Our mess of a trip . .

. . . in which we are all in tears before lunchtime. :joy: No, not really! We had fun! But I already feel the details fading away so I’m going to try to write them down before they’re gone. I didn’t do a good job of keeping notes while we were in the World, so here goes.

Background: I went to DW several times growing up. After my grandfather retired from the Navy he was a food service rep, and Disney was one of his clients, so he got tickets somewhat regularly. I always wanted to take our kids, but money was tight and my husband had never been and couldn’t imagine what all the fuss was about. We finally planned a trip for our then two kids 8 years ago (12 and 7 at the time), and of course DH (and all) fell head over heels in love with DW. We used the Unofficial Guide’s preprinted touring plans last time (pre-smartphones!) and felt like we had won the parks!

We wanted to wait to go again until our youngest was old enough to remember. So, for this trip it was me and my husband (DH), our 20 year old son (DS20), 15 year old daughter (DD15), and 6.5 year old son (DS6). We booked an AirBnB for 8 nights and had 6 day park tickets. Our trip dates were constrained by several factors, most limiting was DD20’s college schedule. When we planned the trip, we knew CLs would be higher than we wished for the first part of the trip (but no more than 6 in the park we planned to be in), and would drop for the last few days. Of course the CL predictions changed drastically, but we felt pretty confident that the TPs could handle the change. I also failed to understand the new FPP system (it was paper last time), and so didn’t book ours until about 3 weeks out, so our FPP situation was not ideal.

Travel & Arrival:
We left Columbus, Ohio at about 8am on 1/16 and drove to Kingsland, GA where we spent the night. We would usually drive straight through, but middle age has convinced me that not arriving tired is a good thing! We drove down the A1A (the historic coastal highway) from its beginning to Atlantic Beach, where my grandparents lived until my grandmother died last year. We spent a little time on the chilly beach (DS6 not minding the frigid ocean and getting soaked!) before grabbing lunch and heading on to Kissimmee.

We arrived at our AirBnB right around check in time on 1/17, got the van unpacked, and went to Walmart for groceries. Then DS20 and DH headed to a movie theatre to see the limited release Dragonball Z movie. Main Street Strollers dropped off our Keenz, I got our lunches packed for the next day, and we all tried to get to sleep–not as early as we’d hoped, of course.

Day 1: Magic Kingdom
Although there were EMH at MK the first day of our stay, my DH insisted that DS6’s first experience of DW be MK. Though my internal OCD planner cringed, it’s hard to argue with such logic as “the monorail,” “Cinderella’s castle,” and “the morning show.” We still got there early, tapping in around 8am. We had time to stop on Main Street for a first visit button for DS6, and got a good spot for the show in front of the castle. We even witnessed a proposal!

After the show, we went to SM. SM had been closed during EMH, so there was already quite a line, but the posted wait was only 25 mins and Lines still thought this was the best time to ride. DS6 had never been on a rollercoaster, and I made the mistake of letting DD15 (7 yo at the time) ride SM first thing on our last trip, scaring her badly. So, I had been telling him for weeks that he wouldn’t ride it this time, but we’d come back to MK another day and he could ride it then if he wanted. Well, so much for my good plans. He begged and begged and my DH reasonably said “it won’t kill him,” which is true enough. So we rode. It scared DS6, but he was okay and not scarred.

Next we went to Barnstormer (which DS6 LOVED) and then made our DD15 ride Dumbo with DS6 (DH and I can’t do too much spinning). At around 11 we used FPPs for Under the Sea, which my DS6 had been really looking forward to. Then: MTP (DD15 on the hook again), People Mover (which stopped in the totally dark tunnel, scaring DS6). It was about 12:30 by now, and it was warm and we were getting tired, so we took our packed lunch into CoP and ate during that. Man, I love CoP. I feel like the animatronics have gotten better, but maybe I’m imagining things.

