May / June 2018 First timers’ trip report

We are a Disney-loving family of 4, which includes me, DH (who claims to have seen every Disney animation movie ever made, and knows all the songs), DD11 and DD8. I’m the only member of the family who’s been to WDW, but it was back in 1996, and it was part of a tour with a large group of friends, and we only went to each of the 3 then parks 1 day each, so really I am a first-timer.

In 2016 we went to Tokyo Disney and completely winged it. We travelled over 1 hr to get there each day for 2 days and bought our tickets at the gate. We had no plans what-so-ever. Day one in Disneyland (MK) was fine. We got through quite a lot, began to get an understanding of their FP system and generally had a great day. Day 2 in DisneySea didn’t go quite so well. Huge crowds and lines, raining, and we were exhausted after day 1. Not so much of a success!

In 2017 we went to Disneyland Paris. We were a bit more organised, had booked tickets online beforehand and made ADR’s 5 days out. We knew a bit more about the FP system. What we hadn’t counted for though was we were going in the week leading up to Easter, which was also the 25 year reunion week. Crowds were insane! Lines were insane! I swore I’d never ever go to a Disney park again with those kinds of crowds.

We are a bunch of Aussies who’ve been living in London for 2 years, heading home in June. Being on this side of the world we wanted to make as much of our time here as possible, and it has always been DH’s dream to go to WDW. We had to do it. We didn’t have much choice over time as it had to be some time before we head back to Aus, and it had to be after our holiday booked to Greece early May. So late May – early June it was. Because I was so against going during crowded months I wanted to try and work out the best time to go and came across the TP website in Decmber last year. Thank God for TP!!!

So began my journey of planning a WDW vacation. What an adventure! I loved every moment of it, and became crazy obsessed. I booked our ADR’s at the 180 day mark, and our FPP’s at 60 days. I got everything I’d hoped for. I changed my TP’s around repeatedly. I really wasn’t sure how I was going to go with a plan. I’d read so many people saying that the planning didn’t mean you would stick to the plan, but that you’d learn enough to know how and when to deviate, and it would give you the knowledge to adjust when and if required. It certainly did that.
So enough babbling and preamble, on with the trip report.

Day 1 – May 29 – arrival day
We had 11:45am flight from Gatwick, with a scheduled arrival at MCO at 4pm. I had been panicking a little as I had booked an ADR at 1900 Park Fare at 8pm that evening (yes, yes I know, bad decision). I’d received a text from the TA saying that MCO had ongoing works which were impacting lines at customs so was worried about missing the ADR. It turned out, it wasn’t works at MCO that held us up, it was sitting on the tarmac at Gatwick for 3 hrs due to storms :disappointed:. We arrived at MCO at 7pm, were through customs and on to DME by 8pm, but obviously missed our ADR. We checked in to SSR (didn’t get our room request, and we were about as far from the requested room as we could possibly get), and the CM at reception cancelled our ADR for us and managed to get the cancellation fee waived (lovely lady!). We then went over to Artist’s Palette at SSR and had a QS meal for dinner before heading to bed.

Day 2 – May 30 – HS
I had thought we’d all have a bit of a sleep in this morning due to a late night the night before, but 3 out of 4 of us woke quite early (possibly jet-lag). We grabbed a snack breakfast from SSR and caught the bus to HS. It was pouring rain this morning so we packed our poncho’s & change of shoes ibn preparation. The FPP’s I’d booked for the day were: ST, RnR, Frozen sing-along. Here’s how the day went:
10:30 - Star Tours FP
11:15am Frozen sing-along FP
The plan had been to head to Muppets 3D after this but the rain was so heavy we couldn’t read our map, so just took shelter until it died down, by which time our RnR FP had opened up and we knew that was near ToT, so headed that way. My first experience of deviating from the plan. It worked out fine.
12:10 RnR FP. After coming out of this we grabbed a 4th FP for RnR again later in the day. Love this ride! (See pic!)

12:30 Backlot Express for lunch. I’d tried to do a mobile order before arriving, but it didn’t work. I asked the CM at BE when we arrived but he didn’t know what was wrong. This was a common theme throughout the week and I never ended up being able to make a mobile order. Annoying!! We never had to wait too long though.
1:15 Muppets 3D
2:10 Little mermaid show
3:00 – Walt Disney presents
4:00 Beauty & Beast – this was a quick rush between shows but we made it in time.
4:45 Indiana Jones – our families’ favourite of all the shows. So well done!
5:30 Star Wars launch bay – met Kylo Ren (funny that our first M&G was a character neither of my girls knew. DD11 was not impressed, as you can see by her expression in this pic :smile:)

6:10 RnR 4th FP
6:30 Dinner at 50s prime time
Shopping & photopass photos

Fantasmic – what a brilliant show! We were sitting a few rows from the front, and it was quite a windy night, so we got quite wet from the spray. Other than that, amazing!!

