Pre-Trip Just the Boys Trip May 2024

It's has been years since I have been in the forums and used to be a trip report junkie. I mean how else can you get your fix when you are away from home! Well I am back and I always wanted to do a trip report. So welcome to my first attempt!

First a history lesson:

I have been to WDW over 30 times in my life time and this trip will be #40! Even though I live in PA, my family was in FL visiting my grandparents multiple times a year and almost always included a day at WDW.

The last family trip I planned was in 2017. That was a trip with my now ex wife and all three of my kids. We had planned a May 2020 trip but something happened then and even though we were all afraid of the bug🤪, I still wanted them to re open in time for us to come down. That didn't happen and then life caught up.

Messy story short I found myself single and looking at the beginning of 2021 and little did I know a fancy lady would send me a Minnie Mouse to say hi via FB Disney Singles Group....and 3 years later I could not be happier!! Yep I am that guy and we both said if we could find someone that shared our love for Disney that be a great starting point!

We have gone to WDW 3 times together...May 2021(the mask trip) Nov 2022 (My birthday trip)and Sept 2023 (impromptu trip) and each trip has been great. The first two trips were just the two of us and the last trip we brought her daughter.
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History lesson over!

Next up...Just the boys trip 2024
 

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skek2570

Member
Original Poster
Now for the fun part....next trip!!!

I have wanted to take my kids back since they got screwed out of their last trip in 2020. My daughter, now 18, is in the full blown emo stage of her life and wants nothing to do with Disney...she just started to like me again so I will take that! So that leaves me and the boys.

Cast of Characters:
Jon (46): the Dad and WDW lover
Jonathan Jr (15): Gamer , sweet kid, future WDW lover, kind of remembers the last trip.
AJ (9): Athlete, silly and doesn't remember a thing about Disney since when was three when he was last there.

That's our crew for this trip. My wonderful partner is staying home this trip. Even though she keeps saying...I can't believe you are going without me!
The invite is on the table, she just has to pick it up 😂.

Initial Plans:

May 3-8 2024
Flying from EWR to MCO
Staying at Pop Century...almost exclusively to be on the Skyliner

I am still figuring out what days I want to be in which park. We are doing a Sat-Tues trip...One day for each park. I'm debating whether to listen to all the crowd calendars and go with this rotation MK (May 4th), HS, AK, EPCOT. Thoughts?
 

erstwo

Well-Known Member
Looking forward to your trip report! What a great time of year to be in the parks. Unless there's some random event that week that I'm not aware of - I bet you'll have the best crowds and weather! Fingers crossed!
 

skek2570

Member
Original Poster
Looking forward to your trip report! What a great time of year to be in the parks. Unless there's some random event that week that I'm not aware of - I bet you'll have the best crowds and weather! Fingers crossed!
Thanks so much! It is one of my favorite times of the year to go! A little concerned about the HS crowds for the weekend of May the 4th but compared to other times that I have been there it should be less crowded!
 

skek2570

Member
Original Poster
When I went with the kids the last time in 2017 we stayed off site, at Windsor Hills (which is great if you need more room) but this time we are staying at Pop. My older son stayed there when we went 13 years ago but he doesn't remember it at all. I am really looking forward to staying on site with them this time!

I am a full blown rope dropping crazy guy! I typically now get to the parks as early as possible because I want to take advantage of the early access.

Thankfully both of my boys don't need a ton of sleep. We all know what Disney tired is like especially after a full day at the parks.

I am a big believer in taking breaks during the day. I am not expecting them to nap but I just like going back and relaxing during the craziest part of the day and with Skyliner it makes it so easy on the EPCOT and HS days.

This weekend I plan on sitting down and going through some of the planning details with the boys. I want to go over their must do's and don'ts as far as rides and restaurants.
 

skek2570

Member
Original Poster
Weekend Update!

So I like to torture my kids with watching DFB, Ear Scouts and a few other different groups on YouTube pre trip. My kids always roll their eyes and yell, "Not another one Dad!". Well now they are starting to get into it. Especially the snacks!

I think I have them as excited about the food as I am. Dole whips, Wookie Cookies, Jack Jack Num Num cookies and they are also looking to be a little adventurous and maybe trying some different stuff too. It's comical that I used to be down on the food at Disney until I really spent some time researching and then trying some stuff. So glad I did!

I also think I have my youngest convinced to do Tower of Terror. Hoping that if he does it will push his brother to do it as well.

My list for the trip is starting to take shape and I hope that the boys get into the planning part of trip. I don't think they will ever be as crazy as I am about it but here's to hoping 😂
 

skek2570

Member
Original Poster
It's been a hectic week or two...I chose wrong on waiting to make my room reservation. Went on this past week to set my date and what did I find.... unavailable!!!😳

Panic stepped in....I have flights and parking paid for but was waiting for hotel and tickets till my bonus comes in...I started to scramble. Nothing seemed to be working out. I did look at the next weekend but we ran into an increase in cost by $500-$600. Getting a bit nervous and starting to talk to the boys about changing our dates or the resort. They really liked POP but maybe looking at AOA little mermaid rooms...which are a long walk and more expensive or stepping up to Caribbean beach or POFQ. All good options but had my heart set on POP.

I reached out to one of my GF friends who does travel agency stuff for Disney and he said he would get back to me. Last Saturday I saw an opening at POP for $200 more than what I knew was available but said...he should be able to get a better rate....so I waited...checked on Sunday... UNAVAILABLE! Panic again. Starting to look at if I can cancel everything. I can and change my dates. Found out it's another Cheerleading competition that booked.it up. Not worried about the parks with that but the value hotels fill up fast.

