Insert Witty Title Here — a mother-daughter after trip report

This was going to be a condensed trip report —HAH! Skip to the next post if you actually want to hear about the WDW stuff, this first one is all pre-trip shenanigans, because I need to share now that this was pulled off, and everyone I know in real life is sick of hearing about it… :stuck_out_tongue:.

After 2+ years of canceled plans, virtual school, a new job, a (not too far) move, and second grade at new school, I wanted to do something fun with not-so-little-anymore seven year old daughter. She had been asking to go (apparently the only child in North America who has NEVER BEEN). So in late February I started looking into a WDW trip. I knew my husband wouldn’t enjoy it (his idea of a vacation is sitting near water with reading material and coffee!), and my older, adult step-daughter wouldn’t have the vacation time, so it would just be the two of us. Once my work bonus came it ( :money_mouth_face:), I booked us 5 nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge Club Level, with a 5 day park-hopper ticket.

And didn’t say a WORD to her. She knew we’d be going to see my parents (who live in Orlando) the week after school got out, but I was handwavey about plans, maybe we’d go to Legoland again, we’d see. She checked the mail the day the letter from the Club Level folks got in, and was VERY curious, I told her it was junk mail, and there wasn’t anything to see. She gave me some side eye when she saw some Disney videos in my You-Tube history…but didn’t ask any questions.

I ordered Minnie ears and bought her some Disney shits, and hid them in my office. I had plans to make us some coordinating Disney shirts…

And then I got COVID. Masked and slept on a different floor. And then a few days into it, she developed a horrible rash. Husband took her to the doctor — COVID negative, strep positive, and COVERED in a Poison Ivy rash. Still in the clear, continued to mask and avoid for 12 days or so, then the day before we leave (last day of school), another rash. :weary: Doctor trip, COVID negative, it was a reaction to antibiotics.

When we were getting ready to leave on Saturday, she bounced into the room wearing the Minnie Ears her big sister got her a few years ago, and asked if she could wear them…. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: I told her she shouldn’t because she could lose them, and that we really weren’t going to Disney this time, and I didn’t want her to be disappointed if we were just going to take it easy. So off to Orlando we go, with all of my Disney stuff hidden deep in my suitcase, including a shirt with “My First Disney Trip” on it and a skirt with Mickey and friends that I had made her.

Get to my parents, have dinner, give my mom her belated Mother’s Day gift, then give my daughter a gift bag with the shirt, the skirt, and a new pair of ears. And got a VERY tired, “oh cool” response. Poor thing was about to fall asleep right there on the couch.

By the next day, though she was bouncing everywhere…and counting down the hours until we dropped Dad off at the airport on Monday and went to WDW. We watched a few videos to decide how adventurous she wanted to be.

Then finally it was Monday!

TBC on the next post….


Looking forward to reading more!

Recap: Five day tickets with Park Hoppers, staying at AKL Club Level


I woke up, got us Remy for the evening, since we were ending our day at Epcot after an early dinner at BoG, then at 10:30 snagged a LL for PoC for early afternoon.

We dropped Dad off at MCO (we even stopped the car to let him out, rather than just slow down and roll out!), then off to AKL,

We got there around 12:30, I got a LL for HM (I think), had some snacks in the lounge, stowed our luggage, walked around a bit to see some animals, but it was too hot, and then off to Magic Kingdom!

First stop, (after we bought sunscreen and sunglasses, which I left at the hotel, and took a few pictures), was Adventure Land — PoC, Tiki Room, (I think getting a PP LL and a 7DMT ILL in there), rainstorm that closed outdoor rides, PhilharMagic, redeemed PP and HM, dinner at BoG (it was only so so, but glad we did it) during which I got a Boarding Group for GoG, just in case, then 7DMT now that it was back open, then off to Epcot

At Epcot — Remy was a BLAST, we wrapped up just before the fireworks — they were a disappointment because if you aren’t in the right spot, you really can’t see much. It was crowded, and we were both pretty tired, since it had been go-go-go since 1:30. So we got into the standby for Frozen, because it wasn’t too bad, but it shut down after we were waiting for 15 minutes, so we bailed (quick stop in Mexico to look around) then off to GoG.

