Trip Report- The name of the game is stamina. And flexibility. The game has 2 names


#1

Just got back from an awesome trip to the World. We were at Universal 2 nights and 2.5 days, then we boogied over the WDW for 6 nights and 5 full days plus 2 half days.

Traveling party:
Me (with my knee scooter)
My hubby
Dad (78)
Mom (75 with Alzheimers)
My Brother & his wife
My nephews: 8, 10, 15
My nieces: 25 and 13

So, total of 11 people, ages 8 to 78. We arrived in Orlando Friday evening, spent 2 nights at Universal, and then on Sunday afternoon we transferred to a 3 bedroom grand villa at Kidani Village. We had FPP at AK on EE and FOP for Sunday night, so that gave us incentive to get out of universal at about 3pm. We had rental cars so we drove to Kidani to drop our bags and check in, and then we went right to AK without visiting our room first. We were able to make our EE FPP with plenty of time. In fact, we had enough time to ride a few times and to utilize rider swap. (My mother was in her huge wheelchair, and they didn’t question us at all about using rider swap.)

Then we decided to go to FOP by way of Dino land, because we had plenty of time. Primevil Whirl posted a 10 min wait, so a 7 of us decided to take advantage. 45 min later we were still waiting in line, and starting to get worried about our FOP window. By texting we were able to coordinate that the waiting 4 people would make their way to FOP, keeping in mind that they had the wheelchair, and we would likely be able to catch up to them. We talked about bailing on PW, but we were just so close to getting on. I found out later that the real reason we didn’t bail was because my 8 year old nephew was too short to ride it last trip, and he was so excited to be tall enough this time. Anyway, we finally got on, and then we made a mad-dash to Pandora. It was a crazy fast, crazy long dash, weaving on and out people like slalom skiers. We made it to the FOP entrance, to see that the rest of our party wasn’t there, even though they had texted a few minutes ago to say they were waiting at the entrance. Turns out they were waiting at Navi River Journey. Oye. They found their way to us and found a place to ditch the wheelchair. I had forgotten what a long hike it is from the FPP tapstiles to the ride. My poor mother does NOT have that kind of stamina, and my brother was so sweet to have his arm around her, almost carrying her to the top. When we got to the top she was so out of breath and sat on my knee scooter, waiting for the ride. Before she sat, the cast member came to ask me if I needed a wheelchair to get from the scooter to the ride, and I told her I could manage, but that we could really use one for my mother. She brought it right over. Everyone really enjoyed the ride. It’s such a good one!!

We went to Satu’li Canteen for dinner, and used our DDP for the first time. Dinner was really good. I definitely preferred the blueberry cream cheese mousse over the chocolate cake (and I’m a chocolate person in general). By this time, the park was closing, and we were ready to get settled at the resort. It was a quick drive back to Kidani. Our room was so nice!! It was so awesome to be able to spread out a little. (We had squished 11 people into 2 5-person rooms at Universal Loews Pacific Royal…that was rough!) The villa had an upstairs and a downstairs. On the lower level we had the master bedroom (king sized bed) and master bathroom, which had a walk-in shower as well as a Jacuzzi tub. Also on the lower level was the kitchen, living room (with fold-out sofa), stacked washer and dryer, dining room, and full sized bath (with tub/shower combo).

Upstairs there were 2 bedrooms, which each had 2 queen sized beds, and each had a bathroom with a tub/shower combo. There was also a loft-type “room” upstairs between the bedrooms, and there was a TV and fold out sofa in this room. (The fold-out aspect of our sofa in this room was broken). Also in each of the bathrooms upstairs the toilet was behind a door in the bathroom. I REALLY love this feature. My only complaint about this room at all was that in the upstairs bathrooms the mirrors were really high on the wall. Granted, I’m on the short side (5’2) but I don’t usually have a problem with hotel mirrors. I could see my whole face, but nothing at all below that. It was super helpful that there was a full-body mirror mounted on the door to the toilet room. I ended up using that mirror to do my hair and makeup. Oh, and there was also a closet-y kind of room that was between the bedroom and bathroom. All in all, plenty of space. My parents took the master suite, my husband and I shared one room with my nieces, my brother and his wife shared their room with the 2 little boys, and the 15 year old boy slept on the fold-out sofa downstairs.

Oh, another thing that I LOVED about this villa was the underground parking. Our room was a pretty solid 15 min walk to the lobby, but we were very close to one of the elevators that went right to the parking garage. So to get to our car took less than 4 min. Because of the walk to the lobby, the refillable mugs weren’t super helpful.

