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Thread: Summer at Disney World: A trip of firsts … and lasts

  1. #1
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    Summer at Disney World: A trip of firsts … and lasts

    Well, it’s been a whole month since I got back from our last trip to Disney and if I don’t start this trip report now, I’ll probably forget everything, so here we go…


    This was our first family trip during the summer. We usually go during spring break, but decided to try early summer instead since I was going to be at Disney for the Star Wars Half marathon weekend with my BFF the weekend after our spring break ended. It was also a lot less expensive and we were hoping it would be less crowded as well. The bonus is that the Flower and Garden festival was extended this year and continued through most of our trip.


    The details:
    5/29/19-6/4/19
    Me, DH, DS11, DD9
    Split stay (a first!) BCV first 2 days, BWV last 4 days
    7 day park hopper tickets bought at UCT prior to date-based pricing


    Side note: DS11 has ASD and lots of sensory issues. He qualifies for DAS, but we have never used it before because I felt that I could control his environment reasonably well with a combination of rope drop, fastpass+, frequent breaks and a good touring plan. For a variety of reasons, we decided that this would be our first time using DAS. Although we didn’t use it a whole lot, it worked really well when we did and I think it is a really great resource for kids with ASD.
    C


    Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2013 BWV * Spring break 2015 BWV * Spring break 2017 BCV * Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2018 POFQ * Star Wars Rival Run Weekend 2019 POFQ * Summer 2019 BWV/BCV

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    Wednesday May 29 Epcot

    We had an easy trip to the airport, sailed through security with no wait (a first, yay!), and an easy flight arriving at MCO a few minutes ahead of our scheduled arrival ~2:10pm. After bathroom breaks and a quick trip to Starbucks, we made our way to DME and waited a couple minutes before getting on the bus. We got our room ready text on the way to BCV, so we went straight to the room and … magic bands wouldn’t open the door :( We tried all 4, but none worked, so DH called the front desk to complain. They said they were sending a CM up to figure things out. While we were waiting, I noticed the “use your phone to open door” button in DME and decided to give it a try. It worked! So at least we could actually bring our bags inside and sit down while we waited for the CM to fix the magic band problem. About 10 minutes later, she showed up and tried to perform some disney magic with her tablet, but alas, she couldn’t fix the problem. She said that we would have to bring all of the magic bands down to the front desk to have them reprogrammed. Since we were wasting precious park time, we decided to just go straight to Epcot and stop at the front desk on our way back.


    At this point, it was close to 4pm and everyone was hungry so we headed straight to world showcase to grab some food. My kiddos love the crepes from the cart in France, so DH stopped and grabbed some crepes for them while I made my way to the Florida Fresh booth and got some shrimp and grits and carne guisada for the adults. So yummy!


    It was finally time for rides! As we started walking toward future world, the heat really hit us. DS has terrible heat tolerance and was perilously close to melting down, so we stopped for some frozen lemonade for all of us.

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    I may have had the “adult” version ;). We had a fp+ for Figment, but didn’t need it. It was a walk on. We enjoyed the air conditioning as we rode and 20 minutes later we were boarding our boat at living with the land. Still my favorite.


    DS was still acting grumpy which is typically a sign that he needs to eat, so I got the kids mac n cheese at Sunshine seasons. Despite his protests that he wasn’t hungry, DS perked up almost immediately after eating and shed his grumpiness. He noticed that there was a pokemon raid about to start at the entrance to Epcot. For those of you not familiar, pokemon raids are a limited time event, so like fp+, you need to get there before your window closes. There were only a few minutes left, so we fast walked to the entrance and DS prepared to battle. A few minutes later he emerged victorious with a new pokemon in his collection and we headed to his favorite ride.

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    The kids were so excited to ride test track that they immediately wanted to ride again, so we got in the single rider line and we were in a car making a second lap only ~15 minutes later. DS and DH were ready to go back to the hotel, but DD wanted more park time, so the boys headed back to the hotel

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    looks like they may have made a detour ;)

    I took DD to Mouse gears. This was the first trip that she expressed an interest in collecting pins and she very carefully perused the entire collection before making her first selection I was still hungry so we headed to Mexico for a snack and the 3 caballeros.

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    DD wanted to try to ride FEA, but the standby line was long and I couldn’t snag us a fp+, so I convinced her that it was time to go back to the hotel. We stopped and had our magic bands reprogrammed at the front desk. Finally, it was time for bed.
    C


    Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2013 BWV * Spring break 2015 BWV * Spring break 2017 BCV * Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2018 POFQ * Star Wars Rival Run Weekend 2019 POFQ * Summer 2019 BWV/BCV

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    Following :-)
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    Senior Member BSS's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great start!
    Jen

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    Thursday May30 Part 1 Yacht Club

    The day started with two firsts for us: The Yacht Club Regatta Run, followed by a MK day with NO rope drop!


