Trip Report "Feel the flow, here we go..." - Our Disney Honeymoon (finally complete!)

And just like that, we’re back!

I knew our honeymoon would fly by but you can never really prepare yourself for how quickly it actually goes. It’s crazy to me that I’m writing this from my office when just one week ago I was in the middle of a full day at Epcot.

At least it means I get to write this trip report! I’m excited to share and also to have a slightly more detailed than normal account of our trip. It’s crazy how the details fade over time!

Some quick details-

I’m Amanda and I’m bringing my newly acquired husband, Daniel! We met while working in Yellowstone NP but now live in Michigan. We have two dogs and one cat, and both grew up going to Disney (me world, him land). We got married November 4th, 2017 and are still pretty excited about it.

Here we are post-getting hitched:

All the love to Mary Boike Photography for this. If you're in northern Michigan and need a photographer, I absolutely recommend her work!

January 18th-27th, 2018

Pop Century Resort

It’s our honeymoon! We just wanted to delay it until after the holidays.

If you want to catch up on our full pre-trip report, it’s here.

Now onward to the good stuff!


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It seemed a bit silly using a FP for BTM when the standby line was only ten minutes but what can you do? It made the ride walk on and we really could have ridden it again. We decided to move on though. I do just really love Big Thunder- such a fun ride and great theme!

Our next FP was for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train but we had almost an hour. We started walking through Frontierland back over toward Liberty Square.

Once at Liberty Square we discovered that the posted wait time for Haunted Mansion was just 25 minutes. It's a favorite for both of us so we decided to get in line. We last rode HM at Disneyland in 2014 while it had the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay. I love the overlay but still love the original version the most. I was looking forward to it!

Now we'll have family story time!

My uncle's name is Fred. Every single time I've visited Magic Kingdom with my Dad he takes a picture out this tombstone and sends it to my uncle (or showed it back before cell phones). He thinks it is the funniest thing. So now, per tradition, I take a picture and send it to my Dad. The Haunted Mansion is also the scene of a favorite childhood story of my parents. I had to have been about three and they decided to let me ride Haunted Mansion as I'd handled everything else so well. Their hopes for a smooth ride were dashed when a Cast Member spooked me with a loud "boo" in the stretching room. I screamed bloody murder from that point until we exited the ride. Twenty-six years later and I still hear this story anytime Disney comes up! Now, they had good reason to think I'd like the ride. I was obsessed with the Disneyland Fun Sing Along VHS and Grim Grinning Ghosts was my favorite of all the songs. :)

It's things like that- years of family memories and experiences- that make Disney such a special place for me.

Moving on!

We enjoyed Haunted Mansion as always and then headed for Fantasyland.

Peter Pan's Flight was already at a high wait but It's a Small World only had fifteen minutes posted. This is another ride that I just really appreciate. The art design is absolutely wonderful! I do think that I prefer the Disneyland version with the outdoor facade/queue (though that wouldn't be as enjoyable in Florida).

The signs worked! The personalized goodbye is a nice touch.

Next it was finally time for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train! This would be a first for both of us and we were really looking forward to it.

We both really loved it! I was really expecting way more of a kiddie coaster (like The Barnstormer). It’s such a smooth, fun ride! The dark ride scenes are really done well. I can see why it gets the wait times it does, though I doubt we’d wait more than 45 minutes for it in the future.

Our Be Our Guest lunch reservation was still about 40 minutes away at this point. We each had a granola bar and contemplated what to do next. Fantasyland was rapidly filling up and we had no intention of waiting more than 30 minutes for Winnie the Pooh or Peter Pan’s Flight. I consulted the app and Voyage of the Little Mermaid was showing a 20 minute wait time, so we walked over there.

I want to say this section of the park is new since my last visit though I could be wrong. Either way, I didn’t remember it! The queue here is so, so much better than the one at DCA and the ride is cute. It’s not a favorite of ours but it was a nice way to spend the time.

Now it was time for a much hyped lunch reservation at Be Our Guest!

We originally had a breakfast reservation but when I saw how expensive it was we switched to lunch. I’m glad we did! Daniel had the Croque Monsier and I had the potato leek soup with a Master’s Cupcake. The soup was really good and I definitely could have eaten more of it. I also enjoyed the “gray stuff” though I probably wouldn’t spend $5 on a cupcake again! At least that specific cupcake.

