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Trip Report Andy's Coming! A short but epic trip report

Hi all!
This is my first time writing a trip report but I just got back from the most fun trip ever (and there have been a lot of trips!) so I wanted to share. I'm not sure I'm doing this right but hopefully you'll have fun following along!

We are a do-it-all group, and this was our first time using Genie+, so we really did it ALL.

When: September 23-27
Where: Pop Century
Who: Me, my 9 year old and 12 year old daughters, my 74 year old mom (a trooper!) and our friends.

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Here we go!
 

BraveGirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We left from NY (LGA) on a SUPER early Delta flight. I hate waking up that early to go to the airport but it's worth it for a full day in Disney. We were only bringing carry-on luggage so some of our costume accessories for MNSSHP needed to be worn instead of packed ;)

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Forky went on quite the adventure.

We took an uber from MCO to Pop. It was super easy and much quicker than the Magical Express but I still miss the special excitement you get sitting on that Magical Express bus!

We did online check-in and arrived around 11am but when we got to Pop, they had someone standing out front looking up names of arriving guests. She told us to go to the front desk and ask if any rooms were available early, which we did. Thankfully we did that - my mom has had knee surgery so we requested a room close to transportation, but they had given us a room in the back corner of the 80s section. The cast member at the desk changed it to a room that was in the 60s, which was so much better.

The room wasn't ready yet so we changed into our bathing suits in the changing rooms and went straight to the Hippy Dippy pool!

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There were lots of poolside games happening, and we had fun playing along with name that Disney tune, hula hoops, and Mickey-Donald (Marco Polo)

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We got some lunch in the food court, I bought my 50th anniversary coffee mugs (yay!) and then our room was ready (very early!). A little more pool time and then it was time to change and head into Disney Springs. By that time, our friends had also arrived and we went together.

We took the bus to DS, and headed right over to Raglan Road to see about dinner.

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We didn't have a reservation so we chose to sit outside because there was no wait for a table. No Irish dancing outside but they had live music! A great duo who played and sang for almost the whole time we were there.

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After dinner we strolled and shopped, got some cupcakes from the cupcake ATM and had the Dole Whip Flight from Swirls on the water. So good!
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We walked off some of that food with the long trek back to the buses where we took the bus over to Boardwalk to meet some other friends. I'm out of space for pics in this post, but we met them on the outdoor patio to the Belle Vue Lounge. Even at night, the heat was oppressive, so we didn't stay long. Plus we had a busy day the next day! We said our goodbyes and took the Skyliner (my favorite mode of transportation by FAR) back to Pop to end our first day.

Stay tuned for Day 2...an epic 13 hour day at Hollywood studios!
 

BraveGirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 2!

At 7am I logged on to my app. I booked LL for Millennium Falcon, and ILL for Rise of the Resistance. We got there for rope drop at 8:00 and ran straight to Toy Story Land.
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Our plan was to rope drop Slinky Dog, but it had a delayed opening, so we did TSMM, which is one of my favorites. We were almost first in line so we got right on. By the time we finished that, it was only 8:15 so we ran over the Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railroad and walked right on that as well. By then, the park had just opened to regular guests and ToT was showing a 30 minute wait. My youngest decided she was going to try it so the two of us ran over there. The wait was more like 20 minutes. My daughter had a love/hate relationship with this ride - she was terrified but also proud of herself for doing it!

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We ran back over to where my mom and older daughter were, and by then it was time to use our LL for Millennium Falcon. We had our own car so two of us were pilots and two of us were gunners. Loved it!

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After this, we were walking through Toy Story Land and saw that Swirling Saucers had a 30 minute wait, but a LL return time in 10 minutes. So we used our next LL to book that and ate some toaster pastries while we waited.

After we used those LL's we booked one for Slinky Dog later in the evening. We had dinner reservations at Prime Time so we needed to get a LL time that wouldn't interfere.

RotR had been down all morning, so we were anxiously keeping an eye on that hoping it would open before our ILL. Thankfully it did! But we still had time to kill, so we saw Muppetvision while we waited.