Duly refreshed, we headed over to the Laugh Floor, which we all really loved! My husband was “That Guy” and never has DW pegged someone so well–he loved it, and got a sticker saying he was That Guy so that he was greeted thusly for the rest of the day! Next we used FPPs for Buzz Lightyear, which was a hit.

We then went over to Liberty Square for the Hall of Presidents, which I found cringe-inducing and wished we had skipped. We then switched off riding Haunted Mansion because DS6 DOES NOT LIKE CREEPY. FYI.

DD15 and I rode last, while DH, and both DSs headed to find a spot in Liberty Square for the FoF parade. This is when the CL began to bother me. I had several people be very rude to us, and a couple of middle-aged ladies even elbow my DD out of the way to stand in front of her. I admit to not enjoying crowds generally, but we’re in DW people, come on! Anyway, the parade was great, the crowd eventually dispersed, and I didn’t say anything snarky too loudly–so all’s well that ends well, I guess.

Next we rode Small World with FPPs I grabbed after HM. Then it was time for a Mickey head ice cream break, and we were glad to score a shady table at the Sherwood Forest cafe (is that what it’s called? Right there across from Peter Pan.) DS6 and DD15 rode the Carousel and then we were on to PhilharMagic, which my DS20 just loves so much and we all enjoyed. We then stood in line for Winnie the Pooh, my DD15’s favorite ride. This was the longest line we stood in all day, I think, at about 30 mins. I don’t know if we were just tired but it seemed to move incredibly slowly! We all loved it, though.

We mobile ordered dinner from Cosmic Ray’s, and found a nice quiet spot to eat outside, tucked in a little corner made by the steps and the wall of the restaurant. DD20 (who had a hip replacement in August) was done walking, so he and I hung out there while DH took DS6 and DD15 to ride the Barnstormer again–twice! We then watched the fireworks from the bridge by Cosmic Ray’s. It wasn’t the best spot as you can only see the back of the castle, and the fireworks are at a weird angle, but we knew we’d be back for fireworks another night. DS6 was asleep the Keenz wagon immediately after the show ended, and slept through all the rigamarole of getting back to the van and back to our AirBnB.

All in all I’d say it was quite a successful day! The CL was a 7 (instead of the predicted 6) and between that and SM being closed during EMH, our wait times were a little off. But, I had added the Astro Orbiter, Enchanted Tales, and Muppets History to this day, fully intending to drop them if we needed to, so we weren’t heartbroken over missing those.

Following @Cgerres’s lead:

Steps taken: 18,693
Characters hugged: 0
Attractions: 14 (not including repeats)

Up next: Day 2 at EPCOT, wherein we nearly drown in the roiling crowds of WS


That has nothing to do with the CL. There are far too many people in this world that do not have the ability to comprehend that there are other people besides themselves. They do not comprehend that other people might not want them to stand in front of their kids to see something they’ve arrived to early to get a spot for. What you’ve described has probably happened to most of the ppl reading this, or, they witnessed the exact same thing. I definitely have. One time, a very large (tall and wide) lady pushed herself and her 5 or 6 yr old son to the front rope of one of the squared off viewing areas at the front of the stage of the Stormtrooper March “parade” at Hollyweird. ALL OTHER parents stood at the back of the area (you know, like reasonable humans?) so all of the kids could see. BUT NOT HER, nope. She was taller than most of the other parents, but she needed to block all of the kids behind her, after pushing her way through everyone that had already staked out their spot. She obviously felt that her money was worth more than everyone else’s so she deserved to block the kids. I don’t understand how disgraceful people can be sometimes. I thought about LOUDLY approaching her and asking how she didn’t comprehend what she had done to the rest of the kids. It would have been warranted. If she was blocking my son, I probably would have, and gotten a round of applause. Many ppl were audibly frustrated by her lack of humanity.


