Treadin' Tron trails for a long, long time, April 1-6, 2023, Trip report

My first trip in decades and definitely my first report! Me (DW47), DH55, DS12 for our first trip as a family. I started planning in October, when I had to make a big life decision, so of course I threw myself into Disney learning and planning. :slightly_smiling_face: We had a 6-day park ticket, no hoppers, Hollywood Studios After Hours and used Genie+ liberally through BG1. We stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter.

We drove from middle-Virginia over two days and arrived in Orlando the night before our trip. We stayed that night at the Rosen Inn Lake Buena Vista, which was reasonable and serviceable. That I-4 stretch lasted for soooo long.

Day 1: Left the hotel and parked at POFQ and bused to Hollywood Studios. We got Genie+ and ILL for Rise since we have two enormous Star Wars fans and someone who has dated a lot of Star Wars fans and so speaks Star Wartuguese. RD’d Toy Story Mania (walk-on) and got LLs for, in rough order, SDD, MFSR, ST, MMRR, Indy, Muppets 3D. Yes, LLs for shows! I was so into the BG1 and the power of skipping just 5 minutes in line. Rise was amazing!! We also went back and did ST again since it was a favorite. We ate at Ronto Roasters (meh) for brunchish and ABC Commissary for lunch – our favorite meal in that park. After all this we checked in to our room and took the boat down to Disney Springs for dinner, which was a real mistake. It was so full and we were so hungry; we went with no plan, just “find something to eat.” I got some kind of taco cone and angry; vegetarian DS got some kind of bbq jackfruit sandwich and DH got poutine. Waited in an incredibly long line to boat back to POFQ, but was grateful for the lesson not to go unless we had a reservation.
Fitbit tells me I had 27,889 steps this day! Though if I have the opportunity to get lost, I will, so at least 5 percent of those steps have to be me trying to find my way back from getting ice or soda refills at night.

Day 2: Epcot and back to Hollywood Studios for After Hours. I grew up poor and was irritated about what I perceived to be the low value of getting Genie+ at Epcot so we did not get it! I got an early BG for Guardians and tried to hustle the fam out the door to RD TT. We did not really make it in time for a short line so waited; it ended up being about 45 minutes. DS decided at the last second he didn’t want to ride, which was fine; we just waited for DH to finish his ride. Afterward we went to Club Cool and the only drink they had was Beverly! However DH and DS loved it! I found it to be what everyone says. Waited another 45 minutes or so for Remy, which was about 3/4 of the posted wait. But what an awesome ride that was! OMG. I found myself smiling out loud! Grabbed a brie and apple sandwich, a chocolate chip cookie and a fruit tart from Les Halles. Line was long but moved along. Guardians was next; we waited about a half hour, which didn’t feel long, and got Everybody Wants to Rule the World, which felt brilliant and perfect. Only problem was that we’d gotten maple popcorn (delicious!) from Canada just before that and the tub popped open (horrible!) early into the ride. :grimacing: I tried to keep my leg against the top of the tub through the rest of the ride and only spilled a little but I was mortified and apologized profusely to the CM. Learned the lesson and brought a big baggie every day thereafter and promptly put the popcorn refill into the bag after skimming several handfuls off the top. For lunch we did food stalls and ate bison and vichyssoise and the Impossible short rib. Everything was really good. After that we hit Soarin’ (about an hour wait) and Living with the Land (walk-on). DS is not a lover of heights and was concerned about Soarin’ but ultimately really liked it. We hit Mission Space: Green and DS loved it so we went again. My shoes (which had come highly recommended and which I had bought for the trip and worn for weeks!) betrayed me so I split off to go back to POFQ and change back to my old trusty sneaks. DH and DS stayed and did Mission Space AGAIN and Spaceship Earth and Three Caballeros, which I was perfectly happy to miss. I caught up with them again just before a dinner of Regal Eagle and a turkey leg. When we came a couple decades ago, I made the mistake of pooh-poohing the ubiquitous turkey legs until the last day, when I realized they were my one true love. I always get them when I go to Busch Gardens and I was determined to get one right away at Disney. But this one was not as good as the Busch Gardens ones, I am sad to say.
After dinner we made our way via Skyliner to Hollywood Studios for After Hours. Rise was down when we got there, but DS’ eyes were set on Savi’s Workshop, where we got an elemental laser sword. DH went in with him and the both of them talked about how much of an experience it was, not just merch. MMRR was also down, and we were really beat so we didn’t stay very long. We did ST again a couple times, and got a bunch of popcorn, ice cream and drinks. Rise came back up and we did that, and then DH and DS did MFSR, where they both got to be pilots and enjoyed it more than the first day, when we were gunners and engineers. The lines were incredibly short for everything. We got nearly 35,000 steps! And collapsed into bed.