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Then it was time to head over to RotR. HOLY COW! This was all of our favorite ride of all the parks, hands down. It wasn't just a ride, it was a whole experience. When we went, the standby line was 3 hours long, so I will say it was 100% worth the extra $ we paid to get the LL. Amazing, amazing ride.
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At this point, I made LL reservations for my little one and I to go on Rockin' Roller Coaster. While we waited, we saw the Frozen Singalong. Still funny, but I really don't need to see it again! (I have little girls, we've seen it a LOT)

Then we ran over to RR and my daredevil daughter LOVED it. Aside from RotR, it was her favorite ride of the trip.
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Needing to kill more time (and get into some air conditioning!), we watched the Lightening McQueen show. We aren't Cars fans but I can see how kids who are would love that.

We made another LL reservation for Mickey and Minnie (since we had rope dropped that, we were able to ride again with a LL). In between, we went to see the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. Another show I never need to see again - it hasn't changed a bit since it first opened, with the exception of eliminating audience participants due to COVID (I was picked to be a villager in 1998!). Then we saw that Millennium Falcon had a 50 minute wait, so we decided to ride that again. Turns out it was only 20 minutes so it was well worth the wait! We got to switch roles this time so we all had a chance to be a gunner and a pilot.

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While we were waiting for our MMRR LL, we passed by the Mickey Character greeting. It said 30 minute wait, so we decided to do it. That was our only disappointment for the day. 30 minutes became 40, became 50, and we were still about 20 families back and not moving. We hadn't moved at all for about 30 minutes. We figured Mickey was on a break so we asked the Cast Members when he was coming back and were told "He's having some cheesecake now, he'll be back later." Um......not in the mood for jokes, thank you, we've been waiting for almost an hour! Our LL was ready so we decided to get off the line, and when we left we saw that they had changed the posted wait time to 65 minutes. Ugh!

We rode Mickey and Minnie again and then it was time for our dinner reservations at Prime Time. This restaurant is so dependent on who your server is, and thankfully ours did not disappoint. After I ratted out my mom for trying to hide her green beans, he did a green bean "airplane" to make her eat. We were laughing so hard, as were the tables around us. My kids got in trouble for putting their elbows on the table so many times. It was their first time at this restaurant and they loved it, even though they ended up eating with their elbows up in the air so they wouldn't get in trouble again! During dinner I was able to grab a LL for Midway Mania, so we could ride it one more time before the day was done.

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Finally, it was time to head back to Toy Story land. We went on Slinky Dog Dash, and then closed out the night with Midway Mania. By then, we had been at the park for 13 hours and it was time to call it a night. We made our way back to the skyliners and dragged ourselves back to the rooms and to bed. It was a great day!
 

BraveGirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 3! Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Day!

We split up with our friends this morning - they did a half day at Hollywood Studios (they went to Universal the day before), and then met up with us later for the party. We did a relaxing pool morning, slept in late and napped so that my kids would be able to stay up till midnight. This was our first trip where we didn't have a stroller so it was important that my 9 year old not fall asleep!

Then it was time to change into our costumes! We were on the bus for MK by 3 so there was plenty of room.

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We were the first ones in line, literally right behind the rope. It was hot standing in the sun but worth it to avoid the crowds and rush if we got there at 4. They ended up letting us in at 3:50.

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And then we were off! We were told by our travel agent that we would not be able to purchase Genie+ that day since we were only going to the party. Maybe she didn't realize that we would be getting there so early, but when we were waiting to be let in I noticed I had the option to buy it, and my friends already had it since they were using it that morning. So I quickly purchased it and booked a ride. I was frustrated that I didn't know about this because I could have started stacking rides that morning, but we made the best of it in the 2 hours we were allowed to use it before regular park hours ended!

Our first stop was the purple wall for some pictures. I love the backdrop of this wall!
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Then we headed over to Tomorrowland where we rode the Carousel of Progress. It's our favorite AND we needed the air conditioning!

Our first LL was for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, so after CoP we jumped on that. Once we scanned in, I booked our second LL for Space Mountain. The return times were right away so we jumped on that after Buzz, and then headed back over to the castle for more hilarious pictures.

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Then we made our way over to Fantasyland for our last LL, which was for It's a Small World. By then, regular park hours were over and non-party guests were on their way out, so the lines shortened dramatically. We jumped on Peter Pan with a 20 minute wait, and then walked over to Frontierland for some corncakes and bagged tacos (this is a cake!)

