Day 1: Drove to Orlando. Checked in at Pop Century. Headed to Disney Springs on a resort bus. Enjoyed Earl of Sandwich, shopping (especially the Lego store and Star Wars store), snacks from Goofy’s and Aristocrepes, and went on an endless search for a mug that we eventually discovered was sold out everywhere.
Day 2: Rope Dropped HS (arrived inside park 1 hr before open), went left (SO much better than straight down toward the chinese theater… we were at the front. First disaster, SDD broke down… and we were literally the next ones to get on. Stood waiting for over 20 minutes. They eventually had to close the ride and agreed to give us a fastpass to return later that day. Headed to AS2. Waited about 25 minutes. Dashed to our 9:50 RnRC FPP. One kid freaked out and didn’t ride. The rest of us loved it. Ran to our Star Tours FPP, where kids pointed out mistakes that Disney made. They are literally the biggest star wars nerds I’ve ever known. No one loved it because they wanted it to be perfect and it wasn’t. Couldn’t fit in Beauty and the Beast show as planned because of delay in SDD. Oh well, no one cared but me. Mobile ordered from Woody’s bc we were all dying of heat exhaustion already and super hangry. Couldn’t get enough seats for everyone. Super annoying, but the food was fine. Headed to next FPP at TSM. Loved it. So much fun and laughs. SDD was back up and running when we came out, so we waited in a 35 min FPP line (why isn’t the FPP line shaded???) to ride it. We all loved it, and the boys were excited to see into Galaxy’s Edge (which looked amazing). Caught the end of the Galaxy Far, Far Away show and then headed to meet Chewie and Kylo Ren. Got stopped by stormtroopers and questioned. Loved it. Loved Chewbacca meet. He was so fun and happy and gave hugs and laughs. Kylo Ren meet was okay, but we couldn’t understand what he was saying, and he wasn’t fun… true to character though. Grabbed a 4th FPP when they dropped for Epcot. Yay!!
Caught Captain Phasma march on our way out. The boys loved this SO much. Definitely the younger’s favorite thing of the day. They are Phasma fans. We were all hot and kinda grouchy about how things were going at HS, so we skipped the Indiana Jones show and headed to Epcot (we drove).
Started Epcot by touring the world showcase and seeing the topiaries. We all loved the showcase. Our favorite foods were the scallops at Northern Bloom (we went back for more later), the frushi at Japan, and the school bread in Norway. Our favorite show we saw was the Voices of Liberty. We are big singing/harmony fans. They were Ah-mazing. We rode 3 caballeros to cool off (10 min wait.) Headed to TT to use our FPP. It was awesome. Everyone was a fan, and the teens liked designing the car more than expected. Of course, they designed them to be hideous and ridiculous, but whatever. They had fun. We were hot and hungry (still after the whole world showcase…teenage boys, remember?), so we opted for Sunshine Seasons and their unlimited refills on drinks. As soon as we were about to start ordering, my son noticed the Soarin’ time dropped down to 25 mins, so we ran and jumped in that line. Only took 20. Perfect! Sat and ate and relaxed a bit. Then headed out to eat more food (Not joking. At least I had a salad for dinner!) Found the mickey PBJ tart (yum), got 2nds on the scallops (Super Yum), and the other half went back to Taste Track to try the cronut. We noticed big crowds forming, so we found a spot and watched Illuminations. We liked it. We werent’ planning to use the EMH that day, but we decided to just go meet the Disney pals (literally 5 minute wait) before heading out of the park. Totally worth it. Drove back to the resort, all got showers and got a few hours of sleep.
