Walt Disney World Trip Report 9/19-9/25

BroadwayHermione5

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
INTRODUCTION

Hi all!

Finally getting around to typing out my trip reports for my parents and I split stay at UOR and WDW! For reference, 2019 was supposed to be our last Orlando trip until 2023, but the pandemic had other plans. What was supposed to be a 2020 London trip got pushed back until 2022, and we naively booked a Disney land and sea for August 2020. When that didn’t happen, it was pushed to August 2021. While all of us are fully vaccinated, we decided against cruising and decided on a split stay at UOR and WDW for September 2021! Yes will still be back with the whole family for a hopeful land and sea in spring 2023!


I’m BroadwayHermione5. I tend to be very vague about what I do in order to keep myself as private as possible on here, but I am one of those childless millennials that was complained about in that one Facebook post a few years back. When not planning vacations, I am an ever creative and multi faceted human who wears many hats. First trip to Disney World was in 1996 right after their 25th birthday! Hard to believe most of my life has taken place between the two big birthdays! My parents have been visiting since their honeymoon in 1983! We have also been visiting Busch Gardens Williamsburg since 1999 and have been visiting Universal Orlando since 2012! We are definitely major east coast theme park fans haha.
I would also like to say two things about both resorts. The first is both had big celebrations that were ongoing or upcoming and I truly think if the last 18 months hadn’t happened they would’ve been different and I do not fault them for that. Also almost every single TM and CM were incredible and helpful and did their best to keep every safe while having fun.
Anyhoo, let’s get on with the trip report.
As an FYI, I will be breaking down this trip report into the proper two sections of the boards. So if you’re looking for how the trip started, head over to the Universal Trip Reports!

Now let’s begin, shall we?
 

BroadwayHermione5

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
DAY 4 PART 2(9/19):

After a chaotic early morning check out, we got in our MEARs and headed towards Boardwalk. Our Mears driver even took us under the sign so we could feel better. We chatted about Boardwalk and he said he always loves dropping people off here as he thinks it’s the most beautiful hotel on Disney property. He drops us off, and immediately we enter the building. Our energy is starting to change but we are still mentally and emotionally drained from the fight we just had at RPR.


Since we booked when the hotel side wasn’t open, we were in a studio villa. The one downside to this is how do you all wait for check in until 4:30? As much as we would’ve loved an earlier check in, we are just happy to be here. We head to check in, double check that we have everything in order, put our bags with bell services and head to the bakery to get some food. At this point it’s around 9 something. I honestly lost track of time.
We decide to not purchase resort mugs as we know we are on the 5th floor and even though I can move quick, it would just be easier to purchase enough milk and juice from screendoor and call it a day. If we really wanted something to drink, we would get it and just pay for it. We eat outside over by the former ESPN zone and just release all that negative energy that had consumed us. The sandwiches and muffin were good, but we needed to just breath fresh air, literally and figuratively.
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I tend to try and be a neutral human, so I’m sorry if the start of this isn’t what you were expecting. Sometimes things are just worse or better for others, and everyone’s taste is different. Plus we are in a pandemic. ButI truly mean we needed to be outside and just let all negativity just go away. I recommend a nice outdoor breakfast and just relaxing if that is something you need.
We then start walking around, decide to forgo mini golf at Fantasia gardens, and hop the boat to EPCOT at Swan and Dolphin. At Disney, my mom decided to use their scooters, so after heading in we get her settled and head to future world. We head straight to test track, and decide to stop for photopass outside SE and to see the gorgeous new monoliths.
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I am obsessed with this new entrance and sad I didn’t see it at night!
It is there the Disney scooter dies (yes this is a recurring theme especially if you jumped over here from the Universal report-I think something happened to the wheels in this one) and our PP photographer even offered to help wheel it over! They were so kind to do that. Halston at EPCOT is the real deal everyone! Anyhoo we push the scooter about 300 feet to the left to the front of park scooter entrance and get a new one and continue on. We hit the land and sea pavilions before heading into World Showcase. We walk around a bit, grab our popcorn bucket and continue walking around.
We then head back to Spaceship Earth, thankfully missing most of a storm, and then head over to our Le Cellier reservations at 3:05 . We have always wanted to eat here and we were not disappointed. This restaurant is PHENOMENAL, and the Canada pavilion is slowly becoming one of our favorites. However, my mom and I could probably split the steak. It was way too big for us. You had to essentially roll us out of the park. We decide to head back to Boardwalk and get settled.
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Best steak on property if you ask me-and I don’t eat red meat a lot anymore so this was a treat for me. Perfectly cooked, amazing flavor.

