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

7/29 - Animal Kingdom + HDDR

Ok, these daily reports are long y’all!! So sorry. :grimacing:

Today was the closest we got to sleeping in. It was an 8am EMH at AK but we were skipping Pandora today and RD Dinosaur (I know y’all. :roll_eyes: Don’t judge) so I wasn’t in a big hurry. Plus we had 3 anytime FPs from last night’s storms on top of our 3 prebooked ones so I was anticipating a pretty low key day. Goal was to be in the park by 9.

I was planning on waking up at 7, waking the kids up at 7:30 and hopping into our car by 8. All of us ended up being awake on our own before we had to be which was so nice!! We all ate some breakfast in the room and headed to hop in the car.

Our Lyft dropped us off just before 8:45 and there seemed to be a ton of people arriving!!! Fortunately, they were prepared and had a bunch of additional bag check stations set up off to the side which no one else seemed to be noticing so we went to one of those and got through in a minute or so.

We made it through taps and headed in and met resistance where they were holding non-resort guests off until 9. I thought “dang. They are making it tough on us to get it!!” and excused myself up through the masses until finally asking someone if they were scanning resort guests in at the front of everyone. She told me, no, that resort guests should’ve gone to the left of Oasis Trails to scan while non-resort guests were being held to the right of Oasis Trails. Oops. By this time is was 8:55 so we just camped out and slugged our way in with the non-resort crowd at 9.

We made our way over to Dinoland and walked right into the pre-show at Dinosaur. When we got off the kids wanted to go again so we used one of our anytime FPs to ride again. Then we rode Triceratops Spin, grabbed some frozen lemonades from a snack cart in Dinoland and made our way over to Expedition Everest.

Those lemonades take DD5 forever to eat so it was a nice treat for her to have while DS and DNiece rode EE. I had them ride once with their FPs and a second time with DD5 and DD8’s FPs. I had also thought we could play at the Boneyard during this hour too but we didn’t really have time having to RS EE and it was way too hot anyway. When DNiece and DS went on their second ride DD8 declared she realllly needed to go to the bathroom!!! So her and DD5 and I went to the ones near the Finding Nemo theater and had DNiece and DS meet us there when they were done with their second ride. My plan had been to use my EE FP to ride solo before the 11:00 Finding Nemo show. The kids all hung out in the stroller parking area for the show while I hustled back to ride. I didn’t get over there until 10:42 or something and decided I’d be too stressed about the time if I hopped in line so I just grabbed a frozen banana from the snack cart right there and went to meet the kids.

Then we headed into Finding Nemo! I loved this show in February when we went and it was just as good the second time around this trip! I got “Big Blue World” stuck in my head the rest of the day. I love the whole production of this show. The puppetry, singing and overall performance is simply excellent. A great break from the heat too.

After Finding Nemo, the kids were hot and crying “let’s go home!! We want to take a break!” and not responding well when I told them we likely had three more hours left in the park. :grimacing: Our plan after the show was to ride KRR and I played that up big to the kids. “We’re gonna get so wet guys!!! It’ll be so refreshing!!! Woohoo!!!” We made it over there and put our stuff into lockers fully expecting to all come back drenched. We hadn’t ever had a chance to ride KRR before as it’s always been closed for refurb when we’ve gone in January/February. I LOVED the queue!! I’m sure it would’ve gotten less entertaining waiting in it in SB but we didn’t have to wait long and enjoyed studying all the little design details. The kids enjoyed shouting out all of the fruits they recognized in the fruit carts they had set up as a part of the queue.

We finally got on the ride with great anticipation! Please get us wet KRR!! Well, SOME of us got wet. Like, soaking wet. BUT DS and DD8 and the other family in the raft with us barely got more than a spray. Overall, and I know this is a common complaint for KRR, it felt too short. We loved the ride in UOR that is similar — someone’s barge?? Can’t remember the name. We rode that multiple times and wound up soaked. I’d much prefer the ride there than KRR. Oh well!! We all at least got cooled off and DD5 and DNiece got soaked.

After KRR we grabbed our stuff out of the lockers and went down MJT. I was disappointed in this trail this time around. It seemed as if several animals were “out foraging” and they had recently acquired a new family of bats who weren’t on display yet as they were still acclimating to their new environment. The kids did enjoy the aviary but the birds were all pretty inactive because it was so hot.

By the time we came out of MJT it was 12:45 and we were hungry. I mobile ordered some food at Harambe Market. I over ordered but wanted the kids to try a Frozen Lemonade and I wanted a Leopard’s Eye. Both ok in taste but refreshing because they were cold!!! I also ordered corn dogs for the kids, chicken bowl for myself (super tasty!) and a most beautiful cake (it was ok. The outer icing is almost jello-ish in texture which is weird. But the cake tasted good.). Oh and more water. We easily went through the two cases I ordered from Prime plus 4-8 waters per day in the parks. We weren’t gambling with hydrating y’all!

Around 1:20 we headed toward the Wildlife Train. We had never been to Rafiki’s before and we had FPs for the new Animation Experience there for the 1:45 show. We were so excited!!! Especially DNiece who is a super talented artist and did the Animation Class at HS back in the day when it was still up and running.

I think our FP was technically from 1:25-1:40 for the 1:45 show. We showed up right around 1:40 and they had started letting people in stand by into class but we made it in just fine. I had gotten a FP for it just to be safe (I didn’t want to trek all the way out there to find the class full) but I think it would’ve been fine if we had showed up around 1:30 or so without one.

