Trip Report I am Jack's raging excitement


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Original Poster
Guess whose back??? du-nuh-nuh... 9000's back....du-nuh-nuh...tell a friend! Time to fire this TR (from December 2018) back up!

Life has just been busy with work and C's mom who is doing well and completely cancer free (which is truly a blessing from God), but she has also had a few other medical issues arise which are far less threatening than cancer but have basically forced C to live with her for the time being and be her care taker. Her mom lives about 45 minutes from us so its just easier for her to stay there but we are making the best of it and we meet up for lunch and day dates as often as possible and she occasionally is able to come home for a few days here and there when her family is in town and can keep an eye on her mom. C and her mom were able to visit WDW in February and had a great time but it was a much different type of trip for C as her mom used a scooter and wheelchair to get around. They stayed at AKL Kidani (which should make @lostpro9het proud!) and they really enjoyed it. She has Akira with her and I have Wyn and Newt (the puppy we kept from Akiras litter) here with me. He is getting big like his daddy!


He is growing up to be a great working dog! But enough with the family talk....lets get back to the report!

We last left off with C and I at AK in the morning. We had just left Everest and we made our way towards one of the stores so C could pick up a few puzzles and pins she had been eyeing and some other Christmas gifts for the family.


We had them sent to the room so we wouldnt be toting bags around all afternoon. After shopping it was time for Dinosaur.


We still love this ride and I dont know why some people hate on it. To each his/her own though.

We had a FP for FoP but it was not for quite some time so we made our way to Sautuli Canteen for lunch. Ive always ordered the cheeseburger pods and was really looking forward to them but C convinced me to try the protein bowl instead. I was glad I went for it because it was GREAT! C got the tofu bowl and loved it as well. She had tried when her mom and her visited in Feb. And of course we got 2 of the organic blonde ales to wash it all down!


After lunch we still had almost an hour before our FP, so we went over to Nomad Lounge. We had not been here yet so we were hoping there would be an open table....and there was!!


I went with the Kungaloosh Spiced Ale and C had the Snow Leopard. She liked it but said she wouldnt order it again due to the very strong presence of ginger.

We saw the waiter walk by with an order of the churros and they smelled too good to pass up, so we ordered some.


We really enjoyed these. The vanilla crema and chili strawberry sauce were perfect dipping sauces.

We took our time and enjoyed the shade and views until it was time for our FoP FP. We will definitely be back to Nomad!


We love FoP but the whole "move around a bit more so the sensors can detect you" scheme is a bit tiring, as you can see on her face here, lol. But seriously, they have the technology to teleport your consciousness to an alien being that is hundred of miles away, but they cant get sensors to detect you in a tiny room?


Her mom loves the hand prints of James Cameron, Joe Rohde, and Jon Landau so we got a quick picture. We over heard a family walking past wondering what the heck we were doing.


It was time to head back to the room for an afternoon break so I snagged a Green Grog Ale for the walk to the front.


Got a quick pic of the Tree and then we hopped on the bus back to BWV.

Up next... a surprise for C!!!


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Original Poster
Day 4 cntd...

We arrived back at the room and C was pretty pooped so she wanted to take a nap. I had told her that I had a surprise for her but she had no idea what it was. I also had a quick meet up with two couples who live in Atlanta whose dogs I trained and they were also at WDW and at Epcot that afternoon. We have become good friends after they sent their dogs in and they even got one of Akiras puppies! C knows them well now, but hadnt met them back in December so she stayed at the room to relax while I headed out to handle the surprise and meet up with the other couples.

For C's surprise, I was getting us tickets for the After Hours event at Hollywood Studios that evening! She was guessing that I had made a special dining reservation and I kinda lead her on that she was on the right track, lol. We did the After Hours at MK last June and really enjoyed it. I stopped by the front desk because I had not yet paid for the tickets because I didnt want them to show up on the app and C would see it. They had a problem applying my AP discount for the tickets so they got the tech department on the phone who couldnt do it either. It was a long ordeal but they got it all worked out in the end. I just had to actually pay at the HS ticket window, IIRC.

I headed over and found my friends at Epcot. We had a few drinks and a really good time but I didnt get any photos. We had drinks at Mexico pavilion and I headed back to the room. The sun had set and we had about a little over an hour to get to HS for the party.

C grabbed a ginger bread cookie from the lobby for the boat ride over to HS.


We got to HS and I told her what the surprise was and she was very, very excited! I paid at the window and they gave us our wristbands.


The also gave us these cards but I cant remember what for?