Wow. That’s a lot of details. Next post: Monday HS with EMM at Toy Story Land


#2

The name of your report cracked me up. It is so true! Looking forward to following along with your trip.


#3

Monday: HS with EMM, park hop to Epcot for Via Napoli dinner

I think this was my favorite day. Mom and Dad slept in, but the rest of us loaded up in the cars and headed to HS super early (we decided to drive just because of the control that it gave us, and we knew parking would be a breeze because of how early we were going). We got to the parking lot about 6:45am and the booths were completely vacant, so we drove right in. We arrived at the HS tapsiles in the dark at about 6:50am. We were let right through the tapstiles, had our MDE accounts checked to confirm EMM, and given the wristbands right away. We had reserved the 7:30am EMM, but I had heard that the reservation time is kind of irrelevant, so we went for the 7am. I had also heard that they didn’t start serving breakfast until 7, but we got to the ABC Commissary before 7 and walked right in. They had several continental buffet stations set up around the place, and it was our plan to eat a light/quick breakfast first thing, and then head to TSL, and come back to the commissary just before park-opening to get a more real breakfast. So we ate a quick breakfast and then headed toward TSL, only to be stopped and in front of the old GMR. It was 7:10am at this point, and we figured we would probably be waiting there until 7:30. Some of our party almost left to find a bathroom, but then they started leading us to TSL! Of course we went straight to Slinky Dog, and almost walked right on. It was so great!! I love the theming of the park, and the details in the Slinky Dog line are so fun! Behind the Cast Members that load the ride there is a huge sketch of the ride, and we really enjoyed comparing this to the actual ride. We rode SDD probably 5 times. I think we all rode together twice, but then our people started dropping like flies. I thought the ride was super fun, not jerky at all. I had just a touch of nausea at ride 2, and then a little more during ride 3, but then after that it didn’t come back… let this be a lesson… just power through. :slight_smile: I think there were only 4 of us on the last ride. So we decided to go do TSMM and AS2 while the lines were shorter. The length of the walk in and out of TSMM was enough to make me not want to do it again. We did AS2 all together one time, and then about half the party waited while the rest of us rode again. At this point it was about 8:30 and the crowds were starting to increase. I think SDD was up to about a 20 min wait, and we decided that was too long for us (crazy, right???). So we went back to the commissary and ordered breakfast. My husband was telling me that he wanted one thing from one of the entrees, and one thing from another entree, and the cast member suggested that he just order one of each! So he did! We all found something we liked. My brother and I had the chilaquiles, and enjoyed them, and I also had some guacamole toast, and I liked that too. I had heard that getting the food from behind the counter was time consuming, so I was worried about this, but they got it out quickly. Apparently they’ve fixed that problem. We finished up just before 9, and headed to RNR. or is it RRC? Whatever. The big, dark, fast, jerky roller coaster with really loud music (yes, I’m old, and also GET OFF MY LAWN). And then we went right to TOT. After that we decided to use our RNR/RRC FPP, but I didn’t want to ride again so I gave someone my magicband to tap in for me. At this point it was time for our SDD FPP, so we headed back to TSL. It was PACKED. Uncomfortably so. But we did get to see the army men walking around, playing ball, drumming, etc. They were lots of fun. The rest of the day was bouncing around to Frozen sing along, Little Mermaid show, Indiana Jones, Star Tours, etc. We did brave TSL again just because I wanted to eat at Woody’s lunchbox. It would’ve made sense to eat there when we were in the land for our SDD FPP at 10:30, but no one was hungry because we had already eaten two breakfasts. So, we went back to TSL about 1:30 for lunch. The line was long, but my brother remembered that we could mobile-order, and the CM at the back of the line confirmed that this would be faster. They got the food out pretty quickly, but seating was difficult to find. We ended up splitting into 2 groups, and I used my scooter as a chair. I had the grilled cheese with the tomato soup, and I really liked it. I also tried the brisket sandwich and I liked that too. We shared a couple of poptarts, and they were good also.

