Disney Trip 3.0! And report 1.0

Hey all! We just ended the Year of AWESOME and I returned home from my third trip to Disney in a rolling calendar year. This is the first time I’ve put my thoughts together for a trip Report, so bare with me…

The Who: Myself, my DD17, DBF and DStepSon (SS)9. This is the boys’ first trip to Disney EVER. (this fact becomes important later.)

When: July 1-8 (Yep, I’ve been home about four hours now)

Why: Because we like you. And Disney. And Mickey Pretzels.

Where: All seven nights were at Port Orleans Riverside

What: The boys first trip, five days of park touring. I opted to add in dining plan, but it only furthered my belief that the DDP isn’t really worth it for me and I can break that down later on the report.

This adventure began last summer when I told DBF that for my birthday this year (2018) I wanted all of us to go to Disney. Literally, in seven years, this is the only thing I’ve ever asked for. Personally I think this qualifies me for sainthood, but that’s another story for another day. He acquiesced, and we got started. And be “we got started” I mean he told me “You’re the Disney Person: you plan and I’ll just give you the money to pay for my half”. (This also becomes important later in the story, kids) So let’s fast forward to June 30 of 2018: we live about an hour and a half from the airport and DD was on a trip to Mexico with her dad. Our flight out was at 10 am on 7/1, so we opted to stay by the airport overnight so he could just drop her off at the hotel and she wouldn’t have to be teased with sleeping in her own bed for just one night before going away again. I’m thoughtful that way. Helpful tip for those who may be in the Metro Detroit Area: while I typically love Spring Hill Suites, the one by DTW has the worst key card system. This is the second stay that the key card wouldn’t actually open our room door. I digress. The flight out on 7/1 was uneventful, and DBF was impressed that we could get off the plane and just ON the DME without worrying about our luggage! We were aboard the bus and on our way home. As we were riding over to POR, I got the room alert text that our room was ready- AB bldg 35. We had a pool view room, and I wanted AB for the pulldown bed. We were about three doors down from the requested room through TP. Not bad at all, and right across from guest laundry which came in very handy.

We got to the resort around 3, and grabbed a snack at the food court, dropped our carry on off and relaxed a little bit. We headed to Disney Springs for dinner at T Rex around 4:45 for a 5:30 reservation. We opted to take the boat over as it was a nice night, albeit about a million degrees still. We just missed the first boat, but caught the next one about five or ten minutes later. Made it to T Rex just a smidge late, and because of the other dining reservations I had we paid out of pocket for this meal. DSS ate the kids sliders and fries, DBF had the nachos (appetizer, and it was HUGE- I ate some and they weren’t bad), and I got the queso dip/spinach dip combo appetizer. Each dip came in it’s own bowl, they weren’t mixed together in case anyone wonders. Again, not bad but not fantastic. DD opted to not join us for this meal mainly because she wasn’t sure if she was going to want to do anything the night of arrival after having gotten back from vacation with her dad the night before- she came to Disney Springs with us but just wandered around and window shopped. As we were heading back to the boat to get back, there was lightening and we then had to haul all the way to the buses. I forget how long that can seem- and it didn’t help that it was busy at DS that night. The wait for the bus was about 20 minutes, and POR and FQ share return buses from the Springs, making the return a little rockier than I would have liked especially for a first night. On the bus DBF actually said “It gets better, right?” I assured him it would, and sent up a little hope that I wasn’t lying seeing as we were there over July 4th week.

We headed to bed a little early- partly due to traveling and being tired and partly due to the next day’s plans: rope drop DHS for EMH!! Stay tuned kids, tomorrow gets the boys introduced to touring like a Liner, and the Liner starts to realize the folly in her plans!


Good intro so far! Looking forward to the next installment!

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Agree…great teaser report! Can’t wait to read more!! :upside_down_face:

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Love it so far! Thanks for reporting!

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Looking forward to reading more!

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Can’t wait for more.

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Yes, I too am excited to read some more!

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Day One of Touring: When we sense there is a Disturbance in the Force. But ignored it with a Dessert Party.

