*We're Back!* A Hurricane Cut Short Trip Report

I’ll be asking more questions probably as we’re staying at the cabins in June. Was there anyone actually checking height at the splash pad? My diagnosis 47in and change and will most likely be just over 48 on our trip. I know she’d love to go on it with her younger brother.

Edit to add - if there is even a requirement. Just realized what I saw was for WL.


I’m guessing this was an autocorrect fail. :rofl:


Happy to help with any questions I can!
Yes, there was a height marker on the splash pad area. We did not notice it right away. DS5 is right around that height and nobody said anything or asked to measure him. Another family popped over for a few minutes and realized their older child was well above the measurement and went back to the pool but the CM never addressed them about it. They may have if it had been more crowded, but there were only 3-4 kids there at a time. The only things CM enforced while we were there was that kids have to have a grownup with them.

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Thanks. My daughter is short - she’s 8 and will be almost 9. I wonder if her age will make people give her a look.

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Yeah, hard to say. If she’s within a few inches of the height requirement and has a younger sibling with her, I think they’d probably let it slide. :laughing: Especially if she’s being considerate of other smaller children playing too.

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Ok I’m back. Potty training and Christmas prep (ok… and Hallmark) has consumed all my free time.

Day 0 - Part 2

We got back from our resorts visits and took the boys to the splash pad for half an hour. They loved it. We didn’t bring a towel, so they drip dried on the way back to the RV. They didn’t mind too much.

I started organizing our food and bagging snacks while we waited for the grandparents to arrive. Our breakfasts, lunches, and snacks were meticulously preplanned, so we could focus on rides without anybody getting hangry. I gathered the next morning’s breakfast stuff and put it all together in the fridge and on the counter so my mom could grab it all easily and toss it in park bags. I pre-bagged way more snacks than we would end up eating (foreshadowing) and made sandwiches for the next day’s lunch.

My parents and MIL arrived one right after another, and as mentioned above, they received the all-clear from CM to park at our site. We threw together some quick tacos and ate outside, because you can’t fit 7 people sitting down inside our RV.

Everyone but me took a walk after dinner, so I could finish up food prep in peace and we unfortunately discovered that both of our boys were too big for the umbrella stroller we had brought. MIL had pulled it out of the back of her closet for us to use and I’d had the boys sit on it at home, but didn’t push it anywhere. Turns out, their feet in the foot rest act as breaks on the wheels and it’s virtually unpushable. This was a very discouraging discovery because Day 0 was not DS5’s best day as far as whining goes and I knew it was just a fraction of the walking and lines he’d be doing the next day. But the show must go on.

We didn’t get a chance to see decorations throughout the campground, but we walked our loop during the day and again at night. Our neighbors did such a beautiful job decorating for the holidays, both Christmas and Thanksgiving! This rig was so fancy, I had to get a shot of it!

It sprinkled a bit off and on after dinner. DH and I decided to walk down to the water to watch the MK fireworks, but when we got there, the boat happened to be at the dock, so we decided to hop on. It was the perfect little fireworks cruise and we got great seats outside because not everyone wanted a wet backside. :wink: We rounded the Contemporary as the show was starting, parked out front of MK for most of the middle of the show, and then headed back. The crew timed it well so we pretty much got to see the entire show. It’s not as efficient as other boat rides to MK, but if you’re actually trying to get into the park to watch fireworks at 8 pm, you’re a little behind schedule. Even without the lingering though, I think the bus ride to MK is definitely the faster way to go, assuming you don’t have to wait too long for that bus to arrive.

Photos and video of fireworks were attempted, but unlike @Randall1028, I do not have an iphone, so the quality was quite abysmal.

Daily step count: 15,567
Characters hugged: 0
Photo pass photos taken: 43


Day 1 - Magic Kingdom, Part 1

Nearly everybody was up at o-dark-30 due to a combination of time change, not sleeping well, getting up to pee in an unfamiliar place, etc. The plus side to this was that we were able to get our backpacks and cooler squared away quite easily. DH was the last one up, because he apparently was relying on my alarm and I left the truck tent when I could hear that my dad was already up.

We started walking to the bus stop at 6:15, right as scheduled. We decided not to wait for the interior bus, but it ended up catching us partway through the campground, so we jumped on to save ourselves a few steps.