By this time we felt like we had done everything we wanted to do at HS, and we headed back to the resort for a little break before going to Epcot for dinner. Dad had called right before we went to TSL for lunch, but we told him we were just going to grab a quick bite and then go back to the hotel. So he and Mom didn’t end up joining us at HS. We had anticipated that they would be sleeping in most mornings, so we didn’t buy the EMM for them. I also had posters printed at Costco that detailed our FPP and reservations for each of the days. I put them up in the villa, thinking that it would help the kids get excited and know what to expect each day, but it would also allow my parents to know what our plans were, and where to join us. My folks have been to WDW several times, and my dad was super comfortable taking the busses. It turned out to be a good plan for them to be able to come whenever they woke for the day. I’ll try to add a pic of one of the posters.

Pics below:
Walking into HS in the dark
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Our EMM bands (with the teenagers doing the llama)

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Almost to TSL–kind of a big crowd

Our first view of Jessie and SDD!
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Love the lights (not the crowd)
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Slinky Dog is my favorite!

My niece and I in the front of SDD, my hubby right behind me and my brother next to him
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My brother and I riding a ride at the amusement park when we were kids. This popped up on my FB feed the morning we were doing SDD. I know it’s not WDW…but I thought the timing was so fun. :slight_smile:!

After our lunch at Woody’s Lunchbox we went back to the hotel to chill for a little while. We got there about 3pm, and decided that we would need to leave by about 4:20 to make our Via Napoli reservation. About 3:30 we talked again about if we wanted to make the reservation or not, and we agreed that we did…everyone was just laying around, not really interacting with each other or the animals…so might as well take advantage of the World! We took 2 cars because all 11 of us went. We decided to park at Beach Club and go through the international gateway. My brother is a DVC member, and this is his home resort, so we were able to valet for free. I think we underestimated the amount of walking that would be needed to get to Epcot…we didn’t bring my mom’s wheelchair with us. So my sister-in-law ended up going ahead of the group, and renting a wheelchair at guest services just inside the park, and then bringing it back to us. We were able to move along at a faster clip with the wheelchair. We enjoyed entering Epcot through this gate (a first for me), and we enjoyed meandering to Italy. I was unable to make a reservation for a group our size, so I had 2 reservations. One for 5 people at 5:30 and one for 6 people at 5:15pm. Our strategy for this reservation (and others to follow) was to arrive early and let them know we were a bigger group with multiple reservations, we hoped to be seated somewhere near each other, and we didn’t mind waiting a little longer if it would make that possible. At Via Napoli they were SUPER accommodating. They told us it would be about 20 minutes, but they called us back in about 10 (this happens to me almost every time I go to this restaurant). We were seated at a very large round table in the main dining room. The food was so good. The ambiance was pretty loud…if we have a group this large in the future I think I will request to sit in the back area, which is much quieter. In fact, I think I’d rather be seated at 2 different tables than at a table in this area. But I really appreciated them working it out for us. Because of our plans for the rest of the week, and because of the way Via Napoli charges dining credits if you order pizza to share, we decided that it would be best for us to pay for this meal. I used a gift card that I had purchased at Costco, so at least we got some sort of deal on it. I really enjoy this restaurant, and I would definitely recommend it.

One more pic for this day: I had a poster for each day printed 20"x30" at Costco and stuck them to the wall with ticky-tack.

Next up: Tuesday at Magic Kingdom with EMM and MNSSHP. Buckle up.


#4

I loved the name too!


#5

I love your sense of humor and the posters are brilliant!


#6

Your poster is wonderful!


#7

It seems so daunting to do WDW with a large family group, but you really make it WORK! Fun fun fun!


#8

Love, love, LOVE the poster idea!


#9

I’m loving this! I’m glad you had a good time at TSL EMM. Can’t wait to hear about fantasyland. We are doing both of those in January! The crowds do look bigger for TSL EMM than initially reported, but you still got to ride everything plenty of time. Yay!


#10

Add me to the list of people who love the report name! The poster looks great, such a good idea.


#11

I’m loving the report too! The poster is fantastic! If you have a chance I would love to hear about your UOR time on the Universal forum!


#12

Wow! Those posters are a great idea! As the ONLY one doing the planning in our family, I’m sure I’ll get the “what are we doing today?” question a LOT. Posters like that might help. And it’s a good way to get everyone excited about what’s coming up that day.


#13

:heart_eyes:


#14

On monday 10-22? I was there with my DH and DD5. We also did EMM. She absolutly loved Slinky.


