Trip Report 7/26-8/3 - 4 kids + me!

Hey y’all!!!

I thought I would try and post a little trip report since the trip is still fresh on my mind. I posted one in February after our trip and have loved having it to remember and look back on. So, after our last trip in February I told my husband I was totally cool not going to WDW for two or three years. Like, totally over it babe! Lo and behold, by April we were DVC owners with 2018 points burning a hole in my pocket. We’d already planned a family beach trip to Destin mid-July so DH suggested I take the kids on a trip. We decided to have our DD3 go back to Texas with him after the beach and our older three kids (DD8, DS7 and DD5) were heading to Orlando with me!! We also got to invite my DNiece13 along which was such a treat for my kids. They adore her.

7/26 - Travel Day & Epcot

We woke up nice and early, loaded up and headed to the airport. Kissed my sleeping DD3 and DH goodbye and handed out MBs! It’s time people!! After our flight landed at MCO, we hopped in a car and made it to Animal Kingdom Lodge around 11 - earlier than I had planned. We had a lunch ADR at Sanaa around noon so we made sure we were checked in, checked our bags with bell services, grabbed our stroller and went outside to the Savannah overlook and rocked in the rocking chairs for a while.

Time for lunch! So so good. Bread service, of course. Filled our bellies and were at the bus stop just before 1. Had to wait a bit (maybe 15 minutes) and had the bus basically to ourselves. We used up our FPs for SE, shopped around in MouseGear and rode MS with FP #2. When we got out of MS it had started raining and our TT FP had converted and TT was down. Sad! Asked the kids if they’d rather wait to see if the rain let up or just use it on Soarin’. The vote was for Soarin’ so we hiked over to The Land and rode that.

By now, it was pushing 5:00 and we were all getting hungry. The rain had let up, thinned out the crowd and left it feeling downright pleasant to we headed over to WS to tour the Western side of the showcase. Tostadas in Mexico, Dragon Acrobats in China, affogatos and gelato in Italy, Awesome Slushy + Awesome Mix POP Tart, The American Adventure and Guardians Show in America, Popcorn and Trains (which were closed! Sad!) in Germany and a M&G with A&E in Norway.

It was then time to check in for the FEA DP. Since it had been rainy they had moved the party upstairs and inside the Norway Pavilion. It was tasty! Kids all had at least second plates (some may have had thirds :smirk:)! Down to watch Illuminations (which I hadn’t seen since I was a kid!). So good. We all loved it. Then we headed over to ride FEA. They walked us up the FP line but SB was already cleared out.

Finally made it back and got on the bus around 9:50-10. Got back, got all the kids ready for bed and did a bit of unpacking. Had they deliver our groceries and bags. My only room request had been close to the lobby and man! They delivered. Literally the second closest room to the lobby which beat the pants off of the last time we stayed there and had to walk 10 minutes to get to the lobby!

Got everyone to bed and ready to park hop tomorrow! MK AM + AK PM! Great first day!!


Still closed!?
The accident that @tuffgong reported must have been more serious than we originally thought…


A couple episodes back on the Disney Dish podcast they were discussing how this is up for possible removal after 2020. It was never supposed to be a permanent display.

What an amazing first day!

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Wow! 4 kids alone?! You are a trooper! Did you have 2 kids with you on SE in one seat? I didn’t know they allowed that or we would have ridden it last year. Thanks for sharing your trip report. I look forward to reading the rest.

Can’t wait to read the rest! I loved reading your report from the spring.

Yup!! Although it’s funny to classify my niece as a kid. She was a huge help. My son also turned 7 three days before we left so him being able to ride alone with my niece or DD8 was super helpful also.

And yes! SE can seat three to a vehicle.

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Oh that would make me so sad! We love watching the trains!

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Lol! I totally missed the crash!


Magic Kingdom + Animal Kingdom

My goals for today were to hit the mountains in MK, snag a SDFP for FOP and enjoy some evening touring at AK. Let’s see how it goes…

I woke up around 6:15, got myself ready and the park bag packed and woke the kids up around 6:45. I was aiming to get to MK as Main Street opened so we could enjoy a little Main Street Bakery breakfast and snap some pictures before we started our day’s touring.

We made it to the bus stop around 7:15 and were at the taps a few minutes before they opened. As we headed in I spotted a Main Street Vehicle and asked him if he was taking riders yet. He said yes but that it was a one way, 3 minute ride to the castle. I said that was fine and told the kids we’d just walk back to grab the stroller afterwards but then the driver just offered a round trip ride! Awesome!! I’ve been wanting to take a ride on one of these cars for a while and was so happy to finally get a chance to do so. Just a nice way to start the day on a not-so-busy Main Street!

