LONG Pre-Covid Trip Report 1/22/20-1/30/20

This is a pre covid trip report! I meant to write it as soon as we returned home, but it’s been a busy year. I love reading others’ trip reports and thought some might like to read a report from pre covid times. I’ll try my best to remember the details!

Who: DH31, DD11, DD7 and myself
Where: Pop Century
When: 1/22/20-1/30/20

This was the first trip to Disney for all of us! I started planning a little over 13 months before our trip and I got a little obsessed with the planning! We planned to spend as much time as possible in the parks so staying in a pricey hotel was not our top priority. I chose Pop Century for the price and skyliner access and we were very happy with our choice. It was perfect for our needs. We planned this trip with the idea that we would only do Disney once so we wanted to do as much as we could. The goal was to ride everything, eat all the things and see all the things. We stayed 9 days, did a park everyday. Woke up crazy early, went to bed crazy late and did 2 after hours events. It was an exhausting trip but we did a ton during that time and we knew this would not be a relaxing trip and went with that mindset. We live in Ohio and frequently go to Kings Island so my kids have been trained on the amusement park rules (if one person goes to the restroom, EVERYONE goes, if we’re in a line and you have to go to the restroom, hold it, because there’s 0% chance I’m getting out of line to take you, only drink water unless at a sit down meal, no means no when it comes to buying things, and so on). We had a lot packed into each day but I believed my girls could handle it and they did amazing!

We decided to do the Deluxe Dining Plan as we wanted to do several character meals and a few signature meals. The Deluxe Plan worked very well for us due to the restaurants we choose to eat at and because we eat a lot of pricey steak and seafood. The kids and I were very excited about Disney. My husband hates going out and doesn’t generally like…well…people. His happy place is at home with me and the kids. But he loves good food and I knew some amazing meals throughout the trip would help him ‘tolerate’ it. Either my plan worked or he just really super loves me because there was exactly zero complaints from him the whole time!

As I said, I planned this trip for over a year and here was my spreadsheet for keeping us on track during the trip:

I put the high and low temps on the spreadsheet for each day to know how to dress. Since it was January temps were not too terrible. We planned a January trip because none of us do well in heat. When we are hot we are all cranky and mean and a summer in Florida would be torture for us. The kids do great in school so we played hooky! The “R” was added for if there was rain expected but I quickly realized everyday seemed to be 50% chance of some rain no matter what the weather said. We dressed in layers and had two backpacks that rolled up very small. We would wear our jackets during cold mornings, take one of the rolled up backpacks out of the other backpack and put all our jackets in it. At night it got chilly again so we’d put layers back on and roll up the then empty backpack and put it back in the other backpack. It worked out great for us. Here’s the link in case anyone is interested in the backpacks, and you can see how small they fold up!

Day 1 - 1/22/20

We woke up at 3am to drive to the airport. We flew with Delta and the flight from Cincinnati to Orlando was about 2 hours. This was my daughter’s first time on an airplane and they thought they were so cool! The oldest is such a worrier so she was excited but also extremely terrified. The little one has NO fear and would have tried to fly the plane if the pilot let her. We landed at 9ish. We did not use Magical Express as I read some horror stories about waiting a long time. So we picked up our luggage, got an UberXL and arrived at Pop Century.

We dropped our luggage off and stopped by the food court for our first “taste of Disney” with some yummy cupcakes.

We then caught a bus to Disney Springs. DD7 was very happy our first Disney bus had Moana on it.

First stop was Boathouse and my seafood lover was in heaven!

DD7 was very happy with her chocolate cake.

We walked around Disney Springs and big sis kept the little one from climbing into the fountain. DD11 is like her second mom which is very helpful! 😂

The price kept us from buying them, but we enjoyed staring at all the pretty things!

We enjoyed the unique shopping and all there was to see at Disney Springs.

When we got back to Pop Century our room still wasn’t ready so we decided to kill a little time by riding the Skyliner. We were very excited about riding it although DD11 and I were somewhat nervous (we both worry) it ended up being one of our favorite things at Disney. It was a long ‘ride’ with zero wait time and was relaxing and thrilling at the same time. It also was extremely convenient. You get quiet and private time with family which is nearly impossible anywhere else on property. Can’t say enough wonderful things about the Skyliner!

Our room was ready, we ended up very close to the Skyliner which was great. We unpacked and got ready for dinner. Also, FYI, if you’re at a resort where space is tight, definitely get the shoe organizer! I got this one:

Unfortunately, at Pop Century there’s not a great place to put it but we figured out that they can hang on the bathtub glass doors. It was one of the best things I could have bought! It was clear so I could easily see everything and it kept the bathroom counter clear of junk.

