Do we really need this many lightsabers? trip report March 2 -12

When COVID hit two years ago, we (we being my husband, myself, B, who had then just turned 6, and W, who was about to turn 4) were just back from a trip to Disney. Like, justjust back – I went back to work March 9, and on March 13 I was in a 7am 75 minute lineup at the grocery store buying stuff (not toilet paper) to get us through the next few weeks. We talked a LOT about the trip in those first few weeks, along the lines of “Two weeks ago we were in Hollywood Studios and now we’re crossing the street to avoid other people on the sidewalk!” Things got bad, they got better, they got bad again, you all know, you were there. Last spring when things seemed not so bad I thought “Maybe it’s time to think about another trip.” On our 2020 trip we had talked about going every other year, obviously we missed 2021 due to everything generally feeling apocalyptic, but 2022! Could be feasible! B would be 8 and W would be almost 6 and they’re taller and could ride more rides! So I booked some flights that we could make changes to with no fees, and I booked Caribbean Beach because I didn’t feel comfortable committing money to DVC, and I started to think “……maybe.” And then a lovely poster on Touring Plans posted that she had some points to sell, and the Polynesian flashed before my eyes, and I contacted her and she waited until the 7 month period and booked us a lakeview room at the Poly and suddenly we were doing a split stay. Maybe. And it got closer, and the kids went back to school and that went ok, and numbers went down down down down and it seemed more and more likely that we’d go.

And then Omicron.

But even then I watched the numbers and got the kids vaccinated and banked on the peak hitting in early February and early March being on the downslope, and crossed my fingers. And we started to get really close, and the kids got COVID which kind of seemed like our prayers answered – no requirement for testing to get there OR get back! Despite our best efforts (my five year old literally coughed in my mouth!) my husband and I did not get COVID but we also work from home so if we weren’t going to get it from the kids, we were pretty comfortably safe from getting it at all (minus a scare the week before our departure where a friend sitting next to me at soccer practice commented idly that he’d been exposed the previous weekend and had had some symptoms but they went away so he was pretty sure it was fine….boy did I edge away quickly!).

And suddenly it was March 1, and we were at Costco getting our $16.99 rapid tests (price substantially increased by the fact that our membership had expired the day before – whoops!), and my parents were arriving to house/dogsit, and you guys, I think we might actually make it to Disney World!

We had a 10:15 flight so we left the house around 6:15 – my dad had volunteered to drive us so we wouldn’t have to pay the $250 to park, which was very kind of him, although as I wedged myself between two carseats in the back I wondered whether it was actually worth it. We arrived at Pearson and got checked in fairly easily. We had planned to hang out in the WestJet lounge but it was closed so we found ourselves an open area (which were plentiful!), had some breakfast, and waited for our flight. Finally it was time to board – we hopped on, they closed the door, we taxied away! We were almost on our way! We were…not moving! We were listening to an announcement about a problem with the hydraulics system. We were going back to the gate and waiting for a mechanic, we were hearing that things were ok but the mechanic had to fill out some paperwork, we were waiting for a gate crew to let us pull back away from the gate. An hour later, we taxied away a second time and this time got off the ground. Disney! Here we come!

I’m 700 words in and we’ve just taken off, I apologize for this novel in advance but I’m reliving it here and getting carried away.

I had booked Quicksilver to transport us to the hotel, and then read the updates here and gotten panicked, so I’d cancelled and on the recommendation from a friend booked Anthony Hinds. We had just landed when I got a call from our driver, Bob, who had been following the delays and asked me to let him know when we got our bags. Got through baggage claim, gave Bob a call, and he showed up a few minutes later. Bob was extremely friendly, chatting to us, making the kids feel comfortable. He told us about a satellite launch the next day (and actually texted me the next day to remind me!) and in what felt like no time, we were pulling up to Caribbean Beach. Our room wasn’t ready yet (we had requested Aruba 55, ground floor, because we wanted to be close to the Riviera, and were told that we were getting Aruba 54 second floor – not ideal with the stroller and no elevator but we decided we’d make it work). We had thought about swimming but B flatly refused to change in a public bathroom so we grabbed some Mickey bars and wandered around until I got the room ready text.