Thanks for the feedback! I’ll work on keeping it going timely, and hopefully entertainingly. :wink:

The plan for Day one was to experience DHS, and of course Toy Story Land! Seeing as it opened three days prior to getting there, there was just no way to accurately plan for how to tackle it. I decided that getting there for EMH and trying to knock it all out, then get out of TSL and hit the rest of the park before lunch. This seemed reasonable, right? DSS’s name is, of course, Andy so we had to hit it right away!

I don’t know about any of the rest of you, but when I’m at Disney I can wake up before the alarm goes off. I mean, I’m so excited to just get going. The rest of my travel party? They were not quite as stoked as I was. So there I am, lying awake in bed, waiting for the alarm to go off at 5:40 so we can hit the bus by 6:30 to get to the park. And we were off! Like Crush chilling through the ocean, mind you. Getting a 17 year old and a 9 year old up that early didn’t work the way I was hoping. We made it to the bus by 7, and the park by 7:30. The Liner in my head was already starting to furiously rework plans and see if things could be adjusted, but my daughter looked at me and said “Mom, it’ll be fine. Just relax. The day isn’t ruined.” Ugh, kids. With their “Devil May Care” attitude.

We head to TSL first, and SDD was already at a 2 1/2 hour wait. We had a FP for Alien Swirling Saucers at 8:35, so even with that hour and some odd minutes grace we couldn’t for sure get on and off (even if Disney was padding that time which I suspect they were) before the FP window, so we thought, okay- TSM! Which was down. (Sad trombone- wah wah). Now I’m even more frustrated, but, trying to be stoic, I check wait times for ToT. What? Only seven minutes? Done. And we were off.

This ride was a hit! Andy simultaneously clung to his dad for dear life AND loved it, which I was glad for because we had a FP for it a little later. Then, Rock n Roller Coaster only had a 15 minute wait posted. Totally have time for this one too! Get in line and after five minutes, the ride went down. Wah Wah. No worries, we have a FP for that later as well, so hopefully it’ll be up and running in an hour or so for that window and I ask if anyone wants to hit ToT again before we go to ASS and it was unanimous to do so. So by 8:15 we had been in the park for 45 minutes and only rode one ride twice, and walked across the park and back. The Force was speaking, and I wasn’t listening.

We head to ASS, and tap in for the ride. I’ve never been to DL, so I had no reference to Mater’s Jamboree which this ride is a duplicate of. DD has, and she loves it, so I was hoping for the best. While we were waiting in our FP line, I was attempting to be a good hostess and offering water to the boys as they literally were melting in front of me, and DBF was of course, “good”. We hadn’t eaten anything yet, save for the muffins I had in my bag and DD eating a pop tart. (Insert important information: DBF is diabetic-type 2.) We had lunch reservations at 11:50, so I’m thinking we’ll grab a snack in an hour or so and be good. The ride is so cute and we all had fun on it- totally great for littles and when you are in TSL you get a good glimpse at the enormity that is coming with Galaxy’s Edge off to the right.

After this, we head back to the front of the park and hit our FP for RnR- which was another hit! (I was worried about DSS not doing well on this one, he’s not been on a big coaster before). It backed up to our FP for ToT which we hit for the third time that morning, and had nothing but time before lunch so we went towards the Muppet Courtyard and caught The Muppets, which was a relief from the sun and heat for that nice chunk of time. Then, the boys’ love of Mickey Pretzels was planted. Time for a snack and we caught a cart to get drinks and goodies- by now we had already surpassed 10k steps and DSS was showing signs of wear. The refueling was needed fo sho! It held us (them) till lunch nicely. We walked over to meet Chewbacca and the boys loved the character interaction with him, then saw Star Tours only had a 20 minute wait so we caught that before lunch at Prime Time.

