Better Late than Never Trip Report 12/5-12/15

Hi everyone! I’ve been inspired by @julsie to write up our trip report even though it’s a little late. I had good intentions of sharing our experiences and thoughts from our trip since I love reading other trip reports but the days and weeks went by and I figured it was too late. Now with all the uncertainty in the world right now, this feels like a great way to bring some Disney magic back into our lives!

Background- Our trip was originally scheduled for 12/7-12/14 but based on the flight we found we ended up extended our trip to 12/5-12/15 and added a 1 day ticket for Universal Studios and an extra day at the end for Disney and we ended up staying at 3 different hotels. Our group consisted of myself, my husband, and our 5 year old son. We also met our family friends and their 16 year old daughter for a few park days/rides/meals.

12/5- Travel day. We flew Frontier and had no issues. This was our son’s first flight and he did very well. Near the end he started complaining about his tummy hurting and we got nervous, but as soon as we got to MCO he felt fine again. We took an Uber to the Best Western near Universal Studios. We stayed there to keep costs down and because they had a free shuttle to and from the parks. The hotel itself was fine for our needs. We took the shuttle in the evening to the CityWalk to enjoy the sights and grab dinner. The shuttle sounded like a good idea but actually took forever to get us there because they stopped at several other hotels first and traffic was busy in the evening. Had we known that we would have just called an Uber. We tried to eat at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium but the wait was longer than they estimated and we had to catch the last shuttle back to the hotel. They estimated a 20 minute wait and 45 minutes later we still hadn’t been called so we had to bail. We ended up eating at Bread Box and it was good, but I was disappointed because I had had my heart set on eating at Toothsome. Maybe next time!

12/6- Universal Studios. I’ll try to just skim over this day briefly since we’re in the WDW thread. We took the hotel shuttle and got to the park just a little before 9 am. The shuttle seemed much more efficient in the early morning. Most of the day all of the rides were basically walk on or a 10-15 minute wait. We did wait about 25 minutes for Flight of the Hippogriff which our son loved! We did only kid-friendly rides with our 5 year old. He loves Transformers so we did do the ride and it was a bit too scary for him. Our fail for this park is that we ordered a stroller for Disney but didn’t think to get one at Universal. Our son was pretty tired by around 5 pm. We had done most of the rides that he could do anyways so we took the shuttle back to our hotel.

12/7- Another travel day. We are finally going to Disney! We checked out of the BW a little before 11 am and got an Uber to Pop Century. We didn’t get a room ready alert yet but when we went to the front desk they were able to get us in right away and we got the room type we requested. We spent the afternoon getting settled, decorating our room with Christmas decor, and checking out the sights. We picked up our stroller right away and then checked in with the front desk again to pick up our Prime Pantry boxes. We did have a bit of an issue with this because they kept saying there was no record of them and they couldn’t find them. The CM helping us was very kind though and I showed him my email from Amazon saying the boxes had been delivered there and it even stated the initials of the person who signed for them. He went back to look for them again and after a few minutes he did find them. We still got charged I think $6 per box but it still saved us a lot of money. We ordered soda, water, Starbucks coffee drinks, breakfast food like Pop-tarts, granola bars, and muffins, and snack foods like crackers and GoGo Squeez packets. It was convenient to be able to bring this stuff with us in the parks.

Our friends stayed at AoA so it was easy to walk over the bridge and visit them! We checked out their hotel and my son loved all the Cars stuff! We decided to spend the evening at Disney Springs. Our friends had driven to Disney so we rode with them to DS. Highlights were the Christmas Tree Trail, carousel, and the Lego and World of Disney stores.

Up next, Magic Kingdom and MVMCP!


12/8- MK and MVMCP. I apologize for not being able to remember exact times now that we are several months out from this trip. We took the bus from Pop and I think we arrived almost an hour before park open. We had plenty of time to wander down Main St and we were able to get a few PhotoPass pictures. We split the cost of the Memory Maker with our friends and I would definitely recommend this. We got a lot of great pictures this way and we took full advantage of all the PhotoPass opportunities. We wandered down to the castle and I was happy to be able to get pictures by the castle without any strangers in the background! We watched Let the Magic Begin and then headed to Tomorrowland and basically everyone else went to Fantasyland. I do remember that the CL was pretty low this day because of MVMCP. We were able to walk on Buzz Lightyear which my son and husband absolutely loved. I told them about the 999,999 score and they tried so hard to get it! We maybe had a 10 minute wait for Tomorrowland Speedway. My husband took my son and he loved this ride too. I rode alone and I did not like this ride at all. It was probably the only ride I didn’t enjoy and I got yelled at by a CM when I was confused by the unloading process ha ha. We did the PeopleMover next which was a walk on. Son did not like the dark parts at all. We did the Astro Orbiter after which was again maybe a 10 minute wait and we all enjoyed the sights from the ride.