We went back to Bell Services to retrieve our bags and when we told them where we were they laughed and said “We’ll drive you.” so everything got loaded up into a van and they took us over – I had heard that the resort was big but I didn’t really appreciate how big until we got driven around it!

The room was fine – nothing special, but it’s not like we would be spending a lot of time in there. I’m not sure if some of the rooms have been refurbished but this one felt like it could use it, I would definitely have preferred to not have carpet. It also felt very dim, since the only window opened onto the walkway outside so we kept the curtains closed all the time. But honestly, we were really never there so it wasn’t that much of a problem, it had beds and enough space to stash the stroller when we weren’t using it and it was close to the quiet pool, the bus stop, and the Riviera – I’d pick this location again for sure.

We had 6:20 reservations at Beaches and Cream so after a bit more wandering, marveling at the Skyliner, and flipping out of the hammocks we hopped the Skyliner over to Epcot, walked to Beach Club, and checked in. This was the first meal we’d really eaten indoors in a year, and I was worried about how I’d feel - more generally, actually, I was worried about the whole trip, spending all the time feeling stressed at crowds and people not wearing masks. In this respect them lifting the mask requirement right before we left kind of helped, because I recognized that I would just wear a mask when I felt uncomfortable and other people would do their own thing and as a consequence, the only time I really cared about it at all was when we were places where masks WERE required and people weren’t wearing them (cough at least one person on every mode of transportation we took the whole trip PULL IT UP OVER YOUR NOSE YOU JERK cough). Dinner was ok – my son, who is something of a carnivore, ate half his cheeseburger patty and then dropped it on the ground and the waitress super kindly immediately brought us a whole new burger, which was so sweet.

We very stupidly ate too much and didn’t have space for ice cream, which was the whole reason we’d gone there in the first place – not our smartest plan. We finished up, Skylinered “home”, went for a quick swim in the quiet pool, and then headed to bed.


I can already tell I’m going to love this report!


I love a really detailed trip report, great start!


Yayyyyyy. We were there at the same time in 2020. Something about your last memories before everything changed being at wdw makes the obsession deepen


No room for ice cream at the ice cream restaurant - that is exactly the sort of stunt that we pull!


I love, love, love the kids being kids on the hammocks :heart_eyes:


I’m already invested in your report! I love all the details!!


My DH and I were in Aruba this past August and I agree with you about the rooms. They could use a refurb and better lighting. But we loved the location. It was easy to take the path across to the main pool and close to the Riviera skyliner. Loving the trip report so far!

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You’re right, there’s not much they can do about the window situation but better lighting would really help. Also some kind of bedside lamp! Is that a deluxe-only thing? It made me nuts that when the kids went to bed we basically had to hang out in the pitch dark because the over head lights were the only option.

I know, right? That was so strange. And while I liked that the sink was separate from the toilet and shower, I practically felt like I was in the tub while using the toilet, the space was so small! Lol… But the location was great and it was fun to stay someplace the new.

We were at Disney in Feb and actually witnessed a guy pull his mask down, sneeze, and put the mask back on. :woman_facepalming::woman_shrugging::interrobang:

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EW! We were on with a woman who took it off every time she had to talk. What is wrong with people???


