Disney Has the Best Chicken Nuggets Ever! - Update Dump - Finally Completed!

afwdwfan

DIS Dad #460
Joined
Apr 23, 2010
The Day we Ignored Rope Drop


This was scheduled to be a bit of a flex day and was just what I needed. I slept in until about 8:30 and everyone else was still sleeping. I actually had been thinking about going to Boma to get a walk up table for 1 so that I could try it out, but ended up deciding against it and went to Mara to grab some food.

When everybody got up, we headed down to the pool and spent the morning there. I spent the entire time at the base of the slide watching DS and DD make 72,394 trips down the slide.

We checked in with everyone else by text… I think Mom and Dad had gone to EPCOT and Sis, BiL and Sis 2 were in AK… Maybe? Not that it matters, not their TR!

What we did find out though was that Sis was even more upset about missing Fantasmic than I realized. She went to the concierge that morning to beg for something to make up for missing it and they ended up giving her replacement passes for that evening. She had them for the whole group, and even though DW loves Fantasmic, after our water soaked evening in DHS the day before, DW just wasn’t even feeling it. We had plans to check out Pandora after dark that evening anyway, so we chose to stick with the plan.

We wanted to go spend a little bit of time in EPCOT so that’s what we did. When you need lunch, where better to go than World Showcase?

I mean, where can you find better chicken nuggets and fries than Liberty Inn????

It was a late lunch, but we’d had a late breakfast. We got to the park at about 2 and were just in time to see the Muppet Mobile lab show… which was kind of cool.

It also wasn’t very cool, in a literal sense. In fact it was hot. Really frickin hot.

We decided already that we were going to Liberty Inn, because, well chicken nuggets. But World Showcase was our plan for the afternoon so we headed that way. DW and DS decided to hop on the boats to save some walking, but with DD and LG in the stroller I decided to race them.

And I was standing in front of Liberty Inn before they ever even got on a boat.

Oh, and I beat the afternoon rain by about 2 minutes.

Want to guess who had the bag with the ponchos in it?

That’s right, not the 2 who didn’t want to walk and got soaked running from the dock!

Liberty Inn was actually very good. I had the BBQ sandwich and I’d get it again. I know there are some places that are more interesting or offer some special items that make you tend to poo-poo some of the more basic or vanilla restaurants, but for the most part there really aren’t any bad choices.

While we were eating, a family a couple of tables over from us had some drama. Like big time drama. I really thought they’d have to call security because (I assume husband/wife) the husband was getting very loud and aggressive, but finally he just walked out of the restaurant.

Hopefully to cool down.

I really felt sorry for the poor kids.

By the time we finished lunch the rain had ended. Actually, I think before we even got our food it ended. This was the typical Florida afternoon shower, not the monsoon from the day prior.

We continued our tour of World Showcase with a stop in Japan for some Kaki Gori. I know we just ate, but it was hot, remember? Actually, this was part of the reason we went to EPCOT… just to enjoy a few favorite snacks.

The next stop was in Germany for some caramel corn and my snack of choice, a Schofferhofer. I always enjoy a good beer. I’d heard good things about it and had to try it. I thought it was ok. If I’m in Germany and thirsty this summer, I’ll probably grab one, but I don’t know that I’ll go out of my way for it.

We continued on around to Norway where we hoped that we might be able to meet a couple of princesses. As we were parking our stroller, a CM walked up and asked if we wanted to meet Christof.

Well, sure.

She told us to follow her, and that he was on his way out. So we were first in line for a quick meet and greet with the kids’ favorite ice delivery specialist.





DW and I had been chatting with the awesome CM who introduced us to Christof and we asked about the line to meet Anna and Elsa. It was posted at 30 minutes, but she said it wouldn’t be nearly that long.

Boy was she right. We entered the queue and didn’t stop walking until we were being taken into a room to meet them!
















Having accomplished our goals of lunch, Kaki Gori and princess time, we were ready to leave EPCOT. I know it has been a while, but I think you all know our rule…

You can’t walk past the pyramid without riding It’s a Small Mexico.

In this case, twice.

With that, we went back out to the car and drove over to Animal Kingdom.

As I mentioned, our plan that evening was to explore Pandora since our previous night in AK was spent at Rivers of Light. We had FP scheduled for Everest, an evening Safari and It’s a Small Moon.


Our whole group met up at Everest to use the FP’s, but then Sis and BiL decided to bail and go to DHS instead to see Fantasmic with their special passes that the concierge gifted them.





But then they were also texting me asking me to make/change FPs for them. I don’t remember what we did or didn’t get. My notes aren’t that detailed.

I’m sure you remember the update from November 2017 when I talked about our first day in AK???

No???

Well to fill in the blanks we used FP at Dinosaur for part of our group and grabbed a couple of Rider Swap passes. This seemed like a good time to use those.





After escaping the meteor shower, it was time to use our FP for our evening safari. It was kind of neat to see things at dusk, but aside from that, we still had animatronic lions so it was the standard show.

We headed into Pandora and used our FP for another ride on It’s a Small Moon. Again, for what it is, it’s a nice boat ride.

We took some time to explore Pandora after the sun went down. And it really is beautiful the way the plants “glow.” They did a good job with that whole land.

And I could care less about the subject material this land is based on.

Galaxy’s Edge is going to be bada…. Awesome.

Here’s a huge dump of all the pictures I took:


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Ok. I deleted them all. I took a few and they all came out blurry. But it’s better to just enjoy it in the moment anyway, right?

Makes for kind of a crappy TR though. Not that we weren’t already there.

The plan for dinner that evening was Satu’li Canteen. I’d heard good things and just had to try it. It actually wasn’t very crowded that evening. I don’t remember what the kids got, but I recall that they weren’t overly impressed with the kids meal options and we had to make them pick something that wasn’t chicken nuggets and fries.