At this point we had been up since 3am and were tired. I planned a 3 hour nap before dinner but with our room not being ready on time we only napped for about an hour. I was pretty annoyed about that since we had Animal Kingdom After Hours tickets this night and I wanted to stay as long as our tickets allowed which was midnight. With only an hour nap I didn’t know if the family was going to be able to make it that late. I do not recommend After Hours tickets on arrival day! I knew it was a risk but thought it would be okay. I now wish we would have arrived one day earlier so we would have been well rested for After Hours. I considered cancelling our dinner reservations but they were hard to get and was one I was most excited for so I woke everyone up and we all got ready for dinner.

We took an Uber (which we did 70% of the time at Disney) to California Grill. Our driver got lost and we were 15 minutes late to our reservation. They took us anyway and I’m so glad they did because it was just so special. It is the perfect place for a special occasion. The big windows, the atmosphere, all the lights at MK. The food was delicious as well.


The fireworks were starting at the end of dinner and I debated on staying to watch them because the view was amazing but at this point we were already going to be an hour later arriving to Animal Kingdom for our After Hours event so we left and took an Uber to AK instead.

Another big mistake I made with these Day 1 After Hours tickets is going to Animal Kingdom in the dark with absolutely no idea where I was. AK is not the easiest to navigate, and as it was our first time there it was pretty difficult for us to figure out where the heck we were. Since these tickets are very costly and time is limited, I didn’t want to waste ANY time being lost. My suggestion is only go to an After Hours event if you’ve already been in that park in the daytime before so you at least have a basic understanding of where you are and don’t waste time wandering. Our MK AH event later in the week went 100 times better because we had been to MK before the event.

Even with us being tired from travel day, lack of sleep and being lost we got SO much done during AH. I highly recommend it. Our two AH events were our absolute favorite hours at Disney! There was no wait on anything.

Our first Disney ride was EE. DD7 was looking forward to this one the most and she said it was her favorite ride. She is my little thrill seeker!
Here’s my daredevil with hands up and with big sis being all motherly again, leaning over, trying to make sure DD7 doesn’t slip out of her seat.

I think we started the AH event riding EE about 4 or 5 times, again no wait.

Next up was Dinosaur. I don’t know what I was expecting with this ride, but it wasn’t…that. DD7 loved it. DD11 hated it. She said she was terrified, evidenced by this photo where her ears are covered and there’s nothing but fear in those eyes!

After Dinosaur we met Mickey and Minnie. I was really happy this was part of the AH event. It allowed us to see characters on our first day, and the most important characters! We didn’t have to wait in line just to see a character which sounds like hell to me. We didn’t feel rushed. And we got to have pics with Mickey and Minnie together which I don’t think is offered anywhere else. By doing this on our first day we got to skip all the other Mickey M&G’s at the other parks.

Time to head to Pandora!

FOP was a walk on and we could have ridden it so many times if we didn’t have to leave and walk all the way around the queue each time. I think we rode it 3 times total.

Here’s a pic where we’re the only ones!

It was so magical and one of my favorite rides at Disney!

I stopped taking pics at this point but we ended up doing Navi two times. We also did tough to be a bug and OMG we all agreed that was the worst thing at Disney. There was only about 10 of us in that room and that ‘show’ was just awful. I heard it was scary for kids with the bugs, but my kids weren’t scared at all. We just found it extremely boring and the technology involved felt like it was from 1980. We also did Triceratops Spin a couple of times, it was a cute little ride.

During the event free drinks, popcorn and ice creams are offered so we stocked up on water bottles and ate too many ice cream bars. By 11:30 everyone was tired so we headed out. I really wanted to make it until midnight but we did a ton during those few hours and we had an early day the next day so we took the bus back to Pop Century. And all three of my loves passed out during the bus ride.


Day 2 - 1/23/20

Since we did so much during the AH event I didn’t feel the need to RD AK on day 2. We started our day with Breakfast at Boma. We loved this breakfast. A buffet can be really great for kids. They get to try new things they might not ever order. They can have 6 helpings of what they do like. You don’t have to wait for the food to be prepared, you can just get up and eat. The food here was especially good and we enjoyed trying new exotic foods.

After breakfast we headed to AK to see what it looks like in the light!

We started with a stop at the Wilderness Explorers. DD7 got her booklet and was on a mission the rest of the day!

We started with the KS fast pass. DD7 stared at her Wilderness Explorers booklet more than the safari so I took it from her so she would enjoy the safari. That backfired when she just turned into a big grump during the rest of the ride. Afterward we talked and she realized she was being a little grump. I realized I should have just let her stare at the booklet and that was the only real ‘spat’ we had during the trip. I think DH laid down some heavy guilt when he told her I’d waited over a year to ride KS and we won’t have a chance to ride it again. We all got over it quickly and decided to move on. We watched the Lion King show and really enjoyed it. There’s really not a bad seat there which is great because we were one of the last ones to make it into the show so I thought we’d have a poor seat but we didn’t.

