Trip Report 12/3-12/10

Day 1, Dec 3: Drive to and Epcot

We arrived at Poly about 2pm. Went to check in but room not ready. This wasn’t a big deal for us as we had planned on heading straight to Epcot anyway. We walked over to TTC to catch the Monorail to Epcot for our first night of fun. We had lunch at Sunshine Seasons. I had Fish Tacos, DH had the Cuban Sandwich, and DS4 wanted the Uncrustable sandwich. All of the food was good and the portions were large. After our late lunch, we visited Turtle Talk, Seas with Nemo and Aquarium area. We then headed to the Disney Visa meet and great and had our first character experience with Minnie and Pluto. We then headed over to Norway to do the Anna and Elsa meet and greet. The wait was only about 20 minutes which was well under what I had forecasted in my TP. We had a FP for Frozen later in the evening but saw that the ride was down and had been down since around 2 pm. We were hopeful it would be back up and running before out FP (ended up not happening). We then walked around Mexico and Norway and did the Calaberos ride. DS4 loved it and wanted to go again but then saw that he could do a meet and greet with Fiesta Donald and that took precedence over the ride. We had ADR’s for dinner at La Hacienda and the food and views over the lake were amazing. The only knock on this place is that it is very loud and the service was just okay. It took us forever to just get drinks but that seems to be the norm here. We were supposed to have Frozen Ever After FP after dinner but since it was down we decided to make it an early evening since we had a pre-RD ARD at Crystal Palace the next morning.


Day 2, Dec 4: Magic Kingdom

We had a pre-RD ADP att Crystal Palace. We were able to enter the park before 8am and got photos on Main street with the Castle in the background to start the morning. Our ADR wasn’t until 98:35am but we were able to get seated about 20 min before our ADR time which was awesome. The meet and greet with Winnie the Pooh and Friends was great. The food was really good, the service was spot on, and being able to have breakfast and meet and greets completed before the park opened was perfect. After breakfast, we headed straight over to the Princess meet and greet with Cinderella and Elena. As we were in line, DS4 decided he didn’t want to do it, but we stuck it out and got some great photos. This ended up being the only meet and greet of the day. We figured out early on that meet and greets just weren’t as important to DS4 as the rides were. We were able to ride Tea Party 2x, Barnstormer 2x; Under the Sea, Tomorrowland Speedway, Peter Pan’s Flight, It’s a Small World, Enchanted Tales with Belle, used extra Fastpass from not being able to do Frozen yesterday for a ride on Splash Mountain, rode Dumbo, and then Mine Train. All of this before 2pm. We ventured over to Casey’s Corner for a pre parade small lunch and to get a good spot for the parade. We lucked into one right on the curb outside Casey’s Corner. We called it a day after the parade as the park was starting to really fill up as the guests for MVMCP were starting to shuffle in.We took a small rest at the resort before dinner at Kona Cafe. I had heard great things about Kona but to us it was just meh. The bread at the beginning was probably the highlight of the meal. We did enjoy the Volcano sushi roll but we have better sushi at home. Both of our main dishes just weren’t that great. DH ordered the lamb chops and they tasted gamey and smelled a bit like salmon (like they were cooked with the Salmon or something. It was a distinct smell and taste). My steak was okay but nothing special and the sides were blah. Brandon’s got the kid’s cheeseburger and it was okay. The deserts were good but again, the meal overall wasn’t impressive. This ended up being out least favorite meal of the trip, including all of our quick services. Maybe we just hit it on an off day but we wouldn’t eat here again.


Thanks for sharing :grinning: It’s great you got so much done at MK before the crowds hit. I’ve not tried Kona myself, it’s a shame it didn’t deliver for you. As you say, it could have been an off day, but I’m like you, I don’t like re visiting a place I haven’t enjoyed.
Look forward to the next instalment :wink:

Day 3, Dec 5: Hollywood Studios

We took the bus from Poly to HS. We lucked out with only having to wait about 5 minutes for the bus and arrived at HS preRD. They let everyone in the park around 8:45am and we headed straight to Toy Story. Our FP wasn’t until 9:05 so we went ahead and did the M&G with Buzz and Woody with no wait. The Green Army Men were out and about and we were able to have some fun with them before heading in to do Toy Story ride. We then headed over to do the Olaf M&G. Again, only about a 10 minute wait. DS4 is a HUGE Star Wars fan but he didn’t have any interest in the Jedi Training since it would just be him and DH or myself wouldn’t be able to do it with him. After Olaf, we noticed that Star Tours only had a 10-minute wait in Standby so we went ahead and did this with then intention of doing it again with our FP as we knew DS4 would love it. We then walked over and rode The Great Movie Ride. This was our longest wait for any ride of the day at around 25 minutes. Not bad by any account and the line seemed to keep moving pretty well so it didn’t even feel that long. We then headed over to do a M&G with Santa and then back to Star Tours to use our FP. It was about 11:30 at this time and we headed over to Backlot Express for lunch. DH had the Royal Guard Burger and I had the Angus Bacon Cheeseburger. DS4 ordered the Dark Side Chicken and Waffles. The food was good and the portions were large. After lunch, we headed over to Launch Bay and caught the StormTrooper and Captain Phasma show on the way. At launch bay we walked off our large meal and do M&G with Chewbacca. DS4 loved this M&G. We then used our Disney Chase to do a quick M&G with Kylo Ren with no wait. He really stays in character and I’m pretty sure scared the bejezzus out of DS4. He ended up asking DS4 if he had anything to say and DS4 responded, “I don’t want to tell you.” The photos from this M&G are priceless! After Launch Bay we used our last FP for the Frozen Sing Along Show. DH actually enjoyed this show as it is very funny. DS4 knows all of the songs so it was a hit for him as well. We then headed over to do Muppets 3D and then Voyage of Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. DH thought Muppets 3D was lame but did like Little Mermaid. He wasn’t a fan of BATB but I loved it. We decided to call it a day after BATB as we had an early ADR at AK the next day. We were able to hit everything we wanted to do except for the Indiana Jones show. We knew DS4 would not enjoy ToT so we skipped that all together. With our Star Wars obsessed son, this was one of his favorite parks and days of the trip. We took the bus back to Poly and ended our day with a quick dinner at our resort, Poly, at Captain Cooks and an early bedtime.


I forgot to add to yesterday at HS. We also did M&G with Chip and Dale and Goofy with only a 5-minute wait for each. I would highly recommend doing the M&Gs in the morning if possible as they lines for all of the characters were over 30-45 minutes in the afternoon.

Day 4, Dec 6: Animal Kingdom

Because we had such an early breakfast, we chose to drive to AK. This was a great option for us as we were able to park pretty close to the entrance. Also, we knew that rain was in the forecast so we made sure our ponchos were packed and ready to go if needed. We had preRD breakfast at Tusker House and we were seated right at 8am. We met all of the characters, Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy and finished breakfast all before the park opened. The buffet was great and service was exceptional. We walked over and were on the first ride for Kilaminjaro Safari. The was good but the mic for our driver kept going in and out so we only heard about half of what she was saying. We saw most of the animals that morning. I think the only ones we didn’t see were the giraffes. We then walked around Gorilla Falls. They gorillas had just been given food so they were all out and about and very active. We then took the 1st train ride over to Rafiki’s Planet. We did the M&G with Rafiki with no wait, walked around conservation station, petting and brushed some animals and then headed back to the main park area. DS4 loved brushing the goats. He had to brush each one before we left. Once we got back to the main park area, I moved up out FP for Kali River Rapids. This was DS4s favorite ride of the day by far. We then headed over to do lunch at FlameTree BBQ. We all split 2 platters and still had plenty of food leftover. We relaxed a bit before heading over to do Festival of the Lion King. While waiting to get in for Lion King, the heavens opened up and the downpour that I knew was coming happened. We were prepared with some good ponchos so as others were running for cover we were good. After Lion King DS4 wanted to do River Rapids again (he said since we are already wet and have our ponchos on let’s do it) and so we did it 2 more times with no wait either time. The rain had all stopped so we then headed over to DinoLand and rode TriceraTop Spin and played a few games at Fossil Fun Games. I will say, had DS4 not wanted to do some games we would have skipped it. It is way overpriced to play and the games are pretty much the same thing you would find at any hometown carnival. I honestly think it’s just a money suck and would skip it if you can. DH and I were looking for a bit of a break so we headed over The Boneyard to let DS4 run around and play so we could figure out what our next move was. We decided to do the Finding Nemo show and I checked to see if there was anywhere we wanted to eat that night. We lucked out with a last minute ADR to The Wave at Contemporary. We got a 7:20 ADR and had plenty of time to get back to the resort, shower, and relax before taking the monorail over to Contemporary. The service and food was impeccable minus the cheese tray we ordered as an appetizer. It was the saddest excuse for a fruit and cheese tray I have ever seen. The cheese portions were minuscule. DH is a cheese lover and he was very disappointed and refused to order any more cheese appetizers the rest of our trip. We both ordered the grilled rib-eye and they were superb. The side of macaroni was very cheesy and tasted great as well. DS4 ordered the penne pasta and it could have fed at least 2 people. For dessert, DH ordered the german chocolate cake and I had the banana’s foster. Both were amazing also. I would highly recommend eating here on your trip, just don’t order the cheese tray. LOL

We then hopped back on the monorail to get back to Poly but only made it to TTC before “electrical issues” forced us to walk the rest of the way to the resort. It’s a short walk from TTC to Poly so it wasn’t a big deal and I’m glad we walked because we heard people talking the next day that they waited over an hour before the monorail was back up and running. This seemed to be a running issue during our stay but we never experienced any problems with transportation other than this specific instance.


