This was the first time to WDW for DH, DS11 (turned 12 mid trip), DS9 and DD5. The last time I’d been to WDW was 1999, so basically it felt like a first visit for myself.
We surprised the kids by leaving on Sept. 15, they thought the plan was to leave the 16th. We drove from Augusta, Ga to Orlando and checked into our hotel for the evening. We stayed at Comfort Inn Maingate. When DS9 saw the hotel, he gasped and said, “Are we really staying here? It’s the nicest hotel I’ve ever seen!” Poor kid, obviously doesn’t get out much! The hotel was nicer than I expected. It had 2 queen beds plus a set of bunkbeds. Once we got settled in, we began to look for somewhere to eat. The hotel info book listed that the Sizzler restaurant offered kids eat free for hotel guests, so that sold us. The food was pretty good, our server was super friendly and the kids ate for free! We went back to the hotel and let the kids swim. It was a basic pool but because it had colored lighting, the kids thought it was amazing! We went to bed early, we had plans to attend a local church, and then we would be entering into the bubble for our first time! We pulled off our first surprise of leaving early, what surprises would tomorrow hold?! The kids were oblivious to what was ahead! Day 2 coming soon!
This was the first time to WDW for DH, DS11 (turned 12 mid trip), DS9 and DD5. The last time I’d been to WDW was 1999, so basically it felt like a first visit for myself.
Looking forward to reading your report!
I love it! Also, it is a great reminder that kids enjoy the simple things! The cool hotel, the lights in the swimming pool, simple food.
Before I start the update, let me explain the title. I have a dear friend, who is a Disney guru and a fellow liner & she introduced me to this amazing group. I read and learned so much leading up to our trip, that I truly felt like we did our 1st WDW like a boss! Did we make mistakes? Of course, but overall, we had a very successful trip! So thank you, Liners!
We ate breakfast at the hotel, which was a Disney partner hotel, so we had our first legit Mickey waffles! They were really yummy! After breakfast we headed to Illumination Church. They meet at Celebration High School. My husband is a pastor and we started a new church 2 years ago. We meet in a middle school, so it’s always neat to see how others do things and learn new ideas. We really enjoyed the service.
After church, the kids were ready for lunch. What they didn’t know was that we had reservations at Chef Mickey’s at 1pm. We made a quick stop by Walmart to pick up some snacks and things. My DD5 saw a Minnie Mouse hat that she just had to have. For $10, we bought it because we knew it would be way more at a park. By this time it was noon, so we decided to head towards the Contemporary. It was so exciting driving through the gates and seeing Mickey & the gang. By this point, we’d told the kids that we were going to eat a special lunch, but they still didn’t know about the characters. When we arrived at CR, I had character shirts for the boys to put on and we discreetly put DD5 in her red polka dot dress. When we pulled out their autograph books, they were getting suspicious.
I was so excited about seeing the CR. The last time I saw it, it was 1980 and I was 8 years old. My most vivid memory from that trip is riding the monorail and being in absolute awe as we came through the middle of the CR. When I saw the monorail come through last Sunday, I literally teared up. Still so amazing!
We checked in around 12:30 and we had to wait a while. It was ok because we were early and it gave us a chance to take it all in. I think we were seated right about 1pm. By this time, the kids had caught a glimpse of Goofy. I wish I could show you the pic of my DD5’s face when she saw him for the first time! Goofy is my DH’s favorite, so we had some great interaction with him. When Minnie Mouse came she was so excited to see my daughter’s matching polka dotted dress. It’s amazing how they can communicate without speaking. She had my daughter spin and then she gave her the sweetest hug! So sweet! Mickey and Donald came next. Their interactions were pretty rushed. Pluto came last and he was so fun! He kept pretending to lick my DS9, and he kept play punching my DS11. We thought the food here was really good. It was brunch so the selection included breakfast and lunch choices. Our server was wearing a blue name tag & thanks to this group, I was able to tell her congratulations on your legacy award! She was very excited that we knew about it and assumed we were former cast members.
Sometime during lunch, I received a text that our room was ready. So when we finished up, we headed to CBR. We were given Aruba 54. I had used the tp room request and had requested Jamaica 44. I was pretty disappointed but I just let it go.
