DIS Veteran
Feb 21, 2010
Good evening all!! This trip report will be Live, as I will post each night when I wrap up for the day! This trip includes me, my DH, and our three kids (15) (12) and (5). We tend to go about once every year or two. Our last trip was in 2017. So it's about time for another one!!!

We decided to fly into Tampa instead of Orlando because we saved a significant amount of money by doing so. Our flight was supposed to leave at 1;58pm but ended up getting delayed not once but twice!!! 😫 So our flight didn't take off until 4:30pm. I guess it was due to storms in the area. We landed around 7:20 or so.

After landing we realized how big the new Tampa airport is (last time we went it was under significant construction). We took the train over to get our luggage and then yet another one over to our rental car.

Then we drove the hour and 20 min to our hotel Bay Lake Tower! We are staying in a 1 bedroom lake view.

We were so excited to finally see this!!!

Upon getting closer to BLT the fireworks show began and we got to watch it from our car. Our (5) year old was especially excited to see this! His mouth hung open the whole time!! Our 12 year old said "oh look, they heard we were arriving". 🤣


We pulled up to our hotel and got up to our room. The view isn't nearly as nice as our last BLT room. Last time we also had a lake view but it was a partial MK view and we could see the fireworks from our balcony. This time it's a partial view of the lake and mostly the pool.
Downside is we hear the nightly water parade very loudly from the echoing which is making the kids toss and turn a little tonight. Oh well. My DH just left to return the rental car and I finished putting away our graden grocer order before saying goodnight to the kids.

Our plan for tomorrow??? 8am EMH at the Magic Kingdom. Wish us luck...we may need it since it's one of our days we did not make FP for.
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DIS Veteran
Feb 21, 2010
First part of Day 2

So today we decided to walk across the street to hit MK 8am EMH. It is also an early closing night due to a Halloween party so I was hoping that would mean the crowds would be low. For the most part I was right. We were very productive!! The park was decorated for Halloween already, which we have seen before but love!!

First, we took a ride on IASW, I know weird first choice....but the line was low and it's a favorite of my 5 year old. I didn't notice it no longer displays your name at the end of the ride, is that something new?

After that we walked across to Peter pan which had a posted 25-minute wait. It was actually my first time through the real line que because I've never ridden it without a FastPass. I loved the theming of it, and now I understand what everyone was talking about. We ended up waiting closer to about 15 minutes which is quick for Peter pan.

By then it was just about 9am so we knew they'd be opening Adventureland, so we headed over to ride Jungle Cruise. Our Skipper's name was Matt and he was fabulous one of the best I've had!!

Then we headed over to do Pooh, which was a 25 minute wait which was very accurate. Does anyone else ever try to get pictures of themselves on this ride by using the mirror in the heffalump and woozles room? Mine never come out, yet I still try every time. Any tips?

At that point we headed over to little mermaid since it had no wait at all, which is typical this time of year. Then my DH and 5 year old waited 10 min to ride barnstormer. He's ridden coasters before but every time I'm just as nervous as the first!! My older two don't really ride roller coasters, so my husband is happy to finally have a roller coaster buddy! my five-year-old loved it so much he said he would ride it a million times in a row!! Wow! That's alot!

After that we stopped for a much needed bathroom break and then headed into the Peoplemover, another favorite of our family!! I know, we seem boring right?? 😉 It did allow us to see the tron ride construction really well, which is cool.

Since we were so close we hopped into Carousel of Progress, which was full. It was the most full I've ever seen it, not sure why??

We skipped buzz light-year ride, much to my youngest dismay because it was a strong 50 min wait all morning...not sure why. I've always thought the ride was okay...but it seems like the accuracy of the guns you use isn't very good.. either that or I'm just very bad at it 🤣

It was about 11:30am at this point. I feel like we accomplished tons in a short time. Our kids were hungry so we went to Cosmic Days and got the two youngest Mac n cheese and our older son got chicken fingers. Average food as always. I chose not to eat....I had my eye on something else I got a little later...