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By then the Halloween overlays had started so we got on line for the Haunted Mansion and saw the ghosts in the graveyard.

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After that we just started making our way around the hub, basically walking right on all the rides - Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates, Jungle Cruise. We ended up right by the parade start a few minutes before it started so we stayed to watch that (we were literally at the beginning where they come out - between Adventureland and Frontierland).
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Then we split up with our friends for a bit, because they wanted to see the shows, and we wanted to do a few more rides. We decided to meet up at Seven Dwarves Mine Train after the fireworks.

So we headed back over to Fantasyland and rode The Voyage of the Little Mermaid, got more pumpkin coffee to keep us going a bit more, and rode Winnie the Pooh (all walk ons). We checked out the Halloween overlay of Monsters Laugh Floor (it's just ongoing comedy with a trick or treat station, you can stay as long or as little as you want) and rested our feet for a bit. Of course during all this we did lots of trick or treating as well! So much candy!

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Finally it was time to meet our friends for Seven Dwarves. The wait was very short (maybe 10 minutes?). Once we finished that, we had done everything we wanted to do and decided to leave a little before midnight to beat the bus crowds! Unfortunately, we got stuck in the 11:30 parade and it was a bit chaotic getting out of the park, but we were rewarded by a bus waiting for us!

Now, the reason for the name of this thread - throughout the night, any time someone complimented our costumes, our Woody would shout "Andy's Coming" and we would all freeze and/or drop to the floor. We would stay frozen until our Bo Peep shouted "Coast is Clear." Wherever we were - on a line, walking through the park, wherever. Like this:



Side note - we realized in the chaos of leaving that we forgot to pick up our Halloween Party Prints. On our day of checkout we mentioned this to the front desk at Pop and they sent someone over to MK immediately to get them and bring them back to us before we left that day. This was the day before the hurricane hit and we were leaving in an hour yet they still sent someone over to get them. He got back as our uber was arriving to leave and literally RAN them to us in the lobby. (if he didn't make it back in time they were going to ship them). Just another example of incredible Disney Cast Member magic!

By the time we got home and in bed it was close to 1am, and we had an early start the next day for our full day at Epcot! Next post coming soon...
 

BraveGirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 4! Epcot day!

Our last full day in the parks 😭

After just a few short hours of sleep, we were up and at the skyliners at 7am. We logged onto our app and bought ILL for Guardians of the Galaxy, and reserved a LL for Frozen. Since we took the skyliner, we rope dropped at World Showcase and ran right over to Ratatouille. What a fun ride! And even better because we walked right on.

We then made our way over to Future World (I know it has a new names now, I don't remember what they are, and it will always be future world to me). We walked on to Soarin' and then Living with the Land. (which ended up with a 45 minute wait later in the day, so it was a busy day at Epcot!). Headed over to Journey into Imagination next, which is always fun with the kids, even though mine are getting bigger! And Figment is my favorite.

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Then it was time to use our ILL's for GoTG. OMGGGGGG. This ride was crazy! But so much fun! My older daughter and my mom skipped it, because they were worried it would be too intense for them. But after the rest of us rode it we decided they needed to try and we set our alarms to jump on to the app at 1:00 and try to reserve a spot in the virtual queue to go again.

After this we did Spaceship Earth and then headed over to Frozen to use our LL. After Frozen we did the Gran Fiesta Tour, which actually had a 20 minute wait and I don't think in all my years I have ever waited more than 5 minutes for that ride. I love Epcot, and I love food and wine, but I really don't love what the Food and Wine festival does to this park. But that's a subject for another post.

At this point our friends wanted to eat and drink around the world, and my girls and mom and I decided to go wait on the line for Test Track. We had a LL for later that evening but rain the was in the forecast (this was two days before Hurricane Ian), and we've been burned by waiting for Test Track only to have it shut down for weather before! It was showing a 60 minute wait, and we had already done all of our must-do's, so we decided to get it done while the weather was still good.

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Well, I swear that ride must be held together with duct tape. It breaks down all. the. time. Any time I wait on line for any significant amount of time for it, there is at least one delay due to it malfunctioning, IF it even starts working again. Our 60 minute wait turned into an hour and 50 minutes. We all made a vow that we will never do Standby for that ride again. It's fun, but it's not worth 2 hours standing in line. However, at least it was air conditioned.

