Trip Report A Disney Heat Wave (obviously)

DisneyDreamer08

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hi everyone! I’m going to attempt to start a trip report but I warn you, I may be slow moving between kids & work.
We were in Disney from Saturday January 11th until Sunday January 19th. This trip was myself (Jillian), my husband Nick and our two girls, Sage age 9 and Aria age 4. Our last trip previous to this was in September 2016. Sage was 5 1/2 and Aria had just turned one. That trip was like the perfect storm of Disney trips, so many things went wrong. One of the worst parts of that trip was the weather. It was 95 degrees and so humid every day. Literally sun up to sun down, there was no break. It made the kids so tired and grumpy, our New England bodies just couldn’t handle the heat! We swore up and down we’d never go in the heat again. That is why for this trip, we purposely chose January. Average high 71, average low 49. PERFECT. So of course, guess what happens while we’re there? An actual heatwave. Like, record breaking temperatures. It was 85, sunny and humid every day except one (the high that day was 79!) As expected, the kids didn’t handle it well. We were so disappointed that we once again had to deal with the heat :(
Another unexpected obstacle- the crowds. This was by far the most crowded Disney trip we have ever taken. Prior to that 9/16 trip, we had been 12/14, 9/09, 1/08 and 4/07. I know everyone says now that there is no quiet time and based on our trip, I will 100% agree with that. The lines were the longest I’ve ever seen them. Small World was consistently at 60 minutes, we only got to ride because we were able to get a FP later in the day. We waited 35 minutes for Journey into Imagination! There were so many rides my kids would have loved to do more than once and we just couldn’t. We rarely waited in standby without a FP.

On that trip in 2016, we stayed at All Star Sports and didn’t like it all. In 2014 we stayed at Pop and that, we liked. After our troubles at Sports, we thought we might like to splurge for a moderate this time. But, our kids really wanted to do a few character meals. And with the rising costs of hotel, tickets, food etc, we decided not to upgrade our hotel this time around. We knew this might be our last trip where they were super into the characters so we decided splurging for those character meals was a better way to spend our money.
I knew I definitely wanted a renovated room so we chose All Star Movies only because it was cheaper than Pop. We did pay a little extra for a preferred room, more for the theming than the location. I knew my kids wouldn’t care for the Mighty Ducks or Love Bug sections.
I have literally been planning for this trip for years so back when the the deals were released for January 2019, I wrote down all the different options. There was a room discount and also Play Stay Dine. I priced both options out based on the approximate dates we would be there. The deal that was actually released for January 2020 was a little different. It was called the Kids Meal Deal and basically, if you bought the adult meal plan at full price, you got the kids meal plan for free. Since we were staying in a value, the room discount was not that much, a couple hundred over the course of the week. So I priced out the room discount plus paying for food out of pocket. I included some food from home, and sometimes sharing quick service, plus the character meals we wanted to do. Then I priced out the kids meal deal with the dining plans and actually, the prices were very similar. We decided the convenience of the meal plan was well worth it so we booked the kids meal deal offer.
Initially, I only booked the quick service version and figured I would pay out of pocket for our 2 character meals. About two weeks before our trip though, I decided to upgrade to the regular dining plan. After factoring in the cost for the two character meals I was going to pay out of pocket for, it really wasn’t that much of a difference. I had to scramble a bit to add the extra table service meals to our schedule but, I am so glad we made this change. The character meals we did were 100% the best part of our trip. It was so nice to have an hour each day to relax in the AC. And it was so nice to have the characters come to us without having to wait in a crazy long line. My kids are fairly picky eaters so it was great for them to be able pick little bits of what they liked. And we were really happy with the adult choices as well!
One final note before I dive in day by day- we actually really liked All Star Movies. The renovated rooms are really nice. We loved all the extra storage. Being able to slide our empty suitcases under the bed was awesome. We loved that we each had our own end table with outlets and USB ports. The door between the room and bathroom was great at night when adults wanted to shower while kids were sleeping. And I loved the coffee maker and little breakfast nook. We left Sports knowing we would never stay there again. But we were actually very pleased with Movies.
I will start our arrival day in a bit! For now, here are a few pictures from Disney on Ice we attended a few weeks before our trip :cool:
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KellBelle

Well-Known Member
Count me in! We were there the first week of December and 3 of our days were in the low 60's which is a little cooler than we were hoping for lol.. I would definitely have expected January to be even cooler than that. I would much rather freeze than burn up... I can totally understand the misery!
 

