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Kelsey E.’s extended family February trip – PREP269

HomeKelsey E.’s extended family February trip – PREP269
Kelsey E.’s extended family February trip – PREP269

Kelsey, her husband, and their two small children met up with her parents, sister, and her family from the West Coast at Walt Disney World. They had a wonderful multi-generational trip.

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

Kelsey, her husband, their daughter (age 5) and son (age 1) flew from their home in Seattle for an extended vacation in Florida. Their trip began visiting friends in Clearwater and then they met her parents, sister, and her family for a week at Disney World.

Her sister and husband have two children, ages 4 and 1, so there were 4 kids total with 6 adults. They are all Disneyland people, but Disney World is new to many of them.

They booked the trip using Kelsey’s brother in law’s military discount. They originally planned to stay at Shades of Green but changed to Caribbean Beach for the convenience of transportation. They have three rooms at Caribbean Beach.

For the first part of their trip Kelsey rented a car using Turo. It was a really great experience and much less expensive than a traditional rental car.

The Disney portion of their trip began with their arrival on February 15. They flew home on February 23.

Arrival (February 15)

Kelsey and her family left Clearwater to head to the Caribbean Beach Resort. They made a few stops to pick up a few things and went to the hotel around 1 p.m.

They turned in their car at the resort, played at the playground, and waited for their room to be ready. Kelsey’s parents were able to check in and go right to their room but Kelsey’s family was still waiting at 3 p.m. They ended up being in a different building than her parents. 

They were all in the Jamaica section but in separate buildings. They all had second floor rooms which was complicated with the strollers. 

Kelsey and her family went to Disney Springs with her parents and had dinner at Raglan Road. They had delicious food and a good experience. 

Kelsey’s sister and her family met the rest of them at the resort. Their room was right next to their parent’s room. 

Magic Kingdom (February 16)

The day began with Claire coming to the room to do makeovers on all of the girls. Claire was formerly a Fairy Godmother in Training and it was just wonderful. She did a fantastic job. 

This was a wonderful start of the day. Kelsey says it was a 10/10 experience. They got to the bus at 8:45 a.m. for a 9 a.m. opening. 

They arrived just after park opening and on the train station they saw the princesses and the fairy god mother. It was so wonderful. 

They went right to Haunted Mansion and it was a walk-on. The older girls were a little scared of the ride even though they’d been on it before. 

Their next stop was it’s a small world. It was a very busy day at the park. The wait times were very long on a lot of the bigger rides. 

They planned to do a land at a time but instead ended up walking across the park to follow lower wait times. By lunch they hadn’t really accomplished anything. It was difficult to not have fast passes when the crowds were high. 

Kelsey noted feeling like a beginner because of all of the changes. It took a few days to get into the groove of the new Disney pace. 

Kelsey made hair scrunchies to hang out to cast members. She had her kids give them out and cast members just loved it. One of the cast members today cried when she was given the scrunchie. 

They rode Pirates of the Caribbean and the wait time was 60 minutes but they only waited about 30 minutes. They also saw Captain Jack while they were waiting. It was neat! 

The middle of the afternoon the younger kids took naps in the stroller. The bigger kids wanted to ride their first roller coaster. They chose Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and they rode twice due to rider switch. They loved it! 

They checked in for their 3:30 p.m. reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Kelsey’s son was asleep when they checked in so they were able to keep him in the stroller at their table because he was sleeping. 

They had a really great experience and character interaction with Cinderella at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Kelsey enjoyed the champagne flight! The kids really liked decorating their own cupcakes for dessert. 

After lunch they rode Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Journey of the Little Mermaid. They were surprised with bypassing the line at Little Mermaid after gifting a cast member! 

They had done all of the shorter waits and decided to wait for Splash Mountain. The posted wait time was 100 minutes. The girls were not very excited about waiting, but they did it! 

They also used rider switch so the girls were able to ride twice. They only waited about 10 minutes for the second ride. 

They were off Splash Mountain at 7:50 p.m. and went to Jungle Cruise. It was so fun to do it at night! 

They ended the night at the Tiki Room at 8:45 p.m. and went back to their resort. It was a wonderfully long day. 

