Trip Report 10/15/17-10/21/17 - Adult First-Timers


#1

I found trip reports to be very helpful in planning my first trip to Disney World, particularly when I searched the forums for answers to my various questions. So I thought I’d report out some of our thoughts and tips from a week at Disney World.

First, a little about us:
My brother and I are both in our mid-30’s, we take an annual sibling trip usually to a football game, but this year decided to fulfill a childhood dream of going to Disney World for the first time. As west coast kids, we were fortunate enough to go to Disneyland (which we love) several times as kids and adults, but never made it to Orlando.


Our Trip: We decided to do 5 days in the World, 2 days in the Magic Kingdom and 1 day in the rest of the parks. Our goal: To see and explore as much in the World as possible. We planned it out to not use park hopper, but take each day to really explore 1 park and begin and end in the Magic Kingdom. We booked everything through Undercover Tourist, which all worked well, including early on when we decided to cancel a hotel reservation and downgrade our hotel.

Hotel: Pop Century Resort. We decided to save our $$ on the hotel, where we didn’t plan to spend much time. I chose POP because it rated as the best of the value hotels, and since we planned to use Disney Transportation I liked that it didn’t share a bus. It ended up being a fine choice, but I think next time I would spring for a mid-range hotel.

I’m going to try and split this up a bit by day and by subject for some clarity.

Sunday, October 16 Arrival
Hotel Check-in:
My brother and I live in different parts of the country and arrived at different times late in the afternoon. When I landed at 2:30pm I got an email that my room was not ready yet, but I would receive a notice when it was. Magic Express was a breeze, and I was at the hotel by 3:30pm, but my room still wasn’t ready. I bypassed the long line at registration, and decided to sit by the pool and relax while I waited for my room to be ready and for my brother to arrive. I had made a specific room request (via the TP Fax!) for a room in Building 9, 1st Floor that had been renovated and was closest to the buses, so I was willing to wait for hopefully the correct room. Around 4:15-4:30 I finally got an email that said, “please go to the front desk about your room.” Uh oh….I went to the front desk expecting the worst, but they gave me my room assignment and activated our magic bands. I got the room I wanted, so I was happy with that. I’m still not sure why we didn’t just get a text since as I had completed on-line check in. Fortunately they do have a separate line for folks who have checked in online and it was shorter.
Renovated Rooms at Pop Century:
The renovated rooms at POP was as expected from studying the online photos. Folks have different opinions on the décor, but I like the cleanliness, the coffee maker!, and the smart way they’ve designed storage spaces in the closet and bathroom. A few items of note – some of the renovation seems cheap and I don’t know how it will hold up over time. The mini-fridge was terrible – the door didn’t close on it very well, the shelves kept falling out and it was very noisy. Also, the bathroom exhaust fan never shuts off…never. And it’s loud and dusty. We also had an outlet that didn’t work where the coffee maker station is. I left a note for maintenance about these issues, hopefully they’re fixed for the next guest. And major note for some – our room was SHOWER ONLY, NO BATHTUB. Again, I don’t think we had any way of knowing this and it was not flagged when we checked in either. It’s fortunate we didn’t have kids with us, but I would have preferred a tub honestly. I like soaking my tired feet after a long day. We were next to another building (10) that the renovation was being finished on, but we never heard any construction noise.
Amazon Prime Now Delivery:
Based on recommendations here, I’d ordered breakfast items and sunscreen to be delivered to the hotel. The delivery arrived on time, but when I went to Luggage Services to pick it up 5 minutes after I’d received the notification, the luggage services team couldn’t find it. One call to Amazon later, and finding a Pop manager at the front desk who personally looked all over behind the front desk and then the luggage services fridge found my order. The staff at luggage services had overlooked it. Three things to know: 1. Amazon Prime Now delivers to luggage services, which is a window outside at the hotel entrance (but will call it the “front desk”), 2. They do have a storage fridge for grocery items, 3. If you happen to be at the resort during delivery I’d call the driver and meet him personally if possible to avoid the hassle I went through.
First Evening without Park Tickets
Since we were arriving so late in the afternoon, we did not have park tickets for Sun., and based on recommendations here decided to hop on the bus to the Magic Kingdom to jump on the monorail and explore the Polynesian and Grand Floridian. I’m super glad we did this. It gave us the experience of the deluxe hotels, without paying the price. We ate out on the deck of Trader Sam’s for drinks and a light dinner of apps. (We tried to go into the bar, but it was packed. I can’t emphasize enough how small it is inside). But sitting outside and watching the sunset was a really relaxing way to start the trip, and then we walked around the lake to the Grand Floridian and took in some music in the atrium. Took an Uber back to our hotel, which worked great.

