Remembering the Magic, a Throwback Trip Report

A few months ago, DS9 wrote his version of our quick Christmas trip report. Now that we are “socially distancing/quarantining/whatever you want to call it,” we have been taking lots of family walks. The boys like to listen to trip reports, their own or others, on the walks.

DS6 has been wanting to help write a trip report from our last big trip, a trip for his 5th birthday in 2019. He’s not quite ready to type, or even dictate, a trip report of his own. But, he did enjoy sitting down and looking through all the photos from his trip to help write the report. Hopefully, reading the report will help others escape back to our happy place. If nothing else, the boys will enjoy knowing it’s out there for others to read.

Mom (38), Dad (38), Brother (DS7), Birthday boy (4, turning 5)

Dates: Friday, March 1, 2019-Sunday, March 10, 2019
Resort: Studio at Bay Lake Tower

Night before: Dressed and ready for bed in “This kid loves WDW” shirts. Ready to go for early morning departure.

Friday, March 1st

Wake up call at 3:30 am. Everyone was packed and ready to hit the road. Trip went smoothly with some stops for breakfast and gas. Arrived at the welcome gates at 1:10 pm. By 1:30pm, we had a room ready and were unloading at Bay Lake Tower. We had a view of Space Mountain from the balcony of our lake view studio. Made for a nice place to apply sunscreen.

We were able to walk to Magic Kingdom by 3 pm, and stopped at train station waiting for the parade. This is where the boys had their first surprise; their cousin and aunt arrived! The boys had no idea they were coming.

First FPP for Splash Mountain (4 pm), then right to BTMRR FPP. Then we trekked across the park to Space Mountain FPP. DS7 sat out with his aunt and then left his hat in the gift shop. Quick run back to retrieve the hat and then we were back on the way out of park.

We caught the monorail back to Contemporary to then catch a boat. Caught up with dad on the way to the boat dock (he had been napping after the long drive). We were on the boat to Wilderness Lodge by 6:30 pm.

Upon checking in to Snow White’s dinner at Artist Point, surprise #2: GeeBee and Chief (grandparents) arrived. We had our first special dinner with magic potion lemonade, buckets of butter and shovels, and some entrees too.

After dinner we took the boat back to CR. Then DS(almost)5 and Dad got an extra monorail ride over to the Polynesian, where the family was staying, to drop off some gear (special shirts). They caught the electrical water pageant on the way back to the room.

Long day #1 in the books!


Sounds like a great first day!

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Saturday, March 2nd (Actual birthday!!)

7 am wake up call is still early after a really long day (not 3:30 early, but still…)
Sunscreen on the balcony, looking at Space Mountain, before driving to Animal Kingdom and we were walking into AK at 7:55 am.

We got there early to rope drop… Primeval Whirl! The kids deemed this their new favorite ride (at least for the day). Then we hopped over to Expedition Everest and then right back to Primeval Whirl.

Met up with grandparents near Kusafiri for breakfast yummies (cinnamon rolls and chocolate pastries), before our first FPP for Festival of the Lion King. Yay for all 4 tumble monkeys!
Next FPP kept us in Africa for Kilimanjaro safaris. Keeping to our frequent snack break schedule, the next stop was Mickey ice cream bars and sandwiches. Then we headed to Pandora for FPP for Flight of Passage. Had to stop in gift shop for a stuffed banshee birthday present.

We sent the grandparents off to Yak and Yeti for lunch and headed to Restaurantosaurus for the kids. Then it was back to the room for a little rest. We found a surprise in the room from Mickey, birthday balloon and treats (snack crackers, candies, etc.). Disney Floral and Gifts put someone else’s monogrammed ears in the package, so our birthday boy was unable to wear the ears on his actual birthday.

Who needs a nap when you can go swim at the Polynesian pool with your cousin? Fun in the pool was followed by time to change and get ready for birthday dinner. We were headed to Epcot via monorail, but had to open presents at the monorail station. Can’t take wrapped gifts through security, apparently.

