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Trip Report The most magical place on Earth… answered our call *COMPLETED*

Hey there, it’s been a while. I’ve had little time to participate on these boards, between navigating this crazy world with my little ones, and keeping somewhat of a distance from Disney after the pain of canceling our 2021 trip. My 2022 New Year’s resolution was to not let the pandemic stop me living my life (which it very much had). I don’t regret it, as it has kept my family safe, but it obviously came at a price. They have lost a lot. As I looked to May, I had moments of elation, thinking about how this trip would open their eyes. But I also had a lot of emotional breakdowns... scared, stressed, and worried that this trip wouldn't be what it should be. I truly did not let myself believe this trip was going to happen until two weeks to launch. One night, I randomly decided to check park reservations, and I saw our arrival day filling up. I didn’t know they were filling up so fast! I literally thought it was only a few days prior. I panic-bought tickets and that was that. Guess we were going! Of course, no vaccine for my kids came, and the numbers were creeping up, but I was holding true to my resolution. It was time for some faith, trust, and pixie dust. I could finally shout it from the rooftops. We were going home. To Walt Disney World!

Who: Me, Husband J, Nemo (3yo son), and Boo (1yo daughter).
Nemo was 15 months old on his first trip in September 2019. He’s grown so much and is the brightest kid. Amazing memory. He loves to sing Happily Ever After, and also shout “DADDY! HELP ME!” a la Finding Nemo: The Musical in public, which draws some concerned looks from folks nearby. Boo likes... whatever her brother likes. Oh, and dress up. She wears her Moana outfit every day and demands “Moana song”. During lunch time, nap time, you name it.

What: Our first trip to Walt Disney World as a Party of 4!

When: May 4th - May 14th
Originally, this was supposed to be our typical week-long trip… but when I started looking at flights, I found significantly cheaper arrival flights a few days prior. When I calculated the flight savings against the cost of extra nights, it was shockingly close. Before I could even finish my proposal to J, he said, “Book it.” I don’t always have the time or energy to remember why I married him these days, but this has got to be one of those reasons. 10 whole nights and 11 whole days at our happy place! We’re making up for lost time.

Where: Pop Century Resort
Yup, I still love my Values. Plus, kids are expensive. And, we need to try out that Skyliner!

Why: When people asked me how many kids I wanted, I always said two. Because Disney was made for a family of four. They laughed, but I was being 100% serious.

Clearly I didn’t do a pre-trip report because within those two weeks, I realized how much studying I had to do on all the changes Disney has been through. I wasn’t even going to do a trip report because I don’t know how interesting this may be to others, and I might not even have enough pictures to share for each day, and also, what is free time? But I’m giving it a shot because it helps me relive our memories, and that makes me happy. So here we go!

Our flight was at 6am. Yup. So you can guess how much sleep I got that night. And yes, I woke two babies at 3am. Despite all this, the flight actually went really well. Nemo was zoned in on the iPad, and Boo fell asleep on me the whole time. Thank you, Universe. We arrived at MCO before 9am and hopped on Mears Connect and were standing in the Pop Century Lobby before 10. It felt so familiar. The smell of the lobby, the sounds of the food court… and this happy sign.
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Our room was not ready, so we carried straight on to what was sure to be one of the highlights of our trip: visiting the Cars section of Art of Animation. Nemo is an absolute Cars fanatic and had no idea what was in store for him. He talked nonstop about ‘meeting Lightning’ at Disney, but he didn’t know he’d be meeting all the Radiator Springs gang, or seeing the Wheel Well or the Cozy Cone Motel either. We had anticipated this moment for a long time. He walked casually towards the back of the Cars section and started to trot, then run, then before he knew it, he was standing right in the middle of Radiator Springs.
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I loved this sign. A Happy Place. I plan on making a version of it and putting it on his bedroom door. We’d be back to visit our friends many times, that’s for sure. But now we had to acquire sunscreen. Very important.
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The kids were very intrigued by the chandelier fixture and excited to see familiar faces on the walls. Every little detail was something to talk about. Keep in mind these kids have not been in a store for two years (which is to say, Boo has never been in a store before). But it's time to live life. And they were SO excited to see all the toys in Ink and Paint - it’s like they couldn’t believe their eyes. And then the concept started clicking for Nemo. “Let’s buy this!” So now he knows that buying things doesn’t have to be delivered in an Amazon box.
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We promised them we’d buy things later, and headed back out to explore the other sections of AoA. Saw an elephant graveyard, a dinglehopper, and snarfblatt… and Boo’s seemingly favorite Disney princess at the moment, much to J’s dismay. (He thinks Ariel is the dumbest princess).
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We went back to each lunch at Landscape of Flavors. Per usual, I spent two weeks poring over Quick Service menus trying to preplan what my kids should eat. J was on his own. Which would explain why he got some Orange Chicken “Special”. I got the kids a Turkey Sandwich kids meal which looked kind of sad, but I didn’t know how picky they’d be and this was about as bland as it gets. Plus, I liked the milk and fruit that came along with it. They devoured it and I realized that they would probably not be able to share a kids meal anymore. I got the Shrimp and Grits which was SO tasty, albeit salty, which is probably why it was so tasty.
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We got the text that our room was ready so we started to make our way back to Pop Century. They ogled at the gigantic Crush along the way, and then we just had to stop at the Righteous Reef playground for a while.
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As we walked across Hourglass Lake, a new attraction took hold of their attention. The Skyliner. To say Skyliner was a big hit this trip would be an understatement. All four of us were OBSESSED with this thing. We would test it out later, but for now, we needed to go to our room to unpack and relax a little. Our room was in the 50’s Section, and kind of a far one at that, but it was on the corner, nice and quiet, and we had a blissful view of the lake and Skyliner that we’d admire every day. The refreshed rooms were wonderful! Sorry for the shoddy pictures. I did not have a good relationship with our camera this trip, and I eventually gave up on it and used my phone.
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The Murphy Bed was the perfect gift I didn’t know I needed, with our gigantic double stroller and all. The kids immediately started jumping on the bed and Boo looked at the Mickey painting and waved and said “Hi Mickey!” and I could not stop smiling. We set them up with a few cartoons and started unpacking. I love unpacking on Disney vacation. Then it was time to hit the pool! We went to the Bowling Pin Pool just outside our room, where Nemo had a great time paddling around in his lifevest, Boo stuck to me in Koala position, and we talked about our new friends, Lady and Tramp.