After the show, we got Starbucks and then it started raining. Before the trip I had bought rain suits for all of us. The weather did not predict rain this day so I didn’t bring them, unfortunately. I did have the cheap ponchos so we put those on. I also bought the silicone shoe covers and this was another item that was so useful for us! It ended up raining for a few hours and the four of us had nice dry socks and tennis shoes. Watching and hearing everyone around us sloshing around in wet tennis shoes made me so happy I brought these in our backpacks. There’s no way we could have tolerated staying in the park with soaking wet shoes for the rest of the day. DH made fun of me when he saw I bought the shoe covers and I had to MAKE him put them on when the rain started but after an hour of it still raining and him seeing everyone’s wet shoes he was singing a different tune!

We made it to our EE fast pass for one last ride on DD7’s favorite. It wasn’t as fun with the rain hitting your face but we still enjoyed it. The rain didn’t look like it was stopping anytime soon so we waited in line for the indoor Nemo show. We waited about 25 minutes which is one of our longest waits the whole trip but it was worth it to be able to be indoors and take the wet ponchos off for a while.
DD7 just stuck her whole head inside the poncho while in line so she could play on DH’s phone.

The rain finally let up after the show and we stopped for a photo in front of the tree. You can also see our day saving shoe covers here!

I was able to move up my late FOP fast pass so we headed there for our last flight. We also walked around Pandora checking it out during the daylight hours which was really cool.

On this day we also saw a few characters, rode Triceratops, and got a few snacks (can’t remember from where).

The last thing for the day was our dinner at Tiffins. The food was good, I can’t remember what we got, but it was yummy and the atmosphere here was nice. The desserts were very pretty, too.


Day 3 - 1/24/20

Today was the much anticipated Magic Kingdom day! There was an early morning magic hour that we arrived for and we got a few rides in during that time. I remember the Buzz ride had a posted 35 min wait but the TP app said it was 6 minutes. I timed it and it was exactly 6 which gave me a ton of faith in the app and I used it religiously the rest of the trip which kept our wait times very low the whole time. We headed for the teacups next.

Then we checked out the Ariel ride. I wasn’t expecting much with this one but it was surprisingly really sweet. DD7 and I really loved Ursula as well.

We got some castle pics finally!

We then took our first trip on the Monorail for our 9:30 breakfast at O’Hana.

The character M&G while waiting on a table is a great idea and the girls really enjoyed it.

Stitch liked the girls’ shirts.

The food was good but the waiter and characters made us feel very rushed here. We had table service breakfast everyday (except our last day) and this was our least favorite just because of the rushed atmosphere.

After breakfast we went back to MK and rode some more rides. We also met the Fairy Godmother who the kids say was their favorite character at Disney. They both said she was soooo sweet. She also had such a calm nature and it felt like she was the real Fairy Godmother and not a ‘character’.

We then went to Enchanted Tales with Belle. This is the only time the TP app let me down. It said the wait was 15 min and it was closer to 25 min which was one of our longest waits. DD7 really enjoyed this attraction. I wish they would have more like this where you can interact and be part of the characters story. It doesn’t feel rushed and with all the other details (especially Lumiere) it felt like you were really in the story.

We headed to our SM fast pass and we all loved this ride! It was my favorite at MK. Over the course of the trip we probably rode it 10-15 times. This was our first time riding it and DD11 acted like a bit of a scaredy cat. This girl rides the biggest roller coasters at Kings Island no problem but I think the fear of the unknown got to her here.

DH tried to make sure I was actually in some photos. Usually I am always the one snapping .

Snacks! That Minnie one was delicious.

Later was lunch at Be Our Guest. We were in the dark room with the rose which is where I wanted to be. I loved the vibe there. But it was so loud we could barely hear each other. We finally got to try this yummy cupcake.

Unfortunately DD7 spilled her all over herself. I mean she was completely SOAKED! Luckily I had packed her dinner dress. We did a quick outfit change in the bathroom and headed out. There was a photographer when we exited and he got this cool shot with an angled lens. I love the details on this castle.

We did the Haunted Mansion which was cool. DD7 was uncharacteristically nervous. This was the photo that was taken. I guess heights and speed don’t scare her but the paranormal does?

7DMT was great. But for all the hype surrounding it, I thought it would be more thrilling. It is a great coaster for littles, though.

Gaston was such a great character! DD7 thought he was hilarious. DD11 thought he was a weirdo but enjoyed visiting him.