We stopped for the required family photos in front of Spaceship Earth on the way into Epcot. I think we rode with a 4th fast pass… not 100% sure. We may have ridden Living with the Land instead. Maybe we did both.

Birthday boy requested birthday dinner at Garden Grill. We were a party of 8, but still got a booth on the lower level. Pluto hassled Chief; it was great. We ended the meal with a Mickey chocolate birthday cake delivered to the birthday boy.

Another monorail ride back to the Polynesian, where the kids got to have a sleepover in their cousin’s room. Mom and dad took the monorail back to BLT for a quiet night


What a lovely birthday! I thoroughly approve of all your snack breaks. We did GG for the first time in August - pre RD breakfast - and loved it!

Snacks are key. Everyone needs energy for all the activity of the park. We have done lunch and dinner at GG. Breakfast is definitely in the plans for our next big trip. Ever since the boys heard about the cinnamon roll skillet thing, they’ve been very excited to try breakfast.


Sunday, March 3rd

We were able to sleep in a bit, as the first activity was breakfast at ‘Ohana and the kids were already at the Polynesian. Everyone enjoyed breakfast and the birthday boy celebrated again with cupcakes for dessert.

Then it was time for goodbye hugs in the Polynesian lobby, cousin and aunt had to catch a plane home. The rest headed back to GeeBee and Chief’s room for sunscreen, in preparation for a day at Magic Kingdom.

We headed to our first FPP for 7DMT, even the grandparents rode, though GeeBee plans to skip next time. Next stop It’s a Small World. Then we used our remaining FPP for Peter Pan’s Flight and Jungle Cruise. Plans to do more rides melted in the afternoon sun.

We took monorail rides back to BLT and Poly, respectively. Nap time for Daddy (and the grandparents). Pool time for Mommy and the boys. Afterwards, we changed and headed off to dinner at Disney Springs. Everyone enjoyed dinner at Raglan Road. Food was yummy, as usual. Unfortunately we were seated in a room off to the side, so we had to leave table to go see the show.

After dinner, we made a quick trip to T-Rex to Build-A-Dino! Rexy and Ankylo slept with the boys the rest of the trip.

We headed back for bed; unaware that catastrophe was going to strike soon.


Love Raglan Road! I’m not liking an impending catastrophe though!

Monday, March 4th

Daddy started the day super early, around 1 am, with gastrointestinal distress. No idea if it was food induced, or viral (more likely). But, poor dad had several hours of severe GI distress followed by several more of fatigue and body aches. Mom didn’t get much sleep trying to take care of him and worrying about what to do with Fast Passes and park plans…

Daddy was better enough in the morning to stay in the room and recover on his own with some Powerade and saltines that Mom found at the little store in CR. He was not up for driving or really going anywhere. So, Mom got to drive for the first time at WDW. She and the boys drove to the Poly to pick up GeeBee and Chief for breakfast.

Next stop, the Boardwalk for Bon Voyage breakfast at Trattoria al Forno. We got there about 20-30 minute early, and had to wait until about 15 minutes after our ADR time. They seem to seat in clusters for character timing. It was a long wait for bored boys. Once at the table, pastries saved the day. The boys filled up on sweets and didn’t finish their meals so well. They had fun with the characters, Flynn Ryder the most as they got to see in the satchel.

After breakfast, we bid our farewells to GeeBee ad Chief, as they started their drive home this day. We checked on Daddy who was still resting in the room.

Next stop, a first for us, was Winter-Summerland miniature golf. We played the winter side. The boys had a great time. Even got a hole in one (and many many others way over par). Then it was time to head back to check on Daddy again. Some more medication to make sure he was okay and we left him to rest again.

This time, we chose to take the bus over to Hollywood Studios where we had our Fast Passes. Got to spread out on an almost empty bus at 4 pm. First stop, alien popcorn bucket and Mickey pretzel to snack on while we waited for the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. Both boys loved the show.

