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Trip Report Disney Holidays '22!

Dates: 11/29 - 12/7

Day 1: Arrived around noon and headed to Riviera Resort for our one night stay here in a 1BR. The rooms were awesome and my wife loved the jetted tub. I wonder what other deluxes have that? Pluto and Donald also came around while we were checking things out waiting for our room and we snagged a pic. This was our first time staying at Riviera and while the rooms were very nice, and Topolino's for dinner was amazing, the resort itself felt "meh". In hindsight, we did make it over to GF and WL to check out those places and GF I think was my favorite. Some other con's I had were a very small lobby (for some reason I love a grand lobby) and our room was not ready until 3:40. Now, I know check in states 4 PM, but in our previous stays at Pop our room was almost always ready before 1. Not sure if this is a common deluxe thing? Some RR photos!

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Day 2: We checked out of Riviera right at 11 and made our way to French Quarter for the remainder of our trip. Our room was ready by noon which was super nice and what I am generally use to. I have to say I really like this place. We were in the furthest corner in building 1 and its still a 5 minute walk to the lobby. We unpacked and headed to Disney Springs for a bit before coming back and resting, then getting ready for dinner at Cali Grill. I was very fortunate to get a 7:05 reservation, and we got done with dinner 4 minutes before the firework show at MK!

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Day 3: We rope dropped Animal Kingdom and did Flight of Passage, the safari and Everest. We actually did not care to do anything else. We went back to FQ for a bit then headed to Epcot around 3. We ate some random Holiday treats, checked out some of the holiday narrator/shows in the different countries, then left around 630 and did dinner at Boatwrights at POR. Boatwrights was okay - not sure I would eat there again. We didn't snag a ton of photos as we have another Epcot day coming up.
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Day 4: Rope dropped Hollywood Studios. Did ToT, RR and Mickys RR. Walked around GE a bit and got interrogated by some Storm Troopers (I have video but it sucks because my phone was pointed right at his breastplate the entire time) which was pretty neat! We headed back to FQ and got about a 2 hour nap in and headed to MK for our MVMCP time! RE: MVMCP - while it was VERY awesome and we loved every minute, next time I am not doing a park that day in the morning. I will reduce the number of days at the parks and just keep that ticket as it's own 'park day'. Pictures!
 

Schweino

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I will post MVMCP and other pictures later in a different thread. On my phone and feeling lazy (plus wife is sleepy).

Day 5: We had MK booked but we slept in due to the previous late night at MVMCP and we didnt get up until close to 10. We left FQ and took a bus to Disney Springs. Hit a few other random stores then took a bus to Wilderness Lodge to check out the tree and stuff. Now that was a beautiful lobby. Very stunning. Took the boat over to MK after a while and we did People Mover and Big Thunder before our dinner at LTT. Never ate at LTT before and that might be my new favorite place in MK. The pot roast, mac and cheese, and salad were just amazing - oh my gosh.

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Day 6 (now): We rope dropped HS and got Rise and Slinky accomplished. To be honest - we are a bit beat LOL. We came back right after those two rides. Good chance we won't be back and I am a bit disappointed we didn't get to see Indiana Jones or the Army Men, but I guess for next time! We are currently resting then heading to Epcot for dinner at Le Cellier and then our reserved seats for the processional.

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Tomorrow is a full Epcot day (we have breakfast at Topolino's and dinner at Space) and Tuesday is our last park day at MK (I have to end the trip at MK no matter what - I need that view of Main Street one more time at night).
 

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Tiggerish

Resident Redhead
Premium Member
. I wonder what other deluxes have that?
As I’m sure you know, Riviera is a DVC resort. All DVC 1BR units have a jetted tub.

I‘m not sure if Deluxe Resorts have jetted tubs in their regular rooms.
our room was not ready until 3:40. Now, I know check in states 4 PM, but in our previous stays at Pop our room was almost always ready before 1. Not sure if this is a common deluxe thing?
It’s a DVC thing. It’s exceptionally rare in recent years for a DVC room to be ready before 4 PM. You got lucky! 😁
 

Schweino

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Not sure if this was intentional but the FW burst behind your head is cool!!
It totally wasn't! We told the nice lady that offered to take the picture we'd like to get one where the fireworks were above us LOL. But the timing of this, and location of where they blew, were too funny. We kept it.
 

