Trip Report and Thanks

Day Before

This trip starts the day before at after-school pick up with DD6 limping around. She had sprained her ankle on the playground and it was swollen. We iced, elevated and rested and crossed our fingers. Frantically posted to the TP Forum….

Day 1 Travel Day

…And still swollen. With help from the forum we decided to rent a stroller from Kingdom Strollers. Ended up keeping DD6 home from school to avoid further injury. We picked up DH from work and headed to the airport. Easy check in. On time flight. We did not tag our luggage since our arrival was around 7pm and I wanted our suitcase for bedtime. Got on the Magical Express right away but we didn’t leave for 10 minutes and AKL was the 4th stop. So about 45min-1 hour to AKL arriving a little after 8.

Hotel

We never got the text for our assigned room until we had checked in to the Magical Express. We had requested a room on the Kudu trail with the main hope to get a partial view. Got one on Ostrich facing the Savannah so we got that partial view! Saw lots of animals and DD6 loved this experience. We were two “buildings” out which felt like a long walk. In retrospect I’m guessing the folks on Kudu have a really long trek to the end of the rooms. The big surprise was that we got a bunk bed instead of 2 queens. We hadn’t asked for it and I immediately suppressed a panic attack. Of course DD6 requested to sleep on the top. We let her and totally regretted it. She tosses around a lot and the rails make so much noise (they have latches for bed making). Everytime she ran into the rail the banging noise would wake us. It was a one and done. She was assigned the lower bed the rest of the trip. One of the our favorite things was being able to sit on the balcony for breakfast and the evenings drinking wine after DD6 went to sleep. FYI, AKL is having some renovations going on right now. We did get woken early one day when there some sort of mechanical issue with their machines.

We did order Prime Now for our groceries. It got there. It wasn’t smooth. I think Bell services misplaced them for a while. Prime Now customer service has no way to contact the driver BTW. Go figure. I would not recommend ordering alcohol through Prime based on our experience. Just buy there at the resort. We did. It was good.

More later…

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Yay, another report!

I should clarify! Trip report is for May 10-15. Just got back and am enjoying the quiet.

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Love a trip report! Looking forward to reading more. Great pics!!

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We planned to hang on the balcony at night after the kids are asleep as well. Are you suggesting buying a bottle of wine at the hotel to keep in the fridge (If yes, do we need an opener?) Or did you get a glass of wine from the lounge and bring it up? I currently have an Amazon Prime Now order ready to go with wine in it, but would love your recommendation since you’ve done it.

We got a screw cap red wine from Zawadi that was really good and about $20 (which I’m sure was a mark up) and a white later on that was also great. We kept them in our room. Wine fits fine in the fridge :grin:

I’ve heard Prime won’t deliver alcohol to Bell Services - you have to meet them and show ID or they take everything back. The problem was there appeared to be a delay from when Prime informed us the delivery driver was there and when he was gone and Bell Services didn’t have our groceries. Eventually they were found (no idea where - maybe Kidani?). I didn’t have our room number to give when I placed the order - so that could have been part of the problem.

Also from the time we had made our list on Prime to the time we actually placed the order a LOT of things weren’t available anymore. So make sure you double check right before placing it.

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Zawadi is the marketplace at Jambo BTW. Great gift shop.

Great info, thank you!

Day 2 Epcot

We all got up early…too early. We took a Lyft to Beach Club with intention of walking to the International Gateway. The gate guard was super nice about our plans and told us how to get there through the hotel (make a left). I had asked this question on the forum as I was concerned about this. It’s only about a 5 min walk from the resort and we ended up there around 8:10. Oops. Really too early. We hung out after going through security. They let us through the next step at 8:30 and dropped the rope at 8:50. It was as mellow as everyone says. We hugged the water and booked it to FEA. We walked right on. That was the point when my family realized all the prep work I’d been doing might have really been for a reason…We’re in the first row. DD6 ain’t so sure…

We went next door to meet Elsa and Anna which was listed at 10 min but quickly climbed in time. It was our longest wait of the day at about 20 min which we expected. They were super sweet and my daughter loved them.

Do all dad’s have this awkward pose next to princesses?

We headed to our first FP MSE Green at the end of out FP time (9am). DD6 loved it and it wasn’t intense at all. We then used our FP TT (10am). DD6 didn’t love it but she designed the car and won 2 out of the 4 tests. It was a hot pink pickup truck with butterflies. I modified our SE to an earlier time to minimize downtime.This was the first of many modify tricks. SE was fine. Old school Epcot. Hi from the future!

I managed to find and modify a FP for Soarin for 2:40. It took a little work but got it within 10 min or so. We went to Mexico and ate at San Angel since it was so hot outside (real feel 100F). It was a big meal but really good and worked for DH’s keto diet well. We didn’t have reservations but were able to be seated after 10-15 min wait.