We rode a few more rides and later DD11 changed into her Evil Queen dress and we took a fun boat ride to our dinner at Artist Point. With a name like Wilderness Lodge I guess I was expecting…not much. But wow that place is so grand and beautiful. This was a one time trip but being in there made me want to come to Disney again and stay there. This was one of our favorite meals. I highly recommend it. I liked that we all got to try different appetizers, the atmosphere was beautiful, the food was yummy and it has a villain and I love Disney villains. Unfortunately I could only get us a late reservation so we were all pretty tired. You are supposed to wait until after your meal to visit the Evil Queen but I sent my kids to see her early because I knew we wanted to get back to our hotel quickly after eating due to exhaustion. I’m glad I did because DD7 ended up falling asleep in her chair before dessert arrived.

She loved her red shoes:

DD7 doing her best Evil face:


Day 4 1/25/20:

This was supposed to be our ‘rest’ day but we ended up making it a Disney Springs/MK day. We got to “sleep in” until about 7:30 which was nice. First stop was our 9:10 ADR at Topolino’s Terrace. It was so convenient to be able to just hop onto the Skyliner to get there. We weren’t originally going to dine here but I changed ADRs around to add it to our schedule when they started taking reservations. I’m glad I did because this ended up being my absolute favorite meal at Disney. Breakfast only costs one credit here which was great. The food was so good. The atmosphere was great. The windows provided a great view even though we weren’t at a window table. It was not nearly as loud as most of the restaurants are on Disney. The characters are much more engaged and came around a few times. I think the best part, though, was after breakfast. We walked onto the balcony and sat on the furniture out there and just soaked up the great view of Disney. We were the only ones out there most of the time and the girls just played around while DH and I relaxed for the first time in days and I just sipped my Joffreys I got while on the way to TT from the Skyliner. It was just one of those perfect moments.

Donald proposed to Daisy

The girls did some ballet dances with Daisy.

It was pretty windy up there.

After breakfast we went to DS, did a little shopping and went to BBB for our 12 o’clock appt. I wasn’t sure if DD11 would want to do BBB but she said she did and I’m so happy she got to experience it.

DD7 changed into her pretty Trish Scully Cinderella dress. The Fairy Godmother in the mirror was a pleasant unexpected surprise.

The girls got a royal makeover and took some photos afterwards.

We then went to the photopass studio at DS and got some photos.

Next was lunch at Morimoto Asia. We love Chinese food and were really excited about eating here but it ended up missing the mark. I think it could have been great but we weren’t familiar with the food or menu and our waiter was kind of awful and gave no guidance. The selections we made were not great (except the rib appetizer that was amazing). We later listened in on another waiter at a table by us going over the menu and we wished we had him because we would have ordered different items and probably loved this place.

After lunch we did some shopping, and burned up some snack credits. Then it was time for MK. I scheduled this day as a “Princess Day” with a visit to BBB, then using our 3 fast passes to meet princesses and finally with a dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table. We got to MK too late to use our Tinkerbell FP but we ended up seeing her later on the trip so it was ok. We used our FP’s to meet Cinderella, Eleana, Rapunzel and Tiana. We knew we would see Cinderella at dinner but DD7 was obsessed with Eleana at this time so we met Cinderella a couple of times that night.

CRT was really special. Just knowing that you’re inside the castle feels amazing. All the gorgeous details around you just make it feel like you are a visiting Royal. The girls liked seeing all the princesses floating around. Their favorite was Aurora. She took extra time with them. And even signed a little something sweet on Prince Philip’s page in their signature book.


Day 5 1/26/20:

Today was another early morning for us to make our 8am Crystal Palace ADR. This was also the first day we didn’t have to travel around for meals and such. We stayed at MK from opening until closing and we got so much done. Traveling around can waste so much time. We really wanted to try specific restaurants so we dealt with it but I did feel like there was a lot of time lost, even with mostly using an Uber and not waiting on buses. This is the reason I didn’t get the park hopper passes. I wanted to travel as little as possible.

The park opened at 9 this day so our morning photos in front of the castle did not have a ton of people in the background which was nice.

I liked the bright, airy feel in Crystal Palace, it’s perfect for an early breakfast.
My kids never really watched Winnie the Pooh but they like cuddly animals so they were excited to see the characters. Before the trip DD7 said she was most excited to see Piglet out of all the characters. I found this odd, especially since she loves princesses but she was so happy to meet Piglet.

We ate quickly so we could RD some rides. We hit BTMRR first which was a walk on.

Then to Jungle Cruise for our 9am FP.

After this, we rode the Pirates ride which was much cooler than I thought it would be. Then we used our 10am Peter Pan FP.

