Funigans Trip Report - Easter 2019 Band Trip

Here we go again, another trip report.
Family of 4 - me, lovely wife, two teenage daughters (17, 13)

We’ve been lucky enough to go to WDW 3 times in the past year.
I did trip reports for the previous two trips, and enjoyed doing them very much. Re-living the vacation in a way.

In case you’re interested…

June 2018 - my parents took us all on a trip (first one in 7 years)

December 2018 - Just us 4 go for the holidays

Now on to this recent trip. Here are the particulars…

April 16th-23rd

This trip will be different for a few reasons.

Our older daughter’s high school band is going to Orlando for 5 days.
The rest of us are going also (of course). She can’t have all the fun!
We have no “band” responsibilities, not traveling with them, not a chaperone, just going at the same time for the fun of it.

The band group has a packed itinerary for their 5 days there.

A day at all 4 Disney parks, and 1 day at Universal.

They have a charter bus literally take them from the airport to a park, then do the same when they leave. (BTW, I despise the overuse of the word “literally” so I don’t know why I put it in the previous sentence.)

Couple cool things that they get to do…

They get to march with the afternoon parade at MK, and have a Disney Performing Arts Workshop on another day.

Also, we have another family joining us down there. Great friends of ours.
We live in PA, they live in NC.
They are not really a “Disney” family like us (except for their daughter).
We are all staying at Pop Century.

Some planning photos to get started…


Yay!!! I’ve been waiting for your new trip report…I enjoyed the others so much!

That cat is adorable!!!

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It took me awhile to get this one together.

Not that it’s gonna be any good, so don’t expect any literary masterpiece here.

Life has just been extra busy since we’ve been back.

Oh, and the cat?
Adorable maybe? Available definitely!!

Don’t tell me that, I have 8 cats already, so I clearly have a problem!! :rofl:

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woah - thats alot of magic bands lol

looking forward to reading your report ~

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Tuesday 4/16 - Travel day

The four of us are all leaving today, but not together.

Our daughter is traveling down with the high school band group, and they are leaving super early. She has to be at the school at 2am, take a 2 hour bus ride to Baltimore, take a direct flight to MCO, take a charter bus directly to the Studios, stay until close, then get to Pop to check-in.

Man, that was a long sentence - and a long day.

The three of us will travel separately later in the day. We have a direct flight on Frontier from our small local airport.

A not-so-fun side note:

Unfortunately, my wife’s uncle had passed away just before our trip and the funeral was on our departure day. Thankfully, it didn’t interfere with our flight. Regardless, not the best thing to deal with on travel day to Disney but what can you do?

Will be a weird combination of emotions throughout this day.

So, now that all the outlining is done - let’s get it started !!

I get up butt-early to take my daughter to the school for the 2am drop-off. As I’m leaving the school, the charter busses are pulling in.

Back to the house to try to get some more sleep. Who can sleep well on the eve of a Disney trip? Not me.

The 3 of us get up, finish all the packing details and load up our luggage before heading to the funeral. We had to be prepared to go directly to the airport depending on how long it went.

The funeral and reception were nice, it was good to see some family that we haven’t in awhile.

Uncle Charles was a one-of-a-kind. He had a wild story for just about anything you could imagine, and was always entertaining!

We end up having enough time to stop back at home and change for the flight. Although, I considered keeping my Monorail tie on.

We usually try to get a friend to drop us at the airport since it’s close, but we drove this time to be more flexible with the hectic day.

I drop off my wife, daughter and luggage then head to long-term parking.

I usually prefer to park out where there are no other vehicles. My daughters always call it “parking in Canada” and they hate it.

I tend to sing O’Canada as I pull in most parking lots when we’re together. Not gonna lie, sometimes when I’m alone too??

I send them a pic of my sweet spot while I’m waiting for the shuttle back to the terminal.

Just got this vehicle a couple years ago, and still no dings!!

Deep breath in, aaaannnndd…

Shuttle bus ride, flight check-in, pre-boarding beers, on-time flight, sweet airborne sunset, land without crashing, fake monorail ride, baggage claim, fun walk to DME, bus ride, arrive at Pop at 9:45pm, take a look around, bell service Amazon order to room, briefly see older daughter before her curfew, didn’t request the same building as the band group, got the same building as the band group, we’re in bed after midnight, wake up, coffee walk at 6 am.

Long day, longer sentence.

Side note on flight check-in…

The flight is overbooked and they ask if we want to give up our seats - for free future tickets, some big amount of money, etc, etc. My eyes glaze over for a moment and I get lightheaded.