Hollywood Studios (February 17)

Kelsey woke up and they worked to get a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance. They got boarding group 68 for all 8 people tall enough to ride. 

The forecast today was lots of rain and lightning. They had ponchos and umbrellas ready but the weather didn’t end up being that bad.

They took the skyliner and LOVED it. It was especially convenient with the strollers. They lined up at 7:30 a.m. and grabbed coffee and donuts while they waited in line. 

They were loaded on the skyliner at 7:40 a.m. and through security by 8:20 a.m. for a 9 a.m. opening. Their first stop was Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and it was a walk-on. It was a favorite! 

They went to Toy Story Land next and the posted wait time for Slinky Dog Dash was 70 minutes. They got in line and only waited about 30 minutes. They did rider switch and were all off the ride by 9:30 a.m.

It started raining just as they were all getting off the ride. While everyone rode Slinky Dog Dash the adults with the little kids rode Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania

It was just after 10 a.m. and they had completed Toy Story Land. Their next stop was the Disney Junior Dance Party. This was a highlight for the kids. 

After that they wanted to mobile order lunch but the pickup times were about 2 hours out. They really wanted Woody’s Lunchbox and it gets very crowded. 

While they waited for their lunch they went over to Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy. They were next in line and it went down with technical issues. 

So they went over to ride Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway again. Unfortunately the wait time jumped up over an hour and they knew they didn’t have time before lunch. They opted to go over to Muppet*Vision 3D

This was also the time for their first Oga’s Cantina reservation. The boys enjoyed Oga’s Cantina very much. They also were called for their boarding group at 12:30 p.m. 

They all rushed over to Rise of the Resistance and requested the rider switch. One group rode and the other group picked up the food at Woody’s Lunchbox. They switched and the first group ate their food.

They all really liked Rise of the Resistance. After that, the moms went to Oga’s Cantina and they loved it so much! Kelsey recommends the Rodian Ration, which is a large, jello-like drink.

They met back up and went to Star Tours. This is one of Kelsey’s favorite. At 4:15 p.m. the posted wait time was 45 minutes but they only waited about 20 minutes. 

After Star Tours they were finally able to see the Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy show around 6 p.m. All of the kids loved it. They were so excited to see Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy.

Previously they’d tried to do Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster but the cast member wasn’t allowing them to use the rider switch. Half the group rode before Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy. After Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy Kelsey’s sister noticed that she had a pass for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and they used it! 

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway had a wait time of 25 minutes at 6:30 p.m. so they ended their night with that again. Everyone loved it just as much the second time. 

They took the skyliner and while they waited they mobile ordered from their resort quick service. They ate dinner and went to bed. 

Epcot (February 18)

They started the morning at Topolino’s Terrace for breakfast. They walked over and had a great breakfast! The characters were very cute and the food was delicious. Kelsey’s parents skipped out on breakfast.

They weren’t in the main pathway of the characters and they were going very quickly. They weren’t able to get very good photos of the characters with the children. 

After that they went to get Kelsey’s parents and their park bags. When they arrived to Epcot, Kelsey had to go to Guest Services to get a replacement magic band for her daughter. 

Even with that little delay, they were in line for Frozen Ever After by 10:50 a.m. for an 11 a.m. park opening. After Frozen Ever After they noticed that Soarin’ had a 30 minute posted wait time. Kelsey wanted to hurry over there because she knew the wait would get longer.

They stopped to wave at Elsa in Norway and go to the bathroom. Because of those stops, the wait for Soarin’ went up to 75 minutes. 

They had to wait in line to get into The Land Pavilion together before they could get to the front of Soarin’ to get their rider swap passes. 

They girls loved Soarin’! Those adults that had the younger kids did the Seas with Nemo and Friends and Living with the Land. Then they stopped at Sunshine Seasons for lunch. 

It was time to start going around the world! They started in Mexico in the mid-afternoon. It was very warm. Before the little kids fell asleep in their strollers, they rode Gran Fiesta Tour together. 

They enjoyed some tacos and drinks from the stand in the Mexico pavilion. They wandered around the World Showcase, snacking and hopping between shade and air conditioning. 