We head back to the hotel to get into our room. And boy are we forever spoiled. Not just by location (sorry Port Orleans Riverside, these EPCOT fans love you but also realize you are too far away), but by the DVC rooms. While the housekeeping rules took some getting used to and us requesting towel service every day, we loved these rooms. So so much. We had a pool view and loved that we were semi blocked by trees! I know that’s weird but we had some extra privacy from them!
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We then decide to walk around the Boardwalk. We had a drink in an all but packed Abracadabar, and then headed to the ice cream parlor. Both were excellent. We headed back up to shower and get ready for our AK day the next day!
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I forget what this is called from Abracadabar but it has rum and it was excellent.

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And no I don’t know how I ate this after eating at Le cellier! My stomach must’ve wanted to burst.

Hope to see you all following along on our AK and EPCOT day!
 

BroadwayHermione5

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
DAY 5(9/20):

Today was our Animal Kingdom day! We usually only do a half day here, so we were gonna spend as much time as possible. We got to the buses around 8:50 and got there around 9:07. We immediately headed towards the safari. I snapped a photo of the time board for Celebration of FOLK and we headed on.
We had such a great safari. Lots of animals, including babies, and a mild elephant fight. The lions were being sleepy haha.
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After that we headed to gorilla falls and and then back to FOLK. We were missing the Simba track (track is an industry word for actor-mainly used for ensemble cast members in plays and musicals so a swing knows where they move during the show-essentially where do they leave their “track”) but the others were incredible. While we miss the tumble monkeys and audience interaction at the beginning, it was still fun and got us out of the heat.
613080This was also my first piece of live theatre since March 2020, so there were definitely happy tears.

We head over to Everest to ride it and we got stopped going up the hill. After about two minutes the ride started again and we were off.

We then headed to Yak and Yeti for lunch. This was probably our only disappointment at Disney. It’s not that the staff wasn’t friendly and that the food wasn’t cooked (as a matter of fact-fellow acid reflux sufferers: order the teriyaki chicken with brown rice and the vegetables off to the side-its great and not spicy!) but it just didn’t live up to the hype. It did not help the AC was BLASTING and yes I was wearing a spaghetti strap romper but the fact my dad had to switch seats with me because I would not stop shaking to the point my teeth were chattering says something. All in all it was a meh experience. But again, of no fault to the cast members and cooks. The service was excellent and the food was well prepared. It just simply did not live up to the hype.
After lunch, we headed towards Dino land and rode dinosaur for the first time since 2001 (yes you read that correctly-I was a child last we rode this). I forget how jumpy it was! Our picture is great though (not going to share it as my parents would prefer me not to show their faces but I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my friends: “this picture did not disappoint!”)
We then headed towards tree of life to do Its Tough to be a Bug-we love this show! Anyone else remember the motion sensor Flick you could put on your desk or shelves as a kid? I had one-and hearing PRINCESS ATTA always gave me a mild jump scare!
We then headed into Pandora where,as we entered, I felt something on my shoulder. A squirrel or bird dropped a blueberry on my shoulder and I shook it off.
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My dad and I headed to FoP which was posted 60 but we waited maybe 35. My mom in the meantime went to get more popcorn. That ride is incredible every single time. We then met up with my mom and by this time it’s 3:45 so we decide to head to the buses. This was the one park we didn’t see the 50 character statues as they were still installing them! Of course the next day most if not all were in place at AK haha. Anyway we drop off the scooter at guest services and head back to the buses and we just make the Boardwalk bus. We were the only ones on it! The driver was actually going to pull away within minutes if we hadn’t gotten there.
My parents wanted to check out the pool but I decided to stay in the room and relax. They came back up and got showered and we were off to EPCOT. We always do park hoppers for three reasons. 1) we love EPCOT and at this point have eaten in almost every country 2) We love going somewhere after a water park day 3) sometimes we just want to park hop. We used to be the people that did 3 or 4 parks in one day but now it’s mainly start here and then go there.
We started off at Hops and Barley. We got a lobster roll, a roast beef sandwich and a carrot cake. I don’t eat lobster so I couldn’t tell you about that but the roast beef and the carrot cake (and I’m not a fan of the latter) were excellent. We moved on towards Germany, and we knew we had to at least get the strudel. My dad ended up getting the bratwurst and my mom and I got the Schinkennudeln. Also excellent. And we ended up with three strudels…..
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We walked around world showcase a bit and I finally caught my first few Fab 50 statues! I love these and hope they stay!
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We eventually circled back to the international gateway at around 8:46 and decided to head back. My mom and I stopped by the screendoor for something I forget what when we got a whiff of something from the pizza window. So yea we went back and got a pizza and it hit the spot! I watched Hercules in the lawn waiting for the buzzer to go off! We headed back up, I showered and we munched on pizza and got ready for bed.