Lady, we are going TO WDW and you’re asking us to give up our seats???

You’re a funny lady, now stop with that nonsense.

Side note on Amazon delivery (that included alcohol, shocker!).

Our delivery on our last trip was made to bell services without issue.

This time, customer service called while we were at baggage claim. Said that the driver was at Pop but couldn’t deliver the alcohol without me being there. Said they had to physically scan my ID.

I said I’ll send a photo of it, they said no.
I said please please please, they said no.
I said (in my head) - What I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.

In the app, you can click “contact driver” so I tried that.

Got Jose the driver on the phone, he got the same please please please. And, eventually - success!!!

Needless to say, Jose got a sweet tip.
And Liam Neeson was now calm for the MDE bus ride.

Side notes over, back to POP.
Updated rooms are nice.

Wait - ONE sink?
And - NO free toiletry swag?
This wasn’t really a surprise, but it is gonna be a problem!


I’m very sorry for your family’s loss :cry:
That’s got to be a rough start to a vacation…looks like you guys made the best of the situation. Pictures are great! What building did you stay in at Pop? Im going down in August staying there and I requested one of the 80’s buildings. Seems like it would be a tad quieter there.

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Building 6 with the 8-tracks.


Wednesday 4/17 - FIRST day

Band group is doing the Disney Performing Arts Workshop in the morning, then going to Epcot for the day.

We won’t see her in the morning, as the 3 of us are getting an early start for a potentially long day.

MK is open 8am-2am, so in theory the plan is to start and finish there with stops at Epcot and maybe a pool break.
My thing is to plan plan plan, but be ready to improvise and adjust.

Our friends from NC get here tomorrow, so this is the day that we have the most flexibility since it’s just the 3 of us.

So here we go…

I’m up before 6am for my solo morning resort stroll with coffee.
On our last two trips, I have loved doing this so it has become my ritual.

We are ready to go around 7:30 and head to the bus stop. I would’ve preferred to be a little earlier, but my lovely family took too long to get ready on this first day.

Might have to crack the whip tomorrow?

Get to MK just after 8, do the usual stroll down Main Street (or is it up Main Street?), castle selfies, etc, etc.

Our FPs don’t start until 10, so we have some %*#@! to get done before that.

We head left to Adventureland - Jungle Cruise, Pirates, Mansion, Big Thunder, Riverboat. What did I say - getting %*#@! done!

Jeez, we took a lot of selfies!!!

Side note on Jungle cruise….

We’ve ridden this a ton of times and have had many good captains, but this guy might have been the best.

I wish that I had done a video of the whole ride, but here are a couple of his jokes (that were not repeats)….

Around the elephant area, he says “if you listen close you can hear the young elephants call out to their parents”.

He puts a foot up on the edge of the boat, leans his head out and screams “MOM, I WANT A CHURRO! MAAAA, I WANT A CHURRO!!!”

At another spot towards the end of the ride, he looks down to the water and casually says…
“Carol, Bobby - good morning”
I look down and there are two ducks just paddling by us.

I had another note about a “Crocodile bacon” joke but I don’t remember what it was exactly.

Catch a proposal in front of the castle.
We see another proposal later in the trip sometime too.

Peter Pan, 7 Dwarves, Tom Sawyer Island, Lunch at Aunt Polly’s, Splash, Mickey bars

Look at all them chickens!!!

Around 2, we head out of MK and we !Por Favor MantÈngase Alejado de las Puertas! over to Epcot to see our band daughter. Check in with her and some of her friends quick. She ain’t got no time for us non-high-school-seniors, which is fine.

Gotta stop and pick-up our AP swag…

I resist the urge to start drinking around the world, which is difficult.

We go Soarin’ and while we’re walking out, there is a little boy in front of us with his Dad. He obviously had a great experience on Soarin’

I hear him say - “I can’t believe we just went thru live fireworks” - so cute

Time to head back to Pop for a little pool time.
My fashionable pool outfit was not planned, but it WAS fabulous!

Head back to MK for the night. Get a decent spot at the top of Main Street for HEA.

I’m only a little bit annoyed with the crowds and how inconsiderate people can be.
But, I’m also too cheap to spend hundreds of extra dollars for a dessert party.

HEA is good as usual, then we head over to Buzz.
Guess who got the perfect score for the first time? This guy (me)!

Don’t be jealous, just keep practicing.
Don’t be sorry, just be better.

We could stay until 2am, but we are about whooped by midnight and head home to Pop.

Great Day!!!


This trip looks like so much fun!

