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Trip Report The Tractor's out of gas, Nobody tells me nothing

Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Welcome to our September, 2019 trip report. Our family was in WDW from September 20th - 28th and we had a fabulous time.

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Ok...so this trip was supposed to be it. At least for a little while. I mean, we have been going to WDW every year for five years now. It was time to do something else. And in case you haven't noticed, WDW vacations are not cheap. Time to maybe try something a little more affordable.

These were some of the thoughts going around in my head as we embarked on our trip. I had shared with Sara that maybe in the coming years we should take a cruise, or go explore a city, or even relax on a beach. But then this September trip came, and wouldn't you know that Disney Magic did its thing and we had perhaps one of our favorite trips ever. Now as I sit here typing, I can't wait to head back. We haven't officially booked anything just yet so we don't know when that will be, but that decision will be kept for another day. For now, on with the report...

We were pretty busy in the weeks leading up to WDW, so Sara, who normally is packing at least a week in advance, couldn't really start until about two days before out trip. This led to a bit of stress, but of course we got everything together. We have two cats, Oliver and Jasmine, and they both were insistent that they wanted to come with us.

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We officially started on Thursday, September 19th when Luke and Makayla returned from school. Sara and I had taken the afternoon to load up our van. We met the kids at the bus stop, but before we hit the road, Makayla had her soccer shots session. We had signed her up for soccer for 8 weeks on Thursdays after school without really thinking through how it would affect our trip. We decided in the end that we would let her play soccer, then leave after. So a bit later than normal, but around 5:15pm we were on our way from York, PA.

We stopped just north of Baltimore for some Chipotle for dinner and a potty break. Then we were back on the road. Since we were leaving later than usual, I made the decision to go around DC on 495 instead of my usually creative detour on 15/17. Thankfully traffic was pretty light. We made our way through Virginia and to our normal stop on the way, the Hampton Inn in Emporia, VA. For some reason, the hotel has a picture of cows with "happy" behind the front desk.
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We woke up and ate breakfast the next morning, and then were on our way through NC/SC, and Georgia. We made sure to take breaks along the way for the necessities, like throwing a football around and playing tag.

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In Georgia, we hit a bit of rain, and then in front of us we noticed a very faint rainbow.

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It shows up even fainter in this photo Sara took than what it did as we were driving. But trust me, it was there. If you start at the green sign and sort of go up and to the left, that's where it was.

We made great time on our trip, and by 4:45 we were entering Florida. We were so excited. We had never made it to the Florida welcome center by 5pm before, and we were finally going to get to try the complimentary orange juice...

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WHAT?????

We worked so hard :cry:.

Needless to say, this was a touch disappointing. We still managed to explore a bit.

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One thing you will quickly learn about Luke, he typically either has a football or soccer ball with him. He loves to play all sports. That made him super excited for our hotel this year, the All Star Sports. He had been asking to stay there for our last several trips, and this time we were finally doing it.

We left the Florida welcome center and began the absolute longest drive from the Florida border to WDW.
 

Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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We made it to Orlando, and with a bit of traffic, eventually made it to WDW. Our first stop was Disney Springs, and we made our way to the Orange parking garage right off I-4. Sara had a specified itinerary for us to follow at Disney Springs. First on the list was to visit the West Side food truck area.

Disney Springs was it's typical busy self on a Friday night. Busy crowds of people making their way around, with plenty of performers scattered around. Its an atmosphere that as parents Sara and I don't get to experience too much anymore, but I imagine finding a seat with a good drink and listening to a talented singer isn't too bad a way to spend a Friday evening.

We weaved our way over to the food trucks. First was the Mac and Cheese truck for a mac and cheese with Cheetos on top. This was actually really good, but I was the only one who wanted to eat the Cheetos.

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Right next to the Mac and Cheese truck was the cookie dough truck, and we got two bowls to split.

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Luke and Makayla picked the blue one 😀. It was good though.

We spent some time taking in a relaxing view of the water as the husble and bustle went by behind us.

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We then went to the hub of the busy-ness - The World of Disney Store. Sara wanted to get autograph books for our trip, and also a new bubble wand for Makayla, as hers had broken since our last trip. Right inside the door, Sara spotted a Halloween costume for Makayla. right in the middle of the display was Mal from "the Decendents." I've never seen the whole movie myself, but Makayla...and Sara...love it. Sara decided immediately that she wanted to buy it. I took one look at the price tag and voiced my second thoughts, but the decision had already been made. Turns out we were buying Makayla's Halloween costume tonight.