Day 2: EPCOT

EPCOT was to be our first true rope drop day, so we arrived at the parking lot at 7:30. We were so early that, though we bought only standard parking, they parked us on the grass under the trees to the right of the gates. We literally couldn’t have been closer! In retrospect, however, perhaps this should have been a sign to us about how crowded they expected it to be.

We were in line at the tapstiles before 8, with only a few people in front of us. By 8:30 they had let us in and held us just before Spaceship Earth until 8:55. We headed straight to Frozen, getting in line by 9:05 and being done by 9:15. I was surprised to find the ride really fun and beautiful (not a huge fan of Frozen myself). The kids all professed their undying love for me because the posted wait was already something like 45 minutes when we left.

From there we headed to Soarin’, and we waited about 30 minutes there, but it was worth it. DS6 and I then waited to meet Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy at the Character Spot, while DS20 & DD15 went to meet Baymax (DS20’s all time favorite). We then used FPPs for Turtle Talk with Crush, which we didn’t need FPs for but oh well. We all really liked this, DS6 and I even got called on to chat with Crush!

We immediately hoofed it over to the Imagination Pavilion for Figment, which I also had FPs for. Can I just take a moment to say: woof! What a dog of a ride. I can not understand how this one stays open. It is somehow simultaneously a completely unpleasant sensory overload and boring in the extreme. Not to mention the super lame play area after the ride. EPCOT: your computer technology was cool in 1989. Now, it’s a history lesson. Our nonprofit science museum at home completely eclipses anything in this building. Okay. /rant

It was about lunchtime, so we headed for a shady bench and ate our lunch. From there DD15 went to meet Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy, then DS6 & DD15 met Ralph and Vanessa (or whoever she is) and Joy and Sadness (DD’s favorites). This gave DS20, DH, and I time to take turns holding down a bench, which was welcome.

After this we headed into the WS, stopping at the Agent P’s kiosk on the way. We went pretty much straight to the UK to do the first mission. This was fun, but DS6 is not yet a reader (so needed lots of help), all of us were pretty tired, and UK was crowded due to a band playing. We all decided one mission was enough. Once that was done, we were surprised to see Mary Poppins appear, and DD just had to meet her.

We headed on toward France where I’d planned for us to get a snack. There was a really cool acrobat (dressed as a mime) performing to a huge crowd. The patisserie was packed out and, I hate to say, the pastries were only so-so. DS6 and DH got ice cream instead, and then we hightailed it out of France, trying to get away from the crowds. Out of the frying pan into the fire, I’m afraid.

All of us were tired (did I say that already?) and none of us except DD15 is much of a shopper, so I think WS in general just isn’t our thing. Plus, with all the folks there for the Festival of the Arts, it seemed extremely crowded. We walked through Morocco, which was beautiful. DS20 and DD15 loved Japan (they’re both into anime, etc.), but after Japan we headed back to Future World.

Future World was much less crowded and felt like a relief. We walked on to Nemo (which was okay) and Living with the Land (which, I’m sorry, I think is boring). We were disappointed not not ride Spaceship Earth, but it was closed all day. Finally we rode Test Track with our FPPs (a huge hit!).

Now, this next bit is all my fault. I should not have squeezed in Nemo and LwtL just because I could before Test Track. We wouldn’t have missed them, and we would’ve gotten back into WS earlier. As it was, we weren’t walking back to Mexico until 8. We had hoped to have dinner at the Cantina and watch Illuminations from there, but of course 8 was too late to get a table. We ended up eating our meal from our laps (though this one meal was my favorite–I got the taco trio and they were all so yummy!). We did find a good spot to watch from the bridge next to Mexico, though, so all was not lost.

I’m with @Cgerres here, though. I just don’t think EPCOT is our thing. I would go so far as to say I don’t think I’d miss it if we skipped it next time, especially if it’s crowded. DD15, who as I said is our shopper, is the only one who would.

