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Trip Report Brifraz's Vaguely Live Rated R Trip Report

OK, so that thread title is a bit misleading.

Why rated R? Well, this is my 17th trip report which means that my trip reports can now get into R movies without a parent (and get drafted as well). It's a little scary how fast they grow up, isn't it? I'm a little worried that 4 trip reports from now, I'll just post a single picture of the Rose and Crown and be done with it since at 21, I expect that is all my trip report will be doing.

Why vaguely live? I make a rather meager attempt to post updates to the TR from my phone throughout each day. Due to my limited ability to utilize modern technology, rather outdated iPhone (5, in case you were wondering), and failure to remember to post at times the live aspect becomes vague at best and often totally obscured.

If somehow you've missed out on the fun of a Brifraz trip report in the past, let me welcome you to our family. We are a family of three whose lives are pretty much totally dictated by the world of public education. I'm a high school music teacher, my wife (@MeffysMom) is an English and drama teacher, and our daughter is a high school sophomore. We are at three different high schools and all highly involved in after school activities (marching band, jazz band, pit orchestra, plays, musicals, academic team, cross country...the list goes on from there) so vacations during the school year are certainly a premium. However, we have made time thrice in the last four years to do the Half Marathon weekend - it's tough, but we make it happen (if you've followed our trip reports before, you know the vast majority of our trips are heat and crowds of summer or cool and crowds of Christmas). Here's me (the one on the left).

Three years ago, my wife ran her first half marathon at Disney and then last year both girls ran the half marathon and it was our daughter's first. While I'd love to be running with them, I did quite a bit of running in my youth and have the knees to show for it - a 5K is pretty much my max. In fact, that year that my wife did her first marathon, I did the 5K with our daughter. In fact, that's me on the left again...I did hear from quite a few folks that I was the prettiest Anna that morning.

And here are the two girls in the midst of the half marathon last year, posing with their twins.

Yes, @MeffysMom does enjoy sewing some unique costumes. In the coming days, you can look forward to seeing Minnie Mouse, Megara from Hercules, and a couple of Mary Poppins (classic and modern).

What else can you expect in the coming days? Well, pretty commando touring. We've actually slowed down in the past few years, but you can still expect to see us hitting all the headliners in each park (generally before noon each day) and catching most of the night shows as well. On race days, we make sure to have the afternoon nap, but other than those few hours, we tend to be on the go pretty much all the time. I'll try to update on actual wait times (not what the app lists, but how long we actually wait) and of course, will post lots of food pictures. And, once the girls get done the big race a whole mess of character pictures.

We also are planners. Extensive planners. We have two major plans fully typed and printed out for this trip as well as quite a few plan B's in place for each day. In addition to planning our 25 trips together, @MeffysMom and I have planned trips for a number of other families. Which makes the beginning of this trip a real interesting prospect. The plan is already thrown out of wack.

This coming Wednesday, 2/20, I have a concert to conduct at 7pm. The plan was, to leave home in Maryland right after the concert and drive all night so we could arrive in the World right around lunchtime. Well, the forecast for Wednesday now has us getting 5+ inches of snow plus a quarter inch of ice. Not ideal driving conditions. But also, not ideal school conditions. So, we will be anxiously awaiting that 5am update from the school district on Wednesday morning.

Not that we want to be driving the first 4 hours south in heavy snow, but unless someone has the foresight to make a decision about school closing on Tuesday night, that is likely what will be happening. We don't want to get stuck home when it gets bad because our road almost NEVER gets plowed during storms and there are a couple more generally poor country roads before we get to something that even MIGHT get plowed. Right now, the snow is supposed to hit us right around 7am which means we could be somewhat in the clear until we get a little ways down the road. Granted, right now I'm looking at 4 different forecasts that have vastly different prospects for the area between our home and south of Richmond (where everyone seems to agree it will be pretty much a rain event).

So, with 2 plans, 4 costumes, and 3 hearts full of excitement (not to mention a pair of snow boots and a small shovel in case we get stuck somewhere) we will be heading out soon. See you then.


Premium Member
Original Poster
And now some pictures from this morning's race. As you can see, the girls had a lot of fun on the course.

Luckily the sun stayed behind clouds right until their finish, but it was still into the 80s at that point.

While they ran, I scooted from location to location to cheer. They finished right at 9:30am and we then headed into Epcot for a little visit.


Premium Member
Original Poster
So we got into Epcot a little after 10am and started with a ride on Spaceship Earth. Our daughter did Spanish audio as a sub for the class she's missing these three school days! Next we went back to World Showcae for a very important character meet.

Our daughter grabbed some lunch in France and we walked around the Showcase having fun with the Festival of the Arts photo spots.


Our plan had been to do Mission Space and Test Track before grabbing some bites at the Festival booths, but the sun and heat were hitting our exhausted daughter pretty hard so we came back to the room for rest and leftovers! (Plus getting some packing done).

We will be back at Epcot in a couple hours and I'll try to get another post done tonight or tomorrow before we head back north!


Premium Member
Original Poster
It's late (10:45), we are tired, but... I'm still here to help those who need their fix.

Tonight was tough. Based on upcoming changes and rumors, tonight was likely a lot of lasts. Last time on this version of Spaceship Earth, likely our last visit to Club Cool, and almost definitely our last Illuminations.