Our third FP was for 11:15 SDMT. I loved using our FP’s early so I could pick up more throughout the day. I sorted the FP’s on the app by earliest time and by doing this we used so many FP’s that day to ride so many things.
I don’t remember the order but we rode the teacups a few times, the carousel, Mickey’s PhilharMagic (where I fell asleep), the Tiki Room, and Monsters Inc Laugh Floor. I didn’t know what the Monsters Inc show entailed but we all thought it was great. I enjoyed what I saw at the Mickey show, I didn’t mean to fall asleep but I was the most sleep deprived of the bunch as I got up before everyone else to get ready first each morning so they could all have every ounce of sleep they could get.

We also burned through some snack credits. That chocolate filled Cheshire Cat Tail was the bomb! DD7 wanted one so bad and I tried to talk her out of it because I’m not a big pastry person but she thought it was too pretty to pass up. We ended up going back for more about 3 more times during the trip. They were so yummy!

We got to sit for a little bit during the parade which was nice. We liked the dragon the most.

We saw Tinkerbell after the parade since we missed her the day before.

Next was our 4:50 Liberty Tree Tavern ADR. It was a kind of early dinner but the only time slot I could get. We had a big breakfast and munched on snacks for lunch and then ate a ton at LTT. I love Thanksgiving meals and was happy to get to eat turkey twice in one year! DH is the cook in our family and doesn’t care for turkey so he never makes it. The meal was great! I picked up another SM FP and we rode it.

We then staked out our Fireworks position. The show started at 8pm. We found our spot around 7. I really didn’t want to wait for any ride or attraction for an hour but another Liner had posted how they would find their spot 1.5 hours early and 1 or 2 members of the party would take turns using the restroom, getting in line for snacks, and then eating their snacks. The one hour wait didn’t feel like much of a wait with that factored in. So one adult and child saved the spot while the other two went to the restroom, then we switched off, got some snacks, sat, ate and relaxed for a bit.

I asked the Liners earlier in the day where the best spot was and they said behind one of the little gardens. I’m glad I asked because originally I thought in front of the gardens would be better so no one would be behind us, but they explained that standing behind the garden ensures no one in front of you blocked your view. They were right of course and we had the perfect view!

Out of everything we did at Disney watching Happily Ever After and Once Upon a Time was my favorite thing. It really was so magical! I had no idea the projections would be so detailed. I think I liked Once Upon a Time even more than HEA. After the fireworks it seemed like 70% of the crowd headed toward the exit. This meant that for Once Upon a Time we had a ton of space to ourselves. We were literally the only ones behind the little garden during the show. I also really enjoyed the story telling aspect of it, it was very entertaining. Just the absolute best thing at Disney and showing up 1 hour early was absolutely worth it! This really made me regret being at CRT during the show the night before. I wish I would have scheduled our dinner at a different time so we could have watched the fireworks twice!


Day 6 1/27/20:

Today was our first Epcot day. We started with an 8:00 ADR at Akershus. The food was good and this is a good place to go if you can’t get into CRT. CRT definitely has more of an elegant feel. Buffets can always feel a bit hectic but they are also nice for when you’re trying to eat quickly which was the case for us this day. We wanted to get out quickly to get in line for FEA. We left before seeing the last princess but we were okay with that since we had already seen many princesses already.

Our FEA wait was about 15 minutes. We loved the queue for this ride and didn’t mind waiting at all. FEA was fun, especially seeing Elsa. We waited a turn so we could sit in the front row which was great for seeing everything, however, we did get quite a big splash. We rode again the next day and made sure NOT to sit in the front that time!

Next we headed to Mission Space. Out of all the parks I liked Epcot the least. I think a big part of this was because due to construction at the time I felt like I was always lost. It is also such a large park that taking one wrong turn can put you really behind. We got lost 3 times on the way to MS but finally made it. This was my favorite ride at Epcot. It was more intense than I thought it would be and it was fun being just the 4 of us in the spaceship. The girls let out some of their silliness.

Next up was FP #1 - Spaceship Earth. I had read some awful reviews so I didn’t have high expectations but I really enjoyed this ride. It was relaxing, but fun and the educational information made it even more entertaining. It is not thrilling at all but definitely enjoyable and something different as far as rides go.

FP #2 was Soarin. This was a fun ride, just wish it lasted longer.

We then used up some snack credits. Disney sure does know how to do snacks right.

FP #3 was LWTL. This was another ride with poor reviews meaning low expectations from me. I ended up liking this one a lot as well. One of the kids (forget which one) even said it was their favorite at Epcot.

