Our 1st Disney Trip - a trip report

Arrival Day
We left home at 2:30 am for a 4:55 am flight. Flight was uneventful and we made it to Florida and DME without a hitch.

We didn’t have tickets for the day, so I was going to try to add them on. We bought a package from through Dance the World- it’s a long story, but it was more to add on the arrival day tickets than an actual ticket to the park for us. So, I was going to try to upgrade them upon arrival. Pop was very helpful, but I couldn’t upgrade. It was classified as a “sports” ticket and those cannot be upgraded- might be helpful info for other people.

It was a blessing in disguise as my family petered out quickly. Our room wasn’t ready, so we headed to Disney Springs to walk around. It was hot. We were exhausted. And DD15 had lost her magic band. I thought I was going to lose it. I was turned around and had no idea who to even talk about it. I saw some guy standing at a DVC stand, so I popped over there. I figured at the very least he could tell us what to do. Best decision of the day!

Our new Jamaican friend scolded my DD15 for being irresponsible, she cried, he hugged her and we assured her he was joking. My husband tells him that I was a super planner and this lost magic band was not on our list :rofl: He proceeds to pull out the laminated cards I made- several for each day outlining the day’s plan including detailed maps. Our Jamaican friend believes I should be working for them, now. :joy: He turned a rotten situation into a great one!

We got a new magic band at Pop- no big deal! The concierge did tell DD15 to not be so irresponsible, but at least she didn’t cry this time. Ha!

We finally got to our room where we found our luggage- awesome service! We all took a nap then got changed for our dinner at Artist Point.

OMG. The dinner was amazing!!! I was so worried my kids wouldn’t eat anything, but they had a great time. I was really impressed with their choices. DD11 chose the Sorceress of the Sea meal with clams and pork. DD15 had the salmon, DH had the prime rib and I had the pork shank. It was all delicious! We loved the appetizers and frankly, some of them looked weird. I guess not everyone loved the mushroom soup, but at least everyone tried it. Desserts were great and the presentation of the Hunter’s gift to the queen was fun! DD11 got a magic potion drink which was fun. She poured her potion over cotton candy to make her drink- it was quite tasty! Character interactions were great and so much fun. I left being so glad I made that plan.

Arrival day started a bit bumpy, but with a little magic and positive vibes it ended up being a great day.

Lesson learned: I’ll never pick the earliest flight out because it’s the cheapest. I think the day would have gone better if we had been able to sleep until at least 5 or 6.


Great start!

I have always picked the earliest flight but I think you are right and will look for later flights.


You really have to know what works best for you and your family.

I am looking forward to the rest of your report. Sounds like a bad day gone good!

I was wondering what was with the two glasses for the drink. I bet that was really sweet.

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Cute pic! Looking forward to reading more.

Great report. I was worried about Art Point for my kids as well, but yours give me hope.

Day 1- Parade Day!

DD11 and I woke up early to catch the bus to Epcot Showcase, which is behind the UK pavilion. The bus ride was actually pretty cool. They drove us around the back of Epcot. I saw Cinderella’s carriage drive by on the back of a truck, all the various food booths, parts of buildings I’m guessing their refurbishing. Very interesting! The girls practiced for the parade for 2.5 hours. If you’re doing the Dance the World event, here are some tips:
1- The rehearsal took longer than they said it would.
2- If you’re able, order food for them before they get back.
3- Have your director or chaperone that will be walking in the parade get a “medical bag” at the rehearsal meeting. I got one for DD’s epi and inhaler, but I ended up carrying extra waters for a director who didn’t have a medical bag. I really think they should give them to everyone, but they didn’t.

I was on my own, so I could not have DD’s food ready upon arrival to Pop. Pop restaurant has mobile ordering, but DD didn’t want breakfast food and they didn’t have lunch available on the app until 11:30, so we had to get in line when we got back. We were literally shoving food in our mouths as we were trying to get ready for the parade.