Day 3: Magic Kingdom
Arrived later than we wanted, but still in our spot 10 mins before rope drop. Took about 35 mins for us to ride SDMT. Didn’t have time to fit in PPF, so did HM. Broke down…took 45 mins instead of 20. Unusually short line at Pooh, so waited 20 mins for it, then headed to our first FPP on Jungle Cruise. Ran into the fairy godmother along the way and she told me I was wise to bring my frogg togg and Gatorade. She was right! On JC, youngest thought the humor was awesome and laughed the whole time. We all enjoyed it. Hit up Sleepy Hollow after for waffles. We all loved the nutella one, most liked the chicken one. Churro ice cream sandwich was a mess and a disappointment. We took some time out to get some good castle photos and then headed through the castle to Philharmagic. Yay, A/C! We saw Peter Pan playing tricks and the ugly stepsisters being ugly, then headed to Space Mtn for our next FPP. Everyone absolutely loved it. Big fans. Had a 2pm reservation for BOG, and arrived at 1:45, and the woman was rude and told me I was too early. I thought you were supposed to arrive early? Anyway, really glad I pre-ordered. Everyone LOVED the food (pork roast x2, croque monsieur, and seared tuna salad) and REALLY loved the unlimited refills. The Master’s cupcake was okay. Glad I only got 1…had to try the grey stuff. Left just in time to find a good spot in Frontierland for the FoF Parade. It was fine. 3rd FPP for BTMRR. Loved it, rode it again afterward. Grabbed a 4th FPP for BLSRS, and then headed to Hall of Presidents to cool off while we waited for it. Everyone really actually enjoyed the show. Great way to cool off and would do it again. BLSRS was super fun. Oldest teen enjoyed spinning me so I couldn’t shoot almost as much as actually trying to do the ride. Grabbed 5th FPP for MTP. Headed to Gaston’s to try to LeFou’s brew and cinnamon roll. Roll was delicious. Brew was not. We didn’t finish it. Did MTP, then Dumbo (had to, and only 15 min wait). Hurried across the park for A Pirate’s Adventure before they closed. Did one adventure. Both boys thought it was cool. Mobile ordered Dole Whip floats during adventure. Picked them up when we were done. Ate them on the way to IASW (6th FPP). After IASW, decided it was time to find a good spot for HEA bc it was super important to me. Found a great spot. Sat for 1.5 hours and played games on our phones and people watched. HEA was amazing, but wouldn’t do it again. The claustrophobia was serious. Took 15 minutes to try to get to the tomorrowland bridge. Youngest really wanted to ride TTAPM, and SM was broken down, so we obliged. Was fine. SM opened back up as soon as we got off, so we made a mad dash for the 20 minute line. It broke down again while we were in line and it took 85 minutes instead. Couldn’t use my last FPP for little mermaid. Boys didn’t care. Left park at 12:30am.
Day 4: Rest. No one even had energy for the resort pool. Did go to the DCW at the outlet mall and got good deals on a couple of shirts for the boys.
Day 5: Animal Kingdom and MK
Since I scored a FPP for FoP a few weeks earlier when AK changed their hours to 8am instead of 9, we didn’t arrive until 7:45, AFTER Pandora was already open. EE was broken down, so got our tree of life photos and headed to NRJ. A walk on. FPP for FoP at 8:15, walked right on. Everyone’s favorite ride. DO it. Walked straight to KS. Youngest is a huge giraffe fan, and it made his day. Got off in time to do Gorilla Falls trail before heading to FotLK. We all liked it. Fun, and colorful. EE was our next FPP, and it was still broken, so did some shopping and the jungle trek. As we were heading to Dinoland, we saw EE running, and went and did our FPP (which had been changed to anytime), and then did our 12:05 FPP for Dinosaur. We saw Launchpad McQuack and Scrooge. No one wanted to ride PW or KRJ, so we left the bubble and got Wendy’s for lunch. Went back to hotel and chilled for an hour and charged devices. Then headed to MK. First stop was SotMK. Boys loved it. Hubs and I gave them our cards and let them do one on their own while we shopped since it was on Main St. We all caught the dance party parade, whether we wanted to or not, and then went to do more Pirate’s Adventure maps while we ate more dole whip. Got our PoC FPP from that. Did another section of SotMK, and then headed for PoC when it started to rain. Used our 4th FPP for BLSRS again, then immediately grabbed another one for Monsters Inc. We laughed so hard. Worth it. Ate Pecos Bill’s for dinner. SO good, and relatively cheap. FPP for Little mermaid, MTP, Carousel, FPP for Barnstormer, then walked on to SDMT as the fireworks were about to start. It said 45 mins wait, but maybe 5 minutes. Watched HEA from the ride and as we walked around Fantasyland. Grabbed our 8th FPP for BLSRS again right at park close in hopes that we could do SM, and then it. Rode BTMRR for the 3rd time as soon as fireworks were over. When we stepped off the ride, I took my phone out of my pocket, and it was in the middle of doing a factory reset of itself. I cried, and cried, and we left. It was the least magical ending possible to a very fun trip. I cried all the way through Adventureland and down Main Street and we beat most of the people out of the park.
VERDICT: We thought we would never do it again, but we will. Everyone loved it.
TIPS: Stay on property. Driving was better than busses though. Also, bring a gatorade, but then just get free park water to fill up the empty bottle and flavor it with Propel packets or Mio. We did this the whole time, and it was perfect. Also, bring a little fold up chinese fan. Just trust me. So much easier to pack than mister fan, and everyone was happy we brought them. Worth the $10 on amazon. Also, FroggToggs. We wore them like scarves the whole time and rewet them when we went to the rest room. Helped in 100 degree weather a lot. Also, teenage boys need to eat a LOT when you’re walking between 25k and 45k steps a day. That’s expensive. Meet characters, even with teenagers (IF they’ve never done it before). They liked Chewie, Goofy, and Minnie. Last tip, see the fireworks…ONCE. There were literallly no lines anywhere but PPF and SM during HEA. We could’ve ridden anything. Riding SDMT during HEA was better than rope drop. Significantly.
P.S. Back up your photos to Google Drive.
Thank you all for your advice… especially about FPP drops, and tap, grab, and modify. We used FPP like a boss. It made everything better. Hope this helps someone!