We headed over to Fantasyland next for Dumbo and then our first FP which was PP. We all liked this ride but still probably waited around 15 minutes even with a FP. The ride did briefly break down which made my son a little nervous but it only lasted a few minutes and we were moving again. Once we got off, we got a lesson in putting our stroller in a proper location. We had put our stroller with a bunch of other strollers near the ride not thinking anything about it. When we came out our stroller was no where to be found. We had an ADR at BOG so we were in a hurry to make our reservation. After a few minutes of panic, we found it in the designated stroller parking by the Carousel and we made it for our reservation in time. BOG was good but still seemed to have a long wait even with an ADR. We rode the carousel after lunch and made our way to the Jingle Cruise which was our next FP. After JC we let our son explore the treehouse and then we hopped on the bus back to our resort for a midday break. We were hopeful our son would nap before we headed back for MVMCP. Spoiler alert: he did not.

When we returned to MK for MVMCP, I think it was close to 5 pm. We saw a sign saying our party was sold out. We had our 3rd FP for 7DMT for around 5:25 and we were meeting our friends there so we didn’t get to stop and look at much of the Christmas party stuff or do any of the PhotoPass stops. I told myself we would come back after 7DMT to look at everything. Another spoiler alert: we didn’t. We all enjoyed the ride and afterwards we did Under the Sea as well with little wait time. We headed to the hub after to watch a Frozen Holiday Wish. This is where things seemed to go south for us. My poor husband struggled so much with trying to get the stroller through the crowds of people. It felt like literal walls of people with no where to be able to go. After the show we wandered around a bit. We thought about meeting Moana but her line was already over an hour long. None of the snacks were available yet because it wasn’t 7 pm yet. We started noticing a ton of people were already lining the streets for the parade so we thought we could go get a good spot. We had heard that Main St was the best place to watch from with the falling snow so we headed that way. There was a massive amount of people already staking their spots. The best we could find was second row seating in front of Casey’s. Another family ended up sitting behind us and were trying to push themselves and their kids up to the front and squeeze out the family in the front row. My husband who never gets mad about anything ended up trying to stand up for the family in the front row saying that they were there first and claimed their spot. It all felt not very Disney-like. The parade was good but it was hard for my son to see anything until it was basically in front of us. After this I think we were all feeling a bit tired and cranky. I think we might have grabbed some snacks and we did the Teacups which had a special holiday overlay. We made our way back for the fireworks which were amazing and spectacular. It was still very crowded but we found a spot where we could see them pretty well. Afterward, our son was just done for the day. Rather than tote along a tired and cranky kid, we decided to cut our losses and head back to the hotel. My takeaway from the party was I think it would have been okay for us as adults, but it was too much and too late for a 5 year old. There is no room for strollers in the hub at all which was frustrating for us and lines did not seem particularly short.To be honest, the party was the most disappointing part of our trip for me and I don’t think we would be in a hurry to go again.

Up next, AK! I will hopefully get around to posting tomorrow.


I love this report. Thank you for sharing. I felt the same way about the halloween party we went to in October of 2018. It was the most disappointing part of our trip. Agreed about too late for young kids, too crowded and lines for everything was too long. Enjoying any of the party specific shows was a push and shove match to jockey for a spot so the kids can see. I’m so glad you’re mentioning this because I was considering doing the MVMCP as an add on to our Universal trip this November to get some Christmas in Magic Kingdom. All those memories from 2018 came flooding back and now I’m re-considering.


Hooray! So glad you decided to share!


Thanks for sharing! I never did a trip report from my September trip - this makes me wish I had.

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Love the report and pictures, sorry about MVMCP. It seems in recent years it and MNSSHP have become too crowded and more stress than it’s worth.


