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Trip Report Shookie's Family Four Pack...Plus Two (I think that equals six)

Hey Everyone –

My daughter convinced me to jump back into the TR game.

She says this is going to be an epic trip, and I must agree.

It is the first time the family 4 pack is back together in almost three years (wooHOO)!

It's going to be our longest WDW/Uni Vacation ever (almost thirteen full days)!

Even more exciting?? We’ve got a couple of new (newbees) players in the game AND my daughter said she would help me along with the TR, so how can I not??

What I will be submitting for your approval is a

  • 1 Pre-Trip Report
  • 1 Live Trip Report

A regular old trip report seems like it MIGHT be too much work, but we will see.

Let’s start with this PTR and see where it takes us.

We are less than 2 weeks away from our “Epic Trip” so I probably shouldn’t waste anymore time.

Let’s get rolling.

The Players:

Shookie, Mrs. Shookie, Son, Daughter...and their other halves!
We've always been park commandos, squeeze every little bit out of our vacation type family, so this will be a true test for our kid's other halves. I should probably warn them...but what fun would that be?

The pressure is on.

Anyway - here we are:

Daughter: Avery (25)

Son: Pace (21)


Shookie & Wife: Enzo & Tina (50 something old people)


All of us together on the last trip in 2018 last time we went as the family four-pack


And introducing our two new players:

(My Daughter &) Boyfriend: Chris

(My Son &) Girlfriend: Jill


Both Chris and Jill have been to WDW when they were young, minus a quick 4 day trip Avery and Chris took in August 2019 (That picture above is from that trip) anyway they're basically WDW newbs. Well as newb as you can be living in this household. These kids have been subjected to all things WDW since the day they started dating our kids.

Here is someone that is part of our immediate family that won’t be making trip with us.

Meet Chewbacca:


I think he may have sensed he was NOT going to be part of this trip because yesterday he decided to take a little trip of his own.

First let me just let you in on something. My wife worries about that dog like you would not believe. She worries about EVERYTHING with him. What he eats, what he doesn’t eat, is he sleeping ok, Is he hot is he cold, is his fur too short, too long, did he have bowel movement? It drives the household crazy.

Of course, when I first decided I wanted to start taking him for rides in the car she yelled after me “hold onto him, he's going to jump out the window”
I laughed at her and said, “come on, what kind of dog would do that?” Well, I know what kind of dog would do that now.

The kind of dog I own. The kind of dog that goes by the name of Chewbacca.

Chewie and I usually cruise around our neighborhood or out to get gas right down the street. He’s just starting to get used to the car and honestly beside tug of war with his rope toys, these rides are part of how we bond.

I will keep the window down and he’ll occasionally pop his head out. But usually just sits on my lap. Well yesterday I was pulling up to our house after our trip and I saw my neighbor.
So I waved hello, well apparently Chewie wanted to say “hi” too, so he jumped out the window of our CRV.

Yup. You read correctly he jumped out of a moving vehicle. He tried to land on his feet, but from that height with the car moving it kind of turned into a barrel roll/chest plant sort thing…I don’t know how he’s alive or how in the world he doesn’t have any broken bones, I just don’t know.

He did get the wind knocked out of him, but THAT’S IT. He got up and tried walking up the sidewalk to our house, but I tentatively picked him up waiting for him to yelp because his ribs were shattered or maybe his leg would be hanging there limp, I don't know, but there was nothing wrong with the dog. I don’t get it.

I am grateful as heck but I just don’t get it. My neighbor sat there with her mouth agape. We both couldn’t believe what happened.

Yikes - I would NEVER have forgiven myself. My wife would have never forgiven me that's for sure.
This PTR would have been titled "Shookie's Solo Trip to the Doghouse, and Other Tales of Woe"

Did I mention I am grateful? Wow.

Sorry, I digress……back to my PTR.

The Dates

May 2nd – 14th

The Plan:

  • 1 Night at an offsite hotel
  • 2 Nights 3 Days at Universal Royal Pacific
  • 8 Nights 9 Days at WDW (gotta save the best for last right?) Wilderness Lodge Boulder Ridge Villas
  • 1 Night at an offsite hotel

The Breakdown:

  • May 2nd- Flying into MCO late afternoon. Shopping for snacks and beverages and staying at a cheap hotel acquired via Priceline.
    • Dinner: Maybe somewhere at DS

  • May 3rd– Checking into Royal Pacific at Universal first thing in the AM hitting the parks. IOA\US
    • Dinner at Mythos

  • May 4th– Volcano Bay\US
    • Dinner at CowFish

  • May 5th– Getting up early and trying to get boarding pass for ROTR – If this doesn’t work out, we’ll spend the day IOA\US. Head to WDW check in and MAYBE hit EPCOT
    • If we do get ROTR we will plan our day based around our boarding group, but it will of course involve heading to DHS and then POSSIBLY back to Uni for a couple of hours to touch on anything we may have missed. At some point, during this crazy day check into the WL