I had the cheeseburger pods and I really liked them. I looked back at the menu to try to find the actual name for them and it looks like they’re now off the adult menu and are a kid’s menu item. Seems appropriate that I’d like them, then.

As everyone was finishing up eating, I still had a Rider Swap pass from Flight of Passage in my pocket from our first day in AK. Mom, DS and I hurried up and ate so that we could go use that FP while Dad, DW and the other 2 kids finished eating.

All in all, it was kind of a nice, relaxing day. And it was nice to cap it off by trying a new restaurant and exploring a new land. And at the time of our trip, they truly were new!
 

afwdwfan

DIS Dad #460
Joined
Apr 23, 2010
Who Broke the Magicbands???


Ok, these next couple of updates will be wordy… this is kind of where I was going through the motions

Today was EMH at MK and our plan was to be up and moving early after an easy day.

Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned. We left about 20 minutes later than intended.

We followed that up with a 40 minute wait for a bus to MK.

Obviously, by the time we suffered that hour-long setback, EMH was shot by the time we got to the park and through the tapstiles.

The kids asked to see Mickey and since we’d already done most of our priority attractions at MK, this day was just going to be about taking it easy and doing what they wanted so we headed on in for a meet & greet and some card tricks.




















We had FP for Tink coming up, but it was a bit later. We decided to sneak in a quick ride before it was time so we headed over to Adventureland to set sail with some pirates.





After our cruise we went to Pixie Hollow and met a fairy.








Everyone split up at this point. LG needed to eat and, well, so did I. The others got on the train and did something while DW and the kids and I went to Gaston’s Tavern, because cinnamon rolls.


We found a place to sit down in the courtyard outside the tavern and just kind of hung around there for a while. We talked about doing a few different things, but we just couldn’t find the motivation.

Eventually it was time to get going for our Big Thunder Mountain FP so we met everyone else over at Frontierland for our ride.


Sis and BiL were leaving later that day so she wanted to do some last minute shopping at the Christmas Shop. We waited around the corner with the kids when Mary Poppins appeared for a meet & greet. Seemed like a good chance to hop in line so the kids could meet another character.











All week, Mom had wanted to get a big family picture in front of the castle with all of us together. Every time we’d been on Main Street together it was crowded or we were on our way to something or we had a kid that was being a pain… so it hadn’t happened.

Well, we were all together and decided now was a good time. We headed toward the hub and started looking for a photopass photographer as the rain started to fall.

Scrap that plan.

The kids were mad.

Mom was mad.

I was hungry.

It was time for lunch so we split up as we had planned. The ladies (along with LG) had an ADR for Cinderella’s Royal Table.





The guys went to Pecos Bills.

I think it is safe to say that we got the better end of that deal as far as food quality goes.

We finished eating and headed out onto the streets looking for something to do. As we passed through Liberty Square we saw the Muppets preparing to give a revisionist history lesson about Paul Revere. We stopped and watched… I really thought it was a neat show. Well done and a fun history lesson. DS really thought it was hilarious.

Around this time DW called me and said that LG was being a handful at lunch and asked me to meet her at the castle to get him.

So now it was all the guys and we were looking for something to kill some time. For some reason we decided we hadn’t already walked enough and we decided to go ride the Peoplemover and then come back to Fantasyland to wait on the ladies to finish their lunch.

We went to Splash Mountain and maximized our use of FP and Rider Swap. We weren’t sure how well DS and DD would like it. Especially since DD hates getting wet, but this was a clear cut favorite for them. They had a blast, although DD did ask that I cover her to keep her from getting splashed too much on the drop.





Having conquered Splash, and now using our FP’s I was able to grab one for Haunted Mansion. And by the time we could walk over there it was time to ride it.

At this point, Sis and BiL had to leave to head home. We split up. I think Mom and Dad must have walked them back to the entrance.

For some reason DW needed to go back to the Christmas Shop again.

I don’t know why.

But I went to Sleepy Hollow and got a funnel cake on which the kids descended like vultures.

After our snack, we swung back over to Gaston’s to get some cinnamon rolls to take back to the room for breakfast the next morning.

We decided to stop by Casey’s for dinner. DW grabbed a table with a fantastic view of the castle outside while I waited in line and got our food.




We finished eating and had some snack credits to use so I headed over to the Plaza Ice Cream shop to grab some dessert. I waited in line, placed my order and as I tried to pay they scanned my Magicband and it wouldn’t work. The order had already been placed. Our ice cream was made and sitting on the counter, melting… but no matter how hard they tried they could not get my Magicband to scan. I noticed on the other register they seemed to be having the same problem with another customer. The CM at the register finally just took down my information and got the numbers off the backside of my band and said they’d enter it later…

Ok…

Odd.

By the time I got our ice cream it was really beginning to get messy. In fact, the whipped cream had pretty much lost its structure on one of the sundaes and the cherry had fallen off and rolled across the counter. I said something to a CM behind the counter thinking maybe they might give us some fresh sundaes since these had been sitting there for about 5 minutes while they screwed with the Magicband, but so such luck. She did, however, add some fresh whipped cream and a new cherry on that one sundae.

I was disappointed with the service there to say the least. I love the Plaza, and I’ll be back, no doubt. But really? I know the Magicband thing wasn’t their fault, but they could have done something other than leave my ice cream on the counter so that it was half liquid by the time I got it.

I returned to our table feeling a little bit perturbed by the whole experience and inhaled my All American Sundae while I could still somewhat use a spoon in it.

As we would find out later though, it seemed to be a resort wide situation. Mom and Dad were back at Mara trying to get dinner when this happened and Magicbands wouldn’t work there either. Technology is wonderful when it works, but when you depend 100% on it and it fails… chaos.

