Trip report 5/1-5/8

We (me (38), DH (38), DS (8), and DD (4)) were so excited to finally go on this trip. We were supposed to go in April of 2020, but then COVID. This was our second trip as family as we last went June of 2019.

We stayed at the Swan after getting a really good deal through Costco. Loved the location but did not love the hotel itself. Some of it was due to COVID, but we also ended up at the hotel one afternoon and there were really limited food options.

We arrived Saturday 5/1 about 5:00 pm and made it to the Swan a little bit before 6:30 pm. After eating dinner at the Fountain (which was surprisingly delicious), we walked over to Epcot to pick up our park tickets and then took the Friendship boats back. We met our grocery delivery (a laid off cast member - Vacation Grocery Delivery) and headed to bed to sleep before our first park day!

I’ll put each day in a separate post.


I saw your post on chat you were on your way home. I look forward to reading all about your trip! Thanks!

First day - Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom

We started the day with BG success - Group 49! I turned off wifi and closed out all apps.

We walked to HS, leaving around 7:20. We ended up in a good position at the front of rope drop. Despite my best efforts, the backpack still set off the metal detector and we lost a couple minutes to a bag search.

After that, we had a perfect morning. Rode SD back to back, ran over to MFSR, back to TSL for TSM and AS2 followed by pop tart snacks at Woody’s. After that, we jumped on Star Tours, the kids built light sabers (the plastic ones in the gift shop after Star Tours), and then we saw Muppets. We had lunch at Docking Bay 7 and then got in line for Rise at 12:09.

Following that, we went back to the hotel to swim. The grotto pool was more crowded than I would have liked, and it took a while to find chairs.

That evening, we parked at the TTC around 6. They weren’t taking money for parking and we got a bit of pixie dust with free preferred parking. After taking the monorail, we were ready for MK!

Our first ride was BTMR. We followed that up with a quick dinner at Pecos Bills and then I hopped on HM while DH and the kids did teacups. We all met back up to ride TS. After that, DH went and rode Space while the kids and I rode Buzz (twice) and Winnie the Pooh. After that, DH joined us for three trips on Barnstormer. To end the night, DH and the kids rode Dumbo twice. After that, we picked up ice cream at Auntie Gravities and took it to Main Street to enjoy the atmosphere as everyone left the park.


Any ideas what set it off?


Day 2 - Animal Kingdom and Epcot

We drove to AK, leaving our hotel a little later than I would have liked (around 6:55 am). We arrived about 7:06 and went right in, heading straight to Pandora. The wait wasn’t too bad, and we were done with both FOP and Naa’vi by 8:33. Unfortunately, DS8 HATED FOP, and we had to do some damage control. After French toast sticks from Pongu Pongu, he was ready to face the day again.

EE was down all morning, so we hopped in line at KS. Wait was longer than I expected - about 35 minutes. I think we hit it at just the wrong time. After that, we did the Gorilla Falls trail followed by the train to Rafiki’s for an animation class. We hadn’t been out there before, and I was disappointed in the affection section. Ended with lunch at Satulli Canteen and then headed back to the hotel.

Kids were toast, so everyone napped for about an hour. DD and DH went swimming while DS played switch and I continued napping.

We headed to Epcot around 6 and snacked around the world for dinner. We hit SE, Nemo, and the aquarium before heading out for the night. I was glad we made this visit because I was disoriented with all the walls, and I was glad to get my bearings before we had a rope drop morning.


Yes. There was a fan in the bag that I had forgotten to remove. After I stuck that in the ziplock electronics bag, we had no further problems.

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Did your 4yo ride FOP?

Day 3 - Magic Kingdom

We walked over to Yacht Club from the Swan and were on the first bus, which arrived at 6:44 am. We were briefly held at temp checks upon arrival and were let in within 5 minutes of arrival.

We headed directly to 7DM and ended up pretty even with the teacups. Line for 7DM started moving at 7:27 am. After 7DM, we walked in to PP and then headed over to JC. They had been holding people and were just letting people into the queue when we showed up. Wait was less than 10 minutes. After that, my DS was insistent that we ride Splash. I wish we had hopped in BTMR first as Splash was a decent wait already. We waited about 30 minutes. This was the very first wait of any length we had all trip, so I really can’t complain.

After that we waited about 15 minutes for IASW and then a similar amount of time for Buzz. We had Columbia Harbor House at Tomorrowland Terrace for lunch and caught a Mickey Cavalcade in the distance.

