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 . 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 )
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.