2 parents, 3 daughters, 10 days late October 2020 Pre-Trip Report (Thanos update-5/29)

storey13

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Hello!

This will be the first time posting a pre-trip report. Our family are not Disney regulars, though we would like to be in theory. The last time to WDW was 2013, before Fastpass+ came out, so this will be a new experience in the planning part. We probably would of gone to WDW sometime since 2013, but we had a couple of baby girls in 2014 and 2016, so we wanted to let them get a little older before we spent a lot of $$$ to go to WDW.

First though, some introductions!
My name is Steven, I'm in my early 40's, been married to my wife Serah for going on 12 years. I work in healthcare IT and I am the big Disney nut in the house. My favorite characters are Humphrey the Bear, Scrooge McDuck, and Bert from Mary Poppins. I don't have very many photos of myself, so I found this one I had to take a year or so ago to send to a company to make a badge for me.
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My wife is Serah. She is not the type that likes to be photographed, and she would not want me to post a picture of her, so you'll have to use your imagination I suppose. She is 5'11" (I'm 6'3". Yes, our children are tall for their age), is a coffee addict, and she takes care of our little ones. She likes Disney, but doesn't "love" Disney like me. I do occasionally hear her singing Little Mermaid songs, but she enjoys going to Disney, more for the resort than the parks. She really enjoys seeing joy on our kids faces though, and she loves the details that Disney provides in their parks, so while she may be happier relaxing at the pool, she does enjoy going to parks. I can go the parks all day, everyday, she is more of the lets take afternoon breaks everyday, which is fine, because I am probably the only one in the family that can go commando style park touring.

This is Zoey. She just turned 11 last week. She is not into Disney as much as she used to be, but still enjoys Lilo and Stitch and Gravity Falls. Her best friend is our puppy Radley. She is so excited to go to WDW and ride all the rides. She also likes going to restaurants where the servers give you attitude or act silly, so she is looking forward to going to 50's Prime Time and Whispering Canyon Cafe.
487321

This is Lucy. She will be turning 6 this September and this will be her first trip to WDW. Safe to say she is super excited. She is looking forward to riding the teacups, all the roller coasters that don't go upside down, and meeting Mulan, Tiana, and Rapunzel. Her favorite movies are Mulan, Tangled, and Hercules. She loves to sing and dance to Disney songs, and she tends to like the Disney princesses that are of the tougher variety. She is super smart and is the biggest Daddy girl of the three.
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Finally, we have Lemmy. She just turned 4 this past week, and she is such a bundle of joy and happiness. She is just as excited to go to WDW as Lucy, and is also looking forward to riding the teacups. She really wants to meet Anna and Elsa, and any of the princesses that are willing to talk to her. She is our most athletic of our children. Her favorite movies are Frozen and the Toy Story movies, especially Toy Story 2 and 3. She is a momma's girl through and through and has quite a temper under that sweet exterior.
487325
Lucy and Lemmy get along pretty well, that is until one of them takes something from the other.
487326
We also have a son, Eli, who just turned 21 last week (yes, we have three kids with birthdays between April 6th to 9th). He will be wrapping up his coding school program around the time we go, but we plan on him coming with us in 2021 or 2022. He can't wait to check out Galaxy Edge and build a lightsabre.

Okay, now to the important info.
Date of travel:
October 23 to November 3 or 4. Zoey and Lucy will be on Fall break for school. They will miss one day of school (October 23). We will most likely leave early on October 23rd and drive to somewhere in southern Georgia, and then finish the rest of the drive to arrive at Disney sometime in the afternoon on October 24 which is our check in date. Halloween at Magic Kingdom!! Woohoo!
Mode of transportation: 2010 Honda Odyssey Van

Distance to Disney World from our home in St. Louis: 1022 miles. We could fly, but it gets pricey, even with the current airline prices, for 5 seats round trip from STL to MCO. Plus we have a couple of people in the fam who really don't like flying unless absolutely necessary. It is nice to have our van for the freedom of not depending on buses or having to pay for Lyft rides while in the Disney bubble.

Lodging while at WDW: 2 bedroom villa at Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek. We bought DVC Copper Creek contract on the resale market in February of 2019, so this will be our first use of our points! We spent our honeymoon at the Lodge back in 2008, and my goodness, how I miss that place so much. It really does feel like a second home and we had no trouble at all deciding on which DVC resort was going to be our home resort!
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Proposed itinerary:

So this is where I probably can use some input. My ADR date is 4/27, and I think I have a good idea of how it is planned out, but any input will be appreciated!
I made an excel file showing current crowd levels from touringplans, and highlighted each park that has extra magic hours AM or PM, along with my proposed which park to visit on each day, along with proposed dining reservations and alternate choices in case I cannot get the ADR I want. A PDF file should be attached to this post. I'll go in more detail with the itinerary in my next post, but feel free to look at the attached pdf if you want!

DDP?

I know the DDP is controversial, but I am currently leaning towards it for a couple of reasons. One, I have a hard time not thinking about how expensive the restaurants are at Disney, and it can negatively affect my behavior when I am there when I get the menu and see how much a NY Strip or Filet cost. Mentally, I would enjoy buying the DDP and not have to worry about it. Secondly, we have several character meals on the docket and we plan to eat at Food and Wine using snack credits at least a couple of times as well. I don't think I wouldn't normally schedule this many sit down restaurants if our trip was shorter, but with being there 10 or 11 days, I'm not as concerned as we will have plenty of park time.
My other option is to just buy Disney gift cards, load them to my Magicband and try to pretend that I am on a dining plan. Hmm, any thoughts?

On my next post, I'll start with our plans! Thank you for reading!