At this point, we were ready for a break so made our way to the front of the park. We lucked into the Princess cavalcade, which enchanted my DD.

The bus for YC was long. We waited over 45 minutes. We were about to hop on the BWV bus, but it filled up before we could get over there.

After a swim at the Swan’s quiet pool (so much more enjoyable than the Grotto pool), we headed to the Wave for dinner. My poor DD was toast and fell asleep on the way to the Contemporary. She slept through walking into the restaurant and our entire meal. We thought it was really yummy. DS particularly liked making his own sundae. DD woke up CRANKY and just had ice cream for dinner. That wouldn’t fly at home, but hey, it’s vacation! DH and I split three appetizers for dinner, which is my favorite way to eat. Highly recommend the cauliflower tacos (menu says “taco” but you actually get two).

We then went to MK for a low key night. Perfect timing on the walk in as Mickey and the gang were up on the train platform. We wondered around and hit Buzz back to back, POC, magic carpets, Barnstormer twice (my kids have decided it’s their favorite MK ride :woman_shrugging:t3:) and Dumbo two more times. It was so lovely just to walk back to the Contemporary and not mess with buses or ferries or monorails.

My plane is about to take off so further trip reports will occur later!


Yes she did. She did better with it than my 8 year old did. I think if her brother hadn’t been freaking out, she would have enjoyed herself; however, she adores her big brother and takes her cues from him.

Hmmm. More details would be appreciated :blush:

I booked it in February. It was room, tickets, and a rental car. We got a free double upgrade to a balcony room, the kids ate free, and we got a great rate on the car. I’m not sure of the exact price per night, but when I priced everything separately, it came out to be about $1200 more than the Costco package. We were previously booked at CS using a pin code discount, and the Swan package at Costco ended up being a couple hundred dollars cheaper than what I had booked for CS.

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I decided to buy wifi. I’m captive here, so it’s a great time to keep reporting!

Day Four - Hollywood Studios and Blizzard Beach

We originally planned to skip the regular parks and just do BB on Wednesday; however, I had a HS ADR in case we didn’t get a BG our first day. My DD declared SD her favorite ride, and we hadn’t gotten a chance to ride MMRR so we decided to have another early morning and hit just a couple of rides and grab breakfast.

We left for HS walking from the Swan about 7:27 am. We were a little further behind in the line that was being held outside the skyliner but ended up second in line for temp checks. We were in a great position on SD and were on the second coaster run of the day. Unfortunately, the park was much busier than when we were there on Sunday, and when we got off SD, the line stretched all the way back past the entrance to Toy Story land.

Changing gears, we went up to ride MMRR. The line didn’t start moving until 8:42. Once we started to move, we were on in under ten minutes.

After that, it was back over to TSM, were we waited less than ten minutes. DH and DD then ride AS2 while DS and I walked over to Star Wars land. We watched characters for awhile and picked up blue milk. DS wondered around shops. We met back up with DH and DD for breakfast at Ronto Roasters. So tasty! The kids did not like the overnight oats.

After that, we headed out. It was around 10:30. We caught a cavalcade on the way out and walked back to the Swan. It was hot that day.

After about a bit of a rest, we headed to BB by car. It didn’t seem crowded at all. We had reserved chairs but I wish we hadn’t. The reserved chairs we got were way over to the side. There were plenty of chairs available, so it was unnecessary.

We had never been to BB before. The kids were disappointed that the wave pool was so gentle. Last time we went to Typhoon Lagoon and spent almost all day in the wave pool. We never had more than a five or ten minute wait for the slides or chair lift.

The kids absolutely loved the ski school area. Both went off the zip line maybe a dozen times. They also enjoyed the ice bergs, and DH and I enjoyed sitting in the shallow end while watching them. We also liked the family tube ride better at BB than at TL.

We finished the day at BB with sharing an ice cream sundae in a pail. It was nice to let everyone dry off before getting back in the car. Even though we were moving around the water park, it was still a nice break for our feet. We all had water shoes this time which was excellent as those sidewalks are hot.

We ended the day with dinner at Ale and Compass. We were super lazy and drove, but our feet needed the break! Everyone was in bed pretty early that night.


Day Five - Magic Kingdom and Epcot

We were a little behind our arrival time on Tuesday, but still in the park pretty early. Raced to 7DM, and were about even with the teacups when we got there. Line started moving at 7:29. And we were off shortly thereafter.