The animator welcomed everyone to class, made sure we all had our paper/clipboards/pencil and introduced the class. We were drawing Ed, the lowest ranking male hyena from The Lion King. He showed us a short video clip of one of the hyenas on the safaris at AK that the Disney animators used to model their live action hyenas around. He said that those animators had come out to AK to study the animals there on the safaris, which I thought was so cool! Anyway, we started the class and 20ish minutes later we were done!! It was so fun you guys. I was nervous that DD5 would get frustrated and feel like she hadn’t done a good job but she didn’t. All of the kids loved it!! With an 8 year age range amongst the kids in my group I’d call that a win for sure. I really enjoyed it too! I am not talented in the drawing department at all but I kept up with the instruction and was happy with my end product.

After our class, we explored Conservation Station for a while. We were sad there weren’t any animal procedures going on when we were there. They had the day’s schedule on the tv in the operating room but it would be helpful if you could access that schedule information somewhere outside of Conservation Station to help plan your visit. The kids had a blast petting the animals outside (what kid doesn’t right?!) and I had to coax them to leave so we could have a decent break before dinner.

We rode the train back to Africa, stopped into Creature Comforts (I NEED my espresso. It’s essential.), and decided to walk the Discovery Island Trails on our way out. We ran into Pocahontas with a couple of CMs but no PhotoPass people. She also had zero people lined up to meet her so I’m assuming she was heading in for break. But the CMs offered to take a picture of us with her using my phone so we stopped for that. Then, pointed out animals on the Tree of Life as we walked along. Grabbed a car and got into our room for a break just before 4.

We got a Minnie Van to take us to Fort Wilderness around 5:30 for the 6:15 HDDR show. It was kind of looking like rain when we got there so we got checked in and hung underneath the side porch until they rung the dinner bell and almost everyone else had gone in. HDDR seems to always get shuffled around in my plans somehow. Last trip, I had booked Category 1 and then had to switch our night to see the show and were left with only Category 3 as a choice. This time, the same thing happened but we managed to be able to snag Category 2, which I was hoping would be a decent step up from 3. We were still sat in the balcony but in the center so we had a great angle to view the stage.

I love this freaking show. It is hilarious, y’all. If you can appreciate some good ol’ slapstick humor and have never seen it do yourself a favor and go. We were all dying laughing and the kids were cheering and singing and having a ball participating in the show. The food is secondary in the appeal of this show to us but we ate plenty to fill our bellies. DNiece teased my kids a bit because they are completely clueless in how to eat chicken off of a bone. :grimacing: Total southern mama fail on my part. I hate eating meat off of a bone so I hardly ever serve it at home.

As we finished up our server came over and gave each of us a ballpoint pen with his name and some other information on it. He explained to us that he is celebrating his 40th (!!!) anniversary there with the show and is giving all of his customers pens as a way to commemorate the milestone. I thought that was so awesome! I was amazed at how many CMs we chatted with who have been with Disney for decades. It’s incredible!

After this our evening took a frustrating turn. I didn’t realize that Lyft couldn’t pick us up where our Minnie Van had dropped us off but at some other spot. My Lyft driver was there but couldn’t come to where we were but didn’t tell us to move…he just said he’d be there shortly. Well, he never showed up. I had no idea where we should be going to get to the ride share pick up spot so we hopped on a bus to MK. I decided to order a Minnie Van to take us back from there. It was rumbling with lots of thunder and lightening and my Minnie Van driver could not figure out where we were. DS had said he needed to go to the bathroom right when we got there but I thought our MV was minutes from arriving to pick us up and he said he could wait. Well, 20 minutes (and three phone calls with our driver) later we finally figure out what’s wrong - he went to TTC, not the MK bus stop - but literally one minute before he gets there DS says he cannot hold it anymore and NEEDS a bathroom. I explain it to our driver and he says he’ll wait and that there’s a bathroom just up past the bus stop. DNiece stays there with the girls while I try to take him. I’m stopped by a security CM and told I have to go through security to take him to that one but that there’s another one in between bus stations. Oh my word. I hustle him over there and he goes in record time. We finally make it back to the bus stop and head home. I held I together fairly well but definitely didn’t do the best I could have and had to apologize to the kids for getting frustrated during the whole process. They were sweet to tell me that it was ok and gave me great hugs. They’re the absolute best.

We finally got to bed around 11 with EMM at MK slated for the next day. I did manage to get one FP tonight from the storms to use in MK tomorrow so that’s a nice little bonus! Here’s hoping we all sleep well!


What a day! I’m exhausted just reading it, but it sounds like you had fun. I’m so impressed with anyone who tackles a WDW trip with kids and no backup adult!


I keep scrolling through your fun photos and cracking up at the last one. What is up with those sunglasses?!? :laughing:

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I am grateful for their length! Though now our one fully rest day might need to be a second AK day so I can fit in the Animation experience. All 5 of your Eds were great! I can’t fit HDDR in our plans but I’m glad it was so fun. The transportation afterwards didn’t sound fun.

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WOW that is Awesome! also learned something knew with that trick!


Right?!? Generally these FPs don’t include 7D, PPF, Town Square Mickey, FEA, FOP, NRJ, SDD or (when we were there) ToT but they include everything else!


Never knew that you could do that either. Have to remember that next time we are in that situation.


Just my crazy girl playing with my sunglasses. :laughing:

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The Universal ride is Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges, and you’re right—everyone gets super soaked on that ride!

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Yes!! We took DD8 and DS to Universal last summer and they made us ride it twice in a row!! They loved it!

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We love that ride for that very reason. Plus, the wait was almost always 5-10 minutes—ideal for multiple rides!

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Yes!!! The kids also loved that the people in the path above shot water down on us.

7/30 - FL EMM + MK until FoF + Boma

Goooooood morning, children!!! They were SO excited to wake up before 6am. :grimacing::flushed: But they did it anyway!!

Today was the first of back-to-back EMM mornings so we had low key evenings with dinner both nights at AKL planned. My goal for today was to make it to watch the FoF Parade before heading home for the evening.

