Trip Report ** COMPLETED ** You left your babies at HOME? Heck yes we did!

SighI’ve been meaning to start this report for a while! It did happen almost 4 months ago, but with my last trip report dragging on, end of school and an early summer vacation, life had different plans!

Anyway, let’s gooo!

The quick deets:

Who: Me and my wife K

1687701482288.jpeg


When: February 25 - March 3
Where: GF villas and Wilderness Lodge

As for the why and how we got here: The short story is that we were celebrating our 10 year anniversary.

There is a lot more to it than that though -

We knew for the last 2 years we wanted to go away for our 10 year, but could not figure out where. We toyed with everything from an all-inclusive beach vacation, to England, to our other favorite Cape May and everything in between. We realized though we are not just sit on the beach people anymore - we are busy, and like to be going and doing things. When the pictures of the Wish came out, it seemed perfect. Romantic and fancy, enough of a Disney touch, and we get to get to the beach too. All of our favorite things! So we booked a 4 day cruise, and since we were traveling to a Florida anyway, we booked a 2 night stay at Grand Floridian by renting DVC points (figuring we would never stay there in the near future with kids).

And then a wrench was thrown - the Wish actually sailed, and reviews were less than ideal.

Sad Hunchback Of Notre Dame GIF


We tried to ignore them, but so many of the negatives were focused on the adult side of things, with the positives being the kids areas. In the end, we just weren’t excited anymore and with the best parts being the kids areas, it did not seem to be a good way for us to spend our money. So we cancelled, but we still had that 2 night stay at GF, and with it being a point rental, we could not really cancel. Luckily, a Disney+ promotion had just came out, and we were able to score a great deal on a WL room! And so the trip was born!
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
At this point, the crowds were pretty much gone, and everything was a walk on

1697982265961.jpeg


So where do we head? Little Mermaid!

1697982243986.jpeg


I think this queue is really underrated, and it was nice to be able to take our time going through it

1697982442190.jpeg


1697982421854.jpeg


This reminds me of a girl I knew in college

1697982476269.jpeg


1697982506978.jpeg


I mentioned it already, but this part of the park was absolutely empty. Very 2020 feeling

1697982537814.jpeg


We saved our ride on 7DMT until this point, which I believe was only a 15 minute wait.

1697982558393.jpeg


We had a brother and sister in front of us who really wanted to make the car rock and asked for our help, so we did our best to assist

Being 11:15, we were starting to drag, but I still had one more must do on my list

1697982580155.jpeg
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
A private ride on Small World? You don’t have to twist my arm!

1697982898776.jpeg


If I have a TR that does not include the drummers, you can guarantee I’ve been hacked

1697982923656.jpeg


This picture reminds of my photo albums as a kid. Remember actually having to print the photos, and sticking them between the plastic sheets?

1697982944162.jpeg


Oh wonky eyes hippo, what have you seen?

1697982965154.jpeg


1697982982264.jpeg


We had been debating going on Big Thunder at night, but our legs were done. If there were more rides on the way, we might have done it, but it just seemed so far at this point, so we decided to call it a night.

1697983004537.jpeg


These are probably a few of my favorite pictures I’ve taken at WDW
1697983052708.jpeg


1697983086635.jpeg


1697983118144.jpeg


1697983358977.jpeg
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Let’s wrap this up!

Although we were exhausted, we couldn’t get ourselves to leave quickly

1697983708322.jpeg


1697983738803.jpeg


After getting back, we packed up most of our things. For some reason, I took a walk around Wilderness Lodge, and got slightly lost on the upper floors. I believe I was looking for a vending machine for some ginger ale.
1697983759304.jpeg


I did find this view out a window though!

1697983780436.jpeg


The next morning, we finished packing up our things and brought them down to the front desk before heading to Whispering Canyon for one last breakfast.

1697983799316.jpeg


We normally are more subdued people so we weren’t sure how we would do with the antics. Honestly, we loved it! I think our waitress could read our energy, and toned it down a bit for us, but we loved watching everything around the restaurant.

Food wise, K got a skillet, and I got a Benedict of some kind. Deep down I wanted a skillet, but my overindulgence on the trip was still catching up to me.

1697983827164.jpeg


1697983844697.jpeg


We also got one last anniversary treat.

1697983860372.jpeg


After this, we had about an hour before our car was coming, so we wandered the lobby and happened across the DVC booth. We’ve been considering this heavily, so decided why not take a tour. Wilderness Lodge was never on our last originally, but after seeing the rooms and eating here, it definitely is. Although we haven’t pulled the trigger yet, it is on our long term goals.