Then we watched some other kids do Jedi training and decided we may do it later this trip (older son had done on his 5th birthday trip). Headed to Star Tours for our first FPP. DS7 felt a little queasy afterwards.

Next stop, FPP for Slinky Dog Dash. Everyone loves Slinky. Then, since it had been a couple hours since popcorn, we had to stop for a Num Num cookie to share! Not the best choice on mom’s part, as dinner at Backlot was the next stop. So, cue boys not finishing their dinners again. Even mom saved the peanut butter brownie to take back to the resort.

Third FPP was supposed to be Rock ‘n Roller Coaster before a Fantasmic viewing evening. However, neither boy really felt brave enough for RNRC and DS7 wasn’t keen to have to ride with a stranger. So, some last minute FPP searching led to the decision to head back to MK!

Another long walk back to the bus at HS and we were off to MK. This bus, unlike the earlier one, was packed to the gills. The boys shared one seat and mom stood over them. We arrived just before the fireworks and made our way to our same day FPP for Splash Mountain. We even got to see some fireworks from the ride! I think we were going to ride People Mover after that, but don’t remember if we actually did! Headed back to BLT for yet another eventful sleep.


Poor Daddy! We’ve never done the mini golf.

Tuesday, March 5th – the day that will live in trip infamy

Again, we started the day just before 1:30 in the morning. This time, Mom awoke to DS7 moaning in bed. Thinking he was just over tired, she tried to go back to sleep. Mistake! Should have made him get up to go to the bathroom. Next sound is DS7 tossing his proverbially cookies all over the pull out couch bed (including the new stuffed dinos from T-Rex). Mom proceeded to get DS7 to the bathroom, put DS5 back to sleep on the floor, strip a bed, clean stuffed friends from the fallout, and call Mousekeeping for help. We needed new bed linens and pillows. The kind gentleman on the other end of the phone offered medical assistance, but Mom had meds and clean up supplies covered (never travel without the doctor bag). Mousekeeping arrived and carted off the dirty linens and pillows (that mom had bagged up in extra trash bags) and remade the bed. Did have to warn her not to step on DS5 sleeping on the floor! Mom later realized that she never tipped Mousekeeping for coming out to help. All cleaned up and everyone back in bed, Mom stayed on her phone shifting DS7 and dad’s FPPs to the evening, hoping they would recover quickly.

Rope drop at Epcot had been the plan, but sleeping in to recover seemed a better choice. We woke up somewhere around 9 am. Daddy still wasn’t ready to brave the parks, he needed more rest and more energy. But, DS7 awoke like nothing happened overnight; hungry, happy, and ready to go. After debating, we decided he could go into the parks after all. (The pediatrician in mom knows that this was the wrong plan. He potentially spread the stomach bug all over the park. But, he was symptom free, acting normal, and able to use good hand hygiene. And, it’s very hard to tell a kid they can’t participate at WDW when they feel fine!).

We made it to the monorail and the end of our Soarin’ FPP window. We missed the Living with the Land FPP that was actually first. DS7 sat out on Soarin’. He wasn’t sure his stomach would handle the motion. So, we parked him in the airport waiting room area near the ride with a phone to play on and strict instructions not to go anywhere other than the bathroom if needed (which he didn’t need) and where Cast Members were if he needed help. Soarin’ with a FPP still took about 30 minutes, so both mom and DS7 got a little nervous by the end, but all was well and we met up easily afterwards.

Next we headed off to our FPP for Spaceship Earth and fun and games after (hope other people sanitize after touching those things like we do!). Caught a brief glimpse of some of the Flower and Garden topiaries (actual festival started the next day) on the way out of the International Gateway to lunch.

Lunch ADR was at Beaches and Cream. Again, not the best place to go after a potential stomach bug, but we got lucky. DS7 wanted a cheeseburger and fries, which he ate with no problems, and a milkshake. The milkshake (oh no, dairy!) he shared with his brother, DS5. Visions of yet another sick child floated through mom’s head, but never materialized. DS5 never got sick and DS7 remained back to normal for the rest of the trip. Both kids even got the kids’ Mickey sundaes after their meals.