On the bus to the MK parade route and both the girls I was chaperoning fell asleep. It was probably good they got a short nap in. It was hotter than Hades. They had a covered backstage area and then a connecting room w/ AC, but the doors were wide open, so it was still stifling. It took a LONG time to start the parade. IMHO, a 1.5 hour wait time between the bus and parade was too much, but I know they need leeway. My girls went through many, many cups of water. The parade was fun! They looked great, but it was HOT. Holy, moly. I was dying in my black pants and they were dying in their thick tights. They looked awesome, though. DD11 said she would never do the parade again. :rofl:

Happening simultaneously to the rehearsal…DD15 and DH went to HS to do all things Star Wars. They had a blast. DH got the best picture of DD and Chewbacca. I think he must be her spirit animal :joy: I had no idea she liked Chewie that much, lol.

And then! On their way out of HS, who should they meet? Our Jamaican friend who calmed us from the lost magic band!

They had a pretty stellar time! They caught the bus to MK for lunch and good parade seats.

Post parade, we caught up. We got some Dole Whip and then headed to BTMR for our first FP. It was so much fun!!! Splash was down, so we did other stuff in Adventureland. Splash turned into an anytime which we ended up using on Magic Carpets. I know…not a great idea, lol. We did Tiki Room which everyone deemed “weird”. Glad we experienced it, though! I saw that Splash was back up, so we speed walked to find it had a 45 min wait. We decided to hop in line anyway because DD11 said this was the one ride she wanted. It only took 45 min to wait in line and ride, so I was glad we hopped in. It was maybe a 25 min wait, which wasn’t bad. We did Jungle Cruise and Pirates and then headed to LTT for dinner. It was SO good! We’ve really enjoyed Disney’s food. After dinner we found a spot in the hub for HEA. We had great spots. A really tall guy stood right in front of DD11, so he let her stand in front of his family with his younger kids. Really nice gesture that was much appreciated! HEA was AMAZING!!!

That was a wrap for Day 1. Exhausting day, but I was really happy with how our TP worked out! My family was very impressed, too!


Day 2

Today we had a PPO GG ADR. It was great. I wasn’t really all that hungry, but the food was really good. The characters were really fun. And it finally dawned on my DH why we were there so early when the table behind us asked for their check so they could get in line for Soarin’. He said, “So, are we riding that? Can we get in line soon, too?” I told him that was my exact plan and I had already paid the bill while he was in the restroom. We got in line for Soarin’. We were the first family in C, but the lady came by and said “I’m having you go to B instead”, which made me super excited since my liner friends have said that B is the best. The ride was awesome, but I really hate heights and I had to close my eyes in some parts. It was still fun, though. We did Living with the Land, SE and then we stopped in Club Cool where catastrophe struck.

We were enjoying our beverages (South Africa had my favorite drink!). I was fixing DD’s hair for her performance, we were enjoying our drinks and DH decides it’s a great time to sunscreen up. DD15 puts the sunscreen container on the table and knocks over a cup that pours into DH’s open backpack. To say he was unhappy would be a gross understatement. We got all cleaned up and we speed walked to the UK to drop DD11 off for her performance. I’m used to being very very early for dance things. We walked from Club Cool to the UK gardens in 3 min. I was on super speed walking mode. With the clean up, we were a bit behind. DH and I saw a coworker on our way, so we did stop to say hello (we’re from Kansas City, so it was funny we saw someone we knew!). We got there and there was hardly anyone there. My family was a little peaved I made them walk so fast, lol. We sat in the shade and rested and then left DD11 with her dance teacher. We had to wait about 45 min to get into sit down. We survived, the AC in the building felt good. DD11 and her friend were the 2nd studio to go. Since it was just the 2 of them, they each had a 90 sec solo. DD11 has never done a solo and she did awesome! She had so much fun on stage.