She HATED GoG during it, screamed, cried, I felt AWFUL, but she calmed down, and by the time we were walking out of the park to the buses, she said she had fun on it, but didn’t want to do it again. (Personally, I thought it was AMAZING, would love to do it again).

Got the second bus back to AKL, got our luggage, back to the room, and CRASHED.


Animal Kingdom day!

LL for Na’vi River around 9:30 and ILL for Avatar around 10. We got there around 9, it was hot and packed already, but beautiful. Did NR (pretty, but boring) got a LL for KS, and then did Avatar (phenomenal, a little much for both of us though, and we closed our eyes during parts of it).

Then we wandered around, trying to decide what do to next while we waited for KS, I think I booked KRR, we went over to Dinoland and she played in the Boneyard while I looked for some lunch that looked good. We decided to trek back to Pandora, had a delicious lunch at Satu’li’s, then redeemed our LL at KS, which was very well done. Booked a Dinosaur LL, saw Feathered Friends, then decided we’d bail on both Dinosaur (seemed like it would be too intense and scary) and KRR (she was reluctant).

Back to our hotel for the pool at Jambo, then dinner at Saana. Again, it was amazing, we ordered way too much food, but had a nice view of the savanna, and then checked out the pool at Kidani village, went back to our rooms, got into our suits, and went back to the Kidani pool (a great slide and a fun splash area) until I finally dragged her out at 10:30.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday will follow shortly.


Is nothing safe from being Mickey shaped? :rofl::rofl:


Sounds great so far!

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Hahah! Whoops! I was on our balcony and distracted by the giraffes!

Although this does remind me of the time my then ten year old brother sent a thank you note to my aunt for the nice “shi(r)t” she gave him for Christmas. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


Tuesday night - for some reason I wasn’t able to get a solid night’s sleep - worry over waking up to book LLs for SDD and Rise right at 7? The Shakin Jamaican I had leaving AK? The world will never know.

Wednesday- started at HS

Snagged SDD for 10ish (could have been earlier, but I waited 30 seconds on purpose), Rise for 12:30ish.

Breakfast then drove to HS, got there around 9:30, headed to Toy Story Land and did SDD (some reluctance on mr daughter’s part, but she enjoyed it), booked TSM as soon as we tapped in for SDD, had about 30 minutes to kill so wandered around a bit, TSM (so much FUN!) then booked MMRR for 2ish.

Went to Indiana Jones (lots of nostalgia for me), both of enjoyed it - then off to Rise. Again, she was nervous, mostly for the drop about 3/4ths in. It blew me away! We got lucky, ILL let us right on, no issues with the ride being shut down. Kiddo ended up really enjoying it, even though she complained she didn’t know what was going on and kept calling Kylo Ren Darth Vader - time for some SW movie nights!

Lunch at Rontos and some blue and green milk (blue >>> green, but we couldn’t finish either).

Then Frozen Sing Along - coolness! Snow! Jokes! Luckily kiddo wasn’t too cool for Frozen, although I was cracking up at the emo teenage boy next to us who had his head in his hands the whole time. :laughing:

MMRR and Muppet 3D finished the day at HS for us.

Pool, snagged HM again, then off to MK. I had stacked Speedway and HM, so we did those, with a stop at the splash area near Barnstormer (luckily I packed a change of clothes for her). Then we wandered around watched the fireworks (not the best view), then Small World (so so boring) and kiddo was done. Back on the bus to AK. Again, no issues with the bus.

She was asleep by 11, and I was staying up to get Genie + for my sister and BIL who were joining us the next day.

At midnight I couldn’t figure out how to buy the Genie +, and in my attempt I managed to cancel their park reservations for MK….:weary::angry::exploding_head:

I then tossed and turned all night, since everything was booked up.