We took a long time eating because we were enjoying the restaurant so much and we knew how busy it was getting outside. I wouldn’t say the crowds were horrible during our trip but they were more than this time of year used to be. We had a Space Mountain fastpass after lunch, so we headed toward Tomorrowland for a ride on the People Mover.

The People Mover is one of my favorite things. Such a nice spot to take a break and a classic attraction.

By the time we got off the People Mover it was time for Space Mountain! We both adore this one and had been looking forward to it all day. Once in line I was able to get an additional fastpass for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin later that evening. That was the only thing available so I knew the park was hopping!

We headed for The Lunching Pad for a post-Space Mountain snack. Our favorite, a Mickey pretzel with cheese!

Tomorrowland was also pretty overrun at that point. I knew I wanted to see Festival of Fantasy today so we headed for Main Street to stake out a spot and browse the shops a bit.
I totally had that Disney song along songs VHS too! Loved it!


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In the Parks

We made it back to Main Street and the Photopass lines were much shorter than they had been that morning. After a quick picture, we headed toward the Emporium. We browsed for a bit and ended up buying a new collar for our younger dog (his first one was getting too tight). We had a nice chat about dogs with the CMs working there and then set out to find out spot for the parade. It was about an hour until it started but we were tired. We found a spot on the curb and waited. It was definitely crowded by the start and we had a very boisterous family right behind but our view was great!

We really loved the parade. I had watched it a few times on YouTube but Daniel hadn't. Honestly, he probably wouldn't have watched it if I hadn't wanted to. But he was pleasantly surprised with it! I love how all the floats have a moving element!

There are very few pictures from our post-parade adventures! I will do my best to fill in from memory.

As the parade crowd dispersed we checked MDE to see what wait times were like. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was just 30 minutes so we headed that way hoping everyone else had a different plan. The queue didn’t seem to bad when we got in it but it was so slow. Once we got a bit closer we could see that the FP queue was very long. That was when I remembered seeing the ride had been down earlier in the day, so I assume that’s why things were so backed up. They pushed the FP folks through as quickly as they could but that 30 minute wait was more like 60. Could have been worse but we never would have willingly waited 60 minutes for that ride! Especially since the interactive parts of the queue were so loud. Still, we enjoyed it. We both are partial to the Heffalumps and Woozles section.

We left Pooh and went over to Mickey’s Philarmagic. Daniel had never seen the show but I had fond memories of it. The Lion King has long been my favorite Disney movie so I am always happy to see it featured somewhere! He enjoyed though show despite it seeming a little dated.

After that we wanted to get some dinner before things got too busy. We decided to try Peco’s Bills and headed that way. We ended up splitting nachos and it worked so well! We are quite used to sharing food when at any Disney park. My recent decision to become a vegetarian made that a bit harder but we just asked for the beef on the side. I loaded my half up with guacamole. It was the world’s best nachos or anything but we were both happy with it. The restaurant was also very empty and quiet, so it was a really nice break.

Our FP for Space Ranger Spin was coming up so we made our way back to Tomorrowland. I was determined to beat Daniel at either this or Midway Mania during our trip. Tonight, unfortunately, would not be my night!

Once we finished that it was almost time for us to check in at the Happily Ever After Dessert Party! We decided to see if we could get a seat a few minutes early. During our walk over we definitely noticed a crowd already forming in the hub area. Neither of us had ever done a party before but I was happy to not be fighting the crowds! They were able to seat us early and we each enjoyed a plate of desserts.

I think we sat for about 30 minutes before we asked to be escorted to the viewing area. We found a nice little spot on the back fence we could lean against. We now have so much respect for the CMs tasked with keeping the walkways clear of guests! People do not like to be told they can’t stand there! Our view was perfect and the fenced area wasn’t too full. This was our first time seeing Happily Ever After and it was perfect! I really like the mix of characters and stories they use. Illuminations is still my favorite (and probably always will be at this point) but I really did love HEA. Daniel was also impressed by how well done it was. We would also both definitely do the dessert party again if our budget allowed!

This is where I use the stock photos you get with Memory Maker, right? Where else would I use them?

After the show we took the backstage (I think?) route from the hub to the entrance. We moved quickly and were able to get on a bus pretty much right away. It was then that I noticed I had a bit of pain in my left foot. I thought this was strange as I had worn my years old, many miles trekked Birkenstocks! The left one had recently sustained some damage (from the cork expanding, I think) but I assumed they would at least get me through this trip. If only I had known how wrong I was!