Monday, October 16 – Magic Kingdom
We wanted to start our trip at the Magic Kingdom, since it’s the most similar to Disneyland – and to us is the epitome of WDW. I won’t go into detail of everything we did (a lot!). But here are some of the good, bad and tips.
Good:
- Rope Drop, Rope Drop, Rope Drop. It was truly magical to be in the park early before it was crowded and hot. The light shining of the castle in the AM is gorgeous. We left POP about an hour before park opening, arrived 30 minutes before rope drop and the timing was perfect. No real lines at bag check, ticket check and we were close the castle for the welcome show.
-The Plan. We followed our Touring Plan religiously and it worked! My brother who thought I was crazy for all of my Type A planning quickly saw the method to my madness as we bypassed long lines and breezed through a ton of rides. We got a lot done in the first 2 hours in the park.
-Fast Passes/Lines App. Modify, Modify, Modify. The trick of booking the best fast pass you can and then modifying worked like a dream, time and again - for both getting better times for our first 3 initial FP+ and then the additional ones we picked up later in the day. I also used the Lines app constantly to keep track of fast pass distribution and wait times.
-Photo Pass. We went in on a Memory Maker share, and I’m so glad we did. We took the opportunity every chance we got to get an official photog to take our photo throughout the week, and we have some hilarious ride shots. I think even at full price it would have been worth it for 5 days, but I’m even happier only paying $30!
-Character Photos. WDW is superior to Disneyland in that it’s much easier to get character photos, because you know where to find them and it’s organized. My family is into Donald Duck (We’re Oregon Duck fans, the only college mascot to be based on a Disney character. UO and Oregon have had a licensing agreement since a handshake deal with Walt Disney himself in 1947 – that was later formalized in the 70’s). So we got a photo with every Donald Duck in every park (in his different outfits). It was a lot of fun to have 1 character that we met in every park, and we had some really funny character interactions.
Happily Ever After Fireworks: Best Fireworks show of the week hands down, and one of the best I’ve ever seen. Truly wonderful – I may have cried - make sure you see it (See the bad though below).
Once Upon a Time Light Show: After the Fireworks, don’t leave! Stay for the Once Upon a Time Light Show on the castle. As everyone streamed out of the park, we were able to get super close to the castle for a fun epilogue to the fireworks.
Outdoor Rides at Night: After the Fireworks, and with the park open until midnight, we made a point of riding some outdoor rides for a second time. We were able to hit 7DMT, Thunder Mountain Railroad and Jungle Cruise. The roller coasters feel faster at night! And the jokes get punchier on the Jungle Cruise, especially when you get the awesomely dry Skipper Megan.
Bad:
-Crowded. By 2pm/3pm the park was super hot and crowded. If that was a 7, I can’t imagine what a 9/10 is like. We decided to take a break after the parade and go back to the hotel. Even without kids, it was the right move. We took a nap and refreshed, and went back about 6 when it was cooler. It was still pretty crowded until the fireworks at 9pm. We thought late October would be less crowded, but found there were a ton of UK visitors.
-Crowd Control for Happily Ever After Fireworks. People are not joking on here about the lack of crowd control. Only time I encountered rude and pushy people, and grumpy cast members yelling at guests all week. We ended up with a spot on Main Street after weaving our way through the crowd. This was the one time where I’d wished we’d gone for an upsell of a dessert party or something. It would have been worth it.
Disney Transportation When it goes Wrong. We left the park about 11/11:30pm – thinking it would be less crowded than leaving right after Fireworks. Wrong. The waiting line for POP was long, it took forever for a bus to arrive, and because of a multi-vehicle accident outside of Magic Kingdom there was a long detour. It took over an hour to get back to our hotel. I feared what we were in for the rest of the week, but it was never quite that bad again. Just need to mentally prepare for a crowded bus ride home. All week we mostly found ourselves standing on a crowded bus, exhausted after a long day.

