Mom and Son take on WDW, and Splash, Soar, Dash, and Fly Across the World (not to mention eat…)

Day 12 –November 1, 2019 – Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom; Travel Home

Plan: Choose between doing the Yule Tide Tour which I had booked or spend the morning and early afternoon at EPCOT; ADRs at Rose and Crown at 12:30; FPP at Mission Space at 9:30, Test Track at 11:00, and Spaceship Earth at 1:25; Yule Tide Tour from 9:00 – 12:00; back to Pop by 3:00 for ME at 4:05 (I like to be early for things like this). During our trip, we changed our plans for this day many times, and eventually cancelled everything. On Thursday, we finally decided that what we really wanted to do was to ride Slinky Dog Dash again, so HS and 4:30 am it was.

Actual: On our last day, we decided to get up at 4:30 and rope drop Hollywood Studios. We wanted to ride Slinky Dog Dash one (or two) more times. We were near the front of the line, but enough people got in front of us that we weren’t in the first car, but when we got in the entry queue, they started having people get out. It was down. Womp womp!

We headed to Toy Story Mania. DS17 scored 148,700 and I scored 117,600. We then ate at Woody’s Lunchbox, hoping that Slinky Dog would reopen. No luck, so back to Toy Story Mania (165,500 for DS17; 119,200 for me). We went back to Slinky to try to wait it out. We talked to the CMs, DS17 hula hooped with them, and we waited, and waited, and waited… Eventually, DS17 said, “I don’t want this to be the last thing we do (the waiting); I want to ride something today.” So, we gave up and went to Tower of Terror and while we were in line for ToT, I was checking MDE, and noticed it came back up.

DS17 decided to ride Rock 'n Roller Coaster one last time, while I headed back to Slinky Dog Dash to check it out. When I got there, the line was 60 minutes and increased to 85. I called Disney to request a late check out so we could ride and still have time to shower and finish packing, letting them know that we got up at 4:30, so we could ride SDD one last time, and that it was down all morning and was now back up with a long wait. The person I spoke to said they would get in touch with Housekeeping and they would call me back to let me know. After I got off the phone, one of the CMs who we were hanging out with in the morning came up to me and asked if I wanted to ride. I said yes, but that I was waiting for DS17. As soon as he got there, she walked us up to the FPP line and asked the CM there to let us in. That was amazing! We asked if we could ride in the last row, because that’s what they were telling us was the best place to ride that morning. When we finished the ride, another CM who remembered us from the morning asked if we wanted to go again. Of course we said yes, and she walked us right back in through the exit, and got us in the back row for the next ride. Magic at the end of our trip. While we were riding, housekeeping called and said we had until 1:00 to check out. Yay!

We left Hollywood Studios, went back to Pop via Skyliner to shower, relax, and check out. Meanwhile, I got a FPP for Flight of Passage with a same day drop at 11:01. We left the room around 11:45, checked out, and headed to Animal Kingdom to ride FOP and then ate at Flame Tree Barbecue. DS17 wanted to ride EE one last time too, and headed there, and I shopped a little. The plan was to meet up near the exit. We took the bus to Art of Animation, and walked back to Pop Century to wait for our 4:05 Tragical Express to the Airport. DS17 used up all of his credits in the arcade, while we waited. Our 7:05 flight back to Seattle was uneventful, DH picked us up at the airport, and we got home by 11:00 pm Seattle time. It was a long day, but fun! And we were also glad to be home. We had such a great trip but we were both missing our real life people and activities.

Total Steps: 18,468

Highlights: The magic of riding Slinky Dog Dash twice (DS17 and me)


Overall Favorites:

Day: Four Park Challenge (DS17 and me)

Park: Magic Kingdom (DS17); Hollywood Studios (me, which, by the way shocked me), followed by Animal Kingdom as a very close second

Meal (food): Grand Floridian Café (DS17); Restaurant Marrakesh (me), followed closely by Skipper Canteen

Meal (overall experience): Skipper Canteen (DS17); Raglan Road (me)

Ride in MK: Splash (DS17 and me)

Ride in EPCOT: Soarin’ (DS17 and me)

Ride in HS: Slinky Dog Dash (DS17 and me), followed closely by Toy Story Mania (me)

Ride in AK: Expedition Everest (DS17); Flight of Passage (me)

Nighttime Show: Boo to You Fireworks (DS17); Happily Ever After (me)

Other Show: Lion King (DS17); Frozen Sing Along (me), followed closely by Finding Nemo

Favorite Meet and Greet: Mickey in MK on Four Park Challenge day (DS17 and me), followed closely by Stitch (DS17)


Overall Statistics:

Park days: 11

Total Steps: 236,083

Number of Attractions Enjoyed: 141 (this includes rides and shows and attractions at Typhoon Lagoon, but excludes nighttime fireworks shows)