up next: MK and Boo Bash!
 
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BroadwayHermione5

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
DAY 6(9/21): MK, pool and Boo Bash!

Today we woke up a little later but turns out my mom got cereal from the screendoor the night prior! So there was no need to rush for breakfast at all. We have though decided after this trip, especially having been spoiled by villa studios with plates and utensils, that we will start using a grocery service. Mainly for water, juice, milk and one or two things of cereal. We still will do breakfast once or twice out and about the resort, but we’d rather eat in our room and go from there.
This was also when we found out our flight home changed again, forcing us to realize we have to cancel our trattoria breakfast reservations the day we leave! Thanks JetBlue for moving a 1:30 flight up to 11:05! I quickly run down there and they told me to come back tomorrow to figure something out for Thursday (as that was our only free day for breakfast) so we knew we would have time. I head up to meet my parents at the buses and we are off to MK.

I know some people don’t like it-but I love this new castle look! And remember my first trip it was a cake!
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We head towards Tomorrowland and discover laugh floor isn’t open until 3:30! We admit defeat over not seeing some of our favorite characters and head to Buzz. After getting off buzz we walked straight on to the Peoplemover. Tron had the dome on it! They were working big time on it-and it’s gonna look great!
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We moved on to New Fantasyland and hopped on Little Mermaid. It’s such a cute ride and I can’t believe Samuel Wright (voice of Sebastian) is no longer with us. However, none of the animatronics were working in the final scene! We thought it was us until we realized Scuttle wasn’t moving!
After this we headed to Gaston’s to get water (one day we will get a cinnamon roll!) and sit down. I walked around the store and there is a ton of art there now! We decide to try Winnie the Pooh, and just as we decide to hop out of line and ask a CM where we can do so he says that everyone is getting out of line cuz the ride went down. We immediately beeline to Small world before the crowd.
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After Small world we head in over to Columbia Harbour House. While still good, it wasn’t our best experience there. And it was the one place where we had to mobile order (most other QS we were able to walk up) and I think that had something to do with it. We decide to head over to the Hall of presidents for AC and a rest. Afterwards we walked through the Christmas shop, found something we would buy on Friday, and started to head out.
We saw some more of the statues and took some Photopass pictures and headed out. We got popcorn while my mom dropped off the scooter and we headed back. Dad and I headed to the pool while my mom napped.
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We came back and showered and relaxed some more before we headed over to Boo Bash. We got the bus at around 8:55 and at 9:08 we made it to MK. We were pleasantly surprised to see it clearing out and that they were actively checking bands! We did some treat trails, got some popcorn, watched some Halloween laugh floor, got some ice cream and sat down in Frontierland and saw 3 of the 4 calvacades (we missed Mickey and friends). We saw the start of cadaver Dan’s and headed for Adventureland. We did Jungle Cruise and Pirates before calling it a night.
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While I’m sad we didn’t see HEA one last time, we all agreed we prefer After Party’s. I know that it’s expensive, but considering how packed MNSSHP was (especially in 2019) we much preferred this. It didn’t feel nearly as crowded and while something like a stage show or fireworks would be needed, it was far less chaotic if that makes sense-like there was no pressure to do anything. We perused the stores and headed back out around 11:20. We went back and passed out-which is good because the next morning I had to be up to get a BG!





