Our LAST last trip before DS graduates - a trip report

This is my first trip report so bear with me. Last February I talked my DH into a trip to WDW because it would be our last chance to go as a family before DS graduates in 2019. AND…I successfully made the same argument again this year!!

We started at Universal (2/24-26) so the first part of my report is on the Uni board.

Cast: me, DH, DS17, DD14.

The plan for arrival day at BWI (garden view 2Q+ daybed per my TP request) was supposed to be an evening at Epcot complete with FEA FP and hard to get Teppan Edo ADRs. Monday night my family rebelled and demanded to go to MK instead. (Oh no, twist my arm). So, from the Hard Rock Hotel in Universal, I worked my Liner skills. Cancelled Teppan Edo and all my Epcot FP. Managed to grab a HM, Little Mermaid and a 7:30 Space. Thanks to @OBNurseNH’s great tutorial, I knew to grab and modify. Ended up with 12:30 HM. 1:30 mermaid, 5:15 Space.

Arrived at BWI from HRH via Uber at 11:30. Room, of course, wasn’t ready so we parked the bags with Bell Services and kids went in search of pins. Right at 12 we grabbed pizza at the window and fought off the flying rats while eating our lunch. DD insisted we were taking the bus to MK (“because it’s magical”) even though the app showed the next one wasn’t due for 20 minutes. Fearing we’d miss our HM FP, I went back into modify mode. Pushed our HM a bit, scored a 3:15 Space, changed Mermaid to a later IASW. Got to MK and bought Mickey ears and hat for kiddos.

On the way to HM we stopped for our first ever experience at this decrepit attraction
Never again. I know, I know. Some of you love this thing. DS17 loved it. But, he’s a little weird. Then we watched the Muppets, which I loved. DD hit the ladies room instead. On to HM where we got stuck - TWICE! (This will become a theme.) We still had some time to kill before our SM FP so we crossed back to Tomorrowland to ride People Mover. I did a little modifying and we got a FP for IASW for 5 minutes later. Family decided to get the torture over with early and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
I booked FP4 for Little Mermaid.
We got in SB line to ride POC and decided “we just don’t do Standby anymore”. Bailed on the line and went to Pecos Bills for dinner just as it started to rain. While we were eating Little Mermaid went down and our FP coverted to an Anytime. Thanks to serious Liner studying, I booked another Mermaid FP which converted. Then another! But by then the ride was back up. After dinner I taught the family “Poncho up and carry on”. We rode POC with an anytime, Mermaid with FP, Buzz with an anytime, and people mover again for the rain break before heading to the hub at 7:45 for HEA.

Take my advice - study up on how to win at Buzz. I kicked everybody’s butts!
As I had hoped, the rain kept most people away from the fireworks and we were able to find a great spot.

Took our wet and tired selves to the resort busses and packed ourselves in like soggy sardines. I realized that I had never gotten a room ready text so we had to stop at the front desk. They were very apologetic and said not to worry about stopping a bell services. They would take care of our bags. Headed up to the room which was much larger than we expected. Bell services arrived with our bags before we could even get our shoes off. At that point I noticed that we seemed to have a rather large window. I pulled back the curtains and this is what I found.
Oh, and a balloon and birthday card for DH. Unbelievable Pixie Dust!

More to come…



We started out with EMM at HS. This is the link to my review of that event"Toy Story EMM 2/27. Edited to add pics

Picking up from there:
After breakfast at Backlot Express we were supposed to ride TSMM with a FP but the ride was down all morning after EMM. We did some pin trading, caught the Muppet Show, watched the March of the First Order and headed over to watch the Path of the Jedi movie. It was CLOSED! Now, who doesn’t check these things beforehand?? (Oops!)
By then it was time for our RnRC FP (DD declined to ride a second time) and then Star Tours FP. DS made the mistake of looking to trade pins with a guy at the DVC stand near Sci Fi. 20 minutes of hard sell later we finally extracted ourselves so we could make our lunch ADR. (BTW they offered us 3 extra FP each and $75 gift card for me and DH each!). Lunch at Sci Fi was great as always. After lunch we grabbed DD a Mickey Bar

