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Trip Report (Complete) Till the Spire, a Trip Report five years in the making (January 2020)

Bright Suns or (Rising Moons) depending on when you are reading this.

This trip report is unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. As you may realize this is a trip report written for your reading pleasure. This, however, isn't just any trip report due to the detailed nature of this trip (and to be honest the fun of it) I will be formatting this report much like a novel. With chapters and a table of contents...this way we can keep a discussion going in addition to keeping this thread formatted! Just click the link to the chapter you desire to read...the table of contents will be linked at the end of each chapter.

TABLE OF CONTENTS (to be updated when a new chapter releases):

Prologue......Post #1 (you are here)

Chapter 0 The Background......Post #1 (you are here)

Chapter 1 Sleepless in Newark.....Post #7 (https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9075345)

Chapter 2 Soarin' Over Batuu......Post #10 (https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9075727)

Chapter 3 Light-Speed through the Studios......Post #11 https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9077441

Chapter 4 Rising with the Resistance......Post #12 https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9082769

Chapter 5 Frantic Fantasy......Post #13 https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9085510

Chapter 6 Happily Ever Meet & Greet......Post #14 https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9088977

Chapter 7 Adventures thru Cyber-Space......Post #15 https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9095323

Chapter 8 JUMBO and Sivako......Post #16 https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9134381

Chapter 9 An Artists Life For Me......Post #17 https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9165723

Chapter 10 The fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy......Post #18 https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9389539

Chapter 11 The Studios at Twilight......Post #19


Chapter 12 Adventure is Out There......Post #20

Chapter 13 Princess Shuffle......Post #21

Chapter 14 Nemo’s Last Day......Post #26

Chapter 15 Fireworks over the Kingdom……Post #27

Chapter 16 A Hollywood Finale……Post #28

Chapter 17 Photo Finish……Post #29

Epilogue……Post #30


So this is my first time writing a trip report...and as such I am learning on the fly on how to format these for your reading pleasure. Please excuse the long read (lots of background to cover here).

As this is my first time writing a report, I didn’t really know pre-trip reports were a thing so...I didn’t prepare one but as you will see their is plenty to say regarding how this trip came to be (more on that in the background).

I’ve also been going back and forth in my head if it is even worth it for me to publish a trip report...but I figured why not? I’m interested to see if anyone is interested to even read my trip report. So the response on this will determine if I decide to make any more trip reports.

With that out of the way...let’s get to the background.

Chapter 0 The Background:

WHO: Myself (25 + year Disney traveler) and two college friends who have never been to Disney
WHAT: Friends first trip to Disney World (as well as the Rise trip)
WHEN: January 16-23 2020

The idea for this trip started...a long time ago like 2015. I was watching D23 2015, and as a lifelong Star Wars fan as well as a huge Disney Parks fan...it was incredible to see a fully dedicated Star Wars Land that wasn’t just set on a new planet but was canon to the universe. I knew I had to plan a dedicated trip down once the land was completed and not just any trip I wanted to go BIG. A little background on me I’m Surferboy567 I’ve been going to Disney since I’ve been 6 months old. Ever since I’ve been a lifelong fan of Disney. Easily taking 20+ trips down to Disney from then to now. The thing was, they were always with my family and I’ve never ventured from a family vacation. Then, college came. It was my first semester of college and I was getting acclimated to a new school. Of course, as one tends to do you make new friends, and as a huge fan of Disney my whole life I tend to bring it up in conversation. I befriended two new college friends (who I will call by their Disney character names as they were on the trip) Nemo & Yoda. As we started to get to know each other we basically immediately became instant friends. And then...it happened they told me they had never gone to Disney before. I was shocked, and immediately thinking about the 2015 announcement of Galaxy’s Edge...I knew this was it the opportunity to plan a grand Disney trip for just myself and friends. Since Disney has been such a big part of my life and going as many times as I did I knew it would be fun to take a first-timer and to see how they reacted to everything. I jumped at the occasion and asked my friends if they wanted to go down to Disney, and what started out as a simple idea eventually became one grand Disney trip...which I am here to recap.

Of course, one thing lead to another and years pass, I’m still in college and regularly hang out with Nemo & Yoda. At this point I’ve been saving for this Disney trip...that seems to never get off the ground. During this time I still take many Disney vacations with my family as we normally do it about once a year sometimes more. I’ll use HWS as an example to show the passage of time. First trip, GMR still stands, Second trip TSL is being built, Third trip TSL is completed...one constant thing remains, those black spires in the distance. For years, I was dreaming what Galaxy’s Edge may be like when it finally comes to HWS. Of course, I’m excited for almost every new addition Disney adds but I knew that Galaxy’s Edge would have to be the one to anchor a trip like this. Every-time I see those construction walls down grand avenue and at the time muppets courtyard I think of the supposed Disney trip I’m planning. It became the unofficial symbol of the trip. Then finally in the summer of 2017...things change and get moving.

Sometime in 2017 (I forget when) I remember Disney announced Galaxy’s Edge was slated to open sometime in 2019. I finally had a timeframe to start scouting potential dates. We settled on possibly doing it in August 2019. Then of course, in 2019 Nemo & Yoda graduate college and their schedules become a lot busier making trip planning difficult. Then we FINALLY came to a date that we could all agree on January 16th-23th 2020! This aligned with my desire to want to schedule the trip when the major E-Ticket ride was open (only simply named Battle Escape for the longest time). We even thought that possibly the Runaway Railway would be open for our trip as a bonus we also saw that the festival of arts (a favorite of mine) was also running during our dates. Being the Disney veteran I am, and a bit of an avid planner I started to plan out the trip in Excel. Assembling a budget sheet, park breakdowns by day, Fastpass booking planning, the works. Then 120 days out from the trip...the reservations start to become booked and this trip becomes tangible as I finally have reservations down. I booked a Savi’s, Droid Depot, Oga’s Cantina and a Sci-Fi Dine-In (a family favorite) reservation. We decide for the first time we will purchase memory maker (more on this later) as it’s their first trip and is bound to be a special one. Then 60 days out and Fastpass booking commences and the hotel has been decided on The Swan and Dolphin this hotel is the place I ALWAYS stay at when we go to Disney in our 20+ times so it was a no brainer. With that all sorted out, I get lucky and manage to snag several prime fast passes including the likes of FOP, Slinky, and Seven Dwarfs. Everything is coming together and I’m determined to make this the ultimate Disney vacation for my friends who have never been. Finally, my journey from an idea in 2015 before college to eventual trip right before my LAST semester of college in 2020 is about to transform into the trip I’ve been waiting so long for.

THEN...the night of January 15th begins...

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Chapter 1: Sleepless in Newark

After years and years of waiting, the time has finally come, the vacation has been planned to a tee and it is time to execute the vision. It was decided that the night of the 15th Yoda & Nemo would spend the night and we would all go together to the airport the following morning to catch our 7:30 flight.