Day 3: Animal Kingdom. After the late night at HS, I got up early to set up an ILL for FOP, and an LL for Navi River Journey, despite what TP shows for low satisfaction ratings. We had breakfast in the room and gave ourselves plenty of time to get there. For NRJ it was nice to get out of the heat and the theming was nice. FOP was a revelation, and I found myself hooting and hollering. I was nervous that I wouldn’t feel secure in the vehicle but I actually loved it. Lunch at Satuuli Canteen was a favorite in that park; we shared a tofu bowl and blueberry cheesecake mousse dessert. All was delicious but it was packed and we had to mobile order for about 20 minutes away, which was worth it. Then LLs for Kilimanjaro Safari (two ostriches became our friends/bus blockers) and Kali River Rapids. DH and DS waited standby for Dinosaur while I waited out in the heat. Then we all went on TriceraTop Spin and DH and DS broke off for an LL at Everest. I parked myself in a little alcove with a fan and a Liquid IV; all the sun and people had sapped me.
Afterward we bused to AKL (got lost of course!) for Boma. We all enjoyed but the most delicious things to me were on the vegetarian salad section – a randomly very good pasta salad! All the desserts were pretty good but my favorite was the passionfruit mousse, which is a surprise because I usually find non-chocolate desserts at best a waste of time and at worst suspect. Then bused back to AK and then POFQ. We had hoped to hit the pool but it was closed so DS had a wee old time at the splash pad. My lowest step count of the trip: 16,970.

Day 4: Tron opening day at MK. This was a total coincidence; I had picked the park reservation days months ahead based on the CLs that brought me to Touring Plans. I used BG1 and got BG1! We were called back before the park opened, but we were in the 7DMT stand-by line at that point. I refused to pay for an ILL for that, given its ILL peers – FOP, ROTR, GOTG. One of these things is not like the other! We ended up waiting about 50 minutes even though when we got there the CM bookending the line was holding up a 70-minute sign. We had a few moments of panic because I knew they were being much stricter about VQ return times for Tron than they had been for GOTG or any of the LLs or ILLs. But we had a new fan of roller coasters and I didn’t want him to miss out on 7D. In the end we were able to make it through 7D (which I’m glad I didn’t get the ILL for!) and hustled over to Tron, where we ended up in line for a little more than an hour. We waited for quite a while even before the first tap-in, so I am very surprised to hear that people were turned away just a few minutes after their window closed. I hope Disney is more understanding in the future. This was our least favorite wait, overall, since there wasn’t much to it, compared to GOTG and FOP. I had a granola bar in the middle to keep my spirits up because it was pretty stuffy in there. The ride itself was pretty thrilling; when I had watched videos beforehand I was a hard nope, but when I saw the whole restraint system I decided to give it a go. I like how you could really lock your legs in. We all agreed we would have loved to see it lit up at night but were just grateful we got to ride it at all, and on opening day no less! Afterward we LL’d Space Mountain and mobile ordered lunch at Cosmic Ray’s. Next was the Festival of Fantasy parade, where we really felt for the performers in the blazing heat and costumes. Next we took the train from the entrance over to our LL at BTM. The heat was killing us so we bused back to POFQ where DH and DS hit the pool and I hit the bed. [I have had long covid off and on and it caught up with me.] Dinner at Sassagoula’s was OK; DH had some interesting vegan sliders from Scat Cat’s. Back to the park for another go at BTM, this time standby, for about 40 minutes. We watched the fireworks from Tomorrrowland, which we got to by walking through some hidden backlot of the park usually for CMs. The fireworks were great! We did MILF and Buzz Lightyear after that to wait out the crowds trying to get home, too. And we did see Tron lit up from afar and would love to come back and do that at night. Fitbit count: 22,549.

