My First Trip to the World: Eat, Sleep, and Character Meet and Greets

We got back from our trip to WDW about 2 weeks ago now, and I while I am still going through pictures; I wanted to write a trip report while it is still semi-fresh in my mind. I always enjoyed reading others trip reports and so appreciated all of the advice and information from this site, the forums, and Lines, that I thought I would try my hand at a trip report as well.
Allow me a paragraph or so to set the stage. I had never been on a Disney vacation before this one that I planned for my family. For this trip it was me, my wife, our DD4 (almost 5) and my mother-in-law and father-in-law. My wife’s family has been to WDW and DLR several times, but they haven’t been in at least 5 years. Despite their experience I took on the trip planner, mostly because I can’t help it, and they were kind enough to go along with my insanity.
I kind of stumbled into Touring Plans. I picked up the Unofficial Guide at the library 2 years ago and enjoyed thumbing through it. After that I was pretty much hooked, I bought a copy of the 2016 book as soon as it came out, signed up on the website and pretty much spent my free time devouring all things Disney Planning related (both here and a few other sites).
I suppose the best place to start the trip report is at the start of the trip….
After studiously packing the night before, we awoke early (for us) on September 11 to go to the airport to fly down to MCO. I thought the flight was fairly smooth, although my DD seriously did not like it. To her credit, during the flight she was fine, but she told us all week that she did not like the flight. She kept saying all week, “I don’t want to fly home, can’t we just take some buses?” We were able to push off that drama until Saturday when we left (stay tuned)
We had signed up for the Magical Express and had checked our bags with the yellow tags we received in the mail, so after we got off the plane we put on our magic bands and found our way to the Magical Express Check in. While it was a long way from our Southwest gate, the line wasn’t too bad at the check in desk. Between waiting to check in, and waiting for the bus it was probably 20 minutes before we were leaving the airport for the Art of Animation resort.
I had prepared my family that we might be on the bus for a while since I figured a value resort would be the last stop, but fortunately our resort was the first stop (the only other resort on our bus was Pop). I am not sure how long the bus ride was, but if it was over 30 minutes I would be surprised, a nice treat.
We walked in and there was no wait to check into the hotel. I did a Touring Plans fax request for a room, and decided not to do the online check in, just to make sure I didn’t confuse things. Since we were going to have a stroller, I figured the first floor would be easier, and I wanted to be in the wing towards the lake (so we wouldn’t get noise from the pool). They received our fax and gave us the building I requested, but not the floor or wing of the building. As it turns out it was totally fine, and my concerns about waiting for elevators and pool noise were not an issue our entire stay.
We stayed in a Cars suite at AoA, and we loved it. The highlights for us were having a separate bedroom door that closed, the AWESOME theming of the room and the resort, and the pools. The bedroom door was key for us, it allowed us to put our DD to bed in her own room (like normal at home), I think we all slept much better as a result. At least for us (and I am sure others as well) a well-rested family is a happy family.
My in-laws had their own room in the Little Mermaid building. We never made it up to see their room, but I did walk down to the LM section, it is indeed far from Animation Hall. They drove to WDW so they had a car and would drive to and from the main building. They never complained about the distance and didn’t seem to have trouble finding parking close to their room or Animation Hall, but it was also September, so the low crowds could have something to do with that.
I can’t say enough about the theming of the entire resort. First it is amazing how different the sections of the resort feel. I was also surprised that unless you really walk around you can’t look and get a sense of how big the resort really is. The design is so clever that you really feel like you are in one section at a time, you can’t see from end to end. As I said, I had never stayed at a WDW resort, so maybe they are all like this, but for as large as I know the resort is, it didn’t feel that big.
After getting checked in, my in-laws arrived and we had lunch in the Landscape of Flavor at AoA. We were on the dining plan, which felt a little overwhelming at first, but the CM in the food court were very friendly and helped us figure out what we could get. I will talk more about the dining plan in a later entry…
Landscape of Flavor was fine with us. We ate there a few times over the course of our stay. I think we all had the same general impression; it was fine to good, nothing to write home about, but solid.
Well, that is probably enough for the first entry. I will be back later to fill in the rest of the first day (with our trip to Chef Mickey’s) and then on to day one in the parks (Epcot)


Thanks for the trip report! I can’t wait to hear more!