That night...we spent most of the evening watching Imagineering Story (of course I’ve seen it many a time before) but Yoda & Nemo only seen parts (come to think of it they still haven’t finished it).

One important thing did happen however that is the reason that I can make this trip report. We all made an agreement to stop at almost EVERY photo pass opportunity we could. Since we had memory maker which might I add was my first time buying the service in my years of going to Disney we wanted to make the most of it. I also figured like said before this was their first trip and we wanted as many pictures as humanly possible. The reason I’m able to recall the trip so well is that between pictures I took and the memory maker package we have around 907 pictures of the trip. These pictures are all time-stamped so I know where we were and when they were taken. Another thing when you go on a trip on your own terms you tend to tour the parks slightly differently and in this case that means doing things I don’t normally do like meeting characters, doing less sought after attractions, etc.

With the ground rules set it was time for us to fall asleep and head to the airport for our flight.

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While I have you here reading this, a few housekeeping items I wanted to mention that aren’t necessarily part of the trip report but is important nonetheless.

1.) A quick aside: this trip was actually not the first time I’ve ever been to Batuu. In August, I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time and was able to go to Disneyland for two days on an LA trip. This while, not a “big” trip it did let me experience Falcon in Disneyland before this trip. I also built a lightsaber at Savi’s (something that will come up later), as well as bought Spira. This will become important later. On the Disneyland trip, Rise wasn’t operational.

2.) I’m going to format this trip report much like a book with chapters. I’ll update the first posting with this formatting as well as add a table of contents. I aim to make this the most detailed and comprehensive trip report I can!

...oh and last but certainly not least I wanted to thank everyone who took the time to read my first report as well as tell me how excited they are to see the next chapter! I hope this makes you all excited for your own trips as well as adds some magic to your day. I’m going to try and stagger the chapters just a little so I post a chapter get a response and rinse and repeat. This way if it becomes a constant dialogue I can chat and keep the formatting of the thread intact.

With all that housekeeping, background, and rambling aside I think it’s time to start the trip report proper!

Where will we go on our first day? (should be kinda obvious but I’m trying to build intrigue). What kind of rides and experiences will we do? Find out in the next chapter...

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Chapter 2: Soarin' over Batuu

The morning has come...it is finally the 16th and the whole gang is ready. We all head into the car and arrive at the airport about 45-50 mins before the flight. We then all start to board the plane...


2 hours (ish) later and we finally land at Orlando International Airport. While on the plane I checked MDE, originally I had us going to HWS the entire day. When I checked MDE though...I saw the wait times and they were crazy...I also noticed that we didn't have a Fastpass for another hour or two so we decided to head over to Epcot since the wait times were super manageable. Then after, we would go to the studios when our first Fastpass of the trip Toy Story Mania was active and stay there for the rest of the night. I don't have a picture of this but the first thing I remember that we saw at the airport was the themed monorail doors to the baggage terminals. They were themed to look like first-order troop transport...at this point the excitement was palpable. We then arrived at the dolphin on a perfect day...


After the check-in process, they said our room wouldn't be ready for a while so we dropped all the bags and walked over to Epcot. Then I got my first look at one of the new additions...the Skyliner (more on this later).


After admiring the Skyliner and the construction of Ratatouille we tapped into Epcot, then I had to make one pit stop at guest relations to obtain a DOS. As I have a trick knee that can be troublesome. Guest relations were super nice and we had no problem receiving a DOS. Now, I get this isn't the greatest best impression for a first-timer but we were on a time crunch so I ran my party from the international gateway down to the land. The target of this visit to Epcot was simple Soarin'. Soarin' only had (I think) a 25-30 min wait. This wait went super fast thanks to the Play Disney Parks app. As my group's first exposure to an attraction at Disney World, they loved Soarin' (little did they know about FOP but I'm getting ahead of myself). After Soarin' and a great experience, it was about time for the group to head over to the studios for a Toy Story Mania Fastpass. Along the way, we stopped in the UK...grabbed some fish & chips (another family staple). We then took the Skyliner over to the studios this was a highlight for me as it was my first time on the Skyliner. We boarded a characterless gondola and took in all the sights whilst enjoying our Fish & Chips. Playing spot the characters in the air (I really like the wraps). It was a great way to get to the studios and revolutionized the way we park hopped. After getting into the station we discarded our now-empty fish and chips and headed to the main gate of the studios.

Then it was off to Andy's Backyard first thing I did was use my DOS on Slinky after it was on to the first ride of our trip...Toy Story Mania!

I even got best in vehicle!


After admiring the rest of Andy's Backyard, we headed into Batuu...abeit for a split second to check on reservations (more on that later). It actually got to the point where I didn't want them to have the grand reveal of the land so we just went to Savi's I asked about the reservation and they couldn't find it on their systems since I think there is only a finite amount of time the CM's can view on their tablets. They said to come back closer to our time and they would be happy to help (more on that later as well). After this, we were already in Batuu and I figured...they probably want to see the land now so instead of holding off the reveal we headed into Dok Ondar's. Now, this was a big moment for our trip I knew I wanted certain...artifacts from Dok's shop. What I didn't realize was the number of others who were after the same. We waited in an about 30-35 min line to approach the counter and take a look at some sabers. I nearly held them all and if not for the price I would have bought them all. Well...about $400 dollars later...I claimed my prizes...


(picture was taken today because I never actually took a picture of these on the trip itself)

After deciding to have these (admittedly heavy sabers) sent to the front of the park (more on that later) we headed out of Dok's and I showed my friends the falcon. They were so excited to see it in person and was definitely a trip highlight. Then, I believe we headed out to take the 360-degree magic shot, as well as pick up some blue and green milk. After that, it was starting to get close to our first reservation and it was also getting super close to our DOS return time for Slinky. We headed back to Toy Story Land and jumped on the wildest ride in Andy's Backyard. We have on-ride photos but due to privacy, I won't share them. We all agreed Slinky feels much much faster then we anticipated from viewing it from far away it quickly became a favorite of the group. After this, we worked our way back into Batuu and through the resistance forest where I explained how Rise's boarding group's work (more on that later). We then emerged on the other side of Grand Ave (which felt so weird since I was looking down that tunnel for so long). We had about twenty minutes till our reservation at this point and figured since Mickey & Minnie's wait time appeared to be 10 min we decided to engage in our first character meeting of the trip Sorcerer Mickey and (performer?) Minnie.



Again thanks to memory maker, we have lots of great photos of this. We also really enjoyed these animated posters in the lobby of Red Carpet Dreams these animated posters became a favorite of the groups as well as throughout multiple character meet and greets. The line for Mickey & Minnie was way longer than anticipated but it was worth it and with about 2 minutes to spare we made it into the lobby of the Sci-Fi Dine-in (a family favorite). We were all taken to our car and really enjoyed the atmosphere.