More reports to come: Tuesday - Epcot, Wednesday - Hollywood Studios, Thursday - Animal Kingdom, Friday - Magic Kingdom and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. Happy to answer questions along the way too


#2

Tuesday, October 17 – Epcot
We didn’t know what to expect much from Epcot (most of our prior knowledge to planning came from 90’s ABC sitcoms), but were most excited about Drinking the World during the Food & Wine Festival. Our plan was to do rides in Future World in the morning, and then slowly work our way around World Showcase in the afternoon with an ADR at the Biergarten and finish the night with Illuminations (with the plan to try and pick up a FP for that). Again, we rope dropped after our successful rope drop experience at MK and it worked like a dream.

Good:
Soarin. We followed the plan to rope drop Soarin, and that worked well. It was one of our favorite rides of the whole trip. We had done Soarin at California Adventure a few years ago, but this was better. And thank you Liners for the B1 tip! I politely asked the CM if we could wait for B1, and she waved us right into that section. It was magical. A little tip though to study the map before going to Epcot, we missed the short cut to Soarin because the signs aren’t very clear and ended up needlessly walking the long way around to it. Didn’t add much time to our wait though.
Food and Wine Festival/Drinking the World. We really enjoyed our leisurely tour of World Showcase. The details in each of the countries is really fantastic. I’ve been fortunate to visit most of the countries in the showcase and thought each snapshot was really well done. We sampled food and drink in every country (we split drinks in a few countries to pace ourselves). The best by far was the Scotland booth. If you are going before the Festival is over, definitely try the potato pancake with salmon and the drunken laird dessert. We also really liked the French patisserie. We also liked World Showcase for the quiet spots to relax, with Canada being a particular favorite.
Voices of Liberty. If you get a chance, take a break and see this acapella group in the American Pavilion. They’re really wonderful, and it’s the type of thing that you don’t see at any other kind of theme park. One of the little gems that makes Disney special and that I hope Disney will continue to support.
Starbucks. During our AM in Future World we made our way through the plan so efficiently that we were able to have a break time to relax at the Starbucks. It’s a good spot with table outside for people watching. Also, the new park-specific Starbucks tumblers are fantastic – particularly the Epcot one! But don’t make our mistake and think you’ll wait to pick it up at the end – by the time we left that night the Starbucks had already closed and we were SOL! (we ended up buying the Magic Kingdom mugs later on that are just as cute).


The meh:
Biergarten. My brother loves Oktoberfest and this was really his only specific request during the planning, so we chose this for one of our ADR’s. It was just ok. We were seated at a terrible table, and it felt like they were shuffling us in and out as quickly as possible like cattle. The food was ok, the beer good, and we met some nice folks at our shared table. But in retrospect we could have chosen better. With the Food and Wine Festival on we could have skipped a seated dinner all together, but next time I would also try the San Angel in Mexico. We loved the atmosphere of it when we took the Gran Fiesta ride.
Illuminations. After the Happily Ever After fireworks, this was a letdown. I am really glad we had our FP though, we had a great view in an area that wasn’t crowded.
Bad:
Future World. It seemed really dated, not just the rides, but the whole feel of that part of the park – also seemed neglected. Other than Soarin, I don’t think we loved any of the rides. I could only handle Mission Space: Green, but even that made me feel sick as the visuals weren’t great. My brother tried Orange…he wasn’t super impressed with that either, but agreed I made the right choice to skip it based on intensity. And sorry, I don’t get the love for Living with the Land. I think Epcot is a park I could skip in the future.
EMH Evening. We had initially planned to use our EMH evening at Epcot for some more exploration of shops, and may the Frozen ride. But after the fireworks were over it really seemed like they were trying to shut things down. Shops and food booths were closing (Starbucks to our sadness closed at 9pm) and Frozen was a disaster wait after several hours of it being shut down earlier in the day. We ended up just leaving. Not sure of the point of EMH evening at Epcot, especially if you’d spent the morning completing rides. Sad. But we had a beautiful view as we left.


