Trip Report A Disney Heat Wave (obviously)


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Yes he was great! Lots of hugs and high fives. And another funny thing that happened- I handed him one of the kids autograph books and the marker. I forgot to take the cover off the marker and he was struggling a bit with his fury paws. I said, oh sorry do you want me to open that for you? He stopped and looked at me, flexed his muscles and pulled the cap off 😂

When we met him the first time, my husband was wearing a shirt with a picture of Timon on it and it said "I Speak Fluent Sarcasm". Timon was so excited, jumping up and down and pointing. He was so funny! Glad to hear he's still got that sense of humor. I look forward to seeing him in a few weeks!


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Next up was a late lunch at Yak and Yeti. Our ADR was at 2 and we made it just in time.
On the way over, we saw Kevin!

This was our 2nd non character table service (the first was Tony’s our first day). We absolutely loved it! This was the best food we had all week. I had the Korean Beef and Nick had the Teriyaki Chicken. Both were so good. Kids got mac and cheese of course 🤦‍♀️
After lunch, it was finally time to meet Pocahontas! She was so sweet with the kids. And she wrote a little extra note in Sage’s autograph book because Sage told her she was her favorite. You’ll notice Sage took her hair down and switched to her sandals for a more authentic look.
Next, Festival of the Lion King!


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It was then time for our Everest fast passes. I’ve always said Tower of Terror was my favorite Disney ride (partly because of the amazing theming and attention to detail) and Everest has always been my 2nd fav. After this trip though, I may swap them. Maybe it’s my old age but ToT made me the tiniest bit queasy this time around.
On the way over to Asia, we stopped for a family Tree of Life picture 💚
So after Everest, the next few things on our list were the Maharajah Jungle Trek and the train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Sadly, by this time they were both closed. I didn’t realize they both closed earlier than the park (4:30 & 5pm) or we would have made them a priority. I felt bad, bad planning on my part. Sage loves tigers and she loves seeing the vet work at Rafiki’s. She never got to ride Astro Orbitors the day before and now she missed these two things as well. Even though she was whiny and grumpy a lot, and maybe didn’t even deserve my sympathy, I still had the mom guilt.
Our last FP of the day was for the Safari. We were trying to time it for right around sunset. We were curious what it would be like in the dark (but not pitch black). On our walk over to Africa, Aria fell asleep in the stroller. Nick volunteered to just take her back but I didn’t want her to be upset if she missed the Safari. So we let her nap for a bit then I woke her and asked her what she wanted to do and she said go back. So Nick took her back and I stayed with Sage.
The Safari was nice. It’s definitely different at night. Of course you can’t see nearly as many animals and but it’s interesting to see them in a more natural environment.
On our way out, we took a quick walk through Pandora, to see all the glowing lights. So pretty!
We didn’t get to see any of the nighttime awakenings on the Tree of Life but the tree was lit up really pretty when we were walking by.
We stopped for a minute to admire the tree and a man next to us asked me to take a picture of him and his wife. They had three kids who were laying all spread out on the ground around them. He handed me his phone and said please just pretend like we don’t have kids. And they snuggled up together and smiled. I was like, I feel you 😂