We weren’t sure what we wanted to do that evening. We’d considered sticking around for Happily Ever After again. Instead, we just decided to call it a night and head back to AKL.

When we got back we spent a little bit of time enjoying our last night at AKL. I stopped by the desk to pay the balance on our account using some gift cards, then we visited the gift shop and explored some of the trails and animal viewing areas around the resort. Nothing really of note happened, but it was nice to just relax and enjoy the place a bit.

DW got LG settled into bed and I took the other 2 kids down to the pool for approximately 43,289 more trips down the slide.

After that we went to sleep for our last night with giraffes outside our window.
 

afwdwfan

DIS Dad #460
Joined
Apr 23, 2010
Lodge to Lodge


We didn’t make it a super early morning, but we were hoping to be at MK early enough to beat some of the crowd. We were checking out of AKL as Mom and Dad would be headed home that afternoon.

DW, the kids and I were headed to the beach after Disney World, but needed 1 night in between so we’d be moving to our favorite resort, Wilderness Lodge, for that night. This would be the first stay there for DD and LG so we were pretty excited for our short stay a boat ride away from MK.

We loaded up the Suburban and drove over to WL where we parked and made our way out to the boat docks to go to MK. We ended up missing rope drop by about 20 minutes, so really not bad at all considering the busy morning.

We had FP for Space, and were meeting Mom, Dad and Sis2 there. They hadn’t made back to Tomorrowland yet and Astro Orbiter didn’t have a line yet, and DD and DS had been asking to do it all week. Well, seemed like a good time.

When we finished, everyone else had made it to Space.





Mom and Dad decided they didn’t want to ride. Since the kids enjoyed Splash so much the first time, I changed their FP’s to Splash for later in the day. We were going to take advantage of the RS system and get some extra rides.

It was already hot and we still had a few snack credits to use so we stopped and grabbed a few frozen cokes before we walked towards Fantasyland to ride Pooh.

It was then time for our 7DMT FPs… instead of doing RS here, I sat out with LG while everybody else rode. I proceeded to change my 7DMT FP to a Splash FP for the same window as Mom and Dad’s.





We split up for a couple of hours at this point. DW wanted to go to Pecos Bill’s since she missed out on that prime dining experience the day before to go to CRT with the ladies.

We had FP for BTMRR and met up to do that just after lunch. We were about 30 seconds too late though. We followed 2 Brazilian Tour Groups, both of which had fastpasses, right up to the entrance to BTMRR FP line.

Now, I will talk a little bit about the tour groups… I know they have a bit of a reputation, and honestly, we didn’t really even notice them on this trip, until this instance. And it wasn’t bad, but it really was a facepalm moment when they all filed into the FP line as we were in the later part of our window so really didn’t have a choice to wait and come back later or anything. These groups were a little bit on the rambunctious side and were doing some loud chants, but I’ll give credit to the CM’s. They confronted the tour group leaders and got everyone calmed down and stopped the chanting so aside from the long line, they really weren’t bad.

So we grabbed a RS pass while the group got in line. I took LG for a walk to try to get him to nap in the stroller. And I walked right over to the churro cart in Frontierland for a snack. I had plenty of time to eat the churro and walk all over Frontierland while our group waited and rode BTMRR. It took 30 minutes. Which was about 10 minutes quicker than the posted Standby wait time.

The FP line was still backed up with that logjam, but our Splash FP window was open so we headed that way. Dad and I rode and grabbed Rider Swap for later.






Mom, Dad and Sis2 had reached the end of their park touring and it was about time for them to hit the road. Mom and Sis2 wanted to grab a few things in the shops on the way out, but dad just wanted to find something to drink and sit down in the AC.

I’d proceed to get a series of phone calls about an hour later asking where Dad is. I forget what it was… I don’t know if he forgot to charge his phone or there was something wrong with it, but she kept calling him and he wasn’t answering. She asked if I knew where he went and the only answer I could come up with was “someplace with something cold to drink, a seat and AC.”

I don’t remember where he ended up going, but eventually they did manage to track him down and find him so that they could leave.

With BTMRR and Splash RS passes in my pocket, we were letting the kids call the shots for the rest of the afternoon. We were going to ride a few more rides, grab an early dinner on the way out and go back to WL to check in and get LG settled in for bed. Then I’d go back to MK with the older kids to use the RS passes and close down the park.

We took a full circle ride on the train and while we were riding I got FP for Small World. We headed over to Fantasyland to watch Philharmagic and ride IASW.

We had to stop by Gaston’s Tavern, of course, to grab a few more cinnamon rolls to take for the road.

Have I mentioned I love those things?

Even if they’re re-warmed in the microwave a couple of days later.

By the time we got out of there, LG was over it. It was a hot day. He was hot & cranky, I was hot & cranky, I won’t say DW was hot & cranky, but feel free to fill in the blanks.

We were done.

I decided then that I really didn’t have the motivation to come back that evening. I was ready to get to the hotel and just relax. DW started heading towards Main Street while I took DD and DS to Frontierland to use our BTMRR and Splash RS passes. I might have been “over it” but it’s still hard to pass on 2 favorites.











We met at the Plaza to grab a couple of sundaes, even despite the experience from the day before. This time the Magicbands worked and our ice cream was in a solid state when we got it.

We took a few pictures before leaving.




















And then we got settled into our room at WL with a very nice view.








Dinner was at Roaring Forks and the kids and I went down to the pool for a swim while LG was getting settled into bed. As we were walking back to our room, from the pool that night, we noticed something outside one of the windows in the hallway.








We ended our trip at Disney the next morning with a stop in at Disney Springs. We did some shopping and then wanted to grab some lunch. The kids were being picky and turning their nose up at everything when we read the menu. We tried to convince them to try Polite Pig or Raglan Road, but we ended up at T-Rex. I hadn’t been there before so I guess there’s that. It was OK.

