I thought it might be fun for me — and interesting to some of you — if I wrote a report of my upcoming October trip. Of course, it will really be a planning report, but it’s nice to imagine that the trip might actually happen. And a big part of my planning is imagining — in some detail — exactly how the trip might work. I’ll add instalments as I find the time to do so.
Yes! Look forward to reading!
Day 1 — Arrival
This is my sixth trip to WDW and my arrival days have all followed the same, pretty successful, pattern. I travel from my home to Manchester Airport (by train, now that I’ve sold my car) the night before, staying at one of the airport hotels. Departure is at around 11am the following morning, with arrival at MCO at around 3pm local time. I find the routine familiar and comforting.
Being something of an old hand at this now, I even know which seat on the plane to book — the one that results in me being the first person to get off when we arrive. This has sometimes been particularly important because the lines at immigration control can be nightmarish. I was once the first person from my flight to join the line, and I waited well over an hour — those at the back of the plane will easily have waited two or three. And that’s after a nine hour flight with a five hour time difference. Imagine being with young kids under those circumstances.
This time, however, was a little different for me. Last year I applied for Global Entry, which effectively treats me as a US citizen on arrival. I miss the immigration line altogether and head straight for the automated passport readers, and on to baggage claim. In the past I’ve only had hand luggage to save even more time, though that has been tight and this time I’ve used my brand new larger suitcase, which flew in the hold.
From there to the fun journey on the monorail to the main terminal, and then the seemingly endless journey to the lines for the DME busses. I’m staying at CSR again, which to all intents and purposes strikes me as a deluxe resort, yet is often barely more expensive than Pop. I’m staying in one of the original, refurbished, rooms rather than the new tower, but I love the look and spaciousness of them, and I actually enjoy the walk from reception to the room across the lake. The resort is stunning.
I always go to MK on my arrival day and try to be there by about 6pm. The buses at CSR are not great and an Uber for MK is not ideal, so I treat myself to a Minnie Van. It’s a naughty indulgence, but a great time saver.
The park closes at 8pm, but it’s EMH, so I don’t have to leave till 10pm. Since this trip is much more about taking things slowly and drinking it all in, I haven’t made any FPPs. I’m just grateful to be back walking down Main Street and looking at the Castle — I’m so glad they were able to complete the repainting before I arrived: it looks amazing. The colours really pop. I especially love the new blue of the turrets.
I have, of course, booked a dessert party for HEA, choosing the after party which, in my experience, is much quieter, and avoids the stress of eating everything up and rushing to the viewing area. I sign in, and head straight to the Plaza Garden and make my way to a spot at the back by the railings — one of the tips I first learned on this site.
I love, love, love HEA. I find it really moving and incredibly beautiful. I love the projections more than the fireworks themselves, but the music and Jeremy Irons voice is thrilling and reassuring in equal measure. And when Tink flies! Wow! It still takes my breath away that she’s real. I hate this phrase, but I really feel “at home”. It’s so good to be back.
After the show is over, I head back to Tomorrowland Terrace for the food and drink. The price increased this year but they also added alcohol. I’m not really a drinker — it makes me sleepy. Besides I’m really just here for the ooey-gooey cake. It’s awesome, but how can anyone eat more than a couple of spoons of this?
There’s time for a ride or two and I decided in advance that I’d head for PP. Part of my taking-it-all-in strategy for the trip is to seek out richly themed lines and join them, rather than missing them out by using the fast pass line. But first I take the opportunity to ride the best ride at MK — PeopleMover, which now comes with a teasing look at the progress on Tron.
I have no further ambitions for the night — I’m just so grateful to be here — so I walk slowly back down Main Street, stopping off at Starbucks, of course, for a Frappuccino. I know better than to attempt to get a bus back to my resort, so I walk to the Contemporary and take an Uber. I love the Contemporary at night: it seems such an exciting resort to look at and I never tire of watching the monorail ride right into it and out the other side.
It’s now around 5am UK time and I’m running out of adrenalin. My body clock hates me but I hope it will let me sleep for eight hours or so and prepare me for tomorrow.
Day 2 — Universal
You don’t care. But I had a great time. I always do. It’s awesome. You should stop being so uptight and give it a try.
But I want to hear about your Universal day(s)!
Day one was awesome. Thanks for taking us along. I can’t wait to go back and just smell Main Street. I did try Uni. The two Harry areas are spectacular and I loved the train ride between the two, but the rest of the experience was awful. Waiting in a line, to wait in a line to, wait in a line to order food, then wait in a line to get the food then wait in a line to be told where to sit was ridiculous. Forget about food allergies. Harry was great though. The theming was so very immersive.
Maybe I’ll add it as a postscript.
But - so - if you make this trip perfect it might make you think less of your actual trip if it can’t measure up
But - if you include a dilemma that’s kind of weird too.
(you’re not going to try to ROTR, are you?)
Nope. Already rode it in December, thanks to a little help from my friends. No way am I getting up early for a boarding group.
