"You're like a Disney Athlete" Trip Report

Returned home yesterday from my Presidents Week Disney trip and wanted to share my experiences with you to hopefully cure some of my Disney World withdrawal.

Background: At a family gathering last September, my sister mentioned she had recently made dining reservations for a Disney trip they were planning for the kids February break. I half jokingly said you can’t go to Disney without me! From there, we started texting in the next couple weeks about how fun it would be for me to actually join them. After looking into travel logistics, it seemed feasible so I went ahead and booked my first Disney trip in 10 years!

Cast of characters:
Me - Always had a fascination with Disney World and went several times in the first 20ish years of my life, but between work and not having a family of my own yet, I hadn’t been since the end of 2008.
Sister (DSis) - Original planner of the trip, hadn’t been since early 2000’s
Brother-in-law (DBIL) - hadn’t been since the 80’s, down for the trip but also most prone to skepticism
Niece (DN8) - first visit, goal to go on all the biggest rides, less interested in characters/princesses
Niece (DN6) - first visit, more into the princesses and Disney magic but also down to prove she can handle the big rides too!

The trip was a Christmas gift from Santa for the girls, and we kept the fact that I would be joining as a surprise. This was challenging but worth it!

Next: Travel Day and Surprise!


Travel Day and Surprise!

I was traveling from NYC while DSis and family were travelling from Boston. Originally I was getting in much later in the day than them but was able to move up my flight the day before to get in at the same time. We had planned for me to just surprise them at the resort but now I’d be surprising them at the airport. I landed a bit before them so I searched for a good spot to meet and surprise them. I texted my sister to come to the Disney World sign to take a picture and I’d walk up behind them.

My spot:

I was able to sneak up behind them as they turned to take the picture, and they were completely shocked (or maybe more confused)! They were like “wait, are you coming to Disney World with us?!?”

After a few obligatory pictures, we were off to Magical Express to take us to our resort: Art of Animation!

We arrived at AOA around 2 and both our rooms were ready. Unfortunately our request to have connected rooms wasn’t granted, but my room in Mermaid 9 and theirs in Mermaid 7 were about as convenient to everything as we could have hoped for in that section.

View from DSis and family room:

After a long morning of travel, we decided we needed some pool time. Everyone was too tired at this point to trek over to the Big Blue Pool so we just went down to the Little Mermaid pool. We were all so excited to be in a pool after having left the snow and cold of the northeast just a few hours earlier!

As the girls played in the pool, DSis and I checked for dinner reservations at Disney Springs. I was hoping to grab a reservation for Raglan Road after hearing such good things on here, but they didn’t have anything available for 5 people in the time range we wanted. It ended up being for the best as the girls were fading fast. I went to the Drop Off Bar by the Big Blue Pool and brought some drinks back to just relax in the their room. After some debate over dinner, DSis decided it was best to just grab some stuff from the Landscape of Flavors food court. The food wasn’t anything special, but we were hungry and tired so it got the job done. DBIL swears the pizza there is actually DiGiorno, even going as far as to Google it! It seems this is a popular opinion. Has anyone else made this connection?

Anyway, we all then decided to retire to bed pretty early. After all, I had convinced the crew that we had to be up bright and early to rope drop Animal Kingdom!

Next: Beating a CL10 at Animal Kingdom


Oh, what a great surprise! Looking forward to the rest of your report.

Too late now, but Raglan Road also has Open Table reservations.


Park Day 1: Beating a CL10 at Animal Kingdom

Note: Please let me know if I should make the next couple days shorter. It was just so fun reliving it all once I got going!

I had successfully convinced my crew that in order to most efficiently experience Animal Kingdom during a crowded week we would need to arrive early for rope drop. The crowd calendar had predicted a 7 for that day, but it actually ended up being a 10.

Since it was just myself in my room and I would get ready the fastest, we decided I would get up early and go to Landscape of Flavors to get coffee for DSis, DBIL, and myself. I was too excited to really sleep so I was up around 5:30 and with coffee at their room by 6:30. They could not believe we were up so early on vacation, but I assured them it would be worth it. I hadn’t been to WDW in so long so I was relying heavily on this board and the rest of the Internet to bolster my confidence in rope drop’s effectiveness.