We got to the resort and got settled in our room. We were pleasantly surprised at the size. For some reason, I had it in my head that there was no drawer space. But we had plenty of space to put all of our clothes. I had brought a hanging closet organizer and we didn’t even use it.
Once we unpacked, we picked up our mugs and then headed straight to the main pool. Our kids absolutely loved this pool. The slides were so much fun. DH and I even ended up going down them a few times. After swimming about an hour or 2, everyone was starting to get hungry.
My DS9 kept talking about Disney Springs, he said a kid at church had told him about it! Of course, I knew all about DS but just hadn’t made any plans for us to go. SInce we were all in the mood to go out, we got ready and headed to DS. When we got their my kids immediately said this is a lot like Pier Park (which is in Panama City Beach). We kind of wandered a little bit, not really sure of where to go. My friend had told me that the Polite Pig was really good but we weren’t in the mood for bbq. We ended up at Pizza Ponte and we used our very first QS credits. We ordered 3 meals and it was more than enough to feed all 5 of us!
After eating, we walked around some more. We were blown away by the Maleficent & Nessie lego statues. By this time, it was starting to get dark, so we wanted to get to bed early because Monday would be our first park day! Next up- Epcot!
*I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I learned from some mistakes. Looking back, I wish we had done a park day on Sunday and then had a day like this on Wed. I definitely see the benefit of having resort days built into your schedule. Live and learn!
Epcot Day! Sept. 17th
We were up bright and early for our very first day in a WDW park! We ate breakfast in the room and headed to the bus. We arrived right before park opening and our first picture in front of Spaceship Earth is time-stamped 9:01! I had prepped my family on the benefits of arriving at opening and was so proud that we had accomplished it on our first day! We headed straight to Soarin’ to use our 9:15 fpp. I was thrilled when we were told to line up in B1. It was at that point that I shared with my family that this was the preferred seat. A moment later, the CM came over and told us that we were in the most requested seat! I was nervous about how my DD5 would handle this ride but she did great! We all deemed it, “the best ride ever!” Of course it was our 1st ride, but it held this title for 2 days. We rode LwtL next, which my kids deemed a 1 and done for them. After this ride, we took a quick bathroom & snack break. I returned from the restroom just in time to stop my DH from using a snack credit to buy a bag of chips! My DS9 was upset until I told him he could get a magic cookie bar instead. Once I explained it to my DH, he realized that getting the biggest snack was the best use of snack credits. After that, we did the Figment and Turtle Talk with Crush. Then we headed over to Mission Space to use our 10:35 fpp. We checked the meet & greet time for Baymax, Joy & Sadness and it was 40 minutes so we skipped it. Mission Space was a lot of fun. I loved how my DS9 really thought he was controlling the ride and he took it so serious. I shot my DH a very angry look when he told him after that it was just pretend! Ugh! Next we headed to use our 3rd fpp at Spaceship Earth. I was a little surprised with the wait time that we had even with a fpp. Again, my boys loved this ride. And I was thrilled that we seemed to have accomplished our touring plan.After this, we headed towards the WS! My crew was ready for lunch and we considered stopping at the Electric Umbrella. I pushed them to head on to the WS, hoping we could hit some of the food booths. They weren’t thrilled with the idea of getting samples of food so we headed to Mexico and ate at The Cantina. We sat under the pavilion and had a nice breeze from the water. We didn’t realize until we were done that there was inside seating. On the way out, my DS11 asked if we could get some churros. The answer will always be YES! We shared the churros and headed to the 3 Caballeros. The kids loved this and thought it was so cool how it felt like nighttime. Next up was Norway to meet Anna & Elsa. I think the wait was a good 30 minutes but at least we were in the AC. I had put DD5 in her Elsa costume and she was so excited. This meet and greet was so much fun. Elsa and Anna interacted with all 3 of my kids, even though my DS11 tried to hang back. It was here that I realized the waits are worth it because they really take time and don’t make you feel rushed at all! We have the sweetest picture of my DD5 and Elsa hugging each other. So sweet! We have a funny pic of my DS9 and Anna, imitating his Stitch shirt, by sticking their tongues out! So much fun! While my husband walked through the Viking part of Norway, the kids and I headed to the bakery because I wanted to try school bread. While in line, my DS9 asked me why it was called school bread. The CM at the register heard his question, and she took the time to tell him and basically gave him a mini history lesson! I love that! I had high hopes for the school bread but honestly, I didn’t like it. I couldn’t get a fpp for FEA and the wait was 45 minutes. So my family nixed the idea of waiting. At this point, it was around 2:30 and the thought of walking around the WS in the Sept heat didn’t thrill any of us. We decided to call it a day and head back to the resort.
