Our Recent 9 Day Trip (In Disney Parks 8 of those days and 1 to Universal)


#1

My wife, 5 year old daughter, and i just got back from 8 amazing days and 9 Magical nights in Orlando, Florida. This was by far the best vacation i have ever had.

It all started back in 2014 shortly after my daughter's second birthday and my wife and i started discussing when the best age to take her to Disney World would be. My wife said "six" and i said "four" so we compromised and went with FIVE.

So with a vacation looming three years out, and having not been to WDW in almost thirty years, to say some things had changed was an understatement. I mean “what in the world is Fast Pass +”, “what do you mean I need to make dining reservations 6 months out”?? I don’t know what I want for dinner TONIGHT, let alone for the whole length of a vacation over 180 days out!!!

So I began my research, I began talking to friends who had been, I purchased the “unofficial guide”, I started reading different entries on touring plans, I got the Disney dvd, I downloaded the My Disney Experience app and began reading any and all books I could get my hands on to help me make this the best vacation ever.
So we decided TO GO FOR NINE DAYS. All the while saving up for this trip and doing all of the research needed to successfully conquer “THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH”

SO Fast forward three years, and the time has finally come, we departed Louisiana at 6:30 a.m. with a 45 minute layover in Dallas (I’ll still never understand why we need to fly west to Texas to catch a flight to head BACK East to Orlando, Florida, I mean I know why…BUT WHY??)

Anyways...all is well we make our connecting flight, we land in Orlando, get our luggage, get our rental car, (we discussed between not renting a car and just relying on Disney’s transportation systems, taxi, uber, etc. and opted to rent a car, more on that to come later.)

WE ARRIVE!!! DAY 1 AT DISNEY (Magic Kingdom!!!)

Things got off to a somewhat rocky start, and I realize some of these things are very, very minor, but they just seemed to keep mounting up. First off, we arrived at Port Orleans – Riverside, and we had rented a stroller from kingdom strollers, because even though daughter is now five, I figured better to be safe than sorry. We also purchased some fruits, vegetables and snacks to keep in the room along with some adult beverages, we ordered these ahead of time from gardengrocer.com and were very pleased with our order and we received a text message shortly after landing at the Orlando airport that our grocery order and our stroller rental had been delivered to our resort. So we arrive at the resort (after also receiving a text that our room was ready as well,) but we had no idea how to get to our room, so we go to the front desk, since we have to get the groceries and stroller anyways, we park the car and walk in (now also keep in mind that I had just told my wife, that in one of the books I read the cast members say “Welcome Home” upon your arrival at check in / at the front desk, and my wife jokingly asked me “are you going to be upset if they don’t say it” well low and behold THEY DID NOT SAY IT. No big deal, this is one of those very, very minor things I was talking about. The man at the front desk was very polite and gave both my wife and daughter birthday buttons, and gave my daughter a “first visit” button, he asked if we knew how to get to our room, we said we did not, so he pulls out a map of the resort and a black sharpie, and after all is said and done it looked like a Jackson Pollock painting, we smile and take the map thinking maybe we can just figure it out after all we remember him saying “TAKE TWO LEFTS”, again very, very minor, So we load up our stroller and our groceries, since bell services doesn’t seem to want to help us, they just set them (the groceries) on the counter and walked away, AGAIN VERY, VERY MINOR. So now we are all loaded back up and have added the groceries and stroller and we are heading to “TAKE TWO LEFTS”. The second left being after the guard shack…….well the second left after the guard shack took us back out on the main road and it took us forty-five minutes just to get back to the resort entrance for the second time (this one was not so minor), but I am willing to assume, that we misunderstood his directions after all being stuck in traffic at Disney World is still better than being stuck at work. We get back in the resort, find our room, park, unload, unpack, seeing that there are only 4 or 5 hangers in the closet when you have three people staying for nine days, I was just going to call the front desk, but instead I ran into someone and they asked me if I needed anything and I said “yes, can I please get about 20 or so more hangers to room such and such, we are going to be here awhile” she said sure and a few minutes later one of the members of “Mouse Keeping” showed up with 9 more hangers….yes, you get the point very, very minor, but these very, very minor things keep to be mounting and they are growing in my head, and so far Disney’s World Class Service is not living up to their standards nor my expectations.

Not feeling the Magic??? Head to Magic Kingdom!!!

Well although my wife and I weren’t feeling the “Magic” Initially, we were bound and determined to not let it ruin our trip or let our daughter see our frustration, so when you need a little boost of “magic” in your life, there is nowhere better than the Magic Kingdom, so we hopped on a Disney bus (we were a little frustrated at driving by now) and we headed on over. When we got there, our spirits were uplifted and we were all in much better moods.

I grew up in California, so we were at Disney Land every summer, so it was like a time machine just took me back to my childhood. We had fast passes for The Jungle Cruise, Pirates, and The Haunted Mansion, (by the way someone seriously needs to do something to ensure guests don’t get trampled coming out of the “stretching room” into the “doom” buggy loading area, and on that note… EVERYONE PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT JUST BECAUSE A DOOR OPENS, IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO BE THE FIRST ONES THROUGH IT, I can’t tell you how many times we saw grown adults pushing their kids or dragging their kids (at least I hope they were their kids) through a door from a waiting area room, like Haunted Mansion, Rock N Roller Coaster, Philharmagic, Dinosaur, Laugh Floor, ETC.

Then we did stand by for Magic Carpets of Aladdin and The Tiki Room and then had a ADR at Be Our Guest (which was delicious) for dinner. And yes we tried the grey stuff, it was delicious, don’t believe us, ask the dishes!!!


#2

Day 2 – Back To The Magic Kingdom
Well after a good nights rest, we were once again bright eyed and bushy tailed for our breakfast reservation at Crystal Palace. The food was good, not great, but the service, location, layout and the experience was FANTASTIC!! Our daughter loved meeting Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. Eeyore AND Tigger had just left our section when we sat down, and were still pretty far off by the time we were done eating, and we had a fast pass date to meet our daughter’s favorite princess…ARIEL.
The look on her face when she came face to face with the “Princess under the sea” was worth the price of the whole vacation, she was completely star struck, she could barely move and forget her saying a single word to Ariel, she must have had at least three knots in her little tied up tongue, but Ariel was a great sport and carried the conversation enough to get her to at least nod her head a couple of times, and then when Ariel asked for a hug, five grown men could not have stopped our daughter from running to give her one, and as we walked out she kept looking over her shoulder and Ariel kept on waving to her. THANKS ARIEL!!!