Table of Contents
Introductions
Travel Day and Arrival Day
Dining Plans
First Full Day-Magic Kingdom

Second Day-Sticky Buns, Meeting Arendelle Royalty, and Crab Legs

Third Day-Andy's backyard, other Hollywood Studios fun, dinner with cousins/aunt/uncle, Fantasmic
ADR update and Day Four-Bon Voyage Breakfast, Star Wars, Hoop Dee Doo, evening MK
Day Four-Thurs, Oct 29th-French Lunch, Around the World, Food & Wine dinner, ice cream at Ample Hills, Hollywood Studios evening
Thanos has used the Infinity Stones on my ADR's
 

Attachments

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storey13

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Travel Day and Arrival Day-To Hoop Dee Doo or to not Hoop Dee Doo, that is the question!

We'll be driving from the St. Louis, MO area, and is is over 14 hours if you don't make any stops. I typically do all the driving, and my left knee gets very sore if I'm driving more than a few hours without stretching, plus it seems someone always needs to go to the bathroom, so we will try to leave as early as possible. I think a good goal would be to try to get past Atlanta, perhaps to Valdosta, GA, which would leave about 3 to 4 hours of driving left for arrival day.
My plan is to arrive by early afternoon, hopefully get our DVC room before 4pm, but if not no big deal.

I'm thinking of booking Hoop Dee Doo for 4pm on arrival day? We've never done this show before and I've heard so many good things that I thought this would be a good show to get into the spirit of vacation!

487465

After show, take boat to Magic Kingdom for a few rides, including the teacups, and watch evening fireworks? Hopefully you veteran DISers can weigh in and let me know if these plans are wise or not! My alternative idea was to do Whispering Canyon after we get into our room, and perhaps just relax at resort and swim the first night? We are planning to rope drop MK the next morning.
 
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igrsod

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 11, 2010
Hello!

This will be the first time posting a pre-trip report. Our family are not Disney regulars, though we would like to be in theory. The last time to WDW was 2013, before Fastpass+ came out, so this will be a new experience in the planning part. We probably would of gone to WDW sometime since 2013, but we had a couple of baby girls in 2014 and 2016, so we wanted to let them get a little older before we spent a lot of $$$ to go to WDW.

First though, some introductions!
My name is Steven, I'm in my early 40's, been married to my wife Serah for going on 12 years. I work in healthcare IT and I am the big Disney nut in the house. My favorite characters are Humphrey the Bear, Scrooge McDuck, and Bert from Mary Poppins. I don't have very many photos of myself, so I found this one I had to take a year or so ago to send to a company to make a badge for me.
View attachment 487320

My wife is Serah. She is not the type that likes to be photographed, and she would not want me to post a picture of her, so you'll have to use your imagination I suppose. She is 5'11" (I'm 6'3". Yes, our children are tall for their age), is a coffee addict, and she takes care of our little ones. She likes Disney, but doesn't "love" Disney like me. I do occasionally hear her singing Little Mermaid songs, but she enjoys going to Disney, more for the resort than the parks. She really enjoys seeing joy on our kids faces though, and she loves the details that Disney provides in their parks, so while she may be happier relaxing at the pool, she does enjoy going to parks. I can go the parks all day, everyday, she is more of the lets take afternoon breaks everyday, which is fine, because I am probably the only one in the family that can go commando style park touring.

This is Zoey. She just turned 11 last week. She is not into Disney as much as she used to be, but still enjoys Lilo and Stitch and Gravity Falls. Her best friend is our puppy Radley. She is so excited to go to WDW and ride all the rides. She also likes going to restaurants where the servers give you attitude or act silly, so she is looking forward to going to 50's Prime Time and Whispering Canyon Cafe.
View attachment 487321

This is Lucy. She will be turning 6 this September and this will be her first trip to WDW. Safe to say she is super excited. She is looking forward to riding the teacups, all the roller coasters that don't go upside down, and meeting Mulan, Tiana, and Rapunzel. Her favorite movies are Mulan, Tangled, and Hercules. She loves to sing and dance to Disney songs, and she tends to like the Disney princesses that are of the tougher variety. She is super smart and is the biggest Daddy girl of the three.
View attachment 487324
Finally, we have Lemmy. She just turned 4 this past week, and she is such a bundle of joy and happiness. She is just as excited to go to WDW as Lucy, and is also looking forward to riding the teacups. She really wants to meet Anna and Elsa, and any of the princesses that are willing to talk to her. She is our most athletic of our children. Her favorite movies are Frozen and the Toy Story movies, especially Toy Story 2 and 3. She is a momma's girl through and through and has quite a temper under that sweet exterior.
View attachment 487325
Lucy and Lemmy get along pretty well, that is until one of them takes something from the other.
View attachment 487326
We also have a son, Eli, who just turned 21 last week (yes, we have three kids with birthdays between April 6th to 9th). He will be wrapping up his coding school program around the time we go, but we plan on him coming with us in 2021 or 2022. He can't wait to check out Galaxy Edge and build a lightsabre.

Okay, now to the important info.
Date of travel:
October 23 to November 3 or 4. Zoey and Lucy will be on Fall break for school. They will miss one day of school (October 23). We will most likely leave early on October 23rd and drive to somewhere in southern Georgia, and then finish the rest of the drive to arrive at Disney sometime in the afternoon on October 24 which is our check in date. Halloween at Magic Kingdom!! Woohoo!
Mode of transportation: 2010 Honda Odyssey Van

Distance to Disney World from our home in St. Louis: 1022 miles. We could fly, but it gets pricey, even with the current airline prices, for 5 seats round trip from STL to MCO. Plus we have a couple of people in the fam who really don't like flying unless absolutely necessary. It is nice to have our van for the freedom of not depending on buses or having to pay for Lyft rides while in the Disney bubble.