We sat at the Settlement bus stop a frustratingly long time waiting for the MK bus. The interior buses came by twice. The Wilderness Lodge bus came by twice. Finally the MK bus showed up. I think it was a full 20 minutes. The driver was very nice and spotted our boys’ birthday shirts and buttons right away and led everyone in singing happy birthday to them. Speaking of shirts, I’m really glad I ordered the birthday shirts, because one of our boys was done wearing his button after about an hour and I think the other one tapped out about mid-day. But it was really sweet to get birthday wishes all throughout the day from CM and other guests.

I did not make note of the time we arrived at the taps, but my guess is about 6:45-6:50. We were maybe a dozen people back at the taps (we walked over to the monorail side because the line seemed shorter), and I was trying to book our first G+ while also shuffling forward.

We spent a minute enjoying the beautiful Christmas tree and looking at the shop windows. I loved how these moved! We also stopped on Main Street for a few photos. (We ended up using these on our Christmas cards!) DS5 was a bit of a stinker all day posing for photos. I wished I’d remembered that our trail mix had m&ms that we could bribe him with.

Good morning, Castle!

We joined the Fantasyland RD crowd and were very pleased with our position. At 7:30, we walked to PPF. On and off in under 20. Then we walked to Pooh and were loading in our honeypot at 8:03.

At 8:13, we split the group. My mom took the boys on IASM while the rest of us did HM. 20m posted wait, but only 10m to stretching room. We finished up before they were done with IASM and we all hit the Tangled toilets.

Me and my dad

DH and his mom

We let the boys decide who they wanted to ride with throughout the day. DS5 chose my mom (Nana) most often and DS2 chose MIL (MeMe), so I got to do a few rides with my dad and a few with just DH. :heart:

At this point, Jungle Cruise was showing an unreasonably low wait. We had booked a 12:50 Jungle Cruise at 7, but I figured if we could get that out of the way standby, I could grab our next priority G+ right away and get us closer to the grab and tap phase of the day. Unsurprisingly, by the time we walked over at 8:42, the wait had shot up, but Pirates posted 15 min. DH, MIL, and I did Pirates while my parents took the boys on Magic Carpets. Looking back, we should have gotten RS for this, but the wait stayed low so it wasn’t a big deal. We were already off the ride by 9 am, so it was a very short wait, walking nearly all the way through.

We swapped with my parents and sent them to Pirates, planning to ride MC again, because the boys loved it. But then we noticed that Aladdin and Jasmine were riding! We watched them go around and waved, and then hopped in line for their meet & greet instead. They came right over and it was maybe a 10 minute wait. The little girl in front of us was in a full Jasmine costume, adorable as could be, and when they walked over, Jasmine said “Why, aren’t you shining, shimmering, splendid.” :heart_eyes:

Both boys were a little shy to chat, DS5 especially so, but we had talked in line about a question to ask, so I got the conversation started and we heard all about Carpet and how fast they can go all the way around the world. Jasmine said it took only two and a half minutes one night.

Everyone was a good sport about the walk all the way back to Fantasyland, where we walked on Little Mermaid and waited just one cycle for Dumbo.

That brought us to 10 am, where we stopped by the train station bathrooms for a snack break. I also booked our 2nd G+ to meet Mickey at 3:30.

Mini Recap:
Park hours: 2, plus EE
Attractions completed: 7
G+ booked: 2
G+ used: 0


Such a great pic of a cute couple!


What moved? The window displays?

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This recap gives me hope! You accomplished so much that morning.


Yes, they have several movie windows and the characters move back and forth or spin around.

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Party day magic! It still felt busy later in the day to us, but that might have also been because of the weather.

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Day 1 - Magic Kingdom, Part 2

During our snack break, I checked the wait times and decided our new plan of attack at least 3 times. We ended up going to Tea Party, which my parents sat out. MIL and DS5 spun themselves silly while DH, DS2, and I had a very leisurely ride with minimal spinning. I did have to give DH the eye at one point, because I was NOT going to come off the tea cups feeling woozy. I’m the trip captain after all, and I have work to do!

We wandered (read: speedwalked) to the Liberty Belle. While waiting for the boat to dock and unload, we spotted the celebration cavalcade coming down the street and had a decent view from the waiting area. Not how I had planned to see Minnie in her 50th dress (she’s not currently meeting with Mickey), but I’ll take it.

I thought the Liberty Belle would have more benches, because I really wanted to sit at this point (I have plantar fasciitis that I’ve been working on healing up), but we enjoyed the boat ride and it was a nice ‘first’ for us. We got off the boat at 11:15 so we grabbed a couple of benches in the shaded walkway between LTT and Diamond Horseshoe and broke out our cooler. I had intended to sit and eat lunch a little closer to noon parade time, but this was still a triple win for us: actual seats, on the shaded side of the parade route, and with exit access to our next ride.