Then we checked out the Incredibles and met Edna Mole before heading back to the hotel for a pool break.
We left BWI at about 6:20 to grab this boat back to HS (no one wanted to walk, apparently)
for the SW Dessert Party AKA my husband’s birthday celebration. Obviously, we didn’t make it and the next boat came at 6:45.
We made it to the dessert party at about 7:15 (started at 7:00). We were seated up in “The Canteen” which was basically an overflow room where the Storm Troopers don’t come. DH said it was nice not to be in the main room with the chaos but I think he was just being nice. I had emailed and called ahead about my DD’s food allergies and Disney disappointed me this time. (If anyone has food allergies, I’m happy to give you further info.)
Anyway, I availed myself of the open bar while we had some appetizers and desserts. DH and DS took maybe 10 minutes to look around the Launch Bay. Apparently, my son and one of the Storm Troopers formed some sort of love/hate relationship and they picked on each other for the rest of the party.
We hopped in line to meet Chewie (DH’s birthday request and great character interaction) and then BB 8. We were offered a meet and greet with Kylo Ren since our appointed time was apparently 6:45 (party started at 7:00, remember?) but we declined. We’re old school SW in our family. Then we were herded to the exit where everyone was given a Darth Vader plastic stein on the way out to the viewing area.
Now, let me say this, it was great to be able to sit on the low wall and not jostle crowds and enjoy that fireworks show. The viewing area is almost too close. It’s hard to take in all the scenes on both sides of the theater.

But I’ll take that any day over having to stake out a spot with the crowds.
We had a beautiful walk back to BWI after a very long day.



Beautiful morning.

Hubby’s birthday and a LOONG day at MK on the books. Since we had ridden a few favorites during our bonus Tuesday evening at MK, I did not insist on RD this morning (ok, I insisted but there was outright rebellion). We grabbed breakfast in the lounge at the hotel and called for an Uber to the Contemporary. After listening to BSoM I had decided to make a breakfast reservation at The Wave just in case the security guard gave us a hard time (he didn’t). I did a “bump and run” just as we pulled in. Lovely 5 minute walk to the security gate and then a rather unpleasant surprise at the crowded tap stiles.
Finally made it to Main Street and stopped to take a deep breath and enjoy the atmosphere. I suggested a ride on the Main Street Trolley but no one was interested. Picking up our Touring Plan a few steps in, we headed to HM,

then BTMRR (FPP1) and Splash (FP2). Yours truly got a little pause right in front of the water fall. I was soaked! Then we headed over to the Trading Post to for the kids to spend their “pin money”. While we were shopping one of the CMs started ringing a large cow bell continuously on the front porch. We finally decided to go see what the commotion was about and we were introduced to the actual trading post.

For those of you who enjoy pin trading, everyday at noon they put out the “trading post” filled with pins. Guests are then invited to trade with the post. My kids had a blast. Since there are a bunch of people trading with the post over a 15 minute period the selection changes constantly. And we got to hug a Country Bear, too!
By then it was 12:15 and we had a BOG ADR to catch. Little fast walking but we made it! Thank goodness we had done the online pre-order. That line was crazy long. We found a table in the West Wing but DD promptly declared it “too dark and spooky” so we moved.

Lunch was yummy. Both kids ordered off of the allergy menu (only DD has an allergy) because the bread for the turkey sandwich looked better. The green beans were lovely. And we tried the grey stuff (it’s delicious) while DS rearranged all his pins onto a larger lanyard.
Next, Philharmagic. I know, corny. But we LOVE it. Every time. Then 7D (FP3) and over to Aloha Isle to grab a Dole Whip before the parade. Mobile order for the win! That place was a madhouse. Found a spot on the porch of Harbor House. Shady, elevated, close to the action. It was a great spot.

Then we followed some good Liner advice and took the Surface-of-the Sun-Hot Raft of Death over to Tom Sawyer Island. What a great break from the chaos. Scared each other a few times in the caves, got my butt beat in checkers by DS, sat in a rocking chair and waved at people on the steam boat, giggled over the barrel bridge, and got a different perspective on the park.

Back in the hustle and bustle, we grabbed some snacks from the Eggroll Cart and hopped on Jungle Cruise (FP4) for some groaners before crossing back over to Tomorrowland for Laugh Floor (FP5 but not needed) and another round on TTPM. We grabbed our DAH wristbands and headed back to Skipper Canteen for dinner. Unfortunately, we waited 25 minutes for our table so we were starting to cut it close for DAH. We hurried our server through his jokes and ordered right away. Hubby’s birthday dinner looked like it was going to bite back.

Kids left us sitting at the table waiting to pay the bill while they ran out to see the start of the fireworks. (We had planned on being on BTMRR by then.) We paid and went out to join them “by the camel” as we had planned. But, no kids by the camel. We texted to tell them we were by the camel and they replied " we are, too". Then “we’re on the other side”. Then “we’re back by the camel”. We repeated this process several times before we realized that the hooting and hollering we kept hearing was our two teenagers riding Aladdin. So, they were by the camel, and then on the other side, and then by the camel…Thus began our DAH. I wrote a full review of the event here if you want to read it. Long and short of it - worth it. But not as great as EMM. MK DAH review 2/28


he ATE that???
I think I’d have to leave the table.