Schweino

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
As I’m sure you know, Riviera is a DVC resort. All DVC 1BR units have a jetted tub.
Oh nice! I think what might of tripped me up is I think the studios don't have the jetted tub? Either way, that was super nice.
It’s a DVC thing. It’s exceptionally rare in recent years for a DVC room to be ready before 4 PM. You got lucky! 😁
I will keep that in mind for next time. The main reason we flew in so early (landed at 1130) was so we could go relax in our room as I assumed it would be ready as early as it generally is from past experience lol.
 

Schweino

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 6 cont.: After my wife had a quick hour nap, we got back to Epcot around 3ish. We walked around and checked out some of the shops near the front area and my wife actually met up with a childhood friend that she hasn't seen for 10+ years (super weird timing). We sat with them for an hour while they talked and I watched football on my phone (Youtube TV for the win!). After that, we headed to our dinner at Le Cellier. We both got the ribeye as we had that last time and it was super delicious two years ago. Sadly, this time it was not great. Like, it wasn't horrible and I've certainly had worse steak, but man we were disappointed this time round. Carrot cake was delicious though! We checked out some of the random shops while we made our way to the back of showcase and then watched the processional. That was our first time seeing it and it was amazing. We both really enjoyed it. Mental note for next time to maybe get in line earlier and hope to get closer to the front. We were pretty much in the smack middle.

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Tomorrow for Day 7 - Topos for breakfast, Epcot all day and Space for dinner. We need to get Epcot rides done!
 

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Schweino

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 7: Got up around 6 AM and left for Topo's for our 7:35 resy. Topo's was a pretty great character experience. I mainly wanted to get pics with my wife and the characters and when Donald motioned for me to take a picture with him and I said I was good, he was not having it. Stomped his foot and I got up. Super cute and fun. While the pastries and food was good, the portions were quite small. I had the two eggs meal with sour waffle side and my wife had the french toast brulee. The french toast was delicious! All in all, I would do it again.

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Got to Epcot around 9 and unfortunately I forgot about the darn VQ for Guardians, and I was not leaving without doing it, so purchased an ILL for 12:40. We got TT, Soarin and Living with the land done. Checked out a few random shops and then headed to our ILL. Guardians - WOW. Just wow! Right after the ride, it was 1:04 PM. I checked the VQ and YES! I was able to get boarding group 163 for later! After Guardians, we went back to FQ and had about a 1.5 hour nap. Woke up around 3:30 PM and headed back to Epcot for our dinner at Space. Not going to lie, I hyped this place in my mind and it was underwhelming. My wife got the filet and asked for Medium, but it was definitely Medium rare. Once we brought it up, they were actually very quick and had a new one delivered in 5 minutes. It was okay, but the beef at Topo's was better. I had the short rib and I was very disappointed. I mean, it was good and I would eat it at home, but I was expecting a higher level here. Felt like someone just grabbed some pot roast off the shelf at the local Wawa's and threw some spice on it. The desert my wife had the Peanut cluster thing and that was delicious - tasted like a snickers bar. I had the chocolate cheesecake and it was also good. Overall, I would not eat here again. After dinner we had to go to guest relations to fix an issue with my photopass and then after that waited for our BG for Guardians. Still wow!

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Ended the night getting some decent viewing spots for Harmonious by the Port of Entry. Duuuude that show was stunning. Loooved every minute of it. My wife got emotional as she did during MVMCP's show and Enchantment.

Overall, pretty great day. Tomorrow is the last park day as we have a full MK day. We originally had dinner at Be Our Guest (because originally our in-laws were suppose to be here with us and we wanted them to experience the castle) but I switched it to Boma's at 5:55. I am a bit sad that I won't be able to get my night view of Main Street one last time to officially 'end' the magic, but alas, we didn't want to do BOG again and I've never had Boma's!

I promise to come back and upload photos, but doing this from a laptop sucks lol. I need my PC!
 