After we watched all the performances, we met back up with her and headed to our TT FP. That was really fun! We headed into Mexico to tour WS. DH is loving WS. We’re going to cut HS short tomorrow so we can go back to WS and DD11 really wants to meet the princesses. At 6:30 we caught the boat to HS. We had the Fantasmic Dessert Package for tonight. We finally located it and found that it had been cancelled. :frowning: In all honesty, I was probably the most bummed about having to miss out on this. We were given a full refund, but I was sad we missed it. It probably worked out for the better. We grabbed something to eat at Fairfax which was really good. I headed to guest services where the line was crazy long, but they sent people out to work the crowded line and my issue was solved very quickly. We headed back to Pop. DD15 went to bed, DD11 swam and DH and I did laundry. Not doing Fantasmic probably worked out for the best.

Up tomorrow! RDing EMH HS. Kids have decided that ToT is a priority, not SDD, so that’s what we’re doing.


Great report! Sorry about the backpack disaster but it sounds like your family really rolls with the pop up glitches!

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This is such a good report! Congrats to DD11!

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Why was it cancelled?

btw this is a great report. You can feel the love your family shares in it.

Thanks for sharing your positive report. Enjoy the rest of your stay.


I’m really not sure. One CM told us they were having technical difficulties with parts of the show.

As a fellow KC native I feel the pain. Any decent/direct flight out of MCI seems to be dark and early. Guess that is the flipside to the BBQ.


Day 3
Today was EMH at HS. The girls really, really wanted to do ToT and my DH did NOT want to ride RnRC which is what our 2nd FP was for. So, we switched from RD SDD to ToT instead. Great change of plans! My family was fascinated by the RD madness at HS. We veered right when most went left. The girls were towards the front. DH and I met them in the gift shop. I’m not sure if the CM working at the shop was acting or not, but he was just as creepy as the guy in the movie. :joy:. We bought them a pin to commemorate their first ride sans parents.

After ToT, the girls and I rode RnRC with a 10 min wait. Afterwards, we still had an hour before our TSM FP, so we decided to hop in line for SDD. We grabbed a drink and got in line. It posted a 105 min wait, but TP told me 70. TP was correct.

We got behind an interesting family…they moved at a sloths pace in line. They were on their phones the entire time they were in line and never paid attention to the progress of the line. At times there was 6ft between them and the next family. DD11 would silently join their family and start moving so they would move. It cracked me up. She wasn’t being rude, just trying to move up. This went on much of the 70 minutes. My family also learned the value of a FP. They were so appreciative for what we were able to get FP wise. At the end we all decided we would never wait that long for SDD again. :joy:. Afterwards we headed to TSM which was really fun. And where I figured out why people wait in line for that and get a FP for SDD. Had I been savvy, I’d have tried for the modify at 9:31. But, I think we appreciated the experience, so it’s fine.

After Toy Story Land, we headed to Beauty and the Beast. One of the choreographers that cleaned DD11’s parade routine is in Beauty and the Beast. That made the show pretty special. Then we went to Indiana Jones, which was fun. We had a Sci Fi ADR for 1:20, but we really wanted to get to EP WS, so I asked if we could get in earlier. They were really nice. They told us we could get in, but it would be a table car (limousine) not the regular car booths. My kids actually liked the table better. Lunch was great, but I found that the hotter it was and the more we walked, the less we wanted to eat. Next time I think we’ll share more meals, but we did love the relaxing break sit down restaurants gave.

During lunch I realized I left our bracelets for the gala in our room. I sent my family off to WS and I went back to Pop. I have to say, I found the transportation to be pretty incredible. I made it to Pop, changed my clothes, grabbed the bracelets and back to EP in an hour. DD11 was in line meeting Aurora when I met up with them and then she met up with Belle, who was adorable! My DH had us all pick a pearl in Japan. It was super sweet and the girl helping us was great. Super fun and silly…it made the whole experience really fun. We shopped a little and then headed to the gala.

If you’re participating in Dance the World, I highly recommend going to the gala. It was so much fun. Dancers on stilts, dancing, great food. I’m really happy I paid for it. It was expensive, but really not that much more than a nice restaurant.

We ended the night with Illuminations, which none of us loved. It was ok, but after seeing HEA, it just wasn’t that impressive, imo. I’m still glad we saw it, because otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to pick my favorite nighttime show :slight_smile:.