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In the Parks
I'm so upset that Pirates will be closed during our March stay. We're going to miss it by one day :( Just an excuse to go back right lol?

I would have been sad too! But that is exactly what I said about Splash Mountain- we just have to go back now! :)

Following along! It's off to a great start!

Thank you! I'm trying to stay on top of it while I still remember the details.

I totally had that Disney song along songs VHS too! Loved it!

It was the best sing along. I had some others but nothing compared! My Mom actually found it on DVD a few years ago and got it for me. I still watch it sometimes. :)


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Daniel is so guarded and shy - he needs to work on this



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We made it back to Main Street and the Photopass lines were much shorter than they had been that morning.

What a nice picture of the two of you hugging--so sweet that you chose to spend your honeymoon in WDW. I like the pictures you took of the parade. That looked like fun! :happy:


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In the Parks
01.20.2018 | Resort Hopping

While I don’t rely solely on crowd calendars, I did listen when all of them showed this day being the busiest day of our trip. Instead of heading off to a park we were free to explore wherever we wanted! I mentioned previously that we met while working for the lodging department in Yellowstone National Park. We love working in the hospitality industry and hotels so we were especially interested in visiting some deluxe resorts while we were there.

First up? The Polynesian.

We decided to take whichever bus was leaving Pop first. It ended up being a Magic Kingdom bus so back on board we went. From the bus we headed straight for the monorail and to our first stop of the day. I had originally booked us breakfast at Kona Café for this day but cancelled it a couple of weeks before we left. I wanted us to be able to sleep in and lounge if we wanted to. Turns out we were standing outside of Kona about ten minutes before our reservation would have been! Alas, the place was swamped.

Captain Cook’s, however, was not!

I had the Tonga Toast and Daniel got a breakfast burrito, if I remember right. The woman taking our order was so sweet and talked to us about moving to Orlando (something we’ve talked about on occasion). She was also able to get the bacon swapped out for an egg for my Tonga Toast though, unfortunately, the kitchen would not take note of this change.

We ate outside and enjoyed the absolutely perfect weather before taking a walk around the resort grounds. It really is a beautiful place and all the CMs we encountered were so friendly.

I used to be able to confidently answer that my dream Disney resort was the Contemporary. This trip taught me that there are two others that could compete for that spot in my heart, Poly being one of them.

Soon enough we hopped back on the monorail to head over to the Grand Floridian. What a beautiful resort! It reminded me a lot of the Lake Yellowstone Hotel where I used to work- just on a much grander scale! We spent some time exploring before deciding we wanted to head for Disney Springs. We made our way to the bus stop. We ended up waiting longer for this bus than any other bus during our trip but it showed up eventually and we were on our way.

For comparison, the Lake Yellowstone Hotel:

Obviously not identical and I can't find my interior pictures right now but they feel so similar in person!

Please excuse the wall of text below, I have a massive gap with no pictures from leaving GF until our dinner that night!

When we got to Disney Springs I realized how much my left foot hurt. Every step I took was like a sharp, stabbing pain. I was super frustrated that my go to pair of shoes had let me down. The number of Disney days I have spent in these sandals! All good things must come to an end, I suppose.

We grabbed some Starbucks and wandered around World of Disney. DS is so, so different than what I remembered. It’s nice but we really didn’t spend much time there outside of some dining and the typical Disney shops. After World of Disney we wanted through the Marketplace and Art of Disney. By then my foot really was making it difficult to walk. We figured we would head back to the resort for a lazy afternoon before returning to Disney Springs for dinner.

I can’t say I love the layout of the bus stops here but we made our way to the Pop Century stop (always at the end or almost the end, I swear). Once we were back at the resort we went to the food court to grab lunch. We realized it was way cheaper to order a family style pizza than anything else so that’s what we did! I told Daniel to head back to the room and I’d wait for our food. So I waited and waited. I called my Mom and spoke to her for about twenty minutes and still no pizza. I went back over to watch and see if any pizzas were going out- and they were! To guests and the counter alike. I finally asked person working and she checked on it for me. I have no idea what happened but out pizza was no where to be found. It was just a cheese so she grabbed the next one and gave it to me. It had been about 45 minutes, I think? She was super apologetic which I really did appreciate.

We ate in the room and took a very nice nap afterward. I would have loved to have done more but my foot just hurt so much. I took some ibuprofen, promised not to wear those shoes anymore, and hoped for the best!

