I recently returned from a 4 family, 13 person trip to WDW in celebration of my in-laws 5th anniversary.
Rather than I full trip report, I’m going to writer a short post for each day (what we did, what worked, what didn’t work, the good and the bad) in the event that something may help someone out a fellow Liner with their own travel plans.
In summary …
We had an amazing time, but this trip reinforced my feelings from our May 2022 trip: Disney doesn’t make the magic the way Disney used to, but for money and time, Disney presents the opportunity for parents to make magic for their kids.
Before having kids, I went on many adult only trips to WDW. I no longer have any desire for an adult only WDW trip. Between the cost, effort, 6:50 am wake-ups for LLs, add-ons, transportation, exhaustion, missing Magic, less friendly CMs, worse food, and crowds … DW and I can find more enjoyable ways to spend time and money on ourselves.
But for kids, if you put in the time and spend the money, kids can still have a magical experience at WDW. So we will continue to go on annual family trips to WDW as long as my kids are interested.
I will write posts on each day on our trip below this post over the next few days.
I am looking forward to your posts!
Might I recommend DLR for adult trips?
Day 1 - Arrival and HS
3:30 pm Arrival at MCO (of course, I’ve been stacking evening LL for HS for 6:20 pm - 9:00 pm).
Pick-up Rent Car and off to CR. Last May was the first time we rented a car at WDW … and now we are hooked. Makes it so easy to get to and from the parks.
Only 6 of our group of 13 arrived this afternoon so for this evening, it is DW, DD7, DS4, MIL, FIL and me.
Settle in to hotel, grab strollers, put Garden Grocer delivery away, eat mobile order to-go from Contempo Cafe.
HS: 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
SDD LL for DD7, DW and me; A2S stand-by for DS4, MIL and FIL
I was hoping to get LL for SDD, MF:SR, MMRR and TSM, but the way the return times were playing out along with our expected late arrival to the park, I was only able to get SDD along with 2 of MMRR, MF:SR and TSM. MMRR was last in our priority of those 3 so we skipped it.
It was a great taste of WDW for our arrival day. My in-laws hadn’t been to WDW since 1995 so this was a very different HS than the MGM they remember.
HS is currently my favorite park for arrival day because it is the easiest park to stack LLs for the evening and it has some of my kids’ favorite rides (SDD for DD7 and TSM for DS4).
Note: It was clear from this night that the parks were going to be more crowded in mid-October than they were for our mid-May 2022 trip. LLs ran out faster and lines were longer.
Day 2 - Morning/Afternoon at EP and Evening at MK
The whole gang of 13 has now arrived. There are 8 adults (DW, me, DW’s siblings with spouses, and MIL/FIL) and 5 kids. Going forward I had two schedules going, one for the older kids (DD7 and DNiece8) who love thrill rides and one of the little kids (DS4, DNiece 5 and DNiece2) who do do not like thrill rides. The adults split between the 2 groups. During the trip, we referred to the older kids as the “Bigs” and the younger kids as the “Littles”. I will use those same references in my trip review.
EP: 8:00 am to 3:30 pm
Soarin’ for the Bigs, Nemo for the Littles
Remy LL (then get FEA LL)
Meet Belle at France
Meet Daisy at IG
Meet Minnie at IG (we weren’t expecting Minnie here, but saw her as we finished with Daisy)
Meet Alice at UK
The Three Caballeros
Meet Donald at Mexico
Lunch at La Cantina de San Angel (grab Peter Pan LL for the evening)
Meet Pluto at Gazebo near World Showcase entry
Cosmic Rewind ILL for the Bigs; The Three Caballeros for the Littles
Meet Goofy near entrance to Epcot
MK 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm
(Littles head back to resort with the Moms and Grandparents to go to sleep)
WtP LL - Bigs
Dumbo LL - Bigs
Tea Cups LL - Bigs
LL Total for the Day: 6 (including three tough ones in Remy, FEA, PP)
Day 3 - MK
This was a party day at MK so lower CL. Getting there for the 7:30 am RD was key. 15 min wait for SM and then 5 min waits for Buzz and Speedway to start the day.
MK: 7:30 am to 4:30 pm
SM for the Bigs; Dumbo for the Littles
Meet Mickey and Minnie LL
Under the Sea
BTMRR LL for the Bigs; Carousel for the Littles
Lunch at PVH
7DMT ILL for the Bigs; Dumbo for the Littles
Splash LL for the Bigs; WtP LL for the Littles
Snack: Dole Whips
Jasmine and Aladdin Meet and Great
Magic Carpets for the Bigs; PP LL for the Littles
Magic Carpets for everyone
Tiana and Rapunzel Meet and Greet LL
We did a ton of stuff this day and everyone loved it. It was a bit challenging to work two different LL schedules for the Bigs and the Littles, but I as able to make it happen in a way that kept everyone happy.
Getting to the park for EE RD at 7:30 am was the key to our day.
LL total for the Day: 5 for the Bigs and 5 for the Littles (some different LLs for each)
I was happy with 14 attractions for each person by 4:30. I would have liked to also experience Mad Tea Party, Haunted Mansion, People Mover and Jungle Cruise, but I planned to have a few of them on our schedule for MNNSHP later in the week.
Day 4 - HS
HS: 11:45 am to 9:00 pm
Lunch at ABC Commissary
Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
Dinner at Docking Bay 7
LL Total for the Day 5.