By the numbers:

Steps walked: 24, 034
Attractions: you know, most of the rides, but not most of WS
Characters hugged: 8


Sorry it wasn’t all you had planned. I always take experiences like this as proof that as a claustrophobic i will only go during the lowest of CL. yes i will miss a show or extra razzle dazzle but i make up for it in the ability to enter rides and shows at will.
There’s always next time. Try it child free…you’ll love it.:sunglasses:

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Day 3: Rest day

The 10+ miles at EPCOT on day 2 did us in a bit. We all slept in (all the way to 7:30 for me, which is unfortunately an accomplishment), headed to mass at 10:30 at a neat parish near our Airbnb, and then came back for lunch. We hung out there for a while–did some laundry, took a little nap, watched some tv–and then headed to Disney Springs. The one thing our DS20 really wanted to do this trip is play a demo of the new Kingdom Hearts game, which was going at Disney Springs. So, he did that, and we walked around a little. After the demo and a little time in the Lego store, we had dinner at an Applebees off property (but not off property enough, in truth). It was a much-needed day of relaxing and we all felt much revived in the morning.

Day 4: Our first park hop: Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom (AKA our MLK mistake)

We arrived at the MK parking lot by 7:30 this morning and paid for preferred parking because we would be heading to AK later. We were through the tapstiles by 8, and lined up on the bridge to the right of the castle. We were only about 6 or 7 people back. Rope drop was immediately after the show (which we could still see pretty well), and was crazy-go-nuts. Pushing, shoving, elbowing. NUTS. One guy even got the business end of our stroller by pushing out in front of me, but he seemed to understand he was at fault. It was not pleasant.

Anyway, after all that we ended up waiting about 20-25 minutes for 7DMT, which was pretty good I thought. I’m glad we got to ride it, but I don’t think I’d bother if it meant rope dropping it again. We had much more fun on BTM, which was next.

On our way over to BTM, Peter Pan came up behind DD15 and hooked arms with her and flirted for a bit. It was hilarious and adorable, and swept DD off her feet! :joy: This encounter made her trip, and she was thrilled to share the pics I grabbed with her girls, who all were in a play about Peter Pan with her last year.

The wait for BTM ended up being longer than the posted wait (they were only running one train), and our other wait times started creeping up as we were in line. It did end up being a 10 CL at MK that day, I believe, which would explain it. It worked out okay. I did end up dropping a couple of things, but they were things we didn’t really care much about.

Next we went to Pirates, which I always love, then Magic Carpets and the Tiki Room. The Tiki Room is much more like it was when I was a kid, which made me so happy!! I always loved it so much. Finally we stopped in at Country Bear Jamboree because DH loves it. We sat in front of this 2 year old boy who has obviously seen it multiple times and cheered and shouted for one of the characters. It was probably the cutest thing we saw our whole trip. Seriously, find someone who looks at you like that boy looked at those weird animatronics.

From there, we headed out to go to AK. We were glad we had gotten preferred parking because we would’ve needed to take a tram in from the lot if we hadn’t. It was quite full, and AK did end up being a 10 that day.

Our TP held up surprisingly well, despite the crowds. We did the Nemo musical, which most of us loved, Primeval Whirl with FPP, which the kids didn’t like but DH and I did, and then Everest. Oh man, Everest nearly ended DS6. He, by this time, was 100% in on rollercoasters (his only question: does it go fast??), but I didn’t know about the animated Yeti! Last time it was a cute animatronic guy. Crap! Yeti plus the going backwards in the dark did him in. He was sobbing in my arms afterwards. Poor buddy.

Once he recovered, we went back to Dinoland so he could ride TriceraTop Spin (and as penance I rode it with him). Then we went on to Dinosaur. Now, for the record, I never planned on DS6 riding this. I’d read about it and knew it was scary. DD15 didn’t want to ride it (Everest was a little scary for her, too), and so we were going to ride without them. But, DS6 insisted. So, against my better judgment, he rode. Of course that meant that I rode next to him and held my hands over his eyes and whisper-shouted in his ear the whole time about how it was only a ride and I’m right here, etc., etc., etc. :joy: Oh well. I’m not sure I would’ve liked it even if that’s not how I rode it–boy was it bumpy!!

