I'm actually doing a trip report, live-ish

Day 1, 4/11 ARRIVAL

We were scheduled to fly from Detroit to Orlando, with boarding at 4:15. FL was having some epic weather, and at about 4:10 they announced that our inbound plane wasn’t expected until after 9:30, but they were looking for another plane. Then at 4:13 they said the flight was canceled.

My super fast fingers got the app open as soon as the word “unfortunately” came out of the gate agent’s mouth, and we made it onto the flight leaving at 5:39, which had already been delayed since 12:40.

We landed a little after 8:00, but so did everyone else and so we waited on the tarmac, and by the time we got to Magical Express the line was really long and we ended up not getting on a bus for 90 minutes.

We got dripped on by the a/c the whole way to WDW, so as soon as some people got off at the first stop we took their seats. We finally made it Boardwalk at about 11:20pm. Very long day for my niece, who is 7 and on her first trip without her mom, but she was a trooper and the whining was minimal.

She was also really excited for the pull-down Dumbo bed. So excited, in fact, that she climbed right in and forgot to take off her mask!

We got the exact room I requested with my room finder fax, overlooking the “backyard”, as DN calls it.

**Day 2, AM @ EPCOT **

We got to sleep in a bit, since Epcot opens so late. Very fortunate, given the unexpected late arrival night. Quick breakfast at the Bakery, then walk to IG. We arrived at about 10:03, and were held at temperature check, because they’d already let some parties through to the gates and there wasn’t any more space. One thing that was annoying was that they had us line up in the boat dock queue but then about 10 minutes later they had people start filling in the regular temp check queue, and when they opened the gates at 10:15, they started checking those peoples temperatures first, before the whole line that had been there.

We headed directly to Test Track, only to find that it wasn’t opening yet. There was already a bit of a line building, so we decided to head over to Mission Space instead, because who doesn’t like 2.5Gs first thing in the morning? We waited about 5 minutes for them to open. Test Track was running by the time we returned, and the wait was about 30 minutes. The line followed distancing markers on the ground outside in quite a meandering path, and moved pretty quickly. There was more sadness at the end, with no fun activities, and I have to say the lack of that to break up the time really makes FW feel kind of rushed.

The line had grown quite a bit when we came out, so we went back to Mars 2 more times before I vetoed any further trips.

We stopped by the Sunshine Griddle and had the fried cinnamon roll bites and I got a boozy cold brew.

A. the bites were like 3 good-sized bites each, and you get 3 of them… they’re filled with a cinnamon goo and also covered in cinnamon sugar, which made them a bit strong for DN, so she just ate the ends without the goo. There are very small bacon bits on them, but you can scrape them off easily, and the cinnamon really overpowers them anyway.
B. the boozy cold brew drink is quite boozy and also full-sized. I was expecting a tasting-sized drink like festivals past, so it was a bit much. A couple nearby said that it seems like all of the festival drinks are bigger this year, and another woman agreed that after a year of not going out at all lots of people aren’t going to get very far with drinks like that!

After our snack we decided to head over to Spaceship Earth, which had just opened back up and had a very long line (that went through all of the outdoor queues in both sides and then back down along the construction wall all the way past the distance markers on the ground) but DN really wanted to do it, so we waited. The queue is a whole lot of direct sun. They said an hour, it was more like 40 minutes and by the time we came out it was maybe 15 minutes. :woman_facepalming:

When we ended the third tour of sadness, it was getting a little later so we decided to catch the Film Festival on our way back to IG and the Skyliner to HS.

This was only our second time ever using Skyliner, since the last time we came for a full trip was January 2020. Again, DN was so excited to ride backward that she forgot to take off her mask.

I’ll be back tonight with the rest of Day 1, and Day 2. Now I get to go to the desk and see if they can help me find a room for 1 or 2 more nights, because Southwest just informed me that there may be an issue with our flight home on Saturday, and we can change it for free.