Day two – Magic Kingdom

Obviously I was awake at 5:30. I tried to go back to sleep for a bit and then started to worry about what would happen if Genie Plus sold out, something I know does not happen, so I bought that. Then I started to run over logistics – the park opens at 8:30 for early entry, we want to rope drop Mine Train, we should probably be at the bus stop at 7:15, how long does it take to get there? We should have timed it the day before! I had also ordered a delivery from a furloughed cast member, SammiCakes, so we had to get over to bell services to pick that up. So at 6 I got up and had a shower, and then poked my husband awake so he could shower and run over to get the breakfast box. Once we were both up and ready I started turning on more lights, making more noise, trying to casually wake up the kids, who for some reason are in my bed at 6:15am every day at home but here at the world’s most exciting place are still out cold at 6:30. Their wake-up was hastened by Jay coming in with the breakfast box, which contained some Mickey waffles, various croissants/pastries/little muffins/cinnamon buns/lemon bread, as well as two giant Mickey cookies with their names on them. That really got them up and moving. Then my 6:58 “time to do the Genie stuff!” alarm went off, and my heart started pounding. I had done a bit of practicing, specifically on Slinky, refreshing at 6:59:59 to see what time I’d get and then watching how quickly they went, and I knew obviously that Peter Pan was not going to disappear like that, but I didn’t know how it would be. So I watched the second hand, I refreshed, I hit Peter Pan, I hit confirm, and that was it, we had our first LL for 9:05. Actually I was surprised, I had kind of thought there might be an additional step, so it was easier than I expected. Grabbed the final stuff, threw some of the hundreds of snacks I’d brought with us into the backpack, and by 7:10 we were heading to the Riviera, arriving to find the next (first?) bus scheduled for 7:30.

This is the point at which I discovered something that would become a theme for this trip – all this “hurry up and wait” stuff is hard for kids who are very excited and very hopped up on sugar. They didn’t deal very well with the rushing them to get out the door only to discovered they were going to have to sit around and wait 20 minutes for a bus/to get into the park/to get onto a ride. Which, honestly, fair enough – they’re excited! They want to get going! They had not emotionally planned to be hustled out the door at 7:15 for 90 minutes of standing around in various lines. Anyway, they got a little grumpy. It didn’t help when the bus arrival time clicked over to 7:40. I also discovered that nobody was interested in any of the snacks I’d packed. Like, at all. But eventually the bus arrived, we donned our masks and hopped on, and were Magic Kingdom-bound. Navigated the security line, where I learned the valuable “take your sunglasses case out of your purse and hold it out in front of you going through the scanners” lesson, tapped into the scanners, and we were in the park and walking up Main Street! I felt really emotional being back with so much having happened between our last visit and this moment, it felt so nice to be walking up the street in the sunshine, the blue sky, the castle shining up ahead. There wasn’t a lot of time to take it in, though, because we quickly got directed to the right for the early entry line, and then we were in a solid crowd on the bridge.

I had never done an actual rope drop before – on all our previous trips we’d had PPO reservations at Be Our Guest, so I had no idea what to expect, how many of these people were going to Mine Train, how long it would take, etc. And then W announced that he had to go to the bathroom, and I also had no idea where that was and if it was accessible from where we were (spoiler alert – over the bridge, on the left, yes you can get there before they drop the rope) so we told him he’d have to wait and made a plan – the rope would drop, W and I would hustle to the bathroom, Jay and B would get in line, we’d meet them. And then there was a big cheer from the crowd and we were moving! So after a quick pit-stop in the bathrooms we headed over to Mine Train to be confronted by a line. A long line. We finally found the rest of our family all the way back across from Dumbo, and at this point I was having real concerns with this plan, as MDE was saying a 60 minute wait and it was 8:36 so I was assuming the internal queue was already filled up. But as I was dithering, trying to decide what to do, we started moving, and we moved fairly consistently, although it was 9:08 before we were getting on. It was neat to see the queue, the only times we’d actually been through it before was during the pre-park opening rush to ride, and those times were basically racing through it to see if we could get a second (or one day a third!) ride before the crowds descended.

Once we were off Mine Train we walked across to do Winnie the Pooh, with another great line that we’d never been through – I think the kids might have enjoyed the line more than the actual ride. At that point nothing looked especially short and I was getting anxious to book another LL so we tapped into Peter Pan, and booked Buzz Lightyear for 11:45ish. Then we walked across the lane to It’s a Small World, and while in line I mobile-ordered a chocolate fruit waffle from Sleepy Hollow, so after a glorious tour through the world in the form of dancing toddlers, we headed that way.