Slight break in the report to show you our awesome kids in their Halloween costumes.

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Once we got out of World of Disney, we made our way over to Aristocrepes, which is just outside Rainforest Cafe. Sara had been craving one of their crepes for almost a year. Sara picked the chocolate one with Strawberries, and it was a fine selection. Very yummy. Of course, she had two children who were very willing to help her eat it.

As Sara and Luke were finishing up, I walked Makayla over to the Rainforest Cafe gift shop, and she loved seeing the different animals and fish all over the store. As we walked out, we noticed that everyone was standing nearby and staring up at the volcano. Sure enough, it was that time.

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Both Luke and Makayla agreed it was cool to see the Volcano, but a little scary as well.

Sara had finished her crepe, and we made our way back to the Orange Garage and drove over to All Star Sports. The attendant at the gate gave me a hard time for wearing a Jurassic Park shirt to WDW, and thought maybe I had driven to the wrong park.

We had been placed in a room in the Home Run Hotel, but baseball portion of the resort. We parked the car and unloaded our stuff into the room. Not a ton of exploring done since it was so late. There would be time for that later in the trip. We quickly settled in and went to bed, ready for a new adventure the next morning.
 

wombat

Active Member
Welcome to our September, 2019 trip report. Our family was in WDW from September 20th - 28th and we had a fabulous time.

View attachment 419782

Ok...so this trip was supposed to be it. At least for a little while. I mean, we have been going to WDW every year for five years now. It was time to do something else. And in case you haven't noticed, WDW vacations are not cheap. Time to maybe try something a little more affordable.

These were some of the thoughts going around in my head as we embarked on our trip. I had shared with Sara that maybe in the coming years we should take a cruise, or go explore a city, or even relax on a beach. But then this September trip came, and wouldn't you know that Disney Magic did its thing and we had perhaps one of our favorite trips ever. Now as I sit here typing, I can't wait to head back. We haven't officially booked anything just yet so we don't know when that will be, but that decision will be kept for another day. For now, on with the report...

We were pretty busy in the weeks leading up to WDW, so Sara, who normally is packing at least a week in advance, couldn't really start until about two days before out trip. This led to a bit of stress, but of course we got everything together. We have two cats, Oliver and Jasmine, and they both were insistent that they wanted to come with us.

View attachment 419788

We officially started on Thursday, September 19th when Luke and Makayla returned from school. Sara and I had taken the afternoon to load up our van. We met the kids at the bus stop, but before we hit the road, Makayla had her soccer shots session. We had signed her up for soccer for 8 weeks on Thursdays after school without really thinking through how it would affect our trip. We decided in the end that we would let her play soccer, then leave after. So a bit later than normal, but around 5:15pm we were on our way from York, PA.

We stopped just north of Baltimore for some Chipotle for dinner and a potty break. Then we were back on the road. Since we were leaving later than usual, I made the decision to go around DC on 495 instead of my usually creative detour on 15/17. Thankfully traffic was pretty light. We made our way through Virginia and to our normal stop on the way, the Hampton Inn in Emporia, VA. For some reason, the hotel has a picture of cows with "happy" behind the front desk.
View attachment 419795

We woke up and ate breakfast the next morning, and then were on our way through NC/SC, and Georgia. We made sure to take breaks along the way for the necessities, like throwing a football around and playing tag.

View attachment 419800

In Georgia, we hit a bit of rain, and then in front of us we noticed a very faint rainbow.

View attachment 419796

It shows up even fainter in this photo Sara took than what it did as we were driving. But trust me, it was there. If you start at the green sign and sort of go up and to the left, that's where it was.

We made great time on our trip, and by 4:45 we were entering Florida. We were so excited. We had never made it to the Florida welcome center by 5pm before, and we were finally going to get to try the complimentary orange juice...

View attachment 419799

WHAT?????

We worked so hard :cry:.

Needless to say, this was a touch disappointing. We still managed to explore a bit.

View attachment 419803

View attachment 419804

View attachment 419805

One thing you will quickly learn about Luke, he typically either has a football or soccer ball with him. He loves to play all sports. That made him super excited for our hotel this year, the All Star Sports. He had been asking to stay there for our last several trips, and this time we were finally doing it.

We left the Florida welcome center and began the absolute longest drive from the Florida border to WDW.
Nobody tells me nothing???????????????
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Looking forward to the whole report, but especially the story behind the title!

Mind if I ask how old Makayla is? My daughter just turned 5 last week, and it seems like no one else in her Kindergarten class knows Descendants, so we were wondering if we introduced her to it too early. But she loves it - the singing, the action scenes that we think are appropriate, etc.
 