Stay tuned for an evening of EMH at MK.


Thanks for sharing, looking forward to the next instalment

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I love trip reports! Thanks for taking the time to write it!

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Thanks for sharing and look forward to more.

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Day 2 May 30th evening EMH at MK
So even though we’d all woken quite early that morning, we were keen to make the most of evening EMH at MK, so after Fantasmic finished at HS we got the bus over to MK. Walking in for the first time in the evening and seeing the castle lit up was so magical -beautiful! We stopped for a photopass pic on our way down Main St.

As we arrived (around 10:30pm) I grabbed a FP for Under the Sea. We did People Mover first, which as everyone has reported is so beautiful at night.

We then headed to under the Sea for our FP, and met Ariel in her Grotto after that. The girls’ first autograph in their book.

From there we went down to the Rapunzel tower as I’d heard seeing the lanterns lit up at night was amazing. You weren’t wrong!

I hadn’t put IASW into our plan as we’ve done that numerous times at both other Magic Kingdoms, but my family told me it’s a must-do no matter how many times we’ve done it before, so that was our next stop.

I also hadn’t put Barnstormer into our plan as I’d read it was a basic small coaster and din’t think my girls would be into it. Wrong again! They loved it so since it had no line we did that 3 times before heading home at 12:30am. I had planned to get an uber, but DH wanted to save a bit of money and get the bus. This became a bone of contention throughout the trip as we got the bus a lot more than I had been planning to, and it cost us quite a bit of time at times. Anyway, this night both girls fell asleep on the bus, but then my DD11 banged her head on a pole while sleeping and was so upset. It was hard getting her back to the resort and into bed. We had pushed her too far.

All in all though it was a brilliant first day. We hadn’t waited any more than 20 minutes for any of the rides, and had done 18 rides, shows and attractions for the whole day.

Day 3 – May 31 - Epcot
Today we had a much later start to give us a bit of a sleep in. We decided on a QS breakfast at SSR before getting the bus to Epcot at around midday. Initially our first FP was Turtle talk at 10:30, but I switched that to 1pm while we were having breakfast. Our first FP was then Spaceship Earth which we headed to straight after arriving. We all absolutely LOVED this ride! My DH is a history buff and he got quite emotional during this ride. It’s just done so well. Both DD’s loved seeing the photos of us afterwards, and playing the little games they have at the end of the ride (they loved them too much and I had to drag them away).

We were then heading to do Seas w Nemo but the SB line was much longer than on the plan. Turtle talk however had a short SB line so I switched our TT FP for a SwN. We rode TT SB with only a 10 min wait, then did our SwN FP. How wonderful to be able to move things around so easily. Something I wouldn’t have known about without the advice from this forum.

After the rides we spent some time looking at the Seas pavilion. MY DD8 is obsessed with dolphins and loves aquariums so we spent quite a bit of time here (here’s where I needed to be flexible with the plan and just go with the flow with what the family wanted to do. Surprisingly I didn’t find it as difficult to do as I’d thought. I loved how much my DD’s were enjoying the simple things).
From there we headed to Club cool to taste some sodas. This was fun! Again this took quite a bit more time than I’d anticipated.

On the way from Club cool to the WS we saw Goofy had a M&G with a very short line so we got some pics and autographs with him.

While the girls were having pics I signed us up online for Agent P. We then headed to Mexico where we made a start on AP. The girls weren’t all that interested initially so I sped through the introduction myself while they looked around Mexico, then we tried to do the game there. Unfortunately due to the very limited wifi we were able to get while at the parks, it didn’t really work in Mexico. We didn’t get any wifi in the shop where you need to be for it to work, so gave up on that. The girls weren’t too bothered. We then did Gran Caballeros before heading to Norway for our FEA FP.

After Norway we headed to China and had a good look around there. We saw Mulan was due a M&G, but the line was huge so we moved on. In Germany Snow White was having a M&G with a short line so we met her for some pics.