After a while, we decided it was time for our next activity:
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Skyliner joyriding. And it indeed brought us lots of joy!
 
Last edited:

belledream

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
At some point yesterday, I realized that staying late for Enchantment would mean that we'd likely have a later start this morning, and we supposed to go to Epcot today. We didn't have anything pressing that we needed to do there, but still, I did not want to miss out on an empty Epcot morning! Luckily, I was able to make a park reservation for Epcot for tomorrow and thus making today another rest day. We slept in ever so slightly, but the kids are always too excited about the prospect of riding Skyliner to go back to sleep. Even Boo says “Skyliner” now. The walk from our room to the station is my favorite sight this trip. The kids love going woahhh! as we glide through the air. We were off to Epcot, sort of.
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We would be spending the morning wandering another of Mommy's favorites: Crescent Lake. This view immediately hit me in the feels.
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The beach at Beach Club was quiet this morning, and we spent time on the swinging bench enjoying the many different views in front of us. It was very peaceful.
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Though once we stepped inside Beach Club lobby, they started climbing over all the different chairs, chasing each other around the table, and calling out every starfish or seahorse they spied. Then Nemo took off running, “Let’s check out that shop! What are we going to buy today?" According to him, it would be the monorail toy. However, Nemo's uncle was planning on buying that for him online, so we had to carefully navigate that meltdown. We wandered the happy hallways of Beach Club and sat in the Solarium for a little bit, where Boo would hide behind a couch and say, "See you later, Mom" to me.

We moved on to Yacht Club, walking by Stormalong Bay, which brought back so many childhood memories, and thus, pressure and inspiration to stay here in the near future. I didn't particularly love the reimagined lobby. Though it obviously looked real nice, I felt it was missing some of the old charm. We spent a long time on the second floor, as the kids were having a ball with the ship wheel.
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We hung around the beach outside of Yacht Club waiting for The Market at Ale & Compass to switch over to lunch. In the meantime, I hid an acorn in the sand that "Chip and Dale had dropped" for the kids to find. Lunch was worth the wait. I didn't get any pictures because we devoured it that fast. J got the Cuban Sandwich (surprise, surprise) which I asked him if it was better than the one at Backlot Express, and his answer was firmly, heck yeah. I got the Grilled Chicken Panini and stuffed my face with all the pesto and mozzarella.
The kids split a Ham and Cheese Sandwich which is way cooler than it sounds, because it was on a pretzel roll! That was a hit for them. We ate outside as it was simply another perfect day.