#3

Glad you had a good time! I look forward to reading the next few days!


#4

I am loving this! I am pretty much doing the same trip (only adults, first time going, with my sister, 5 days in total, no park hopper, and 2 days at MK) so I am really looking forward to the rest!


#5

Wednesday, October 18 - Hollywood Studios (Day 3)

You know that wall that everyone talks about hitting during your WDW trip? We hit it on day 3. Fortunately I had anticipated this and had planned for a Late Day 11am start for half way through our trip at Hollywood Studios. Boy, I'm sure glad we did that. After walking nearly 24 miles at MK and Epcot the previous two days, we needed a relaxed day.

I wasn't sure if Hollywood Studios would be worth our time given how much of the park is closed down right now, but I'm really glad we went. It has some of the best theming in WDW, some fun rides/shows and good food. When Star Wars and Toy Story lands open, it's going to be a truly great full day park. As for now, showing up at 11am is perfect. We arrived in time to watch the storm troopers march down Hollywood Boulevard, which is a real kick (I mean, they do have the best theme song).

Good
Toy Story Mania. One of the surprises of the trip is how much we loved this ride. I wasn't sure after waiting in the noisy line (we had a short wait even with our fast passes), but we ended up loving it enough to pick up a second fast pass later to do the ride again (sibling rivalry may have had something to do with it - my brother won the first time, I won the 2nd).
Tower of Terror. I had read it was better than CA Adventure's TOT, and it's true. The theming is really wonderful, and the ride a true scare. I nearly lost my voice screaming on this one....the poor kid in front of me, I don't think it helped his nerves.
Hollywood Brown Derby/Fantasmic Dining Package. Late in the planning stages of the trip, I dropped another ADR reservation at Skippers Cantina to do this package instead. Very glad we did. The meal was excellent, and given the limited things to do at Hollywood Studios it was a perfect way to spend a late afternoon (we were able to pick up a 3:30pm late lunch reservation thanks to the reservation finder). Having guaranteed seats for Fantastic was really nice and we enjoyed the show.
Sweet Spells Shop at the Beverley Sunset. Looking for the carrot cake cookie? This is where to find it. I'd read about his cookie and wanted to try it, but it took some googling to figure out where it was. The cookie lived up to the hype, and the sweet counter was excellent all around (My brother, the cheapskate in the family, even agreed that the carrot cake cookie was the best bang for the buck food-wise on the trip).

Meh
Other Shows and Rides. Most of the other shows and rides at Hollywood Studios are pretty hohum. Muppets 3D, Indiana Jones, and Star Tours were all just ok. I was not going to to the Rock and Roll ride (I don't do upside down rollercoasters) and my brother decided to take a pass on it too. We enjoyed just hanging out and people watching instead.

Bad
Show Scheduling. Having Fantasmtic and the Star Wars Spectacular so close together really sucks. My hopes of making a dash to Star Wars after Fantasmic were thwarted by a technical delay of Fantastic by 20min (I'm not sure why - the weather was fine...) _

I don't really have much bad to say about Hollywood Studios other than the construction. Beyond the 2 lands under construction, the lake was also drained and being worked on, so it wasn't a very appealing place to hang out.

This is a park I look forward to going back to in the future.


#6

Thursday, October 19 - Animal Kingdom (Day 4)
Next to the Magic Kingdom, I think this was the park we were most excited about. And with good reason. It has the best theming in WDW. You really do have to approach Animal Kingdom in a different way than the other parks, to spend some time just exploring and seeing what you stumble upon.

Unfortunately this was also the day we hit our second wall. If I could do it over again, I would have scheduled Animal Kingdom for day 2 of our trip, when we were fresher. This was a day where we ended up having to throw out the plan for the afternoon to take a break back at our hotel. It was a hot day, we really spent the morning walking our feet off, the park got exceptionally crowded, and we were starting to break down from a long week.

