LoveBug53's Disney Trip Report

You blink your eyes and it happens; your babies grow up.

This feels like it was yesterday:

This was pretty much yesterday.

See what I mean?

We knew that our chances for Family Disney Trips were ticking away - our DS19 is in his second year of college and our DS17 is in his last year of high school. It was now or never. We picked now.

Monday December 15, 2014

You know what it’s like. The night before you leave on a trip you can never sleep. My brain was going over and over my list-of-things-to-do-in-the-morning. DH was the same so we were up without the benefit of our alarm clock by 3:30 a.m. We packed up the last few things into the truck and were out the door with our two teenaged boys by 4:30 a.m.

(Pausing for applause.)

We made it from Central Ontario to Richmond, Kentucky for our first evening. The weather was great, the traffic was decent, and it felt pretty nice to have a swim and a hot tub after sitting in the truck for hours. We had the pool area to ourselves! We ate at Ryan’s Buffet which was nearby and really enjoyed it! Oh, those warm, sweet yeast buns. And steak! The male members of our family were in their glory!

Tuesday December 16, 2014

We all slept like logs and were up by 4:30 a.m. (Teens successfully pried out of bed two days in a row! Yay, me!) After showers and packing up the truck we hit the breakfast bar at 6 a.m. The ‘snowbirds’ were hogging the waffle maker but the eggs and sausage were warm and yummy! Coffeed up, we were on the road by 6:45 a.m. It was foggy and drizzly but the traffic was light and the sights were amazing.

Let me try that again.

We made it to the Georgia Welcome Center by 10:30 a.m. Here are a couple of ‘peaches’ - well, more like ‘nuts’. :wink:

After a brief stop in Calhoun for lunch at McDonalds… 10 chicken nuggets for 1.99??? Wut the wut???.. we passed through Atlanta around 1:30 p.m. It was busy (for us) but with me navigating with TomTom we seemed to get in the proper lane at the proper time (Yay, me again!) and somehow popped out the other side unscathed! Woohoo!

Our last night-before-Disney was spent in Tifton, GA. After fueling up at the Cracker Barrel (yum!), another swim and hot tub, we did our log impersonation once more. One more sleep! :slight_smile:

Wednesday December 17, 2014

We let the kids sleep in until 5:30 a.m. this morning. You know, 'cause we’re nice like that. Another battle with the snowbirds for 6:30 a.m. breakfast (I got my waffle that morning! Sweet victory!) and on the road by 7 a.m. Less than 4 hours till Pop Century!

First we had to stop at the Florida Welcome Center for orange juice and some travel magazines. And to hug a palm tree.

We’re HERE!!!

It was only 4 degrees Celsius (39 F) in Tifton that morning but the truck told us it was 28 degrees C (82 F) when we pulled into Pop Century at 11:30 a.m. Hello Florida!

I had done online check in prior to leaving. I had requested 1960s, top floor, lake view. We were put 1970s, bottom floor, lake view. Oh well - in hindsight it was the perfect spot for us. And we didn’t have to lug our luggage up the elevator! Our magic bands and travel documents were waiting for us (woohoo!) so in no time at all we were getting settled in Room 6156.

After a quick visit to Everything Pop to get our refillable mugs and have a refreshing drink, we headed off to Hollywood Studios! The bus came in no time and we arrived at the park by 1 p.m.

I had printed off my Touring Plan for the day, and with it in hand, we headed first to “The Great Movie Ride”. We got in with minimal wait - we never actually stopped moving through the queue while the old movies were playing. Seated in the last seat of the tram, we were whisked away to Old Hollywood! We had a really great Tour Guide - she played her part well and the ride was so much fun!

Next on the list was the 1:45 p.m. showing of the “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!” We got to the theatre just after 1:30 p.m. but there was still lots of seating and we were on the right hand side about half way up. I love that show and was happy for a chance to see it before it closes.