Now, I know there are mixed feelings about 50’s Prime Time cafe. Personally, I love it. I love the schtick, I love the snark, it is up my alley. And this day, Cousin Mark did not disappoint. The boys also loved it. DBF was hungry but with the heat opted to get Caesear Salad w/chicken and a Yeungling (we live in MI, so it’s not readily available for us here as it seems to stop in OH- and remember he’s diabetic and now eating not enough), I had the fried chicken and a Sam Adams, DD had Chicken Pot Pie, and DSS had chicken tenders I think. Cousin Mark made him set the table, and did a great job keeping him in line. After lunch, the boys and I opted to head back to the room to get out of the sun which was crossing the line from “Oy this his hot” to “OY, this is oppressively hot” and DD was going to hang out at the park for a bit longer and shop. On the way out we hit Guest Relations and added PH to DBF’s ticket that I had purchased as a regular ticket through UT- as we had plans for WS later that evening. DD’s shopping time was cut short by a stroller- someone clipped her ankle from behind and she dropped her phone, shattering the screen. She said someone watched it and took pity on her, reassuring her that it really wasn’t her fault, but nonetheless the damage was done and now that we’re home I’ll get to replace that little slice of heaven.

We chilled in the AC of the room and grabbed some drinks at the food court, and around 4:30 I opened MDE and just wondered what may happen to be open at Epcot. My initial gut was to just go to WS and eat QS and wander until the Frozen Dessert Party. But, much to my wonder and amazement, there was a same day FP for Test Track! I mean, how do you pass that up? You don’t, that’s how! So off to Epcot we went, and headed towards TT just in time for… rain to close the ride temporarily. sigh However, Mission Space was only a fifteen minute wait so we went on the Green mission. For first timers, who had not been on simulator rides like that, I wasn’t starting with Orange. It was given a thumbs up, and I assured them that we could try orange later in the week with the FP and all was good in the world- by the time we got off TT was running again so we hit that. This was an overwhelming hit also, and I’m not gonna lie, my touring plan swagger was STRONG. One may even say it was…a little cocky. By now we were pretty hungry so off to WS in search of food. DD stopped and got Poutine which was her one food item she needed this trip, the boys saw fish n chips and hit that in the UK, and I walked around to Morocco and got Tangereine cafe, carrying it back to the UK pavillion to join them. Like a BOSS. DD liked the poutine but not a huge fan of the curds- she likes those overall but the ones from the kiosk tasted ‘weird’, the boys liked the fish n chips (well, of course because it is flab nabbing fantastic in the UK) and the food from Tangeriene cafe was good- though we have a lot of middle eastern options near us so our standard is a little high. This was on my Disney Food Bucket List for this trip, so I’m glad I tried it. Overall, I’ll pass next time for something that I don’t do regularly at home. (I like my hummus a little more garlic-y so as to keep the vampires away.)

After that we wandered through WS for a while and stopped in Germany for my Schoffenhoffer (which DBF made fun of me for, because that’s not REAL German Beer though I have to get one every trip because deliciousness and don’t judge me) while he got himself a REAL German beer. Then we made our way over to check in for the dessert party. The area was so cute, I’ll try to get in and post some pictures tonight! The viewing area for Illuminations is really good, and there are plenty of options for desserts and assorted snacks. There was this warm pudding that had melted salted caramel on it, and let me just say that the caramel was the best part- I’m cinnamon averse (GASP!) and having that in my chocolate pudding was disturbing. Though the s’mores pudding was top notch, and there was really good cheese fondue and assorted things to dip into it, along with fruit (who puts fruit in cheese dip? I mean I know a lot of people do, but gimme carbs yo. Fortunately Disney does indeed do that.) DSS liked the blue velvet cupcakes, DD enjoyed the s’mores pudding and a few other things as well. If you’ve never done a dessert party, this one is not as good as Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!, but I thought it’d be worth a shot. If you have little girl who is still obsessed with Frozen then it may be up your alley. Or if you are obsessed with Frozen. But with boys, meh. I should have done the Star Wars one, live and learn. After Illuminations they walk the whole party over to Frozen Ever After and you get to walk onto the ride, which beats the line any day, amiright? This is the first time I’ve ridden that ride, despite the length of time it’s been there and having been to the World twice before this trip. I will say that the progression in animitronics in that ride is impressive, especially compared to some of the ‘vintage’ ones.

By this time, it’s around 9:30 so we head back to the room to call it a night. Looking back, I noticed that the signs were there- melting temperatures, not enough protein to carry those carbs for the diabetic, and my overplanning for first timers was taking it’s toll. We found that we had walked 10 miles this day, and for a Liner who’s used to it great. But for newbies, well… I assured them that tomorrow was an early (but not AS early), but no park hopping. Only MK in the morning and then Mickey’s Backyard BBQ for dinner, with the night open and Wednesday as our resort day. This relieved some panic in DBF and DSS- though I had this feeling…

Coming up next: Was the Magic Kingdom Magical after all? Or would The Mistress of All Evil cast her curse and subject the entire kingdom to doom and despair? Tune in tomorrow to find out!


