Feep's Family Trip (11/16-11/23)

I am not great at writing out long trip reports (or anything else really), so I’ll give the Cliff Notes version. I’ll post days 1-4 tonight, 5-8 and a brief conclusion tomorrow night.

11/16 - Day 1
-Super bumpy flight.
-Arrived just in time to the Magical Express to load the bus, except that we were cut off because the bus filled up. So close. It was a really long wait for the next bus and the bus that arrived wasn’t wrapped and was possibly the worst bus we rode.
-Room was ready when we arrived at the Contemporary (kids were surprised about the location). Yay! Room was located almost as far away from the main building as possible and a middle floor, not a top floor. Boo!
-Got to EPCOT and it only took about 5 minutes once getting in line at Guest Services to activate our Annual Passes for myself and DW (kids also surprised but not as thrilled to learn we’re taking solo trips without them).
-Spaceship Earth, Test Track, and Living with the Land FPP were all used and DS was pumped about Test Track. This was his number one ride that he was looking forward to (not his #1 ride at the end, but it was up there). The crowds were pretty low and we were able to stop in and see Baymax and get on Soarin. DS learned that meeting Disney characters is way cooler than the cow at Chick Fil A.
-Realized we needed autograph books and a pen. So a quick trip to Mouse Gear and problem solved.
-Garden Grill dinner. This remains one of my favorite restaurants.
-A quick trip through Living with the Seas and we called it a night.

11/17 – Day 2
-Still cold
-Reported to the front desk about desk drawer that keeps opening (shins did not like), lamp that didn’t work, and most importantly the electric socket that still had a prong stuck in it. I was told that Engineering would get it fixed that day (spoiler, they did).
-Disney Springs with brunch at Homecomin’. We really enjoyed this meal and I would probably do this one again. I’m a sucker for southern food. It is in my blood, literally, I was raised on it and I’ll probably need medication for it as I get older.
-Surprised the kids with MVMCP.
-FPP for the Space Ranger Spin, Speedway, and Barnstormer. Dinner at Pecos Bill (this ended up being a favorite of DS). We spent time getting pictures with Moana, getting cookies, iasw, and BTMRR. BTMRR was a little too much for DS. He was determined to handle his roller coaster issues though.
-This was fun, but we learned that DS was not going to be able to stay up at night. I stayed with DD to watch the shows and then head out. On the way back was when my knee started to give out, but hopefully a good night’s rest would fix that (another spoiler, it did not).

11/18 – Day 3
-Finally warm
-Animal Kingdom and Happy Birthday Mickey!
-After 9 straight hours of viewing the Otters, we called it a day. Well, at least that is what would have happened if I had let DW do the planning. I did build some time in for her though.
-FPP planned for this day were Na’vi River, Safari, and Everest. After Na’vi and the Safari we hit up Dinosaur. DS was a little green after this ride, so EE Fastpass was switched to Tough to be a Bug. He loved this. We then scheduled a FPP with the Animation session. Triceratops Spin was another of his favorites at AK and so was getting photos with Scrooge, Russel, and Doug. Overall, he wasn’t impressed by AK. After lunch at Satuli Canteen (enjoyed) we headed back to the hotel.
-After resting for a little bit, we checked out the Contemporary Gingerbread display and searched for the Hidden Mickeys.
-Dinner at Crystal Palace. The food was good, but honestly the characters are the star here. DD and DS had fun with the characters. This was the longest wait to get seated at any of our meals.
-DS was done for the day and my knee had reached a point that I couldn’t do much more anyway.