You still could! I thought it was too late too but its been fun to think back on my trip! I would love to have more trip reports to read:grinning:


12/9- Animal Kingdom. We slept in a little this day after a late night at MVMCP so we didn’t rope drop. We arrived by bus in time for our first FP of the day, Kilimanjaro Safari, around 9:30. We all had so much fun! We even saw the lions this trip which we had missed on our last trip in 2013. Afterward, we took the Wildlife Express train to the Conservation building and petting zoo. I know most people aren’t big fans of this but we actually really liked this part of our trip. The train ride allows you to see some behind the scenes areas of animal care and my son is really into different forms of transportation so he just liked the ride. We had fun petting the barn animals and my son spent forever in the conservation building looking at all the critters. We even got to see a goat having some imaging done.

Next we headed to Pandora to look around and grab lunch. This was new to us since our last visit and we loved it! Satu’li Canteen was so yummy and we liked that there was plenty of seating. It was probably one of my favorite meals of the trip.

After lunch we had a FP for Expedition Everest for some of the adults and then walked the Maharajah Jungle Trek, rode the Triceratop Spin, met Goofy and Scrooge McDuck, and played in the Boneyard. My son was obsessed with the Boneyard. I think he would have stayed there all day if we would have let him! We were hot and sweaty after that so we cooled down watching the Finding Nemo show.

We did Flame Tree BBQ for dinner at which point I was starting to not feel well. I split a salad with my husband and pushed through. We then waited Stand By for Na’vi River since we hadn’t ridden it before and weren’t sure when we would get a chance again. I think we waited around an hour, maybe a little more. The ride was very visually stunning but not very exciting. Up next was our last FP for Flight of Passage. Our friends were very kind to take our son to watch Rivers of Light while we rode. The pre-show was super unnecessary but the ride itself was SO amazing! Afterward we spent a little time enjoying the scenery of Pandora at night with the bio-luminescence, make sure you don’t miss this! We walked back to wait for ROL to be over so we could meet back up with our group. A CM let us walk in to catch the end of the show. Afterward we got a ride back with our friends to AoA and walked back to Pop. My stomach was still uneasy so I was hoping a night of rest would help me feel better.

Up next: EPCOT


What a great day. I like the fact that you were tired and slept late, instead of driving yourself to exhaustion. Your DS looks like he’s having such a great time.

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12/10- EPCOT. This was the first day we got to use the Skyliner and WOW, did we love it! To us it was almost an attraction in itself! I was worried about what our son would think but he loved it as well. This has now become a huge factor when planning for lodging for subsequent visits. Anything on the Skyliner route has way more value to us now. We arrived at the International Gateway and got through security quickly. They held us in World Showcase until I think it was maybe 10 minutes before opening. We were rope dropping Soarin’ but we ended up getting kind of lost in all the walls and construction in Future World. This was only our 2nd time at EPCOT so we didn’t know our way around very well to begin with, but with the construction nothing even remotely resembled how I remembered EPCOT from our 2013 trip. We did end up making it to Soarin’ a bit later than we had wanted, but the wait was still only about 10-15 minutes, which was mostly just walking through the queue. All of us really liked this ride!

Next we waited standby for TestTrack. Our son is obsessed with cars so this was a must do for him. He loved the part where you design your own car and was so proud of his creation! As soon as the ride started, one of the riders in the back seat of our car told a CM that his headrest had fallen off. The CM told him that if any part of the vehicle was malfunctioning or broken the ride would need to be stopped. We had to exit the vehicle and we were escorted back to the front of the line. The poor guy apologized and kept saying that he shouldn’t have said anything. We reassured him it was better to be safe! Luckily we only had to wait about 5 minutes before everything was back up and running. It got me thinking that it was interesting that this was already the 2nd ride that broke down while we were riding on our trip so far.

After Test Track, we didn’t realize there was a car showroom. Our son wanted to look around but we were meeting our friends for our first FP of the day, Frozen Ever After! We promised him we would come back later and we headed over to World Showcase. This was a cute ride that we all enjoyed. Next we had a FP for Living with the Land. None of us had done this one before and we weren’t expecting to like it as much as we did. We loved learning about all the food they grow there and our son had a blast looking for hidden mickeys. Plus the Christmas details were so cute!