We finally had some downtime and was able to focus on all we did up until this point. I ordered some allergy-friendly (this was as always not a hassle with Disney as they are AMAZING with allergies) chicken tenders and fries and my friends ordered as well (I forget what it was they ordered). They were actually pretty good Sci-Fi's food at least in my opinion has gotten much better from what it once was. We then sat and enjoyed the wonderfully cheesy promos. This was extremely needed, for what was going to happen next can only be described as a frantic (but fun) rush to and around Batuu as well as the larger Hollywood studios but...alas this is a story for another chapter.

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Chapter 3: Light-Speed through the Studios

After eating at the Sci-Fi Dine-In we had about 20-25 mins before our first main event of the night Savi’s Workshop. Around this time we also had a FastPass (I think?) for Star Tours. We approached the Endor movie set as my friends were amazed at the set (little did they know what was waiting for them in Rise of the Resistance). We entered the hangar and as we were all very big fans of the rise of Skywalker (please don’t hunt me down for liking the movie) we were excited to see that the ride would be based in the Episode 9 timeframe. Of course, we passed R3X and I explained the history of him to my friends (this will be important later) as well as the overall setup of the attraction. Anyways, we boarded the Starspeeder and got the falcon scene in the beginning. We traveled to Kef Bir & Exogol with Lando as the hologram. Overall, I really enjoyed the Star Tours update especially Lando, Exogol, and the bonus lightspeed jump at the end.

After that, we headed to Batuu where we quickly made our way over to Savi’s. So that Nemo & Yoda could construct their lightsabers. I actually made my own in my elemental nature saber in August. When I was fortunate to make a quick last minute trip to Disneyland. Remember how before I said I wanted to verify the reservations before going...well when we got to Savi’s and attempted to check in there was no record of my reservation in their systems. Confused, I showed them my confirmation and everything still no luck. Fearful that I would be charged a $400 no show fee (two builders) I let them know and they took my name down insuring me I wouldn’t be charged. They were even kind enough to let us into the session we had a reservation for even though we technically didn’t have a reservation. My assumption of what happened is when I made my reservations for Savi’s and Droid Depot I did so over the phone and not using the website (since the website wouldn’t let me book). So that could have had something to do with it. No matter, two sabers were built that night, one protection and defense, and one peace and justice. It was an incredible experience and I was super happy to be able to see Savi’s on both coasts. My friends packed up their lightsabers into their protective cases (this will become important later) and we moved on.

Right after, we headed over to the Droid Depot as I booked a reservation right after the Savi’s reservation we thought we had. Since the Savi’s experience took longer thanks to the reservation problem we had about two minutes to check-in. I was fearful that the same problem might happen with the droid depot reservation but that concern wasn’t valid as the reservation showed up and I was allowed in. Since I was the only one building a droid only me and Yoda went in as Nemo offered to stay behind and watch from afar since only one can watch as one builds. I approached the counter and had my heart set on a BB-Unit. Using the mockup templates on the Galaxy’s Edge discord I even created this...BB-TRN. The plan was to customize the droid to make it look like a TRON Legacy Droid (underrated in my opinion).


However, once I saw the R droids in person...I got attached to the little guy. So I built myself an R6 Droid. I also made this quick mockup of what I want him to look like when I get around to (hopefully) doing a custom job on him.


Eventually, I do plan on returning to droid depot to build the BB unit. As I prefer BB units but given my plans for a custom job I also didn’t want to worry that constant rolling could cause problems for the paint. After the droid depot, we were getting VERY close to our final reservation of the night Fantasmic! So close, in fact, we didn’t ship the droid to the front of the park and carried it and the sabers to Fantasmic! We ran through Toy Story Land all the way down to Sunset Blvd (my friend’s first time down the strip). Down to Fantasmic! At this point, it was mobbed and I was worried we were too late. I happened to have a FastPass for Fantasmic so we used it to gain access to the FastPass viewing.

We were a few rows back from the front, Fantasmic was the first nighttime show my friends saw and they loved it.


The crowd at Fantasmic! was also super fun and we initiated the wave several times throughout the massive crowd. Besides a weird hiccup at the beginning with the show not starting but the lights going out, the show went off without a hitch and continues to be one of my favorite nighttime shows in the Disney World. It definitely could use an update though. It also progressively became their least favorite (I think) but they still loved it as we saw the other nighttime shows (more on that later). Fantasmic! continues to hold a special place in my heart especially for Sorcerer Mickey who was my chosen character for the trip as well as my favorite Disney character.


After this, the park was closing and we were tired. We then lugged our Droids and two Savi sabers, back to the front of the park to rejoin the other sabers I purchased at Dok’s. The plan was to pick up the sabers and then combine everything bulk ship it back home as we didn’t want to deal with all the items on a plane. This, however, never came to pass the park as it turns out it doesn't ship items home at the end of operating hours. I then had the most brilliant plan of not taking the boat and WALKING all the way back to the Dolphin with the (2) legacy sabers. R-series droid, blade, and (2) savi sabers. I was happy to have two friends with me to carry the weight. I was worried that I might have damaged the items with the constant shifting of the items but they turned out to be fine.

We then paid a visit to the hotel gift shop where we were hoping we could ship our items home from them...and unfortunately the Dolphin couldn't help us either. We then checked into our hotel room in the Dolphin a suite that was very spacious.


a picture of my R6 droid in the room before we shipped him off (soon to hopefully get that custom job)

We then called the nearby boardwalk gift shop and asked if they could ship our items home. Being the glutens for punishment we were we hurried over to the boardwalk and finally got our items shipped home. It was a very nice night.


After that, our original plans had called for us to go to Disney Springs (more on that later) but we were all so tired and not wanting to ruin the early morning I had planned for us we drifted off to sleep.

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Chapter 4 Rising with the Resistance

It was an early morning and I wanted to introduce both Yoda & Nemo to Must Do Disney. So in the evening, I showed them Must Do Disney to get them excited for the rest of the trip. When I noticed this...


one of these is unlike the other...

Anyways back to the morning, it was around 5 AM when I set the alarm for us to wake up. I originally had arranged for us to go to the Magic Kingdom but Rise of the Resistance took priority. So the plan was simply to go to the studios to obtain a boarding group and then go to the Magic Kingdom. We were out of the hotel room around 6:15 AM and started the walk over to the studios. We arrived at the studios around 6:45 AM where we immediately walked on over to Sunset Blvd namely around the Rock N Roll area to get ready to get our boarding group. Finally, 7 AM came...and it was time. I was super worried that we may not secure a boarding group (let alone a good one).

Then...this happened

I was so excited...we all were so happy. It was incredible to get such an early boarding group. In the span of about 10 seconds, I made an alternative plan in my head. We would hang out in the studios until our Rise boarding group was called and try to get as much done as we possibly could. Knowing that my friends wanted to get both Rock and the Twilight Zone finished I made the executive decision to follow the rope drop crowd into G-Force records. This actually ended up being one of the longest waits of our trip we waited a whopping 45 minutes (not too bad). This was actually my first time in G-Force records as I have always been terrified of Rock and never actually rode it myself. I got to see the queue and preshow and was even "chosen" to be in the posters on the wall. My friends rode the ride and they loved it as I took the backstage "chicken exit" to the end of the attraction. After scanning my magic band to secure their on-ride photo we headed out of G Force Records and back down Sunset Blvd.