Then we headed over to do some pin shopping as my five-year-old wanted to start pin trading. He bought a villains pack and a starter kit with pins and a lanyard (Lion King themed).
My 12 year old also found a pin that she liked which was a villain that opened and had a mirror inside.
My oldest found a phone case he wanted. It was pirate of the Carribean themed with his name engraved on the bottom.
Now for my hunger. I was really eyeing a Redd's revenge strawberry float. So me and my DH got those. It was delicious!!
While eating those the country bears came out right near us and we're being playful with our kids. One even took out pins and traded with them!! I didn't know characters would do that!!! Great surprise!
It started raining, not light, but not heavy. So we wasted some time walking through stores while waiting for the 2pm parade, which was delayed by 15 min. We bought some ponchos to keep for the trip and put them on. We watched from near Tony's restaurant and there were plenty of spaces...guess rain scares most people away, which is good for us.
Then we decided to walk back to our hotel and relax a little. The kids loved the much needed downtime. They ran right to the tv and watched there favorite thing in Disney, wanna guess???

The safety smart Timon and Pumba show that loops over and over. They literally watch it every day of Everytime we come. The older two have it memorized. 🤣 Anyone else??

We are heading to dinner soon. I will post the second half of the day to be continued......

As a side question...does anyone know why all the pics I post are coming out landscape? It's flipping all my pics sideways!!


DIS Veteran
Feb 21, 2010
8/16 End of day 2

We went across the skybridge to Contemporary for our dinner at the Wave. Nice breeze tonight and I actually didn't find it that hot out. When I came off the skybridge into the air conditioning I was actually cold.

So we walked to The Wave and then realized our reservation wasn't until 5:40, I thought it was at 5. So we went outside and played with the giant checkers game on the ground. It helped killed see time before we ate. I love the large he's they have out at contempory to use.

I then walked to the end of the boat dock to take a pic of our resort, which came out quite good.

So we went in at 5;25pm and waited for about 10/15 minutes and then they called us.

The bread was served warm (which I love) and the butter was soft and spreadable (even better).

My youngest two ordered off the kids menu so I didn't take photos of there meals.

My DH got the eggs and bacon appetizer and loved it!!

For dinner my oldest (15) ordered the strip steak with potato gratin and ate the whole thing!

I ordered the noodle bowl, the only part I didn't like we're what looked like rubbery black angel hair, I asked and I guess it was seaweed salad? But I loved the dish after I picked those out! 🤣

My DH ordered the bone in pork chop which he also really enjoyed.
Then for dessert we got a seasonal flight, which consisted of pineapple cake, strawberry shortcake, and key lime tart. We also got a chocolate flight, with a creme brulee bar, toffee chocolate cake and a chocolate moose type cake.

Overall we loved the wave, though we have been there before for breakfast and lunch, we had never tried dinner, which was great! I'd recommend it and it's a quick walk from the magic kingdom which makes it accessible not just to those staying at contemporary.

After our filling dinner we came back to the room for showers and bed by 830 for the kids. We were all up late the night before and needed a good long rest for the next big day ahead. Our first day using fastpasses!!!

Till tomorrow...
  • BraveLittleToaster2

    DIS Veteran
    Feb 21, 2010
    8/17 First part of the day!

    Headed to HS today and arrived right around 8:50 just in time for opening. We got to see the new gondalas running which was neat.

    Our first stop was to the launch bay where we met with Chewbacca and then Kylo Ren, Chewbacca was a 5 min wait and Kylo Ren we didn't wait at all! I had heard in the past that he was very intimidating to meet, but I didn't find that at all. I enjoyed that he talked and so did the kids. My 5 year old loves villains, so this was right up his alley.

