My First Ever Trip Report! June 16-24 UPDATE 8/15/2019

twinprincesses09

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Hello everyone! Welcome to my first trip report! We just returned from our latest trip to Walt Disney World and I wanted to share it all, the good, the great, and the not so great. This is actually our 4th trip (5th if you count the 1 day visit to MK in 2012) to WDW, but I never got around to writing trip reports for our previous trips. I decided to go ahead and start this one while all the details are somewhat fresh. I wasn’t really planning on writing this one while we were on the trip, so forgive me if I’m somewhat lacking in pictures. I especially don’t remember to take pictures of food before we start eating, but we are not exactly adventurous foodies, so most of our meals are pretty boring.
So to start this trip report off, lets go over the 5 “W”s.

Who-
Me- a 40 year old wife and mom of twin girls. I work 3rd shift as a clinical laboratory scientist in transfusion services at a pediatric hospital. I really enjoy my job, but would love to be able to just vacation year round (I know, don’t we all!) I never went to Disney as a child, my first visit was also my girls’ first visit in 2012. But it wasn’t until our 1st onsite stay in 2015 that I became a little obsessed. I am an obsessive planner and visit these boards regularly. But once there, while we still follow my general plan, I am ok with changing things up as needed. I think I enjoy the planning almost as much as the trip itself! My favorite character is Minnie, and my favorite ride is Expedition Everest.

Hubby- 41 year old and works in sales at a photography/videography store. While he always enjoys our trips, he’s not quite the Disney fanatic that I have become. He visited Disney World at least once as a child, but doesn’t really remember much apart from the jumping fountains at EPCOT. He is very laid back and doesn’t really like to plan, so he just goes along with whatever I want. His favorite character is Darth Vader (disappointed he doesn’t meet anymore), and his favorite ride is Rock n Roller Coaster.

Our 9 year old twin girls- who we will call A and C. They had just finished 3rd grade and had been counting down the days until this trip for months. They are very active in tumbling and cheer and still love everything princess. While they love thrill rides, their favorite ride is It’s a Small World. A’s favorite princess is Jasmine, with Anna close behind. C’s favorite is Ariel with, Elsa a very close 2nd.

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What-
9 days, 8 nights at Walt Disney World. We had 6 day- 1 park per day tickets. We then spent 2 nights at Siesta Key to enjoy the beach and relax a little, followed by 1 night visiting relatives in the area.

When-
June 16 to June 24

Where-
Animal Kingdom Lodge- Jambo House standard view. We have always wanted to stay here, but never have due to cost. This time, we got a great deal and decided to splurge a little as we have plans to skip Disney for the next few years (at least my husband does!)

Why-
Because it’s Disney! Who needs another reason!

A little background on our previous trips-
We always go in the summer, as I don’t like to take my kids out of school. And like I mentioned before, this is actually our 5th trip to Disney World. We first went to Magic Kingdom for 1 day, staying offsite when the girls were just 2. While we really enjoyed it, we didn’t get the whole experience and with the girls being so young, we either had to do rider swap for the bigger rides, or just skip them. We ended up skipping a lot. Our next trip was in 2015, and we thought it would be a once and done type of trip. Boy were we wrong! We stayed at Pop Century for 5 nights and did 5 park days. The girls were 5 on this trip, so could do most rides. We weren’t back home long before I started planning our next trip. In 2016, we stayed at Coronado Springs for 6 nights, and did 6 days. In 2017, it was Caribbean Beach for 6 nights with 7 park days. In 2018, we decided to change it up a little and went to Disneyland. We stayed offsite at Best Western Anaheim Inn across the street for 5 nights and did 5 park days (followed by a few beach days and a day at Universal Hollywood). So this year, we decided to go back to Disney World. And since we were staying at our dream resort and wanted to enjoy the resort a little more, we decided for a longer stay, but to cut back on the park days.

So there you have it, I hope you follow along!
 
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lvcourtneyy

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 24, 2012
Joining in!