Soon enough we were back on the bus to Disney Springs- this time with tennis shoes and a dinner reservation! Tonight was Daniel’s one request for our trip. Dinner at Morimoto Asia! It did not disappoint! Our server was fantastic and we really enjoyed the atmosphere.

We started with some edamame.

Daniel got their saki flight. He really, really enjoyed this!

I got the tofu fried rice which was so good! I love and miss chicken fried rice and this was the first time since going vegetarian in August that I felt I found something comparable. It was pretty spicy but so enjoyable.

Daniel got the Buri Bop. If I remember correctly, this is the dish Morimoto won Iron Chef with. Daniel absolutely loved it! He wants to eat here again when we go back in November.

With that, we headed back to Pop for a night of sleep before another full park day. My foot was doing better but I was very concerned with how I was going to manage the next day.


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In the Parks
Daniel is so guarded and shy - he needs to work on this
View attachment 262128


Hahah! He is the friendliest, goofiest person I know! You'd think every new person he meets is his new best friend! :)

What a nice picture of the two of you hugging--so sweet that you chose to spend your honeymoon in WDW. I like the pictures you took of the parade. That looked like fun! :happy:

Thank you! We wouldn't have wanted to spend it anywhere else. It was so wonderful!


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In the Parks
01.21.2018 | Animal Kingdom

Thankfully, we had been able to snag a fastpass for Flight of Passage. Given that our plan was to get to Animal Kingdom early and make for Nav'i River Journey right away. The park didn't open until 9:00am so we slept in until about 7:30, getting to the bus stop right at 8:00. I was so excited to see bits of Pandora as we got closer to the park! I'd seen so many vlogs and trip reports- it was a little surreal to know I was about to be there myself!

Daniel kindly took our backpack through bag check as tried to find a map on the other side.

Once he was through we started our "fast walk" toward Pandora- with everyone else joining us, it seemed! I was hopeful that they were all heading for FoP instead of NRJ. This would also be my first test of how well my foot would hold up. Unfortunately, it didn't go well. By the time we got to Pandora from the front of the park I was limping pretty bad. Ignoring my foot we continued on- Pandora is gorgeous! We didn't have our camera out much as we were just trying to take it in but we loved it. I was super skeptical of this land in the beginning but they did such a good job!

We made it to NRJ and the posted wait time was only 20 minutes. I really doubt we actually waited that long though- much closer to 10. We both liked the ride. I reminded me of how much I liked the soundtrack from Avatar and it was gorgeous. It was a bit short though! Daniel also wasn't crazy about the screens, I didn't really notice them. I'm glad we got to ride because, while we enjoyed it, we definitely wouldn't wait very long for it. Pandora was overwhelmed by people by the time we exited and our FoP fastpass wasn't for another couple of hours, so we wandered off to find breakfast.

We decided to head toward DINOSAUR and find food on the way. Our very healthy breakfast ended up being Mickey pretzels and soda from Isle of Java- calories don't count at Disney, right?! For as busy as Pandora was the rest of the park seemed pretty empty for the time being. DINOSAUR had pretty much no wait.

I still really love this ride. I actually think I prefer it to the Indiana Jones version at Disneyland.

After DINOSAUR, we took a spin on Primeval Whirl before heading back toward Pandora. We took it slow to try and not aggravate my foot even more.

We made it back for Flight of Passage and the standby line was something else! We actually had a hard time finding the FP+ entrance but eventually a kind Cast Member pointed us in the right direction. I think we waited about 20 or so minutes even with a fastpass but it was well worth it! This ride is really something else. I was nervous about getting motion sick but for the most part I had no trouble. I just think it is so impressive that they can simulate those drops so well! Plus the scenery was just gorgeous.

After FoP we wanted to head toward Africa and catch the next showing of Festival of the Lion King. We ended up just missing it but we did catch a Photopass photographer on the way!

We decided to walk the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail while we waited for our next fastpass.


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In the Parks
After exploring the trail, it was time for our Kilimanjaro Safari fastpass! We usually always did this first thing in the morning so I was curious to see how active the animals would be around midday.

The hippos were not terribly "active" but what a great view! I was hoping to see the baby as I am a bit obsessed with Fiona the hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo but alas, no such luck!

For how hot it was I was quite surprised we saw so many animals out and about! Not the best safari I've been on but it was enjoyable as always!

