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Trip Report Kylo Ren is Scary, and so is every other character

Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Welcome everyone. We are back with yet another Trip Report.
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We were in WDW at the end of January/early February this year. Normally I would post the trip report right away, but this year I had a rather intense insurance course I was studying for related to my job. It was not nearly as much fun as a Slinky Dog coaster. Thankfully, about 4 months later, I have passed, and now it's time to re-live old memories by typing away at this trip report.

A change in this trip from years past...We're passholders now!!!
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My wife Sara did the math, and figured out that we could save some money by becoming passholders and going twice in a calendar year. So we were looking forward to all the perks that come from Passholder status ;).

This trip began as all our most recent ones have...leaving on a Thursday evening after Luke returns home from school and making the long drive from York, PA to Florida. Sara had gotten home from work, and we hastily packed the car to have it ready for when the bus dropped him off. We stopped at a Moe's for lunch in Leesburg, VA, then continued on our way to Southern, VA for an overnight stop. Luke is currently huge into football, soccer, and almost any other sport, so our soccer ball made the trip with us, even into the rest stations.
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We made it to our hotel around 11pm, quickly loaded all our things into the room and fell asleep fast. When we woke up the next morning, Luke was excited to learn that his new shirt he had gotten the previous weekend had thumb holes!!!
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You can just really sense the excitement in his face in this picture. After packing up the car and a quick breakfast at the hotel, we were back on 95 South. At a rest stop football became the game of choice this day.
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We stopped for lunch at a pizza hut in South Carolina, and talked to the manager who grew up in PA, now lives in SC, and goes down to WDW every year. We traded stories for a bit, then were back on the road, where the kids (and Sara) promptly passed out.
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We made it to Florida before the sun went down this year. By our standard, we made good time, but we still missed out on the free orange juice.
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And a silly one...Makayla was a little bit lost
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Often it seems that the drive from the Florida border to WDW can take the longest of the whole trip. This particular ride was no exception. The kids were happily watching their DVD player in the back (Luke probably watched the Captain Underpants movie at least 4 times on our trip down), but also peppered us with the classic, "are we almost there," every 5 minutes. Sure enough, we eventually arrived. Our first stop of the night was Disney Springs.
 

TheMouseFan

Well-Known Member
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Can't wait to hear all about your trip! So jealous you are annual pass holders!!
 

Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
One of the "fun" parts of having the annual pass is the need to activate them at a guest services location. We decided beforehand that if we got to WDW early enough in the day (or evening) we would stop at Disney Springs to do this. I'm not so positive that 8:30 qualifies as early, but that's what time we arrived on the property and made our way to DS. We parked in the Orange garage, which is the most convenient from I-4, but honestly is the only one I know for sure how to get into and out of. And a photo to help us remember where we parked.

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Hooray, We were here!!! And it's Cold!!! I guess that's what you get in January.
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First stop was guest relations. I had never even known this building existed before this trip.
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Guest relations was filled with people It's almost as if WDW is a tourist destination or something. They had cast members at the entrance who greeted you and placed you into a "queue." Once inside, you waited until another cast member called your name. It was full and seating was limited, but it felt good to get in from the Florida cold. We realized it was going to be a long wait, so Sara decided she would walk over to T Rex to see if she if they had any openings for a late dinner. Spoiler alert - They did! She returned a few minutes before our name was called, and we were able to activate our annual passes without any problems. We left guest relations and made our way over to the restaurant.

T Rex had been a restaurant we had thought of visiting before, but it never seemed to work out with our plans. Our daughter Makayla is very hyped on dinosaurs, and has been since she was 2. We were hoping she would enjoy it. We arrived about 20 minutes early, so we spent some time in the gift shop.
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T Rex has a strange waiting area. Once you check in, they sort of herd you into a waiting area (pen). They use those posts with the retractable fabric belts, and you're waiting inside the little area until a host comes by and calls your name. At that point he opens the fabric belt, and lets you out of the pen and leads you to your table. It was a weird set up.

Our host led us to the jungle area of the restaurant. Soon after we arrived, a "storm" took place.

Both our kids thought the storm was scary. You can't really tell from the video, but during the storm the lights are dimmed and there are lightning flashes and thunder, with dinosaurs roaring. Once it appeared the scary part was over, we began to look at the menu. We were quickly interrupted with "Not Fair." Luke was not upset. He had noticed that there was a ice cave seating area, and he was upset that we didn't get a chance to sit in there. Our waiter came by and took our orders, then I walked them over to see the ice cave.
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We spent the rest of the time coloring while we waited for our food.

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Luke was into playing tic tac toe and doing the other games on the menu.
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And bunny ears, they are always fun...
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Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Sara and I each ordered the veggie burger with fries, and our kids got mac and cheese.
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Luke's plate
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And Makayla's - this girl loves her broccoli
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I thought the veggie burger was very good. Luke did ok eating, but Makayla ate her broccoli and announced she was done. By this point it was slightly after 10pm, and we were all feeling the effects of a long day of travel. Makayla was sitting next to me as I was finishing up, and leaned her head over onto me and almost fell asleep.