After lunch, we “raced” a friendship boat under the bridge to Swan and Dolphin. We lost. But we eventually got up close to the massive dolphin fountain which was a sight to see.
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Boo fell asleep on our way to Boardwalk, so we sat on a bench and relaxed. Nemo was very content watching boats for a little while his sister napped.
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When she woke up, we wanted to try the Boardwalk Surrey Bikes, which we knew for a fact, were here. But when we got there, the sign said it opened at 3. What?! The internet said 11. We called the phone number on the sign. It also said 11! I wanted to scream. We were not going to wait around here til 3. We said maybe we'd try to come back tomorrow evening since we'll be at Epcot, but I was not convinced anymore. Luckily, Nemo and Boo seemed pretty happy sitting on the chained bike and aggressively turning the wheel.
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I told Nemo we would get a treat from the bakery, so off to Boardwalk Bakery we went. Under the influence of their dad, they picked a Mickey Rice Krispie treat. This gave Nemo a serious sugar rush, because he was literally bouncing up and down with the biggest smile on his face for no reason whatsoever after ingesting this. Then we popped inside Boardwalk's lobby where they watched the Merry Go Round display intently. They also stared at the roller coaster display waiting for something to move, but of course it didn't.

Surrey Bike failure #2 aside, it had been the lovely day, just seeing where the wind took us. And it took us back to Riviera because we weren't ready to go home yet. The kids played some more Connect 4, or just regular ol' stacking. Boo would go up to Nemo and say, "here's some more!" and "don't fall!"
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And as much as I was tempted to eat at Primo Piatto again for my beloved salad, I could tell J wanted something in particular for Centertown Marketplace over at Caribbean. Since he's the one that's been doing all the stroller folding, lifting, and pushing, I figured that keeping him happy and well-fed was essential. So we walked over to CBR and got J his Fried Yucca Bowl. The Yucca (hidden under all that pork) was really good. And it was A LOT of food. I helped myself and we still had some left. I ordered Fish Tacos, with a side of Mac & Cheese, not because I thought they belong together, but because I knew that the kids would go gaga over it. And good thing I did, because they both rejected their Fish Taco meal. We also had to cave and let them watch Youtube on the phone during this meal to get them to eat. Can't say I'm mad about it though. It was a nice respite for Mom and Dad.
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After we ate, we decided to walk to the CBR Skyliner station instead of the Riviera. It was no short walk, but we weren't in a rush. As we walked by Trinidad and Tobago, I suddenly realized that I think this was the exact building I stayed in on a multigenerational family trip years ago. It was nice to reminisce.
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Part of our walk was on a boardwalk-type surface, and the rumblings made the kids make their silly "uhhhhhh" sounds together. A lady passing by said, "Someone's having a good time." Yes, they are.

Back at Pop, we went swimming again. Nemo likes wearing the lifevest and paddling in the water. Boo just likes to walk on the bench areas of the pool. I could tell they were exhausted, so we headed back and did our nightly routine. At the end of story time, they were cuddled up together. Fell asleep in five minutes, dreaming of another day.
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The kids wanted to wake J up this morning, so that’s what they did. Boo figured out how to turn on the light to the Murphy bed, flashed the cheekiest big grin, and yelled, "WAKE UP DADDY!" I'm with them. Time to get up! I am so looking forward to this second Epcot day.
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We got to Epcot early again, and so we got to see all the topiaries in an empty World Showcase morning. We were going to try to rope drop Frozen, but it was down. Since we were on that side of Epcot, we wondered, would Nemo maybe would enjoy Mission: SPACE? There was one way to find out...
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We figured literally no one would be on the ride and it seems we were right. J and Nemo had the entire queue, loading station, and rocket to themselves. Nemo was reportedly not too keen on the restraints, but was interested in the ride. (This was Green, by the way). Boo entertained herself by touching the planets outside, and sitting in front of Buzz topiary drinking water. After a bit, we went through the gift shop, to the interactive area after the ride, and found the boys sending a postcard.

