Amanda, her husband, and their two boys stayed at four Disney World hotels during their trip May 9-21. They experienced a long trip with rest days, time in all 4 parks, and lots of mid-day breaks. They are Disney veterans and Amanda expresses the passage of time she sees each time she takes her boys to Disney World.
Amanda and her husband flew from Idaho with their two boys (8 and 10 years of age) to Orlando May 9-21 for an extended Disney World trip. They originally planned to spend their first night in an airport hotel, at the last minute they added on a night at Art of Animation.
They stayed at Art of Animation, Grand Floridian, Caribbean Beach, and Yacht Club during their trip. They spent time in each hotel and utilized the unique amenities and transportation options available.
Although her boys are beyond the stroller age at home, she did rent a stroller because of the amount of walking they would do in the parks. Amanda says she was very glad that she did that.
They enjoyed several amazing meals in the parks, resorts, and at Disney Springs.
Arrival Day (May 9)
Their flight in was smooth and while their original plan was to stay at the airport hotel, after the pre-trip interview, Amanda booked an additional night at Art of Animation.
They hopped on Magical Express and got to their hotel. The boys liked the theming of the hotel but didn’t like how crowded the pool was.
They originally booked a Little Mermaid room but were upgraded to a Cars Suite. Amanda didn’t like that there wasn’t carpet in the room and wished she’d brought slippers.
They did have some trouble with magic bands because they thought that they could use some from a previous trip. Unfortunately that didn’t work but the front desk at Art of Animation was very helpful. Their magic bands didn’t initially work to open their door at Art of Animation, but they worked every single time after that!
Rest Day at Art of Animation (May 10)
Amanda has some policy changes while they were there where mask mandates were relaxed and temperature checks stopped happening during the trip.
Magic Kingdom (May 11)
Amanda and her family packed up their luggage and a day pack (including swim suits!) and left their luggage inside the door of their hotel. They called bell services and their luggage was taken to the Grand Floridian.
They arrived at Magic Kingdom 7:30 a.m. for an 8 a.m. opening. They initially planned to do Seven Dwarfs Mine Train but thought the wait was too long at 40 minutes already.
Amanda knew her boys would LOVE Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. They got into the park at 7:36 a.m. and they were upset that the line was so long at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. They started with Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and then went over to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
At that point, the line actually was more than 40 minutes for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. They let the wait times get in their head and ended up walking quite a bit. They went back over to Adventureland and did Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad again without much of a wait.
They had some trouble with mobile ordering at the beginning of the trip. Times would change or the app would crash. It took some time to get used to it. There wasn’t much consistency in order pickup either. Every location had different standards for picking up the order.
Amanda did figure out that if you don’t hit the “I’m here, prepare my order” button in the app, you won’t be charged. There were a few times where they ordered but didn’t make it in time to pick up their order.
After lunch they took a break and took the monorail to the Grand Floridian to swim. They were back at the Magic Kingdom for their Be Our Guest reservation at 3:30 p.m. The food was great, especially the lamb, filet mignon, and while the desserts looked great, they weren’t the best of the trip.
The dinner took about 90 minutes, which was longer than Amanda expected. Her 10 year old was allowed to order off the kid’s menu. The waitress was wonderful and helped make this happen, which was significantly cheaper.
After dinner they did Big Thunder Mountain Railroad again, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Amanda hoped this would be her son’s favorite ride, but it wasn’t! Amanda felt the passage of time and age of her boys so acutely at Disney World.
At the end of the night they decided to wait for Splash Mountain. They waited 90 minutes and while it was a long wait, the boys both loved it. That’s how they closed out the day. They weren’t off the ride until 9:30 p.m.
They shopped their way out and walked to the Grand Floridian. Bell services brought the luggage over and they were in bed by midnight.
They did mobile check-in at the Grand Floridian. They made some room requests: they wanted to be on the ground floor near a walking bath. The room was on the ground floor with a patio and a monorail view. It was standard room and it was great.
Grand Floridian (May 12)
They planned to go to Blizzard Beach but they were tired and sunburned, so they opted to stay at their hotel. They ate breakfast at the Grand Floridian Cafe to start their day. It was an on the fly opportunity and it was amazing.
That evening they went back to Disney Springs for their dinner reservation at Splitsville. Amanda said the sushi was delicious! They were very happy with their meal. Their reservation was for 6 p.m. but the bowling was walk-up only.
They got on the waiting list to bowl, but the wait was too long and they needed to get back to the room to get some rest.
Magic Kingdom (May 13)
For their second day at Magic Kingdom they arrived before the park opened in preparation to ride their favorites!
They had a reservation at Skipper Canteen and everyone loved it, including the boys! The food was really good and a nice change. They also did the Tiki Room. They’d hoped to do the Riverboat but it closed at 7 p.m. and they didn’t get to it until it had closed.
They did take another midday break at the Grand Floridian.
One of Amanda’s sons woke up that morning with a cough and stuffy nose. Both she and her husband stopped by the First Aid Station by Crystal Palace. They got two doses of allergy medication for him. The nurse there was very helpful and helped him very much.
Blizzard Beach (May 14)
Amanda and her family were transferring hotels today. They called bell services to collect their luggage for the transfer and this time they had to be in their room for bell services to take their bags.
After their bags were picked up, they walked over to the Polynesian for breakfast. Then they headed to Blizzard Beach. There wasn’t a direct bus from the Polynesian to Blizzard Beach so they took an Uber for $15 and were there in 10 minutes. They did use a portable booster that folded up in their backpack.
It was so fun! The wave pool was really nice and spent a lot of time in there. Amanda bought water shoes for everyone in her family because she knew they would need them at the water park. But they ended up not needing them! The ground was sprayed down so it wasn’t too hot and it was very smooth.