Our 3rd FP was for Spaceship Earth, but when our son realized we would have to go INSIDE the giant space ball, he noped out of that. So we changed our FP to Finding Nemo and checked out the aquarium after. We got our photo taken in front of the Christmas Tree and then decided to start World Showcase. We walked around the showcase but our son wasn’t really into it and I didn’t feel much into it either at the time. My stomach had still been a little uneasy when we woke up, but by this time I was feeling worse and I was ready to call it quits and head back. However, I had made us an autograph scrapbook and had made specific pages for Anna and Elsa so I was determined to meet them. Plus I had kind of half-attempted to Disneybound as Elsa (of course after buying my shirt Frozen II came out and Disney changed their in-park outfits). Elsa did say she liked my shirt! Our son didn’t really want to meet Anna and Elsa at first but once it was our turn he did great interacting with them and seemed to enjoy it. This was kind of the theme with the rest of our character meets for the trip. He would say he didn’t want to do it and act nervous in line but once it was his turn he would run up and hug them and chat with them.

As promised, we headed back to Test Track after to see the showcase. We spent a fair amount of time there and my son really enjoyed it. Afterward it was probably only 4 pm and we decided to back. We took the Skyliner again. I stayed in bed the rest of the evening and the boys went and played in the arcade and brought me dinner. I was disappointed to waste an evening in Disney and miss the fireworks at EPCOT but luckily I woke up the next day pain-free and was able to enjoy our brunch at Chef Mickey’s!

If you’re still following along, next is our “rest day”, which felt just as busy, if not busier than the other days!


Thank you so much for creating this trip report. I love reading them, especially now with the world so nuts. Your son is adorable!

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I enjoyed reading your trip report today. It was a long day, which we are all experiencing, and it brightened my mood. Thanks for submitting it. Also i really appreciated your honesty when you commented on your feelings about the various activities.

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12/11- Rest Day. We slept in this morning and we had an ADR for Chef Mickey’s for brunch. I was relieved to feel back to normal when I woke up. We took the bus to MK and walked to the Contemporary. This was our first time there and my son thought the monorail going through the resort was the coolest thing in the world! When we arrived they took our group photo and brought us to the waiting area. We only waited a few minutes before we were seated. We were on the fence about Chef Mickey’s because of hearing mixed reviews. We ended up choosing it so our son could meet the classic characters plus he is kind of a picky eater and we figured a buffet would give him a good variety. We thought the food was good and the characters were fun. I think the characters were a bit rushed though and I didn’t end up getting very good quality photos like I had hoped. I have a weird thing too about not liking strangers in my pictures and it was impossible with where our table was situated to not have other people in the backgrounds. I know character meals are expensive, but we kind of had sticker shock when the bill came! Given the price and the fact I didn’t get very many good photos I probably wouldn’t need to eat here again. Afterward, we checked out the Christmas decor at the resort and then headed to the monorail.

We took the monorail and rode the loop to see more Christmas decor. Our son LOVED the monorail! We stopped at the Grand Floridian and were just blown away by the decor and the gingerbread house! I bought a cute gingerbread ornament at the store inside the house just to say that I did! We got off again at MK and our friends went to MK for a half day. We took a bus back to Pop for swimming. It felt kind of chilly for swimming but our son had an amazing time and didn’t ever want to get out! It made us feel bad that it took us so long into the trip to go swimming. If we take him back again while he is little, we would definitely plan for more rest days to swim and just hang out at the resort.

After swimming, we cleaned up and just had dinner at the resort cafeteria. We played in the arcade and then headed back to our room for a bit. At night there was a storybook reading in the resort lobby by the Christmas tree that my son and I went to. The CM read “Holiday Mischief with Stitch” and had the Stitch stuffed animal. It was a cute way to end the night!

Next is Hollywood Studios!


12/12- Hollywood Studios. We took the skyliner and got to HS maybe an hour after park open I believe to try to avoid the masses. As you may recall, RotR opened on 12/5 and accordingly, HS hours changed on us twice while we were at Disney which made my touring plan kind of useless for this day. We had originally wanted to try to ride, but it wasn’t worth it to have all of us wake up that early to get to the park to try for a boarding group, especially with our 5 year old. We headed for TSL first and did SB for Alien Swirling Saucers. I think we waited about 25 minutes. Our son liked this ride a lot. We then waited SB for TSMM. Wait time was posted as 45 minutes but we probably only waited a half hour or less. We enjoyed this one a lot too, although they seated us back to back so I couldn’t see my husband and son at all during the ride. Sometimes it was tough to be a family of 3 at Disney.