After lunch, Mom decided it was worth the expense to grab a Minnie Van back to BLT. Everyone participated in naptime this day, to help recover strength after all the challenges.

Dinner plans were at Restaurant Marrakesh. Daddy had wanted to try it for a while, and who doesn’t like belly dancer entertainment? Daddy finally felt strong enough to leave the room, so he came out to Epcot for dinner. He took it very bland on the food to be safe and still wasn’t terribly hungry.

Some shopping in Mitsukoshi is a requirement any time we are in World Showcase, so Japan was the stop after dinner. Then we wandered WS looking at topiaries lit up in the dark and watching the trains in Germany (another first for us).

Daddy determined that he really didn’t have the strength he needed to carry on, so he skipped out on the evening FPP we picked up for Test Track. DS7 decided he’d skip also, so they headed for the monorail. Mom and DS5 headed for Test Track and then followed on the monorail. Back to bed for more rest and recovery!


Wednesday, March 6th

A chilly morning this day, temp only in the high 40s (F) to start. Sweaters and jackets on, we hit the road to Animal Kingdom. We headed straight to Pandora to rope drop Navi River Journey. We were able to ride twice before and at official park opening, with a 5 minute wait and then a walk on. Then we went straight to our FPP for Flight of Passage.

Next stop was our usual breakfast at Kusafiri for another yummy cinnamon roll (or two). Then it was time to check in for the Caring for Giants tour. This tour was specially booked for Mom’s love of elephants, but everyone liked the tour. Then we headed to Kilimanjaro Safaris FPP to see the elephants from a little further away.

Then we trekked across the park to our 3rd FPP at Expedition Everest. Original plan had been Restaurantosaurus for lunch and Boneyard play time. However, Dad didn’t have the stamina for that either, so we headed back to the resort. Mobile order carryout from Contempo Café for a picnic back in the room was a fun lunch. Dad took his daily nap (required even when he hasn’t been ill). DS7 got some homework completed after another session at the pool.

We drove to the Wilderness Lodge for dinner at Whispering Canyon Café. Boys enjoyed playing with Lincoln Logs while waiting. They both ordered bottomless milkshakes and drank about 1/10th of their first serving. Remind us not to order those again until they are teenage bottomless pits.

We split up after dinner. Mom and kids took the boat back to Contemporary while Dad secretly drove to Art of Animation. He was dropping off welcome gifts for friends that were joining for the end of the trip. This was a complete surprise for the boys; they had no idea we were planning to meet up with anyone else. On the way back from the boat, the kids ran into Captain Hook on the grounds of the Contemporary. He must have been finishing a fireworks cruise. It was a fun treat after a relatively low-key day.


Thursday, March 7th

Another 7 am wake up call, ready to walk out of BLT at 8 am to head to Magic Kingdom. Dad had escaped the room to go pick up “Aunt” M, her husband, and their 3 kids (DS8, DD6, and DS4, DD6 and DS4 henceforth known as “the littles”). The boys were shocked to run into them in the parking lot on the way to MK! Now a giant party of 9, we walked to MK together.

First stop, Main Street Vehicles, we all got to ride up to the castle on the upper level of the double decker bus. The kids took group pictures right in front of the castle (no one else in frame!) while waiting for the welcome show.

After the welcome show, we moved with the masses to Peter Pan’s Flight. We waited about 25-30 minutes, but got to experience the stand by queue that we’d never seen before. Then we headed over to the teacups. While waiting for teacups, the lone little girl in the bunch spied Alice and decided she needed autographs. She and “Aunt” M headed off, while the rest got some cat tails from Cheshire Cat Café.

Next stop, first FPP for 7DMT. The littles weren’t a big fan of the roller coaster. We slowed down for the next ride at It’s a Small World. Next FPP was Splash Mountain, but the littles were definitely not up for that. We split into two groups. Mom, Friend Dad, and 3 boys rode Splash and Big Thunder with FPPs. Dad, “Aunt” M, and the littles rode Magic Carpets, found a Dole Whip, and started the Pirates Adventure game. Everyone met back up on the last few tasks of the Pirate Adventure.

