Our February Trip Report

Day 1: Travel

Dates: January 30 - February 8th

This is my second attempt at a trip report (my last one failed). I am definitely not a fantastic writer (shout out to all the CPAs!) so don’t come to my report seeking excellent writing. I’m always so jealous of all you folks on here who are such eloquent writers. My main goal for this report is to document our trip to help me preserve all the wonderful memories we made!

I also say y’all a lot, so it that irks you, you can move along! :sunglasses:

Our traveling party is myself, my three daughters (8, 4 and 2), my son (6), my parents and my husband (who doesn’t arrive until Friday night). This will be our third family trip to WDW (first was January 2018, second was October 2018). My goals for this trip are to SLOW DOWN and enjoy my people. We are planning 9 park days total (2 days at EP, HS, AK and 3 at MK).

Today was all about getting to WDW.

Woke up around 5 to spend some time with DH before he had to leave for work. Got a call from my dad around 7 to tell me that my mom had had a pretty bad fall yesterday afternoon. Hit her head and bruised up her backside. She also had some significant foot pain after her fall but says it’s better today. Hopefully that’s true but she’s wearing an ankle brace for the first couple of days just in case. She assures me she’s fine. :grimacing:

After chatting with my dad, DH and I had to hustle to pack up the kids’ lunches, snacks, water bottles, backpacks and coats before scooting our the door to head to school. After dropping them off I came home and grabbed our 9 month old Labrador. We were having her boarded in a new place our vet had recommended. She was still on activity restrictions, meds and wearing a cone from a back-to-back surgery (a spay and a stomach surgery…apparently, she enjoys eating rocks. :roll_eyes:) DH called me as I was dropping Daisy off and asked me if I could meet him for lunch. I told him I’d let him know in an hour or so.

After I drop Daisy off I swing home and finish packing and load up all of our suitcases. I started packing three weeks before our trip and I am so thankful I did so. It made the day-off packing much less stressful and time consuming.

Once I finished packing I managed to load up the 7 (!!) suitcases in the car only to discover it was too late to go out to lunch. Tear, tear. I decided to swing into Whole Foods for a quick bite and then went to pick up DD2 from school. Her and I came home for a short while and then grabbed the dry cleaning to drop off so we’d have clean clothes upon our return, picked up a Starbucks latte for me (second of the day!) and headed to the carpool line to pick up the other kiddos.

On our way to school DD2 fell asleep. I was thankful as it would likely be the last chance she had for the day. Picked the kids up and whisked them off to the airport!!! After some minor traffic delays (5 car accident blocking the right lane :grimacing:) we made it to the terminal and were wheels up at 3:45! Vacay has officially begun!!! :tada::dizzy::tada:.

Our flight was as uneventful as one can be with four kids. After we landed, we grabbed our bags, grabbed a van (we decided to forgo MDE this time around) and were in the Polynesian lobby at guest services picking up the stroller and grocery order by 7:40. I was very pleased with our grocery order. I had received a delivery confirmation from Garden Grocer around 3 and everything was just as I had requested it and all the cold items had been properly stored while they waited on us to pick them up. We rented a smaller model double stroller from Kingdom Strollers and were somewhat disappointed with the one they gave us. It worked fine but the wheels had almost no traction left on them and sometimes groaned and squeaked incessantly as we pushed the girls through the parks.

After signing out the stroller and requesting Bell Services to deliver our bags and groceries we headed toward our room. I think I had requested Hawaii but knew we’d have tough luck with it being a DVC building. I had prioritized connecting rooms above all other requests with my room request and was thrilled to get the room ready text when we landed. We got connecting rooms!! Yes! Rooms 1408 and 1409 on the first floor in Tuvala. When we initially saw where they were I was a bit nervous. They were literally 10 steps from the front entrance to the building and right across the hall from the elevators. I was worried initially that sound would be a problem but it ended up being a non-issue. We had decided to splurge on a Magic Kingdom view for this trip and man, that view was just lovely. All of the adults loved being able to enjoy our coffee outside every morning, watching the boats or (on our really early mornings) enjoying the pre-dawn quiet of the lake.

We walked into the rooms (followed almost immediately by the bellhop with our bags) just as the fireworks started to go off in MK. What a fantastic first memory and great way to kick off the trip!! The kids were all so excited!!

After the fireworks ended, we had one more items to check off our list for the day. Dole Whips. We walked over to Pineapple Lanai and decided to enjoy them inside at Capt Cook’s (it was quite chilly) just after 8:30.

Once we finished our treats, we headed back to the room, unpacked and were in bed around 10:30.

Tomorrow we’re off to Hollywood!!


I just posted my trip report from our December trip - It is such a great way to relive the memories. Can’t wait to see how your HS day goes!


Great report. Thank you for sharing.

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I agree!!! I just wanted to include every little detail. I just don’t want to lose ANY of those magical memories!!


Good report


Can’t wait to hear how tomorrow goes!