Well today I got good news! I am now confirmed for May 3-8!!!! At POP. He found me a room. Standard room but I prefer that. I'll call POP and ask for the backside upper floor of any of the rooms near to skyliner. I could care less about the pool view and we won't be spending a ton of time at the resort. Basically sleep and break time. Next post.... restaurant/ride changes...my boys surprise me!!
 

skek2570

Member
Original Poster
The boys surprised me....

So we have been watching some YouTube videos on the restaurants in each park and with getting close to the window for restaurant reservations...we are at 71 days....I wanted to make final decisions on where we wanted to go.

Magic Kingdom is still a little up in the air. We have Dinner planned at Liberty Tree...meat, potatoes, Mac and cheese...can't go wrong with that and that dessert is amazing! Lunch is a different story. We are back and forth between Columbia Harbour house and Sleepy Hollow....leaning towards Columbia due to the better selection for my boys. Snacks include Dole Whip (always) and possibly some other items if they have any good offerings that I haven't seen yet.

AK- my first surprise was Dinner at Yak and Yeti. I kind of figured they would want to do Rainforest Cafe or something simple but they picked Yak and Yeti! Super happy with that. Lunch is Flame Tree. It's a must even though you fight the birds for you food🤪.

Epcot-

Flower and garden festival will be the snack all day type of day for us as well as stop at Regal Eagle... really like the food here and probably stopping in France for the Brioche ice cream sandwich.

HS- possibly the biggest surprise. The last two times I took the kids to WDW we did Sci Fi Dinner Theater. With the addition of the new toy story restaurant I thought it was a given we would go there. They both seemed underwhelmed by the restaurant and wanted to go back to Sci Fi. My youngest doesn't remember it so I guess it does make sense. Lunch is at Backlot and definitely getting a Jack Jack Num Num cookie and some of the Star wars snacks too.

The other big surprise is that my youngest wants to go on Tower of Terror! That's was a huge shock as he tends to shy away from thrill rides. I love it as I love the ride and now we can plan the way I would normally. Super excited!

Lots of excitement now that we are moving forward again!!
 

skek2570

Member
Original Poster
We are almost at the 30 day mark and I know we need to start thinking about actual plans now as far as the flight and everything related to it. Both of the boys have been on a plane but AJ hasn't been on one since he was three. I don't foresee that being an issue. We are flying out of Newark to MCO. Both the terminal at Newark and Terminal C at MCO are brand new so they are nice. I plan on using Uber/Lyft instead of one of the buses as I have had pretty good luck as far as prices. AJ is way past booster seat size(tall kid, like his Dad) so that makes it easier as well. Any thoughts on a better way to get to the resort, that's not astronomically priced?

I started conditioning my kids (and me🤷🏼‍♂️) for the walking at WDW. We are starting with 2500 extra steps per day then working our way to even more. Jonathan is a gamer so I think he is in for a bit of a wake up call. I recently had surgery on my legs and the recovery went well and even with upping my steps above 10k for a week straight I haven't had too much pain. Which is a huge change for me! I am so happy the surgery worked.

Next Update....30 days and counting...we are all getting excited!
 

MinnieM123

Premium Member
We are almost at the 30 day mark and I know we need to start thinking about actual plans now as far as the flight and everything related to it. Both of the boys have been on a plane but AJ hasn't been on one since he was three. I don't foresee that being an issue. We are flying out of Newark to MCO. Both the terminal at Newark and Terminal C at MCO are brand new so they are nice. I plan on using Uber/Lyft instead of one of the buses as I have had pretty good luck as far as prices. AJ is way past booster seat size(tall kid, like his Dad) so that makes it easier as well. Any thoughts on a better way to get to the resort, that's not astronomically priced?

I started conditioning my kids (and me🤷🏼‍♂️) for the walking at WDW. We are starting with 2500 extra steps per day then working our way to even more. Jonathan is a gamer so I think he is in for a bit of a wake up call. I recently had surgery on my legs and the recovery went well and even with upping my steps above 10k for a week straight I haven't had too much pain. Which is a huge change for me! I am so happy the surgery worked.

Next Update....30 days and counting...we are all getting excited!
That's a great idea to start the "conditioning" for the troops! (So many people underestimate the amount of distance they need to walk each day in the parks -- and then they crash. ;) ) Keep up the good work!
 

skek2570

Member
Original Poster
That's a great idea to start the "conditioning" for the troops! (So many people underestimate the amount of distance they need to walk each day in the parks -- and then they crash. ;) ) Keep up the good work!
Thanks so much! I want everyone including me to enjoy the trip as much as possible and it sucks when your legs are screaming at you after day one!
 

skek2570

Member
Original Poster
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Is it just me or is this the worst time during the pre trip waiting period. There is nothing new to do, all the plans are made and it's just a waiting game. Both of my boys have April birthdays, Jonathan last Sunday and AJ next Sunday so we are busy with parties and fun so that helps but it's still dragging!!!


I am making a call to Pop Century next week to request the 70s section and I am going to try for the wing that is closest to Skyliner but pretty much anywhere in 70s is close to Everything Pop and both forms of transportation. I've stayed in 50s, 60s and 80s before so the 70s sound good to me. Anybody have suggestions besides calling them and putting in a check in request, on how to get a room request through?

Final itinerary is set and preferred/non preferred rides are all set. We are all excited to go!
 

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