Next on the agenda was lunch. We were thinking Flame Tree Barbecue or Pizzafari. We couldn't agree and the lines were quite long so we decided to give mobile ordering a try. I got a a mac n' cheese off the kid's menu at Pizzafari and Daniel got the pulled pork from Flame Tree. Mobile order worked so well! We were able to skip a really sizable line. We met up outside of Flame Tree and found a quiet corner to have our lunch in.

Afterwards it was time for Expedition Everest! This is probably my favorite coaster in the parks and definitely one of my favorite rides (Spaceship Earth is my all time favorite though). Daniel has a recurring neck injury that had been aggravated by Primeval Whirl (between my foot and his neck we were feeling entirely too old this day) so he decided to opt out of Everest until later in the week. I couldn't skip it though- so off I went by myself!

I know the Yeti isn't at its best but man do I still love riding this thing!

I met back up with Daniel and we decided to head back to the room for a bit. It was hot, crowded, and my foot probably needed to rest. I had spent most of the morning limping around the park. Looking back we both agree that this day was the most crowded of our entire trip. Not sure why but we had fun regardless. And we were both looking forward to catching Festival of the Lion King and Rivers of Light later on.


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In the Parks
We actually decided to use the pool during our break! We were disappointed to find the Computer pool closed but we did make our way over to the Hippie Dippie pool. It was a little busy but we were thankful for the cool down.

After a short nap in the room we headed back out to Animal Kingdom. My foot was feeling much better after the rest so I am really glad we took it! First up would be Festival of the Lion King- we made it just in time for this show! I'm so glad it has stuck around all these years. It is such a treat every single time I see it!

After the show we went back to Pandora as I really wanted to try Satu'li Canteen for dinner.

Daniel had the build your own bowl option. I don't remember exactly what he got but he definitely liked it.

I tried the vegetable curry pods and LOVED them! They were so good! The only downside is a might have had curry powder all over my face for the next little while...and Daniel didn't notice until after we took our nighttime Pandora picture. Let me tell you, that one is not seeing the light of day! I was a bit embarrassed but the food was great so I have no regrets.


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In the Parks
Our last part of the night was reserved for Rivers of Light! We had tried to get a fastpass for it mid-day with no luck, so we attempted to find the standby entrance. We started out by heading toward Asia but didn't realize that those were the reserved entrances. So we took a long walk around to the entrance near Chester & Hester's. We were there about 20 minutes early and were pretty far to the left for the first of two showings. The poor CMs working were having a heck of a time getting folks to slide all the way down.

We both really liked Rivers of Light but wish we had had better seats. Daniel said the projections were fairly fuzzy for him. We also had the entire group we were sitting next to and behind get up and leave half way through the show. It was a bit annoying considering how long it blocked the view!

We then joined the masses for the shuffle to the front of the park. We couldn't leave without one of these though!

The Tree of Life Awakenings were really wonderful. I'd love to get more time to watch them sometime!

All in all, we had a great day at Animal Kingdom. It really is probably our second favorite park to visit (Epcot always being the first). The theme and feel is just so unique compared to other theme parks I've been to. Plus it has Everest!

The other good news was the my foot felt so, so much better the second half of our day! This would be a sign of things to come- as long as I wore my sneakers and kept them laced up properly, I felt fine. I ended up ditching them for our California Grill dinner later in the week and just walking around the Contemporary convinced me that I would not be doing that again!

In a more real time update- so sorry for the delays on this! I keep thinking about it and between life and work I just haven't had the time.


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So I fell off the radar there for quite awhile! Work has been so busy the last few weeks and making me miss our trip even more than normal. I think I stayed away to ward off that post-Disney depression. But I am going to try and finish this! After all, I've got another trip coming in just a few months!

01.22.18 | Epcot

Epcot is my favorite and has been as long as I can remember going to Disney. I may have mentioned this before but the original Imagination Pavilion is where some of my earliest memories took place. I remember being fascinated with everything and especially the floor that lit up when you walked on it! Once I was older I just loved how different the park felt compared to the others and I genuinely love the 80s vibe the place has always had. While Epcot certainly isn't in the midst of glory days right now, I still love it and am excited for the changes to come (unless they take away Spaceship Earth or remove Figment entirely).

Anyway, onward to the day! Hopefully the details aren't too fuzzy!