Since this is also a touring plans blog, I will also include some info from the touring plan I printed out and compare it to what we actually experienced, as some of the wait times were pretty spot on and some were way off. Our Fast Pass to meet Ariel expected time was 1 minute, actual wait time was 5. We did stand by for Peter Pan’s Flight expected wait time 19 minutes, actual wait time 40 minutes, Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh expected 17, actual 33, Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid expected wait time 13, actual 8, The barnstormer expected 7 actual 19, meet Magnifique friends at pete’s silly side show expected 11, actual 30 (and that was just for Donald and Gooofy, the line was twice as long for Daisy and Minnie, which we decided we would do later in the week) Dumbo expected 11, actual 22, Fast Pass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train expected 11, actual 5, carousel expected 5, actual 5, Fast Pass for It’s a small world expected 5 actual 5. So our first full day of touring the plan was off by 72 minutes, nothing major and we made it to all of our fast passes in time and then we left the park for lunch.

Seven Dwarfs was AMAZING, and lived up to the hype, I completely understand why this one gets two hour stand by times 30 minutes after park opening. It’s a small world is another story, I get it, it’s cute, it’s catchy, it makes me never want to hear that song again. But the girls loved it.

For lunch we took the ferry to the Wilderness Lodge to eat at The Whispering Canyon Café.
Now the WCC was one of the restaurants that I had heard lots of good things about, the games and shenanigans that they do while you eat, so this was one that I had pretty high hopes for. We saw them doing the stick pony races while we were waiting on our table, they never did them again the rest of the duration of our meal. I knew what would happen if we asked for Ketchup, and that was pretty much all they did all afternoon. In the time that we asked for it , (we probably got nine bottles of ketchup brought to our table, we used the ketchup, took a picture of all of the bottles and then someone else asked for it, the food was good, once it got to our table, a group of four sat down right next to us, about 15-20 minutes after we had ordered, and they got their food at least 10-15 minutes before we did, and we had the same waiter, who just kept coming by asking if they needed anything and telling us yours is on its way. Unless you’re staying at the wilderness lodge, I wouldn’t recommend the WCC. Good food, not great. Fair service, not good, they need more games and atmosphere other than “We Need Ketchup” I had heard many people saying that if you ordered a large drink, this HUMONGOUS drink would come out, I ordered a large but it was just a regular sized drink, which I got refilled several times. After lunch we went back to the resort to nap and get ready for dinner and a “hoopin’ good time.

For Dinner we went to the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground for The Hoop Dee Doo Revue. Now this one was another that came highly recommended, and IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. WE LOVED IT. The show was fabulous, very entertaining and family oriented. Plus the adult beverages are included with ticket price, now that is a win win. The food was very good, the DESSERT WAS GREAT!!!. I would recommend this to everyone to at least experience it once. I’m not sure if I would do it again, because there is still so many other things to do at Disney, kind of like SOME of the rides in the parks, you do them once, you enjoy them once, but you don’t feel the need to go over and over and over. BUT EVERYONE SHOULD AT LEAST DO THE HOOP DEE DOO REVUE ONCE!!!

Now back to the resort for early bed time as we have breakfast in Norway with some princesses tomorrow…


#3

Day 3 – EPCOT

Now as you can see (and will continue to see) we had pre park opening breakfast reservations every day, (I’m not sure if this is something I would do every day again, because it definitely took a toll). But here we are day 3, and we are already running late for our breakfast reservation. So we parked at the Magic Kingdom (still not sure why we did this) rode the monorail to Epcot, only to have to go back through bag check (I carried a backpack with everything under the sun in it, from sunscreen, water bottle, autograph books, external phone charger, etc. Etc. ETC. something I learned to dwindle down every day until we had just the essentials needed, and I now know what those are) we get through bag check, and we decide that I will run back to Akershus, to check in so we don’t lose our table and they will meet me there. So…here I am, a grown man, walking as fast as I can (since there is no running in WDW) through Epcot so we don’t lose our table or our first opportunity to dine with the princesses. Now keep in mind it’s 8:20 on a Sunday morning, in late May, in Orlando, Florida…I WAS A HOT SWEATY MESS. But I got there in time, I probably just didn’t appear to be anyone’s Prince Charming at that point. But I cooled off, the wife and daughter showed up, daughter was speechless again (this would be a reoccurring theme when we would meet princesses). We met Belle, Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, and of course Ariel. The food was really good, the service was really good, the atmosphere was really nice, all of the princesses were super sweet and engaging. Breakfast was a huge success, and I would definitely recommend it and would definitely eat here again.
After breakfast, since we were already in Norway, why not ride Frozen Ever After, after all, we were three minutes ahead of our touring plan, and without a fast pass, our touring plan expected wait time is 23 minutes….WRONG…48 MINUTES, so now we are behind on our touring plan, but the girls could care less, so I’m fine too.

Frozen Ever After was AMAZING!!! We all three loved it and were all singing the songs. I never rode Maelstrom, but I have a hard time believing that it was anything near as good as this was.

On to our next Norwegian adventure, we've gotta meet the sisters behind the movie and the ride, right?? And although we are now half an hour behind schedule, TP says that meeting Anna and Elsa will only take 15 minutes, No Problem….Right? Wrong Again!!! 35 minute wait, but again, not complaining, because it was well worth it!!! Anna and Elsa were exactly like they were in the movie, Anna was fun, bubbly and talkative, and Elsa was a little more quiet, but still confident and friendly, not quite “cold” though. LOL!!!

After leaving Norway it was back to Future World, to ride Test Track, that I was so excited to ride, but surprise, surprise, just like all of the books I had read said…TEST TRACK WAS TEMPORARILY CLOSED (and would stay this way for the next two hours). So we took some photo pass pictures, and some photos of our own. By the way for anyone debating whether or not to get Photo Pass, I can not recommend it ENOUGH. We Loved It. We got it and we made sure to utilize it.
After some snacks and cold drinks it was time for our 1st fast pass of the day….MISSION SPACE. Now I went back and forth debating whether to do the boring GREEN version or the more intimidating ORANGE version. My wife had a friend who had rode the orange version and said that she got sick on it and wasn’t the same the rest of the day, so once in line, when it was time to choose, I chose ORANGE, and my wife was a few feet behind saying “hey, honey, wait!!, isn’t this the one that Dana got sick on?” I just held my daughters hand and kept briskly walking. But we all three LOVED this ride, although I seemed to be the only doing my duties on the flight. And even more important none of us got sick or had any side effects from the ride.

Our window opening for our next fast pass was fast approaching, so we headed over to The Seas with Nemo and Friends, which we all loved and I really thought it was better than what I had heard about it, and it was a welcome break from the heat.
With our lunch reservation getting close and Test Track still being closed, we decided just to walk around a bit in World Showcase since we were having lunch at Biergarten in Germany anyways.