    We then headed to meet Edna Mode since she didn't start meeting until 9:30. We waited about 5 minutes and then met her. The queue was neat with all the different super suits displayed. It was our first time meeting her so we were all excited. I really wish they made her talk!! I just love her voice!!
    Then we walked around Toy Story Land since it was our first time seeing it. (We hadn't been since 2017), we had 9:45 fastpasses for TSM so we headed into that. They must still be having trouble with the fire curtains because the Fastpass queue was routed backstage for part of the time. We all LOVE this ride. Who doesn't?
    Next we headed for Cars Racing Experience because this was also something new to us! I enjoyed it a lot. It was well done and a nice place to get out of the heat as well.
    By this time the crowds were starting to get very heavy and it was around 10:30am so we headed to meet Olaf, which was also a 5 min wait. It was funny because my 12 year old was wearing princess Leia buns and Olaf was motioning that they look like two snowballs on her head!! It was cute!

    We headed to take a bathroom break and then decided to head back to our room to have some lunch with our groceries and then we will be heading down to the pool!!

    HS has always been a half day park for us. As I've said before my older kids don't like coasters and neither do I, my husband will go on them but not typically alone. My youngest wanted to try TOT but I freaked out and just am not ready for that anxiety yet. 🤣

    Here is a picture of a random duck we met waiting for our bus and the kids loved him for some reason. We didn't have any food to feed him though!

    Second half will post later.


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 21, 2010
    8/17 Second half of day

    We took the monorail over the Grand Floridian to the Grand Floridian Cafe. We had a reservation for dinner at 5:40pm. We've never been before but we're eager to try it. We got up to the podium and they didn't have our reservation! 😫 Not sure what happened. I showed them our reservation on my MDE app and they found a table for us, so I was thankful.

    The bread was served warm, the butter soft, and our waitress Margie was fabulous! I took photos of all of our meals. My 5 year old had pasta with turkey meatballs and fruit sides, 12 year old had cheese flatbread and rice (she loves carbs, can you tell?) My 15 year old had the fried chicken, my DH had the strip steak, and I had the cafe meatloaf.

    We all loved our meals though my DH liked his steak better the night before at the Wave.

    After dinner we walked over to the wedding pavilion and took a picture of our 12 year old in front (as we always do when we come) because she dreams of being married there someday and if she does we will have years of photos of her standing outside in wonder. 😁

    We also stopped on the beach to take some photos of the kids and did see quite a few cool sand castles in the sand and even caught a glimpse of a tiny alligator in the water!

    We hopped back on the monorail and headed back to the contemporary. We stopped at Contempo Cafe after deciding to share some desserts back at our hotel.

    We chose worms in dirt, peanut butter pie tart, and a pink Minnie ear cupcake. Here are some photos. I don't have a photo of the Minnie cupcake without my DD face in it. But here's the other two.

    After eating our desserts in our room we let the kids watch as tv. YES, they watched the safety smart video with timone and Pumba again!! They are obsessed.

    Tomorrow back to MK with fastpasses this time!!


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 21, 2010
    8/18 Day 4

    We walked back over to MK today. Arrived around 9 right at opening. Today was HOT! Like sweat dripping for everywhere, surface of the sun hot!! The past two days had been relatively cool feeling so today's weather hit hard!! I hope it doesn't stick around.

    We rope dropped Haunted mansion because we had skipped it on our first MK day. It was a walk on, and we met a nice cast member with her dog Bones. My 5 year old even pet him and then said he feels like nothing... 🤣 Here's a picture so you get what I'm talking about.

    After that we went to ride buzz as that was another we had skipped. It was about a 5/10 min wait. So not bad at all. Anyone else agree that it's so hard to aim on that one? I always lose! Uggh!

    Next we went to Philarmagic since we needed to cool off. My little one giggled the whole way through. It was fun!