Day 5, Dec 7: Rest and Pool Day
Today was a relax and pool day with a few reservations mixed in. We enjoyed breakfast at Ohana. This was the only place we had to wait past out ADR time to be seated. Had an ADR for 9:30am and it was about 9:50ish before we were seated. No biggie though as we didn’t have any specific plans for after. Food and service were great. Everything is served family style and you can ask for more of anything and they will bring it to you. The M&Gs during breakfast were good also. There is a photographer with Stitch but you will need to take your own pictures with the other characters. We headed to the big pool at Poly for the afternoon and let DS4 play and play and play. He loved the big slide and the splash pad area. He made some new friends in the pool and just had a blast. It was nice for DH and me to relax, have a drink, and watch him play without having to be so involved. After the afternoon at the pool, we relaxed in the room and then headed over to Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Boma. I would highly recommend checking this place out if you can. The food was amazing! Served buffet style, you can get as much as you like. DS4 ate everything we put in front of him but if your child is a picky eater they do have options they would be familiar with (chicken fingers, mac and cheese, etc). We pretty much tried all of the meats and our favorites were the salmon (you definitely want to get this) and the spice crusted beef sirloin. the spiced sweet potatoes and the curried pasta salad were my favorite sides as well. This is definitely a restaurant I would book an ADR for again and again. After dinner, we walked around the resort a bit. I wish we would have ventured over before it was dark to check out the outside areas but the inside of AKL is beautiful. Probably our favorite resort to walk around in all of Disney.

Day 6, Dec 8: MVMCP
We relaxed during the morning and then headed over to Contemporary for a late lunch at Contempo Café before walking over to MK for MVMCP. DH had the burger and I had the Chicken Alfredo Pasta. Both were good, not great but portions were large! We arrived at MK right at 4. DS4 was over meet and greets and didn’t want to meet anyone so we took advantage of shorter lines and rode Astro Orbiter, PeopleMover, Buzz LightYear, Tomorrowland Speedway, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad x3, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean. BTMR was by far the favorite of the night for DS4. We also watched the Christmas Parade, Stage Show, and Fireworks. We were able to walk out of the park down Main Street with the “snow” coming down all around us. We ended up taking the boat shuttle back to the resort as the monorail line was all the way down the ramp. There was no wait to get on the boat and made it back to the resort in good time. I do wish we could have stayed a little longer to do some M&Gs but I still feel like we got our money’s worth with all of the rides we were able to do with little to no wait.


Day 7, Dec 9: Epcot
Today was our full day at Epcot and we had some rides to hit in the morning and then just planned to wander around World Showcase in the afternoon. We did have an ADR at Garden Grill which was a hit with DS4. Mickey and Pluto visited out table 2x and Mickey even sat down with us for a bit. DS4 was over the moon about this. We finished our meal just as people were entering the park so we headed straight down to Soarin. This was DH’s favorite ride of the trip. Well, this and Living with the Land (he really liked all of the food growing stuff). We also hit up Figment and then waited over an hour for Test Track because DS4 was dying to ride it. It was his favorite ride of the day. We then went and did our FP for Frozen Ever After. I have to say, none of us were impressed. It was just completely underwhelming. I wouldn’t do it again and would have rather skipped this and used FP for Test Track. Oh well, now we know. We then made our way around World Showcase with a stop in Japan to eat some lunch. We made it to France where the trip seemed to have caught up to DS4 as he fell asleep in the stroller and slept for about 5 hours! It did make for some nice adult time to just walk around and take in the sights and shop a bit with DH. We ended our day pretty early and went back to Poly for a nap. We ended up going down to Captain Cook’s and grabbing dinner to take back to the room for a quiet night in before out last park day.

Day 8, Dec 10: Magic Kingdom
Our last day at Disney! We slept in a bit and ventured over to the park around 9:30am. Today was just our day to hit some shows that we hadn’t seen yet and do our favorite rides one more time. We had FP for BTMR, SDMT, and Winnie the Pooh. We did those plus Jingle Cruise, walked through the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House, watched the Muppets Present Greatest Moments in History, did the Enchanted Tiki Room (probably the lamest thing we did the entire trip), did Mickey’s PhilharMagic, and the Hall of Presidents. The Hall of Presidents show was probably my favorite attraction of the day. It even kept DS4 entertained and he was talking about the Presidents the rest of the day. We also watched the Friendship Faire show and the Move It, Shake It, Party. We had lunch at Pecos Bill and then ended our evening and trip with dinner at Be Our Guest. The food was fantastic and the ambiance was perfect. No one does detail like Disney! We walked around the restaurant after dinner and did photos with the Beast. As we walked out of MK I took everything in one last time. This trip was amazing for us all and I can’t wait to do it again!

I will say that overall the crowd levels were great, except for this last day. It was a definite 9 out of 10! We were lucky that we had already hit most of the park before this day so we could just relax a bit and not have to worry too much about hitting popular things that we didn’t have FPs for. Overall, our favorite places to eat were Be Our Guest and Boma. Least favorite was Kona Cafe. Staying at Poly was a great move and well worth the added cost as transportation was a breeze and we never had to wait more than 10 minutes for anything. We ended up tracking our steps and we walked almost 70 miles during our stay! I was so glad we brought a stroller as it made our life as parents much easier.


Thank you for sharing your eight days with us!! Your trip sounds wonderful!! Glad you all had such a great time!!

Sounds like you had a great trip!