We made a B-Line toward Toy Story Land to try and cut over to Galaxy's Edge that way however the CM's blocked off my shortcut making that impossible. We also took a photopass picture infront of the Toy Story Land sign. So we headed toward Grand Ave...we then stopped over at Star Tours (I think) this part of the trip I don't really remember that well since I lack pictures from any events before Rise. Anyways after Star Tours (I think) we headed into Batuu, as it was getting close to our Rise boarding group. I then opened up the Play Disney Parks app to mess around with the datapad. After doing that for a little we wanted to do the falcon so I attempted to DOS it...however I heard from a CM that you couldn't DOS Falcon while you already had a Rise boarding group (this turned out to be false). We then just sat by the resistance forest watching the boarding groups tick down until...finally it was our turn.

We approached the massive turret and the local resistance members checked us in. With my play app open we headed deep into the caves of the ancient ruins on Batuu laser cut by the Resistance for a makeshift base. I scanned different crates, sliced different objects as we winded our way throughout the queue. We admired all the artifacts in the queue such as the many blaster rifles and star charts. Then we finally made it to the briefing room and watched in awe as Rey, Poe and of course Lt. Bek briefed us for our mission. We then boarded an ISTC shuttle which was taken over by the First Order.


We were in awe of the might of the First Order. With lifelike Stormtroopers that slightly moved their heads once and awhile it really simulated movement and was perfect. After that, we headed down the hall for processing where the CM's were doing their best First Order Officer...harrasing other guests it was really fun and everyone had a great time. We finally made it to the detention cell and watched the impressive projections of Kylo and Hux. Then the Resistance broke us out, the resistance loaded us into our trackless ride vehicles and we were so ready to experience the attraction proper.

Then...a few moments passed by, that turned into minutes. In the back of my head, I knew what was about to happen I just didn't want to believe it...

the lights came on and of course...we were evacuated from the attraction.

I was kind of happy that the evacuation took place then and not if we were in the actual attraction I wanted our first experience to be a great one. They scanned our magic bands and gave us all reentry passes if/when the attraction would reopen. Determined to get on this attraction I made the decision to stay in the studios and give up our previously scheduled Magic Kingdom extra magic hours. Our first FastPass wasn't until later in the morning anyway. We walked around Batuu taking in all the details. Before we knew it the attraction was back up and we again scanned into the resistance base and went through the preshows as normal.



After seeing the impressive preshows once again we finally reached the trackless vehicles again to begin our escape. We were in awe the entire journey from the AT-AT's to the very impressive Kylo AA we loved Rise. The escape pod scene was also super fun with just the right amount of thrill. We all clapped as our first order transports parked as we disembarked. I knew that Rise had become my favorite attraction ever surpassing flight of passage for the crown. After this amazing experience, we left Batuu and headed toward Grand Ave where we attempted to do Muppet Vision...then I saw something I have never seen a queue for the muppets that used the outdoor queue I didn't even know existed. After we saw that queue I didn't end up doing it and we headed to Hollywood Blvd took a few photo pass pictures with the Chinese theater in the background and then took a bus to the magic kingdom.

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Chapter 5 Frantic Fantasy

After leaving Hollywood Studios...it was finally time to show my friends the original, the classic Magic Kingdom! To be honest, I wasn't sure how they would react to this park. It may be easier for people like those who frequent these forums because we have a connection to Disney but for those who didn't I was curious to see how they would react. Anyways, the bus arrived at the new bus loop (which by the way I have to say I was impressed by its looks great!) without much waiting (more on this later) we were off!

I had a couple of fast passes for the Magic Kingdom that morning. Those being Peter Pan, BTM, and Seven Dwarfs. While on the bus I mapped out our plan of touring the park in my head to accommodate these scattered attractions. I also thought, let's see how much I actually follow this because as everyone knows...expect the unexpected. Anyways we arrived at the MK bus terminal...and I was shocked to see the ...let's say alternative entering experience.

Walls lined the terminal toward a bag check tent and the crowds piled up fast in this small area. After that we headed toward the main gate tapped our magic bands and it was on to experience the Magic Kingdom. My friends were excited to see the castle but...what's this a 20 min wait for Mickey in the theater? Let's do it! This was part of our plan to get the most use of our memory maker which I will review in the epilogue (at this rate I'm kinda wondering how long it will actually take for me to write this whole trip report).

We entered the Main Street theater to meet Magician Mickey.


we really enjoyed all the little nods (especially this one) but admittedly I was the only one to get the reference.

We met Mickey took some great pictures with him...and then it was off to fly with Peter. We were about 10 mins away from our FastPass so I ran my friends down main street so they could get their moment with the castle, take a picture and then move into Fantasyland. We finally arrived at Peter Pan's Flight. This was the ride that was very important I was testing to see how my friends would react to classic dark rides. Hoping they would like it like I do and see the appeal. To my delight they loved it, Peter Pan became one of the group's favorites. I'm not sure what it is about it, I like Peter Pan but it isn't my favorite dark ride but was really happy to see the group's reaction to Peter Pan.

After this, we walked through the rest of Fantasyland and of course...I had to stop at the best bathrooms in all of WDW.

(I went through a lot of shame to secure this picture)

In true Disney fashion, again we were very close to our FastPass window and I ran my poor friends throughout Liberty Square, and to the back of Frontierland toward Big Thunder Mountain. As we took our run I pointed out the sights of the Magic Kingdom while simultaneously forming a plan in my head how I was going to get them to see all the rides they wanted to see most efficiently. We arrived at BTM and I requested the front row on the wildest ride in the wilderness. As expected the group also enjoyed this I knew my friends really were into coasters so I knew what the reaction to the "thrill" rides would be...it was the slow-moving ones that I was interested to see the reaction in. They were, however, a little disappointed they didn't get wet by the geysers. After this, it was back to Fantasyland and finally without any time constraints we were able to walk to Fantasyland.

On the way over, Nemo & Yoda noticed guests holding cards, the sorcerers of the magic kingdom. I was always a fan of scavenger hunts/games like sorcerers I even had some cards home so, given their interest I made a note of it and we finally made it back to Fantasyland. After this the group was hungry, and after what I put them though would probably kill me if I denied them food. So we went over to Pinocchio's Village Haus to pick up some grub. Pinocchio's is ok in terms of food nothing to write home about but not bad so we ate (they were also extremely attentive to my allergies). The day then turned into a frantic, but a fun trip through Fantasyland for most of the day (with a few detours) but I am getting ahead of myself...