#15

Alright. Tuesday was our first Magic Kingdom day. I had originally planned and reserved a BOG breakfast at 8:05am, but then Disney released EMM, and I knew it would mess up the advantages of the PPO reservation. So I did an audible, and went ahead and booked EMM about a month before our visit. We opted to drive our own cars again, knowing that this meant dealing with the monorail, but we decided the advantages and control outweighed the disadvantages. Once again we were at the parking lot before the booths opened, so we breezed right though. We got to security about 6:50am, only to find that security didn’t open until 7. Sigh So we waited in our first line of the day. We were trying to take a selfie, and the security guard was nice enough to offer to take a pic.

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Once they opened, we breezed right through to the monorail. At that time of day the only one running was the one that stopped at the resorts. Oh well. We got to MK, proved that we had EMM privileges, got our wristbands and then tapped into the park. Annnnddddd then we found out that they were holding us just before the railroad tracks until 7:45. This 20 min wait was the longest ever. It was super frustrating, especially after the awesome experience with EMM the day before. I thought we were supposed to be riding rides by 7:45, but with the long hike to fantasyland it was 8am before we hit 7DMT. After riding about 3 times, the natives started getting really restless. We didn’t do the quick breakfast before riding because we were so late getting in, and I think the group was feeling it. All I wanted to do was keep riding…my goal was 10 times on 7DMT, and I started getting kinda frustrated about everyone wanting to eat during precious PPO time…but then I realized that was the hangry speaking. So we decided to go ride PPF, and then go to village haus for a quick breakfast, with the intention of going back again before 10am. The buffet was definitely great. So many options, and plenty of everything, and I loved how quick it was to just grab what we wanted. One CM saw me struggling with my scooter and a plate, and offered to help, which was super kind. I told her I could manage as I had already made my selections, but she saw that I had some french toast but no syrup so she grabbed some and handed it to me. They even got us some diet cokes from behind the counter. We wolfed down a quick bite, and as we were leaving the CMs reminded us to come back again anytime before 10. We hit 7DMT again, bringing our total rides to 5. Not enough for me. Oh well. We quickly rode WTP, and then lined up to RD (from fantasyland) SM.

I cannot get enough of the side view of the castle. It’s just so pretty!!

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Side note: I’ve been noticing lately (not just at Disney) that some people will see a need or an opportunity to help and just do it, when other people don’t even see the need in the first place. I would be so interested to know how Disney seems to find people who see the needs and opportunities. This is such a common characteristic of the CMs, and I would really love to know how to screen for it…I need more of my staff to be like that!

We got to SM quickly, and there was no standby wait, so they sent us right through the FP line. Interesting note about using the knee scooter: when we were there 6 months ago the procedure for SM and BTMR was that we would go to the CM at the start of the line and ask for a “return time.” This would work similarly to the Disability pass. They would look at the standby time, and then give me a paper FP with a window that started about 10 min shorter than the standby time. There was no expiration time on the paper FP, and they would write down the number of people in my party. All this because the standby lines have stairs. So, this time when we were there, at SM the standby time was short, so they sent us directly through the FP line. After riding the first time we went back to the line CM and asked for a return time. He was willing, but he had to scan all 9 magic bands…which was a little time consuming and a little annoying, but still worth it. The Buzz ride is one of my husband’s favorites, so we rode that next. He always has the goal of hitting 999,999, but he’s never done it yet. Next we went to the Tomorrowland Speedway. The same nephew that was too short for PW last time was also too short to be a single driver last time, so he was super excited about doing this. Both of the little guys were insistent on driving their own cars, with no passengers. So cute. After this ride we headed back to Village Haus for a more substantial breakfast. It was just as good as the first time, but nice to be able to enjoy it for a few minutes. A couple of my nephews were so enamored by the mini Tabasco bottles. The 15 year old pocketed one for his “souvenir” and we didn’t even know that the 10 year old pocketed one as well. Then we headed to Frontierland, with the idea of getting a return time for BTMR. Turns out it was down, and they weren’t doing return times. We went and rode splash instead. We didn’t have a FPP so we jumped in the standby line. After just a couple of minutes we noticed a strange smell and that the 10 year old was gagging a little and trying to rub his tongue on his hand. lol. Yeah, he had cracked open the Tobasco and was “enjoying” it. Luckily I had some Mentos in my bag and gave him a couple. Too cute. Splash was awesome. There are stairs in the line, but not until the line enters the building, so they pulled us aside just before that and took us through the exit.