Next we had a reservation at Oga’s Cantina and were meeting our friends there. We spent a few minutes taking in the sights of Galaxy’s Edge. The process was a bit confusing at Oga’s. We saw a long line of people and asked them what they were waiting for. They all had reservations too apparently for Oga’s so we got in line. I thought it was odd to have such a long wait for those with reservations but once we got in line our party was called pretty quickly so maybe a lot of people arrived early for their reservations. We enjoyed the drinks and atmosphere here but our son was kind of bored by it. He liked a few things like the DJ but overall was unimpressed. We were seated at as table with 2 other groups which felt odd at first but ended up being pretty fun. Afterward we continued exploring Batuu until our first FP which was Star Tours. My husband thought it was OK but it made me kind of motion sick even though I’m not normally bothered by motion sickness. Our son didn’t really like it either. By this time in our trip our son was just in general getting more crabby and whiny which in turn made us feel cranky too. Next time a shorter trip and/or more rest days would be better for our family.

We mobile ordered lunch at Woody’s Lunch Box. I got the Totchos and I really liked them. Our son spilled his milk all over and we were out of wipes. We did our best with napkins and laughed about the saying “It’s no use crying over spilled milk”. We got him a new milk and asked him to be more careful. Well, wouldn’t you know it, but that milk got spilled too. At this point I felt more like crying inside because it just felt like everything was starting to fall apart. We tried to regroup and we met our friends for our 2nd FP, Indiana Jones. Then we met Chewbacca and BB-8 before our last FP for SDD. Chewbacca was my favorite meet and greet, so fun! We all loved SDD. Our son wanted to ride again but of course the SB line was super long. We still had some time before our dinner reservation so we watched BatB and checked out Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy. Our son likes Cars and Beauty and the Beast so he enjoyed both shows.

We finished our day with an ADR at Sci-Fi Dine In. We chose this restaurant because our son loves cars. We did wait awhile to be seated here. They seemed to be running behind but once we were seated our waiter was friendly and attentive and didn’t seem rushed or behind. The food was good and the theming was fun and unique. We would go here as a family again.

After dinner we had planned on staying for Fantasmic but our son was tired out. Not to mention it had started to sprinkle. We decided to call it a night and we headed back on the skyliner. Our friends stayed for Fantasmic but it ended up getting rained out that night. Our family was planning to come back to HS on Saturday so we figured we could catch Fantasmic then (another spoiler: we didn’t). Some day I WILL see Fantasmic!

Next up: half day at MK


12/13- Half day at MK. We got so much done this day even though the park closed early for MVMCP. In the morning we did Buzz Lightyear, Barnstormer x2, teacups, Tomorrowland Speedway (mom sat out this time), met Mickey at town square theater, met Tinkerbell, and rode IASW. By this time it had started to rain a little so we ducked into Mickey’s PhilharMagic. It was coming down a bit harder when we got out so we jumped in line to meet Princess Tiana and Rapunzel and then had a FP afterwards for WtP that kept us busy indoors during the rain. We had our 2nd FP for 7DMT and luckily it had pretty much stopped by then. I’m so glad we were able to get FP’s for 7DMT twice during our trip, it was one of our son’s favorite rides if you couldn’t tell by the huge grin on his face:)

We ate lunch at Pecos Bill just to save on time. We all liked our meals. We used our last FP for BTMRR which was more jarring than I had expected. Our son wasn’t a big fan. We decided to let him play and run around a bit so we took him to Tom Sawyer Island. When we returned from the island it was almost time for the Festival of Fantasy parade. We lucked out on a last minute front row spot just as the CMs were roping off a walkway across from Country Bear Jamboree. We had a much better view than at the MVMCP parade and we didn’t have to sit there for an hour to claim a spot.

As soon as the parade was done, we made a beeline for the Magic Carpets. Not much of a wait immediately after the parade, however the ride broke down temporarily for the group just before us so they had to unload and then reload (that’s 3 ride breakdowns on our trip!). Afterward we treated ourselves to a Dole Whip float and Mickey Bars, yum! While we were eating, I snagged us a 4th FP to meet Cinderella and Princess Elena. I convinced my boys to let me meet princess Ariel after since she is my favorite princess. We topped off the day with a ride on the Liberty Square Riverboat. It was kind of neat to see parts of MK that I hadn’t seen before and also see familiar places from a different viewpoint.

