Overdue Trip Report Nov 27-Dec 8

Now that Christmas is over and all the traveling is FINALLY done, I figured it’s time to sit down and knock out a trip report. We had 4 in our party: myself, the wifey, Junior, and my Disney-loving mother who loves me the most because I take her to Disney World and my sister doesn’t. On this trip we stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort because the Skyliner is amazing, they have rooms with 3 beds, and Banana Cabana.

Nov 27- Arrival day from Kansas City. (This was my first time seeing the new KCI airport and it is so nice.)

I had requested a room in Jamaica in buildings 43, 44, or 45, and got 4311. It was a perfect location, right across from a bus stop and a just short walk to the skyline. We were picked up at the airport by the gearfusion company, would recommend, our driver was very friendly.

We dropped off our luggage in the room and toured the resort looking at Xmas decorations until our dinner reservations at Sebastian’s. (Note: I love food, food is a highlight of any vacation for me, as you will soon find out) Sebastian’s was ok, nothing memorable. But the price was low considering many of our other dining reservations and we’d been traveling all-day.


Nov 28-Epcot

We are normally a low-speed crew, we don’t rope drop, we don’t close down parks. We normally show up when we want, do what we want, and leave. That’s the perk of staying for 11 days, there’s no rush. That being said, we rope dropped… I love Epcot, it’s my favorite park and it’s the only but… when the wife and I discuss visiting Disneyland. I bought Genie Plus because time>money for me. So, that morning I booked an ILL for Cosmic Rewind (DOPE!) and a G+ for Remy. Both were for the early afternoon, and we had breakfast reservations for Garden Grill. So, getting back in chronological order, we roped dropped the new old Soarin (I prefer world, Fiji scent y’all), then hit up the christmassy Living with the Land before breakfast. I’ve heard rave reviews about Garden Grill, but it was just, ok… It’s a breakfast buffet that’s brought to you. But, we got candlelight processional tickets from it, otherwise, it wasn’t worth the money. But I’m not a big breakfast guy. Give me coffee and I’m good until lunch.

After breakfast was, ugh, Figment. (Whose bright idea was it to ask Junior what they wanted to do?) Then Junior wanted to ride Nemo, fine fine fine. Get all the boring stuff out of the way early. Finally, it was time for our ILL for Cosmic Rewind. BEST RIDE IN DISNEY. Firmly cemented Epcot as the #1 park as well. Sure, it may not fit the theming or the Epcot vibe, unless your vibe is “who cares if this fits, it’s freaking fun”. I happen to fall into this category.

(mom was not a fan, fun side note: I put this pic on M&M’s at the M&M store in Disney Springs and gave it to her for Xmas)

After Guardians, we floated over to World Showcase and did festival of the holidays stuff, grazed at food booths for lunch (the only thing that stood out to me was the Xmas punch at Japan), and got to finally ride Remy without a face mask. Amazing how much more you can see when your 3d glasses aren’t fogged up. We Genie plussed frozen after that. Candlelight processional at 5:15 by the somehow still alive Ann-Margaret. Got some cute fam pics after dark, did some shopping, (bought a Helly Hanson pullover from Norway because it was in the low 50s, wtf Florida). Skipped fireworks because it was still Epcot Forever and we had a fireworks dining package for Luminous later in the trip. Then back to CBR and Banana Cabana for a rum drink before calling it a long night. Like I said, we usually are low-speed.

(junior totally Mike Wazowski’d me)


Nov 29- Magic Kingdom

We rolled into Magic Kingdom late morning for our 1st of 3 MK days. Junior and I had ILL reservations for Tron, 7DMT, and a Genie Plus for the Jingle Cruise. Back story-August 2022-Sea World. I received the walk of shame off of the Mako roller coaster because the restraints wouldn’t latch. I was 323 lbs and it was super embarrassing. I was determined to ride Tron with Junior, so I started dieting, a whole WHOLE bunch of cardio, quit drinking, took my vitamins like Hulkster said I should, and lost 80 pounds. Suuuuuper satisfying when you don’t need a cast member to come force a lap bar closed anymore and believe I may have shed a tear when the Tron restraints latched without needing help. An additional perk, this was the first trip where my feet never hurt. It was all worth it. Anyhoo, it’s a short ride, Guardians is better. Ask for the front though, it’s worth the extra wait.

He is a photogenic child, that one (sun was in his eyes, he wasn’t crying)

MK was fine, Xmas decor is pretty (bring back the dream lights!) We left early for Ohana dinner reservations for Mom’s bday at 7:30. Ohana is nice, I think I’ve eaten there too much now and it’s getting old. It was mom’s request though and we had a nice view of HEA from the restaurant.

I think once I get 10 of these I’m going to petition for the name to be Lochneffmonster’s Space Ranger Spin


Nov 30-Break day

In order not to wear us down on long trips, I usually schedule us 2 park days, then a rest day, and rinse repeat. We headed back to the Polynesian for a Kona cafe breakfast. (When I book dining reservations, I like to do a 50/50 mix of our previous favorites and new places) We’ve never done Kona Cafe before and it was fine. The Tonga toast was certainly a sight to behold. Then we headed to Disney Springs so the girls could get their shopping fix. I bought some new sunglasses because mine had been knocked off my head by an out-of-control grandma on a rascal scooter, who then proceeded to run them over. I mean, you could of at least said sorry, or honked, or flipped me the bird to at least acknowledge my existence and the $300 sunglasses you just destroyed. Whatever, have a Magical Day.