Now Biergarten was very entertaining and the Beer was delicious, the food on the other hand wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, it was very good, but when I was planning this meal 6 months before hand I hadn’t really taken into account how heavy German food was gonna be, especially while you are walking around in the Florida sun afterwards. But everything was great here. The food, atmosphere, show, and of course the beer.

After lunch, and being stuffed like one of the sausages we just ate, the girls decided they wanted to take the water ferry back to Future World, so we did that, which drops you off In Canada, and then we walked to our third fast pass…………….dun..dun..dun……..SOARIN’

THIS RIDE WAS ABSOLUTELY, RIDICULOUSLY, FANTASTICALLY AWESOME. This was definitely a favorite for all of us, this is one of those rides that I could do over and over, and try it in each and every seat to see if it is different. We loved it.

After Soarin’ we looked at My Disney Experience and saw Test Track was back open, but had 130 minute wait, with both of the girls getting tired and knowing that we would be back this evening for dinner at Restaurant Marrakesh and Illuminations, they decided to go back to take a nap. My wife even convinced me to stay, I kept thinking this was some sort of trick, but she said “No, we’ll be fine, stay, try some different beers, single ride Test Track or Soarin’ again” Well I did (and this would become a regularity for the next 7 days). I SO LOVE MY WIFE.

So they left, and it soon dawned on me that I had never been in an amusement park by myself before, heck I had never even been at our city fair by myself before, LET ALONE WALT DISNEY WORLD. What to do?? What to do??
First off I kept thinking that I was looking like the creepy guy walking around by himself at Epcot, then I soon realized, these people don’t know me and will never see me again, so I walked around a bit trying some different snacks and drinks, and then I single rode Test Track….AMAZING. I was a little bummed that the girls weren’t there to experience it though.

I was then going to watch The American Adventure, but I got there a few minutes late, and figured I would catch it later, but never got back to it. It’s still on My Disney To Do List.

So I mainly just walked around eating, drinking and taking photos. It is weird how if there is a family taking a picture and you are with your family, you ask them if they would like you to take their picture, so everyone can be in it, they agree and most times they will do the same for you, but if you are there by yourself, and ask they look at you like you are going to run away with their camera or phone, so needless to say most of my photos are selfies. LOL!!

Well the girls showed back up and we went back to the The seas main tank and exhibits, and Turtle Talk with Crush. Crush’s expected wait time was 11 minutes and actual wait time was 5 minutes. Turtle Talk with Crush is also "probably" going to be one of those one and done attractions, but it is super cute.

Then we had dinner at Restaurant Marrakesh which was a surprise to my wife, because this is what she wanted, but I had told her that they were booked and we were just going to eat Mexican food at San Angel Inn Restaurante, (but she wasn’t too thrilled because we always eat Mexican food when we are at home, and she was wanting some change).

So she was a little confused when we kept walking right past the San Angel Inn, and then I confessed that we had got the reservation for Restaurant Marrakesh. Once again, I highly recommend this restaurant, the food, drinks, atmosphere were FABULOUS, and the gorgeous belly dancer entertainment was awesome to watch too, she kept waving at my daughter and trying to get her to come dance with her, but daughter was too shy. If you get the chance to eat here, you should definitely do it.
We ended the evening with some ice cream and watching Illuminations, which was outstanding, and then it was monorail back to Magic Kingdom to get the car, which we really regretted now.

Tomorrow it’s off to Universal and Harry Potter land


#4

Day 4 – Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure

We got up a little earlier than usual that morning, since this would be one of the two days that we didn’t have a breakfast reservation and we still wanted to beat the rush at the food court at Port Orleans Riverside. Food there was ok, service there was below average. Several of the people, (not all of the people) that were serving the food were very rude, yelling at everyone “what do you want” or “what will you have” (still very, very minor, but come on Disney you’ve been great the last two days, don’t get back to this routine). We shrugged it off, loaded up into the car and headed for Universal.

Now for those that have never been to Universal Studios, Universal is a completely different animal than Disney is. Disney parks seem more family fun oriented and Universal parks seem to be more thrill seeking with less rules. If they were movies Disney would be rated G or PG at the worst, and Universal Studios parks would be at least PG-13.
But all in all we had a blast at Universal Studios and we loved the Harry Potter rides, shopping at Diagon Alley and my wife and daughter were the ones that got picked in the Ollivanders show where the wand picks its wizard. We ate at The Leaky Cauldron and had butter beer and frozen butter beer. Both were delicious. We loved the Hogwarts Express train rides. The Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts touring plan expected wait time was 43 minutes and actual wait time was 55 minutes.

We loved the Jimmy Fallon race through New York ride, (just make sure as soon as you get on Universal property you make a return time reservation for Jimmy Fallon similar to Fast Pass at WDW, but you must be on site to do so)
We had also previously purchased the Universal Express passes to skip to the front of the line, which were great on the rides we used them on. Which were: Flight of the Hippogriff, Caro-seuss-el, The High in the sky Seuss Trolley train ride, The Cat in the Hat, one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish, the amazing adventures of spider-man, despicable me: minion mayhem, and Men In Black.

The E.T. adventure and Skull Island: Reign of Kong were both closed that day, and by the time we got around to some of the other outside bigger rides (for me) and the water rides (for all of us) there were some thunderstorms in the area and everything that was not an inside ride was closed.

So we headed out as we head an ADR back at Disney.

We had dinner reservations at ‘Ohana.

‘Ohana, ‘Ohana, ‘Ohana. I could eat here every day. Endless grilled steak, grilled chicken and grilled shrimp skewers that are brought to your table. This place had it all, GREAT Food, Great Service, Beautiful Atmosphere, Great scenery, (we had a window view and could see Cinderella’s castle and Space Mountain from our table). The food here is what I would want as my last meal (NO, I am not a death row inmate.)

‘Ohana is a MUST for any Disney vacation, I am told that their breakfast is even better, and we are going to try and reserve that on our next trip. We were so full that we barely had room for dessert (just barely, bread pudding with bananas caramel sauce).

So after dinner we rolled ourselves back to our car and headed back to the room, not realizing what was about to be in store for us next…..