Yup I started out in 2012 taking my "once in a lifetime or until I have kids trip" and now it's a full-blown addiction lol.

Can't wait to hear about your trip!
 
  • Kbmas0n

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2017
    "one and done" - famous last words! Coming out of lurk-dom and joining along.
     
  • twinprincesses09

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2015
    Thanks for joining in everyone! Now on to our trip!!

    Day 0- Pre-travel Day
    Technically, I guess our trip begins with Day 0. See we had a flight that left out of Columbus at 11:15 am on Sunday. Our plan was to get up early and drive to the airport that morning, which was about 2 hours away. We could have gotten a flight out of Cincinnati as that airport is only about 30 minutes away, but we usually fly on Southwest with points (we love their free luggage policy). And there are no direct flights from Cincinnati to Orlando. We would have a layover in Chicago or Baltimore. So instead of flying 30-45 minutes north, waiting 2 hours at the airport, then flying 2.5 south, we opted to drive the 2 hours to Columbus to catch a direct flight.

    We were experiencing downpours most of the day on Saturday and they were expected to continue into Sunday. Also, I admit it- I am a worrier. I’m always worried about getting stuck in traffic and missing our flight. So, since we were already packed and pretty much ready to go, we decided to drive up on Saturday night. First though, was my daughters’ dance recital. They were in a dance/cheer/tumble class and the recital began at 4 pm and didn’t finish until about 7 pm. Here they are post recital.


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    So, we get home, change, pack a few last minute things, load up the car and leave within about 45 minutes. Luckily, I had dropped our dog Skye off at boarding earlier in the day as they didn’t open until 10am on Sunday. A quick pic before we leave, then we are on the road.

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    Our drive was pretty uneventful. We went thru a drive thru to get dinner and made good time. Since this was unplanned, we did not have a hotel reserved for the night. So, I got on my phone to make a reservation on the way up. Unfortunately, everything was pretty pricey and I didn’t want to spend too much just to sleep there one night. We finally decided on a Red Roof Inn that was near the airport that was about $100 per night. I did not get any pictures of the hotel or room, but if you have ever stayed in a Red Roof, you can probably imagine. It was fine. It was clean, the beds were reasonably comfortable, so it served it’s purpose. We arrived about 10:30 pm and were in bed a little while later.

    Day 1- Travel Day
    The only real disappointment with the hotel was the free continental “breakfast”. I wasn’t expecting a feast by any means, but there were a few honey buns, a couple muffins and some green bananas. The juice was so watered down, it really didn’t even have any flavor. But who cares! We were on our way to Disney! So after our not so great breakfast, we loaded the car back up with our suitcase and headed to the airport. And let me tell you, it was POURING!! While we probably could have made the drive fine that morning, the heavy rain definitely would have slowed us down. I saw on Facebook that one of the interstates that was on our route was actually closed for a time due to standing water in the road, so it was a relief to only be 5 minutes from the airport.

    Since it is raining so heavily, we decide that my hubby will drop the girls and myself off with our luggage at the airport, then he will go park the car in long term parking and ride the shuttle back. While we are waiting, I went ahead and printed boarding passes and luggage tags for our checked luggage at the kiosk, then drop off our luggage at the counter. There is only 1 other family checking in at the time, so it only takes a few minutes. So that leaves some time for selfies until hubby gets back.

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    Once he arrives, we go through security- no one else in line at this point, so it’s quick and painless. Well, except for the fact that I packed all our charges, batteries and cords into one pocket in my carryon backpack-4 phone chargers, 2 tablet chargers, a camera with charger, 2 external battery power banks(for mine and hubby’s phones, 2 extra batteries for the girls’ phones with the adaptor to plug in and charge, as well as 4 sets of earbuds. I guess all that bunched together did look suspicious. LOL! At least the guy working the scanner had a good sense of humor about it, but they did have to pull the bag to the side and go through it. But it only took a few minutes, and there was I believe one other family going through security at this point. So, we make it to the gate with plenty of time and wait. A few more selfies while we wait!
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    Then we are on the plane and on our way! But first, make sure we read the safety guidelines!