    We had some time to kill before our 10:40 crystal palace reservation, so we went over to watch splash mountain. My little guy hasn't asked to go on this one yet, but my DH would take him if he wanted to go. The rest of us would stand there and laugh!!
    Once it was time we headed over to our Crystal palace breakfast and ate as unhealthy as possible. 🤣 I love the little cinnamon sugar french toast things in the kids section. And....who says you can't have ice cream at breakfast? I finished my meal off with some soft serve and my 12 year old happily copied me. We eat here every trip, it's a must do for us.
    After Crystal Palace we went to the laugh floor. We waited a fairly long time to be let into the first little room with the slopes floor. Then I had to go the bathroom...whoops should have gone at the restaurant. So I walked back out the long lines of people and decided to just meet my family at the exit...but they said the show went well!! None of us got picked. But LAST trip my DH was called "a giant Chia pet" and they brought the microphone over to my now 12 year old who got asked some questions. I was lucky enough to catch it all on tape!!!! We watch it often!

    When we got out of that it was finally time for our first fastpass of the day at Peter pan. The fast pass line was very long but overall we only waited probably less than 10 minutes to get on.

    Once we got off Peter pan the crowds really started picking up. I have never seen magic kingdom this crowded in late August before. So with the crowds and heat it was starting to make most of us a little grumpy..

    We decided to head over to the big top shopping area to look around and found some neat things for family members. Though we ended up not buying any of them. It was a great idea to cool off there though. Do you also know people these gifts would be good for?

    Then we used our second fastpass of the day at barnstormer. My little ones favorite!!! Directly after that we hopped to little mermaid ride, I have NEVER seen a 35 minute line for this in late August. I couldn't believe it. Not sure why crowds today seemed to be so much bigger then the two days prior?? Though it was a good queue to cool off in and it moved fairly quickly.

    After that we had our last fastpass for the day with Winnie the Pooh. That line moved very quickly!! We decided at that point to head back to our hotel for the day, since we don't have any evening dinner plans today. So we all headed back to shower and watch a movie. Then we decided to make dinner in our room. I love long trips because it allows us the ability to do it all slowly and be a little more flexible.

    When leaving magic kingdom I tried to take a picture to show the crowds on main Street. What do you think? This was taken around 2:50 or so.

    Next up for tomorrow...Epcot!!
  • scionchigirl

    Jun 2, 2019
    I think maybe the Floridians going before school starts and SWGE opens...I went once in June and its TOO HOT in summer for me. Humid,too, like Chicago where I live, no thanks...but all of WDW seems packed based on the MDE app! Despite Iger reporting attendance is down.


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 21, 2010
    I think maybe the Floridians going before school starts and SWGE opens...I went once in June and its TOO HOT in summer for me. Humid,too, like Chicago where I live, no thanks...but all of WDW seems packed based on the MDE app! Despite Iger reporting attendance is down.
    Yes, the 16th and 17th weren't bad. Standard for this time of the year, but today it was like..where are all these people coming from?? 😬
  • scionchigirl

    Jun 2, 2019
    Yes, the 16th and 17th weren't bad. Standard for this time of the year, but today it was like..where are all these people coming from?? 😬
    Looks like youre having a blast, regardless! Our 1st trip as a family was 2005, a week after Katrina...parks were DESERTED. So no trip crowd level has compared to that. We last went 1st week of Sept 2016 and it was pretty slow, but Hurricane Hermine scared people off. Have a great trip!


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 21, 2010
    Looks like youre having a blast, regardless! Our 1st trip as a family was 2005, a week after Katrina...parks were DESERTED. So no trip crowd level has compared to that. We last went 1st week of Sept 2016 and it was pretty slow, but Hurricane Hermine scared people off. Have a great trip!
    I went in March of 2002, 6 months after 9/11, we stayed at POR.
    POFQ was completely closed down. So when we took the boat by it looked deserted. That was my slowest crowds trip!! Guess people didn't want to fly after that, but we kept our trip.