After watching Indy and Marion escape the fire, it was time for our first FPP of the day. “Star Tours: The Adventures Continue”. Our FPP was for 1:50 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. and it was about 2:30 when we arrived. We pretty much walked right on. I get motion sick fairly easy and hadn’t really enjoyed it the last time I was on. I took a Gravol (same as your Dramamine) and this time I felt great! It’s amazing how cool that ride is with your eyes open! I loved it!

Next up was MuppetVision 3D. A group was just entering the staging area as we walked up so we grabbed our 3D glasses and were allowed to join in. I love that show! Even the pre-show is funny! Waka waka!

Our 2:50 p.m. - 3:50 p.m. FPP for “Toy Story Midway Mania!” was next! This is a family favourite! Again, we pretty much walked directly on with no wait. The ride was so fun - even though DH thumped my score.

I had “Animation Academy” on my list next - but neither the boys nor my DH had any desire to draw. Oh well, even though we were moving along well, it was in the window for our 3rd FPP for “The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror” (what was I thinking??) so we decided to head directly there.

To the Tower of Terror. WHAT WAS I THINKING???

Deep breaths. Deep. Breaths.

Somehow my feet moved me forward and I got in the line. Of course our FPP made our wait minimal - AGAIN. Drat. The queue for that ride is amazing. I had done this ride once back in 2013 and swore I would NEVER do it again. I think I said the same thing after my first baby. Didn’t work for that either.

That Gravol is pure gold. The ride was actually cool! I really enjoyed it! I mean, I’m not ready to pull an @MDU and ride it 13 times in a row, but I would definitely go again! I was kind of proud of myself!

Proof! That’s us in the middle row on the left hand side! :smile:

Immediately after the ride we went to the FPP Kiosk nearby to see if there was any Aerosmith Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster FPP left. Nope. But there was a FPP for Fantasmic! at 8 p.m. We decided to pick that and headed over to Fairfax Fare for supper.

It was early - only about 4:15 p.m. so there were no lines and lots of seating adjacent to Fairfax Fare. I don’t know why Hollywood Studios counter service gets no love - our meal was delicious! We all had the Chicken and Rib combo with 2 chocolate milk, 2 large pop and the seasonal Mickey Gingerbread cupcakes. (We hadn’t had lunch yet so we were ready!) It would have totalled $101.48! Gotta love that Free Quick Service Dining Plan!

We relaxed as we ate, knowing our next attraction was to be “Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage” in the theatre across the street. We headed over about 5 p.m. and had great centre stage seating, midway back.

I really enjoyed the show - the teens, not as much but they were great sports about it. Gaston is my favourite - and the arms on that guy - wowzers!

Next we headed over to “Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith”. We hadn’t had luck getting a FPP for this. (I had picked Toy Story over it originally as it had the longer wait.) The posted time was 45 minutes . We timed it and from when we got in line till when we exited after, it was 55 minutes total. That was our longest wait of the whole trip. We asked to sit right at the front so that increased our wait time a little bit - but it was totally worth it! That take off was CRAZY! I’m pretty sure I was singing “Dude Looks Like a Lady” out loud and very loud but no one heard me! At least I hope no one heard me. I think one of the teen DSs would have said something. As most teenager to parent relationships, they are quick to let me know when I make a social faux pas! :wink:

We had time before Fantasmic! to walk through the “Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights”. Oh my. The pictures do not do it justice. We all just kind of stood there, letting ourselves be covered with soapy snowflakes, and absorbed it. Ah-mazing.

We tore ourselves away to go see “Fantasmic!” with our FPP (turns out we didn’t really need it as the CM told us we wouldn’t need to arrive before 7:30 p.m. - we didn’t - but the FPP had technically expired then.) We were able to get great seats - I was a good Liner and listened to the advice not to sit too close to the front if you didn’t want to get wet. We didn’t. This was our first time seeing the show and it was really good! We all enjoyed it!