We made our way over to the bus stops at AOA and were lucky enough to catch a bus just as we were arriving. We were at Animal Kingdom by 7:30 and in line waiting for the gates to open by 7:50. At this point we we were right at the ticket booths. I assured the crew that we did not have to wait until 9am to be let into the park, but I could tell they were still skeptical. Sure enough, around 8:15 they started letting people in. We followed the crowds towards Pandora but let the runners and elbowers go by as we had a FOP FP for that evening and thus were rope dropping NRJ. We were in the mass of humanity at the bridge to Pandora by 8:25, and I could sense my nieces were getting antsy so I said why don’t you go take some fun pictures with the Tree of Life and me and DBIL will hold down our spot. They came back around 8:40 re-energized and a couple minutes later the rope dropped and we were on our way to our first ride! Everyone was relieved when they saw the FOP line already, and I told them we were going elsewhere. We literally walked right on NRJ and were back out front by 8:50. Everyone enjoyed the ride, and I think the impressive theming was a great introduction to Disney for the girls. We all agreed that a story would make it a lot better, but didn’t find it to be as short as many of the complaints I’ve seen online. Maybe they slowed it down? Our boat felt like it was crawling at points.

Since the rest of the park wasn’t even open yet, we had some time to take in some of the scenery while I explained our next steps:

Our first FP was Everest at 9:25, but my goal was to hit at least 2 more rides before that since I knew the crowds would be crazy later in the day. We made our way back to the Oasis and took some Photo Pass pics in front of the Tree of Life. After that, we crossed the park to the entrance to Dinoland for their own little rope drop. Once the area opened, we went directly to Dinosaur in hopes it would open before the 9:30 stated time. A CM told us that wouldn’t be the case so we decided to leave the line and go back to Dinoland to ride Primeval Whirl. Unfortunately, DN6 was not tall enough for Primeval Whirl so DSis and her rode Triceratops Spin. Primeval Whirl was a lot of fun but wow is it rough! DN8 absolutely loved it which was great because now I knew she’d be fine on anything the whole trip. I think our car must have been spinning even more than normal due to our funky weight distribution. We were still spinning when we got back to the station and the CM even made a comment about it.

At this point it was 9:30 so we made our way to Dinosaur and after waiting a few minutes were in what DN8 amd DN6 decided was their first “big ride.” I had been on it before but forgot just how quick and intense that ride is. Everyone absolutely loved it though, including to my surprised DN6. It was then I realized that this trip was going to be more of a thrill ride trip than a princess trip.

Next up was our Everest FP. I was particularly excited for this since last time I was at AK the person I was with didn’t want to ride it, so I had never been on it. We made sure to explain to DN6 that this was a real rollercoaster and maybe the biggest of the trip so it would be ok if she didn’t want to ride it. She insisted she was fine and though I think she probably had her eyes closed most of the ride, she seemed to enjoy it!

We had some time to kill before our KS FP so we walked the Majarajah Trail. It was hot so unfortunately the tigers weren’t out, but otherwise it was a nice break from running from ride to ride. We then found a spot to sit near Yak and Yeti and ate some of the food we had brought in.

The KS FP line was out to the entrance to Gorilla Falls which was frustrating but it went relatively quickly. The park was starting to get noticeably more crowded at this point and it was getting very hot. I think KS was a bit of a disappointment for the group as a lot of the animals were sleeping or far from the truck. It had also been pretty hyped up but at this point the girls were in full thrill ride mode.

After KS, we met up with DBIL’s cousin, his wife and their DS7. We had pretty much done everything we had planned other than FOP and it was only noon! We asked them what they wanted to do but the park was really starting to get packed so they suggested just taking it easy for a but before heading over to FOTLK for the 1:00 show. We found a table in the shade at Dawa Bar and just hung out for a bit while DN8 went to get a henna tattoo and DN6 went to buy a new Minnie stuffed animal. Some of the Africa street entertainment was performing and everyone really enjoyed just soaking in the impressive Disney theming. DBIL kept stating how he really felt like we were in a foreign country!

Was excited to see they had Golden Monkey beer which I often drink back home and really enjoy (and has a high ABV so good bang for your buck :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:).

We then got in line for FOTLK at about 12:30. This is something that I would probably do differently next time as they didn’t open the doors until right before 1 and it was hot standing in a line that wasn’t moving. I didn’t realize how big the theater was, and we could have definitely showed up later and gotten in. The show is so impressive and fun though. DN8 is a talented competitive dancer so I think she was envisioning herself out there. DBIL’s cousins son audibly gasped and clapped when the fire twirler started. Only complaint would be it was probably a couple minutes long for our group. I think if it was just the adults we would have been fine, but you could feel the kids getting antsy. It was then I realized we probably wouldn’t be able to convince them to do the Nemo show as well that day.