Our number 1 must-do M&G was Princess jasmine. My DD11’s name is Jasmine and it has been her dream to meet the princess. I had thought she would be too old to be so keen on that, but we missed seeing her in Paris by 30 mins as we had to leave to catch our ferry, and DD11 was so devastated, she said the only thing she MUST do this trip was meet Princess Jasmine. So I knew she had M&G in Morocco at 4:30, so we were there by 4:15 and were second in line. The room that she meets in is so interesting, and we were lucky to be near the front of the line so it was mostly indoors in A/C (it was a HOT day!!!). DD11 is quite a bit more shy than DD8 and had wanted to tell jasmine that her name was Jasmine too, but she didn’t so DD8 told her for her :smile:.

When we came out from the M&G it was raining so we poncho’d up and headed to America for a drink and to shelter under the umbrellas at Fife & Drum. Once the rain had cleared we wandered down to Japan for a look about the shops. I love the little display they have there of the kitchy Japanese toys and pop culture.

From Japan we headed to Marrakech in Morocco for our ADR. Sooooooo good! The belly dancing was fun. DD8 got involved which was so cute!

I’d booked an early dinner as I knew we were attempting RD at MK the next morning, so after dinner we left Epcot vis the International gateway to have a quick look at the Boardwalk area before getting an uber home (this was one time I’d managed to convince DH it was worth it, but that didn’t go so well). Since wifi wasn’t working I hadn’t been able to check which way to go after leaving Epcot to get to boardwalk, so we went the wrong way, and ended up around the resort are instead. This wasn’t too bad as it was a nice walk, and we could look across the lake to boardwalk anyway and it looked dead (the rain had just stopped). We walked along to the Swan hotel and walked through the lobby to try and use the hotels wifi and get an uber the other side. We couldn’t use the hotels wifi though so ended up getting the hotel to call us a regular cab, which DH was annoyed about. When we got back to SSR we all went straight to bed to get an early night ready for MK RD.


Day 4 – June 1 – MK morning then resort time

Today was an early 7am EMH day at MK. My initial plans had been to RD 7DMT, but I didn’t see me being able to get my family there before 7am. When MK extended their hours I was able to get an early FP for 7DMT so decided to go a bit later than RD and do the less popular things like Space Mountain & princess M&G’s first. We arrived at 7:45am and walked straight through the gates (I’d been worried that the guests arriving for normal park hours would crowd things but it didn’t at all). We headed straight for Space first and it was a walk-on. Then we went to princess hall for Rapunzel & Tiana.

Then it was time for our first FP – 7DMT. The girls absolutely loved this ride! They said it had everything, roller coaster and great theming. Lots of fun!

After this my DH & DD8 wanted to do space again as it still had a really short SB line, but DD11 didn’t and she had a $100 giftcard from her grandparents to spend, so we went shopping while they did space again. My gorgeous DD11 chose to spend the first $40 of her gift card on gifts for her cousins though :heart_eyes:.

Then we met up with DH & DD8 at Crystal palace for our ADR breakfast. So much fun!!! DD8 fell in love with Eeyore all over again (she’d loved him when she was really little but had forgotten how much!). These characters are so fun to hug, and we really enjoyed the food. I haven’t uploaded our pics from this one yet, but there were lots of big hugs all round :smile:.

From CP we went to our next FP – Enchanted Tales with Belle. I don’t know what I was expecting but I wasn’t thrilled with this one, neither was DD11, but DD8 was chosen to be Maurice and DH was a guard, and they seemed to enjoy it.

Here’s DD8 as Maurice :smile:

And DH as a guard:

Our last FPP was Peter Pan. This is another ride we’ve done previously at both Paris & Tokyo. I adored this ride at Tokyo and have such vivid memories of how emotional I felt flying over the London night scene, but neither Paris nor WDW felt quite the same. I don’t know if they’re not done as well, or it’s just not the same the second time. DH feels they’re just not as well done as Tokyo’s.

This day was to be just half day in the park with the afternoon spent in the pool at the resort, so we decided to make our way out and grab an ice cream on the way. Move It Shake it was happening as we were waiting for the ice cream, so we caught a bit of that which was fun.
We got the bus back to SSR and hung around the pool there for the afternoon. At around 5ish we got the boat from SSR to Disney springs and had a walk around, but it was SOOOOOOO HOT and neither of the girls could stand walking around, so we grabbed a drink at the Planet Hollywood bar to cool down before heading off to our ADR at 1900 Park Fare (oh yes I’d been able to reschedule it).

We really enjoyed the character interaction at the Cinderella dinner. The step sisters were hilarious!!! The food was also really good for a buffet. Such a fun night!


Thanks so much for sharing!! I love the new borders on the 7DMT & RnRC pics!!! They look great!!