Come back later to see if we succeed on getting said BG on the last day BGs we’re going to be given out until who knows when!
 

BroadwayHermione5

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
DAY 7(9/22): DHS DAY

Sorry this took a while I took the weekend off but here we go!

Of course our DHS day is the last of the BG days for right now for rise. Thanks to tips recieved, at 7 am I snagged BG 55! Yes! We can go back to sleep!
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We got up, I headed to Trattoria al Forno who told me to cancel my Saturday breakfast and to come back at 8 am the next morning (our original reservation time) and they would accommodate us! We eventually made it to the boats for AFTER 9:15 am! How did we miss rope drop for what is usually the most packed park in every area!
We get in and immediately headed to MMRR, which we waited maybe 25 of a posted 45 minutes and we LOVED it! We loved Great Movie Ride too, but this was a much needed update.
We then headed towards Star Tours which was at 10 minutes and I was the rebel spy! We then headed to Muppets (PS you should all watch Muppets Haunted Mansion it was really good!) which as always is fun before we decided we were a little hungry. To ABC Commissary we went! We love it here and that Buffalo chicken grilled cheese is amazing.
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We head back to Batuu so we are there in time for Rise! Our group got called around 12:30 and while I am mad I didn’t get more photo and full video, this ride is EVERYTHING! Even if I wasn’t a fan of Star Wars, I would be a fan of this ride. We couldn’t speak after we got off that how impressed and excited we were having ridden it. And don’t worry if you are in an ECV or wheelchair-the experience is not ruined at all! Also my dad wants to thank the imagineer who decided to build benches into the queue!
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After rise we headed to Smugglers Run. At some point we stopped hearing the stuff they put through the speakers. We were about 3 minutes from Holdo’s room when all of a sudden the fire alarm goes off! We had to evacuate and they were hustling us out of there that we knew it was something serious. Rise went down at the same time and while we felt bad for my mom as she never rode smugglers, she said to journey on and we headed along with half of Batuu into Toy Story Land.
We immediately head to Midway Mania. We have a great time and decide to get something to drink and more popcorn and sit for about 20 minutes in the Incredibles former meet and greet area. During this time, my mom started hyping herself up to finally ride Tower of Terror! After sitting around, we walked around the stores and headed to Sunset Boulevard and straight to the end!
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This was the only statue I was able to get a picture of and I really love that they put Joe here!

My mom did enjoy ToT, even though she held onto the little handle on the side! We were proud of her for conquering her fears, and we then walked around a bit more before heading to Sci Fi for our dinner reservation. It was really good, but we would rather eat there for lunch instead. However, leave your phones on the table! I went to grab mine from my pocket to get extra light and it fell into the seat. Which they had to open to retrieve said phone!
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After that we headed back to Batuu and walked around before I headed into my Savis saber build! I built a peace and justice lightsaber with a purple crystal. I love this experience and it’s a shame it’s expensive cuz I need to build them all! I then went to the Droid Depot and built my BB unit.
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That’s my handle of my lightsaber after it was shipped home!

Sometime when I was in Savis my parents headed to Baseline. I met them there and we headed out hoping to take the skyliner to EPCOT but that specific route was closed. Good thing because it started to rain the minute we got into the boat. We quickly dodged raindrops to find out if we could ship these home and we decided to do so the next morning. We were tired and just wanted to shower and sleep.614175
A final image of Rey and Chewbacca to hold you over until the next part!