Great report. Love the details. Living vicariously through you :wink:


Looking forward to the next installement


I’m a fellow ineloquent CPA. Looking forward to the rest of the report!

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Day 2: Hollywood Studios

Woke up at 7:15. Showered and started getting the kids dressed. Left our room around 9 and walked to the Grand Floridian for our breakfast ADR at 1900 PF.

On the path over there, we saw a couple on the beach getting married with only the officiant and their two kids in tow. I loved that so much! What a magical way to celebrate with your family. In our attempt to not interfere with their pictures, we tried to skirt around the path only to find ourselves at a dead end. An elderly gentleman CM helped show us the correct path and we were on our way.

This was my first time on the grounds at the GF and man…that resort is so big! And we got ourselves lost. We ended up going into the DVC building first looking for 1900 Park Fare and were so confused. The CM there was very kind and helped us find the right way to the main building.

The Main Lobby at the GF just about took my breath away. Such a gorgeous resort! My dad even said “maybe we should consider staying here next trip!” The lobby is so grand and it all feels so lovely and fancy.

We got checked into our PF reservation around 9:18 (ADR was at 9:25). We barely had to wait to be seated. While we waited though the hostess noticed my son looking for hidden mickeys and helped him find one in the artwork on the wall. We also spent some time admiring the chocolate sculpture of Cindy’s castle. Wow. I’m so amazed at how people can take food and really craft it into something artistic and beautiful.

Breakfast was great. The food was just decent but I got a good portion. A breakfast taco, some bacon, a pastry and strawberry soup (which to me, just tasted like drinkable strawberry yogurt). The characters were fun and the restaurant wasn’t all that busy so they circulated quickly. I think we saw Pooh twice and everyone else once. The Mad Hatter was my favorite. He noticed my kids’ “Pretty Fly for a Jedi” shirts and quickly asked “well which eye is your Jedi?? Is it your left one or your right one?” :laughing: Hilarious!!

As I was attempting to navigate the buffet I was also trying to modify DS6 and DDad’s TSM FPs to Slinky at the 9:31 drop. Unfortunately, they only dropped TSM and AS2. No worries! Hopefully I can snag a pair at the 12:01 drop!

We ending up leaving breakfast earlier than I had planned. Snapped a pic with Tigger on our way out around 10:15, used the restroom, bought some pennies and went to the bus stop. Timed it perfectly as a bus arrived maybe 2 minutes after we did.

We had a quick and easy bus ride and a quick go through security and we were inside HS just after 11 (about an hour earlier than I had planned to be there). Stopped for a PhotoPass pic In front of the Chinese Theater and then caught the March of the Fist Order.

After this we went over to explore Walt Disney Presents. We skipped the movie but I really enjoyed this area. I’d never been but it has such great information and interesting displays. Loved all the models as well as the facts on how movies are made (and were made in the past!). I had thought maybe since we were there earlier than I had planned we could meet Mike and Sully but the line was about 25 minutes long at that point and the kids were out on waiting (and I was too so I was relieved at their answer!).

As we had walked to WDP, DD4 had seen the Little Mermaid show and begged to go. I had told her we would after WDP which led to an inpatient meltdown from her. So after we left WDP we headed that way and DS6 proceeded to throw a fit of his own as he wanted to go into TSL RIGHT NOW! DD4 and DS6 were both quite challenging the first part of the day. Lots of crying and whining from both of them. It was emotionally exhausting. :roll_eyes::roll_eyes: Perhaps because it was the first day and they were just in a hurry to see all the things?!? No idea. Fortunately, the were much better after today.

Anyway, over to the Little Mermaid. This show was cute. Mainly just snippets from the movie put together with on stage puppetry. It wasn’t anything overly impressive to the adults but the kids really seemed to enjoy it.

After the show, we headed into TSL! DS6 and I had seen it back in October (and after we did DS6 declared SDD his favorite ride in all of Disney) but it was everyone else’s first time. We made it into the land just before the 12:31 drop and I crossed my fingers for SDD only to discover…yet again…that no SDD FPs were dropped. So sad. And this began what would prove to be an hourlong meltdown for DS6. Epic. Hour long meltdown. :persevere: He really wanted to go in the standby line. Posted about 65 minutes. No one else did and we had EMM tickets on Monday so it just didn’t feel worth the wait.

In between conversations with DS6, I changed DD2’s diaper and then we decided to get in line for Saucers. Posted 35 min wait. Lines said 30. Actual was more like 45. But it was ok even though I ended up feeling bad I hadn’t waited with DS6 for Slinky since it wouldn’t have been all that much longer. We spent the time checking out the queue and watching an army man with a blue crayon walk around touching up paint. The weather was really quite pleasant. We weren’t hot or cold. And DS6 managed to calm down about half way through the line.

The ride was just ok but the kids liked it. After AS2 our FP time for TSM was open so we hopped in the line for that. Super fun. DD2 sat on my lap and protested me assisting her in shooting so our score was relatively low. It was neat to see her getting old enough to play the game! We all really loved the queue and my parents really enjoyed all the games in the land’s theming. My dad actually was surprised at how many of “his generation games” were depicted. I loved that.