Michaelson

Well-Known Member
Looks like you had a trip and a half going on there! Just as an aside, in the past 5 years of going in February, we've NEVER been able to get juice at the Florida welcome center, so you're not the Lone Ranger in that experience.

Regards! Michaelson
 

Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm following along!
Thank you, I hope you enjoy.

Nobody tells me nothing???????????????
It's bad English, but the story comes in our first day.

I'm in! Can't wait to follow along!
Great to have you along.

Aaaah!
How did our paths not cross???
I am here and ready to read!
Or did our paths cross and we weren't paying attention? 😜

Here and ready!
Yay!

Looking forward to this!!
Hope you enjoy it!

Looking forward to the whole report, but especially the story behind the title!

Mind if I ask how old Makayla is? My daughter just turned 5 last week, and it seems like no one else in her Kindergarten class knows Descendants, so we were wondering if we introduced her to it too early. But she loves it - the singing, the action scenes that we think are appropriate, etc.
The title story comes on our first day. Makayla turned 5 in August. We've actually had just about the opposite experience. We're seeing Mal's everywhere. I think Makayla said two other girls in her Kindergarten class were dressing as Mal, and one family from our church has 4 girls and they're going as the 4 main girls from Descendents. Should be fun.

Looks like you had a trip and a half going on there! Just as an aside, in the past 5 years of going in February, we've NEVER been able to get juice at the Florida welcome center, so you're not the Lone Ranger in that experience.

Regards! Michaelson
Here's hoping you get some of that OJ one of these days (or years). This was our first time making it before 5, so we were quite disappointed.
 

Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
A couple weeks before our trip, Disney had announced they were opening most parks (not Epcot) at 6am, to coincide with the opening of the new Star Wars land. 6am is is super early, but we figured we were up for it. Get to the parks early, ride a ton of rides, then go back to the resort and take a nap. This was our plan, right up until we didn't go to bed until almost midnight our first night. Not a chance we were waking up for a 6am opening after that.

Still, very proud to say we managed to wake up, eat breakfast, and head to the bus stop by 8 at least.

If you have read any of our prior trip reports, then you know our WDW vacations always start at Epcot...UNTIL THIS YEAR!!!

Yes, I actually managed to get Sara to agree to change this 👏🙌. My solid argument was as follows. "It's food and wine festival, and on a Saturday, Epcot is going to reach can't move levels of crowded. Wouldn't it make sense to be somewhere else, then do F&W on a weekday." And after bringing up this point week after week for several months, she finally agreed that we could start our vacation in Hollywood Studios.

Sara was sure to put a small decoration in our window
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First, we really enjoyed exploring our hotel. This was our first look at the baseball portion of the resort in the daylight.

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And perhaps Luke's favorite part, we had to walk through a football field to get to the bus stop!!!!!

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Makayla decided that the red helmet team was named the "Reds," and the orange and purple helmet team was named the "Tigers." So we would be discussing these teams the rest of the trip.

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We had a smooth bus ride experience over to HS, and got to check out the new bus loops there. Very cool. The gondolas were operational as we were walking under them, but they wouldn't be open to the public until after we left. Not that it would have mattered. Fun fact about me, I'm pretty scared of heights. I don't see any way I could get on one of those things.

Makayla was happy to try out her new bubble wand as we made our way toward the entrance. Luke joined in the fun as well.

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Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We made it into HS without any hassle. I would guess it was around 8:30 when we made it in. I guess the early opening time was only for resort guests as there was a line forming to the right side of the entrance of people waiting to enter. We calmly made our way in on the left.

Very few crowds on the main walkway. There were photographers standing around, so we decided to stop and get our pic taken.

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Sara had bought matching dresses for her and Makayla and was very excited to wear them. Looking back, I wish we had thought to get a photo of just those two.

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Our first destination was Slinky Dog Dash. It was advertised as a 30 minute wait.

Makayla was wearing a brand new bracelet this day, and she was very excited about it. It was just a little dollar bracelet from Target, but it had an ice cream pendant on it that she thought was really cool. As soon as we got to the point in line where we stopped to wait, Makayla went to look at her bracelet, only to realize the ice cream was missing. 😢. Actually it was more like 😭. She was so disappointed that she had lost the ice cream. Who knows where it fell off. Anyway, she was pretty upset for most of the wait.

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In the end, I think we waited about 20-25 minutes, and the ride was a huge hit.

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Spent some time then watching the next few go, and trying to get some waves from the riders.