Finally we headed over to Festival of the Lion King, which is DH’s #1 all time favorite thing at DW. It was, of course, wonderful. On the way over, I got a Tusker beer. I was so excited–I hadn’t seen it anywhere since I’d been in Tanzania in 2007!

After FotLK, we walked out, getting to meet Launchpad McQuack and catching Awakenings on our way. We had originally planned to stay for whatever the nighttime show was, but after reading reviews decided to skip it in favor of an earlier night.

All in all it was a good day in terms of touring. However, after the crowds at EPCOT and the intense crowds at AK, I felt pretty discouraged. We got to most of what we’d hoped, but just being in the park felt overstimulating and frantic. Thankfully, things took a turn for the better!

ETA: by the numbers:

Steps walked: 17,946
Attractions: 12
Characters: 1 flirt, 1 autograph


If you go back, World Showcase, imo is fun for the street shows:
Chinese Acrobats
Seveur Amusant
Japanese Drummers.
And a few snacks.
I plan out a walking path according to the street show times, and then get the heck out of there. Basically just see the shows after we do everything we want in Future World (and yes, Figment is a head scratcher.)



Figment used to be a great ride. They messed it up 19 years ago…

To each their own. Epcot is my favorite park. I could spend days there…


Day 5: Hollywood Studios

Our plan had been to rope drop FoP at AK this morning, do a few things there, and then head over to HS for the last half of the day. But all of us were tuckered out, and our experience at AK had seriously deterred us. This was my only real disappointment of the trip. Last time, we had all loved AK so much–it was interesting, beautiful, and relaxing. But the crowds really changed that feeling for us.

Anyway, we decided just to get a late start at HS. We got there around 10:30 and paid for preferred parking because we were late getting there and had planned on it anyway.

First we did the StarWars Launch Bay. We looked around some and met Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, and BB-8. DH might as well have been 6, he had just as much fun as any of the kids! It was pretty cute.

From there we saw Little Mermaid, which I think is 100% better than it was 8 years ago. Then it was behind some kind of convex glass that made the stage look like a fishbowl, but reminded me of a circus sideshow. This version, while still a little corny, is way better.

After LM, we watched the StarWars Galaxy show, which our SW fans loved. We ate lunch at the Beauty and the Beast show, which was great, and then stood in line for Alien Swirling Saucers. It was a long-ish wait (about 40 mins), but demand from DS6 to ride a RIDE and NOT a SHOW was high.

I’m not sure exactly when this happened, but at some point we met Mike & Sully, or so my photos tell me.

DH, DS20, and I then rode ToT on our FPPs. DS6 and DS15 were out on that one. Then it was the Frozen Singalong. I hate to admit it, but I loved this. The hosts were hilarious, and there is just something about a huge group of people belting it out together. What?? I’m not crying, you’re crying.

We then met Edna Mode, who was a riot. She was the most interactive character we met except maybe Tinkerbell who we’d meet our last day. DS6 has a Disney character encyclopedia he had folks signing, and she made a big deal about having a page in it, holding it up to the window to show passers by and showing it to people in line. It was pretty hilarious.

StarTours with our FPPs was next and we all thought that was pretty great, though DS20 felt a little queasy/dizzy afterwards. Unfortunately, this was not motion sickness but some kind of virus coming on, which we would figure out the next day.

After this we watched the Jedi Training so DS6 could figure out if he wanted to do it the next day (he was nervous about it). Of course he decided to do it. Then it was on to Toy Story Mania with our FPP. I just love this ride. It’s so fun and the graphics are so good.

On our way out of TSM, DH found that the wait for SDD was “only” about an hour, and we had time before the StarWars fireworks, so he talked us into standing in line. We were all glad we did. The line ended up only taking about 40 minutes, and we all thought it was a ton of fun and well worth the wait.