It’s a shame because the food can be so good, but you are spot on about the heat curtailing appetites. Sharing a meal or eating lighter is def the way to go (I usually order the kid’s version of everything). Really enjoyed your report!

This trip report is slow going :rofl: Props to those of you that do great reports on your trips! I didn’t do such a great job, but I love documenting our trip.

Day 4
Today was EEMH at AK. There was just no way I was going to get my family out the door before 6:30 am today. I knew we wouldn’t be able to RD FoP so I was ok with getting NRJ in and maybe some other rides before 8.

We arrived at AK at a little before 7, so headed straight to NRJ. It was nice, but there’s no way I’d wait an hour, so I was glad we RD’d this. Afterwards, we went to Dinosaur. Yesterday, DH proclaimed SDD the craziest roller coaster he was willing to ride. :joy: So, DH skipped Dinosaur, but the girls and I loved it. They wanted to do it again, but I prodded them along with the promise of another awesome roller coaster in Asia. DH waited in the gift shop while the girls and I rode. It was a walk on, so happy I followed my TP! I’m not a huge roller coaster fan, but it was So. Much. Fun.!!! When we met up with DH in the gift shop, he had found an Everest hat he really wanted, but wouldn’t buy without riding first “because that would be dumb”, lol. The girls told him it really wasn’t that bad and that he could definitely do it. So, we hopping in line again as a whole family and had a blast! DH was glad he went. And he got his hat.

It was now time for our KS FP. I’m so glad we got a FP for the early morning. All the animals were out and active. Everyone loved it. Afterwards, we decided to walk the gorilla trail, which meant we wouldn’t make the 10am FoLK show. Mama gorilla and Grace, the baby, were out snuggling. So cute! We watched them for awhile and chatted with the animal specialists there.
When we finally left the trail, we put on our ponchos and used our KRR FP. I was glad we had the ponchos, but we didn’t get all that wet. At this point, we’ve weaved in and out of the whole park. This park is gorgeous! Definitely my favorite. I could spend all day here.

We had a 10:35 ADR at TH, so we walked that way and checked in. I would definitely do this breakfast/lunch again. Both were available to us and it was easy to eat around the characters. Our waitress was really good at telling us when to wait and when to get food. Again, my kids were just not too hungry, so it was a waste of money, but I don’t regret making the ADR. The characters were fun and DH and I got a good breakfast and we all had a break in AC to sit and rest. We all loved their specialty juice. We probably hung out for about 80 min. We didn’t feel rushed at all even though we didn’t have piles of plates. The characters took awhile to see us, too, so that’s probably another reason we weren’t rushed. I was happy with this meal and would absolutely do it again! We did the RoL package and I felt like it was worth it.

After brunch, we walked straight to FoLK where we unknowingly got into the FP line. It wasn’t marked very well which was a little frustrating. In the end, we made it to the show. We were seated in the third to the last row in the Giraffe section. The show was great and I quickly realized that lower seats would have been wonderful, our seats were just fine. The other choreographer that DD11 worked with was in this show, so we tried to pick him out. We also realized the stilt dancers from the Gala were actually from this show. Great show!

We had a FoP FP for 2pm and we all needed a long break at the hotel, so we walked quickly to make the Nemo show, which was also high on my list. We made it! Also a great show! I was thankful that we were able to fit both of these in.

We walked to Pandora and used our FP for FoP. BEST. RIDE. EVER!!! Everyone in my family loved this ride so much. We got to the gift shop after the ride at 2:54. At 3:01, I picked up another FoP FP for that evening. My family thought that was the greatest trick in the world!

We went back to Pop to rest, do laundry and pack, then headed back about 6pm for FoP and RoL. We liked the Night Blossom drink and Lumpia pineapple thing (well, I did…everyone else picked at it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it) from Pongu Pongu. FoP was even better the second time and RoL was beautiful. This was my favorite nighttime show after HEA. We headed back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep before EMM at MK tomorrow morning!