For whatever reason on this trip we could not manage to get to the parks for rope drop this trip except for our day in AK. Any other day we seemed to arrive at the bus stop at the same time as everyone else! Especially this day- the bus was packed and the lines for bag check were massive! It was my turn to go through with our backpack and I swear it was the longest we waited all trip. Eventually we made it in and were greeted with my favorite view! Naturally we stopped for a few pictures.

As we made our way inside we reviewed the plan- we had FPs for Frozen Ever After, Spaceship Earth, and The Land. Our goal was to hit Soarin' first and use the single rider line at Test Track that afternoon. So we peeled off toward the left side of Future World and Soarin. By the time we got into the pavilion the wait was already up to 45 minutes (at around 9:15am, I believe). We weren't excited about waiting that long but knew it likely wouldn't get shorter anytime soon.

This was our second time on the Around the World version (the first being at DCA in 2016). We both like it but having come right off of Flight of Passage the day before, it wasn't quite as impressive as it once was. I also tend to think that the California version felt a little more special? I'm not sure what is missing from the update but I think something is.

After our trip around the world we were both quite hungry and it wasn't quite time for our first fastpass (SPE), so we headed for Starbucks to burn more of our gift card. The line was quite long and I contemplated getting a cupcake for breakfast but eventually settled on a breakfast sandwich and latte. We had our little breakfast while seated on a planter enjoying watching the hustle and bustle. Epcot felt much busier than we were expecting that morning so we were a bit disappointed and were thinking we'd need to plan for a break at the resort again.

Next up was Spaceship Earth!

I love this ride. It's my absolute favorite and the thing I would be saddest about Disney ever getting rid of. I know nothing is truly safe but I have everything crossed hoping that this one is. Daniel doesn't quite understand why I love it so much but he goes along with me anyway. :)

After our trip to the past we needed to head back to the Land for our next fastpass- Living with the Land. This is another favorite of mine (and Daniel too, this time). Basically anything that resembles "classic" Epcot is my favorite, in case you hadn't figured that out yet. We are hoping to try the Behind the Seeds tour on a future trip- maybe this Fall? My parents did it on their last trip and really enjoyed it.

World Showcase was fully open by the time we got off and Future World was still overwhelmingly busy, so we headed that way. We stopped at Mouse Gear and the first couple of Festival of the Art booths on the way.

I will say they have some nice photo opportunities for this festival! This was our first festival experience together and my only other time was a brief day at Flower & Garden in 2013 that I only vaguely remember. We really enjoyed looking at the art and the food options!

We wandered through the pavilions slowly until we got to Norway. It was time for our third fastpass of the day- Frozen Ever After. This was a new one for both of us. Daniel doesn't remember Maelstrom as it was closed when we visited in 2015 and his last Epcot day before that was when he was 10. I got to ride it in 2013, thankfully.

I do like the village portion of the queue and the ride is quite cute...but it isn't Maelstrom (#ripmaelstrom #foreverinmyheart). Having no real attachment to Maelstrom, Daniel thought it was okay. He isn't the biggest Frozen fan though. I'm glad we rode it but I think we will go back to using our top fastpass for Soarin' or Test Track in the future.

While we were waiting for FEA we also attempted to get another fastpass. There really weren't any great ride ones left so we opted for the Illuminations one. As I've mentioned, it is my favorite show and I knew it would be gone soon. We'd never used the fastpass section so decided to give it a whirl.

Next up was lunch at Via Napoli! This was based on a recommendation from my sister (who is also a vegetarian and usually gives me good advice). We split a pizza and enjoyed it well enough. Our server was very nice and we had a very nice chat with the woman next to our table who was solo dining. It was at lunch we decided to forgo our resort break. We both were just having too much fun (hence the lack of pictures) to go back.

After lunch we wandered the other half of the showcase, eventually ending up at the mural! My family had worked on the Figment one the week before and now a new one was in its place (completed picture later in the week, if you haven't seen it).

Test Track was our next stop- for the single rider line. I want to say the wait was just over an hour for standby? Or maybe it was closer to an hour and a half? It was longer than we are willing to wait anyway. Our wait in the single rider line was one of the longer ones we've had but still quicker than standby! And we ended up in the same vehicle.

The family we rode with was SO sweet! They had never been on before so we explained what it was like and their kids all loved it. I love talking with new people in the parks- and especially being able to share knowledge from our visits. Test Track is really a fun one though I definitely prefer the Radiator Springs Racers at DCA (but that probably isn't a fair comparison).

