Christine, her husband, and younger daughter traveled from Hawaii to Orlando for a long trip to Universal Studios and Walt Disney World. They met her older daughter who flew in from New York City. It was a long trip that included everything they wanted to do, wonderful rest days, and a really great trip
Christine, her husband, and their 9 year old daughter traveled from their home in Maui to Orlando arriving on May 14 and departing on May 23. This trip was originally scheduled as a graduation trip for her older daughter in 2020 that was postponed. Christine’s older daughter joined them from New York City for several days of the trip.
Because they were arriving so early in the morning, Christine booked an extra night at their first hotel so that they could check in immediately when they arrived. They also utilized Turo car rentals for the first few days of their trip when they would be traveling from their Disney Springs area hotel to Universal Studios.
Christine purchased Genie+ for the entirety of their trip and also had Memory Maker. The first two nights of the trip they stayed at Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista near Disney Springs before transferring to the Yacht Club for the rest of their trip.
Arrival (May 14)
Christine checked into their hotel in Orlando before even leaving their home in Maui! They arrived in Orlando at 7 a.m. and were at their Turo car by 7:30 a.m. They had a very smooth travel day.
They arrived to their hotel, the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista around 8:15 a.m. and were able to go right to their room. They brought Hawaiian chocolates and handed them out to different people. After unloading their luggage they went to breakfast in the lobby.
They had a wonderful view of Disney Springs and could even see fireworks! They really liked the hotel.
At breakfast they evaluated their energy and decided they wanted to go to Typhoon Lagoon. They got ready and left the hotel at 10:15 a.m. They drove, but they could have probably walked!
They arrived just after the park opened. They were through the gates, got a locker, and were on a water slide by 10:30 a.m. Christine’s daughter LOVED it. It was a wonderful way to start their vacation.
It seemed fairly busy but they really didn’t wait in any lines. They loved the wave pool and the theming was fun. It wasn’t as novel because they are from Hawaii, but they enjoyed the energy.
They got to ride the majority of the waterslides. They especially liked the slides that they could ride together as a family.
They left Typhoon Lagoon around 3 p.m. and went back to the hotel to get freshened up. They went over to Disney Springs to get dinner. They were getting tired, so they wanted to get an early dinner.
They got to the Boathouse at 4:15 p.m. and were seated right away even without a reservation. They ate outside and really enjoyed their meal.
After dinner they went back to the hotel, did a load of laundry, and went to bed early. Christine’s older daughter got a Lyft late that night from the airport, used the mobile key to get in, and everyone slept through her arrival.
Universal Studios (May 15)
They woke up at 6 a.m. to get ready for the day. They brought a small rice cooker and air fryer to make Hawaiian snacks.
They left the hotel around 7:20 a.m. and were through security at Islands of Adventure by 7:52 a.m. They got some coffee and got in line so that they could rope drop Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.
They went to Seuss Landing and went straight to Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. The posted wait time was 115 minutes but they were on and off quicker than that. The ride was amazing!
Christine’s daughter LOVED Hagrid’s! They went to Three Broomsticks for an early lunch. After lunch they went to get interactive wands for Christine’s daughters.
Their next stop was Flight of the Hippogriff. There was a 60 minute posted wait time but they were off before noon!
Their next stop was Forbidden Journey at 12:20 p.m. and were off by 12:50 p.m. Christine wasn’t really pleased with the locker situation at Universal. They had to upgrade to a larger locker because they had larger bags.
Christine really wanted to ride VelociCoaster. She was excited to ride roller coasters! Christine was very nervous but she gave in and they started to walk over.
On their way they caught the Hogwarts Choir and singing frogs! This was a delight to Christine. This is the point of the day where they got very hot. They got out their UV umbrella and that was helpful.
There was a 45 minute wait at 1:15 p.m. for VelociCoaster. They were off the rollercoaster at 2 p.m. Christine’s daughter LOVED it! She wanted to do it again immediately.
At 2:18 p.m. there was a posted wait time of 45 minutes for The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman. They were off the ride at 2:50 p.m. so the wait time was slightly elevated.
They went back to the Hogwarts Express. They got in line at 3:15 p.m. and the wait was about 40 minutes. Christine was in heaven!
They got to Diagon Alley and walked through to Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts because it was already later in the day. They got in line and it was only a 15 minute wait! They were off the ride by 5:05 p.m. The theming was so cool.
After that they got some ice cream and butter beer. They had some time to kill before dinner so they did some shopping and played with their wands.
On their way out, Christine’s daughter wanted to do The Simpsons Ride. The posted wait time was only 10 minutes but they waited much longer than that. The ride wasn’t Christine’s favorite and it made her a bit motion sick.
They headed out of the park and went to their dinner reservation at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium. As soon as they checked in and were seated, a thunderstorm came through.
They really enjoyed their meal. They really enjoyed the characters wandering around as well. They ended the night with the cookie jar milkshake which was very good and huge!
By the time they were leaving the restaurant, the storm was over. They went over to the hotel and got in bed around midnight. It was a long day but really great. Christine wishes they’d had another day.
Transfer (May 16)
They woke up at 8:15 a.m. and Christine and her husband did some grocery shopping at Target before returning their car.
They came back and packed up. They went right to Disney Springs. Their first stop was to get in line at Gideon’s Bakehouse at 11 a.m. While her husband waited, the girls got coffee. They got some delicious cookies!
They did some shopping at Disney Springs, loaded up their car, and checked out of the hotel. They drove the car over to the lime parking garage and had lunch at Chicken Guy.
From there, they went to the Yacht Club. Christine waited to add her older daughter to their reservation when they arrived because she wouldn’t be staying for the full 7 days.
They got to the hotel and went straight to the front desk to get her added. Christine also asked if they were able to sit at the pool while they waited for their room to get ready.
They waited at the pool and their room was still not ready at 4 p.m. Their reservation for dinner was for 5:15 p.m. They kept checking at the front desk to see if their room was ready. The front desk called over to Steakhouse 71 to let them know they might be late.
They finally got into their room, dropped their bags, and got changed. They called a Lyft to the Contemporary and arrived to their reservation right on time.
Steakhouse 71 was wonderful! Christine’s husband ordered for the table because he is a chef. They got a steak and appetizers and split all of that. The burger was also delicious.
While they were at the Contemporary they did some shopping and pin trading. After that they took a Lyft back to the Yacht Club.
Magic Kingdom (May 17)
Christine and her husband were up at 5:45 a.m. to make snacks for the day. It was wonderful to have those to eat in lines. The girls were up at 6:15 a.m.
At 7 a.m. Christine purchased the Individual Lightning Lane for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with a return time of 10:25 a.m. Christine also got a lightning lane for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for 9:40 a.m.
Christine was pleased with the Genie+ experience and the return times she was able to get. However, the return times did change between choosing them and confirming them.
They were at the bus stop at 7:10 a.m. but the times kept increasing while they waited. They finally got a bus at 7:35 a.m. They were through security at 8:05 a.m. and got some photos in front of the castle.
Their first stop was Peter Pan’s Flight. They were in line by 8:35 a.m. and off the ride by 8:57 a.m. They were all very happy to have done this ride!
Their next stop at 9 a.m. was the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. The posted wait time was 50 minutes but they were off the ride by 9:20 a.m. They did Journey of the Little Mermaid next and were in line by 9:26 a.m. and it was a walk-on.
They were ready for their Big Thunder Mountain Railroad lightning lane. After that they went over to Splash Mountain. They got in line at 10:07 a.m. with a 40 minute posted wait time. They were off the ride by 11:15.
This was when they started having some issues with Genie+. As soon as they tapped in at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Christine wanted to get another time. However, she was getting some errors saying that she didn’t have Genie+.
Christine went to a blue umbrella to get it straightened out. They were able to help and it began working after that. The cast members were very helpful.
Christine’s daughter LOVED Splash Mountain. After that they decided to do a mobile order for Casey’s Corner. They got some food and got a table outside to eat their meal. The timing was perfect.
Just as they were finishing their food the Festival of Fantasy parade passed! They got to watch the parade in the grassy area and had a wonderful spot. It was great.
It was getting very hot so they shopped their way to the bus for a break. Christine’s daughter took a nap and everyone went swimming. They LOVED the pool at the Yacht Club.
They got back on the bus at 3:15 p.m. after their break to go back to Magic Kingdom. On their way to the park Christine got a lightning lane for Haunted Mansion with a return time of 6:40 p.m.
They caught the end of the parade again as they entered and then saw the 50th Anniversary Cavalcade. Before their Skipper Canteen reservation, they did the Magic Carpets of Aladdin.
They checked into their dinner at Skipper Canteen and it was delicious! They really liked the theming, cast members, and the food.
While they were at dinner, Christine got a lightning lane for it’s a small world. Her husband has never been on it and Chrsitine loves it. Her husband said he doesn’t need to ride it again.
After it’s a small world, they went to their lightning lane for Haunted Mansion. Their next stop was a Cheshire Tail and coffee at Cheshire Cafe. While they had their snack they got an alert for a thunderstorm.
They decided to do Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor. While they were in line it started to rain, so they were glad to be covered. After the pre-show, they were evacuated because the show wasn’t available. They exited the theatre into the rain, which was disappointing.
They walked over to the PeopleMover. The line was building because everyone had the same idea. They got in line and it had a bit of a wait. They got on around 8:44 p.m. The rain stopped by the time they got off.
Their next stop was heading to the castle to get a spot for the fireworks. They were right off of the Tomorrowland bridge. There weren’t a lot of people around them around 9 p.m. and the show started at 9:20 p.m.
In the middle of the fireworks, it started raining really hard. It fit with the villains part of the show. They watched as much of the fireworks as they could handle but it was raining very hard.
They had a lightning lane at 9:35 p.m. for Jungle Cruise but decided to go to Space Mountain instead. They walked on Space Mountain without any wait. Christine’s daughter loved Space Mountain.
Their lightning lane for Jungle Cruise turned into an anytime pass so they used that to ride Space Mountain again! It all worked out.
Their next stop was Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin with very little wait. At that point they were very wet and feeling soggy so they were ready to go back to the hotel. They opted to not take advantage of the extended evening theme park hours.
Hollywood Studios (May 18)
Christine woke up early and purchased an Individual Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance and a Lightning Lane for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.
They took the Friendship boats to Hollywood Studios and were through the tapstiles by 7:41 a.m. Their first stop was the Trolley Car Cafe for some coffee. They were in line for Slinky Dog Dash just before 8 a.m. and off the ride by 8:30 a.m.
Their next stop was Toy Story Mania. They were off the ride before 9 a.m. They loved it so much. They finished up Toy Story Land with Alien Swirling Saucers and it was a walk-on.
They went over to Galaxy’s Edge to get ready for their Rise of the Resistance Individual Lightning Lane. They liked that it was very interactive but it did scare Christine’s younger daughter.
At 10:20 a.m. they went to Ronto Roasters for a break and some breakfast. Christine tried to get a Tower of Terror lightning lane but they were all gone for the day. She wonders if she might have done Tower of Terror first because there were still plenty for Smuggler’s Run.
She did get a Lightning Lane for Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster for 3:20 p.m. before going over to their Smuggler’s Run lightning lane. They thought it was very fun.
They enjoyed Galaxy’s Edge for a bit, got some Mickey bars, and decided it was time for a locker for their backpacks. They were just getting too heavy.
Christine decided it was time for a long wait. It was a 95 minute wait for Tower of Terror when they got in line. It was a very fun ride. Christine doesn’t like free-fall drops but she knew what to expect. They enjoyed this ride.
They got off of the ride around 2 p.m. It was a long wait and it was very hot. They had some time before their Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster so they got some food from ABC Commissary. It was very good and it was wonderful to be in the cool air conditioning!
After that they decided to meet Olaf. On their way they got to see the Pixar Cavalcade. They then got a notification that Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster was down and their lightning lane was turned into an anytime lightning lane.
They decided to use the Lightning Lane for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. It was so cute! Christine loved this ride so much. They were on and off the ride by 3:30 p.m.
They got off the ride and went over to their 3:55 p.m. Oga’s Cantina reservation. They thought this was really fun. The interaction was really great. It was nice to be out of the heat.
After Oga’s Cantina they were ready to leave. They were hot and tired so they took the skyliner to the hotel. It was so fun!
Back at the hotel they did some laundry and went to the pool. They’d planned to go back to Epcot that evening but it rained a lot that evening. They decided to just get some takeout from Ale & Compass and stay in.
Animal Kingdom (May 19)
They woke up and got to the bus stop at 6:21 a.m. with an early entry at Animal Kingdom at 7 a.m. but the bus didn’t arrive until 6:48 a.m. Their plan was to rope drop Flight of Passage but Christine was worried about that as the bus was later.
On the bus Christine decided to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane for Flight of Passage. She ended up getting a return time of 8:40 a.m. She also got a lightning lane for Kilimanjaro Safaris for 9:15 a.m.
They were through the tapstiles at 7:08 a.m., took some photos, and then went to Na’vi River Journey. They explored Pandora, took photos, and did some shopping.
They were able to tap in for their Flight of Passage Lightning Lane at 8:20 a.m. and they were able to get right on! They loved this ride. The whole experience was great.
After that they were done with Pandora so they went to Africa and tapped in for their Kilimanjaro Safaris lightning lane. It was so cool! They were really grateful for this experience. It was one of their favorite rides.
They had some time before their Tusker House breakfast so they did Gorilla Falls before going to Tusker House. They had a great breakfast! This was one of the best breakfasts that they had all week.
During breakfast Christine was able to get a lightning lane for Festival of the Lion King for the 12 p.m. show. Christine didn’t know what elements were missing but could tell she wasn’t getting the full show. The show was amazing.
Christine got a lightning lane for 1 p.m. for Kali River Rapids. On their way, they got to see some performing monkeys. It was really funny!
They tapped in at 12:50 p.m. for Kali River Rapids. Christine got soaked! They caught some of KiteTails on their way to their Expedition Everest lightning lane. They loved this ride! It was the best ride of their entire trip!
They took a break with some Mickey Bars before deciding they needed to get back in line for Expedition Everest! They didn’t wait long and were off by 2:30 p.m.
The weather today was much better which really helped them to have such a wonderful day. The whole vibe at Animal Kingdom was wonderful and they had such a great day.
After their second time on Expedition Everest they grabbed a beer and went over to Discovery Island. They walked around the Tree of Life, did some pin trading, and took the bus back to their resort at 3:40 p.m.
When they got back to the resort, they went swimming and relaxed. They walked over to Epcot and went straight to the Mexico pavilion at 6:40 p.m. They wandered around, rode on the Gran Fiesta Tour, and then checked in at La Hacienda at 7:20 p.m.
They had a wonderful dinner. The food was delicious! They opted to stay at Epcot to see the fireworks. They got a spot near Norway, got some drinks and snacks, and watched the fireworks. Christine says they loved it and that the music was great!
After the fireworks they were able to walk back to their resort. It was wonderful!
Epcot (May 20)
They slept in until 6:30 a.m. Christine and her husband were able to get Individual Lightning Lane for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and a Lightning Lane for Test Track.
They left the hotel at 7:40 a.m. and walked to Epcot. As soon as they got in, Christine purchased the Spike the Bee Scavenger Hunt. They loved this and it kept Christine’s younger daughter busy.
They got right on Frozen Ever After at 8:15 a.m. without any wait. They knew the France pavilion would be very busy so they decided to avoid that.
They went to Journey into Imagination and it was interesting. Christine’s husband really liked it! It was starting to rain when they got out.
They went to Canada and stopped at some KidCot stops. They stopped to get some snacks in the France pavilion. They tapped in at Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at 10:40 a.m. Unfortunately it went down shortly after. They got an anytime return.
They walked over to Test Track and tapped in at 11:14 a.m. It was a quick experience! Their next stop was the Creations shop to do some shopping.
Due to the construction walls, Christine kept getting lost. It was difficult to navigate the construction. Their next stop was Winnie the Pooh near the butterfly house. It was so cute!
Then they went into the butterfly house and really enjoyed that. At 12:30 p.m. there was a 10 minute wait for The Seas with Nemo & Friends. When they got off they walked around the aquarium. It was air conditioned and covered from the rain, so they were happy!
It was about 1 p.m. and they went into the Land Pavilion to ride Soarin’ and Living with the Land. They really liked Living with the Land. They have a garden area and took notes to take home to implement into their garden.
Then they started to walk around the World Showcase. They started in Mexico. At this point everyone was getting very tired and grumpy. The exhaustion had started to kick in, especially with Christine’s younger daughter.
Christine’s older daughter and her husband continued to drink around the world while Christine and her younger daughter took their time. She didn’t want to go back to their room, but they did take their time. They stopped at more KidCot stops.
They also found more Spike the Bee for their scavenger hunt. Then they realized that Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure was back up. While they were on their way, they got an alert that it was going to start raining again. They got to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure right when the rain started!
They really liked Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. The rain wasn’t stopping so they decided to go back to the hotel. The rain did not let up – there was thunder, lightning, and a tornado warning! They got ready to go back to Epcot but the rain wasn’t letting up.
They had a reservation for a Rose and Crown dining package for the fireworks. They didn’t want to go over to Epcot if the fireworks would be canceled. Christine went to the front desk and they received a complete refund. The fireworks did happen but they were later than scheduled.
They ended up grabbing some food from the lounge and stay in for the night.
Rest Day (May 21)
Christine’s oldest daughter left the hotel at 4 a.m. for her flight but came right back because her flight was canceled. Christine stayed with her to figure things out while her husband and younger daughter slept.
Her daughter went to the airport to get rebooked, got booked on a 3 p.m. flight, and went back to the hotel to hang out at the pool. She went back for her flight and just as she was boarding, the flight was canceled again!
She opted to wait at the airport to see if she could get another flight. She was there until 7 p.m. and then opted to rebook for the next morning. It was a very chaotic travel day for her!
Chrstine’s younger daughter wasn’t feeling great when she woke up. They opted to take some covid tests to just be safe. They did take PCR tests that were negative.
She wasn’t feeling well so they just took it easy and let Christine’s daughter sleep most of the day. They watched movies in the room and had a lot of rest.
They did go to their lunch reservation at Beaches and Cream at 11:45 a.m. which was so nice! It was a great rest day. Christine’s daughter got the rest she needed and woke up feeling much better.
Magic Kingdom (May 22)
Because of their rest day yesterday, they decided it was time to take it easier for the rest of the trip. They slept in and got some sandwiches at the Boardwalk Bakery. They wandered around and didn’t head to Magic Kingdom until 2 p.m.
They did Jungle Cruise with a Lightning Lane and then rode on Magic Carpets of Aladdin. They got their first Dole Whips also!
They did some shopping and wandering around. They also rode on Dumbo the Flying Elephant. They really enjoyed wandering around and taking in the details of the park. They also hunted hidden Mickeys.
It was so nice to go at a slower pace! They went back to the hotel and went back to the boardwalk for a pizza dinner. They were showing Little Mermaid on the lawn, so they watched that while they ate their dinner.
They loved getting to experience the entertainment on the Boardwalk. They went swimming in the evening and went to bed early.
Hollywood Studios (May 23)
Christine’s family slept in again while Christine was up at 7 a.m. to get a lightning lane for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. The return time was 9:40 a.m. so they knew they wanted to get to the park by then.
They decided to walk to Hollywood Studios. It was a nice walk! They did Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and loved it! This was their 3rd favorite from all of the parks!
It was hot outside again today so they wandered around until they were ready to leave. They took the skyliner back to the hotel.
They went back down to the pool before grabbing some food at Epcot that night. They didn’t take advantage of the festival food booths because the lines were so long! Christine’s husband did get some festival food while Christine and her daughter did some KidCot stops.
The one thing they hadn’t seen was the Spaceship Earth Beacons. They got to see it and it was just beautiful. It is so pretty! It was a wonderful way to end their trip!
Departure (May 24)
They woke up, did one last load of laundry, grabbed some breakfast, and got downstairs for their Sunshine Flyer to the airport. It was a very smooth travel day.
They took a quick flight to New York City to spend a few days with her daughter.
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