Laura_hastings & Hubby Focus on Rope Dropping, Quality Time & Dining: A Trip Report

Today, Tuesday, 12/8 is our departure day! Our flight leaves Houston, TX at 5:30 this evening, so Hubby & I are both currently at work trying not to throw up from excitement. I am going to attempt to post daily (or more, depending on my excitement level), but I’ve never done a “live” trip report, so I may stumble. My husband is one of those “doesn’t even have Facebook” guys and is a perfect balance to keep me in the moment and off my phone. That being said, he knows how much Touring Plans & Liners have added to the Magic of our recent Disney trips and says things like “Well, why don’t you ask your Forum People?” So, he will definitely allow for Trip Report phone time :slight_smile:

Here’s a quick backstory for this trip:

Who: Me & Husband only. We have 3 small children (9, 6, 2) staying home with sweet grandparents. (Bless you, Mimi & Paw Paw!)

Why: We’ve never been to WDW at Christmas time and have been craving quality time together. I’m impulsive and said- LETS GO TO DISNEY! He said YES.

Plan: Staying at The Swan (first time)
Tuesday (today!): Arrive late and get settled
Wednesday: Epcot
Thursday: MK
Friday: HS
Saturday: AK and departure

Goals: 1) Hard core rope dropping to get in the rides that I can’t live without. I’m a ride enthusiast.
2) Sit down meals with drinks and conversation as much as possible (ADRs include: Chefs de France, California Grill, Hollywood Brown Derby, Ogas Cantina, Yak & Yeti. Food/drink plans also include The Holiday Festival at Epcot, Baseline Taphouse & … the sacred space (FIRST TIME!)
3) Hold hands and stroll and enjoy the holiday spirit when we can. If we feel crowded or
uncomfortable, head back to our room to watch Disney+ or maybe a lounge or MAYBE the pool.
4) See the parks at night

I’ll try to put as much intel about rope dropping as I can, as I know that’s an important topic right now. I’ll also try to get some great photos of decor and food for those interested. Thanks for following along!


I had to really limit my posting bc DH found it a bit annoying to stand there in solitude while I typed away. I still did some posting but it was also nice to enjoy the line queues and talk to DH about things. Balance, all about balance.

The pool area was nice, we did main Grotto pool as the Swan pools hot tub had too many people for my taste. Friday night and very few people compared to the large space. The pool is warm enough and the hot tubs were relaxing. Very clean. The bathroom is under the bridge, took me a while to find it, lol. Its a short walk past the Swan pool. May want to bring a robe for the walk back. We only had 1 in our room. Could have asked for another but DH isnt a robe person anyway.


This was me too. I squeezed in things when I could, mostly brief moments when I was by myself or when DW was briefly on her phone too and then adding more about the day later at night from the room. There is just so much to think about while actually in the parks between monitoring wait times, snapping pics, contemplating any adjustments to plans, researching something I didn’t have an answer for yet, etc. I’m not a great multitasker because I’m a guy, so I can only handle so many thoughts simultaneously.


I like this. If we could redo it, it would be more like this and to have more Epcot time and be willing to leave AK earlier rather than squeezing Epcot into arrival day. Since you obviously have the right RD mentality, you’ll be fine. Don’t convince yourself to relax on that and think you’ll be fine anyway. That hurt our AK day. Excited to hear your thoughts on the meals that we also just did, and also the others that we haven’t done.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Do this, and just enjoy each other with all the decor and music.

The Christmas decor and projections are so beautiful at night. You’ll absolutely love it. And let your plans get you to that point without being overly exhausted so you get the full enjoyment out of it.

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A reminder that I needed. Thanks!!

I am a full-time working mom with 3 small children. If there were multi-tasking competitions, I would be in the Olympics. I WILL MAKE THE TRIP REPORT HAPPEN :sweat_smile:


N[quote=“Laura_hastings, post:6, topic:75230”]

A+ for determination! Have a great time!

Ah, I dream of the days we can take a trip without our kids. One day! Have a blast!


Excited to hear about it! Safe travels! Maybe we will see you at Swan when we get there 12/10​:smiley::smiley::smiley:

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Yay!! Praying for a smooth travel day for you guys! I loved the solo trip DH and I took earlier this year. It was so different than going with the kids! It was hilarious to talk to random families throughout the week and to see their reactions when we told them our kids were at home. Almost everyone we talked to reacted the same way with a “well THAT seems like a genius idea!!”

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This got me thinking. For our next trip, what if I would offer to have the grandparents follow along by sending them the trip report thread link. Then maybe DW would give me a little more leeway to take some time during the day to post photos, etc. I realize they would not be able to ‘heart’ anything, but this would eliminate DW sending photos and updates individually to MIL as DW and her are very close. Has anyone done this before?


Very interesting! Maybe yall could do a joint post and let her chime in here and there. I like it!

Hmmm. So would DW just have to post as me on my account?

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Yes, she could just sign her name or first initial at the bottom if you want or maybe just let people try to guess who’s who :grin:
Edit: she can post as herself but just in the trip report. 2 people talking.

Thanks for this idea! I will definitely see if she would be interested closer to the time. :grin:

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We’ve arrived! The flight (Southwest) was actually much better than I expected. We had a row to ourselves which made me feel more comfortable. We grabbed a Lyft from the airport to Swan and mobile ordered a pizza from Ill Mulino so it was ready right as we checked in. We ordered 2 old fashioneds from the bar to-go and are living it up with dinner in the room. Upon check in, they upgraded us from a King-no view to a King- resort view. Pixie Dust! First impressions of the Swan- very pretty at night as you drive up. The rooms are nothing exciting, I was expecting a little nicer. But the size of the room is great! We are off to Epcot in the “morning”. With a noon opening, we get to sleep in a bit.


Woohoo! You made it! Agree about the Swan room quality, but it works. You’ll be reminded of why you picked Swan as soon as you head to Epcot tomorrow.


They are adequate and Ive had worse in value with Disney

Exactly, its not the room its self but the access to the Epcot resorts, Epcot and HS thats makes it valuable, coupled with the price of course

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I 100% agree with everything you said about the Swan rooms. Two years ago I stayed there for a conference and the room I was in felt very worn. LOVED the size of the room, but the lack of Disney flare and the wear and tear of the room bummed me out. Looking forward to following along with your report!

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