We checked some waits hoping to re-ride some of our favorites from the morning but everything was crazy at that point, so we decided to check out Its Tough to Be a Bug. This might have been the most pleasant surprise of the entire trip. Everyone was cracking up the entire time and had such a blast. Even with all the planning and research I did, Disney’s ability to still surprise me is part of what makes it so special.

From there, we took some more pictures in front of the TOL, this time with the whole group (sorry I’m not including more pics, don’t want to share pics of the kids without permission from their parents first). The Winged Encounters show was going on so we even got some pics with them flying past in the background.

We followed that with the Boneyard to kill some time and take a rest. It cracks me up that we spend all this money to go to Disney and sometimes it seems like the kids favorite parts are the playgrounds, pools, and looking at the ducks.

The cousins had a Dinosaur FP so we decided to split up and meet back at AOA later that night. The meet and greet with Russell and Dug didn’t have a very long line so we decide to do that next. This ended up being the longest wait of the day. Some people are just completely oblivious to the fact there are other people waiting. One group of 3 girls must have taken 75 different picture combinations. I know it’s Disney and the CM’s are supposed to be nice, but at some point they have to move things along. That being said, once we got up there it was a fun interaction. Kevin even walked by while we were waiting!

We still had a couple hours before our FOP FP so I recommeded a stop at Nomad Lounge. What a hidden gem! It was quiet and cool and not crowded at all. With hot crowded the rest of the park was, I thought it might be packed but we found a table immediately. We took our time with some delicious cocktails and pork ribs. Instead of getting more food there I said we should set up a mobike order fo Satu’li Canteen. We placed our orders and walked over that way. This place definitely lived up to the hype and everything we got from the bowls to the kids meals to the desserts were great. It wasn’t crowded either which I wasn’t surprised by based on the Internet buzz. I wonder if it’s too out of the way that unless you know about it, you wouldn’t make a point to go. The Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse was so cool and a hit:

Finally! It was time for our FOP FP. We had to wait abiut 10 min in front for our window to open but the scenery is just so great, and we found some photo pass people to pass the few minutes.

FOP FP line was super quick which was a relief and the ride itself gave me chills. I still can’t believe they were able to create such an incredible experience. I was worried it was being overhyped but now I can finally say I get it! After FOP, it wasn’t now dark outside so we took some more cool Pandora pics and went on our way back to AOA. On the bus, we all talked about how great it was to not have any long waits despite the park feeling some crowded. We even had tons of free time to explore and eat/drink some things we otherwise wouldnt have had the time to.

The cousins came by the room for a night cap or 2 and we called it another early night because now the whole group was fully onboard with the rope drop strategy.

Next: “Disney Athlete” and another C10 at Magic Kingdom


I love all the details. Share it all!


I love long trip reports and reading all the details. Keep’em coming! Can’t wait to read more!


I love all the little details and bits of info in long trip reports! What a great day in AK!

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Following along, I love reading your report! We are headed to Disney the week after Easter and expecting the same crowd levels as your trip. Your report is helping me plan and set expectations.

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Thanks for such a great trip report so far.


The longer the trip report the better!! Keep writing!


Park Day 2: “Disney Athlete” and another CL10 at Magic Kingdom

After a pretty long and exhausting day 1, I had some concerns about everyone waking up early again and being ready to go. I texted DSis and DBIL at 6:30 that I was ready so I could go get coffee for the group again if they would like. They had just woken up and DBIL texted back “you’re like a Disney athlete!” and hence the theme of the trip was born. To my pleasant surprise, when I showed up at their room with the coffee, they were basically ready to go!

We met the cousins at the bus stop at 7:45 and were again lucky that a bus showed up just as we were arriving. We got to the Magic Kingdom gates around 8:15 and made our way down Main Street towards the hub, stopping at a photo pass photographer for the obligatory castle pictures.