We headed to Pinocchio’s Village Haus for lunch. Mobile order is great, but finding a table for 9 is not easy. Despite refueling, everyone was fading and wanted to swim. We hopped on the monorail back to CR. Dad drove friends back to AoA for naptime. Mom and boys headed to the main pool at CR.

By 5:30, everyone had made their way back to the walkway to Magic Kingdom. Mom, both dads and the boys headed to Philharmagic, while “Aunt” M and the princess headed to meet Cinderella and Elena. Everyone met back up at The Plaza Restaurant for dinner. We couldn’t get a table for 9, but got 2 next to each other for 4 and 5. Poor server had a table of 5 kids under the age of 9! Thankfully, these are all well-behaved children. They were treated to Mickey sundaes at the end!

After dinner, we trekked across the park to split up again. The thrill seekers rode BTMRR again with an anytime FPP (earlier in the day, we’d obtained a 4th for Buzz Lightyear but it went down). The littles chose Haunted Mansion. Then we headed to Pirates of the Caribbean. We had paper fast passes from the adventure earlier, but they weren’t needed, as the ride was a walk on late in the evening. We left the paper FPPs with a Cast Member near the entrance to gift to another family the next day.

A successful “first” day in the books, we headed out of the park tired and happy.


Friday, March 8th

Matching shirts on, everyone met up at AoA. We piled into the van and drove to the Yacht Club for a special adventure. The kids were all registered for the Pirate Adventure Cruise that left from the BC/YC marina. Despite some cold feet from the youngest boy, everyone headed out on the boat with the pirate crew. Parents were left with some free time to wander the Crescent Lake area. The adults headed off to the Boardwalk Bakery for breakfast. Dad popped into Epcot to attempt to obtain a Starbucks mug for GeeBee and annual passholder magnets from the Flower and Garden festival (unfortunately failed on both counts). The kids had a blast finding treasure on their adventure.

After the cruise was over, everyone piled back in the van to head to Animal Kingdom. We sprung for preferred parking arriving mid day. First stop, lunch! Mobile order again worked well for us at Restaurantosaurus and it wasn’t as hard to find a table this time.

Bellies full and happy, we were off to play. Our princess found more characters to meet, Launchpad and Scrooge. Then everyone headed to the Boneyard to run off some steam. Littles stayed to play a little longer, while the thrill seekers used at FPP at Expedition Everest. We then ran into Kevin on the way over to our next FPP at Kilimanjaro Safaris. We got there a little too early for our FPP window, so we hung out and rehydrated.

After the safari, we headed over to Festival of the Lion King. Everyone enjoyed the show.
Everyone did not enjoy the next FPP. Successfully, we got everyone on Flight of Passage. Not so successfully, we had the littles screaming through the entire ride! Another trip through the gift shop for some consolation banshees helped.

We had planned Satul’i Canteen for dinner, but everyone was ready to head out of the park after traumatizing the children. We all drove back to AoA and had dinner at the food court. Chaos ensued finding food for 9 in a big cafeteria style QS. Dad decided he was good never staying at or eating at AoA again. We learned we really do prefer some of the perks of staying deluxe. But, AoA worked great for our friends and they had a lot of fun exploring the grounds after we headed back to our resort for the night.


Wow your trip had some ups and downs! Really enjoying your report.

Thanks for sharing! A trip report was just what I needed to read right now. And as disappointing as the illnesses were, its always helpful to us planners to hear when plans don’t go exactly as planned. Sounds like you did the best you could to continue the fun with the circumstances given!

Glad that you are enjoying the report. We definitely would have preferred to not have to deal with the illnesses, but they didn’t ruin the trip. I think it would have been way worse if I was the one sick, instead of DH. He’s more laid back, wasn’t crushed to have missed out. I think I was more upset about him missing out (experiences, yummy food, etc) than he was.