I’m guessing a lot of people were waiting for the 3 pm parade, because there was actually room for me and the boys to get up and stand right at the rope with only a few minutes to spare before the parade. Quadruple win! A highlight of the day for sure and I got pixie dust in my eye as we waved to the characters and got high fives from Chip.

Next up was the Tiki Room, which I have vague memories of from our childhood trip. A seat with a back and air conditioning, so it gets an A+ for the day from me. We exited the attraction to some very menacing clouds, so we stopped for dole whip and stood under the awning while everyone on MC got drenched. The forecast hadn’t called for a rainy day, so we had left our serious rain gear at the RV, but we had enough ponchos for everyone and a stroller cover, so off we went to Jungle… I mean Jingle Cruise.

Another vague memory from childhood and a ride we missed on our previous trip, this was one of my dad’s must-do attractions and we all had a knee-slapping good time. This was probably our slowest moving line of the day and our first with G+.

At this point I was apologizing to my group for all the crisscrossing we were doing around the park, having been in both Fantasyland and Adventureland twice already, but at least we’d get to do Tomorrowland all in one go. We crossed the park, stopping to take a mediocre photo with the Mickey & Minnie statues in the hub when I spotted a photographer CM with no line.

Next with G+ was Buzz, which had a long G+ return line, but moved pretty quickly. It was raining again, so everyone paused under the overhang as each group dashed out into the rain to scan in before getting under the awning again. Got in line at 1:55 and on the ride at 2:07. I was also very distracted trying to book split G+ for my crew. The way my kids wanted to ride left me on my own, which was initially a bummer, but I wiped the floor with them! My score was 159,000, because I was in charge of my own swiveling. This made my day, because last time my score was abysmal and I originally planned to skip this and send my family on it without me.

People Mover was a 20min posted wait, but a very quick ride. Then I sent DH, my mom, and the boys to the speedway, while my dad, MIL, and I rode Small World (both G+). They also hit Dumbo again because it was a 5min wait and not currently raining much.

After meeting up, we watching Philharmagic. DS5 is sensitive to noise, so he had his hands over his ears for most of it and didn’t have his 3D glasses on. After the show, I told him I was sorry it was so loud and asked if he liked the Aladdin and Peter Pan parts (current favorites at our house), and he excitedly said he loved it all!

We walked down Main Street to meet Mickey with our final G+. DS5 had been so shy with Aladdin and Jasmine, I had pretty low expectations for this one, but he launched himself at Mickey as soon as the other family was done! This was the only photo he genuinely smiled for all day, which makes the hand placement all the more unfortunate. (It went on our Christmas cards anyway :laughing:)

After leaving Mickey, we gave our boys hugs and kisses and left for our ‘date night’, leaving the kids with their grandparents. While waiting for Philharmagic, I had grabbed one more G+ for Pooh at 4 pm (which they didn’t end up using). I think they looked in a couple stores because DS5 had asked to shop all day before heading back to the campground.

We walked across to Guest Services to get our park hoppers added. I had tried to do this earlier in the day, but the app wasn’t allowing any additions or changes to park days including the 10th and 11th because of the incoming storm (I guess), so we had to talk to CM. Our CM was very friendly and helpful and actually had a birthday the same day as DS5, so we chatted about weekend plans while he swiped cards. I asked if he needed my credit card or could use the one on file and he said he took care of it. Our second pixie dust of the trip! (And it’s a good thing, because what’s coming is… :weary:)

I don’t really recommend hitting GS at 4:15 on a rainy party night, because the line was lengthy and doubled while we were in line. But we walked out at 4:40 with FREE park hoppers, so it was definitely worth the wait for us!

We walked out just as the celebration cavalcade was coming by again, so we got one more wave from our favs before we headed out of the park.

It was party night #1 so I kept an eye out for bloggers, but didn’t spot anyone familiar. And since we no longer had a child in tow that would whine about photos, we took a selfie and then a kind guest offered to take our photo.

At 4:48 we hopped on an AK bus, and I grabbed a photo of the ears I made with one of the 50th busses. I went back and forth so many times on fabric choices, so it surprised me when I saw just how well they matched!

Our photo at the train station seemed to be the last of the clear weather for the day. It was a steady rain from here on out and we got pretty wet in spite of the ponchos.
Finally a poncho selfie, even though they were on and off all afternoon.