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 21, 2010
    8/19 Day 5

    Today was exciting!!!!! We have had many firsts at Disney but never this! My 5 year old lost his front tooth! We saved it and I went down to my hotels gift shop and inquired as to if they had anything I could buy him special to put under his pillow that might match the occasion. Guess what? They gave me a free Tinkerbell pin. Told me to let him know Tinkerbell is friends with the toothfairy and she wanted to give him something too, so great, right??
    Here's a pic of his pin!

    Today we went to Epcot on the monorail from our resort. Tons of construction going on over there both in the parking lot and the entrance. You can see a lot of it from the monorail which was neat. We headed right to Spaceship earth, it's my youngest favorite ride and I've heard rumors of a very long closure coming up so we definitely wanted to get it in.
    After that, which was walking, we headed over to the Nemo ride! It was a 15 min wait but it certainly didn't take that long. Afterwards we spent quite a bit of time in the aquarium section, which wasn't very busy. We were there for feeding time and saw lots of scuba divers.


    Once we got out of Nemo it was about 10/1030 and the lines were long at everything. Another bad crowd day for sure. Even rides that don't typically have lines (like figment) had lines. Quite annoying. Anyway, we decided to go watch the Pixar short films because it was very hot out and we wanted something where we could sit and get cool. It was great! As many times as I've seen that, I can always see it again. They did a great job with it!

    After this we decided to eat and early lunch due to the long waits and my fastpasses weren't until later in the day. So we walked over to France and got sandwiches at la boulange patisserie. I ate a ham and cheese baguette toasted, it was delicious! We sat and ate and watched the French mime preform tricks, which was neat. We also had a photopass photographer take a photo of my dh and I in front of the Eiffel tower and the fountain, it actually came out well.

    Finally our first Fastpass time. We went over to do living with the land. In the past at this time of year we've never needed one, but the wait was a surprising 30 minutes almost all day!! This is my favorite ride in all of Disney world!! (Later in the trip we have the behind the seeds tour once my parents join our vacation...stay tuned for that).


    Next we headed over to Figment. We always do it at least once, not my favorite but kept us out of the sun for a little while. Then we had some time to kill so we roamed around Mousegear for some souvenirs. We didn't end up buying anything this time, but it was fun nonetheless.

    Ready to hear something that will astound you????
    I have NEVER ridden soarin!!!! I know, I know. I've heard a it fabulous from my DH and my middle child. I'm scared of heights and get motion sickness fairly easily, but I decided to do it to please my DH. As he loves the ride and really wanted me to experience it.
    So I surprised him by getting fastpasses for all 5 of us. And surprisingly, it didn't bother me much. I especially loved the scene with the elephants and the Taj Mahal. Mostly because that's when we were lower to the ground. 🤣🤣

    i must admit, I'm glad I did it, and I'm proud of myself. I had two shut my eyes twice very briefly, but I can honestly say I would do it again!!

    After soarin we walked over to Mexico and did the three caballeros ride!! That was super cute as always!!

    Next we went to dinner at La Hacienda de San Angel! It was my first time eating here, but I had heard good things and I love Mexican food. We had an early 4:30 seating, and a tip? This is a good time to do a reservation if you want a great view. The restaurant was practically empty and we got a front water view right by the window!! It was amazing! The chips served at the beginning of the meal we're delicious and hot. I ordered the alambre de res but substituted the steak for chicken, which they gladly did. I was able to make myself 3 tacos, couldn't finish the fourth one. The meal came with sides for the table of black beans and rice.
    One funny thing? My 5 year old asked to try a black bean and then asked why are they served in chocolate pudding?? 🤣🤣 Kids!!!
    Wasnt my favorite meal, but loved the ambience and view and overall it was good!


    We retired to our room by 6:30 because it had been a long hot day.

    But exciting news!!!
    Tomorrow is our first ever MNSSHP!!
    So stay tuned for that update!!


