First of all I want to thank everyone for their help with the Genie+ and BG1 questions I had before and during our trip. While I’m still not super happy with the Genie+ experience the trip did turn out to be pretty good. First thing I can see moving forward is that we are going to have to select either a table service meal or ILL selections. Having to pay for the LL’s moving forward will definitely impact how many times we have sit down meals. That being said, let’s jump in. We arrived in Orlando on Saturday evening and spent a night at the Floridays resort in a 2 bedroom villa. Very nice for what it was, just a place to sleep for one night. We grabbed a Landry’s card, thank you Touringplans, on the way into Orlando and were able to eat at T-Rex Saturday evening.
Day 1 8/21/22
Typhoon Lagoon: We were generally as a whole not as impressed with Typhoon Lagoon as we were with Blizzard Beach on our last trip. The slides as a whole were not as thrilling and the lazy river did not have nearly enough floats for the people wanting to get in it. We got a single float and shared it as we walked a lap around. Not much “lazy” about having to walk instead of float.
We had a split stay and checked into Disney’s Riviera Resort for our first 3 nights. We were in room 8861 and had a great view of Epcot. We were not quite able to see Harmonious from our room, but my son and I jumped on the skyliner and rode to Epcot to watch it as it was going on and then just hopped off and back on to go back to the resort. Kind of a fun little ride.
Disney Springs: We had dinner at Planet Hollywood. Interestingly this was one of my mom’s favorite meals of our trip. I found out just how much of a picky eater she can be during this trip. LOL
Day 2 8/22/22
Hollywood Studios: We woke up early in order to secure a LL for SDD and ILL for RotR. Both were easily snagged. Was also able to snag a dining reservation for Sci-Fi Dine in that we’d been wanting for dinner. Our LL for SDD was for 8:30. We rope dropped SDD so we were able to ride it twice. We split up the rides with a walk-on spin around TSM where I promptly whooped my 14 year old :D. Throughout the day using BG1 we were able to ride everything we wanted including our favorite ToT twice. The only thing we did not ride was Millennium Falcon, Smugglers Run. We didn’t need to stand in line very much as using BG1 made out touring as close to the old FPP system as possible. Even better when I figured out through the help of some liners how to “modify” my existing reservations.
Hop to Epcot: Our hop to Epcot turned out to be the theme of this trip. Big booming late afternoon thunderstorms EVERY day! Not to be deterred because at 6:00 through the help of BG1, yours truly has secured a boarding group for GotG! The hop over was initially to utilize the extra hours to ride a couple of things in Epcot but the storms rolling in and the pain in our feet had other plans so this hop was about GotG and only GotG. Mom didn’t make this trip as it was still stormy outside and she doesn’t do stormy well so we’ll revisit Epcot later.
Day 3 8/23/22
We started the day by sleeping in more than normal. We had a late breakfast at Boma and we just kinda came back to Riviera and relaxed for the majority of the day. We had MNSSHP tickets for the evening. Did I say earlier it rained EVERY afternoon? Well, this one was no different. We arrived to the Halloween party around 5:00 and grabbed some dinner at Casey’s. Before we could finish a storm was brewing. We spent a bit in the shops on main street until it passed then made our way to Pirates. As most after hours events go, waits were short for pretty much everything. Our longest wait was actually Space Mountain, which has ususally been a walkon for us during these events. Strangely even 2 hours into the party (9:00ish) there were still people utilizing the lightning lanes. Not exactly sure how that worked. Again we rode all we wanted, Splash x2, BTMR, Space, Mine Train, etc. We enjoyed the parade. We were left a little disappointed in the new fireworks show as previously it had really pointed towards the Disney villains and this was much more tame. We still had an enjoyable time and will definitely go again. This was also our last night in Riviera. Great resort, wish we’d had more time to check out the pools and some of the other things. Loved the room, will definitely stay again.