We mobile ordered dinner from Satuuli Canteen and I FINALLY got to eat the bowl everyone’s been raving about since it opened. Delicious. We also walked over to Dino Land in hopes of getting DH an ice cream cookie sandwich, but we got the closing time of that booth wrong and ended up with an orange vanilla swirl instead.

We walked back to Pandora at 6:28 and against our better judgement got in line early for FOP. Look, it was raining and there was no where to sit and we might as well get in line, right? Well, everyone else was also escaping the rain and had been for most of the afternoon so everyone’s ride wait time tolerance had been thrown out the window and we found ourselves waiting in a 95min posted wait. Our actual wait was about an hour to pre-show, because we found ourselves in the 2nd pre-show room at 7:33. But those first 30 minutes of waiting outside in the rain and in the first cavern room with very little movement were pretty brutal.

FOP was worth it though. My 2nd time on the ride and just as breathtaking, teary-eyed, and amazing as the first. I love this ride!

We had plans to hop from AK to Epcot for Harmonious but the rain wasn’t letting up and my back was DONE. I was in constant foot and back pain at that point and it was time to call it quits.

We’re gonna end this night on a high… because coming up next… how it all fell apart.

Daily step count: 23,429 steps and so much back pain I could barely stand up
Characters hugged: 3 (plus a high five from Chip during the parade)
Photo pass photos taken: 60
Park hours: 12 with EE
Attractions completed: 17 for most, 18 for me & DH
G+ booked: 5
G+ used: 4
Crowd Level: MK 4, AK 8


Looks like an amazing day (well, except for the pesky rain and the PAIN). Way to end on a cliffhanger!! :blush:


Where Everything Fell Apart - AKA When Tropical Storm Nicole Ruins Everything

While in line for FOP, I got a text from my mom that FW had handed out campground closure notices. Apparently, they were driving around handing them to people they saw. I don’t think they updated the signage around the park on Tuesday night at all. It just kept saying they were ‘keeping an eye on things’. Based on other’s experiences with Hurricane Ian, we weren’t too concerned initially. We assumed Disney would take care of us and we’d have someplace to stay the next evening. When we’d first heard about the storm, I’d looked this up and they’d given people free hotel rooms on property and let them park their RVs in the massive TTC parking lot. I was happy with this option, so we went on our merry way and enjoyed FOP.

When we got back to the campground around 8, we stopped by the front desk to see if they could help us directly. There were a handful of very friendly CM there, but all they could do was direct us to the phone number we’d been given and warn us that it would be a long wait. They were only able to help with guests who’d be checking out.

So I called the number and we started waiting on hold. We got back to the RV and chatted with our parents, who had already decided to head out in the morning and get ahead of the storm. They kept telling us over and over what a fun day they’d had and how magical it was. And they were right. It had been really wonderful watching our boys and their grandparents enjoy the magic together. But to hear that they were heading home and giving up the rest of our trip was very deflating. I figured Disney would come through with rooms for us and we’d poncho up the next day, then take a rain day at the resort while the storm came through, and finish our trip on Friday, the last day our tickets were eligible. And of course, having the grandparents leave undid all of my exciting park hopping plans with DH.

At this point I was not feeling the magic anymore and got pretty emotional. The boys were already in bed and I was heartbroken at the thought of having to wake them up and tell them their grandparents were going home already and missing out on the rest of the trip.

After about 90 minutes on hold, we started to think through what our options were if Disney didn’t give us another place to stay. DH had the idea to call and ask about a ticket extension. He called the ticket number and talked with someone who put notes in our file. She said it was not usual for Disney to grant a ticket extension, but that in our situation, it seemed like a reasonable ask since Disney was making us leave and not giving us an option to stay and use our tickets.

Finally, at 11 pm, we gave up waiting on hold and made the decision to head out and leave Florida in the morning. I was exhausted and upset. I’d been up since 2 am and on top of everything else, it was raining and our truck tent was leaking! We tried for a little while to fix it and then finally we snuck into the RV to set up the dinette as a bed.

Leaving the World: Everybody was packed up and heading out around 9 am. We stopped by the front desk to check out and make sure our unused campground nights were not charged. The CM were sympathetic and apologetic that we weren’t able to get through on the phone line.