Amanda and her husband made a home base spot and set the boys loose. They enjoyed the down time while the boys went down waterslides.
After they left Blizzard Beach they took an Uber went to their Homecomin’ reservation. It was a 5:30 p.m. but they weren’t seated until 6:10 p.m. and still didn’t have food until 6:30 p.m. Amanda says the food was fine, but the experience wasn’t great.
They bags were delivered by bell Services very quickly and they went right to bed. They had a third bed with the pull down and it was perfect.
Animal Kingdom (May 15)
They were up and at the bus stop by 6:30 a.m. The Magic Kingdom bus arrived at 6:35 a.m. Their Animal Kingdom bus was close behind, arriving at 6:40 a.m. and getting them to Animal Kingdom very early!
They were the second people in line. They’d attached a balloon to their stroller but balloons aren’t allowed in Animal Kingdom. Thankfully, her husband took it to Guest Services while Amanda and her boys walked to Pandora.
Guest services was wonderful and tagged the balloon and they were the 5th people in line at Flight of Passage. The boys really liked it!
Next they rode Expedition Everest, DINOSAUR without any wait, and got some breakfast before the 9:15 a.m. Kilimonjaro Safaris. They saw some flotillas and loved this! It was so relaxed because the water is so easy to see from so much of the park.
They left for lunch to Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It was wonderful! They got lots of veggies and the bread service. It was a great value for the amount of food that they got. They relaxed in the shade until about 3:30 p.m. when they took a bus back to Animal Kingdom.
They got some snacks, watched animals, did the Safari again and the lions were very active, which was awesome.
The boys and Amanda did Flight of Passage again while her husband did Na’vi River Journey. That’s how they ended the day. They got to the bus stop around 8 p.m. and the wait for the Caribbean Beach was very long. A Riviera bus arrived and they hopped on!
Hollywood Studios (May 16)
When they arrived at Hollywood Studios they went right to Slinky Dog Dash. Amanda thought the boys would love it. They liked it, but they didn’t think it was worth the wait. They really enjoyed Toy Story Land.
After Slinky Dog Dash they did Toy Story Mania! and Alien Swirling Saucers to finish out that land. Then they went to Galaxy’s Edge for Ronto Wraps for breakfast. After that they did Star Tours and Muppet*Vision 3D.
After that they got Blue and Green Milk and got in line for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. They’d previously mobile ordered Woody’s Lunchbox for lunch but they canceled it because they were still in line.
While they were at lunch, it was 1 p.m. and time to get another boarding group. Amanda’s husband was able to get boarding group 138. They were very excited.
Then it was time for Amanda’s favorite dessert of the whole trip – the Wookiee Cookie! It wasn’t too sweet, it was just perfect! They ate the cookie on the way back to their hotel on the skyliner.
They had some downtime at the hotel from 2-4 p.m. before heading back to Hollywood Studios for their 5 p.m. Hollywood Brown Derby reservation. This was a wonderful restaurant experience.
After dinner they waited in line for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. They loved it so much. They’d avoided spoilers and were blown away by the ride.
They were called for their boarding group around 6:45 p.m. They loved Rise of the Resistance and said it was incredible! They got off the ride at 7:57 p.m. with a 8 p.m. park close. They opted to run over to They mobile ordered Rosie’s All-American Cafe for lunch while they waited for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run to ride that one more time before the end of the day!
After riding, they took some photos and enjoyed the empty park as they left. They took the skyliner back and were in bed by 9:30 p.m.
Yacht Club (May 17)
They slept in this morning before transferring over to the Yacht Club. They had bell services transfer their bags and took the Skyliner to Hollywood Studios and a boat to the Yacht Club. They were at the pool by 11:15 a.m.
They loved their room because it was a corner room with a balcony. They had a lot of natural light, high ceilings, and laminate floors. They got their luggage and got to bed fairly early.
Epcot (May 18)
They walked over to Epcot and arrived around 9:15 a.m. and through the first gate around 9:30 a.m. They were into the park by 10 a.m. and in line for Test Track by 10:15 a.m.
After that, they had some break time at the pool until about 6 p.m. before heading back to Epcot to do The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Spaceship Earth, and Soarin’. While they waited for Soarin’ it broke down and during the wait, the group of young people in front of them were being inappropriate.
Amanda asked to be separated from that group when she got to a cast member. They were moved and that was so nice. They were done around 10 p.m. and they closed down Epcot!
Hollywood Studios (May 19)
They did Frozen Sing-Along after lunch and the boys enjoyed some of the more adult humor. They are a bit too old for some of the kid magic. Amanda loved watching other children and the joy they have!
Hollywood Studios (May 20)
Amanda and her family woke up and her husband was able to get an early boarding group: 26! Unfortunately Rise of the Resistance was down the entire day so they didn’t get to ride it.
They still hadn’t gotten on Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror, so they decided to rope drop today! They went straight to Tower of Terror right at rope drop. However, the cast members said it was down and to do something else.
They walked back to Hollywood Studios for their 5 p.m. dinner reservation at Sci-Fi Dine In. After dinner they did Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Smuggler’s Run, and Toy Story Mania! It was a wonderful way to close out the trip!
- They got the biggest stroller possible. Even though her boys are 8 and 10, it was a long way for the boys to walk. They were glad to have it for tired kids but also back packs!
- Amanda did figure out that if you don’t hit the “I’m here, prepare my order” button in the app, you won’t be charged. There were a few times where they ordered but didn’t make it in time to pick up their order.
Amanda’s son’s podcasts
- Disney Bros – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/disney-bros/id1556135057
- Kids Who Disney – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/kids-who-disney/id1498837116
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