5 days with Park Hoppers. Party of 5 staying at the Swan. Myself, my wife, our 2 year old, and the in-laws. This was the first trip for me and DS. He will turn 3 in a couple months, so we wanted to get in a trip while he was still free. DW booked our ADRs at 60 days. Savi’s still had some reservations at 5 weeks out, so I grabbed one. DS is incapable of waiting more than 15 minutes in line, so LL was crucial. I spent a lot of time preparing and learning the ins and outs of Genie+. I think it paid off.
Something that we realized halfway through Day 1 was that we could use our LL in conjunction with the fact that 2 year olds don’t need tickets. So DS could go on a ride with one member of the party. Then immediately get back on with another member of the party. We used this on several rides like Barnstormer, SDD, Swirling Saucers, and TSM.
Took Mears to the Swan. No issues, but trip took a while because we were the fourth stop. Checked in to our hotel. While we were waiting for our rooms to be ready we walked to EP and took the skyliner to Art of Animation. DS is a huge fan of Cars so we got pictures with all the characters around the hotel except for Lightning McQueen. He must be getting a refurb because he was covered with a tarp. DS was disappointed, but we reminded him that we would see Lightning at HS.
Day 1 - MK (Crowd Level 7)
7:00 - Booked LL for JC, ILL for 7DMT.
Walked to Boardwalk and took bus to MK.
Tried to stress to in-laws the importance of EE, but we still ended up arriving later than I wanted. Our plan was to RD PPF, but by the time we got to it the line was at 40 minutes so we had to adjust our plan.
iasw - walk on
HM - 10 minutes
Snack at Sleepy Hollow
PotC - 10 minutes
JC - LL
7DMT - ILL
Lunch @ Liberty Tree Tavern - Our favorite lunch of the trip
Tomorrowland Speedway - LL. DS got his driver’s license.
Under the Sea - LL
Winnie the Pooh - LL
Festival of Fantasy
Barnstormer - LL
Buzz Lightyear - LL
Dinner @ Cosmic Ray’s
Carousel of Progress - walk on
Day 2 - EP (CL 7)
7:00 - Booked LL for FEA, ILL for RRA.
There was nothing we thought necessary to rope drop, so we walked to EP and got to Remy’s right at our 8:30 return time.
RRA - ILL
Breakfast at La Patisserie
DS met Donald in Mexico
GFT - walk on
Figment - walk on
Spaceship Earth - LL
Got a notification that FEA was down. We received an anytime LL.
Nemo - LL
Living with the Land - LL
Lunch at Garden Grill - Meal was similar to Liberty Tree, but not as good. DS loved meeting Chip & Dale.
TT - LL
FEA came back up so we went to use our anytime LL. The ride went down again while we were on it. Sat in the boat for over 30 minutes before we were evacuated. I think the only reason CMs came to get us when they did was because another party got out of the boat and headed for an exit. We were given 2 anytime LLs for our trouble, but they were only valid for rides we had already done. We were pretty much ready to go back to our room at this point anyway. Had ADR for Coral Reef, but cancelled it.
On the walk back we passed by Garden Rocks. Stopped to listen to a couple songs from ELO while DS put on a dance show.
Wife and I hopped over to HS later for my Savi’s reservation. It was a cool experience, but a little cheesy. Definitely more fun for kids. Can’t wait until DS is old enough to enjoy it. We grabbed some blue milk and walked back through Toy Story land with it lit up.
Day 3 - HS (CL 9)
7:00 - booked ILL for RotR and LL for SDD. I knew going in that this would be our most difficult day for using Genie+, and I was right. The park was packed. We also had 2 ADRs for this day which made scheduling difficult. Got there for EE so we could rope drop MMRR.
MMRR - 15 minutes. Probably could have walked on, but in-laws wanted to run into a shop first.
Lightning McQueen - 10 minutes
Walked around GE and drank some more milk. I got green this time. I’ve heard a lot of people say it tastes like dirt, but I thought it was good. DS loved the blue and would talk about it for the rest of the trip.
RotR - ILL. MIL didn’t want to ride, so I used her magic band and rode it twice.
Took DS to see Chip & Dale outside Brown Derby and then watched the Pixar motorcade while DW waited in a crazy long line for Mickey pretzels. We planned to see the Indy stunt show next, but by the time we got there it was standing room only.
Lunch @ 50’s Prime Time Cafe - We had a great server. I enjoyed the PB&J shake. The food was just okay.
Headed to SDD. By the time we got there DS had fallen asleep in the stroller. Got a later return time and headed back to the hotel to rest. Swan is the first boat stop from HS so the trips back and forth were easy. Went back to HS about 1.5 hours before our ADR.
SDD - LL
Muppets - 5 minutes
Dinner @ Sci-Fi Dine In - I love old sci-fi movies so this was a treat for me. Cool atmosphere and pretty good burgers.