We had to revisit The Seas of course. Nemo was absolutely ecstatic, taking off toward the tanks yelling, "THERE'S A SEA TURTLE RIGHT THERE!" We also watch a playful dolphin for a while. Then it was stingray central again. I always joked that when I had kids, you could find me spending all morning at The Seas with Nemo and Friends, and here I was, quite happily so.
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We stopped by The Land for a ride on Living with the Land before visiting Bambi's Butterfly House. We didn't get to this the first day, and it was a nice little learning opportunity.
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We exited to the Imagination Pavilion where the kids said no to Figment, but yes to watching the monorail go by! Riding the monorail through Epcot has always been one of our bucket list items... and with Nemo being a monorail fanatic... maybe we should consider it.
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J said a custodian came up to him and said, "If your kids want to meet a character now, go inside Pixar Short Films." I took a quick peek and saw that it was Mickey Mouse himself! So happy! We were banking on meeting him at Magic Kingdom, but this was much easier. Thanks for the heads up, kind sir! The following interaction was one of my favorite moments in life, ever. I expected Boo to be shy and want to be held, but I did not expect for Nemo to go right up to Mickey, wave excitedly, then give him a hug. My heart just exploded with so many emotions. They actually hugged! Never did I think that was going to be a possibility during this trip. After so many months of them talking to their Mickey stuffed animals at home saying, "I'm going to come see you at Disney", it was finally happening. It was like their first real 'dreams do come true' moment.
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Hearts full, we headed out toward 'World Celebration' to spend some time on the playground there before lunch. The kids started running the moment they were out of the stroller. Their runs are completely identical, it's quite funny to watch. They had a blast there, spinning, jumping, and climbing. Then it was time for lunch at Connections. I was not expecting anything spectacular... I just wanted to eat somewhere with Mobile Order to avoid a long wait. However, Connections turned out to be the biggest food surprise of the trip.
I actually still think about the flavors of my Banh Mi Burger. J ate his French Bistro Burger in just a few bites. The kids gobbled up the Meatball Pizza. All our sides were delicious. There was a lot to look at, including a few Hidden Mickeys, and we also sat by the window and saw the monorail come by occasionally. It was a good time.
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After lunch, it was time for a grand tour of World Showcase. We started with Mexico and went on Gran Fiesta Tour for our Three Caballeros fans. We peeked into Norway's shop to see the giant troll, otherwise, that was about it. In China, we were pleasantly surprised to meet Mulan! (Boo was wearing a Mulan shirt). Nemo had a small conversation with Mulan about being a warrior. Took them inside the Temple of Heaven where they ran around the poles laughing and chasing each other. Played some instruments at the African Outpost, and train watched in Germany again. Nemo also really wanted to see the Torii Gate in Japan (learned it from his Small World book). We admired it while eating a Strawberry Kaki Gori.
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These kids love fountains, and observed the one in Morocco, walked through the hedge maze in the United Kingdom, and made the trek to see the waterfall in Canada.
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They also discovered the phone booth and went inside together and I heard lots of "Hellos?"
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It was time to rest, so we went on Spaceship Earth. Boo sat on my lap and I felt her nod off before we even made it up the first hill. What I didn't know was that Nemo had fallen asleep up front with J too. His first nap of the trip. All that fun must be finally catching up to this party animal. With Boo still needing sleep after the ride, I knew this would be the moment. We were at the park entrance and had nothing else in mind, so we walked to the monorail station and cruised from Epcot to Transportation and Ticket Center, and back to Epcot. It was super cool! We got to go along the highway, which Nemo loved seeing all the cars and buses, and when we came back, we got to ride through Epcot. Finally. Saw World Showcase, saw Imagination Pavilion, saw the big construction mess that it going on, but hey, Nemo loves construction trucks. Most of all, I loved having my little boy sit on my lap the whole time.
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Upon reentering Epcot, we saw the Goofy topiary for the first time! It certainly felt weird not entering Epcot from this main entrance and taking in the breadth of Spaceship Earth.
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Believe it or not, it was time for dinner, and we could not let our time at Epcot end without a proper visit to Katsura Grill. (No seriously, J would not allow it). So off to Japan we trekked. It was yet another gorgeous day, and we found the perfect spot in a little bamboo forest where we could hear the drums, hear the waterfall, and hear the wind blow the creaky bamboo while we dined on delicious fare. I was going to order the Chicken Cutlet Curry and upon hearing that, J couldn't help but steal it. So I ended up with the Tonkotsu Pork Ramen so he could have both of his picks. I got the kids another Chicken Teriyaki meal since they enjoyed it last time. We let the kids watch phone Youtube again so we could just relax and eat every ounce of our food. It was that good. I can't stress enough how pleasant our surroundings were.
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After a long time, we got up to leave and the koi fish caught our eyes. The kids were obsessed watching them. It gave us the idea to go back to The Seas again, since we had a lot of time to kill if we were going to stay for HarmoniUs. So that's just what we did.
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After we emerged from under the sea, I wanted to treat the fam to a famous Mickey Pretzel. We devoured that hearty snack and I felt good about them lasting late now. And now we've had the Mickey snack trifecta of Ice Cream Bar, Rice Krispie Treat, and Pretzel - 3 food magnets we have on our fridge at home.

Meanwhile, J was pushing the idea of going back to Boardwalk to do the Surrey Bikes. I was inclined to say no, since the kids seemed content enough yesterday, and I didn't want to get burned again. I called the phone number from the sign and guess what... no one picked up. But Boardwalk... at sunset... all the time in the world... very tempting. So off we went again.

