Kay, her husband, and their grown sons had a long trip to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios from the UK. They stayed onsite (at both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios) and offsite, experienced each of the four parks, and had a wonderfully relaxing long vacation.
Post-trip timestamp: 48:44
Difficult story: 2:40:30-2:42:00
During their trip, they enjoyed delicious meals, utilized the DAS pass system and had a nice extended vacation.
Kay and her family had a reservation to stay airport hotel. They wanted to be sure they weren’t rushed in the morning for their flight.
There are a lot of steps that go into entering the United States from the UK. They They got all of their tests back and were ready to go. Kay and her family utilized Doc HQ which was very helpful with regard to their Covid tests in order to enter the country. They need to jump through a lot of hoops: they need to be fully vaccinated, observed rapid test, and several other forms in order to fly.
Arrival Day (April 28)
Kay and her family left their hotel at the airport at 7:15 a.m. and were at the airport within 15 minutes. They got through security and were ready by 8:30 a.m. but had plenty of time to get some food, do some shopping, and got on the plane!
They landed at 2:40 p.m. and were at baggage claim quickly. But that is when things slowed down. The baggage claim carousel wasn’t working. It took a long time.
Also, their cell phones weren’t working. They could get wifi and data, but couldn’t make a call to check in with the car service. It was very frantic trying to figure things out.
Kay was finally able to get some help calling the car service and found the driver. However, on their drive, the driver stopped short and ran down the shoulder of a very busy highway because the tablet had flown off the roof of the car. Turns out this is the 3rd time this has happened.
They were a little nervous continuing their drive with him. They did stop for groceries and checked in at Royal Pacific. They requested Tower 3 in a high floor. It was lovely.
They decided to go into the park to get something to eat. They walked over to the park and enjoyed the weather. They ate dinner at Moe’s Tavern. After dinner they did E.T. Adventure Ride and Minion Mayhem.
Kay and her family were so glad to have done this because the parks closed early the rest of their time. They loved walking around in the evening.
They walked back to their hotel and went right to bed. They had been up a long time but were ready to get on the correct time zone.
Universal Studios (April 29)
They had plans to get up early and get to the parks. Unfortunately Kay had an allergic reaction to the spray sunscreen she used. Her family left and she took some allergy medicine and she took a break before meeting them.
Her family did Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure while she was in the room, they only waited about 20 minutes. They also rode Forbidden Journey and Jurassic World VelociCoaster both with very little wait. They were thrilled!
They all met at Hogsmeade and went to Ollivanders. They watched the show and Kay’s boys got her a wand for her birthday. They both each got wands as well. They spent some time playing around with them.
Just after 10 a.m. they found that it was getting more crowded so they headed to Skull Island: Reign of Kong. They got in line at 10:30 a.m. and waited just 10 minutes.
Their next stop lunch because they were getting hungry. They decided to have an early lunch at the Burger Digs.
After that they rode the Hogwarts Express with a 15 minute wait. The interactive screens on the train weren’t working which was disappointed.
They then waited 15 minutes for Harry Potter and the Escape from Grigotts. Kay waited with her family but opted to not ride. They made a stop for Butter Beer.
They did some shopping before wandering over to the Simpsons area of the park for a Lard Lad Donut. They took it to eat as a snack later.
Their next stop was the Horror Make-up Show. There were some changes since the last time they saw it but it was enjoyable.
At this point they went back to the hotel to freshen up. The parks were getting very busy and was closing early. They took the water taxi back to the hotel.
At 6:30 p.m. they had dinner at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium. The meal was really wonderful. They were very tired and everything was crowded so they opted to go back and rest.
Universal Studios (April 30)
Everyone had done everything they wanted to do at Island of Adventure. They decided to sleep in and go to Universal Studios around 10 a.m.
Once Kay was feeling better, they decided to do something a little more gentle. They opted for E.T. Adventure Ride. There wasn’t any pre-show and the lines weren’t really moving. There must have been some kind of technical difficulties.
The park was getting busy so they opted to have an early lunch at Moe’s Tavern. The boys got tacos from a truck nearby.
After lunch the boys went on The Simpsons Ride but Kay opted to sit that one out. Kay took a break in the shade and the boys enjoyed themselves.