I won’t have time to read through this thread yet but I thought of you immediately when I saw this:
I saw this! Was mesmerized in front of my screen. Loved it! Also, the DLR Dapper Dans put out a new Voices from Home yesterday that I just saw today. It is “When Elephants Fly”.
Mousematt, I haven’t had time to read it all, but this is so inspiring! Makes me want to plan ahead for a trip. I’ve been too busy to do that but I think it might be a fun endeavor. The 2 trips I had to cancel for 2020 aren’t really feasible for later in 2020 so I’d have to get creative.
Day 3 — MK
The theme of this trip — as I’ve said — is taking things more slowly and appreciating the environment of WDW. So — for the first time for an on-property stay — I’m taking advantage of the resort. CSR has a great pool area: the oddly named Dig Site. I walk from my room dressed in the dressing gown (do you people call them robes?) that I brought for the purpose — it covers me from the terrifying sun, and helps me get dry. I enjoy the water slide and splashing around, before returning to my room to get ready for the main show.
I don’t even bother with the buses, I’m straight to the main entrance where I catch an Uber to . . . the Polynesian. My go-to breakfast has always been 1900PF, but I wanted to branch out more this trip, so I chose Ohana. Now, I have been once before, but I wanted to give it another try.
Ohana also serves another purpose: I really enjoy visiting the deluxe resorts. So after breakfast I check out the Poly before walking over to the GF. I walk through the stunning — and fragrant — lobby to catch the monorail to MK.
I walk slowly up Main Street braving the sun to enjoy the shop fronts, rather than dashing through the air-conditioned luxury of their insides. (And avoiding the temptations of merch — which I am banned from buying.)
First order of business is Frontierland and BTM. I have chosen FPPs based on whether or not I want to check out the line. BTM’s line has always struck me as being one of the circles of hell, so I don’t feel bad about rushing through and down the stairs to the ride. I love BTM (and Splash) as much for the views as the ride itself.
I’ve timed things so that when I leave BTM I have time to find a spot to watch the FOF parade before heading for my FPP for Splash — which has a line that doesn’t strike me as especially interesting.
It’s time to head to Fantasyland and for the third mountain of the day 7DMT. I have an FPP for this, too. I’ve have done the standby line during an After Hours event. It’s not worth the 90 minute wait to see again.
At this point I leave myself to the mercy of fate — the FPP lotto. I know what I’m hoping to get. I like to visit the parks in a logical sequence. I have dinner at Skipper, so I need to end up there. I’m in Fantasyland right now, so I’m hoping for something along the lines of IASW, HM, POTC and then JC.
What luck! It all works out! I guess it’s one of the benefits of being a solo traveller — those extras FPPs aren’t that hard to find.
I arrive at Skipper just in time. I’ve been here once before, but I make a bigger effort to enjoy the rich theming and humour of the place. The menu is brave even for me, but I manage to find something I like. No dessert though — I have other plans for that.
Now today is a MNSSHP night. I’ve decided not to do MNSSHP this trip. This is for a number of reasons. First, the cost. It’s not just the entry ticket, it’s the extras I feel I can’t do without — the dessert party and parade party. And there’s the risk of disappointing weather. I’ve been stung too many times by that on party nights. And it’s just too late for me. Jet-lag is an issue for international guests and I can’t burn the candle at both ends.
So I leave the park after my dinner, while catching a sneaky look at the Halloween decorations, suspiciously bumping into an old friend. MK was a smart choice for today — because it’s a party night, the park had very low crowds.
I take the monorail to Epcot. It’s the latest closing park tonight, so there’s time to get some things done. I try for an FPP for Soarin’, but no luck this time. Not to mind. Although the line is dull, it’s indoors and it moves fairly quickly at this time of day. Of course I ask for B1. This is not my first rodeo. I love this ride — the elephant scene, with that wonderful smell, is my favourite. I hate when Tink shows up at the end. Totally incongruous.
It’s now time for dessert and — of course — I’ve booked the Frozen Ever After Sparkling Dessert Party. Which is why I didn’t have dessert at Skipper. I’m excited to see the brand new Harmonious fireworks — I won’t spoil it for the rest of you by describing it
One of the bonuses of the dessert party is that you get a ride on FEA after the fireworks. As I had no FPPs for Epcot today, this works well for me. From Norway I walk slowly clockwise around World Showcase, while everyone is piling out in search of buses.
I leave via International Gateway and head for the Boardwalk. Would it be wrong to go to Ample Hills Creamery? Well, if that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.
From there to BW, where I catch an Uber back to CSR. I make it to bed just before midnight.
This bit right here is my favorite part!
I need your fantasy stomach. We didn’t get nearly as deep into my list of “must eats” as I would have liked!
Trip sounds fantastic!
I love it. My trip in December and might do the same. Therapeutic, something to do positive, and hopefully to share with new friends. Thanks for sharing and you might hear from me soon.
I actually forgot for a moment that I was not reading an actual trip report. I was completely immersed in your report.