Stopped to sit on the bench and snap a pic with Minnie and Walt. Then we headed into Main Street Bakery, grabbed breakfast and sat down outside The Plaza to eat and enjoy the hub before the park opened. I had a noon ADR for Chef Mickey’s as this had been a fav for our kids last trip but I was hoping they’d opt to cancel. We had an early dinner at Tiffins and I wanted to make sure we had a couple hours to rest at Kidani before we headed to AK. I told the kids we could totally still do CM if they wanted but that it would mean a pretty short afternoon break and might be too close to dinner. They voted for a longer rest so I went and modified our ADR back (to avoid the $10 pp fee) and cancelled it.

We then watched the opening show and headed into Tomorrowland. RD’d Buzz and headed to Space for our first FP. I was nervous to see if DD5 would make it. She turned 5 in June and measured 43” without shoes at her well check so I knew she’d be cutting it close! Well, she made it through both height checks without an issue! Yay!! She was so excited to ride!!! Her, DS and DNiece all were actually. DD8…not so much. She loves BTMRR and I knew she’d like Space if she just tried it and promised her I wouldn’t asked her to ride it if I thought she’d be too scared or wouldn’t enjoy it. I asked her to trust me and she did but was in tears by the time we boarded. So I held on to her hand and DD5’s shoulder the whole ride and…they both loved it!! Win!!! And my DD8 can still trust me! Double win! :raised_hands:t3:About 60 seconds after we got off DD5 realized she didn’t have her MB. We told the CMs and they promised to look for it and told us to come back later and ask the CM at FP to check if they found it (they didn’t :pensive:).

Next up was PeopleMover. Always a fave. Then we headed into Adventureland around 10 to ride PoC in SB. Posted wait was 30 I think. We waited closer to 10. Magic Carpets were also on my TP but they were posted around 20 minutes and ain’t nobody got time for that nonsense so we skipped them. :laughing:

We headed into Frontierland for our BTMRR FPs (EVERYONE loves this one!). We got done around 10:45 or so and our Splash FP didn’t start until 11 so we backtracked a bit and Mobile Ordered some Dole Whips. These things taste a million times better when it’s scorching hot. So refreshing. :yum:

DD8 and DD5 don’t want to ride Splash so I let DNiece and DS go alone (hooray for her having a phone and him being 7!!)!

Once they got done we headed back to AKL to rest. We ate lunch, rested and swam a tad. Also went to pick up the souvenirs we had purchased the day before from MouseGear at the gift shop. Thankfully we were only at the pool for about 30 minutes because I was not prepared. I didn’t think to tell them to all stay together and DD5 is swimming independently now but I’m super uncomfortable not being able to see her and not knowing exactly where she is at the pool and as soon as they left to get in line for that slide I couldn’t see them! But I wanted to stand at the bottom of the slide to watch her come out and I guess the line was really long so it took them a long while to come out and I got all kinds of stressed out.

Anyway, soon I could gladly tell them pool time was over and we headed to AK! I had tried to snag SDFPs for FOP at the 1:01 and 3:01 drop with no success so I was hoping for luck at the 5:01 drop. Dinner was super early - just after four - at Tiffins. I was so excited as I’ve heard only great things about this place. We got into the park a bit early and stopped to watch the otters. Then it was time for dinner and man, I was not disappointed. They also served us a little quicker than normal (I’m sure because I was there alone with the kids) which was fine. We were in and out by 5:30.

I hadn’t managed to get a FOP FP but did get some overlapping ones for KS so we went to do that. I had hoped to do more of a dusk safari and we ended up being over there too early for lots of activity but it was still a great time. Before we got done I had grabbed FPs for EE so we went to do that. DD8 and DD5 didn’t want to ride so DNiece and DS rode and then I rode with DS again while my niece hung with the girls. After EE, we were ready to head home for the night. We were pretty beat and I decided to grab a Lyft (which would basically ruin me on the bus for the rest of the week. This was my first time being in charge of the stroller on the bus since DH wasn’t with us and let me tell you. That. Is. For. The. Birds.). Home and heading to bed by 10!


was that the whipped cheese cake? my favorite!

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You are a super Mom! Wow I am just
Impressed and such a great trip!


I am so happy that you did a second trip report. I really enjoyed reading your first as well!


Love this report!




7/28 - Hollywood Studios + Epcot

This day. It caused me grief during my entire planning process. Does that ever happen to y’all?? That ONE day you can’t quite get right. Ugh. I had originally planned to hit HS for EMH, take a break around noon, pick up a SDFP for Soarin’ and tour WS East before a dinner at La Hacienda (DD8’s fave from February).

Well, FP day came and ToT totally jacked up my day. It had zero FP availability until late afternoon - like, 4:30. So I chose my other two FPs around that one and decided to sleep in that day and tour HS for a few hours before heading to Epcot in the evening.

