Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by PrncessA, Feb 19, 2018.
We were there about the same time as you - flew home Feb 8th. Those cheerleaders were SCARY so I admire your bravery
Hi there, joining in!
I think you may know I was there for a couple days right before you, before my Universal training trip. I couldn't believe how crowded the parks were! I didn't expect LOW crowds as that rarely happens now a days, but holy crap is was crowded And of course the couple days I was there so were the cheerleaders and dance groups.......
Ha ha same with my DH!
Looking forward to reading more
Following along on your adventure!
It was so much fun actually being at WDW on our Anniversary and DD's birthday!
It was eventful that is for sure!
I would have preferred the college cheerleaders. It felt like the high school cheerleaders brought along their entire extended family!
I was very apprehensive about asking about it since most of Ethan's difficulties are "invisible" to most people, but we became more comfortable with it as the week went along. I really think the way it is designed is incredibly fair to everyone.
At times I wasn't sure who was scarier, the cheerleaders, the tour groups or the high school band members!
SOOOO crowded. We were watching our video from our May/June 2014 trip and it looked EMPTY compared to the crowds that we encountered this trip.
I feel like there is going to be a whole lot of Dis'rs retiring to Disney around the same time.
I am finishing up the first chapter right now!
I was there same time with my DD's middle school cheer squad. I feel our squad was very well behaved and respectful but I did see some not so great behavior from others. But overall I didn't find it too bad (or maybe I am immune from cheerleaders - LOL).
Count me in
So here comes the boring travel day… or morning in our case. We’ll start this trip report off the day before we left, well because it actually should have been the day we left. I had originally planned for us to fly out on February 5th after we all got off work and school, but when Southwest dropped the cost of the 5:30am flight on Feb. 6th, I switched to save the cost of the extra night. I instantly regretted it, but it all turned out for the best when this was the weather on our original flight out:
Over 600 flights were cancelled that evening, ours probably would have been one of them. So moving the flight to the next morning turned out to be fortuitous.
Lorelai started the day by celebrating her birthday at school.
Erik and I spent our days at work, both jobs for me, and E had school as normal. I started coughing early in the day, but I was thinking that it might just be nerves upsetting my stomach, the snow was definitely stressing me out. At lunch I ran to the Walgreens and picked up some Tums, but it really didn’t help. By that evening I had a bad feeling that I might actually be getting sick, but what could I do but push on.
We spent the evening trying to finish eating the leftovers that were in the fridge and packing the last minute items. Surprisingly we were in bed pretty early, the kids by 8pm and Erik and I by 9!
I was up way before my alarm, which was set for 2am. I had been coughing all night and felt pretty miserable at this point. I got up and took a shower before waking the rest of the family. We were all ready to go pretty quickly and waiting for our taxi... Which was late… Even though the snow had stopped around midnight the roads were still pretty bad and the taxi was stuck navigating their way to us.
No photo of our luggage the morning of, but for this trip I did spring for new luggage that I decorated with vinyl Mickey heads. We ended up using one of our old suitcases as well.
Finally our taxi arrived, we loaded up and were on our way. The snowy roads made it a bit more of an adventure, but we arrived at MDW in pretty good time. It had to be before 4:30am, as the Pre-Check area hadn’t opened yet. We checked our luggage, and made it through security in no time, a major benefit of flying out of MDW instead of O’hare. The gate was super close, but by the time we had arrived it was already crowded. We decided to err on the side of caution with overstimulating Ethan as much as possible and sit away from the gate.
I was not feeling very well at all. Erik went to grab DD for the kids and ask if I wanted anything to eat. No thank you! I did ask for a tea with honey and lemon, and that was pretty good. While he was gone an older lady came and sat down right next to Ethan. (Do you see all the empty seats?) She pulled out a egg sandwich from somewhere and I thought I was going to lose it. I knew at that point I was really sick.
I was happy when a gate agent arrived and I could move away from the offending sandwich to ask her some questions. Since the last time that we flew we have had a few developments with Ethan’s anxiety and I had done a bit of research about flying Southwest. We didn’t have bad boarding numbers, but the chaotic boarding process is what worried me. He tends to get overstimulated by close crowds. The gate agent barely looked at me when I ask about pre-boarding with Ethan. She scanned his ticket and told me one person could board with him and moved on to the next person before I could blink.
Before we knew it, it was time to preboard. We moved toward the middle back, in hopes that Erik would be able to sit next to us. I was pretty sure no one would ask to sit between E and I. It was very nice to be able to get E settled before the main boarding began.
Erik and Lorelai boarded way before I thought they would and he was able to sit across the row from us.
Turns out the gate agent had called them forward and let them board with family boarding. We waited for the plane to be de-iced and we took off on time surprisingly!