Now, let me first start by saying that my daughter has a VERY SMALL stuffed animal that she has slept with for as long as I can remember, and for as long as a child can sleep with a stuffed animal, and she is now five years old. When we left that morning I remember said stuffy was laying on top of the unmade bed, now we get back to the room and the beds are made but said stuffed animal is nowhere to be found. Also let me inform everyone that this stuffed animal was a gift to my daughter from my wife’s godmother, so needless to say it is very important to both of the girls. Everyone is tired and everyone is starting to panic. My wife calls the front desk to see if it has been found, and the girl on the phone just says “you’ll have to call the lost and found”…..WELL THERE IS NO BUTTON ON THE PHONE FOR LOST AND FOUND. So my wife very politely asks “can you please transfer me to the lost and found” and then the girl rudely says “they are closed for the evening, and you’ll need to fill out a form, first”….SO, now there is a form and they have already closed, WHY DIDN’T YOU LEAD OFF THE CONVERSATION WITH THAT INFORMATION. So then my wife still trying to keep her calm says “well can you start the form process for me over the phone?” And the girl says “NO, you have to do that with guest services when the morning shift gets here”

So we all go to sleep, reassuring daughter that it will be found in the morning.


#5

DAY 5 – HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS – AND NOW THE FUN REALLY BEGINS

So my wife gets up first thing in the morning, gets dressed and ready, and marches down to guest services, as she leaves I get up and get ready, and then wake up our daughter to get her ready. Now this particular stuffed animal has a rattle in side of its chest, so when I pull the covers all the way back, my daughter and I both hear a faint rattle noise, so we rip the sheets off the bed and low and behold “mousekeeping” had made the bed with the stuffed animal tucked into the mattress sheet at the bottom right hand side of the bed, so I try and call my wife on her cell phone before she unleashes her wrath on the poor cast member who has just come in for their morning shift, but to no avail, as the cell phone is laying on the nightstand. So I pick up the resort phone and press “the front desk” button and I ask the guy who answers” if there is a beautiful, five foot tall, one hundred pound lady yelling and screaming about a lost stuffed animal” (keep in mind I am joking”) and he says I’m sorry I am not at the front desk right now, so I asked to be transferred to the front desk (even though that is the button that I know I pressed). He transfers me, and then I ask that lady if anyone has been in today asking about a lost stuffed animal and she says no, so I just ask her “that if anyone does, to please let her know we have found it”.

I get daughter up and dressed and we decide to hide the stuffed animal from mommy (I know we are cruel), so mommy comes in a few minutes later and tells us that she spoke with the manager and said that the stuffed animal was probably out with Minnie and Daisy late last night and she would probably be back this evening. (Now I am sure most of you realize the manager did not say this, that this was my wife’s way of reassuring daughter it would be returned). So me and daughter look at each other and she says “we found it”. Wife starts crying, and proceeds to tell me that she did talk to the manager and that the manager brought her in to her office, and my wife just told her about everything that has happened since day one, and that we just weren’t feeling the magic, and the manager thanked her over and over for bringing these things to her attention and that she would address them with her staff. She also told my wife that she knew it wouldn’t make up for everything but that she was going to give us each three extra fast passes for that day that “COULD BE USED ANYWHERE, ANYTIME, but that there were some exceptions”, What she didn’t tell my wife (we would find out later that evening on a note left in our room) was that she ended up adding three fast passes for each of us FOR THE REST OF OUR TRIP, SO FOR THE NEXT 6 DAYS”

Now I don’t know about you but three extra fast passes per day are basically worth my weight in gold, and after all, these infractions were minor anyways.

SO WITH THREE EXTRA FAST PASSES IN HAND, THE FUN REALLY BEGINS.

So with our faith restored, and our Magic levels refilled we head off to our breakfast reservation at the Grand Floridian for 1900 Park Fare. Breakfast with Mary Poppins, Alice and The Mad Hatter (from wonderland) and Winnie the Pooh. Photo pass photos with Tigger (who we happened to miss the other day, so that was an added bonus).

Well since we are all still on cloud nine after finding the stuffed animal, clearing the air of our complaints and getting three extra fast passes for the day, (we still haven’t found out its for the rest of the trip). We are all in great moods, and 1900 Park Fare just added to the excitement. My wife’s favorite Disney movie is Alice in Wonderland, so meeting Alice was high on her list as well, and my daughters favorite non princess movie is Mary Poppins, so this was a no brainer. ABSOLUTLEY FANTASTIC!!! Of all of the breakfast buffets, this one was by far the best, it did not even feel like a breakfast buffet. The characters were great, the food was delicious, the resort and scenery were absolutely gorgeous., and once again my daughter was speechless, wife even got a little star struck talking to Alice and Mary. The Mad Hatter and Winnie were great too, but in the eyes of my two girls you just can’t compete with Alice and Mary.

After breakfast we had photo pass pictures taken with Tigger. Tigger was by far the best covered face costumed character (I guess this is what they are called, The Princesses are open faced characters and Mickey, Tigger, etc are covered face). Either way, Tigger was GREAT!!! He danced around, he hopped, he jumped, and our daughter really LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT, and she was beginning to come out of her shell, at least to these covered face characters. THANKS TIGGER!!!

Off to Hollywood Studios. We arrived at Hollywood Studios even earlier than I had planned for our touring plan. And now with three extra fast passes in tow for the day, it looked like we could pretty much toss out our touring plan, (but we didn’t). We rode the Tower of Terror with our first pre-existing fast pass and we all three loved it, we had discussed going over to the Disney Junior Live on stage, but my daughter decided she would rather wait in line to meet Doc Mcstuffins and Sophia the first, so we did that, then we went over to Toy Story Midway Mania for our scheduled 2nd fast pass, now I may ruffle some feathers here, but after all of the hype I was a little disappointed in this ride, (don’t get me wrong we all still enjoyed it, and I absolutely crushed my wife and daughter’s scores) but I just thought there would be more to it, which is why I can’t wait for Toy Story land to open. My daughter got her face painted, then we went to Star Tours for our 3rd fast pass and we LOVED IT, (and yes even after using our third fast pass and having three free ones I still scheduled us a fourth for The Great Movie Ride that evening, since we were having dinner there and watching Fantasmic.

Knowing that my daughter was 3 inches too short for Aerosmith’s Rock-N-Roller coaster. We didn’t even try that one (YET!!!)

So we tried our first free fast pass on The Voyage of the Little Mermaid, (Because, you know, Ariel, DUH!!) and absolutely loved it as well, although we didn’t really realize that you don’t need a fast pass for it since it’s a show and pretty much every one gets in, but you know FREE FAST PASSES.