Animal Kingdom. DD has been talking about the monkeys since we were last there seven years ago.
We were pooped out after our long day at MK with DAH so we slept in a little. This was Day 6 in the parks and my body was reminding me that I’m no spring chicken. But, I had a 9:15 FP for so we couldn’t get too late of a start. Grabbed breakfast and an Uber again. Arrived at about 9:30. After a few days of touring hard, this was meant to be a slower pace. But DH and DD didn’t get the message. They bee lined it to Africa while DS and I stopped for some pictures and to watch Wings of Wonder.

Caught up with the speedsters and hopped on Safari (FP1).

We loved it, as usual, but there was less animal activity than we usually see. We were running a little behind at that point so we had to skip Gorilla Falls and head to Asia for our EE FP (FP2). Now, the last time we were at AK DS yak’d all over the yeti (we blame him for it breaking). This time he declared he was ready to face the mountain again. What a fun ride! We all loved it (broken Yeti and all) and there was no yaking. Then a nice wander through the Jungle Trail and back over to Africa for lunch at TH followed by FotLK. What a great show. After Lion King we stopped for some more pin trading and rearranging

before heading over to Pandora for our FOP FP (FP3).
The app said the wait for FOP was down to 190 minutes at that point. We were so happy to have a FP. The ride itself blew us away. DH had been complaining that he wasn’t sure it was going to live up to all the hype and that he’d be shocked if we all wanted to ride it again. Boy, was he wrong! We stopped for a quick pic and then found me a shady spot at 2:55 to play the 3:01 FP gamble.
SCORE!! Got an FOP FP for 5:50. Used @OBNurseNH grab and modify technique and moved up to 5:10 then 3:50. Basking in the glow of my Liner skills, I suggested we get out of the crowds of Pandora and take in the AC over at Bug while we waiting for our next FP window. The crows of “Mom, you are a genius” died out quickly once we were inside Bug. I guess I’m the only one who thought it was cute. At least there was AC.
This time the reshow for FOP was shorter and we were on and off the ride in less than 20 minutes. I suggested trying for the 5:01 FP drop but everyone decided it was time to move on.
DD had been bugging to ride Dinosaur but I surprisingly couldn’t find a FP. So, we stood in the SB line for 30 minutes. Meh. It reminded me of a ride a Universal. Definitely not Disney caliber.DH and I watched the characters rotate in and out of the dinosaur dance party while the kids stood in a ridiculously long FP line for PW. I mobile ordered our dinner from Flame Tree and we headed there to eat before ROL.
They had already started closing off the paths for ROL and it took us forever to get to the restaurant. Then Flame Tree apparently had some trouble with our mobile order being from the allergy menu and we waited over 20 minutes for our chicken nuggets. Kids had found a great table down by the water and we all wondered it we could see ROL from there since it was cool and breezy. And, we were running late. But, I had paid for the TH/ROL dining package so I knew we’d have great seats. Boy, was I wrong. We were packed in like sardines. It was hot and we were bored. We would have left early but we were surrounded. There was a three year old standing right behind DH who kept coughing all over his head. It was miserable. Definitely wished we’d gotten in line for Na’vi instead. Once the show was finally over, we were cranky and tired so we headed out for the night.


He loved it!! DD did have to leave the table :joy:

I’m with DD. What is that dish called, anyway?

Fantastic report! Thanks for sharing!

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Very creative name, “Whole Fried Fish”

I have commented to them that they should have a fish-free section so that they don’t lost money when people lose their appetites when a table in eye range gets it.

I know my last trip there my friends and I were all set for dessert and more drinks, but just before coming to our table for the order, our server brought that thing to the table next to ours. He came over all ready for our order and we had to say “Sorry. We can’t with that… Check please?” We did leave him the tip that would have come with those other things though. From his understanding, it seems that he gets it a lot.

great report. That view!!!

Wow! Lucky you with getting that room. Was that on the third floor? I think that is one of the Deluxe Club Level Rooms, that are outside the actual club. And yes, they are bigger than usual, which is the reason why we booked one.

It looks like you may have gotten the exact room we’re aiming for. If you have any other pics, please post them. Thanks!

Yeah. I’m a fish lover so I thought it was great. My daughter ran for the hills. Left most of her dinner behind. Luckily we had DAH that night so she made full use of the popcorn and ice cream.