I debated on writing a trip report for our stay this past fall because our family came down with the stomach flu literally on the drive down from Atlanta and it put a damper on the planning that went into our celebratory trip. But as the days went by after arriving back home and recovering from the virus and then celebrating the holidays I really thought I would share our experience.
First, my husband is from New Orleans so lagniappe means a little extra- a gift or bonus. We had a lot of that during our trip. It started with a 3am wake-up everything was packed in the van and I head breakfast bars and shelf stable milks in the bins next to the kids. I had also bought special fleece blankets and neck pillows for the kids (later I would be so happy I had brought these!). Before our alarm went off our 11year son bursts into our room and is dressed and greets us with, “Mornin’ Pals!”. My husband and I should have known something was up then because being a tween he is incredibly hard to get up but we just assumed he was excited about getting to WDW. We laughed and quickly got our two daughters up and were in the van driving out of our neighborhood by 3:30am.
As we drove under downtown Atlanta my son tells me from the back of the van he’s not feeling too great. Hmmm, Craig (my hubby) and I think oh crud hopefully it’s just a little motion sickness or maybe he’s hungry since I told them to try and sleep for a couple of hours and we’ll eat around 6am. Well my son tells me he’s really really nauseous now so I tell him to eat a bit of his breakfast bar and see if that settles his tummy. Not 5 minutes later he blows. He’s crying because he threw up allover his new Spidey blanket on his lap (and that’s where I’m sooo glad I had the blanket) and his little sister sitting next to him is trying to ever so subtly move as close to the other side of the van as possible. I climb back fold up the blanket and use my anitbacterial wet ones to clean him and anything I can see (as it’s still dark) and start taking out the extra plastic grocery bags I keep in the car for trash for him to be sick in. He vomits two more times (once he’s throwing his head back and saying I’m so hungry and I’m trying to push his head forward into the bag so he doesn’t aspirate). But then by the time we reach Florida (yes we kept driving down thinking motion sickness I had no clue)he is just nauseated.
We made it to Beach Club at around 12:30. We go in and since our room wasn’t ready we asked if we could go up to the Club lounge since we had a Deluxe CL room. This was a first for us and since we were celebrating our 20th anniversary (12/20), our daughters sweet 16th (2/10), and our son was turning 12 that week, and our youngest worked so hard a skipped 2nd grade we went all out! We also had the DLXDP. I had upgraded and other than the 50 pretzel and trail mix bags we came home with if I had known we’d have the stomach flu I would never have upgraded:roll_eyes:.
Anyway, checkin was amazing. I had heard some bad reviews about Beach Club and let me tell you I was blown away by the beautiful resort, the CM’s were so kind to us , the CL staff were really hard working and tried to make everyone feel special. It was great. I wish we could have spent more time in the lounge but maybe there will be a next time.
Our CM who checked us in saw our room wasn’t ready and said I know what to put in the notes so you’ll be top priority. Sure enough, not 15 minutes later our room was ready. We went down to room 3557 which is a Deluxe room. This would be such a blessing while our son was recovering and as our eldest daughter got sick the end of our trip. It’s got two queen beds, two stand only balconies (one overlooking the quiet pool, the other overlooking the lake with direct views of Boardwalk and Swolphin. This was wonderful at night because we could see (and hear!) the fireworks from both Epcot and HS. It was so nice. The daybed was a couch that was a double sleeper sofa. I was thrilled with this as well because I thought it would be like the pull down we had last year at Caribbean Beach. But when eyeing it it was easily the size of the queen bed across from it.
Here’s one of the views:
After being there for an hour we realized that our son had the stomach flu. It went through his system that evening and he devoured chicken nuggets and fries (still could not believe he wanted and ate that) that evening. I washed his spidey blanket and we cancelled FPP’s we had for epcot and lost that ticket (or so we thought ). All went to bed early and were thankful our first park day was walking to Epcot (mostly relaxing park).
Day 2-Waking up we had a Cape May Cafe breakfast buffet. I kept the ADR after I saw my son eating chicken nuggets and he wanted to meet the characters. I made him sip tea and nibble some toast but he was still under the weather. We stayed long enough to meet the characters and Craig took him back upstairs to our room for some Benadryl and to powerade and the girls and I ate some breakfast. Our waitress was so kind and tried to get our bill comped but the manager wouldn’t let her. I couldn’t believe she even tried. We then talked about her son and how he was at Harvard. She talked about how together they had worked on a plan to get a scholarship as she would never make enough to send him and that he had succeeded. We bonded over our kids and she made my morning!
After breakfast, we meandered over to Epcot and coaxed our son into shopping (his greatest joy:wink:) and that perked him right up. We rode Soarin’, Figment, Nemo and turtle talk with crush. We then went over to Biergarten bc I had booked a CDP for that evening. I loved the theming and the Oompa band but my party weren’t fans of the food. My son was nauseated when he walked through the entrance which emanated sauerkraut. But he made it and ate some roast chicken and pretzel roll and tea. I loved the meatballs and dessert was yummy. We sat with a party who were from my Dad’s hometown in Colorado Springs. We left and tried just walking around to shop again. My son was a trooper and his sisters were constantly asking is he okay to do this or that. We rode Living with the Land and then headed to the Mexico Pavillion for the ride with the Caballeros and we were all shocked to see the whole Coco overlay. I’m sure it will be great but I was disappointed with the artifacts missing and in it’s place the Dia de los Muertos ala Coco artwork. But I think it will eventually come together and freshen up the entire area. I’m just slow on change.