    For those of you who have never done one of the fun runs at the resorts, I highly recommend it. The Regatta Run starts at 8am at the YC marina and you can just walk up and register right before. We got down to the marina ~7:40 and there was a sign and a couple other people waiting, but no CM to be found. Over the next 10 minutes or so, a few more people arrived and then finally a couple CM showed up. Luckily the registration process itself was super quick (sign waiver and pay $15 per person) and we were ready to run! We all started together, but it soon became apparent that DS was not going to last long in the heat, so DD took off while DS and I took our time and slow jogged with some nice long walk intervals. DH was waiting back at the finish because even though he is a runner too, he doesn’t believe in exercise while on vacation We ran toward DHS and gave the CM at the turnaround point a high five before making our way back to the boardwalk and around crescent lake back to the finish. The run is officially billed as a 3k (1.8 miles), but it was closer to a mile and a half. When we got back to the finish line, there were plenty of snacks and fun props for picture taking

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    … and just look at the swag


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    DD was super happy she got a “limited edition” pin for “free”
    C


    Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2013 BWV * Spring break 2015 BWV * Spring break 2017 BCV * Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2018 POFQ * Star Wars Rival Run Weekend 2019 POFQ * Summer 2019 BWV/BCV

  6. #6
    Senior Member nolarookie's Avatar
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    Love it! Can you pay cash for the fun run, or just charge to your room?
    Brandi

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    Quote Originally Posted by nolarookie View Post
    Love it! Can you pay cash for the fun run, or just charge to your room?
    I think either. i paid with a credit card, but there were definitely some people paying cash and I'm pretty sure some used there magic bands.
    C


    Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2013 BWV * Spring break 2015 BWV * Spring break 2017 BCV * Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2018 POFQ * Star Wars Rival Run Weekend 2019 POFQ * Summer 2019 BWV/BCV

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    Thursday May30 Part 2 MK

    We headed back to the room for a quick shower and change of clothes and ate our post-race snacks while we headed to the bus stop. The bus came almost immediately and we were walking through the entrance of MK ~9:40am. DH was in desperate need of caffeine, so we made our usual pilgrimage to Starbucks for iced coffees and lemonades, then started slowly walking toward frontierland. DH and DS diverted to the restrooms, while DD and I headed to BTMMR. We got there ~10:15 and I was pleasantly surprised to see a posted sb wait of only 20 minutes. But the line looked a little longer and we were still waiting for the boys, so we asked for a DAS and were given a return time for just 7 minutes later. By the time DH and DS caught up to us, we only had to wait a couple minutes and we went straight into the fp+ line. This turned out to be a good move because they changed the standby wait to 35 minutes as we were walking up. We were near the end of our window for our first fp+, so we headed to jungle cruise with a brief stop to pick up a DAS for pirates on the way. In the next 50 minutes we were able to hit jungle cruise (with fp+), pirates (with DAS), and splash (with fp+)! DS was melting so we stopped for another frozen lemonade before making our way to mine train for our last fp+.


    DD and I had a date for a tea party at the Grand Floridian, so we left the boys to their own devices for the afternoon. We had about an hour before we had to leave for GF and DD was dying to have some princesses sign her autograph book. Cinderella and Elena were showing a posted wait of 20 minutes, but the line looked much longer. We got in line and I immediately started refreshing MDE to see if I could find us a fp+ for one of the characters. I managed to find one for Tiana and Rapunzel for later in the afternoon, so I snagged it in case we wanted to come back to the park after tea. The line for Cinderella was barely moving, so we bailed and headed around the castle to meet Merida instead.

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    She was great and had a very animated conversation with DD. We had waited 25 minutes in line and I was worried that we might be late getting over to GF, but a boat was waiting for us as we walked up and we actually ended up being about 15 minutes early!

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    The tea was delicious. As usual, I was completely full after the sandwiches and scones, so we had them box up the desserts to bring back to the hotel to share with DS.


    We headed to the monorail and after only 30 seconds or so we were on our way back to MK to meet Tiana and Rapunzel. DD got her signatures and plenty of hugs.

