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Trip Report A Crazy 24 Hour Adventure

WHO: Me and my friend, A
WHAT: The shortest Disney trip of our lives
WHERE: Epcot and MK
WHEN: March 8th
WHY: AP Preview for Tron with the added bonus of Flower and Garden Festival

My alarm went off at the ungodly hour of 3am after getting out of work late the night before and not being able to fall asleep until around 11pm. A's parents picked me up around 3:45am to drop us off at PHL for our 5:30am flight.

One of the perks of taking a one day trip is not having to check a bag and deal with the ridiculous lines to check baggage. I got a little worried however when I went up the escalator and was directed to the end of the TSA line which was in the opposite direction of the security checkpoint. Thankfully, the line was moving quickly and it only took about 20 minutes. However, I will never understand why the rules for what needs to go into a bin vs. on the belt, what needs to come out of your bag, etc. seems to change every time that I fly. This time was particularly confusing. The woman running the line on the other side from where I was, was telling everyone to put everything in the bin and not to take anything out of your bags. But on the side I was at, the man on that side was telling everyone to put bags and shoes directly on the belt and not in a bin and to take out any electronics larger than a cell phone. You would think that the TSA rules would be the same everywhere because they are a federal agency but what do I know?

I made it to the gate just as they were starting the preboarding process so unfortunately I did not have time to grab a bite to eat or something to drink. We were boarded pretty quickly for a change which was surprising because our plane was probably half full of cheerleaders on their way to WDW to compete. I swear there is a cheer competition at WDW 52 weeks a year.

I don't sleep well on planes so I was listening to music with my eyes closed when about an hour into the flight I noticed that all of the lights were turned on which I thought was odd. Then they made an announcement asking if there were any medical professionals on board. Oh no! A few people responded to what ended up being a diabetic reaction somewhere behind us. Thankfully, they were able to give the person some food and they did not need to make an emergency landing. There were paramedics waiting at the gate when we landed at MCO.

The other benefit of a one day trip with no baggage is being able to skip the baggage claim and go directly to Budget to pick up our car. We priced out Uber and it was actually slightly cheaper to rent a car for the day than to take Uber to and from MCO. Plus, we were able to control when we left and how we got back to the airport. It also gave us a place to stash our backpacks.

We hit a little bit of traffic on the way but at 8:56am I was taking this picture....


So we managed to successfully rope drop Epcot from Pennsylvania. All it took was getting up 6 hours before the park opened...


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Well, this TR is officially taking longer than the trip itself...

I forgot to mention that we had both my mom and another friend of ours trying to get us a boarding group for GOTG while we were mid-air. When we landed, we each had a text telling us that we had boarding group 52. We aren't sure who got it for us, but we were grateful. I was a bit worried when I looked in MDE and it said our expected call back time was not until after 1:30 which is when we wanted to start to head over to MK for our 3pm Tron preview. But, when we got to Epcot, the time had adjusted and it was down to around 11:30 which worked much better for us.

We knew when we entered the park that everyone would be making the mad dash to the back of the park to get to Frozen and the Rat so we walked right on to Spaceship Earth. Afterwards, we looped around the walls and checked out some of the topiaries on our way over to Figment.




Figment was another walk on. The animatronic right before going into Figment's house was barely moving and it was kinda creepy.

We went over to The Land next and walked right onto a boat for Living With the Land. There were a bunch of CMs working on the drainage system in the greenhouse. We went over to Soarin' next and encountered our first wait of the day. It wasn't long because we didn't stop walking until we were in our concourse. We got row 2 in section B so we had pretty straight landmarks.

Next up was another walk on for Nemo.

We crossed over to the other side of the park and made a quick stop in Creations Shop to see if any festival merchandise caught our eye. It did not.

Then, we went over to Test Track and got in the single rider line. We waited for maybe 15-20 minutes during which our boarding group for Guardians was called. This was the highest number boarding group that we have gotten and it lead to the longest wait that we ever had on the ride. It was only about 30 minutes which was well worth it. We got Everybody Wants to Rule the World. That puts us a 5/6 songs in 7 total rides. We are just missing One Way or Another. However, this was by far my least favorite song. Not because it was a bad song by any means but because it is way too slow of a song for that ride. The lyrics fit but the tempo doesn't.