We decided to use a Minnie Van to take us to MK and were outside waiting on our driver to pick us up by 6:45. We made it to the Minnie Van drop off spot at 7:15 which I was semi-worried would get me a scolding from my kids. BUT I was thankful we got there so early!! We had time to go through bag check, check in with the tablet toting CM for EMM and grab our wristbands from the second CM before heading to the restroom and having our picture taken in front of the train station and I didn’t feel rushed. Which - try as I may to be chill - is something I haven’t had terrible success doing at WDW so I’m calling that morning a win y’all.

They let us in at 7:43 and I tried my hardest not to leave my dawdlers behind. :joy: Our plan was to ride WtP first but it was down when we got there so we headed to Princess Hall. DS was not pleased with this choice and refused to be in any of the pictures. I think they all commented on him - Cinderella called him our royal guard - and did such a good job to try and interact with him. Elena commented on DD5’s light-up shoes and told her about her light up scepter. Tiana asked us if we had seen Louie. And we asked Rapunzel why she was wearing shoes. Cute and fun way to start the day. Then, we went for a ride on PPF. WtP was still down and 7D was still posting a 30 minute wait when we got off around 8:10 so we rode the carousel and then heading to 7D. I think we waited 5 minutes, tops, even though the wait was still posted at 20. This was about 8:20 I think. Everyone but DD8 immediately wanted to ride again. I told her she could wait by the CMs at the FP entry line while we rode if she didn’t want to ride again. She didn’t like this solution. She doesn’t like to feel left out. Thinking I might be losing my mind I decided to offer to let her take my phone and go for a ride on PPF again by herself. I pointed her in the right direction, watched her walk halfway there and then we went on 7D again. She got off around the same time as we did and we met up with her - seeming very proud of having been on a ride alone - and told me she traded pins with “those men over there.” :grimacing: I’m sure (I hope!) they were CMs but I didn’t feel like I wanted her to go off by herself again. Thankfully she decided she wanted to ride 7D again…and LOVED it this time!! We rode again (our 4th time) and then I had told them we’d be heading over to line up to RD HM. They begged “again!!! Please!!!” so we did! And two more times after that!! So fun! The last time it was the five of us in the back of the train and one woman at the very front and no one else!! That was so fun!

I think we got on our last ride at 8:58 or something so by the time we made it over to HM it was around 9:10. We had to wait…maybe 10 minutes (including the stretching room) and then we were on. DD8 said “mama you know what my favorite part of that ride is? Getting off!” Lol. It’s not our favorite. But DNiece loved it so that made it worth the trouble.

Once we got off we trekked back over to Cosmic Ray’s for breakfast stopping at WtP along the way. I asked them if, since WtP was down during EMM, we could use our wristbands to go through the FP line to ride later. The CM said yes, but only until 11am. I said thank you very much and made a note to swing back by after breakfast before we headed into Tomorrowland.

Breakfast was…ummm…adequate I suppose. I don’t think I touched my sausage or bacon. They were both so greasy. But I did eat my eggs, a little bit of coffee and some pastries. Enough to satisfy my hunger. The kids loaded up on pastries. But the same goal was accomplished. I think we left around 10:10/10:15ish and decided to swing over and ride WtP. I think that ride is so cute.

Once we were off I was nervous we’d arrive at Space outside of our FP window (which ended at 10:30) and that the system would take our anytime FP from the night before so we hustled over there and made it through at like 10:29 or something. Win!! DD5 passed the height checks again and off to Space we went!! Well, when we got off DD8 was a firm Space fan! Awesome!! DD5 however had rescinded her first ride’s affections and decided she in fact did NOT like it thank you very much! I decided it was likely because I forgot to hold onto her shoulder this time and figured she’d like it again when I remembered next time. We’ll see how that theory plays out over the next couple of days.

After Space we immediately went over to Buzz to use our second FP. We boarded and then before our spacecrafts even closed up the ride stopped. It felt like forever before we started moving again but in reality it was only 5-10 minutes. After defeating Zurg, we waited 5 minutes or so to hop on the PM and then sought some A/C over at CoP. I love CoP and would say it’s likely a must do for us every time. It’s just fun and I am a nerd and love singing along. And I love the history behind it.

After CoP is was around noon. My goal had been to make it until FoF but it was so hot y’all. Like, the kids started begging me to go home. I took a screen shot of the weather. 94 with a 105 heat index. And we had the Speedway on deck. Which we hadn’t ever ridden but I soon discovered is the hottest ride on the face of the planet. Or maybe just the face of WDW. I had hoped to knock out the rest of FL with 4th/5th/6th/etc FPs and had promised the kids we could use our extra from the night before for an unplanned ride on BTMRR. We grabbed some Mickey bars, bargained and agreed to Speedway + 3 more rides. Then home. Ok, deal.

We rode the Speedway - OMG. SO SO SO HOT. DD5, DD8 and I rode together and we actually laughed a ton because DD8 kept running us off the track so that was fun but we were melting. Then, we went to the teacups for FP #4. I cried inside when no one wanted to ride Dumbo (c’mon people!!! It’s a classic!!) and instead booked our 5th FP for UtS. We got over to UtS seconds after they had closed the ride. It didn’t even show to be down on MDE yet and my FP hadn’t converted to anytime. The CM assured me it would so we headed over to iasw to use it there.

When we got over to iasw my UtS FP STILL hadn’t converted and it STILL wasn’t showing down on MDE. I explained the situation to the CM and also explained that I wanted to make sure that FP converted so I could use it there because I had another anytime FP from the previous park day I was planning to use on another ride. I suppose I should’ve just converted the UtS one to a iasw one to save the discussion. Oh well. She let us in without having to scan our bands and we enjoyed the inside classic.