Yeah, I would already have been feeling bad with all those carbs; protein with it or not. Does he check his bg?

He tends to “check by feeling”- his meds have his A1C so low that he borders on not being diabetic anymore. I suggested bringing his glucometer with us but he’s not actually checked his bg for so long he didn’t have the supplies in date, plus he really didn’t believe me as I was describing the scope of what he was in for. He has since realized the folly in his thought process and realized my double checking on the front end wasn’t ‘nagging’.


Sounds like a great (exhausting!) day!

I’m assuming that all the exercise and all the carbs caused some imbalances there.

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Oh yes. Yes it did.

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Very much so!!

You did good on that first day!!!

I hope that Magic Kingdom was magical!!!

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Great report. Enjoying reading it!

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Great trip report, I can’t wait to see what happens next! I love your writing style and story telling

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Day Two: When we realize we went just a BIT too hard.

Good morning all! Our second day of Park touring is where we are. My plan for today was only to do Magic Kingdom, and after a break we had reservations at Ft. Wilderness for Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. I was hoping to get that in on arrival day, but alas it doesn’t run on Sundays. Hob nob I say! We also had breakfast reservations at BOG.

I knew the morning was going to be a tough start when DD opted to just sleep for the first hour and meet us at the park in time for our FP to 7DMT, followed by DBF saying “If I don’t get up now, I won’t go to the park” just after rousing a somewhat reluctant DSS. Maleficent is certainly sitting on high, grasping her staff and petting her crow with that smirk. MK opened at 8 this particular morning, and we made it in just before the welcome show started. I offered to get coffee at the Main St. Starbucks (let’s all agree that we can stop referring to it as the Bakery, shall we?) but as it was already hovering around 80 degrees there was dissension in that offer.

Now, at home, such trivial things as “outside temperature” don’t really matter to coffee consumption. And coffee consumption is vital to not only myself functioning like a real human, but also for DBF. The swirling clouds are starting to form.

We caught the opening show, which DSS actually seemed to appreciate (he does like himself some Mickey Mouse, so it’s all good for him) and made our way to Haunted Mansion. The longest part of the wait was waiting for enough people to get to the queing area just outside to get it moving- we practically walked on. I love HM- no matter how many times I ride it I find some new nuance to the ride or one more detail that I’d missed previously. The boys took their own Doom Buggy and I had one to myself and I just enjoyed being on it. From there, we hit Peter Pan standby with only a fifteen minute wait (happily, the park had been open for about 20 minutes and I was afraid the line would already be long) and we had fun in the que heading towards the ride- I really like the revamped que! DSS was looking forward to seeing Tick Tock Crock as he calls him chasing Captain Hook, and he liked the ride fairly well. After that we had some time to pass before our FP, so we went on Prince Charming’s Carousel- just a cute way to kill a few minutes. By then we were waiting for DD to join us, and then hit 7DMT with our FP. I had only ridden in standby before at MNSSHP, so I wasn’t sure how much of the interactive stuff we would see going through FP- turns out not that much! The boys liked it but seeing as he’d already ridden ToT and RNR the day before, it wasn’t quite as exciting for him as those were.

After the FP, we made our way over to BOG. We had pre-ordered all of our food so after we found a seat in the main Ballroom everyone got their drinks. Finally DBF opted for coffee. I say finally because after two days of not having that morning jolt, he was starting to show signs of withdrawal- I wasn’t sure if we were going to need to stage an intervention soon! We drink coffee at home, as mentioned above. And evidently we are spoiled by it because Joffrey’s coffee is just not good to us. As DD put it: no amount of cream or sugar can make that taste good. We think it’s roasted with Chicory and that flavor is NOT common in MI- maybe that’s why we don’t like it. DD and I tried warning him ahead of time, but we were stubbornly asked “How bad can it be?” Well, he realized we were right. I know quite a few people love Joffreys, but we just can’t do it. He opted to go for Diet Coke instead after choking down half a cup. Overall, and now that I’ve eaten there a few times, I’m willing to give BOG a solid “B” (which DBF also gave it compared to our other breakfasts). But for me, the B is the boosted grade after the curve of the atmosphere. The food quality is kind of hanging on that atmosphere and the theming. DD loves it, but again I think mainly because of the theme. I had the quiche, DD had the kids scrambled eggs (I paid oop for it since she’s 17, though could have just used the credit as it turns out), DSS had the french toast, and DBF had the Feast a la Gaston.