Next we headed over towards POC and JC, wanting to get them in before our Skipper Canteen reservation at 1:15pm. After POC but before JC we saw that BTMR had opened, and already had a wait of about 40 min. So my brother had the idea of taking a picture of me on the scooter and going back by himself to try and get a return time. He explained to the CM that we were there when it was closed earlier, and I was across the park, showed them a pic of me on the scooter, and asked if there was any chance that he could get the return time for us. And they did it!! They gave him a paper FP for all 9 of us. This was the kind that didn’t have an expiration time. Yay!

We made it on time to Skipper Canteen, and my parents were able to join us for that. The restaurant got us in pretty quickly, and we sat at a long table in the main room. We enjoyed the sense of humor of our server, and most of my party had the steak and LOVED it! I also had it, and I thought it was good, but nothing to write home about. My brother also had the watermelon Fanta. Or was it honeydew? I don’t remember, but it was nasty. He sent it back for a diet coke. I did try the slushy that my niece ordered and it was so good! I would definitely eat here again.

Next we headed to BMTR to use our FP. With BTMR we didn’t go through the FP line when we returned, we went through the exit instead. Surprisingly Mom decided to ride BTMR with us. (photo below…and I love how happy my nephew is in the photo). And as we finished up we stopped by the CM at the entrance of the standby line to get another FP. This time they scanned all our bands. Next we pulled over to have a little chat about our afternoon plans. We had always intended to go back to the resort for a couple of hours before returning for the MNSSHP. I have no idea where my brother gets his stamina, but he suggested just staying and powering through. Oye. I can’t say no to the guy, so I agreed. My parents knew they would never make it, and my 25 year old niece had some homework to do so they took the bus back to the resort. I think my SIL must’ve had some inclination that this would happen, because she recommended wearing our “costumes” for the entire day. They were just incredibles shirts, but I did have them specially made with the Mickey ears. This afternoon we went up to the Barnstormer area, and rode that, Dumbo, visited the large gift shop, shared some caramel apples. I don’t remember specifically what else we did. At some point we also mobile order of dole whip, and it worked well. I tried the pineapple upsidedown cake with it, and I liked it…I would definitely get it again.

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We did spend a little time in Tomorrowland this afternoon as well, and we ended up getting our MNSSHP bands and candy bags here. At about 4pm I texted my niece to tell her it was time to get Grandma and Grandad moving towards the party…it takes them some time to get warmed up. She texted back after a few minutes saying that Grandma wasn’t feeling up to it and Grandad didn’t want to leave her. My niece tried to convince him to let her stay with Grandma because she knew Grandad was REALLY looking forward to the party, but I think he was just really frustrated and didn’t want to make my niece miss it. To me, this is the hard part of the Alz. It’s when Mom gets tired and obstinate and just wants what she wants, and it interferes with my Dad’s desires. He is probably one of the most kind, tenderhearted and amazing men I know, and he will ALWAYS put her needs ahead of his own. It worked when she was coherent enough to also make sure he was getting his needs met, but it’s much more difficult now when she can’t remember all the times every day that he is sacrificing for her. Anyway. Enough about that.

It was really fun at 7pm when the announcer came on and the music changed. And it was interesting in the afternoon to see the crowd morph from day guests to party guests. Without a doubt, the busiest times in MK for us were the afternoons of the MNSSHP. Crazy busy, and lots of interesting people! We saw lots of other Incredible families, but I liked that our shirts were a little different from any of the others. I felt bad for the Incredible families in the vinyl costumes…they looked so hot and sticky.

The kids enjoyed the “trick-or-treating” and the lines moved pretty quickly. It was interesting that after the first parade the candy lines were basically non-existent…we just walked right through.

We rode a few rides during the party. POC, BTMM, SW, we tried to ride SM but the FP line was closed because they weren’t doing FPP during the party. I think we could’ve gone through the exit, but we didn’t feel like figuring it out. When we made our plan to stay the afternoon we agreed that we would do the first parade at 9:15, then do the fireworks at 10:15, and then head out. At some point this plan changed to doing the fireworks and then the second parade, and then leaving. Not sure how that happened. Just before the first parade started we found ourselves exiting POC, and starving for something that wasn’t sugar. We found that the market outside Liberty Tavern had some options, but we had a hard time navigating to it between the parade seating and the candy line nearby. We ended up going backwards through the candy line (with some nasty looks from some guests), but we got in and placed our order just before hoards of people got in line behind us. We rode a couple more rides and hit some other candy lines before the fireworks and then found ourselves in Tomorrowland just as the fireworks were starting. I worked my way towards the hub because I wanted to see the projections on the castle. My position was not ideal, but it was okay.