StarWars fireworks were awesome, though I was hangry by now and didn’t realize all of the QS places except popcorn vendors would close at 8 (which is dumb, btw). But, my DH got himself an AT-AT popcorn, so it all turned out okay. I am noticing that I didn’t say when we had a snack, and I don’t remember when it was. Hmmm. . . I’m sure we did. Oh well.

All in all a wonderful day. We all had so much fun, got to see more than we’d planned, and the CL was only a 5, which made the park very pleasant.

By the numbers:

Steps walked: 13,955
Attractions: 12
Characters met: 6


Agreed. Planning would be a lot simpler if they kept food outlets open after ride-closing time.


Yeah, I think my DD could spend her whole trip at EPCOT. It is 100% her thing. I am a truly terrible tourist, though. I went on real photo safari in Tanzania once and within the first hour I was bored and ready to quit. I think it’s a character deficiency. :slight_smile:

We rode Figment this time because I couldn’t believe it was so bad 8 years ago. I thought I must’ve been remembering it wrong, because I loved it the last time I went as a child (1988 or so). But oh, man. What a stinker.


I will for sure keep this in mind for next time!

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I certainly thought I had planned to be there at a lower CL time than it turned out! I don’t find crowds enjoyable at all.

I love Figment. I’m so weird.

Epcot is my jam 100%.

But I love that everyone can have a different favorite!!! :heart_eyes:


Day 6: Hollywood Studios, Take 2

This was our rope drop day for both the Jedi Training for DS6 and SDD. We arrived at the parking lot a little later than I wanted, but were in line at the tapstiles by 8ish and were only a few people back. They let us in at around 8:30, up to the hub (whatever it’s called). At that point we were able to jog over to sign up for the Jedi Training. But we didn’t need to run, there were plenty of spaces and we had our pick of times. DH wanted to do it after sunset because the lights are cool, so that’s what we did.

Then it was time to join the rope drop crowd again. Because we’d already ridden SDD, we decided not to be too intense about it, and so stayed on the side street instead of trying to push in to the main crowd. This rope drop crowd seemed a less intense than the 7DMT crowd, which was nice and maybe just a function of there being fewer people that day. RD was just before 9, and we went with the crowd to SDD. Our wait was only about 30 minutes, I think, and it was lots of fun again.

From there we rode Star Tours again, which is where we started to realize that DS20 wasn’t doing so well. We weren’t sure still if it was motion sickness, exhaustion (he’s our recent hip-replacement guy), or illness. He sat out us meeting Movie Star Minnie and Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey. SA Mickey wouldn’t take no for an answer when I said I wasn’t going to be in the pictures (am really happy just taking them!), and then hugged and rocked me for a long moment afterwards. I couldn’t decide if it was soothing or creepy!! :joy:

From there we headed over to the Indiana Jones Stunt thing, and ate our lunch there. Then DH and I took DS6 to the Disney Jr. Dance Party (only so-so, DS was a little old for it), and I sat with DS20 while DH, DS6, and DS15 met Vampirina and Doc McStuffins. We then went over to the Muppets 3D movie, which was fine but something I would drop if pressed for time.

DS20 was still feeling poorly–kind of queasy and really tired. We stopped and had a snack (he loves funnel cake), but by then end of that I decided to take him to the first aid center so he could lie down for a bit. While he napped there while I watched, DH took DS6 and DD15 to ride TSM on our FPPs again and then Alien Swirling Saucers.

After a nap DS20 decided he wanted to stay–especially to see DS6 do the Jedi Training and to see Fantasmic. He hung out while DH, DS6, and I rode Rockin Rollercoaster (DD15 chickened out at the last minute!) with our FPPs. Surprisingly enough, DS6 loved it.

Then it was Jedi Training, which was so cute I almost died. DS6 got to fight Darth Vader, which is what he had hoped for. It was an awesome experience.