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Day 7- Friday 1/17 Epcot

This was our one Epcot day. Sadly, it was not nearly enough time to do everything Nick and I were hoping to (I think the kids will tell you they did everything they wanted to though). Our day began rope dropping Soarin’. I tried to take a picture right before riding
Sage has always liked Soarin’, this was Aria’s first time riding. Sage really tried to get Aria super pumped for it and was excitedly pointing out the different landmarks throughout the ride. I thought Aria might not like it but Sage’s plan worked and Aria ended up loving it.
After Soarin’ we had our breakfast ADR at Garden Grill. Way back on ADR day, I actually scheduled this as a pre park opening at 8am. But the closer we got, park hours changed on a few of our other days and it got to the point where we were going to have too many early starts. So even though I hated to lose an hour of our only Epcot day, I knew in the long run bumping it back was for the best.
The kids loved this restaurant. They loved that our table moved throughout the meal and they loved the ever changing view of the ride below. Food wise, this was not my fav only because being family style vs buffet, there obviously wasn’t as much to choose from. Everything was good though and our server was great. Three out of 4 characters were super fun. More on that in a bit.
First up was Dale, then Chip. So, a fun little side story. My parents took us to Disney once when we were kids. I was in the 7th grade. We went to a character breakfast with Goofy, Chip & Dale and Roger Rabbit (I know, awesome right?) I remember Chip and Dale messing around with each other and Chip wrote “Dale snores” in my autograph book 😂 I still have my autograph book so I decided to bring it with me. So as Dale is leaving our table, Chip is coming up behind him and the whole time, he’s fanning his nose as if to indicate that Dale stinks 😂 So we joke with him about this and then I show him my autograph book from when I was a kid and ask him if Dale still snores. He enthusiastically nods that he does and pantomimes to explain that he snores loudly. Then he fans his nose again and we say, and he stinks?!? To which he nods again so we joke that maybe it’s time they live in separate tree houses. The whole interaction was so fun! And Chip wrote in Sage’s book that Dale still snores.
Next up was Pluto and this was the one character we weren’t crazy about. He walked up, posed for a picture, signed the books and walked away. He seemed in a rush so I whispered to Nick, that was weird right? He agreed and thought maybe this Pluto was a back up filling in for someone and was mad he had to work today 🤷‍♀️
Last up, Mickey!
Sage was very curious about Living With the Land and asked to ride. I told her we had a busy day planned but maybe we could squeeze it in at the end of the night. Sadly, we never got to ride :(
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From there it was over to the Seas. We rode the Nemo ride and my kids spent quite a bit of time playing in the Bruce section and exploring the aquarium.
Then it was off to Imagination were I assumed we could walk right on to the Figment ride. But nope, 35 minute wait 🤦‍♀️
The kids ran around the little play area for a bit. We were hoping to meet Joy as well as Wreck it Ralph & Vanellope but both lines were way too long so we agreed to check back later.
It was approaching the time for our first fastpass, Mission Space. On the way over, we saw these living art statues that the kids got a kick out of. Oh, I forgot to mention this was the opening day of Festival of the Arts. Nick and I got to experience exactly 0% of the festival. Ok maybe 1%, these statues.


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Only Sage and Nick went on Mission Space. Sage loves learning about space and the planets so I thought she would enjoy it. I didn’t think Aria would though and I didn’t mind missing it. They rode the non spinning side obviously.
I bet you can guess what Aria and I did.... played in the play area! Not only did she play the whole time Sage was on the ride but the two of them played together after too. This play area was tunnels to climb through and my kids were obsessed🤦‍♀️
We also had a FP for Spaceship Earth. I can’t remember if it was before or after Mission Space and I don’t have any pictures. I know the next thing we did was head over to the World Showcase.
It was finally time for Frozen!!!
First, we had a FP for the ride. I am not much of a Frozen fan but of course my kids are. Sage has been obsessed since the beginning and the first time we brought her to Disney (she was almost 4, Aria wasn’t born yet) she was absolutely convinced she helped Elsa light the castle dream lights. That’s all she talked about for weeks and was convinced she had icy magic. We still tease her about that 😂
But anyways, they both of course love this ride
Next we went over to the meet and greet.
This was another strange character meet for us. Anna was not good at all. She was very quiet and subdued. She asked the girls if they were having a sister day and said, I love sister days with Elsa. My kids were like, we hate each other. Not really but I’m sure they were thinking it. We were expecting Anna to be bubbly and awkward like she is in the movie but she was actually pretty boring. Maybe being queen has matured her ;)
Then we go over to Elsa and she’s like oh are you guys having a sister day? I love sister days with Anna. And my kids are like 🤦‍♀️
We also spent a ridiculous amount of time in the two frozen gift shops. Both kids still had money left to spend. Sage found an Elsa dress she liked earlier in the week at DHS but they didn’t have her size. We asked about it and were told the only other place that might have it was the gift shop in Norway. They did have the dress but again, not in her size. Sage was so bummed, she had been saving the rest of her money specifically for this dress. So that was disappointing.