When they got to Japan, Kelsey got the Violet Saki. She’d had it before and loved it. After spending a few hours walking around the World Showcase, they rode Spaceship Earth and Journey into Imagination

They also saw Joy on the lawn outside Journey into Imagination. Everyone really liked Journey into Imagination

They went to their dinner at Via Napoli around 5:30 p.m. It was a weird experience. They ordered pizzas and pasta. All of the pizzas came out but didn’t receive any of the pasta, which was all for the children. 

They were finally able to get someone to help 20+ minutes later and the pasta came out very hot. It was frustrating because the children were hungry. Kelsey’s sister also ordered pasta without meatballs because she is a vegetarian. When her meal came it was obvious that her pasta previously had meatballs on it.

Kelsey took the kids on the Frozen Ever After Ride while everyone finished eating. They closed out the park with this experience. Thankfully Kelsey reported that the entire meal was complimentary. 

Rest Day (February 19)

They had a slower morning and went over to Primo Piatto for breakfast. After breakfast they enjoyed the pool. 

It started raining a bit while they were in the pool, but there wasn’t lightning so it wasn’t a big deal. Kelsey’s youngest was the most brave and went down the slide. It was very fun. 

Kelsey’s dad had a lot of fun pin-trading with the grandchildren. He loved this.

The kids took naps and Kelsey enjoyed some time in the hammock outside. It was a relaxing afternoon. 

Everyone wanted to walk around the Boardwalk, so they took the skyliner over to Epcot and walked around. Most everything was closed, but it was nice to walk around. 

They had a Beaches and Cream reservation for dinner. It was really great. When they checked in they were given the option to wait 10 minutes to be sat together. They did that and all got to sit together.

They all really enjoyed their dinners and ice cream! Kelsey got beer floats for dessert and really enjoyed it. 

Animal Kingdom (February 20)

They planned to rope drop Animal Kingdom. Kelsey’s family and her parents were on the bus at 7 a.m. and were through security by 7:25 a.m. Her sister and their family overslept but hurried and met everyone just after park opening. 

They all went straight to Flight of Passage. They used rider swap for this ride. Everyone really enjoyed it. 

It was very cold this morning. Everyone was freezing when they got off of Flight of Passage

They grabbed snacks at Pongu Pongu to warm up. It warmed up as the sun came up and warmed up the park.

They were able to see so many characters because of the Flotillas. It was wonderful. The kids really enjoyed this. It was very easy and exciting to see them.

They waited about 20 minutes for Kilimanjaro Safari and enjoyed that. Expedition Everest also only had a 20 minute wait. The wait times were much better today! 

They had Satu’li Canteen for lunch. They placed it early in the day to be sure they would get a time near lunch time. 

After lunch the girls decided they would wait for DINOSAUR. The posted wait time was 65 minutes. Kelsey’s daughter opted to ride twice (due to rider switch) but rode the second time with her eyes closed the whole time. 

They did TricertaTop Spin and everyone liked that. They also did the Maharajah Jungle Trek. It was fun. 

The kids were all dressed in Wilderness Explorer outfits. They enjoyed stopping at all of the Wilderness Explorer stops throughout the park.

They had an early dinner at Yak and Yeti at 4:30 p.m. Kelsey says it was one of her favorite meal of the trip. No one else especially loved their food. 

After dinner around 5:45 p.m. they got in line for Kilimanjaro Safari before the park closed at 6 p.m. It was a walk-on. 

They grabbed some snacks back at the resort and called it a day. 

Hollywood Studios (February 21)

Kelsey tried to get another boarding group today for Rise of the Resistance and did exactly the same thing she did the other day. They got Boarding Group 5! 

Kelsey’s mom needed some extra rest today so she stayed back. Everyone else went to the skyliner early. They grabbed some coffee and got on the skyliner. They were in the park by 8:15 a.m.

They were more strategic and decided to do Tower of Terror first. It wasn’t running yet so they did rider switch on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. They immediately went back to Tower of Terror right when it opened. 

They had until 9:45 a.m. to get to Rise of the Resistance for their boarding group. They went right over and rode that again. They rode Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway again and loved it again! 