Next we got some cute pics in front of the butterfly wings which ended up matching our shirts quite well. (Forgot to mention it was the Festival of the Arts)

We took the Skyliner back to Pop around 2:30 to take a nap since we had After Hours tickets this night at Magic Kingdom. After our glorious nap we hopped back on the Skyliner to make our 5:25pm ADR at Cape May Cafe. If you like crab legs you must eat here one night. We were so stuffed it was ridiculous. We took an Uber to MK for the AH event. We were allowed in as early as 7pm, I believe we arrived around 7:30. I really wanted to watch the fireworks again but it was already very crowded and I wanted to get as many rides in as we could since the cost was so high.

We headed straight to Dumbo first and rode it a couple of times. It was cool to ride Dumbo while watching the fireworks. I don’t remember everything we rode but we got a ton of rides in during those 3 hours. Based on Memory Maker pictures, we rode SM 3 times and SDMT 3 times. We also did Astro Orbiter (so cool at night!), BTMRR a few times, the tea cups a few times, PPF, The Barnstormer twice (zero people in line and I still felt like it was a waste of time, it’s over way to quicky), Haunted Mansion, Winnie the Pooh, and Under the Sea. When we left I think we counted 18 rides total. We also ate a ton of free ice cream, popcorn and drinks. We filled up a backpack with some water bottles to take back with us, too.

This AH event was much better than Animal Kingdom since we had already visited MK so we knew where things were and weren’t lost most of the time. There was no wait on almost every ride. SDMT had about a 2 minute wait all three times. It was posted as a 25 min wait so I felt sorry for anyone who believed it and held off on riding it. I can’t say enough great things about After Hours. It felt so empty, like we had the place to ourselves. It’s also a lot of fun to ride things at night. The nap before the event this time was also very helpful. If you’re taking littles, I definitely recommend a nap before AH.

Some AH photos:

I heard the bus stops can be very crowded at the end of the event so we took our time heading to the buses. We took some photos and walked slowly, soaking in the last bit of MK at night. MK felt empty during the event, but the bus stops were very crowded. We waited about 20 minutes for the bus to Pop. It wasn’t that bad of a wait, DD7 was pretty tired and we took turns holding her. It was a great day. Those 3 hours in MK were our favorite few hours of the entire trip!


Day 7 1/28/20:

We started today with a Skyliner ride to the Boardwalk for our 8am ADR at Trattoria al Forno. At this point the early mornings and late nights were catching up with DH. I caught this snap of what I can only assume is him regretting his life choices haha

Breakfast was wonderful. This is a great character meal. We liked that it included princes which are rare to see. The food was amazing, too. We really enjoyed Flynn and Rapunzel. Here is Flynn teaching the girls the “smolder.”

After breakfast we noticed the photobooth by Trattoria allowed you to use Memory Maker so the girls took a ton of photos there.

Next we headed to Epcot for our second day there. The goal that day was to eat as much from the Festival of the Arts booths as we could. We saved a lot of snack credits to use at the booths here.

We headed to FEA for Fastpass #1 and made sure NOT to sit in the front row in order to stay dry.

Fastpass #2 was Mission Space again. I forgot to mention DD7 thought the day before that we really went to outer space. DH and DD11 both tried telling her we didn’t really go when I shushed them and told her we absolutely DID go to outer space and wasn’t it so cool? So here she is again, 7 years old, no fear at all, ready to go to the “real” outer space again. I have never been as fearless as her and I’m jealous of that.

Fastpass #3 was the Seas with Nemo at 11:30. The ride closed while we were in line and our FP’s became anytime FP’s. Shortly after I picked up another Nemo FP but I guess since the ride was still down it became another Anytime FP. So we ended up with 2 anytime FP’s each on our account. We did Turtle Talk and later Nemo both with no FP’s but a very little wait.

We wanted to check out more of the World Showcase so we headed there and stopped at many of the FOTA booths. The food was hit or miss but even the misses were still okay. We checked out the pavilions and the girls got their own passports for the WS that they got stamped. It seemed very crowded to me and I wasn’t sure what to do at the pavilions, it seemed like shopping or eating were the only options. I wish it was less crowded so we could really check out what each had to offer but it was mostly overwhelming and not fun for me. The girls enjoyed it though, DD11 especially loved the France Pavilion.

We took the Skyliner to Pop for a 1.5 hour rest before our 6pm ADR at Le Cellier. I don’t remember much about our dinner but I know we enjoyed it. After dinner we spoke with a cast member about changing our 2 anytime FP’s to Hollywood Studios anytime FP’s for the next day since we weren’t going to ride anything else at Epcot that night. They were quickly able to change them for us.

