Misty O. chats with Shannon about her experience with The Summit by Varsity cheer competition at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. She shares lessons she’s learned from attending with her daughter for multiple years. After the competition, Misty and her family added on a Walt Disney World vacation with several days in the parks. This trip was the first opportunity for her youngest son to ride major rides. Listen to hear what Misty thought of their first experience with DAS pass and their inaugural stay at the Polynesian DVC studios.
Misty and her family will have a trip with multiple phases. The first phase includes Misty and her daughter traveling for a cheer competition. Misty is a veteran and will be sharing her knowledge with other cheer mom friends.
During this portion of the trip Misty and her daughter will be staying at All-Star Music. The rest of the family will join them for the last night before the next portion of their trip begins.
There were a lot of unknowns for the cheer competition portion of the trip. However, as soon as the competition portion of the trip is over, the whole family will transfer to the Polynesian.
They are staying in a studio at Polynesian Resort. They are DVC and this is their home resort, but they’ve never stayed there.
Airport Stay (April 25)
Misty and her daughter will be staying at a hotel at the Columbus airport due to a very early flight the next morning. Everything went smoothly.
Arrival (April 26)
The flight went really well and they flew out very early. They arrived just after 8 a.m. but their luggage took nearly an hour to come out. Misty was very frustrated.
They were traveling with a few other cheer families and they all found their luggage in various areas. They texted their driver with Away We Go Transportation and had no issues there.
They arrived at All-Star Music at 10 a.m. One of their rooms was ready, they left their luggage, and changed to get ready for their day.
Misty was with two other cheer moms and their daughters. They got on a bus and were walking into Epcot by 10:30 a.m.
The wait times at Epcot were very low when they arrived so they went straight to Soarin’. The wait was only 20 minutes when they arrived but it jumped to 50 minutes so they ended up skipping it.
They did Journey into Imagination next without a wait. The other friends that they were with had never been on this ride before. They enjoyed the nostalgia of the ride.
They had a return time for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure for 12:50 p.m. As they were waiting for that, they did some shopping and pin trading.
Misty did something she’s never done before – they went to the World Showcase and they went backward! She started in Canada to get a drink there before working their way around.
When they got off Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure they were called for their boarding group for Cosmic Rewind. They were called at 2:15 p.m. and arrived at 2:27 p.m. They were off the ride by 3:10 p.m. Everyone loved it.
Misty had been stacking Lightning Lanes for Magic Kingdom. It took them about 45 minutes to get from Epcot to Magic Kingdom via the monorail.
When they arrived at Magic Kingdom, they did some shopping and pin trading before their 5:25 p.m. lightning lane for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. They were on and off the ride by 5:40 p.m.
Their next lightning lane was for Pirates of the Caribbean at 6:05 p.m. Before that they did some more pin trading and got dole whips. They were on and off the ride by 6:20 p.m.
The next lightning lane Misty had stacked was for Peter Pan’s Flight. They were on and off by 6:40 p.m. without much of a wait at all.
They were all getting very tired. They’d been up very early in the morning and they were ready for some food. They got cheeseburger eggrolls and some food before taking the bus to their resort.
They spoke with Johanna at the front desk to see if they could move their rooms. She was incredibly nice. They’d hoped they could move to the Country section from the Jazz section. They were able to be moved in the block with the rest of the team when they arrived the next day.
They were all in bed by 9:30 p.m.
Cheer Competition (April 27)
Today is when the whole cheer group checked in at All-Star Music. They woke up at 8:15 a.m. Vacation Grocers delivered groceries at 8:45 a.m. The delivery driver had a wagon to help deliver the groceries to their room.
All of the cheer competition things are set up in the parking lots between the All-Star resorts. They have been told not to go into the parks or swim due to the athletic schedule.
They will pick-up their competition packet at 9:30 a.m. at Celebrity Hall. This is the time Misty picked a few weeks prior to their trip. Misty recommends taking a photo of the pass because you will need that pass to get into ESPN.
They took a quick dip in the pool and got some lunch from the quick service at the resort. The first practice was at 1:30 p.m. They had to go to practice at Coronado Springs in the convention center.