Good
Pandora. Pictures don’t do Pandora justice. I wasn’t sure what the hype was about, I didn’t really like the Avatar movie much, but truly the land is a work of art both during the day time and at night. It was a place where I’d really have liked to have spent more time. (The rides are another story I’ll get to in a minute).__
Everest. Best.ride.of the trip. Must do it at night. It was so awesome to have that view at the top overlooking all of WDW. We had a particularly long pause at the top that I don’t think was supposed to happen (?). It added to the suspense and gave us longer to take in the view. Wish we could have done this one twice
Relaxation Areas, Discovery Island Trails. Despite the hoards of people at Animal Kingdom on the day we were there, the park is huge so there are lots of little spots to discover where you can sit and take it in. We loved the area at the back of Flaming Tree BBQ where we had lunch. Also the trails on Discovery Island are under explored and contain little nooks and crannies and benches. We just sat under the tree of life for a while admiring it.
Mobile Ordering This is where I make my plug for mobile ordering for food. The line at Flaming BBQ was ridiculous. I pulled out the app and ordered food - we had it in under 10min. If you are not on the dining plan (and I don’t recommend it for two adults) this is the way to go.

The Meh
Flight of Passage . This is where I’m going to get in trouble…I thought that FOP was just ok. It just didn’t quite live up the hype for me. I think it’s the 3D glasses - I find them to be more of a distraction that takes me out of the world rather than enveloping me in it (like Soarin). Also the ride is too short for all that trouble. I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about getting the FP for this. However, I’m glad we did it and the plan worked. Thanks to tips from Liners, I picked up FP for this after being unable to do so at my 60 day mark (64 days for Animal Kingdom). And then even later was able to modify to a 9:30am time slot. While others were rope dropping running to FOP, we strolled to Navi River, which was also just ok.
River of Lights We went to the 2nd show of this to avoid using up a FP and avoid the crowds. The show was just ok, and I’m really glad we didn’t waste time/FP on the first show of the evening. We had no problem with stand by for the later show.

Bad_
Too much to do, too little time. One day is really pushing it to do Animal Kingdom right, particularly with limited Fall hours. As I mentioned above, we ended up having to throw out our plan for the afternoon in order to take a break at our hotel for a couple of hours. It was particularly hot day for Fall (and it’s true I think that Animal Kingdom feels hotter than the rest of the parks) and exploring all of the trails really takes it out of you. I have no regrets taking a break before coming back in the evening, but we missed being able to do some shows like Lion King and Flights of Wonder. We also missed the Asia trails because they close early at 6pm.

Because so much in this park closes early, my recommendation would be if you have park hopper to split this park over a day and a half - one day and one morning. You aren’t missing much by skipping River of Lights. The only thing truly worth an evening in Animal Kingdom is seeing Pandora at night and Everest if you can._


#7

I actually think FOP is a a decent length ride

There's that pause midway through where the "animal" you are riding stops and catches their breath and then away you go again.

The one thing we always do as a family is hit the parks early then have an afternoon siesta either round the Hotel pool or a short sleep in the room back at the Hotel and then refreshed and back to the parks in the evening

You did that a couple of times by the look of it

I honestly think spending a long day at one park is too draining

But I realise many families do that and prefer that approach

We did it at disneyland Paris once and after 2 long days felt ill!


#8

Enjoying your report! Thanks for taking us along.
Your approach to touring is much like ours was...
Sorry your experience at AK was disappointing...but I think you have a good idea in stretching it over a day and a half...soooo much walking there...
One note...I didn't think I'd like RnR, but in the dark, you really don't notice that you're upside down..the take off was amazing..:upside_down:


#9

Oooo...what is the B1 trick in Soarin'? I've never heard of that.


#10

I am really enjoying your trip report! Thank you for providing this great information and for breaking it down into the Good, the Meh, and the Bad. Helps a lot!