By now it’s not quite 10 am, and we’ve sufficiently cooled off and are now happily fed. For a few mintues, the swirling clouds are starting to wane in the distance, and my mood is starting to relax a little. We had our next FP to use: Buzz Lightyear! With all the trips I’ve taken recently, this is another attraction that I hadn’t been on. I challenged DSS to try to get Galactic Hero, to which he responded why can’t we just get a million points instead? (Because there’s not enough space for a million on your score board, obviously. THAT’S the limiting factor here.) The boys are stoked about this ride for a few reasons. We are Toy Story fans, but more over, we are a Law Enforcement family. Target Shooting is a hobby for DBF, DSS and myself. DD has been on the range, but it isn’t her cup of tea. And we are all competitive. I mean, COMPETITIVE. They really liked it and the pictures at the end of the ride came out well. I enjoyed swirling our car so DD couldn’t shoot was she was aiming for. Tee hee! Nobody was a Galactic Hero this day, however. We had some time to kill before our next FP at Space, so we met Buzz Lightyear himself and then hopped on Carousel of Progress- DD enjoyed the time for a mini nap and for the rest of the trip DSS was singing the song- he actually asked to go on it again later on. It’s been over 20 years since I’d been on it, so it was almost like experiencing it for the first time.

After that we saw the photo op for the Incredibles Omnidroid, so we hopped over there and got the obligatory Family Picture. Then, time to swipe in for SM. The seating arrangement on Space was odd for them- DBF was used to sitting right next to DSS on all of the rides so single file was messing with them. I assured them it was okay, DSS had to be in his own slot, and we’ll all be in the same train. While waiting I popped into MDE and looked for a 4th FP- I was hoping for BTMRR but alas, DENIED. It was a hard denial, too. So I snagged Pirates initially for 1:30 (it was only 10:45 at the time, and when I tell you I KNEW that wasn’t going to work, I am NOT exaggerating. These boys looked like they were five steps away from being toast already and we’d been there less than three hours). Maleficent was starting to win. So I was able to modify it to 11:45 which was much more tolerable.
I’m a fan of SM. We make sure we hit that ride at least twice each trip as a general rule. But this time, I was in the VERY FRONT SEAT. Let me tell you something. I’ve heard the stories of how rickety the coaster is, but from the back of the train you don’t always get a true appreciation for it. From the front, even with all the lights off, you do. There is a coaster in a local theme park called the Wildcat that just whips you around a little with some light hills, it reminded me of that. I won’t ride the Wildcat because I don’t like the feeling that I’m going to completely fall off the track on a coaster. The only thing worse than being in the front seat on SM? Being in the front seat if the ride goes down and they have to turn the lights on I think. Fortunately that didn’t happen, but it changed me people. It changed me.

As we were getting off the ride, DBF asked “what’s next”? But in The Tone. You know The Tone. The Tone that says “Okay, I’m doing this but if you could just go ahead and say nothing, that would be fantastic”. I let him know we had about 45 minutes before our next FP, so we have time for snacks. This delighted DSS- so he got a Mickey Ice Cream Sandwich and waters all around. We cut through the front of the park over to Adventure Land so I could get my snack- I needed to test which is actually better: Citrus Swirl or Dole Whip. Yes, the debate of the Ages had to be resolved this trip. I’m a huge fan of Dole Whip but was willing to skip it to try the Citrus Swirl, and y’all on team Citrus Swirl are DEAD WRONG. Dole Whip is superior. There, I said it. We had some time so I took DSS through the Swiss Family Treehouse (nostalgia for me, however, the relevance of this attraction is minimal since they haven’t released or remade that movie in a while, could we please get on that Disney Studios? That’d be great. Otherwise y’all in Imagineering are going to redo that attraction and I’ll be somewhat sad. Thanks.) DBF at this point is having a hard time masking his annoyance at the world, and I realize that blood sugar and heat are taking their toll on him. Not to mention the day before he decided to wear his Chacos all day and his feet were killing him. Maleficent is starting to chuckle now, can you hear it?