We got back around 7:30 pm in time to get the kids to bed, and get right back into the chaos that is life with two young kids.

Just kidding (sort of). It is chaotic, but by the end of trip we were really missing them. Soon enough it was time for L’s birthday -

1697983899128-jpeg.750293


And C’s First Communion!

1697998947236.jpeg


I’ll do one more post on final thoughts, and upcoming trips (sooner than I’d like to admit!)
 

Attachments

  • 1697983899128.jpeg
    1697983899128.jpeg
    129.1 KB · Views: 350

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Really enjoying your TR! We have never been without kids, but now that they are mostly grown we are considering it!
Thank you! I highly recommend it! It’s so interesting to be in a place where you are used to balancing so many other people’s wants and needs, and just being back to what you and your significant other want to do.
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Final Thoughts

So many people questioned us going to Disney for Anniversary, since a) they think it’s for kids or b) we tend to go often. Shouldn’t an Anniversary trip be special? That last part is what almost made us second guess it. Would it really be that special? And the resounding answer was yes!

We didn’t do any special tours or parties, although we were a bit tempted to do a Keys to the Kingdom tour. Our focus was really taking this place that has become special to us over the last 10 years, and get to experience it as if we were just married.

It’s no surprise that Hollywood Studios and Epcot were our favorite parks this trip, and MK is where we missed the kids the most. Epcot Evening Hours were definitely a highlight, as was our hilarious ride on Millenium Falcon.

For restaurants, Topolinos was definitely our favorite, with the food at Steakhouse 71 a close second. Boathouse was sadly a disappointment, but Wine Bar George was way better than imagined (I wanted the Saganaki, but K is now obsessed with it). I also will always now get my own popcorn at MK.

For hotels, both GF and Wilderness Lodge were great. I’m glad at GF we stayed in the Villas building, although we did feel a bit remote. We almost didn’t get the full GF experience in that way. WL at first I will say we did not love. We had a weird run in with some guests I didn’t mention in here (reminded us of some not favorite family members), which gave us a bit of a sour taste the first day. Every day though we fell more and more in love with it. Geyser Point especially is one of my favorite places on property, and all of the grounds just felt like an escape.
One big surprise for us was just how much time our kids take up! 😂 The amount we were able to get done at Hollywood Studios was mind boggling, and while part of that was since we barely met any characters, it was eye opening to think just how much time we spend standing around talking over plans when more people are with us.

Future plans

That said, we need to get used to having more people as we are going on quite the extended family trip in just over 2 weeks! L’s parents will be joining us 4 again, and so will her sister, husband and two kids. They have never been, so they wanted to join us so we could essentially guide them.

But… where family goes, so does drama, so we did as any good Disney fan and extended our trip on the premise of “cheaper flights”. We’ll be spending 3 nights at Pop, before everyone joins for 4 nights at AoA. This will be Jersey Week (our kids will only miss one and a half days), so we are expecting some crowds. But K is currently coaching the HS color guard whose season ends the Sunday before, she is also running for Board of Ed (we’re leaving election night), C is in cheerleading which ends that Sunday, and I’m C’s school’s Running coach which ends the Friday before. So long story short, we can deal with crazy and still feel relaxed!

And for anyone doing the math, this will be mine and K’s third trip in one year. And no, we do not have APs because they were not on sale originally for our first trip. And up until now, we were very much in denial about just how much we truly want to keep going back.

Thank you everyone for following along, and I appreciate the patience and push to finish this up! I’m not sure if I’ll do a full TR for the next one, or just a live one, but we’ll see!
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
Glad you completed this! And a word to the wise - a live trip report will be nearly impossible on an extended family trip. (Too much vying for your attention.) Do yourself a favor and be present for your (nuclear) family.

You can always spill the deets (because there will be stories!) after you return home when you are not time-constrained.
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thanks for sharing your TR - I always love your perspective and your pictures.

Thanks for following along!

Glad you completed this! And a word to the wise - a live trip report will be nearly impossible on an extended family trip. (Too much vying for your attention.) Do yourself a favor and be present for your (nuclear) family.

You can always spill the deets (because there will be stories!) after you return home when you are not time-constrained.

That’s a great point. And the only time I attempted a live report was during our COVID trip, which was a lot less busy and I still struggled to keep up 😆
 

Minnie1986

Well-Known Member
SighI’ve been meaning to start this report for a while! It did happen almost 4 months ago, but with my last trip report dragging on, end of school and an early summer vacation, life had different plans!

