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Trip Report Till the Spire, a Trip Report five years in the making (January 2020)

Bright Suns or (Rising Moons) depending on when you are reading this.

This trip report is unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. As you may realize this is a trip report written for your reading pleasure. This, however, isn't just any trip report due to the detailed nature of this trip (and to be honest the fun of it) I will be formatting this report much like a novel. With chapters and a table of contents...this way we can keep a discussion going in addition to keeping this thread formatted! Just click the link to the chapter you desire to read...the table of contents will be linked at the end of each chapter.

TABLE OF CONTENTS (to be updated when a new chapter releases):

Prologue......Post #1 (you are here)

Chapter 0 The Background......Post #1 (you are here)

Chapter 1 Sleepless in Newark.....Post #7 (https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9075345)

Chapter 2 Soarin' Over Batuu......Post #10 (https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9075727)

Chapter 3 Light-Speed through the Studios......Post #11 https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9077441

Chapter 4 Rising with the Resistance......Post #12 https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9082769

Chapter 5 Frantic Fantasy......Post #13 https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9085510

Chapter 6 Happily Ever Meet & Greet......Post #14 https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9088977

Chapter 7 Adventures thru Cyber-Space......Post #15 https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9095323

Chapter 8 JUMBO and Sivako......Post #16 https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9134381

Chapter 9 An Artists Life For Me......Post #17 https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9165723

Chapter 10 The fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy......Post #18 https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads...n-the-making-january-2020.963504/post-9389539

Chapter 11 The Studios at Twilight......Post #19

Chapter 12 Adventure is Out There......Post #20


Chapter 13 Princess Shuffle......Post #21

Chapter 14 Nemo’s Last Day......Post #26


So this is my first time writing a trip report...and as such I am learning on the fly on how to format these for your reading pleasure. Please excuse the long read (lots of background to cover here).

As this is my first time writing a report, I didn’t really know pre-trip reports were a thing so...I didn’t prepare one but as you will see their is plenty to say regarding how this trip came to be (more on that in the background).

I’ve also been going back and forth in my head if it is even worth it for me to publish a trip report...but I figured why not? I’m interested to see if anyone is interested to even read my trip report. So the response on this will determine if I decide to make any more trip reports.

With that out of the way...let’s get to the background.

Chapter 0 The Background:

WHO: Myself (25 + year Disney traveler) and two college friends who have never been to Disney
WHAT: Friends first trip to Disney World (as well as the Rise trip)
WHEN: January 16-23 2020

The idea for this trip started...a long time ago like 2015. I was watching D23 2015, and as a lifelong Star Wars fan as well as a huge Disney Parks fan...it was incredible to see a fully dedicated Star Wars Land that wasn’t just set on a new planet but was canon to the universe. I knew I had to plan a dedicated trip down once the land was completed and not just any trip I wanted to go BIG. A little background on me I’m Surferboy567 I’ve been going to Disney since I’ve been 6 months old. Ever since I’ve been a lifelong fan of Disney. Easily taking 20+ trips down to Disney from then to now. The thing was, they were always with my family and I’ve never ventured from a family vacation. Then, college came. It was my first semester of college and I was getting acclimated to a new school. Of course, as one tends to do you make new friends, and as a huge fan of Disney my whole life I tend to bring it up in conversation. I befriended two new college friends (who I will call by their Disney character names as they were on the trip) Nemo & Yoda. As we started to get to know each other we basically immediately became instant friends. And then...it happened they told me they had never gone to Disney before. I was shocked, and immediately thinking about the 2015 announcement of Galaxy’s Edge...I knew this was it the opportunity to plan a grand Disney trip for just myself and friends. Since Disney has been such a big part of my life and going as many times as I did I knew it would be fun to take a first-timer and to see how they reacted to everything. I jumped at the occasion and asked my friends if they wanted to go down to Disney, and what started out as a simple idea eventually became one grand Disney trip...which I am here to recap.

Of course, one thing lead to another and years pass, I’m still in college and regularly hang out with Nemo & Yoda. At this point I’ve been saving for this Disney trip...that seems to never get off the ground. During this time I still take many Disney vacations with my family as we normally do it about once a year sometimes more. I’ll use HWS as an example to show the passage of time. First trip, GMR still stands, Second trip TSL is being built, Third trip TSL is completed...one constant thing remains, those black spires in the distance. For years, I was dreaming what Galaxy’s Edge may be like when it finally comes to HWS. Of course, I’m excited for almost every new addition Disney adds but I knew that Galaxy’s Edge would have to be the one to anchor a trip like this. Every-time I see those construction walls down grand avenue and at the time muppets courtyard I think of the supposed Disney trip I’m planning. It became the unofficial symbol of the trip. Then finally in the summer of 2017...things change and get moving.