Overall, I feel like the experience at T Rex was good, but trying to squeeze it into the end of a long day may have been a bit ambitious. We're looking forward to trying T Rex again on our next trip as a lunch option. We're hoping the kids may not be so scared of storms by that time as well.

A few more photos which I grabbed before we left. They had some giant bugs on the trees.
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Once we got outside, the cold air hitting me gave me a boost of energy. We made our way back to our car, and drove over to All Star Movies, our home for the week. As we checked in, we were reminded of the new parking fee by the guard who confirmed we'd be parking our car at the hotel (BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! :mad:)

We found our room in the Fantasia section of the resort. Sara got the kids ready for bed while I went back and forth bringing everything in from the car.

We were in the Fantasia section, but our balcony actually had a pretty nice view of the Love Bug section. I'm not sure if Herbie was missing some panels, or if that's just the way it always looks. As a side note, our kids had, and still have, no idea who Herbie is. I remember my parents used to show me old Love Bug movies when I was growing up. I definitely went through a Herbie phase at one point when I was young. I've got to get Luke and Makayla to watch one of the Love Bug movies, when they're not too busy with Captain Underpants (sigh).

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Finally, some photos of the decor around the room that Sara took, probably while I was stopping to take photos of Herbie.

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Once everything was inside the room and somewhat organized, it was straight to bed for us. I believe I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow.
 

tabby1222

Active Member
I died laughing at the title of your report!! Kylo Ren made my little dude cry last summer, all because he left him hanging on a hi-five. Also possible that my little dude was over-tired and over-stimulated, but I snorted reading this title because it brought back so many memories of their first trip!

Can't wait to read more!
 

Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Can't wait to hear all about your trip! So jealous you are annual pass holders!!
Thanks for following along. Sara was especially happy we had season passes. Definitely more excited than me about it.

Excited to hear your fun adventures!
Thanks for following!

Yay! Another @Lyear Family report! I was in the world that week too. Can’t wait to read about your adventures.
We'll have to see if we were in the same place at the same time. I always wonder if I'm floating around in the background of some photos on this board.

Following :)
Great to have you!

I died laughing at the title of your report!! Kylo Ren made my little dude cry last summer, all because he left him hanging on a hi-five. Also possible that my little dude was over-tired and over-stimulated, but I snorted reading this title because it brought back so many memories of their first trip!

Can't wait to read more!
Haha, Our Kylo Ren experience doesn't come until our last full trip, but definitely one of those lasting memories. Makayla took one look and wanted to bolt.

Thanks for sharing! Following along!!
Thanks for following.

Following along.
And
"Go Birds"
Fly Eagles Fly🦅🦅🦅

Looks like you got an old room and not a refurbished one. We are staying at movies for a couple of days in September, so I am looking forward to your trip report.
To be honest I didn't even know some rooms had gotten a makeover. We had stayed at Music the last couple of years and this one was very similar. We will also be going in September (towards the end of the month), but will be staying in Sports this time. Luke really, really wants to do the sports one. He would tell us every time we rode past the resort on the bus.

This is too funny - I live in Leesburg! I'm guessing you went down 15?
Yes, heard so many horror stories about I-495. Since we are heading around DC at rush hour, I decided to find a different way to go and settled on 15/17. In the end it may not be any faster, but at least we're constantly moving.

Following.
When you said “love bug” I had a flashback to my May trip.
I've heard horrors of love bug "attacks." Sara and I were down in September a couple years ago and saw some, but not as bad as some of the stories I've heard.
 

Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Despite being awake so late, by our standards, the night before, we still managed to get up and ready to go at a decent time on our first day in the parks. We did some more unpacking and rearranging, and then made our way out to see our resort in the sunshine.

For some reason, the kids loved to stand under the giant Fantasia hat and look up.

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Our building
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And what would we see on our way to the bus stop but a cat, hanging out at the resort. Maybe it was getting ready for an early morning swim.
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We made it through the main building and out to the bus stop. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the line for Epcot wasn't very long. I'm not sure if Luke is trying to be a pirate in this picture or just has the sun in his eyes...RRRRGh

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On the bus, the stroller wrangling duties fell to me. Most days I was able to find an open space near the rear doors. Meanwhile the kids always want to sit in the back.
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The bus ride was very short, and soon we had the stroller unfolded and were heading to the entrance. We had gotten each kid a bubble wand a few years ago. Makayla has Ariel, and Luke has a Mickey one. We bring them along on our Disney trips, and they are well worth the investment. Both kids love them. Soon the path from the bus stop to bag check was covered with bubbles.
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There was another family with young children who was following along, and their children were loving the bubble forest we were creating. It was still early morning, so the line for bag check wasn't so long yet. We made it through there, and then sure enough our magic bands worked to let us into the park (whew!!).

There's a log of negativity around the Leave a Legacy rocks in the entrance area of Epcot. Certainly there is some merit to this, and I am looking forward to seeing the new greener area they come up with in just a little bit. However, both Luke and Makayla love the rocks because they are a great place to run around and chase each other. With everyone going up the middle, the outsides become a free area to run around and not get in anyone else's way.