Now comes the long story. We arrived there, and it was staffed, so that was a good sign. I went to inquire about how much it cost, as it was a little confusing online, making it sound like it was $25 per person and not per bike. Either way, we came prepared and committed with a $50 bill since we know that Boardwalk vendors usually only accept cash. $50 was pretty dang steep for something like this, but it is a bucket list item. Thankfully, the lady told me it was only $25 so that was easier to swallow. But then she said, "Oh and just letting you know, we're only accepting credit cards right now." My heart stopped. We have been charging everything to Magic Bands and not carrying cards around. J said, "That's going to be a problem." Why? She said, "Our machine is broken." So... want cash?? I didn't get it. But I started feeling really desperate. I asked her if she could just take the cash. If we could just do one lap around for the kids' sake. If she could accept ANYTHING as collateral so we could JUST RIDE A FREAKIN' SURREY BIKE. The kids were sitting on the bikes behind us saying, "Let's go, let's go!" I felt the tears coming. I couldn't believe it. I asked J if he could go up to someone and ask them to pay with a credit card and we would give them the cash and he was like, that is so sketchy. How is that sketchy?! We're giving them cash! I think I blacked out or something between that conversation and what happened next, cause the next thing I know, a woman with four kids was at the desk telling J, "I don't need your change" and I just welled up with emotion. She had paid for our bike rental. But she would not allow J to run and find change for our $50. We insisted but she kept declining, and we settled on J providing her a full on photoshoot of her and her four grandchildren on their bike once we were all ready to go.

The Surrey Bike turned out to be a MASSIVE hit... I'm so glad I didn't take this experience away from the kids. We got a 2 seater since everyone wanted in on the steering action. The moment the four of us started pedaling down Boardwalk, Nemo screamed, "I'M EXCITED!" and Boo said, "Weeee!" and we cruised on over to Beach Club, Yacht Club, over the bridge of Swan & Dolphin. The bell kept ringing by itself with every bump we hit and people looked at us everywhere we went, but what do I care? Some people told us we were cute. Hey, thank ya! J said I didn't exactly pull my weight with the pedaling... sorry! I was lost on Cloud 9. My favorite place, at my favorite time of day, with my favorite people. Nemo did not stop smiling the whole time. Boo would not take her hands off my wheel. We made it around one full time, and doubled back the second time so we wouldn't go over our time. We saw our the woman who saved the day and touched our hearts riding with her party and waved. I am so so so grateful for this woman, not only for the ability to ride the bike, but for showing us that there are still good people in this world. Thank you, from my bottom of my heart.
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It was time to head back to Epcot. We walked. It was beautiful.
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As we started walking around World Showcase again, we saw Spaceship Earth. It was sparkling. I had totally forgotten that was a thing, and now I had to see it. Sooo with less than an hour to spare before HarmoniUs, we walked all the way to the ball. (Today was not the most well-planned out day for the legs). But all four of us literally gasped and went "wow!" when we saw it shimmering up close. It was magical.
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Must...get...closer. Standing right under the ball, I made J hoist both kids up high on his shoulders so they could feel like nothing was between them and the ball. They both looked up high and I got the most epic shot of them that just brings me unequivocal joy when I look at it and think about this moment. Seeing Spaceship Earth was truly one of the best moments of our trip and I know we'll always remember the inspiration, the awe, and the happiness we felt.
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And with less than 30 minutes to spare, we once again, walked all the way to France to find a place to watch fireworks. We were not pressed about views or crowds really, thanks to Skyliner. We found a moderate-to-poor spot that was not conducive to figuring out what the heck was the plan for those barge thingies, but it was about the fireworks for the kids. They seemed tired. Boo rest her head on my shoulder the whole time. The music was okay... some good moments and some were like, my ears! We were not super impressed, but felt we had achieved the goal of giving the kids more fireworks memories, so we actually left early and got a headstart on the Skyliner line.
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Skyliner at night was pretty cool. Of course, Nemo kept it well lit with his Mickey spinning toy. And we got to see our new favorite thing from afar on the Skyliner. Spaceship Earth at night. It was the perfect way to say goodbye to Epcot. What a day it had been.
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
The story about the bike got my heart going! Disney can be so inconsistent with payment methods, and I don’t understand how they don’t take cash. Only thing I could think of is they can’t secure it well in the booth?

But what a great ending to the story! Both from the kind lady and the joy you all had. I’ll definitely have to think about making a trip there one night on a next trip.
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The story about the bike got my heart going! Disney can be so inconsistent with payment methods, and I don’t understand how they don’t take cash. Only thing I could think of is they can’t secure it well in the booth?