At this point, I’m running my family into the ground with these early mornings. They’ve been good sports, but next time, I’m adding on days to the trip and will think before doing EMH and EMM. Early mornings are good in moderation :wink:


Sounds like another great day! I love Sci Fi. And I agree about Illuminations, it used to be my least favourite but now it’s a tie with Rivers of Light.

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You’re doing a fantastic job with the report! I do mine when I get home, I would never be able to do it there. I barely manage to check in on chat to say hi.

This sounds like another fabulous day!

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Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day at AK. I forgot to say, we met Kevin! And DD11 LOVED the Hakuna Matata dance party. We were walking by and she just joined in. It was really cute. She played these African drums at her elementary school so she had to stop and play a bit on our way to breakfast.


Day 5 EMM @ MK
We checked our luggage for the day since we were going to be switching to a new hotel at Universal tonight.

We had mixed reviews on EMM in our family. They were all sick of getting up really early on our trips, so I’m sure that played a part. DH and DD15 felt like I was running them around the park and that sucked the fun out of it for them. DD11 thanked me over and over for buying the ticket for EMM because she loved not waiting in line. It was nice to have one appreciative person with me :smile: I think if I ever plan another WDW trip, I’d buy EMM for just DD11 and I or buy an AH ticket to MK and skip a regular day ticket so that sleeping in on a couple days is possible.

We met the princesses first which I felt like wasted EMM time, but meeting them was important to DD11 and the line moved super fast (she was probably the second kid in line). We rode everything but WtP once. At 8:30, everyone decided that they really wanted to ride SM even though we had all agreed to skip it. So, we used our TP, but kind of loosely followed it. That’s the main reason we skipped WtP. At 8:40, we found the walkway to SM and got ready to RD. We chatted with other people (and truth be told, we could have ridden WtP, but I was out voted) and then speed walked to SM at RD. I hated it as much as I thought I would, lol, but it was a fun family experience all the same.

After SM, we grabbed our EMM breakfast then went to our FP for Buzz where DD11 looked up at Astro Orbiter and said “Are we riding that?” I told her only if she wanted to. She said, “It’s right in the sun and it’s really bright out. I think I’ll pass.” Lol! This is the day that I was really glad I had a TP. It was nice to just be able to mark stuff off as we went.

We met Mickey and Minnie at Town Square- much cuter than I expected! Our last FP was for Haunted Mansion, which none of us liked. The queue was weird; we got all squished and jostled…kind of an odd experience. But, now we know! That one is skippable next time. We enjoyed our lunch at Be Our Guest (we really did! I would eat here again for lunch), made a 4th FP for IASW. Afterwards, we got in line for Enchanted Tales where DD11 was picked to be Belle’s father. She thought it was really fun. We got a couple more FP and then my family was clearly tired and ready to go.

Our plan was to get our luggage and get an Uber to Universal’s Royal Pacific Resort for the 2nd half part of our trip, so before we gathered our things, DH looked at me and said “So, the perfect ending to the day would be one more ride on Pirates.” So, I picked up our last FP and off we went.

We caught the bus back. DD11 was completely fascinated by all the structures around Pop, so while I got our luggage, DH took DD11 around to take pictures around Pop Century. There was a minor problem with our luggage drop off that morning. Apparently, the guy who took our luggage put it in the wrong place and never marked the tags, so someone took me around to look for it. I found all our luggage except my DH’s backpack was missing. DD15 and I frantically searched for it and finally found it stacked with someone else’s bags. We called an Uber, who was 5 minutes away. And so our Disney portion of vacation ended and our Universal trip began.

We had an amazing time and I am so thankful for this forum and the books. I can’t even imagine having gone on that trip without the knowledge I was equipped with. I witnessed a lot of people commenting on how they were only allowed 3 FP in a day, not knowing what order they were doing things, where they wanted to eat, planning the next day that evening, etc. No doubt, I would have been extremely stressed out and would have not enjoyed our vacation at all had I not planned to the max.