We made a pit stop in the Rapunzel bathrooms and searched for Pascal. I checked MDE and UtS was finally showing up as down and my FP had finally converted! Yay! We headed over to BTMRR to use yesterday’s FP. While in line I began booking our 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th FPs for the day. All for UtS. All of which converted to anytime FPs immediately. We rode BTMRR three or four times in a row and finally decided to stop and forced ourselves to head back to AKL for a break. We didn’t even end up using all of our FPs. The kids were in heaven!! And I wondered if anyone in SB noticed us going up FP again and again. It was so fun being able to ride back to back! That’s what I hate about the current FP system as my kids always want to ride their faves more than once.

After our BTMRR bonanza we grabbed some popcorn, cinnamon almonds, and waters from a snack cart and sat down on the ground in Frontierland to recharge. Then, we headed back up to Main Street just as FoF was starting. I was sad the kids didn’t want to stay to watch but happy to be getting some rest.

We got back to AKL around 4:00. We took the internal bus over to Jambo around 5:45 for our 6:00 ADR at Boma. We had never eaten there and it did not disappoint!!! The kids mainly stuck to the middle of the road kids’ offerings but I enjoyed the unique menu items they offered there. And my kids are always huge fans of buffets (no waiting mama!!)! I had also forgotten how stunning Jambo is. I would love to stay over there one of these days.

After dinner we walked back over to Kidani, got everyone who hadn’t showered before dinner cleaned off, watched a movie and were lights out by 10. Tomorrow it’s another EMM but at HS!!


loving your report - keep it up :slight_smile: cant wait for more ~


I love her. She and my DS7 would get along great – there are a few rides where his favourite part is when it’s over. And that’s so great she ended up loving 7DMT after the 2nd ride and Space. You can see the change in enjoyment in her 7DMT pictures. And ha ha/yiikes to to the trading pins with “those men over there.”

What a great day. And you’re a multiple FP inspiration.


7/31 - TSL EMM + TAF brunch + Jiko

Another round of EMM on deck this morning!!! Woke up at 5:15 and got the kids up at 5:45. They love me.

Hopped in our Lyft around 6:15 and made it to HS around 6:30. I function so much better if I had a good 15-20 minute buffer and arriving this early was just perfect for me. Any later and I’d have been anxious and starting to stress about being late. Made it through bag check, checked in for EMM, grabbed our wristbands and waited at the taps. They let us into the park around 6:50 or so.

We had an 11:40 brunch at Trattorio al Forno so we were only planning on snagging a pastry filled breakfast at Backlot. We headed that way and grabbed our simple carbs + water. I made everyone try to use the bathroom and then we headed over to the arches to wait for the all clear to head into TSL.

I had read just about all of the event reports I could find on EMM over on DisBoards and historically it seemed pretty common for the CMs to let the EMM folks back into TSL sometime between 7:15 and 7:30 but we didn’t have any such luck. We were let back right on time at 7:30. We walked into the land right at Buzz was taking his place and no one was in line!! Score! Unfortunately we were walking on the right hand side of the path and by the time we made it over to his side 4 or 5 families had got in line in front of us. I decided to go ahead and head to Woody and Bo and circle back to Buzz later. I was eager to meet W+B and nervous that their line would get too long if we tried to make them our second stop. We had probably 6-7 families in line in front of us. Waited maybe 10-12 minutes and were the last family to meet them before they took a break. Yay! Success! After Woody I decided to head back and check Buzz’s wait. Short line. Waited 5 minutes or so and then took a picture in front of the TSL entry sign with larger than life Woody.

Now it was time for rides!!! Hooray!!! We walked onto TSL (and noticed that the loading zone is Andy’s room!!! I’m slow y’all. But I had never noticed that Andy’s bed, dresser and bedroom door are in the loading area. I love Disney.) and then waited one cycle for AS2. Please don’t wait in line for AS2. It is 100% not worth it. But if you can walk on, it’s a fun 90 seconds and my kids and I giggled a lot getting whipped around by aliens.

By now, it’s 8:18 and we are heading to SDD until the RD crowd hits TSL!! DD5 rode once in February but didn’t want to go on it again and DD8 refused to ride it. But THIS time they both rode every time and LOVED IT!!! Our first ride or two we waited 10ish minutes but after that we were on in under 5 minutes. We ran in line ride at 9 for our last time for a total of 5 rides on SDD!

After the RD crowd came in we exited the SDD queue area and I asked the kids to take one more picture in front of Forky. I noticed a PhotoPass photographer nearby and asked if she was there for Forky but she said no, she was there for Jessie who would be back from break in 3 minutes. Well yay! 1 family in line in front of us. We waited 3 minutes. And then 6. And she wasn’t back and it was hot. :grimacing: I told the kids we’d give her 3 more minutes and then leave if she wasn’t out yet. Less than 60 seconds later she walked out, we grabbed our picture and another one with Forky and left TSL!! Such a great morning!!

For each EMM I had planned on RDing another ride in the park at 9. But both times my kids were having too much fun to bother leaving 7D or SDD before they absolutely had to! So, something to keep in mind if you have a similar strategy for these events. Maybe warn your kids in advance

Anyway, I had planned on RDing Star Tours and hitting up the 9:30 show of The Little Mermaid before our FPs for RnRC and ToT (totally didn’t think we’d end up using this one given the prior HS day’s events) but given our late finish on Slinky and our pictures before leaving the land we skipped both. ST because it was too late and VotLM because I remembered how mediocre I thought the show was last time. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

We headed over to RnRC to use our FPs. DNiece and DS rode first. The girls and I snapped some pics with Cruz and milled around the new LM area. Looked cute but I think maybe my kids have aged out of it. :woman_shrugging:t2: I would still like to try it out next time if we have a chance though. After DNiece and DS got off, I let DNiece ride again and then I went to ride with DS while DNiece hung with the girls.