Up next.... After Hours at HS!


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Day 2 cntd...

After RnR we were able to get FP's for ToT but they were not until 5 pm. I was able to use the refresh "hack" on MDE and get the time down to about 30 minutes, yay! We used the time to browse around the shops and C was looking for a certain pin.

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She really liked the Marie toy/scarf thingy. We also noticed the Christmas Train set.

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We had not seen this before and we really like it. We did not put a tree up for Christmas this year since we were travelling but next year we will and we also want to a Disney tree in the dining room. This train is definitely the front runner for the base. The monorail is old hat, lol.

Shortly after our shopping, it was time to check in at ToT.
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I should have bought the Marie scarf for C and perhaps she would not have strangled me.

After Tower, we checked the app and wait times in Toy Story Land were high so we headed back to the room for some lunch. We wanted to take a Friendship since the rerouted pathway was such a long walk but the line for the boats was insane. The weather was nice so we just walked back. We noticed a woman sitting on the opposite side of the lake and it looked like she was painting.
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We figured she was possibly painting the gondola platform that sits behind the pathway? But it was also a beautiful day and she could just be enjoying the location to paint. Back home in Atlanta it was raining and 40 degrees, but it was sunny and 65 in Fla!

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We stopped at Leaping Libations so C could get the mozzarella sandwich. They also serve Stiltsville Pilsner which is a favorite of hers so she ordered one, but as he was pouring it we noticed it was not the beer she ordered. The bartender said it was, but it had a new can. I noticed the beer was amber in color. Pilsner is not amber. I asked to see the can, and of course it was not Stiltsville. The bartender was very "New York-ish" in not only his accent but his attitude. He was not rude, just very slick in his manner of trying to convince C that she would like this beer even though she explained she does not like amber beer at all. He continued with "c'mon, try it, youll like it". I chuckled because C does not respond well to high pressure sales tactics. She is always polite, but will simply shut it down. She just gave him a long stare and said no thanks. He asks me if I want to try it and said he was gonna pour it out anyway. I said sure. Im not a huge fan of amber beer but it wasnt bad. So he hands C the bill and it had the beer on it. I thought he just gave it to us since he was gonna pour it out and I explained I wouldnt have tried if it he was gonna charge us. He said, well, if you didnt like it, I would have let you have it, but since you did, I figured you would pay for it. I just shook my head and paid him. It wasnt that serious but I didnt appreciate the slickness.

I wanted a cheeseburger from the stand on the Boardwalk so we headed overt there. It takes a few minutes for them to make it so we got some pics while we waited. Here is on of me with my amber beer,

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I got my burger and we headed to the room to eat.

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They changed the bun for the burger, or at least that day they were using a different one. It was still good, but it was a bit thick. Hopefully its not permanent. C's sandwich was as good as always.

up next.. Epcot
What’s the refresh hack?


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Glad to see you back! :happy:

Overall, good news about C's mom, but realize she's still dealing with some other medical issues now. Hoping for a positive resolution in due course for her. She's lucky to have a wonderful daughter, C, to help her through this.

As for Dinosaur, I hadn't been on that ride for a number of years, but went on it last May. It was a rough ride, but I thought the experience was hilarious, and I laughed through a lot of it. I'd recommend it to others, unless they had some back issues.

Oh, about Akira -- didn't realize she was a mom! (Happy belated Mother's Day to Akira!) Newt is a gorgeous puppy.

Lastly, I didn't know about the handprints from Cameron, Landau and Rohde. Not sure how I missed those (I was there last year). Very cool detail. :cool:


Premium Member
Disney gives out those “hard” tickets when you purchase admission for a special event. I think it is in case a guest doesn’t have a MDE account/MagicBand, and can use the ticket for admission and FPs before the official “start” time of the event (since guests with event tickets can enter the park early.)


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It is truly appalling how many grown (American) adults do not stop and take a moment to honor the flag and our anthem,
Last September we witnessed several American guests being rude and even swearing at CM's for being re-routed from the very middle of the hub for flag retreat it really shocked us! we visit from the UK and decided to watch just out of interest and to learn something new, we were so surprised to see some of the attitudes we did, sadly you see it everywhere these days. I work for an airport and when we have silences for rememberance Sunday or other events like the Manchester bombing it's amazing how many people ignore it or try to ask questions of staff while they are observing it :banghead:


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Original Poster
What’s the refresh hack?
I use the term "hack" ridiculously loosely. If you are trying to book a FP on MDE and it's only showing times for later in the day, such as 6 p.m. Take whatever time it offers then select "modify",then you have to manually select the earliest available time, and then keep spamming the app for an earlier time by manually selecting the time you want. Don't click on the generic time slots such as "morning" "afternoon" or "evening". It can often take over ten or fifteen tries, but eventually it will spit out a FP for an earlier time, but it will most likely be for a time slot of 4 or 5 pm. Take it, then repeat the process. It will keep giving you earlier times until you get the time you need, or at least something close to it.