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    Then finally we were ready for a break. Another quick wait for the bus and we were back at BCV ready for some pool time. DH and I relaxed in the shade while the kids swam. I thought that we would probably walk around the food kiosks at Epcot for dinner, but after running around all day, DH decided that he would rather have a sit down dinner. So I got on MDE and was able to snag an ADR at Trattoria Al Forno. When we got there, I was so glad that I had made the reservation because the place was packed! They were giving walk ups an estimated wait over an hour. Even with the ADR, we ended up waiting about 20 minutes and our food was a bit slow coming out. Later though, the chef showed up at our table with apologies for our wait and a sweet ending to our meal.



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    It was a good day.

    C


    Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2013 BWV * Spring break 2015 BWV * Spring break 2017 BCV * Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2018 POFQ * Star Wars Rival Run Weekend 2019 POFQ * Summer 2019 BWV/BCV

  9. #9
    Senior Member kgillen's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great trip so far. Looking forward to hearing about the rest!
    KEVIN

    Cast: Me , DW, DS (12), DD(10), DS (5)
    Previous trips: 03/2009-ASMo, 03/2012-POR, 10/2014-AoA, 01/2016 - 1/2 Marathon, POR

  10. #10
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    following along as I love trip reports in general, but I am especially interested in hearing about how your son handled the parks as I was apprehensive about that also.
    Last edited by Monica; 07-08-2019 at 07:17 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
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    Love the run pictures! I keep forgetting about the resort fun runs. How many days per week do they do the run?

  12. #12
    Senior Member nolarookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disney obsessed mom View Post
    I think either. i paid with a credit card, but there were definitely some people paying cash and I'm pretty sure some used there magic bands.
    Awesome! Thanks!

    I’m really enjoying your report
    Brandi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monica View Post
    following along as I love trip reports in general, but I am especially interested in hearing about how your son handled the parks as I was apprehensive about that also.
    This was our 4th family trip, so he considers himself a pro at this point. We've always been really conservative with the amount of rides that we try to do in any given day and leave lots of down time for him to decompress and it's always worked great. He also wears ear plugs all of the time to decrease the amount of auditory stimulation as that is one of his biggest triggers. This trip was more challenging than usual because it was so hot out and he does not tolerate heat well, so we had to make some modifications to the plan along the way, but everyone ended up having a good time.
    C


    Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2013 BWV * Spring break 2015 BWV * Spring break 2017 BCV * Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2018 POFQ * Star Wars Rival Run Weekend 2019 POFQ * Summer 2019 BWV/BCV

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne View Post
    Love the run pictures! I keep forgetting about the resort fun runs. How many days per week do they do the run?
    I think there is a different resort run almost every day of the week. YC is every thursday, BW is every friday, POFQ is on Sunday. Can't remember the others but I know they have them at SSR, OKW and one of the all stars too.
    C


    Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2013 BWV * Spring break 2015 BWV * Spring break 2017 BCV * Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2018 POFQ * Star Wars Rival Run Weekend 2019 POFQ * Summer 2019 BWV/BCV

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    Friday 5/31/19 Part 1 Epcot

    I had promised DD a ride on FEA, but I hadn’t gotten any FP+ for it, so we decided to rope drop FEA. Since we start from the IG entrance, I figured we wouldn’t have to be there too early. We strolled up to IG at 8:35am and we were maybe 20-25 people back from the front. They held us at the bridge until 8:55 and then we were off. We fast walked to FEA and were entering the line at 9:02! We only waited in line about 5 minutes and were back out front at 9:17. The line for Anna and Elsa was still really short, so we hopped in and DD got some signatures, while DH and DS grabbed a snack at Kringla bakeri. The topiaries in front were so pretty, so we stopped for a few pics.

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    The original plan was to walk back to France to get some pastries, but DS really wanted to go to TT again, so we made our way to the TT SR line. The kids were expecting another short wait after our experience with SR the day before, but it ended up being close to 40 minutes this time. In retrospect, I should have just gotten a DAS return time because DS was freaking out for the last 20 minutes we were in line. lesson learned.

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    Worth it to see him so happy

    I had promised DD time to meet more characters for her signature book. So after finally finishing our ride, we walked back to France for a snack and a meeting with Belle.



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    Alice was meeting in the UK, so we headed back across the bridge to meet her when we stumbled into …
    C


    Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2013 BWV * Spring break 2015 BWV * Spring break 2017 BCV * Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2018 POFQ * Star Wars Rival Run Weekend 2019 POFQ * Summer 2019 BWV/BCV

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    Friday 5/31/19 Part 2 Epcot

    CHARACTERPALOOZA! This was another first for us and it was AWESOME!