Then on to Fantasmic. DH was my hero and walked all the way in to get seats with us, and then walked all the way out to get dinner when we realized that the only food inside was popcorn, etc. We all agreed that Fantasmic was great, and DS20 was glad he had stayed even though he was by this time feeling pretty badly.

Afterwards, DS20 and DH made a beeline for the van because DS6 had a toy he wanted to get on our way out. The plan was for DH to bring the van to the entrance so we could hop in, but between bad signage and absent CM’s, this turned out to be way more complicated than it should’ve been. But we got out eventually.

It was a good day, except for poor DS20’s feeling so badly. Our time at HS was for sure one of the highlights of our trip!

By the numbers:
Steps walked: 14,974
Attractions: 11
Characters greeted: 4


Sounds like so much fun!! Sorry your son got sick though. That is my worst vacation fear


Day 7: Our final goodbye to the Magic Kingdom

Our tentative plan had been to rope drop Flight of Passage at AK this morning, since we had ditched it on day 5. But we wanted to give DS20 plenty of time to figure out if he was up to coming to the parks that day, it was rainy, we needed to start packing, and it turned out that no one really cared about it aside from DH and me. So, I quieted my inner “I paid for it all, I’m doing it all!” and we decided to skip it this time.

DS20 decided that he wasn’t feeling well enough to enjoy coming with us, so he stayed back at the condo, which was really sad. We tried to figure out if we could postpone coming home for a day and try again the next day, etc., but were up against the hard deadline of getting him back to school and work. He assured us that he was okay, and off we went without him. Sigh. Even when they’re old, it’s hard to leave your babies behind!

We arrived later than intended at MK and first thing went to meet Tinkerbell. She was hilarious! My DS6 is an inveterate debater, and when Tinkerbell said something about his shirt he disagreed with, they went back and forth for ages. They had everyone, including the photographers, cracking up.

After that we sat on the benches by the Customer Relations office, ate our lunch, and caught the tail end of the dance party floats going back stage. By then it was almost time for the Dapper Dans, one of DH’s favorite memories from our last trip, so we stuck around Main St for them.

We rode Barnstormer on a FP and then DD15 took DS6 on Dumbo. It was then that we realized it was going to be a great day in the park–their Dumbo wait was less than 10 minutes!

We walked over toward Winnie the Pooh, which we had FPPs for, and waited to meet Pooh and Tigger. While in line to do that, the ride broke down for what must’ve been 30 seconds, because all the sudden we had anytime Fast Passes! Whoo hoo! So, we saw Winnie and Tigger, and then stood in the standby line for the Winnie the Pooh ride, which was only about 20 minutes. Then we went to use our Big Thunder Mountain FPPs.

Something I learned because my DH was smart enough to ask: if you have an anytime FP, you can still use your other FPPs, but you have to use them in their window exactly. If you use the grace period AT ALL the system will take the anytime one.

After BTM, which I think is underrated, we headed to Liberty Square to grab a snack and catch the Muppets History show. I’m kind of a sucker for Muppets, so I liked it. In any case it was fun to watch while snacking.

On our way back toward Space Mountain, we realized that the wait for the Teacups was only 5 minutes, so DS6, DD15, and I rode. It was fun, but I don’t think I could’ve tolerated much more spinning than we did!

We used our anytime FPPs for Space Mountain, for which we had planned on waiting standby. We all wanted to ride it again, but DS6 was insistent–it was his Everest, er, his great whale or whatever. :joy: That was fun for all, especially not waiting standby, and then DH and DS6 went to Astro Orbiters, which DS6 had been sorry to miss the first day. While in line for that, DH noticed that standby was only 20 minutes at Haunted Mansion, so DD15 and I scooted over there. We both love that ride.

We met up again at Under the Sea, which I had grabbed completely unnecessary FPPs for, then we all went to Barnstormer again. After that we found a great spot in front of the castle for Happily Ever After, and said our goodbyes.