Enjoying - keep it coming :slight_smile:

After lunch we went to check out our room, and the in-laws went to check out theirs. The walk from Animation hall to our building was short and fun to get our first taste of the Cars section. I dropped off my DW and DD in the room and then headed down to the luggage desk to pick up our rental stroller (from Kingdom Strollers) and our grocery order (from Orlando Grocery Express), both were as expected and I was off back to the room. As I expected, our luggage had not yet arrived, but we packed our swim suits in our carry-on bags and headed down to the pool. The only issue we had was I packed sunscreen in my carry on, but TSA made me throw it out (I don’t know where my head was on that one), but I was able to pick up some in the gift shop.

We went down to the Big Blue Pool, which was AWESOME! My DD loved the splash pad and the zero entry pool. The underwater music was an interesting novelty, but not that big of a deal. While we were there they were having the Big Blue Pool Party. It was a lot of fun and the CM did a great job keeping things moving. I would say kids 10 and under would really enjoy the games and dancing. It was also nice that they had the life jackets there at the pool, which meant we didn’t have to try to pack DD’s puddle jumper.

After the pool we went back to the room, and our luggage had magically arrived. We changed back into regular clothes and headed down to the bus stop to head to Chef Mickey’s. Our reservation was at 5:30, so we met at the Magic Kingdom bus stop at 4:15 since the guidance was to allow at least 90 minutes of transportation time. The bus arrived promptly and we were off. The ride was pretty quick, and we found our way to the monorail and over to the Contemporary. It was a MNNSHP night, so the bus and monorail were pretty full, but not a big deal. We arrived at Chef Mickey’s at about 5:00, and were able to check in early.

Between the early start to the day and all the travel, my DD was starting to get a little cranky, nothing too bad, but she wasn’t super happy to be there. Once we got through and shown to our seat and she saw Minnie round the corner though, she was on cloud 9 and had a great time. We were prepared with her autograph book (actually it was my wife’s from when she was like 10), collected all of the autographs and got all the pictures. This was our first experience with meeting characters, and DD4 loved it!

I know people have varying opinions on Chef Mickey’s, but our family enjoyed it. My DD loved meeting all the characters and ate a pretty good dinner as well. The food for the adults was mixed, but since it was a buffet if you got something that wasn’t great you could just go back and get something else. We enjoyed sampling the desserts as well. The pace on the characters was pretty good, though we did have to wait a while to get our last one.

After dinner we rode the monorail back around the whole loop which was fun, hoped back on the bus and headed back to AoA. Bed time went well (thank you suite!) and we were all set for a great day at EPCOT!


Love reading! Keep it coming! :slight_smile:

I’m enjoying your report…keep going :grinning:
We have enjoyed Chef Mickeys too!

I forgot to include our funny experience at Chef Mickey’s. If you haven’t been before, it is in the middle of what I would call the atrium in the Contemporary. We didn’t wonder through the resort, but I guess there is a hallway that circles the atrium and overlooks Chef Mickey’s. Well someone must have had a long rough day at the park, because about 3/4 of the way through our meal two small shoes came flying down and almost hit my MiL in the head. Someone’s little one tossed the shoes over the balcony and into the restaurant. I looked up later and I think I saw a Dad stopping a little one from throwing another set of shoes over the wall. It wasn’t a big deal since the shoes fell onto an empty bench, but I kept picturing the shoes landing in someone’s meal or hitting Mickey in the head while he was meeting someone. I felt bad for those parents…that must have been a rough day.


Oh my gosh, this is funny (since they didn’t hit anyone)! Great trip report so far! We also loved our suite at AoA and this is making me miss it!

That’s so funny. I could see how that would happen at the Contemporary.