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pkkurz

Well-Known Member
Day 7: Got up around 6 AM and left for Topo's for our 7:35 resy. Topo's was a pretty great character experience. I mainly wanted to get pics with my wife and the characters and when Donald motioned for me to take a picture with him and I said I was good, he was not having it. Stomped his foot and I got up. Super cute and fun. While the pastries and food was good, the portions were quite small. I had the two eggs meal with sour waffle side and my wife had the french toast brulee. The french toast was delicious! All in all, I would do it again.

Got to Epcot around 9 and unfortunately I forgot about the darn VQ for Guardians, and I was not leaving without doing it, so purchased an ILL for 12:40. We got TT, Soarin and Living with the land done. Checked out a few random shops and then headed to our ILL. Guardians - WOW. Just wow! Right after the ride, it was 1:04 PM. I checked the VQ and YES! I was able to get boarding group 163 for later! After Guardians, we went back to FQ and had about a 1.5 hour nap. Woke up around 3:30 PM and headed back to Epcot for our dinner at Space. Not going to lie, I hyped this place in my mind and it was underwhelming. My wife got the filet and asked for Medium, but it was definitely Medium rare. Once we brought it up, they were actually very quick and had a new one delivered in 5 minutes. It was okay, but the beef at Topo's was better. I had the short rib and I was very disappointed. I mean, it was good and I would eat it at home, but I was expecting a higher level here. Felt like someone just grabbed some pot roast off the shelf at the local Wawa's and threw some spice on it. The desert my wife had the Peanut cluster thing and that was delicious - tasted like a snickers bar. I had the chocolate cheesecake and it was also good. Overall, I would not eat here again. After dinner we had to go to guest relations to fix an issue with my photopass and then after that waited for our BG for Guardians. Still wow!

Ended the night getting some decent viewing spots for Harmonious by the Port of Entry. Duuuude that show was stunning. Loooved every minute of it. My wife got emotional as she did during MVMCP's show and Enchantment.

Overall, pretty great day. Tomorrow is the last park day as we have a full MK day. We originally had dinner at Be Our Guest (because originally our in-laws were suppose to be here with us and we wanted them to experience the castle) but I switched it to Boma's at 5:55. I am a bit sad that I won't be able to get my night view of Main Street one last time to officially 'end' the magic, but alas, we didn't want to do BOG again and I've never had Boma's!

I promise to come back and upload photos, but doing this from a laptop sucks lol. I need my PC!
Do you know that you can order more than one entree at Topo? They are very accommodating and will bring you whatever you want. We usually order the fruit plate for the table to share.
 

Schweino

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 8: Got up around 6 am, got ready and headed to MK to rope drop SDMT. This was the only day we purchased Genie+ and never used it before - booked Space Mountain with our first LL around 10:30. Got to MK and holy crap the number of people. MK really needs to allow Frontier/Adventureland be available for extra morning hours. We got through SDMT in about 25 minutes then only waited about 10 minutes to do Space Mountain. After that we did some random photopass opportunities then headed back to our Space Mountain LL. Once we got that done, we went back to FQ and took a 1.5 hour nap.

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Before the nap, I booked Big Thunder for a 2:30-3:30 slot. On the way to MK after the nap, BT went down and I got my LL's back. I went ahead and booked a time slot for Splash Mountain and decided to use my LLs later. After roaming around MK a bit, we got to Frontier land and BT opened up right while we were standing in front of it. SCORE! Walked onto BT and then right afterwards redeemed our LLs to do it again. Once we got through twice, we headed to Splash and did our LL there. While in line for Splash, I had one more LL to book and we had to be out of there by 6 before the party. Went ahead and booked Pirates to be our last ride of the trip.

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On the way out, took some random photos of all the places decorated for the holidays. Walked down main street just in time for them to take down the flag. Turned around and gave Main Street one last look. It hit the heart. It was over. 8 nights of amazing experiences.

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We took the bus from MK to AKL and did dinner at Boma. Never eaten here before! The pork ribs were not my favorite (but im a beef rib kind of guy) and the striploin was allright. However, almost all of the sides were delicious and I think I fell in love with that banana bread pudding and vanilla sauce. Currently in bed at FQ and ready to get home to our dogs - we miss them a bunch.

