Trip Report We have kids...we just didn’t bring them! A Labor Day weekend Trip Report - COMPLETE

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome to our special Covid Labor Day weekend…
I used to post quite a bit on these boards but haven’t posted a trip report in at least 7 or so years so I think an introduction is most definitely in order…

I’m Jess

A few stats:
Favorite Park – Epcot
Favorite Disney character – Ursula
Favorite Attraction – Spaceship Earth
Least favorite Disney things: Animal Kingdom, Country Bear Jamboree and Piglet.

Traveling with me is my forever adventure buddy – my husband, Bill.

Huzz stats:
Favorite Park – Magic Kingdom
Favorite Disney character – Pooh
Favorite attraction – Haunted Mansion
Least favorite Disney things: The heat.

A little backstory: So we’ve been together 12 years…married for 7 and have pretty much traveled only to WDW or Disneyland (and a Disney cruise) for most of the vacations over the last 12 years.
Then in 2018 – we moved to Tampa for my husband’s surgical fellowship. We lived there for a year and went to Disney at least once a week. Well, I went at least once a week – Bill was obviously very busy but luckily I had my Disney bestie to keep me company

My daughter Cameron…who if you couldn’t tell by the title...did not join us on this trip. Too much going on plus she’s 3 and will not wear a mask and will not not touch ALL the things.

We had many fun Disney adventures over the year in Tampa. We moved back to Pittsburgh post fellowship (both of our families are here) and we’ve gone back to Disney a few times since…our last trip being in January 2020….

Baby Yoda…I mean baby William was born in March - about 4 days before the parks closed…he was not happy about it.

He also did not make the trip because its hot. And he’s a baby. And we’re in a global pandemic. And Mama needed a break. I was craving the magic!


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So leaving 2 kids at home with Grandma and Grandpa meant we couldn’t be gone too long so this trip was just a long weekend. Landing Thursday afternoon and leaving Monday morning so just 3 park days.
We gotta start the show rolling…

Thursday September 3rd:
Packing during a pandemic looks a little different…

Flight out of Pittsburgh was at 1:25 so we dropped the kids off at Grandma’s around 10:30 and headed for the airport. Yes I dressed and packed my kids exclusively in Disney clothes while we were gone…that kinda counts as taking them, right?

Very quick checking of the bags and security. As a surprise to no one the airport was pretty dead. We stopped for lunch at a Pittsburgh staple…

Bill had a capicola with egg primantis sandwich (comes with fries and coleslaw on it – it’s a Pittsburgh thing) and I had chicken tenders and fries. No food pics yet but I promise I got (slightly) better. My trip reporting skills are rusty!

We headed to our gate and switched from our basic masks to our N95 masks for the flight.
The flight was the thing that I was most nervous about in terms of Covid. But we boarded with Clorox wipes in hand and did not eat or drink for the duration of the flight.

2 hours later (I watched Trolls World Tour, Bill watched The Joker) we landed in sunny Orlando. As we were touching down my phone which was on shuffle started playing “My House” by FloRida. Did I tear up as I listened to a rap song? I’ll never tell…
We picked up our bags and rental car with minimal waiting.
And then we headed out.


And then we headed…to a non Disney hotel but still on property. We wanted to avoid public transportation as much as possible so renting a car made sense (and Bill prefers it to buses after living in Tampa and driving every time). And with no more EMH or 60 day FP advantage…we found that without kids we just didn’t see any advantages to staying at an actual Disney resort. So for less than the price of a moderate…we booked a king size room at the brand new (opened in July) “luxury” (in quotes because they call themselves that) resort – JW Marriot at Bonnet Creek.



I only took a few photos so I stole some from the internet.


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Thursday continued:

We checked in and were given some free drink tickets. Well after some unpacking and changing from flight clothes to Florida clothes – we hit the bar.

Prosecco for me and a Reef Donkey beer for Bill. This beer is brewed in Tampa and while he can get a few Florida beers he likes back home – this is one that just hasn’t reached us up North yet so he was very pleased and it would be the first of many throughout the trip.

We then headed over to Disney Springs to meet some of our Florida friends for dinner.

This little guy was doing temp checks

We were a bit early so walked around a bit and grabbed drinks at Splitsville.



Bill got…some kind of beer. And I got the “Swampwater” – Blue Raspberry lemonade with 151. Super tasty. And it came with an agave straw. Omg Disney invest in these please – 1000% better than the paper straws. I ordered the frozen drink without thinking of the straw situation (and I had left my bag of plastic starbucks straws in my backpack in the room – don’t judge. I like to enjoy my $6 beverage) but the agave straw was amazing. Lasted through the entire slush drink and I nursed it over an hour!

Our friends showed up shortly and we headed to City Works for dinner.

We sat outside and had some live music from House of Blues across the way. There was no one out there so it was nice.
We started off with a queso appetizer…no picture…but it was yummy. And then we split the filet mignon sliders and fried pickles


I was honestly pretty full from the appetizer and slush. The slider was tasty. The fried pickles were OK – very heavily breaded but the ranch to dip them in was really good ranch. If you know – you know.