Went to MFSR to hop in the single rider line, but they closed it right before I got there.
TSM - LL
Day 4 - AK (CL 6)/HS (CL 8)
We had already planned on only doing a half day at AK. Since we didn’t get to do a lot at HS we decided to hop there for the afternoon. After our initial LL selections for AK we started stacking for HS. I made separate reservations for myself so that I could get on the rides I wanted. We had a breakfast reservation at 9:00, so we took our time getting to the park this morning and let DS sleep a little bit later.
7:00 - Booked LL for KS, ILL for FoP
Breakfast @ Rainforest Cafe - Nothing special, but DS liked the atmosphere.
ITTBAB - 10 minutes. We were surprised at how much we liked this show.
KS - LL. Standby was 90 minutes but looked much longer. At 10:45 a lot of the animals were out. We saw the wildebeest form a herd and start running, which our guide said was rare. One of the elephants got really close to our truck. The guide said it was the closest she had seen in her two years there
FoP - Really fun ride. The whole Pandora area looks really cool.
All around this was probably the best morning we had on our trip. Everyone had a good time. We would have liked to have done Navi River, but the earlier return times went pretty quick, and I was more concerned with getting LLs at HS. We grabbed lunch at the hotel and rested before heading out to HS. The in-laws decided not to go with us. ToT went down right as we got to HS, so the LL I had turned into an anytime LL.
MFSR - I did the single rider line. Waited about 10 minutes. DS had another blue milk while he waited.
ST - LL for me.
DW/DS saw Muppets again.
DS wanted a lightsaber after seeing mine, so we got him a plastic one at Tatooine Traders.
Saw Lighting McQueen again. Much smaller crowd in the evening.
Dinner @ Rosie’s Cafe
Swirling Saucers - LL
TSM - LL for DW/DS
ToT - LL for me
RnRC - LL for me
Final Day - MK (CL 7)/EP (CL 7)
7:00 - Booked ILLs for 7DMT and RRA, LLs for PPF and Space Mountain.
Today’s plan was for DS to ride his favorite MK rides a second time. These were 7DMT, HM, and TL Speedway. Because of ADR at Chef Mickey’s we had another slow morning. Took Swan bus to TTC and jumped on the Resort Monorail for the Contemporary.
Breakfast @ Chef Mickey’s - Lot’s of food. The servers kept bringing it. I feel bad that a lot of it went to waste, but you can only eat so many Mickey waffles. DS loved meeting all the characters.
Rode the monorail back to MK, and I split away from the party.
PPF - LL for everyone else
Space Mountain - LL for me. This may have been the most satisfying use of G+ for the whole trip. Standby was at 60 minutes. I hit the first tap, walked straight to the second tap, was sent to an empty single rider line, and loaded straight onto the ride. No waiting at all.
Mad Tea Party - 10 minutes. DS loved Swirling Saucers so I made sure to ride this one with him.
7DMT - ILL. DS decided he didn’t want to ride.
HM - LL cancelled. DS finally hit his limit. Too much excitement and not enough sleep. The in-laws took him back to the hotel while DW and I spent some more time in the park. They did manage to get him on the carousel before leaving though.
Got Dole Whips at Aloha Isle.
Tomorrowland People Mover - 15 minutes
Lunch @ Cosmic Ray’s
Splash Mountain - LL. Had to ride with a group of obnoxious teenage girls. We got soaked.
Tried to get a LL for BTMR but return times were later than we wanted. Took the monorail back to TTC and boarded the bus back to the Swan. Rested at the hotel before taking the boat to EP for the evening.
RRA - ILL.
Dinner @ Space 220. Best meal of the trip. It would be nice if kids were given a first course. They have to sit there while the adults are eating. I did share my calamari with DS so he wasn’t totally left out. This is a long meal. We were seated at our reservation time of 7:20. We thought we would be done in time to see all of Harmonious, but didn’t get out until just after 9:00.
We quickly made our way over to watch the rest of Harmonious and then walked back to the Swan. We were surprised to see the line for the skyliner stretched past the bridge to Boardwalk.
I would say it was a successful first trip as a family. Even with the insane crowds we were able to do almost everything we wanted to do. Some things we were able to do more than once.
On a heavy crowd day it can be difficult to plan for both kids and adults using G+. Luckily for me, my wife didn’t want to do most of the thrill rides. I was able to split from the group and do those by myself, but it meant having to miss doing a few rides with my son. DS is a little daredevil and is not at all afraid of the rollercoasters. Had he been a half inch taller I have no doubt he would have gone with me on Tower of Terror and Test Track and loved every minute.
Trust the drop times. My wife got so mad at me when I didn’t grab ILLs right at 7:00 and they were gone in minutes. At the 7:17 drop I got return times for RRA at 8:30, 7DMT at 9:45, and RotR @ 9:50. She had to apologize.
Already looking forward to our next trip in a couple years when DS will be able to enjoy it more.