They got back together and did Animal Actors on Location. It was wonderful. The animals didn’t do anything they were supposed to do.
One of Kay’s sons did Rip Ride Rockit while the rest of the family took a break. They stopped for some ice cream. The boys walked back to the resort while Kay and her husband took a boat.
That evening they had a dinner reservation at Islands. It was a wonderful meal and everyone was able to get exactly what they wanted.
The boys went to do their own thing while Kay and her husband wandered around the resort. It was very beautiful.
Epcot (May 1)
The boys wanted to ride a few more rides in the morning. They left just before 8 a.m. to ride and Kay stayed back to make sure that luggage got to bell services.
Kay left the hotel at 9:10 a.m. and met them in Hogsmeade around 9:40 a.m. They went off to ride more rides and Kay got some practice with her wand!
It started to get busy again so they decided to stop for a snack at the Burger Digs. One of her sons left to get a few things done and the rest of the family waited for him until about 11:30 a.m.
They went back to the Burger Digs and it was very crowded and hot. They needed a break. They opted to take a break and have hot dogs instead. This was a better option.
They left the park around 3:10 p.m., went back to their hotel, got their bags, and called a car to take them to Disney!
They arrived at Beach Club to check in at 4:45 p.m. They weren’t able to check in online so they went to the front desk. They’d requested a high floor, facing Epcot, with a large balcony. They got one room with a large balcony but the boys room only had a small one. They were thrilled.
There was some confusing about the luggage and it took some time for them to get their luggage. As part of their booking incentive, they received a gift bag in their room. It was lovely.
They decided to go out to the parks and just as they were about to leave a thunder storm came through. They opted to stay in their rooms a bit longer. They freshened up and unpacked more before heading out.
They left their rooms about 7 p.m. and walked over to Epcot. It was wonderful to walk over so quickly! As soon as they entered, Kay burst into tears because she was so happy to be there.
Right as they went on Frozen Ever After, they booked another DAS return time for Test Track. They went right over to Test Track and were exiting the ride just as the fireworks were going off. It was magical!
After that they decided to buy Magic Bands. They really enjoyed the convenience of the Magic Bands.
They walked back to the Beach Club and got ready for bed.
Epcot (May 2)
Kay stayed back in the room and unpacked more and got things organized in their rooms. Kay walked over to Epcot to ride Soarin’ at 11:30 a.m. There was a 50 minute wait but they had a DAS return time and only waited 5 minutes.
They wanted to do Regal Eagle Smokehouse for lunch. The boys went ahead to get lunch and Kay and her husband got the boat across to meet them for lunch. It was good!
They then went to San Angel Inn and had some food while they watched the boats go by! It was delicious and worth the walk across the park. They were ready for a break after that so they went back to the hotel.
They walked around and then they went to Journey into Imagination with Figment. There wasn’t a wait at all. When they got out they found a spot for Harmonious. It was fine but wasn’t their favorite.
The park had started to clear out at this time. They had booked a DAS return time for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. They loved it! The boys had checked it out earlier in the day to make sure it was okay for Kay and she really enjoyed it.
They walked around and rode Gran Fiesta Tour and Spaceship Earth as a walk on. After those two rides, they decided it was time to walk back to their resort. On their way out of the park they were able to ride Soarin’ again.
The Extended Evening Theme Park Hours were very useful for them. The park really emptied out later in the evening. The only issue they encountered is that part of the World Showcase was closed so you couldn’t walk all the way around.
They were back to their room by 11:25 p.m. after a long and wonderful day.
Magic Kingdom (May 3)
Kay and her family realized yesterday that if they continued getting up early and staying late, they would exhaust themselves.
They ended up waking up just before 8 a.m. and having breakfast in their room. They booked the Magic Kingdom because it was closing early and they thought it might be less crowded.
They mobile ordered Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe lunch before they even left their resort for an early lunch at 11:30 a.m. They got on the bus and arrived at the Magic Kingdom at 10:55 a.m.
They took some photos as they entered the park. It was nice to get them done early in the day when they were still fresh!
They wandered around Star Traders and by 10:52 a.m. got on the PeopleMover. While on the PeopleMover they booked a return time for Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor. Carousel of Progress was down that day, which was a bit disappointing.