But what a great ending to the story! Both from the kind lady and the joy you all had. I’ll definitely have to think about making a trip there one night on a next trip.
I don’t think the Boardwalk vendors are Disney-owned, so the MagicBand thing makes sense. They usually do take cash, so I still don’t understand it. They also were definitely not in the business of following Disney’s customer service guidelines lol. But it worked out in the end. You should definitely check out Boardwalk in the evening! There’s a lot of performers there, and it’s very pretty as well. :)

I am so glad you got to ride your surrey bike, in the end I don't understand why they wouldn't accept your cash though!
Thank you! I don’t either… maybe @Spash007 was right about not being able to secure it with the “machine being broken.”

Great story about the Surrey Bikes ride. Another Disney happy ending!
Thank goodness for the kindness of others. ❤️
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We were supposed to go to Animal Kingdom for Round 2 today, but this is a conversation I had with Nemo for a few days ago:
Nemo: I want to ride the elevator ride.
Me: Tower of Terror?
Nemo: Yeah.
Me: No you don't.
Nemo: Yes I do.
Me: You're not big enough.
Nemo: Yes I am.
[He is, but I purposely said big instead of tall to try to convey... maturity]
Nemo: I really really want to ride it.
Mom: You have no idea what you're in for. *switches AK for HS day*

As they say, nothing can stop us now...
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Walked right on at Rope Drop and got front row seats right behind Engineer Goofy. We had more time to soak all the little details in this time around, including Nemo."Look Mom, Mickey fireworks!"

Then, it was time. As we walked through the LL queue, I held his hand and was just bouncing along saying, "I'm going to ride the elevator ride!" In the preshow room, the lightning and thunder got him good. But he was back to his jaunty little self as we waited in the boiler room to load. He was the only toddler in our elevator, as expected. We sat next to a young couple who smiled at this little person wearing the seatbelt across his lap. As the doors closed and we started to move, his demeanor suddenly changed and the "Mommy, can we get off now?" started. All the scenes before the drops start are certainly scary. He handled it pretty well, but that would soon end as darkness took over. The moment we shot upwards, he keeled over onto my lap and I held his tummy tightly. Between every break in the action, he would say, "I want to get off now!" I was having a blast, personally. Man, I missed that feeling! When our elevator returned and the doors opened, he was like, OK LET'S GET OFF NOW. And we were some of the last people to offload (back row) but the first people in the gift shop, where he was back to his old self. ("Woah, look at all these toys we can buy. There's so many, I can't remember which one I want!") He was looking at Goofy Candy Co. Candy.
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J and Boo were waiting for us in the Lightning McQueen Racing Academy courtyard. Boo smiled and ran towards me. I missed her! J asked Nemo how Tower of Terror was, and Nemo did not respond. The show was about to start, so we sat down for Round 2. Afterwards, we did the Pressed Penny Machine and got him four Cars pennies. Pretty good experience and souvenir for a dollar or so!

We went off to Toy Story Land do Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania again. TSM has now been dubbed as Nemo's favorite ride, for the time being. And because we eat early, it was back to ABC Commissary where we ate at the outside tables today. Shrimp Tacos for J, Mediterranean Salad with Chicken for me, and the Turkey Sandwich for the kids. That salad was actually really good and pretty substantial. Plenty to go around for all.
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After lunch, we were to Walt Disney Presents and both kids were drawn to the Walt Disney World section and Nemo was literally naming all the rides, half of which we didn't even ride on! He also ran up to the Tower of Terror model and said "It's Tower of Terror! We rode that. It was a little up and down. It was a little strange." This guy cracks me up.
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Ride-wise there wasn't much left we wanted to do today at Hollywood Studios, so we sat in front of Gertie and enjoyed some peace and quiet before the one show we decided would be worth catching today.
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Indiana Jones! Nemo had enjoyed seeing the vehicles displayed at the show's exit, so we thought that he'd at least find parts of the show interesting. It worked out even better that we entered so late that there was no more theater seating, so we sat on the 'bench' by the plants and enjoyed a fresh breeze, far removed from everyone else. And it turns out that both kids were interested in the show as well, particularly the big tractor that pulls the set away. They also enjoyed participating in the ooohs and ahhhs. It was a good choice!
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We decided to just wander before heading back. In no time at all, we realized that both kids had fallen asleep in the stroller. YES! 10th day at Disney and I finally get the tandem stroller nap picture. So what to do now? We went back to our Muppets alleyway and sat on a bench while they napped. It was so nice... just hanging out with J like we always did. Arguing about food, judging people, and admiring our tired little Disney babies.