After that, we headed to BTMR, which was a walk on. It was a couple minutes to nine at this point, but Splash wasn’t running yet. After a bathroom break, it was 9:03, and the CM were telling everyone that Splash was down and they didn’t know when it would be back up. We hung out for another ten minutes or so in the hopes that it would open as it’s one of our favorites, but we had no luck.

We headed to pirates which had about a five minute wait and then did magic carpets. After that, Splash was still down so we headed over to PM and then rode Buzz again. It was then time for breakfast, so we hit up Sleepy Hollow and lucked into a spot in the shade. I really love mobile ordering. My kids are impatient sometimes, so it’s nice to just roll up and get your food. I always pushed that we were here when walking over. I was surprised at how fast it always was. We never waited more than 5 minutes anywhere.

At some point around this time, Splash opened back up but the wait was super long. We opted to slow down at this point and watched Tiki Room and Country Bears followed by potstickers and dole whip. We also found out that my nephew had been born and that my kids have a new cousin (yay!).

At this point, we decided to head out, and the kids had a sword fight in one of the grassy areas on the hub. It was so bizarre to see it totally deserted. After that, we wondered through the shops on Main Street and did a little shopping. We were lucky and caught the Pooh cavalcade. DD decided she wanted to see the princesses again, so we staked out a shady spot on Main Street and waited. Luckily, we caught one after about 15 or 20 minutes.

After a rest, we decided that we wanted to go to Epcot that night and go back to MK on Friday night. The wait for Splash had been long all say, and we all really wanted to ride it again. We decided that we would hop in line on Friday night (the next day) right before park close.

When we got back to the hotel, there weren’t really any good food options available. DH ended up taking DS for fast food, and DD and I had lunch from the coffee shop at the Swan. It was fine, but I had to cobble together lunch for her as there really aren’t good kid friendly options. I wish there was something better available during non peak meal times. Luckily, she’s pretty happy with fruit and yogurt.

We decided to grab a drink at the Ale and Compass lounge in hopes that the temperature would go down. Our plan paid off, and we had beautiful weather. We stopped for dinner at Spice Road Table, which DH and I thoroughly enjoyed. Our kids were not as big of fans. After wandering around world showcase for a bit (including a lengthy stop to watch the trains in Germany)and getting potstickers for the kids for dinner, we decided it was time for rides.

TT had about a 20-25 minute wait, so we decided to go for it. I had never ridden at night before, and I think I like it better in the dark. After that, the kids wanted to ride SE, followed by Nemo, and the Aquarium. We contemplated getting in line for Soarin’ at park close, but the kids were done and wanted to go to sleep.

I grabbed a drink in WS, and when I got back, both kids were asleep in the strollers. :grimacing: I almost didn’t get a stroller for DS8, but I’m glad we did. We logged between 25k and 28k steps each day, and I think he would have been miserable. We did some portions of the day without strollers and sometimes, we would park his stroller for several hours and pick it up later.

DH and I had a leisurely stroll around WS with the sleeping kids and took the boat back to the Swan. The kids were so exhausted, they slept through getting on jammies and teeth brushing.


Great report!!! That’s soooo many steps!
I nearly fell asleep brushing my teeth on those long days too!

I had typed up Day 6 on the plane, but the internet was spotty and it got deleted before it posted.

Day 6 - Epcot and Magic Kingdom

After early mornings all week, we were happy to sleep in. My kids are little so sleeping in meant we slept until about 8.

We walked over to YC for breakfast at Ale & Compass. Mickey waffles were a must for my DS. This was the only time I’ve ever had bad service at a Disney restaurant. We waited over five minutes once we were seated before someone came to greet us and another five minutes for our drinks. We were rope dropping Epcot so I was very nervous as the minutes ticked by.

Side note - we didn’t have any ADRs going into this trip. We hadn’t eaten inside with the kids since March of 2020 due to COVID. DH and I are both vaccinated, so we have gone to a couple of places to eat inside just the two of us. My intention on this trip was to only eat outside, but it was just so hot that we needed a couple of air conditioning breaks. I felt like the restaurants were great with tables being spaced far away from each other. I also liked that the restaurants we went to had tall ceilings and didn’t feel crowded. I used and the TP reservation finder for the few meals we did end up eating inside. We had a couple other reservations that I ended up cancelling.

Back to our day. After finished breakfast a little later than expected, we walked over to Epcot a couple minutes after 10. People were still being held at temp check when we arrived. We were let in around 10:15 and made our way over to TT. We waited about 20 minutes and then were off to Soarin’ where the wait was only about 10 minutes. After that, we walked onto Living with the Land.