It was just before noon at this point and we had already accomplished every ride (except Mission Space which I have retired) on that side of the park. Not too shabby.

Neither of us had eaten anything yet though so it was time to grab some festival food!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The first booth that we hit up was the Mexico booth that had a surprisingly short line for lunch time.



Taco Vampiro: Barbacoa Beef in a Corn Tortilla with crispy grilled monterey jack cheese, salsa ranchera, and esquites -- $8.75 and Mala Hierba Margarita: Centinela Tequila Reposado, elderflower-chamomile tea, Abasolo Corn Whiskey, and UNA Flower-infused Vodka with a chile salt rim -- $14.00

The taco was a repeat from last year's festival and it was as delicious as better. The cheese on the outside was perfectly crispy and the beef inside was juicy and tender.

Unfortunately, the margarita was terrible. The only thing that I could taste was the vodka that was in it and the chile salt rim. Not recommended unless you are a fan of vodka.

We went over to the China booth next for something that I was not going to leave without having.


House-made Cheesy Crab Wontons – $7.75 and Cherry Blossom Pilsner Draft Beer $9.75

The wontons might be my favorite dish from any festival ever! They did not disappoint again this time. If you are even remotely a fan of crab and cheese you need to get these! It took a lot of will power to not order a second helping of them.

The beer was also excellent. It was light and refreshing with a hint of cherry flavor. Also highly recommended.

We continued around an A stopped for something at the booth in America. I grabbed a beer and we sat by the new topiary for a little while and chilled out and regained some energy.


It was time for us to hop on the monorail to make our way over to MK for the whole reason that we did this crazy trip.


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We arrived at MK with no problem. We shared a monorail car from Epcot to the TTC with a group of people that included a CM. I enjoyed eavesdropping on his conversation about how each land at MK has its own managers. He was telling a story about how one day that everything was ready to go in Frontierland but one manager just didn't show up and the other manager was late so the entire land was not able to open on time because there was not a manager to sign off on everything to say it was ok to open. I thought it was crazy that one person could essentially cause an entire land to be shut down because they weren't responsible enough to show up for work on time.

Once we tapped into MK, we had a little bit of time before our preview so we went into the Emporium to look for something for one of our friends that he wasn't able to find for his daughter on their recent trip. We were on a mission to find a Tiana nuiMOs doll. We found the section that had the dolls but there was no Tiana in sight unfortunately.

After coming up empty handed, we made our way over to Tomorrowland. A's aunt and her granddaughter were in MK and he wanted to stop and say hi before our preview. Conveniently, they were sitting at a table alongside the Speedway which is where the line was already forming for the 3pm preview. So we got in line and chatted with them for a bit. A's aunt is a FL resident and AP as well but she forgot to check her email the day that the registration link was sent out so she did not get to sign up for a preview herself.

We parted ways and right at 3pm on the dot the line started moving and CMs began scanning Magicbands and allowing us into the ride.

I am going to keep the rest under a spoiler for those of you who want to experience it in person without any spoilers.


It was actually a little bit of a hike to get back to the actual queue so I snapped a few pictures on the way.


There was a little bit of a wait once we got to the queue itself but it was only about 10 minutes or so before we went inside.

This was right at the entrance to the indoor part of the queue.


Once inside, you get sent into a small room in groups to be digitized to enter the grid. The effects here were pretty cool and a little similar to the teleportation effect in GOTG but on a smaller scale.

After that we made our way down to the ride vehicles. I was a little worried reading about how guests of a larger size were having trouble fitting in the seats properly. Everything I read said that the upper body wasn't really a problem but large legs/calves were causing the problem.

I had a little bit of trouble at first getting the leg restraints to lock in place. A CM came over and helped me out. I had my legs up too far and she said that it needed to be closer to a 90 degree angle. Once I adjusted my legs, I was able to get the leg restraints to lock in and we were on our way. There are trains that have a car on the back with standard seating for guests who cannot fit in the seats, physically cannot get into that position, or prefer not to ride in that position. Not every train has these cars so it will likely increase your wait time a bit if you need/want this option.