After TSM we grabbed some ice cream snacks from the snack cart in TSL. DD4 has a meltdown because she wanted cotton candy instead. More sighing and eye rolling from me.

We finished our snacks and headed over to catch the 2:30 Frozen Sing Along. It was super cute and pretty funny. My kids all seemed to enjoy it. After it let out we had a few extra minutes before our early dinner reservation. DD8 and DS6 insisted they had found THE THING they wanted to spend their souvenir money on. I told them I thought they should wait but they were determined. I took them back to TSL quickly to buy Zurg for DS6. DD8 ended up deciding to wait.

When we got back DD4 had spotted a doll in the Sing Along section and declared her desire to spend her money on it. Didn’t have time before dinner. Epic meltdown.

Early dinner reservations at 3:30 at Hollywood and Vine. Sat within 5 minutes. Everyone looked cute in their Silver Screen garb. I had told DS6 he could play with Zurg at dinner in the box. My dad told him he couldn’t have it at the table. He didn’t know I had told him otherwise. Fairly large meltdown again. Ended up recovering ok and enjoyed our dinner.

Left around 4:38 and hustled to the 4:45 Indiana Jones show. A favorite for everyone. DS6 kept saying “the first and second scene were really great!! I bet the third scene will be too!!” Great effects. I gasped aloud when a truck flipped over in flames with one of the stunt doubles aboard.

After the show it was time for our FP for Star Tours. I had originally planned to meet Olaf before this but the kids really didn’t care about waiting in line to meet characters and the line jumped from 10 to 20 minutes after our show let out. DD8, DD4 and DMom rode first. DD8 and DD4 were both identified as the Rebel Spy!! DDad, DS6 and I waited in the Jedi Training area while they rode. Once they were done we swapped and DMom took DD4 over to the Frozen gift shop to buy her souvenir. She ended up changing her mind on the doll from earlier and picked a spinning, glowing Elsa toy.

After this is was time for Tower of Terror and Rock n Roller Coaster. I really didn’t feel like free falling tonight and didn’t really want to leave my mom alone with the girls so I sat back with them while the guys rode Tower of Terror. DS6 kept telling me how the hotel used to be a real hotel! Like, for real mommy!! Even the guy working inside the ToT told me so! :heart_eyes:

When they were done DDad, DS6 and I went into the FP line for Rock n Roller Coaster. DS6 was so nervous and excited. He totally rocked it!!! After the ride ended, before we disembarked, he said “that was so fun!!!” and immediately declared it his new favorite ride.

By now it was 7:20 or so. We headed to the Star Wars dessert party a tad later than I had planned but still had time to do what we wanted. We still were able to check out a couple of cool vehicles in Launch Bay and found our table right next to the desserts!!! They had a savory table with mozzarella/pesto bites, pita, hummus, feta balls, etc. There was also a bar with bright colored alcoholic beverages as well as tea, coffee and water. The desserts were all lovely but our favorites were simple vanilla bean ice cream with sundae toppings. They also had a giant bread pudding with every topping imaginable. But we passed on it. A pair of Storm Troopers patrolled the party, took pictures and interacted with guests.

Around 7:50 they had us line up and we were escorted out of Launch Bay at 8. We were able to keep our lanyards as well as a Darth Vadar souvenir mug as keepsakes.

We grabbed the stroller from in front of Launch Bay and wheeled it over to the fireworks viewing area. It was a great viewing area but we were just sitting on the concrete and after 30+ minutes made me so stiff! We watched the Movie Magic show followed by the Star Wars Fireworks 10 minutes later. I really like the Star Works Show. I’m completely amazed at the projections and all of the timing of everything. We really loved the light coming up like a lightsaber out of the Chinese Theater at the end.

The nice thing about a dessert party is a front seat view. The bad thing about the front row is you are the last ones leaving the park. I was worried the wait at the buses would be a nightmare. I was pleasantly surprised when we had to wait less than 20!!!

At bus stop 9:06
On bus 9:25
Walking into our building 9:44

14,150 steps
Really fantastic first day! :sparkler::heartpulse:


Thanks… loved following your adventures!! :sparkling_heart:

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Day 3: Animal Kingdom

We had a PPO breakfast at Tusker House this morning. My plan was for us to leave our room by 7:20. I decided it would be easier if all of my stuff was done before the kids had to be up so I woke up at 5:30, showered, packed the park bag, and got ready by 6:15. Started waking the kids up one by one. DS6 first. Then DD4. Then DD8 who had slept in my parents’ room and woke up under great protest. Basically we ruined her day. Lol. DD2 woke up last and was still super sleepy. But we made it out the door around 7:15 so even earlier than I had hoped!! Yay!!