And THEN a sweet liner on chat was cancelling an AP res for 6 for that evening at 6:50. I had been able to secure a 4:30ish dinner through res finder a while back but the date we had snagged it on wasn’t ideal with our other plans so I decided to swap La Hacienda for AP.

And back to the drawing board on this dumb day. I decided we’d just go back to our original plan to RD EMH at HS and focus on ToT then and piecemeal the rest of the morning around BatB, TSM and Indiana Jones. We had EMM at TSL coming up in a few days so I’m not super stressed about getting tons done at HS. My hope was then to bribe the kids with L’Artisan des Glaces and head to Epcot around noon for a couple hours of WS touring and hopefully head back to AKL around 4 for a shower and quick break before dinner.

Let’s see how this mess plays out…

I figured out that if I got myself up an hour before I wanted to leave for the parks and woke the kids up 30 minutes before we were usually in good shape. Which meant I woke up at 5:45 and got the kids up at 6:15. They were not pleased. But hey kids! You start school in two weeks so you gotta get reconditioned to this stuff anyway right?!?

We grabbed a Lyft to HS around 6:45 (I told you. I’m ruined. Sorry Disney buses) and were in line waiting for bag check to open at 7:05. DD8 was looking at me like :unamused::unamused::unamused: WTH is this?!? I had packed some bagels, fruit and breakfast bars and we munched on those until bag check opened up. By 7:30 we had gotten through bag check and taps and were amongst the first in line at the ToT/RnRC rope!!! Yay me!! Also, so freaking thankful I decided not to attempt Slinky at RD. That mass of people looked awful.

As we stood there and waited DS (while staring up at ToT) said “uhhhh mama?? Iiiiiiii…don’t…think I want to ride it today.” What?!? I knew it was just going to be him and DNiece riding because DD8 and DD5 gave a firm “hell no” look my way when I tried to convince them. I had just planned to ride with RS at some point in the day if time allowed. But ok, no big deal. DNiece can still ride. Well, around 7:45 she said “uuummmm Aunt Erin??? I don’t think I can ride that by myself.” :woman_facepalming:t2::woman_facepalming:t2: I couldn’t believe it! Of course I totally get my niece not wanting to ride without knowing anyone else and I wish I could somehow ride with her but I can’t leave the other three by themselves. Such a bummer! And honestly, I would’ve just planned the day a lot differently had I have known we would end up straight up skipping ToT. My Niece did offer to hang with the kids so I could ride but I opted out too. Having us do that and RnRC with a swap is a lot of dead time with nothing to do for DD8 and DD5.

When the ropes finally dropped at 8:00 on the dot we headed to RnRC, I let DS and DNiece ride while I grabbed a RS to use later. By the time we made it over there (DD8 and DNiece are the SLOWEST walkers on the face of the earth. We dubbed them the “dawdlers”. Sloth level slow.), rode and decided to hop in line for TSM it was 8:30 and it was posted at a 60 minute wait. Blah. Feeling like a floundering Liner at this point but we hop in line anyway. Wasn’t too bad in the end. That queue is nice and in the A/C and wonderfully themed. We enjoyed looking at all of the details and played a rousing game of “Eye Spy” which made it go by quickly. We ended up waiting closer to 30 minutes and made it off around 9:15. Grabbed a FP for Star Tours at 9:30 and made a bathroom stop on the way over there. I snagged a FP for TSM at the 9:31 drop while we were in line.

I can’t remember what time it was when we got off but it was getting realllly hot. We grabbed a spot in the shade and snacked on the rest of the food I brought with us. I had planned on us going to the 11:00 BatB but gave the kids a choice to opt out for Launch Bay and A/C. They chose the later. We started walking that way and then I remembered MuppetVision! We hadn’t ever done it and (unbeknownst to me before this trip) DNiece LOVES Kermit!! So we sidetracked for that. It was funny and fun and cute. We all enjoyed it.

We headed back to TSM to use our FP and then moved on to Launch Bay and hopefully a meet and greet or two. We explored a bit but it didn’t take us terribly long to get through it. We aren’t avid SW buffs so a lot of the vehicles and stuff that’s specific to one or a few of the movies kind of gets lost on us. By this time Chewy and Kylo Ren had sizable wait times posted but BB-8s was low - around 15 I think. We decided to meet him and it was delightful! Honestly, when we first walked in the room he didn’t move or speak and at first I thought it was essentially a M&G with a statue and was heading straight towards disappointment. But it ended up being a really fun Meet! The PhotoPass photographers translated his Droid talk and he spun his head around and beeped at us a lot. So fun!

When we got done it was around 11:45. We had hoped to make it to the 12:00 Indiana Jones show before leaving the park to head to Epcot so we started moving that way. I was nervous it’d be full. We were in view and hearing of the CMs saying “if you’re heading to Indiana Jones you need to come in right now!!” but couldn’t make it before they closed off the show. Bummer!! Hopefully we can make it on our HS evening touring day.

