Mike's President's Week Trip Report

We just came back from our President’s Day week trip to the world - the trip that just 4 months ago wasn’t even on our radar.

A little background: when we went last April, our plan was to go again in 2-3 years, maybe after Galaxy’s Edge settled down for a bit, and our youngest (then 10 months) was a bit older. But we just kept talking about how much fun we had had, and how we wanted to do it again. One evening in October DW and I were reminiscing about our trip and how we wanted to do it again - and the next day a pin code shows up in our mailbox. We stared at it for a few days, wondering if we should, finally deciding to go for it!

Who went: myself, DW, DS8, and DS1 (20 mos). With DS1, it’s going to be a different kind of trip for us (even more different than last April when he was just 10 months). He is an active, highly opinionated Toddler now. He also is so curious about the world around him, and also a bundle of energy. We joke that he is like Jack-Jack personality-wise.

Couple of notes about this trip. First, we decided (relatively late) that TS was just not going to work with DS1. We tried going to restaurants a few times recently, a it was anything but a relaxing experience. So we decided to forgo TS this time around and focus on QS (which led to some painful cancellations… But there’s always next time!).

Second, we have always rented a car in the past - including on our last trip in April. Given the gear we needed, we would have probably rented a mini van for this trip. After seeing the prices for President’s Day weekend, and coupled with the new resort parking fee, it turned out to be more cost-effective for us to take a Minnie Van to and from the airport. Add to that their experience with carseats, and we figured we’d give it a try.

Third: The goal of this trip wasn’t to try to fit every last thing in. Our general mode operation was parks at rope drop, and stay through lunch and early afternoon; leave for a break back at the hotel for pool/rest/QS dinner, and then walk to Epcot for Festival of the Arts (we were staying at the Beach Club), and repeat some of our favorite attractions. One of us would stay there late with DS8 and the other would go back to the room to put DS1 to bed.

Finally: Due to the limited time available to us this trip, we decided to skip AK. There’s not a lot DS8 is interested in yet there (he didn’t like Dinosaur and is still a little apprehensive about EE), and we wanted to make sure we could explore TSL at DHS. So unfortunately, AK got the cut this time.

So, stay tuned for our trip report!


Staying tuned. Thank you for sharing. Over and out.:slight_smile:

I am looking forward to your report!

And before I get going on the report: huge shout out to @PrincipalTinker. When we first booked this trip, I was very apprehensive about the crowd levels, thinking that they might rival Easter/Christmas level crowds. She gave me the benefit of her experience with President’s week in comparison to Easter, and helped us to ultimately decide to go for it - and we ended up with a magical trip as a result!


Yay! I am so happy!

Day 1

Our day started with a 9:15 flight, which pulled out of the gate 10 minutes early and landed 20 minutes early. We thought we were smooth sailing. From there, things slowed down.

First, it took about 20 minutes after we disembarked the plane to get our gate checked stroller. I’ve never had anything gate checked take that long. Then baggage claim took much longer than usual. We didn’t know it at the time, but found out later that it was because of this.

Fortunately our Minnie Van driver was right there waiting. I cannot say enough good things about our driver and the experience. Sure, a Lyft or Uber would have been cheaper, and DME would have been free. But DME does eat into the day, and with Lyft and Uber we wouldnt have been able to get the carseat configuration we wanted (rear-facing for DS1 and booster for DS8).

Also, the Minnie Van had the benefit of starting the Disney magic right away. DS1 got so excited that we were in a “Mickey Car”. The entire way to the resort, he kept saying “We in a MICKEY CAR!”. I think it was the highlight of his day. The driver was fantastic, and really good with the boys, getting them both excited. Plus, we had Disney parks music on the radio. Honestly it was the perfect mood setter.

We arrived at the Beach Club later than planned and got the room text as we arrived. Unfortunately it was the polar opposite of what we had asked for - we wanted lagoon (not pool) view on an upper floor - we got pool view on the first floor. I went to the front desk and pleaded my case, talking about how we really wanted to avoid noise from the pool because of DS1 needing to nap, and also threw in that this year was our 15th wedding anniversary and that we had honeymooned at Disney, etc… After she made a couple of phone calls, she gave us a new room but said we would have to wait (which was fine). It ended up being a second floor room with a full balcony, and facing the lagoon. Perfect.

We then got changed and had a quick bite to eat at the QS marketplace grab and go, and got a Minnie Van to DHS. Crowds were busy - which we expected, so the plan was to just do some exploring and use a couple of FPs. But at no time did it seem wall to wall or unsafe.

We went right to TSL for a TSM FastPass. DS1 was a little overwhelmed but settled in and had fun.
We spent some time exploring TSL - it’s a fun land and we really enjoyed it. After that we headed to the Incredibles area, explored that for a bit, and shared a Jack-Jack nom-nom cookie, which was quite delicious. We then headed for our Star Tours FP, and rode with rider swap. By this time, everyone was exhausted so we decided to head back. Did some unpacking, got our grocery order from Instacart, and put DS1 to bed. DS8 and I headed to the arcade for a bit before we all turned in. We wanted to get a good night’s sleep for rope drop at Epcot the next morning!