Bummer about your flight! Glad you still made it that day - all be it late. Your niece is adorable and I also love the Dumbo bed! But not enough to sleep on it. :joy:

Too cute that she kept her mask on in bed!

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Day 2, HS afternoon part

When we arrived at HS (around 3:00) DN had been dying for a Mickey pretzel, and we didn’t have a real lunch so she hogged the whole thing. Typical. After that we went and checked out the line for ToT, but when she saw that it went way back into the wilderness DN was appalled, even though it was probably only like 45 minutes. We went to RnR and did the chaos of that meandering queue, which was surprisingly short… well under 30 minutes, even though the line stretched back to Sunset Blvd. We did it again, and then we were hungry.

After finding that the walk-up lists were only taking parties of 6 or more, we got popcorn and sat in the Indiana Jones theater while I scoped out the QS situation. Suddenly a 5:30 ADR showed up for 50s PT, so we grabbed that and jumped in line for MMRR while we waited. They have umbrellas throughout the overflow queue area in front of the theater, but it seemed like it was the right time of day for all of them to be shading places where nobody was actually standing. I ended up pouring a cup of ice water over DN’s head and back and she was dry by the time we got on the ride, about 20 minutes later.

It was the first time for both of us and we thought it was really cute. DN said “it was kinda like the new Star Wars ride, only without the Storm Troopers because it’s not Star Wars.” After that we went and had dinner, and we had our own room almost the entire meal. Since she’s normally not a huge eater, and she’d already had a whole pretzel 2 hours earlier, plus popcorn I was shocked that she ate the whole meal and bites of my pot roast (my favorite!). Then I realized we’d gone almost 21k steps already, even with the late start.

After dinner we headed back for TSMM twice and Aliens, and decided we were too pooped to stick it out for 30 minutes for SDD. We just made it on the boat, and were back to the Boardwalk before sundown.

By the time I put my watch on the charger at around 9:30, I had 26k steps and that’s in just about 12 hours, with a decent amount of sitting down for snacks (which we’d normally eat in a line or while walking). Normal Disney days I usually get 25-28k in 14-16 hours, so these distanced queues definitely sneak a good bit more walking.

Day 3, MK day

We were up early today for MK. We had cereal and microwave protein muffins (Kodiak Kakes, they’re pretty tasty and have 10-12g protein per muffin cup) and made it to the bus stop by 6:40, just in time for the first MK bus. We were held at the temp check until 7:15, and were 5th or so in line at our tap. They definitely did not let walkers or anyone else in before 7:15. DN’s mod improved with the sunrise…

Once inside we headed back to Space Mountain. It wasn’t open yet, but based on the bulk of the crowd headed towards 7DMT, we figured being 6th in line for Space was probably the better bet. They let us in just before 7:30, and then we went over and were the first germs on Buzz, and then first germs on Astro Orbiter. They were running Peoplemover cars for a few minutes at a time the entire time we were in Tomorrowland. It clearly works.

After another ride on Space and a couple of times on the teacups we went back for Barnstormer and a snack. There were no snacks open yet in the circus and Barnstormer was down, so Dumbos it was. Apparently DN forgot how much she likes them, because I had to talk her into it but then we went twice before we saw Barnstormer running. We got on that next, and got to go around again because nobody was in line. We were walking around to have a 3rd go when it broke again, and DN remembered that we still hadn’t had a snack.

We made our way back to Fantasyland and discovered a problem: there’s no pretzels, popcorn, or churros before 10am. She’s not a huge fan of breakfast foods, so we wandered around searching for food, and the pretzel & churro stand near the hub said they’d be ready in 15 minutes, so we went and watched the Tiki Birds while we waited.

After our magnificent produc-ti-on, we finally scored the goods. She shared this one.