Takeoff was not a good moment for me, I was praying for the seat belt sign to go off, as I already had grabbed the paper bag from the back of the seat. I was hoping for a bit of privacy with the restroom. This trip was not off to a great start for me.
I spent the remainder of the flight fighting feeling sick. The pretzels that they handed out actually helped, along with ginger ale, but the smell of the Chex mix was getting to me. Ethan actually slept most of the flight and Lorelai watched the SWA app, since one of the channels is the Disney Channel. I tried to watch Hidden Figures, but I was so sick that I just sat there with my eyes closed most of the flight.
Before we knew it we were touching down a bit early!
We taxied right up to the gate and were off pretty quickly.
We had almost made it to the Magical Express, when Erik decided that he couldn’t wait for the hotel to change clothes. I was happy to have a break and sit down already! I know I have photos of this on the camera, and I will add them if I find it. I haven’t located it since we returned home, but I only took a few photos on it the first day, then just carried my phone. I doubt we will use one much in the future, we aren't even amateur photographers.
After Erik’s quick change we headed to DME, the bus was already full, we were the last ones on and we headed out pretty quickly.
I was zoning out to the promotional video when Erik jarred me and I took this:
WE ARE HOME!
Our first stop was Old Key West, we pulled up, the driver announced our location… no one moved. Not one person got up. He announced it a second time. Nothing. So he got back in the bus and off we went. As we were pulling past the guard shack leaving the couple sitting in front of Erik and Lorelai were like “Hey aren’t you going to stop at Old Key West?” Everybody on the bus groaned. They ended up staying on the bus and getting off at Saratoga Springs, probably Ubered back to OKW.
We arrived at Port Orleans French Quarter and what seemed like the entire bus stood up. I decided to make a beeline for registration while Erik waited on our carry ons.
Good thing too, since the line grew behind me fast and they didn’t have a lot of CM’s working. I guess I didn’t really need to go to check-in as we had already checked in online, but during our last couple trips the charging to the room had been turned off so I wanted to make sure it was okay. We also got our buttons, a birthday for Lorelai, Anniversary for Erik and I, and the CM gave Ethan a Celebration button so he wasn’t left out. She ask what he wanted to celebrate and he said “No School!”
Since our room wasn’t ready, Ethan changed into shorts, we stored our carryons with bell services and headed to the bus stop to our first park… It was only 9:42am!
Now the fun begins!!
Next Up: Where did all these people come from?
I don't think we ever saw any cheerleaders (or their families acting poorly), there was just SO many of them. LOL There was also a lot of middle school or high school bands.
Your luggage is adorable.
I wish I looked as "horrible" as you when I'm sick. Seriously, I would never know that you weren't feeling well by the way you look in this photo. You look fantastic! I guess the excitement of Disney has the ability to cure what ails you. And your family is beautiful.
Great report, so far!
I agree! Wish I looked like you when I was sick. Hopefully you recovered quickly.
Oh no! I’m sorry to see you were ill! Not the most fun way to fly, but I wouldn’t know it from looking at you!
Lorelai looks so cute for her birthday, I love her curls!
And I adore the little Mickey’s on your suitcases! Was that from a cricut?
Glad you guys made it in so early, can’t wait to see what the parks had in store!
Thank you! I can see it more in the photo that my husband took. But I really was trying to put on a brave face for the kids, plus I was heading to Disney!!!!
It's called the Disney filter!
For some reason it didn't quote all of your message! Lorelai wishes her hair was that curly all the time, but the mesh spring curlers are magic! I ordered the Mickey stickers from Etsy, but I am sure they were made on a cricut. I wish I had one, but I have so many craft and sewing items that don't get used already!!
I finally found my camera! I haven’t found a few other items, and I have unpacked all the suitcases, so that is worrisome. BUT, as promised, here are the photos that I knew I took!
Waiting for Erik to change:
Where were we headed? To Epcot of course! All of our trips (minus my solo) have started at Epcot. It is our favorite park! We didn’t have to wait too long and a bus pulled up for us!
It was already pretty warm, I just knew Lorelai was going to be hot in her outfit, but she insisted on it.
This view always gets me excited:
We made it through bag check pretty quickly, but when when we turned to go through the turnstyles, we hit a wall of people. It was busy! I knew it was just because we were there right after opening, but Ethan got upset pretty quickly. He kept saying, over and over, “Why is it so crowded, I thought it wouldn’t be this crowded, Why are there so many people?” I knew at that exact moment that we had made the right choice in inquiring about the DAS. He was visibly shaken by the amount of people.
I decided to go to Guest Services inside the park right away. We didn’t stop for any photopass photos because they all had a pretty long line.
