This is one of those threads that I start from time to time that may seem a little repetitious to regular readers and is, in fact, somewhat self-indulgent. I’m really writing in order to think out loud. Which I happen to enjoy.
Although I was disappointed that President Biden didn’t announce a date, or even a road-map, as we call them over here, for opening the US back up to foreign visitors (just think about that for a moment) I grow increasingly hopeful that my trip in late August will actually happen.
So I’ve started to allow myself to begin dreaming of the trip and how I want it to be. Regular readers may remember that I was planning on taking two friends with me — we have decided to postpone that trip until 2022. We all want them to have a fuller WDW experience than they will have this year.
So it’s back to being a solo trip. Well, not quite. I have — thanks in part to this website — made some good friends in the US and we are coordinating schedules. Though I am trying to carve out some me time, as much as I’m excited to see them again.
I’ve often been torn by planning the trip I think I should plan and planning the trip that my heart really wants me to take. This is not helped by my strong sense of FOMO. (Why else would I keep trying to schedule PP and FEA — are they really that good?)
I’ve spoken before about wanting to take a really chilled out trip and this feels like the opportunity to actually do that. Indeed, I think I will need this trip to serve that purpose. COVID has started to hit me really hard in the last few weeks, even to the point of cutting down my hours of work because I just can’t handle it. I want to come to Orlando to just relax . . . and maybe have a little fun.
When I read it I thought, “Yes! That’s what I want!”
Two things jump into my head every time I think about my trip.
First: walking down Main Street. When I went to DLP last August, I did Main Street really properly. I took my time. I didn’t whoosh through the shops to get to my first ride. This is a major priority for me in August: really enjoy being on Main Street.
Second (trigger warning for some, haha): Exploring Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. (Now you know what I said “Orlando” in my thread title!) I love, love, love WWOHP. It’s a major draw for me. I have done it properly before and I want to do it even more properly again.
Third (of two): I’m staying at CSR, which I think is a stunning resort on any scale of assessment. (I’d say it has only two flaws: transportation and lack of decent breakfast restaurant.) I don’t know whether I’m always going to stay on property at WDW, and I really want to make the most of being at this resort. I want to walk all the way round the lake. I really want to try Three Bridges. I want to have fun at the Dig Site pool. If I don’t do these things I may as well have stayed at ASMo. (An option for the future, actually.)
What of the rest of it?
Let’s think about attractions. It’s so easy to plan a trip and start packing it with rides. What are my absolute must-dos?
PeopleMover, which, God willing, will be open again by August. Best ride in the park as far as I’m concerned, closely followed by Splash Mountain — but will it still exist in August? Will I ever see it again? I do actually like 7DMT a lot. I know it’s short, but it’s fast and fun and you get some good views of the Castle and I like joining in the Hi-Ho song.
Beyond those three, I think everything else is pretty much gravy. You’re surprised I didn’t include BTMR? I do like it but — sorry to be this guy now — the one in DLP is So Much Better. HM? Again, it’s massively outclassed by the one in Paris. POTC? Paris again. Sorry. (I think rather than taking two trips to WDW a year, I may switch to one WDW, one DLP. You know, in a world in which I can actually afford all this.)
Five trips under my belt and I’m still promising to give WS the attention it deserves. I only really did it properly during my first trip. Every trip after that it’s ended up getting cut in favour of something else.
I do really love Soarin’. A lot. That’s an essential. Other than that, I’m good. And now that we know that — ludicrously — Ratatouille won’t be open, I don’t even have to remind you all how I’ve already ridden at three times (with no wait) at, er, DLP.
I don’t know if the Skyliner counts as an attraction but for me it’s a must-do. And it leads me neatly to . . .
Is there anything else at HS other than SWGE and TSL? Oh, yes! MMRR. I’ve never ridden that. That’s an essential. TOT? Yeah. I could ride that. RNR? Meh. I want to do SWGE the justice it deserves (including blue and green milk, which I actually like) and, yeah, ROTR. MFSR I’m not that into, though I wouldn’t mind actually walking through the regular line — every other time I’ve done I’ve had an FPP and whizzed past it all without even looking.
SDD is so fun, as is TSM and, actually, ASS. And the theming of the whole land. Which, again, I want to take my time with. And do twice: once in the day, once at night.
Similarly Pandora merits two trips: one in the day, one at night. Obviously FOP is awesome, but I’m a huge fan of NRJ, too.
Other than those things, I just want to do credit to the theming of AK and slowly take it all in. I’m not bothered about any of the other attractions. FOTLK doesn’t do much for me (sorry). I’m not even that into KS (partly through having been spoilt by doing WAT instead). Dinoland is a disgrace and I’ll be skipping it for sure. (Yeah, yeah, interesting backstory, whatever. Don’t care. It should be razed to the ground.)
Like @ChooseJoy, I just want to stare at that Tree. From many different vantage points. At night as well as during the day.
The other big draw of WDW is food. What are my priorities here?
I’m a little hampered by budget. (Shock! Who knew that word was even in my vocabulary?) It can’t all be signature dining. And I’m not sure that I want it to be.
I do like breakfasts. Big fan. I’m especially liking what they’re offering to replace buffets. And I like interesting places to eat — which means Crystal Palace rather than 1900PF.
What else springs to mind? My most visited restaurant is Satu’li, and that’s a must-do. Air-conditioned, cavernous QS . . . so maybe I give DB7 another go. Oh, and I’ve mentioned Three Bridges.
Ah! What about DS? I’ve never really given that much attention, and there’s all kinds of good eating there.
Two of the new ones deserve second tries: Topolino’s Terrace and Toledo. I do like a dining room with a view.
I’m excited that I’m starting get excited about this stuff again. First vaccination is next week.