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Schweino

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Random thoughts:

1. We were very blessed with the weather. It didn't rain once for us and it wasn't too hot. The only way it would of been more perfect is if it was 75 as the high every day, but I'll take 80.

2. Restaurants that I wanted/was eager to do and learned it wasn't worth it: Space 220 and Le Cellier Processional Package (for the price, the meat sucked, which was sad because last time it was mouth watering. Not sure what changed here..).

3. Food we really enjoyed: Topolino's for dinner (was new to us), California Grill (second time here, so we knew going in it should be great), LTT for dinner (probably our new MK favorite, new to us). Would *easily* do these again next trip and wouldn't care that we've done it before.

4. French Quarter is awesome (new to us) and my wife said we should just pay to stay here for future trips instead of Pop. Super small, meaning short walks to get anywhere without needing to pay for a 'preferred' room category. Short bus lines going back from parks because of lower occupancy, and those beignet's! The only thing I didn't like about FQ was the lobby (for some reason I love a big 'ol grand lobby), but it was very pretty with the decor they had up. Also the bus stop coming back from Epcot was stop 5, which was right by the exit. Going into my next point...

5. I could be nuts, but I feel like that the more money you are paying for your resort, you should have a closer bus station. FQ was stop 18 for MK which was the last stop in the middle row. Pop Century was in the front of the middle. After doing 22k+ steps, I don't wanna walk that far to my bus (first world problems..).

6. What would I do different next time: Plan 2 full resort days. While we did take afternoon breaks a few of the days, my feet are destroyed lol. We didnt plan resort days this time because there was so much we were wanting to do because who knows when we can get back (while we discuss DVC internally).
 

Schweino

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Woke up early and already packed/cleaned up and wife is getting ready. Went back and edited posts to include some pics from the days events the best that I could remember/piece together. I wish you could select to post more than 1 at a time - what a pain! Some more random thoughts:

We went two years between visits (we visited around this same exact time in 2020 and 2019 before that). While last night it hit that the trip was over, I've gotta say after 8 nights and 6 park days, I do feel "Disney'd" out. The only way we come back next year is if my wife's parents and brother and his wife go down and really push us to come (they all were suppose to come this trip, but 3 days before our trip something unexpected happened).

I do wish they would bring back dining plan and kill Genie+ and bring back the old fast pass system. Genie+ is worth it, but it stinks that they turned it to a money grab. Who knows what Iger has in store going forward.

If I had to replan the trip, I would do the following:

Day 1 - Arrive/Disney Springs
Day 2 - MK all day w/ Genie+
Day 3 - Epcot Day 1 rope drop (Rides) and leave early
Day 4 - AK rope drop and leave early.
Day 5 - Resort
Day 6 - HS all day w/ Genie+
Day 7 - Epcot Day 2 (showcase side) leave early.
Day 8 - MK all day w/ Genie+
Day 9 - leave

I feel the above would not destroy my feet so much and be able to have time to do other random things (check out stuff outside the parks).

Still debating DVC. Every 2 years seems to be a nice period for us and considering how long we stay when we do come, we are able to get a big filling. I may wait until April/May, as I am curious what the 7 month availability looks like for this same travel period. If we were to get DVC we would most likely get SSR (due to cost) and while I wouldn't have a problem staying at SSR, just curious to see what studio availability is like at other places when it's 7 months out.
 
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cgersic

Well-Known Member
Looks like a great time and thank you for taking the time to report! The photos of MK being so busy is just crazy - I miss the days of getting to do everything you want in one day. So glad you enjoyed FQ - it's my favorite for many reasons!
 

Schweino

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Looks like a great time and thank you for taking the time to report! The photos of MK being so busy is just crazy - I miss the days of getting to do everything you want in one day. So glad you enjoyed FQ - it's my favorite for many reasons!
Yes, that might be the busiest Ive personally ever experienced the parks overall. Granted, I am not a frequent Disney traveler so unsure if any Disney pro's who were also there would say this is 'typical' or 'higher than average' for the time of year. If the crowds were about 20-25% less, I think it would of been way more enjoyable.
 
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