I always knew our MK day was going to be the most challenging day to plan and get on all the rides we wanted. The forecasted CL was an 8 and again the actual ended up being a 10. Additionally, we weren’t really sure which rides my nieces, particularly DN6, would be most interested in at MK. My original TP had us rope dropping Peter Pan, but after the girls enjoyed the thrill rides at AK so much, we decided to rope drop Space Mountain instead. The girls were especially excited for Space Mountian since my parents and DSis had been telling them stories about how scared us was when I first rode it as a little kid. This new plan likely wouldn’t allow us to hit as many rides in the morning as I was hoping, but we realized the girls cared more about riding the big rides than riding a lot of rides.

We lined up towards the middle-back of the rope drop crowd towards Tomorrowland so the girls could still see some of the welcome show.

The welcome show finished and we were on our way towards Space Mountain. The line seemed pretty far back, but we quickly realized it was because the ride still wasn’t open quite yet. Once the line started moving, we were on the ride in minutes. We were nervous for DN6 because no one would be sitting next to her this time, but she again didn’t have any problems. The rest of us loved it as well, laughing the entire time. We all loved it as a kid and were happy that it lived up to the fond memories we had of it.

After Space Mountain, we met up with the cousins wife and son (he doesn’t like big rides) and went on Buzz. This was one of the rides he was most looking forward to when I described it to him the day before. The TP app really came through here as the posted wait was already 35 minutes but the app said it would only be 7 minutes. Sure enough, we waited under 10 minutes and the group was officially on board with ignoring the posted waits in favor of using the app times.

Our first FP was BTMR around 10:30 so we decided it made sense to cross the hub and make our way in that direction. Posted wait times were already skyrocketing, and I could tell we’d be waiting in some more lines than the previous day. We once again trusted the app over the official posted wait time and rode Pirates. The posted time was 55 min but we only waited 25. This was another instance of a ride I had fond memories of, but was worried it might not be as good as I remembered. Luckily, I was wrong! It was so much fun and the small drop followed by the huge ship and cannon balls splashing in the water was exhilarating for an otherwise pretty calm ride.

From there, we felt kind of stuck. I hadn’t planned on using our BTMR FP until towards the end of our window but all the waitsin the area, even on the app, were higher than we were interested in. We made our way to BTMR and even the FP line was about 50 people outside the entrance. The CM at the end of the line assured us it would still only be about 20 min. Turns out he might have underestimated it, but it still wasn’t too bad considering the standby wait was posted at 120 minutes. They kept making announcements about the ride not running at full capacity which might have caused the long waits.

Since we rode BTMR at the start of our window, we had unexpected time to kill before our Splash Mountain FP. The crowds and heat were starting to wear on us at this point so we decided it was a good chance to break for a snack. DSis and DBIL had treated me at severally points the prior day so I insisted that I get to buy the snacks at Magic Kingdom. Fortunately, I had done my snack research and was intrigued by the options at Sleepy Hollow. As we made our way over towards Liberty Square, we stopped and watch a couple minutes of the Muppets show. The girls don’t really know the Muppets, but DN6 still enjoyed it.

At Sleepy Hollow, we ordered 2 of the sweet and spicy waffle sandwiches and the chocolate and fruit waffle to share. Unfortunately I didn’t realize the chocolate was Nutella and DN6 has an allergy to tree nuts. I felt awful, so I went back and got her her own treat. She chose the Mickey waffle with strawberries and whipped cream. She asked if they’d could do extra whipped cream and the CM happily obliged which I thought was a nice thing that probably sets Disney apart. Everything was exellent and a good value for how big the waffles are. I noticed all the waffles were being made to order in the back and the freshness was evident. This essentially ended up being our lunch because the portions were so large. The Mickey show was going on in front of the castle at this time as well which was nice to have in the background.

From there, it was time to go back to Splash Mountain for our FP. DSis and I had vivid memories of our dad running to Splash Mountain at rope drop when we were little kids so we had fond memories of it. Again, the ride didn’t disappoint as the length and theming are so great. DN8 and I were in the front and she was not thrilled with how wet she got haha. It felt good on a very warm day tough.

Now we had some more time before our 7DMT FP so we made our way towards Liberty Square with hopes of riding standby for Haunted Mansion.

Unfortunately the wait was over an hour so we decided to pass and made our way towards Fantasyland. Every ride had crazy waits at this point, even the carousel was 30 min posted. I recommended we try Mickeys Philharmagic since it’s a show and hopefully we won’t have to wait long. Luckily the previous show was close to ending and we had to only wait a few minutes before being seated. The show isn’t anything special but is enjoyable enough and was another nice respite from the heat and crowds. After that, I brought the girls over to Castle Couture to get Pixie Dusted. Everyone was very impressed that I knew of this little extra bit of Disney magic (and for free!).