This whole day is devoted to practice. Misty’s daughter is on two teams so they have double the practices. She was back at 4:40 p.m. to do a practice on the football field at All-Star Sports.
After their practice, they got ready for team pictures at 7 p.m. They all get dressed up for this so they got some great team pictures around the resort.
After photos, they had dinner at the pool. They just had some food from Publix – sandwiches, chips, and dessert. It was a wonderful evening.
Cheer Competition (April 28)
Misty and her daughter woke up and had a lazy morning. They had breakfast at the resort and then Misty DoorDashed Chick-Fil-A. Misty noted that when you are at a Value Resort they will bring the food right to your room.
Misty’s daughter got on the bus at 1:45 p.m. and Misty got some work done before she met them at ESPN at 3:45 p.m. Misty said that the buses were really easy and run constantly.
ESPN has a plastic refillable cup and Misty got one so that she could refill it while she was there. Misty really likes the pineapple cider on draft.
Misty’s daughter’s team competed at 5:15 p.m. and they did great! Her second team was supposed to go at 7:40 p.m. but were delayed until 8:20 p.m. Both of her daughter’s teams “hit zero” which means they got zero errors.
They had about an hour to wait for the reveal. This is when they would find out if they would be competing on Sunday. They met at 9:45 p.m. at the baseball field to hear the announcements.
There were 26 teams in Misty’s daughter’s division. At least 10 of those teams “hit zero”. Unfortunately her daughter’s team was not in the top 5.
They went back to the resort around 10:30 p.m. The girls took a quick trip to the pool before getting ready for bed. It was a good night and at this point there wasn’t anything else required for cheer for the rest of their trip.
Family Arrives (April 29)
Misty’s husband and other two children arrive today. Misty and her daughter had a relaxing morning after their late night the night before.
They were back at the resort by 12:30 p.m. and met the rest of the family arriving from the airport via Mears.
The kids stayed at the pool all day and had Chef Mickey’s for dinner. This is a tradition for their family. They took a bus to the Magic Kingdom and walked over to the Contemporary.
The kids were all asleep by 10 p.m.
Family Vacation Begins (April 30)
Everyone woke up and packed up. They dropped their bags at Bell Services around 10:40 a.m. to be moved to the Polynesian Resort.
They arrived around 12:15 p.m. and took some time exploring the resort. At 1:30 p.m. they changed in the locker room near the pool and spent some time swimming.
At 3:25 p.m. Misty got a text that their room was ready and they got the room request they asked for. They got 3027 which is a lakeview studio. Misty requested this room because it was supposed to have the best view.
The room was perfect. They were in a great location next to the TTC and had an incredible view. They were able to see fireworks and the Electrical Water Pageant from their balcony.
Misty was able to get a Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue reservation for tonight! They left their resort around 5:20 p.m. and they took the monorail from the TTC to the Magic Kingdom and took a boat to Fort Wilderness.
They had category 2 seating in the balcony. Misty had already experienced it but it was her family’s first time. They all loved the food…but Misty’s son is a bit of a picky eater. When the server noticed he wasn’t eating the meat on the bone he was asked what he’d like to eat. The server brought him peanut butter and jelly with french fries. It was such a wonderful experience!
After dinner they took the boat back to the Magic Kingdom and the Monorail to the TTC. They were back to the resort right at 9:01 p.m. and they were able to watch the fireworks from the balcony.
After putting the kids to bed, Misty went to do laundry at 10:30 p.m. She says that she took the last open washer before the rush came through and there was a line! She was back in the room about an hour later for bed.
Epcot (May 1)
They woke up early and got a virtual queue for Cosmic Rewind. They got group 65. Misty planned for them to purchase Genie+ but decided to wait and see if they could use just Disability Access Service. They will also be utilizing the DAS pass for one of their children for the first time.
They left at 9:06 a.m. to miss the rope drop crowd and Misty said it was incredibly smooth. They took the monorail to Epcot and tapped in at 9:30 a.m.
Their next stop was to use their return time for Soarin’. They got there around 10:42 a.m. and there was a bit of a wait after they got on the ride. They always have a good time on this ride.