While we had been waiting for BB-8 I snagged a FP for TT at the 11:31 drop. I thought this would help the kids get excited to head to Epcot. It didn’t. They were hot and were begging to go back to the hotel to rest. I consented. I had a grumbling headache (either from the heat or no coffee that morning) and as much as I didn’t want to admit it…I needed some rest too.

We popped into The Trolley Car Cafe for coffee (oh man I am SO glad I had stainless steel straws for my coffee!!) and grabbed a Lyft and were back in the room around 12:50 or so.

I let the kids relax and play on their Kindles and got ready to try again for a SDFP - FOP this time. I hadn’t had luck with drops and FOP the other day and wasn’t feeling optimistic BUT I GOT ONE!!! I got all 5 of us at once with a 3:00 return time. Sweet!!

We grabbed a Lyft to AK around 3. Had a PhotoPass pic snapped with the banshee in Pandora and headed to the FP line! This was going to be DD5 and DNiece’s first time riding. I was pumped!! We all kind of held our breath with each height check for DD5 but she passed each one!! We all loved it!!! I think DD5 was a little scared because some of those drops feel so real so I held onto her hand. After, we checked out the Rookery and I decided I needed a snack so we Mobile Ordered at Satuli. First time we’ve been able to pop in here. The kids said they weren’t hungry so I just ordered them the cakes…what are they called? They liked them ok. I thought the cheeseburger pod was super tasty as were the chips!! I had looked a the non-magic shot we got of the Pandora mountains and it was terrible so we decided to wait in line to get it taken again. Much better this time!!

We then decided to head back so we could shower before our dinner at AP. It was 95 with a heat index of 103 and we were sweating. Everywhere. :nauseated_face: We made it to the head of the Oasis Trails (neatest the exit) before I realized I had left my HydroFlask at Satuli!!! Dang it!! DNiece was cool hanging with the kids near the restrooms so I power walked it back, snagged my water bottle and we were good to go.

Got showered (yay! I feel human!!) and Lyfted to WL. When we got to the check in we were told they were running behind so we went outside to explore the grounds a bit and got our table ready text around 7:10 (ADR time was 6:50). I love this meal. The kids love this meal. It’s fun and bright and the food is pretty tasty. The appetizers were changed up a bit since February and were pretty tasty. I don’t love the shrimp but enjoyed the soup and the sausage plate. I let DS order off of the adult menu. He prefers to order this way at home and DNiece prefers to order off of the kids’ menu so I let him since I was having to pay for her as an adult anyway.

The kids all LOVED the dwarfs and the queen. So much laughter. One of my favorite nights of the trip.

While we ate it started pouring. Like, raining sideways kind of storm. I checked my map. So many rides down in MK! I kept my fingers crossed it’d keep up for the last park hour of the day (9-10). We got home just before 9 and guess what?!? Rides still down!! Woohoo!!! I booked Dumbo at 9:00. It immediately converted to an anytime FP for any park good through the end of operating hours the next day (7/29)! Win!! Booked a 9:15 for Dumbo. Converted! Booked a 9:30 for Dumbo. Converted!!! After that my luck was over but I was so pumped to have 3 anytime FPs for our Animal Kingdom day the next day!

What started as quite a mess of a day ended up being pretty awesome. Got everyone settled down and in bed by 10. Animal Kingdom and HDDR on deck for tomorrow!


So love your reports!!!

I love how the day totally turned around (other than the water bottle) after your mid-day hotel break! I hope when you got to the HS evening the Indiana Jones show worked out.

Is the whole Tower of Terror thing funny now? I know DS7 doesn’t want to ride it but I thought for sure DS11 would, but when I was talking to him last night he was adamant that straight down drop rides freak him out even though he loves roller coasters with steep drops, going upside down, etc. I need to talk to DH and see if he wants to ride. Or maybe we’ll just use our FPP to see the inside and then take the sissy exit.

Thank you!! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

It did turn out to be a pretty good day!! At least i recovered my water bottle! Just getting those extra steps in I guess. :unamused:

And yeah, it is. I probably could’ve guessed that DS wouldn’t ride it after last trip. Jan. ‘18 he rode and declared it his favorite ride ever!! Feb. ‘19 he rode once, still affirming his love for the ride, but opted to let his FP for it expire on our second day in HS. I think he wants to like riding it more than he actually likes riding it. I was surprised that my niece wouldn’t go alone though. She loves everything and didn’t seem bothered at all riding EE and RnRC alone. But I think the one other time she had ridden ToT was on HER first trip to WDW many years ago (maybe when she was 4-5??) and was basically screaming crying on it the whole time. So maybe just extra nerves from her past bad experience?