Our First WDW Vacation - Jersey Week Yikes!

Hello, after researching and planning our first WDW vacation for 9 months, it was finally time to go! Yippie! Our cast includes DH, DS (12) and DD (9) and myself. Phew, at least one child according to Disney!

Where should I start? Last February DH and I were starting to discuss summer vacations when I asked him, “when do you think we should go to Disney?”. We had not gone yet for various reasons, mostly being DS not liking amusement rides AT ALL, and when we wanted to go we would pull the kids from school. DS gets sick a lot and his immune system is finally getting stronger so we didn’t want him to miss more school then needed. He did not get sick a lot that year so we thought it was finally a good time to go! Now when, we did not want the heat or the crowds, or to interrupt school fall activities. I reached out to a friend who is a Disney TA and got some quotes. It was hard nailing down where we wanted to stay. We planned the trip as a one and only and decided we wanted the best location, so decided on The Contemporary. We put a deposit down and the real planning started.

First I found two websites that provided A LOT of useful information, TP and another board, which shall not be named. TP’s forums were easier to follow and the people seemed nice. I read, read, and read, and started to ask questions. I then started making touring plans. This needed to be done by day 180 so I could get the best ADR’s. My TA would make those for me, but this was my trip and I had learned so much, I wanted to make them myself. I think she cringed, but I knew I could get what I want…and I did.

Chef Mickey’s
Via Napoli
O’hana breakfast
1900 Park Fare
Tusker House
Be Our Guest PPO
Crystal Palace (I got later that night as it was opened yet in the morning)

Fast Forward to Day 60, for FP day. Again, my TA would make the arrangements, but I researched and I knew. We went back and forth about SDD and FOP. I went with my plan and won, but had to sacrifice my precious Sci-Fi ADR. I couldn’t get another for it, unfortunately, even with the reservation finder.

Count down to just a week away and I decided to add another park day for arrival day for under $100 for all four of us. It really is more affordable the longer you go! It was wonderful and awful. So this is where I should begin our actual trip report.

Day -1, we are all packed and getting ready for bed, the alarm is set for 4:00 am. We need to leave at 4:30 to get to the airport for 5:30 for our 8:00 flight. DH travels a lot and knows the Monday morning routine of the airport. 2:00 am dd comes in and wakes me because she needs to go to the bathroom. She goes back to sleep…but I can’t fall back to sleep. UGH! 4:00 comes, and we all get up and go! YIPPIE the day is finally here. We get to the airport and there are LONG lines. DH knew…but we were good. We were waiting in line when DH whispered, “Did we pack Flat Stanley”. Ugh, my tears started to flow. I was upset and tired, I had thought of EVERYTHING, except DD’s Flat Stanley. We had even planned all the things we would do with him. Le sigh, this was not going to ruin our vacation. We were not going to mention it to DD. We get breakfast and go to the gate to wait. We were tired and so excited. We board the plane and it was a good flight to MCO. Both DS and DD watch The Incredibles, I watched Mama Mia 2, and DH slept. Grrr :joy:

10:45 we land a few minutes early at MCO. Yippie. We got off the plane and head straight to the bathrooms to change into our shorts. We find the ME lines and were told where to go. We wait and wait. Other resorts had two shuttles by the time ours comes, but it does and we are excited. It was a good ride, but it goes to Wilderness Lodge first. We finally get to the Contemporary and our room is not ready yet. I wasn’t surprised as it was around 1:00 but disappointed as reading stories about getting the room ready text. However our Garden Grocer delivery had arrived. I guess they’ll have to keep it for now. We checked our bags with Bell Services and off to the Parks we go! A few days before I added this “bonus” day. I figure it would be easier for the kids to sleep that night if they went to the park and got it out of their system. Who was I kidding, that was for me. :rofl: The original plan was a day at the hotel pool. So we walked to MK to get to our first FP, Space Mountain. It was a smooth wait and we loved the ride photos. DS was serious and he decided he wanted to try to be serious for all the ride photos. Next up was BarnStomer. This was about a 20 minute line but it was mid-afternoon and it was hot, at least for us. The kids were getting restless, especially DD. I was tired too and was frustrated and started to fret what the week would bring. We got on and it was a good ride, but not something we would do again. It was short. However, remember our kids are older. Next up “IASM” FP. DD was not looking forward to this ride, she wanted to get it over with. We rode, and she fell in love. Next we head towards Haunted Mansion for our last FP, but we have some time. I go to Frontierland for some snacks. I found a churro cart, YES! I wait in line, and when it’s my turn they tell me it’s closed. It was 3:30 and the park closed at 4:30 that day for the Cast Party. I was disappointed. I then see somebody with a dolewhip. Yay! I asked them where they got it and I was directed under the pathway to Aloha Isle. I mobile order us 4 dolewhips, but one just plain vanilla for ds. I run back to the family with the treats as they were starting to melt. We ate the deliciousness and head to HM. We get there and I think the standy-by line was shorter! We enjoyed the ride and called it a day. We walked back to the hotel and our room was ready, but we had to wait for Bell services for our belongings before we could go swimming. We got our stuff, changed and went to the pool, while DH took a nap. The kids get to the slide and they were in heaven. LOVED the pool at the Contemporary, for now! :slight_smile: We swam for an hour then we had to get ready for our ADR at Chef Mickey’s. My original time was 8:05, but I was able to modify it with the Reservation Finder for 7:00. I tried to modify to an earlier time and never got it. We were excited to go and meet Mickey and the gang. The good thing about the buffets is you can basically eat right as you’re seated. The characters were far so we could do just that. DS (12) is super picky. He was hungry and disappointed with the meal. He did not like the macaroni and cheese. He only ate a few chicken nuggets. Desserts were good and character interaction was great. Our favorite was Donald Duck. DS went to go shake his hand and he withdrew his, and slicked his and back his head. This got a big smile out of DS. Overall though, I would not recommend Chef Mickey’s for dinner. The kids wished we had breakfast there instead.
We get back to the room at 8:30 and collapse.


Yay! Thank you for writing a report! Great pictures!

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Thank you. You’re welcome. It’s the least I could do for all that I learned from the people on this forum. Our trip probably would have been disastrous had I not known what I learned from here! I’ll add a few more days later.

ETA: first timers take note, I had read poor reviews of Chef Mickey’s. It was our most expensive and least liked meal. I did not have breakfast, but would rather give that a try.

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You a have a beautiful family! I hope you have time to write more.

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What fun! I love following along on trip reports. Thanks for writing.

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Day 2 - Early Magic Morning you say? The official start of our park days I booked us the Early Magic Morning. From what I learned on TP, I knew to NOT do 7DMT first so we headed to PP. The tweens were skeptical but they loved it, then we went to WTP, another love. DS12 was enjoying the boat rides. We then went to 7DMT and there was about a 5-minute wait, but it was worth it of course. We road it twice. It was about 8:30 and the kids were getting hangry so off to Pinnocchios we go. We really enjoyed this buffet. When we were done, I wanted to ride 7DMT one more time before the park opened but the kids wanted to do Peter Pan, say what, not that I don’t love PP, so that’s what we did. When we got off we heard the fireworks, park open so I started with my tour plan and went to meet Ariel with DD while DH and DS looked around. We were about 5th in line so it was fast. I LOVED meeting Ariel. DD and I bounded for this M&G and Ariel noticed how much my outfit was like Flounder. I was truly touched because it made DD so happy. Next we all rode Under the Sea. I loved the music, and then off to the Mad tea Party so we could finish up Fantasyland. My orginal plan was to RD Haunted Mansion, but the kids didn’t want to ride it again since they rode it the day before. I also wanted to ride more rides during EMM, but I followed the kids lead. DS and I did not ride the teacups, which surprised me that DS didn’t want to ride. DH and DD loved them! Next up was our first FP for the Speedway. I was glad that I followed the advice of TP for the FP because it was starting to get hot! We then wanted to get their license taken but we only had our magic bands so we couldn’t print out the actual cards. We did get those pics on our MM though. Next up, Buzz Light year. I was afraid it was going to be spinny, but I LOVED this ride and so did the kids. DD didn’t want to ride because DS is a gamer and she knew he would win…guess who won, not DS. We were starting to get tired so we took a rest and had our first Mickey Bars. Except it was so hot that the chocolate of mine melted and fell to the ground. I was bummed. We then took a tour on the People Mover. It was an enjoyable ride. Good for when you need a rest. Something unfortunate happened on that ride though. As I was getting out of the car, my water bottle fell out of my backpack and rolled into the track. Oh no! Lucky for me a CM had a handy-dandy grabber she could use to retrieve it, but she had to wait for the cars to come to a break or a stop. This must happen a lot. We still had some time before our next FP, Space Mountain so we looked through the shop next store. The kids wanted EVERYTHING. Ha ha! It was nice to cool down. Next we did Space and the Carasoul of Progress which the kids really enjoyed…making fun of the outfits and such. :slight_smile: Now it’s time to eat lunch. I had planned on Casey’s because DS LOVES hotdogs but he denied the plan, he wanted Cosmics. It was busy. I spied Chesire Cafe and asked DD if she wanted the pastries for lunch. This goes against my usual rules, so she was pretty pysched. DH and DS went to Cosmics and dd and I scoped out a table for them. They waited in line forever. I don’t know if I tried to mobile order or not. The MDE app was HORRIBLE in the park! After lunch we went back to our room to rest and to swim as we would be back for the Dessert party.