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Alien swirling saucers was a walk on so we did that next.

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Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We had the option of meeting Jesse, Woody, and Bo Peep, but Makayla did not want to meet any characters. Still not a big fan of them. We decided to head to Midway Mania since it was also showing as a walk on.

Nice Makayla pic
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and crazy brother.
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Midway mania was fun, and not to brag or anything, but I had the highest score in the car 🏆. Makayla was not a big fan of this ride. I had never really picked up on it before but with the 3D glasses it does look like a lot of things are coming at you, and she thought it was scary. When we finished, I asked if they wanted to go again, but Makayla was a firm no.

Few photos on the way out.

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These dominoes actually had water in the little indentations, so the kids unknowingly got some wet bottoms.
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We managed to get one nice picture at the Pixar ball.

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and then we go this...I don't know why
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At this point the wait for Slinky Dog was getting pretty long, and no one wanted to do either swirling saucers or midway mania again, so we decided to head over into Galaxy's Edge.
 

Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Full disclosure here, I'm not the biggest Star Wars fan. I like the movies and have seen them all, but I haven't watched all the different TV shows and read the books and comics like some I know. I had people in my office who were surprised that I was sort of "eh" when they asked if I was excited to see the new land. I had heard when it first opened there was going to be a wait to get in, and there was no way I was going to do that. Thankfully, the land was wide open and welcoming us in from Toy Story Land.

The line for Smuggler's Run was about 70 minutes when we got there, so we chose not to do that today. Instead we took a stroll through the land and more or less took it all in.

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The storm troopers were out and about as we started walking away from the Millennium Falcon.

Luke got asked for his identification. In the background of this video, you'll hear Makayla's reaction. She was completely mortified that they were anywhere near us.

 

Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We came to a relatively open area where there was a photographer standing, so we decided once again to stop for a pic. Unfortunately we were looking into the sun, which led to some awkward faces.

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Special Effects!!!

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A few more photos as we made our way out.

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As we were leaving, Makayla noticed some hanging banners or flags that were pretty ripped up. They were keeping in the theme of the whole land, but she commented, "Look at those flags, Stitch must have been here." :D Stitch is well known in our house as a troublemaker, so it was obvious in her mind that he must have come in and ripped up the flags.

At that point, we had reached the exit of Galaxy's Edge. We would make our way back later in our trip for a ride on Smuggler's Run. But for now, our next stop was Muppet Vision 3D, followed by plenty of time at the fountain. I didn't see any signs that said don't play in the water, but there was something about this that made me feel like I was a bad parent for not calling my kids back. They had a great time though. Thankfully, neither fell in.

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Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We did a little exploring around the Muppet Courtyard.
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Then it was time for our Star Tours fastpass.

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We entered Star Tours just as the Jedi Training Academy was taking place, so both kids wanted to stop and watch it. We stayed for a minute or two then corralled them forward. It ended up being a walk on, and Makayla got to be the rebel spy. Everyone really liked it, so we decided to go again (after an emergency potty run for Makayla :)).

We decided to grab lunch at Pizzerizzo. We had planned to eat here several times before but it always seemed to be closed. I'm assuming it's open all the time now that Galaxy's Edge has opened.

Sara got a cheese pizza, and I got a veggie pizza. Luke picked the mac and cheese, and Makayla got a power pack lunch.

Couple food photos
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Makayla's lunch. She did a good job eating it.

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We ate in the party room upstairs, and the dance floor with the hula hoops was a big hit.

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They even got me in on the fun. Unfortunately I CANNOT hula hoop.

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And a couple videos.



If we hadn't had an upcoming fastpass, I'm pretty sure they could have stayed on the dance floor all day. As it was, we still spent almost a good hour in the restaurant between eating and playing. Definitely a fun place.
 

Lyear

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Our final fastpass was for the Frozen Sing Along. It was a short walk from the restaurant over to the theater. Luke has fully reached elementary school boy stage, so he was not happy that he was being taken in to watch a Frozen show. He ended up enjoying it in the end, as he really liked some of the jokes they told. And of course everyone loved the end when it snowed on us.

As we exited, we made our way to the stroller, and decided that it was time to head back to the resort for a nap. The late night before followed by an early wake up was starting to wear on us. We decided to try the rope near Indiana Jones on the way out. It didn't work. I'm sure it hasn't worked for a while.


Unfortunately, when we made it back to our room, Mousekeeping hadn't made it there yet. Not a huge deal, but a bit disappointing. We put the privacy sign up on the door and all settled in for an afternoon nap.
 
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