They got a Jungle Cruise return time for 12:30 p.m. and did that before going over to their advanced return time for Pirates of the Caribbean immediately following. They had a great skipper on the Jungle Cruise (Saumel) and enjoyed it very much.
They had some time to kill before their 1:30 p.m. advanced DAS return time of 1:30 p.m. at Haunted Mansion so they did some shopping before they got in line. They did get in line and got to the stretching room. They were a little bit anxious about the stretching room and crowds.
Just after the ballroom scene, they were also stopped on the ride for a few minutes. It wasn’t a horrible spot to stop!
They then had a return time at 1:50 p.m. for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. After that they got out of the park after a very successful time!
They arrived at Disney Springs around 3:30 p.m. and just wanted some drinks and a snack. They couldn’t find anywhere to sit inside and cool off. They eventually got Sprinkles for cookie ice cream sandwiches.
The ice cream sandwiches were HUGE and there weren’t any indoor tables. They had dripping ice cream in the heat. They had to get cleaned up before they did some shopping.
They loved the characters, food, and cast members at Garden Grill! It was a great meal! They left the restaurant at 8:45 p.m. and the Land Pavilion was basically empty. They had a DAS return time for Soarin’.
By the time they got off Soarin’ the Land was completely empty! They left the Land at 9:07 p.m. and walked over to International Gateway. They walked very quickly in order to avoid the crowds leaving after the fireworks.
They got back to the room before 9:30 p.m. which was great timing!
Epcot (May 4)
Kay’s birthday! They decided to take it easy this morning and moved their breakfast at the Creperie to 1:10 p.m. for lunch.
They did some celebrations and breakfast in the room in the morning and took a swim at Stormalong Bay when it opened at 10 a.m. They hoped that by going early it wouldn’t be as crowded. It was lovely!
After lunch they got some photos done and then went on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure without any wait. They did some shopping around France.
Because it was Kay’s birthday, the boys suffered through another ride on Soarin’. Kay just loves it so much!
They picked up a Skyliner popcorn bucket before their 3 p.m. advanced return time for Seas with Nemo and Friends. They then went over to Spaceship Earth for a DAS return time. They were stuck on the ride several times but the final time they were stuck for 20 minutes leaning backward.
It was a long time before they started evacuating people from the ride. They were on the ride for 75 minutes! It wasn’t what Kay planned for her birthday but they were given a lightning lane for any ride in any park.
They walked to the front of the park and hopped on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. They arrived at 5:40 p.m. and went right to Crystal Palace to see if they could be seated a bit early than their 6:30 p.m. reservation.
It was a delicious meal. Kay was excited to have the buffet back. She mentioned to her server that she couldn’t have spicy food and the server brought her 4 pieces of chicken!
Kay also received a birthday treat of a cupcake with candle with her family singing for her birthday. It was lovely, a wonderful birthday dinner!
They went to PhilharMagic next and made a DAS return time for Peter Pan’s Flight. There was still a long line and no standby wait time was listed. They did get into the queue and waited briefly because it was down for a bit. Halfway through the ride the ride stopped and they worried they would need to be evacuated again!
Thankfully the ride started back up again. They were prepared to watch the fireworks and stay for the Extended Evening Theme Park Hours but they were so tired. They opted to leave the park during the fireworks and got on the bus. They were able to watch the fireworks while waiting for the bus.
They left Magic Kingdom at 9:13 p.m. and were back to the resort before 9:30 p.m. They were sad to miss the fireworks, but needed to get back.
Hollywood Studios (May 5)
They had made a 9 a.m. Cape May Cafe breakfast reservation the day before. They had a lovely breakfast!
Kay and her family noticed that their Droid and Light Saber appointments were no longer listed in their My Disney Experience. They knew they would need to figure that out as soon as they got into the park.
They went straight to Guest Relations to sort out their reservations. Kay had taken screen shots of everything to share with the cast members. After a lot of time spent, they were given physical cards to use for their reservations.
From there they had a 12:05 p.m. return time for Rise of the Resistance. They all loved it. The posted time was 105 minutes and it was a walk-on with their return time. They hadn’t seen any spoilers going into it and loved it so much.
It was time for some snacks. They stopped in a shady area outside MuppetVision*3D. After their snacks they went to Muppet*Vision3D.
While they had some time, they got some drinks and snacks at PizzeRizzo. They had some delicious desserts.
