Sorry, but here's another Trip Report!

We went to WDW back in June (6 months ago) with my parents, and that was the first time in 7 years.
I enjoyed doing a trip report for that one, so I wanted to do it again.
It’s a great way to re-live the memories in a little way.

It was great fun getting back “into Disney” back then to plan that trip. And even more fun planning this one.

I learned a ton during that process - spending lots of time on websites, forums like this one, Podcasts and YouTube.

While my knowledge of all things Disney is less than many experts here, I am confident that I hold superior Disney intelligence over normal civilians.

During that past trip, we upgraded our tickets to Annual Passes. We know we are going in Spring 2019 for our daughter’s HS band trip.
So, this trip would be practically free! Ha!

Details for this trip…

Thursday to Thursday 11/29-12/6

This time it’s only the 4 of us.
Me, my wife and 2 daughters (17 and 13).
I’ll probably reference our previous trip, maybe some comparisons.

This was a relatively short-notice trip.
We got a great deal on flights and booked them at 66 days out.
Original plan was to stay at value resorts to stay within a decent budget.
We got an AP discount on rooms at All Star Sports and Pop Century. Doing a split stay since value rooms were tough to get on this short notice.

Our girls have never been there during the holidays, so we figured this might be the last chance to do it all together before they start to go off to college and start to get all growned-up.

This may end up being a little long-winded, maybe I paid more attention this trip knowing that I might to a trip report again?
Bear with me, I’ll post a day at a time to keep it readable hopefully.


Never apologise for a trip report!


Love trip reports! Don’t apologize and thanks for writing—- will be reading :slight_smile:


my sentiments exactly - we love these trip reports


I love trip reports!


Travel Day

Last trip we flew in to Sanford on Allegiant, which required a car rental.
This time we fly in to MCO on Frontier, and will use Magical Express for the first time.

Our flight wasn’t leaving Harrisburg until after 5, so it didn’t really feel like a “vacation day” yet.
The kids went to school and we both worked a half day.

Flight was fine, we land a little after 8pm. Didn’t want to wait up late for DME luggage delivery to our room, so we are getting ours. By the time we take the fancy people-mover (or a little sense of a monorail ride) and get to baggage claim, they are sitting there waiting for us.

We head to DME in the other terminal. I’m excited for this part for a couple reasons.

First, we’ve never done DME. I know it’s probably not that big a deal, but the girls thought it was cool that Disney was picking us up.

Second reason to be excited was that Dad (me) was surprising the wife and kids with a resort upgrade.
Instead of 2 nights at All Star and 5 at Pop, we are actually doing 4 nights at French Quarter and 3 at Yacht Club.
Remember that budget comment in the previous post? Well, not so much. But, I did get discounted rooms at both resorts, either from AP or a Holiday special.
Dad (me) is great at justifying the spending of the money. You only live once, right?

Wasn’t sure when the surprise would reveal itself. I was hoping not until we pulled in to POFQ and I say let’s get off here.

We approach the DME tap-in area and queues. It’s basically empty, no lines.
The CM taps my band, looks at his machine and says “4 for French Quarter?”, I whisper yes and start walking down the queue, hoping that my female crew behind me doesn’t notice.

Not so fast junior, the females are VERY attentive when they chose to be. I hear some chirpping behind me as I increase my pace. They catch up and confront me, I’m outnumbered. We have fun talking about the new plans.

So, now they think we are doing POFQ and then still Pop.
Next surprise for YC will wait for another day!

I think that I like giving surprises more than getting them. Maybe because I can’t be surprised, go ahead and try I dare you. It’s an ummarketable skill that I have, gets me nothing.

We board our bus and there are only a few people so far. We wait 30+ minutes for more people before leaving.
An hour and 20 minutes from boarding the bus to arrival at POFQ, multiple stops along the way.
No big deal, about what I expected.

I received our “room ready” message in MDE while on the bus. Building and room are not even close to what I requested via the Touring Plans request fax. No big deal again. Location ends up being great anyways.

I also received a call from the Amazon Prime delivery driver, our order was just dropped off at bell services.

