Trip reports are my favorite part of the TP forum, so I’m finally writing one up to contribute to the fun. Before I begin, here are the basics:
The Trip: July 7-13
The Hotel: Boardwalk Villas, standard studio (we rented points through David’s Vacation Club)
The Fam: Me (41), DH (49), and DD (16)
The Food Allergies (mine): wheat, dairy, soy, egg, pineapple, cranberry, and sesame
History: This is our second WDW trip as a family. We also visited last July.
Day One: Arrival and Magic Kingdom
My hatred of mornings conflicted with my desire to get to the parks as soon as possible, so we compromised with a late morning flight. I still had to get up earlier than I wanted to, but not so early that my DH and DD risked any bodily injury on the ride to the airport due to my crankiness. As luck would have it on a day I successfully got out of bed on time, I got a text right before we left that our flight was delayed an hour and a half. I was quite proud of myself for not panicking and assuming the worst: Oh my gosh, we will never get there and our trip will be ruined! I managed to keep myself calm and focused on happy thoughts. We decided to slow down a bit and left for the airport about 20 minutes later than planned, hoping that we would not be sitting at the airport too long due to the delay.
By the time we arrived at the airport, the flight had been moved up a bit; it was now only on a one-hour delay. That wasn’t going to mess with any of our FP plans or our ADR. Yay! I had recently gotten a Southwest Visa card that came with four free upgraded boardings, so DD and I got upgraded to A9 and A10. I left DH in his B spot, and just hoped that he would make it on board before someone took the seat in between me and DD. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if we didn’t get to sit together, but we were very happy when we ended up with three seats together near the front of the plane.
We took a Lyft to the Boardwalk Inn. It began to rain on the ride to BWV, and my Dark Sky app was predicting rain for most of the rest of the evening. It wasn’t how I had envisioned the start of the trip, but I kept calm and told myself, “You’re a liner. You’ve got this. A little thunderstorm can’t keep you from having a great time.”
Our room wasn’t ready when we arrived but I decided to visit the front desk even though we’d already done online check-in, just in case doing so might get us a room sooner. It was wet and gross outside, and it would have been nice to have been able to change clothes in the comfort of our own room rather than rooting through our suitcases in the lobby and changing in public bathroom stalls. (I am freezing cold in airports and on planes, so I needed to change out of my Artic gear.) I had also read a TP report of someone activating their AP at a hotel front desk, and I was hoping that might work for me so I wouldn’t have to stop at guest services on the way into MK. No luck on the room or the AP activation, but Kelly the CM was a delight to talk to. I noticed from her nametag that she was a student at a rival school (DH and I are professors), and so we chatted about football, mascots, and her dissertation research.
After a quick bathroom change, I rounded up the family and got them out the door to the bus stop. At this point it was raining pretty hard, and DH was a bit hesitant to leave the resort lobby, but my gosh we had paid a lot of money and anxiously waited months to be there so there was no choice but to “poncho up and carry on!” Florida thunderstorms are short and quick, right? Unfortunately this was not the typical FL pop-up shower. We arrived at MK around 4 PM to hard rain and strong winds. I wish I had a video of us trying to walk toward the gate because it was hilarious. Ponchos blowing every which direction, wading through ankle-deep puddles, and my DH repeating, “Wow, we’re really doing this?” while I just laughed hysterically at the ridiculousness of it all. Unfortunately I still needed to activate my AP, so I had to stop at Guest Services before I could enter. The good news was that no one was in line, because no one wanted to brave the weather to do so. Along with the AP activation, I had a secondary ticket situation to straighten out, and I also needed to purchase the Tables in Wonderland card, so it wasn’t a quick stop. But the CM was very helpful and patient, and soon I was making my way through the tapstiles for the first time as an Annual Passholder! (Cue the dramatic music.)
After a quick stop to buy a baseball cap to keep my poncho hood up, we headed for some rides. There were lots of closed rides due to the weather, so our first FP (Splash Mountain) had converted to an anytime FP. DD decided we should use it for Buzz, so we battled Zurg before heading to the People Mover and then on to Space Mountain for our second FP. At that point it was nearly time for our Skipper Canteen ADR, so we took a few castle pictures in ponchos and rainjackets on our way to Adventureland.
We had never been to Skipper Canteen, and I was taking a bit of a risk choosing it as our first ADR. There was nothing on the allergy menu that met my laundry list of dietary restrictions. In the past, I’ve always chosen restaurants based on what I can eat off the allergy menus, so I’d avoided Skipper Canteen. But I’d recently started following a Disney allergy Facebook and the guy who runs the group always recommends to speak to a chef because they will often make you something different than the allergy menu options. So I decided to give it a whirl. I am so glad I took his advice because this was one of our favorite meals of the trip. The chef was super nice and asked what I was interested in having. I replied that I would love the lamb, we talked through a few options for swapping out the sauce and one of the side items, and that was that! It was an absolutely delicious meal and the melon Fanta was also yummy, despite its radioactive green color. DH raved about the sauce on his pork dish. DD liked her pho but would have preferred fewer veggies in it. The corny jokes of the hosts and servers were fun, and it was also probably the calmest meal of the trip. We ate at 5:30, but the dining room was maybe only 1/3 filled, making it a nice break from the wet, windy chaos of the park.
After dinner we were able to do five more rides with some FP modifying on the fly: Pirates, Winnie the Pooh, It’s a Small World, Under the Sea, and finally Peter Pan. I couldn’t believe I lucked into a Peter Pan FPP for 3 in the evening! After that, we got some snacks (popcorn for me and churros for DD) and then headed toward the hub for HEA. We probably got to the hub at about 8:55, but still managed to get spots close to the castle. DH and I usually cry during fireworks at Magic Kingdom because we’re softies who tear up at the slightest provocation. DD usually stands a safe distance away from us so people don’t know the criers are her mom and stepdad. But this time I was too distracted by the couple in front of us to get into the emotions of HEA. The two kept insisting that their daughter, who was maybe 3 years old, turn around so that they could get pictures of her with the castle and fireworks in the background. In other words, they kept asking their daughter to turn AWAY from the castle and fireworks so they could snap the perfect Instagram shot. I can maybe understand doing this once or twice during the show. But they did it over and over again. The poor girl was trying to enjoy HEA, but her parents would not allow her to because they wanted 50 pictures with fireworks. I felt so bad for her.
When we arrived back at BWV, we picked up our luggage from bell services, along with our Instacart order that had arrived while we were at MK, and tried to find our room. This was our most frustrating time of the entire trip! We could not, for the life of us, figure out where our room was. And while I am known for being bad with directions, DH is not, so I’m going to chalk it up to BWV being confusing in addition to us being dead tired. We were also each rolling at least one suitcase, carrying a backpack, and lugging part of an Instacart order that included two heavy paper grocery bags and a 24 pack of bottled water. We took many wrong turns down very long hallways. But eventually, we made it and began unpacking. Adding to the frustration of being tired, I then realized that my allergy-friendly coconut coffee creamer had not been refrigerated by bell services and had been sitting for hours at room temperature. I decided it likely wasn’t going to kill me, so I just stuck it in the refrigerator and pretended all was well. (Spoiler: I didn’t get sick or die.) We all fell into bed exhausted. It was a good first day, despite the minor bumps.
Total steps: 16,422
Total rides/attractions visited: 8