Trip Report Two broke guys & a dog (for the last time.) (completed)

No, I’m not mad at Disney. We’ll be back (in fact, it can’t be soon enough.) But this turned out to be our last trip together as a family.

Who: Brian (R) Tony (L) and Kylie.

When: May, 2023.

Can’t tease this, so I’ll just come out with it.

We’ve posted TRs over the years under the “Two broke guys & a dog” banner (and other titles.) Our May trip was short, and we had already booked August for my birthday (complete with a planned meet up with @Tuvalu) so I thought I’d make one double TR after August.

I ended up with Covid mid-month and we had to postpone to December for Brian’s birthday.

In the meantime, Kylie, our 14 year old German Shepherd/Chow Chow was diagnosed with heart failure. That “heads up” turned out to be a gift and a blessing that allowed us to spend so much extra quality time with her.

Kylie’s 14th bday on Halloween:
She stayed with us through the holidays, rubbing on the Christmas tree when she walked past it, per usual (like a cat lol) and was really doing well - eating, going for walks, snuggling. I expected more of a slow, gradual decline…but she passed yesterday. Now my heart is failing.

I don’t know how far I’ll get with this today. It might actually be too soon. But I thought it could be therapeutic, and a nice tribute.

For some reason, since my 30s, if I cry even a little, my eyelids swell up and it’s hard to undo. Ice helps only temporarily. I fear typing all this out will continue the waterworks (it already has) and prolong that condition. OTOH, they’re already swollen, so WTH? I’ll play it by ear, if that’s ok.

This is my love letter to my pup.

Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
It got a little chilly at night, but not as bad as January. Light jackets were fine.

It was a little gloomy in the morning, and in the mid-60’s by 9am or so when I decided to walk off a beignet number of calories outside.


I quickly found where we could take the friendship boat ride, it was just a few minutes from our room. 👍🏻 I kept walking and saw why I kept seeing signs for shuttles to PO Riverside (and possibly why our room was discounted.)


No one is going in that pool except construction workers!

Still walking…I realized how close we were to the main square. I kept going and headed towards Riverside.


I stopped into their (much larger) gift shop, and thought some folks on the whiny/complainy threads on this site could use this t-shirt:


I headed back - or at least, I thought I did. I told you I had no sense of direction. I was definitely going the wrong way. 🤦🏻‍♂️

“Find my car” got me heading back in the right direction. I almost called Brian to make sure he was awake and getting ready, but I figured he probably was, and there was a good song playing on my headphones 🎧

He wasn’t. He was still asleep when I got back in the room. The door didn’t even wake him. 🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️ This was our full park day!

I woke him up, he made coffee for himself. I sat for a few, but everything he was doing was taking too long (read: annoying me) so I jumped in the shower and got dressed, and waited for him to do the same. I think I posted to this TR while waiting lol.

Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We (I, let’s be real 🤣) decided to go to AK first. We didn’t go there at all in January. As mentioned, I figured we’d try Yak & Yeti for lunch, Tiffins for dinner, and assorted fun animal stuff in-between. Then MK at night because it was open until 11pm.

I’m going to cheat and steal this post from my own social media page so I don’t have to type it out again:


Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
True confession: while Brian was in the shower, I ate another beignet. (So I guess, out of the original 6, 2 were left. Damned beignets.🤣)

So when we arrived at AK around 12:30, I wasn’t super hungry. At B’s suggestion, we got our bug on.


We stumbled across Yak & Yeti, and hoped there were seats at the bar.

“Come with me, and you’ll see, a world of pure imagination….”

There was one seat at the bar. I stood in front of it and B stood behind it lol. Plenty of seating for everyone!

Before entering, I checked the D3 (Disney Day Drinkers) FB page for the secret password (which only works at Y&Y, and only at the bar.)

When the bartender greeted us, I said the secret words.

“Secret secret - I’ve got a secret!”

No, those aren’t the secret words. I just started singing Mr. Roboto in my head.

The mixologist showed me a QR code, which took me to the secret D3 drink menu. (Oooooh!)


The couple next to us helped us access the menu (there’s an extra not so intuitive click required) so we knew they were members also.

There were several drinks on the menu, but most seemed a little on the sweet side, so B played it safe with a Jack & Diet.

I went a little more fancy:



I don’t know if I’m supposed to show you that, but I just did. This drink was fab.


At this hour, it didn’t make sense to order full meals. Our dinner was at 5. We ordered egg rolls, which were exceptional IMO, and chatted up the couple next to us. They were from Atlanta (where Brian lived for a few years) and the guy’s Italian family were up in Jersey. Too funny. Per usual, we had a great time with them, just hanging out.

I ordered another round and some lettuce cups with chicken. They were good, but we preferred the simple eating style of the eggrolls (not to mention the eggrolls were more filling at $13 than the lettuce cups at $20. I know, duh lol. It’s lettuce.)