Arrive at French Quarter, of course it’s awesome and we’re excited. What’s better than finally arriving to your WDW vacation?

We take a quick look around, excited to be back home at Disney. Luggage and groceries to the room.

What better way to celebrate the official start of our vacation than Beignets at 11:15 pm.


I love POFQ! Where was your room?


Right at this intersection I think


The three beautiful ladies in your photograph look like sisters! :slight_smile:


For Disney Addicts such as myself, trip reports are like getting hooked up to an IV of Disney Magic. They sustain us!


This is amazing! Love the surprise!


I love reading trip reports!

I love surprises, my hope is to surprise my family with firework dessert party (or potentially parties)


Definitely off to a great start! Lovely pic of your family

1 Like

Trip reports are my favorite!!!

1 Like

First full day!

Got to bed around midnight last night. I’m up and out the door at 5:45am for my walk for coffee.
Who needs a full night’s sleep in Disney? I can sleep at home in PA.

I love walking around in the quiet early morning at any Disney resort.
And POFQ smells awesome just outside our room. It was coming from some plants in one of the nearby courtyards.

Get back to the room around 6:15 to get the crew ready. Head to the bus stop around 7:30.
Too long to get ready??? 3 women - 'nuff said

Plan for today is a pretty full day at MK, then evening at Disney Springs. There is a MVMCP this night that we are not doing (remember that budget thing, right?).

We watch a bunch of Disney YouTube vloggers, and we always say it would be cool to run into one of them.
I have my new Tim Tracker shirt on for good luck. I was King of the Train Station when we get there.
We never see Tim, or any of the others that we watch.

We have all the necesary good FPs, so we’re not too worried about a rope-drop-run to any headliner.
Get some photos out of the way on Main Street and head to Tomorrowland then over to Adventureland. I won’t go through every attraction, but we hit most of the important ones before the 2:00 parade.

First time doing the Pirate scavenger hunt game, that was pretty fun. We got a bunch of paper Pirates FPs for completing it.
We ended up giving most of them away to people just entering the long stand-by line. That’s gotta get me some good karma right?

After the parade, it’s time for a Dole Whip!!
From previous experience, I know it will be crowded there. So, I mobile order on the way over and get in that much smaller line.
Then, we hear a loud exclamation/startled scream from a man nearby. Look over in that direction and what do we see?
A young boy maybe around 3 or so - standing there with his pants down to his ankles, in all his little glory - peeing right on the ground.
When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.
His dad is freaking out, his mom is giggling while she’s dealing with their other young kids. She finally gets him all “wrapped up” and they move out of the area while dad stands guard so nobody steps in the mess.

He looks over to us in line and is very apologetic. I say, don’t worry you just gave us a great story to tell.

We leave MK around 5:00 for the resort, and head to Disney Springs for the night.
Love the boat rides down the Sassagoula River, beats a bus anyday.

To do list tonight: It’s our only planned time here so we have to get them done.
Christmas Tree Trail - cool to see
Eat at Polite Pig - very crowded but the line moved quick, food was great, got a table outside
Star Wars VR at the Void

I considered blowing off the Void because they were way behind and we waited long after our reservation (it was a Friday night).
Good thing we stayed. It was FANTASTIC!
I’ll never do it justice with a description here. Just go do it! Now!
We are big Star Wars fans, so I’m sure that was part of it. But, the VR part of it was just as impressive.
Very entertaining and worth the $$

Side note…
For any of you that read my last trip report, there would be NO surprise lip-sync battle that Dad got hooked into this time. Lightning can’t strike twice.


Animal Kingdom

I’m out the door at 5:45 again for coffee.
Must be magic, as the females are ready in much less time this morning

Today, we’re splurging on a Minnie Van in order to get out to AK quickly.
As usual, our driver is great. We get dropped off at 7:15 and Boomer takes the obligatory selfie for us.

Grand plan for today…
We’re going to ride FOP 3 times, yes you heard me - 3 times.
How, you ask?