We had a few days at the beach scheduled for after Disney World. We left and headed to Panama City Beach. We have been there several times and have a place that we like to stay. They have spent a lot of money over the past several years upgrading their pool area and splash pad. It really is awesome. However, they’ve somewhat forgotten about the rooms. I don’t think they’ve changed anything about them in the 10 years or so we’ve been visiting the place.

When we checked in, our non-smoking room smelled like smoke. We called the front desk, and to their credit, they were great about getting someone up to check it out and set up some air cleaners/filters. It wasn’t a strong smoke smell, but we could smell it and being a non-smoking room our biggest concern was really that we don’t get charged for something that we didn’t do so we wanted to bring it to their attention, but they did a nice job of trying to make it right. But then after they left, I had to go to the car and get something. When I came back, I noticed that our door didn’t latch. At all! You could just lean against it and open it up.

We called the front desk again and maintenance came up and had the door fixed in short order. The staff did their part to take care of things, but it felt like the place was just getting a little run down and the guest rooms had definitely taken a backseat to the common areas of the hotel when it came time to budget and upgrade.

That said, I know the hurricane last fall was a disaster for the area in general. But I follow the updates on Social Media and this resort had some damage, but nothing significant structurally. As a result, they shut down for several months and are in the midst of a huge renovation, including guest rooms. So hopefully next time we get back there it will be better. In any case, we did enjoy the beach, although LG hated, HATED, the sand.






***** Thank you all for your patience and friendship. I’m sorry for the long absence and the sudden update dump today. I had to get this TR done just because it would bother me if I didn’t. I know these last few updates are poorly written and rushed, and I apologize for that. I can and should do better, but in any case, it is done. I promise that if I end up doing a TR after our next trip, I’ll put more energy and focus into writing the WHOLE THING in a timely and more readable fashion. *****
 
  • missangelalexis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 27, 2012
    Love the pic of you and DS on his first ride on RnRR- he looks very excited!

    I also gotta laugh at your pic on ToT- so stoic!!

    Sounds like a good day at DHS! I'm sorry about the rain and Fantasmic getting cancelled though!

    How awesome getting to meet Kristoff in Norway! And such cute pic of the kids with Anna & Elsa.

    Sounds like 2 good days at MK. Love the family pics and pics of the kids in front of the castle.

    Glad you were able to finish up this TR!
     

    irene_dsc

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 1, 2007
    Somehow I missed you coming back! Welcome back! I don't post much, either, but I do lurk a bit. (No Disney trips in the foreseeable future, either, but somehow I can't quite seem to leave...)

    I'm actually impressed with how much you were able to reconstruct after that amount of time.

    Those last photos with the kids are my absolute favorite, I have to say. Totally adorable.

    I do wish you luck with your headstrong 3 year old. I remember those days - at least you can still carry him away from somewhere, kicking and screaming! Eventually you have to figure out how to talk them into leaving once they are too big to carry...
     

    StarWarsMomofGirls!

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2015
    Thanks for finishing your trip report. I am impressed as it was awhile ago! It def looked like you had some good moments in there. The more trip reports I read with big families the more I am kind of glad we travel just our family most of the time.
     

    Terra Nova guy

    DIS Dad #811 Newfoundland, Canada
    Joined
    Nov 11, 2014
    Thanks for the report Andy and your commitment to getting it finished.
    I know it’s been a busy time for you. If you do another report I’ll be sure to read along.
     
  • PAsFab5

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 12, 2017
    Enjoyed reading your report! Great job getting it finished! The photo of your BIL napping will have me laughing all day...hilarious!
     

    missjackiemcg

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2013
    Wow!! You returned ready to write!! I couldn't believe you finished it all up in one swoop :) Good job!! Now that this is out of the way, you can focus on having just your PTR going instead of both of these at once.

    Looking forward to reading along as you and your family rediscover the magic :smickey:
     

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    Read the rest, but I just don't have the time to multi-quote everything. Sorry!
    But I did enjoy it! Especially all the great photos. :)
     
  • franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    Nice quick and dirty wrap up! Way too much to comment on, but you got some really charming pictures of your kids with the characters! I can totally see how you could become so burnt out. It was difficult managing four people on my last trip, I can't imagine what you had to do with such a large crowd!
     

    docsoliday1

    DIS Dad #834 Cubs, Dolphins fan forever
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2008
    Lodge to Lodge


    We didn’t make it a super early morning, but we were hoping to be at MK early enough to beat some of the crowd. We were checking out of AKL as Mom and Dad would be headed home that afternoon.

    DW, the kids and I were headed to the beach after Disney World, but needed 1 night in between so we’d be moving to our favorite resort, Wilderness Lodge, for that night. This would be the first stay there for DD and LG so we were pretty excited for our short stay a boat ride away from MK.

    We loaded up the Suburban and drove over to WL where we parked and made our way out to the boat docks to go to MK. We ended up missing rope drop by about 20 minutes, so really not bad at all considering the busy morning.

    We had FP for Space, and were meeting Mom, Dad and Sis2 there. They hadn’t made back to Tomorrowland yet and Astro Orbiter didn’t have a line yet, and DD and DS had been asking to do it all week. Well, seemed like a good time.

    When we finished, everyone else had made it to Space.





    Mom and Dad decided they didn’t want to ride. Since the kids enjoyed Splash so much the first time, I changed their FP’s to Splash for later in the day. We were going to take advantage of the RS system and get some extra rides.

    It was already hot and we still had a few snack credits to use so we stopped and grabbed a few frozen cokes before we walked towards Fantasyland to ride Pooh.

    It was then time for our 7DMT FPs… instead of doing RS here, I sat out with LG while everybody else rode. I proceeded to change my 7DMT FP to a Splash FP for the same window as Mom and Dad’s.





