon at 7:26 – luckily we had a 15 minute grace period because we didn’t get to MMRR until 7:32. When we left Millennium Falcon – ROTR was running again but the LL was going out to the plaza from all the people issued anytime passes. After we got off MMRR, we decided to finally get something to eat before heading back to Rise of the Resistance. The LL looked so long and I felt like I didn’t have it me. We mobile ordered from Rosie’s All American Café and took our time eating. I was hesitant to go back to Rise of the Resistance for fear of getting stuck in another long wait even though we had the lightening lane but various friends texted me that we MUST do it.
8:41 Star Wars Rise of the Resistance Anytime LL
Got back in line and the wait was only 20 minutes or so. Apparently earlier the LL was taking 40-45 minutes because of the backup. We are very happy we went back – this ride is incredible. Also because the ride was down at our original time – I was refunded the ILL amount even though we ended up using it. I’m sure that was a glitch.
Day 5 April 21st: Magic Kingdom & Epcot
Drove to the TTC & monorail. It was 82, Sunny and again no humidity.
9:45-10:45 Space Mountain LL (booked at 7:12)
Everyone wanted to do this classic again. We only intended to go to the Magic Kingdom for a few rides. It was much more crowded than when we went on Tuesday.
10:30 People Mover
11:10 Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor LL (booked right after Space Mountain)
We liked this so much the first time – we went back! It wasn’t as funny the second time.
We left the park & went to Popeye’s for lunch, off campus! Then it was pool/relaxing time & time for me to stack Epcot Lightening Lanes.
4:30 Living with the Land LL
Loved this – just as remember.
Grande Fiesta Mexican Pavilion
Loved inside the Mexican pavilion
Snacks – Dole Whip & Mickey Pretzels
5:30 Mission Space Green LL
6:00 Journey into Imagination with Figment LL
This needs to be revamped.
6:30 Soarin LL
Soarin was great.
7:05 Remy’s Ratatouille ILL (booked at 7am)
We loved this ride and wanted to do it again
8:20 Dinner Reservation at Teppan Edo in Japan – it was great!
Disappointed we never did Test Track or Frozen. Epcot was always our late afternoon/evening park and the lightening lanes for other parks took precedent.
Day 6 April 22nd
81, party sunny, slightly humid
My park reservation was for Hollywood Studios. I was hesitant to go back. Reservations for other parks were sold out but I followed WDWSTATS on twitter and Epcot did open up on the previous afternoon. I didn’t switch and I’m glad I didn’t because my son mentioned wanting to go on Rise of the Resistance again. I said “Fine but we need to rope drop – that means being at Hollywood Studios shortly after 7am for the 7:30 opening”. He was game & we put all our clothes into the bathroom so we could do a quick change in the morning without waking everyone up. I got up at 6:30 & got dressed. I woke him up at 6:45 & told him to meet me in the lobby. I got my final cup of coffee from Java at the Swan.
I got an uber because we didn’t want to mess around. It picked us up at 6:59 & dropped us off at 7:03! There were already a lot of people there. At first, we didn’t realize the lines to the left were for the people waiting for the 8am opening. The people eligible for the 7:30 entry were lined up on the right. We got through security by 7:12 and then into park shortly after that. We were at Rise of Resistance at 7:25& onto the ride at 7:45. As we waited, we watched the time estimate increase on app rapidly. By the time we exited at 8:06 – the wait was up to 100 minutes. As we walked down the hill – hundreds of people from the 8am entry were walking up to Galaxy’s Edge. I felt so bad because they were going to be greeted with a very long line. I’m very glad we rope dropped Rise because I saw things l missed the first time. We decided to do one more ride – RNRC. There was a line but we were on the ride by 8:30. That was my son’s 3rd time riding RNRC! After that it was time to make our way back to the hotel to pack up!
I really wish true park hopping was in place at this point. I would have loved to been able to go to Epcot at 8:45am and attempt to ride Test Track or Frozen or at least get a pastry from France!
We had connecting JetBlue flights on the way home & both were on time.
It was a great trip and having followed Touring Plans & adapting all the tips to suit our trip was the best thing I did. Unfortunately, the LL’s and ILL’s were a necessity especially since this was a one & done trip for our family. Every park was very crowded. I didn’t spend a ton of time on my phone during the day. I did a lot of research & tracked drop times before we left. During the trip - Every night before going to sleep I spend a little time to review my strategy for the next day. And of course, I would wake up at 6:45 & hide in the bathroom to get the day’s ILL and 1st Genie + Selection.
DS: Expedition Everest, ROTR (2 x’s) & RnRC (3 x’s)
DD: BTMRR, Space Mtn (2 x’s) and Remy (2 x’s)
Me: BTMRR, Space Mtn (2 x’s) & Expedition Everest
DH: Hanging at the pool
Also the two year delay worked in our favor. DS was old enough to be able to go off with his friends who happened to be there and DD had enough stamina to keep up with everything and she went on the big rides!
Side note: Many of our ride photos did not appear in Memory Maker because we did not use magic bands. I made a list of the eligible rides and the times we were on them plus I looked back at photos to see what we were wearing each day & called the number to recover these pictures. She was able to recover them all! It helped that SDMT did post our photo automatically so she knew what we looked like from the start.