Anyway, let’s gooo!

The quick deets:

Who: Me and my wife K

View attachment 726381

When: February 25 - March 3
Where: GF villas and Wilderness Lodge

As for the why and how we got here: The short story is that we were celebrating our 10 year anniversary.

There is a lot more to it than that though -

We knew for the last 2 years we wanted to go away for our 10 year, but could not figure out where. We toyed with everything from an all-inclusive beach vacation, to England, to our other favorite Cape May and everything in between. We realized though we are not just sit on the beach people anymore - we are busy, and like to be going and doing things. When the pictures of the Wish came out, it seemed perfect. Romantic and fancy, enough of a Disney touch, and we get to get to the beach too. All of our favorite things! So we booked a 4 day cruise, and since we were traveling to a Florida anyway, we booked a 2 night stay at Grand Floridian by renting DVC points (figuring we would never stay there in the near future with kids).

And then a wrench was thrown - the Wish actually sailed, and reviews were less than ideal.

Sad Hunchback Of Notre Dame GIF


We tried to ignore them, but so many of the negatives were focused on the adult side of things, with the positives being the kids areas. In the end, we just weren’t excited anymore and with the best parts being the kids areas, it did not seem to be a good way for us to spend our money. So we cancelled, but we still had that 2 night stay at GF, and with it being a point rental, we could not really cancel. Luckily, a Disney+ promotion had just came out, and we were able to score a great deal on a WL room! And so the trip was born!
happy belated anniversary!
 

Minnie1986

Well-Known Member
We mobile ordered some lunch from ABC Commissary that I swore I took pictures of but apparently not.

We split the Mediterranean Chicken Salad and the Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese. Wow. This was the surprise of the trip and was definitely a top meal!

Normally a QS salad would be pretty underwhelming, but this was great, fresh and filling. And the Buffalo grilled cheese. 😋 Seeing Cream Cheese in the ingredient list was a bit off putting, but OMG. It was so creamy and great! Definitely adding this to our usual rotation now.

We finished up a little bit after 1, and started to head out of the park. And guess what, it was still completely empty! We were wondering if the lack of crowds in the morning had to do with the race, but figured by now some people would be showing up, but nope!

View attachment 729453

We said hello to Edna on the way out.
View attachment 729452

We got out, and took the bus back to the room. We had thought about going to the pool, but weren’t in the mood if that would be crowded, so we decided to stay in the room for a bit. K was tired and wanted to take a quick nap, and I was in the mood to just enjoy the weather and read.

We also talked about just how much we got done in the morning. Obviously the lack of crowds played into it, but we felt like there was more to it. We knew not doing many characters or having to do rider swap saved time, but we just felt efficient if that makes sense. We decided that when the kids are with us, the stopping for bathrooms, snacks, and just trying to make plans with more people eats up way more time than we ever realized. Even just K and I trying to make decisions with the kids takes so much longer since we too worry about so many other variables. With the two of us, we just kind of went with it. It sounds cheesy, but it brought us back to before kids, before even being married and how we knew we just clicked.

When we started getting ready for the evening, I noticed these pictures on the wall.

View attachment 729454

K has always loved Happiest Millionaire, but it’s such an obscure movie these days to be seen, that it was a weird coincidence. I’ll admit it is a great movie though, and if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it!

Anyway, we were thinking of taking a bus to DHS, and then boarding the Skyliner to get to dinner, but decided to get an Uber instead to save some time.

Our destination - Topolino’s!

This was our first time eating here, and we’re especially excited because it was right around sunset as we sat.

Our table wasn’t window side, but had a great view.

View attachment 729455

Definitely an A+ for atmosphere!

View attachment 729456

On that note, there was a group of 3 runners who came in with their medals, as well as their race shirts. Most people were dressed somewhat nicely, so they very much stood out. I’m all for celebrating a good race, but is the shirt necessary when you have the medals?

Also, is it just me, or do guys usually take off their caps in restaurants? Especially nicer ones? My dad always did that, and we were a fairly standard blue collar family that did not follow some standard manners (I’ve since found out lol). But it was just understood that at a restaurant of any kind, you remove your cap. But here there were a number of guys with their caps on. Just seemed out of place.

Our food soon came out, and we started with the gnocchi that had a braised lamb ragu. Holy cow this was good!

View attachment 729457

We took a break outside before our entrees came. The weather was absolutely perfect!

View attachment 729458

View attachment 729459

I probably could have spent the whole evening out here.