They waited for their Light Saber appointment and went into Savi’s Workshop. It was a great experience! Kay is so glad that she and her husband went along to watch the boys build!
When they got out of Savi’s, they were loaded down with two droids and two light sabers. It was very hot so they opted to take the skyliner back to their hotel to get cleaned up. They were back to the hotel before 5 p.m.
They met up at Sci-fi Dine-in for their 6:45 p.m. dinner reservation. Kay was very excited about this meal! She was sad that she couldn’t see her food. It was also a very long wait for their food. They didn’t get out of the restaurant until after 8 p.m.
They went on Slinky Dog Dash right after dinner. Kay decided it was too much for her, especially just after dinner! They had a DAS return time booked for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway for later in the evening.
Their next stop was Toy Story Mania for their advanced DAS return time. After that ride, they ran over to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and got in there just before 9 p.m. – the last ones in before park close!
Kay really loved Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway! When they got off that ride they saw the projections on their way out. They walked over to the boat and took that back to their hotel.
They got back to the resort at 10 p.m. and it was still very hot! They had a great day but it was very hot.
Hollywood Studios (May 6)
The boys left for Hollywood Studios around 10 a.m. and Kay met a friend just after 10 a.m. They’d originally planned to meet for a drink at Disney Springs but Kay arranged for her friend to be admitted at the Beach Club as a day guest.
Kay and her family had a 1 p.m. reservation for lunch at PizzeRizzo so she had no rush to get over to Hollywood Studios.
Kay and her friend sat outside for a bit and Donald wandered up! It was a lovely time.
Then Kay took the skyliner just after 12 p.m. over to Hollywood Studios. Before lunch they did Muppet*Vision3D to kill some time before their lunch reservation.
They got lunch at PizzeRizzo and then went to ride Rise of the Resistance again. They were able to get some photos in Galaxy’s Edge and it was lovely. The standby wait was 115 minutes so they were really grateful for the DAS return time!
After Rise, they split up and the boys went to Disney Springs. They wanted to do some shopping and looking around. They took the skyliner to their hotel and hopped on a bus.
They took the skyliner back to the hotel and freshened up. They got on a bus to Magic Kingdom. They arrived just around 6:30 p.m. and took the monorail over to the Contemporary for dinner. The boys went to Cailifornia Grill and Kay and her husband went to Steakhouse 71.
The boys came down to Steakhouse 71 after their meal. There was a medical emergency during their meal and they finished early. It was traumatic for them. They all met in the lobby and opted to skip the fireworks and head back to the hotel.
Epcot (May 7)
Kay woke up early because of some thunder storms. They ate their breakfast in their room and had their bags checked at bell services. The boys left early to go to Epcot and then Kay and her husband met them at Epcot around 11 a.m.
They went back to their hotel for their 1:15 p.m. Beaches and Cream reservation. They noticed that walk-ups were getting seated before they did. It took a while before they were able to get seated.
They tried really hard to eat the kitchen sink for lunch. They had a lot of fun but they weren’t able to finish it!
After their lunch they went to bell services to get their luggage and call a car to take them to the car care center. They had a lot of luggage and were worried that it would fit in their car. Thankfully it did!
Once they got their rental car, they went to Windsor Hills. They arrived a bit early so they waited until they could get into their villa at 4 p.m. After they unloaded their luggage, they went to Publix to pick up some groceries.
After they freshened up, they went to Wilderness Lodge for their 7:25 p.m. reservation at Storybook Dining. Kay loved this experience! The food and character experience were lovely. They all agreed that this was the best meal experience of their whole vacation!
They walked around Wilderness Lodge, refilled their refillable mugs, and looked around. After wandering around, they went back to their villa for an earlier night.
Rest Day (May 8)
Kay and her family originally planned to go to Animal Kingdom but they opted to have a lazy day. It was nice to be offsite to just avoid the parks.
They did some laundry and relaxed. About mid-morning they met up with Kay’s son’s finance and her family at the outlet mall. Her son went with his fiance and her family.
They got back to the villa and had a light dinner.
Magic Kingdom (May 9)
Kay’s one son was with his fiancé and her family, off at Busch Gardens. The rest of the family left to go to a 9:15 a.m. Steakhouse 71 breakfast. Kay loves the pog juice and their breakfast was delicious!
