First timer trip report 10/22-10/29 (pts. 1 & 2)

Shout out to all of your liner wisdom - my years of stalking your well laid plans paid off! The husband had been to WDW as a kid and Euro as a teen, but this was the first trip for myself, DD7, and DS2. I had planned a trip for DD’s 4th birthday in 2016, but it was during that Zika scare and we cancelled because I was pregnant - a hurricane ended up hitting that week and Disney was mayhem, so it turned out to be a good thing in the long run. We told our daughter about our trip on her birthday this year and left 4 days later.

10/22 - Landed at MCO right on time, even though I had been nervous about flying Frontier (the kids fly free deal was too good to pass up). Rode the Magical Express over to ASM, found our room (a floor up and several doors down from my TP room request), got a mediocre pizza at the food court (but 2 QS credits fed our family of 4), let the kids marvel at the giant Toy Story statues outside of our room, got our Prime Now delivery, and wondered how on earth we’d be up early enough to rope drop AK.

10/23 - We were up and in line for the bus in the dark and got to AK right at 7am. We had to activate our (military salute) tickets and buy our Memory Maker at Guest Services, but our TP wasn’t set to start until 7:30, so we were still ahead of the game. Rode Navi River, Triceratops Spin, attempted It’s Tough to be a Bug, but the 2yo noped out of that before it even started, so we took a few Tree of Life MM shots and rolled over to our 8:25 Kilimanjaro FP. That line was crazy long and had several other riders going full “I want to speak to your manager” because the line was longer than they expected with a FP and some special group was going through a separate entrance ahead of us. It was a lot like the safari ride at our local Six Flags, but there was so much more animal activity! It was still a bit too cold to potentially get soaked on our KRR FP, so we skipped that. Our brunch reservation at Tusker House wasn’t until 10:45, so we grabbed some Starbucks and went autograph hunting - Pocahontas, Rafiki & Timon, and almost got Scrooge McDuck before he went on break (missing him and Launchpad may be my greatest regret of the trip). Got most of our core autographs at brunch, but also discovered that DS is really not a fan of the non-face characters. As in, there were initial tears/screaming, followed by a constant “Uh uh! Uh uh!” and vigorously shaking his head while leaning away from them. Womp womp. DD was all about those autographs though.

Went straight to the Rafiki train after brunch to boost DS’s spirits, collected some pressed pennies, and I hopped on EE while the husband took the kids to the Boneyard. Met back up with the fam, got Mickey bars, and headed over to FotLK. This ended up being such a highlight of the trip! DD was wearing her birthday badge and sitting on the end of our aisle. Towards the end of the show, a CM came over and casually chatted her up and asked if she wanted to be in the show with them. She is normally pretty shy, but jumped on the opportunity and it was so great - extra special birthday magic! Met Dug, Russell, and Kevin, then it was time for our FoP FP - DD was super tired and tried to not go with DH, but we convinced her to ride at least once and then she could nap if she wanted. FoP blew her mind though and she couldn’t wait to ride again with me. She talked the whole rest of the trip about wanting to ride it again. I was able to snag a KRR FP to replace our earlier burned FP, ran over to meet Mickey and Minnie at Adventurers Outpost, and then we had a nice dinner at Yak & Yeti. Our earlier brunch reservation was a RoL dining package, so we caught the 7:30 show, bolted out afterwards, and made it back to the hotel before 8:30. It was a LONG day, but had an easier Epcot day to follow.

10/24 - This was a much more laid back day. The husband had a 9:30 solo reservation at Savi’s Workshop in HS, while I took the kids to Epcot. Rolled up right at 9, walked around in a circle for more time than I’d like to admit because I apparently can’t read maps, then went to our Turtle Talk FP. I was shocked by how freaking adorable it was. Took the kids to the Seas with Nemo, made another pressed penny stop and let them buy stuff at the gift shop. Husband let us know he was skylining over from HS and we headed over to Norway to meet Anna and Elsa. The line was shorter than I expected and DS was far more into meeting the princesses than Mickey and Co. He didn’t want to hug them, but did show them his belly button. Husband met back up with us and we had time to also meet Mulan before we started our Food and Wine mini-brunch. Had some snacks in the Alps, Africa, and Hops & Barley before we laid off so we’d still have room for lunch at Akershus. Kids got some stuff at the Japan store, because what better place to buy Hello Kitty and Nintendo merch than at Disney? Used our FP for FEA, met Daisy again, and had our Akershus lunch. DD got a birthday card from all of the princesses and a special cupcake and her day was made. Husband was pleasantly surprised by his weird potato dumplings and they gave DS a meal for free (under 3 on the meal plan).

Side note on the meal plan - it ended up being an amazing value for our family - we did a split stay between ASM and Shades of Green, so we got 4 days of meal plan for 3 of us. Since we didn’t have to pay for DS on the meal plan and 3 of our 4 TS were buffets, we paid about $716 and based on receipts we got over $1122 of food and it kept us well fed Tuesday-Saturday. We intended to do some more food and wine hopping and meet a few more characters, but DS was done and it was getting HOT, so we snagged a quick Spaceship Earth FP on the way out and went back to the resort for pool and playground time and just grabbed dinner at the food court. MK is coming up next!


Looks like a great trip so far, I’m looking forward to reading the rest!

10/25 - Arrived at MK before 7, but it was a party day so we only had until 6pm to fit in what we could. We were first in line to meet Tink, got a few nearly empty park pics in front of the castle, and the husband made a Starbucks run while I herded the kids over to meet the princesses. We were able to knock out 10 Fantasyland/Tomorrowland attractions and also meet Ariel, Alice, and Merida before our Peter Pan FP and 10:20 BoG reservation. I can’t sing the praises of mobile order enough here. The line to order was super long and we basically walked right in, got drinks and had food in minutes. We shared the Feast a la Gaston and Croque Madame since we were planning to snack heavily in the afternoon and it was enough for everyone except the husband. We went straight to our 11:00 Enchanted Tales FP, where DD played the role of Chip, hopped on the carousel for the 2nd time, saw Philharmagic and rode It’s a Small World (which DD declared to be the worst ride in the world that she would never ever ride again).