We then watched Epcot Forever as we were making our way to the Japan pavilion. The girls and I all did the pick a pearl which was so much fun! The 3 pearls have been stored for the past year, untouched. For Christmas I finally bought new chains and necklace cage pendants for them as Christmas gifts. Much cheaper on Amazon than at Disney and they love their necklaces.

Oh, we also got this cool swirly light photo done that night!


I love EE too! And I hate Dinosaur. The first time we rode, the picture was my daughter (age 10) looking scared and me with my head practically in her lap. I joked that I was picking up my sweater off the floor.

Glad you added the pics back in! They are fabulous!

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Day 8 1/29/20:
Today was our one and only day at Hollywood Studios. I had a tough time deciding between only one day at Epcot or at HS. I so so so wish we would have only done 1 day at Epcot and two days at HS. We all really loved this park and wanted to spend more time there.

The park was originally supposed to open at 8 but due to ROTR they changed the opening to 7. We took an Uber since the Skyliner wasn’t opening early enough. We stood to the right and got in quickly. There was one hiccup where when DD7 entered the park it wasn’t registering her correctly. I started panicking because I knew in order to get a ROTR boarding pass everyone in our party had to be scanned into the park. A CM came over with a tablet and was able to fix it after 20 seconds. Huge relief! We then made our way outside of Toy Story land. I had trained DH and DD11 on the boarding group process and once the time came, we all three attempted ROTR boarding groups. DH was the lucky one that made it through.

We then rode TSM, and ASS. When the park changed its hours earlier I was able to move our FP’s around and I got an early SDD FP. We were done with TSL by 8.

Then we headed to our 8am ADR at Hollywood and Vine. We did the package so we got the Fantasmic FP as well. DD7 loved Vampirina at the time and that was our main reason for booking this ADR. All the characters were really great here, though!

I don’t remember the order, but we watched Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and the Frozen sing a long. They were all good, but we enjoyed Frozen the best. The characters were perfect and hilarious. We also have every song memorized so we liked singing along. (I do not include DH in this ‘we’ lol)

I had to change around our original FP’s due to the hours changing. So at this point we had used our 3 FP’s on SDD, Little Mermaid, and Frozen. We still had 2 anytime FP’s left from the day before but I held off on using them until I needed to. The funny thing is we never actually used them! Due to the FP tiers we were able to constantly and easily pick up FP’s to RRC and TOT. I later got one for Star Tours, too. As soon as I would scan my FP for TOT, I would open the app and get a new one for either TOT or RRC.

Our first ride on RRC was funny. The MM photo perfectly captured my fearless DD7 with hands up. DD11 was of course terrified and holding on for dear life as she is every time she rides a coaster for the first time:

The next ride got a smile.

Same with TOT. Our first time includes DD7 with hands up and DD11 holding on again.

Then hands up once she knows she’s going to survive.

Later we did ROTR which was really cool. I tried to watch the Star Wars movies for a whole year while planning this trip. I watched the first two. Kind of. I fell asleep halfway through with both. I then tried watching them again, but fell asleep again. One day I do plan to watch all the movies. But I’ve realized it’s something that needs to happen first thing when I wake up or I’ll just end up falling asleep again. Even not knowing much about Star Wars, I really enjoyed ROTR, though.
The only downside was during the ride two girls near us talked about “the drop” and when it would happen. I didn’t hear them but DD11 did. They talked about it right before it happened and that really irked DD11. She’s brought it up about 6 times since our trip. We hate spoilers and those girls really took some of the magic out of that ride for her.

We then rode MFSR. This was our longest wait for anything at Disney. The wait was 35 min. Due to my awesome FP selections, using FP’s early and getting new ones throughout the day, and the After Hours events the family usually waited 10 min or less for each ride. Since there was no FP available at the time for this ride we just had to wait. They got a little irritable but I explained they had been spoiled by my TP app telling us where the low wait times were and by how I was using FP’s and 35 min wasn’t too bad. After the ride, though DH decided he needed a break so he took an Uber back to the hotel for a couple hour nap.

The girls and I rode some more rides and got snacks. DH met up with us later. We rode Star Tours then headed to dinner. We ate at Sci Fi. This was our worst meal at Disney. It could have been great but it came down to terrible service. It took 15 minutes just to get the waiter to our table for drinks. The food took forever to arrive. We got the wrong food. We just decided to eat what we got since the meal was taking forever. The milkshakes we ordered came way late. When he got to our table the waiter spilled the 4 milkshakes all over the place (luckily none of them landed on us). He kept apologizing and I could tell he was having a rough night. He told my husband not to tip him. DD7 ended up falling asleep during the meal since we were there so long. I can’t not tip someone but I was annoyed by the whole meal. The food was good. The atmosphere was great. All the other servers seemed great. Poor service can really ruin a meal and it did for us. The plan was to ride one more ride after dinner but since it took so long we headed straight for Fantasmic.