Erik and Lorelai decided to head to the popcorn stand to get a bucket, while E and I headed over to Guest Services. The line wasn’t long and went pretty fast.
I can’t remember what the CM’s name was, but he is the one in the photo and he was wonderful. I was nervous about asking about the DAS, I think he could tell. He ask me what difficulties E had, I laid it all out pretty plainly and he smiled and said, “That is just the DAS is here to help with!” One snag, we needed Erik and Lorelai.
I tried calling them, but their phones were going to VM. The CM was great though and said not to rush. He would explain it all to us and get it all set up and hopefully by then Erik and L would be here. Erik called me a few mins later, turns out he had forgotten our PIN, he was on his way back. We all had our bands scanned and we were on our way.
Erik had ice cream sandwiches for the kids that were “On Mickey” since he had forgotten the PIN and Lorelai had her birthday pin on.
After traveling all day, ice cream sandwiches were not going to do it. I was all for heading toward the food booths, but Erik wanted a meal, so we headed toward The Land.
I hate that Innoventions is closed to through traffic now, that was always our favorite shortcut! E was still stressing about the crowds, I was hoping some down time and food would calm him down. We also had decided to lay off of him on his phone usage. He uses it as coping mechanism for him, he can hyper focus on the phone a lot of times, which reduces the external stimuli. We also tried to sit away from crowds when possible and form a large “pocket” around him in lines when he was getting overstimulated.
Since we had a LwtL FP+ for not to far away, we decided to get a DAS pass for Soarin’, have a slow lunch and then do both. Erik took the kids for a bathroom break and I had my band scanned for the DAS. The return time wasn’t too long, less than an hour I believe. But the best part about the DAS is that it works with your schedule. If it took us 3 hours to get back, it would still work.
We headed into Sunshine Seasons and stopped before the food court area to have E look at the options on the wall. He made his selection and went to find a table for us. I wish that had been my job! I find SS to be stressful in its station format. After a few hits and misses we made it out and found Ethan pretty easily.
E got the kid’s grilled chicken leg with a cookie, jello and a drink, $6.99. I’m going to be honest, it looked pretty gross to me, but E really liked it. Under normal circumstances he could eat 4 of them, but the kid’s normally don’t eat like normal at Disney, so this was actually a good size for him.
Lorelai got an Uncrustable with jello, cookie and drink as well, $5.99. She was too full to eat the cookie, so it went into my bag for later.
Erik got the Sweet and Sour Chicken with Jasmine Rice, $11.59 and a soda $3.29. He liked it, and it was gone pretty quickly, but he said afterwards he should have gotten the kid’s size since the size difference isn’t that much.
I got the kid’s Mongolian Beef with fried rice, apples and a drink, $7.29. It was just as good as always, the beef wasn’t as chewy as last time so that was a bonus. The portion size, even as a kid’s meal, was way too much though and I didn’t come close to finishing it. The apples were eaten between the 4 of us, but we aren’t big fans of bagged apples so I am pretty sure some went uneaten.
We relaxed and just sat for a little while, before heading over to use our first DAS. I had done enough research to know that things would go smoother if Ethan scanned his band first. Sometimes this was a hassle when the CM’s were trying to rush us and wanted us to use both sides. But we just took our time and they understood as soon as they saw it was a DAS. For those who do not know, a DAS pass is similar to a FastPass in many ways, you scan your bands exactly the same, but unlike a FP+ it has to be approved by the CM working the FP+ entrance. When Ethan scanned his band, the light would turn blue, they would check their iPad, approve the DAS, and then we could scan our bands and all would turn green.
We headed into Soarin’ and the line stopped… and didn’t move. We stood there for about 10 minutes or so when we heard them announce to the standby line that Soarin’ was closed and they needed to turn around and exit… nothing was said to the FastPass line.
As we waited a stretcher was brought down the walkway beside us. Finally the line moved and we were directed to Concourse A, where we waited like we normally would for the ride. They even pulled people down for the ride…but a few minutes later they announced the ride was down and funneled us all out with an anytime fast pass for anything except for Frozen. Bummer!
So our first ride of the trip would be: Living with the Land, which I actually really enjoy!
After our ride with the land, we headed back out to Lorelai’s request… Club Cool.
She tried and found her favorites, E dared us to dare him to drink an entire cup of Beverly. We didn’t, but he did it anyway.
We decided it was time to head to the WS, but we didn’t get far, because right behind the fountain they had the live art display and it was pretty interesting. The kids were terrified and didn’t want their pictures taken with them.
Lorelai got us some courage, but she kept turning around making sure they weren’t moving.
Took our first PhotoPass photos:
And the weird pose they all had us do:
Continued in the next post...