After that it was time for lunch and we were headed back in time to mom’s kitchen and dad’s bar at 50’s Prime Time Café, now this one was another one that was high on my list, and it did not disappoint. Our waiter was funny and engaging, constantly telling us, to eat our veggies, elbows off the table, napkins in our laps, etc. We had fun, the food was delicious and the Peanut Butter and Jelly milkshake was perfect (I was a little skeptical at first, but it proved me wrong.) After lunch was over, I knew what was coming, the girls were tired and ready for a nap,( after all our morning started extra early today). So I kissed them good bye and bid them farewell, and I was on a mission to “Rock-N-Roll”. Still remembering that these free fast passes had some exceptions I was hoping that RNR wasn’t going to be one of them, and to my “sweet emotion”, my magic band lit up green and I was off to the concert in a super stretch limo to be ”livin’ on the edge”, awesome, Awesome, AWESOME!!! I RODE IT BACK TO BACK. Then I got a cold drink and went park walking, as I only had a couple of hours to kill before the girls would be back for our Fantasmic Dinner Package dinner at The Hollywood Brown Derby at 4:30.

So I hung out, walked around, took photos (still selfies, because again no one trusts a sweaty, bald guy with a beard walking around by himself evidently) watched some of the street performers, watched the Star Wars show, and it is amazing how fast two hours goes by when you are having fun.

But the girls show back up well rested and ready to go again, so we head to The Hollywood Brown Derby for our 4:30 dinner. I don’t know what else to say about THBD but wow. So...WOW!!!! This was the best food I ate in all of WDW. One of the best steaks I have ever eaten. PERIOD.

After dinner we went to The Frozen Ever After sing a long (wonderful), then we met Olaf, we met Chewbacca (now that was a character meet and greet that I was excited for and Chewey did not disappoint). Tower of Terror (again, second time was even better), The Great Movie Ride (I did not know what to expect on this one, and was very impressed) and Muppet Vision 3D (I personally was a little disappointed with this one, I think it needs a facelift of some sort, not really sure what it needs, but it just wasn’t what I was expecting). And Then it was time for Fantasmic.

Fantasmic was Fantastic, we all loved it. Since we had the Fantasmic dinner package we knew that we would be in a separate area and although are seats were high up, we still had a perfect view and we walked right in and sat down, and with high up seats we were some of the first ones out after it was over. And once it was over, we were all three wiped, and yet still had to drive back to the resort. This rental car is nice to have, it’s convenient, but at the end of the night it’s the last thing you want to do. But our excitement is back up when we return to the resort and there are towel animals and a note informing us that we have three extra anytime fast passes for everyday for the rest of our trip, lying on our beds, right next to daughter's stuffed animal.


#6

Day 6 – A RETURN TO THE MAGIC KINGDOM AND AN EVENING FIREWORKS DESSERT PARTY

Next up, we are headed back to The Magic Kingdom, plus we now know that we have three extra fast passes for each and every day for the rest of our trip. So we are headed back to Beast’s castle for a pre park opening breakfast at Be Our Guest.

Breakfast here was really good, I am still amazed at how they know who you are, what you ordered, and where you are sitting, (considering this is a quick service that you order at a kiosk and you seat yourselves, and there is no ticket or number, they just know). I even asked the girl that brought our food out and she just smiled and said “Magic”. Now that is what I am talking about. Friendliness, and never letting the secrets out, always keep them wondering…

Next up we went to Enchanted Tales with Belle, I got chose to be a royal guard and my daughter was chose to be a dish, this was a very cute attraction / show and we really enjoyed it, but I think this is another one of those one and done attractions, don’t really see the need in repeating it, but it’s very well done.

After this we went to meet some of the other princesses we haven’t met yet. So we met Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, Tinker Bell and of course “Talking” Mickey…needless to say, but I will anyway, daughter remained starstruck and speechless.

Tinkerbell was also a big one for daughter, as she had gone as Tink for Halloween a couple of years ago. We rode the Tea Cups (HUGE HIT), Buzz Lightyear (pretty cool), and Stitch’s Great Escape (by far the worst attraction in all of WDW, this one needs to just be shutdown, it is HORRIBLE!!!)

Then we had lunch at The Plaza, where daughter was awarded a “Golden Ticket” which is a free anytime / anywhere Fast Pass and it even says on the top “No Strings Attached” with a picture of Pinocchio (more on that to come later.)

After lunch the girls decided to stay for a little bit and we floated over to Tom Sawyer Island, climbed the Swiss Family Treehouse, and rode SPLASH MOUNTAIN (Splash was a MASSIVE SUCCESS).

Then the girls did get tired and since we had dinner reservations at Chef Mickey’s and Fireworks Dessert party reservations at the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant, we decided we would just meet at Chef Mickey’s, so they left, I watched the Festival of Fantasy parade and then I hopped on the monorail and park hopped over to Epcot.

Just as I arrived it started to rain so I pulled a poncho out of my “you’d think i packed everything in it” backpack, put it on and headed back to single ride Test Track or Soarin' again. (well since it was raining Test Track was closed, and Soarin’ was packed and since we hadn’t used all of our three initial fast passes (I had scheduled 7DMT for after dinner and before the dessert party, so we could experience it at night as well) I couldn’t schedule another one and we had already burned through our three free ones for the day, so I had some cold drinks and I just explored world showcase and did some people watching, (the “people of Wal Mart” website has nothing on “the people at Disney”)

Then it was time to catch the monorail over to the Contemporary Resort (which I’m seriously thinking about staying at next time we come, IT’S GORGEOUS, and OH, SO CONVENIENT,) for dinner at Chef Mickey’s now the food here was pretty blah, but the atmosphere, dinner with the original “Fab Five”, and the fact that my wife had an ice cold Yuengling waiting for me when I arrived was pretty awesome, plus this was the only time that we saw Pluto (who is also a favorite of mine), put this experience pretty high on the list, but unfortunately the food wasn’t great, so I will just list this as one of those must do ONCE type of meals. After dinner we had our photo taken and then we monorailed back to the Magic Kingdom for our 7DMT fast pass and Fireworks Dessert Party.

7DMT was even better this time, (being at night is much better) and The Fireworks Dessert Party. WOW!! Worth every penny, and I will definitely reschedule this when we go back. It was so nice and peaceful, all of these delicious desserts, fresh fruits, cheeses, water, lemonade, sparkling cider, coffee, AND you have your own table for fireworks viewing. IT WAS AMAZING!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! Definitely the best way to watch the fireworks, and this was also the new Happily Ever After show.

Well after we scanned in for 7DMT there weren’t a whole lot of fast passes left, so I figured since we were going to be in Tomorrowland after the dessert party, I scheduled Astro Orbiter, it was a pretty plain and boring ride, but if you are going to ride it, ride it at night and see the whole park lit up, IT’S GORGEOUS.