Test Track was next and they used a DAS pass there as well. After that, their Cosmic Rewind time was called. If you have a DAS pass and a virtual queue you can tell them at the front of the line they will switch your virtual queue to an individual lightning lane so that you can go through the individual lightning lane. They waited about 15 minutes.
This was the first big coaster for Misty’s son. Their son was “I Ran” and everyone loved it. They were ready for lunch and ordered La Cantina for lunch. It took a long time for them to get their food and there wasn’t a place for them to sit. They carried their food to the Odyssey Building and ate there.
They tapped in at 3:05 p.m. for Frozen Ever After and were off by 3:25 p.m. Misty loves this one and makes her kids sing along!
They stopped at the Refreshment Outpost for craft beers. She did not like the black cherry cider. The tangerine cream ale was wonderful though!
As they continued through the World Showcase they did some shopping on the way. They got some treats in Germany and Japan. Misty wisely mobile ordered a treat from the Karamell-Küche in Germany. It took less than 5 minutes!
At 5:35 p.m. they have a Space 220 Lounge reservation. They had some drinks and the kids had really fun drinks with lights in them. They shared some desserts as well and especially loved the carrot cake.
Their next stop was Connections Eatery for real dinner. They sat on the Starbucks side of the restaurant around 7:30 p.m. and chatted with some cheer families.
Misty had a DAS pass for Journey into Imagination but the wait was only 5 minutes. Misty was able to change it to Test Track. They did ride Journey into Imagination before they had to go back to Cosmic Rewind to get her son a Groot toy he saw earlier.
They were done with their night and took the monorail back to the TTC and walked back to their room. They showered and got ready for bed.
Magic Kingdom (May 2)
They did Mad Tea Party first and Misty watched while her family rode. She also took photos while her family went on BarnStormer. After a snack and bathroom break, they had a DAS pass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
They were on and off by 11:21 a.m. The whole family loved this! They had a pre-reserved DAS pass for Journey of the Little Mermaid. After that they had a DAS pass for Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Misty’s husband loves the cinnamon roll from Gaston’s Tavern and after the kids ate most of his first one, he got a second with extra frosting!
They used Rider Switch for Tron because Misty’s youngest wasn’t tall enough. They walked all the way to the ramp for Tron. There is a restroom there (Misty says it’s super clean and not busy!) with water refill stations. The virtual queue and Individual Lightning Lanes were very well marked with cast members.
When they spoke with a cast member they let them know that they had a boarding group, DAS, and wanted to use Rider Switch. They had their boarding group converted to a Lightning Lane to make the wait shorter. Then the person riding second only got to bring one other person with them.
Misty went with the girls and her husband and son watched them. While waiting in line, Misty got to chat with a VIP tour guide. Misty didn’t bring anything with them on the ride because they didn’t want to use the lockers. They left everything with her husband including her phone. However, the compartment on the ride is large enough for a phone.
Because her husband could only bring one extra person with him using the rider swap, he brought one daughter with rider swap. Misty asked if the other daughter could take her son’s spot on the virtual queue to ride again. The cast member graciously allowed this to happen.
Next they had a DAS pass for Astro Orbiter. Misty doesn’t really like this ride because it takes a very long time. They waited about 20 minutes even with the DAS pass.
On their way to Enchanted Tales with Belle they stopped at First Aid to get some cream for a rash on one of Misty’s daughters. Misty’s son was so excited to be chosen to be the Beast.
Mickey’s PhilharMagic was their next stop. When they came out, they lost their stroller. They’d asked if it was okay where it was parked and a cast member told them it was okay. However, it was moved behind the carousel.
Their next two DAS passes were for it’s a small world and Haunted Mansion. Misty’s children do not like the stretching room, so they all skipped it. When they were entering the building, they told the cast member and they were told to wait. It was very easy.
Their dinner was flat breads and pizza from Pinocchio Village Haus. Misty’s husband and one daughter got some food Liberty Square. After dinner, they got spots for the fireworks.
They wanted to be on Main Street to see the projections but walking toward the front she got overwhelmed by the crowds. They split up and Misty’s husband and daughter went back toward the hub while she and her older daughter and son watched it from Main Street.
After the fireworks the posted wait time for Jungle Cruise was 55 minutes. Even with the DAS pass the cast member estimated that it would take about 40 minutes. They ended up skipping that and doing the Tiki Room and Magic Carpets of Aladdin.
They all left the Magic Kingdom and went back to the resort for bed.
Hollywood Studios (May 3)
They a slower morning and left their resort via the bus to Hollywood Studios at 9:45 a.m. They arrived at 10:05 a.m.
Their first stop was Mickey Shorts, which is silly, but it was about to start and they had time. It worked out well because as soon as they sat down Misty’s daughter sneezed and her contact fell out and ripped.
Misty and her daughter left and took a Lyft back to the resort to get her a new contact or glasses. The Lyft driver graciously waited for them and they were back in the park within an hour!
They met the rest of the family and got ice cream before their DAS for Rise of the Resistance. There was no wait at all.
Then it was time for their Mama Melrose lunch Fantasmic package. The food was good, dessert was great, but the service was very slow. Their lunch took almost 2 hours.
After lunch they used their DAS for Smuggler’s Run and exploring Galaxy’s Edge. They all really loved doing that. Misty says she highly recommends the spiked coffee from the popcorn cart in Galaxy’s Edge.
They left Galaxy’s Edge and went to Muppet*Vision 3D. Then it was time for their DAS pass for Alien Swirling Saucers. Their next stop was the 4:30 p.m. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. The kids went to Star Tours while Misty and her husband went to Baseline Taphouse. It was lovely!
They met Olaf and then used a DAS for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. They grabbed some pretzels and popcorn before going to Tower of Terror. Her son thought he wanted to ride but they ended up leaving. Misty was able to rider switch when her husband and the girls got off the ride.
They went to Toy Story Land next and used DAS passes for Slinky Dog Dash and Toy Story Mania. They did some shopping and pin trading while they were waiting for Fantasmic to begin. They hadn’t seen it before but had great seats and loved it!
They got dinner from Backlot Express and boxed it up to eat in the theatre while they waited.
At this point, Misty took her two younger children back to the resort to go to bed. They got back to their room at 10:50 p.m. Her husband and older daughter stayed to do Extended Evening Theme Park Hours.
Animal Kingdom (May 4)
They left their resort at 10 a.m. and were at Animal Kingdom at 10:20 a.m. Their very first stop was Expedition Everest. Misty’s youngest was very excited about this and insisted that Misty ride with him.
They had a DAS pass for Kilimanjaro Safaris at 4 p.m. but they opted to skip it and instead hopped to Hollywood Studios.
The kids wanted to ride Star Tours so they had a repeat of the day before! The kids rode 4 times in a row while Misty and her husband went to Baseline Taphouse. They did some shopping and then went back to the resort.
They were back to the resort by 6:45 p.m. Misty and her daughter did go to Disney Springs to get a few specific items they knew they would have at Disney Springs.
They got quick service at the resort, took a quick swim in the pool, and watched the fireworks from the balcony before going to bed.
Sea World (May 5)
Misty had checked on the shuttle at Spring Hill Suites and was told that they ran every 45 minutes. Unfortunately they didn’t have a shuttle running when they needed one. They ended up taking a Lyft and arrived at 10 a.m.
They did some rides and watched some shows before it was time for their dine with Orcas reservation. The food was okay and the experience was lovely. They were able to speak with the trainers one on one, which was really special.
They walked around and saw some animals, had some snacks, and left around 4:45 p.m. via the shuttle back to the resort. They got food for the kids and then Misty and her husband went out to dinner across the parking lot.
Departure Day (May 6)
Misty and her family had a late checkout and their flight was scheduled to leave at 7 p.m. that night. However, it was delayed 2 hours. Thankfully the night before Misty was able to get a reservation for Toothsome!
They went back to their resort and were ready to go for their Away We Go Transportation pick-up. They got to the airport plenty early and had their very late flight home.
- Cheer competition FAQs
- Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar
- Complete Guide to Disney World Dining
- Disney World Touring Strategies
- 7 Step Disney World Planning Process
- Guide to Disney Park Pass Reservations
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