Disney Vacation Recap

Hello Everyone! We are back!

This is our second trip using Touring plans. As always, thank you for all of your help. Here is a recap (sorry for the length).

11/15 - Arrive in Florida. We stayed in a Villa in Davenport. The reason we chose to be off site is that we needed 4 rooms. We also brought our parents this time so we wanted multiple ensuites. We stayed in Solterra Resorts. This is pretty close to Champion’s Gate (Same exit on the expressway) and ReUnion (about 10 minutes away). The house was great and Solterra has some great amenities. The house was about 20-30 minutes from Disney and Universal. Traffic was only a problem once, that was Friday.

11/16 - Animal Kingdom. We started with Flight of Passage (Voted best ride by everyone in our group). We waited 1.5 hours but there as a lot to see regarding Pandora. We took plenty of pictures while we waited in the standby line. The line was constantly moving, so we never felt like there was a lack of progress. Again, we were there first thing in the morning. We were able to accomplish 90% of our list of activities, and lines were great besides Flight of Passage. Also, the Navi River ride was not that great. It was a short river ride. Nice to see but not worth the standby line. We had a fastpass so it worked out. I would have been a little disappointed if we waited. We ate at Yak and Yeti Quick Service…it was ok. We missed Divine, and looking around in general. This was our second trip for my wife and kids, so we were fine. We tried to show our parents the highlights for the first trip with new activities from this trip. All and all…great day. With that said, the crowds were larger than expected.

11/17 - Universal Studios. I wanted to add this since it was different than last year. This was a good experience, however there is a BIG difference between Universal and Disney. Universal seemed to have more virtual rides than traditional. We did both parts in 1 day and we are not Harry Potter fans, so we skipped that. We’ve found that Universal was not our cup of tea, but still enjoyable. We rode stables like King Kong, Minions, Sherk, Hollywood Rip it, etc. We could not get int he queue for Jimmy Fallon’s ride. We ate in a 50’s dinner diagonal to Transformers (which we rode as well). It was terrible. Worst food of the trip. We threw away half of the food as it was not good. The Crowd was a little larger than expected but manageable and the plan was great. We completed most of this list but skipped some things. We were tired. For dinner we ate on City Walk at the Chocolate Emporium. SECOND BEST MEAL OF THE TRIP! It was great. I highly recommend it.

11/18 - Rest day and Date Night. Since our parents were there, my wife and I went out. We were trying to figure out where to go. I wanted to go to a place that is not at home to have a different experience. We settled at Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge. This was GREAT and won best meal! We had the bread service which was good. Also, Animal Kingdom Lodge is on a Savannah, so it was nice to walk around the complex to see everything and the food was great. The food was Indian with a West African twist.

11/19 - Epcot…unbearable! Do not…I repeat Do not go to Disney the week of Thanksgiving. I thought that the crowd would be list a summer crowd with cooler temperatures. Nope! The Crowd was RIDICULOUS! We were not able to do much that we did not have a fastpass for. Unpopular rides like “Living on the Land” had a 60 minute wait. Frozen’s wait time was longer than Flight of Passage (we still have not rode this ride). The plan did not work at all. We left early as it was unbearable.

11/20 - Magic Kingdom. We rode everything that we had a Fastpass for. We took some pictures, we watched some shows. EVERYTHING for standby was over an hour. Rides like 7DMT was over 2 hours. We did get to see Elsa light the castle and the fireworks show…which was great. We ate at Comic Ray’s in tomorrow land. Great food. We order the food through the mobile app, which was like fastpass for food. I recommend it. You can order while walking to the restaurant and then click the “I’m here” button when you are about 5 minutes away.

Conclusion: Nice trip, we had fun although was able to do less this year because of the crowd. I would recommend trying to go off peak, or maybe spring break. Thanksgiving was not bearable and I would be upset if that was our only opportunity. I heard Christmas is worse…but I have no idea. Our trip straddled off peak and peak seasons. I noticed that items in the park was cheaper at the beginning of the trip. For example, ice cream was $5 on 11/16 and $8 11/20 so…off peak is cheaper and has less crowds. I am sure that is not shocking but thought I would highlight it.

I tried to condense my trip, but if you have any questions…I am here for you.


Thanks for the report! I love the Chocolate Emporium !

I’m a fan of Sanaa as well. too bad the crowds were so huge!

11/19 was also Dapper Day at Epcot, that might have contributed to the crowds. I was there that day too! Got there at park opening, had early fastpass for Soarin’, then hit “Living with the Land”, and that was all we rode that day. Mainly we walked around the park until our lunch reservation, and then we decided to call it a day.

The Chocolate Emporium opened the day after we left in 2016, I was gutted! But will definitely try it next time. I haven’t done Sanaa either, maybe that’s one for the list.

They have chocolate bread!

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I may just move in there for the 2 weeks!

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