As promised, here is my trip report:
My family has visited DLR 5 times in the past 7 years. It had been 2 years since we had been to DL.
About a year ago some friends of our went WDW and I became obsessed with going there too. My DH HATES to travel and was very reluctant to go. Long story a little shorter, I got my way and started planning our trip. I managed to get $75 per night in GC and then scored free dining! I was over the moon excited! Then one by one, the dominoes started to fall. First the school district changed the vacation schedule on me, then my youngest joined basket ball and found that the playoffs/championships would be on that week we were going to be gone and then there was my husband trying to talk me out of it at every turn. I finally caved when my oldest had an anxiety attack about missing so much school. I canceled my coveted trip. I was literally in tears as I cancelled. I had many of the coveted ADRs and all the coveted FPs. In retrospect we could have moved the trip, but we would for sure lose the free dining and possibly the GCs. I would be behind the 8 ball on dining reservations. So we scrapped the whole thing and took the money and applied it to a DLR trip instead.
We always stay on property when we go to DL (it is the only way I can get DH to go). We have stayed 4 times at PP and once at GC two years ago (before the recent renovations). So for this trip, we decided to try DLH for the first time.
I love to plan trips. I pour over each detail. Which is a large part of why I was so disappointed about the WDW trip. I had planned and conquered so many details. So I started from scratch with DL. DH agreed to get APs as a consolation to WDW. So with the APs, I was able to score a great rate at DLH, an “anytime/any ride” FP and $20 dining credit. Not the amazing deal I had achieved with WDW, but in my planning I quickly recognized that WDW has many more discounts available that DLR does not. I had hoped to watch F! with the BB dining package, however with the uncertainty of whether or not we would be able to stand or not, we went ahead and cancelled, but got BB regular reservations instead.
Going into our trip, I was aware that CS and much of PP would be closed after Sunday the 7th. Also HM in DL would also being closing to take down the holiday overlay. I my head I estimated we would get there at about noon (4 hour drive for us). Our priority would be getting my boys on CS as many times as possible, as it is their favorite. We also needed to get on HM at least once, as it is DHs favorite. We also had our ADR for BB at 5:50 pm. Ah the best laid plans… We hit traffic and took a long time to get checked in. We did not enter the park until after 2:30 pm. As we entered the park, I purchased MaxPass and got our first fp for CS at 4:20pm. The standby line was 45 minutes, so we headed over to see if we could squeeze in on the singleridet line, but it was super long and my boys love the ride, but were anxious to ride single rider for the first time anyway and when they saw the line agreed to just wait for our fp. We played the boardwalk games, which were also scheduled to go down the next days as well and rode some of the smaller rides in the area (Jumping Jellyfish, Silly Symphony Swings, etc.). We shopped and headed over to Carsland, but it was really crowded, so we headed back to the pier to wait for our fp time. My two regrets from this period are that, we did not ride Luigi’s RR (they were closed the rest of our trip due to rain) and that I did not use our anytime fp to get the boys on a second time for CS. My husband will not ride it, so I wanted to use it for a ride we could all ride together, but really it wasn’t necessary for the remainder of our trip due to the use of MP. Once we rode CS, we hightailed it to DL. It was 4:30 and with the crowds I wasn’t sure how long it would take us to get across DCA and into DL for our BB 5:50 reservations. Even with the large crowds, we made it into DL before 5. Rather than navigate our way through the crowds, we rode the DLRR From Main St to New Orleans Square Station. This put us at BB by 5:10. I was told we could not check in that early (which is contrary to what I read on another website, that highly recommended that we check in and request a water table at least a half hour in advance) and that needed to come back 30 minutes later. If we wanted a water table we could request at that time and we would be given a wait time estimate. 30 minutes wasn’t long enough to ride anything, but it was long enough to browse the shops, find Club 33 secret door and try to see into the Suite above PotC (we saw nothing). At about 5:30 I saw a line forming at the check in do BB, so we got in line but still ended up at the checkin about 5 minutes earlier than we told to come back. Luckily they went ahead a checked us is and gave us an estimated wait time of 15 to 30 minutes for a water table. We ended up waiting roughly 15 minutes. We were seated at 5:56, only six minutes past our reservation time. We had a lovely meal. DH thought it was decent (had the prime rib), I thought it was good (same as DH), my DS 13 loved it (pork loin), and DS 12 thought it was good (adult portion of kids Mac n cheese). Over all it was a really nice experience, but for us, we do not have the desire to go back right away. My DH felt the food was better at Storyteller Cafe and I have to agree, but the ambiance cannot be beat. I am not a big drinker these days, but I really wish they would offer beer and wine. A nice glass of wine with my dinner would have been wonderful. We finished our night off with HM and BTM and a churro. I had really want to stay for the fireworks, but the rest of my family was beat, so we headed back to the hotel. Luckily we could see the FW from our room (sort of). I will write about our rain soaked portion soon!