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Original Poster
Thursday continued:

After dinner we decided to stock up on some desserts I wanted to try and would not be back at Springs again. First stop was to please my inner basic b*tch…



Pumpkin cupcake. 10/10 would recommend.

Next stop – somewhere I hadn’t been yet (Springs isn’t really my scene) Amorettes Patisserie

Oh my everything is so cute here! We cut it down to 3 desserts. The Mickey Dome for sure and the lemon/blueberry cheesecake for sure. I wanted the Key Lime tart and Bill wanted the salted caramel éclair. We discussed a bit and decided to go for the éclair. As the CM was packaging it up – she asked us to repeat what we ordered…we looked v confused and then told her. She repeated it back to us and then we repeated it back to her. Then she looked in the bag and back at us and back in the bag and long pause…she says “I gave you the key lime tart. Let me get the éclair. I won’t charge you for it.” Well ok extra desserts!




Back at the hotel we ate the cupcake and the éclair. The éclair was very good but I think my favorite part of it was the chocolate on top. 8/10.

As parents of of them being 6 months old…we were more than ready to go to bed and not have an alarm set. DHS opened at 10 and we had no plans before that.

But I did make Bill watch a video and read an article about the best ways to get a boarding group. I kid you not that the anxiety about getting one kept me up at night. I love Star Wars and was pregnant the last time we visited Galaxys Edge. And the next time we come – it could be back to get there at 6am for boarding groups which is not our idea of vacation nor a real possibility if our kids come with us.


Next up: I have a stomach ache all morning until 10 am…will we get a boarding pass?


Premium Member
I'm in (been following along on Instagram).

Beautiful young family! I foresee many years of memories with your children down the road.

That Marriott looks great. Hope you got the boarding pass!


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Original Poster
Joining in! OMG that outfit! 😍😍!! Can't wait to read more!

Thank you! I will pepper this report with a few more baby boy pictures in cute Disney outfits because he has so many and no one sees them thanks to Covid 😒

That food looks delicious!!!

Food and service was great! There were so many menu items I wanted to try - we will definitely go back! And it being away from World of Disney...there wasn’t much foot traffic there.

I will never forget my first (and thus far only) Primanti Brothers sandwich. We dined at the original location and had a blast!

Best place to have your first Primantis experience! My Huzz is a huge fan - I’m a fan but prefer some other items on the menu which the OG doesn’t have. So I’m happy to hit the chain ones around Pittsburgh too. I always say it’s not a real salad unless it has fries on it 😂
I'm in (been following along on Instagram).

Beautiful young family! I foresee many years of memories with your children down the road.

That Marriott looks great. Hope you got the boarding pass!

Aw thank you! Yeah it was weird to have the ability to have my phone out all the time vs. holding a child/pushing a stroller. And I had other Disney friends asking “post a lot so I can live through your Instagram story” haha.

Can’t wait until things go back to normal so we can get back to the memory making with the kids! Hopefully one day our kids will like vacationing with us as much as yours do!

Bam Bam

New Member
Have always loved reading your trip reports!! I have read them well before you had kids. Can't wait till you get to take them and we can enjoy the Disney magic with them! So glad you are doing a new trip report! I also followed along on your Instagram story. We are actually going to arrive tomorrow and just can't wait to be back!!


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Have always loved reading your trip reports!! I have read them well before you had kids. Can't wait till you get to take them and we can enjoy the Disney magic with them! So glad you are doing a new trip report! I also followed along on your Instagram story. We are actually going to arrive tomorrow and just can't wait to be back!!
Thank you! It broke my heart not taking my son as we took my daughter at his age for her first trip. Hopefully sometime in 2021!
Hope you have all the safe, physically distant fun you can have! It’ll be magical I promise
OMG...your children are too cute! I'm in...I was there Labor Day weekend too, so I'm happy to relive the weekend again through someone else!
Yay glad to have you!
I’m sure you had a good but HOT time as well! Maybe you’ll be in the background of some photos! Or maybe I’m in yours! I’m the one in the mask 😂
I’m in! Your hotel room looks amazing!

Thanks for being here! It was a really nice room. Very spacious. Bathroom had a full tub and separate shower. It was definitely more of an adult hotel so glad we were able to experience it sans kids. But of course lacked that Disney feel. But I find most Disney hotels lack that luxury feeling. Pros and cons to both!


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I’m so excited to read this report! When I first discovered these boards, one of your TRs was among the first trip reports I ever read. Your kiddos are adorable!


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I too remember your TRs from back in the day, probably because I’m also from the Pittsburgh area originally. Now we have another thing in common...our kids are the same ages, but I’ve got 2 girls!