The mobile order situation at Sleepy Hollow is a mess! There were like 20 people waiting in the mobile order pickup, and when I asked the people in front of me if their order was ready they just shrugged and said “Somebody told us to wait here”. So I think that they had everybody doing mobile orders and then just hopping in that line, assuming that by the time they got to the front their order would be ready. It took quite a while, but eventually we had our Nutella and fresh fruit waffle and Doom Berry beverage, which honestly I was lured into by the Haunted Mansion themed straw. I didn’t fully think through the implications of buying a drink that was a) carbonated (my kids hate carbonation, they claim it’s spicy) and b) actually spicy because it was ginger beer. B, however, drank a surprising amount of it, the hilarious faces he made throughout notwithstanding.

Haunted Mansion was posting a fairly short wait time so we headed over there, but the line stretched all the way out along the railing and the kids flatly refused, even though I assured them it probably wouldn’t be as long as it looked. They were, I think, already a little hesitant – they’d been on it once before, three years previously, during which time W covered his eyes and cried the whole time and B just kept saying “This is TOO SCARY for us why did you bring us on this???” B had wanted to do it again on our previous trip but it had gone down so that was their last memory.

At that point for some reason it seemed like a good idea to also get Dole Whip – possibly because one waffle wasn’t enough food for four people who hadn’t eaten breakfast? Not sure of my thinking. But we then made our way over to Aloha Isle for a pineapple dole whip float and a coconut dole whip cup. The tasters were pretty torn – B and I were unable to determine which was more delicious, Jay and W were firmly on team pineapple.

We headed over to use our Buzz LL but on the way passed the Treehouse. The boys were interested, we’d never done it, so we took a wander through – it was really neat! Cool to be so high up and look out into all the trees. Also really nice to pass something and be able to just do it without having to check the app, figure out wait times, and promise them that we’d come back to it.

We tapped into Buzz, and I booked an LL for Space, one I was excited about because we’d never done it but my kids really love the fast rides, so I thought they’d be into it. Buzz Lightyear was notable because I beat my husband for the first time ever, so that’s something I’m never going to stop talking about. This is the point at which all our carefully laid plans about shopping went south – we had decided we’d give the kids a certain amount of money per park but that they couldn’t buy anything until the last day at that park, because W, in particular, has a tendency to just walk through every store asking to buy everything he puts his hands on. So we’d briefed them! We were clear! And then B found a small soccer ball in the Buzz shop, and B is soccer-mad, and it seemed like a good idea to have a ball that he could kick around. So we bought the ball, and we talked W down from his devastation that his brother was buying something and he wasn’t (“there’s nothing here you want” is not an argument that holds water for that kid), and we hopped onto the Peoplemover, my Magic Kingdom true love. The escalator wasn’t running, which was kind of a letdown because that’s B’s favourite part, but there was still that thrill when it goes from inching to zooming, and zipping around in the sunshine, looking at the castle – SIGH. We then stopped by Space to confirm that W really was 44” tall, because at home he’d been right on the line, and they said he wasn’t – I think he was slouching to get under the bar but didn’t want to risk it, so cancelled the LL and booked one for Big Thunder again, which basically filled the same purpose – a rollercoaster that the kids had never been on.

At this point we hopped a bus back to the resort to discover the pool, which was crowded and noisy and great fun. I mobile ordered some food and hung out on a chair waiting for it, and the kids headed off to do the waterslide 100 times in a row, while Jay hung out near the bottom to keep an eye on them – they can both swim and they’re both reasonably competent in the water but W has a method of swimming that looks remarkably like he’s drowning, plus neither of them had swum since December, so we wanted to keep a bit of an eye on them. When the food came it was tough to get them out of the water, and most of their food ultimately went to waste, but Jay and I really enjoyed the fish tacos and especially the jerk chicken bowl – the chicken was well seasoned and plentiful, and the beans and rice were so good I ate them all before everybody else got out of the pool.