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Enjoying the report and pictures

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I hope we get this guy when we go in August. DBF has never been to Disney (he’s 39, I know, it’s unfathomable) and this is the first ride I’m taking him on. He is the king of dad jokes and puns, and I can’t wait to watch his reaction.

I hope I can get up early enough to do that before sunrise coffee walk, it looks so peaceful.


I hope you get a good skipper!


There’s nothing better to start of a day of vacation.

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really you got a perfect score??? i think Dw did and you won’t admit it

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Nope - I would give full credit if that was true

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Thursday 4/18 - Sleep in/Studios day

The band group is going to Universal, so we won’t see that daughter today.

No big rush for us to get up early today. Our friends from NC are arriving late morning, so we want to be around to greet them.

Despite that, I’m still up and out for coffee at 7am.
Get some nice sunrise pics around Pop.

Saw the band group muster and take off for Universal.

The 3 of us walk over to Art of Animation to check it out and have breakfast.
Rafiki selfie - assante sana squash banana!

The theming there is nice.
Look at this landscaping in the Lion King area, what do you notice?

It’s sparse right, looks half dead right? You wouldn’t see that normally on property right?
I’m guessing they did it on purpose to mimic what you’d see in Africa.

Love the attention to detail. This Disney machine knows what it’s doing I think.

Our NC friends arrive. This is gonna kick up the fun by a notch or two-three-four.

Some background…
Us grown ups went to high school together.
Our girls are 13 and 17
Their girls are 17 (this one is along) and 21 (this one is busy at college)

We have a great time whenever we are together.
Always a tradition to get together for New Years Eve, and try to as often as we can other times of the year.

This is their first time in 10+ years since they’ve been to Disney. They (the parents) were hesitant to come, not sure that they would love Disney. But, their daughter Shae is the Disney person of the family and she convinced them to come join us this trip. She played her “it’s my senior year” card, and it worked. She’s a savvy one, that Shae.

The plan is to go the Studios.

Their room is ready early, so they unload the car and we’re ready to head to the bus stop.

Kevin’s little backpack is cute.
Is that a purse?
Is that a satchel?

Two minutes of making fun of it, and we don’t see it again for the remainder of the whole trip.

Get to the Studios just after noon. Our FPs aren’t until 3, so we figure it’s worth the wait for TSM. The 50 minute wait gives us a chance to catch up on things.

Mr. Potato Head must be on a break, his curtain is closed.

I take a peak behind to see what’s up….
Creepy - perfectly still but eyes all aglow!

We go do Slinky Dog which is fun as always.

Mr. Incredibles x 2

I Photo-bomb the kid on TV - it’s not rude

Frozen sing along show…
Kevin loves naps!

First of MANY - stay tuned

Time for Sunset Blvd.
Shae has a fear of elevators, but there is no way she’s not riding Tower.

This screenshot of the video I took might be the best of the whole week.

Moms and daughters want to see Beauty and the Beast show, but the Dads don’t share the same enthusiasm. I’ve seen it before and do like it, but… I sense an opportunity

We adjust our next FP to accommodate both parties.
My protege from the non-Disney family in training…

Much needed Dad time at Baseline for a few refreshments.

We meet them back on Sunset to ride RnR.
Let’s shake around these freshly drank beers in our stomach, great idea huh???

The Photopass CM was available on our way back, so why not….
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Last trip when I rode RnR, I was a bitty woozy afterwards. Not sick, just woozy. (Woozy is a word I think?? - in fact it’s a very manly word for sure).

Pop-Quiz for the next two pics……
One is a bit nervous, one is not at all.
Sorry, no hints

We get in line and by the time we get up to see the limo zoom off, 2 in our party are starting to chicken out. (names withheld for the sake of whatever)

They chicken out!

I’m thinking, I didn’t really want to ride at this very moment anyway. And, now I’m still here while others bailed.
What’s wrong with me? (don’t answer that)

I’m not chickening, so we blast off for the concert.
Actually didn’t feel as bad as I should of afterward. Crisis averted.
The recently drank beers stayed where they were supposed to.

Warm hugs from Olaf, visit the Star Wars store, circle back to Baseline again as a group this time for more refreshments, stream the playoff hockey game for Kevin, head out of the park for Pop.

Great first multi-family day, looking forward to more to come!


This is great!!!


Friday 4/19 - Magic Kingdom day

This day is a big one, but a nervous one.

Big = Our daughter gets to march with her band before the afternoon parade.

Nervous = It’s the worst forecast of the entire trip, bad bad storms predicted.

I’m up around 5am for a 7am EMH park open.
We’re at the bus stop at 6:30, in the gates at MK just after opening.