We decided to head over to Haunted Mansion after that, but before we even made it over the bridge we were stopped for a VIP…

The line for HM started all the way back just across from the Liberty Bell, and it crosses the strain for the Liberty Belle (so if you want to ride that you might have to ford the stream, because people seemed to think they should just stand in the middle, where there’s no line marker), and then winds its way down in front of the water (behind the Disney Visa stand) and back up again. That whole thing took less than 20 minutes, and once you get to the actual HM queue you’ve only got a few minutes left because you go around the big statue and then it’s basically a straight shot from there.

We headed back to the resort with our hitchhiker after that, at around 11:30. On our way out we stopped to take a castle selfie and get Starbucks (Auntie needs her rocket fuel), and saw the Hundred Acre Wood crew go by, and and Mickey while we sat and had our drinks.

For reference, that’s just before noon on a totally booked MK day. The crowds back in Fantasyland, (where the overflow queues take up valuable real estate) are a totally different story… it’s wall to wall people back there. You’d think it was the busiest day of the year all day long.

We returned at around 5:00, after I made some calls, extended our stay with DVC and changed the flight home from Saturday to Monday. As it turns out, Southwest just grounded almost 3 dozen planes due to the latest 737 max drama.

We ignored the 35 minute wait signs at BTMRR, and waited 11 and 13 minutes, then went over and waited 30 minutes (not 65) for Splash. We had 7:05 ADR for CRT, so we mosied up there and checked in. DN isn’t really into princesses, and doesn’t ever wear dresses but it took so long for us to get called up that the fairy Godmother showed up!

(don’t worry, I confiscated that mask :face_vomiting:)

These were not planned… we took the first photo and then waited another 15 minutes or so and she actually decided in that time that she should be wearing a dress for this occasion. I was so shocked that she even requested it that I couldn’t say no, and we still had enough time to buy it and run to the bathroom to toss it over her head.

We finally got called at about 7:40, and she was so pleased with all of the attention. There weren’t many kids in the room to begin with, and hardly any were dressed up. Then when Cinderella actually showed up she couldn’t believe our luck. The food was fine… she liked her $32 chicken tenders :roll_eyes: and my steak was delicious. The mousse is a huge portion, but the real hit was the decorate your own cupcake.

After that we had time to get in line for 7DMT, and after about a 20 minute wait we left the ride at 9:15 and found a really surprising number of people still in the park! The hub was pretty busy, and so was Main St. Starbucks was still open, so we stepped to get some rocket fuel for breakfast. When we came out it was 9:40 and a little emptier, but still oddly busy.

Total steps when I took off my watch at 10:25 (so 16 hours, but with a 5 hour break where we didn’t really do much except homework and phone calls) were 27,424.


What a brilliant Auntie you are! And that dress! :star_struck:


They have 57 days to get that sorted! :laughing:


Love the CRT pics! Looks like a fun trip!


So this trip is just you and your niece? How awesome is that?!




What a great memory she will have of this special trip!!


Right? My special trip with my aunt was floating a muddy river on a busted marlboro-branded inner tube. I think I was 11 and the only sober person in sight :rofl:

Can’t wait to see today’s updates!


I brought her brother and sister for a solo trip when they were each 6, but this one had to wait an extra year. The older 2 it was because there was a new baby or about to be and mom couldn’t take a trip, but now it’s just a tradition!


My husband’s aunt did this for his siblings as well. He opted out in favor of something else.


Classic! I never took trips with aunts but have a few where this would have been a pretty normal outcome.




I’ll be back later with yesterday and today’s events, but here’s a preview:




Day 4 - Epcot, HS

We decided to have breakfast from Beach Club Marketplace, because we needed Mickey waffles. We got Minnie instead, which I liked. It really does irritate me that there’s no carryout option at the Trattoria, because there’s no QS breakfast at Boardwalk.

We had some time to kill, and DN really didn’t want to stand at the temp check for an hour, so we got on the boat and rode it all the way around. Our captains were Mike (whose name is really Fred), and Michael, who serenaded us on the longer legs of the trip, between Swolfin and HS, and between HS and Boardwalk since we were like 10 minutes too early for them to go to Epcot. She had a great time and now wants to ride the boats all the time to look for Mike and Imposter Mike.