HS is the toughest park because there are so few rides that the LL times escalate quickly (and run out quickly too). DD7 would have liked to try ToT but with our late morning arrival and SDD, MMRR and TSM being higher on her priority list, we were not able to fit ToT LL in (and she didn’t want to wait 100+ minutes in line).
This trip report was supposed to be “not detailed” . Concise, perhaps, but also very detailed! Thanks for sharing
This is extremely helpful!!
Day 5 - AK morning/afternoon; Chef Mickey’s for dinner; MNSSHP
AK 9:45 am - 3:30 pm
EE LL for the Bigs; Gorilla Falls Trail for the Littles
Dinosaur LL for the Bigs; Triceratops Spin for the Littles
FOP ILL for the Bigs; NRJ LL for the Littles
5:00 pm Chef Mickey’s
Fun character interactions, but the food was average (as expected). This was our first Chef Mickey’s meal since Covid. I like the family style set-up much better than the buffet set-up from pre-2020.
MNSSHP 7:30 pm to Midnight
Our group was dragging a bit at this point so it was tough getting the large group out the door for MNSSHP. A little frustrating since we planned to get there by 7:00 pm.
People Mover (by request of DS4 since we missed this on MK day)
Trick or Treating
Grab a front row spot in Frontierland for Mickey’s Boo to You Parade at 8:30 pm.
2 adults from our group walked over to Slepy Hallow to get desserts for everyone to enjoy while waiting for the parade.
By 8:45 pm, the front row area in Frontierland was full.
Boo to You Parade - This was the highlight of the night and one of the highlights of the trip. This was my kids first time seeing this parade (which has always been my favorite parade). Short Story: When DD7 was 3, I showed her a video of the parade and she told DW she saw “Mickey’s Booty to You Parade”. Since then, my family often jokingly calls the parade “Mickey’s Booty to You”.
Not So Spooky Spectacular Fireworks - After the parade and a washroom break, we walked over to the Hub and were surprised to find a relatively uncrowded area at around 10:00 pm. We grabbed it and watched the fireworks. The crowds filled in, but it was not as crowded as fireworks nights on a non-party night. We had elbow room and didn’t feel packed in. I am not a big fan of this fireworks show. WDW can do better. It is ok, but not great.
Meet Tweetle Dee and Tweetle Dum
Buzz for the Littles; BTMRR for the Bigs
Littles go back to the resort with the Dads for bed
That concludes my review of our 5 night WDW trip. Overall it was a blast!
We experienced a lot (including most of the headliners). Due to G+, ILL, 2 RD days with EE, and a good TP, most of our waits were under 15 minutes (and none exceeded 30 minutes).
That said making the above happen was a lot of work for me (our unofficial tour leader). I made all the plans for the group after taking into account input prior to the trip from each family. It was worth it to see the kids so happy, but I would not be interested in doing this work for an adults only WDW trip.
The worst part was getting up at 6:50 am each day of vacation for the 7:00 am LL reservation, even on the days when everyone else got to sleep in. I would have been a lot happier if there was a system similar to FP+ where the first FP of the day could be booked before arriving at WDW.
One rule I made for myself (which I recommend): No checking for LL availability while experiencing attractions. If we missed the start of a 2 hour window because of this then so be it. It is not worth missing out on being immersed in the attraction.
What an incredible trip! I can’t believe you managed all that, you are a Master Liner for sure! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks. Quite a compliment coming from a guy who has ascended from WDW Padawan to WDW Jedi Master faster than anyone I know.
Note: I thought of you when we made our stop at PVH. And @OBNurseNH when we arrived at AK. Interesting how I associate certain things with Liners.
I think of these crazy people all the frickin time - in the World and in real life too.
It’s kind of wonderful
I think of you every time I hear a song from Moana.
If I had a dollar for every time I say, so-and-so on my Disney forum, I would be able to take a lot more trips!!
A few additional random items from my trip:
(1) It really irritates me when people say they saw the Parade when it was a Cavalcade. It shouldn’t irritate me, right? But it does. One of my sister-in-laws told me she saw the parade 3 times at MK. I wanted to say “That wasn’t the parade”, but chose to keep my mouth shut. Maybe I felt that way because that same sister-in-law …
(2) Got pissed when I wouldn’t incorporate her last minute requests into our TPs. I was trying to plan for 13 people and as an example, given our LL schedule, I couldn’t just change things around to account for her desire to meet “her boyfriend” Captain Jack (which no one else in the group was interested in doing mid-day at MK). I suggested she and her immediate family do their own thing and then meet up with the rest of us later in the day. So they met Captain Jack, rode the Carousel and watched a few “Parades” while the rest of us experienced a bunch of attractions that afternoon.
(3) My one regret from the trip … only doing ILL for Cosmic Rewind. I wish I had gotten a BG too. The ride was the highlight of Epcot (and one of the highlights of the trip). DW almost skipped it based on reviews because she tends to get motion sickness, but she loved it too.
(4) We have only been back a couple days and I am ready to plan next year’s trip. Looking at fall again. I’d love to go twice next year, but DW is only on board for 1 WDW trip next year.
Is she more affected by spinning or motion simulators? I am more affected by the latter and it seems this doesn’t aggravate those types of people as much, more so the former?
Like you, she is more affected by motion simulators. For example, Star Tours causes here a lot of issues.