Hello! This is my first post on the TP Forum, but I’m a long time reader and on-and-off subscriber! I first read the Unofficial Guide in 2003 when my parents were planning a magical, multi-generational trip. I went three times as a child, and just recently went on my first trip as an adult. Since the parks are still closed, I’ve decided to post about my trip from February 2020, before all the madness!
Who: Myself and three friends from high school, all 26 at time of travel. We live in 4 separate states now, but take an annual reunion trip somewhere in the US. 2020 was our 5th year of “Gurls Trips” so we went big and went to WDW. Two of us had been to Disney multiple times, one friend had been once as a child, and for one of our friends this was her FIRST TIME to any Disney park. What could be more exciting??
(For the record, we watched our language, didn’t get too drunk at Epcot, and didn’t ruin any child’s trip )
Picture of us: I’m the one in purple.
I currently live in SoCal, so I am also a Disneyland AP holder. I did all the planning for our trip, which meant I set alarms for the middle of the night for our dining and FP plans. WORTH IT. Additionally, I did not want to overwhelm my friends so we had some plans, but it wasn’t as intense as some of you crazies
(note: I am one of you I just had to hide it!!) Given our age, this was also a more budget trip. It was still totally fun!
When: Feb 8-12, 2020
POP Century and all 4 parks!
My first tip is to use the TP ticket finder. We wanted to go to all four parks and ended up buying a Four-park Magic Ticket (admission to one park per day, one day in each park) that expired on our last park day. This saved us some money and worked well for our schedule! We didn’t need Park Hopping - we saw most things we wanted and were still exhausted by the end of the trip!
And now, let the magic begin!
Arrival day: Sat, Feb 8
This was a bit difficult to coordinate, as we came in on four separate flights with four separate arrival times. My friends B and X arrived before me, and took DME separately to POP. I arrived close enough in time to S, who was the first-time visitor, so I waited for her and we took DME together. Yay!
Silly me, I had done all the planning and so had everyone’s Magic Bands and DME tickets. We all had carry-ons, but I did have to text ME confirmation numbers to my friends in the middle of flying across the country, which was not ideal. Learned that lesson for next time! Fortunately my friends were able to check in to our two adjacent rooms at POP without magic bands. I requested the 50s section, 4th floor, lakeview. We got 60s, 3rd floor, lake view, and it was wonderful.
Picture: view from our room!
We didn’t all land in MCO until about 530pm, and had reservations at Homecomin’ at 730pm. I tried and tried to change this, but the only other option was 930pm which seemed too late. We did our very best but got to Homecomin’ at 745pm on the dot. As it was a Saturday night, they were packed. They also had a private party taking up the outside section, so the restaurant was more than full. The hostess said we had missed our reservation and had to wait. We ended up eating at about 9pm!
While this was disappointing, we ended up having time to check out some stores, eye souvenirs for later, and get some soft pretzels yum!
Once seated at Homecomin’ we ordered one or two delicious cocktails each, and fried chicken. I had been looking forward to Homecomin’ since we decided we were going to Disney (a year in advance), but panicked and got the fried chicken salad instead of the main entree. DON’T DO THIS. The chicken must have been leftover from the previous day, as it was cold and no longer crispy. It was not what I wanted and not worth it. Fortunately, I got the moonshine cake to make up for my meal that I didn’t enjoy. This cake was SO GOOD. Friends and cake are the very best!!
Once we finished eating, it was already pretty late so we quickly went to POP and went to bed, but not before walking through our strategy for the next day. We had a early morning ahead of us trying to get on ROTR!
Did we get on? Stay tuned