After that we were all three zombies, but the good news is we didn’t have to drive the rental car back, so we just took the Disney bus back. Not nearly as quiet as your own vehicle, much more crowded, but at least you can rest your eyes on the way back as all of the days memories dance through your head. As well as what will be in store the next day when we travel to The Animal Kingdom.


#7

Day 7 – The Animal Kingdom. Still Pre-PANDORA.

Another day at WDW, and another pre park opening breakfast ADR, this time at Tusker House. Now I have heard a lot of people, my older brother included, saying that they didn’t like the food at all at Tusker House, but we loved it, it had all of the traditional American breakfast favorites and some traditional African faves as well, all were Wonderful. Plus Donald, Daisy, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy are all there and all will come by your table.

After breakfast we made a beeline to Kilimanjaro Safaris which was outstanding, it was still early enough that the animals were all active and in sight (I know that Disney goes to great lengths to keep them in sight, and it was a real treat, it is way better than a normal “zoo” where you just walk by each of the animal enclosures, and the animals just look miserable, these animals look like they are in their natural habitat. GREAT JOB DISNEY!!!

We then walked the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trails, watched Flights Of Wonder, (my wife is still a little upset with me that I got picked to participate over her. I was the one that held out a dollar, the bird came and landed on my arm, took the dollar and then took it bag to the announcer. But then again I’m 6 foot 4 and she is five foot flat. So go figure… But anyways Flights of Wonder was really cool, we fast passed Kali River Rapids, The girls both wore ponchos, I did not, guess who got soaked, yes, you guessed it…ME. Then we met Baloo and King Louie, and then it was off to Expedition Everest.

Now a little family backstory on EE, My brother, his wife, and their three kids (actually four kids because she was pregnant when they went, and her doctor said she could not ride anything faster than Pirates or Small World), they all went to WDW December 2015 – January 2016, and her two sons ages 13 and 8, were too scared to ride Expedition Everest, so my daughter who was three at that time kept telling them that she wouldn’t be too scared and they were like oh yes you will.

Well back to the day at hand we are getting on and she is as excited as can be, she rode it, ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT, got off the ride and we went to look at our on ride photo and she said that she didn’t like her photo, can we ride it again??? I text my brother that and he just laughed and said go figure. Well anyways SHE REALLY DID ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT, In fact if you were on any rides with us that week, my daughter was the cute little blonde girl yelling “HANDS UP” even when it wasn't time. So we said we would come back and ride it after lunch.

We had lunch at The Rainforest Café, the food was great, and the atmosphere was beautiful, unfortunately this was one of those meals that we just weren’t hungry yet, but had a reservation, so we ate a little but it wasn’t the restaurants fault. Everything was great, just still stuffed from breakfast.

After lunch we had a scheduled Fast Pass at Dinosaur, which was temporarily closed, so we decided to go and meet Pocahontas, well after waiting in the direct sun for close to 45 minutes for Pocahontas (she has the worst waiting queue of anyone) The girls were both getting tired, so we decided that after we met her, we’d all go back to EE, so daughter could “get a better on ride photo” LOL. Which she did, then like clockwork they left, I rode EE again, had some photos taken, took some photos, and then rode Dinosaur (twice) and Primeval whirl (ONCE. Once was definitely enough for that one).

And then I walked The Maharajeh Jungle Trek, This one I was a little disappointed in. The Bat display was awesome, the Komodo dragon was neat, (the lady that was giving info on the Komodo was very knowledgeable and well informed), but there was only one Tiger and it just laid there, not what was on the Disney dvd at all. But oh well, now I’m just getting picky, I know. My bad.

We were supposed to have dinner at Boma, (sorry maybe next time Boma), but daughter wanted to go swimming and just play at the pool, so we cancelled the dinner reservation and just ate at the resort. Which again the food was okay. Went to bed at a decent hour, which translates to early when you’re on Disney Time. After all you've got to get a good night’s rest because we are headed back to the MK (without breakfast or lunch reservations) and Disney Springs for dinner.


#8

Day 8 – Magic Kingdom instead of Typhoon Lagoon.

We had decided earlier in the week that we would cancel going to Typhoon Lagoon and just go back to the Magic Kingdom, which was fine with me, but either way we were still going to need to eat, and we were going to eat at the resort food court for breakfast and then eat at TL for lunch, so we still ate at the food court, then drove our rental to MK, we wanted to conquer everything that we hadn’t done so far, (other than the things we had scheduled to fast pass on our last day) so that we could spend our last day doing anything and everything that we wanted to do again.

Plus we wanted to knock out any and all character meet and greets, so we wouldn’t have that to do. So on day 8 we went back to Pete’s silly side show and met Minnie and Daisy, we met Drisella and Anastasia, Chip and Dale, Peter Pan, we rode the Barnstormer, Dumbo, we played in the splash park, we watched the Country Bear jamboree (this one needs a facelift too, it’s the same show I remember as a kid in California….UPGRADE), Philharmagic (amazing show, I had doubts going into this one, but I thoroughly loved it.)

Then we had lunch at Pecos Bill’s. (DELICIOUS, ANYWHERE THAT HAS A “FIXIN’S” BAR, I’M IN.)

Then we head back to the resort to rest and get ready as we have dinner reservations at Dinosaur in Disney Spring’s.

We took the water ferry from our resort to Disney Springs which was an added bonus, very relaxing, and I got to talk sports with another dad on the boat, which is something that happens few and far between with my two girls, even our dog is a girl, and she is the only one that listens to me. But that’s because I feed her and give her too many treats.

Now if you are debating between Dinosaur and Rainforest Cafe, just pick one, not both. They are owned by the same company, have pretty much the same menu (things are just named differently), and it’s pretty much the same atmosphere jungle animals or pre-historic creatures. The service was great, food was good, daughter loved looking at and naming the dinosaurs.

As far as Disney Springs goes it was all pretty cool. The LEGO creations are awesome, the wife and daughter wanted to go shopping so they did that and I followed with wallet in hand.

After all of the shopping was done we hop back on the water ferry and head back to the resort. Once again wiped out. And unfortunately only one more day, I’m so not ready to leave Disney.


#9

Day 9 – Our last day – Back to the Magic Kingdom and my struggles with Pandora.

So we are on our last day of vacation (other than fly home day tomorrow), we have had an absolute blast so far. Our to do list has dwindled down to Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Tomorrowland Speedway (which are our three “scheduled” fast passes for today. We also want to do: the carousel of progress, the people mover, the liberty boat, and then anything else that we want to do again, but first things first….we’ve got to have breakfast, and where is the one restaurant that offers a pre-park opening breakfast at the Magic Kingdom, that we have not been to yet? You guessed it Cinderella’s Royal Table.