DisneyDreamer08

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Here!! Also, your girls are adorable & wow have they grown!!
Thank you! It’s been about 3 1/2 years since our last trip. It’s so crazy, for 3 1/2 years we’ve been telling them our next Disney trip will be when they’re 9 & 4. We wanted to go when Sage was still considered a kid and when Aria was tall enough for most rides. So after years of saying 9 & 4, I can’t believe it has come and gone. You plan for so long then it’s over in the blink of an eye.
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DisneyDreamer08

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Count me in! We were there the first week of December and 3 of our days were in the low 60's which is a little cooler than we were hoping for lol.. I would definitely have expected January to be even cooler than that. I would much rather freeze than burn up... I can totally understand the misery!
I’m not gonna lie, it was rough 😂 Our kids were cranky and most days were begging by like 1pm to go back and swim. I was like, guys we have 4 hours of plans left!
I was also mad because about a month before we left, I went out and bought leggings and solid long sleeve shirts to go under all their dresses. And we literally never wore a pair of pants or a long sleeve shirt 🤦‍♀️ It’s like Disney knew we were coming.
 

Piglet_the_brave

Well-Known Member
Following along, really like reading reports from people that were there the same time as me. I was there for the runDisney events on that crazy hot weekend. It was not what I expected either, we’d arrived a week earlier and it was so much cooler, we were in jeans and jackets. My girls are older than yours, 10 and 13, but they spent far more time in the pool than we expected.
 

DisneyDreamer08

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Following along, really like reading reports from people that were there the same time as me. I was there for the runDisney events on that crazy hot weekend. It was not what I expected either, we’d arrived a week earlier and it was so much cooler, we were in jeans and jackets. My girls are older than yours, 10 and 13, but they spent far more time in the pool than we expected.
I can’t even imagine running in that weather. Hope your race went well! And I hope your girls dealt with the heat better than mine did.
 

DisneyDreamer08

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day One, Saturday 1/11- Arrival & MK

Our flight was at 6:20am. I wanted to leave at 3:45, hubs thought 4am would be fine. In reality, we should have left at 3:30🤦‍♀️
The Southwest bag check was packed and the security line was about an hour long. Not a good start to the day. Sage has anxiety, which effected us many times throughout the week, but it was especially bad at the airport. The long lines, unknown situation, public restrooms, are all stressors. Once we made it through, we had to quickly swing through Dunkins as we had promised them donuts. We got to our terminal as the A’s were boarding. We got into the family line and pretty much walked right on. So we made it, but literally just in time.
Our flight was fine, both girls are active kids and not great at sitting still. They both had bags of crafts and their kindles but were antsy nevertheless. But we made it and then started our long walk to the Magical Express.
After waiting about 20 minutes, off we went!
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We knew we’d be arriving early so I warned the kids our room may not be ready. So we were super excited to get a text right as the bus was pulling into Movies. A few months back, I had showed the kids pictures of the resort and all they talked about was the 101 Dalmatians section. They asked almost daily if we could please stay there. I explained I could request it but that it wasn’t a guarantee. So when our text said we were assigned to the Fantasia section, it was immediately met with AWWW!!!! I explained we could stop at the desk but that having a room this early was a great thing and we should take what we could get (it was only about 10:30am when we arrived)
I went to the desk and the kids went to watch the movie. From that point on, every time we walked past the lobby, the kids had to run over and see what was playing.
The nice CM informed me that they currently only had rooms available in Fantasia or Toy Story. So that was a bummer. I kept the Fantasia, thinking it would be closer to the food court and buses, but after the fact I wished I had asked about the location of the Toy Story room. We walked around the resort later in the week and the Toy Story section was really cool.
Our room ended up being in a great location. It was right around the corner from the elevators, on the corner of the building, but in the back overlooking landscaping. It was so perfectly quiet all week. We never heard another person walking by, and never heard anything from the rooms around us.
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We then went down to the food court to get our mugs and a few snacks. We had an early dinner ADR so we didn’t want to eat a full lunch. In the back of the seating area was a section where a movie was always playing. My kids insisted on sitting there every time we went to the food court. One of the many things they loved about Movies.
We quickly freshened up, and all got changed into more weather appropriate clothing, and then off we went to MK!
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DisneyDreamer08

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We slowly made our way down Main Street, taking in all its beauty.
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For the record, this picture was totally staged by me. Unfortunately Sage has zero big sister skills and would never just hold Aria’s hand. I asked her to do it so I could take the picture from behind 😜
We made our way to our first Fastpass- Dumbo!
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We then went over to the Daisy and Minnie meet and greet. A very cool set up (with a lovely indoor air conditioned queue!) but weird lighting.

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Matt and Kelly

Well-Known Member
Count me in! We were there the week before you for the marathon. I said the same thing, I have never seen it this busy before. We were unable to do jungle cruise and haunted mansion because both were over 2 hour waits. And also the temperatures did shock me! We are from Canada so it was a nice welcome change even with the humidity. By the time we flew home it was a 70 degree temperature difference for us.
Did you have a stroller this trip? We didn’t bring the girls in January but we are going back in September with them. It will be our first trip without a stroller, they are 9 and 7. In theory they should be fine but it will be interesting. Wondering how Sage did with the walking.
 