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So by this time it’s about 3pm and the kids decide they want to eat. Nick and I had gone through all the options for ourselves earlier and we knew we wanted to try Tangierine Cafe in Morocco. Sage wanted mac and cheese though and thankfully, the Mexican quick service had it. So we walk over and Nick gets in line to get the kids food. I start walking around with them and there are no empty tables. We head back out, looking for a bench or somewhere to sit but there’s nothing. We go back in, do a few more laps, but every table is full. Nick comes out with the food so we stand off to the side and tell the kids we’ll hold the trays and they’ll just have to eat standing. After they take a few bites, a woman a few tables a way motions to us that they are leaving. We start to walk over but a man comes running in out of no where an sits at the table. So we continue standing. Next to us, a woman is sitting at a table alone and she she tells us that her husband is in line and they don’t even have their food yet. So she gives us her table. We are of course very grateful but again, it’s frustrating that this was how busy it was. Three in the afternoon, not even peak lunch or dinner, and no where to sit and eat.
Anyways for a few minutes we did have a lovely view.
Next we go into the Mexican pavilion to ride the boat ride. For the first time ever in the history of my Disney trips, there is a long, snaking line. It weaves through the entire pavilion. It did move quickly, it was just so weird to see a line for this ride. We waited maybe 20 or 25 minutes.
After this, the plan was the walk the rest of the World Showcase and try to meet some princesses. We get to China, see Mulan, and walk to her line. A CM tells us that her line is closed but she’ll be back out in an hour. My kids have no desire to wait in China for an hour so we keep walking. We get to Germany and see Snow White. We go over to her line and CM says sorry, Snow White’s line is closed. She’ll be back in an hour. We tell my kids we’re sorry, but it looks like this just isn’t going to happen.
I literally have NO pictures from the rest of the World Showcase. Obviously being the start of the festival, it was jam packed. Not only were the walkways super crowded, but the lines from the booths were super long as well. At this point we can barely walk, our kids are crabby and we can tell it’s getting to the point where we should just leave. First though, Nick and I really want dinner.
We make our way over to Tangerine Cafe and thankfully, we find an open table. This was our first time eating here and we LOVED it!! The food is so good. The only slight hiccup was that there was a definite language barrier and our order was incorrect. We were accidentally charged three QS credits instead of two and it was a bit of a hassle to get it fixed.
So as Nick and I are eating, we check the app and see Soarin’ has a 35 minute wait. Trying to end the day on high note, we ask the kids if they want to ride before leaving. They are super excited for this so off we go.


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So our plan for a fun ending to the night didn’t happen :( We get in line for Soarin and after waiting about 20 minutes, Sage says her belly hurts and she really needs to use the bathroom. And not the bathrooms here that have automatic flush toilets, she needs to go back to the hotel. Nick agree to take her and they get out of line. Aria asks me where they are going and I say the bathroom. She says, are they coming back? And I say no, they’re going back to the hotel. She says, I want to go back too! I want to go back to the hotel! I tell her we can soon but let’s ride Soarin’ first. She gets all upset that she doesn’t want to ride and she wants to go with them. At this point, we are in a long enclosed hallway and there are no CMs around and I have no clue how to exit. We wait a few minutes, our line starts moving and we are brought into the room where you load. She’s still screaming she wants to leave (people are probably thinking I’m forcing a scared kid to ride) so I pick her and ask a CM if we can exit. She points us to the exit and tells me I can ask for a FP on the way out. Very sweet but of course, there’s no one to watch Aria. So after waiting the full 35 minutes, we leave without riding :mad:
I tell Aria we can leave soon but that I really want to meet Ralph and Vanellope. So we walk back over to Imagination.
Thankfully their line is shorter now and we wait maybe 15 minutes.


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Aria wanted to meet Joy next. Joy was so cute with her, she was motioning that she loved her dress and the two of them were spinning and making their dresses twirl.
By now it’s about 6:30 and we are both exhausted. We start the long walk back to the buses and Aria starts whining that she wants a donut (we had passed a cart earlier in the day with those giant Mickey donuts and apparently she remembered). They had reached their junk food limit though so when I said no, she was in full out toddler tantrum. So that was a fun bus ride back.
This ended up being my least favorite day of our trip. We did so much that I just had no interest in. I know that’s a given when you’re a parent. But it’s still frustrating to spend so much money and so much time planning and the day feels like a waste. If it were just Nick and I, other than Soarin’ we would have done nothing in Future World. The Seas, Imagination, Spaceship Earth, Mission Space, all the silly play areas- pass on it all. And what did we accomplish in the World Showcase? Norway. And why? Frozen.
I can’t wait to go back some day, skip all of Future World and really explore the World Showcase. Explore the shops, the food, see the shows, the live entertainment. Overall, a bit of a disappointing day for me 🤷‍♀️



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Day 8- Saturday 1/18 MK

Our final full day. MK opened at 8am. Back when I did my FPs it was 9am so right before we left, I had to readjust a little. All we had left at MK was Adventureland, Thunder Mountain and Mine Train. I gave my kids the option of sleeping in and skipping a few things (based on the previous days crabbiness) but they agreed they wanted to finish everything up and make it for rope drop.
Shockingly they woke up fine in the morning. We made it for rope drop and waited over by Adventureland. So we heard the opening show but didn’t see it this time.