Now, a lot of people give this place low reviews, saying it is not worth two table credits, the food is too expensive, the food is not very good, blah, blah, blah. Now most of those reviews are somewhat accurate. Is it worth two table credits? No, probably not, I mean why am I spending two meals on one? That makes no sense!! Ok, that part I get, but you are spending it on the atmosphere and the experience of eating IN CINDERELLA’S CASTLE. Is the food too expensive? Well we were on the deluxe dining plan, which gets us three sit down meals, and since we used snack credits at the resort food court we were able to do some two credit meals, like Hoop Dee Doo Revue, Fantasmic Dinner Package at The Hollywood Brown Derby, and now Cinderella’s Royal Table, so it was well worth it for us (not speaking for everyone, just us). Is the food any good? All three of our meals were absolutely delicious!! Cinderella’s Royal Table is definitely at least one of those “Everyone should do at least once” meals, but we are going to definitely do it again when we go back.

Now on to our day, by this time we had seen “ALMOST” every character that we wanted to, The only princesses we haven’t met yet are Jasmine, Mulan, and Elena, (we are hoping they are at Cindy’s Royal Table, (and to our luck Princess Jasmine is), We saw the Fairy Godmother earlier in the week right outside Cinderella’s castle, but the line was ridiculously long, so we were hoping to catch her as well, but no luck, just the step sisters again.

Daughter had no desire to meet Gaston, as she was still upset at him over the way he treated Beast in the movie.
The only place Mulan was going to be that day appeared to be Epcot and we weren’t going to be able to make it back there.

Wife and I discussed taking her to Princess Fairytale Hall to meet Elena, but she was there with Cinderella, and thought it may be a little confusing on how Cinderella got there so fast. LOL!!!

I wish Moana would do more meet and greets, I had heard that she did them outside of One Man’s Dream at Hollywood Studios, but the day we went, no luck.

So our character checklist was going to have to be done, or at least to be continued in 2020.

Now on to the rides

We had a fast pass for Big Thunder Mountain, so we head there and ride it twice, (I think of the three “mountains” this one is probably the most overshadowed, but it may be our favorite). We rode splash mountain again, (still loved it) then we have a fast pass at Tomorrowland Speedway (this one is a tossup for me). My daughter enjoyed this ride, and my wife recorded a video of my daughter, while she was driving and she is constantly looking at me in the car 20 feet behind her, and she thinks I’m the reason that she keeps hitting the guard rail. Soooooooo, I get the fascination with this ride, kids get to drive, (and I understand that the cars aren’t really built for a six foot four man), but you have to slam the gas pedal basically through the floor board to get it to move, and I’m getting steering wheel burn on my leg as I am trying to turn it, the whole queue is in direct sunlight and the exhaust fumes are too much, (I just read online this morning that the Tron Cycle ride will be coming to Tomorrowland to replace the Speedway, Thoughts??)

After the speedway, and on our way to lunch we stop back by the Mad Tea Party Teacups (this one never gets old). We have lunch at the Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen, AMAZING!!! This might just have been our favorite lunch spot. Everything was delicious. WE WILL DEFINITELY EAT HERE EVERY TRIP FROM NOW ON.

After lunch we have a fast pass for Space Mountain, and we decide to wait until this evening for the People Mover, (we’ll regret that decision). So we go back to Tomorrowland for Space Mountain, me and daughter are super excited, my wife is super nervous, saying things like “What if she falls out?” She’s five years old and one of the two tallest kids in her class, and the other is a boy. Daughter is 45 inches tall, I keep trying to reassure my wife that they put height requirements on for a reason, and she is an inch taller than the minimum requirement.

Well we ride Space Mountain and low and behold guess what happened…she did not fall out. In fact she absolutely loved it, and asked could we ride it again, so we agree that we will that evening, but for now we have to head to the Festival of Fantasy parade. We stop and get some treats, a Dole Whip Float, a citrus swirl, and a fresh piece of pineapple, and some bottles of water. I completely understand the mass hysteria surrounding these Dole Whips, they are absolutely amazing!!!

So we find a nice spot on the curb, and we inhale all of this delicious goodness before it melts in the blazing sun, and we do so just in time, because here comes the parade.

Being from Louisiana, we see our fair share of parades every Mardi Gras, and Disney knocked it out of the park. This parade was outstanding, plus it was just nice to sit and watch a parade without having to jump and dive for some cheap beads, or without having to worry about being hit in the head by a plastic cup or coin. (those who have been to Mardi Gras will know what I mean.)

It was also really neat seeing some characters in the parade that you can’t find at a meet and greet, such as Captain Hook, Mr. Smee, and ALL Seven Dwarfs.

After the Festival of Fantasy parade, we head for the exit, the girls have a nap in mind, and I am bound and determined to head to Pandora for Avatar Flight of passage. Now today is the opening day of Pandora, and I have been checking in from time to time on My Disney Experience and I have seen the wait times in the four hour range, and we go home tomorrow, so GO BIG OR GO HOME…..RIGHT??

So I arrive at Animal Kingdom armed with 2 EXTRA “ANYWHERE, ANYTIME” Fast Passes, plus my daughter’s “NO STRINGS ATTACHED” Golden Ticket Fast Pass (just in case, I know, I know – terrible.)

Well as soon as I arrive and head back to Pandora, I am greeted by a cast member near the entrance to Pandora, that says that stand by to Avatar Flight of Passage as well as Na’vi River Journey are both currently closed and that they are only accepting fast passes, so I tell him that I do indeed have a fast pass and he lets me through.

So we get further back, but still not in Pandora, and they have areas taped off and people don’t know what they are doing or where they are going, so like the blind leading the blind I just hop into one of these groups. Everything seems to be going fine, after waiting about an hour, we are all starting to line up, I over hear one woman say that she is not a very emotional woman but she cried after riding Flight of passage. Another gentleman who is in a wheel chair, comes wheeling by and he is announcing loudly to the crowd that “the ride is worth the wait”. Well my excitement is building by the second, and here comes a guy who is scanning everyone’s magic band with an ipad, and then he gets to me and well you can imagine. The ANYWHERE / ANYTIME SOME RESTRICTIONS MAY APPLY small print comes into play, as these do not work in Pandora.

Well you can only imagine my disappointment, I am literally crushed and heart broken. I figure while I’m here I can go and ride something, but nothing seems to tickle my fancy, so I decide to get a cold drink, sit down in the shade and regroup. Upon doing so I remember the “Golden Ticket”, so I pick myself back up and march back over to Pandora, this time I don’t see the same guy with the ipad, so I find another Cast Member with an ipad, and I just go and ask him, straight up. He is very polite, and apologetic, but again to no avail, he shuts me down, I ask him about the Golden Ticket and I even mention that it says “No Strings Attached”, and he agrees with me that it should work, but it does not, I beg and plea with him that I am only one man and not a family of 6, (not my finest moment) but again he very kindly and sincerely denies me. I thank him for taking the time to talk to me, I tell him that I understand that he is just doing his job, and I commend him for staying firm. He thanks me for understanding and then we part ways.