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    There were so many characters lining the walkway from the IG. I think we just caught the tail end because we only had time to catch these guys before the characters started closing up shop, but there were many more characters including Mickey, Donald, penguins from Mary Poppins, and Liver lips! Since the whole thing only took us 12 minutes, DD still wanted to go see Alice, so we finished our trip to the UK and then turned back toward the IG to walk to the hotel. Look who was waiting to turn on the smolder ;)


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    C


    Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2013 BWV * Spring break 2015 BWV * Spring break 2017 BCV * Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2018 POFQ * Star Wars Rival Run Weekend 2019 POFQ * Summer 2019 BWV/BCV

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    Senior Member BSS's Avatar
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    I just LOVE all the pics of your daughter with the characters! Looks like she had a blast!
    Jen

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    Senior Member mgarbowski's Avatar
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    I also love the character photos. And too bad about TT SR being 40 minutes the second time. It really is highly variable.
    Mark
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
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    We ran into character training at Epcot once before and it was so much fun! Glad you got such a great experience!

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    Trying very hard to be purely happy for you about Characterpalooza - and Flynn! Holy Snuggly Duckling, FLYNN! - without tainting it with envy about our Palooza- and Flynn-less state, and not altogether succeeding. Very cute pix.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BSS View Post
    I just LOVE all the pics of your daughter with the characters! Looks like she had a blast!

    Thank you so much! DD has loved meeting characters since she was tiny. This is from our very first trip to disney:

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    Things haven't changed much. She was a sweaty mess this time, but still loved meeting princesses:

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    C


    Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2013 BWV * Spring break 2015 BWV * Spring break 2017 BCV * Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2018 POFQ * Star Wars Rival Run Weekend 2019 POFQ * Summer 2019 BWV/BCV

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monica View Post
    Trying very hard to be purely happy for you about Characterpalooza - and Flynn! Holy Snuggly Duckling, FLYNN! - without tainting it with envy about our Palooza- and Flynn-less state, and not altogether succeeding. Very cute pix.
    The irony is that we weren't expecting it at all. I've always read about it happening at DHS, so was hoping we might get lucky there. This was completely out of the blue, which made it that much better I think. Hoping you get lucky next time!
    C


    Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2013 BWV * Spring break 2015 BWV * Spring break 2017 BCV * Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2018 POFQ * Star Wars Rival Run Weekend 2019 POFQ * Summer 2019 BWV/BCV

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    Friday 5/31/19 Part 3 DHS

    The kids spent the afternoon playing in the pool at Beach Club one last time before we moved over to BWV.

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    I had requested early checkin in hopes we could freshen up in our room before heading to DHS, but no such luck. So we just changed in the lobby bathroom and left our bag at bell services before we caught the boat to DHS. We had fp+ for ToT, RnRC, and SDD. DD has been pestering me to go on the roller coaster with the “loop-de-loops” since she was tiny, but I didn’t think my kids could handle it before this trip, so it would be the first time on ALL of these rides and the kids were super excited!



    We arrived at the park around 3:30 and headed toward ToT, stopping for a few pics on the way. I don’t like rides that drop you, but wanted to see the pre-show, so I walked through the line with the family and then took the chicken elevator to the exit while DH took the kids on the ride.

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    The expressions on their faces crack me up!


    Then we made the short walk over to RnRC. This time I took the kids and DH waited for us. DH has motion sickness and it seems to be getting worse with every trip. I finally convinced him to try taking dramamine this trip and it seemed to work fairly well the day before. But he hadn’t taken any that day and was feeling a bit woozy after TT in the morning, so we thought it would be safer for him to sit out.

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    Another winning ride photo ;) DD loved both rides, but DS declared that he was never going on either one again :(




    Then it was time for dinner. We got lucky and managed to catch the March of the first order on our way to Sci Fi Dine-in.


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    It was our first time eating there. The burgers weren’t bad and the kids really enjoyed the atmosphere after we explained the concept of a drive-in movie ;)


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    As soon as we left the air conditioning, DS looked like he was melting again. It had been a really long day and by the time we made it to Toy story land, he was feeling dizzy and out of sorts. So DH took DS back to the hotel and I took DD on SDD. DS was disappointed that he couldn’t go on SDD, but we consoled him with a promise that we’d be back the next day. The boys made a stop at Ample hills when they got back to the Boardwalk and I’m sure that didn’t hurt either ;)


    It was no surprise that DD loved SDD and still had plenty of energy for exploring toy story land after, but I didn’t want to stay too late since DS was back at the hotel. We headed to the dock and a boat came after only a few minutes.


