Trip for 39 year old couple who have been to Disney before (wife is on DAS, with permanent ECV from a genetic disorder), and DD11 (also DAS, inherited from Mom) and DD9 on their first trip.
We arrived at Disney on a Wednesday night, Feb 5th, flying in from Buffalo (after driving there from Canada) to a massive heat wave. Coming from low 30s to high 80s was a bit off-putting. We made it to the hotel (POP) about 6:30, but after grocery and ECV delivery, the first night was pretty much done. Note that all the pools around the resorts close at 8PM in winter months, so there isn’t much for the kids to do and you should have a plan to temper excitement on arrival night if you aren’t visiting a park.
First day was Animal Kingdom. It was very hot (for February) and quite windy. Everyone loved FoP, but NRJ was kind of ‘meh’, DD refused to ride EE, and the Wilderness Explorers game was boring for DS and DD after around 10 badges. KS was well enjoyed, but then with the heat, DD and DW went back to the resort while DS and I rode Dinosaur and walked some trails. We saw FotLK, but RoL night show was cancelled, so there wasn’t a whole lot else to do at the park. Kids liked FoP so much they are talking about going back on our later ‘flex day’, but there isn’t anything else at the park they are excited about doing again. Thankfully, some well-timed bookings of RoL FPs turned into anytime FPs for the next day. An evening thunderstorm led to much cooler temperatures afterwards.
Day 2 was MK. EMH were in effect, but after the rain the night before, my family was not going to get up that early. We arrived at 9ish and re-optimzed plans, but were plagued by constant ride downtimes. First, JC was down, so we rode the flying carpets, then used the anytime FP for HM before attempting PotC, which also was down. We rode BTMR, and went back for our JC FPP, but the FP line was all the way back to the carpets, leaving us very little time afterwards to make our reservation at BoG. Here was where we ran into some of our biggest frustrations of the day.
We had gotten a great reservation at 12:00 for BoG, and were looking forward to lunch. We did not order in advance, as we had food allergies we had to deal with and there was no ingredient information about the food online that we could find. When we were waiting for our tough to get reservation, walk-ups were coming in and being accepted, leading to a very long line between checking in and the ordering kiosks. By the time we reached the ordering kiosks, it was almost 12:30. Still with no allergy information, we made the best choices we could. Our food had not yet arrived to us by 1:00, with two managers looking after our order. DW’s order ended up containing one of her allergies (mushrooms), and the waiter who took her re-order afterwards mis-heard her request, bringing out a grilled cheese instead of a shrimp (not sure how that happened?). We ended up finally leaving our reservation by 1:30. The managers at BoG were fantastic, but in our opinion they are being handcuffed by a poor ordering system and implementation of the ‘food finds you anywhere’ gimmick. We had another reservation there later in the week and cancelled it immediately. The food was not that special, and does no justice to the amazing setting. It is a table service restaurant trying to be QS for lunch, and failed at both for us.
We thankfully made our PPF FP, then were able to go back to PotC as it was running again. After some energy run-off at TSI, we went to Fantasyland for an afternoon 7DMT FP and just started booking FP after FP at IASW, UtS, Dumbo, etc. When we reached Pooh, that ride broke down on us just before entering the vehicle, so we then rode the teacups and settled in for HEA.
Today was DHS. My son and I were there by 7:30, taking a bus from POP to DHS with no problem at all. Scored BG 28 at park open. The plan was to ride TSM and ASS before a 8:45 SDD FP, but SDD was down this morning, so we rode TSM with a 10 min wait , and skipped ASS, as it already had a 40 min wait from the large RD crowd who couldn’t ride SDD. SDD FP converted to an anytime FP. We went to sign up for Jedi Training, then ride Star Tours, hoping that we would get a different show during the morning compared to our FP later in the day (spoiler, we did NOT. Both shows were the episode IX planets with the crashed death star and the fight against the first order). Our boarding group was called right around the time we had a reservation at Oga’s, so we decided to do the reservation first, since we had a 2 hr return window at RotR. This gave time for DW and DD to make it to the park. They were both able to be added to the BG with DS and I due to their DAS pass. Unfortunately, RotR was down when we made it back. We did our FP at Star Tours (see above), then modified our IJ show FP to TZ:ToT in the afternoon. I felt kind of dumb for not realizing that as soon as the SDD pass converted to an anytime pass in the morning, I could have been booking tier 1 FPs. We built a droid, and had lunch at the Sci-Fi diner. Droid building was fun for DD - she liked picking the pieces and building a BB8 style droid, however, it is mostly thin plastic exterior, and from a parent’s point of view, I would NOT recommend a child builds a BB droid. The head attaches with a somewhat weak magnets, and is prone to falling off while walking around or with normal use. Her original droid head was cracked potentially before leaving the building area. They replaced it there immediately, but I don’t have much faith in the quality of the pieces, and certainly don’t see it being worth $100. Maybe the R2 units are more durable, but I don’t know.
We went back to ride RotR again, but it was in another downtime. We went to MF:SR and all did that together. We then went back to RotR, and the fourth time’s the charm, as we were able to ride, even though total time spent was around an hour. I loved the ride, the kids liked it, but DW was not impressed at all, as she has no connection to Star Wars. Our TZ:ToT FPs converted to anytime FPs, as that ride also went down. There has been so much ride downtime these first few days, my family is not keen on booking a return trip to Disney. Anyway, we went and used our original SDD FP as intended, just much later. Then, we used the TZ:ToT converted pass to ride TSM and just took the skyliner back to the hotel so kids could swim, they weren’t keen on riding RnRC after all of that, nor waiting around for a night show they weren’t sure about.
We have three more days of our trip - I’ll keep you all informed as we go, and eventually post some pictures. Tomorrow is day 2 of MK, with focus on Tomorrowland and wrapping up things we didn’t see on day 1.