11/19 - Day 4
-Knee is not better, but I pulled out my big anti-inflammatory meds that I use for gout and this gets me through the day.
-Magic Kingdom day has FPP plans for SM, 7DMT, and iasw. DS was not going to handle SM, so I shifted his and DW over to Space Ranger Spin and I took DD on SM. She loved it, but I’m pretty sure it scared her more than she let on.
-Lunch at BOG. I think was overall a pretty good meal. Even DS was impressed by the Grand Ball Room and he has no time for the princess stuff.
-7DMT was the next coaster on the list. DS was able to handle Barnstormer, so I figured this wouldn’t be a problem. We put on his Seabands and went at it. It was during this ride that he convinced himself that if he held his arms up while riding that he wouldn’t get sick and it worked.
-We did some more rides and swapped out iasw for something else since no one but me wanted to ride it again. On the way out we stopped in to meet Stitch and DS became an instant fan.
-Watched the parade which is always amazing. Their parades are like no other parades.
-We hopped on over to EPCOT for dinner at Akershus for my DD. This will not make the cut again. The princess interactions were super short and the food just wasn’t that great. After dinner we called it a night.



Sorry about your knee. Pain makes it hard to enjoy your visit. :slightly_frowning_face:


The medication definitely helped and I was determined to not let it mess up the vacation. The only downside was that I couldn’t have any alcohol with my meals. This wasn’t a huge deal, but I was hoping to try a few. Ultimately it was probably best that DS couldn’t stay up so that I could rest and ice my knee at night.

We did not come prepared for it to be cold the first few days.

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I was there 11/15-18, yeah it was cold. Clouds and wind made it feel colder than it was, but after roasting the last several trips it felt good and Splash was a walk on.

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The wind at Epcot on 11/17 was biting at times. It was disappointing to be so cold when we were hoping to bask in some Florida sunshine before plunging into a NY winter.

11/20 – Day 5
-Knee getting better
-Hollywood Studios. FPP plans for Star Tours, SDD, and Muppets.
-The original plan was to rope drop midway mania and then do SWGE later in the day, but we ditched that pretty quickly and went to Smuggler’s Run. A good choice because the wait was maybe 30 minutes and the pilots were myself and DS while the gunners were DD and DW. I loved the ride, but the piloting is not super responsive and it is quite stressful knowing that you are responsible for the others on the ride with you.
-We then slipped into Midway Mania since the wait was only about 20 minutes. This was a huge hit for the kids (adults too, but I’ll admit that DW is better at this than I am). We almost completely missed the Star Tours FPP, so I bumped it to later in the day.
-Picture time with Edna and Olaf and off to lunch at Docking Bay 7. This was a good lunch. The sauce on the ribs was a bit spicy for DW, but it was very much to my liking.
-SDD was a huge hit for everyone. DS survived without getting sick and declared this to be his favorite ride (and let’s be honest, lots of other people’s too)
-We did Star Tours standby because the wait was listed as 10 minutes and really we practically just walked on.
-To burn the last FPP in case we wanted it for later I switched it over to the Little Mermaid. For some reason I didn’t remember this being a show. I thought it was some kind of hybrid ride and show thing. I was wrong and I regretted this, but we made it through it.
-Dinner was at Cape May since we are huge fans of seafood. While the food was good and the waitress was great, I wish they served the crab legs hotter because it makes getting the meat out a little easier. Also, the shells were really rubbery which made them really difficult to crack open. The flavor was still there though.
-When we were on our way to Cape May we stopped by the International Gateway entrance to EPCOT just so we could tap in to count towards our visits to get our Food and Wine coasters (this made 3)
-Once again, no night time adventures.

11/21 – Day 6
-Return to EPCOT, EMH but we got a late start. FPP for FEA, Imagination, and Mission Space.
-Started at Test Track since the line was mostly short during the EMH (20 min), but this turned out to be because they were down prior to us getting over there. We actually had to wait a bit because the ride shut down for about 5 or so minutes as we were waiting to get into our car. When we got out, the wait was about 70 minutes.
-Picked up our coasters.
-The kids wanted to do Spaceship Earth again and I wasn’t going to complain, so we did a quick standby wait and it was still not Walter Cronkite as the narrator.
-A quick dash over to FEA and disaster strikes. As we are tapping in, DW realizes that her limited edition Forky magic band had popped off. They still let us through, but DW was in a pretty bummed mood. We retraced our steps all the way back to Spaceship Earth and asked a CM if anyone had found the magic band. DAY SAVED! The CM went back in and came right back out with the band. DW gave her a huge hug.
-We spent lunch snacking around the world showcase with the food and whine, sorry, wine.
-Stopped by Japan and both kids got a pearl. We were originally going to just have DD do this, but DS wanted to pick one out for DW. DD got a golden pearl and DS got a pinkish pearl. We had both put in pendants.
-We hit up Imagination and the Living Seas to burn the FPP selections, but the kids were tired of EPCOT, so we headed to the MK for a bit.
-The only really MK rides we had time for were Haunted Mansion (FPP) and the Jingle Cruise (standby).
-Ohana was the dinner. DW had been looking forward to this. The food was good but not great. The steak was tough and chewy, chicken was a little dry. The appetizers, the shrimp, the salad, and the dessert were all very good. The best part though was that we got a castle view seat and this pretty much made up for the rest. We probably won’t go back though.