We got off the boat at Boardwalk and walked to IG, and still made it there before they started letting us in. As I mentioned in another post, when we walked in they briefly had some twinkling lights on the gateway ring, and it was still ugly. We headed up to Soarin and rode that very quickly, and made it to Living With the Land just as they were opening.

We had time to take one trip to Mars before going to The Seas and our lunch at Coral Reef. They initially tried to seat us at a table in the front of the second tier that was directly behind where the wall rises up (its a wavy pattern, with high and low spots), so that I could barely see over it, much less DN. I asked if we could be moved, because being able to see the fish is kinda the point, plus DN has been telling everyone all week about how we were going to eat in the aquarium. I felt a little bad when they moved us to a larger table, but the server was much happier to have us than the family she would have ended up with so it worked out in the end. They are alternating tables for distance, but I don’t know whose idea it was to keep the ones behind the high spots open and close the ones behind the low spots.

I loved the shrimp and grits, and I even got DN to try some and she didn’t hate it. She ate every bite of her steak, though she wasn’t a fan of the blue jello. She much preferred to share the Chocolate Wave with me. I wasn’t sure how little Miss Picky was going to react to the raspberry, but it turns out she’s a huge fan.

After lunch we were feeling pretty full, and DN had been complaining that her arm hurt since doing a cartwheel that morning (she may have hurt it at dance class the week before we left, but hadn’t really complained at all until now) so we headed back to the resort for some Motrin and a nap.

During the nap I called to find out whether we’d have to switch rooms for the second half of the stay or not, and got the great news that even with the extension we’re able to stay put. I was very happy that I didn’t have to pack everything for this morning. DN woke up feeling much better, so we headed to HS a little earlier than planned.

We went back to ride ToT, because the posted time was only 30 minutes. We were both really hot and thirsty when we got near the Joffrey’s cart, so I ran up to grab us a frozen drink. It was very, very cold and the line chose that moment to suddenly move double time so in less than 5 minutes we were at the point where no drinks are allowed. DN went to try and chug it and I stopped her, and the CM offered to let us just step out and finish it there and then get back in when we were done. She said take your time, and we tried but the damn thing was so cold and every time either of us took a drink we’d get a brain freeze. Finally, after like 10 minutes it was half gone and I said that’s enough. The CM looked at her watch and looked at the line and told us to go up the Fastpass lane, which was so great because we ended up at just about the same spot in line as we left.

After that we went and got some water, and sat in the relaxation station for a bit. I think the heat had really just caught up to us, after 3 days. I saw that Star Tours had a short line, so we went and did that. The family ahead of us had such a great time just in the queue, taking photos with the droids. We ended up going twice, and DN decided she needed a light Saber and was thrilled that she could build one there, and pay for it with her gift card.

Obviously, we had to go into Galaxy’s Edge after that. She got some looks, because she made a light saber that looks just like Kylo Ren’s. Then she wanted to go taunt the Storm Troopers, but they complimented her light saber and she waffled.

She heard some people talking about going to Epcot to ride Test Track, so she wanted to do that but we had an early morning today, so I convinced her we should just head back and she could use her light saber in the dark on the lawn for a bit.


I’m enjoying your trip report so much! Your niece is a peach, and so are you. :grinning: Just really, really enjoy both the trip and your writing style. Can’t wait to see how the rest of it goes!


I love your report! I have such a close relationship with my niece. She and I took many weekend trips together when she was little and she even flew to visit me by herself when I moved out of state. She’s a mom now and I like to consider her kids my grands - grandnieces and grandnephews.


Speaking of picky eaters, once I took my niece and nephew on a plane trip to visit my dad. The airline gave us a little snack bag when we got on that included some kind of croissant. there were these dark spots on the croissant and I wondered aloud if they were currants (too small for raisins) and my niece refused to even try a bite. On the way home, I realized it was little dots of cinnamon. She ate the whole thing. She was the pickiest of the picky!