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 21, 2010
    8/20 Day 6
    First part of day

    We went over and had reservations at Ohanas for breakfast which was a good time. Hated that they took bacon off the skillets but we asked for some and it was provided thankfully!

    The characters here moved around quickly and we were done with all 3 before we even finished eating, which was good. Sometimes we are sitting around waiting for characters after you've already finished at some restaurants.
    Walked around at the Poly a little bit, took some pictures.
    Then we headed back to our room to rest up and prepare ourselves for the Halloween party tonight!!!!!!! 🎃💀

    On our walk back to our room we saw the window washers outside. It helped my kids to realize one profession they never want to do. They were all in awe that those guys could be up that high and not be freaking out. 🤣
    I'll post about MNSSHP either late tonight or tomorrow. Stay tuned...
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    DIS Veteran
    Feb 21, 2010
    8/20. Day 6 end of day

    Our costumes were as follows. I was bing bong, my DH was a computer error, 15 year old was Peter pan, 12 year old was Darla from Nemo, and my 5 year old was Razoul from Aladdin. My daughters was the most popular, then mine. People kept stopping us to tell us how much they loved our costumes! I'd show you pics but i don't want pics of our faces on here and havnt edited the heads out yet.

    We entered the party at 4 and collected our wristbands, treat bags and our first bag of candy. It started raining hard!! Not fun. We hung out in Tomorrowland terrace because we didn't want our costumes soaked before we had a chance to get pictures and such. Luckily, it stopped within about 20 min. We decided to ride Peoplemover so we could get a good view of crowds and such. Then we went over to Dumbo, because we hadn't ridden it yet and the wait was low, directly after we followed that up with little mermaid.

    Then we figured we might as well eat a quick dinner/snack before the party started. We weren't concentrating on special food during the party. We didn't want to waste time in line for that. So we headed to Gaston's. My two oldest got cinnamon buns that were massive!! My youngest was more sensible and got a fruit and cheese platter.

    The main reason for this Halloween party was my youngest wanting to meet Jafar. So we headed over to the line at about 6:15 and were the second people in line. It was so worth it!! He loved jafar!

    After we met Jafar it was about 7:15pm. I wanted to get the magic shot that is in front of the hearse at haunted Mansion, so we headed that way! We got in line and only waited about 15/20 min and got to take in the great atmosphere while we waited!

    After our awesome magic shot we headed to the trick or treat spot at monsters inc. it was quite a line but went quickly and the overlay was cute. The jokes were Halloween themed and it was still interactive, which was fun!!

    By this time it was 8:15 and main Street was starting to fill up with people who were getting their spot for the first parade. We wanted to get a spot in forntierland so we headed over. There was plenty of space left, but we decided to hold our spot at that point anyway. The kids were happy to sit and eat some candy while they waited. I'd recommend about 45 minutes to hold your spot in that section.
    Unfortunately, a kid about 5 feet from us vomited all over the parade route but cast members did a good job of cleaning it fast before the headless horseman made his ride.

    Pet peeves here....we had held our spot for about an hour and literally 5 minutes before the parade started we had a family plop them selves down right on top of us and our stuff. It was so rude and I was mad. 😡 But I didn't want to start a fight. So I let it go...not easily. I hate rude people. Uggh!

    The parade was fantastic!!! Worth the money. Here are a few of the floats. I loved the music. Boo to you...omg so catchy! It's still stuck in my head.

    After the parade we headed to the front of the park. The parade was still there but they were letting people through the parade at small spots. So we were able to make it to the train station. Our last magic shot we wanted to get was the headless horseman and there was no line since the parade was still going on. So we got it done and it came out great!!

    The kids were really tired at this point as it was 10pm, so we decided to walk back to our hotel and watch the fireworks from there. They piped the music in and the fireworks were great. We missed the projections on the castle but it was worth headed out at that point to us because our legs and backs were screaming in pain.

    Overall we had a great time and got all our must do list done.

    If you have any questions, let me know. It went by in a blur.


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