Most frequently enjoyed attractions:

  • Flight of Passage: 3
  • Na’vi River Journey: 2
  • Kilimanjaro Safari: 3
  • Expedition Everest: 3 (10 for DS17)
  • Soarin’: 3
  • Frozen Ever After: 2
  • Pixar Films: 2
  • Slinky Dog Dash: 6
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster: 2 (5 for DS17)
  • Tower of Terror: 3
  • Toy Story Mania: 5
  • Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train: 4 (5 for DS17)
  • Mad Tea Party: 2 (3 for DS17)
  • It’s a Small World: 3
  • Buzz Lightyear: 4
  • Haunted Mansion: 2
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: 2
  • Jungle Cruise: 2

Longest wait: 30 minutes (once)

Number of Rope Drops: 6

Number of Firework/Nighttime Shows: 5

Number of Character Meet and Greets: 28

Number of Meals:

  • Table Service: 13
  • Counter Service or Quick Service: 8
  • Snacks: 8

Number of times using Disney Transportation (including ME):

  • Buses: 28
  • Skyliner: 9
  • Monorail: 4
  • Boats: 2

Number of times using any paid form of Transportation: 0

Number of extras (includes Oga’s Cantina, Caring for Giants, Candy Sushi Making Class, Dessert Parties, Parties, etc.): 8

Number of postcards sent: 55

Things we missed that we wanted to do:

  • Mexico Pavilion
  • Star Wars Fireworks Show
  • More eating through Food & Wine
  • Celebrate with the Incredibles at Pixar Pier
  • Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy
  • Maharaja Jungle Trek
  • Divine
  • Tree of Life Awakenings (although we did see parts of this walking by several times)
  • And I wish DS17 would have seen Finding Nemo
  • I would have liked to have met Moana at MNSSHP

Well, there you have it. I’m finishing up this trip report just as I’m finishing my last box of treats from the world - I just ate one of the last Mickey shortbread cookies. We had a great trip. Thanks for reading. I’m happy to answer any questions you have.


i’ve been following along and wanted to thank you for sharing your trip—and with so many details. it was fun to read and i loved your summary at the end. from the outside looking in, it looked like it was a very special, memorable trip with your son!


Thank you. Yes it was! And we needed it.

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I’m glad your trip had a magical ending. Thanks for sharing, it has been fab!


love the face time thing with your mom. What a thoughtful gift


glad to see someone else enjoys the pixar films. DH and I were there some of your same days and really loved the films. Your trip report was fabulous

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It was perfect, even though it was seeming less than perfect for a little while.

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I was so proud of him. It was fun to watch him. And my mom was so thrilled.

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I loved all three of them.

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One quick update. One of the things I did after arriving back in the “real world”, besides writing this trip report is to make a photo book of our trip. I do a lot of scrapbooking, and it’s been one of my hobbies since before DS17 was born. I’ve made several electronic scrapbooks too - mostly for big trips or events. I decided to do an electronic book for this trip. I chose Shutterfly because they have some great Disney embellishments and papers, and I like the quality. It’s also very user friendly, with maybe a tiny learning curb. I’ve used them before for several books. They also often have good coupons. I got this one for 50% off. The book I made is 97 pages, and the biggest size available, and I got some extras too, like a memorabilia pocket, and a package that allows the book to lay completely flat. I’m really happy with how it turned out. I’ll share a handful of pictures of the book below. There are some similarities to the trip report, including using a lot of the text (a little more personalized), and some differences. It definitely helped with my after trip blues…



Very cool idea looks like it turned out great, I love the idea of the trip report in physical form. I may have to do something like this after my big family trip next year.

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It was really fun. You can get as creative as you want, but they also provide lots of great templates that you can use to make it as easy as possible.

We use Shutterfly for our trip books too! Love them! Great way to organize and actually look at the thousands of pictures we take. You can make the book and then wait for a coupon code if there isn’t one available - the book will stay in your account. They almost always have a 50% sale.


This is the first time I’ve used Disney templates for a trip. Have they had those available for a while? I have always been a big proponent of doing books after trips. It’s relatively cheap, when you are thinking about the cost of the entire trip, and having those memories preserved somewhere in an organized accessible way is so nice.

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I haven’t heard of them until now! My wife puts our books together so I’ll have to let her know so we can use the next time we make one.

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This looks amazing! I wish I had known Shutterfly had the Disney embellishments. I did our photo book on Snapfish (which I have used for other trips and like a lot) and they didn’t have anything “Disney” I could add in. Now I know for next time!

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Yeah. I was really happy to find the Disney embellishments. I’ve never tried Snapfish. What do you like about it? I’m interested in checking it out.

I get to give DS17 the photobook tomorrow. I’m so excited to see his reaction.