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    The flight passed quickly, only about 2 hours and we landed about 1:30 pm. The heavy rain had stopped before we took off, but there must have still been some storms in the area as we did have a bit of turbulence for the first 10-15 minutes. Then it was smooth sailing into Orlando. We landed a few minutes early, and headed for Disney’s Magical Express. I received a text from Disney that our room was not yet ready. I was a little disappointed, but hoped that it would be ready by the time we got there. But first a ride on the faux-rail and a quick pic with Mickey at the airport.

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    We have flown to Disney twice before, but never experience as many people waiting to check in as we did this time. The line was all the way back toward the car rentals. So long that people kept walking passed the line toward the front because they couldn’t believe that was the line for DME. But soon they opened 2 more lines, and only actually waited about 5 minutes before scanning our magic bands for the first time! Then we had about a 30 minute wait before boarding the bus to the resort. Once on board, we left immediately as the bus was full. I actually don’t think everyone that was waiting made it on this bus, but can’t say for certain. Now when our plane landed the sun was shining. But as we waited for the DME, it started getting cloudy. Once aboard, the first rain drops fell. We had planned to spend the afternoon at the pool, but it wasn’t looking too promising. Our first stop was Coronado Springs. We stayed there back in 2016, but it really looked different with the new tower. Then we were onto AKL- Jambo House! It was almost 3 pm by the time we arrived, and while waiting on DME and also while on the bus, I had received multiple texts that our room was not ready. So, we headed to the check in desk. We walked in the lobby and really was in awe of the resort. So we snapped a few pictures first.

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    Then we checked in with a nice lady who again told us that our room wasn’t ready. She asked if we had any special requests. Now I had used Touring Plans to fax a request for a partial view, renovated room on the Kudu trail. When I told her, she said that she didn’t see any requests on our reservation and our assigned room did not meet those requests, so she changed us to a room that did, even though it still wasn’t ready. So, we explored the overlook areas a little,

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    then found our way down to the Mara for some lunch. As I mentioned before, our breakfast was a little lacking, and we had some snacks on the plane, but were getting hungry. But since we had dinner reservations at 7pm, we didn’t want to eat too much. We ended up with an adult meal of chicken nuggets and fries, and the avocado turkey club with fries. We split this between the 4 of us, and it was enough to hold us over until dinner. By now, it was 4pm, so I thought I would check back to see if our room was ready. I had our swimsuits in our carry-ons and was planning for us to swim if our room wasn’t ready. But by this time, it was storming and the pool was closed. So off to check-in we went again. Still not ready, but they did tell us housekeeping was currently in our room so it shouldn’t be much longer. So at this point, we decided to drop off our carry-ons with bell services (should have done that when we first arrived) and check out the gift shop. We had barely stepped foot into the gift shop when I received a text that our room was ready- room 3328. So, we reclaimed our carry-ons and headed to our room. I spent the first 10-15 simply taking pictures of the room. It was indeed a renovated room with a partial view (although was as good as a full savanna view in my opinion).


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    Continued in the next post.....
     

    twinprincesses09

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2015
    More room pictures.....

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    Then we started settling in and laid down to rest for a few minutes. By about 5pm, we had a knock at the door and our checked bags were delivered. Around 5:45 pm we headed for our dinner reservation. But it was still pouring rain. I had brought some emergency ponchos with us in case we were caught in the rain. But I knew those weren't going to work too well in these downpours. So, we stopped by the gift shop and purchased some Disney ponchos, and although expensive, they were definitely worth the money.