We all rested for a while. Then I took DS9 & DD5 to the quiet pool. (Aruba, CBR) When we got back we were ready to head back to Epcot for dinner and the Illuminations show.
We got back to Epcot around 6:30. On our way back to the WS, we stopped by Club Cool. DS11 was all too excited to try the different types of coke. When he saw one named Beverly, he couldn’t wait because my mom’s name is Beverly! (I knew but didn’t say a word!) I was able to get it on video. His reaction is so funny! We then got my DH to try it and his reaction was funny too! I never tried it! DD5 & DS9 don’t drink sodas at all, so they didn’t try anything.
We then headed to the WS. We went to the right because I wanted to try the cheese soup from Canada. I ended up ordering the soup and filet mignon. I thought they were both delicious and this was enough me even though I shared it with my DH and DS11. My DH had decided that he wanted fish & chips so we headed to UK. He ordered his food and we found a spot below the restaurant right on the water.We decided that this would be a perfect spot to watch Illuminations. He and DD5 shared a meal and I took the boys to find them something. We ended up getting them kids meals from the qs in Morocco. We then headed back to UK and stayed there through the show. The show was wonderful and I was thrilled that we had stumbled upon such a good place to sit and enjoy it. We never made it around the WS but that just means we have a reason to come back! Our first day was a huge success! Next up- Magic Kingdom, ppo breakfast at BOG and a very ambitious tp!
What a great start! I love how you had your TP, but still stayed flexible enough to know when to deviate. Sounds like you made some great calls on the fly!
A little teaser for things to come, we learn to fly by the seat of our pants by the end of the week!
Magic Kingdom Day- Sept. 18
We had an 8:15 ADR at BOG, so I had prepped my family that we would be getting up ridiculously early, so that we could be there by 7:30. I knew that we could be let in at 7:45 so I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. As we were walking to the bus, the sun hadn’t quite risen and my DD5 thought that we were going to MK at night time! We made it to the park and were through security by 7:40. I was pretty proud of my crew! We were let in at 7:45 and made our way towards Main St. Rounding that corner and watching my DD5’s reaction to seeing the castle for the 1st time was pretty amazing. We made our way down MS and stopped about half way down to take our picture in front of the castle. We worked our way back to BOG, taking it all in. We had preordered our food & so had the rest of the crowd, so the line was a little long. But walking into BOG with all the CMs clapping and greeting us was a very cool experience. We got checked in, after a little hiccup and headed into the main dining room. Beauty & the Beast is my favorite Disney movie, so I was enthralled with this place! After I few minutes, I saw them open up Belle’s library, so we grabbed our drinks and moved. I literally had tears in my eyes. I loved this room so much! I couldn’t stop taking pictures! Finally, our food arrived. (I still can’t decide if it’s cool or scary how they can find you in this restaurant!) We ordered: The Feast A La Gaston, Croque Madame, Assorted Cured meats & cheeses, Croissant Donut and the kids french toast. Of course, it was way too much food but I wanted each of us to get to choose. Everything was delicious! We also ordered a Masters cupcake and everyone agreed, the gray stuff is delicious!
After breakfast, we headed straight to 7DMT. There was EMM that day so I wasn’t sure how it was going to work. We had a fpp for 1pm but my plan was to be done in fantasyland by that time. The CM waved us onto the ride and we waited maybe 5 minutes. My rule of thumb for DD5 was if she was tall enough, she was riding. She didn’t love it but the rest of us did! When we walked off the ride, the opening fireworks were going off so I was pumped that we had made it on & off 7DMT before the park opened. (Like a boss!)