Predicted CL: 10
Actual CL: 10
Steps: 19,066


The view from our balcony…


Great first day! That pool is so loud! It was nice they were able to move you.

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I love that pool. But only when I’m using it, not when anyone in my family is trying to sleep. :wink:


I wasn’t sure I ever could envision a situation in which this would be an economical choice, but 10000% true if you’re needing a minivan rental - those suckers are pricey, especially in the MCO market! GREAT information! And it sounds like it was a phenomenal way to start the trip :slight_smile:

That view from your room was worth waiting for, particularly since you had plans and wouldn’t actually be waiting!!

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Sounds like a great trip so far! What is a Jack-Jack Nom-Nom cookie? Where do they sell it? I googled and only found info for the California park.

Oh my goodness – I love this place! Absolutely love it!

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It’s the same thing that they have are California Adventure. It’s at a food stand on the left side right after you enter what used to be Pixar Place, and is now the Incredibles area.

This article has details:. https://chipandco.com/num-num-cookies-and-other-goodies-have-arrived-at-pixar-place-338541/


Oh, and after that snack, DS1 alternated between saying ‘We drive a MICKEY CAR’ and ‘Jack-jack non-nom cookie’ for the rest of the day!


That is so cute!

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Thanks! That sounds yummy

So cute!

Day 2

Today was our Epcot day - Epcot is a favorite park for both myself and DW, and has become a favorite of DS8. We spent a lot of time this trip at Epcot, but today was the designated "Epcot rope drop day’, with the goal of getting done much of what we wanted to in the way of attractions.

We left our room shortly after 8 and made our way to the International Gateway. We were maybe 30 people back as they let in to the bridge between France and the UK pavillions… They let us in about 8:55 or so, and we booked it to Frozen. Made it there by about 9:02 and basically walked on. DS1 was a bit scared and kept saying ‘all done, all done’. We think he was just a bit overwhelmed with all the sensory overload (fortunately, as the trip went on he got used to rides and enjoyed most of them. I think if FEA had been at the end of the trip rather than the beginning, he would have really enjoyed it.). From there, we booked it to Spaceship Earth for our first FP. We wanted to get a Photopass picture of the Fountain of Nations and Spaceship Earth, but there was no PhotoPass photographer there…!! So we went to the front of the park and found one there before riding SSE. This was another one DS1 said ‘all done’ on a few times, but it would also be the last time he did that for the most part on our trip (including a subsequent ride on SSE…).

Following that we went to the Seas, and (with the TP recommendation) did Turtle Talk followed by Nemo FP, and then headed to the land for LwtL and Soarin FP rider swap. DW and DS8 tapped in around 11:25, so I was able to grab a 1PM Test Track FP at the 11:31 drop. While they were on Soarin, I took DS1 to the jumping fountains outside of Imagination. There was a PhotoPass photographer there, so we got a picture and then spent 15 minutes just playing with the fountains, trying to catch the water as it went overhead.

I took my turn on Soarin with DS8 (row B1!) and DW took DS1 back to Seas for a photo and a look at some fish, and then they walked by Baymax. “See Baymax” he told me later. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and then headed to our Test Track FP. By this time DS1 was starting to get really tired, so we figured TT would be our last attraction before break. DS8 and I went on and we got rider swap. DW went for a walk around World showcase promenade and watched some bands perform while DS1 napped. Since rider swap is now good all day, DW and DS8 decided to save it for the evening. I grabbed and modified (after about 5 min of refreshing) an evening Soarin FP for the two of them as we stood in the TT FP line. (pro tip- make sure you tell the rider swap cast member that you have FPs, and that you want to scan for a rider swap even though you have a FP).

I have to say, even with it being a CL10 day, the touring plan worked to perfection. It also felt busy, but not so busy that it wasn’t enjoyable - it absolutely was enjoyable and relaxing.

We went back to the Beach Club for a mid-day break, and all went to Stormalong Bay for a swim. We ended up grabbing dinner at Hurricane Hanna’s and eating by Crescent Lake, and then DW and DS8 went back to Epcot for some time at Festival of the Arts, World Showcase, and to use the Soarin FP and TT rider swap. They came back at about 8:30, just in time for us to catch some of the Star Wars fireworks from our balcony. We couldn’t see everything, but we saw enough for it to be magical. We relaxed, talked, read a bit, and then went to bed. Magic Kingdom was the next morning!

Predicted Crowd Level: 8
Actual Crowd Level: 10
Steps: 21,868


Sounds fantastic!

I think above all else the gold of TP is how it DOES allow it to be a relaxing experience even if it’s busy or crowded. I’m so glad it was the same for you!

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On a CL10 day no less!