Our Atlanta friends moved along, and another group came in. We offered to move down to make room for more of them and were on the fence as to whether or not to stay. Then one of the guys put a phone stand on the counter and started recording or streaming to an audience. That was our cue!

As a man of a certain age, I don’t know how people do that with no sense of embarrassment whatsoever. I’d be very self-conscious about disturbing other patrons.

We said fond goodbyes and thanks to the bartender, and moved along as well.

Add that to the growing lists of firsts on our bazillionth Disney trip: arriving from home directly to a park, eating at Tony’s, staying at POFQ, having Mickey beignets, and now Y&Y.

We will definitely go back there for a real meal (probably still at the bar.) All your recommendations were spot on!

Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We were just in time to see the live Nemo show without a wait. 👏🏻👏🏻🐠

When we got out, it was 3 minutes to the start of the live Lion King show, so we never would have made it.

We walked around.


That’s Dug & the dog from Up on the boat. Terrible pic, sorry. Had two drinks 🤣

This guy was cute until we got too close. Then he got all Karate Kid on us.


Random head cut off shot:


Kilamanjaro Safari was supposed to be a 20 minute wait. Real wait: 10 minutes. 😀


Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The weather was nice, the safari was very enjoyable. Didn’t realize until afterwards, no one would look at me.


This white rhino and a younger one blocked the path for a few minutes. All good.

Brian took more pics. I still felt like I had enough from my solo trip. I just enjoyed the view.

Which was fine because…no faces. 😂


“Puppy” sighting.


Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
After the nice safari, we had just the right amount of time to get to Tiffins for dinner. We’ve eaten there many times, but I think it’s been a couple of years or more.

My fancy drink:


This had something to do with vodka, pear, lime, and mint. Still on a light, refreshing kick.

There was no bread service. We skipped the appetizers.

Yep, we did the split & switch again - this time with veal tenderloin and, you guessed it - short rib.


Let this be a lesson in short rib, folks! This is why I thought the short rib at Be Our Guest and Tony’s were “OK.” This whole plate was 🔥

But I only got half the plate. 😂

The veal was excellent, too, a little odd texture for someone who doesn’t do a ton of meat anymore, but it was a very good dish.

Granted, the short rib at Tiffins is around $15-$20 more than at Tony’s…but it’s worth every penny. It’s the difference between just eating to eat vs. having a memorable dining experience.

That plate was the best of the trip, and probably the best of the year so far. 😋

When we left, the park was just closing. We headed back to French Quarter to relax and regroup. I hoped to get back to MK before too long. What’s that sound, you ask? Brian snoring already, of course. Where are those beignets?!

Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
***I forgot to mention: when we arrived at AK that morning, our Mickey heads turned blue instead of green! I wondered if we had switched bands again, but didn’t think so. Someone came over and fixed it, but I asked what had happened? Guess what?

I never made a park reservation for that morning (!!!)

They were very kind about it, I was very embarrassed, they said we’ll let you go “this time.”

Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Back to that evening:

It seems like a lot of time, right? Leave one park at 6, take a break, other park closes at 11?

Time flies when your husband’s sleeping and you’re trying to make sure we go to a park and don’t go to bed hungry. (I dislike being in the room without “real food” if we eat dinner early.)

I hadn’t booked anything to eat for nighttime. I was talking myself into one of two options: go to MK and monorail hop for snacks and/or drinks, and hop back - or - get something from POFQ QS and just leave it in the room until after park time. (I had my eye on that jambalaya!)

I started researching the lounge menus at Poly, G-Flo, and the Contemporary. They were not really what I’d expected. (Thinking about it now, I’m guessing we probably could have asked to order from the appropriate connecting restaurant?) At any rate, in the moment, I thought it wasn’t worth the loss of park time unless it was going to be really good, and I didn’t see anything really good.

By this time, it was getting late to the point I added a third option: just eat POFQ QS in the room and stay in. When Brian woke up, I presented that option. He said, “I think we end up doing that too often.” Good answer!

I tried to mobile order to save time, but the mobile menu was very limited - no jambalaya - so we hopped in the car to get that, and B ordered a Korean Impossible BBQ burger. We dropped those off in the room, did a quick shot of my fave Crown Royal Vanilla, and rushed to MK.

It’s times like these I really don’t appreciate the TTC. Such a time suck.

We got a great spot (no attendants again) but there was no tram, so we had to hoof it. There were soooo many people leaving as we were arriving. (It was just after 9.) I thought that was encouraging. I checked the wait times: there were a few walk ons, but the biggies were still like 90 minutes for Mine Train, 35 for Haunted Mansion, etc. So we had realistic expectations.

Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
What to do first? We instinctively walked to the right, still fighting the exiting crowds. I scanned the tip board. Brian suggested CoP.


I wasn’t going to, since we had just done it a few weeks ago. In fact, I was surprised it was open so late. OK, why not? There were other attractions with short lines in the area, we could knock out a nice little grouping.

When the CM reminded us this was a 20 minute time commitment, I second-guessed our choice. Then the show began, and I was all about it.

Maybe it was the Crowh Vanilla, but when father said, “I blew the whole neighborhood again,” it made us giggle.

The parks had been fairly busy, but in a good way - like you could tell there were newbies at “It’s Tough To Be A Bug” who were genuinely surprised at the effects, and clapped at the end. I hadn’t seen this many people in CoP in awhile, and it was late.

“There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow…”

Now, if you’re sharp, you noticed I didn’t take that picture from the ground. Our next relaxing excursion was the People Mover - another long one! But we hadn’t done it in ages, and it was a walk-on as well.

I tried getting a few pics on board.


That was fun!

Monsters, Inc. was to be next (and another WDW first) but it had closed while we were on the PM.

We began walking back towards Fantasyland.
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Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
As we passed 7DMT, I noticed the wait time had dropped to 60 minutes. This is our most skipped attraction because we won’t wait that long for anything lol. Tonight, I considered the old “get in line by 11” thing if the line got short enough by then.

For now, despite the posted 15 minute wait, IASW was a walk-on.


Being partial to a certain animal, I focused on the tiger…


…and the apparently gay tiger.


Or is that a gay leopard?

It was now after 10:30, and the Haunted Mansion was showing the magic 13 minute wait - but by the time we stopped at the Tangled restrooms and arrived, they had posted a 20 minute wait. (It was not much more than 10 in reality.)

We thought the Hatbox Ghost was cool, and an upgrade from the “Donald Duck chair.”

And we talked about coming back in the morning.

Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We exited HM at 10:54. Not a bad two hours, huh? Pretty well packed. I checked the tip board; Mine Train was down to a 20 minute wait. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that. But by the time we decided and started walking, it was 10:55.

Did I mention Brian’s not a fast walker?

So we did the thing we do…I go ahead, get where we’re going, and if necessary “hold the door” for him.

I didn’t need to. We both sauntered in at a leisurely 10:59pm.

It was at least the full 20 minute wait, which was fine. We saw people turning around and bailing. We also saw a young woman with a little stroller pushing through the line, “Excuse me, excuse me.” We and the couple in front of us were like, “What the heck?” (Not “heck.”)

A few minutes later, I pretended to push through them, saying, “Excuse me, excuse me!” The woman’s eyes were going to spit fire before she realized it was me. 🤣

The ride was a bit forceful for B, but we were glad we waited, and extended our night at MK.


Despite the crowds leaving when we arrived, there were still a lot (!!) of people crowding down Main Street. I did not want to stand in that mess waiting to board the Monorail. We lingered & loitered lol.


Puppy sighting.


View from near Crystal Palace.

That crowd was not moving quickly. I thought we’d kill time with an ice cream, but a CM closed the door as we approached (with a line of customers inside.) We gave up, but others waited outside.

We stopped into the shops across the street. What do you think this t-shirt means?


Have I posted this before? Deja vú.

Brian said Peace, Love & Mickey.

I think it’s Peace, Love & Happiness. (Mickey representing happiness, obvi!)

And I found what I’d hoped we would, in the biggest shopping area in the parks:


I got to chatting with the cashier, and her dog had just passed recently as well. 😕

These will be on display in the house for now, but will easily go on the Christmas tree next year since they are keychains.

They were $15 each, we got the AP discount of $3 off each, I had about $10 left on an old gift card, and paid the rest in cash.

Yes, cash. I haven’t had to say this in quite some time, but in paying our bill at Tiffins, I ran out of Chase Visa points (gasp!) That’s what happens with back to back trips. My new point allotment comes in a few days from now. (And we do have a friend from Jersey going in early March. Hmm…) ETA: turns out she is going in mid-March, and I don't think our schedules will line up this time. We'll see.)
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Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The ride back to the room was uneventful, no getting lost, no supernatural encounters.

As we drove, we took a deep dive into what to do the next morning. Brian had to leave for work by 4pm, and it’s a 3 hour drive home. We really only had until about noon.

Old TRs will show we very often thought we might do something on checkout morning, but almost never did. If we had Kylie with us, we would have to take her to BFPC for a very short while, which was hardly worth the cost or the time. If we didn’t, we knew she was waiting at home, and the sitter would have left her alone for a few hours by the time we got there.

None of that was a factor now, so we committed to doing *something* although I was concerned about someone sleeping late.

I was kind of stuck on wishing we had taken the train ride (MPB) on day one, and wanted to recreate that moment of a sunny morning at MK, riding the train for the first time since before Covid.