Enchanted Tales with Belle had come fairly highly recommended to me by a friend that had gone a month earlier. We checked the wait and it wasn’t too bad so we got in line. This ended up being our longest wait of the day a time about 30 min and got kind of frustrating because we didn’t move very often. However, the experience was pretty great. DN6 was most excited to meet Belle out of all the princesses so this was perfect. I even got picked to be one of the knights and DN6 was a picture frame in the show. DN8 thinks she’s too cool for this stuff, but I know she enjoyed it too. The whole experience was quintessential Disney, and we all agreed it was worth the frustrating wait. Yours truly being approached by Belle:

At this point, we were all pretty beat so we decided we’d just ride 7DMT with our FP before heading back to AOA for a pool break with the cousins. We still had a few minutes before our FP window so it was another chance for me to show off my snack research! We went over to Gastons to get a cinnamon roll to split. I don’t think the Internet does the size of that thing justice. It was like a loaf of bread!

We then went rode 7DMT with our FP. The FP line was probably about 10 minutes which wasn’t too bad. The ride itself was cute, but I think we all wish it was a little longer and more intense. The smoothness after the roughness of some of the other rides was nice though.

On our way out of the park we made a 4th FP for 7:00 for IASW. My sister insisted we go on IASW as it’s a classic and the time fit well with our plan for the fireworks, or so we thought . . .

Next: Pool break and “You did it again!”


I’m loving your trip so far!!!


Great report so far, keep it coming!

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Park Day Part 2: Pool Break and “You did it again!”

We arrived back at Art of Animation around 4 and decided to meet at the Big Blue Pool. The pool was crowded but manageable, and I was able to grab us an area with a few chairs. It was nice to have a chance to relax after going hard in the parks. The cousins had driven in so they had brought some beer and wine which was a nice alternative to the $9 beers from the bar we had bought the first night.

After some swimming and relaxing, we realized we had to start thinking about our plan for dinner and getting back to the Magic Kingdom. We were having such a nice time that if the Happily Ever After show didn’t come so highly recommended, then we probably would have just stayed at the pool.

We decided it would be quickest to just get some food inside at Landscape of Flavors so DSis went in to grab a pizza and some other sides for the group. Again, the food wasn’t anything special, but worked just fine for what we needed at the time.

Everyone then went back to their rooms to change and decided to meet back at the busses at 6:30. We were again lucky to catch a bus moments after we arrived and got back into MK around 7. Main Street and the hub were already filling up with people claiming their spots for the show, but we had our Small World FP to make. We made our way through the crowds through Liberty Square and into Fantasyland and were greeted by a FP line out the door. The CM said the wait would be 20 minutes which is just absurd for IASW. At this point, it was already 7:20 so I was getting very antsy about the line taking longer and not getting a good spot for HEA.

We finally exited the ride around 7:45 and the rest of the group suggested just watching HEA from Fantasyland. At first I went along with that idea but then decided that it was worth pushing the idea of getting around front for the projections. After some minor debate, they decided to go along with me since they had been impressed by my other recommendations on the trip (mostly learned from this site!). I had heard the bridge to Tomorrowland was a decent back up spot so we made our way in that direction in case we couldn’t get to the hub. However, as we got past Mad Tea Party, a CM was directing people over that bridge towards the hub and advising people to stop and watch on that bridge. That just wasn’t good enough for me! We continued to walk past CM after CM encouraging people to stop. I could sense the group getting nervous, but through sheer willpower, we eventually made our way to the center of the hub just as the show was ready to start.

As the show began, our entire group was absolutely blown away! DBIL’s cousins turned to me and said “You did it again! We’re taking your word from now on.” Our spot:

Happily Ever After totally blew away our already high expectations. It even ended up being DBIL and my 2nd favorites part of the trip after FOP.

After the show, we debated trying to hit some more rides but everyone was pretty worn out. We decided to instead grab some ice cream from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. I ordered a mint chocolate chip kids cone since I didn’t want a whole big cone, and it came with cookies to make it looks like Mickey ears, which was a great Disney touch.

We hung out on Main Street eating our ice cream when I remembered the Once Upon A Time show would be starting at 8:45. We watched the first couple minutes, but by this point the kids were practically falling asleep so we made our way down Main Street and back to the busses.