I was a little disappointed in how short the ride ended up being. It was maybe 90 seconds, 2 minutes tops. The launch at the beginning was the best part and reminded me of Rockin' Rollercoaster. The big swooping turns outside were also a lot of fun. The indoor part of the ride looked great but was a little confusing. The whole premise of the ride is that you are racing against Team Orange. Occasionally, you would see streaks of orange going by around you but that was all. And just like that it was over.

I think this would be so much better if it were designed to be a dueling coater with two cars going at the same time on different tracks. There could be some near misses and randomly choose a side to be the winner each ride. This would up the excitement and give it much more re-ride potential by trying to be the winner.

The other thing that I did not like was the handlebars. They were a very rough and textured metal and it hurt my hands gripping on to them.

Overall, I did enjoy the ride even though it doesn't necessarily sound like I did. A and I both agreed that we would make it a point to get a boarding group on our MK days but that we would not pay for a LL or wait in a standby line of more than 60 minutes (maybe less).

Here are a few more pictures on our way out.



We were a little bit too excited for a new bathroom but we did make it a point to try them out...lol.

After re-entering the physical world, we backtracked from the temporary exit that dumps you out in Storybook Circus to Tomorrow land for a ride on the Peoplemover.

We wanted to do a few more rides in MK but the wait times for everything that we wanted to go on had a wait time of 40 minutes or more which was higher than we would have liked so we made the decision to head back to Epcot for some more festival food.


Well-Known Member
We wanted to do a few more rides in MK but the wait times for everything that we wanted to go on had a wait time of 40 minutes or more which was higher than we would have liked so we made the decision to head back to Epcot for some more festival food.
We had the same problem on our preview day as well and did the same and headed to Epcot LOL


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We arrived back in Epcot a little before 5pm. The front of the park was much less crowded than this morning so I was able to snag a picture of the new Encanto topiary at the entrance.


We had about 3 hours left before we needed to go back to the airport so we headed straight for WS to knock out more festival booths.

First stop, was the Honey Bee-stro booth.


Chicken and Waffles: Crispy honey-brined chicken and honey sweet cornbread waffle with whipped honey butter and spicy honey – $6.75

I was really looking forward to this one and I was a little bit let down. Everything had great flavor but my chicken and cornbread waffle were both on the dry side. The huge dollop of butter helped but it was still a bit lacking. A did not have this problem with his chicken though so I may have just gotten an unlucky plate.

We took a right from there and stopped at the Canada booth.


Chocolate Maple Whisky Cake – $4.50

This was a very moist and delicious cake with just a hint of maple and whiskey flavors to make it unique. You definitely need to be a chocolate lover to fully enjoy this one though. I believe A got the scallops here and said they were good.

We wandered through the shops in Canada and decided to take a little break to lean and watch Canada Far and Wide.

how i met your mother canada GIF

Ironically, the other day, the song from the end of the movie was on the Disney station on SiriusXM in the car.

Moving on, we browsed the UK shops and contemplated buying Guinness hockey jerseys for St. Patrick's Day (which at that point hadn't happened yet) but decided against it when looking at the price tag.

Next up on the world tour was France. The line for the booth wasn't terrible but it was the longest line for a booth we encountered all day. While in line, we were behind a group of young dudes from NJ/NY who thought that the no smoking/vaping rules didn't apply to them and proceeded to puff away on their d**che flutes the entire time that we were in line. I have noticed more and more people that are ignoring that rule and try to be super slick about what they are doing but they fail. I don't know of anyone who couldn't figure out what was happening when someone holds their fist up to their mouth for an extended period of time and then magically blew smoke out of their mouth like a dragon... As annoyed as I was, I wasn't going to pick a fight with a pack of dudes but I was really wishing that a Karen would come along and do her Karen things but sadly, they did not appear.

Linda Karen GIF

However, at the end of the smoky rainbow was French food and drink.


Croissant au Fromage de Chèvre, Herbes et Ail Rôtie: Croissant with goat cheese, herbs, and roasted garlic – $6.75 and La Vie en Rose Frozen Slush: Vodka, Grey Goose L’Orange Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, and white and red cranberry juices – $14.50

The croissant looks dry but it was nice and flaky and stuffed full of yummy goat cheese. You have to be a fan of goat cheese to try this one though because it is in every single bite. I happen to be a big goat cheese lover so this was right up my alley. As for the slush, can you really ever go wrong with a frozen drink in France? I think not.