11/22 – Day 7
-Return to MK. FPP for BTMRR, Splash Mountain, and Haunted Mansion.
-It was an EMH day and we actually got up in time to get to the park early so we opted to rope drop 7DMT. A 25 minute wait and we were in and this was a good start to the day.
-Hopped over to Peter Pan and got on in about 20 minutes.
-We waited until the official opening and DS conquered BTMRR. Little dude was pretty proud of himself.
-We noticed that Splash Mountain only had a 10 minute wait, so we called the audible and rode this. It was a walk on. I paid the price though on making DW go on this ride because I was easily 3x as wet as anyone else.
-At this point we just burned a few fast passes, had an early lunch and decided to go back to Hollywood Studios.
-I started searching for a SDD FPP while waiting on the bus and on the bus and then BOOM, I hit the jackpot. I was the hero. The timing was tight but we just had to get across to the ride as soon as we got there. It was tight because I picked the baggage check lane with the most thorough inspector on Disney property. We made it with a few minutes to spare (I know there is a buffer, but I wasn’t willing to roll the dice on this one).
-After some more sightseeing and taking advantage of the fun photopass opportunities as SWGE, we headed back to the Contemporary to drop off our bags and head to dinner.
-We took the boat over the Wilderness Lodge for dinner at Artist Pointe. The food was really good and the characters were fast but you still felt like you had a moment with them. The Queen was the best part. The biggest complaint was that the wait staff was definitely rushing us.

11/23 - Day 8 aka the last day
-Still hot
-A return to AK. EMH. FPP for FOP, Dinosaur, and EE.
-We didn’t arrive for rope drop, but we got there a little early to be able to walk around without so many people.
-FOP was amazing. I will admit that I did not think it was going to live up to the hype. Everyone wanted to go again, but the line was too long and we had other things to do.
-Tusker House breakfast. This ended up being a big disappointment. The food was decent, but it took 45 minutes for the first character to show up at our table.
-After doing Dinosaur again (DS was more into it this time, but this ride is a little rough on him) we burned the last FPP on Tough to be a Bug (DS loves this show) and then furiously started searching for a FOP same day drop. I got one to show up and then someone walked by and hit my elbow which caused my thumb to hit the screen and refreshed it. I thought I could cry. Sadly, this was not meant to be.
-We headed over to MK to burn through our remaining stack credits and then headed back to the hotel for the Tragical Express.
-To bookend the trip, the flight back home was again crazy bumpy


Thoughts and Observations:

  1. We came out ahead on the dining plan mostly because of our meal locations, but this is an unreal amount of food.
  2. The crowds were really light all week for us which allowed us to deviate from our plans without any real sacrifice. However, I did keep updating my plan and optimize after each ride and this really helped us get through things much faster. Without this I probably wouldn’t have been able to get the second SDD FPP.
  3. 7 year olds do not have a concept about what they can handle when it comes to rollercoasters.
  4. While I was a little disappointed to not see the night time shows, particularly at HS, I was glad that DS knew his limits.
  5. Despite the problems with the room, we loved the Contemporary. DW has already declared this her home resort. I’m not sure I can afford this home… This is mostly due to the location. DW mostly only cares about MK and EPCOT, so this was ideal for her.
  6. Next time I’m bringing more jeans if I come back in November.
  7. I’ve already booked my first solo trip.