The bus arrived for Animal Kingdom about 2 minutes after we got to the bus stop! Yay!! Hopped on with one other family, drove over to the GF and were on our way. Made it through security fairly quickly. In October when we came I had packed a set of stainless steel straws as I had read some of the parks had swapped plastic straws for paper ones. These proved very useful in AK but were somewhat of a hassle to clean so this trip I decided to pack a box of plastic straws. Well, I found out that plastic straws are completely banned at AK (due to safety concerns for the animals) and they told me I couldn’t use mine while we were there. Bummer! Crappy paper straws it is! My mom also had a little trouble at the taps because she forgot she used her left finger to scan in yesterday and tried to use her right today. :roll_eyes::laughing:

Walked through the empty park in the lovely morning air. So nice. Checked in and were seated at Tusker around 8:25 and were meeting the Mouse by 8:30. I was so glad I had decided to book FPs for KS instead of trying to rush through our meal. We took our time, used the bathroom, drank an extra cup of coffee, and had second and third plates.

After breakfast, we didn’t rush. The best. We stopped to watch the Harambe drummers playing. They seem to really enjoy what they do and it was lovely seeing them play and interact with everyone.

The drummers finished around 9:15 and we headed over to KS. We were on the ride by 9:28. Our guide was very fun. Really into character and played up every bridge we crossed “oh man. This one looks really rickety.” “I think we’re really testing our luck here.” I loved it. Lots of animals around. Rhinos, lions, giraffes. Didn’t see the baby giraffe but did see a baby elephant and it was so cute!

After the safaris we checked out the Gorilla Falls trail. It seemed longer than the Jungle Trek and it seemed a bit more congested but maybe it’s from the safaris being so close by and letting out right next to them. The kids really liked the aviary and loved trying to spy all of the birds on our guide.

At this point DD4 was insisting she needed to go to the bathroom (now! Emergency!!) so my folks whisked her off and I stayed and enjoyed the rest of the trail with the other three. We picked up a wilderness explorer guide mid-way down the trail. DD8 and DD6 were immediately in on this game. They loved getting all the badges along the trail and filling in the clues.

My mom called and said they had made it to the restrooms and were over near Tusker House. This was perfect as I was wanting to catch the 11:00 FotLK. We headed that way and I took DD2 and DS6 to the bathroom. I think we made it into the theater around 10:52 or so. Ended up in the upper section but still had a great view. The show was great but maybe a little long for the kids. Loved the acrobats as well as the music.

After the show was over everyone was needing a pick me up. We stopped at the snack cart on the way up to Harambe and grabbed two frozen bananas, three frozen lemonades and an ice cream sandwich. It was refreshing and a nice snack break. Kids got to stretch their legs a bit which was a plus. I also notice EE is down and our FP has converted into any anytime FP. Potentially super bummer as DS6 is ready for this thing this time (he talked about riding it for months but backed out in October). Hoping it comes back up quickly (it doesn’t).

We head over to Maharajah Jungle Trek. We stop along the way to play the drums. Pause to watch the monkeys in that super cool enclosure and get distracted by the bubble fountain but make it back. DD8 and DS6 again enjoyed the wilderness explorer stops along the trail. After we come out of the trail, Everest is still down. DS6 is super bummed. We start talking about using our anytime for Primeval Whirl and he is disappointed but ok with this decision.

We head into Dinoland and realize that everyone needs a break as meltdowns seem to be imminent. It’s 1:30 and we haven’t really eaten lunch so we decide to grab some food before PW. I mobile order at Flame Tree which was perfect. No line. Almost instantly ready. Long line next to us with someone marching around the perimeter of the line with a sign saying “save time. Mobile order.” Lol.

We grab a seat and eat. DD2 has fallen asleep between the walk from Dinoland to Flame Tree. She naps while we eat. For the time being we successfully avoid the Ibises (or whatever those birds are that hang out over there). I realize the FPs I made for Dinosaur are about to expire. They were for DD8, DD4 and my mom. None of them care to ride it after I tell them about it and so I switch them to Primeval Whirl for a later time.

DS6, my dad and I finish lunch and ask my mom if she’s ok for us to go to use our anytime FPs. She says she’s good so we go for a spin on PW while DD4 finishes up her lunch. Unbeknownst to us, their lunch would end in some excitement. They witnessed one of those white birds (don’t know what kind they are but they were walking all around Flame Tree’s seating area) snatch an onion ring right out of a little boy’s hand!! Then, one or two others started fighting with the initial bird over the onion ring and jumped up on their table!! My mom had to give them a firm “SHOO!!!” while trying to keep DD8 and DD4 from freaking out.

Meanwhile, we finish PW and once we’re done DS6 wants to go again!! Of course. He asks DD4, DD8 and my mom if they want to use their PW FPs. They say no and he and I go for a second ride while my mom, DD4 and DD8 ride Triceratop Spin and my dad hangs out with a still sleeping DD2.