Lodging while at WDW: 2 bedroom villa at Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek. We bought DVC Copper Creek contract on the resale market in February of 2019, so this will be our first use of our points! We spent our honeymoon at the Lodge back in 2008, and my goodness, how I miss that place so much. It really does feel like a second home and we had no trouble at all deciding on which DVC resort was going to be our home resort!
View attachment 487328



Proposed itinerary:

So this is where I probably can use some input. My ADR date is 4/27, and I think I have a good idea of how it is planned out, but any input will be appreciated!
I made an excel file showing current crowd levels from touringplans, and highlighted each park that has extra magic hours AM or PM, along with my proposed which park to visit on each day, along with proposed dining reservations and alternate choices in case I cannot get the ADR I want. A PDF file should be attached to this post. I'll go in more detail with the itinerary in my next post, but feel free to look at the attached pdf if you want!

DDP?

I know the DDP is controversial, but I am currently leaning towards it for a couple of reasons. One, I have a hard time not thinking about how expensive the restaurants are at Disney, and it can negatively affect my behavior when I am there when I get the menu and see how much a NY Strip or Filet cost. Mentally, I would enjoy buying the DDP and not have to worry about it. Secondly, we have several character meals on the docket and we plan to eat at Food and Wine using snack credits at least a couple of times as well. I don't think I wouldn't normally schedule this many sit down restaurants if our trip was shorter, but with being there 10 or 11 days, I'm not as concerned as we will have plenty of park time.
My other option is to just buy Disney gift cards, load them to my Magicband and try to pretend that I am on a dining plan. Hmm, any thoughts?

On my next post, I'll start with our plans! Thank you for reading!
I'm so excited for you guys. SO EXCITING using your first DVC points. There is something special hearing, Welcome Home, at the most magical place on earth. I'm in agreement with the Dining Plan idea you have. It is a mental thing... YES, you can save money eating out of pocket as you probably won't get the steak... you will constantly looking at the menu prices and gasping and trying to save a few dollars. But that's not fun on vacation. Paying for the DDP ahead of time makes it feel more relaxed while on the actual vacation. My daughter (23 years old), pointed out one time when I said we weren't going to get the dining plan, that even though she could still eat what she wanted... including snacks, she would feel guilty and probably wouldn't ask for the dole whip or the caramel apple... BUT... if she has a snack to use each day... she won't feel bad. She would order what she wanted rather than trying to eat what's cheapest. It really is a mind game. Oh yeah... and using the credits for the Festival Booths... is my hubby's fav thing to do and an excellent use of credits. He "purchases" snack credits from the kids so he can use more for Lobster Rolls at the American Booth.
 
  • igrsod

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 11, 2010
    Travel Day and Arrival Day-To Hoop Dee Doo or to not Hoop Dee Doo, that is the question!

    We'll be driving from the St. Louis, MO area, and is is over 14 hours if you don't make any stops. I typically do all the driving, and my left knee gets very sore if I'm driving more than a few hours without stretching, plus it seems someone always needs to go to the bathroom, so we will try to leave as early as possible. I think a good goal would be to try to get past Atlanta, perhaps to Valdosta, GA, which would leave about 3 to 4 hours of driving left for arrival day.
    My plan is to arrive by early afternoon, hopefully get our DVC room before 4pm, but if not no big deal.

    I'm thinking of booking Hoop Dee Doo for 4pm on arrival day? We've never done this show before and I've heard so many good things that I thought this would be a good show to get into the spirit of vacation!

    View attachment 487465

    After show, take boat to Magic Kingdom for a few rides, including the teacups, and watch evening fireworks? Hopefully you veteran DISers can weigh in and let me know if these plans are wise or not! My alternative idea was to do Whispering Canyon after we get into our room, and perhaps just relax at resort and swim the first night? We are planning to rope drop MK the next morning.
    I think either plan is fun. Whispering Canyon is a fun time too. Depends on how tired you all will be after travelling for so long. If it were me... I would probably do Whispering Canyon and then Magic Kingdom. Hopefully leaving more time for fun in the park. I also wouldn't want to miss fireworks on the first day..... absolutely magical!!!!!
     

    storey13

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2017
    I'm so excited for you guys. SO EXCITING using your first DVC points. There is something special hearing, Welcome Home, at the most magical place on earth. I'm in agreement with the Dining Plan idea you have. It is a mental thing... YES, you can save money eating out of pocket as you probably won't get the steak... you will constantly looking at the menu prices and gasping and trying to save a few dollars. But that's not fun on vacation. Paying for the DDP ahead of time makes it feel more relaxed while on the actual vacation. My daughter (23 years old), pointed out one time when I said we weren't going to get the dining plan, that even though she could still eat what she wanted... including snacks, she would feel guilty and probably wouldn't ask for the dole whip or the caramel apple... BUT... if she has a snack to use each day... she won't feel bad. She would order what she wanted rather than trying to eat what's cheapest. It really is a mind game. Oh yeah... and using the credits for the Festival Booths... is my hubby's fav thing to do and an excellent use of credits. He "purchases" snack credits from the kids so he can use more for Lobster Rolls at the American Booth.
    That is so funny that he purchases snack credits! Ha! I never thought of that! :)

    Yeah, I am leaning pretty hard on getting the new DDP+ that came out this year. Funny thing is that I will almost always order the steak anyway because that and BBQ are my favorite two foods. Serah will almost always order seafood or steak. Zoey is on the adult plan and she is the one that will not get the full value of an adult DDP. She will probably order chicken and occasionally fish. Oh well, I still think it will probably be worth it so I don't have to worry about the menu prices.
     

    storey13

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2017
    I think either plan is fun. Whispering Canyon is a fun time too. Depends on how tired you all will be after travelling for so long. If it were me... I would probably do Whispering Canyon and then Magic Kingdom. Hopefully leaving more time for fun in the park. I also wouldn't want to miss fireworks on the first day..... absolutely magical!!!!!
    Yeah I'm on the fence on which day to do this. There is a Wednesday coming up where we could go before evening EMH's at MK. Hmmm.
    Also, thank you for being the first person to post to my PTR!!
     

    storey13

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2017
    Before I continue the itinerary, I wanted to list the restaurants under consideration for making ADR's. One thought I have is that perhaps this is just too many sit down restaurants? With the Disney Dining Plan Plus, I would want to make sure I use my dining credits wisely, but I also wonder if we might get restaurant fatigue. I'll need to decide on this before the morning of 4/27!