Next time: Trattoria al Forno, Skyliner and EPCOT!
 

BroadwayHermione5

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
DAY 8(9/23): First ride on the Skyliner and EPCOT!

We got up and headed to Trattoria al Forno. We love this place, and hope the character meal comes back (also so the pastries can be free and have fun shapes and kids can see the characters). I had the eggs in tomato sauce I think they are called eggs al Forno and they were PHENOMENAL.
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I then went back to the room and got my light saber and droid and shipped them home from Screendoor (FYI-the day I was there droid depot ran out of the boxes so they were offering my the small 50th reusable bags or plastic bags-I chose the former. When I went to shop from Screendoor it turns out they had some droid boxes! They said they always have them incase the box gets destroyed or like my case the depot runs out!)
We then headed to the boats to catch the DHS boat so we could take the skyliner back to EPCOT. We love the skyliner. Even the transfer wasn’t bad! When you come into the station it’s a little scary, but ok.
We got to EPCOT before opening and then let us right in. We got the scooter and headed straight to Test Track. We were off test track at 11:07! I wanted to stop in creations and thank god we did as once again my moms scooter died (yes again! Told you the scooter saga would get crazier-why EPCOT we don’t know. It also died in an extremely awkward place (right in front of a display as my mom was starting to turn to go around it). Thankfully a CM saw it happen and radioed for a new scooter to be brought to creations! They were very efficient and understanding and turns out the CM will attach the new scooter to another scooter, drive it to where it died, switch them out, attach the dead one to the one they are driving and off they go! After buying some things and getting the new scooter, we headed back to ride soarin again.
By that time it was after 12 and we were getting hungry. We headed to Mexico and rode Gran Fiesta. My dad got a sangria from Cava de Tequila and we headed to find a shady place to rest while I went in search of food. We got the chicken dumplings in China and they were excellent. The sauce wasn’t too spicy either.
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We then kept going and heard mariachi Cobre from the American gardens theatre. We decided since the next American adventure show wasnt for about an hour to sit and get some more things to eat and listen. We got drinks and some snacks at fife and drum I think it is. We figured we would just sit, listen and relax before the next American Adventure show. However, as I’m going to get some water from Fife and Drum, we hear VoL and I practically ran back to the American gardens. We love them and it was so weird to see them in contemporary dress! My favorite thing they sang was “This Is Me” from the greatest showman but they incorporated the constitution into it and even changed it to “that all are created equal” and not going to lie that bought a tear to my eye.
We headed into the pavillion for American Adventure aka doze off time (seriously without fail for at least 5 minutes we all doze off-it a running joke what parts we are awake for-it’s just so cool and comfy in there lol).
We then continued around world showcase, shopping and sitting to drink water. While we couldn’t get on Remy, the France expansion came out beautifully. My mom went and got some macaroons and I got an orange sling and we continued towards UK. After seeing Alice, we went towards the back to sit and explore as barely any of the stores were open (I did get a nice Twinnings tea bag box holder thing that I was able to fill with 10 tea bags-box and tea bags total I think was $15 before tax).
A woman named Carol came out and performed in the UK gazebo while we were back there and it was lovely. We then went back and explored the Canada pavilion a bit more. Thanks to finally eating at Le Cellier a few days prior, we slowly started to fall in love with this pavilion. It’s truly gorgeous.
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We had 7 pm reservations for Teppan Edo but it was nearing 6 so we went to see if we could get in and we were able to! We had a delicious meal there-it seriously was one of the best hibachi meals we’ve had anywhere. And they do still have the partitions which are removable depending on party size, like a big plastic shield on a clamp.
and then headed back to the boats.
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From there we showered and started to pack before falling asleep. This was also the evening of the blackout that Boardwalk warned us about all day (seriously we were warned every which way to Sunday which we appreciated). It wasn’t a long time, and we were ok. It turned out to be a rolling blackout as we heard everything switch off around 2:30 am and then everything was back on by 3-it said between 1 and 4 am which is how we discovered it was a rolling blackout. Turns out they were finishing up putting in new wiring, which we saw them finishing up the next morning outside the lobby.

