Hi all! I’ve been gone a while. I hope everyone’s been doing well!
To make a long, long story short, a little over a year ago my dad said to me, “Hey, why don’t you and I take my grandkids to WDW?” The idea was to do a 6-day trip, mostly focusing on MK and Epcot, with one day at DHS and one day at UO. And I got on here and tried to plan and ended up having to postpone three separate times. The good – very, very good! – news is that my dad’s health problems, which continued into the fall, are now largely under control. He managed to avoid getting a quadruple bypass (that is a STORY) and is treating the related issues. He’s still almost-72, with all that brings, but he’s willing to talk about the trip again.
We were supposed to go to Ireland the week of April 6th, my girls’ spring-break week. However, my husband has voted that we postpone that trip for work reasons. Guess how fast I bought the 2020 Unofficial Guide and got back here.
First let me go ahead and get the EMHs down around my dates for my own benefit:
Friday 3 April: MK 8-9 am
Saturday 4: AK 8-9 am
Sunday 5: DHS 8:30-10:30 pm
Monday 6: AK 8-9 am
Tuesday 7: Epcot 9-11 pm
Wednesday 8: MK 9-11 pm
Thursday 9: Epcot 8-9 am
Friday 10: MK 8-9 am
Things that are the same from the last time I tried this:
- Still driving down.
- Dad is still going to be super-anxious about helping me wrangle two kids in a crowded environment in his less-than-perfect health. That’s not going to change. He’s currently suggesting another adult go with us. My current take is, I’m happy to have his girlfriend along (I’m saying that sincerely; she’s sweet with the kids) but either way, the girls are not toddlers (they’re 10 and 8), I’ve got more stamina than he’s giving me credit for, and we can always send him back to the hotel in an Uber if we need to.
- Relative to Point #2, I think he’s still going to want a really close hotel. First week of April is mostly booked; I was able to get a MVT quote for the Contemporary for that week but it is ugly (like $5K for a 6-day trip). Given that we’ll have a car, I’m not putting a Monorail-adjacent hotel as a priority (I also suspect his idea of how the Monorail works, and how crowded it’ll be, is based on memories of 1997), but I expect to get an argument on that point.
- I’ll still take pointers to any drawing/art/animation-themed activities anyone knows about.
Things that have changed:
- Oh, SWGE. How I hoped to avoid your clutches. Y’all have no idea how ballistic my older kid is going to go when she gets the chance to ADOPT A PORG. Suffice to say we’re going to have to dedicate a day to DHS, and I’m just going to cross my fingers that the RotR BG program is less chaotic by the time we get there (I foresee DD10 and me going ahead and DD8 having breakfast with Granddad).
- But her interest in Harry Potter has cooled somewhat. I still have my one-day ticket to UO; the kids may still petition for a second day but I’m anticipating it less.
- No more Illuminations. Is its replacement fun? Should I go ahead and plan for Tuesday night dinner at Epcot?
- Obviously my kids are a year older and have a little more stamina, although DD10’s biological clock is starting to do the teenager’s shift to stay-up-late-and-wake-up-late.
Soooooooooooo we’ll see. I’m going to get on MDE and fiddle around, see what I can get with dinner reservations. [update: got Garden Grill for 4/4, Via Napoli for 4/7, Akershus for 4/8. That’s too much Epcot and I’ll have to drop at least one of them if this trip goes through, but at least I got 'em! Both girls enjoyed Frozen 2, DD10 especially, so I think they’ll enjoy Akershus more than if we’d gone last year as planned.]
tl;dr didn’t get to go last year; trying to go again in April. tips welcome, especially for non-Disney hotels that are close enough to the park to reassure worried grandpas!