    Here are the restaurants we are planning to dine if we decide to do the DDP Plus:

    Ohana (Hoping to get a early dinner ADR on a first full day, if not, will push back a few days)
    Cape May Cafe (Wife is a huge seafood fan and loves crab legs. I do not like seafood, but I'm sure I'll be fine with whatever non seafood they have.)
    Hoop Dee Doo (Heard so many good things about this show. Planning on doing this either arrival day or middle of trip. Considering paying out of pocket for this because of the seating category restrictions. Worried that category 2 may have an obstructed view of the show. Let me know if you've sat in category 2 and was happy with your seats!)
    California Grill brunch (I've heard so many good things about this brunch! Planning to try to get this at ADR plus 9 days. Never been to Cali grill before and wondering maybe if we should try the dinner first? Let me know your thoughts folks!)
    Morimoto Asia (lunch) (We are fans of Asian food and how could we pass this one up being only 1 credit during lunch time!)
    The Wave (This would of never been on our radar but after Pete mentioning it so many times on various shows, we thought we would book this and try the famous Bacon and Eggs appetizer.)
    Homecoming brunch (Heard a lot of positive things about this place, so thought we'd give it a try.)
    Teppan Edo or Chefs de France (Trying to decide between these two. DIS member GrandCalifornian loves the filet at Teppan, and I think the kids would love the presentation from the chef, on the other hand, we have places like Teppan Edo around where we live, and with Chefs de France, my thought was that the kids have never been to a French restaurant before and I hear their steak is pretty good. Let me know your thoughts!)
    Whispering Canyon Cafe (Looking forward to getting the Pig skillet and the antics. Zoey is really looking forward to this one!)
    Trattoria al Forno character breakfast (Lucy and Lemmy love Rapunzel, and I'd like to meet Flynn Rider, and I've heard their breakfast is decent)
    Garden Grill breakfast (Looking forward to meeting Chip and Dale, and hoping to get a PPO and ride Soarin after.)
    50's Prime Time Cafe (Booking this for Zoey since she loves restaurants where the servers aren't normal. Food looks decent too.)
    Liberty Tree Tavern (Going to MNSSHP on Halloween. Planning to get to MK at 4pm for entry to party and booking this ADR at 5pm so our tummys are full before the party.)
    1900 Park Fare (Planning this to be our last dinner of our trip. The girls have watch videos of the stepsisters and find them funny. Buffet offerings look decent too.)
    Raglan Road (Not 100% we will do this one. I thought the family would enjoy the entertainment and the menu looks good. We currently will only be in Disney Springs 2 times, maybe 3, and if we pay for Hoop Dee Doo out of pocket, I may have to upgrade this from RR to Paddlefish or Boathouse.)
    Boathouse or Paddlefish (wife is a huge crab leg fan, so leaning Paddlefish if we do either one.)

    We plan to use some snack credits at Food and Wine, and fill in missing meals with snacks when possible. I'm sure we will also get some breakfast at Roaring Fork and other food at Geyser Point. Sleeping Hollow is on our radar for the nutella waffle, and I really really hope that the churro ice cream sandwich is back on the menu by the time we go! I've been looking forward to that ever since I saw it on a DFB video.
    I'm a big fan of lime, so I'm looking forward to the Peter Pan Float with the lime dole whip at Storybook Treats at MK, as well as a citrus swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace. Serah wants to try the upside down pineapple cake at Aloha Isle Refreshments. We both also want to try the breakfast bowl at Woody's Lunchbox at HS. We also really want to get ice cream at Ample Hills during our trip! So much food, I don't normally exercise but I may have to start after this trip!

    Thank you for viewing and please let me know your thoughts!
     
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  • lvcourtneyy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    Joining in!

    My other option is to just buy Disney gift cards, load them to my Magicband and try to pretend that I am on a dining plan. Hmm, any thoughts?
    I think the struggle you'll face with value is that your oldest DD gets counted as an adult on the dining plan. Will you and your wife drink an alcoholic drink with each meal on the plan because that adds value to it too. There are websites where you can input the restaurants you plan to eat at and see if you'll come out ahead using the DDP or OOP.

    I'm thinking of booking Hoop Dee Doo for 4pm on arrival day? We've never done this show before and I've heard so many good things that I thought this would be a good show to get into the spirit of vacation!
    We LOVE Hoop! Definitely recommend doing it. If you don't want to use a park ticket that first night, they also do the Chip and Dale campfire at the fort at night.


    We've gone over Halloween the last 3 years and one thing I want to suggest is if you want to change your plans to attend MNSSHP another night other than Halloween night, all of the resorts have a ton of activities on Halloween itself including special character greeting and trick or treating so we usually do some resort hopping on Halloween!
     

    storey13

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2017
    Joining in!