After an hour or so, it was time for us to leave Hollywood Studios. It was only 2, but we had accomplished everything we had wanted to here. Hollywood Studios was more popular with the kids than I could have imagined. So we went on our final Skyliner ride and cherished every minute of it.

I'm not sure why we went to the lobby, but somehow we ended up in the arcade. The kids were very happy sitting on motorcycles and watching the screens.
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We went back to the room to get changed for swimming at the Bowling Pool. The boys went off somewhere in the water and Boo enjoyed just splashing me and saying, "Watch out Mom." She waves so enthusiastically when they come back and says, "Hi guys."
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The kids splashed happily in the play area for a good long while. Boo did this new thing where she would let the flower shower drop water on her outstretched chest, then run real fast back to the pool. She was being silly and she knew it. After getting cleaned up, we ate dinner at Everything Pop. I can't quite remember what we had but I know J got that Pimento Burger again. And then, our last walk back to our room: Lady and Tramp, Skyliner and Hourglass Lake at the turn. Nemo wanted to walk up the big bowling pin so we walked to the 4th floor. Then he led us on an adventure through the halls and down a different bowling pin. We tested him to see if he knew the way back to our room and we he approached it, he gave us a half smile and looked for validation. After bathtime, they downed the rest of our snacks and watched all the Bedtime Stories. We'll miss these! They are a good idea, and man, is that little jingle catchy or what. Boo kept hugging and kissing Nemo, which he wiped off. We had a family cuddle giggle session, and then right before bed, these two sillies started lying on top of each other and laughing hysterically. As we went lights out, it started to thunderstorm. It was therapeutic to listen to. We didn't have a drop of rain otherwise during this trip... pretty miraculous. Boo fell asleep fast, but Nemo took some time to settle due to his nap. Finally, I heard him say, "Ahh tired at last" and that was that.
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Cleaning out our room and telling the kids to say goodbye to it, and everything else that we’ve become accustomed to over the past 11 days was bittersweet. We were sad to being leaving this unlimited family time of boundless discovery, but grateful that it even happened. We made some amazing memories that we’ll talk about forever. And we still had one more day! Got a few good stories to add to the book there.
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As we walked down Main Street towards the castle, I put my Mickey Ears on, but didn’t put the kids’ on yet because I didn't want them to lose the novelty and then take them off before we could get some pictures. But Nemo turned back to look at me, saw it, and gave me the biggest smile and said, "I want one too!" So all four of us walked down Main Street with our Mickey Ear Hats. They stood at their favorite spot by the hub fountain wearing their ears, and ran around in circles in the grass where we used to sit and eat corn dog nuggets late at night.
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We started the morning as the only people on the Blue Ride. It was a good one. It felt fresh and invigorating... and who doesn't love their own private car?
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Then we took them by surprise under the Cool Ship. Nemo screamed and Boo reached back to pull the stroller shade up, but not in time. Muahaha! We went to Fantasyland to do see our favorite Pooh Bear. Then the Carousel. Nemo also took a crack at the Sword in the Stone, but that was a no go. We better leave before someone gets frustrated! Small World. All of these scenes have been embedded in my memory and heart for years, and now it’s happening to my children now. It’s so cool. They've also taken to waving to the ride operators.
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We wanted to revisit Haunted Mansion since we hadn't been on it since our first day. Both kids enjoyed it more this time. They've built some confidence during the trip! We walked towards Tangled area to pick up our stroller and showed them Maximus' hoofprints along the way. We popped into Big Top Treats and had a pre-lunch snack since it's the last day of vacation. They chose the biggest Mickey cookie there, bigger than our hands. J also calculated that it was a better deal than the regular sized cookie so that made it even better. After our snack, we flew on Dumbo and Boo was smiling and sticking out her tongue. Someone loooves Dumbo and LOVES Walt Disney World! We journeyed Under the Sea, then visited the fountain in front of Gaston's Tavern. We hadn't lingered in this area at all yet, and I wanted to look inside Bonjour Village Gifts. The merchandise selection has gone downhill a bit, but I did find this cute print that made me smile. I took a picture, since I am now poor.
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Lunch was a repeat at Columbia Harbor House since J had his eye on another menu item. He wanted the Trio Platter which was Fried Shrimp, Chicken Strips, and Battered Fish with Hushpuppies and Fries. Halfway through eating his meal, he admitted it. "You know, I'm kind of tired of fried food." I got a repeat of the Sea Captain Catch and I got the kids the adult Salmon this time. When I came back to the table with our order, all three of them were just sitting there waiting for me, and it just made me smile.
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We had some big plans for after lunch. We wondered if Nemo would like to try a few more big boy rides and he was game. And it happened to work out perfectly too because Boo fell asleep in the stroller. I took Nemo on Big Thunder Mountain. He had been eyeing the train from the riverboat and island. He was excited, but then once the ride commenced, he was holding on for dear life and kept saying he "wanted to get off now." But when he met J at the exit, he said, "See? Told you it wasn’t that bad."
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Then J took Nemo on Splash Mountain. I waited at the bridge in the shade with sleeping Boo and just found myself smiling. Then J texted me saying they were going up the big hill so I stayed alert. I saw Nemo's cute little face go down the big hill. As they circled around after, his eyes found me and I waved and said, "You did it!" When we reunited, he played at the little Splash Mountain kiddie playground and J filled me in. Apparently after every drop, Nemo would say, “Why does this always happen to me?” J also took a video of him going down the big hill and it's so funny. After the drop, he said, "Was that fun?" I’m so happy he got to get two more rides under his belt so he can see it on his Transportation page. And that he is willing to try new things and has a good attitude about them.
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Boo was still snoring away, and Nemo requested to drive cars again, so we trekked over to Tomorrowland where J spared me from doing Speedway. I loved watching the two of them have fun.
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It had gotten hot again today, so lucky timing for us. I pushed the sleeping baby into Auntie Gravity's and just bought a swirl soft serve to greet hot and sweaty Nemo when he got back from his drive. Of course, Boo would not miss any sweets, and woke up just in time for that. We sat, ate, and listened to the Tomorrowland music. Our time at Walt Disney World was quickly coming to an end.
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As we walked past the castle and down Main Street, I soaked in every bit of detail I could. Running around with two kids means you don’t always have time to do that, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. To see their faces filled with awe, light up with happiness, and their little hands grabbing yours when they are a little unsure, are things that I always dreamed of. While the boys were in the bathroom, I asked Boo, "Did you have fun at Disney?" And she said, "Fun Disney."