    We split up for a couple of hours at this point. DW wanted to go to Pecos Bill’s since she missed out on that prime dining experience the day before to go to CRT with the ladies.

    We had FP for BTMRR and met up to do that just after lunch. We were about 30 seconds too late though. We followed 2 Brazilian Tour Groups, both of which had fastpasses, right up to the entrance to BTMRR FP line.

    Now, I will talk a little bit about the tour groups… I know they have a bit of a reputation, and honestly, we didn’t really even notice them on this trip, until this instance. And it wasn’t bad, but it really was a facepalm moment when they all filed into the FP line as we were in the later part of our window so really didn’t have a choice to wait and come back later or anything. These groups were a little bit on the rambunctious side and were doing some loud chants, but I’ll give credit to the CM’s. They confronted the tour group leaders and got everyone calmed down and stopped the chanting so aside from the long line, they really weren’t bad.

    So we grabbed a RS pass while the group got in line. I took LG for a walk to try to get him to nap in the stroller. And I walked right over to the churro cart in Frontierland for a snack. I had plenty of time to eat the churro and walk all over Frontierland while our group waited and rode BTMRR. It took 30 minutes. Which was about 10 minutes quicker than the posted Standby wait time.

    The FP line was still backed up with that logjam, but our Splash FP window was open so we headed that way. Dad and I rode and grabbed Rider Swap for later.






    Mom, Dad and Sis2 had reached the end of their park touring and it was about time for them to hit the road. Mom and Sis2 wanted to grab a few things in the shops on the way out, but dad just wanted to find something to drink and sit down in the AC.

    I’d proceed to get a series of phone calls about an hour later asking where Dad is. I forget what it was… I don’t know if he forgot to charge his phone or there was something wrong with it, but she kept calling him and he wasn’t answering. She asked if I knew where he went and the only answer I could come up with was “someplace with something cold to drink, a seat and AC.”

    I don’t remember where he ended up going, but eventually they did manage to track him down and find him so that they could leave.

    With BTMRR and Splash RS passes in my pocket, we were letting the kids call the shots for the rest of the afternoon. We were going to ride a few more rides, grab an early dinner on the way out and go back to WL to check in and get LG settled in for bed. Then I’d go back to MK with the older kids to use the RS passes and close down the park.

    We took a full circle ride on the train and while we were riding I got FP for Small World. We headed over to Fantasyland to watch Philharmagic and ride IASW.

    We had to stop by Gaston’s Tavern, of course, to grab a few more cinnamon rolls to take for the road.

    Have I mentioned I love those things?

    Even if they’re re-warmed in the microwave a couple of days later.

    By the time we got out of there, LG was over it. It was a hot day. He was hot & cranky, I was hot & cranky, I won’t say DW was hot & cranky, but feel free to fill in the blanks.

    We were done.

    I decided then that I really didn’t have the motivation to come back that evening. I was ready to get to the hotel and just relax. DW started heading towards Main Street while I took DD and DS to Frontierland to use our BTMRR and Splash RS passes. I might have been “over it” but it’s still hard to pass on 2 favorites.











    We met at the Plaza to grab a couple of sundaes, even despite the experience from the day before. This time the Magicbands worked and our ice cream was in a solid state when we got it.

    We took a few pictures before leaving.




















    And then we got settled into our room at WL with a very nice view.








    Dinner was at Roaring Forks and the kids and I went down to the pool for a swim while LG was getting settled into bed. As we were walking back to our room, from the pool that night, we noticed something outside one of the windows in the hallway.








    We ended our trip at Disney the next morning with a stop in at Disney Springs. We did some shopping and then wanted to grab some lunch. The kids were being picky and turning their nose up at everything when we read the menu. We tried to convince them to try Polite Pig or Raglan Road, but we ended up at T-Rex. I hadn’t been there before so I guess there’s that. It was OK.

    We had a few days at the beach scheduled for after Disney World. We left and headed to Panama City Beach. We have been there several times and have a place that we like to stay. They have spent a lot of money over the past several years upgrading their pool area and splash pad. It really is awesome. However, they’ve somewhat forgotten about the rooms. I don’t think they’ve changed anything about them in the 10 years or so we’ve been visiting the place.

    When we checked in, our non-smoking room smelled like smoke. We called the front desk, and to their credit, they were great about getting someone up to check it out and set up some air cleaners/filters. It wasn’t a strong smoke smell, but we could smell it and being a non-smoking room our biggest concern was really that we don’t get charged for something that we didn’t do so we wanted to bring it to their attention, but they did a nice job of trying to make it right. But then after they left, I had to go to the car and get something. When I came back, I noticed that our door didn’t latch. At all! You could just lean against it and open it up.

    We called the front desk again and maintenance came up and had the door fixed in short order. The staff did their part to take care of things, but it felt like the place was just getting a little run down and the guest rooms had definitely taken a backseat to the common areas of the hotel when it came time to budget and upgrade.

    That said, I know the hurricane last fall was a disaster for the area in general. But I follow the updates on Social Media and this resort had some damage, but nothing significant structurally. As a result, they shut down for several months and are in the midst of a huge renovation, including guest rooms. So hopefully next time we get back there it will be better. In any case, we did enjoy the beach, although LG hated, HATED, the sand.






    ***** Thank you all for your patience and friendship. I’m sorry for the long absence and the sudden update dump today. I had to get this TR done just because it would bother me if I didn’t. I know these last few updates are poorly written and rushed, and I apologize for that. I can and should do better, but in any case, it is done. I promise that if I end up doing a TR after our next trip, I’ll put more energy and focus into writing the WHOLE THING in a timely and more readable fashion. *****
    Great pics. I particularly like the ones in front of the castle. I still can't believe how big DS and DD have gotten. (And LG isn't quite so little anymore).
     

    afwdwfan

    DIS Dad #460
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2010
    Love the pic of you and DS on his first ride on RnRR- he looks very excited!