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Fellow Pittsburgher, (not sure if that's a real word or not), following along and enjoying your report!
It’s definitely a word! And we Pittsburghers make up words all the time haha! Glad to have another member of the Steel C

I’m so excited to read this report! When I first discovered these boards, one of your TRs was among the first trip reports I ever read. Your kiddos are adorable!
Aw well I’m glad you’re here! Thank you - the kids will make some more appearances even though they didn’t actually go with us. It was nice to have a little break from constant “Mom” life but I missed them so much

I too remember your TRs from back in the day, probably because I’m also from the Pittsburgh area originally. Now we have another thing in common...our kids are the same ages, but I’ve got 2 girls!
We had a few friends we met in Florida when we lived there call us crazy for moving back to Pittsburgh - and some days I think they’re right! But with both of our whole families being here it just made sense with our littles (and free babysitters! Haha). One day we will retire to Florida but that’s a long way away!

Aw sisters! I’m 1 of 2 girls in my family! Originally I wanted all boys and then I got Cameron and then I wanted her to have a sister like me and then I got my boy. She’s really a great big sister which surprised me - I thought she’d hate sharing time with the baby but now her first words in the morning are “Let’s go get baby!” And when she sees him “Hi handsome boy!” 😂


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Original Poster
Friday September 4th: Hollywood Studios Day
“I am one with the force and the force is with me. I am one with the force and the force is with me.” This mantra on repeat. Mom sent me this photo to start the day.

My little stormtrooper hopefully bringing us luck! (For the record - all of his monthly photos are in Star Wars outfits)

Getting a boarding group was the #1 priority of the whole dang trip. You all know what it’s like to know there’s a new Disney attraction (that everyone is RAVING about) and you don’t have a trip planned. So you just read all the trip reports and see the posts on social media about how AMAZING it is and you feel the FOMO. (FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out). Well as a girl who was pregnant since the opening of Galaxys Edge (and subsequent Rise of Resistance) the FOMO was oh so real.
I think we left the hotel about 8:50ish and hit the gate about 5 after 9.

My stomach was in knots. I was nervous I had developed a temp from Springs to now and they wouldn’t let me in. Maybe I should have popped a Tylenol just in case? Too late now! Ugh. But alas all is well. No temps. No hidden guns in our bags.

This is literally me and we don’t even own any guns.

As a regular park goer and COVID reopening of the parks researcher…I know that one SHOULD go wait in a line since I’m doing nothing in the park from 9-10 except waiting and might as well be to be first on an attraction. But sometimes reports say they open things a bit early and you can get on a ride before 10. Well my anxiety would not allow it. What if I’m ON a ride when 10am hits? Is there reception inside the Chinese Theater? What about up high on the Slinky Dog hill? Upside down with Aerosmith? Nope. I can wait in line for those later. We only get one shot (one opportunity). We will get Starbucks and wait at a shaded table at (not) Starring Rolls and wait until 10:00 hits.

I could barely drink I was so nervous. I’m not kidding when I say my stomach was hurting. And it was so eerie to see people line the streets just sitting down right before 10 to try to get a group. And a hush falls over the crowd at 9:59…

Insert ALL the dancing emojis because we were going to battle my Benny boo Kylo Ren. All the anxiety melted away. Let’s go have a picture perfect day!


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Hollywood Studios continued:

As expected both MMRR and Slinky had quite long lines out in the sun. We decided to walk on what is our favorite of the Toy Story Land attractions.



Yeah I don’t mean to brag but I’m definitely going to brag – I rarely lose on Toy Story Mania. And IF I do – it’s to Bill. I don’t believe I’ve been beaten by any other friend or family member (or stranger) in my life. Although we rode at 10:14am and the park opened at 10am and if I’m the best this hour…aren’t I the best today? (Remember this confidence when we ride Buzz Lightyear the following day)

With the A.S.S. being a walk on…we took a spin

As we were departing the A.S.S. we got our notification that it was GO TIME for RoR!

But Bill had yet to consume anything other than coffee and wanted a snack before heading in (as we planned to hit the Falcon up after Rise). Thus began the great Mickey pretzel hunt of 2020. Bill said let’s go through Galaxys Edge first – I protested that we’d find no Mickey pretzels as IT’S A DIFFERENT PLANET but he insisted. I’m sure you know who was correct. No normal popcorn/pretzel stands open along the LONG AND HOT route through Galaxy’s Edge, down past Star Tours and back to the cart at the beginning of Sunset Blvd.

Bill was less than thrilled about our tour of DHS but we had our snack and could now head to Rise because BABY THIS IS WHAT WE CAME FOR!


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I guess spoiler alert although if you read TRs you’ve seen it but here’s a few blurry because I WAS TOO EXCITED shots of RoR.






I had seen a few pictures and had a basic idea of the ride and knew there was a slight drop at the end. It hadn’t occurred to me that we’d need to go up to come down. When we went in that elevator I said…very loudly…HOLY SH*T!!! And I meant it.


For all the action and excitement and not knowing which way to look – when they played the Star Wars theme and you’re getting shot at by stormtroopers…I actually had tears in my eyes. How freaking amazing was this? Speechless.

Alright so obviously we loved it. Even my hard to impress husband said “that’s not a ride that’s an experience.” Lived up to the hype 100%. Must do.

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