We also looked at some art at the booths around the area, where Lorelai was repeatedly told by 3 different CM’s that she could get a free slushie at Club Cool for her birthday. It wasn’t technically her birthday yet, but Epcot was not on the agenda for her birthday so we didn’t think it would harm anything, and after all they told us to go!
The CM at Club Cool, who was named Sara BTW, was super nice and actually gave our entire family free slushes. I told her Erik and I could share, but she insisted! She even put Mickey’s on the tops of the slushes, which I thought was adorable. She said it was her favorite part of the job!
Armed with our free slushes, we headed back out toward the WS, but again took a detour and ended up in the Odyssey Center. They had a demonstration going on with pancake artists, so we grabbed a table in the back to watch. I decided we needed more food and drink:
The Cronut Trio, Whipped Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese with Fresh Herbs, Chicken Salad with Shaved Fennel and Fresh Herbs, and Spicy Tuna with Wasabi and Seaweed Salad, $9.50.
This was a ⅔ for us. We are not big tuna people and we don’t enjoy seaweed, so neither of us really enjoyed that one. But the other two were fantastic, I could have enjoyed a couple more of each. I liked how small the chicken was chopped for the chicken salad, it made it easy to eat.
And a tiny Pomegranate Mule featuring the Ginger People Ginger Beer and Van Gogh Vodka – $9.50
It was good, nothing special. I love mules and this one was an okay mule. Very gingery, which I like, not much pomegranate.
We stayed until the pancake artist flipped over his creation, Dory. I tried to get a photo, but the lighting was awful for it.
We picked up a Figment Scavenger Hunt map for Lorelai and headed out to WS, FINALLY! FYI, they no longer give out phones for the World Showcase Adventure, you have to use your own. Ethan was pretty upset because his phone was almost dead.
I was already wishing we had an email that our room was ready! It was hot out there and I wanted the medication I had ordered from Amazon Now.
Our first stop of course was Mexico:
We had a goal! Find Figment! Can I just say that it took my family of 4, all of us continually searching, WAY too long to find him. We even had a hint: By the bride and groom:
Seriously, way too much time spent!
And here it is:
The sad thing is that I had seen this online before we went…
Since we were in Mexico it was time to visit our favorite duck!
I have heard the rumors that this ride might change to a Coco theme, which I am sure will be great. I haven’t seen the movie yet, and I am sure more culturally appropriate, but I really love Donald and will be sad to see him go.
We were all pretty ready for a break at this point! It was still a while until our FP for Frozen, so I decided to see if we could get a DAS for Frozen for when we got back that night. E wanted to go with me so he scanned his band and was good to go. Well kinda, their iPad was acting funky and they could only scan it for three of us, then only two of us. They said just to come back and it wouldn’t be a problem either way.
Erik and Lorelai had some fun in Norway, and I think they found the Norway Figment as well:
Our plan was to just leave the park, but E was super upset that we didn’t ride any thrill rides and Lorelai, although hot, agreed with him. We decided to use our anytime fast pass for Test Track on “our way out”. I had finally gotten an email about our room, not the number, but a email saying we needed to see the front desk.
Bye World Showcase!
I am honestly amazed that my hair was still down at this point!!!! It was hot!
We got into the design studio pretty fast, but then we were stood on our numbers for a long long time. There were two men in front of us who were not in good moods and they gave up about 3 minutes before the doors finally opened. Ethan was pretty overstimulated and bouncing off the walls by the time the doors opened and I really wished that we had just went back to the room, but I fear that would have caused a breakdown from both kids.
This kid could live in this ride for the rest of his life and be happy!
He only cares about power! LOL
Her, not as much, but it is still a fav.
We stopped to watch the Jamminators on our way out, then ran into this:
But we were so hot and ready for a nice cool room that we weren’t very interested. We stopped and picked up a refillable popcorn bucket, our first, and made a beeline for the buses:
On the bus I got this from our dog sitter:
We were on the bus fairly quickly and headed back to POFQ!
Next Up: I meet the Poolside Ice Tea!
Good to know that the kid's portions are pretty close to the adult size at SS. We could easily go with the kid's and save some money!!
I'd love a cricut! They're pretty pricey though, and I also have zero time for that stuff, hence why the sewing machine only comes out for Halloween!
Your hair looks great!
Never easy, this happens to DH too, he starts to sweat profusely and he shakes. Poor guys.
Cute! Love birthday magic in Disney!
That's great! I hope it stayed helpful to you guys on the trip!
Wow, I hope everyone was ok. Sorry you guys had to skip it though!
LOL! He is such a funny guy!
I love those! Have you ever seen Dancakes?!
I loved it SOOOO much! I'm sure at least the Donald Pinata will remain, lol!
Utoh, hope it's good news...
Awe your fur baby missed you!!
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