Then, we started heading for the exit to walk to the Boardwalk for our brunch. We stopped in a shop in search of Kermit merch for DNiece. Sadly, none was found and I promised her we’d look near MuppetVision the next night when we were back in HS. We also stopped in Trolley Car Cafe on the way out. Remember kids, espresso is life.

I had read it was an easy walk to The Boardwalk. And it was EXCEPT for my dawdlers. Mercy. They are so slow!! What should’ve been a nice walk over ended up with me having to hurry everyone along to make it in time. Oh well. We made it and got into the A/C and all was right and wonderful in the world.

Our ADR was for 11:40 and we ended up having to wait a while to be seated. Maybe 15 minutes or so. But man! We loved this meal. The pastries they brought out beforehand were all delicious!! I could eat that croissant all day long. :yum: They DID bring me the wrong drink. But otherwise the meal and service were stellar. I had Ursula’s dish for lunch and it was tasty and huge. I couldn’t finish it all. Our waitress was charmed by my 3 as she had grandkids about their same ages and gave them free light up ice cube things. Super sweet.

We loved all of the characters too. DS posed for pictures with Eric and Flynn but refused to do so with Ariel and Rapunzel. :laughing:

After lunch I had planned on dessert at Ample Hills Creamery. I had heard nothing but great things and was so excited to try it out!!! My kids decided to be lame and opted to eat their lollipops I had bought them in HS earlier and my niece opted for no dessert at all!! Whatever, kids. Mama is getting this ice cream. So I was the mom in line with 5 people ordering only for herself! :rofl: My only complaint was that the service was kind of slow. We waited a good 10-15 minutes and the line wasn’t even that long. So worth it though. No regrets. If you can, eat here. The ice cream was fantastic and The Boardwalk is so charming! I had never been over there before.

After ice cream, we grabbed a Lyft back to AKL. The kids traded a few pins with the DVC guy in the lobby before heading back to rest in our room around 1:30.

After getting a nice rest we headed over to Sanaa to try our hand at cookie decorating. The kids had fun with this. DD5 was VERY methodical and took about 3 times as long as everyone else did to decorate her cookie. Lol! We took some time to buy DD5 some new pins in the gift shop (she lost hers earlier in the week) and I let the big kids pick out a couple of new ones also. I offered to get some for DNiece but she declined. She’s too cool for such things now that she’s a teen I guess.

After we finished examining everyone’s new pins we all took turns rotating through the shower. I had a slight freak out moment worrying about Jiko’s dress code when I realized neither DNiece or DS had anything nicer than a t-shirt and cargo shorts. The Liners over on chat assured me it’d be fine (it was!) and we hopped the AKL bus over to Jambo for our 6:00 dinner.

I love good food. I love the atmosphere of nicer restaurants. And even though I had to be there with no other adults it was just a lovely evening at Jiko! I was able to eat a perfectly cooked steak, savor a delicious glass of wine and ate a tasty dessert that I had all to myself! And I spent less money there for dinner than I did earlier at TAF. Win!

After dinner we walked back home to Kidani and settled into bed. PPO BOG w/ MK touring tomorrow AM followed by an evening in HS!


8/1 - PPO BOG, MK and HS

I had been able to grab us a BOG breakfast for 8:40 but logged in last night and easily switched it to 8:05. Heads up, folks, if you’re unaware, lots of ADR availability pops up within 48 hours before your desired meal time.

My hope for this morning was to be able to get the kids one more ride on 7D after our BOG breakfast. I had preordered our breakfast the night before so that was all ready to go. I woke up around 6:15 and got the kids up at 6:45. I requested a Minnie Van but saw that a Lyft was about 5 minutes closer and choose Lyft instead. We hopped into our car around 7:20. I was hoping we’d have enough time to get a few pictures in front of the castle before breakfast. I told our driver we needed to go to MK and then started panicking a bit when he dropped us off at TTC!!! Ummm, no sir, we need to go to MK! Dummy me. Only MVs can go straight to MK whereas all other ride sharing drivers must drop off at TTC. I will for sure remember that for next trip! Had I have had my wits about me I wouldn’t have even gotten out of the car but would’ve requested our driver take us to CR to walk over. BUT it was early and I didn’t sooo…I thought - ok it’s 7:38 - we can just hop on the monorail, maybe skip pictures and make it there ok. Well, the monorail was down. So our option was the ferry. But hooray!! There’s one RIGHT there!! We can just hop on. NOPE. We had the unfortunate luck of being the first in the line for the NEXT ferry boat as they had JUST CLOSED the gate for the ferry (and of course it wasn’t full) that we saw docked at the TTC. I overheard a CM say it wouldn’t be long for the other one to cross over - maybe 12 minutes he said but probably less. Well, it proved to be much longer than that. By the time we finally made it over it was 8:15!!! Good grief. Feeing like such a Liner failure at this point. We went through bag check, security and hoofed it to BOG. Checked in around 8:30. They said nothing about us being so late and handed us our rose for the preorder and sent us to pay. I’m guessing by 8:30 the restaurant is much busier than right at 8:00 because we had to wait a while to pay and then it took quite a while longer to get our food. I was really beating myself up watching people leave the restaurant as we were waiting to pay. Dang it that should’ve been us!!! I was so mad at myself for my poor execution of the morning and kept apologizing to the kids for having to miss out on one more 7D ride. They were so sweet as always and kept hugging me and telling me “it’s ok mama” assuring me that they weren’t mad at me so I shouldn’t be!!

We found a table in the rose room (or is it called the library room?) and it’s my new favorite!! We have had dinner in the west wing and lunch in the Ballroom before and the Rose Room is my favorite of the three by far! It was so quiet and pretty. The atmosphere definitely helped me calm down.