Day 5: Back to Epcot with an ADR at Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs for dinner. Everyone agreed this was their favorite park, which was a bit of a surprise because I really expected Hollywood Studios to be the one for my big SW fans. DS had forgone TT the first day because it sounded too loud from the outside, but decided he wanted to do every roller coaster at Disney and so had to do that one. On this day I threw out all my hangups and got Genie+ in addition to the BG1 for GOTG that I got using BG1. In studying the LL availability charts for Epcot, I realized that there was no way to LL both Remy and TT – by the time we tapped in to our 9:40 Remy, all the TTs were later than we could do and get to Disney Springs for dinner. This is where @Joel saved us. After Remy (awesome again) I grabbed a Soarin (awesome again) I grabbed a Mission Space knowing that at 12:47 I was going to go in and try for TT. Then we did Guardians; we got Blondie which was somehow also perfect. What was especially perfect was that DH had started taking Dramamine and every ride was so much better for it! We were at lunch at Sunshine Seasons (our favorite in that park, we decided) and I started refreshing at 12:37. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. At 12:47 and a few seconds 1:00 showed up for TT and I booked it! You can tell by my punctuation how exciting that was! After we rode that DS could say he had ridden every roller coaster at WDW (except the kiddie coaster, Barnstormer). After that we did Mission Space again (tied with Star Tours for 4 times each) and I peeled off because I fell asleep during the ride and decided my body was telling me to rest. Tip: The popcorn stand just outside of Mission Space sells the boxes of popcorn as refills, which actually have more popcorn in them than a tub, in my experience. So that was a score!
DH and DS padded around the World Showcase for a bit more and I went home; we met up at Morimoto Asia early and they seated us right away. This was our most magical time of the trip; our server was so fun and kind. We had the ribs (omg, so tender and crispy and porky), a spicy tuna roll, the buribop, duck ramen and General Tso’s caulflower. Every bite was delicious and we were smiling so much. Then I did what I never thought I would do: got in line for cookies. COOKIES, I TELL YOU. DS had a reservation to do the personalized LEGO minifig so we met up there after I waited an hour at Gideon’s. I found out that it was the one time of day that they serve warm cookies with malted vanilla ice cream (7-8 p.m.) but I had to get over to LEGO and I knew I was going to get lost so I had to skip. But you bet I was rueful. The LEGO store was a bit of a zoo, just like everywhere else in Disney Springs. I couldn’t believe there was such a huge line to get in! There’s a LEGO store we frequent and there’s never a line so I was just so confused. DS loved his little LEGO guy, though, so it was worth it. We bused back to POFQ; my first boat captain said they were running less frequently right now because of a historic drought. Waited maybe 20 minutes for the bus; others had been there at least 20 minutes before that. So, plan for a long time getting to or back from there. Fitbit: 20,737.

Day 6: Check-out and Animal Kingdom. The boys wanted to go back to AK today to do FOP one more time but I realized I hadn’t had quite as much fun on the rides the second time around, so I decided to skip, to save both a little bit of scratch and my sanity. This trip has wiped me out! I got up early to get them ILLs and then it was back to sleep for me. They did the morning at AK (no Genie+) while I slept and then packed up what was left of the room. They did FOP (excellent again, esp with Dramamine for DH) and then spent some time in the Boneyard just playing. DS loves low-tech playing as much as high-tech. They bused back to POFQ and we bid it adieu. I didn’t even wear my fitbit today. We’ve finished the first leg of our drive back and feeling all those feelings about getting home tomorrow.

All in all, a wonderful trip. I can’t thank the TP/Liners community enough, and especially @joelbruick for BG1. It let us do every single thing we wanted to do. We’re about as close as you come to once-in-a-lifetimers, and this really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience because of all the wisdom and work shared here. Thank you!!!


I’m glad you had a great trip! Thanks for the report!


This was fun to read! Sounds like you had a great trip!


Update: I had noticed that there were several YouTubers and podcasters about on Tron’s opening day (talked with Ear Scouts, whom I just adore). Well, when we came back, I opened up YouTube and one of the YTers I didn’t know popped up in my feed, and I watched his Tron video only to find that my behind is featured prominently in the ride video! Not the most flattering position. :smile:


Great TR but now I want you to link the video. Not to embarrass you but because I’ve wondered what it would be like to be caught in one of those videos by mistake. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Oh what the hell. I’m on the left.

My friends are all telling me, you’re part of history! And I’m like, yes, but it’s my [censored] that is part of history! :rofl: Comically unflattering.


The positioning does seem like it could be problematic.

You mean to my ego? :rofl: Or for safety?


That’s hilarious! And I doubt people will recognise you from your backside :joy:


More for the eyes of babes behind some people. You know not everyone dresses in a way that having their tush in the air would be appropriate. It also just looks hella uncomfortable.


It’s your 15 min of fame!


Oooooh, true. And there’s no friendly suggestion or anything, either. Glad it wasn’t a skirt day. And yeah, that’s a good point about the actual bike. I can see it being comfortable for just a small range of people, unfortunately.