    I think the struggle you'll face with value is that your oldest DD gets counted as an adult on the dining plan. Will you and your wife drink an alcoholic drink with each meal on the plan because that adds value to it too. There are websites where you can input the restaurants you plan to eat at and see if you'll come out ahead using the DDP or OOP.
    Welcome!

    I'm not sure how accurate the DDP calculator is, but it predicts that I would save about $600 using the DDP Plus plan. I'm not a drinker, but my wife does like to drink, probably not every meal though. I doubt the savings will be that much, if any. It's more of a mental thing for me.

    We LOVE Hoop! Definitely recommend doing it. If you don't want to use a park ticket that first night, they also do the Chip and Dale campfire at the fort at night.
    That's true. I did forget about the campfire at FW. We have 9 day park hoppers, so as long as I don't want to go to a park on the MNSSHP day, which I don't think I will want to, we should be good. I am looking forward to Hoop, though I think the rest of the family are indifferent at this point.

    We've gone over Halloween the last 3 years and one thing I want to suggest is if you want to change your plans to attend MNSSHP another night other than Halloween night, all of the resorts have a ton of activities on Halloween itself including special character greeting and trick or treating so we usually do some resort hopping on Halloween!
    I forgot that they do activities at the resorts! Doh!! I already bought the tickets for MNSSHP. I'll have to talk this over with my wife to see what she thinks. That would be a lot of fun to experience special activities at the resort. I'm assuming the all of the MNSSHP parties are the same, except for crowd level difference?
     

    lvcourtneyy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    I'm not sure how accurate the DDP calculator is, but it predicts that I would save about $600 using the DDP Plus plan. I'm not a drinker, but my wife does like to drink, probably not every meal though. I doubt the savings will be that much, if any. It's more of a mental thing for me.
    A $600 savings is great!

    That's true. I did forget about the campfire at FW. We have 9 day park hoppers, so as long as I don't want to go to a park on the MNSSHP day, which I don't think I will want to, we should be good. I am looking forward to Hoop, though I think the rest of the family are indifferent at this point.
    My DBF was pretty indifferent to Hoop too until he actually experienced how much fun it was in person!

    I forgot that they do activities at the resorts! Doh!! I already bought the tickets for MNSSHP. I'll have to talk this over with my wife to see what she thinks. That would be a lot of fun to experience special activities at the resort. I'm assuming the all of the MNSSHP parties are the same, except for crowd level difference?
    Yup they're all the same! The party on Halloween is guaranteed to sell out. The others earlier in the week may or may not sell out. I think they all sold out last year.
     
  • storey13

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2017
    A $600 savings is great!
    I think so too! I do question how accurate that is. One benefit is that my 11 year old will almost always order salmon when we go out if it is on the menu, which tends to be almost as pricey as the steaks at Disney.

    My DBF was pretty indifferent to Hoop too until he actually experienced how much fun it was in person!
    That is my hope as well!
     

    storey13

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2017
    First Full Day-Oct 25

    488128

    Our plan is to rope drop Magic Kingdom on the first full day. Park hours should be 9am-6pm due to MNSSHP that evening.
    I've never been to MK on a party day, but from what I've researched, the crowd level should be lower than normal. Of course, this year is not a normal year, so we'll see. MK is my favorite park, and I swear I could go here everyday of a 10 day trip.

    Lucy and Lemmy are both early risers. Zoey not so much but I've seen her get up quickly when she is motivated. Hopefully being at WDW will help her move along in the morning. All three are hungry as soon as they wake up, so we'll probably just make a quick bite in the room while Serah and I get ready.

    We'd like to take the boat over to MK that morning, as long as it gets us there before the opening show at the castle. The last time we stayed at Wilderness Lodge was for our honeymoon in 2008, and I don't think we ever rope dropped MK at the time, so I don't know how reliable the boat will be in getting there on time for the opening show.

    I don't have a firm touring plan yet, but I know we'd like to tour most of Fantasyland and Tommorrowland, and ride Haunted Mansion too. The girls want to ride pretty much everything. I think I will want to make sure that Lucy and Lemmy ride Barnstormer before the other coasters to get them used to a roller coaster. They've watched Youtube videos of pretty much all the rides and are so excited to ride everything. Of course, once you see it in person, they might change their minds!

    We also want to watch the parade and participate in the Move It Shake It! dance party as well. I'll have a more concrete touring plan once I get Fastpasses in a few months. Everyone in the house wants to try the nutella waffle from Sleepy Hollow, so that would make a good snack to hold us over until dinner. A dole whip and citrus swirl wouldn't hurt either. 😜

    We'd like to stay in the park until around 4pm. We'll see if the young ones last that long. I am hoping to get an Ohana reservation around 430, but with this only being ADR + 1 day, I don't know if that is realistic. Alternatives are Hoop Dee Doo, Whispering Canyon, or The Wave. That is the nice thing about a longer WDW vacation. You can be much more flexible on your plans because you know you have a lot more days ahead where you can get the harder to get ADR's and FP's!

    After dinner, walk around the Poly for a little bit, and then take a break in the room, perhaps do some playing in the pool and water play area, and just relax at the Lodge. I imagine that all of us will be ready to crash fairly early by the end of our first full day. Thank you for reading and please let me know your thoughts or if anything seems unrealistic!
     

    storey13

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2017
    Second Day Oct 26-Sticky Buns, Meeting Arendelle Royalty, and Crab Legs

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    For a second full day, I am hoping to be able to get a Pre-Park opening reservation at Garden Grill. Again, not sure if any spots will be available. Plan is to eat at Garden Grill for breakfast, then get to Soarin before the rope drop crowds get there, explore and ride as much of Future World as possible, and getting a Frozen Ever After fastpass for hopefully sometime before noon. We may get a few Food and Wine snacks before heading out in the early afternoon for some resort rest and relaxation.