We headed to Via Napoli for dinner and it was CRAZY! Our waitress was screaming in Italian at other waiters in the middle of the restaurant, laughed at me and rolled her eyes when I asked for her help pronouncing something on the menu, and then when we asked a fellow waiter to find our waitress bc we had to get the the processional he cringed! We understood! But she got the singers to come and sing to us and I hope she was just having a bad night. I loved the dessert and my pizza was great but this is not a good DDP option. No one else really liked their pizza. My youngest was getting upset about the lack of options for kids on the dining plan. She likes to eat more than just nuggets, pbj, and hamburgers. Lesson #1 learned- No dining plan next time.
We were late to the CP with Matt Bomer. They got us in and it was so chilly that night we were shivering. I didn’t realize how much room there was at the back of the theater for people to just stand & watch w/o the package. If there was a next time I would just do that. It was beautiful though. We immediately headed back to our room (how nice to walk to BC!!) and got ready for our day at MK & our first MVMCP for day 3.
Day 3- We got up early for our FPP’s and rode BTMRR twice with no wait. My son was still not 100% so hubs and I would switch out so we could both have fun. We got to ride speedway (my kids love this ride and I just think it’s so lame! I wish they would reimagine it somehow), dumbo, they met Stitch:
He was hilarious! Best character M&G! He was sticking his claw in my son and daughter’s ears and then the Photopass Photographer said Stitch! And Stitch shrugged and pointed to my son as if it was him! So cute! With another set of teen girls he picked his nose and the photographer said Stitch we don’t do that! He then proceeded to sneakily “wipe” his claw on the rail behind the girls as if he hadn’t done anything. My son thought that was hilarious!
We rode Haunted Mansion then ate QS by Adventure Land and may or may not have fed the begging ibis. They should make a Pixar short out of those guys begging for food on the sly.
Splash was still down so we rode PoTC and we got soaked! But it was great fun and last year on my TP it said you don’t need a FPP then I waited for 45 minutes! This year I watched the updated chat reported times and we waited less than 15mins. Love the app!
We then headed over to Poly for an early dinner at O’hana and were seated right by the window. I was amazed there were no ADR’s available bc the place was empty! But we enjoyed it. We ate until stuffed and then headed took the ferry back to the park for the party. That’s where our day went downhill.
We got a huge santa sugar cookie and my son didn’t want to take any pics where there were places to in the “special entrace” (in hindsight I should have made him but I felt bad he was still not feeling great and now we’re at the party). We started noticing that a lot of attractions were down and I think that’s where we felt jipped. SDMT was down, people mover was down, Splash was down, BTMR went down, then TSM went down. We waited in line for Moana (or should I say I did and told my hubby to take the kids to Aladdin’s rugs to have fun bc it was a 3 hour wait). In line CM’s checked bands and only a few people were made to leave (the party hadn’t officially started yet). The people I was standing in line with made it bearable. We were joking “this ain’t no cookie line! it’s Moana!!” to people who were sneakily trying to cut in line. We all agreed Maui should be there too. One woman passing asked us who we were waiting on and she said “Glad i have boys!” But Moana was worth the wait:
She was fantastic and told the girls how much she loved O’hana food! My daughter had a Moana pin and she said, “Hey how did you do that?! It’s like a Maui on your necklace except it’s me!!” That was so cute!
When we finished that wanted to do some rides we did IASMW and I’m sorry but I got a little creeped out by the dolls at night. But I was also getting tired bc I usually don’t mind that ride. We were seeing ride and ride down so we decided to try to see Tomorrowland shows but that area was roped off so we couldn’t go through FL to TL. So we had to head toward the castle. SDMT was up again so I told my husband to go ahead and get in line I would take our son and find a place for the fireworks. We had the park area in front of Caseys completely to ourselves. We spread out our backpacks and sweatshirts and relaxed. I was very glad I had cancelled the Dessert Party for night!
The forecourt stage show was about to start and Craig texted me they were coming. DS flagged them down and I could see Craig was upset. They hadn’t been able to ride SDMT bc the wait was over 45 min. It was such a let down to pay for so much and things were down, blocked off and people were just rude. Walking straight into a child or right in front of people on the ECV is just rude!! It’s hard to stay positive when you see this over and over again and the way people talk to each other (parents to their kids and kids to their parents) is unreal! My kids heard some things I’m sure they won’t soon forget. I know I’ve learned a new appreciation for my kids and spouse!
The show at castle was ok, the fireworks were beautiful and then it was off to stand for the parade. It was over 45 mins away from the start and the crowds were already three people deep on main street. We lined up right behind a couple by Casey’s and I loved the parade. But kids were getting super tired so we tried to leave early. We couldn’t get out! The parade goes in front of the exits and the CM’s were doing their best to run people through between floats. I have to say the CM’s really were great and I feel that the majority of them don’t get the credit they deserve. One CM was so afraid she would be yelled at by a guest for giving the wrong time of the parade start that she kept making sure we all knew it varies over and over again.
In the end we got out and our wait for the bus was less than 10 mins. We were so thankful to be back at BC and able to sleep in for our Day 4 at Epcot.
More lessons learned: utilizing the chat posted wait times to get accurate ride wait times is a MUST, no MVMCP in the future, our family needs shorter days or breaks, and I love Memory Maker! I’m going to stop for now. I’ll try to post the rest of our trip Day 4 through 6 tomorrow.