The rest of our afternoon included rides on The Seas and Journey into Imagination, crying about Universe of Energy, shopping at Mouse Gear, and watching one of the festival performances. Daniel also bought one of the screen printed shirts and it has become one of his absolute favorites to wear.

Our plan for dinner was to eat at the festival booths. This worked really well for Daniel and less well for me (seriously, where are the veggie options?!). Not to worry, I supplemented with a Mickey pretzel now and then. The two standouts were the Tacos de Puerco (for Daniel) and the Taiyaki Dessert (for me). I seriously could eat that dessert every single day. I think I had three of them over the whole week. Now I really wish I had one!

We wandered the World Showcase some more and watched the broadway performance. Daniel was so shocked at how big the interior of the Mexican pavilion was- he'd never been inside before. He also wants to eat there next time we go (but that will be during Food & Wine, so we shall see). We took a spin on the Gran Fiesta Tour- which is a ride I somehow always forget about! Not this time though! I will admit I would love to see a Coco overlay here in the future. Absolutely LOVED that movie.

With that we headed over toward the Illuminations fastpass line about an hour early. It was pretty short at that point but then we got to spend the next hour telling folks that the end of the line was down to the right! The ladies we sat with were pretty feisty in fending off the would be line cutters (and there were so many). Eventually we got to enter! But much to my dismay my MagicBand was gone. The CM let me in with Daniel (yay) but I was pretty sad. My lovely husband was determined to find it so he exited and scoured the spot we stood in line- and he found it! We figure it must have come off when I put my sweatshirt on. I was so happy! Only three days in and I was already very attached to my purple band.

Finally it was time! We had a great view! We stood right along the back of the reserved section and had zero obstructions. I cried. Daniel laughed. It was a good time. Seriously, I love Illuminations so much. I am really hoping it is still there when we go again in November. I'm fine with them replacing it if they keep the spirit of the show but I am afraid they won't.

And now time for our Memory Maker bonus photo of Illuminations-

Then it was off to the bus (which ended up being a non-Disney charter bus) and sleep. Tomorrow was a day of rest! Oh the plans we had.


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
In the Parks
You know I really underestimated the time that goes into these trip reports and have so much more appreciation for people who update these quickly! When I realized I was just one week from my ADR day for our next trip, I decided I should probably finish this. I'm hoping I can get it all done before next Friday.

01.23.18 | Resort Hopping

Tuesday was our second, and last, day of rest. Our main goal was to visit a couple more resorts, rest, and enjoy a dinner we had both really been looking forward to. We slept in a little bit and then headed for the bus stop. We decided to start with Wilderness Lodge and debated the best way to get there- a bus from Hollywood Studios or a bus/boat combination using Magic Kingdom. The HS bus pulled up first, so our decision was made. Once at the park we found our way to the Wilderness Lodge stop and made it just in time to watch the bus pull away. At least it was a nice day!

Bus stop selfie!

We waited about 20 minutes before the next bus came and then we were off!

This hotel would be near or at the top of our list for places we'd love to stay. As I believe I've mentioned before, we met while working in Yellowstone National Park. We spent three years there in lodging management- him at the campgrounds and me at the hotels. Our last summer (which was 2016) I was one of the front desk managers for the Old Faithful Inn. Needless to say, walking into Wilderness Lodge sort of felt like coming home.

Wilderness Lodge Lobby

Old Faithful Inn Lobby (May 2016)

The detail here was so lovely and we wandered around for a bit before deciding we needed to eat something. We ended up at Roaring Fork and it was so late they were on their lunch menu. I got the Gourmet Grilled Cheese which I liked but it had a bit too much arugula. Daniel got the Bacon Cheeseburger and enjoyed it.

From there we wandered around the grounds, stopping for a moment to wait for the geyser.

Though we decided not to linger long having lived next to the real thing for so long. The resort really does feel so peaceful! I'm really hoping we can stay here someday.

Next up was a stop over at Disney Springs. We wandered through a couple of shops and got Starbucks. Then we decided to take the boat to Port Orleans. We, again, just missed our ride so spent quite a while waiting. Once the boat arrived we really loved the ride. We'd definitely be interested in staying at Port Orleans someday as well just for that convenience!

French Quarter is such a beautiful resort! I spent many years visiting Charleston, SC with my family and it really felt like I was back there. I've been to New Orleans as well but only for a day, so my brain just kept connecting it to Charleston.