All things considered, it was an incredibly successful day considering the crazy crowds. We didn’t wait over 30 min for anything and really the only rides we would have liked to do and didn’t were Haunted Mansion and Mad Tea Party.

Next: Princesses and Pearls at Epcot


Park Day 3: Princesses and Pearls at Epcot

Our 3rd and unfortunately last park day was at Epcot. While I love Epcot, it was also the day I was most concerned about. We had gone hard the other 2 days so I was worried everyone might be exhausted. Also, my nieces had made it very clear up to this point that they cared about thrill rides above all else, and that isn’t really Epcot’s strength.

Nonetheless, we were up again at the crack of dawn ready to rope drop once again! This time we had morning EMH so I was especially excited to see what we could get done.

We arrived right at 8am as the park was opening for EMH. We took some obligatory pictures in front of Spaceship Earth while some of our group was going through the bag check. It was a nice touch that the Festival of the Arts was still going on making for some unique pictures.

Similar to our Magic Kingdom rope drop plan, our Epcot plan changed once we realized the girls preferred the thrill rides. We had originally planned on rope dropping Frozen Ever After but decided to switch it up to rope drop Test Track and hopefully then ride Frozen immediately after with a reasonable wait before the park officially opened. However, as seems to often be the case, Test Track was down! So back to the original plan! We made our way towards Norway and arrived to the FEA line around 8:15. The posted time was already 45 minutes, but the Lines app assured me it would only be 20. Sure enough, the app was right again. I used to love Maelstrom as a kid so was a little disappointed when they changed it to the Frozen ride, but after my first FEA ride, I think they did a pretty good job with it. It’s weird riding the same track you immediately recognize as something else (even though it had been many years since I rode Maelstrom) but the theming was fun, including the queue.

After FEA, we checked the app to see if we would have time to do anything else before our 9:25 Akershus reservation. We noticed that the Anna and Elsa meet and greet wasn’t opening until 9 so we got in line for that thinking we’d be able to knock that out without much of a wait when it opened. Unfortunately, when it opened the line didn’t move much after the initial rush into the queue so we had to leave to make our reservation.

It was already hot and the girls were getting frustrated we hadn’t been on more rides already, so our breakfast reservation couldn’t have come at a better time. DSis had made this ADR at the 180 day mark so it was one of the main parts we were looking forward to on the trip. We’re not a huge sit-down meal group when we could be doing other things so we had only made this ADR and 1 other (we’ll get to that later) for this trip.

I was a little annoyed we had to get in another line to check in and then wait to be called while waiting in another line, but the great scenery of the Norway pavilion made it little better.

After waiting maybe 10 minutes, we were on our way into the restaurant. First stop was to meet Belle, and naturally the jokes ensued about if she remembered me from our encounter the previously day. As I mentioned earlier, Belle was the princess DN6 was most looking forward to seeing so meeting her twice worked out well. From there, we were led to our table in the middle room where the theming was understated but very nice. Our waitress came by to explain the process and immediately ensured DN6’s tree nut allergy would be accommodated. She even said she’d bring a special muffin for her since they couldn’t guarantee those in the buffet would be tree nut free as they aren’t made in house. The food was very good, but it’s still pretty standard breakfast food so hard to really stand out. But that’s also not really why you go to Akershus for breakfast. Which brings me to the Princesses.

As you may have gathered by now, DN6 is much more into the Princesses at this point than DN8. DN6 was dressed up and oh so ready for the Princesses to come by while DN8 had her autograph book ready but was still acting a little too cool for all of it. We were one of the first tables sat during our time so we had some time before the Princesses started coming around. In that time however they announced that the Princess Processional would be happening soon and Rapunzel started grabbing kids from our area. Of course DN6 was all in but DN8 sat this one out. The Princess Processional was absolutely adorable. DN6 perfected her princess smile and wave and was in all her glory. After she returned to the table, we were visiting by Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, and Rapunzel. Each of them were great, but I think the group favorite was Rapunzel. She even told us to keep an eye out for Pascal as we toured later in the day. Both girls got autographs and pictures with each of them, and you could sense that DN8 was enjoying it as well even though she might not admit it.

