Trip Report Shortest Retirement in History?

Justin Bieber lasted 2 weeks.

Tom Brady lasted 40 days.

I, Tuvalu, outlasted them both. Not by much, mind you. Yet if not for the encouragement of some forum friends - along with some unusual circumstances - you wouldn’t be reading this.

Unusual circumstances, you say?

Around Thanksgiving my beloved Woody learned his presence was required at a work conference. In Orlando. At Universal.
Just down the road from Walt Disney World.

Woody said I could accompany him if he drove (rather than flew) to Florida. And that we could leave a couple days early and have some Disney time together.

Well you don’t have to ask me twice!

I’d be on my own during the conference. Since the majority of Universal’s attractions don’t appeal to me, it didn’t make sense for me to buy Uni tickets when I could visit WDW for free with my AP. Being solo, I thought it might be fun to do a live trip report so y’all could be my virtual companions!

Turns out I won’t be alone while Woody is occupied after all. Some friends that you have seen in my previous TRs (and one you haven’t) have offered to play with me. I can’t wait!



Premium Member
Original Poster
Sunday, March 31

This Easter Week/Spring Break vacation was booked 7/22/23 from our room at Coronado Springs. Disney had just brought back Bounceback offers (which had been suspended through the Covid-19 era) and we’d added a night to our summer trip to take advantage of the savings.

French Quarter is our favorite moderate resort and our usual choice for spring break. However its lack of a quiet pool has been an issue for educator Em, who needs to be away from frenetic children and pool games while relaxing in the sun after a long indoor season. She requested we stay at Riverside (which has 5 quiet pools) instead.

Traveling on either Saturday of a spring break week is a big fat no for us, as it seems the entire population of metro Atlanta is on the roads to/from Florida. So we booked our arrival for Monday, departure on Sunday.

Two weeks prior I saw an incredible deal for rooms at All Star Music. Vacation creep kicked in and we found ourselves leaving a day early! Hit both Buc-ee’s and Wawa on the drive down - a banner day, for sure. :joyfull:

We got our room text the moment we pulled into ASMu. I’m convinced the MDE app tracks arrivals (and departures - I had not yet checked out online when we left our POR room, but the moment we drove under the lift gate at the guard shack I received a “You’re checked out!” push notification. Bear in mind it was 6:15 am, long before 11 am check out time.)

When I saw the location of our room - in the building furthest from the pools, lobby and bus stops - I understood why the rate was so cheap. Parking was in the very back of the lot.

Swanky, huh?


How thoughtful that someone left us a half-full jar of peanut butter!


The room assigner must know what big country music fans we are. 🙄 (Dolly not withstanding - everybody loves Dolly!)


First look at the same generic room found in every WDW value resort now.


An interesting idea for a game show: plop a contestant in one of these rooms and have them guess the resort. Bonus points for correctly guessing which themed building in the resort.

I guarantee producers would not be paying out big money prizes.

No luggage rack, so suitcases on the floor. (JB could have stayed here and saved himself from embarrassment.)


Sharing a single sink could be a challenge with more than two in the room. But hey, the decorative tissue holder is a nice touch.


Too bad they forgot the Kleenex.


H2O, the company that manufactured Disney toiletries, went belly-up.

Not a problem though. Let’s just slap on some new labels with clear duct tape, shall we?


Not pictured are the 2400 pillows that were in our room. Three of them came in handy to block the noise from the loud wind tunnel outside our door.


To be fair, the room met our basic needs. The bed was comfortable (we shared because Em finds a table Murphy bed to be uncomfy), the shower had good water pressure and hot water, and the large flat-screen TV was nice. There was also adequate storage space and a beverage cooler, neither of which we used.

We were glad it was only for one night.


Premium Member
Original Poster
Sunday, con’t

Our one and only time at this depot.


Is a bendy bus anything like a bendy Eiffel Tower?


While not our quickest MK visit (that one was a literal tap in then exit, thanks to the silly restriction of tapping in to your reserved park before your ability to park hop) it was under five minutes. We activated our passes at the tapstiles and decided to go through the train tunnel to make sure the castle was still there.

It was. 💛


We’d just missed the Easter Parade. Colorful egg-shaped confetti was on the ground. We could hear the impending arrival of Festival of Fantasy and turned to leave before crowds descended.

We wanted to experience another Easter activity - viewing the beautifully themed chocolate eggs created by CMs.

The display at the GF is the largest, but in past years the Contemporary has also had eggs so I suggest we go there first.

We found only two eggs, both in the window of BVG. This was the better one.


Back on the monorail to the GF. Em warned me that there would probably be lots of others with the same plan.

She wasn’t kidding.


Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to see a queue to view Easter eggs.

The line snaked through the entire lobby.