DisneyDreamer08

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Count me in! We were there the week before you for the marathon. I said the same thing, I have never seen it this busy before. We were unable to do jungle cruise and haunted mansion because both were over 2 hour waits. And also the temperatures did shock me! We are from Canada so it was a nice welcome change even with the humidity. By the time we flew home it was a 70 degree temperature difference for us.
Did you have a stroller this trip? We didn’t bring the girls in January but we are going back in September with them. It will be our first trip without a stroller, they are 9 and 7. In theory they should be fine but it will be interesting. Wondering how Sage did with the walking.
So, funny you should ask about the stroller. The kids meal deal we had included the most random welcome basket. When we checked in, we were given a big Disney gift bag with an Olaf stuffed animal, an Olaf light up board book, an Olaf rice krispie treat, a coupon for a free 5x7 photopass print, and a coupon for a free stroller rental for our length of stay. We looked into the stroller ahead of time but decided to bring our own for Aria. The walk back and forth from the buses is brutal (especially for the All Stars who are always the absolute furthest away) So we knew we would need our own stroller for that.
However, because the kids were so tired and grumpy from the heat, we did get the stroller rental a few days and used it for Sage. We used it once at AK and once at Epcot. Otherwise, she did ok. It is so much walking but we made sure to sit and take breaks often.
 

DisneyDreamer08

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We then went over to the Barnstormer for FP number 2. Sage is not big on rides but likes this one. Aria was excited ahead of time. But a little scared during the ride. Afterwards, she cried a little bit but said she wanted to try it again another day.
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We had a little time to kill before FP 3 so we stopped in the Rapunzel area (Aria’s favorite!)
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Then, off to Haunted Mansion for FP #3!
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We had a little time until our dinner ADR so we stopped for some castle pictures.
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DisneyDreamer08

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Original Poster
Our dinner ADR was at 4pm at Tony’s. This was one of two non- character meals. The kids love Lady and the Tramp and were excited to eat here. The food was decent, our server was great but overall, this was my least favorite of our table service. It wasn’t bad, just average. The menu specifically says the pasta is freshly made but I have a hard time believing that. It tasted like regular old box spaghetti to me.
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So prior to arriving, I had heard that some Christmas decorations would still be up when we arrived. I also read that the dream lights were still being flipped on nightly (but that the Frozen show was long over). We finished dinner at about 5 and agreed we would stay til 6 to see if the dream lights came on.
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So the dream lights did come on right at about 5:45. However, it wasn’t dark enough yet to really enjoy them. We were all exhausted so we left then. As we were walking to the bus, Nick noticed a Movies bus at the stop so he ran ahead to ask for it to wait for us. We made it on the bus thinking we had the best luck. Unfortunately the driver was apparently at the end of his shift so the bus sat at the bus stop for about 15 minutes until another driver arrived. It took about five minutes for him to get situated and then we finally left. A bit of an exhausting end to a long day. The kids finally went to bed at about 7:30 and luckily, fell right to sleep. But looking back on it now, the super long arrival day is probably why our next day wasn’t nearly as successful :eek:
 

DisneyDreamer08

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Original Poster
Day Two- Sunday 1/12 Animal Kingdom

We had two days planned for AK so I thought starting here would be good for our first full day. I imagined it being relaxed and leisurely, but with 3 FPs, a breakfast ADR and an appointment for Caring For Giants, I think maybe I was a little too overly ambitious. Plus because so much is outside, the kids were cooked by noon time.
We planned on arriving by rope drop but to avoid rushing, our first fastpass was for 9:15 at Navi River Journey.
We stopped on the way in for this photo
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A very cool backdrop but I wish it were a bit smaller so we didn’t look so lost!
As we were walking away Aria (our little disaster) walked into a curb and scraped up her leg pretty bad. So our first stop of the day was actually first aid. Thankfully the gates were open but it was still prior to official opening time. We got her patched up (and also got some ointment for a mysterious rash she had developed) and made our way over to Pandora.
We are not Avatar fans but the land is amazing. Really immersive and the attention to detail is some of Disney’s best. When we arrived over at NRJ, the standby wait was only five minutes so we did standby first. And we were so glad we did because the kids LOVED this ride. So we were able to immediately use our FPs and ride again. After our two rides, the wait time had already drastically jumped to 45 minutes. So we really lucked out with our timing.
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Zipitidoda

Well-Known Member
I was thinking how sweet the picture was of your girls and had a total awwww moment then scrolled down to see it was staged :hilarious: . Sounds like my girls. They didn't even like each other until they both graduated from high school. They still even have their moments with each other now and then. :rolleyes: Who knew raising two girls the exact same way would end up so different from one another.
 

DisneyDreamer08

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Original Poster
I was thinking how sweet the picture was of your girls and had a total awwww moment then scrolled down to see it was staged :hilarious: . Sounds like my girls. They didn't even like each other until they both graduated from high school. They still even have their moments with each other now and then. :rolleyes: Who knew raising two girls the exact same way would end up so different from one another.
My girls are the same. Sometimes they play nicely but they are both very stubborn and opinionated so it always ends up in a fight. Waiting in lines with them was TORTURE. They would poke each other and tease each other and weren’t embarrassed whatsoever to get in all out yelling matches with each other 🤦‍♀️
 
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