Day 4 8/24/22
Woke up and decided to purchase an ILL for FoP and GotG. Today would be our last day in the Disney parks. We decided not to rope drop and made our way to the parks about 8:30ish.
Having gotten up to grab the ILL for FoP and GotG I also grabbed a LL for a Safari ride for first thing. After tapping in to the Safari I grabbed a LL for Kali River. My lovely wife got SOAKED . After tapping in there I grabbed a LL for Everest. That’s our favorite ride so we wanted to ride it a few times. We went through stand by and then used our LL. Well my mom didn’t want to ride so we had an extra LL and my son went through as a single rider and I used the LL as my wife didn’t want to ride 3 times. So 3 times on Everest in about 45 minutes…not bad. Now our AK day gets a little weird. Mom has lost her phone and for some reason has turned off her shared location. She had it with her on the safari. She’s quite upset as it has a lot of sentimental pictures on it and she doesn’t understand they are all backed up. So, to guest services I go. They have a phone in lost and found that sounds like it is hers. We trek back up to the front of the park and sure enough it is. All is well. From there we hit Bugs, had lunch, just missed the Lion King, hit second safari to kill time, Navi River (LL) and finished our day in AK with FoP. Now it’s off to grab the car at Riviera and hop to the Polynesian.
Our Disney story ends here at Epcot. While riding Na’vi River I secured a LL for Test Track. It took longer than expected to get back to Riviera to get the car so thanks to BG1 I was able to modify that time to a slightly later time at the 4:47 drop. After settling in to the Polynesian we trekked to Epcot. By now we are all beat with sore tired feet, but we trekked on. We have 3 things on our hit list: Test Track, Soarin’, and GotG. We get all the way through creating our cars on test track. Annnnnnnd it breaks, as usual. So, no Test Track but now we have an anytime LL. Well after getting into TT I had grabbed a Soarin’ LL. We decide instead of bouncing across the park and back to go ahead and ride GotG. My mom even loved it. We finished our Disney vacation Soarin’ around the world.
Time at the Polynesian:
After leaving Epcot we had our final Disney meal at our favorite place O’hana. It didn’t disappoint. Our room was 2026 in Moorea. Beautiful views of MK including BTMR, Space Mountain, Tron, and of course Cinderella’s castle. I would say the room here felt a little smaller than the room at Riviera, but there was plenty of room for the 4 of us. Our last day was at Universal Studios. If you want to see the pictures from there (and there’s some good ones) check out the Universal thread!
I was quite concerned going into this trip. We are coming from a trip where there was no Genie+ and no FFP. We had become FPP pros and we never stood in line. Frustration stated with dining but persistence paid off. That felt like more stress than was really necessary. I don’t know if it’s just people holding a bunch of reservations at one time or if Disney is holding them and turning them loose around the day of. But that is really unnecessary stress. BG1. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You are way to kind to make this free and we will be making a donation on your page. I would pay for this service. A million times easier than trying to use Genie+. This made the trip for us. It allowed use to tour as close to FPP as possible. It minimized our wait times and I would say on average I got 8 -10 LL’s a day using it. And I am not even sure that I was optimal about some of the choices I made. Both Riviera and The Polynesian did not disappoint. The views were phenomenal. Will be staying at both again in the future. Cosmic Rewind is AWESOME and our new favorite. We did not get to see Enchantment but we did hear the music to it while we were in O’hana and left underwhelmed. I miss Happily Ever After and would have probably made it a priority to see it if it were still playing. MNSSHP was very similar to past parties with low wait times on most rides. This allowed us to ride everything we wanted in MK during the evening with lower temperatures. Definitely a great way to tour MK. I will say that I noticed many CM’s that seemed very frustrated and their “magic” was dwindling. I won’t say they were the majority as there were also many that were smiling and happy, but it was enough to notice. Overall the trip was a success. We left with full bellies and aching feet! That means we did it right!
check out my Universal thread for our day at Universal Studios.