We made what we thought was going to be a quick stop at the bathroom before our 7DMT FP, but while we were in there it started to pour buckets. Our stroller was parked by the carousel without the cover on, so DH ran over to try to save it while I got ponchos on everyone. We had decent cover, but all of the water was running to where we were standing and our feet got soaked. The rain let up enough that we were able to make it over and ride 7DMT, but man was it cold in there! Took a break at Gaston’s Tavern and tried to go see the parade, but the weather cancelled it. Got everyone in dry clothes, bought new adult socks since we had neglected to throw some in the backpack that morning, and hit up PeopleMover and Monsters Inc. By this point we had conquered just about all of Fantasyland/Tomorrowland except for Space Mountain. No FPs were left for Space, but I got one for Splash so we trekked over and rider swapped since DS is about an inch too short to ride. He was perfectly happy running around the play area the entire time. Got one more last minute FP to Jungle Cruise and went to our 5:15 dinner reservation at Crystal Palace. I’d heard mixed reviews, but we had good luck with it and DD loved the characters. We loved scoping out everyone’s Halloween party costumes, but I know my family can’t hang late at night so we didn’t get tickets. We loitered a bit in the gift shops on Main Street, bought a backup autograph book since DD filled hers at dinner and she became obsessed with the kids charm bracelets. Felt pretty good about our MK progress since we were going back on 10/27. Got back to ASM and started packing up for our hotel move the next morning.

10/26 - Saturday was technically our rest day, but we still had a bit of an agenda. We had breakfast in the room and then took a Minnie Van from ASM over to Shades of Green. We dropped off our stuff and walked over to the Polynesian where the husband had made an appointment with Disney Fine Art Photography. We checked out the gift shops and hung out in the lobby while we waited for our photo time and DS used that time to run face first into the side of a couch while playing with another pair of siblings and got a boo boo right under his nose (where it still is over a week later). The kids he was playing with were so sweet and concerned about him, and thankfully his wound didn’t look too bad until after the photos were over. DS was less than cooperative, but we now have a lovely Christmas card photo where the rest of us are smiling and he has the biggest frowny face known to man. We treated ourselves to Dole Whips and Te Fiti cones after that ordeal.

We still had a few hours before our room was going to be ready at SoG, so we hopped a bus over to Disney Springs. Still had several QS credits to get through, so we made our first stop at The Polite Pig. DH and I shared the butcher board for 2 - the smoked turkey was fantastic, the brisket was good but super fatty, sausage was a bit too cheesy, didn’t care for the pork shoulder. DD destroyed her smoked chicken. The sides were delicious and I was rather fond of the sweet tea old fashioned. Did some shopping, but the heat was wearing us down pretty quickly and we mercifully got the call that our room was ready. Stopped at Chicken Guy on the way out and got some tenders for the road since the husband wanted to try all the sauces. Took the bus back over to Poly, walked over to SoG and was promptly blown away by the size of our room. After being crammed into the tiny ASM room for 4 nights, this was like a mansion (with a balcony!) I loved the convenience of the magical express and meal plan staying officially on property, but I’m going to have a hard time saying no to a full stay at SoG next time. DD and I had some pool time while the boys napped, showered and we all headed back over to the Poly for Captain Cook’s and fireworks on the beach. We got there early enough to claim chairs and loved the Electric Water Parade and not having to fight crowds. I know we traded off on missing the castle projections, but I was more than happy with our experience. The kids DS was playing with earlier in the day in the lobby ended up sitting next to us and sweetly shared their glow balloons and bracelets with us. Made it back over to SoG and prepped for our second MK day.

10/27 - MK Day 2! We rode the monorail from Poly and started our Adventureland/Frontierland centric day back over in Fantasyland - Aurora had been in Rapunzel’s place when we went before, but Rapunzel’s autograph was a must. DD and I rode Space Mountain while DS and DH hit the carousel again and got breakfast treats. Managed to convince both kids to ride HM, did Magic Carpets twice because rides spinning in a circle are DS’s jam, met Aladdin & Jasmine, and explored the Swiss Family Robinson tree house. Had a 9am 7DMT FP, so went back that way and rider swapped since DD loved it and DS wasn’t a big fan. Back to the carousel and tea cups with him. Headed back to Adventureland for Enchanted Tiki Room and another Splash FP rider swap. DH was still salty about getting so wet on it the other day, so we saved his turn for later. Side note: briefly chatted with the lady behind me when I heard her mention what a good use of a FP Splash was and I told her I was able to get the FP midday on our previous MK day. She saw I was optimizing my plan on my phone and she’s a liner too! Hello if you’re out there reading this! :joy:

Grabbed lunch at Columbia Harbor House (mobile order for the win again!) and rider swapped our BTM FP. Took the raft over to Tom Sawyer Island, explored for a bit and the boys called it a day and headed back to nap. DD and I cheated a little and used the husband’s unused rider swap to Splash, got FPs to PotC and Winnie the Pooh, then parked ourselves on Main St for the parade. She wanted to swim, so we took the monorail back to Poly, walked back to our room, and squeezed in a little pool time before the rain started. Had dinner at the little sports bar at Shades of Green and were all in bed before 8:30 to rest up for our HS rope drop.


Great report so far! Can’t wait to read more!!

:laughing: I love toddlers.

What a great trip!!! I can’t wait to read the rest!!

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