We meet back up after our rides and DD4 is asking to go to the Boneyard (they all loves this playground!). I ask my mom if she minds going with her as I promised DD8 I’d get her popcorn if she ate some real food first. She doesn’t and I tell DD4 she has 10 minutes to play. She is pleased!!

DS6, DD8 and I grab popcorn and go find my dad and sit with him and DD2 while DD4 plays. Once she’s done it’s a little after 3 and we head over to Pandora.

We first go to FOP to set up a RS for DD8, my mom and my dad to ride. There was a slow moving line to do this as the two parties ahead of us trying to set up a swap weren’t within their FP time window and were vehemently trying to convince the CM to let them go ahead and ride “because we’ve been waiting so long!!” People amazed me the whole trip with their seemingly blatant desire for the rules to not be applied to them. Anyway, once we got our RS set up, my parents took DD4 (who swapped bands with DD8 since she wasn’t tall enough to use her FOP FP) and DD2 on Na’Vi while DD8, DS and I rode FOP. DD8 had gone all the way through the queue and preshow with us last year and then refused to ride it so I was excited for her to have her first ride. She was nervous but LOVED IT! Declared her it her favorite ride and gleefully rode a second time with her grandparents.

While my parents and DD8 rode FOP, I walked the other three kids to the front of the park and used the restroom, changed DD2’s diaper and watched the birds in the Oasis Exhibits.

I had booked two separate ADRs for our upcoming dinner at AP. One at 5:25 and the second at 5:40. I had originally planned to be leaving the park by 4:30 to give ourselves plenty of time to get over to the WL but we didn’t end up leaving until 4:48! It’s cool, I thought to myself. We totally have enough time. I hope. I mean, it’ll be fine right?!?

It was fine! We didn’t have to wait too long on a bus to arrive and I think we disembarked at WL around 5:20. We booked it to check in at AP and made it to check in right at 5:25! Victory! They asked if we wanted to try and have our two reservations combined into one table and I said yes. She said they would be able to but that we might not get seated until closer to the second reservation time at 5:40.

We took the kids outside on this small little deck with four rocking chairs and just a beautiful view of some of the grounds. This was my first time seeing this resort and it’s definitely been added to my bucket list of future places to stay. The kids ran around like crazy little monkeys and played tag. I received our table ready text at 5:32.

Now, I don’t know if it was just because we were so longing for a non-buffet, sit down style meal (this was our first one of the trip) or what but we all thought everything was delicious!!

I had the Enchanted Apple cocktail which is one of those drinks that could get you in trouble! Very sweet and refreshing and didn’t taste like it had a lot of alcohol in it. I behaved and limited myself to one. :upside_down_face: The squash bisque was fantastic, as was The Stroll Through Nature main course. All of the desserts were delicious - I think my favorite was the miner’s treasure. I’m pretty simple minded sometimes when it comes to desserts.

The characters were also very fun! I don’t remember why but DD4 was crying when Snow White came by so we didn’t get a super great interaction with her. But Grumpy gave me an annoyed looks and acted like his hand was hurting from signing all four of their autograph books almost as if to say “why do you have all these kids anyway?!?” Dopey skipped around our table but never stopped to sign our books. It looked as though this was the case with at least one other table near us. I don’t know if this was intentional for Dopey’s character or what. The Evil Queen may have been my very favorite character meet of the entire trip.

Favorite Queen quotes from dinner:

  • When DD4 (through me) told her to be happy. “Must i?!? Smiling gives you wrinkles you know?!?”
  • To the family in front of us with a baby “this one looks fresh. Too much smiling for my liking.”
  • When someone told her thank you. “You should be thankful!!”

Overall this was a very satisfying and refreshing dinner. Looking back, it probably would have been worth it to Lyft or Minnie Van back to the Poly. Just because we were pretty tired. But we enjoyed both boat rides (the first WL to MK, the second MK to Poly) and watched the 8:00 fireworks going off as we finished up our second ride.

I think all of the kids were asleep by 10 and my DH landed safely at MCO and arrived just after 11! Yay!!

Tomorrow we get to sleep in a bit and enjoy a stroll around the world! :earth_americas:

Steps: 13,334


I love adding the steps count to your report! I’m going to have to remember that next time


Day 4: Epcot

I had planned today to be a bit of a rest day after a couple of hard days at the parks. We didn’t need to wake up until about 8:30 and the kids really did need to be up until about 9:30. I think I ended up waking up around seven or maybe closer to eight and DD4 was the one that really woke me up she was the first one awake. I think everyone ended up being awake by 8:30 on their own and seemed like they had a good night’s rest with the exception of my mom. She was up most of the night with an upset stomach. She thought it was maybe because of all the rich food we had yesterday. She kind of lounged in bed for a while, wanted sprite and in general really didn’t feel that great.

Since we had extra time this morning I gave all the kids a bath and shower. We had an late ADR at CM at 10:45. I had kind of kept an open mind about canceling this breakfast this morning if everyone needed extra time to rest but by the time 9:30 rolled around everybody felt rested and were kind of ready to go. So we got ready to roll and made it out the door around 10.