The band group was there around the same time, so we get to see our daughter and her good friend Lizzy.

We got them the matching shirts and ears on display here.

The band kids group goes off on their own, we probably won’t see them until parade time (fingers crossed).

Castle reaction shot.

Soak up Main Street ambience.

Castle jump shots.


I’m the master planner for this trip (all trips).

I’ve done all the research.

I read all the forums (escpecially this one).

I’ve listened to all the podcasts.

I know all the tricks/tips.

I “cheat” the system to get all the great FPs at 74 days out (yeah, I’m a leading-reservation kinda guy)

I have a great plan of attack.

I got great FPs are starting at 10, so we’re gonna head left and knock out half the park right away at EMH!

I… I… screwed up


Problem is, that you can only head right for EMH into Fantasyland or Tomorrowland.
I knew that, didn’t I, maybe I used to know that!?!?
Abort go-left mission, adapt to a go-right mission, conquer!
Luckily, my troops barely notice the difference.
I avoid the shame of an embarrassing coup d’Ètat.

And, I just spent too much time on my mistake.
Let’s get back to the trip report please.

As you know now, we are heading to the right - we do Buzz (no perfect score this time) we do the People Mover (always perfect in my opinion).

Nice walk up thru Fantasyland, soaking it all in.

When do ever get to see an empty Tangled area?

Mansion, Pirates, 7DMT, Little Mermaid, Small World (this ride needs a head rest, would make napping easier)

Lunch at BOG was good, despite the ugly mugs here…

Monsters Inc Laugh Floor is always fun.
Out of the 6 of us, 3 of us are part of the show.

The joke that Shae texted in makes it… Have you heard of the new Wookie Cookies? They are Chewy!

I get on camera as Mike Wazowski (so I have to close one eye, get it??)

Jenn gets on video to do the guess your number game.

That was all fun!

But more Big fun is now ahead.
It is almost parade time!
But, we are also back to the nervous part.

Our eyes are on the weather radar. Looks like this is gonna hurt.

The band is “backstage” getting ready.

We camped out the best spot on the hub, and are poncho’ed up and ready for anything.

Weather Gods… I’m fine if we get blasted with rain - Just let these kids march first please!

Parade starts back in Frontierland. There’s another high school band first. They come by nice and dry, so far so good.

Our band comes next, still dry, so far so good.

I know where my marching kid is gonna be (pre-planning in full effect) and there she is…

Then, there she goes…

Marching right down the middle of Main Street USA!!!

Frickin awesome

Still dry, but then… Drip, drop, BOOM it pours fast and hard. Wind is blowing, people are screaming. It’s hilarious.
I love it. We are prepared.

The band does get drenched just before finishing near the end of Main Street.
It will be a fun memory for them.

Storm passes quickly, as usual down here.

Still drizzly though, so we decide to go use our FPs for Splash while we’re poncho’ed for the fun of it.

BTW - any other time on a normal weather day, unless it’s already storming, you are NOT allowed to poncho-up just for a ride.

NO WAY - it’s a family rule, and others that do it are ridiculed accordingly.

But, today being different - we get in the FP queue, rain gets worse, then worser, then lightning, then the announcement - closed.

We are so close to the ride, we wait it out for a bit.
Just enough time for Kev to get in a nap, he’s kinda famous for them.

We wait a bit more, then decide to bail. Thunder still in the distance, so it’ll be down for awhile.

I ask at the exit about getting our FP back, they say NO - because we chose to leave the line.

What? C’mon now. No biggie though, I don’t complain.

The weather is still bad enough that Disney doesn’t release the band from backstage. They get to hangout longer and play Disney trivia with some CMs.

We make our way back to Pop to dry out for awhile and rest up for a couple hours.

Photos taken through a wet ziplock….

On our way out, a quick stop at guest relations to ask about our wasted Splash FPs.

Ellen from St. Louis hooks us up with some extra FPs for later tonight and for tomorrow.

I give her a shout-out #castcompliment tweet

All rested - we are now back at MK and are greeted by a nice dry sunset, and everyone is dry and happy.

We take the Wildest Ride in the Wilderness!!

Now time to find a spot for HEA.

The ladies go on a food run, and the men secure a great spot.

The grass courtyard by Casey’s, up along the front rail. Nobody can stand in front of us for about 10 feet.

And - Spicy chicken waffle is on the way. Bigger Win!

HEA is good as usual. Then we quickly dart to avoid the masses leaving and go to Adventureland for a nice cruise, a jungle cruise that is.

Great overall day, lots of memories for all of us.