After the fireworks it was about 10:30pm, and we had been going strong since about 6:50am. We were all starting to get a little testy. My brother wanted to continue to ride rides, and when I suggested that we go find a spot for the parade he said that if we stop moving everyone is going to fall asleep. Haha. My oldest niece and nephew went to find a parade spot, I went to the emporium to do a little shopping, and the rest of the crew went and found a ride or two. I had told my brother that afternoon that there were several treats that were only available during the party, and that I would like to try some of them. When the rest of the group came for the parade they were holding some of the candy corn shakes with the cotton candy and Mickey marshmellows on them. I found out later that they saw someone eating it, and my brother asked my husband if he thought I would like it, and then they went and found them for me. So sweet!! Those guys…they are awesome to me.

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The parade was fun. We enjoyed the floats and character and the music. If I were doing it again I would download the parade music to listen to before our trip…just to increase the excitement at the beginning of the parade.

As the parade ended we joined the throngs of people leaving the park. Most of my group got on the first monorail, but we got separated because of the scooter, and my niece and I ended up on the second one. BUT we had parked super close (because of our oh-dark-thirty park arrival), and we got out of the parking lot pretty quickly. I believe we were lights out at the resort by 1am.

Thankfully we were able to bump some FPP for the next day, and we didn’t need to leave the resort until about 11am. Wednesday: Animal Kingdom!


#16

Gorgeous photos of family as well as of the castle - looks like you all had such fun! Thanks so much for sharing.


#17

Bonus pics from Tuesday. I didn’t mention that my husband refused to wear the Incredibles shirt. So he opted for Syndrome (notice him lurking in the back of the darker parade photo). When the CM at PPF was asking us all the scooter-induced questions, she said “and in the event of an emergency will Syndrome be able to help you down a ladder?” I thought it was pretty quick of her.


#18

Alright~ This was a much shorter day, so in theory the trip report should be shorter too, right? Jeez, I can’t believe how time consuming the last 2 were. You’re probably thinking they were time consuming to read, too!

We originally had FPP for EE starting at 10:10am, then FOP at 11:15am and then the Kili Safari at 12:15pm. As the MNSSHP got later and later, we decided to go ahead and bump the EE to 2ish–after our lunch at Yak & Yeti. We were able to do so easily. So, the plan was to leave the resort around 11am the next day. I knew that Sanaa stopped serving their quick service breakfast at 10am, so it was my plan to get up around 9, leave for Sanaa about 9:40, and be back to the room about 10, with an hour to eat and finish getting ready. Uh huh. I woke up a little late, and was slow to get going. All the sudden I looked at the clock and it was 8:45. WTW!! (or as my brother would say…“what the what???” I was able to convince my hubby to walk with me to the restaurant because I knew I’d need help carrying food for 9 people back to the room.

We walked/jogged/walked down to the 2nd floor, past a million guest rooms and the lobby, and finally got to the restaurant. We literally placed the order at 9:59am. The CM that took the order told me that the kitchen was going to “freak out.” Okay. So by 9:25 we had the food. We started walking back to the room, but like idiots, we thought we’d just go ahead and take the elevator near the restaurant to the 4th floor, which is the floor we were staying on. Silly, silly rabbits. Turns out we were turned around. Also, there is a north and south wing of Kidani village. We were staying on the north wing, and the restaurant elevator was on the south wing. The only indoor connection between the 2 wings is the lobby. Course we didn’t figure that out until we had walked like 5 min in the wrong direction. So we took a random elevator back to the lobby, walked past another million guest rooms, and then got to an elevator that would take us to the NORTH 4th floor. At that point we walked past literally (I counted) 54 guest rooms to ours. Sigh. It was a very long expedition to get breakfast. Seriously 3000 steps. We didn’t get back to our room until about 10:50. When we returned my sister-in-law told me that she thought she had misunderstood the plan, and that my husband and I were just eating breakfast at the restaurant. Oye.

This is NOT the way to make this day of the trip report shorter.

Okay, so we had breakfast, and finished getting ready. And then my brother kinda shrugged his shoulders at 11:20 and said there was no way we were going to make the FOP window. WTW?? Are you kidding me??? Does he KNOW how hard I worked for those fast passes 2 months ago? We AAARRREEEE going to make that window. :slight_smile: Luckily Kidani is super close to AK. We got into the park and into Pandora with enough time left in our FPP window to stop for a MM photo under the floating mountains. Whew.