We decided to take the resort monorail over to the contemporary and it was a pleasant little ride. We stopped at the Grand Floridian first and then the magic kingdom and then over to the Contemporary where we got off. We made it over to the Contemporary around 10:25 or so. I went to check us into Chef Mickey’s and then had to sit and wait for a while. They are notorious for being late so I wasn’t terribly surprised by this. I think by the time we got our table we had been waiting about 20-25 minutes or and ended up being seated around 10:55 (about 10 minutes past our ADR time).

It wasn’t a huge problem to wait. We weren’t in a hurry at all so while we waited we found a little seating area and the kids played and were basically content. I had also forgotten to call my brother-in-law the day before to wish him a happy birthday so we took the time to record a little belated birthday message for him which I think he appreciated.

Our breakfast was fine. Kind of the theme for most of the buffets we experienced while at WDW. Fine, not extraordinary or particularly delicious, but good enough to get a decent meal. Our 10:45 reservation time ended up being pretty good because we ended up being there for the crossover between breakfast and lunch. So our first plates were filled with breakfast and then by the time we went for our second plates they had started switching over the breakfast items to lunch items so everyone ended up being able to get some lunch type foods as well.

The characters came around pretty quickly. Within half an hour of being seated we had seen all five of the characters and the interaction was really good. DD2 really loved Minnie Mouse! She gave her a little hug and a high-five as she came by. It was really sweet.

After breakfast we all used the restroom and hopped the resort monorail to the TTC and then hopped off of that monorail and onto the Epcot monorail. Security at Epcot was super easy. I think there was one family in line for a bag check before we were and then we breezed through the taps. We ended up being inside Epcot over an hour before I had planned for us to be! I didn’t have much luck modifying our SE or MS FPs any earlier so we ended up going into a little shop to the right of SE. The Art of Disney I think is maybe what it was called? It’s a little art gallery and we just leisurely perused in there for a while. There were so many beautiful prints and artwork! This was the one store the whole trip where my DH actually had interest in buying something but all of the artwork was quite spendy.

After the art gallery, we went over to the character spot and waited about 8 minutes to meet Joy and Sadness. I really enjoyed this Meet and Greet! We had noticed in the queue that all of the balls in the lower shelf are blue. So when we got into the greet we asked Sadness about it and she immediately pointed to Joy and blamed her! Lol! Then, when Joy shook her head no, Sadness pointed to DS, insistent that he had done it! So funny. The PhotoPass photographers were funny too as they kept scolding Sadness for lying to us! DD4 asked Joy why she glowed and Joy told her it was because she was always smiling.

After Character Spot, our FP window for SE had opened up so we all went and hopped aboard for our trip through time and space. I always really enjoy this ride and all of the history is includes. Unfortunately for me this time DD2 and DD4 managed to select Spanish before I could select English and I couldn’t understand much of what was being said. DS rode with DH, DD8 rode with my mom and my dad was by himself but still enjoyed the ride. After the ride we spent 10 minutes or so in the SE pavilion just to let the kids play with the future technology attractions they have in there while my parents went outside to rest (my mom had decided she was up for the park today but had decided to try and take it slow).

After this I decided I didn’t want to bother waiting on our MS FP window to open so we just went ahead and headed to the WS.

On the way over the kids noticed the jumping water fountains and we let them play in there for a while. They got soaking wet but they just had so much fun!! No one else was playing in them so they had the whole area to themselves. They sure made a lot of people smile as they walked by! I’m glad we paused and let them do this because it is one of my favorite memories from the trip.

After a while we dragged them out of the water and attempted to wring their clothes out as best we could. Then we set off to explore the WS! I was so excited as we’ve only ever done one day in Epcot per trip and have always ran out of gas before making it back to the countries so this is our first time experiencing everything.

We went through Canada all the way to Germany over about four hours. We really enjoyed it! It really did feel like we could take the pace so leisurely and it was a lovely day - overcast but breezy and cool - and the rain that was forecasted held off all afternoon! Just a beautiful day to be out.

My parents watched the O Canada! film in the Canada Pavilion and we all really enjoyed the gardens over there. We actually took a family trip to the Butchart Gardens when I was a child and my parents loved them! It was neat to see the gardens in Canada remind them of sweet memories from that trip so long ago.

As we strolled along we ended up watching some of the Serveur Amusant acrobats perform in France for a little while. Then we stopped to get the kids some ice cream from L’Artisan des Glaces. While I stood in line for ice cream with the kids, DH grabbed me a couple of 3 ounce pours of wine (a red and a white). They were both delicious. I drank all of the white and got through most of my red but when we were having a silly picture contest at the table DD8, DS and I ended up spilling out most of the red.