    I would say that for the kids this is the park they are the least excited about. Lucy and Lemmy are super excited about meeting Anna and Elsa, and riding Frozen Ever After. The only thing so far at Epcot that Zoey has shown great enthusiasm for is the Artisan Cotton Candy really that may or may not be available in the China pavilion.
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    I think they will really enjoy Soarin though (my wife's favorite ride, well the old version was her favorite). For me, exploring World Showcase is an important part of any WDW trip. I love the details of the architecture and the overall vibe you experience in each country. We've never been to Food and Wine so that should be a fun thing to do around the countries. Any tips for keeping the kids entertained while we stroll through World Showcase?

    We plan on going to Cape May Cafe for dinner where Serah can consume a ton of crab legs, and hopefully get the girls to try some new foods as well. I'll be eating the non seafood on the bar. After dinner, head into Epcot for the evening. Explore some of the World Showcase or finish some more Future World, and then watch the evening fireworks (hopefully Harmonius?). After fireworks, get back to the Lodge to rest because we will have another rope drop the next day at Hollywood Studios.

    Thank you for reading and let me know your tips!
     
    Last edited:

    ariane37

    Dis veteran
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2012
    Joining! I spend most of my time on the TR and dining report boards but started a PTR this time for our July trip just to pass the time. Enjoying reading PTR's again and love reading first trip ones!

    Humphrey the Bear
    :love:
    Finally, we have Lemmy.
    OMG I love the name! I would ask if you named her after the lead singer of a certain band I love but it's not everyone's taste so don't want to offend lol. But really love it!
    We also have a son, Eli, who just turned 21 last week (yes, we have three kids with birthdays between April 6th to 9th).
    My son turned 18 on April 8th. Not the best year for birthdays for sure! And our kids are 31,28,18 and 14 plus 2 grandkids so we have a spread like you too :thumbsup2
    2 bedroom villa at Wilderness Lodge Copper Creek.
    Awesome! WL is my favorite resort and we've stayed at CC too.
    I know the DDP is controversial, but I am currently leaning towards it for a couple of reasons.
    We used to do it when the kids were younger but don't anymore as it doesn't fit the way we eat. However although your oldest is an "adult" with the 2 littles and the character meals you have booked it may work out best for you to do. I usually only suggest it when people are doing a few character meals and have 2 or more "kids"
    I'm thinking of booking Hoop Dee Doo for 4pm on arrival day? We've never done this show before and I've heard so many good things that I thought this would be a good show to get into the spirit of vacation!
    LOVE HDDR! Our youngest 2 were 12 and 9 the first time we did it and always ask to do it again. It's something that I think doesn't sound great to lots of people at first - until they do it. Rarely hear of someone even younger kids who don't enjoy it!
    We'd like to take the boat over to MK that morning, as long as it gets us there before the opening show at the castle. The last time we stayed at Wilderness Lodge was for our honeymoon in 2008, and I don't think we ever rope dropped MK at the time, so I don't know how reliable the boat will be in getting there on time for the opening show.
    We stay here often and the boat will get you there for the opening show. If you had a real early breakfast or needed to be there like more than an hour before park opening you'd need to take the bus, but if you're good getting there 20-30 minutes prior to the show it will work fine.
    Any tips for keeping the kids entertained while we stroll through World Showcase?
    I always tell people who think EPCOT isn't for kids that they're wrong lol! In FutureWorld don't forget the aquarium in the Living Seas pavilion and the Nemo ride plus Turtle Talk with Crush. I find most kids enjoy Living with the Land in the Land building as well and especially if it's warm out stop and watch the Pixar shorts! In WS there are the KidCot stations in each country and then the boat ride in Mexico; hopefully you'll have Ratatouille too. There are a good # of character meets and one of my favorite things is all the entertainment in all the countries! Unfortunately when the shut down started a few acts were cut but Serveur Amusant in France is one we all enjoy and hopefully the'll bring back more. Finally (and sorry this is so long) we've done things that cost $ to keep the kids entertained :laughing: You can buy a "Passport" in the gift shops and then they have a CM in each country sign it; during F&W there's usually a scavenger hunt of some sort for kids to do in WS. We've also on different trips let the kids buy a piece of candy in each country. Hey it keeps them going!!

    I like your dining choices too although if you are looking to cut any I'd say the Wave. It does get decent reviews but it's nothing special. Cali Grill brunch is AMAZING! I don't think you lose anything by that being your first time there opposed to dinner but the brunch is $$$, although if you're on a dining plan it won't matter :)
     

    storey13

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2017
    Joining! I spend most of my time on the TR and dining report boards but started a PTR this time for our July trip just to pass the time. Enjoying reading PTR's again and love reading first trip ones!
    Welcome! Thank you for joining. I have read a few of your trip reports in the past. I can't remember if I posted though. Yeah, first time for Lucy and Lemmy and they are so excited!

    OMG I love the name! I would ask if you named her after the lead singer of a certain band I love but it's not everyone's taste so don't want to offend lol. But really love it!
    You are correct! My wife loves Motorhead! Her birth certificate name is Amelia, but we started calling her Lemmy from day one.

    My son turned 18 on April 8th. Not the best year for birthdays for sure! And our kids are 31,28,18 and 14 plus 2 grandkids so we have a spread like you too :thumbsup2
    Yeah the birthdays this year weren't super fun, but the kids still seem to enjoy themselves here at home. That is quite the spread in age of your kiddos! Zoey and Eli were born on the same day (April 9th) 10 years apart!