While we were on the forever-line, I was able to get us on the virtual queue for GoTG, and got a LL for Soarin'. It's one of our favorites so we were happy to be able to do it twice. We headed over there after TT.

We had planned to skip the Seas this time and start our Remy scavenger hunt around the world, but when we left The Land it was SO HOT we just needed to get back into air conditioning. So we walked in through the store of the Seas pavilion (Nemo had a 20 min wait) and walked right into Turtle Talk with Crush. Always a cute show and a good respite from the heat.
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We watched the dolphins and the sharks for a bit, and then our friends met up with us again. At that point, we headed back over to world showcase and did our Remy scavenger hunt. My kids used to be big fans of the KidCot fun stops, so they were happy to have an activity to do while we walked around. Some of the Remy's were very obvious, but some were really hard to find and required going deep into the pavilions. We cashed in our completed scavenger hunts for our souvenir cups, one with Tiana and one with Figment.

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(the hardest Remy to find, can you spot him?)

We finished our trip around the world just in time for our boarding group to be called for GoTG. This time, my mom and daughter joined us. Waiting on the line was a fun experience (hearing Chris Pratt say he wanted to come to Ecpot to go on Horizons, see dinos, and the "veggie veggie fruit fruit" song......AMAZINGGG). My mom and daughter ended up loving the ride so I was really glad we got to do it twice and they were able to experience it.

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By then it was time for dinner so we headed back over to World Showcase.

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We had made last minute reservations at Le Creperie de Paris (and they were able to accommodate a last minute time change due to our GoTG virtual queue return time). None of us were really big fans of the savory buckwheat crepes, but the dessert crepes were SO GOOD.
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For some reason, our food took way longer than the entire rest of the restaurant (we just got the prix fixe crepes, I don't know why it took so long!). But it worked out because we finished just in time for Harmonious to start, and we were right where we wanted to be to watch it (close to the skyliners for a quick getaway).

I'm not a fireworks person but the show was beautiful so I'm glad we saw it. We hobbled over to the skyliners on our tired legs and sore feet and finished another successful 13 hour park day!
 

BraveGirl

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 5! Our last day! 😭

We split up with our friends this morning - they rope dropped Animal Kingdom and with a combination of rope drop, LL's, and energy, were able to go on all rides, watch all shows, AND have a sit down lunch before meeting us back at the hotel at 3.

We spent this morning finally getting to do our Ohana breakfast, which we were supposed to do on our canceled April 2020 trip. Lucky for us, the last day of our trip just happened to be the first day the characters came back! My girls are HUGE Stitch fans, so this was extra exciting!
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Breakfast was DELICIOUS and I just love the Hawaiian vibe at Poly.

I will say it is the most depressing thing ever to have to go to MK and take the monorail, literally go through MK security and past all the people going into the park, when you aren't actually going to the park and are going home instead. Literally made my older daughter cry. But we put on happy faces for a picture.

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A quick trip back to Pop to check out and store our luggage, and a very sad Forky, and then we headed back to Disney Springs for a final shopping trip.

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Pumpkin Cider Float at Swirls on the Water

We headed back to the hotel with a little more than an hour before we had to leave for the airport, so we did the Classic Hall scavenger hunt and got some prizes, and then played games in the arcade until it was time to go.

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And that was it! We met up with our friends and headed over to MCO, which felt a little like trying to escape the apocalypse. It was Tuesday night before the hurricane and they had announced the airports would be closing Wednesday morning. We got so lucky that our flight was on time and that we didn't need to change our plans. Just as we took off, it started to rain.

My daughters said this was their favorite trip yet. It was the first time I didn't make it to all 4 parks on a trip, but I liked having the extra time at HS (on short trips we usually hop between AK and HS for a day). We are now planning a 7 day trip for the summer so we'll have a lot more time then to get even more done!

Thanks for following along!
 

JamieLee18

Active Member
Glad the hurricane didn't wreck your plans!

Funny thing - I was in HS the same day as you with the same intent to rope drop SD, and did the same alternate rides as you! Soooo....if you felt like you were being followed... it was me :p
 

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