Other highlights of our WS tour we’re watching the kids play tag on this little stage in Italy, and watching Robert Wyland in the American pavilion. Wyland was painting a canvas as he talked to people stopping to watch and DD8 was fascinated by his beautiful work. We also really enjoyed the trains in Germany. We probably could have stayed there for another hour just watching them go back-and-forth. The last thing we did before we headed over to Norway for our FEA FP was to let the kids get their faces painted. DD4 had asked to have it done at AK the day before but we didn’t have a lot of extra time and I had told her that today would be a better day for it. They were so excited as we hadn’t seen a face painting stand all day and when we finally saw this one they all just lit up! DD4 got a unicorn, DD2 got a Fantasic style Mickey, DD8 got tranquil water lilies and DS got a red snake.

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After this we headed over to Norway. I was kind of hoping to meet Anna and Elsa prior to riding FEA but between our walk from face paint and Norway the line jumped up to 35 minutes so we decided to skip it and headed toward FEA. DD8 decided right before we boarded that she was scared and kind of cried a little bit before we got on the ride which was so strange to us as she’s ridden it a couple of times before and knows it’s not scary. We kind of ended up forcing her on :persevere: but were glad we did because at the end of the day she told me it was her favorite ride.

After we got out of FEA that rain that had been holding up all day started falling. It was only 7:00 so I suggested going to see Elsa and Anna (the line had dropped) before our 7:45 ADR at La Hacienda. I think everyone was kind of hungry and ready to eat so they declined and we decided to check into dinner early. They were able to get us seated about 20 minutes early which was really nice although they told us they wouldn’t accommodate any table requests. This was slightly disappointing as I had booked this dinner for a good view of Illuminations but I could already tell my people were just about done for the day anyway and that our odds of staying that late were probably slim.

This was our first time eating dinner here and man, it was delicious!! Y’all can trust us, we’re from Texas and we know good Mexican food when we see it! :wink:

Between the adults we had some excellent fish tacos, ribs with some kind of chili sauce and some chili rellenos! This meal really was fantastic and the first sit down non-character meal we had had on the trip and that was quite refreshing.

After dinner we decided we didn’t want to stay for fireworks. The rain had stopped and we enjoyed an evening stroll out of the park and made our wait to the monorail station. We waited maybe 3 minutes for a monorail and were back at our resort by 9. Really great day! Again!

Oh! After we got off the Epcot monorail but before we transferred to the resort monorail DD8 knocked her tooth looser. When we got to the resort she went to the bathroom straight away and pulled her tooth out! I was so glad because it had been quite a nuisance to her over the past several days when she tried to eat. Pretty awesome day!

Steps : 11,760


Love Joy & Sadness!!


Day 5: Magic Kingdom

Goal today was Tomorrowland and some small things in Adventureland after lunch. I had hoped to arrive inside MK right at 8 to enjoy some time on Main Street before the park opened.

My goal was to leave the Poly by 7:30. I had set my alarm for 5:30 so I could have an hour to get up, shower and get ready before waking the kids up. I slept through my alarm and when I woke up the clock said 6:20! Dang it!! No problem just no shower for me.

It wasn’t super clear to me when transportation started running for the day. Everything I read said the boat would start running 30 minutes before park open. So for a 9 open that’d be 8:30. And the monorail said one hour before park open. So just to double check I walked to the lobby to ask the front desk before I woke the kids up. and They said the monorails would be running by 7 (yay!)!!

Made it out on time and were off the monorail in line at the taps by 7:43! They started letting us into the taps at 7:53 and we were at Main Street Bakery by 7:58! So amazing. No line at Starbucks and they had our order almost ready before we even finished paying. Grabbed a couple of tables underneath the yellow umbrellas across from Casey’s Corner and enjoyed our breakfast.

My dad got an idea about finding Elias Disney’s shop on Main Street so we wandered (he and I) down Main looking up top for his window. Saw a hidden Mickey in the Confectionary’s window but no sign. Gave up and got back to our table and realized it was right above where we had been sitting! Lol!

We were able to spend 20 minutes or so getting our pictures taken in front of the castle and in front of Walt’s statue. I was so glad we got there so early because it was really a nice time to spend relaxing on Main before the day got all crazy.

Watched the Welcome Show from afar and headed into Tomorrowland. Headed to Buzz and rode within 5 minutes or so. No one wanted to ride with me so I rode solo but that was fine. After we headed toward Astro Orbiter. Again with about 5 minute wait. That was fun because it was so high up and it felt fast! The kids all seemed to like it. At this point our FP for Space had opened up. I had originally booked it for DD8, my dad and myself but DD8 didn’t want to go so she and DS traded bands and DH and my mom planned to take the girls on the Peoplemover.

DS seemed to enjoy Space. I liked it too but I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite. Fun but jerky and no super big drops. Once we were done DS rode again with DH and my dad with a rider swap. They hadn’t had a chance to ride PM yet because of bathroom breaks I think. I really had to pee so I went to the bathroom and took Hope so she could get a new diaper. As soon as we got back DD4 had to go. :roll_eyes::roll_eyes::roll_eyes: by the time she was done we walked onto PM but realized we were going to be in a time crunch for our 7D FP.

