The Jersey Comeback Trip Report!

We haven’t been to wdw/uor as much as some here. Last year we went for 7 days, but I was still something of a noob, having been a half-dozen times in my life. I’d read a fair bit, but I wasn’t a Liner. Had a great time, but didn’t go on RotR bc of long waits. And we’re from NJ so hence … the Jersey Comeback trip, where we hope to get everything we didn’t get last time, and with Liner wisdom in my corner!

The trip:
Dec 21-27 Miami, hoping for some beach weather!
Dec 27-Jan 5 Orlando, staying at Cabana Bay, 7 days at WDW and ~1 at UOR

This is our 3rd stay at Cabana bay in the last 12 months. We really like the family suites: almost like a 1BR apartment, w/kitchenette and tri-split bath. Plenty of space for 3, and we like the retro theming and outdoor living spaces, so it works for us as a base for WDW.

The New Jerseyans and their Disney connection:

DwJoe, 53
In the 70’s as a kid I always watched Wonderful World of Disney, on Sundays at 6pm, though I never went to the parks. My first time at wdw was with DW (then girlfriend) in ‘93. We went with our 2 daughters in ‘06 when they were in the Disney princess obsession stage. Disney brings out the kid in me. And it also appeals to my intellectual side. So many details to optimize. So much data to crunch. I like to take care of details & data to help people enjoy life more. It’s what i do.

DW, 52
I like to get away from the cold, and being with family at Disney. Miami beaches are nice. It’s fun to see creative rides, at Disney there are at least a few I can enjoy bc I have motion sickness. I like Disney themes, and watching disney movies, at wdw I can experience it live. I enjoy the live shows, fireworks music, and special effects.

I like princesses and mermaids. I dreamed of being a Disney princess when I was younger. Now I can visit princesses at wdw. Theme parks take me away from feelings of insecurity, make me feel lucky to be alive, and I can only experience them in certain parts of the world, like a once in a lifetime experience, like wow!

Not on this trip: DD23, she’s moved out and has launched! We vacation with her sometimes but she can only take so much time off.

Why we go at this time:

  • It’s a slow period at work
  • DD21 is off from college

At least Hanukkah falls during our trip this year - it’s usually earlier in the calendar so that’s a nice bonus.


  • We generally keep a strictly kosher diet, although we are lenient with drinks and ice cream when out. Looking forward to drinks at Oga’s and Space220 Lounge!
  • Jewish Sabbath observance means we don’t go to the parks between Friday sundown and Saturday sundown-ish. But looking forward to a Saturday night in Epcot on NYE!
  • Covid - we’re very careful, generally wearing N95’s in crowded indoor settings. I have a CO2 monitor which guides me on when I can take it off. My mother thinks I look better without the mask - do you agree?


Safe travels and I hope you have a wonderful time!


:rofl: Agree! You look safer with it on though.

Have the best trip!! Following.


Safe travels! I hope the weather cooperates for you too!


Have a good time! And Happy Hanukkah!


I absolutely love your attitude and the fact that any missed opportunities from your last trip just motivated you to take another stab at it!
Here’s to all of your planning paying off and having fun either way!


Have fun!


Yay! Looking forward to your combined beach/Disney/UOR trip! I’m of your age range (I’d like to think so anyway - actually a few years older! :joy:) and have DD22 and DD20, so can totally relate to the changing dynamics as kids age up and can no longer vacation with you anymore.

I can imagine it would be really impossible to keep kosher on a Disney trip. I’m interested to see how you handle this! Safe travels!!


It’s always nice to see a smile, but on a plane you look better in the mask. Safe travels and have a great time.


Happy Hannukah! :menorah:


Woo - looking forward to reading about your trip!


Woohoo! Thanks for including us all and can’t wait to follow along!

Nice to put another name to a face :slightly_smiling_face:


You need to try the brand new Shakes Malt Shop at Cabana Bay!

This is the Liner way…


That’s really interesting.
We adore CBBR, but have only considered it for a UOR trip. I like this idea though and look forward to seeing how it goes for you.
Do you have a rental car?

Safe travels and have a great trip!


Happy Chanukah!! Looking forward to following along!


We lucked out on the weather… partly sunny and 79 is what awaited us when we stepped out of FLL, making DW and DD quite happy!

We’re staying in Surfside, a municipality of Miami Beach. This is Harding Avenue, the main drag, with lots of palm trees.

Surfside is 1/3 Jewish, which is very Jewish. There’s ~15 kosher restaurants on a 3 block stretch of Harding Ave. We’re going to try and take advantage of while we’re here, since they’re fewer kosher options in Orlando. Today we did Rustiko for an early dinner. I had a salmon burger and fries which came with a delicious sauce, DW had a smoked caprese pizza which DD and I shamelessly horned in on, and DD had a seared tuna steak. Glad to see her tastes maturing, although she started eating before I could snap the photo, sorry about that!

While we’re eating, we suddenly hear police sirens blaring and I look up to see a convoy of Hanukkah menorah-bearing cars …

IMG-3662 (6)

… and we learn they’re heading for a Hanukkah lighting ceremony and party that we simply have to go by and check out. I’ve been to similar things in NY/NJ, but never while wearing shorts. Yay Miami :partying_face:

quoting the Rabbi: “the most important lights here are the children” and Miami Dade Fire Rescue got into that, tossing chocolate coins to the kiddos by mini-parachute.

We’re staying at the Marriott Residence Inn, across the street from the beach. They gave us a good deal on a 1BR w/kitchenette, and it has lots of great outdoor spaces including a beautiful rooftop pool and garden.

Well off to bed. Tomorrow’s forecast is partly sunny with a high of 80 (wooo!) so beach definitely in the cards.

It’s tough but can be done! Mostly we bring food in and spice it up with select items from the park.

Stealing that emoji. We’re up to Day 4 of Hanukkah :menorah: :menorah: :menorah: :menorah:


Yes. Takes about ~25 mins to Disney, and we spring for preferred parking to speed up arrival, cost of which is more than offset by savings of staying at CBBR vs a comparable room at WDW.

@ChallahMonster So I have to ask, what is the significance of your username? (Note to others: Challah is traditional braided Jewish bread loaves served on Sabbath and holidays)


Was this a Chabad Chanukah party? Your description sounds a lot like what they did in my neighborhood (in a super-Jewish area in NY). I’m a ChallahMonster because I’m addicted to challah, of course! I chose the username before I realized I would fall down the Disney rabbit hole and a Disney themed name would have been more appropriate, but it seems too late to change now.

Please keep the kosher dining reviews coming! My family keeps kosher at home but eats dairy/vegetarian out, but I will always choose kosher restaurants where available, and I’d love to take a trip to Miami at some point.


There’s a nice Hanukkah display at EPCOT just before you get to Morocco. We enjoyed a tasty Pastrami on Rye at the L’Chaim festival booth. We were told they make everything there, including the bread. Thanks for sharing your religion/culture. I enjoy learning new things. 80 degrees and the beach sound marvelous. Have fun!


Make sure you enjoy it today. Saturday and Sunday here won’t get out of the 40s. I’m assuming Miami will feel the effects as well.


And this is why I’m glad I didn’t do the same thing: I chose the little-known character from Brave, who is 3rd Dingwall from the right in the clan gathering scene. :smirk:


This is so awesome.

I have a suspicion my favorite podcaster lives in that area. So cool you are getting the celebration vibes.