Loving your report so far too! We did our first trip as a family to WDW in April (been able to take the kids to DLR more times than what is probably reasonable so were excited to see their reactions to the grandeur of WDW). Our first day meal was Chef Mickey’s too! It was such a perfect way to introduce our kids to the magic of WDW, I felt. Awesome planning on your part!

Hoping to keep hearing back on the rest, especially waiting for the dramatic ending of how DD takes to getting on a plane the 2nd time around!

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On to the parks! My park strategy for the week was somewhat based on the projected crown calendar and somewhat to try to manage my DD stimulation. The plan was Monday was EPCOT day, Tuesday was a light day at DHS, Wednesday a long day at MK with Wishes, Thursday a light day at AK, and back to MK on Friday, though this was a party night so we would leave by 7. With our ADRs and FPP set we were ready to go for a fun week.

Monday we were headed to EPCOT, I had convinced my in-laws that we should RD, though I never used that term with them. That meant that we got to the bus stop at AoA at 7:50 for a park opening at 9:00. A bus pulled up a few minutes before 8 and we had no issue getting on the bus.

I will pause here for a minute to say how incredibly impressed I was with the bus service all during our trip. Granted we were there in September, and the crowds were LOW, but we almost always were able to fit on the first bus that came (though I did have to stand almost all of the time), and in those rare cases where we couldn’t fit on the bus another one was there within minutes. The buses seemed a little less frequent when we left the parks, but we also left a little earlier than most folks. I can really only think of one time we had to wait more than 5 minutes for a bus. For the number of locations the service and the sheer volume of people, it really is an impressive.

Anyway….we arrived at EPCOT at probably like 8:10 made it through security with no trouble (though both my FiL and I were selected for additional screening. We were probably 25 people back from the tapstiles when we arrived, probably like 8:20 or so. I think at this point my family thought I was crazy for pushing to get there early, but at 8:40 when the park opened we looked back at the line getting through security and I think they realized why we got there so early. It was awesome getting into the park early; we stopped to get our picture Spaceship Earth (where we got my favorite picture of the week) and managed a quick meet with Daisy before heading to the Land for our first attraction: Soarin’

My DD is definitely timid when it comes to rides. We watched all sorts of You Tube videos before arriving to try to make sure we would do things that she liked and avoid things she didn’t like. The plan was mildly successful as you will see as we go through this. We managed to get on Soarin’ and walked right on at probably a few minutes after 9, we sat in C1. I will say the distortion is real, it didn’t bother me per se, but there were a few times it was noticeable (like the Eiffel Tower), but all in all Soarin’ was stunning. My DD was ok with it, she didn’t like the scene changes where it looks like you are about to run into something and it is a smash cut to the next scene, but other than that she liked it. From there we rode at Living with the Land (again, walked right on). Surprisingly this was DD’s favorite ride of the day. It is extremely mild (other than she didn’t like the “storm” when we first got on). The rest of us found it very interesting. All in all Living with the Land got an A+ from our crew.

After leaving the Land pavilion I looked at my TP and we were well ahead of schedule! Our first FPP was for the EPCOT Character Meet and Greet, but not until 10:30. With some time to fill and The Seas right there I changed course and we headed in for Nemo and Turtle Talk with Crush. We had planned on doing these after dinner (we had an ADR for the Coral Reef), but as it turns out it was great we were able to get into the Seas early. We did Nemo first…it was not great with DD. All through the line she said she didn’t want to do it (and I probably should have listened to her), but I genuinely thought she would enjoy it. While she didn’t fuss or make a scene or anything, she was not a fan, it is dark and I think she was scared because she didn’t really know what it was, and I couldn’t adequately describe it. This continued to be an issue for us with the dark rides (like PP and Pooh). She made it through it, but wasn’t thrilled. Again going into Crush she wasn’t happy, but I pushed ahead anyway. She LOVED Turtle Talk with Crush. While she is timid on rides, talking to people is her thing. She sat right up front and laughed through the whole thing. The highlight was when Crush asked for questions, I think you were supposed to ask questions to learn about Turtles, but DD didn’t care about that. When called on Julia asked Crush, “What do you call a 3 humped camel”, and as everyone who has seen Zootopia knows, it’s “Pregnant!” Well she got a HUGE laugh from the 80-100 people in the audience and ate it up! From then on every character we met got the camel joke. Crush was great, and I think DD would have gone back in and done it again, but it was we were off to use our first FPP to meet Mickey, Goofy and Minnie.