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Yes, that sky is lovely behind us, It was a little chilly, but otherwise was looking like a great day to start our trip.
 

Rista1313

Well-Known Member
To be honest I didn't even know some rooms had gotten a makeover. We had stayed at Music the last couple of years and this one was very similar. We will also be going in September (towards the end of the month), but will be staying in Sports this time. Luke really, really wants to do the sports one. He would tell us every time we rode past the resort on the bus.
They started the refurb for movies in fall of 2018 I think, they just have a few building left and then I think they are moving to music. Then Sports.
 

Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
If you've ever read a previous trip report of ours, then you know the first ride we're going to do when we start a WDW vacation is Spaceship Earth. Sadly, at our September visit this coming year, this is going to change, because we're going to try to avoid Epcot on weekends during the food and wine festival this year. But this past January, the tradition was alive and well.
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*lovely blurry photo taken with the front camera of my iphone :)

This year, it was Makayla's turn to be a little scared of the dark parts of the ride. Following the ride, we always have to stop and try some of the games. Makayla did her best to give it a go.
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Luke had wanted to try Test Track as we were entering, and we thought we might give it a go. The wait time was only 30 minute as we were loading onto SSE, but as we exited, it had grown to 90 minutes. Sorry Luke, that's not happening.

We went to Journey into Imagination instead. Certainly one of Sara's favorites. Afterwards we spent some time in the play area. It was pretty hard to get them out of it.

My favorite part of the video above is how Makayla runs over to me with an increasingly annoyed tone of "dada, dada," when I wasn't responding to her while videotaping.


After we exited, we spent some time in one of Luke's favorite parts of WDW, the leaping fountains.
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Thankfully didn't get too wet on what was a colder day.
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It was now time for a mid-morning snack, and what better snack to have while on vacation than cupcakes. I mean it is vacation after all.
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We found a table at Sunshine seasons, and in short time the cupcakes were devoured. We stayed in the Land Pavilion and used our fastpass on Living with the Land. This ride if very simple, but one of our family's favorites. Luke and Makayla both like it, and Luke recently wrote about it as being his favorite ride in a writing project for school. An obligatory photo from the greenhouses.
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Once we finished this, we made the stroll over to World Showcase, where we would spend the remainder of our day. Sara had been very excited to take in the Festival of the Arts, and it was about to happen.
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Yes, heard so many horror stories about I-495. Since we are heading around DC at rush hour, I decided to find a different way to go and settled on 15/17. In the end it may not be any faster, but at least we're constantly moving.
I agree with those reports. With 495 essentially being a circle, with a bit of traffic it really doesn't save too much time, unless your willing to pay for the tolls. But the tolls are demand based, so during rush hour can be pretty steep. Just avoid going up 15 in the Leesburg area around rush hour, as it usually becomes a parking lot since it's only two lanes.
 

Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
They started the refurb for movies in fall of 2018 I think, they just have a few building left and then I think they are moving to music. Then Sports.
I guess that means we'll get a non-refurbished room in our upcoming September trip at sports. It's all good, though.

I agree with those reports. With 495 essentially being a circle, with a bit of traffic it really doesn't save too much time, unless your willing to pay for the tolls. But the tolls are demand based, so during rush hour can be pretty steep. Just avoid going up 15 in the Leesburg area around rush hour, as it usually becomes a parking lot since it's only two lanes.
Ha, yes! I've seen the northbound traffic even as we're getting there, heading southbound, around 6:00. Craziness.
 

Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Sara and I agree about a lot when it comes to vacation planning. #1 we both love Disney. #2, we both agree we'd rather be moving and doing things than "relaxing." It's one of the reasons why we don't do trips to secluded beachfront homes. I could go on, but one area where we disagree when it comes to WDW planning is Epcot's festivals. Before this trip, we had only experienced the food and wine festival. This was our first go around with Festival of the Arts.

For me, festivals are a take it or leave it affair. The festival is going on, but it's part of the overall world showcase, and you'll take it in as you make your way around the countries. In my mind, if you miss something, it's not a big deal.

On the exact opposite end of the spectrum is Sara, who wants to know exactly what exhibits are set up, what menus they have, and the zodiac sign of each cast member who will be working there. Yes, that last one is an exaggeration. But it is strange that while I do most of the planning for our trip (dining reservations, FP's), it's this area where Sara has set things she wants to accomplish. Add to this mix that I am very crowd adverse, and you can get some tension. I see a large group of people and immediately think, "I'm not going anywhere near that crowd," while Sara begins explaining, "oh, this is that thing I really wanted to do."

Our trek into the World Showcase began with Sara noticing the giant paint by number they had set up. We parked the stroller and got into line. They would give each person a paint color and number, and then you would find 10 squares on the giant canvas with your number, and paint them your color.

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Large Crowd alert...*shudders
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Here's a picture of what the final outcome was supposed to look like. We were here pretty early in the day.
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