I was able to snap a couple pictures from afar when I saw a break in the line. We did not cut in front of anyone.



@coachwnh has some great egg pictures in his TR since he wisely did not visit on Easter Sunday! I reviewed his post again to see what we’d missed. Some of the creations were spectacular.

It was too peoplely for us to see them in person.

And we had an appointment to keep.


Premium Member
Original Poster
Sunday, con’t

We needed to get to the Poly. A few years ago we would have taken the lovely walking path between GF and Poly. Picturesque, efficient, with always a breeze off the lagoon - it was perfect.

Its demise is one of the many reasons I hate the ugly monstrosity that is the new Poly DVC tower.

Luckily for us a boat runs between both resorts (and the MK) so off we went to wait on the dock.


It was a longer than usual wait because only one boat was running - the big one.


Though I thought we’d be late, our friend was running late as well so we had time to peruse Boutiki.

Know how inflation has impacted just about everything we buy?

I found the one item in the gift shop that’s apparently inflation-proof.

The tiki lamp still holding steady at $299!!

Grab one while you can!

I met a familiar face by the big tiki.


Em and I had a fun dinner with Kelly at Kona Cafe. The food was fine but the service left a lot to be desired - which, unfortunately, would become a theme this week.

After dinner we sat outside and chick chatted until the tiredness from our travels kicked in. Sweet Kel drove us back to ASMu and it wasn’t long before lights out.


Well-Known Member
Loving the bonus, bonus trip report!

At first, I didn’t realize you arrived the Saturday before Easter. Given that it’s such a busy week - Inquiring minds want to know where you found an incredible deal for All Star Music?? Because I am always interested in some vacation creep 😁🤣
Was it a third party site? Or the WDW one?


Premium Member
Original Poster
At first, I didn’t realize you arrived the Saturday before Easter. Given that it’s such a busy week - Inquiring minds want to know where you found an incredible deal for All Star Music?? Because I am always interested in some vacation creep 😁🤣
Was it a third party site? Or the WDW one?
Actually we arrived on Easter. The room offer was from Disney Visa.


Premium Member
Original Poster
Monday, April 1

Em was on her game this morning.


We weren’t in a rush to head to Epcot. We wanted to get our stuff over to POR first. I was hoping that after checking in at the guard shack I’d get the room ready notification.

That didn’t happen. We parked in the main lot and went inside. I thought I might check with a CM at the Front Desk to see if there were any available rooms so that we could unpack and be settled in before going to the park.

The madhouse in the lobby negated that.

We used the restroom, passing a sleeping teenage boy (Sleeper #1 😉) who was awkwardly sprawled out in the River Roost Lounge. It was 9 am. Had he been there all night? Did he arrive in the wee hours of the morning? Where was his family? Those questions would remain unanswered as we walked to the bus depot.

A quick pic before Guardians. Our boarding group had been called.


We arrived to the unfortunate sight of guests milling around the entrance while CMs explained that the ride was down and they did not know when it would reopen. VQs and ILLs would be honored whenever the ride resumed operation.

“What now?” I asked Em.

“Let’s go to The Land and ride the boat,” she suggested.

The choice was serendipitous.

And your timing is perfect!

I was in my own little world when we entered the queue, paying no attention to guests ahead of us. Em however noticed the side eye from the man in front of me.

“Tuvalu?” the man said quietly, bringing me back to reality.

“Yes,” I smiled. “And you are?”

@WDisneyW has been one of my faithful followers for years. I was just as excited to meet him as he was to meet me.


He joked about putting his new Tuvalu card on eBay. I told him I wanted my cut. :hilarious:


Our conversation lasted the duration of the ride. It was such fun to make the acquaintance of this kind couple and I hope our paths cross again soon!


Premium Member
Original Poster
Em wanted to see Journey of Water next. We would revisit it at night later in the week. I’m including pics of both.

The water curtain.


Em channeling her inner Moses.


Her first sighting of Te Fiti reminded her (as it did me) of something a little closer to home.


In fact, we’re certain imagineers drew inspiration from Earth Goddess at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.


Em was impressed with JoW. She was even more impressed by it at night.



Let’s go higher.


The illuminated ocean wave is THE BEST. We didn’t want to get too close because the tide was rolling in!



Premium Member
Original Poster
Epcot is at its most beautiful during the Flower and Garden Festival. April is its peak, when most plants have matured but haven’t yet become overgrown. (One benefit of visiting during Easter week! :joyfull:)

Though the topiary molds are reused each year, some - like Goofy - are repurposed. We’ve seen him in the same pose as an ice skater, soccer player and butterfly chaser.

This year we were tickled to see him blowing dandelions!


A toast to all Canadians, but especially @amjt660 🍾🥂.



Love the succulent wings!


Had to say hello to my Pooh friends in the U.K.



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