By 8:50 we still didn’t have our food. I had been hoping we’d be able to suck it down fast and still make the ride but I officially gave that idea up at this point. DNiece suggested we just pop out to ride real quick and ask them to save our table. I didn’t think that they would do that but I told her she and the kids could try and go by themselves. I told her that if someone asked her how old she was to just say she was 14 (she’s 13) so DD5 could ride with her. As soon as they left I felt guilty asking her to lie.

I had DNiece texting me so I could make sure they found the ride ok. They got in line at 8:53 and started moving onto the ride at 8:55. They were done and heading back to BOG at 9:02. Our food had arrived at 8:55 so it was perfectly timed for their re-arrival. DNiece said they didn’t ask her her or DD5’s age and I had some of my aunt guilt removed!! I may have told her to lie (:cry:) but at least she didn’t end up having to do so!!

They came back and I finally breathed out and relaxed a bit. I had hoped to RD JC at 9 but I had one anytime FP for the day that I had snagged during a late night thunder storm the night before so I decided we’d just use it on JC. We sat back and enjoyed our breakfast. It was pretty good. I had the Gaston feast and I can’t remember what the kids had. Waffles maybe? Anyway, we finished up and snapped a few pics on our way out. I had considered canceling our dinner reservation there for the following night but since we had been so frazzled getting there this morning I made up my mind to keep it so we could enjoy the atmosphere and experience more (hopefully!).

We headed over to Big Thunder to use our first FP. I think we got done around 9:45 and went to wait for our Splash FP time to open up. When we got over there Splash was down (and had been having trouble since 7am the CMs said). We wanted to hop on the first raft over to TSI at 11 and wanted to ride JC, grab Dole Whips and ride Splash before then. We used the restroom and milled around until our Splash FPs converted to anytime. DNiece was REALLY wanting to ride Splash and it looked like it was maybe coming online soon - they had CMs riding test rides - but they still said it’d be 20ish more minutes until the ride was back online and that was if the CMs ride testing didn’t find any issues. We decided to use our Splash FP for another ride on Big Thunder and hoped Splash would be running smoother the following evening when we had another FP booked for it. After our second Big Thunder ride we went and used our anytime FP on JC which was a good play. That SB line…I’ve never waited in it but it looks quite unpleasant. Our skipper was OK but she wasn’t the best one I’ve ever had. After our cruise we grabbed some mid-morning Dole Whips because duh. The kids now all have opinions on swirl vs. straight pineapple and order according to preference. :yum:

By now it was 10:50 and the clouds were rolling in. We went and lined up to board the TSI rafts and prayed the rain held off. We went across on the first raft of the day and the kids had a blast playing over here in February and it was just as fun in August!! We love exploring all of the caves and structures and they could’ve played across the bridge at the fort for at least another hour after we decided to leave. They played tag, cops/robbers and just enjoyed the escape from the crowds.

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I pulled the kids away from their fort around noon and we started making our way toward Main Street. Since we didn’t have a chance to take pictures during our hectic morning I asked the kids to stop on our way out. Got a few cute ones in front of the castle (plus a Magic Shot with Tink!), stopped into MSB to grab coffee and headed to meet Minnie and Mickey, our last FP of the morning. We were kindly told we couldn’t bring our coffee cups in the queue so we stepped out, stowed them in the stroller and went back in. We waited in the 5-8 minute range and wished The Mouse a happy birthday! :birthday: Every time we do a M&G I try my hardest to figure out why people wait in long lines for them. I cannot understand it. I mean, it’s fun, sure, but I can’t see myself waiting 30+ minutes for them.

We grabbed a Minnie Van to take us home and made it back for a break around 1:15.

When we got back to the room we peeked out at the Savannah (as had become our habit) and noticed a new development! A nest with eggs!!! So fun to watch the bird fuss over the nest and patrol/keep watch.

I let the kids unwind with some screens. I had set an alarm for 2:25 to get on MDE to try for a SD SDD FP at the 2:31 drop. 2:29, refresh, refresh, refresh. 2:30, refresh, refresh, refresh. 2:31, BOOM there they are!!! Grabbed 5 for 4:45!! Super pumped!!!

I had hoped for a Slinky FP for this evening but had been planning on it being a little later. Two days before Res Finder had snagged me a 4:10 ADR for Sci-Fi, which I normally budget 90 minutes for, AND we were hoping to make the 6:00 Indiana Jones show. Hmmmm. Ok, we’ll try and leave here around 3 and see if we can get into Sci Fi early just so we aren’t rushed. Let’s see how this goes…

We Lyfted to HS and were dropped off around 3:30. Breezed through security and taps and had some time so we went over to Muppet Vision to see if they had any Muppet merch and DNiece’s trip was made! Kermit plush for the win!!! We then went to check in for Sci-Fi around 3:50 and were told they were seating closer to ADR time. Bummer. Thankfully though we received our table ready text within 5 minutes and were shown our seats. I had had the kids look at the menu and choose what they wanted and I had done the same thing for myself before we got there. We ordered everything as soon as the waiter came over and let him know we were trying to make a Slinky FP which he totally understood! I think I paid him when he delivered our drinks. We were in and out in about an hour and it was perfect. We didn’t feel rushed eating and had plenty of time to enjoy the atmosphere (which is one of my favorites!) and didn’t felt rushed waiting to pay.

We left and heading to Slinky. We were on and off by 5:30 and decided to explore the Incredible Celebration section a bit since it’d be gone by our next trip! Took a couple of fun pictures with a couple of bored looking Photo Pass photographers and decided to meet Edna. We’d be pushing it I knew. We hopped in line around 5:40 and Indiana Jones started at 6. But we met Edna, met a sweet family from Houston (go Texas!!!) in the queue and were sitting down at the show around 5:55! Yay!! Edna was a fun meet. Really fun interaction talking about all of her top secret new creations and how we should keep an eye on the papers for when they get released. :slightly_smiling_face:

It had been rainy off and on for a little while and I was hoping Indiana Jones was able to do the full show. The Houston family behind us said they had been to the 4:45 show and they hadn’t been able to do all of the scenes due to the rain. Fortunately for us they were! Yay scene 3!! We love this show. It’s full of action and plenty of “wow!!” moments.