It was a bit slow going to exit the theatre when it was over, but again, with my Liner knowledge firmly in place, I knew we didn’t have to exit the park even though it had closed at 8 p.m. We walked back over to the Streets of America for Round 2 of the Osborne Lights. This time the crowds had dispersed and we could enjoy them to their fullest. Incredible! We stayed until the very end at 9 p.m. We couldn’t pull ourselves away - they are mesmerizing!

We took the Art of Animation bus back to that resort as we had plans to walk around it anyway. We had fun checking out the Cars section - so well done! We then walked back past the Big Blue Pool (no one else around), across the bridge and back to our room at Pop Century. We grabbed our mugs and enjoyed a drink while sitting in the warm evening around the Hippy Dippy Pool.

We headed back to our room. Only 10:30 p.m.? How did we pack so much into one day? It was then I noticed the message light on the phone flashing - we had a parcel waiting at the front desk! DS17 and I headed over to pick it up - it was a bag full of goodies and treats from former Liner Schoolies14 - ordered all the way from Queensland, Australia! What a wonderful surprise! The day had been perfect and it was only our first one! Feeling blessed beyond belief, we all headed to sleep - next up was the Magic Kingdom! We planned to be there as close to the 7 a.m. EMH as possible!


What a great start. I can’t believe you made it all the way to Kentucky in one day, that seems so far lol.


Thanks @Outer1 - it was a long day to Kentucky but being on the road so early still let us get there at supper time!

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So fun to read! Can’t wait for the rest!


I love your first installment @LoveBug53! You have a great writing style.

I want to do your exact Hollywood Studios day someday. You had a good TP!


Thanks @SallyEppcot! :slight_smile: You’re too sweet.

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I’m so glad you like Fairfax Fare, too! I had the chicken and ribs there on our last trip, and it was awesome. The seasonal cupcake was a lemon meringue one with lemon curd filling. It was a fantastic meal.


What a great report! I love how you started it with the pictures of your boys when they were little. Now they are taller than mom! Good job getting them moving. Coming off of Christmas break with an 11 year old and a 14 year old who had to be bombed out of bed every day, that is an accomplishment.

Great first day at Hollywood Studios. After my first try on TOT I too have sworn it off, but I know me and when my son wants to ride it, I know I’ll go with instead of just making him go with his sister. I am encouraged that the second time around was better for you!

You had a very full first day. Yum, those cupcakes looked good. I love the special cupcakes at HS. I’m so glad you had fun. Great pictures. I look forward to the next installment. :smile:


Thanks @Sally_Carrera! Glad you enjoyed it!

Thanks @theredhead! We all really enjoyed our Fairfax Fare meal! Your cupcake sounds yummy too! Weren’t the chicken and ribs great? :smile:

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Thanks @JustKeepSmiling! I don’t know where the time went - it sounds so cliché but they do grow up fast! I am so grateful we got this family trip in while we could - I’ll be able to live off the memories if I don’t get another one like it! :smile: I was terrified to do TOT again - honestly, I was eyeing up that chicken elevator! - but the DSs really wanted me to go on it again and I am glad now that I did! I hope you get up the courage to do it again and hopefully you’ll enjoy it (or at least be okay with it!) the second time, too!

The cupcakes were so good - and the chocolate Mickey Santa hat was tasty too!

I’m working on the second installment and I’ll try to have it up tomorrow. My house is a breathe-in-a-bag disaster at the moment - I really should be doing something about that but I’m reliving my trip! Lol.


Thank you posting this - I’m anxiously waiting for the next instalment cos I needs moar!

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You are welcome @Ellen1976! I’ll add ‘moar’ - I promise! :wink:

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The house will still be there. It is fun to relive the memories and those good memories are worth so much.

TOT – the things we do for our kids!

Yes, they grow up too fast. That is one advantage of spreading your kids out like I have. The disadvantage is that when you are old with a strong willed five year old, it can push you over the edge sometimes!