They climb all over their strollers waiting for the bus and we talked about all the rides we did and things we ate. We watched the monorail move through Contemporary from afar and talked about the different colors. We got our first back window seat of the trip and Nemo enjoyed looking out of it… until he fell asleep. I supported his head the rest of the way home. When we arrived, he remembered I had promised to buy him a Skyliner toy with Stitch on it, so he could have one like his sister's. We went into Everything Pop and bought it. I put it on his bookshelf at home so when he wakes up in the mornings, he will see it, just like he did from our room everything morning.

As our adventure came to an end, my initial feeling was relief. There were a lot of things that did not work in our favor leading up to this trip, and I can’t pretend like I handled all the stress gracefully. Luckily, J has always been my sounding board and has kept us on course. Then my relief turned into gratefulness. I’m so grateful that we had good luck, good weather, and good health. Then it was just happiness. I’m just so happy they got to enjoy all these different experiences during this special time in their lives. They saw things they’ve only seen in books or movies, and things they definitely didn’t even know existed. But they also learned about patience, kindness, and unity. Our first Walt Disney World vacation as a Family of Four is in the books. We did it!
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
That was a wonderful trip report, thank you for sharing!
Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for reading!

Great report, and even greater vacation it seems! Really enjoyed following along and seeing Disney through your kids eyes!
Aww thank you so much! It was really nice to relive it. :) Thanks for following along.

Great TR. Really got me excited for experiencing WDW for the first time with my lil one.
Yay! Thank you. Hope you have a wonderful time with your little one!
 

LisaBelle

Well-Known Member
Awww! What a sweet report! The first family trip is always extra special! I’m so happy you were able to create so many special family memories! My kiddos were a bit older (4 & 8) on our first family trip, but they still talk about things we did on our first trip, and we continue some of the traditions we created to this day!
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Awww! What a sweet report! The first family trip is always extra special! I’m so happy you were able to create so many special family memories! My kiddos were a bit older (4 & 8) on our first family trip, but they still talk about things we did on our first trip, and we continue some of the traditions we created to this day!
Aww that is so sweet! That is my hope for them. Grow up (but not too fast) and enjoy the things we discover and remember them along the way. Thanks for reading!

Great TR! Thanks for letting us tag along!
Thank you so much for following along!
 

cgersic

Well-Known Member
What a great trip report!! I loved hearing the things that Nemo and Boo had to say, so thank you for sharing those heart smiles! I'm glad you all had such a magical family trip together and here's to many more!
Te Amo Love GIF by Mochimochiland
 

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