Background: our last Disney trip was March 2019. Covid canceled our May 2020 trip (then November 2020 trip, then March 2021 trip…) and in January when things just didn’t look good for March with none of us vaccinated and kids probably having to quarantine/miss school, I booked late May/first of June. We ended up going at the perfect time for us! DH and I were fully vaccinated, it wasn’t too hot yet, we only had one day that rain affected our plans, and masks were relaxed outside which we hoped for, but still required inside, which made me feel better with our 4 unvaccinated kiddos.
Overall we had a pretty successful trip! Of course some disappointments and frustrations (mostly by me, not the kids!) and I think that’s a combination of me studying for the past year how to have a good trip during a pandemic then getting there and it feeling like nothing I studied was on the test AND telling myself this whole time to have lower expectations because things weren’t how they were before but despite that, it’s like my expectations were too high anyway. Because it’s Disney and we pay so much money to go and I had spent so much energy trying to get it “perfect”. Once I got myself to change my attitude to focus on the positive, what we WERE getting to do (not what we weren’t) characters we WERE seeing (not the ones we didn’t) I realized how awesome our trip was going and that the kids were excited to be there; they didn’t even know what they might be missing. So I thought I’d do a post trip report, break it down day by day, then throw in my final thoughts. Not a lot of pics, sorry, DH is funny about it, but I’ll try to provide helpful info for anyone going and humor anyone who just likes to read trip reports!
Cast: me, DH, DD12, DS10, DS7 turned 8 while we were there, DD6
Beach Club Villas 2 bedroom villa
7 day tickets, no parkhopper
Epcot, MK, HS, MK, AK, HS, Epcot
We decided not to do parkhopper for a few reasons. 1. The added cost 2. Not being able to hop until after 2:00 and I didn’t want to worry about feeling we SHOULD hop but what if we had a late boarding group or just didn’t want to go to another park 3. We wanted to really enjoy each park we were at each day, stop and smell the roses, etc. However, being at Beach Club, there were like 4 nights we would’ve walked to Epcot for dinner so we probably would’ve utilized it. And I am going to remember to try and end with MK next time!
View of the Boardwalk
Day 1 – Epcot
We visited some family about an hour from Disney for a few days which was fun and relaxing then the night before we were leaving to come home, we showed the kids their magic bands to surprise them – it was awesome! They were so pumped. We’ve never surprised them before; I normally like them helping me with the planning and doing a countdown, but with Covid I just didn’t want to have to burst their bubble if we didn’t feel comfortable going. So the next morning we drove the hour or so and got to Beach Club Villas by 9:30. We parked, dropped our stuff off at the front desk, and headed to Epcot, getting to the international gateway entrance around 10:00…with a bunch of other people…I definitely had thought we wouldn’t be joined by so many (not sure why, I guess I thought because of capped attendance or that no one else would know to go so early, silly me!). Anyway we didn’t get let in til 10:25ish and I swear I had read the parks were opening earlier than that but I shook it off and as soon as we got through security we raced to Test Track, per the kids request. Line was moving, sign said 30 min wait, and it would have been except halfway through the line the dreaded announcement came that the ride was down and they didn’t know when it’d be back up. UGH first ride of the trip, seriously?? I should’ve known, it’s Test Track, but kids really wanted to start with it. The delay ended up being less than 15 minutes but of course seemed longer. After that we went to Soarin’ and waited about 30, then walked on Living with the Land which surprisingly ended up being one of DS8’s favorite rides! Then we went to Mission Space, Nemo, and Spaceship Earth with no waits which was really nice. Everyone was getting hungry so we ventured to World Showcase. I was so happy to try Flower and Garden festival booths! We never have before. We stopped at the Honey Bee-stro and I grabbed all the food. DH and I loved the cheesecake and cornbread and the kids ate the flatbread. Next we grabbed the chicken skewer with peanut sauce and wontons from the Lotus House – sooo good – then the risotto balls and cannoli from the booth in Italy – all good.
Unfortunately we were too full to try more booths at this point and it was HOT so we headed back to Beach Club since we’d just received our room ready text. I had requested a first room floor close to the Beach Club lobby and transportation and our room location was perfect – 124. Quick walk to the Beach Club lobby (Marketplace was right there) and to the buses and didn’t have to deal with elevators. We were also at the end of the hall which is good with our loud kids haha! I did miss going out on a balcony with my coffee or wine (depending on time of day) but first floor was super convenient! And we did still have a stroller in case DD6 needed it (spoiler alert she did, and sometimes so did DS8! In their defense we are fast walkers and I’d rather push a stroller then walk slow with them dragging behind) Not having to get the stroller on the elevator and wait if a family was already on one made things smoother for us.
We had a dinner reservation at Hacienda de San Angel so we walked back to Epcot with plenty of time to get to Mexico. DD12 already had a pin necklace and wanted to add to it and DS10 and DS8 wanted their own so we stopped to get those and the kids used their Disney gift cards on day 1, ha! It was a great purchase because they were all excited to pin trade the rest of the trip and we “only” lost one, my DD12’s Olaf pin. She was so bummed. She took such good care of them too, always checking!
Dinner was really good– DH and I got the Parrillada del Mar to share and a margarita for him, a Sangria for me and the kids all ordered from the kid menu which is nice even though we have two Disney “adults”. We usually do the dining plan but it was nice to order what we want and let the older kids order off the kid menu without worrying about the dining plan rules. However, paying it off ahead of time and not seeing the total cost of meals is worth doing the meal plan again in the future if they offer it! YIKES - food, drinks, snacks, were so expensive. So we hadn’t eaten at an indoor restaurant since before Covid and I thought it’d be weird but it wasn’t – it was wonderful. And the tables still seemed spread enough apart it didn’t feel crowded. The older two kids wanted to go back to the hotel but the younger two were begging to go on the Three Caballeros so I stayed with them and we waited like 20 min just to get in the pavilion then the walk was only a 5 min wait. The line had been long for Frozen all day and then it went down so we decided to get to that our other Epcot day and headed back to the resort. Great first day! And 26,700 steps!
Epcot is soooo pretty this time of year: