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Andrew’s August Anniversary Trip – PREP257

Andrew’s August Anniversary Trip – PREP257

Andrew and his boyfriend took a one year anniversary trip to Walt Disney World in late August. They live in Florida and are able to drive to Disney World and Andrew is a frequent traveler – this was his 3rd trip this year!

These are notes from this episode. There’s much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

The Basics

Andrew and his boyfriend drove to Walt Disney World on August 23 and drove home on August 27. They had 4 day park tickets and planned to do one park per day, including their arrival and departure days, with a rest day in the middle.

They originally booked Pop Century but were able to rent DVC points to stay at Boulder Ridge for just $10 more, so they opted to stay there.

The couple was celebrating their one year anniversary on this trip. They are comfortable with all of Disney’s precautions but are not comfortable with indoor dining, so they opted to eat most of their meals outdoors.

They were able to visit all 4 theme parks and spent time at Disney Springs on their trip.

Arrival (August 23)

Andrew and his boyfriend drove down to his boyfriend’s parents house to be a bit closer. They started their drive from there and arrived at Boulder Ridge

They received their room notification that their room was ready at 8:30 a.m. This was surprisingly early but Andrew didn’t get any of the requests that he asked for. He called the number on the text so that he could get the room he requested. That room was also ready.

They checked in, unpacked a bit, and got settled. They really liked Boulder Ridge but they felt far away from everything. 

Around 12 p.m. they headed over to Epcot. They’d originally thought they would drive, but they decided to take the bus. They were the only ones on the bus, which was wonderful. 

They arrived at Epcot shortly after noon and decided they wanted to ride Soarin’ first. The line was very long so they skipped that for now. They waited about 10 minutes for Living with the Land

After Living with the Land the line for Soarin’ was shorter so they waited about 30 minutes to ride. It was a bit busier than Andrew expected. 

They were very hungry because they hadn’t eaten lunch yet, so they stopped at some of the festival booths to get some food. They also needed some water so they got some water and frozen lemonade in the Epcot Experience

After their break they rode Test Track. This is one of Andrew’s favorite ride at Epcot. After Test Track they went to Mission: SPACE and did the new green mission. There wasn’t a line at all.

Andrew thought that the Earth mission on Mission: SPACE was boring. He can’t do the orange side because of motion sickness. 

At this point, it was raining really hard so they ran over to Spaceship Earth. This was really great. After that they went over to The Seas with Nemo and Friends. They loved walked around the aquarium. 

They’d done everything they wanted to do in Future World before heading over to Canada. They watched Canada Far and Wide. They started wandering around the World Showcase and enjoying food and drinks from the booths.

They stopped in the World Showplace for a break and rest. They did some shopping in Japan and stopped in American Gardens Theatre. They needed to stop for a break and some water. Andrew emphasized the importance of stopping to take a break for water. 

They continued around the World Showcase, snacking along the way. They had been watching the wait times for Frozen Ever After, but the wait times were still pretty high and they didn’t  want to wait for it.

As they continued walking, they weren’t able to get into the Mexico Pavilion because the line was really long to even get in. They’d done everything they wanted to and decided to take a skyliner to Hollywood Studios so that Andrew’s boyfriend could see the skyliner. 

They took a bus from Hollywood Studios back to their resort. When they called for their Amazon Prime order from Bell Services. They had some snacks in the room before going over to the main pool. 

After some time at the pool they were hungry for dinner and stopped at Roaring Fork. The food was really good but it is much more difficult to get easy food with lots of options at a deluxe resort. 

They ate dinner in their room and went to bed.  

Hollywood Studios (August 24)

They woke up earlier than they hoped because the curtains weren’t completely closed and the light was coming into the room. Shannon suggests packing a chip clip to hold the curtains closed.

They opted to take the bus because it was more convenient. They ran to get on a bus right as it was leaving. They wanted to get in early to get on a ride before the park officially opened. 

They left the room right at 8:55 a.m. and were on the bus by 9 a.m. for a 10 a.m. park opening. They entered the park by 9:25 a.m. and they went right to Tower of Terror. Andrew’s boyfriend was a little scared of it so they wanted to get it over first. 

They were in the lobby and on the ride at 9:45 a.m. Andrew loves this ride and his boyfriend loved the theming. He didn’t love the drops. They were off by 9:51 a.m. and ready to wait for the boarding groups! 

This was shortly after the change in the app that automatically selects the people you are connected to in My Disney Experience that are also scanned into Hollywood Studios. Andrew’s boyfriend ended up getting the boarding group and they got boarding group 36. 

Their next stop was Toy Story Land. They didn’t want to wait a long time for Slinky Dog Dash so they did Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania

They went over to Galaxy’s Edge and got some green milk. Andrew had the blue milk on his last trip and didn’t like it at all. They wandered around Galaxy’s Edge. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run had a 45 minute wait so they decided to wait on that.

They did some shopping and then left Galaxy’s Edge. They stopped at Muppet*Vision 3D next. Andrew really liked this and his boyfriend did too! They went to Star Tours next and there was no wait. This isn’t Andrew’s favorite.

It was time for water and food so they got some Ronto Wraps. It was very crowded at Ronto Roasters so they walked over to Docking Bay 7 outdoor seating and ate there. They had a table in the shade so it wasn’t a problem. 

After lunch the line for Smuggler’s Run was much shorter so they hopped in line. After riding Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run their boarding group was called! They went straight over around 2:10 p.m. They both loved it.

They got a pretzel from Baseline Taphouse and took a break for a bit. They love the atmosphere there. They went to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. The posted wait time was 50 minutes, but they only ended up waiting 25 minutes.

That was one of their favorite rides of the whole trip. They both really enjoyed it.

They did some shopping on Hollywood Boulevard and saw some cavalcades while they worked their way to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Slinky Dog Dash

Next they waited for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster for about 15 minutes and got to ride in the front row! This was really fun. They stopped to get some ice water at the popcorn stand and waited for a few minutes before walking over to Slinky Dog Dash

The posted wait time for Slinky Dog Dash was 25 minutes but they only waited about 15 minutes. Andrew’s boyfriend thought it was a little tame, but they enjoyed it. This was at around 5 p.m.

At this point they had done everything that they wanted to do in Hollywood Studios. They didn’t have any additional plans, so they decided to go to Disney Springs for dinner. There weren’t any buses to Disney Springs so they took the skyliner to Pop Century to take a bus from there.

They waited a bit at Pop Century for a bus and the bus was relatively full. They went to Chicken Guy for dinner and they really liked it. It was getting cooler outside and they were able to eat comfortably outside.

They got some drinks from the bar at the Coca Cola shop before heading back to the bus stop to go back to their resort. 

They went back to the room and then wandered around the resort before going to the pool at Boulder Ridge. Andrew loved the theming of this pool. It was quieter, but really wonderful. 

Rest Day (August 25)

They woke up a little bit later today to get some rest. They wanted to get breakfast at Captain Cooks to get some Tonga Toast. They took the boat to the Magic Kingdom and then the monorail to the Polynesian resort

Andrew said the vibe at the Polynesian felt fairly normal. It wasn’t as busy as usual, but it didn’t feel empty. They mobile ordered Tonga Toast and a breakfast flatbread for breakfast. It was good and plenty of food. 

After breakfast they walked around the Polynesian resort. From there they went over to the Grand Floridian to check it out. The vibe was very different from previous trips. It was very quiet and no one was around at all. 

They took the monorail back to the Magic Kingdom and a boat back to the Wilderness Lodge. They changed into their swimsuits and went over to the main pool. It was nice to be there in the middle of the day.

They were still full from breakfast so they split a veggie burger from Roaring Fork back in their room. They rested in their room and watched the Imagineering Story.

Around 6:30 p.m. they did some shopping at the resort and wandered around. Andrew found a print that he wanted, but he didn’t purchase it. 

They went to dinner that night at Geyser Point. It was just after sunset so it was cooler and really nice. After a wonderful dinner they did some more exploring and hung out in the Boulder Ridge lobby. 

Magic Kingdom (August 26)

Andrew and his boyfriend were celebrating their one year anniversary! They had been wearing anniversary pins all week.

They hopped on the boat to the Magic Kingdom and arrived at 9 a.m. They went right to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. They both really loved it. 

Their next stop was Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. It was a weird feeling to ride that first thing in the morning. They didn’t have much of a schedule and it was nice.

They did Peter Pan’s Flight next and enjoyed seeing the queue. At this point Andrew’s boyfriend wasn’t feeling great but they did Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain. They liked those a lot.

They took a water break at Pecos Bills to take a break. However, Andrew’s boyfriend started to feel worse so they went over to the First Aid Center. He started to feel a little better so they got Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe for lunch.

They enjoyed their lunch and then walked over to Carousel of Progress. Andrew loves this ride a lot. It was a nice way to cool off and relax.

Andrew’s boyfriend was feeling better because he was inside for a bit. They did Space Mountain twice next without a wait at all. They did some shopping on their way out and went back to the hotel. 

They had to wait about 25 minutes for a boat to get back to Wilderness Lodge at 1 p.m. When they got back to the resort, Andrew’s boyfriend surprised him with the print that he’d looked at the day before. 

They got back to the room and exchanged some homemade gifts for their anniversary. They relaxed in the room and went back to the park around 4 p.m. They took the bus because they didn’t want to wait for the boat.

They took photos in front of the castle when they arrived. They went to it’s a small world next. There was a bit of a wait but it wasn’t too long. They went to Haunted Mansion next and they didn’t have to wait long. The line had been much longer earlier in the day.

After Haunted Mansion, they went to Pirates of the Caribbean. The wait was only about 15 minutes which wasn’t bad at all. They went over to Jungle Cruise next and only waited about 15 minutes also. 

They stopped to get Dole Whips and then walked all the way back over to Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. This is not Andrew’s favorite. They were able to ride Space Mountain 3 times in the last 20 minutes until the park closed. 

They window-shopped their way out after the park had officially closed. They didn’t have any dinner plans so they took the monorail to the Contemporary and then hopped on a bus to Disney Springs to get dinner from Chicken Guy.

They shared some food and it was really good. They did some wandering around Disney Springs. They went to Ghirardelli Ice Cream Chocolate Shop and put their name on a line to get a milkshake. While they waited, they went to World of Disney and the Marketplace Co-op. Andrew got some Disney-scented essential oils from Bowes Signature Candles

After that, they were called to get their milkshakes. Things were getting very crowded over on this side of Disney Springs. 

They took the bus back to their resort and did some packing so they didn’t have to rush around in the morning. 

Animal Kingdom (August 27)

Animal Kingdom opened at 8 a.m. but they knew they weren’t going to get there for park opening. They packed up, ate breakfast, and took their luggage to bell services. They took the bus over to Animal Kingdom. 

They arrived at Animal Kingdom around 10 a.m. and went to DINOSAUR first. It was more scary than Andrew expected! 

Their next stop was Flight of Passage and only waited 15-20 minutes. Andrew really loves this ride. When they got off Flight of Passage they stopped for lunch at Satu’li Canteen. They even got free cupcakes for their anniversary! They were able to sit outside in the shade which was really nice. 

After lunch they went over to Kilimanjaro Safaris and waited about 20 minutes. Unfortunately it was the heat of the day so they didn’t get to see the animals as close because they were so hot. 

They got a snack before going on Kali River Rapids. It was very short and they didn’t get wet at all, which was disappointing because it was so hot.

After Kali River Rapids they did Expedition Everest. The line was only about 10 minutes so they rode it twice. However, they were cleaning the cars so they had to wait a little bit before riding the second time.

They grabbed a frozen coffee before going to It’s Tough to be a Bug. Andrew thought it was fun but his boyfriend didn’t enjoy it. They waited about 20 minutes for Na’vi River Journey. It was nice.

Andrew prepared his boyfriend that it would be enjoyable but it’s not the most amazing ride ever. They went to Pongu Pongu next and then got in line for Flight of Passage again. The line wasn’t long at all. 

They did some shopping before taking the bus back to their resort. They hung out in the lobby before getting their bags and driving home! 

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