I think we finished up around 5 or so and took the bus back to Pop. We rested for awhile and then got ready to head over to Disney Springs for a T-Rex reservation. This was a restaurant our son had picked out and was pretty excited about. I think our reservation was for around 8:15 pm because it was all I could find for a reservation. We got in line at 7 pm for a bus but a bus never came. At one point an ETA showed up in the Disney app but the time kept getting pushed later and later. There was quite a few others in line waiting as well and multiple people went in to talk to the front desk staff to no avail. We weren’t sure if we should keep waiting a little longer or call for an Uber or Minnie Van. We were worried that as soon as we would call for someone, a bus would finally show up. by 7:45 there was still no bus and no clear answer of when a bus was going to come and by that time our son was tired and getting cranky in line. We ended up bumping and dumping our reservation and just eating at the Resort Cafeteria. This was the only time during our entire trip that the bus system failed us. Buses were almost constant to and from the parks but for some reason they weren’t running for DS. We didn’t expect to have trouble getting there on a Friday evening and we had given ourselves more than the recommended hour travel time to get there so we felt very disappointed that we had to miss that dining experience with our son. For future trips I think if we were trying to go anywhere besides a main park we would just call an Uber or Minnie Van right away.

Next: Our last park day, day 2 of HS


12/15- Hollywood Studios. Today was our last park day. We also had to transfer hotels because we had added an extra day to the end of our trip based on our flight and Pop was all sold out. We woke up early this morning and went to the front desk to check once more to see if there was a way we could just stay at Pop. Sadly no luck since it was a weekend, but we did end up getting a room upgrade at AoA. We were supposed to get a Little Mermaid standard room but we got upgraded to a Finding Nemo Suite. They were able to get us in a room right away that morning so we could head over to the parks after getting settled. We also had to turn in our stroller as we had forgotten to add the extra day to our stroller rental. Oops! We packed our suitcases and walked across the bridge to AoA. We enjoyed our new room for a bit. It was definitely a nice change of pace to have a little more space and for mom and dad to have a separate area. I wouldn’t say it was a necessity, but if you can afford the upgrade for a little more space I’d go for it!

After settling in we hopped on the Skyliner and headed to HS. We had to rent a stroller there for the day and let me tell you, these are nowhere near as nice as renting one! My mission for the day was to do the character meets we had missed on our first day. Especially the ones that I had made special pages for in our autograph scrapbook. First up was Jessie! We waited about 10-15 minutes to meet her. She had to go “decorate the Christmas tree” once during our wait otherwise it would have been just a few minute wait.

Next we had a FP for TSMM and then I hopped in line for Woody and Bo Peep. The line looked kind of long so I told the boys they could go ride Alien Saucers while I waited. This ended up being the longest we waited for any characters our entire trip but I desperately wanted to complete our scrapbook haha! While waiting I did see a super cute “Disney magic” moment though. The little girl in line in front of me had helped the CM with some line management duties at some point and a little while later the CM came back with a brand new Jessie doll for her, probably valued at $40-$50. It was so cool and just reminded me why I love Disney so much! Once my boys returned to the line, my husband happened to spot Danny McBride walking into TSMM and pointed him out. It did look just like him but I was still a bit skeptical. After we returned home though I scoured different Disney blogs and it does appear he was in Disney World at the time as other people had pictures of him on Splash Mountain. It was fun to see a celebrity in real life, that doesn’t really happen where we live! We finally got to meet Woody and Bo Peep (after they “decorated the Christmas tree” like 3 times). I made sure to get my time’s worth with them and we had a great interaction. Even the photographer was getting in on it! They really liked my son’s alien hat!

Afterwards we walked through Batuu again. Our son didn’t want to ride Smuggler’s Run, although my husband and I would have liked to. We had lunch at Ronto Roasters and sadly we really didn’t like the food here at all. Next time we’ll try Docking Bay 7 instead. We then had a FP for the Frozen Singalong, which we thought was cute and fun. Next up was meeting Olaf! This line was pretty short and Olaf gave us warm hugs:)

I had one more character left in my autograph book, Buzz Lightyear! The line didn’t look bad but I figured I’d wait in line again and let the boys ride Alien Saucers once more. The line ended up moving very quickly and I ended up having to get out of line and wait for them. It seemed like they had been gone forever and when they finally returned it turns out that the ride had broken down while they were in line (that’s 4 rides that broke down either while we were on them or while we were in line for them on our trip). Buzz joked with my about how heavy our autograph book was and he liked my son’s hat too!