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Ha ha - I am 10 and 14 years younger than my sisters so I get the whole “spreading the kids out” thing! (My mom thought I was menopause! Lol!) Enjoy every moment with your ‘baby’ - even that last one (like me!) grows up fast! :smile:


Okay - I put the housecleaning on hold and have the second installment ready to go! Clean clothes are over-rated, right?!? :wink:

Part 2 - Magic Kingdom

Thursday December 18, 2014

Cock-a-doodle DOOO! :rooster:

Well, not quite, but we were up at 5:45 a.m., hitting the showers in anticipation of our day at the Magic Kingdom! I made a coffee run to Everything Pop with our refillable mugs and, after a snack on granola bars in our room, we were on our way!

After a short wait, the bus arrived at 6:40 a.m. and we arrived shortly after the 7 a.m. opening. One of these days I’ll get to see that Welcome Show!

It was a beautiful morning. Being the first time we have visited this time of year, we were blown away by the Christmas decorations.

“Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin” was our first stop. It was a complete walk on so we ended up riding it three times in a row. This is a family favourite for sure!

Next up was “Space Mountain”. The standby line was short - we just kept walking until nearly the loading area. Is it just me or is that ride getting rougher? We headed over to “The Barnstormer” for a tamer coaster - again, a walk on. It was short - but fun!

Our teen DSs were tolerant as I dragged them on “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” (I refrained from licking the Honey Wall but I did have to run my fingers over it - so cool! - Don’t worry, I hand-sanitized immediately after!). Next up, “Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid”. “Peter Pan’s Flight” rounded out the teenage torture. I didn’t make anyone ride “It’s a Small World” (even though it only had a posted 10 minute (TEN MINUTE!!) wait as we passed by!). I had pushed my luck to the brink!

We all enjoyed the newly refurbished “Haunted Mansion”. I almost wish the standby line had been longer as we walked through so quickly it was hard to take in all the details! I did manage to play the musical instruments as we passed by (re-hand-sanitizing!) and pushed in a few wayward books from the bookshelf! The ride was so fun - and DH and I switched heads at the end! Neat!

“Big Thunder Mountain Railroad” was next on the Touring Plan. Only the briefest of waits and we were careening 'round and through the mountain!

We had planned on “Pirates of the Caribbean” next but it was closed. The CMs out front couldn’t give us any indication other than “later this afternoon” for an opening so we decided to take our “Jungle”, um, “Jingle Cruise”. The holiday theme and jokes were cute! Next was a walk through the “Swiss Family Treehouse”. We had always meant to do this and were glad we took the time. There was still time before our Be Our Guest 11:10 a.m. FPP so we decided to go back over to Tomorrowland and have another round on “Buzz Lightyear” and “The PeopleMover”. Note to self: Don’t sit backwards! I think I would have enjoyed it heaps more if I was facing forward!

It was now time for our lunch so we made our way to the Beast’s Castle. At the first check in point, it had showed we had pre-selected our lunch and we were sent on our way. After a brief wait, we were ushered inside. Unfortunately somewhere between there and here the lunch selections disappeared. No big deal - I had a print out of our reservation and they quickly re-entered our choices and we were told to go have a seat.

We looked briefly in the Rose Room and the West Wing but decided on sitting in the Ballroom. Wow. What a gorgeous spot! We got our pops and cutlery and sat down at a table for four and just looked. It was so pretty in there!

In no time at all, DH, DS19 and my braised pork and strawberry cupcakes were magically delivered to our table. DS17 had ordered the turkey sandwich with pomme frites and the lemon meringue cupcake. It would have been 84.55 if we weren’t on the free dining plan. Everything was delicious and we were stuffed!

I had wisely scheduled some time to wander around “Tom Sawyer Island” after our lunch so we took the raft ride across and enjoyed exploring in a leisurely way. We even spent a bit of time ‘rocking chair sitting’ - watching the “Liberty Belle” load.

Our next FPP was for “Splash Mountain” between 12:55 p.m. - 1:55 p.m. Again, listening to Liner wisdom, we asked for the last two seats on the log. We had ponchos with us but decided against wearing them. It was a warm, sunny day of 23 degrees Celsius (73 F) so we took our chances. There were a few splashes but not much. We really enjoyed the ride - our first time on it!