    I also gotta laugh at your pic on ToT- so stoic!!

    Sounds like a good day at DHS! I'm sorry about the rain and Fantasmic getting cancelled though!

    How awesome getting to meet Kristoff in Norway! And such cute pic of the kids with Anna & Elsa.

    Sounds like 2 good days at MK. Love the family pics and pics of the kids in front of the castle.

    Glad you were able to finish up this TR!
    Thanks for reading. Just had to finish to complete it for my own sanity if nothing else!

    Somehow I missed you coming back! Welcome back! I don't post much, either, but I do lurk a bit. (No Disney trips in the foreseeable future, either, but somehow I can't quite seem to leave...)

    I'm actually impressed with how much you were able to reconstruct after that amount of time.

    Those last photos with the kids are my absolute favorite, I have to say. Totally adorable.

    I do wish you luck with your headstrong 3 year old. I remember those days - at least you can still carry him away from somewhere, kicking and screaming! Eventually you have to figure out how to talk them into leaving once they are too big to carry...
    Well, I did take some notes so that helped. Otherwise, I'm not sure I could have done it.

    I really did like those pictures too. I'm glad we stopped for them.

    Thanks for finishing your trip report. I am impressed as it was awhile ago! It def looked like you had some good moments in there. The more trip reports I read with big families the more I am kind of glad we travel just our family most of the time.
    Thanks for reading! The notes I had on my phone helped immensely. They were detail light, but I had a good enough outline to jar the memory and re-create it.

    Thanks for the report Andy and your commitment to getting it finished.
    I know it’s been a busy time for you. If you do another report I’ll be sure to read along.
    Well, I had to do it, if only for myself. Thanks for reading!

    Enjoyed reading your report! Great job getting it finished! The photo of your BIL napping will have me laughing all day...hilarious!
    That was hilarious. I don't know how we didn't wake his friends up because we were laughing when he did it.

    Wow!! You returned ready to write!! I couldn't believe you finished it all up in one swoop :) Good job!! Now that this is out of the way, you can focus on having just your PTR going instead of both of these at once.

    Looking forward to reading along as you and your family rediscover the magic :smickey:
    Sometimes you just have to have the discipline to sit down for a couple of hours and hammer it out. Thanks!

    I enjoyed reading the rest of your TR. Your family got some really great ride and character photos!
    We did get a lot of good pictures and some good memories! All trips have that!

    Read the rest, but I just don't have the time to multi-quote everything. Sorry!
    But I did enjoy it! Especially all the great photos. :)
    Yeah, I wouldn't even blame you if you didn't read it. I just had to do it for myself. Admittedly, it wasn't the most well written of updates and I can do better... but it is done. Thanks!

    Nice quick and dirty wrap up! Way too much to comment on, but you got some really charming pictures of your kids with the characters! I can totally see how you could become so burnt out. It was difficult managing four people on my last trip, I can't imagine what you had to do with such a large crowd!
    Thanks! The planning aspect does get to be a bit stressful, especially with a large group. We have some friends going next month that have been asking for help. I've tried to give some advice without getting into the full on planner mode, but it leaves me just hoping that they can have a good trip. The level of planning that Disney requires now can make it daunting for the experienced, let alone the first timer.

    Great pics. I particularly like the ones in front of the castle. I still can't believe how big DS and DD have gotten. (And LG isn't quite so little anymore).
    They do grow up fast... but then again, that was almost 2 years ago. Time flies...
     

    vamassey1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2005
    How could you not laugh. I was too. For a little bit. Then after a few minutes it got old.
    Been there and done that.

    Thanks for the link! I've started reading. I've not made it far, because, well, time. But I loved the intro update and how the whole blended family rallies together to support Gia... so much awesome right there. What a lucky little girl!
    Thanks for stopping by. Michelle is a much better writer than I. She did a really good job putting the trip together for Gia.

    But the first order of business was getting DS signed up for Jedi Training Academy. We entered the park and while everyone else stopped to check in at H&V, I went on ahead with DS to get him signed up.
    How exciting!

    We had a good breakfast and the kids all enjoyed spending time with their Disney Jr friends.
    DD looked like she was having a great time.

    We rushed out of breakfast with plans to hit Toy Story Mania at rope drop. We got there and made it through the line so quickly that we were able to hop back in for a second ride with hardly any wait.
    Good Toy Story karma.

    He had an absolute blast.
    It looks like he had fun.

    This was DS’s first time being able to ride it. I think he was a bit apprehensive about it, but excited at the same time. When it was all said and done, he loved it.

    Sharing unused FPs and RS passes, DS was able to ride 3 times… I got 2 rides in myself. All in all, a pretty good afternoon.
    So happy DS loved the ride too and you got to ride your ride.

    So much going on in this picture!

    DS just got done telling me that his favorite ride at DHS is ToT… I love looking back at pictures 2 years later. Maybe it’s a good thing I slacked on this TR!


    Your kids look a little scared and you look bored.

    The rain had halted for a few minutes, but as it began to drizzle once again, we decided to check out the Great Movie Ride since there were rumors swirling that it might be going away soon… glad we did!
    Good call! I really miss this ride.

    We wanted to check out Launch Bay so we decided that if we could make it across the animation courtyard without getting too soaked that this would be a good time to do something indoors. I have a Disney Visa card so we wanted to do the exclusive character meet there. Unfortunately, I’d screwed something up along the way and had the wrong times down for it and we were about an hour too late when we got there.
    We used the Launch Bay to hide from the rain in 2017. We finally did the character meet in 2018. I hope you get another shot at the meet in July.