After this, we headed over for our 3rd Fastpass at Seven Dwarfs, I again requested the front row. For myself, I really like the mine train. My friends noted it was slower then they anticipated but still very enjoyable. They really enjoyed the rocking and dark ride sections. After this,I did something I don't normally do...I DOS'ed a meet and greet. Knowing that I wanted to meet as many characters as possible I approached Princess Fairytale Hall and DOS'ed the Rapunzel and Tiana side which had a wait time of 50 minutes (I think). It will make more sense why I did this later. After this we headed into Phillarmagic enjoyed it and then moved on.

The next stop was new fantasyland and down into Belle's village. We went into Gaston's tavern, and each got a LeFou's Brew something I recommended.

After that, we took a photo pass picture in front of Prince Eric's castle. Noting that journey of the little mermaid's wait seemed long...we did what no one does (and something I have never done) and went into Ariel's grotto to meet her.

This had a much more manageable 20 Min wait. As for character meet & greets there were a few standouts. Each princess was probably among the best (with Ariel probably being top 2). We entered the room, and as the only grown people with no kids...it was an interesting experience but I was going to get some great pictures to remember the trip by and nothing was really going to stop us from accomplishing that goal. Anyways, we finally made it into the grotto which as Meet and Greet spaces is actually a really nice set. We talked with Ariel. and my friends never seeing Little Mermaid were confused by her word choice. Referring to a fork as a dinglehopper, not wanting to ruin this moment I didn't want to explain to them till after the meet was over. Yoda received a lecture on how underwater merfolk view common human items. I even joined in and agreed with Ariel on her fork as being a hair comb. We took lots of great pictures with her and exited the grotto.

After this, we headed the journey of the little mermaid and it had a much more manageable wait time. My friends admired the detail of the queue as we snaked through it. Since they had never seen the movie before (I'm working on fixing that) they were confused with some of the scenes but overall enjoyed the attraction particularly the under the sea scene.

Since we got to the Magic Kingdom it was my friend's goal to get the 40th anniversary of Space Mountain hat and knowing the scarcity of merch like that in Disney. We decided it would be best to leave Fantasyland for a very short time and head over into Tomorrowland to search for the merch...

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Chapter 6 Happily Ever Meet & Greet

We entered Tomorrowland and made a B-line for The Light Company. My friends as this was their first time were amazed by the land, telling me it was one of their favorite parts of the park thus far. I think they really enjoyed the retro-future elements. Before we entered the light company we saw the TRON Lightcycles outside...and as a huge fan of TRON I had to get my picture taken with them. I'm not usually a big rollercoaster guy...but after seeing these cycles I knew I had to ride Lightcycle Run when it opens. After taking lots of pictures with the light cycles we moved into the power company and unfortunately, they were out of the hat. We then went to Star Traders asked around there and still nothing. On our way out of Tomorrowland, we noticed Stitch's Great Escape had a character meet and greet in it. We decided to go inside the queue and meet Stitch. After a fairly quick wait, we met Stitch and again, got some great photo pass pictures. After this, the group was starting to get hungry...before we went to eat we did notice some Photopass photographers on the bridge so we decided to stop their take a few photo pass pictures and then go to eat.

The group headed toward Casey's Corner and we got their signature hot dogs (not me but they did). They seemed to really enjoy them. After that, we headed down main street and decided to see if we would have any luck in the Emporium they didn't...since we were on Main Street and still had time to hit our DOS'ed Meet & Greet we headed toward Main Street Fire Department and signed up for Sorcerers. We then did the first mission with Pongo on Main Street. Since there were three of us we got three packs of cards...by the end of the trip I would have amassed quite the stack of sorcerer cards. This was a fun way to show off Main Street to my friends and after the first mission, we headed back into Fantasyland and into Princess Fairytale Hall to meet Rapunzel & Tiana.


Worth noting that I’m wearing a Kingdom Hearts shirt. So we head into the fairytale hall and after a 5 (ish) minute wait, we are in the room with Rapunzel & Tiana. Rapunzel was first then Tiana. Rapunzel noticed my shirt and said something along the lines of “I helped him” it was really nice to see a Disney character actually mention let alone acknowledge Kingdom Hearts. Rapunzel is a party member in Kingdom Hearts 3 (my favorite game ever). Anyways after a few great photos with Rapunzel we moved onto Tiana she offered us some cooking advice and we took photos with her. Around this time we were realizing how many photos one can amass from a single character meet and greet.

We headed over to liberty square to DOS Haunted Mansion. While we waited we returned to Main Street and took a few PhotoPass pictures in front of the castle. After this, we headed back to the Mansion as our DOS time was coming up. My friends only knew the Haunted Mansion from that movie that doesn’t exist. They quoted the movie the entire queue “Happy Anniversary, Happy Anniversary, HAPPPPPPY Anniversary” and we finally entered the mansion. They enjoyed it particularly the part where you go down the stairs backward. We even got a cool on-ride PhotoPass.

I don’t actually remember what we did next...it was either Hall of Presidents or we headed back to Fantasyland. Let’s go with Hall of Presidents...nothing special in terms of reactions here enjoyed the show as a whole. Noticed the beefed-up security. We then headed into Fantasyland and we had another FastPass this time for Dwarfs. We did it and again the group enjoyed it. After this, it was starting to get close to our “camp out” time for Happily Ever After. I think (but don’t really remember) we did Pooh. Fun fact ever since I’ve been a kid I’ve always enjoyed Pooh and as such it’s always been one of my favorites if not my favorite dark ride. I think the group found it charming after we headed down to Pete's Silly Sideshow and waited for the Donald and Goofy lines. We took lots of PhotoPass pictures with the great Goofini, and Donaldo. After this, we headed down to Main Street to camp out for Happily Ever After. We did make one stop, however, to meet Merida got some photo pass pictures.


When then made it over to the castle directly in front of the stage where we camped out for about an hour.


Happily Ever After started...and it was magical



This ended up being the group's favorite fireworks show of the trip. We liked it so much in fact that we ended up seeing it three times throughout our trip. Pure magic...Tink got a nice big reaction out of the group.

After the show, we waited for the crowd to disperse and then we made a B-Line for Fantasyland. We got on Small World and walked on. It's worth noting that night was an After Hours event and we had about an hour to 45 minutes to get as much done as we possibly could. Small World was perfection and got a great reaction...we were even chosen in the end where they say "goodbye" in multiple languages to be put on the screen. With small world done, Fantasyland was basically complete we booked it on over to Tomorrowland and with about 25 mins left in the night we queued up for Buzz. We also secured more on-ride photos plus some videos.


this ended up being my score the first time around on Buzz.

With about no joke 3 minutes left before the cast members started to scan bands for After Hours (which we didn't have passes for) we decided to test our luck and ride the people mover. At exactly 1 minute before the park closed...we got up to the cast members and they let us on. We were the last non after hour guests on the people mover that night...I know this because the family behind us scanned their bands.