It was a wonderful day, other than missing DS20. The CL was low (a 2 or 3 I think?), and it was a lot more relaxed–partly because everything we did was bonus.

By the numbers:

Steps walked: 15,326
Attractions: 18
Characters: 3


Totally agree here. BTM is one of my favorite rides in WDW! Really good length, amazing theming, and enough thrills to make it fun, but not crazy enough to scare anyone off …

Glad you had a great end to your trip!


Things I learned from this trip:

  • Body glide, body glide, body glide: I used Body Glide “For Her” to ward off the dreaded chub rub (believe you me, it is for real) and it worked like a charm. We all used “Foot” and none of us got blisters at all, which we’d all suffered from greatly the last time. I’m a believer!

  • Vionic sneakers: I have flares of plantar fasciitis, and I was worried about all the walking. I’m somewhat active at home, but not 10 miles a day active. These are my regular sneakers and work great day to day, but they were also great for the sharp increase.

  • Epsom salts: more nights than not, we made an epsom salt foot bath for all to soak their feet in. It felt good and I think helped with soreness.

  • The Keenz stroller/wagon: oh how can I sing your praises? I was pretty sure it was going to be overkill, but we loved having it every minute. DS6 would not have been able to keep our schedule without it, it held our lunches, snacks, drinks, autograph books, souvenirs, and shed layers so none of us had to carry a backpack or rent a locker. It provided shade in the middle of the day and a spot for DS6 to sleep on the way out. It was easy to open and collapse. And, the rental was less than renting a Disney stroller and locker for the duration of our trip.

  • Pay attention to what the kids really like: Full disclosure: I don’t understand the appeal of characters. I mean, they’re 23 year olds dressed up as a fictional character. I. . . just don’t get it. BUT, DD15 really, really, really liked meeting them. DS6 enjoyed it, once they were face to face, and DH actually really liked it, too. Because of my bias, I may have missed this and continued not to plan to meet the characters, which would’ve been disappointing to the kids and frustrating to me when they wanted to interrupt my beautiful plan.

  • For crying out loud, make an actual plan for dinner: every day I had something on the schedule like “grab dinner and go watch fireworks” or something dumb like that. Dinner, even if you’re doing CS, is not something you can just grab. You have to figure out what everyone wants, go get it, and then find a place to eat. We only once managed to sit at an actual table in the parks for dinner, only due to lack of paying attention to it on my part. I’m not super disappointed by this, but there were a couple of times I wished I’d made a better plan.

  • You can’t use gift cards for mobile orders. Plan accordingly. We didn’t end up missing mobile ordering a lot, but we also didn’t eat all that much in the parks.

  • You can register five Disney gift cards online. I only realized this after misplacing one of my gift cards–thankfully it only had about a $30 balance. But, if you register your cards, you can move balances between them. So, if you lose one, you can just move its balance to another card. Take the time to do this if you’re using gift cards!

  • The Ferry is nicer for exiting MK to the TTC parking lot than the monorail.

  • Preferred parking is worth it if you’re park hopping.

  • If you wait until 7:30 or so, the SDD line gets a lot faster because people start heading over to Fantasmic.

  • You can eat on Carousel of Progress and in a lot of the outdoor shows.

  • Not all characters give autographs. Buzz Lightyear has a stamp, the StarWars characters have a sticker (the same for all three of them), Ralph doesn’t sign but Vanellope (sic) does, and Baymax doesn’t sign.

  • If you’re getting the Junior Disney Character encyclopedia, make sure to get the most current edition. We didn’t realize we got the 2014 one, and some characters weren’t in there (Joy and Sadness were the only two, though, I think).

  • I have gained a bunch of weight since we were last in the World, and I was worried about fitting on the rides. But, my body type was no issue at all–in fact, after the first day or so, I never really thought about it while we were there. The only thing I still don’t know about is FoP, since we didn’t ride it and some people have had trouble.


Thanks for sharing!

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so very true

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