We then walked around Showcase Pavilion and explored a few places but generally found it too hot and DD6 found it a bit boring. We did do Pick-a-Pearl which was nice but more appreciated by me then DD6.

We got back to Future World around 3 for Soarin and waited for B1. We hadn’t plan to request it but the CM’s actually were asking who was waiting for that section so we “volunteered”. We only waited one show. It was super fun and we really enjoyed it.

We then got a 5th FP for Living with the Land right after Soarin which DD6 really enjoyed. 6th FP for Seas with Nemo then standby walk on to Turtle Talk.

Around 5 ish the FP’s really started to disappear and only Journey, Living with the Land, Seas with Nemo were left. So we did a 7th FP for Journey into Imagination, an 8th FP for Living with the Land again and a 9th FP for Journey into Imagination. DD6 really liked Journey.

We ate at Spice Road which was a let down. I found the pita bread to be hard but the wine was good. We also tried the Fruishi which was not great and the Violet Lemonade slushy which was super refreshing and good.

We had initially planned to stay for Illuminations but given the heat and the lack of rides we left at 7:50 through the international gateway to Beach Club and called a Lyft.

Lessons learned

-EPCOT is hot

-EPCOT is gigantic

-EPCOT really doesn’t have many rides

-DD6 was not interested in Kidcot or scavenger hunts so many of the filler options were turned down

-Lots of alcohol everywhere (and drunk adults)

-No need to get too early when going International Gateway

-In retrospect it would have been a good park to mid day break

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Oh another lesson - CM’s totally know people wait for B1 at Soarin’.

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Just spent the morning cancelling my credit card and Lyft app as it got hacked in Florida. Fun! A good reminder to check all finances when you get home from vacation.

Day 3 MK

This was a last minute addition for us and I’m super happy we did this. We slept in and went to the pool for a couple of hours. We did quick service lunch at Mara then took the bus to MK (timed just right) and arrived at Mickey’s Dance Party. It was really crowded. I know TP had the CL at 4 and the next day the noted it was correct but it felt nuts there. We did our 1st FP for JC at around 1pm and then got caught in a downpour for 10 min. I knew the rain was coming via radar but just poorly planned. We then went to 2nd FP for Enchanted Tales with Belle which DH didn’t really enjoy. It really is just a meet and greet. I guess I was expecting more but the people in line with us were awesome.

We then headed to Adventureland for a Dole Whip break which DD6 loved. We camped out on the road for the Fantasy Parade at 3pm and ran over to our 3rd FP for Splash Mtn. We then grabbed a 4th for Haunted Mansion and 5th FP for Pirates but was notified it was down and converted to anytime. So we used it for Thunder Mtn. Took another snack break and then 6th FP for It’s a Small World followed by 7th FP for Under the Sea.

Despite the look of terror we did do it again another day per her request! I love the girls in the back.

Day over we went to Disney Springs via bus for reservations at Wine Bar George which was fantastic and one of the highlights of our stay. DD6 is obsessed with cured meats and cheese and informed us it was the best dinner ever. We grabbed another perfectly timed bus back to AKL and headed to bed on the early side. Oh and we modified our reservations for Wine Bar George. Disney app had no later times but Opentable did. So I modified our ADR to another date and then deleted later. We used the Open Table reservation instead.

Lessons learned

-if you know the rain is coming, put the cover on the stroller and carry your poncho/rain jacket with you.

-my sense of a crowded day vs CL sense of a crowded day do not align. I’m going to have to shoot for smaller CL days in the future

-best meals are out of the resorts

-check Open Table for Disney Springs restaurants. There were a ton of options and times available even though they were not listed on the Disney app

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Day 4 AK

Monday was an EMH and predicted heavy rains mid day so we planned accordingly. We took an early but not crazy early bus from AKL to AK and arrived around 7:40 and were through the gate quickly. Pandora was already open. We saw people running past us to FOP. I don’t think they got the memo about what time you really needed to be there. Our plan was Navi and we walked on around 7:50 / 8. We headed to KS and walked on around 8:15. We then walked around Gorilla trial falls then returned to Pandora for our 9:35 FP FOP. This was the only ride we hadn’t watched videos for ahead of time. I was worried DD6 would be scared of it so had explained it as being similar to Soarin. However the intro videos with descriptions of bugs on us really freaked her out. She cried and didn’t want to do it. I admit I bribed her to try it. She ended up with a Navi tail and a baby Bambi for having rode it. DH and I really enjoyed it. It’s really done well. DD6 was ultimately ok with it but never wanted to repeat it. Alas, I never found another FP for it even at posted drop times. She was thrilled.

Given the coming rain, I modified our FP for EE to earlier and we road that. Kali had already gone down so it converted to an anytime FP. We bailed on the park and got back to the hotel as a crazy storm hit. In 3 hours at the park we did Navi, KS, FOP and EE.