They did some shopping at the Contemporary and refilled their mugs. They took the monorail all the way around and ended up at Magic Kingdom.
Their plan was to do Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin first, but it was down. They made a DAS return time for 11:35 a.m. for Journey of the Little Mermaid. As they waited for that, they did Carousel of Progress.
After that, they used their advanced return time for Jungle Cruise before a return time at Pirates of the Caribbean. The standby lines were long, so they were happy to be able to book DAS return times.
They walked over to lunch at Pinocchio Village Haus lunch. They ate upstairs where it was cooler and less busy. It was delicious and lovely.
After lunch it was time for their return time at Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. They then booked a return time for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. While the boys rode that, Kay got some photos in front of the castle.
They picked up some dinner on their way and caught up with Kay’s son and his fiancé. They joined and would be with them for the next day.
Animal Kingdom (May 10)
They finally got to Animal Kingdom! They started to go to their breakfast at Boma Flavors of Africa. Unfortunately when they arrived, they went to the wrong side of the resort. It was just a bit of hassle.
They had a lovely buffet breakfast. They wandered around the resort after breakfast. It was good to see everything.
Their first stop was KiteTails. It was a nice show but it was very hot. It was very unfortunate.
Everyone except Kay went to do Dinosaur. While they did that, Kay sat by the flamingos and said hello to Kevin.
Then it was time for their Flight of Passage return time. Kay was brave and decided to do it and was so grateful. It was lovely and she really enjoyed it!
Their next stop was their 2 p.m. advanced return time for Na’vi River Journey. It was nice and very pretty.
They met back up again and had something to eat at Pizzafari. It was quiet and cool in there. They went to the Safaris after and then immediately to It’s tough to be a bug. They did some shopping on their way out.
Then it was time to head back to Animal Kingdom Lodge. They took a bus back, refilled their mugs and got some snacks, before getting their car. They stopped at Target on their way back to pick up some things.
Hollywood Studios (May 11)
They had a lazy morning at their villa and didn’t enter the park until 11:25 a.m. They entered just as the Incredibles cavalcade came by. They also saw some characters right when they entered the park!
They had a DAS return pass for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. They did their advanced DAS return time at 12:45 p.m. for Indiana Jones. While they were there, they mobile ordered lunch at Backlot Express.
They thought lunch would be very busy but it wasn’t. the y found a table and enjoyed their lunch. After lunch they got in line for Frozen Singalong for the 1:30 p.m. show. They really enjoyed it!
At 2:17 p.m. they were in line for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. They really enjoyed this ride! While they were in line, they booked a return time for Smuggler’s Run for the boys. They did it next.
Kay was able to sit in a shaded spot to wait for the boys. They got to Toy Story Mania at just after 4 p.m. for their return time. Then the boys went off to Star Tours and Kay waited for the at Walt Disney Presents.
They were getting hungry so they shared a strawberry funnel cake. It was delicious. Then Kay really wanted to ride the Skyliner. So they opted to ride the entire skyliner route!
After their skyliner route they went to their car, drove to McDonalds, and drove back to their villa for an earlier night.
Epcot (May 12)
They decided to take a relaxing morning and do some swimming. They also went to Walmart to get some suitcases to help get their souvenirs home.
They went from their to their traditional meal at Denny’s for an early lunch. They got into Epcot next and did some shopping on their way in.
They had a DAS return time for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, so they did that before splitting up. The boys used a return time for Test Track and rode Gran Fiesta Tour. Kay did some shopping and Beauty and the Beast Singalong.
Kay then opted to ride the Skyliner, check out the Riviera, and went to Hollywood Studios. They got some dinner at PizzeRizzo before using their return time pass for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
They got a return time for Toy Story Mania and the boys got great scores! They wandered around Toy Story Land as the sun was setting. It was lovely.
The boys went to Star Tours before heading back to the villa. They needed to do some packing.
Departure Day (May 13)
The boys went back to Animal Kingdom and Kay stayed back to pack up. while the boys went on rides, Kay packed up all of their luggage.
They got their luggage and people into the rental car and got back to the airport without issue. Their flight home was really wonderful.
- If you have a later flight and can reserve an extra night in your lodging, this is very convenient and give you more time to prepare for your flight.
- Take screenshots of your reservations.
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