That night we had dinner at Contempo Cafe. We all loved their flatbread pizza. I wish I had a chance to get that again. We then walked back to MK. As we entered Main Street, it was a magical Christmas experience. We got the best picture of us with the lit up castle and a magic shot of Tinker Bell. I loved it so much I plan a re-take for Sunday with us all wearing red to use as a Christmas card. Spoiler alert - on Sunday they were filming so the castle was blocked with equipment in that spot. :sob: After pictures, we head to Tomorrowland and we got there right at 7:30. Plenty of seating for us and we enjoyed some desserts, I wish I remembered what we liked best. I love anything with sugar though. Although this was nice, we still had to sit and wait an hour for the show. When we got to the garden area it was rather empty and we claimed a space back by the back railing. We met a lovely couple from the area and chatted as the kids took selfies. HEA was magical. I cried, I sobbed. It was a bit overstimulating. I don’t think I saw much of the fireworks as I was concentrating on the castle. Luckily we did see Tink fly. I definitely would pay for that experience again. DS was exhausted so he and DH went back to the hotel, while DD and I head to Space Mountain for another ride. When we got there, it was a 30 minute wait and DD didn’t want to do that so we walked over to Fantasyland and rode WTP. We then hit IASW. The best part about this was we walked on, yet on the way out we saw both our names on the Goodbye boards. It was a special time for us indeed. We probably could have snuck one more ride, but we were pooped,so we went back to the hotel and collapsed.



Love your report and pictures!

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Great report and pics! Nice to see the “Fred” gravestone, we noticed that one but don’t think we took a pic.

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Sorry to abandon ship. Life got super hectic and being home was just depressing after having so much fun in the World. I definitely felt like a different person there. So where did I leave off?