    Awesome! WL is my favorite resort and we've stayed at CC too.
    Isn't it just the best? We only got to stay there once in 2008. I fell in love with the place. The last two trips after that we stayed off property, and while the property was pretty nice, it didn't hold up to the Lodge. Plus it was so inconvenient to leave the park in the afternoon, drive back to hotel offsite, then go back later for the evening. I found a pretty good deal in early 2019 on the resale market for a CCV contract, so we decided to go for it!

    We used to do it when the kids were younger but don't anymore as it doesn't fit the way we eat. However although your oldest is an "adult" with the 2 littles and the character meals you have booked it may work out best for you to do. I usually only suggest it when people are doing a few character meals and have 2 or more "kids"
    Yeah I was kind of on the fence about getting the DDP. In fact I wasn't going to until the new DDP+ came out. We will have 3 or 4 character meals and we snack a lot, plus using snacks at F&W. I expect we will at least break even. It is more of mindset for me to not have to worry about menu prices when we go.

    LOVE HDDR! Our youngest 2 were 12 and 9 the first time we did it and always ask to do it again. It's something that I think doesn't sound great to lots of people at first - until they do it. Rarely hear of someone even younger kids who don't enjoy it!
    That is good to hear! I think they will like it but who knows! If they don't like it, at least I can say we tried it. Food wise should be good for our family. Lemmy's favorite meat is ribs. Zoey and Lucy really like fried chicken, and wife and I like all of that kind of food.

    We stay here often and the boat will get you there for the opening show. If you had a real early breakfast or needed to be there like more than an hour before park opening you'd need to take the bus, but if you're good getting there 20-30 minutes prior to the show it will work fine.
    Thank you for letting me know! Yeah I don't think we will do any PPO breakfast at MK. I would like to see the inside of Beast's castle, but Be Our Guest breakfast doesn't sound that great. If we could do an ADR for BOG, and just order a couple of things or side items, then maybe, though I'm not sure you are allowed to do that.

    I always tell people who think EPCOT isn't for kids that they're wrong lol! In FutureWorld don't forget the aquarium in the Living Seas pavilion and the Nemo ride plus Turtle Talk with Crush. I find most kids enjoy Living with the Land in the Land building as well and especially if it's warm out stop and watch the Pixar shorts! In WS there are the KidCot stations in each country and then the boat ride in Mexico; hopefully you'll have Ratatouille too. There are a good # of character meets and one of my favorite things is all the entertainment in all the countries! Unfortunately when the shut down started a few acts were cut but Serveur Amusant in France is one we all enjoy and hopefully the'll bring back more. Finally (and sorry this is so long) we've done things that cost $ to keep the kids entertained :laughing: You can buy a "Passport" in the gift shops and then they have a CM in each country sign it; during F&W there's usually a scavenger hunt of some sort for kids to do in WS. We've also on different trips let the kids buy a piece of candy in each country. Hey it keeps them going!!
    Thank you for the tips! Yeah we'll probably buy the passport for the two little ones! I think they will enjoy Epcot, it is just harder to get them to watch YouTube videos of people exploring World Showcase. They like the Nemo movies and love zoos and aquariums so they will probably have a great time at Epcot!

    I like your dining choices too although if you are looking to cut any I'd say the Wave. It does get decent reviews but it's nothing special. Cali Grill brunch is AMAZING! I don't think you lose anything by that being your first time there opposed to dinner but the brunch is $$$, although if you're on a dining plan it won't matter :)
    Yeah if it wasn't for doing the dining plan, Cali Grill brunch would be off the table! I am excited to dine there. I think it will be one of those times where I will bring the iPads for the little ones cause they won't want to stay there as long as we will!

    If it wasn't for all the praise Pete gives The Wave, I probably would never of even thought about going there. That is on an Animal Kingdom day, so if I sub it out, it may be for Boma? Plus that would give me an excuse to see Animal Kingdom Lodge! :)

    Again thank you for joining! I'll have to check out your latest report!
     

    ariane37

    Dis veteran
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2012
    You are correct! My wife loves Motorhead! Her birth certificate name is Amelia, but we started calling her Lemmy from day one.
    So cool and of course exactly who came to mind 8-)
    Isn't it just the best? We only got to stay there once in 2008. I fell in love with the place. The last two trips after that we stayed off property, and while the property was pretty nice, it didn't hold up to the Lodge.
    Nothing beats the Lodge ❤ We did off site a couple times when the boys were little, the resorts were fine but on site is where it's at!
    . We will have 3 or 4 character meals and we snack a lot, plus using snacks at F&W. I expect we will at least break even. It is more of mindset for me to not have to worry about menu prices when we go.
    I think it makes sense for you guys to get the DDP.
    Thank you for the tips! Yeah we'll probably buy the passport for the two little ones! I think they will enjoy Epcot, it is just harder to get them to watch YouTube videos of people exploring World Showcase. They like the Nemo movies and love zoos and aquariums so they will probably have a great time at Epcot!
    I bet they will! Food and Wine usually has a cute playground set up also :)
    That is on an Animal Kingdom day, so if I sub it out, it may be for Boma? Plus that would give me an excuse to see Animal Kingdom Lodge! :)
    Boma would be a great choice! They do have some "normal" options mixed in for anyone who may be picky and as you say it gives you all a chance to see AKL which is gorgeous. Inside, outside, even the gift shop has neat things lol. And easy enough to take the bus back to the park after and then catch the bus back to your resort :thumbsup2 If the menu is ok with you I would try Boma over the Wave for sure.
     

    storey13

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2017
    Third Day-Oct 27-Andy's backyard, other Hollywood Studios fun, dinner with cousins/aunt/uncle, Fantasmic

    Our second to last rope drop of the trip. Well, I should say theoretically. A lot of things could change by the time late October gets here, but the plan is rope drop Hollywood Studios on this day, but depending on how things are actually being operated at HS, we may have to rope drop HS more than one time. My hope is that Rise of the Resistance is a fastpass by then, so crowds won't be insane at rope drop. Also, touringplans has HS on this day as a crowd level at 1. I don't think that is realistic, especially with all of the trips that have been rescheduled to the Fall. I must admit, I am worried about how much WDW will be back to normal due to this pandemic. October is still a decent amount of time away, but I am concerned that the so called second wave may strike.