Original plans were to eat lunch at the park, then head back to AKL for Sanaa dinner and an early night. We swapped our plans. Modified the dinner at Sanaa to lunch which we really really enjoyed. Great food but way too much of it. Order less than you think. Mickey also visited Jambo house while we were there which was really fun.

During this whole time, I kept grabbing Kali FPs, modifying to right then, and watching them convert to anytimes. I had no idea what I was going to do with them but figured at least I’d have them. After about 8(!) of them I stopped and grabbed a Rivers of Light FP. We hadn’t planned to stay for that but with the rain and the rest, we felt like we had the energy to return and enjoy the night time atmosphere there.

We headed back to AK around 4:30 and stopped to see Mickey and Minnie at the Outpost. The CM refused to take a FP because there was zero line at standby which was very sweet of him. Minnie and Mickey were super sweet and DD6 practiced what she wanted to ask them. She ultimately decided on what was their favorite trip and they interacted with her for a little bit about Everest and the Yeti. Super cute.

We then used our anytimes FP for Kali, the 6pm FOLK, Kali again, Primeval Whirl (without DH) and then road Triceratops Spin (no FP line for that). We had dinner at Satuli and got to see lights coming up for Pandora. We headed over to use our FP for Rivers of Light and really liked the show. I know it gets minimal love but we liked it a lot and DD6 appreciated the lack of fireworks.

At the end of the night I still had all these anytime FP’s and figured (with suggestions from the TP app chat section) to stop at guest relations to ask if they could transfer them to the next day. It felt like low risk, high reward. So despite a tired 6 year old I swung by. The CM’s reaction was hard to read. I don’t think they often see my situation but after an initial moment of wonder he went ahead and pushed them all to our next day - MK. And holy moly was this so nice to have….more on this later.

Oh, the bus situation was terrible. This was one major failure on my part. Because I hadn’t planned for us to be at AK at closing I never planned an exit strategy and I assumed since we were right next door at AKL it would be easy. Nope. Terrible. We got back around 10:30 super tired.

Lessons learned

-Modify your ADR’s - it’s easy

-Portions at Sanaa are huge but so good

-be flexible

-Get those anytime FP’s when the rides shut down

-night time at AK is beautiful

-take a chance with low risk, high rewards requests

-have exit strategies planned even when you don’t think you’ll need them

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Day 5 MK (last park day)

Originally we were RD’ing this day but given the night before, how much we did on our other MK day, and how tiring full days are, we decided to sleep in.

Our first FP was for 7DMT at 9:10 and we ended up there a bit later than our grace period (around 10:20). I was worried about the anytime FP situation scanning in to 7DMT since we were in that unknown grace period. The day before our anytime FP were all listed. When they got pushed to the next day there were only 2 listed. However, it seemed they were all there since we kept using them and they didn’t disappear. They also included 7DMT. Basically I felt like we scored some weird never ending everything FP. I’m still convinced there may have been some weird technical glitch.

Now for the downside, 7DMT destroyed DH’s vertigo. The first pic on the ride he’s happy. By that second pic he looks green. While he tried to recover, DD6 and I did standby for Tea Cups (5-10 min). We then all went on our next FP for Peter Pan @ 10:40 and then lunch at Pecos Bill around 11. DH ordered the lettuce tacos for his keto diet and he thought they were solid. DD6 inhaled her tacos. At this point it was apparent he was not doing better and he decided to head back for rest and to try out his vertigo exercises. We parted ways and DD6 and I tore through the park.

The look of vertigo…But look at DD6 behind!

We did our 3rd FP for BTMR then grabbed a 4th for Pirates. This time we knew the rain was coming again so stroller got prepped and I had our rain jackets. We came out of Pirates to a massive thunderstorm that lasted about 10 min. We then swam(!) our way to Tomorrowland. We did a 5th FP for Buzz. I won. Then went on the PeopleMover which we both loved. We were hoping for the caramel Mickey pretzel but they didn’t have them anymore at Lunching Pad so we grabbed a shake from Auntie Galaxy’s which was terrible and got thrown out. We then did a 7th FP for SM which DD6 LOVED. We never went on Astro Orbiter due to lines plus we decided to go old school and head to Dumbo. So we grabbed an 8th FP for Dumbo. DD6 requested Barnstormer despite my protests. I grabbed a 9th for Barnstormer which she enjoyed mostly due to Goofy’s broken signs. We then did a 10th FP for Pooh. Then used one of our Anytime FP for 7DMT. We grabbed an 11th FP for Splash (about 4:30) and DH was able to rejoin us around this time.