We have had many days when it was as early as 930 am and we're trying to get FP for a major attraction that the app was only showing availability for 3 pm or later and we successfully got FPs for 945 or 10 am after spamming the app. Its worked at various times of the day when the app continuously showed availability for several hours later in the day, but we were able to get it down to within 30-45 minutes of the current time.


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Original Poster
Day 4 ctd...

We had just received our After Hours wrist bands and we headed into the park. The non party guests were headed out of the park so we decided to head towards the back and work our way from there. We had attended the After Hours at MK in June (2018) and the crowds were light but there were definitely many people who had not paid for the After Hours and all they could do was walk around since they check your lanyard or wristband before you can enter an attraction, but it did make the park feel a bit more crowded. The HS was the complete opposite. Within minutes of entering the park we felt like we had it ALL to ourselves!



There was seriously nobody around! It was so much fun taking pictures without any other people in them.

After a little photo shoot, we headed over to Star Tours. We figured there would be people there, but.....


Just a few CM's manning the entrance. It was amazing because not only was it empty, but it was quiet. To hear all the little background noises that get drowned out by mobs of people was awesome.


Shirley there would be people in the queue....


Maybe a few people up in the second section????


By the time we loaded into the ship a few people had actually joined, but not many.


There was about 7 or 8 people total. The CMs were having a good time as well. Joking around with safety spiel and making Star Wars jokes. It made the experience even better!

And when do you ever see the gift shop empty?


The evening was off to a great start!

Up next.... more After Hours!


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Original Poster
Yippee! Welcome back 😉
Thanks! Ive been around on the forums, just mostly slinging mud in the news and rumors section. There are too many new forum members with a "Disney is a business" attitude and someone has to take them down a peg with passive aggressive comments, lol.
Welcome back! I hope that C's mom continues to improve, and is able to get home to you guys soon. Newt is awful cute too! It makes me want to shrink Jaeger back down to puppy again.
Newt is appx 45 lbs now but he still acts like he is 5 lbs when he lays on me. I did just rescue a kitten though. Vet thinks about 3 weeks old. She is the tiniest thing! She weighs just a little over 1 pound. She is the size of a pair of rolled up socks.


Gotta get those Shirley references in there....*wink @Tuvalu


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Thanks! Ive been around on the forums, just mostly slinging mud in the news and rumors section. There are too many new forum members with a "Disney is a business" attitude and someone has to take them down a peg with passive aggressive comments, lol.

Newt is appx 45 lbs now but he still acts like he is 5 lbs when he lays on me. I did just rescue a kitten though. Vet thinks about 3 weeks old. She is the tiniest thing! She weighs just a little over 1 pound. She is the size of a pair of rolled up socks.

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Gotta get those Shirley references in there....*wink @Tuvalu
That is one very cute kitten!


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Original Poster
Day 4 ctd.....

After Star Tours we walked back towards the middle of the park to be able to watch the fireworks. Finding a good spot was pretty easy, lol.


We are not big on watching firework shows but the chance to just sit in an empty Hollywood Studios and enjoy the atmosphere was too good to pass up. We had plenty of time to ride a bunch of attractions but just relaxing and being together without the bustle of a busy park was more important to us than ride count.

We posted up over by Gertie and got some cool pictures.




After the show we headed to ToT. We figured that since its more popular than Star Tours that there would be somewhat of a line, but...



They had the doors in the pre ride video room open and you could just walk through. The video was playing still.


It was so cool to walk through the queue with just a few people around. It was very easy to get pictures with nobody in the background. We only had to wait about a minute or so before there was enough people for the CMs to load us in. They were having a great time like the CMs at Star Tours were. We would not have cared if they were chatting amongst themselves since it was so slow, but they were having fun and playing the part.



We decided to ride again since there was no wait.


more After Hours next....


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Original Poster
day 4 ctd...

After a few check ins at ToT we went over to RnR. Another walk on. It was great.




we rode it twice as well. Here is one of the photos


quick Shirley status bathroom picture..