For our entrees, K had the Filet, and I had a scallop special with a corn risotto. Both were great, but K’s was the winner. It was cooked perfectly and literally sliced like butter. It made up for it being served with broccolini 🤢

View attachment 729460

View attachment 729461
Don't mind, I'm just over here drooling over K's meal
 

erstwo

Well-Known Member
This reminds me of a girl I knew in college

View attachment 750267
DYING. I will never look at poor Flounder the same way again!

Loved the trip report! I totally agree that a trip, even for those who visit often, can be special. My husband has done the Keys to the Kingdom tour and really loved it and thought it was well worth the money (and he hates parting with his money, so that's saying something!)

Looking forward to the next one!
 

Minnie1986

Well-Known Member
We walked around Japan a bit, but since it was getting close to 9, decided not to stop anywhere
View attachment 736574

View attachment 736575

We had planned on making it around WS, go to Frozen, and then hit Guardians on the way out, but this changed things a bit since we didn’t know how long that would all take. So instead we decided to just walk up to the front while Harmonious was going off.

View attachment 736591

We wandered slightly into Italy but decided not to go into any stores

View attachment 736601

View attachment 736602

View attachment 736603

Our return time for Guardians was still over an hour away, or so we thought. As soon as the clock hit 9, we got called to return.

We had planned on making it around WS, go to Frozen, and then hit Guardians on the way out, but this changed things a bit since we didn’t know how long that would all take. So instead we decided to just walk up to the front while Harmonious was going off. We hadn’t planned on watching Harmonious, so we were ok to just catch it while walking.

The good part of this change of plans was we did get to see most of the show. When we got to Mexico, we stopped and watched it a bit.

View attachment 736606

View attachment 736607

As glad as I am to lose the tacos, I did enjoy the soundtrack. But losing the tacos was definitely a win.

When Tiana’s part was finishing, we decided to head to Guardians, as we figured a lot of people would be heading over after the show finished.

View attachment 736610

This method seemed to work, as it was less than a 20 minute wait this time

This time our song was Conga (I Ran was better, even though Conga was more fun). K though was not doing well at all. We made it out, but she had to sit on a bench for awhile.

This was very odd for her, as she has never had issues with rides before, and this was now seemingly getting worse which each ride. This one we thought could just have been tiredness, but were wondering whether something else was up.
You have officially convinced me that this is the best time to visit. Going to make my next trip after one coming a post holiday adventure.
 

littleroo

Well-Known Member
Thanks for a great TR! The kids are adorable and getting so big, too fast!
As I mentioned previously, Den and I are going without the kids in January. The reaction from people is hysterical and frustrating at the same time. Many just can't believe we would go there when we could go anywhere and just spent 2 plus weeks in June there. The majority don't get, all of our, great love for the mouse house and being young at heart!
I can't wait for your next adventure!
 

Minnie1986

Well-Known Member
Post ride, we explored the land a bit more.

I do admit, I wish there was more to Pandora. While it is gorgeous, there isn’t a ton to look at. Once you see the mountains, the wow factor is somewhat done.

Still doesn’t stop me from taking the pictures!

View attachment 737860

View attachment 737861

With an early start to the day, we were hungry for lunch around 11:30, and made our way to our favorite in the park - Flame Tree BBQ. We got the pulled pork Mac n Cheese

View attachment 737862

The pork was a bit chewy, so it was a slight disappointment. The Smiling Crocodile (I think that’s the stand’s name) does seem to do it better.

But, we were soaking in this view which makes it 10x better

View attachment 737863

I have to give @fractal credit for knowing about this gem. I had seen him mention it on a trip report a long time ago, and it has been our go to for our last few trips.

And with the characters coming by on boats, this spot is even better!

View attachment 737864

View attachment 737865

Bellies full, it was time to make way to the one land we haven’t explored yet

View attachment 737866

I don’t know why, but I love this ride

View attachment 737867

Even though I will admit I forgot about the last time the Dino jumps out, and screamed like a little child. But the poor young girl behind us was louder, and stayed sobbing through the end of the ride :(

It was only 12:30, and we were much done with the park. This was around when Disney announced a possible retheme so I wanted to get some photo evidence of the land

View attachment 737868

I had wanted to check out Nomad lounge, but the wait was listed as an hour, so we decided to skip it. I had enjoyed FoP so much, we decided to go for one more ride

But first, we spotted Kevin!
200.gif


View attachment 737869
Where is that gorgeous spot by the water?
 

Register on WDWMAGIC. This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.

Back
Top Bottom