Day 3 - Epcot. We got up early and had breakfast in our room from things we ordered from Garden Grocer. We then headed to the main lobby so we could get on the Monorail, and we did right at 8:00 am, as I look back at some pictures. We were the only ones in our car. We waited in the first line to get into the park and realized it was going to be a HOT day. Per the usual rope drop, we waited in line to get into the park and then again at the entries for the park to open. We went to Soarin first. AMAZING. We didn’t get on B2, I couldn’t convince my family that was the one we wanted, but all were happy and LOVED Soarin. I was worried about getting motion sickness, but didn’t. I can’t recall if I took Bonine that morning or not. Next we did the Lands. DH and DD were most impressed, but DS also enjoyed it as he likes the boat rides the best for the most part. Next we did Figment after seeing @OBNurses’s pictures from her trip. DD LOVED it. Our next FP, since the Lands was our first LOL, was TEST TRACK. However walking around I noticed DH starting to get burned. “Um, did you put on sunscreen this morning?” How many times did I remind the kids to put it on? Ha-ha! the kicker is he is the fairest of us all. DD was mad that I kept saying that. "No, I’m the fairest! " Thank you 7Dwarfs. So off to MouseGeer to buy $20 sunscreen and the kids sunglasses that they forgot in the room. Test Track was amazing and on the top ride of the week, especially for DS. We also rode Mission Space Green and had a FP for SpaceShip Earth before lunch. I mobile ordered lunch while in line at SE. Even with the FP, we had to wait 20 minutes. It was a good morning. Our afternoon, was frustrating. We got over to France to meet Belle, MDE showed she was making appearances at 1:00. They changed it that day and the sign said 12:00 and 2:50. It was frustrating but we booked it back to UK to see if we could catch Mary Poppins. We were in luck and waited about 15 minutes to meet her. It was honestly DD’s highlight of our trip as she played Jane in Mary Poppins last summer in our local theatre company. She even bounded as MP and she noticed. Then she spelled Supercalifragilisticexpealidous for her, and I don’t even know if I spelled that correctly. She was impressed and we were both out of our minds filled with joy. DH and DS roamed around America while we were doing this. DH noticed the Boys II Men were singing that night. Spoiler alert, we didn’t get to see them. I was sad. So the hardest part of Epcot was waiting for Belle. It was hot and even in the MM pictures you can see the beads of sweat on DD and Belle had on way too much makeup. I had dd wait in the shade but she just doesn’t tolerate the heat. She really wanted a picture with Belle because she has one with her in yellow ball gown from our cruise and in Epcot she’s wearing her everyday clothes. While we were waiting in the heat, DH and DS went to a show in America and DS took a nap. :joy: We then caught the end of the Liberty singing group. They are AMAZING and I wish we caught a whole show. Ice cream and then some more browsing. DS found a soccer ball in Italy, which he HAD to have. That was his main souvenir for the trip, which made him very happy. We had dinner at Via Napoli and probably would not eat there again on the Dining Plan, especially if you have kids. Next time we go we will all be adults so it wouldn’t be a problem, but we ended up with an extra TS that we didn’t use. We were all exhausted and it was time to go…but on the way out, DD wanted to ride Mission Space Orange. DH can’t go on it because of a health condition, DS didn’t want to either, that left me. I was scared beyond belief that I would get sick. There was hardly any wait and we made friends with another family who tried to calm my nerves. The things you do for your kids! I did it and was fine, but needed it to be over ASAP. It was DD’s all time favorite ride. I don’t know if I could do it again. The only thing we didn’t do that wanted to, is ride FEA. I think everybody would have liked it, but couldn’t get everybody, even DD9, to agree to do it. Sigh…next time. I’ll add pictures later.


Trip report 4 months later, ha-ha. Holidays and back in the real world, did me in. Now that spring is on the horizon and planning another trip, I can get back to writing this, Plus remembering what we did will help me plan for the next one.

Day4 - Ohana breakfast.

We took the monorail to the Polynesian. We were a little early so we looked around the shops and the grounds while we were waiting to be seated. DH was blown away by the atmosphere of the Poly. He definitely would like to stay there for our next trip, but I imagine when I price it out, it won’t happen. We will see… Ohana breakfast. The kids loved the food, DS doesn’t like eggs, but he was happy with the bacon, sausage and Mickey Waffles. DD loved all the food and had 5 glasses of the juice! :open_mouth: We loved meeting Pluto before entering and of course Stitch since he was the reason we reserved this breakfast. Mickey signed DS’s hat and he was happy! Service was quick and we left before the planned time so off to the buses to head to Typhoon Lagoon. This was our first bus experience. You need to pay attention to ALL the buses. Ours left before I realized it was there since it behind another bus. Lesson learned.

We switched buses at Disney Springs to get one to go to Typhoon Lagoon. I hear they are switching the bus schedule so they don’t have this switch again. What a relief! However touring the World was interesting as we passed other properties such as Saratoga Springs and Old Key West. We got a feel for where things are outside the monorail bubble.

Typhoon Lagoon…loved every minute of it. It was mid to high 80’s so defnitely warm enough. It was not crowded at all. We walked on every slide. To say this day was a huge hit is putting it mildly. DS LOVED the lazy river and the huge wave pool. The waves were intimidating even from a New England girl who grew up going to the ocean every weekend. Even at the end of the week, this was a highlight with both kids and both parents also. :blush: I am SO glad I kept this in the plan. However, now a water park will always be in the plan. Since we had a big breakfast we didn’t have lunch until later at about 1:30, we did one more round of slides and then we headed back to our hotel.

For dinner, we headed to 1900 Park Fare. The character interaction was hysterical with the evil Step Mother trying to figure out if DS12 was a match for Drizella. She asked if he was funny, if he played an instrument. He is so shy and so embarrassed and so mad. The strawberry soup was indescribable. Our waitress brought us a copy of the recipe. I haven’t tried to make it yet…not exactly healthy. After dinner, we looked around. The Gingerbread house was almost finished. Another, unbelievable masterpiece!

Great day!