By the time we got off it was 10:18 and our FP window had ended at 10:15. I was counting on the 10 minute grace period but we were still pushing it. I had booked FP for DH, my mom, DD4 and DS. My mom was still wanting to take it easy from her being sick the night before so I took her FP. I had planned on RS but since we were in a hurry we didn’t bother. My parents took DD8 and DD2 to the teacups and we squeaked into 7D at 10:25 on the dot! :raised_hands:t3: DD4 was almost at meltdown point mid-way through the ride but at the end when we asked her if she liked it she shook her head no and nodded yes all at the same time. :laughing:

We walked out of 7D at the same time they were walking out of the teacups and then we all headed to our FP for Peter Pan. After that we had planned on COP before our lunch at CP at 11:30 but it was 11 and we didn’t think we’d have time. DD2 was wanting to ride “the horsey rode” so we waited in line at the carousel before heading over to our lunch. DD2 kept saying “it went up and down!!” :heart_eyes:

After the carousel we went to CP. checked in around 11:25 and were sat at 11:31. The buffet was decent. Not a lot of meat options but good overall. DD2 really enjoyed meeting the characters but we were done and hadn’t met Pooh. Everyone was ok leaving before he came (he was maybe 3 tables over from us) since we had met him on Thursday.

After lunch we watched a little of the Move it Shake it Dance party and then headed into Adventureland for our Jungle Cruise FP and to find DD4 some cotton candy. We had told the kids if they were brave and tried a ride they were nervous about they could either choose a treat or extra spending money. DD4 chose a treat. :smirk:

The park was starting to get really busy at this point. I grabbed a FP for Magic Carpets while we were on JC. DS was begging to ride Pirates or BTMRR but I had no luck with FP for it. After MC we were trying to decide what to do. I was about 1:30 and we needed to head to Ft. Wilderness around 3. DH remembered we hadn’t been to Carousel of Progress yet so I said “let’s go there!” We walked right into the next show and then used a FP for Laugh Floor. The kids really enjoyed that and I did too. It was our first time seeing it and it was really funny! Loved all the audience involvement.

By now it was time to start heading to HDDR. DD8 had been begging to get a treat since she had been brave on Frozen the night before. We told her she could pick something from the Confectionary. DS too since he was a little nervous about Space. DS ended up choosing a big Sprite and DD8 chose a cotton candy tub. We told them they had to wait until after dinner to eat it.

At this point the parade was starting and my mom really wanted to stay to watch it. I told her we probably didn’t have time but promised we would another day. Headed down to the boat dock and we’re first in line for the boat. We must’ve just missed it because we had to wait for a while.

Hopped on the boat (such a relaxing ride!!) to Fort Wilderness and noticed a tree full of shoes on our way there!! Did a little research to discover that retiring skippers for Disney’s boat fleet put their shoes on this tree on their last day to see that they’ll “see us real soon!” Fun little tidbit to learn!

Checked into HDDR around 3:45 and were told seating started at 4. Took the kids over to the playground. It was so fun and surreal for them to enjoy something so normal in such a magical place.

Went to sit down right at 4. What a fun show!! My parents were very nostalgic about everything. The food reminded them of Mamaw and Papaw!(my dad’s parents). The atmosphere was very home cooking and country. Just like home. Loved it. The show was hilarious!! We loved the audience involvement of the show and all just laughed so much! The fried chicken, ribs and sides were all tasty and the menu was a perfect home cooked southern style dinner.

We booked it out of there as soon as we let out and were second in line at the boat dock. Perfectly timed as a boat approached as we got in line. It sprinkled on the boat a tiny bit as we sailed back to MK but not a ton. Decided to hop on the resort monorail as the Poly boat was just leaving as we pulled into the boat dock.

We made it back to the Poly just after Super Bowl kick off. Let the kids play on their iPads and we watched the Game.

My parents headed back to MK. Mainly to soak in the atmosphere. They looked in two shops on Main Street. Bought nothing. Took the boat back during the fireworks and watched the Electrical Water Pageant on the beach.

Attempted to go to bed somewhat early to rest up for EMM @ TSL tomorrow!

Steps: 11,206



I know right!!

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Fellow CPA here…although i call myself retired since i quit after our 3rd was born. We also have 4 kids ages 9,7,5,3 but we have 3 boys and 1 girl!

Did you fly with the kids by yourself? I am amazed! We normally drive to WDW but will fly for the 1st time in May and i am nervous especially with car rental logistics!

You should definitely stay at WL. We stayed there last March. We also stayed at GF with my parents once! Beautiful!

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Well I bet your house is a bit more rough and tumble than mine! My poor son doesn’t get to wrestle nearly as much as he’d like to. :laughing: I haven’t practiced since my oldest was born but I keep up with my license in case I ever decide to go back to work.

I didn’t! My parents flew with us. The kids are pretty good flyers but it’ll still be a couple of years
I think before I feel comfortable flying alone with them.

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