FOP was awesome again. My brother said he enjoyed it in a whole different way than the first time he rode on Sunday…when he was seated next to Mom…waiting to catch her as she fell of her Banshee. haha. Just for clarification, she didn’t fall…he was just trying to be prepared if she did. Oh, and BTW, has anyone else had trouble with the backrest not disengaging after the ride? My husband and dad both had the issue on Sunday when we rode. Everyone else was up and collecting their gear, and they were still stuck on their banshees. It was easy to release them…I just pushed the backrest closer to them and then pulled a little and it released. Still…weird.

I was a little surprised that Mom and Dad slept in past us this day. They had retired way before us the night before, and we even had a late start that day. Anyway, the plan was for KS at noon, thinking that they would be with us. We thought it was a ride they would both enjoy. They texted just after we got off of FOP, and said they were just getting up, and that they would meet us after lunch. I tried to modify the KS FPP for later in the day, but there were no FPP available, even when I broke us up into smaller groups. We saw on the Lines app that KRR had a short wait, so we agreed that my bro would go to KS and work his magic with the CM, to see if we could get a FPP for later in the day while the rest of us went to KRR. We met at KRR and he had been successful! As usual!! He’s a wizard with that kind of thing. He got the paper FPP, the kind with no expiration time.

We jumped in line for KRR at 12:30, and it said it was a 15 min wait. Unfortunately, at 12:55 we were still in line. I had a ADR’s at Yak & Yeti for 5 people at 1pm and 6 people at 1:25. I tried to call Y&Y to let them know we were going to be late, but of course I just got the regular disney dining line. I had to hold for a few minutes, but I let them know what was happening and the CM said it wasn’t a problem. She could see that we would be late for the 20 min grace on the 1pm reservation, but that the restaurant would be super accommodating if we just let them know we were stuck in a line. We rode the ride and when straight to the restaurant. She was right…they were amazing. They didn’t have a table available that would seat us all, and I had to tell them that we originally had 11 people, but that it turned out we had 9. They put us at 2 tables very close to each other. We put the 4 kids at one table (don’t judge…the youngest is 8, and they are all very well behaved. In fact, just the day before, at skipper canteen, a man at an adjacent table complimented me on how well behaved the kids are!) and the 5 adults right next to them. The waiter was awesome and as we were placing our drink orders my dad called and said they were in the park. Wow. So…we let the waiter know, and he was so sweet to roll with it and bring another chair. Let me say that it’s likely that this was my favorite dining experience. I’ve eaten here before and it was fine…nothing to write home about…but this time it was awesome. My only complaint is the paper straws. (Ugh…don’t get me started. I know, I know…sea turtles…yada yada yada.) The server was amazing, and the food was really, really great. LOVED this place. And just to be fair, the other time I ate here I was sick, but I didn’t quite know it yet, and I think that played a role in my experience.

Just for timing information, I think we arrived at the restaurant about 1:30, we were seated and had drink orders in by about 1:50. I think we placed food orders about 2pm, but the food didn’t come out until about 2:20. So it was close to 3pm before we left here.

After lunch we went to the Safari…thinking we needed to digest a bit before EE. The Safari was AMAZING! Our driver was fun and informative, and there were tons of animals out. I wasn’t expecting this because it was mid afternoon, but we were all pleasantly surprised. We saw a baby monkey, a baby giraffe and a baby elephant. And lots of other animals as well. Even the lion was out sunning on his rock.

And then we went to EE. We didn’t need to use rider swap this time because almost half of us didn’t want to ride. So the other half used the non-riders’ magicbands to ride a second time. And then we headed to Dinosaur by way of PW. The line for PW was super fast. Dinosaur, unfortunately, was broken, and they had no idea when it would be up again (the CM said it was possible it would reopen after a bit, but it was more likely it was down for the day). So we headed across the park to the Bug’s Life show. It was cute…a little scarier than I remembered. We kept an eye open for Dinosaur, but alas, no luck. It was about 5pm by now, and the group was ready to call it a day.