    Enough sad thoughts!

    489893

    So the plan is to tour as much of the non Star-Wars part of HS as possible. Depending on fastpasses, we'll either go towards the Railway or Slinky coaster first. Either way, all of us our excited to see Toy Story Land, and ideally we'd like to head there first. I have heard that Slinky coaster can get real long lines in the morning because so many people are in the park to join the virtual queue. I think Slinky will be the wise choice for a fastpass on this day. At this point, I'll probably try to get a early Slinky FP and head straight for the Railway or for Toy Story Mania. Toy Story movies are a family favorite in the house, so seeing this land for the first time will be a lot of fun.


    Serah and I are looking forward to trying the breakfast bowl at Woody's lunchbox. This gets pretty close to something in St. Louis we call a slinger. Add some hamburger pattys on the bottom, some chili, cheese, and onions. Ok, so maybe it isn't that close to a slinger, but it kind of reminds me of one. I think the girls have said they want to try the fancy pop tarts.

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    I don't think anyone in our house has watched a video of the new runaway railway ride except for me, but I know everyone will love it! Some other highlights of HS that are must do's are the Frozen sing-a-long for Lemmy and Lucy. Serah has a strong love of muppets, so the Muppetvision show is a must. For me, my two favorite movie series are Back to the Future and Indiana Jones, so we'll definitely be doing the Indiana Jones stunt show. I also hope to get some kind of Indy souvenir nearby. I know there is a shop somewhere close to the show I think.

    Zoey and I would like to ride tower of terror and maybe Zoey and me on rockin roller coaster. She may chicken out on the roller coaster, so I may just do that solo. I'm not sure if I Lucy and/or Lemmy will be willing to ride Tower of Terror. I love ToT, especially the entire presentation before that actual dropping part.

    The goal is to do as much as possible in the AM, leave park for mid-day break, come back to HS for dinner with our "cousins, aunts, and uncles" at 50's Prime Time Cafe dinner (Zoey is so excited about this!), and finish any non Star Wars remaining items before Fantasmic! Our first non rope drop day will be in the next installment of the PTR! As always, thank you for reading!
     

    storey13

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2017
    ADR update and Day Four-Bon Voyage Breakfast, Star Wars, Hoop Dee Doo, evening MK.

    Hello again DIS family!

    I overslept a little this morning for my ADR day! I accidentally set my alarm for 445 pm instead of 445 am! I woke up at 535 am and I was like "Oh crap!". I ran out to my laptop in the living room and got logged in. Fortunately, I was able to get all of my ADR's at times that were acceptable! I was worried a bit about the Cali Grill brunch but there were several openings. Since this ADR will be the day after the MNSSHP party, I booked the brunch for 1055 am.

    On another topic, I was trying to decide between a lunch at Tusker House and Yak and Yeti. The Yak and Yeti menu sounds better to DW and I, but with Tusker the kids could enjoy another character meal. Also, buffets can be stressful sometimes compared to sit down when your 2/3 kids are not even in elementary school yet. I'll have to think about this one. Let me know your thoughts if you've done one or the other or both!

    There is something satisfying about looking at MDE and seeing your itinerary filled in with all of your ADR's. Makes it feel more real!

    Day Four-Oct Wednesday Oct 28th

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    First sleep in day! I probably shouldn't get too excited about this. Lucy and Lemmy won't sleep in much, maybe till 8 if were lucky.

    I have us booked for the Bon Voyage Breakfast at 9:25 at Boardwalk. I've never seen Boardwalk in person and I'm looking forward to it. Side note: I must remember to make a note to return to Boardwalk at some point during the trip for Ample Hills!

    I've watched A LOT of princess movies over the last 11 years, and in particular the movie Tangled. It has made me a fan of Flynn Rider, so I am looking forward to talking to him about his smolder. The little girls really like Rapunzel and Ariel too, so it should be a fun breakfast. No one in the family seems to care about Prince Eric. Poor guy.

    After full bellies, we're going to head over to HS. This will primarily be a Galaxy's Edge afternoon. I really really really hope there are Fastpasses by then for ROTR. If not, we will have to try really hard to get the ROTR boarding group the day before. If we don't succeed, then we will have to make some changes somewhere during the rest of the trip. ROTR is a must ride on this vacation. Serah and I are Star Wars fans, but we are not in the insane fan category. The movie series would be in my top 10, but I would trade a Star Wars land for an Indiana Jones land every day of the week. Very excited to see the depth of imagineering done at Galaxy's Edge.

    After spending the afternoon at HS/GE, we'll head back to Lodge to take a short break, then head to the 4pm Hoop Dee Doo show! After some thinking, we swapped Whispering Canyon Cafe and Hoop Dee Doo. So WCC will be an arrival day dinner. I really am excited to see HDD and FW!

    After HDD, we'll take a boat to MK for the evening and enjoy some evening EMH's. I do expect MK to be pretty busy. I don't have a particular plan yet for this evening at MK, but I will try to get a SDMT FP if I can. We'll try to stay till 10pm close, but I'll see how everyone is feeling. Zoey and I may be closing MK by ourselves that night. While this day doesn't start as early, this day doesn't have very much resort time.

    Up next, another later start as we prepare to journey around the World Showcase and more! Thanks again for viewing!
     





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