We got back to Epcot about 6pm and went to Odyssey to try the savory doughnuts (delicious) and maybe do the animation class (line way too long, bailed out). then we stopped at the Pop Art and Mexican Festival booths for sopa de chilirios and chicken roulade.

Next was our (possibly last) ride on Spaceship Earth. No tears were shed, but we will miss the Phoenecians.

We got some unique photo pass pictures and then stopped off for our (likely last) visit to Club Cool. Our daughter and I enjoyed the good ones, while this strange person had her 'Beverly'.

We then headed to the Frozen dessert party for more good food and then Illuminations. Good food (especially the cheese fondue) and incredible seats.

As always, loved the show. And quite a few tears were shed. Still my favorite show ever on property. Afterwards we got to ride Frozen after hours and waited to get the last seats on the last boat. On the way out, we stopped for one last mocking of famous art. I think @MeffysMom makes a pretty good Freda Kahlo.

And then back to our room. 6am wake up tomorrow will seem late. We plan on a quick hit of Animal Kingdom and maybe Epcot also before hitting the road at 10am. Because I'm afraid we all need to be in school Tuesday!


Premium Member
Original Poster
So, the last day was just a short one as we had to hit the road around 10am to get home with at least a few minutes to get sleep. We were all up by 6am (no surprise since we had done 2 mornings at 2:30am prior to that) and got the car all packed before heading to Animal Kingdom for 8am EMH. We got there about 7:20am and the entry area behind the ticket sales booths was already totally full of people. Obviously, the crowd for Pandora has not diminished much at all!

At 7:30am, they started letting everyone in and the masses moved right to Pandora. We were just about the first folks on the bridge area toward Lion King at 7:40am and ended up on the right right around 8:15am. The 'official' wait time by the time we left the ride area was 135 minutes. Yup, just 15 minutes into EMH and over a two hour line. That's a bit nuts - quite glad we got there early. Well, we didn't stick around Animal Kingdom to watch those lines get longer! By 8:30am we were driving over to Epcot for a quick visit.

We were through the gate just a few minutes after 9am and headed back to check Test Track waits and it was already up around 45 minutes and seemed to be having issues running consistently (actually ended up going down for a longer stint about 9:30am). So, the girls decided to do Mission:Space on the orange side while I watched the Jammitors (I enjoy just about any live music/streetmosphere, but they are one of my favorites). Then we headed to Soarin' for the FP+ I had booked the night before (yes, I got 3 FP+ for 9am less than 24 hours out). After enjoying our last ride of the visit, we hit the road at 10:30am.

And, 14 hours late we found ourselves unloading the car at home. Definitely our fastest drive in many years (and, by far the fastest since we were a trio!). When you figure in gas and food breaks, we actually averaged a bit over 70mph which is pretty exceptional considering there were some construction delays and the drawbridge in DC was up for about 15 minutes.

I'm going to try to get some time for wrap-up thoughts in the next couple days, but all in all, another very enjoyable trip to the world and a great 5+ day escape from our regular lives.


Well-Known Member
I loved your trip report and all of the running costumes!! 🏃‍♀️ Your girls are very creative.

It must have felt so surreal to be in AK and EPCOT on the same day you had to drive home ... I would have been so sad! And by the way -- where is the Animator's Class in EPCOT? I wish I would have known about that back in August. My family has missed doing that at HS, and so we have been getting our animator's "fix" on DCL every two years. I had no idea that they started it up again in EPCOT.

Glad to hear that you all made it back safely! :)


Premium Member
Original Poster
And by the way -- where is the Animator's Class in EPCOT? I wish I would have known about that back in August. My family has missed doing that at HS, and so we have been getting our animator's "fix" on DCL every two years. I had no idea that they started it up again in EPCOT.

Sorry to say that it was just as a part of the Festival of the Arts. They had it set up in Odyssey and the line when we got there was enough to fill the next class (still over 30 minutes away) and at least halfway fill the class an hour and 30 minutes away. We had too many other things we wanted to do before our Frozen dessert party, so we just weren't willing to wait for it. Our family loved it in Studios and did it many times - and we still have all our drawings to prove it!


Premium Member
Original Poster
First, first round of wrap-up thoughts:

What did we miss? The way we 'justify' returning to WDW at least once a year is that we 'miss' things on our trips. Not really intentionally, but there are things that we like to do that don't get to happen on each trip, so we can then argue that we need to come back to make sure we do those things. So, what were they on this trip?

-Rose and Crown. It's a very rare trip that we don't have at least 2 or 3 visits to the Rose and Crown pub in Epcot. But, on this trip we didn't even get there once. It just never quite fit into our plans and we definitely missed it. No trip is truly complete without a visit to Carl's corner!

-Character Interactions. Even though our daughter is a teenager now, we still tend to have a character meal and a meet and greet or two on every trip. Granted, the girls met quite a few characters during the races, but we didn't have any in regular park time. Pretty much every trip has at least a meal at Akershus or 1900 Park Fare, but not this one.

-Boat to Disney Springs. It's definitely one of the things that gives me that truly 'on vacation' vibe. The boat ride isn't all that long, but going from OKW to Disney Springs on the boat is just a great relaxing thing that needs to happen next trip, for sure!

More thoughts (and hopefully pictures if I can get them off the phones) coming soon!

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