After Indiana Jones we headed over to Launch Bay to meet Chewy and Kylo Ren. I think wait time for Chewy was posted around 20 and Kylo Ren’s was 15. We waited closer to 10 and 5. Both were new to us and really fun!!! The kids all LOVED the wookie and giggled at me after our Kylo Ren meet because I had told him we would not fight on his side!

By now it was 7:10 or so and the kids were tired. I had hoped to spend the 8 o’clock hour before the park closed at 9 riding TSM and maybe AS2 in standby and then jumping in line for Slinky right before close but I had a feeling we weren’t gonna make it. It had started sprinkling again and we were beat. So I told them we’d just do Frozen at 7:30 and then leave.

7:30 and it’s time for Frozen with Equity Ben!!! OMG. I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed so hard. He is hilarious!!! My niece declared it her favorite thing about the trip so far!! After the show we decided to call it a night. We hopped in a Lyft around 8:15 and were back home by 8:30.

We all showered and got ready for bed. I was laying down by 11. Really great day today. Tomorrow is our last full day of touring! :weary:


8/2 - PPO GG, Epcot, BOG Dinner, MK and HEA DP

I gotta say. My kids have been remarkable this trip. They have rarely complained about the walking and have gotten up early EVERY DAY without too much of a fuss. I mean, y’all. Today is our 8th park day in a row and I haven’t let them sleep in past 7:30. So proud.

We had a pretty full day planned starting with a PPO breakfast at Garden Grill. As per our routine, I woke up at 6:15, kids were woke up at 6:45 and we were out waiting for our Lyft at 7:15. Our car got there at 7:20 and we disembarked at Epcot at 7:33. We made it through bag check, taps and were snapping a pic in front of SE at 7:50.

We headed over to The Land and checked in for our breakfast. If I remember correctly, our ADR time was 8:20ish but we were sitting down at 8:02 or something. Basically were seated immediately. We love this meal. I’m a big fan of the family style service instead of the buffet style meals. It’s so nice not to have to send your family in shifts to the buffet so you don’t miss a character! And my kids (ok and me too!) absolutely crush those cinnamon rolls. Holy delish. DD8 and DD5 are also enormous tater tot fans and we never eat them at home so any restaurant that serves those boys is a winner in their book! We saw Pluto, Chip and Dale all very quickly but had to wait a while for Mickey. Even still I think he came around and we were leaving by 8:35-8:40.

My goal for the morning had only been to tour FW East since we had done FW West and WS West on our first night and had skipped our WS East day. We were trying to figure out how to ride TT. If you remember, it rained our first day and our TT FP had converted and we used it on Soarin’. I had thought I could send the big 3 kids up the SR line after FW East but told them they wouldn’t be able to design the car that way which is their favorite part and DNiece hadn’t ridden it before so we really didn’t want her to miss out on that. And DD5 decided she wanted to be brave and try it (she wouldn’t ride it in February) so SR was officially out. We finally decided to skip our RD plans for Soarin’ and trekked across the park to RD TT instead. BEST. DECISION. EVER. We were the third family in line and they let us into the queue and we were half way through designing our cars by 8:03. I think they normally give us 5 minutes to build the cars but I’m pretty sure this time it was only 3. I’m guessing just to get the first group through quickly?

Anyway, we finished up on TT (everyone loved it!!) and I was so thankful we had gone there first as SB was already posted at 60 min and Lines was showing 65. We schlepped back over to The Land to start our originally TP. Hopped in SB for Soarin’ and were loading (through the preshow) in 10 minutes. Walked onto LwtL and The Seas with Nemo. Played a bit in the play area in the Seas pavilion as we waited for the next Turtle Talk show to open up. That was another show hit for us! So fun and I really love the crowd interaction they do there. Finally headed over to the Imagination pavilion to ride Figment - another basic walk-in.

I bought some Goofy candy for the kids on the way out and then stopped at Fountain Place for my coffee. I had wanted to do the Joy and Sadness M&G as this was a big hit last trip but the kids were kind of ready for a break. So we skipped it and I requested a Lyft. I don’t know if it is always set up like this but we ended up exiting the park to the left and then found out that only taxis pick up on that side and that the ride sharing pick up exit is to the right and to get to it we had to go back through bag check!!! Ugh! That was annoying and (despite my communication with my driver what the situation was) we ended up missing our Lyft. We had to request another one when we got over there but thankfully a second car arrived within minutes. We were back in our room for a break by 12:45.

While we were at AKL it started storming. I checked MDE and all of the usual suspects at MK were closed. We hadn’t used any FPs at EP and all of my prebooked ones were scheduled for the evening at MK so I modified my Space FP to Dumbo and it converted to an anytime. Before the storms let up I had snagged three more anytime FPs for the evening. Score! I feel like I crushed our FPs this trip. It was amazing!! Thanks to all of you wonderful Liners for all of the FANTASTIC tips!! They truly made our trip feel extra magical.

We had a nice long rest and hopped in our Minnie Van all refreshed and ready to go around 3:20. While we waited I went on MDE to see if I could hunt down some PPF FPs as our anytime FPs wouldn’t be valid there. I had to secure 1-2 at a time but was actually pretty shocked how easily I grabbed 5 within overlapping windows. I had previously had BOG dinner booked at 5:40 but decided that it would be too late seeing as how we had the after HEA DP to hit up so I got on MDE this morning and easily moved it up to 4:10.