  • May 6th– Our first full day at the World. We’re kicking it off with MK and hopping to EP
    • Dinner: Biergarten

  • May 7th– AK and hopping to MK
    • Dinner: Liberty Tree Tavern

  • May 8th- DHS – Don’t know where we are hopping to but we are making a stop at Olga’s Cantina
    • Dinner Sanaa

  • May 9th- We have a DHS Park pass but this is a safety net in case we miss (knock on wood) ROTR
    • Dinner: California Grill

  • May 10th- Park pass for DHS –This was real DHS day – We’re scheduled to build a droid or two. We effed up on the light sabers. – More about that later
    • Dinner: Garden Grill

  • May 11th– Park pass for MK – Hopping to DHS
    • Dinner: Prime Time

  • May 12th– Park pass for AK – Hopping to ???
    • Dinner: Tiffins

  • May 13th- Park Pass for MK – hopping to ???
    • Dinner: The Wave
    • Staying at a cheap hotel acquired via Priceline

  • May 14th - Departure day – Our flight home was originally first thing in the morning. It has since changed to an evening flight home so we’ll figure out something to do this day. Maybe DS who knows.

A couple of quick notes. I've always been the trip planner, my daughter has since started helping me out and she's pretty darn good at it too. Well the two of us had booked this trip last May then rebooked for July, then rebooked again...at some point we had made reservations at Savi's Workshop.

I say "at some point" because we BOTH thought we had it booked for this time around...Well that wasn't the case.
It slipped out minds...and we realized the other day that we missed out. We'll keep trying and see what happens, but like my daughter's boyfriend, Chris said,

"If we can't get in this trip, it will give us an excuse to go next year" << The kid is learning!

Anyway. Trip starts in T-minus 11 days.

I will be spending the next few days getting everything in order here at home. Believe it or not, I am fully packed.

To answer your question: Yes there is something wrong with me.

Speaking of packing. My last PTR was in 2016. At the time I included this pick of my brand-new luggage


I probably should post a side-by-side pick of me then and now too…hahahaha
I'll tell you what: that beat up luggage has fared a lot better than I have.

I will add anything I think of between now and then, but I should probably just leave you all alone for now because LTR is coming next. And you're going to be seeing plenty of us in 11, 10, 9, 8……


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We need time for things to happen.
Premium Member
Original Poster
We were able to hit EE, and then off to “It’s a Tough to be a Bug” We all love this attraction, but Tina especially. Plus it was on our must do list for Jill. We had an hour left so we thought we could squeeze one last ride in before we had to leave for our last Disney dinner at the Wave. The only ride with a wait time that would allow us to wait, ride and get out in time was NRJ
I don’t dislike this ride. It’s beautiful. Honestly though, it was a huge missed opportunity over all. First of all, no cohesive story, that I can figure out. 2nd of all nothing matches the depth and reality of the final two scenes. Obviously, they’re not going to do 10 shaman level animatronics, but a couple more AA would have helped or at least used depth and screens more the way they did with the scene just prior to the shaman, with the log and the “centipedes”. It’s a shame, because it would have been easy to make this great instead of eh good.
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Premium Member
I “found” these beautiful areas outside the FotLK and behind the Tusker House. No one was anywhere near here, it was peaceful and perfect for picture taking. I really wish I could have teleported Chris @fractal here (I bet he wishes too for myriad reasons) to take some real pics, but these should do fine until he can get to this area for all our enjoyment!View attachment 557555
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I got to say, I am no world traveler, but I’ve seen a couple o’ places outside the US, and I think most folks would be hard pressed to tell me these shots were from some theme park in Orlando, FL.

Really neat area of the park - would have loved to have been with you snapping away on my camera!


We need time for things to happen.
Premium Member
Original Poster
So no pictures from dinner except for this dessert. Which was not on the menu, but our amazing server, (honestly the best by a mile all trip) raves about and he was right:

The rest of the meal was delicious, with the appetizers actually winning the day.

If you have a chance to visit before it closes, I highly recommend getting:

  • Bacon and Eggs -a perfectly poached egg, and a chunk of tender, crispy pork belly over cheesy grits.
  • Cauliflower Tacos - chewy Flour tortillas packed with crispy fried cauliflower, slaw and a creamy hunk of avocado. Be warned the cauliflower tacos come as a 2 pack and they’re enormous! Share if you can!

During dinner we started discussing that we would still have time to walk to the MK, and end our parks portion fo the vacation the right way, with a couple of MK mountains!
unfortunately Pace paid with his Apple Card and a gift card combo and this somehow brought down the entire payment system. LOL.it took about 20 min. To get this settled.
We looked at watches and being that we are completely out of our minds realized if we ran, we could make park entry and a ride on BTMR. We were off......well everyone except Tina, who chose a comfy Contemporary couch to chill on.
So we were off!!!!

we got on and off BTMR with 2 min to spare....so back on!!

it was a great way to spend out last night in the parks. We took some pics in an almost empty park to celebrate. I wish Tina had been there.