The people mover served two dual purposes the first was a nice calm ride after a day of walking. The second was to show my friends the inside of Space Mountain something they had been dying to see but we never got to that second day. The people mover ended up being Yoda's favorite ride in the magic kingdom and one of his top rides of the entire trip.


With our time up...we left the Magic Kingdom. I never have seen the park so empty. We headed back to the bus loop but we didn't go back to the hotel, but alas that is a story for the next chapter...

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Chapter 7 Adventures thru Cyber-Space

Please note this chapter will be super short and not include any pictures as I didn’t take any.

It was a late night, exhausted from hitting the Magic Kingdom as hard as we possibly could. We did what everyone does when they are tired...go to Disney Springs and walk even more. The goal was simple get something to eat, and show Yoda & Nemo the Star Wars VOID experience.

After the bus ride (which might I add the bus was pulling in as we entered the MK loop so we ran for it). We made a B-Line for the VOID. Went though World of Disney (still no space mountain hat), admired the Lego store as well as the rainforest cafe. Then we were at the gates of the void. Quick background on this, we did the Avengers Damage Control experience. It was a very fun experience that was extremely different then the Star Wars experience. I had the pleasure of experiencing the Star Wars experience last year. I won’t spoil the full experience here but let’s say it culminates in a way just like Rogue One does. This was a huge hit with the group and was definitely a trip highlight.

After this, I bought a Mickey Skyliner funko, we looked in the Star Wars Trading Post and headed for the bus loop. The bus took FOREVER...we just took a bus to the broadwalk since Swan & Dolphin took FOREVER. This would be the start of our deep rooted hatred for the buses (more on this later). After this we got back to the room and fell right asleep.

After all it was going to be a wild day tomorrow....

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Chapter 8 JUMBO and Sivako!

Has it been 23 days since the last chapter? Yes, it has been I know the wait has been long and a lot has happened since then but I think writing this trip report can help myself and other forum members take their minds off...certain events.

Without further ado, thanks for reading and let's continue the report.

It was an early morning, after last night's adventures in a galaxy far far away. We awoke early around (7 ish) I believe and of course, missed the first bus to Animal Kingdom (which I will now refer to as AK). Since we had some time before buses we grabbed some snacks and then went onto the AK bus. Nemo & Yoda were excited to visit AK for their first time as they love Animals, and I have been hyping up Pandora for some time. It is worth noting we had some fast passes for the day these comprised of Navi River Journey, Expedition Everest, and Kilimanjaro Safari. We, of course, made a B line for Pandora and I immediately DOS'ed FOP which was sitting at an around 2-hour wait (could have been a little longer but I don't remember). With FOP DOS'ed we moved on to Navi river which we saw had a 10 min wait so we hopped on and took the journey to the shaman. Who that day was broken, and was replaced with a screen.

After this, we headed to our first Fastpass of the day Expedition Everest.


Which unfortunately I ultimately chickened out of after seeing the mountain. I did, however, sit at the base of the mountain and got some great vistas as well as pictures of Nemo & Yoda going down the mountain. As well as some general pictures of the mountain. I even got their on-ride photos thanks to memory maker.

After this, we ran on back over to Pandora and finally experienced FOP using the DOS. The attraction never ceases to amaze me and is my second favorite ride ever. This ended up being Nemo's favorite attraction of the entire trip. We then used our second FastPass of the day to experience River again, and this time they managed to fix the Shaman! We were able to see her in all her glory. Very impressive AA that was a trip highlight.

After Navi, I managed to grab this picture and we headed down to our final FastPass of the day Kilimanjaro Safaris.


Entering Harambe was an experience all on its own and I remember saying "That's where Joe Rhode was standing in the Imagineering Story". We then went down into the village and rode the safaris and it wouldn't be a trip report without lots of Safari photos and here are a few standouts.





After this great trip through the wildlife reserve, we encountered our first photo pass spot of the day, that being a sign of Kilimanjaro (attraction logo) that I held and then Nemo & Yoda stood next to me. Ended up being a great photo. By this time, we had accomplished almost everything we set out to do in AK and we knew we would be back. Before we left though, I wanted to drop by the only missing ride we had not seen that being Dinosaur. We headed back toward Expedition Everest.


Took a quick magic shot with Kaa from the Jungle Book and headed over the bridge to Dinoland. We stopped by the theater in the wild and also said we would see that on our next visit to Animal Kingdom.


After making it to the Dino Institute we saw the wait time and decided next time we came we would experience Dinosaur! What then followed was a series of meet and greets that we all just happened to hit perfectly. We met Launchpad, Scrooge, and Daisy these were all very fun photo pass pictures. As a huge fan of Ducktales it was cool to see them represented. Nemo & Yoda we’re getting super hungry and they stopped for something small...I think it was called Scrooge’s #1 dine (a reference to the show) and it was a chocolate dessert I think. They seemed to like it. After us all agreeing that besides the Dino Institute that Dinoland needed to be taken out of the park and replaced with something new we headed toward Pandora one more time. What I haven't said is that earlier in the day I happened to DOS FOP one more time. After experiencing it we headed out of the park doing a couple of photo pass spots along the way like the lion king statue, floating mountains, and the obligatory tree of life. We also joined the wilderness explorers which I have never done and was really well fleshed out. We would do more of this throughout the trip. At this point we were all very hungry and getting kinda antsy...our next destination was simple. EPCOT!

The journey to get to EPCOT would not be an easy one though and would ignite a deep-seated hatred for the buses.

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Chapter 9 An Artists Life For Me

After a long day in the Animal Kingdom...we were tired and hungry. Luckily our second park of the day was EPCOT! What better park to go then their to check out the Festival of the Arts?

We approach the bus station and waited in the Epcot line...and waited...and waited some more. The thing is, we waited probably around 30-35 minutes in that Bus line and not a single bus to Epcot arrived. We did make an observation though, there were no less than around 3-4 buses EACH for both the studios and magic kingdom.

Tired and slightly annoyed, we hopped a bus over to the Magic Kingdom. The reasoning behind this was to give Nemo & Yoda their first ride on the monorail...yes you can argue that the Skyliner is more efficient and it was, however, we decided to hop the bus to MK and take the monorail to Epcot. As we were going through security the monorail was (of course) just pulling in and we narrowly missed it. Luckily it didn't take too long for the next to arrive. We then arrived at the TTC and properly made it into Epcot.

This was Nemo & Yoda's first proper time in Epcot (if you don't count the three seconds we spent inside the park the first day). Hungry, the plan was simple. To tour the world showcase and stop at the various booths. There was just one problem...it was packed I don't think I've ever seen EPCOT this busy.

We proceeded around the showcase our first stop was to run over to Norway to DOS Frozen. Then to run back to Mexico and start the world showcase tour proper. We did so, did the Gran Fiesta Tour and then headed back over to Norway.

We noticed that Anna & Elsa had a pretty short wait, and want to get the most of our Memory Maker we waited on the about 15-minute line.