They did PizzeRizzo for lunch. It was good. They were seated upstairs in the wedding reception area. It was hilarious and the kids really liked it.

They tried to do the Frozen Sing-Along but weren’t able to get in. They tried two more times that day and weren’t able to get in at all. 

While the babies napped, they rode Slinky Dog Dash again. The posted wait time was 65 minutes and they actually waited 50 minutes. They used rider swap so that the big kids could ride twice.

They did Alien Swirling Saucers next before going to Galaxy’s Edge for Smuggler’s Run. While they were waiting, they saw Chewy, Rey, Kylo Ren, and some Storm Troopers. 

They also did some shopping while they waited for Smuggler’s Run. There were some lines to get into the tiny shops. 

They waited 15 minutes for Toy Story Mania and 10 minutes for Alien Swirling Saucers before their dinner reservation at Sci-Fi Dine-in.

Dinner was an experience and they all really enjoyed it. They had two cars next to each other, so it was nice to be close together. 

At dinner they opted to cancel California Grill for the next night. They discovered that later dinners were too difficult for their children. They were sad to do it but they knew it was the right choice. 

That was the end of their day. They took the skyliner back to their resort. They had a bit of a wait but it wasn’t terrible. 

Magic Kingdom (February 22)

They woke up early and got to the bus at 7:15 a.m. for a 9 a.m. opening. Unfortunately the bus didn’t come until 7:55 a.m. It was stressful because the line kept getting longer for Magic Kingdom. 

They got on a bus and they were in the park by 8:20 a.m. They went straight to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. They did it all before park opening! 

They went to Space Mountain. While they waited for the first group to do that, they took the kids on Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin with almost no wait. They got some coffee before they did Space Mountain

THey hadn’t had breakfast so they got a 10:30 a.m. pickup time for lunch at Pecos Bills. On their way to lunch they saw a cavalcade and really enjoyed seeing the characters. 

After lunch they did Splash Mountain. Kelsey’s daughter really enjoyed this one. They had to wait in the sun in order to get to the front of the line again to do rider swap. It was frustrating. 

While they were waiting for Splash Mountain, the babies took some naps. Everyone split up a bit here and Kelsey got some time alone. She walked around with her sleeping son. She stopped by the baby care center and purchased some diapers. 

Kelsey also mobile ordered at Aloha Isle and bypassed a huge long line. It was a great use of the mobile order. Then she swapped and rode Splash Mountain with her daughter. There was a 10 minute stop on this ride and they worried that they were going to get evacuated.

They took the boat to Tom Sawyer Island around 2 p.m. It was super fun. Everyone had so much fun. 

They went on Haunted Mansion again and the older girls said it was so scary – even more scary than DINOSAUR! It was very dark inside and Kelsey found it unusual. 

They also did Tomorrowland Speedway but it was pouring rain. They got some churros and Kelsey’s family headed out. On their way out, they got silhouettes. This is Kelsey’s favorite Disney souvenir!

They walked really slowly leaving the park and they got to see the Dapper Dans on the train station as they departed. 

Departure (February 23)

Kelsey’s parents left early that morning but her family wasn’t being picked up until 3:30 p.m.

They got breakfast at  Primo Piatto again. They walked slowly from breakfast over to the pool. They had a late checkout at noon so they got cleaned up and had their luggage picked up. 

They left their room at 11:55 a.m. but they had some time before their pickup so they took a bus to Disney Springs. They got snacks and enjoyed spending some time at Disney Springs. 

After a few hours they took a bus back to their resort and waited until their Magical Express time. They got an earlier bus which was good because it took them a very long time to get their tickets and get checked in. 

After getting checked in, they got some dinner, and got on their long flight home. The kids slept the whole way home! 

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Shannon Albert
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Annie

Monday 14th of June 2021

Great trip report!!

Mia

Tuesday 30th of March 2021

Kelsey mentioned in the podcast the silhouette souvenir - could you post where she did that and the name of the person? I think she said it was main street and that she couldn't exactly remember the person, but I was hoping to go armed with details for our trip next week!!! Thank you!