#11

Ask if you can sit in the B1 row, it’s middle front - the best view (I read in another thread to remember it as B 1 with the sky). You don’t get any of the weird distortion you can get from the sides.


#12

Thanks! I wouldn’t say AK was disappointing, we just didn’t get to everything on the plan. But in my experience that happens every vacation - you can’t do everything. Just means we have to go back sometime! It was also a lesson in knowing when to pack in the plan for the sake of everyone’s well being.


#13

Friday, October 20 - Magic Kingdom (Day 5)
We planned to finish our trip like we started, back in the Magic Kingdom. The plan was to do Day 2 of the Adult Touring Plan, relax back at the hotel in the afternoon, and return for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party that we had tickets for in the evening. This was also an EMH morning at 7am. We were going to treat ourselves to a Starbucks/Main Street bakery breakfast.

Unfortunately, my brother woke up Friday AM not feeling great. I suggested he sleep in until our first fast pass in the 9:30am-10:30am window and come meet me at the Magic Kingdom. I didn’t quite make to for the 7am opening, but got to the park around 7:30am when it was still quiet.

Good
Solo time in the Park. Spending a few hours in the park on my own was AWESOME. Now, I generally enjoy solo travel, it’s something I’ve done abroad a few times. But I never considered Disney World for a solo trip. It seemed like something I’d always want to do as a shared experience. Just a few hours in the park changed my mind. As much as I enjoyed the week with my brother (despite being very different people, we generally get along well) it was was so much fun to do what I want, when I wanted to do it. To go jump on Pirates of the Caribbean an extra time, just because it’s my favorite ride, and sit in front of the castle with my coffee and people watch. I may have to go for just a weekend by myself some time, or join friends and do my own thing for a few hours every day.

Second Day of the Magic Kingdom Plan. I endorse the Touring Plan for Adults 2 Days in Magic Kingdom. It wisely allows you to have a more relaxed second day to do a few remaining rides and just enjoy being in the park. There was less pressure to get in rides, espcecially when you have your three fast passes.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I had planned all along for our final day to be at the Magic Kingdom, and then later learned that the park closes at 7pm for the MNSSHP on that date. I wanted to go out with a bang, not a whimper so ended up springing for the party tickets. I really wasn’t sure if this was a great idea as a) I’d read a lot mixed reviews on the party and b) everybody said - don’t do this on the last day of your trip. I’m so glad we did this to finish the trip though. Yes, we were tired. But the party was so much fun, the atmosphere so cool, and there was so much candy that we had the adrenaline and sugar rush to get us through for a fun final night in the parks.

We loved everything about MNSSHP, from the park music to the parade and the fireworks to the costumes to the trick or treating. And we had the most fun character interaction with Daisy and Donald. My brother was wearing a Halloween Donald Duck Shirt that my friend made. Donald (whose costume was a pumpkin) went crazy for it and so did the Cast Members. I mean, we’re adults, we know the characters are fake. But they do such a good job of acting - it was a blast. My biggest tip is to try and catch the parade twice - it’s that good. We had planned all along to do the later parade, but by accident ended up catching the first parade too while grabbing a drink at Pecos Bill. The outdoor patio is the perfect place to catch the parade. We watched the second time from curbside at Main Street.

The Bad
Attempting a mid-day break at Disney Springs. We tried to throw an audible (*cough * not my idea * cough * ) and go to Disney Springs for a bit of lunch and shopping during our afternoon break. Little did I know, the bus doesn’t go from Magic Kingdom to Disney Springs until after 4pm. I did some googling and saw we could take the bus to Saratoga Springs and walk to Disney Springs. We waited for the Saratoga Springs bus for 30min before we abandoned the plan and just went back to POP for lunch and a nap. The poor Saratoga Springs folks were still waiting for a bus when we departed (must have been at least 50min for them at that point). It ended up being a wise decision, with my brother not feeling well we really needed the nap.

Attempting to Fit in a lot of Rides During MNSSHP. I had the plan for maximizing rides with me for the party, but we ended up not using it after just doing the Haunted Mansion. There were plenty of other things to do during the party other than rides, and frankly the wait times were a lot longer than anticipated in the plan. We did enjoy doing the People Mover during the party though. Great view at night and atmosphere.