I've never been in this meet & greet spot and it was very well done, super ornate and I really believed I was in their "summer house"


I also really got a kick out of this reference to Malestrom.



The meet and greet itself was super fun. We all have seen Frozen 2 and enjoyed it and we saw the sisters in their outfits from that film. The only thing I could think of was...if one saw the sisters in those particular outfits and managed to escape frozen 2 (unlikely) they would immediately be spoiled.

After this, we continued around the showcase admired the pavilions and booths. We then stumbled upon some art I really liked one of Vader (that I ultimately bought) and another of Sorcerer Mickey. We finally stopped in America, saw that a broadway show was about to happen and formed a plan...get food in Japan then go back to America to watch the show.

We did just that, after the broadway show we went over to Norway as it was time to ride Frozen (our first ride of the day) was a big hit among the group. After checking the memory maker for our on-ride photo we went BACK to Japan to finish our run around the showcase. We then stumbled upon France...and we noticed an abnormally long line for one of the meet and greets. Then we noticed...it was Page O' Hara original voice of Belle in full Belle costume. You had to buy her art in order to meet her and we didn't so after seeing that we kept moving. I'd actually met Page before at Comic-Con and even got a Funko signed. After this, we saw that Aurora was meeting in the garden and we stopped to meet her, had a fun interaction. I also thought it was a nice touch to have in the meet and greet area art that the characters had "drawn" themselves. In this case, it was the fairies. We then went over the bridge stopped in England for Fish and Chips and headed toward Future World to ride some attractions. First off was Figment, as Nemo & Yoda weren't familiar with the character. We then had a character meeting with Mickey in the short film festival building.

This part I don't have any pictures of and don't really remember but I think we rode Nemo, and tried to get on Spaceship Earth but didn't due to long lines. I think we then took our spots right next to England and watched Epcot Forever. Group liked the flaming kites...after this, we headed back to the Dolphin, Swan in order to relax for the coming days.

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Yes, it’s been a LONG time since the last chapter. To be fair, I have every intention of finishing the trip report eventually. So without further delay.

Chapter 10 The fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy

We woke up to a very early morning. Having just noticed we overslept we ran as fast as we could to get ready for the parks and sure enough missed the boat. We then did what any desperate person does ran on foot to the studios. Which wasn’t the most wise decision.

Upon, arriving to the studios we were greeted with the largest crowd I’ve ever seen on Sunset Blvd. We then ran toward Rock N Roll stopped by the food cart and...SUCCESS!


We had secured our boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance. This would actually become our last ride of the trip and our second and a half trip though the ride. With most of the day planned to hang out in the studios anyways we first made our way to Rock N Roll as our “rope drop” attraction. We waited 45 minutes for Rock and it was my first time ever in the building. I was even one of the names in the queue!

We entered and watched the preshow.


After the super-stretch was called for us we headed into the back alley way. Nemo and Yoda boarded their limo.


And they headed into LA traffic...I didn’t ride because of my fear of coasters (I’m getting better with it though). So I took the chicken exit and waited for Nemo and Yoda. I grabbed their on-ride photo and we were off.

After that we headed back to Batuu. I think we rode Star Tours on our way to the main entrance. We then made our way over to the marketplace, to catch our reservation at Oga’s. We took some photopass pictures and then headed to the cantina. We then were sat with two other groups and chatted about Rise and our trips. Everything was super accurate in the cantina down to the bolts in the wall.

I ordered the Hyperdrive (Punch it!) which was Powerade Berry Blast, White cranberry juice, Black cherry, and Sprite.


This ended up being one of my favorite drinks over the entire trip. Which was surprising because I don’t normally like Sprite. You could barely taste it and it really worked well. It is also worth noting that they were very well prepared when I asked about my allergies. I don’t remember what Nemo and Yoda ordered but I remember really enjoying my drink.

We even got to see R3X!


Side Note: I actually met Paul Reuben and got him to sign my R3X Funko pop.

After this it was getting time to head to the resistance encampment and head off on Rise of the Resistance.


Rise again was the crowd pleaser it is my favorite ride I have ever ridden. After Rise we decided to finally ride Millennium Falcon. It became a running gag the entire trip how many times we got to the studios and couldn’t ride the falcon for some reason. Finally though we flew the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy for Hondo. I remember we only collected one container of coaxium. We all really enjoyed it I was a pilot along with Nemo or Yoda can’t remember. One of them was a gunner (I think) we had a lot of fun and really enjoyed riding the falcon. After this we headed back out of Galaxy’s Edge and headed into Muppet Vision.

Had a cool shout-out to Newark that I never noticed!


I’ve seen Muppet Vision plenty of times but this was Nemo and Yoda’s first time never seen someone so engrossed in Muppet Vision was a very cool moment. After this we rode Star Tours again and headed out toward the exit of Hollywood Studios. We then headed (I think) on the skyliner to the international gateway to spend some more time in Epcot before returning to the studios at night.

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Chapter 11 The Studios at Twilight

Upon disembarking from the Skyliner, we headed toward the UK ate some fish and chips (seriously, always been one of my favorite places in EPCOT). We then headed to the back to grab some photopass pictures with Pooh Bear in Christopher Robin’s bedroom. We also saw Mary Poppins. I then remarked something along the lines of “Cherry Tree Lane here is going to be great”...that didn’t age well.

After this we proceeded to head around World Showcase. This was really our time to walk around the showcase, eat some more, as well as enjoy the arts festival. We started our grand circle tour and stopped in Japan, and France for pictures. As well as many other countries I cannot remember off the
top of my head. I don’t remember if we did any rides (I assume so but don’t have pictures to back
this up).

Once our grand circle tour was over we headed back to the studios to catch our fastpass for Slinky.

Again, Slinky was always a crowdpleaser after that we waited in line for a photopass with Jessie. Then we headed back to the Chinese theater to watch “The Wonderful World of Disney Animation”.


My favorite part of the show was the finale sequence. Although, their were other sequences I really enjoyed. The sequence was of Walt saying “It all started with a mouse” with various clips of Mickey throughout the years projected onto the theater. Then “current-age” pie-eyed Mickey jumps on the top of the Chinese Theater to deliver his signature “See you real soon” and proceeds to walk into the Chinese Theater. Since we went before the runaway railway was operational, I saw this as a teaser for the attraction. Since it matches the story of attending a Mickey Short. Really like those shorts and it added to that sequence for me. Also, I really enjoyed Sorcerer Mickey as he is my favorite Disney character.

After this we stayed in our current “seat” to watch “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular”. This show has it’s critics but I enjoyed it. Everyone in the party are massive Star Wars fans and it was a real crowd pleaser. Especially when the emperor uses force lighting on the trees around the viewing area. I also enjoyed when they projected the movie posters onto the theater it really tied the show together.

I carefully planned the trip so that we would experience a nighttime show every night.

After that great show we faced a couple major to-do’s Yoda and Nemo really wanted to ride TOT. It’s wait was very long. I wanted to grab some more pictures and ride some more attraction that weren’t TOT. With that in mind, we were off!