At 7am, I called the Club Concierge while booking JC for my daughter and I for 1pm ish, and within 2 minutes she was able to fix it and I booked JC for them a few hours later, with the plan of getting that fixed at the blue umbrellas, which we did with no problem.

Bus to MK - got there around 9:30 - we were moving slowly because see above about no sleep. We went standby on Buzz Lightyear twice in a row - 10 min wait each time. Lots of fun, then met sis and BIL. BIL did Space Mountain on stand-by and sis and kiddo went back to Speedway. Got a PoC LL in line when eligible and then lunch at Skipper’s Canteen (yummy!). BIL’s magic band was linked to a different account than his ticket was, so again, the Blue Umbrellas came to our rescue and fixed it. Did PoC and JC - only bummer was the HM LL wasn’t available until after kiddo and I were planning on being out of the park. So sis and BIL got one and then after some Dole Whip we said our goodbyes. Kid and I did Hall of Presidents and Laugh Floor, she was too tired for the people mover, so back to the hotel we went.

After a little rest and a dinner of heavy apps at the club, we went over to AK for a late KS and some wandering around. SO MUCH better with dissipating crowds and it cooling off. A little bummed they aren’t doing the lighting of the tree in the summer, but it’s a good excuse to go back in winter!

Then back to back to the hotel and the pool, until again - dragged her out to bed and finally got a good nights sleep.

Friday to follow.

Lessons learned - MDE app is AWFUL. I already knew this, but it was far far far to easy to accidentally cancel a park reservation! BUT, CMs are amazingly helpful.

Problems seem to exponentially increase with the more people in your party - when it was just the two of us, everything went really smoothly. Once we added a two more people it was that much trickier to manage. No idea how the people in groups of 6 or more manage yo do anything!


Back home and very bummed. I miss being on vacation and being around my little girl.

Friday was our most chill day at the parks. I booked Frozen and Avatar at 7. We saw the Lion King show, did Avatar again (as requested by my daughter) and had lunch (again) at Saal’u’ti’s and wandered around AK a little. Then hustled it over to Epcot for Remy again (snagged a LL at a drop) and Frozen. It was a little iffy making it - since we were hopping I tried to time our LLs for 3/3:30, but they were a little earlier than that, it was hot and kid was tired and cranky. But a little random pixie dust and then some PowerAde helped.

Torrential rains started right after we got out of Frozen, so we killed a little time in Mexico with the Three Cabeleros, but then donned the ponchos I had been carrying around all week and went over to Sorin’, Living with the Land, Figment, Nemo, and Crush.

I grew up with the original Epcot, so what’s happened (or not happened?) to the World of Imagination and The Living Seas is highly disappointing. They were run down and just gross, frankly. It was a bit of a bummer ending our trip there, but we were pretty tired, so it was mostly “meh”.

We did Spaceship Earth - which was a trip down memory lane, and my daughter passed the test and enjoyed the smell of the burning of the Library of Alexandria!

Then we wrapped up our trip with Space 220. I was very glad we did the lounge - the food was only ok (the appetizers were good, we split the main course and it was meh). The view was cool for about 10-15 minutes, but really didn’t make up for the so-so service (perfectly nice, just understaffed) and dirty bathrooms. BUT glad we did it.

We then went back to our room and crashed hard.

After checkout on Saturday- we spent over 4 hours at the pool! And I was only able to drag my little fish out because it started storming.

The whole thing went better than I could have imagined. I don’t want to go back in the summer or with that level of crowds, but I liked Genie + and found it worked well, especially when stacking for the afternoon. If we had more people with a longer ride wish list, that might not have been the case, but since kiddo didn’t want to do most of the roller coasters or the little kiddie rides, we were able to get most everything in. It certainly helped that we did three half-days at MK, rather than one long day and had similar splits at AK and Epcot.

Looking forward to going back - but probably not for a few years. Although I’d consider an AK day trip in cooler weather!


Thanks for sharing your trip with us!


Did you try mixing them? Highly recommend this next time!

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