Sometime in 2017 (I forget when) I remember Disney announced Galaxy’s Edge was slated to open sometime in 2019. I finally had a timeframe to start scouting potential dates. We settled on possibly doing it in August 2019. Then of course, in 2019 Nemo & Yoda graduate college and their schedules become a lot busier making trip planning difficult. Then we FINALLY came to a date that we could all agree on January 16th-23th 2020! This aligned with my desire to want to schedule the trip when the major E-Ticket ride was open (only simply named Battle Escape for the longest time). We even thought that possibly the Runaway Railway would be open for our trip as a bonus we also saw that the festival of arts (a favorite of mine) was also running during our dates. Being the Disney veteran I am, and a bit of an avid planner I started to plan out the trip in Excel. Assembling a budget sheet, park breakdowns by day, Fastpass booking planning, the works. Then 120 days out from the trip...the reservations start to become booked and this trip becomes tangible as I finally have reservations down. I booked a Savi’s, Droid Depot, Oga’s Cantina and a Sci-Fi Dine-In (a family favorite) reservation. We decide for the first time we will purchase memory maker (more on this later) as it’s their first trip and is bound to be a special one. Then 60 days out and Fastpass booking commences and the hotel has been decided on The Swan and Dolphin this hotel is the place I ALWAYS stay at when we go to Disney in our 20+ times so it was a no brainer. With that all sorted out, I get lucky and manage to snag several prime fast passes including the likes of FOP, Slinky, and Seven Dwarfs. Everything is coming together and I’m determined to make this the ultimate Disney vacation for my friends who have never been. Finally, my journey from an idea in 2015 before college to eventual trip right before my LAST semester of college in 2020 is about to transform into the trip I’ve been waiting so long for.

THEN...the night of January 15th begins...

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Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Chapter 13 Princess Shuffle

After arriving from Animal Kingdom, we were getting hungry so we grabbed a bite to eat. I can’t remember where we ate but I have this picture.


After this, we went around and did the usual in Magic Kingdom. This was actually Nemo’s last time in Magic Kingdom. As he would be leaving earlier then the rest of the group. We rode Dumbo since they had not, it was my first time in quite a number of years.


We also rode many other attractions, I do not have pictures of them so I don’t remember. I do remember having a typical day at the Magic Kingdom. I don’t even remember the order if we rode Dumbo first or last.

After riding rides, we headed over to Storybook Circus and took a photopass in front of the sign. After this it was starting to get late so we sat in front of the castle to secure our places for Happily Ever After.


As I’ve said previously this has definitely become a group’s favorite.

After this, Nemo & Yoda wanted to ride the one ride we hadn’t tackled in Magic Kingdom. Space Mountain, I didn’t ride it since my fear of coasters always get’s the better of me when riding these type of rides. Despite when eventually riding them loving the experience. It is something I am working on though. Anyways, I walked them though the entire queue and I forgot how much I admired the Space Mountain queue. From the music to the atmosphere, I saw them off in their rockets and took the chicken exit to meet them at the unload portion. After this, I can’t remember if we did any further attractions.

The last thing we did do however in the park was re-visit Princess Fairytale Hall. To meet the remaining two Princesses we missed last time. Cinderella and Elena.


At this point we had more then gotten over the fact that we were pretty much the only grown men doing these Princess meet and greets. Even so, it was a fun time and a free photopass was a free photopass. We are happy we did this because Elena and Cinderella where two great Meet and Greets. They talked to us for a while and it was a nice calm way to close out the night.


I also really liked this book in the Fairytale hall. Maybe a nod to Scary Adventures?

After this, I think Disney After Hours was that night as well. The park was beginning to empty out since this was Nemo’s last time in the Magic Kingdom. We took lots of photopass pictures in front of the castle. Much like Fairytale hall it was a great way to close out the night.

Tommorow, would be Nemo’s last day in the parks. As such we planned on staying close to our resort. That wasn’t going to stop us though from making the most out of the last day with Nemo.

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Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Chapter 14 Nemo’s Last Day

We had finally come to the point where our group was to split up. Nemo had to catch a flight in the evening so we planned to stay close to our resort. We awoke early to try and arrive to Hollywood Studios early attempting to get another boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance.

I don’t think we were successful but I am unsure, don’t have any evidence saying we did the attraction again on this day. Today, was going to be a Photopass kind of day. In a last stitch effort to get as many pictures of the group as possible.

We headed over to Smugglers Run for our first attraction for that day. I even found a really cool hidden Mickey I hadn’t perviously noticed.


After Smugglers Run, we took a couple of Photopass pictures in front of the Falcon. We tried the Datapad and tried to read the Aurebesh off some signs in the land.


After we headed into Toy Story Land and took a Photopass in front of Buzz. We then rode Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swiring Saucers, and Toy Story Mania.

After that we proceeded to take lots of Photopass pictures with Mike & Sully (One Man’s Dream) I remember we waited a long time for that Meet and Greet. Then we headed over to Launch Bay and took some Photopass pictures with BB-8. This was also a great Meet and Greet.

After this we headed into the Incredible Celebration area, and waited for Edna. We took a Photopass in front of the Incredible Celebration wall then got in line for Edna. Edna’s set was cool with props of the suit as well as explanations of what she was thinking when designing them.



After this Nemo had one final attraction he wanted to ride before we had to head back to the hotel for him to pack. The Tower of Terror, as he wanted Nemo & Yoda rode Tower of Terror and took the Photopass picture on the ride.

We then headed back to the hotel, helped Nemo with his bag and he was headed back home.

That night, we rested and headed to EPCOT. Pretty sure we took it easy and didn’t do much since the only Photopass I had was us on Frozen Ever After.

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