    We got to enjoy Toy Story for the third time that day. I don’t know if it was the rain – I have to assume that was a big part of it, but we had some great luck getting Fast Passes that afternoon. In fact, after we rode, I grabbed another set of Fast Passes for Toy Story right before Fantasmic that evening.
    Rain had to have helped.

    It was time to grab some dinner and the rain was still falling so we went to ABC Commissary since it was about the closest indoor option. As far as I can remember, this was my first time eating there, but I thought it was pretty good. I think I had the ribs and I recall it being good for Quick Service food and a bit of a change of pace from the normal burger.
    This is where we usually end up for a meal.

    But while we were scheming for the evening, BiL got bored and decided to join the family at a table near ours for nap time.





    It had been a long day.
    :rotfl2:

    DW and I took LG and went up to the shops by the entrance to wait on everyone. About 15 minutes later we got a text that Fantasmic was cancelled and they were headed back out.
    Sorry y'all missed Fantasmic. This happened to us in 2017. We haven't seen it since 2015 so it's a must for the next trip.
     

    vamassey1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2005
    This was scheduled to be a bit of a flex day and was just what I needed. I slept in until about 8:30 and everyone else was still sleeping. I actually had been thinking about going to Boma to get a walk up table for 1 so that I could try it out, but ended up deciding against it and went to Mara to grab some food.
    This does sound very relaxing.

    We checked in with everyone else by text… I think Mom and Dad had gone to EPCOT and Sis, BiL and Sis 2 were in AK… Maybe? Not that it matters, not their TR!
    So true!

    What we did find out though was that Sis was even more upset about missing Fantasmic than I realized. She went to the concierge that morning to beg for something to make up for missing it and they ended up giving her replacement passes for that evening.
    I can understand this. You had the meal package for this.

    Liberty Inn was actually very good. I had the BBQ sandwich and I’d get it again. I know there are some places that are more interesting or offer some special items that make you tend to poo-poo some of the more basic or vanilla restaurants, but for the most part there really aren’t any bad choices.
    We usually end up her too. I have enjoyed the BBQ sandwich a few times.

    While we were eating, a family a couple of tables over from us had some drama. Like big time drama. I really thought they’d have to call security because (I assume husband/wife) the husband was getting very loud and aggressive, but finally he just walked out of the restaurant.
    The heat usually makes these meltdowns worse.

    The next stop was in Germany for some caramel corn and my snack of choice, a Schofferhofer.
    I can't not get a treat from the caramel shop.

    She told us to follow her, and that he was on his way out. So we were first in line for a quick meet and greet with the kids’ favorite ice delivery specialist.
    A little bit of Magic. And the picture is really good too.

    Boy was she right. We entered the queue and didn’t stop walking until we were being taken into a room to meet them!
    Some more Magic and really great pictures of the kids.

    You can’t walk past the pyramid without riding It’s a Small Mexico.
    Very true.

    Fun photo. Kids look a little scared.

    Here’s a huge dump of all the pictures I took:
    Oh boy!

    Ok. I deleted them all. I took a few and they all came out blurry. But it’s better to just enjoy it in the moment anyway, right?
    Same thing happened to me.

    All in all, it was kind of a nice, relaxing day. And it was nice to cap it off by trying a new restaurant and exploring a new land. And at the time of our trip, they truly were new!
    Very nice day. I enjoyed reading about it.
     

    Captain_Oblivious

    DIS Dad #257
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2008
    Hey Andy!

    Welcome back to the DIS! I can definitely relate to the feeling of getting a new position and having much less free time. And also about losing a bit of the magic when having to plan/deal with a large group. But we also can't hit a grand slam every time we come to the plate.

    I'm glad to hear your little guy is hanging in there. Also glad to hear he's driving you a little nuts, because that's what toddlers are supposed to do.

    I just got back from a trip myself so I'm late responding to you, but I've missed hearing from you. See you around.
     

    vamassey1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2005
    Obviously, by the time we suffered that hour-long setback, EMH was shot by the time we got to the park and through the tapstiles.
    It happens to all of us.

    The kids asked to see Mickey and since we’d already done most of our priority attractions at MK, this day was just going to be about taking it easy and doing what they wanted so we headed on in for a meet & greet and some card tricks.
    That's a really good plan. It's really nice that your oldest 2 can now help with the planning.

    After our cruise we went to Pixie Hollow and met a fairy.
    Cute pictures!

    Everyone split up at this point. LG needed to eat and, well, so did I. The others got on the train and did something while DW and the kids and I went to Gaston’s Tavern, because cinnamon rolls.
    I keep hearing how good these rolls are. I really need to try them. DD has had them but not I.

    Sis and BiL were leaving later that day so she wanted to do some last minute shopping at the Christmas Shop. We waited around the corner with the kids when Mary Poppins appeared for a meet & greet. Seemed like a good chance to hop in line so the kids could meet another character.
    Can't go to MK without going through the Christmas Shop. Added bonus getting to see Mary Poppins. You really had some great character pixie dust and got some great pictures.

    Well, we were all together and decided now was a good time. We headed toward the hub and started looking for a photopass photographer as the rain started to fall.
    Of course!

    It was time for lunch so we split up as we had planned. The ladies (along with LG) had an ADR for Cinderella’s Royal Table.


    Beautiful picture!

    The guys went to Pecos Bills.

    I think it is safe to say that we got the better end of that deal as far as food quality goes.
    I would expect nothing less.

    Around this time DW called me and said that LG was being a handful at lunch and asked me to meet her at the castle to get him.
    Nice to have some options when the little ones act up.

    We went to Splash Mountain and maximized our use of FP and Rider Swap. We weren’t sure how well DS and DD would like it. Especially since DD hates getting wet, but this was a clear cut favorite for them. They had a blast, although DD did ask that I cover her to keep her from getting splashed too much on the drop.
    I would say everyone enjoyed this ride after looking at the picture.