Back in 2014 on our first trip with Sage, we just happen to stumble upon an empty Adventureland first thing in the morning. It was such a fun experience to be on rides all alone. We tried to recreate it in 2016 but my kids had a rough morning that day and we didn’t make it for rope drop. We were successful this time though!
First stop, the Magic Carpets. We were the only ones on the first ride of the day.


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Then on to the Jungle Cruise. We had one other family on the boat with us.
Then, Pirates. We walked through the queue without stopping and right onto a boat. We were in the last row of a full boat.
My kids are making pirate faces (alone, they couldn’t possibly take a picture together).

I’m sure they’re wishing these were real swords.

We had a few minutes til the start of the next Tiki show so we took another spin on the Magic Carpets.


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And then, Tiki Room

It was then time for our first FP- Haunted Mansion. A family favorite. Just a few minutes ago, Aria was playing and I heard her say “no windows and no doors” and then “find a way out!” 😂


The only thing we didn’t get to do in Adventureland before our FP was the Aladdin & Jasmine meet and greet. So back over we went. We got there 5 minutes before they came out and we literally got the last spot in the line. The CM closed it right after us. Phew!
Awkward side story- Aladdin and Jasmine walked over to us when it was our turn and both my girls ran to Jasmine to hug her, leaving Aladdin just standing there. I was like, “aww that’s ok, I’ll hug you Aladdin!” And gave him a big hug. Why did I do that?!? 😂😂 He was probably like, easy mom...



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It was then time for our Thunder Mountain FP. I had a feeling Aria might not like it but we convince her to try it and yeah, she hates it. I don’t think Sage liked it either but she handled it a little better.
Taking down the dream lights!
We had a little time until our Mine Train FP so we went into Gaston’s Tavern as the kids had been begging for another LeFou’s Brew since trying it a few days earlier. So we go in and sit down and Nick goes to get them each their own this time.
Nick brings them over and says for some reason, they didn’t put whip cream on them this time. The kids are all upset because the whip cream was probably their favorite part last time. Nick goes back over to the counter to ask for whip cream and the CM says sorry, these don’t come with whip cream. Nick says yes they do, we had them a few days ago. The CM insists we are mistaken and refuses to add the whip cream. So he brings them back over and is of course met with groaning and whining. Both kids took a few sips but refused to drink them all. Such a waste of two snack credits.
After Aria’s terrifying experience on Thunder Mountain, she refuses to ride Mine Train. Luckily Sage likes this ride so her and I ride first then she swaps bands with Aria and rides again with Nick.
After we all tap in, I secure a 4th FP for later on in the day- the ever so popular Small World.
Next is lunch at Chef Mickey’s (technically labeled as brunch but our ADR is at 12:45)
I really want a nice picture of the girls and I in our matching shirts but, there’s always one that refuses to cooperate.


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We then venture over to the Contemporary. I think walking will be faster, Nick thinks the monorail will be. I’m really curious as to the best route so we split up. Both kids want to ride the monorail so I walk alone. Nick beats me by about two minutes!
We check in early mainly because we weren’t sure how long it would take for us to get there. They let us check in but don’t call us til about 10 minutes past our ADR. Understandable as it is quite busy. It is most definitely worth the wait. The food is great, Nick and I both especially like the Mongolian beef. Sage gets mostly breakfast food (she could eat Mickey waffles all day, every day) and Aria gets mostly lunch (we both loved the cheese tortellini with sauce). So the breakfast/lunch combo worked great for us!
And of course the characters were wonderful. Playful, up beat, full of hugs. They took their time posing for pictures and signing the kids books. This was a favorite for us!
Donald was a lot of fun. We had a whole conversation about why they don’t make Donald waffles. I told him I would petition the company on that one.
Oh, Sage was trying to point out that Pluto’s name tag was a little frying pan! I didn’t know what she was saying til after. I wish I got a picture of it, it was so cute!
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Still more! Sorry!
The only slight bummer was that when we went up for dessert, they had a whole toppings bar set up but the soft serve machine was closed up. The kids were looking forward to make your own sundae so they were sad. Oh well, maybe next time!