Off for a ride around the park on the “Walt Disney World Railroad” beginning at “Frontierland Station”. We got on the first train that arrived and found a row together. Again, another enjoyable first for us to ride around the park. We did a complete lap and then got off in Fantasyland. We had FPP for “Space Mountain” but changed our minds and rode “Tomorrowland Speedway” instead. Our backs cringed at the thought of getting on “Space” again - all except for DS19 but he conceded to a lap or two around the track instead. We rode the cars twice - it was a very short wait of less than 15 minutes in total for the two rides together!

Our FPP for the “Seven Dwarfs Mine Train” was up next at 3:15 p.m. We checked in at 3:10 p.m. and didn’t even wait 5 minutes! We rode in the second car back from the front. It was a lot of fun but I sure wouldn’t wait the hour and a half posted! It was nice and smooth, especially after Space Mountain! I liked the middle part of the ride - the jewels are beautiful!
As we exited the ride, we heard the announcement that it was closing down. We just made it on! Good thing we went early!

We were ready for a snack by this time so decided to head over to Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. We ordered up 4 chili cheese fries (first snacks of the plan!) and 4 cups of free ice water. Another great Liner tip - I packed flavoured drops (ice tea) and we enjoyed our light supper. We even added hot cheese and mushrooms from the toppings bar!

“Pirates” was still closed so we decided to end our park day. (There was a Christmas party that night and it was nearly 4 p.m.) We took a ferry boat over to the Grand Floridian and explored the resort. We walked the grounds and then checked out the lobby. Wow - the tree! WOW - the gingerbread house!

While we were there, a wedding was taking place - complete with a Cinderella carriage arriving with footmen! It was a beautiful day for the wedding - what a lucky bride!

From the Grand Floridian we took the bus to Downtown Disney, arriving about 5:45 p.m. We walked from Marketplace all the way down to the House of Blues store. I had 2 free vouchers from our trip package so the boys went into Disney Quest for the evening. We made plans to meet them at the entrance at 9 p.m. so we could go for a late supper together. DH and I went back to Pop Century on the bus to grab sweaters for everyone as the night was a bit cool for shorts and t-shirts. We enjoyed strolling back through Downtown Disney, listening to all the great performers. The construction walls were up but it didn’t affect our enjoyment at all. After we met up with our little “Astro-Blasters” we listened to a few more performances on our stroll back to Wolfgang Puck Express Marketplace. We all ordered barbeque chicken pizzas, 2 cheesecakes, 2 frozen yogurts and drinks. Thanks again, free dining plan, for saving us 93.51!

The bus for Art of Animation had a shorter line than Pop Century’s, and that bus arrived first so we took it, walked across the bridge, and were back in our room at 11:15 p.m. Another amazing day in the World! Tomorrow on the agenda: Epcot!


Another great day! I love your early morning pictures. The sky is so pretty.

You said you sang on RnR. Did you sing on 7DMT? I love that part. My DD is up for singing but DS11, not so much!

I like 7DMT but I agree that it’s too short of a ride for long line. I’m so glad you finally got those FPP!

Space does seem to get rougher the older you get. The key is to keep riding it because then you learn when to brace yourself! My DS11 tried it for the first time on our trip and loved it. Four rides later, I was used to it!

I really want to see the GF gingerbread house some day. That looks amazing. My DD and I saw a wedding there once too. That looks so magical.

Laundry can wait. Plus, boys aren’t usually that picky. Keep the reports coming!


Thanks @JustKeepSmiling! But I better do something with the frozen chicken legs on the counter before DH gets home from work! Lol!

You bet - I sang “Hi Ho” loud and proud on 7DMT! It was awesome! :smile:

I’ll take your word for Space Mountain - when even sporty DS17 was complaining, we didn’t feel bad for taking a pass!


You saved so much money!!!

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I loved your first installment! it’s fun to see a family with no princesses tackle the parks. I love that the boys were good sports about Beauty and the Beast. Nice boys :slight_smile:

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