After a quick snack break, we rode Nemo with a five minute wait and enjoyed the aquarium more. My DD could stay in there all day. Next, we caught Pooh catching butterflies by the butterfly tent. This was probably my favorite character spotting. There weren’t a lot of people watching, and he interacted with my kids quite a bit even from afar.

Next, we rode Figment as a walk on and then DD and I went to the butterfly garden. This was another place she could have stayed for a long time.

It was now about 12:50 and DD was ready to see Elsa and Anna “in person.” We staked out a shady spot in Norway with a good view of the Anna and Elsa meet and greet gate. Shortly thereafter, I saw the cast members coming down the path and Elsa came out. No one saw her for quite a bit and my DD had a really great interaction with her - talking about hot chocolate and Olaf. We waited and about 20 minutes later, Anna came out too. DD was thrilled to see both of them.

We ended Epcot with lunch at Regal Eagle while listening to the Voices of Liberty.

After a swimming break for DD and an electronics break for DS, we made our way back to MK. We drove because my DS loves the monorail. DD fell asleep in the car on the way to MK and stayed asleep through transitioning her into her stroller, out and in of her stroller at security, the monorail ride to the park and being walked through the park to Storybook Circus. I took her to the relaxation station back there to sleep a bit longer. DH and DS ride Barnstormer five times in a row. There wasn’t a line, so they got to just stay on it back to back to back. DD finally woke up, and we rode Barnstormer two more times.

After that, we rode Little Mermaid and picked up Pinocchio Haus for dinner. It was an absolutely gorgeous night weather wise. We tried to watch Mickey’s Philharmagic but missed the show by one group of people. As it was about 8, we didn’t want to wait anymore.

Kids insisted on Tomorrowland speedway (not my favorite…was hoping the earlier trip would have been enough). After that DS and I picked up churros for everyone while DD and DH rode Teacups. Next up was Winnie the Pooh which had about a 10 minute wait.

After that, we booked it over to Splash and got in line about 8:55. The wait ended up being about 38 minutes. I gave in and let the kids have electronics in line. It was late and a long wait. I had never ridden Splash at night and really enjoyed it. I think I might like it better. The castle looks so pretty!

We were some of the very last people on the ride. We walked out through an almost empty park. We took some pictures and the kids danced down an almost empty Main Street. It was a perfect way to end the night.


Day 7 - Departure Day

My original plan was to hit AK for a couple hours and then go to Sanaa for lunch; however, a Toppollino’s reservation opened up last minute so I grabbed it. DD was so excited to eat breakfast with Mickey and Minnie. Everything was excellent, especially the quiche.

After that, we decided to go to AK after all. It was about 10:15 when we got to the park. It was weird to show up later than rope drop. After some pictures by the tree of life, DH and the kids rode Triceratops Spin. We were going to try Dinosaur, but it was down. DD and I then rode EE with about a 10 minute wait. She loves roller coasters, but I think this was too much for her. I was a pretty annoyed because we asked a CM about rider swap because DS didn’t want to ride and the CM said we couldn’t do that because he was tall enough to ride. She said he could wait in the queue but then take the chicken exit and meet us in the gift shop. Considering he’s only 8, that was not an option. I later asked a different CM, and he said rider swap would have been available. Moral of the story…try a different CM if they tell you no.

After EE, we rode KRR. It had been down and just re-opened. Wait was about 20-25 minutes. DH was skeptical about us wearing ponchos but after several people on our rafts got totally soaked, he was glad we had them. After this we did the animal trail by the exit, which was generally disappointing.

We then booked it back to the hotel where we finished packing and headed to the airport. It was a really wonderful trip! We aren’t scheduled to go again until late 2022, which will be a big family trip. My DS turns 10 in 2023, and I want to get in at least one (hopefully two) trips before he is a Disney adult.

I’m glad we went when we did. I was super nervous going into it, but felt pretty good about it while we were there. Most people wore their masks appropriately, although Epcot in WS was a bit of an exception. I still felt we were able to keep our distance for the most part.

I don’t think I would want to be at the parks with capacity any higher than it was now without the return of FPP. Other than a couple of rides, our waits were pretty minimal. My kids don’t like waiting in lines and we managed great. It helps that some of my kids favorite rides are second (or third) tier rides, but we still hit all the big ones.

I also think the mid-day break was essential. There were some days that the parks felt just as busy as our last trip. Other times, the parks definitely seemed quieter. We really didn’t mind the masks, although we went through 2-3 apiece each day (sometimes more).