After Buzz we took the Skyliner back to the resort. I couldn’t convince my boys that staying for Fantasmic would be worth it. We played on the playground at the resort and swam for a bit although it was pretty cold by that time as it was late afternoon/early evening.

After swimming and cleaning up we played at the arcade for a bit and had dinner and ice cream at the cafeteria. We shopped at the gift shop for any last minute souvenirs. Our son had been picking out cars/trucks for souvenirs for the whole trip, but he picked out Dug from Up and he just fell in love with him! To this day he is still sleeping with him every night! We returned to the room and tried to get everything as ready to go for tomorrow as possible. We had an early morning flight and the Tragical Express was picking us up for 3:25 am so it was early lights out for us.

2:30 in the morning came fast but somehow our son was up and moving around without being told. I honestly figured we would have to just carry him sleeping. The Tragical Express came as promised and we made it to MCO with tons of time to spare. Our little guy managed to stay awake until we made it on the plane.


Bonus #1
I forgot to mention in my report that our family has an Elf on the Shelf who my son has named “Blah Blah”. Being that our trip was in December, Blah Blah found us in Florida and spent the 10 days with us to keep an eye on behaviors for Santa. Here’s some of the mischief that he caused on our trip!


Bonus #2
Final Thoughts/Tips

  1. Do NOT have too high of expectations with young kids. I had perfect Touring Plans that mostly went out the window. I tried my best to not let it bother me and just enjoy the things we did instead of feel disappointed about what we missed. Our son definitely had a lot of cranky moments likely related to heat/crowds/tiredness/overstimulation/ect. We tried to be understanding of this and be flexible with our plans based on how he was feeling. Having a Touring Plan still helped us by having an idea of what we could do and when. It was easy to change, add, or remove things from the plan if our son changed his mind.

  2. Get a stroller if you have young or even older kids. Our 5 year old never uses strollers at home but this was a literal trip saver. He preferred the stroller most of the time and could sit with his snack or drink or a few small toys while we were walking from place to place.

  3. Order a few groceries for your room. This saved us a lot of money because we were able to eat breakfast in our room every day and bring snacks and drinks into the park. It was nice after a long day at the parks to have snacks and drinks in the room as well.

  4. Have a designated park backpack. We had this mostly packed before arriving so we could just pull it out of the suitcase and go. We packed snacks, drinks, long sleeved shirts, extra change of clothes for our son, ponchos, sanitizer and clorox wipes, our autograph scrapbook book and Instax camera for our book, personal care stuff like chapstick and hair ties, and emergency stuff like ibuprofen, motion sickness medication, bandaids, blister treatment, etc. We tried to think of everything we could possibly need for the day so we wouldn’t be stuck having to go back to the hotel for anything.

  5. Save MVMCP for older kids/teens and adults. We had high expectations for this event but this event was just not enjoyable with small children. It’s hard not to have high expectations when you pay so much money for a special event. It was just too late for our son and impossible to navigate a stroller anywhere. Lines for things my son would have liked, like character meets, were long. If my husband and I had gone alone, we would have still found it to be crowded but much easier to move around and we probably would have had a decent time.

  6. The Skyliner was amazing. Our room at Pop was a little cramped but it worked fine and having access to the Skyliner made things so much easier for us. If you can afford a suite at AoA, this was even better for our needs because of the separate space for sleeping, eating, and living room space, plus 2 bathrooms.

  7. Disney transportation was pretty reliable for us except for DS. Take a Minnie Van or Uber and save yourself the headache.

  8. Swim more. Worry less.

  9. Definitely take the time to visit some resorts to see the Christmas decor if you go during this time. I wish we would have gone to check out more!

  10. Take more down time. Our “rest day” was jam packed and not restful at all! If I was doing it again I would do no more than 2 park days in a row before a rest day.

If I think of anything else I will edit and add. If you have any questions about our trip I’d be happy to try and answer them! Please know that I am thinking of you all that had to cancel or postpone trips. I hope everyone is able to get to Disney soon. My husband and I are scheduled to return to Disney Oct 13-18th and I’m still hoping that we will be able to go. Thank you to those that helped me while planning our trip and those that followed along on my trip report.

See ya real soon!


Thanks so much for the report! The first time with child(ren) is always a learning experience.

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Great report. Loved your photos. Agree with your summary. Thanks for sharing it!

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