Also while at the pool my alarm went off for my next LL time. We wanted Haunted Mansion but the times were showing 7:55pm. A few minutes of refreshing, though, and a 4:10 popped up, which I jumped on. Around 3 we got out of the pool and headed back to MK. During our leisurely ride on the Peoplemover the boys had been VERY into the idea of the Speedway, and on the bus our next LL time had come up and shockingly, the Speedway was VERY available! So we went over there for a spin around the track – what is up with those cars? Are they impossible to steer? B was driving and I was working the pedals but it felt like no matter how hard he spun the wheel we were just banging from one side of the rail to the other.

From there we went to Haunted Mansion which honestly, I had serious reservations about because W is either supersensitive to anything remotely scary or he likes to pretend to be so that I’ll snuggle him at bedtime and go with him every time he goes into the basement, but either way I was not looking forward to six weeks of “I can’t fall asleep because you made me go on Haunted Mansion and now I think there are ghosts in my room” but he really wanted to do it, and actually it went ok – we skipped the stretching room and I did a lot of “Ha ha look at that silly ghost he’s so funny!” that would have probably been intolerable if there was anybody else in our GhostMobile, but it went fine and while he’s occasionally mentioned our “HostGhost” since then he didn’t seem to have been affected.

And then over to Big Thunder which – wow. Why is there so much love for Seven Dwarfs when this is so much more fun as a rollercoaster? I couldn’t believe how long it was! And how fun! And how it just kept going! We all loved this one. Also on our way over there we ran across a Cavalcade, which was also a lot of fun – a random parade that just pops up in the streets, lasts a few minutes, and then is done? Yes please!

From Big Thunder it was over to our 6:20 Skipper Canteen reservation. We’d never eaten here but I was really looking forward to it. W, who is a carnivore, was delighted to find steak on the menu. B, who was grumpy, didn’t want any of the options but agreed to macaroni and cheese (I did take a chance and ask the waitress if she could do a grilled cheese but they didn’t have any sandwich bread, which – fair enough). Jay had the Char Siu Pork, and I had the Thai Noodles, and everything was excellent, especially my noodles – lots of flavour, the perfect amount of spice. Also we had the Brazilian cheese bread which was so good we took the ones we couldn’t eat home in our pockets and ate them for breakfast.

When we got finished it was about 7:45, and we didn’t think we could make it back around for the fireworks plus Big Thunder was showing a short wait, so we headed back over there. We were slightly too late to actually get to ride while the fireworks were going, and watched them out various windows as we moved through the line, but it was still really cool to ride in the dark!

Also at some point today, and I honestly have no idea when, B bought a lightsaber. I wasn’t there, I really questioned the need for it as we already own seven at home, but this one was cool in some way that the others weren’t, and we had a thing scheduled later in the trip that would require lightsabers anyway so there you go.

Big Thunder completed, we made our way back to the front of the park and hopped on a bus back to the Riviera, and went to bed nightmare free, possibly only because W fell asleep in the stroller somewhere in the five minute walk from the Riviera to our room.


What a great day! Your writing style is hilarious. Agreed on Big Thunder over Seven Dwarves! Also appreciated the meal details at Skipper. We look forward to it the next trip. Looking forward to more.


Really enjoyed following along!


Enjoying this report. The detail you have it, notwithstanding it not being a ‘live’ report, is awesome. Sometimes you can get to the end of a vacation and it’s all been a blur :blush:. Looking forward to reading more.


How do you do this?

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Just ask the cast member before you go in - they take you out a side door, down a hall, and then you just rejoin the line on the other side. They asked us if there were other members of our party in the stretching room and when we said no we went right ahead and got in that line right before you get into the Doom Buggies.


Thanks! It’s funny how writing it all out is making things come back to my memory.


I had no idea! This is great info to have!

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