I had to learn to roll with it this trip, from an illness standpoint, and from a traveling with friends standpoint. The littles not wanting to do thrill rides cramped plans. And the “friend dad” does not tour anything like we usually do, he does not want to be held to a plan, just go with the flow. There was definitely more tension than usual (and probably only for me, I’m sure no one else even noticed)! We had 2 reservations for fun character breakfasts on the last day to choose from and we ended up scrapping both of them, because he decided the kids should just swim… Oh well, everyone still had a blast. We’d totally go with them again. I just have to modify my expectations (or convince my friend to bring her kids when her DH is busy at work!!).


Saturday, March 9th

We started the day picking up our friends at AoA again. Everyone spilled out of the clown car at Hollywood Studios today. We were in line for Jedi Training sign ups before 830 on a 9 am opening day. All the kids registered for Jedi Training then we joined the rope drop crowds. We rope dropped Toy Story Mania with minimal wait. Daddy got high score of our vehicles.

We headed to Alien Swirling Saucers next with a 15-20 minute wait. Everyone enjoyed the ride. Then we enjoyed lunch box tarts from Woody’s for a breakfast snack. First FPP for Slinky Dog was next. Littles again decided it wasn’t for them, so they headed back to Saucers stand by. Another ride down, time for another snack. This time we had Num Num cookies!

Next FPP was Star Tours, so we split up again. Thrill riders headed over, but littles met Olaf. We all met up at Jedi training sign in. Everyone made it into robes, everyone made it through the march. Youngest friend DS bailed before going on stage. Everyone else successfully fought Kylo Ren.

After all that exertion, everyone was ready for lunch. We headed to Backlot Express right next door. Then it was time for Daddy to actually get to see the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. Everyone liked the show.

Thrill seekers headed off to Rock ‘n Roller Coaster while littles headed to the Frozen sing along. DS7 had to man up and ride with a stranger (Party of 5 meant someone had to). He may have been bribed with pin purchases if he did it without crying. Frozen lemonade and pins in hand we all met back up to head out of the park.

Pool time for everyone at BLT was next on the agenda. Adult beverages from the pool bar for some of the grown ups. Water slides and fun with friends for the kids. After a good swim session, everyone got changed for dinner.

We didn’t have to go far, just a walk over the bridge to Chef Mickey’s. We ended up at another meal with a table for 4 next to a table for 5 where the kids did well. There were some spilled drinks, but nothing too serious. The kids had a blast meeting the Fab 5. Donald got fed up waiting his turn with the kids, apparently Minnie was taking too long. So, he sat down at the adult’s table in a huff. Donald finally got his turn. Then, Mickey came back by, right after birthday cake was delivered to the table! Mickey helped direct the singing of Happy Birthday! It was truly a character meal to remember.

After dinner, everyone was still looking for their special souvenirs, so we made another pass through the gift shop before returning to the room. Back in the room, the kids had a video game party while the adults debated last morning plans. It was a late night, but only trips home to look forward to the next day, so we made the best of it.


Sunday, March 10th

We didn’t have many plans for the parks this last day, as our friends didn’t have tickets. We, however, were finishing up annual passes. So, after packing up the car, we made a quick trip into MK. Mom and the boys used a FPP for one last ride on 7DMT and Dad headed to procure some breakfast from Gaston’s. Loaded up on cinnamon rolls and pastries, we headed over to AoA to meet up with friends at the pool.

The kids enjoyed the pool for about an hour before we helped our friends finish their packing up and checking out. Teary goodbyes were surrounded by Cars décor. Then our friends caught the Tragical Express back to the airport and we hit the road for our long drive home. Everyone made it home safely, and exhausted!

Though it definitely had its challenges, this was a trip to remember! DS(now)6 and I enjoyed reviewing the pictures and writing the report. We’re looking forward to our next trip (whenever that may be) so we can write another report!


What an awesome day and a special birthday!

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Thanks for sharing! I hope you do write another report.

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