After that we did the following: met all 4 princesses at PH, the carousel, PP, IASW, got to walk with Peter Pan looking for Tinkerbelle, Philharmagic(a family favorite!), met Alice, MTP, Dumbo and ate a Mickey pretzel. By this time, it was near our fpp for Space and my older boys were ready for some action! So we took the back path from FL to Space. DH took the boys and we used RS. I couldn’t wait to ride this coaster. In 1980, my fam went to Disney and I chickened out at the very last minute. I can remember my mom’s frustration about having to miss riding it. I’ve never chickened out of a ride since but this was my redeeming moment. Honestly, I didn’t love it! It’s very jerky but at least I can finally say that I’ve conquered Space Mtn! Time seemed to be flying and we really wanted to get over to frontierland, so we skipped most of TL. We did stop and meet Stitch and we saw the Monsters Inc show. My boys love Monsters Inc so that was a must! It was so funny and my DH was chosen to be “that guy!” The kids loved that and my DH doesn’t mind being put in the spotlight!
Next, we crossed over the hub and headed into Liberty Sq. I played my mom guilt card and got the kids silhouettes done. My husband found a seat in the shade on the stone wall around the big shade tree next to the Christmas shop. This ended up being a genius move! When the kids & I finished, we realized that the area was roped off and that they were getting ready for the parade. We joined my husband and realized that we were in a handicapped viewing area. We kind of didn’t care, as long as we were in the shade and had a place to sit. Right before the parade started, the CM said since the handicapped area was empty, we could move up to the rope. So DS9, DD5 & I moved up, the other 2 kept their seats. We enjoyed the parade so much. The interactions with the characters are so fun. The best was when Alice walked up to my kids and said she remembered meeting them earlier. She asked if they were having a fun day & was so sweet to them! Another great moment was when my DD5 blew a kiss and Prince Charming caught it and put his hands over his heart, Oh my goodness! Be still my heart!
When the parade was over, we decided to mobile order our food from Pecos Bills. This was a pretty good experience. The food was good. We then headed to BTMMR & Splash. Again, DD5 rode but she didn’t like BTMMR, I hope I haven’t messed her up!
Time was going so quickly so we headed to Adventureland, I had plans for us to ride most everything here but there was no way we could. We rode POTC. I had to cover DD5’s eyes through most of it but it was fun. After this, I told them we had to go to Aloha Isle for a special snack. My DH loves all things pineapple, so I couldn’t wait for him to try it! We took our dole whip and climbed up the Swiss family treehouse. My DS9 had been looking forward to this since he found out it was in MK! He loves seeing the view! My only regret was buying 1 dole whip & not 2!
By this time, it was close to 5 and the party crowd was definitely picking up. We were all pretty exhausted and felt like we had accomplished alot! We headed out of the park & went back to the resort.
We took it easy that night. The kids & I ate dinner at the CBR food tent. For all the negative comments, I thought it was good & had a good selection of food. DH wasn’t feeling well, so we took some potato soup back to the room. The staff at CBR were so helpful in getting me a to-go box. I think the QS value of the food tent will be missed.
After DH got to feeling a little better, he suggested we ride out to the Character Warehouse. Once we finally found it, we were pretty disappointed with the selection. I did find a 3/4 length tshirt for $8 that had '71 on it. WDW & I share the same birth year! So that was nice!
Overall, it was a very successful day! I realized that my tp was too ambitious and we had to skip some things. Time goes so quickly and it’s hard to account for things like having to backtrack to find your stroller, etc.
Next up: Animal KIngdom! What do you get when you mix a late afternoon fpp for FOP, a rainstorm and an HEA dessert party? The perfect storm!
You are rocking your first trip! Can’t wait to hear more!
I have experienced that same regret - even when I’m there SOLO!
One of my favorite memories is when our kids were tucked in bed the night before our first ever day in MK.
My wife and and kept looking at each other smiling with the knowledge that they really had NO idea what it was going to be like.
Terrific trip report so far! I was there the same time, the 17-20, and it was a BRUTALLY hot week! I’ll bet we passed each other in the MK on the 18th, we had CRT that morning at 8am. (but we didn’t stay long at the MK, we had other destinations on our agenda)
BOG is my favorite restaurant spot. I just love the theming!
I was hoping to meet some Liners during our trip! Maybe next time!
I can’t wait to read more. You guys had a great trip. I know I’m going to connect with someone when they say that Mickey’s Philharmagic is a favorite!
Yup! It’s a must do at least twice on each trip for us!
Animal Kingdom Day- Sept. 19 aka DS11’s bday so now he’ll be DS12!