I will pause here to praise both the TP and my family. I think they all thought I was nuts with putting down everything we were going to do for a week on a piece of paper. They went along with my insanity but I was definitely a little worried that this whole thing was going to blow up in my face. I had never been to WDW and they had been several times, but by the time we got to this point in our TP they were all so happy with it/me. They kept saying how they felt like they were on a guided tour of the park and couldn’t believe I knew right where I was going. By 10:30 on day 1 my family was sold and I looked like a hero super planner.

We scanned our Magic Bands and only had to wait for one family in front of us to get into the Character Spot. M&Gs were definitely my DD’s favorite thing to do for the week, and this one was no exception. The line got a little back up inside the M&G so we were all kind of standing there waiting, except my DD who was dancing to the music. Mickey spotted her dancing and was doing the same thing she was, which she LOVED! Even though we weren’t up to meet Mickey yet the fun was already starting. Once we got up there she and Mickey danced for a few minutes (Goofy and Minnie were moving slow). It was so fun and one of my favorite memories from the week. The Photopass photographer tried to capture it, but the pictures don’t do it justice. After an awesome time with Mickey and Pals we were headed off to the World Showcase! Tune in next time for a lunch with princesses, FEA, and one of my few complaints about the week…


Our trip around the World Showcase started with a stop at the Disney Traders gift shop to pick up a Passport book for DD. From there we moseyed on over to Norway to meet Anna and Elsa. DD likes Frozen, but isn’t obsessed, nonetheless this was a must do for us. We got there probably by about 11:15 and made it through the line quickly, I didn’t time it, but my guess is something like 15 minutes. The M&G was fun (and she told Anna the camel joke, Elsa pretty much talked to her about chocolate the whole time). The nice thing about waiting in line a little while was we were able to see some of the detail in the Sommerhus, which is very impressive.

After Anna and Elsa we stopped at the Kidcot station to collect our stamp and color a Duffy fan. The CMs at all of the Kidcot stations were friendly, and happy to write a little something in her Passport book. I think it was nice, it gave us an excuse to stop in each country for a few minutes and see a little something that is there. I don’t know what exactly I expected from the World Showcase, but the scale of it is impressive. I can see how as an adult I could probably spend the day walking through each of the countries and seeing some of the shows, definitely on the list for our next trip 

After the Kidcot stop we went to Akershus Royal Banquet Hall for lunch. This was a huge hit! We didn’t do CRT, so I can’t compare the two, but we loved this. The pace of the meal and the characters was great. We were in and out in about an hour and didn’t feel rushed, DD got to meet the 5 princesses and get their autographs. She was not interested in the food, but she is a very picky eater, so we had brought plenty of things for her to eat.

After lunch we made the full loop around the World Showcase, stopping in each country to get the Passport book stamped. We stopped in Japan to play a round a Agent P, which none of us were super impressed with. I think if DD was more of a fan of the show, or if the application worked a little smoother it would have been neat. I could see how a kid a little older would think it was fun, but we were one and done with it. We stopped in Morocco to pick up a smoothie for DD which she enjoyed. Unfortunately it didn’t count as a snack credit, but at that moment I didn’t feel like figuring out where I could get one. We were off a little on our timing, so we missed meeting Belle and Jasmine, but other than that it was a successful trip around the world.

We got the Memory maker as part of our reservation, and we wanted to make good use of it. Throughout the week we stopped at a lot of Photopass Photographers, DD complied and most of the time gave us nice smiles for the pictures. We liked the mystery of the Magic Shots since you didn’t really know what you were getting. Some of them turned out better than others, but it was cool to come home to about 500 pictures to choose from

Here is the plug for getting a stroller. DD hasn’t ridden in a stroller for years, and when we showed up at Epcot that morning she was resistant to getting in, by the time we made it to WS all 5 of us were so glad we had the stroller. From an over-stimulation stand point it was great, DD could pull down the shade and shut out the world. She had a little book to color in there and could relax while we could take in the park. It was also nice to have the extra space for carrying things not in our back pack. We got a City Mini from Kingdom Strollers which was incredible. It also had a rain cover, which was awesome on our DHS day when it poured for a while, also when we left the stroller we didn’t have to worry about it being undercover with the rain cover. So if you are at all on the fence about a stroller, absolutely get one!

One last note about our trip around the WS, I had read about how much walking it was, and it is no kidding. I don’t trust the pedometer in the iPod, but it says we did over 10 miles that day in about 8 hours (including our lunch time), so it is a lot of walking. Drink lots of water and do what you can before the trip to prep your legs, it is a marathon.

After we circle the showcase our last stop before dinner was Frozen Ever After. I was online at 60 days ahead at 7am, so I was able to get a FPP at 4:30. When we arrived the posted wait was 60 minutes, we were on the ride within about 10. This was another time when the family gave me lots of credit for being a crazy planner. The ride was fun, though I had not watched the ride video so I didn’t know it included a couple of drops (including one going backwards). DD did ok with those, but again didn’t love it. We liked the ride, but I would not wait 60 minutes to ride it, I think you would be disappointed.

After FEA we made our way back to the Seas to eat at the Coral Reef. We made a couple stops on the way since we were running ahead of schedule (thank you TP and low crowds). We were at the Coral Reef ahead of our reservation time by about 15 minutes and got called back pretty much right on time (which was a recurring theme through the week). My DW had few wishes for the week, but she had fond memories of the Coral Reef and wanted to eat there, being the good husband I am, I obliged with no hesitation and I thought it sounded like a neat experience. I don’t want to complain, but the service we had that night was very slow. From start to finish we were at the table for well over 2 hours, our server might have been having an off night or something because she was one of the few not super friendly CM we ran into. The food was good, the atmosphere was interesting (though DD was not impressed), but the service was slow. I don’t want to not recommend it based on one slow dining experience, but it sort of put a less than great end to an otherwise spectacular day. Perhaps we were spoiled with the rest of our meals, but this one seemed “out of family” with the rest of the meals. We also had a little confusion with the bill and the dining plan. We left before we figured it all out since we were already running behind. Back at AoA the CM at the desk was super helpful about getting everything straightened out, so that was good.

I had hoped we could squeeze in another stop at Turtle Talk, but it was pushing 8:00 and we wanted to try to keep DD as close to her normal bed time (8:15) as possible, so we headed out of the park and back to AoA. The bus was quick and we ended up putting her to bed at about 8:45. She slept well again that night, so the semi-late ending to the day came with no sleep punishment from DD. All in all it was a really fun day. I felt like I had my sea legs a little with how everything would work in the parks, I had the trust of my family that this whole getting up early and following a plan thing would work out.


I love the bit about your family thinking you were crazy with all the planning then thinking you were the hero at the parks! I think that happens a lot.


Yeah, it is a pretty nice feeling

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Can’t wait to read more! Your DD is adorable!

Great trip report, please post more soon

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From all of the reports I’ve read, CR is probably one of the most inconsistent TSs in WDW. I’ve personally had no problems with either the service or food, but many others have. It seems to be a problem in the kitchen. Long waits for food is typically a problem with preparation, not delivery. The CM waiting on you might have been less than friendly because s/he was stressed about the slow kitchen service. Sorry you had a bad experience; although not on my “top tier” of favorites, I’ve always had a pleasant experience atCR.

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I am sure you are right about the waitress, and the kitchen. I don’t want to say I had a “bad” experience, I just had a less than awesome experience. In reality 2 hours isn’t that bad for dinner, just longer than I had hoped for.

First of all, thanks for your comments and encouragement, this is fun and neat to re-live the trip

Tuesday was planned to be a short day at DHS. After the success of RD at EPCOT there was no convincing needed for RD at DHS. It was sprinkling a little when we arrived, but it quickly stopped, we got through security without incident and were waiting inside the gates for the park to open. One funny thing as we arrived was one of the security guards (who was clearly at least 15 years older than me) came walking up telling my family that we went to high school together. I kind of laughed it off and then the guy called me by my name, which I thought was really weird. One of the other guards pointed at the stroller, which had my name on it in big letters and we all got a good chuckle.

Once the park opened we walked back to TSMM. The wait was minimal and we were basically able to walk right on. My DD was so-so with this ride. I think she liked the game, but she really didn’t like the ride part of it. I had planned on riding it a few times that morning (had a FPP ahead of time and figured we could get through with low crowds), DD pretty much said she was not interested in doing that again, so we hopped across the street to meet Buzz and Woody.

At this point we split up; my in-laws took our DD to see the Disney Jr Live on Stage and Frozen Sing Along. All three of them sounded like they really enjoyed both things. I think the Disney Jr show was a big hit. I am a big Star Wars fan, so my DW indulged me and we watched the film and walked through the Launch Bay, and rode Star Tours (we had a FPP, but we didn’t skip any of the 5 minute wait). Since we got through those things quickly and we had some extra time before we were to meet back up we walked all the way back over the RnR and rode that. We had an anytime FP, so we were able to ride that one as well before meeting back up with everyone else for lunch at Hollywood and Vine.

We don’t want a ton of Disney Jr shows, so DD was not familiar with Handy Manny, but she does really like Doc McStuffins and Sophia. She of course told each character the camel joke which she found increasingly funny. Our waiter at H&V was really good; he was very helpful and friendly. Going into the trip I didn’t really understand why there were waiters at buffets, but he did a really good job. She enjoyed meeting all the characters, and I have to say I was really impressed with the autographs, I don’t see how they people in those suits are able to do it. They don’t just sign their names, they draw a somewhat elaborate picture with it too, I couldn’t do it just sitting there when I can see clearly and am not wearing this huge headed costume. I guess it is muscle memory or something, but nonetheless it is super impressive!

There was rain in the forecast, but it hadn’t started yet, so we walked back over to the animation courtyard and saw the Voyage of the Little Mermaid. DD was ok, a little scared during the Ursula scenes, but all in all she enjoyed it.

Coming out of that show it was POURING. We had one more item on the agenda, Beauty and the Beast. We put on our ponchos, had the rain cover on the stroller and high tailed it over there. I brought a little golf towel in the backpack which was nice once we got inside to dry off a little.

While we waited for the show to start DD made her first of several Disney friends. We were there for probably about 10 minutes and she chatted up this 10 year old girl behind us the whole time. It was so cute and fun to watch. On the rest of the trip she made friends with people in line, and lots of people on the buses. She is pretty outgoing and I know you can make friends anywhere, but it felt like everyone we met was so nice and friendly inside the bubble.

The show was great, I think our family’s overall favorite show of the trip. If you have a Beauty and the Beast fan in your family (DD loves Belle), it can’t be missed!

There was a break in the rain after the show, we headed back to the bus and on to AoA. Once back at the resort we changed into our swimsuits and headed down to the pool for the rest of the afternoon. One other fun thing at AoA is they have the drawing classes at a few different times during the day. DW and I left DD with the in-laws at the pool and we headed in and got to draw Sorcerer Mickey. She did way better than I did, but you can totally tell what mine is. It is a fun little souvenir. If you stay at AoA or Pop it is worth the 30 minutes. There were some kids under 10 doing it too, but they seemed a little frustrated by the whole thing (I think they were waiting for their parents to check in and didn’t really want to be there though). I will say even the kids drawings looked something like Mickey at the end of it.

At that point the rain started in full force. We got changed, had dinner at Landscape of Flavor and headed back to the room to relax for the evening. In all while technically not a “rest day” I think it did provide a nice break between the massive walking at EPCOT and MK. We were all able to get into bed at our normal time and got a good night’s sleep ahead of our big day at MK!


Wednesday morning we woke up pumped for our big day at MK. The plan was to arrive for RD, keep DD there through Wishes, then try to scurry back to AoA to get her into bed as close to normal time as possible (I was figuring by 10:00 was a possibility).

We met at the bus stop just before 8 again and made it onto the first bus to the MK. This was a longer bus ride and DD made another set of Disney friends (2 sisters) and the three of them played Rock Paper Scissors on the 15ish minute ride and had a grand time. We got through security and were close to the main gate with plenty of time to spare. We watched the Welcome Show and were all set to go. I get why people like the Welcome Show and I was glad we did it once.

The first stop was PP to try to get ahead of the long wait. DD was very hesitant in line about riding PP, which was disappointing because the queue was actually pretty neat. I didn’t time our wait, but my guess is it was about 20 minutes or so, maybe a touch longer. She was so-so on the ride, she didn’t love it, but she didn’t hate it either.

From there we went down to Pooh. She really enjoyed the queue for this one, I don’t know when Disney started putting these interactive queues in, but man they are a great idea. I hope whoever came up with that idea got a big bonus. Again when it came time to get on the ride she was not super thrilled and was luke warm at best about the ride.

We had a FPP to meet Rapunzel and Tiana which was great. Both of them were funny and enjoyed the camel joke. It is funny that they were together because when we are at home playing she always says that Rapunzel and Tiana are sisters.

I was getting a little frustrated with her unhappiness with the rides (and me feeling like I was begging her to have fun), but we moved along nonetheless. Next stop was Dumbo, unfortunately the play place wasn’t open, but we basically just had to wait through one cycle of the ride before we got to ride.

Here is where I think I figured out DD’s issue with the rides at WDW, and was kind of a turning point for me. My theory is that DD didn’t like the dark rides (which is a lot of what WDW is) because she couldn’t see what the ride was. Even on the ride videos we watched beforehand (assuming she had any real memory of what the video was) it is hard to really understand what the ride is. She was totally ok with Dumbo, even excited about it, I think because she could see the ride. This may not be an issue for anyone else’s kid, but it took me about 2 and a half days of this to figure out what the issue was, which made the rest of our time a little easier.

After Dumbo we went up to Ariel’s Grotto which was fun. She had probably the best reaction to the camel joke, first she gave me this look like I taught by 4 year old a dirty joke, but then she had probably like 4 other jokes she told DD, which she ate up.

I checked my TP timing at this point, and we were almost right on schedule, which was cool. The plan was to ride Under the Sea, but given my revelation, I made the command decision to skip it. We took our time walking over to Enchanted Tales with Belle which we had a FPP for as well. I saw Gaston was meeting while we passed by, but the line looked pretty long and I don’t think DD was too interested in seeing him. In hindsight I wish we had stopped by just to check out what was going on since it sounds like he is so much fun.

Enchanted Tales was fun, the FPP saved us probably like 30 minutes. DD was a little timid in figuring out what was going on so she was a salt shaker or something like that. She had fun, but I thought it was going to be a bigger hit with her than it was. All in all it is a neat experience. I wish there was a way that I didn’t get all of the pictures on the card but I get that is the easiest way for Disney to manage it.

We hung around outside that area for a little while, took some more pictures and then headed in a little early for our BOG reservation. Again I think my family thought I was a little crazy for suggesting that we pre-order our meals, but it was totally worth it - basically it felt like we fastpassed lunch. BOG is totally worth the hype, the atmosphere is unmatched in my mind and the food was awesome! I had the Roast Beef sandwich…the bread was soooooo good. I really can’t overstate how much I liked BOG.

Tune in next time for the dramatic conclusion to MK day 1 including Cinderella, Festival of Fantasy, and Wishes…