We have an interesting debate about the shows in our family. There are some that think that Disney parks are all about the rides, and the other things they put into the parks are there to try and divert people from the rides. The rides are the only things that matter, and “they” are just trying to keep people away from them. So shows, shopping, characters, restaurants…it’s all a conspiracy to keep people from the important things…the rides. And then there are others of the family who LOVE the shows, but since we are pushing too hard, running from ride to ride, rope dropping every morning, etc, cannot help but nap through the shows. I’ll admit, I’m in the second group. I LOVE the shows. Frozen sing along at HS is so fun!! The narrators are hilarious and I love the music. I love the effects in the Little Mermaid show, and the actors are so good. And the Beauty and the Beast show is seriously Broadway quality. I’ve heard Philhar-nap-ic is amazing, but honestly, it’s so comfortable and dark in there that I’ve never actually seen the whole show. I’ve even been known to catch a little nap in Small World. I loved The Festival of the Lion King several months ago…and I tried so hard to stay awake because it was so good, but it was just so still and dark and off-my-feet (in retrospect…that WAS the day that I was sick but didn’t know it yet). I wanted to see the Nemo show this trip, because I’ve heard it’s so good, but we didn’t make it there. Those of our group that are in the “everything-other-than-the rides-is-a-conspiracy group” usually win out. However, some progress is being made with the explanation that different people like different things, and that is one reason that Disney parks are so successful…they cater to a lot of different preferences. But it’s a work in progress.

So, after Bug’s Life we did a little end of the day shopping. My brother and his wife had told the kids at the beginning of the week that they could each chose one souvenir. The kids were so sweet and deliberate with their choices. The 10 year old had the hardest time pulling the trigger. He was afraid to chose anything because what if he saw something better at the next park. But at this point we knew he had seen everything besides Epcot, and we knew that he really loved FOP and the banshees they were selling in the gift shop. So he and my brother went back to Pandora to buy it while the rest of us did some looking around in the main gift shop near the tree of life.

We had an ADR for Sanaa that night…I had heard the bread service was to die for. But because our lunch ended up being soooo late, no one was hungry, so I ended up doing the bump-and-dump trick. I’ve heard it mostly called the bump-and-run, but honestly bump-and-dump is so much more accurate.

We took the guys back to the resort, and then the girls (minus Mom) decided to go to Disney Springs. I had heard a ton about Amorette’s, and I really wanted to see it for myself. We found it, and the desserts inside were just so gorgeous. We bought some to secretly share before we went back to the resort, and also bought some to share with the guys. We sat down outside to eat our secret treats. I had my back to Amorette’s, and my 25 year old niece, Marissa, had her back to the walk-way. At first when we sat down we saw this tree-man walking backstage. Have you seen him? I think he’s usually at AK. I should’ve taken a pic, but it happened too fast. He’s obviously on stilts, and he has stilts in his hands too…so he looks like a 4 legged-creature, COVERED in leaves, with no head and no human features. Anyway…several minutes later, when we were almost done with our treats, I saw him emerge from backstage. None of the other girls in my party saw him. Like I said, he’s completely covered in leaves, but somehow I knew I made eye contact with him, and he started heading towards us. My brain was saying “warn Marissa! Warn Marissa!!!” But all my mouth would say was “creepy! creepy! creepy!!” Of course she had no idea what I was talking about, but my eyes were locked on him and she looked at me, and then looked to see what I was looking at, only to see him just inches from her. It gave her a start, but she’s such a good sport. We had a good laugh about it for a long time.

Oh, and another interesting tidbit. At the beginning of the week we told the kids that they could have one snack each day. The kids were also very deliberate and sweet with that choice. I realize that the DDP entitles us to 2 snacks a day, but my brother had an interesting experience with it a few years ago. He and his family had gone to WDW for a week with my parents. This was when my mom was still herself. Mom and Dad would often sit out of the rides, and wait for the people to ride them (usually with one or two of the little kids). While they were waiting my dad would often go to a cart or a nearby store and get a round of diet cokes for everyone. How sweet of him to have a cold soda waiting when they exited the ride! A couple of days into the trip my brother tried to buy a snack and was told that he was all out of snack credits. He went to guest services to sort it out. The CM told him that he had started with 50 snack credits, and it looks like they had been used on 49 Diet Cokes and 1 churro. lol. Yeah. Hilarious. So, I think this explains my brother’s rationale for the 1-snack-a-day rule. I had also heard the story about the Diet Coke, so I always purchased them with a gift card. You’ll hear more about this snack credit thing in the next couple of posts. :slight_smile:


#19

I’m really enjoying your trip report…our family vacay starts in 30 days and we have a large group so I’m anticipating some issues like you had. But it sounds like you had an awesome time and stayed flexible! Excited to hear the rest!


#20

great trip report, I love the posters, and you had such a lovely group to tour with