After our super early morning yesterday, I told my crew that we would take it easier today! We had a 9:05 fpp for KS, so we knew we could get to the park as late as 10. We were all awake before 8am, so DH & DS12 went to the food tent at CBR. They brought us back a to-go plate, so with that, as well as the leftover pastries from BOG, we had a pretty good breakfast. I took a pic of the kids on the bus and captioned it, “getting a later start today.” Looking at the time stamp, it was 8:52am so I guess it wasn’t as late as I thought! It really worked out perfectly. We missed the FOP RD crowd but walked in just after park opening. We took some really cute photo pass pics in front of the tree and then headed to KS. We all loved the ride and I’m glad we did it in the morning. We then walked the Gorilla Falls Trail. I hadn’t planned on us doing this but we swapped it for Rafiki’s. I’m so glad we did. DS9 told us he could sit there all day and watch the gorillas. It was around 10:15 so we decided to head toward the FotLK show. I’m glad we did because the line was already getting pretty long. We grabbed a Mickey bar and strawberry popsicle to enjoy while we waited. We had decided that if we didn’t get in for the 11 o’clock show, we would move on. I was amazed at how big the theater is and we had no problem getting in! I absolutely adored it. On a side note, I saw my first Broadway show this past Feb (Wicked!) and I think that experience has done something to me! I can’t watch live performances without shedding tears now! As soon as the show was over we headed towards Asia. DS9 is obsessed with all things related to Mt. Everest & the Yeti. My favorite picture of the trip is the one with Mt Everest in the background. The photopass photographer that took it was the absolute sweetest. She was up in age but so full of energy. I just loved her!
We made our 11:45 fpp for EE and I let the boys go first. They of course loved it and then I was able to ride it with them. So much fun! One of my top roller coasters! We, of course, had to eat at the Y&Y qs. The food here was so good! I loved the chicken wrap sandwich.
We skipped KRR because the wait was 45 minutes. We decided to head to Dinoland because DD5 really wanted to meet Daisy. We didn’t wait too long to meet her and my DD5 loved how she was dressed. Just around the corner was Chip & Dale. This took a while but it was worth it! They were so fun and danced with the kids, played chase and the photographer took some great pics!
We didn’t really have anything else planned until our 4:45 FOP fpp but my kids had no interest in riding any of the rides in Dinoland. So we headed over to meet Dug & Russell. This was another one that took a while but again, we didn’t have anything else planned. We experienced an adult showing themselves by yelling when the characters “took their break” right as it was her kids turn. The ironic thing is she took her kids and left and the character literally came back within 5 minutes! Some people! This was DS12’s favorite meet and greet! I was hoping that Dug’s voice box thingy would talk! Seemed like a perfect opportunity to have a talking dog!
It was now right around 3 so we headed to the Pandora area to wait for our fpp. For the record, I tried daily to modify it after I got it at our 60 day mark, to no avail.
The kids played the big drums and then we headed into the AC at Satuli to chill for a little while. I went and got us a NIght Blossom drink. The kids were completely freaked out by the looks of it. The boys loved it, DD5 didn’t. While we were relaxing, we were talking about our plans after we ride FOP. We had reservations for the HEA garden dessert party. We figured we would be done with FOP (including RS) by about 5:15 so we would then head to the bus, go back to the resort to change & then get to MK in plenty of time. Easy Peasy. Oh the niavete is strong with this plan! After sitting in SC for about 15 minutes, my DH decided he wanted to order some food. He came back with a shrimp dish and a kids chicken dish. I don’t know what they were but I’m here to tell you, they were goooood!! DS9 still says that chicken was the best he’s every eaten. I can’t get him to touch grilled chicken at home but he sure loved that! Finally at 4:40, the boys and I headed to FOP! The excitement was palpable!!! There’s nothing that I can add that you don’t already know! It lives up to the hype!! As we’re walking off the ride, reveling in the experience, I check my watch. It’s 5:15!! We had very minimal wait for the ride and it took us 30 mins! Realizing that now DH and the boys would be gone at least another 30 mins, our well laid plans are being destroyed. DH & I decide that going back to the resort is out but we still think we’ll be fine. He asks me to stay near the covered area of Satuli so they can find us quickly when they get off the ride. While we waiting, it begins to sprinkle. I’m watching my watch closely, and right about 5:40, I see the boys headed towards us and at the same time, the bottom falls out!!! As we all know, showers can pop up and be gone within just a few minutes, so we said let’s give it a few minutes. At 6:00 it was still raining just as hard. We had not seen a drop of rain before this day and it was obvious that this was not just a quick shower! Finally about 6:15, we realized that we were just going to have to make a run for it. There was a photopass photographer standing next to us, so he showed us exactly how to get back to the front. He had the brilliant idea to scan our MB and he snapped pictures as we headed out into the rain!