We made our way towards Toy Story Land but C wanted to stop and grab some ice cream. They give out free popcorn, ice cream and bottled water at the After Hours events which is pretty sweet. They also had 2 pop up bars where you could purchase beer and wine, which of course we took advantage of!


We definitely expected to see more of a crowd in TSL....




Again, we rode it twice. After the first ride, the CM said we could just walk around the side to re-ride rather than having to walk all the way around and go through the queue again. She explained that they were not allowed to let us remain in the buggy, which was fine by us. We thanked her very much for letting us save some time and we hopped right back on!


more After Hours up next...


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Original Poster
Day 4 ctd...

Slinky Dog was down when we exited TSMM so we headed back over to Star Tours for another ride. We took our time as we strolled the empty park.


Just a few CMs and a security guard on Hollywood Blvd


Just hanging out with muh droids!!



i see you checking out my lady, Captain yourself!

We got the same sequence from earlier and one that we seem to often get, the Wookie Planet, the Naboo. Still fun.

Another Mickey bar for C and I grabbed a beer as we headed back to TSL to see if SDD was up.



Unfortunately it was still down but we were all smiles still. Might as well ride TSMM again!



trying to impersonate the penguin. C was having so much fun. It made me so happy just to see her being silly and non stop smiling. Thats what its all about at WDW!!!


Not our best round, lol

more After Hours coming up...


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After seeing how empty the park is for After Hours it is definitely something that I will pay a bit extra to do next time we're at WDW!

That little kitty is super cute. Does she have a name yet?

This is the look Jaeger gives you before sitting on your lap like a cat. 90+ pounds does not make him the most wonderful lap dog. :hilarious:


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This is the look Jaeger gives you before sitting on your lap like a cat. 90+ pounds does not make him the most wonderful lap dog. :hilarious:
Love that photo of Jaeger. At least he just acts like a (heavy ;) ) lap dog. My dog thinks I'm the ground. If I'm lounging on the sofa, he'll come over and start walking on me! :rolleyes: (Yes, he's somewhat untrained ... ) :p


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Original Poster
Day 4 ctd...

Slinky Dog had just opened when we exited TSMM and basically everybody who was at the park was rushing to it. The line wasnt bad, probly a ten minute wait, but we have ridden many times already and we wanted to head back to ToT instead. This would also allow for more time to enjoy the empty park and soak it in.

We all know that certain smile our loved ones have when they are just happy. Not the "smile for the camera", but the true smile of happiness and love. This pic is C's happy smile. I always know it because she looks just like her pictures of when she was a kid.





It was late and we were sleepy, lol.

We rode several times but the only photopass pic I have in my MDE was this one. Half of the photopass pics from the entire trip never got to my phone. C had all of them but she never sends them to me. She also has many pics from the After Hours night on her phone so ill see if she is willing to send me any. She had just got a new phone (Google Droid) that has a double camera on the back and takes seriously good pictures. She was an iPhone cult person until we switched from AT&T to the Google Fi project and she had to get a droid but she quickly fell in love with it.

After our rides on ToT the After Hours was ending so we made our way back to Boardwalk.


I made her take a picture in front of the gondola construction and she asked why, so I told her that in years to come she will have her picture in front of it before it was even finished. Sorta like having your picture when the monorail beams were being built.


You can see the excitement on her face, lol. She is NOT a fan of the gondolas because, as she puts it, "it will allow the riff raff that are not staying at the Boardwalk and Yacht/Beach Club resorts to be able to enter at International Gateway". smh, I seriously made her a Disney snob so please put the blame on me if it offends anyone🙃

Also grabbed a pic of the new restrooms


And goodnight ToT. Thanks for about 10 rides this evening!


Our review of the After Hours Event at HS: Absolutely worth every penny and we will definitely do it again! The MK After Hours was fun, but this was by far a better experience for us. Not only was the park ridiculously empty, but they also have beer and wine. And HS is much smaller than MK so getting around the park and riding multiple attractions did not eat up as much time. The MK After Hours had several rides with 10-20 minute waits, (Space Mountain and 7DMT) which is not bad at all but it definitely took time off the clock. We did not wait an any lines at all for the entire HS After Hours. And as I mentioned before, the empty park was the biggest value for us.

We are hoping that there will be an AK After Hours when we visit together next. Then we will have experienced all three. But we will definitely do the HS again. We did save on the ticket cost due to our AP. I think it came up to right under $200 with the discount. Again, worth every penny.

Up next, morning at Epcot
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