Our TTC experience that night reminded us how impractical that would be. We ruled out MK.

We ruled out AK since we had just been there.

We texted Julie in case she was opening at Tune-In on Friday, we could pop in. So HS was a possibility.

Otherwise, we’d go to Epcot and grab a couple of snacks around the world. We still hadn’t experienced a lot of the Arts Festival booths.

We were glad we had gotten food before going out. The jambalaya was tasty, if sweet. It was more tomato based (which I like) vs the more traditional brown base you typically get in NOLA (which I also like 😆) It was a little cooler than room temperature, but still hit the spot. Brian’s burger was good, but his fries didn’t hold up so well after sitting out so long. (Oh, he ate them anyway.)

And, need I say “beignet?” Those held up just fine. Damned beignets. 😉
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Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Brian actually made an effort and got up early-ish. We packed up, cleaned up, and got on the road just about 10, so we’d have about two hours again. The point was just to do it this time rather than skip it.

Julie hadn’t responded, so Epcot it is!

As we pulled in towards the entrance, Brian asked if I needed “the thing” to park?


In Brian words, he was asking if we needed a park reservation to get through the parking booth.

No, I told him. But 🤯 I hadn’t reserved a park (again!) because we didn’t know where we were going until the last minute.

I started logging in to the app as I continued toward the booth. Brian used his magic band, but I had to pull over to the side to finish the process on my phone. As a CM started walking over because we can’t pull over in that spot, my heart sank:


It was the 16th. The Friday of a holiday weekend. No parks available. None.

What’s left of my mind flashed to the day before, when we had innocently entered AK without a park pass and were waived through without a fuss…

But this time I knew. It would be dishonest. Could all 4 parks really be that booked up outside of Christmas? Was it worth parking and walking, only to be turned away and have to leave? Or would they just waive us through again?

While I kind of felt like Albert Brooks in “Defending Your Life,” I did not feel right taking the chance. Totally my fault for (again) not remembering to book a park.

Even if I had looked last night and found everything was full, we would have checked out at 11 and at least had lunch before heading out.

Our room key would still work…Nah. We started home.

We came across two accidents on the turnpike on the way home, so 3 hours became four.

It was a bummer of a last day! And a bummer of an ending to a nice Valentine’s Day quickie (😉) trip report. Sorry, folks!

If the dates line up, we may be back in about three weeks. If not, late April/early May for sure.

And we’re home.



Premium Member
I know this is too little too late buuttt….

Did you click “AP with resort reservation”when you attempted to book your park reservation? Because you guys were still resort guests up until 11:59 pm. If you didn’t, there might have been Epcot availability for you that day. I’ve never seen Epcot unavailable for resort guests with AP even during busy times.

So keep this in mind next month if you meet your mysterious friend from Jersey.

And I hear that early May is better than late April for a WDW visit. 😉

Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I know this is too little too late buuttt….

Did you click “AP with resort reservation”when you attempted to book your park reservation? Because you guys were still resort guests up until 11:59 pm. If you didn’t, there might have been Epcot availability for you that day. I’ve never seen Epcot unavailable for resort guests with AP even during busy times.

So keep this in mind next month if you meet your mysterious friend from Jersey.

And I hear that early May is better than late April for a WDW visit. 😉

I don't know. :arghh: I think I was in a slight panic knowing there were cars behind me, a CM coming towards me, a time crunch, etc. It didn't make sense that there would be no availability, but I couldn't find anything else to click on. Usually if I'm signed in, they know I'm AP and so forth. Also, my AP is Pixie, so that may have something to do with it (you'll note I was blocked out for the weekends, and for today, so it seems they "knew" that.) But as a resort guest, I'm not sure.

Definitely a good note for next time! (So is the May date lol.)

P.S. the friend from Jersey is the legendary friend from Jersey who bought us our first wine pairings at our 4 year anniversary dinner at Flying Fish (and related to a CM family.) She is in the TR when we stayed at Saratoga Springs several years back.

I’ve heard that mid-May is even better 😉🤣

I’ve heard mid-April is fantastic. 😉🤣

I got some texts during this trip about other Magicians doing early April as well!

We have a big event on April 20th called Record Store Day. This will take up all my time for the preceding 4 weeks. That's why we typically go to Disney after (last week of April/early May) because I'm frazzled by the time it's over!

Everyone have a great time whenever you go! #noboma

Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I keep forgetting little vignettes like this minor note:

After 7DMT, on our way back towards the hub, we passed a gaggle of Princesses who were almost to their CM door. They (especially one) were "letting loose," as it was clearly the end of their night, I presume from working at the Castle. They saw us and waved. It felt like a breach of trust to take a picture or video, so I didn't. Cute moment.

ETA: and this TR is 13 pages long. 👻
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