    DH had texted me that they had the same problem with the magic bands not opening the door at BWV, so we stopped at the front desk to have them reprogrammed AGAIN. We continued to have problems with the magic bands not opening doors for the rest of the trip. This was the only real downside of this trip (besides the heat). On one of the many trips back to the front desk, I made a point of saying how inconvenient it was to have to do this again in hopes that I would at least get a heart felt apology, but the CMs at the front desks seemed completely disinterested. My SIL actually got a free memory maker and free gifts for her kids by writing a polite email to the manager when she had problems booking her trip a few weeks before us, so I briefly considered writing to the manager to complain, but decided it wasn’t worth the trouble. Maybe someday I’ll be the person that asks to speak to the manager, lol.
    C


    Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2013 BWV * Spring break 2015 BWV * Spring break 2017 BCV * Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2018 POFQ * Star Wars Rival Run Weekend 2019 POFQ * Summer 2019 BWV/BCV

  24. #24
    prefers quisp over quake tiggr88's Avatar
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    I had the same issues with the magic bands at Yacht Club last year. CMs tried to come up a couple of times to fix it, tried fixing it at the lobby and finally we left the bands at the front desk while we went to eat at Ale and Compass before they finally worked. Since we weren't really headed out it wasn't a big issue but still very annoying. I think they gave me $150 resort credit because we were being nice about the delay.

    Glad you seem to be having a good trip.

    I hit enter before finishing...

    I also had stayed at another resort before checking in to the YC and the front desk seemed to think there was an issue with it not setting or resetting properly. Sounded like it happens occasionally.
    Oct 89 QS, Sep '98 Poly Concierge, Jan '01 ASMu, Oct '01 HI Family Suites, Oct '03 HIFS, Oct '03 Portofino Bay (anniversary trip), Dec '04 POFQ, Oct '05 ASMu, Oct '06 ASMu, Nov '07 Magic cruise, Nov '08 ASMu (family reunion), Dec '08 BCV/BC (20th anniversary trip w/o kids), Aug '10 HRH, Sept/Oct '11

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    Saturday June 1st Part 1 DHS

    The kids were up bright and early as usual. They had a quick bowl of cereal and then we boarded the boat back to DHS. We got there about 8:15 am and thanks to the new rope drop procedure we were signing up for Jedi training 5 minutes later. There was no line at all and we were able to pick any show we wanted. Since we had fp+ for SDD, we weren’t trying to beat the crowds to toy story land, so we headed to Starbucks to hydrate the kids and caffeinate the adults. We had a brief moment of panic when it looked like we wouldn’t be able to make it across the giant crowd of people filling Hollywood boulevard. But I am small and used to dodging between people, so I started walking through. After assuring everyone that we weren’t trying to cut in line, and we just really needed some coffee, people were pretty good about letting us cross.


    Have I mentioned yet that it was HOT!?! The high temp was 96 or 97 degrees every day of our trip and the overnight lows were in the 70s. It was already super hot and humid at 8:30 am, so we decided to wait inside Starbucks until the rope drop crowds dissipated. They started letting people walk at 8:45 and even though we deliberately walked with the back of the crowd, we were still in line for TSMM 7 minutes later. It only took about 5 minutes to walk through the queue before we were on the ride. I had originally planned for the kids to ride AS2 before our SDD fp+, but they were NOT interested and decided they’d rather ride TSMM again instead. We went back to TSMM , but the line was already up to 35 or 40 minutes, so we got a DAS and headed to Woody’s lunchbox for a snack. DH got a breakfast sandwich and DS split a raspberry tart with me. DD won’t eat anything resembling fruit, so she nibbled on a tiny piece of DH’s sandwich and decided she was good. By the time we finished eating, it was time to go back to TSMM for round 2. When we finished the ride, DS was complaining that his slingshot wasn’t working great and one of the CMs overheard and told him that we could all ride again in another car without waiting. DH and I had had enough, so the kids went on by themselves for a bonus ride before we headed to SDD.

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    DS finally got to ride and loved it. Yay!


    Then it was time to head back to the Jedi training signup area. There were a couple smaller kids there already and DS had a good time imparting his wisdom from his two prior experiences fighting the dark side ;) This would be DS last time for jedi training as he’ll be too old during our next trip. He was excited to fight Kylo Ren this time. We’ve been lucky in that he’s battled a different villain each time (the other two were Darth Maul and Darth Vader).

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    So serious ;)

    After Jedi training was done, we had 5 minutes to kill before our fp+ for Star tours, so we made a quick trip to see Olaf.

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    C


    Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2013 BWV * Spring break 2015 BWV * Spring break 2017 BCV * Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2018 POFQ * Star Wars Rival Run Weekend 2019 POFQ * Summer 2019 BWV/BCV

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