  1. Rope Drop
  2. FP already set later in the morning.
  3. Because of my extensive wisdom of rare WDW knowledge (credit to BSOM podcast actually), I know of a FP drop that happens at precisely 3:01 daily. It works, as I’ve been practicing before the trip and have succeeded multiple times.

For those that want to know actual times/process for the AK FOP rope drop, for a 9am opening with 8am EMH.
Here’s how ours went…
7:15 MV drop off
7:20 at the first tap (crowd not as bad as I expected, but it did fill up fast behind us with whom we labelled as “bus people”)
7:30 they open the flood gates and we’re in - we walk, dummies run
7:32 at the 2nd tap to make sure we’re ok for EMH - we walk again, dummies run again
7:37 get in line for FOP stand-by
7:44 going inside
7:56 ready to be de-contaminated
8:13 exiting the ride

Ride# 1 - Done!

Our oldest daughter sometimes has a bad reaction to motion rides, and this time it was a little bad. Not pass-out-fall-down-hit-her-head bad, but I kept a hold on her as we exited the ride and got her to a seat at Satu’li. She just needs to sit down and chill for awhile and it will pass.
Get her a snack/drink and the 3 of us head to the Navi River to get that done.

Group decision now is to scrap our plans for the 3x-FOP. Would’ve been nice to try it, but not worth it now.

We regroup and head to Africa, walking past the monstrous FOP stand-by line. We take pity on those late-comers, probably more “bus people”.

The girls have a nice meet/greet with Timon on the way. I stand off to the other side of the pathway while they wait to see him, and I love listening to others walk by and some of things they say…
“Hey, it’s Rafiki” (it was not)
“He’s going to eat, we’ll come back” (that dad had NO intention of coming back)

After riding the Safari, the girls want to track down some of the photogenic walls that are sooo popular on social media. They do so and take plenty of post-worthy photos. Very cute but also very “basic”.
And, “basic” became a running joke for most of the trip. Check urban dictionary.

We split up next, wife and oldest go to Lion King while youngest and I go to Everest. We regroup briefly at Dawa bar, and the girls want to go find one more semi-hidden basic wall in Africa that they’ve heard of.
GREAT IDEA, go have fun.

Mom and Dad make a B-line for Nomad Lounge (never been there before).
Get lucky with an open table on the patio and enjoy a couple drinks and apps.
Highly recommend it to get away from the crowd for awhile.

My cousin’s daughter meets us for the evening.
She’s currently a full-time Disney intern/employee in video communications. She was previously in the Disney college program as a Photopass photographer.
Her love of getting behind the scenes is huge.
Only thing bigger is my jealousy of her. I secretly hate her life. Kidding of course, proud of her.

Nemo show
Up! meet/greet
Mickey/Minnie meet/greet
Up! bird stage show and later see the macaw flyover out at Discovery Island (got a cool slo-mo video, not sure if it will post here)

Sun is going down and it has cooled off considerably. Brilliant idea comes up (not by me) that we should do Kali River Rapids.
My smart wife quickly declares her opposition to the idea (may have included a swear word or two).
I couldn’t let these 3 young ladies ride alone, or could I?
I could, but I don’t. Wait, what?
I’m in for Kali.

There’s always a chance that half the boat doesn’t get soaked. Well, that half wasn’t my half. Drenched.

I consider buying a new dry shirt, but wisely choose to spend that money on something better.
Rum Dole Whip Time!
Ice cream for kids.

We catch the Tree Awakening on the way out around 7:00 and head back to POFQ for a little pool/hot tub time.

Back at the resort, I find someone’s lost credit card lying in the middle of one the the “streets”.
I take it to the front desk. Someone got lucky.
I was going to book a bounce-back offer with it, but decided not to chance getting arrested.


Fun day! What part of the park has those pretty lanterns?

1 Like

In Asia, near the Up! bird show.
I don’t know if they’re permanent or temporary for Christmas?


Sounds like an excellent day, looking forward to reading more

1 Like

How do you “practice” getting fatpasses? Ive been wanting to do that!

It just hit me- you have to be 60 days out. Right? Duh. (Im 131)