We had our Fantasmic FP from our breakfast package. We got a great spot and it was nice to sit and relax for awhile waiting for the show to start. It started to rain and we thought they were going to cancel. They delayed it for a bit. I had brought our rain suits so I had everyone put them on over their clothes. The CMs made the wait fun and did some great dances to music while waiting. The show was great, probably better when dry but we still enjoyed it.


Day 9 1/30/20:
This was our last day at Disney!

We originally had an 8am ADR at Be Our Guest but we were running behind and dragging a bit this day. We had to finish packing everything and drop our luggage off so we ended up missing our ADR. This ended up being great, though, because we had breakfast at Sleepy Hollow instead and it was wonderful! We had the chicken and waffle, nutella waffle and corn dog. They were all amazing and I regretted not eating there sooner.

We started the day with our last ride on 7DMT.

We then headed to our 10am FP at SM where DH convinced the kids to do naughty things that were censored lol.

After that we did our BTMRR FP and rode Pirates.

I don’t know who this character is, but he walked with the kids for a bit and they enjoyed that.

It was getting close to our 12:30 Grand Floridian Cafe ADR so we headed to the monorail but got our last castle picture in and said goodbye to MK.

Grand Floridian was beautiful and lunch there was so delicious. I’m glad we chose this as our last meal at Disney.

After lunch we took the kids to their last Disney activity, the Wonderland Tea Party. No parents are allowed so we dropped them off and DH and I hung out in the hotel lobby. It was so beautiful and we enjoyed listening to the piano. It was nice to sit back and relax to soak in our last hour at Disney. The girls had a great time at the Tea Party and we got over 50 photos loaded on MM. Here are some of my favorites:

After the tea party, we headed to Pop, picked up our luggage then flew back home.

We were exhausted but also had an unforgettable time. Overall, the trip was more than I could have expected. We didn’t get everything done we wanted to, but we got to do so much more than I thought we would, and it was absolutely worth the huge price tag for us.

We had not been on our phones other than to take photos so the day we landed is the day we found out about Covid. I am so grateful that we were able to experience our trip before Covid took over everyone’s lives. I am an ICU RN so I have since worked with FEMA in New York and Texas plus my two normal hospital jobs in Ohio this past year and it has been incredibly rough and is why this report comes one year late. When it becomes too much, I love to look through my few thousand Disney photos to forget about it all for a while. This was supposed to be a one time trip for us, but we are planning to go back in 2022 (hopefully) for a few days to add onto a Universal Orlando trip. The girls have/will be homeschooled this school year. We are halfway through, but it has been rough for the three of us. I think we deserve a few more days in Disney next year!


Very much enjoyed your report! It’s so weird to see pictures of your all without masks and getting so close to the characters. :rofl: Thank you for sharing and thank you for being on the front lines of this pandemic. I hope you do get to go back in 2022!


Thanks for taking the time to do this Great trip report. THANK YOU so much for working the front lines this past year. So glad your family had this trip prior to your hectic year. Hoping to take my granddaughters again soon.


I really enjoyed reading your trip report. It did make me sad to realize all the things that aren’t available currently at Disney though. I would absolutely say that you deserve some Disney days next year. Thank you for your hard work during the pandemic.


Thanks for sharing. The little one was working her Cindy look! :slight_smile:

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This is the first trip report I’ve read in a good long while (they just make me miss the magic too much). Thank you for sharing. You did an exceptional job planning the perfect trip.

This. In 2019 we went on our “one” Disney trip, but I planned it and executed the plan so well that DW was soon asking when we would go again.

Thank you for your dedication and taking risks to help strangers.

Yes you do. And now that you got the “big, once-in-a-lifetime” trip out of the way, you can make a smaller, cheaper trip. But it will spiral into another big trip, I’m sure. At least that is what happened to our 2nd trip (which was canceled thanks to COVID). I initially thought 4-5 days, stay in a value resort, etc. But of course once I was planning I started to cram things in and it turned into another 8 day trip. LOL!

Thanks again for this report. It was fabulous.


Are you sure you didn’t mean yourself instead of DW? :wink:

(I’m guilty of this)

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One of my intentions was to convince DW that Disney trips should be a recurring thing (she was definitely a “one timer” kind of person before we went). Very early on in the planning process, like a few days in LOL, I knew I wanted to go again. Probably once every year or two. I spent a lot of time looking into DVC ownership. Then I got into RunDisney and knew I’d also be adding in solo trips for me. But with all the changes they are making, I’m not so sure about any of it anymore :sob::sob::sob::sob::sob::sob::sob: