Once in a Lifetime Trip Report

Thank you to everyone who has done trip reports! I hope our’s helps others as those helped me. This is a very long and detailed trip report from our “big once in a lifetime, first visit, originally planned for spring break March 2020, then Covid 19 delayed until spring break 2022” trip! It includes myself, husband, daughter 11, son 6, and two grandmas. I had originally planned a 6 day trip with 4 park days renting DVC at the Polynesian for March 2020. Our airfare and ticket costs were held and we were able to apply them to the increased costs for 2022. We were eventually able to recoup almost all of our DVC rental money as well. For the new trip we decided to add on more days and ended up doing and 9 day trip with 6 park days.

Saturday March 26 - Arrival & Resort Day

Check in to Polynesian! Our flight got in 20 minutes late and our checked luggage took a long time to come around at MCO. We also needed to check in at the front desk upon arrival so that they could reprogram all of our magic bands. So, we didn’t have a much free time to wander the resort and play at the pool as we would have liked, but we did get in a quick trip to the pool and dole whip snacks at Pineapple Lanai before we had to get ready for dinner. We had reservations at Artist Point for Storybook Dining at 6:45pm. I had wanted to do something extra special for our first night, but in hindsight I wish we would have stayed at the Poly to enjoy the pool longer that night and had food from Captain Cooks instead. The food at Artists Point was ok, but even with characters added, it was definitely not worth the time it took and high cost. We did really enjoy taking the monorail to Magic Kingdom and then hopping on the boat to Wilderness. It was also nice to walk around and check out a different resort. On the way back after dinner we caught the fireworks at Magic Kingdom and it felt like a really special moment.

Sunday March 27th - Magic Kingdom Day 1(Crowd Level 7)

Space Mountain - 20 Minute Wait (Early Entry)

Splash Mountain - 15 Minute Wait

Big Thunder Mountain - Lightning Lane #1

Pirates of the Caribbean - 20 Minute Wait

Photo Pass Partner’s Statue/Castle & Magic Zoom

Lunch @ The Plaza 12pm

Shopping on Main Street & Back to Poly for Pool & Rest

Peter Pan - LL#2 (4:30pm)

Haunted Mansion - LL#3

Snack @ Lunching Pad 5:45pm

Buzz Lightyear - LL#4

Monster’s Inc. - LL#5

People Mover

Enchantment Dessert Pre Party @ Tomorrowland Terrace 7:30pm

Enchantment Fireworks at Plaza Garden View

Winnie the Pooh - LL#6 9:30pm

This was an amazing first park day! All of my time spent watching waits and lightning lane times in the app prior to our trip paid off big! We were able to add in POC and Monster’s Inc. because we were ahead of schedule on our plans and still took a nice 4 hour break in the middle of our day. We were all so upbeat during and after the fireworks that we added in Pooh while the fireworks crowds exited. We really liked all of the rides, except my 6 year old got really scared on Space Mountain. We had watched ride videos prior to our trip and he had really been looking forward to this one as well as Tower of Terror at HS, but the darkness and fast pace of this ride was just too much for him. He decided to steer clear of any fast dark rides for the remainder of the trip. We did not really enjoy the food at The Plaza and would not recommend it. We should have just waited and had lunch at the Poly. However, we did get seated by the windows and were able to see most of the Festival of Fantasy parade during our meal. We did enjoy our snacks at The Lunching pad later in the day. We got a regular Mickey Pretzel with cheese, a cream cheese stuffed pretzel, and some churros to share. The food at the dessert party was also pretty good. I also enjoyed the liner recommended hack of POG juice with my Moscato di Asti, definitely recommend it! The whole group really appreciated the personal space and good viewing afforded by the dessert party space. We utilized another liner hack and headed to the back and squeezed in by the fence once we walked over around 8:50pm. It was pretty crowded at that time, but almost everyone was sitting down and relaxing, which took up more space than once they all stood up for the fireworks. Just as everyone here said, all the people in the garden stood up and pushed forward a few minutes before the fireworks started, but we stayed in our spot leaning/sitting on the back fence and had a perfect view. I loved the music and projections! This was a high priority item for me and it all went so well and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely!

Monday March 28th - Hollywood Studios Day 1 (Crowd Level 9)

Brunch @ Ohana 10am

Tower of Terror - LL#1 3pm

Indiana Jones Stunt Show 5pm

Muppet Vision Show

Star Tours - LL#4 6:15pm

Dinner @ Backlot Express

Rise of Resistance - ILL 7:30pm

Millennium Falcon - LL#2

Toy Story Mania - LL#3

We had another fabulous day! I planned for us to stack all day and not enter the park until later in the afternoon and that worked really well. I had originally thought that we would have to wait standby for MFSR since TOT was a bigger priority and tended to have longer waits since it is only running one side of elevators. So, it was a great surprise when I was able to grab a late night LL for MFSR at 10:30am! We all loved our brunch at Ohana. We were seated at a table by the window with a great view of the Poly pool and MK in the distance. The food was excellent, especially the pineapple bread and POG juice! The price for this meal was much more in line with it’s value. After brunch the kids enjoyed some pool time and myself and the grandma’s enjoyed a rest before heading out to Hollywood Studios at 2:45pm. I really liked being able to see the projected bus times in the app and they were spot on all week when leaving the Poly. Myself, husband, daughter, and my mother all loved TOT! While we did that, my MIL took my son to the Lightning McQueen show and they both enjoyed it. We grabbed a couple of the yummy 50th Celebration PB&J cookies before heading over to the Indiana Jones Stunt Show. Then we did Muppet Vision, which was a surprise big hit with our whole group and also rode Star Tours via LL before heading over to Backlot Express for dinner. This was probably the worst food of the trip. However, we all enjoyed sharing the Wookie Cookie and Glimmer & Shimmer Blondie for dessert! Then we headed over to Galaxy’s Edge for the first time! We were all blown away with the theming! My husband had been a pretty big grump about the cost and level of planning required for this trip, but in this land he was like a little kid again! We rode Rise of Resistance via ILL and were in awe! None of us had ever experienced a show/ride like that before. Then we wandered around a bit to explore and take pictures as the sun set, before doing MFSR via LL as well. Again, we all really enjoyed this ride/experience! As we left this area heading to our TSM LL we all agreed we wanted to do both Star Wars rides again later in the week. Toy Story Land at night was beautiful and we all had lots of fun on TSM. We were able to see some of the Epcot fireworks as we headed out and did not have long to wait for a bus back to the Poly.

Tuesday March 29th - Animal Kingdom (Crowd Level 6)

Kilamanjaro Safari - LL#1 10:45am

Lunch @ Yak & Yeti QS

Maharaja Jungle Trek

Feathered Friends in Flight Show 1:30pm

Kali River Rapids - LL#3

It’s Tough to be a Bug Show

Dinosaur - 25 Minute Wait

Snack @ Dino Bites 3:45pm

Festival of the Lion King Show - LL#4 5pm

Snacks @ Pongu Pongu 5:45pm

Navi River - LL#2

Dinner @ Satuli Canteen 6:45pm

Flight of Passage - ILL 7:30pm

There were some great and some not so great times at Animal Kingdom. In hindsight we all wished that we had only done a half day here. We really enjoyed the safari, dinosaur ride, it’s tough to be a bug show, and absolutely loved Flight of Passage. It’s Tough to be a Bug had both kids scared out of their minds, but all of the adults laughing like hyenas! My son even screamed “Somebody help me, please!” during the spider invasion! So we loved it and highly recommend it to other parents who find good fun in torturing their kids from time to time! (They’re older and recover better than babies/toddlers) Yak and Yet QS was not very good. I wish we had tried to fit in Nomad Lounge for lunch instead. Kali River Rapids, the Lion King show, and Navi River were also disappointing. We definitely could have skipped them. The maharaja jungle trek and bird show were nice, but also skippable in favor of getting out of the park earlier. We all really enjoyed the ice cream cookie sandwiches from Dino Bites and I liked the pineapple lumpia from pongu pongu. The Night Blossom slushy was the best thing we had all day. So delicious and fun! The food from Satuli was good as well. I had a cheeseburger pod and others had various bowls. Overall, Flight of Passage is worth it to not skip this park, but I wouldn’t recommend a whole day here.

Wednesday March 30th - Resort Day

It was so nice to take a break from waking up before 7am and dealing with Lightning Lanes first thing in the morning! Unfortunately, on Sunday my son had developed a cold and then by Tuesday night both my daughter and MIL had symptoms as well. So, we were all really happy I had planned a rest day in the middle of the week. Thankfully, my son never really felt too bad, just typical head cold symptoms that were easily managed via ibuprofen and mucinex. My MIL really needed this day to rest, but was able to keep up with the rest of our plans later in the week, although we did alter the next day’s plans at MK for a later start instead of utilizing early entry. On Wednesday, we had reservations for brunch at Grand Floridian Cafe and everyone loved it! The eggs benedict, chicken and waffle, and french toast were excellent highlights, but everything was good including the biscuits with citrus butter! After brunch we saw my mom off since she couldn’t take the whole week off of work. She lives in southern Florida and drove up to meet us and then drove back home on Wednesday. This was also helpful because she was able to bring a lot of water and grocery items with her in the car and we didn’t need to schedule a delivery to the resort. We spent the rest of the day at the pool and had dinner in our rooms from Captain Cook’s. Everything was delicious! I wish we had a place with those pulled pork nachos where we live! We originally, had a reservation for Steakhouse 71, but decided to cancel the day before in favor of more relaxation time and I am glad we did.

Thursday March 31st - Magic Kingdom Day 2 (Crowd Level 7)

Brunch @ Cinderella’s Royal Table 10:05am

Photo Pass @ Liberty Square Bridge

Hall of Presidents

Mickey’s Philharmagic Show

7 Dwarves Mine Train - ILL 12:30pm

Space Mountain - LL#1

Big Thunder Mountain - LL#1

Tomorrowland Speedway - LL#2

Tea Cups - Wait 10 Minutes

Snack @ Aloha Isle - Tropical Serenade

Tom Sawyer Island

Shopping on Mainstreet

Dumbo - Wait 15 Minutes w/ Extra Playtime in the Line

Pirates of the Caribbean - LL #3

We had originally planned to utilize early entry and ride new things that we had not done on day 1, but due to the colds circulating in the group and a bigger desire to re ride our favorites, we changed up our plans the night before. We decided to delay our start and then split up after brunch to do our first LL’s. I ended up trying to book the 7DMT during the initial minutes right after 7am and experienced our only time shift during purchase. I had selected an 11:30am 7DMT ILL, but once I got to the confirmed page the time had changed to 12:30pm. So, we ended up having some time to kill after a pretty quick turnaround at CRT. We filled the time by doing some photo pass pictures, shopping at the Christmas store for an ornament, checking out the Hall of Presidents show (which MIL had really wanted to see anyway) and then watching Philharmagic, which we all enjoyed. After 7DMT, we split up to re ride the kid’s favorites from day 1. I took my daughter on Space Mountain and my husband and MIL took our son on Big Thunder. Then we all met back up to do drive cars at the Tomorrowland Speedway. This was a high priority item for the kids and they had fun bumping around. After that MIL and my daughter headed back to the Poly to rest and my husband took my son for snacks and a ride on the tea cups while I explored the shopping in various lands that we didn’t have time to do on day 1 and got myself a Tropical Serenade at Aloha Isle. I really enjoyed the coconut dole whip and thought it paired really well with the POG juice. The pineapple cake pop was also really moist and delicious. Then I met back up with my husband and son to explore Tom Sawyer Island and wow did my son love it! He ended up spending almost an hour and a half there. It was nice to be in a less crowded space and my son loved the freedom to LARP at the fort and in the caves. I left after 45 minutes with the intention of some leisurely shopping along mainstreet before heading back to the Poly, but just as I was about to leave the park my husband texted that they were heading out too, so I planned to wait for them and all head out together. Somehow we ended up deciding to check out Dumbo via standby and in the meantime I was able to grab a LL for Pirates of the Caribbean. The three of us had been wanting to ride it again, but were never able to snag a good LL time until then. My son loved the play area in the Dumbo ride and my husband and I wished that all of the attractions had something similar. Then we headed over to POC and enjoyed ourselves there as well. After that we finally headed out of the park around 6pm (several hours later than we had originally planned to leave). I am glad we stalled our departure and spent more time on our last day in MK. We left feeling like we accomplished everything we wanted and really enjoyed our day. We had dinner in the room from Captain Cook’s and we all enjoyed the food again.

Friday April 1st - Epcot (Crowd Level 4)

Mexico Pavillion 11am

Lunch @ La Cantina de San Angel

Frozen Ever After - LL#1

Snacks @ Kringla Bakery

China Pavillion

Reflections of China Show

Germany Pavillion

Snacks @ Bauermarket & Karamell Küche

Japan Pavillion

Mitsukoshi Store

Remy Ride - ILL @2:30pm

Snacks @ Artisan des Glaces

UK Pavillion

Soarin - LL#2

Living with the Land - Wait 15 minutes

Mission Space Green - LL#3

Dinner @ Sunshine Griddle

Spaceship Earth - Wait 10 minutes

Photo Pass at the Entrance

We were all really looking forward to our day at Epcot, but we ended up being disappointed and wishing that we had skipped it or just done half a day doing rides in future world instead. I had very fond memories of walking the world showcase as a kid, but the reality didn’t live up to the memory. We started the day strong in Mexico and enjoyed our lunch of nachos and guacamole and I thought the mango margarita was just ok. I had wanted to try the fiesta margarita, but Chosa wasn’t open yet when we were there at 11am. Then we headed over to Norway and we all liked the Frozen ride, but it wasn’t as special as I had hoped it would be. We ended up wishing we had picked Test Track for our first LL instead since we were never able to get one via drops throughout the day. We tried the mickey cinnamon roll and school bread at Kringla and liked both, but wouldn’t order them again. In Germany we really enjoyed the pretzel bread with melted gruyere and potato pancakes with ham at the Bauermarket booth. In China my husband suggested we check out the reflection of China show since it was starting in a few minutes and would give us a break in the AC. I told him that it was a standing show with no seats, but he figured that since all of the other shows we had done in Disney ended up being great this one would be too, so he really wanted to check it out. Turns out standing still for a whole show is not fun! So, this is where the day stated to take a turn for the worse. Then in Germany, Karmell Kuche ended up being somewhat of a let down. We all really loved the salted caramel gingerbread cookie sandwich and would definitely recommend it (although it did not appear in the mobile order menu, it is available in store). However, the bag of “fresh made” caramel popcorn we bought was terrible. It was stale and chewy with very little caramel flavor. Definitely, one of the most disappointing things we got the whole trip. I ended up tossing the 3/4 full bag after we each had a handful. We had also been looking forward to checking out the miniature train set, but none of the trains were running when we walked through. Then we skipped over Italy and headed to America to take a seated rest in the AC of Regal Eagle. We were all very hot and feeling worn down, so we just hung out for 30 minutes and refilled our water bottles. Then it was time for France and our ILL for Remy. We all really enjoyed the Remy ride! However the ice cream from Artisan des Glaces did not live up to the hype. We waited in line for over 30 minutes and tried the brioche ice cream sandwich, macaron ice cream sandwich and a couple of single scoop cups. The ice cream was ok, but not worth the wait. I wish we had gone into Le Halles to try some pastries instead. Then kids enjoyed wandering the little maze garden and the phone booths in the UK pavilion. By this point we were starting to feel hot and tired again and just skipped over Canada so that we could get started on rides in future world. We all loved Soarin and felt it was one of the best parts of the day. Living with the Land was a nice break from walking/standing, but definitely skippable. There was some debate amongst the family about which Mission Space ride to do, but I held firm after all of the reports of people feeling ill after orange and we all did green. Green was really tame and we all wondered afterward if orange would have been better for us. The kids really enjoyed playing games in the launch area at the exit to this ride and we ended up hanging out there for 20 minutes. I had been trying over and over throughout the day to grab a Test Track LL via one of the drop times, but they were never released. That was a big bummer and one of the only things we missed out on and I really wish we had gotten to try. I wonder if we had selected that as our first LL to do in the morning instead of Frozen then we all might have enjoyed Epcot more than we did. After Mission Space we got some food from the Sunshine Griddle booth that was absolutely fantastic! The avocado toast, brisket hash, and cinnamon donut bites were all delicious and some of the best food we had on the whole trip. We originally, had dinner reservations for Space 220, but were on the fence about it since the cost was high and the overall sentiment was turning against it in recent months. After the mediocre park meals earlier in the week, we decided to cancel and I don’t regret that at all. I had hoped to stay at Epcot for the Beacons of Light show, but by 7pm no one else wanted to stay, so we hopped on Spaceship Earth before heading out. Again, definitely skippable if you don’t have the nostalgia attachment. We did get some really nice photo pass pictures before getting on the monorail, but overall kind of a disappointing day.

Saturday April 2nd - Hollywood Studios Day 2 (Crowd Level 7)

MFSR - LL#1 3:30pm

TSM - LL#2

Star Tours - Wait 10 Minutes

Rocking Roller Coaster & MFSR - LL#3 (was SDD, but converted to anytime pass)

Dinner @ The Brown Derby 6:10pm

Mikey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway - Wait 30 minutes

Rise of the Resistance - ILL 7:15pm (delayed until 8:15pm)

We were all really looking forward to doing another day in Hollywood Studios with the biggest emphasis being re riding both Star wars rides. I had originally planned for us to do several new things on our second day, but after some discussion we decided to change our plans and focus on re riding the favorites instead. We were also contemplating cancelling our dinner reservation for the Brown Derby since our experience with park food had been so lackluster, but the forecast had high percentage chances of rain all day, so we kept it thinking we might really need a guaranteed dry spot to sit and eat that night. As I stacked our LL’s all day the forecast kept looking good, the rain never materialized and it seemed to keep pushing off until later in the evening. We had an excellent breakfast from Captain Cook’s. The Tonga Toast, breakfast burrito, and breakfast flatbread were all very delicious and we would highly recommend them! The kids had a great last day at the pool as well. Then during the hour we were prepping to leave for the park the forecast shifted against us. As we were walking to the bus stop it was drizzling. By then time the bus arrived it was raining. Then when we stepped off the bus in Hollywood Studios it was a majorly bad thunder and lightning storm with high winds. Within the couple of minutes we spent wrangling our ponchos we were all completely soaked through by the gusty horizontal rain even though we were standing in the middle of the bus shelter. We had a few minutes of anxiety and questioned whether or not we should just hop back on the bus back to the hotel, but decided to try and tough it out even though the storm was looking and feeling pretty serious at the time. In the end, we were glad we did stick it out and use our park tickets, but our soaked squishy shoes definitely made for some pretty uncomfortable touring. We started with another fun ride on MFSR where everyone tried a new positions. Then the kids tried and enjoyed the blue and green milk. We had another fun ride on TSM, where we all improved our scores. We were kind of killing time until our dinner reservation, so we decided to try out Star Tours again via standby and were happy to get a different simulation than the first day earlier in the week. Then the SDD LL I had grabbed during a drop time converted to and anytime pass due to Slinky being down for rain, so we split up to do different rides. I took my daughter to Rockin Roller Coaster for our anytime LL and my husband, son, and MIL used their anytime passes for another ride on MFSR. I was glad that I was able to get her on this thrill ride. We had not planned it since my son is too small and even without the height, too scared to ride and we wanted to focus on things we could all do together. She and I really had fun, but she claimed she couldn’t even tell the we had gone upside down at all. Then we met up for our dinner reservation. We were very happy to be seated out of the now cold and rainy weather, but the Brown Derby food wasn’t great. The cobb salad was just ok, as well as the grapefruit cake martini and the grapefruit cake itself. We did enjoy the baked Alaska, but I was disappointed it was so small. We each had two spoonfuls and then it was gone. Right at the end of our meal ROTR went down, so we decided to wait standby for MMR to give it some time to come back up. We enjoyed MMR, but didn’t think it was worth taking up a LL to do. While we were in line, ROTR came back on and we headed right over after MMR. The ride was great again! Unfortunately, my daughter left her Minnie Ears in the little seat front pocket and by the time we walked back 10 minutes later they were not there and had not been turned in. The operators suggested we try guest services on the way out, but after standing in line for 15 minutes without moving we decided to give up and head back to the hotel. I did fill out the lost item report online, but have not heard back. Then we ended up waiting over 30 minutes in the cold and rain for a bus back to the Poly. All of the other resorts had multiple busses come through during that time, so it was a somewhat sad and frustrating end to the night.

Final Thoughts

Overall, we had an amazing trip! We did almost every ride/attraction that we had wanted and even fit in several extras. I am so happy we made this trip happen for our kids. We really loved staying at the Poly. The theming was wonderful, all of the food was great, and we enjoyed the pool a lot. I just ordered some Poly scented oils from magic candle to try and recapture a little of that magic here at home. If you research planning for and using Genie+ ahead your trip I think you will do great. I found it was really helpful to check my plans agains the wait times and Genie+ availability using the app in the weeks ahead of our trip. The crowd levels were similar and it helped me fine tune our days. Another big tip that has been mentioned many times before is to be patient and wait out the craziness of the first few minutes getting LL’s and ILL’s after 7am. Don’t take a time that doesn’t work for you or think you missed out and can’t get what you want. Everyday, I saw LL’s and ILL’s refill after the initial rush and was able to get the exact times I wanted with no big confirmation screen discrepancies. In hindsight, we would have been happier with a shorter trip and only doing 3 park days, 1 each at MK, HS, and AK. When planning, I thought we would need 2 days at MK and 2 days at HS in order to do all the things we wanted, but that did not end up being true. Initially, we were excited to be be able to re ride our favorites at those parks on our second days, but the second time around was never as amazing at the very first time. The second half of the trip ended up feeling like were were chasing that amazing first time feeling from the beginning of the trip, but it never measured up. I’m also still feeling torn about the high cost of this trip v. the value for our family. I really don’t think it should cost $800+ a night to stay at the Poly. I had hoped that we would be able to take advantage of some kind of discount, but the Poly was never included as it had been in years past. The food costs are also way out of control. We never bought water and brought along lots of snacks in our park bag, but still spent a lot of money on food (most of which was not great). Between hotel costs, park tickets with Genie+, food purchases, and airfare we spent more than $13,000. Having the trip canceled in March 2020 after all of the planning I had done leading up to it was really tough. Plus, the higher costs for less value now than compared to pre pandemic Disney and the stress of learning all of the new rules for Genie+, have definitely lowered my level of satisfaction with our trip. However, the kids had the trip of a lifetime. I am hopeful that as time goes by I will stop remembering all of the downsides and will only focus on all of the many happy moments of our trip.


Thanks for sharing your trip report! I’m so glad you seemed to have a great time overall and that our Genie+ tips and tricks were able to contribute to you having a better experience than you might have otherwise.

Sorry to hear about some of the pitfalls - it seems like rain is always the biggest threat to a happy Orlando vacation. Thankfully it doesn’t appear that too many of your days were affected.

As a Disney fanatic, I hope this doesn’t end up being literally “once in a lifetime” now that you know what you enjoy and don’t enjoy!


Sounds like a great trip and you were able to utilize G+/LL really well!


What great detail! I agree about the quality vs. price to some restaurants especially when you set aside time. And this is from someone that usually doesn’t care about those things. You guys had way better luck getting snacks than we do. I spend all this time researching what looks good and then we balk at the lines (Epcot) or walk right by without making a command decision (MK and HS). I will eventually try the dang blue milk though, and a dole whip, and all the other things that make me a sacrilegious Disney fan without having experienced them :rofl:


Thank you for sharing your trip report. I really enjoyed hearing about your experience and insights. Question and sorry if I missed this in your post but did you have two rooms at Poly? I’ve visited there many times but have never stayed.

Enjoyed this trip report! You had some excellsnt planning but yes, the dollars are hard to swallow. But you did it up and did it right the first time. Flip though the pics and reminisce w the kids about their favorite parts of the trip. Thay may help shift the focus more!

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Fun to read all that. The details help me think through some of the same things our family considers. Much appreciated!!!

We had the blue milk at Savis and you aren’t missing much. It’s just ok. And I’ve never had a Dole whip either.

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Nice report. I agree with you on AK. It’s a half day park for us. I go there for EE and FOP. My kids also like the Safari and Dinosaur.

But Epcot, we all enjoy that. The icecream and pastries in France were hot up every time we were in Epcot last trip. The World Showcase though is much better when the CMs from their respective countries are there.

I also agree with you about Poly. It’s why we never stay Deluxe. I can’t justify the cost.

Glad you have some good memories as well.

thanks for the report. We have only stayed Poly once and loved it. We are DVC but we like the larger rooms. We also dont like the ice cream and always get pastries instead. Great job with genie.

Enjoyed your report, thanks for sharing!

I enjoyed reading your report. Did your daughter ever get her ears back? One time one of my boys unknowingly left a toy car under a bed at our resort and we were shocked that they mailed it back to us. I also lost a camera and it took a while but they did eventually return it.

No, we did not get the ears back. I filed a missing item report, but after a certain number of days I received an email that it had not been found and they were closing our inquiry. I did end up getting an identical like new second hand pair off ebay to gift her for Christmas. We have plans to spend a day in Disneyland next spring break, so she will be happy to have them on our trip.