    For some reason DW needed to go back to the Christmas Shop again.
    Good move.

    But I went to Sleepy Hollow and got a funnel cake on which the kids descended like vultures.
    I hope you got some too.

    We finished eating and had some snack credits to use so I headed over to the Plaza Ice Cream shop to grab some dessert. I waited in line, placed my order and as I tried to pay they scanned my Magicband and it wouldn’t work. The order had already been placed. Our ice cream was made and sitting on the counter, melting… but no matter how hard they tried they could not get my Magicband to scan. I noticed on the other register they seemed to be having the same problem with another customer. The CM at the register finally just took down my information and got the numbers off the backside of my band and said they’d enter it later…

    Ok…
    How frustrating! We love the convenience of the Magic Band but when it doesn't work everything comes to a halt.

    DW got LG settled into bed and I took the other 2 kids down to the pool for approximately 43,289 more trips down the slide.

    After that we went to sleep for our last night with giraffes outside our window.
    Great way to end your night.

    We loaded up the Suburban and drove over to WL where we parked and made our way out to the boat docks to go to MK. We ended up missing rope drop by about 20 minutes, so really not bad at all considering the busy morning.
    Not bad at all.

    Another great ride photo!

    So we grabbed a RS pass while the group got in line. I took LG for a walk to try to get him to nap in the stroller. And I walked right over to the churro cart in Frontierland for a snack. I had plenty of time to eat the churro and walk all over Frontierland while our group waited and rode BTMRR. It took 30 minutes. Which was about 10 minutes quicker than the posted Standby wait time.
    Great use of your time while waiting.

    I don’t remember where he ended up going, but eventually they did manage to track him down and find him so that they could leave.
    I'm relieved he was found. It's not easy finding someone when the phone isn't working.

    By the time we got out of there, LG was over it. It was a hot day. He was hot & cranky, I was hot & cranky, I won’t say DW was hot & cranky, but feel free to fill in the blanks.
    :rotfl2::rolleyes1

    I might have been “over it” but it’s still hard to pass on 2 favorites.
    I agree, these are worth staying to ride.

    We took a few pictures before leaving.
    These are the best family pictures of the trip.

    ***** Thank you all for your patience and friendship. I’m sorry for the long absence and the sudden update dump today. I had to get this TR done just because it would bother me if I didn’t. I know these last few updates are poorly written and rushed, and I apologize for that. I can and should do better, but in any case, it is done. I promise that if I end up doing a TR after our next trip, I’ll put more energy and focus into writing the WHOLE THING in a timely and more readable fashion. *****
    Thank you for sharing and completing your trip. I really enjoyed it.
     

    rdkeim

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2006
    I'm really glad you decided to finish your TR! Better late than never I say. The pictures with Mickey and the ones in the front of the castle were so great. You have some cute kiddos!
     

    SimplyGoofy

    "You are not Mickey Mouse... you are a rat!"
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2011
    Wow, you wrapped up this TR quickly! Good for you!

    I read your updates the day after you posted them, but didn't have a chance to comment right away... so here we go!

    DS looks SO happy on RnRC! I'm so glad he enjoyed one of your favorite rides - I'm sure he's excited to ride it again this summer!

    It's good you enjoyed one last ride on GMR since it's now gone. I was a bit sad to see it go. I'm not sure why as it wasn't a favorite of mine - perhaps because it's been a HS staple during our sister vacations? I hope the new ride is fun!

    Wow, so many rides on TSM! Even with missing out on the final FP+, three rides in one day is great!

    That's too bad that Fantasmic was rained out! The same thing happened to my mom and I on our 2016 trip, which I think my mom was disappointed about. I like seeing Fantasmic once per trip, but I always liked the other nighttime entertainment a bit more. (Now that the nighttime entertainment will be completely different on my next trip, we'll see if my favorites change!)

    Your point about dining at Epcot is true - it's one of my favorite places to eat because there really is something for everyone! I'm glad you kids got more of their beloved chicken nuggets. :thumbsup2 I tried the Schofferhofer at the Biergarten back in 2015 - I'm not a huge beer fan but I did enjoy it.

    I know we all lose our tempers at Disney World (due to heat, hunger, exhaustion, etc.), but I agree - those poor kids! Hopefully the parents calmed down and got their act together. I feel like seeing other folks lose it at Disney World is a good reminder to keep our own emotions in check. Pretty much nothing at Disney World is life altering enough to get that upset over!

    Wow, Christof, Anna, and Elsa all with a short wait?! How awesome!

    I'm glad your kids had a great time meeting Mickey Mouse. That character meet was my most awkward as a single adult in 2016 - I think it's a meet that's better with kids. I think Mickey wasn't sure what to talk about with just an adult and it was a very rushed meet! I had excellent experiences with a multitude of other characters (Chip and Dale, Russell and Dug, even the princesses!), so perhaps it was just a one-off with this particular Mickey.

    Hooray for everyone enjoying Splash Mountain! I'm glad you explained that your daughter loved Splash - she looks quite unsure in the photo! :laughing: Your son, though, looks quite overjoyed! I'm sure they'll love it even more in July. :goodvibes

    That's a shame about the melty ice cream! I'm glad you had a much better experience on your last night!

    Your family pictures in front of the castle are GREAT! The pictures with just your kids are particularly adorable. It's too bad you didn't get a full family picture in front of the castle as your mom wanted, but your immediate family photos are a nice alternative.

    Your view of the MK fireworks at the Wilderness Lodge is almost the same view we had from our room at the WL back in 2016. It was quite magical!

    Thank you for your report! I know you felt the end was rushed, but I'm really impressed that you finished it. Onward to happier Disney trips! :D
     

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