We drove about 8 hours that day, originally planning to stop mid-Georgia, and deciding at dinner time to make a sharp left turn and drive into Alabama to avoid the bulk of the storm and it’s high winds altogether. We called a place we’d stayed earlier this year through Harvest Hosts and they had room for us. We knew the location and felt comfortable coming in at night and were happy to park on a concrete pad and not have to worry about being in a muddy campground during a rainstorm.

Our rig parked at a winery. I’d rather have Fort Wilderness!

Salvaging the Birthday Weekend: We stayed 2 nights at this winery and then drove to my brother’s for the weekend, so our boys could spend their 6th and 3rd birthdays with their Uncle and Aunt). I’m so grateful to report that the boys weren’t even heartbroken about the big Disney change. Our oldest is very smart and had caught enough of his grandparents’ conversation to assume we were changing plans because of the storm. And I think they had so much fun at Magic Kingdom that they forgot we were planning to do 3 park days. They ended up having amazing birthdays, complete with new legos, desserts full of food coloring they got to pick out, and French toast my brother made for us.

Regarding our Tickets: Mid-day as we were driving out of Florida, WDW announced early closing and delayed opening for the parks because of the storm and we were notified that any unused park days associated with these dates would be saved through September. We were very happy to not have to call and wait on hold for this! Once home, I had to call about my and DH’s tickets, because they ended up disappearing, but it was an easy fix. This CM gave me an email address to inquire about a ticket exception for our 2 year old who was now 3. Since we didn’t have to pay for his ticket for this trip and we didn’t leave of our own accord, I felt it was fair (and many of you agreed) that we shouldn’t have to buy a ticket for him for our rescheduled days. It took some gentle pushback, but they agreed and we have a ticket attached to MDE for him and I snagged one of the last $10 classic magic bands for him so we wouldn’t have to mess with will-call.

Thank you, Liners, for your advice with this whole ticket fiasco. It was very comforting to have you all to turn to for information and support.

Rescheduling our Trip: One morning when I woke up early, I poked around looking at campground availability and found 2 nights available right before we were already scheduled to be in Florida with our rig in January. Ideally, a third night would have been helpful, but beggars can’t be choosers. I’d seen other liners report on getting into FW as early as 7 am and parking in the overflow lot to spend their check-in day at the parks. So that’s what we’ll be doing. Day 1 AK (a switch from EP), and day 2 HS. Then we’ll check out the next morning. My MIL will stay with us and my parents booked one of the All Star hotels.

It’s a month later now, and we’ve got everything rescheduled for our return (except MM). It’s been a little extra exhausting having to re-plan everything, especially with the added dynamic of coordinating everything with 3 households and our different travel schedules. A multi-generational trip is not for the faint of heart. It’s been chaotic and our return plans aren’t ideal, but I’m hoping we still enjoy the magic and follow through with our plans to make WDW a yearly 2 day trip. DH has always pushed back at my suggestion we plan another big 6 day trip, so I figure I should jump on his offer to do 2 days yearly even if it’s not the most cost effective and we’ll have to miss out on 2 parks each time.

If anyone is still interested and following along, thanks for reading! I plan to pick this up again and complete our trip report in January!


That is some story! I’m sorry that all of that went wrong for you. It is nice to hear that both of your boys still enjoyed their birthdays!

I’m glad you’ll be back in the World fairly soon for a repeat.


I’m sorry your trip ended so abruptly. Sounds like you have good plans for Jan though! Glad the boys still enjoyed their birthdays.


Just realized we can park our RV at AK on check in day and move it to FW later instead of stopping at FW first thing in the morning. We’re staying 30m away overnight, so we should be able to make RD without getting up too ridiculously early.


So glad the push back paid off! Watch the weather in January at AK. Hopefully it’s pleasant enough. So glad the boys had a good time. Can’t wait for Trip Part 2 to start!

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We’re back, baby!

It’s 4 am and I’ve been up since 2:30 when our little guy was coughing so I thought I’d jot down some notes from our trip so far.

We did not intend to pick MLK weekend for our return trip, but tacking it on to the front of a 4 week Florida RV trip seemed like the best option. We’ll see how the crowds are.

What’s going well: We’ve had a safe drive to Florida and have hit almost no traffic.

What’s not going well: We caught colds this past week and haven’t slept through the night in 6 days, our drive days were made longer with extra stops to find propane, we lost our gas cap, and the RV feels over packed. 1 extra person, all our Disney stuff, plus all our other trip stuff (new SUP boards yay!) means there are bags everywhere!

But we’re here and we’re so exited! 95 more minutes until my alarm goes off and we head to AK for a 7:30 EE!