I think our first stop was to meet Olaf. You wouldn’t think Olaf would be one of the best character interactions we had all trip but he was. I was wearing a “I’m celebrating button” this Olaf really played into it and gave us a very memorable interaction that lasted up to 5-7 minutes long! We have lots of pictures from this interaction.

After this, we headed toward Launch Bay and got our photo taken with Vader. Though the cardholder entrance. Another great character interaction. It was actually a running gag among us to see Kylo in Galaxy’s Edge but no matter how long we stayed we never saw him (unless if you count Rise).

Back, into TSL we then took on the midway and played in Toy Story Midway Mania!



Midway Mania is always a fun time. We then took a picture infront of the Luxo Ball, and rode Slinky (I think) again. The timeline here is a little fuzzy since I have lots of disjointed pictures from this night but can’t remember the exact timeline.

Our last feat of the night was to head down sunset blvd.


(Side note always loved this art)

Check into our room at the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Now, I have never actually been in the building for
TOT as I have no desire to ride it. I admired the theme on video but never saw it for myself despite many trips.


We headed up the ramp into the resort lobby.


I don’t believe the preshow was working in the library but I’ve seen it so many times. We then proceeded into the boiler room. At this point, I was amazed at the level of detail in the theming since I have never been in the building. Really sells that creepy un-nerving atmosphere. I took the chicken exit as planned, and was slightly terrified when the bell-hop escorted me to a elevator. I waited in the exit. Grabbed their photopass and were let into the gift shop.


Nemo and Yoda were quick to remind me of a killer doll episode of the Twilight Zone and surely enough...


There she was.

After that I think we headed back to the hotel after admiring one more view of the Hollywood Tower Hotel at park close.

We then all went to sleep. After all, it was going to be a wild day tomorrow. It was time to head back to
the kingdom(s).

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First, let’s address the elephant in the room, yes it has been a long time since my last chapter but as I said back then I do have every intention of finishing this trip report...eventually. We are now past the one year mark from my trip, my memory may be a little fuzzy but I still have the photos to remind me of what we were doing on the specific days of the trip. Without further ado, and it has been a while here is the next chapter.

Chapter 12 Adventure is Out There

It was an early start but Nemo, Yoda and myself rose out of bed to begin another day. Our first stop, was simple Animal Kingdom for Extra Magic Hours. We took the bus over to the Animal Kingdom and walked over to Pandora quickly. This is when (I think) I DOS’ed Flight of Passage. While we were waiting for the DOS we decided to ride Navi River Journey. The first time we rode it the Shaman was switched into B Mode (as I said before). I wanted to show Nemo & Yoda the Shaman in her full glory so I hoped that when we rode it she would be back. Luckily this was the case and we saw the Shaman (once again).


The group seemed to enjoy the Navi River Journey the second time more then the last. I have always admired the attraction that song is catchy and I listen to it often. I wouldn’t call it a crowd pleaser but I don’t think anyone outright didn’t like the attraction. After this we started to head out of Pandora. We then decided to make our way back over to Dinoland USA. Since last time, (I think) Dinosaur was down, or the wait time wasn’t ideal. On the way over I took a quick picture of the tree of life.


We then headed to Dinosaur.


It was time to tackle Dinosaur it was Nemo & Yoda’s first time, originally I wasn’t going to join them on this because the last time I rode Dinosaur I remember being distinctly terrified. If memory serves I was very young last time I experienced it. With some convincing...they successfully convinced me to enter the Dino Institute with them and we headed though the queue. I hadn’t been in this queue in a while, we headed though the Institute until seeing Dr. Seeker watched the preshow and headed down into the Time River loading bays. I distinctly remember being terrified to get back into a time rover but, again they convinced me and we were off. What followed was a fun and relatively tamer then what a remember experiencing. Don’t get me wrong it’s still a rough ride that throws it’s riders around but I remember it being worse the last time I rode it. We all came out really enjoying the experience. Was happy they convinced me to ride it again, because I don’t know if I would of otherwise. We also saw that our ride photos were synced with our memory maker photopass producing a funny image with us looking in different directions to what I think is the Carnotaurus. After that ride we headed back to Pandora to ride Flight of Passage. On the way back we made a quick stop at the Tree of Life to see It’s Tough to be a Bug.


A little known thing about myself, the one Disney attraction that traumatized me as a kid? It’s tough to be a bug. That make sound funny, but I am not a fan of bugs in general. This being the case, I sat this experience out and waited outside the theater. This may be a good time to mention why I refuse to experience this attraction. You see, when I saw this as a kid the part where the seats have the “stinger” in them really scared me as a kid. To the point, that I don’t like 4D movies with this effect. Combine bugs with this effect and you have a recipe for an attraction that scared me as a kid. Anyways after this we headed back to Pandora, and rode Flight of Passage once again. Before heading into Flight of Passage, we took a quick photopass in front of the Floating Mountains. Then we headed back into the queue for Flight of Passage.


Flight of Passage is always a crowd pleaser and this time was no different. After rising to the challenge we headed out of Pandora. With Pandora, conquered once again the group headed on a small scavenger hunt around the Animal Kingdom as we collected some badges to fill up our Wilderness Explorer field guide. We went around the park to various places and learned about some animals. This was a nice time killer I hadn’t done this before and the game was obviously, geared toward the younger guests but we had fun. After this we headed back toward Dinoland to catch a performance of Finding Nemo the Musical.

On our way over to Nemo we even caught the elusive character of Kevin! I think we caught a glimpse of him earlier in the trip but this was our first close up encounter. I don’t think we actually got a chance to meet him as I think he was moving fast and commanded a crowd. We finally sat down and watched Finding Nemo the Musical. I remember the group also really liking this show, as for myself I hadn’t seen it in a while. Really enjoyed the puppets on display here, the music, and of course the execution of the story. After that impressive show the timeline becomes fuzzy. I think we walked around the park for a bit then headed back into Harambe took a quick photopass in front of the sign and headed in to watch Festival of the Lion King.



I hadn’t sat down to watch Festival of the Lion King in many many years. Unlike, Nemo where I remember seeing it (not recently, but I did remember). I really enjoyed the show and the group seemed to enjoy it as well. The performances were extremely well done and the songs and stunts were very engaging to watch. I had heard great things about it, and only really remembered the monkey bar scene from when I saw it a long time ago. After that great show, we walked around the park gathered more badges this time around some nature trails. I remember acquiring some of them were hard as we couldn’t pinpoint the exact location on the maps we had. After this we headed out of the park took a couple of photopass pictures in front of the Animal Kingdom sign, and the Lion King frame in front of the park. It was then time to board the bus again, and head back to another kingdom.

------------------------------------------------------------------------End of Chapter----------------------------------------------------------

PS: If you read this all the way though, thank you I know it has been a long time since the last chapter but eventually I will finish this trip report in it’s entirety.

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