    It was Father’s Day, and hubby had requested Raglan Road for dinner. So we were catching the bus to Disney Springs. Donning our newly purchased ponchos to stay dry, we headed out and was lucky in that the bus pulled up right after we arrived. Now, on our drive up to Columbus the night before, I had also placed an order with Amazon Prime Now to be delivered to the resort between 4-6pm. It had not arrived by the time we left, and when I checked the drivers location, it seemed he was still a ways off. No sooner did we get on the bus, than the driver called to say he had arrived. It was 6:05pm at this point, so slightly outside our delivery window time. I wasn’t overly concerned as all the things we had ordered could be stored at room temperature. So I just asked him to leave them at bell services and we hung up. Now this is where it started getting strange. A few minutes later, the same man calls again and repeats that he has arrived with our order. I tell him that we just spoke and I had requested the order be left will bell services. He apologizes and hangs up. A few minutes later I get another call from him and he asks if he just spoke to me. I tell him yes, and he apologizes again and hangs up. Not more than 2 minutes later, he calls back, but this time is asking for someone else. I explain to him who I was, that we had just talked multiple times, and hang up. By this time we have reached Disney Springs and are headed to the restaurant. I get another phone call, this time from a lady at Amazon saying that the driver is attempting to deliver my order buy can’t get in contact with me. I explain to her all that has happened and request again that it be left with bell services. She confirms that we are staying at AKL-Jambo House and disconnects. At this point, I am doubtful we will ever see our order.

    We make it to Raglan Road. It was extremely crowded with people waiting everywhere. Fortunately only about 5 minutes after getting our pager, it goes off and we are seated. We are seated in the back room away from the main stage. I was a little disappointed, but didn’t want to risk asking for a better table and waiting longer. The girls were pretty hungry by then. While we were waiting for our food, hubby walked up toward the bar area with the girls so they could watch the dancing. They really enjoyed it.

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    The bread and dipping sauce was delicious and was immediately devoured by all. Our waitress happily offered to bring us more, which we quickly ate as well. By this time, our food arrived. I don’t have any pictures of it. My husband had the Gnocchi Sea Gnocchi Do, and I had the Bangin’ Bangers and Mighty Mash. The girls both had the Mac and Cheese. Both hubby and myself greatly enjoyed our choices. The girls weren’t crazy about the mac and cheese as they prefer the fake powdered cheese kind. But I did have a few bites of theirs and thought it was very good.

    Next, we stopped by the Sprinkles ATM and got a strawberry cupcake and a red velvet cupcake to share later.

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    Then we headed to the World of Disney. I had purchased the girls an Encyclopedia of Disney Characters to use as an autograph book. But in our haste to leave the night before, I forgot it and our sharpies. So we purchased a Disney princess autograph book and princess pen. The girls had received $50 gift cards before we left and were anxious to start spending them. A picked out a figurine set of Jasmine and accessories. C couldn’t decide on anything, but wanted to visit the Lego store. I treated myself to a new pair of Mickey Ears that you will see me wearing in pictures. It was a hard choice, but I decided to go with the silver ones that had a rhinestone Cinderella’s castle in the middle. I also let the girls pick out a charm for their bracelets that we had purchased on our first trip. They get a new charm each time they go. A picked out a Jasmine charm, and C picked out a Rapunzel charm.

    We made a quick stop at the Lego store where C picked out a Lego Friends set. And of course stopped for a picture.

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    Then we headed back to our hotel. We stopped by bell services to inquire about our Amazon order. I really wasn't expecting much after the fiasco earlier. The girl at the desk did not have any order with our name on it. But when she double checked in the back, she found an order without any name attached to it. We verified what we ordered with the order on my phone and sure enough, it was ours! We requested it be delivered to our room as we had ordered 2 cases of water among other things and were a good distance from the lobby. I knew there would be a $6 charge, but after all the other money we spent at Disney, what was another $6. It was delivered within a few minutes after we got to our room. By then as it was after 10pm , and we had an early day planned for the next day, so we got ready for bed.
     
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    missangelalexis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 27, 2012
    Looks like you made the right call leaving to the airport the night before!

    Your room looks awesome! Sounds like a nice night at DS!