Fast forward to dinner, because it was truly amazing. The Boathouse. Remember how earlier I said I like food? Certain meals in my life stand out to me. Basil tomato bisque in Winter Park Colorado, Duck ramen on the old Tiffins menu, conch bisque in Montego Bay, Crown prime rib at Jack Stack bbq in Kansas City. Y’all, I mentioned to my server that I’d never had a good lobster roll, because, well, Kansas. He URGED me to try it. One bite. Angels sang. (Quite literally, carolers were roaming Disney Springs). Top 5 thing I’ve ever eaten. Tears were shed, two bites in and I was trying to figure out how to have this doordashed back to KC. Boathouse is now on my must-do list forever more. Sigh.

Where was I? Oh, after dinner we hopped over to Jock Lindsey’s holiday bar for an after-dinner cocktail. Maybe it’s overhyped or maybe it was trying to follow up on that dang lobster roll. Jock Lindsey’s was ok. Junior liked the hot chocolate though. Now that I sit here thinking about it, wasn’t that hot cocoa spiked? Maybe it’s best not to dwell on that too long.


Dec 1-Hollywood Studios

We rolled into Hollywood Studios late morning, the only request from the fam was a genie plus for Slinky Dog and an ILL for Rise of the Resistance. Got both for after lunch, so we really didn’t have a plan for the morning. When we arrived there was a posted 45-minute wait for Runaway Railway and the lines app said it was closer to 30. I’ve never really tested the Lines app, so we hopped in the standby line and started the timer. The line timed out to 28 min. Bravo Lines app.

We ate lunch at Hollywood Brown Derby for VIP Fantasmic seating. I have heard wonderful things about the Cobb salad. I have recently become I salad eater, should have been a match made in heaven. Nope. I hate hate HATE bleu cheese and that’s all I could taste. Had I read the actual menu I would have asked them to hold off on it, so that’s really on me.

(Disney, retheme this to Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem! We need more Muppets!!!)

The rest of the day we rode rides, went to Baseline Taphouse, (it was delish), went to Oga’s, (it was not.) Junior built a droid, I built a lightsaber, we saw Fantasmic, (surprised how much it had changed), watched the Tower of Terror holiday projection show for a bit, then skylined (skylinered?) back to the resort.


Dec 2- Animal Kingdom

Unpopular opinion, we aren’t big Animal Kingdom fans. I mean Everest is amazing,

(Junior and I poking fun at mom’s ride photos)

FOP is fun, and Safari is always a must do. The park is super pretty, especially at Christmas. We saw FOTLK, which was a nice break, rode Dinosaur because there are rumors it’s going away(good riddance),

(They should rename this Falling Down the Stairs Simulator, because that’s what it felt like)

We rode Navi river journey, (of all the boat rides in Disney, that is certainly one of them). Don’t get me wrong, I like AK, but we can’t make a full day of it since only JR and I will ride Everest and FOP.

For dinner, we bussed over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for Jiko.

Jiko was my pick. Mom, wife, Junior were skeptical of the menu because they are boring. I, however, could not wait.

The lobster roll at the Boathouse was the best thing I ate this trip, Jiko was the best overall meal. It was so so so fantastic. The braised boar tenderloin appetizer was phenomenal, the Moroccan Spiced Lamb shank entree was just as good. (Osso bucco is my favorite meal to prepare, so I’ll never ever turn down a lamb or pork shank when I see it on a menu.)

It’s a beautiful restaurant, and our server was amazing. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their food, except Junior. He was bamboozled by the Bobotie mac and cheese. He expected Kraft and it was closer to a goulash. But he was quickly sated by the dessert and all was well.

(Wife: you are such a child, Me: Thank you)

Side note: I’d never been to AKL, it’s really beautiful and I wouldn’t mind staying there one day


Dec 3-Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

We started the day with a much-hyped Topolino’s Terrace Breakfast, which was quite nice as far as breakfast goes. Then we lounged around the resort. Junior got to swim, I went for a nice walk around the lake. Then around 4ish, we made our way to Magic Kingdom for the party.

(Did you see this dork walking around the party? The rest of the family had no idea until I stepped out of the bathroom. Wait, honey, where are you going?)

The party seemed uber-crowded. But maybe it was just the hub area. i don’t recall waiting long for rides. Junior and I did all the Christmas overlay rides. (Tomorrowland Speedway made me long for Dinosaur) We gorged ourselves on cookies and hot cocoa. I lost 40 pounds in a blue snowflake polyester suit. It was a good time.

For dinner, we grabbed hot dogs from Casey’s and BLESSINGS FROM ABOVE A TABLE! RIGHT BEFORE FIREWORKS? Is there any greater Christmas miracle than that? (Hallmark Channel guys, email me at mneff85@gmail.com for the film rights.)