We arrived at the MK bus stop (seriously a HUGE perk with MVs and MK in particular) at 3:45 and made our way to check in for dinner. On our way we noticed a slew of folks lining Main Street and realized that they hadn’t been able to start FOF yet because of the storms! Yay! Bonus parade for us! Once we made it over to BOG there was quite a bit of folks queued up to get inside but I think it was because they hadn’t yet started seating for dinner. Once they did, we were sat quickly in my new favorite room! Yay!

We have been here for dinner once. It was on our first family trip back in January 2018 and we toured so hard. MK was day four of 12+ hours in the parks and we had only managed to secure a 8:40 ADR or something crazy and my three older kids (then DD7, DS5, and DD3) completely passed out at dinner and only my youngest (then 21 months) stayed awake because she had taken a nap in the stroller earlier in the day. Anyway, all that to say they had zero memory of our precious dinner here and of course then it wasn’t prefix so I was pumped to try it.

My food was so delicious! I was seriously impressed. I choose on the lighter end of things - the stone fruit salad and scallops - and was happy I did because I left satisfied but not overly full. The kids really enjoyed painting their Chip cups. We went to meet the master and were heading out around 5.

When we got out it was sprinkling. The weather had a 40-50% chance of rain the rest of the day and I kind of shrugged it off when we left AKL. What I should’ve done was have everyone grab their Chacos because our tennis shoes were soggy messes by the end of the night because it rained for the next hours. :grimacing:

We went and rode PPF and then headed to Space to use 1/4 anytime FPs. DD5, if you remember, has decided she didn’t like Space after all and I was sure it was because I forgot to hold her hand. I told her she should try once more and that I would hold onto her the whole time. I promised her I wouldn’t ask her to ride it again if she didn’t like it. She decided to be brave and…she hated it. Oops! The bigs wanted to ride again (anytime FP 2/4) so I sent them off and DD5 and I went to ride the Teacups (SB) and Dumbo (anytime FP 2/4 for us). When we were on Dumbo it really started to rain hard and by the time we met back up with the other kids DD5 and I were soaked! But having so much fun and enjoying the cool temps!

We then swung by Tomorrowland Terrace to check in for the DP. They practically begged us to go to the earlier party. Lots of empty tables. Maybe because of the weather? :woman_shrugging:t2: I wanted to get some more riding done though so I said no thanks and we headed over to Frontierland. I was really trying hard to convince DD8 to go on Splash so we could all ride but she really didn’t want to. I told her ok and we shuffled around like this -

  • DNiece, DD8 and DS ride BTMRR (anytime FP 3/4), DD5 and I ride Splash (pre booked FP)
  • DD5, DD8 and I ride BTMRR (anytime FP 3/4 - 4/4 for DD8), DNiece and DS ride Splash (prebooked FP)
  • We all ride BTMRR together (prebooked FP)

It made for quite a fun time in FL! Splash seemed to be having trouble our whole trip. It stopped when DD5 and I were literally one space away from disembarking and we had to sit there for 8-10 minutes. They also stopped the ride for a good 5 minutes after we went down the big drop because someone had opened their umbrella on the ride and wouldn’t close it. :woman_facepalming:t2:

By now it was 8:50 or so and we had to hustle to the gardens for HEA. By the time we we made it to the Hub it was packed and I was worried we’d never be able to make it through to the other side for our viewing area. Thankfully, a couple of the CMs with light wands helped to create a path for our stroller and we eked in just in time!

I love HEA. It makes me so happy every time. We posted up at the back of the viewing area and had tons of space in front of us and a perfect view!! By now we were all soaking wet but having such a magical end to our sweet trip.

After HEA we headed over to the DP. DD5 had fallen asleep during HEA but I woke her up because I knew she’d be disappointed to miss out on dessert. Unfortunately we had a difficult time really savoring our time because they still had the AC running in the restaurant and we were soaked. DS was visibly shaking trying to shovel food into his mouth. :flushed: I think we all still had a decent amount of dessert though and enjoyed it despite our chills.

Before we left DD5 had to go to the bathroom but started crying when we were in there because she was cold. A CM was in the other stall and overheard and came out and asked if I had dry clothes for her. I said no and she and offered to get us a slip for a free dress at the shops on the way out. I told her thanks but we were ok and getting ready to head home. I was also thinking about the 3 other children at our table in soaking clothes and figuring she wouldn’t extend the offer to them because she told me she was going to lie and say there had been urine on the toilet seat in order to get this slip for DD5. On top of that I had already requested our Minnie Van and we simply didn’t have the time to stop to buy anything. However, she was insistent and went downstairs to get our voucher and I started worrying about making our Van. I waited for as long as we could but ended up having to tell some of the other CMs to tell her to say I was thankful for her offer but that we really did just need to go home. Hopefully they communicated the message to her. I felt bad I couldn’t do so personally.

We finally made it out and were home by 10:30. Despite the rain it was such a perfect last full day of touring!! Tomorrow we hit up AK one more time and head home to Texas, DH and DD3!!


We had a 3 minute timer Saturday mid-morning. But in the post-ride area there’s 2 or 3 timer-less (or longer timer?) stations where my kids designed and saved to their magic bands in case we head back to Epcot today or tomorrow. I’m not sure how you get into that area before riding (maybe through the gift shop?) but we might try that if we do go back. So far our best car had a score of 214 but I think we can beat that. I don’t know how long it stays saved to your magic band but it seems worth trying before using single rider if there’s time.

Your trip reports are so good. I look forward to reading about the last day!


What a wonderful report! I love your touring style. If I ever did emm for DHS, I think I would follow your lead in knocking out the meet and greets right away. You got everything done in TSL. I liked the TT then back to Soarin on Epcot morning as well. That seems to be the new prevailing wisdom. I will try that next time. I’m also a mid morning dole whip person so that was perfect. Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip! Look forward to reading the final installment!