Again I am frustrated, heart broken, and crushed I decide to hop back to the Magic Kingdom to meet the girls for dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern.

My wife can see it all over my face when I walk up, and I agree that I’m not going to let it get me down, after all we have had a fabulous vacation, plus I mention that Animal Kingdom is having Extra Magic Evening hours and that I would try again that night, (cast member did mention that standby would be available that evening), wife is cool with that so off we went to dinner.

So we went to Liberty Tree Tavern for dinner, and although we were there 15 minutes early for our reservation, they were absolutely packed. We didn’t get seated until over 45 minutes after our reservation. We ate, and the food was good, the wife is not crazy about not getting to order what she wants to eat and instead just having plates and bowls of food being brought out, so we ate and left. Food, Service and Atmosphere were all great, but just not sure we’ll be back to this one. Nothing bad to report, just ordering what you want trumps family style.

After dinner we got our “Ghost Portraits” made at Memento Mori, outside of Haunted Mansion. (They turned out fantastic, and we love looking at them, very creepy.)

So after that we went back to 7DMT (for the 3rd time), Peter Pan’s Flight (for the 2nd time), Space Mountain (for the 2nd time) and then over to Carousel of Progress (I didn’t know what to expect on this one) so we were on it and it was on its second to last scene, and it broke down, so we watched the second to last scene four times, before they opened the doors and let us out.

To make up for it, they gave everyone a free fast pass ticket, (which says to be used on this date, at the Magic Kingdom, not good for 7DMT or Peter Pans Flight...it's nice to be clear on what it will and won't work on...cough cough) so it is about an hour or so until park closing and we still have our “Golden Ticket” and now we have three of these paper tickets, we decide to “pay it forward” and give these paper tickets away, which we just so happen to see a young couple walking with their son who looked to be around our daughters age and we overheard them talking about trying to get a fast pass, so we offered it to them, and i probably had the same look on my face when I found out about our fast passes as they did when we gave it to them. They thanked us over and over, and went on their way.

So with daughter’s “Golden Ticket” in hand we asked her what she wanted to ride, and she said that she wanted to go back Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid.

So we head back over there, and just as we are on our way over the main zipper breaks on my backpack, and everything comes pouring out, so we hold it together, this being our last night we get rid of a lot of the stuff, and then just duck into a gift shop and buy two drawstring backpacks (Well timed, right?)

So we regroup, bag all of the necessities and head to JOTLM, we get to the fast pass entrance and we present our “golden Ticket” to the cast member, and she very sweetly says "oh you can keep it the line is not very long at all", which would have been awesome had this not been our last ride, but my wife kind of whispered to the CM this is our last ride, so the CM understood and she smiled and said go right this way. My daughter smiled back and off we went.

Back to Pandora

Well the Magic kingdom was about a little less than an hour from closing and the girls hopped on the bus back to the resort, and I hopped on a bus back to the Animal Kingdom. After all it would be open for a little less than three hours, and how many people would be doing this?

WELL, Clearly a lot of people had this same thought, so I get back to Animal Kingdom and the line has already formed, and it wraps all of the way back to Africa. But the line moves fast and we are constantly walking, and every so often you will pass a cast member who would say something along the lines of

“At this point of the line we cannot guarantee that you will get on the attraction, but you will get to see the land of Pandora”,

and then again in about 30 yards or so “At this point of the line we cannot guarantee that you will get on the attraction, but you will get to see the land of Pandora”,

and then again…..“At this point of the line we cannot guarantee that you will get on the attraction, but you will get to see ,the land of Pandora”,

and then again……….“At this point of the line we cannot guarantee that you will get on the attraction, but you will get to see the land of Pandora”

AND THEN FINALLY

“At this point of the line we CAN guarantee that you will NOT get on the attraction, but you will get to see the land of Pandora”.

CRUSHED AGAIN!!!

But I did get to see all of the floating rocks and colors and waterfalls, etc. It is all beautiful, I can’t wait til 2020

Things I would and would not do again.
• WOULD NOT rent a stroller again
• When we go back, we are debating on possibly staying at the Contemporary, if we stay there I would not rent a car
• If we stay at Port Orleans Riverside again, I would still rent a car, but also utilize more Disney transportation
• Maybe not pre park opening breakfasts every day
• Would not go back to Universal

Top 9 Restaurants that I would eat at again (in no particular order after the 1st two)
1. ‘Ohana
2. Skipper Canteen
3. Be Our Guest
4. Restaurant Marrakesh
5. Hollywood Brown Derby
6. Akershus
7. 50’s Prime Time
8. Tusker House
9. Cindy’s Royal Table

We had an absolutely fantastic vacation, thanks to the hundreds of cast members that we came into contact that made our stay even that more special!!!


#10

Wow! You really packed a lot into your days!


#11

Wow! What a nice long trip! I feel the same way about the Haunted Mansion line! You go from being 5-6 across to that single line- crazy!


#12

Wow! What a full day!


#13

Brilliant account -- thank you for sharing. We have some similar plans and so I'm excited yours worked out for you.

The last part of your report read like a thriller -- I was really rooting for you to get on FOP and gutted when you didn't!


#14

Lol. Thanks i too was gutted when I got denied. For a week after we got back home I was still checking wait times at FOP. I "Think" I have finally gotten over it


#15

Great report! You did so well each day! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!


#16

Great trip report. Thank you.

I'm sure you learnt this lesson but every morning on vacation (regardless of if we are holidaying in Disney or somewhere else) the super-special teddy bears the girls have had since birth and can't sleep without get put into the room safe and they stay in there until bed time. We had a similar thing happen to us at a non-Disney hotel where the girls bedtime teddys weren't on the bed when we got back to our room, leading to me shouting at the front desk and demanding I be allowed to search through the entire hotel's laundry for the day only for my wife to call me to say that housekeeping had put them into a drawer in a wardrobe. Lesson learnt.


#17

Great report, you did so much!


#18

Terrific report!
Thanks for sharing - you really packed it all in!


#19

Thanks SO Much!!! We really did pack our days to the max. It was my pleasure sharing it, and as i reported each day, it honestly felt like i was back at WDW!!!


#20

That is a great idea, and i will definitely keep that in mind. Thanks