    What a weird situation with your Amazon order! Glad it all worked out!
     
  • Stasieki

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 13, 2007
    Great start! I have a 9 year old girl. And a 13 year old. So awesome they are still into princesses. My 13 year old lasted until 10, but my 9 year old has lost interest and it breaks my heart a tad. I just wasn't ready for it to end - LOL.
     

    twinprincesses09

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2015
    You have a beautiful family! So much fun!!
    Thank you!

    Great start! I have a 9 year old girl. And a 13 year old. So awesome they are still into princesses. My 13 year old lasted until 10, but my 9 year old has lost interest and it breaks my heart a tad. I just wasn't ready for it to end - LOL.
    Yes, I was so sad when they stopped watching all the Disney Jr cartoons, although they do still enjoy them sometimes. And I love that they still like all the princess stuff.
     

    disneyfan314

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 2, 2015
    Joining in! I stayed at AKL for the first time in March and LOVED it so much. It's a wonderful place to stay.
     

    twinprincesses09

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2015
    Day 2- Animal Kingdom

    We had decided this trip to not get park hoppers. On our last Disney World trip, we had gotten them and while we did use them, we didn’t feel they were really necessary for our touring style. We like to take our time in a park and enjoy shows, characters and all the other little extras. I did slightly regret it later in the trip when we missed some things we wanted to do, but not enough that we wanted to pay the extra cost to add them on mid-trip. We had purchased tickets from Undercover Tourist back in Oct 2018 before the prices went up and the changed to date based tickets. So to add park hopper on now would cost us about $400.

    I always like to start and end our trips at the Magic Kingdom. However, when we started trying to plan our days out, we realized that evening EMH for MK were on Wed. And we really enjoy the late hours. And there is nothing like walking down Main Street after closing on your last night with it all lit up and the castle behind you. So we decided to forgo visiting MK on our first day. Instead, we chose our second favorite park- Animal Kingdom. This is one park that I never feel like I have enough time to simply walk around and enjoy my surroundings. So since we had 6 days this trip, we decide we would do AK twice. And it worked out well because early EMH at AK was on our first day. We love getting to the parks early, taking an afternoon break, then closing down the park. Some days we do change it up, but this is our preferred touring style. Even though the girls don’t need naps anymore, mom and dad often do.

    With the 8 am EMH opening, we planned to arrive around 7:30 am. I was able to get us FPs for FOP for this day, but not until 6:50 pm. However, I was hoping to an earlier time. So, we head out to the buses around 7:15 am and walk straight onto a bus for AK.

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    We are there just a few minutes later. Bag check takes only a minute or two and then we get in line at the turnstiles. They have already started letting people scan in around 7:30 am. We walked with the crowd and are held right outside Pandora for a few minutes, then they let everyone in. I took this picture at 7:37 am.
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    We considered getting in line for FOP as the line didn’t really look that bad, but decided to stick with the plan and head to Na’vi River Journey. The posted wait time was 5 minutes, but we walked straight through onto our boat. While this is far from an exciting ride, I really enjoyed it. After our boat ride, we took some more pictures,


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    Played some drums,

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    Then left Pandora. We walked back over toward Discovery Island and waited for the rest of the park to open. While we were waiting, we snapped this picture at 7:59 am

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    Then we started moving and headed to Expedition Everest! I love coasters, and this is my favorite coaster at Disney World. We walked straight on and were off on our second ride of the trip! For some reason A decided that she was a bit scared and was clutching my hand the whole ride. She is usually my fearless child, so this surprised me.
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    But as soon as we got off, we immediately got in line again. Once again, it was pretty much a walk on and this time A held onto hubby’s arm the whole time.


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    After our 2 rides on Everest, we cut through Dinoland


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    And headed to Dinosaur. We walked directly into the pre-show room this early in the morning and a few minutes later was boarding our jeep. I’m not sure what we were all doing in this ride photo. My husband and I looked bored, A was looking down and C was looking in the wrong direction.