Didn’t take a lot of pics because 1. it was crowded and 2. Disney, your Memory Maker is trash! Where are my really expensive ride photos!

We ambled around getting our Christmas on after fireworks, before heading back to the resort around midnight. It was a fun night, but man, that was a lot of people.


Dec 5-Hollywood Studios

Skipping ahead, December 4th was another break day and we did nothing of note except Beaches and Cream for dinner. (Top-notch grilled cheese sandwich)

Heading into the back half of our trip, so we primarily were cleaning up stuff we missed and revisiting old favorites. We had the luckiest Genie Plus day in the history of Genie Plus as we lucked into Tower of Terror, Slinky Dog, Runaway Railway, Smuggler’s Run, Toy Story Mania, and Alien Swirling Saucers in just a half a park day. We had nice moment on Smuggler’s Run. Junior and got picked to be pilots. There were a couple of 20-somethings behind us CLEARLY excited to ride, it was their first time and they were huge Star Wars nerds like myself. You know what, get yourself up here and drive this hunk of junk then. Everyone should get to pilot the Falcon at least once. The hug I received afterward was awkward, oh, please don’t do the Chewbacca roar while hugging me, ok, you actually do a pretty good chewie roar.

(I don’t know mom insists on riding this, she hates it)

(you’re darn right I bought it. I know it won’t fit in the suitcase, I’ll just wear it on the plane. Honey, wait! Where are you going now?)


Here is where I stop reading and go back to take back my hearts.


Dec 6-Magic Kingdom

Had a couple loose ends to clean up at MK. Saw the Hatbox Ghost at Haunted Mansion,

Rode the train

Got some castle pics

Got Junior to raise his arms on Tron, sort of…

Surprised the family with a California Grill reservation at sunset. We also watched HEA from the roof, which was pretty spectacular. As far as food goes, Cali Grill is nice, but not memorable. In fact, I’m looking at the menu and I still can’t remember what I had. But the view is great, and watching fireworks in a crowd of 13 people is always better than in a crowd of 130,000.


Dec 7-Epcot

Last day. I love to finish a trip at Epcot, like I said earlier, it’s my favorite. I got one last Cosmic Rewind ride in, we rode Soarin again and made it up to Space 220’s lounge for a drink and a snack. It was neat-ish, the glare on the screens throws the whole vibe off I think.

(Junior: why is there a floating exit sign in space?)

A few days prior, it was announced the Walt Statue was unveiled, so of course, we went and saw that. The new area is really quite nice, although some of the ambiance lights in the ground were already out.


Then it was time for Luminous. I had booked up a fireworks dining view thingie at Rose and Crown, accurately predicting how dang busy it would be for the first few days of the new show. Some timey wimey notes-Judging from the 1 am Luminous testing during the earlier days of our trip, we were pretty certain this was a LOUD show. Boy howdy is this a loud show. I grew up in Fort Riley kansas. I was the son of an Army tanker. I used to be rocked to sleep at night by the soothing sounds of the First Infantry Division declaring war on itself. When I moved to Kansas City, I couldn’t sleep because it was so dang quiet. IN THE CITY. So, getting back to Luminous… It was like I was a kid again, listening to 100 army tanks firing in the middle of the night. Glorious, lol. Oh, and the fish and chips were good too. All in all, a wonderful ending to a wonderful trip.


No I’m not going to pose, we haven’t gotten a single HM pic yet this trip.

Junior: Dad, I’m gonna make a face like you.

One last Mustang pic



They need to bring back the street musicians


Great trip! I love your storytelling style! Your ADR rules (50/50) is the same as mine. Left to their own devices, my family would have us at Chef Mickey’s every time, still, all these trips later. I forced them to choose 1 fave and one noob each trip a while back and now it’s just how we roll (thank goodness!)

Sorry about Jr’s spiked hot chocolate :laughing:
Glad your mom loves you best.
That’s a great shot at CBR with SE in the background!
Love the M&Ms gift
Super love the pic of you and Jr with the Mickey lights
CONGRATS on the weight loss!
That Tron photopass spot is at a TERRIBLE place due to sun-in-face for most of the day to some degree or another
Please don’t petition for my boys from the 603 to be removed from RnR
Jiko is amazing, and AKL is one of my very favorite resorts
Anal Kingdom huh? :laughing:
LOVE your snowflake suit and super love that you surprised the family with it! Bonus points for an extra 40lbs weight loss on the evening
I have a pic of me with that star wars helmet on too, see:

Hilarious that you finally got an HM pic with the non-pose
Cali Grill was better before pre fixe
Nice wheelz


What if… let’s compromise here, Electric Mayhem and Aerosmith collaborate like they did with RunDMC

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I’ll allow it

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Are you still the favorite? Lol

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of course, i need to post a pic of these. it was pretty cool

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Agreed. There were some hard core Avatar fans on board when we rode, really awed by it all, and I had to keep my hand over dh’s sarcastic mouth the whole time.


Great report, had me laughing out loud. Love the pics! Congrats on the weight loss! And I now need to try to fit in Boathouse and Jiko in my spring trip… Thanks for sharing!

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