I love how thrilled she looks

I grabbed another Dole Whip - this time a float. I found that version superior due to melting issues with the cups. While in line two young women were talking about all the waiting they were doing. I tried sharing a bit of liner knowledge. I got met with “maybe I’ll look in to that later.” I think they thought I was trying to sell them something or had two heads….

On to 12th FP for Pirates and a 13th for Magic Carpets. While in line I was grabbing our next FP and the lady ahead of me overheard me talking to DD6. They started asking questions. They were almost there - they knew how to get more FPs - they just didn’t know they could modify to earlier times. So I shared that with them and they went off to Pirates as we headed to dinner at Skipper Canteen.

So Skipper Canteen. It has potential and had things that worked with DH’s diet. But everything was a let down. It’s not someplace we can recommend. It was now nearing 8 so we decided to head over to Tomorrowland to end the night there. We crossed the hub which was already so full and crazy busy. I had FP’s for Buzz but DD6 really wanted SM so we headed there and used our Anytime FP for that. DH did pretty well.

We watched HEA over by the rocks right next to Terrace on the Tomorrowland side. I had seen that in someone’s report before and thought it was a great spot. No CM’s came by to kick us out (reports were abound about that) But I honestly don’t know why they would. There were only a small handful of people and they had the dessert area roped off well. The fireworks were on our side so a bit loud but good view. The castle was visible from the side. You miss the full front view but it was fine with us. The best part was Tinkerbell flying above us and waving to us. That was an unexpected treat. We chatted with a Canadian family that had just arrived and shared a bit about the modify trick with them. Hopefully they will have an extra nice time with it.

After it was over we headed for another anytime FP for SM. DH sat that one out. DD6 and I then headed for 1 last ride - 7DMT while DH rode Buzz - both with Anytime FP. It did seem that right after we got on the 7DMT FP line that they opened it up to stand by as well on our side.

Waiting for SM like a warrior…

We caught the Kiss Goodnight on our way out. We decided to walk to the Contemporary and took a Lyft back. It did take about 15 min to arrive but it was much more mellow of a trip this way.

Lessons learned

-7DMT and vertigo do not mix well. All that swaying is bad news.

-MK really has limited good food

-Dole Whips really are good

-stay in your land after 8

-HEA angled views are totally fine for most people

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Sorry for how long all of this is. I feel like I needed to contribute all the information in my brain about this trip out to the world. I also just really really want to the thank this forum and all the other WDW resources out there for making this such as amazing trip. Thanks guys!

Day 6

Slept in, swam a bit, packed and got on the tragical express home.

Final thoughts

-My DD6 has absolutely no idea how lucky she was. She would occasionally complain about 10 min waits and there were times I wanted to drop her off at a stand by line and come back in an hour to see how she was doing….not really but you know.

-My DH finally understands why I spent so many hours studying about WDW. There’s no way he’d ever agree to returning had he not had the experience we had. Though, our chances of an amusement park family trip have plummeted post vertigo exasperation. We’ll have to plan carefully going forward.

-Mobile ordering was helpful at times but not world altering

-radar weather apps are awesome

-Our TP were helpful for planning the layout of things and having a good sense of the parks. They were really helpful in all the planning stages. But once we started grabbing FP’s they didn’t become all that important. I highly highly recommend having one and doing that work though. It set the framework for everything else.

-MK isn’t that big. You really can criss cross without it seeming crazy

-Epcot is a monster. Don’t criss cross.

-AK is ok. It’s big but we didn’t notice it as much.

-Modify. Knowing and being able to do this was world altering. I would generally be able to have our next ride planned by the time we got on the ride we had just tapped in to. DH would watch DD6 while I was on the phone. And when DD6 and I were alone, she knew mom was working on something important. It never really took longer than 5 minutes and it save us hours.

-bring your external charger just in case

-yes, memory maker is worth it.

-we walked at least 6 miles every day regardless of park

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Thanks for the thorough report!

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Nice work! Glad you had a great time. Which weather radar app do you like?

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Really enjoyed this report - the level of detail was perfect. I laughed out loud at your comment about your daughter not realizing how lucky she was and leaving her in a stand by line for awhile :slight_smile: And I am the same way with strangers in a line - sometimes they just don’t get you are trying to help them but I can’t help myself when I overhear their cluelessness. My husband is always saying, “DNE!” (Do not engage!)

You should be really proud of yourself - what a trip!

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Great update! We are doing this exact thing in a couple of weeks. I love your photo comments :rofl: Can’t wait to see how my husband poses next to the characters.

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@koi1217 When you were grabbing KRR Fast Passes during the rain and they were converting to any time, can you do that an unlimited amount of times? Do the any time Fast passes not “count” toward you already having a rolling fast pass?

Also, when you go to use a FP that you have for a specific ride, when they scan your band, does it automatically take the correct FP? How does it know to take a 7DMT FP and not an any time? Or does that even matter?

That’s awesome!

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