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    After that we had plans to ride Primal Whirl next, but it was down. So we headed to Triceratops Spin.

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    continued in next post....
     

    twinprincesses09

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2015
    Our first fastpass was for Mickey and Minnie meet at 9-10 am, but decided to go see a Bug’s Life before the meet. We must have just missed the previous show, because we walked into an empty cave. So what do we do to pass time while waiting??? Take more pictures. This time with honorary bug glasses on.


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    After the show, we headed over to use our FP to see the famous mouse couple as our first characters for this trip!


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    Next we were headed toward Africa, and ran in to this strange bird! Kevin!!

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    After managing to get a quick picture while he was standing still (she didn’t pose for pictures and you weren’t allowed to stand close to her), we continued on. We saw Pocohantas meeting over on the trails behind the tree of life so we thought we would detour over there since her line didn’t look long. However, when we got there, we found out her line was closed. Unfortunately, we never did make it back to meet her during our trip.

    So then we got back to our original plan and started toward Festival of the Lion King. As we are walking over to join the standby line, a young woman asked if we were on our way to see the show. I told her we were, and she asked if we would like to come with her. Of course, everyone knows when a CM asks if you would like to come with them, you always agree! So she lead us to a side door and handed us off to another CM who escorted us to our seats. RESERVED FRONT ROW SEATS!! I was so excited! This is my favorite show in all of Disney. This was the highlight of my trip! We were in the giraffe section. A and C were introduced and got to demonstrate the sound a giraffe makes. Of course, they didn’t know, but had fun anyway. Like I said, I have always loved this show, but seeing it from the front row was amazing! Here are some pictures I took from my phone.

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    After that, we headed to Kilimanjaro Safari for our next FP 10-11am. It was about 10:40am at this point. We boarded about 10:45 and took this photo.

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    We didn’t see too many animals out and moving around, but did get to see these baby giraffes.

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    Next on my plan was Gorilla Falls. But by this time it was getting hot and the girls were getting tired. They had no interest in walking down the trail, so we decided to skip it. I believe there exact words were “We can go see gorillas at the zoo at home.” And they had a point. Cincinnati Zoo is really an awesome zoo. So instead we wondered through Africa for a bit, had some photopass pictures taken, and thought about watching the next UP! show. But instead headed back toward Pandora. While on the safari, I had managed to change our FOP FP from the 6:50 pm to around 1 pm. It was just after 12pm, so we thought we would get some lunch. Since we were headed to Pandora, we decided on Saut’li Canteen.

    By this time it had started to sprinkle, so we just walked faster. On the way, I tried mobile ordering. This was our first attempt at using mobile ordering at Disney World. We used it last year at Disneyland and it worked wonderfully. But it kept telling me there was an unexpected error and something went wrong. This would be a reoccurring occurrence this trip. (Finally on our last park day, I decided to enter a different credit card, and lo and behold, it worked!) But I digress. So, mobile ordering didn’t work. The line to order was pretty long, so I sent hubby and the girls to find a seat while I got food. It probably took 20 minutes to get through line and get our food. I ordered the chicken bowl with potato hash base and creamy herb dressing. Hubby got the beef bowl with potato hash base and creamy herb dressing. The girls both got hot dog wrapped in dough with chips, grapes and milk. We were all very satisfied with our choices! So we took our time eating, then headed out for our FOP FP. This was our first time on this ride, and it was awesome!

    After that, we were more than ready to head back to the resort for a break, so we made our way to the buses.
     

    missangelalexis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 27, 2012
    You all did so much with your morning! That's awesome! Looks like a lot of fun :) I love the pic with Kevin!

    That's great that you were able to move up your FoP FP to before your break!
     

    Bama Mom

    Disney Dreamer
    Joined
    Dec 13, 2017
    Ugh! That is so weird about your amazon order. Glad you did actually get it though.

    You guys got a lot done at AK before your break! Great morning so far.
     

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