Loving your trip report and especially the pictures. Ironically we were arriving as you were wrapping up. Our first day was on Friday the 17th at MK and the weather was great. Our next MK day was Tuesday the 21st. We like to froze to death. We were rope dropping MK and on the ferry boat a little after 8am. It was 38 degrees. The wind was cutting thru all the layers we were wearing. You certainly never know with January weather.


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Loving your trip report and especially the pictures. Ironically we were arriving as you were wrapping up. Our first day was on Friday the 17th at MK and the weather was great. Our next MK day was Tuesday the 21st. We like to froze to death. We were rope dropping MK and on the ferry boat a little after 8am. It was 38 degrees. The wind was cutting thru all the layers we were wearing. You certainly never know with January weather.
Thank you!
Yes, I have a friend in FL and a few days after we left, she posted on Facebook about how cold it was. I was like, of course it is, we just left! I still have the weather app on my phone and I’ve been checking here and there. It hasn’t hit 80 since we were there 🤦‍♀️


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Alright, I’m going to attempt to wrap this up 👍
So after lunch, we go back over to MK to use our Small World FP. As soon as we tap in, I go in the app to see what’s available. There’s barely anything but after refreshing a few times, the Flying Carpets pops up. The kids are excited and this is actually good for me too- there was a new specialty float at Aloha Isle that I wanted to try.
This time Nick’s name came up on the creepy screens.

I took this photo of the massive sea of people as we were approaching Liberty Square
So we make it over to Adventureland and it is complete madness. We see the FP line for the Flying Carpets and we’re trying to find the end of it. We’re walking, we’re walking, the FP line is insane. I’d say a good 30-40 minutes. My kids are like, yeah we’re all set. And the line for my precious Aloha Isle, is even longer. So at this point we decide enough is enough and we’re done for the day. As a comparison, here’s Adventureland at 8am and again at 3pm
Part of our kids dining package was a voucher for a free 5x7 photopass picture. I had the voucher with me and of course, totally forgot about it until we were almost to the Movies bus. So Nick went back with the kids and I went back into MK. I got my photo, and went back to Movies.
The next day our flight was at 3:40pm and our Magical Express pick up was at 12:15. Nick took the kids down to the playground while I packed up and then we went to the food court to use up some quick service credits and a bunch of snack credits to take home.
And that’s pretty much it!

All in all, the trip was not what we were hoping. After our 2016 failure, we really thought this time would be so much better. We deserved it right? I guess not. To summarize ~

Things we loved-

All Star Movies. We really disliked Sports so I was worried about Movies. It was great though! The refurbed rooms are a game changer. We loved all the storage, outlets/ USB ports, the door between the bathroom & bedroom, the way the suitcases fit under the bed, the coffee maker. The only downside is that the rooms do feel smaller with the two queen beds. The year Aria was a baby, we rented a full size crib and it fit fine in front of the window. We also had a double stroller that we never folded. This time, we folded our single stroller every night. We also brought a toddler sized air mattress for Aria. We were hoping to leave it set up next to the dresser but it didn’t fit. It only fit right in front of the door. So every day we had to pick it up and fold all the blankets then remake it every night.

Character Meals. All our character meals saved this trip for us. Getting to sit and relax in the AC for an hour each day, having the characters come to us without waiting in a massive line, knowing that my picky kids could always find something to eat, all this was amazing. A lot of times, our kids would be in a mood but these meals were like hitting the reset button.
I’m so glad we splurged for these. Especially since this is likely the last trip the kids will love the characters this much.

Things we didn’t love ~

The heat.
The crowds.
The lines for everything.
Our whiny children.

If Nick and I could go back in time, we agreed the best strategy for us would have been to arrive each day at rope drop, do as much as we could before it got crazy, have a nice character breakfast, do our three fastpasses, then get the heck out. Go back to the hotel and swim, play on the playground, explore the resort. Yes we would have accomplished much less and likely would have missed things but maybe our kids would have been happier.
We also agreed that this Disney is all a little much right now. It’s too much planning, too busy, too overstimulating. It was just too much for our kids. I planned more for this trip than ever before. It was exhausting to come up with what I thought was the perfect schedule, the perfect FPs, the perfect ADRs. So to have a less than perfect time was disappointing. There was one day that Sage said to me, mom why do we need a plan? Can’t we just go and decide what we want to do when we get there? If only it were that easy 😔
I have no idea when our next Disney trip is but I told Nick our next trip is kid free. I need to do more than just gift shops, kiddie rides and play areas.

Thank you all for reading and I hope I didn’t spoil your magical day!
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