We finished up breakfast (after some sticker shock from DBIL) and checked the app for some wait times. Breakfast was a great experience, but the drawback is you’re missing out on park time while the rides are at their lowest wait. Spaceship Earth was listing a 20 min wait on both apps so we did that way. We got in what seemed like a much longer line but once again were trusting the app. After waiting a few minutes, a CM came by and said the wait from where we were was actually an hour. That was all we needed to hear so we got out of line and checked the app again. I’m guessing it was becauae World Showcase wasnt open yet, but the waits were insane, nothing under 45 min including things like Living with the Land and Journey into Imagination.

We were starting to get frustrated but all my research and TP’s were not going to go to waste! At this point, it was around 11 and our Soarin FP window was about to start. We had hoped to ride with the cousins who had a window starting right after ours, but there was really nothing else reasonable to ride at this point so we decided to just make our way to Soarin and meet up with them later on. While we were in the short FP line for Soarin I started trying to move up our other FP since I knew we wouldn’t be doing any standby with the current crazy waits. I was able to move our Turtle Talk FP so we wouldn’t have as much time to kill. As for Soarin, we were luckily assigned to the B section but row 3. I asked if we could wait for B1 and was told if we wanted row 1 we would have to go to A right now. I decided to not deal with an argument so we agreed to B3. DN6 recently had a Paris themed birthday party so I thought the Eiffel Tower looking straight was most important to us. All in all, I think Soarin was a bit of a mixed bag for our group. Everyone liked it but after riding FOP it’s hard for anything with a similar premise to really live up to it. Also, both DBIL and I couldnt help but be somewhat bothered by the feet.

After Soarin, we walked over to the Seas pavilion to wait for our Turtle Talk FP window to start. We thought maybe we’d be able to sneak in a Nemo ride but the wait was still almost an hour. Instead we checked out some of the fish tanks which was fine, but I think starting to feel a little old. Turtle Talk was a great surprise. I knew the premise but had no idea how much the adults would also enjoy it. I legitimately laughed several times, and we all discussed how surprisingly enjoyable it was. After Turtle Talk, the Lines app was saying the Nemo wait was only 25 minutes so we decided to go for it. The wait time was accurate, but I’d say the ride itself was pretty blah. The Nemo characters are fun which saves it a bit but generally it’s a little uninspiring. I think we all agreed it was the least memorable ride of the trip.

While waiting for Nemo, I was able to move up our 3rd FP for Mission Space after refreshing like crazy. I knew if we had another big gap before a ride we may lose the girls (and maybe DBIL!). We worked our way across Future World to Mission Space, but DBIL insisted he wouldn’t be riding due to the spinning. We came up with the idea he would meet the cousins in Mexico for a drink while we rode Mission Space and would meet him after. He was ready for a break so this idea worked just fine for him.

We arrived at Mission Space and faced the Green vs Orange choice. Now I don’t get any type of motion sickness or ever have any issue on rides so it’s hard for me to explain the potential issues to someone deciding what’s right for them. After all, I had ridden the more intense version before and couldn’t remember anything remotely bad about it. The girls were desperate for an intense ride after a pretty calm day so far, so we all ultimately decided on Orange. As I’m sure many are aware, they really try to scare you out of riding Orange several times. They handed poor DN6 the warning card, and we just told her it was her ticket for the spaceship. After about 5 warnings, we finally board our spaceship. At this point I’m getting nervous because if someone gets sick this could ruin the day. We stress to the girls the important tips about keeping your head back and eyes forward and we’re off. We check in several times with DN6 on our trek through space, and she insists she’s fine. After arriving on Mars, we exited our spaceship and everyone loved it! Whew! Potential crisis averted.

So now the plan is to meet up with DBIL and the cousins to start touring the World Showcase. But just then I hear the Test Track car whirling around the track. But Test Track is supposed to be down? I tell DSis I am going to run over to see if it’s back and maybe we can get on before the crowds arrive. The CM advises me the ride just came back up and says it should only be about a 20 minute wait. Just then, DSis and the girls come running up and join me in line. Perfect! We really wanted to ride Test Track but were prepared to skip it if the lines were too long. The line ended up being longer than 20 minutes but was probably only 35 at the most. No one other than me had any idea what to expect so they were all loving when we got outside and started going so fast. I joked with the girls afterwards that they said they wanted a fast ride so I brought them to a fast ride!

Next: World Showcase Wows!


the pic of you as knight with “uncle” peeking out…priceless

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I love the style of your trip report

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