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We need time for things to happen.
Premium Member
Original Poster
For our last day we had a 7:55pm flight to Hartford, so the plan was to hang around DS, my daughter wanted to catch up with one of her close friends and DCP room mates who is now living and working in WDW, so while she went off and did her thing we spent the day shopping and eating. Chris got us in the virtual queue for Gideon’s so huge cookies were in our future!
This way to my Hideaway!

I found the secret door, but they wouldn’t let me into my namesake! Something about
“not being open yet” and “just because my name is on the door I don’t own the place” and “we are going to call the police if you don’t leave” Whatever I guess I will go elsewhere.



Ok then off to D-luxe burgers

I see this place get plenty of praise, so I was looking forward to it. Not too bad, it was juicy, maybe a little to salty, but good. Fries were crispy and had a pleasant chew to them.

However I have had better burgers from at least 3 different places 2 min from my house. You won’t be upset if you want a burger, but I kind of regret not doing the polite pig instead!

after lunch, I got curious about the Coke store so we stopped in. While everyone was poking through the merchandise, I saw a sign for “rooftop beverage bar” nothing in that sentence sounded bad. So I explored!
I found this view
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We need time for things to happen.
Premium Member
Original Poster
I called the rest of the crew up and I noticed that they had a soda “flight from around the world”.
With free club cool options not around at the moment, it would appear that paying would be our only way to initiate Jill into the Beverly club!

It was 2 trays with 16 samples...a little expensive, but for anyone that has seen someone try Beverly for the first time....you all know it’s a right of Disney passage and in this case, totally worth the few bucks:






I am by no means a soda drinker, but this was nothing but fun! The rooftop was a really nice clean area with a view and a great way to spend a half hour - 45 minutes. They have plenty of slushees and few alcoholic options as well.
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We need time for things to happen.
Premium Member
Original Poster
Right as we’re finishing up, Chris got notification that it was giant cookie time!




I got the chocolate chip. To me this is the equivalent of when someone raves about a pizza place.

When trying it the first time, you always get the plain cheese slice. If they can do the basics well then you’re in for a treat. This for me is the chocolate chip at a cookie shop!
This was pretty good. Every bite wasn’t consistent though. There appeared to be some sea salt sprinkled on top, but I didn’t taste it until I got to the center of the cookie. That to me was the perfect bite. The salt the sweet, the bittersweet chocolate chips, the dense doughy texture that was still somehow fluffy, was pretty impressive. But again every bite wasn’t the same, so it wasn’t a perfect 10. A strong 7.5 and I will visit again. Hopefully sometime soon.

With that, it was time for us to leave the sunshine state and our favorite place in the world.
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We need time for things to happen.
Premium Member
Original Poster
The last day is always tough, because although we have been fortunate to have visited WDW every year since the kids were 5 & 9, I have never ever taken these moments for granted. You just don’t know what will change in your life, you don’t know if this will be the last time you’re all going to be together.

As you get older, this feeling becomes ever more present and for me it sometimes permeates and lingers in the actual moment, while I am there living it!

Somewhere in the back of my mind while I am taking that group photo, I am thinking is this it? Am I going to look at this photo, with all of us together, smiling and long to be back in that moment?

I know this sounds like I am maybe being dark or morbid, but it’s not intended that way.

I am glad that I am aware of this possibility, that these times together are fleeting, that it’s all so “fragile”.

Because it makes me appreciate these moments even more.


Well that’s it! It was indeed the epic trip that
we all hoped it would be, and we truly enjoyed every. Single. Moment.

I will sign off for now, because I have a ton of yard work to do.

Later this week when I get done getting out from under all my emails and things start to return to normal, I will come back and reply to any comments, and give a proper thank you to everyone for following along. I may come back with some final thoughts to share, for those who care to listen, but for now I will call this LTR done and submit as completed for your approval!!
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Premium Member
I am very happy for you that you made it back in time to have BTMRR close out your park experience - my DD and I find it to be the perfect trip ender as well.

Thanks for sharing your fabulous sunrises (it was all the more appreciated by me as where I live has been rainy/cloudy for the better part of two weeks) as well as allowing us to join in your family‘s fun.


Premium Member
Shookie, thank you so much for sharing your family's vacation adventures with us! Your wit and impressions further enhanced your TR. Sorry it had to come to an end (I hate it when a Disney vacation is over), but you'll have all these great photos and memories for years to come. :happy:


Well-Known Member
Great TR - really enjoyed following along

And I totally get your "is this the last family portrait at Disney" sentiments

We took the boyfriends in 2018 at Christmas (our group of 6) and I had the same thought in my head during that trip

Your TR submission has been received, accepted and fully approved as a very informative/entertaining account of a fun trip

Thanks for sharing


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