We popped into Sassagoula Floatworks for some beignets- so, so good! The CM preparing them was an absolute delight as well. From there we wandered over to Riverside.

I just really couldn't get over how pretty Port Orleans is. We made a stop in the Riverside gift shop where Daniel found a new hat (pictured next). We still had a few hours before dinner and decided it would be a good time to go back to Pop for a nap and some pool time. I want to say we took a bus to Disney Springs to get back to Pop. During our ride I realized just how many internal stops are made at these resorts! It felt like forever. Daniel didn't notice though as he was too busy because he became best friends with our bus driver. I don't remember her name but these two talked about Yellowstone, RVing, Hawaii, and numerous other topics I don't remember. I think they were both disappointed when we reached Disney Springs!

We spent the afternoon at the resort before getting dressed for my most anticipated meal of the trip- California Grill! We debated using Lyft to get there but ended up just taking a bus to Magic Kingdom and getting to the Contemporary via the monorail. It went way quicker than we thought and we were quite early.

I really wish I had found someone to take an actual good picture of us but I didn't. At least I should remember that next time! We killed some time at the Contemporary in the gift shops and wandering around. We checked in a little bit early and that provided some entertainment. The poor hosts at check in were having so many conference people argue with them about going up to the lounge! They told us later that there was a conference staying and the lounge had been closed to prevent them from using all the space. The people were upset but the CMs handled it as graciously as possible.

California Grill definitely lived up to the hype for me! First, our view was perfect for Happily Ever After. We didn't even have to get up! Second, the staff was fantastic. Finally, the FOOD! Their vegetarian/vegan menu is fantastic! I loved being able to try four different things! The tofu steak and sushi were the absolute stand outs.

I don't remember what Daniel got specifically but he still raves about how good the side was!

Our view during HEA! Watching it from CG felt so incredibly special. I might have cried a bit!

After eating we ventured out to get a couple of Magic Kingdom pictures (we only brought our phones, so low quality).

With that we headed back to Pop- which took forever as we didn't anticipate that we would be getting done right as the park was closing (given the HEA view we really should have). This is the one time I really wish we had just taken a Lyft! In any case we ended up on the monorail and then back to MK for a bus back to Pop. At that point the bus was sharing between Pop and AoA so we were quite tired when we got home!

Time for sleep before another full day!
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Well-Known Member
Original Poster
In the Parks
Can I actually complete multiple days of this report today? I'm going to try!

I do feel as though I should start this by saying the days from here on out are much shorter. Daniel, unfortunately, picked up some sort of bug and by the time we finished this day he was quite ill. We still had fun but our plans changed quite a bit and I had a fair amount of solo time in the parks. Not ideal on your honeymoon but we made the best of it! And thankfully we are fortunate that this was not a "once in a lifetime" trip for us.

01.24.18 | More Resorts & Hollywood Studios

Given all the construction going on at Hollywood Studios we didn't think we would need a full day there. We left Wednesday morning open so that we could choose what we wanted to do. Daniel had stayed at the Swan back on his childhood WDW trip, so he really wanted to visit while we were there. That's where we started- with a bus to, once again, Hollywood Studios and then a boat to the Swolphin.

I genuinely loved wandering around with him as he tried to remember things he had done and where they had stayed. He grew up going to Disneyland, as I've said, but he only had one trip to the World as a kid. The small details he remembered were so sweet. We took this picture to send to his cousin that was on the trip with him.

After a lot of reminiscing, we headed for the Boardwalk. It was early and not terribly lively but we enjoyed the stroll.

Our first official plan of the day was lunch at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, so it was on to the Yacht & Beach Club area.

I definitely preferred the style of Beach Club to Yacht Club but both were gorgeous. And that pool! I honestly want to spend a night there just for the pool. We arrived at Beaches & Cream about an hour early. We were both hungry so decided to see if we could get in early.

And they could- if we sat at the counter. This turned about to be a great decision because we had our absolute favorite server of the trip- Herlina! She was an actual gem. We chatted with her the whole time about Disney, the time we spent working at Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, our time in Yellowstone, and just working in the hospitality business in general. She was so wonderful! I would go back to Beaches & Cream just to try and chat with her again! That said, the food was great too!

We split this beauty!

And sort of finished it?

After a delightful lunch we still had about four hours before our first FP of the day, so headed back to Pop for a nap.

Next up- do we actually ever venture inside Hollywood Studios? Yes. Yes we do! :)

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