So that was the end of our trip. I’ll post in a little bit some of my final thoughts and tips, including some of the best things I bought in prep for the trip. See you real soon!


#14

Really love your trip report. MNSSHP is on my Disney Bucket List!


#15

Thanks again for the report…I like the way you set out the good and the bad…
And loved the photos…
So glad you had a great trip…


#16

Thank you so much for writing up a great report! I’m in a similar boat, about to make my first trip next month with my sister, so this was timely and relevant. I hope we have as good a time!


#17

Final Thoughts

Thanks all for your kind comments. It was truly a wonderful trip. When I arrived at Orlando airport for the trip home on Saturday and was in line for coffee, I looked down and realized I was still wearing my magic band. I looked at the ladies behind me and they were still wearing theirs’ as well. I laughed and said “oops, I guess we don’t need these any more.” They responded that they were reluctant to take them off. That moment made me realize what a wonderful bubble we’d been in for the last week.

If you are wondering if Disney World is a good vacation for adults, have no doubt, it’s a wonderful place to forget the troubles of the world and relive the pure joy of childhood.

When Walt Disney opened Disneyland in 1955, he said “To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past…and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

Disney World continues to live up to that promise. Although Disneyland is still my first love, in all it’s Southern California beauty and intimacy, Disney World is no less a fun escape for a few days. A couple of people didn’t understand why I would choose Disney World as a vacation without kids when I could go to any number of exotic beaches (which I’ve done too). I explained that in a world where sometimes it seems like nothing works right anymore, where good service no longer exists, it was a joy to spend a week in Disney efficiency where everyone was happy (well, most of the time…).

So, Final thoughts.

  1. Planning is worth it (and for me, half the fun!). Make sure you keep your travel companions in the loop and provide them with their own printed out copy of “the plan.” It saves a lot of questioning of the plan.
  2. The Liner Community is awesome. And in particular the FB group I joined of other Liners going in the month of October - it made me feel less crazy in my obsessiveness.
  3. You’ll need more breaks than you think. If I had to do it all over again, I would have extended the trip a day to allow for a free day out of the parks to relax at the pool and Disney Springs.
  4. Value hotels are fine, but if you can afford it, upgrade a level.
  5. If you see a souvenir you want, buy it then and have it delivered or check the shopping app to see if it’s available. You may not find it again (see Starbucks mug above).
  6. Don’t worry so much about the rain forecast. I worried about our rainy forecast for days, it ended up being just a few passing sprinkles and you dry fast. We used an emergency poncho once to cover our heads for a 3 minute shower.
  7. Don’t be surprised when you get home and already want to plan your next Disney trip (it’s addicting!)

Things I’m Glad I Bought and Packed

  1. Roll up water bottles. I didn’t want to carry a big bag, and I definitely didn’t want to carry my brother’s water bottle in addition to my own. I bought these silicon roll up water bottles and they were great - clip right on to your belt loop and come in a pack of 2. Collapsible Water Bottles
  2. Handheld Water Fans. These came in clutch during hot afternoons and waits, especially Animal Kingdom. They sell much larger and expensive ones in the park that we saw ALOT of people carrying. These are much lighter and work great. My brother and I each had our own, but we could have easily shared. Portable Mini Misting Fan
  3. Sketchers Sneakers. I alternated my Nike running shoes and Sketcher’s Walking Shoes that I bought specifically for the trip. They were comfortable and alternating shoes was key to happy feet. Skechers Flex Appeal 2

My brother and I had a great trip, thanks to planning and flexibility. It was the most time we had spent 1 on 1 together since we were kids, and managed the whole week with no fights! Thanks all for following along. I leave you with a picture of us at Disneyland 25 years or so ago and at the Partner’s statue last week. You’re never to old to be a kid again.



#18

Great report!! I love all the pictures.


#19

Really great trip report! Thank you so much for sharing all of this information. Super helpful!


#20

Oh I just love this! :heart: So glad you had a great trip with your brother. Thanks for the report and all the tips.