Next part is our final full day!
 

BroadwayHermione5

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
DAY 9 (9/24): Magic Kingdom

It’s our last full day here! And when we woke up we were shocked at how much 50th stuff came out overnight! The surrey bikes were even back-that was a fun discovery to see when I went and got iced tea and coffee! Plus the carousel model in the lobby was running! Ive never seen it run.
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Anyways, we got on a bus to Magic kingdom a little after 8 am as we had 9 am reservations for CRT. We got there and took some pictures, and then headed towards the castle. We got taken in a little early, and really enjoyed our meal. I know some people don’t like it, but I urge you to give it a try. It was our first time and we were not disappointed. It was also so cool to actually be in the castle!
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and yes I got the cheese sauce on the side. Having severe acid reflux is the worst.

After breakfast we headed towards Peter Pan, then Haunted Mansion, then to the xmas store to purchase our Xmas pillow and matching throw, then Big Thunder and then Pirates. Yes we just went one after the other haha.
It was about noon, and we decided instead of doing Snow White and getting a cinnamon roll, we would get a dole whip, then head to the emporium, do some shopping and leave. One day we will get those cinnamon rolls!
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We said goodbye and a happy early birthday (by one week) to the MK and headed out by 1.
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We got back and immediately went and did last minute shopping at screendoor and sent so much stuff home. I will say I do miss at the very least front of park pick up. I would love resort pick up to come back as well but for now front of park would be better. Some of you might say trams, we say package pick up. (This also comes from a team horror story we once witnessed in Williamsburg VA. We were checking in after a downpour and two women came in soaked with their belongings in plastic bags. Turns out the Busch Gardens parking lot trams don’t run there in the rain, and they hadn’t paid for premium parking so they asked for bags to put their stuff in and trekked the almost 30 minutes back to their car.) Any hop, we found ourselves shipping so much home from the stores or collecting it all and shipping it from Screendoor.
We then packed and at around 4 went to catch the bus to Disney springs. We did some more shopping at Vera Bradley (was there the limited edition Beauty and the Beast merch dropped that was a nice surprise-also fairly reasonable!), art of Disney, the xmas store and world of Disney (which yikes guys this celebration lasts 18 months and people were losing their collective minds. Also still mad I never got the chance to purchase the light up ears and eBay and postmark resellers are selling for an insane price. I have two Etsy pairs that I ordered for the 50th but man would I have loved those light up ones.), and then we headed to Homecomin.
Full disclaimer: we LOVE Homecomin’. Every trip and every meal it is spectacular. We constantly tell people they need to get a reservation here. It is that good. We got there however early for our reservation. We asked if it was ok to sit at the bar as we were a little early and they let us. My parents got the moonshine flight and I got the Local which as always is amazing.
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We were seated shortly after and proceeded to stuff our faces until we couldn’t no more!
We meandered back to the bus and back to Boardwalk, where we soaked up some final views and packed.
Tomorrow is our very early departure day.
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  • BroadwayHermione5

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 9, 2017
    DAY (9/25):

    Well here it is. 6:45 am and we are boarding the Tragic Express.
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    After trekking it through MCO, being confused by their security lines (while more efficient it’s still a shock to go through it the first time), and finally getting food, we were waiting in the JetBlue terminal. We must’ve had the same luck coming home as what should’ve taken 2 hours and 20 minutes took us exactly 2 hours. We touched down at around 1:15 pm. Tired, exhausted, grateful for another trip.


    And there you have it folks, we have come to the end. I know we will be back soon (me possibly sooner if I do a weekend trip with a friend), but it still hurts to say goodbye. Even with all the changes coming, we still love it.
    Until I update you on the RPR situation or I comment on a post, may you all stay safe and have magical vacations. There is always a great, big, beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day.

    BroadwayHermione5
     


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