We kill some time and at 11:40 we do the five minute grace to swipe in for Pirates. DSS enjoyed the que and the ride, and I’m not sure about DBF. He was past his point of no return. DD and I enjoy the ride whenever we ride it, so I’m not worried about her, but am about the other two. DSS is on about a 1/4 tank (he’s not used to all the walking, despite my encouraging him to do so for months before we left. Neither of them believed me and thought I was exaggerating when I told them how many miles we’d log each day. HA! I showed you!) so after the ride we opt to head back to POR for some rest. The cantankerous mood that had befallen the kingdom was exacerbated by the just missing of the bus, and having to wait for about 20 minutes for the next one. There was mumbling under the breath, folks. This is a bad sign. En route back, DBF said he thought he’d have to be done for the trip- his knee and his feet were hit.

There is a point in each relationship when you know that if you try to talk your partner into doing something, it’s going to go south. We were there. I was trying to sort out saying “tomorrow is our rest day, let’s just take it easy till dinner then evaluate tomorrow” but I know that it was going to sound like me trying to talk him into doing something he was convinced he wasn’t going to be able to do. And it also let me know how important a rest day is for a trip- typically I don’t take one. You know when you can’t win, so you just say “Okay” and hope for the best after a few hours of down time. I’m going to spare you all the drama that happened in between this point and dinner, but suffice it to say, it was tough.

We had to be at Ft. Wilderness at 5:30, so we took a Minnie Van to try to give as much quiet time as we could before heading out. The Mood was carrying with. There was uttering and mumbling, if I didn’t know better Maleficent herself had morphed into DBF and was making her presence known. The tension was present and even the Minnie Van driver could sense it- try as he might to make conversation that typically DBF would have jumped on it was a dead response. (Our driver was a former LEO- hello- common thread yo!)
The buffet at MBYBBQ was well put together- hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, chicken (Fried not barbequed), beans, cornbread, mac n cheese, corn on the cob. All you can eat Mickey Bars, all you can drink bar. Yep, beer and wine are all you care to enjoy as well. The theme is what you may expect, Goofy, MIckey, Minnie, Chip and Dale are there and there’s a cute dance party (country music) that happens during dinner. There’s also a cowboy that comes out and does some cool rope/lasso tricks. Overall it takes about 90 minutes. DSS liked meeting Goofy and Chip and Dale, and I got him out to do the Cupid Shuffle with me. Overall, I’d give it about a solid B.

We took the boat back to MK, then bus back to the resort. DD wanted to hit Disney Springs so she headed that way, and I went to AK after snagging a FP for Everest- I wanted to ride it at night. The boys I let stay at the room and stew in DBF’s foul mood- after seven years I’ve found that when this happens, it’s best to let him ride this out by himself because I am NOT a glutton for punishment.

I’m typically not a huge fan of AK, though it is growing on me. It’s the park I most easily get turned around in, and at night that feeling intensifies. However, riding Everest at night is worth getting turned around in. I swear it rides faster after dark! I ended up riding it a second time, and realize that going to the park by myself was as much a break for me as it was for the boys.

We made it back to the room by about 10:30, I met DD at the bus stop as she was coming back from DS. When we got in I could sense things starting to thaw, but it was close enough to the edge that if I pushed it was going over. I was determined that Maleficent wasn’t winning this battle, so no sense in trying to push it.

The next day is July 4th: Will it be a good one? Will the Storm clouds clear by morning? Or will the rest of the Villains come and attempt to take over POR? All this and much more to follow!


great report so far! super fun to read! I hear ya on the the whole sour attitude with the DBF. my DH isn’t huge theme park fan either and usually lasts like 2-3 hours in a park before he wants to go back and lay in the room and watch ESPN sports center, LOL. the things we put up!

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Sorry about the drama! I think you handled it just right. It sounded like a great day!