Who: DH and me
When: May 3rd to May 8th
The point of this trip was to go during Epcot’s Flower and Garden festival. We have never been and I remember seeing pictures from people’s trip reports last year and knew I needed to see it!
Originally, I planned the trip for May 4th to May 8th but then it dawned on me that May 4th is Star Wars day and DH is huge Star Wars fan so I rebooked the trip to arrive the evening on May 3rd so that we could be at HS on the 4th in case there was anything special happening. Of course, then I realized this was a Saturday and HS would probably be a madhouse. I tried to book the Star Wars guided tour but of course, it was booked (I didn’t think to do this until mid-Feb). But, I was able to book the tour for May 7th. Not exactly the same but I was hoping to avoid HS on the 4th! Then they announced DAH at HS on May 4th with some special things for Star Wars so I jumped on that and we were all set. Then, in looking at my plans, I realized I didn’t have us doing much at Epcot - the whole point of the trip originally! So, I signed up for the Gardens of the World tour and felt pretty good about spending enough time at the festival.
I was really looking forward to enjoying some good weather and lower crowds so my countdown began. Despite weather and ride issues, this was a great trip filled with lots of firsts. One reason I love this place is that no matter how many times I have been, there is always something new to do.
Our flight was scheduled to leave at 4:50pm and arriving at 7:05pm. My original plan was to check into the hotel, take the boat to Disney Springs, activate our APs (first time AP holders!!! So Excited), and have a laid back night before our first day at Epcot and DAH at HS.
But…all afternoon, I kept thinking how sad I was that my tradition of going to MK as our first park would not be happening. So….after checking MDE and seeing that MK was open until 11pm that night, I checked to see if there were any FP available and scooped up one for PPT and one for TMAWtP!! I was so excited and the plan was now set to head to MK after dropping our bags at POR. Since our flight was arriving later in the evening, we didn’t tag our bags to the hotel so we decided we would pick them up at baggage claim and take a Lyft to the hotel. We had gotten our room ready text and we were right next to the West Depot (super close to the bus stop). Our flight arrived late and by the time we got our bags and got our Lyft, it was already 8:00pm. The Lyft driver dropped us off right in front of our building so we saved some time by not having to go to the front desk and walk all the way to our building. We got super lucky and saw that a bus to MK was arriving at 8:41 (it was now 8:35) so we took a few quick pictures of the room (first time staying at POR, loved it) and hustled to the bus stop, sans bags since we would only be in the park for a short time.
The bus pulled up and I was beyond excited to be heading to my happy place. I picked a building near West Depot in the hopes of not getting a full bus during the mornings heading to the parks (I had read instances of buses arriving full if you were at one of the later stops). I quickly realized that being at the West Depot had its advantages for early morning, busier times, it lost some advantage if heading out during non-busy times or if we were trying to get somewhere quickly. We had to endure all of the other stops before arriving at MK at 9:05 just as HEA fireworks were starting.
The line for Guest Services was long and slow so I was starting to worry that we would miss our 9:10 FP+ for PPF. Plus, I wanted a dole whip so needed to factor that in before they closed at 10. I mobile ordered and crossed my fingers. After about 30 min we were, officially, first-time AP holders!!
We race walked into the park to be met with this glorious view, my heart was happy.
We made it to Aloha Isle just before they closed and got a dole whip and hei hei cone. DH loved the hei hei cone and the raspberry flavor.
We made it in time to tap in at PPF by 10:10pm. This is a must do ride for me, one of the classics.
Next, we walked on to IASW, another must do for me. The nostalgia these two rides bring back from my childhood is overwhelming (in a good way). I don’t think DH gets it but he humors me. As a side note, prior to this trip, we ditched our iPhones and got the Samsung Galaxy s10 and were anxious to try out the camera. We were so happy with the decision - the colors and quality of the pictures are so much better than our iPhone (and we had the most current iPhone). So we took a ton of pictures throughout the trip just because we loved the quality of the pictures so much!
I really wanted to do the photopass shot by the Tangled lanterns but the line was soo long. So we kept heading to Winnie the Pooh.
When we got to the tapstyles, we were told the ride was down. Not a big deal, although I do love the ride, it wasn’t necessarily a must do. So we headed over to Tomorrowland.
We grabbed some dinner at Cosmic Ray’s. The park was fairly empty and I just love MK at night without a lot of people. It is so magical. We took our time walking around, enjoying the lights, the music, and the atmosphere.
Next up was Peoplemover, we were the last people to ride as it was now approaching 11pm. After Peoplemover, we headed back to the hub via Fantasyland (I love it at night) and happened upon a photopass photographer outside of the tea cups. This was the first time we had done this shot, again, just love all of the colors! The only downside of a spontaneous visit to MK is no Mickey shirts
We took some time and walked around all of the bronze statues around the hub, taking some pictures along the way. This is one of those things we always seem to skip because we are in such a hurry to get to the next ride…but tonight we slowed down and took it all in.
We stayed for the Kiss Goodnight (the first time I had seen it in a long time) and got some great pictures on a nearly empty main street.
We stopped by the Confectionary, got Mickey’s celebration cupcake and headed out for the night right around midnight. A bus was waiting and we were back in the room by 12:20 and logged 11,000 for our evening. It was the absolutely perfect (unplanned) start to our vacation!
Epcot Flower and Garden and HS DAH for May 4th is up next