With our stomachs starting to fill up, we slowed down our pace and made our way over to Germany before stopping for another bite.


Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with black forest ham and melted gruyère cheese — $5.75 and a beer flight.

The pretzel is a staple of this festival and was tasty as usual. I had a little trouble eating it because I was trying to be polite and eat it with a fork and knife instead of ripping it apart with my hands.

The beer flight was good not great. The raspberry beer was light and refreshing but on the sweet side. The pilsner was basic and nothing special. I was looking forward to the dunkel but it didn't have much flavor either.

We still had time before we needed to make our way back to the car so we slowly walked around and did another lap of WS while people watching and browsing shops.

We did want something a little more substantial to eat before we left because in the past food options at MCO were very limited for late night flights.

We decided on Regal Eagle. We both mobile ordered and sat outside until we were called.


Loaded Burnt Ends Fries -- Seasoned French Fries with Burnt Ends, Macaroni & Cheese, and Beer-battered Onion Rings -- $12.99

I had already given my onion rings to A because onions are gross :hungover:. This was such a good choice but SO MUCH food. We could have and should have split this between the two of us. Everything was delicious though. The fries were crispy and well seasoned. The brisket was tender and smoky. The mac and cheese was gooey and cheesy. I drizzled the spicy BBQ sauce over everything and it got even better.

Our whirlwind journey had come to an end and we were off to MCO.

We left ourselves plenty of time because we had a long wait for security in February on the same flight home. A also has to wait with the commoners at MCO because they close the Pre Check line after 8pm (I believe). We got to the airport and there was literally no wait at all for security. I did get to have a fun pat down because the scanner was picking up something but other than that it was a breeze.

As it got close to our time that we were scheduled to board, they made an announcement that our plane was too hot and that there would be a slight delay while they cooled it down. We waited, and waited, and waited. Eventually, they made an announcement that we were switching gates and using a new plane. Our new departure time was now going to be 11:50pm (from 10:30pm). Ugh. I am not exactly sure why it was such a long delay because no one ever got off the new plane that they put us on so we weren't waiting for another flight to arrive. Also, to make matters worse, once we started to board, the gate agent decided to flex his muscles and made everyone size up their carry on and personal bags which slowed down the boarding process even more. The plane we were put on must have been larger than our original plane because they were moving people from the back of the plan towards the front to balance out the weight. Luckily for us, this meant that we could stretch out because the other person in our row moved. After all of there delays, our flight didn't leave until around 12:30am. Thankfully, we made pretty good time and we got to PHL in just under 2 hours. A's parents picked us up and we headed home.

I ended up getting home around 3:30am which was just over 24 hours after my alarm went off the day before. I crashed immediately and made it to work at 1:30pm running on fumes.

Overall, I am glad that I did the trip but won't be doing that again any time soon unless there was a very good reason.

Thanks for following along. We are toying with the idea of a long weekend trip for the first week of May. I have two vacation days left that I need to use before May 20th. If not, our next trip looks like it will be 10/13-10/20 for Food and Wine.


Premium Member
Thanks so much for the fun TR about your whirlwind day!

If you had been flying out (or into) my city’s airport your flight would have been canceled or rerouted. No landing after midnight (and it might even be after 11:30 pm) without huge fines so airlines tend to either cancel or if they can, reroute to Lyon, France - and then put people on a 2 hour bus ride.


Well-Known Member
Thanks for sharing! I love this! My best friend and I want to do the Disney in a day, 4 park challenge and am always enamored by people that do a quick same day jaunt. I am from PA too and fly out of PHL, so now I know that it can be done!
GIF by Jay Sprogell


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thanks so much for the fun TR about your whirlwind day!

If you had been flying out (or into) my city’s airport your flight would have been canceled or rerouted. No landing after midnight (and it might even be after 11:30 pm) without huge fines so airlines tend to either cancel or if they can, reroute to Lyon, France - and then put people on a 2 hour bus ride.
Oh no! That would have been a nightmare!

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