Of course our socks and shoes were completely soaked by the time we got on the bus, except DD5, who was covered in the stroller with the rain cover. I saw some people walking barefooted and I still can’t decide if that’s genius to save your shoes or gross.
It was 6:40 by the time we were on the bus headed to MK. Check in time for the party was 6:30 but I knew that technically we could check in later. I just wanted us to have some time to enjoy the desserts. We had chosen to do this to celebrate DS12’s birthday so I didn’t want to miss it. By the time we were at the turnstiles it was 7:05. I asked the CM what’s the quickest way to Tomorrowland Terrace. She said at the end of Main St. turn right, and thankfully, we got there within a few minutes. We were given our bands and the CM explained it all to us. I felt like I could finally take a breath! Whew! We made it. Lesson learned, don’t schedule events in another park close to important fpp times!
After eating our fill, we were taken out to the park. We were the last ones in the dessert area so I was afraid that we wouldn’t get a spot next to the back rail. I told my crew follow me, so we weaved through and got a spot in the far left corner next to the rail. There was still plenty of room for the kids to sit, even lay down, and play. A few minutes before 8, an announcement was made that the show would be delayed 10 minutes to give the skies time to clear up. It wasn’t raining but it was cloudy. I didn’t mind because we had more time to catch our breath. While we were sitting there, I pointed out to my husband the crowd in the hub, He was stunned & then I explained to him about party season and how HEA is more crowded because of it. We both learned the value of the dessert party that night. We absolutely loved the show! I cried. After the show, we hung out in the garden to let the crowds subside.
There was EMH from 9-11pm so we were going to play it by ear. Before HEA both of the boys were saying they didn’t want to stay. I couldn’t stand the thought of not staying but didn’t want to push them. While the crowd was leaving they announced that OUAT would be starting so we decided to stay put and watch that show. It was good as well. DH had taken DD5 to the front of the garden to watch it and when it was over, she ran over to me, gave me a big kiss and said, “Thank you, Momma! This had been the best day ever!” I immediately teared up! I asked my DH if he told her to say that and he said he didn’t! Makes it all worth it!
Now the crowds had really began to thin out, so I asked the boys what they wanted to do. They both said, let’s stay! I was thrilled! We immediately headed to 7DMT but the wait was 30 mins. so we moved on. DD5 wanted to ride the carousel so we all jumped on. There’s something about riding it at night. The kids each tried to pull the sword from the stone, made for some cute pics! We rode the Pooh ride, which we all thought was cute. I played my mom guilt card one more time as we headed towards Rapunzel’s tower. The line was along the fence line. We almost skipped it but DH suggested that he & the boys ride HM while DD5 and I wait in line. I was game! It was such a sweet time with my girl. She sat on the fence rail and we talked about all kinds of things. Her love language is talking, ha! so she loved that time together. We were 2 people away from the photographer just as the boys walked up from the ride. They loved HM and we were able to get amazing lantern pics. After this we just wandered through the park, enjoying the lights, taking in the view of Main Street from the castle, it was a magical time! We headed towards Main St & I told my crew if we could hang on 15 more minutes, we could experience something special when the park closes. So we sat on Main St until the Kiss Goodnight. Once again, the tears!!! I’m telling you, these 2 magical hours in MK were my absolute favorite time of our whole trip. I told DH, next time we’re doing DAH. There’s nothing like nightime in Magic KIngdom. This day started out great, we had some bumps along the way but overall it was a magical day! Next up: our last park day & a total rearranging of our plan!
Now I’M crying!!! You had some magical mom wins today! <3
Absolutely perfect family picture! So cute! This is melting my super-crabby-at-Disney-right-now heart!
I’m in a much better mood today, so now I am too