Lauren, her husband, and their two boys had a very relaxed trip that included resort time, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. They are DVC owners and regular travelers. They had a great, but very different 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.
Lauren and her husband brought their boys (ages 7 and 9) to Walt Disney World for a mostly resort trip July 30-August 6. They had a split-stay. Their first two nights were at Kidani Village and the remainder of their trip was at Old Key West.
Their trip was originally going to be a cruise and they had booked flights that they couldn’t change. So they opted to go down and do mostly resort time.
This trip was very different to plan than previous trips. They originally didn’t have any park tickets, but added two day park tickets to do Galaxy’s Edge and Animal Kingdom. The boys haven’t seen Galaxy’s Edge and weren’t tall enough to ride Flight of Passage on their last trip.
On the trip, their plans changed again and they added a 3rd park day to spend the day at Epcot. The weather played a role in their plans because a hurricane was causing a lot of rain.
Lauren has some dinner reservations each day of the trip and hopes to get the most out of the resort offerings.
Arrival (July 30)
Lauren and her family flew from Harrisburg to Orlando with a layover in Charlottesville. Lauren was not impressed with the safety precautions that American Airlines had in place.
They were in the last boarding group to board the plane. There were a lot of rows open in the middle and front of the plane but the back of the plane was completely packed.
Lauren noted that many employees were not wearing masks properly. She’d flown Southwest recently and that was a much better experience.
They landed around 11:20 a.m. and got their bags. They went right to Magical Express. Once they got to the Magical Express area of the airport they were able to relax because precautions were taken seriously.
They were loaded on the bus and went to Animal Kingdom Lodge. They had a few stops before they got to Kidani Village. They arrived at 12:40 p.m.
They had lunch at Sanaa when they first arrived. The kids weren’t super impressed with the adventurous food, but it was a nice meal.
They went to the community hall and the boys played pool. The kids had a great time playing pool and playing in the pool.
Resort Day (July 31)
Today Lauren and her family just hung around the resort today. They found out that Sanaa does quick service for breakfast. That was great.
They went over to Jambo House and went swimming in the pool over there. The swimming pool at Kidani was more busy so they enjoyed the space at Jambo House. They spent about 4 hours at the pool.
Lauren and her family had dinner reservations at California Grill. Lauren told her boys that they needed to be on their best behavior.
They took the bus to the Magic Kingdom and then walked over to the Contemporary. The boys loved it! It was a good experience.
Resort Day (August 1)
Today they woke up and they had planned to hang out at the pool before transferring over to Old Key West. However, the weather was looking worse so they ended up purchasing another park ticket to make the next day a park day.
They went over to Disney Springs for lunch at D-Luxe Burger. They didn’t walk around too much and didn’t see many crowds.
They got a text that their room was ready after lunch and went to check into their room. They took a bus over to Old Key West.
Lauren really liked Old Key West. The studio was very large. The layout was very different. They had a grocery order and it was nice to have a kitchenette in their room.
Their dinner reservation that night was at Olivia’s and they enjoyed it very much. Lauren said the fried chicken was delicious and she got a key lime tart to bring back to the room.
Epcot (August 2)
There was a hurricane causing a lot of rain, so they opted to go to Epcot because the pool wasn’t a good option. They walked over to a different bus stop to be one of the first stops. Internal bus stops are difficult when you’re the last stop.
They didn’t rush in the morning so they got on a bus at 11:32 a.m. and were getting on Spaceship Earth by 12:02 p.m.
After Spaceship Earth they walked over to Living with the Land and Soarin’. Her children really enjoy scavenger hunts so they did Remy’s Hide and Squeak Scavenger Hunt.
Lauren and her family stopped for lunch at Regal Eagle Smokehouse. After lunch they enjoyed the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along. The theater was socially distanced and they encouraged everyone to keep their masks on.
They saw some characters as they continued around the World Showcase. They did Journey into the Imagination and stopped at the DVC Lounge.
Test Track was their next ride and the wait was posted at 35 minutes, but they were on and off in 19 minutes. Lauren’s husband took the boys on Mission: SPACE next and they did orange. Lauren opted to not do it and the boys probably shouldn’t have done it either – one of them didn’t enjoy it!
They went to Italy to start the scavenger hunt. They waited about 40 minutes for Frozen Ever After. They went to their dinner reservation at San Angel Inn before hopping on Gran Fiesta Tour at 8:59 p.m. just before park closing!
They shopped their way out of the park and were on an empty bus at 9:42 p.m. back to their resort.
The weather was great and the wait times were fine also. They enjoyed it!
Animal Kingdom (August 3)
Because of their long day and late night, they had difficulty getting up early but they were still on the 8:30 a.m. bus.
They arrived at Animal Kingdom and were on Kilimanjaro Safaris by 9:30 a.m. The boys also enjoyed the Wilderness Explorer stops.
They did the Gorilla Falls Trail before going to Pandora. The line for Na’vi River Journey was longer than Flight of Passage! They opted to do Na’vi River Journey and only waited about 15 minutes.
They only waited about 10 minutes of walking through the queue at Flight of Passage next. The boys hadn’t been on it before and Lauren hadn’t seen the queue before. They all loved it!
They stopped for drinks at Pongu Pongu and got lunch at Satu’li Canteen. Lauren really likes Satu’li Canteen.
They needed to split up so Lauren’s husband took their younger son to Kali River Rapids while Lauren hung out with her older son. Then they all met up and did DINOSAUR.
Lauren really likes DINOSAUR but her boys were scared. The boys did TriceraTop Spin and then they all did Expedition Everest. They loved it!
They were able to do the Maharajah Jungle Trek before their early dinner at Yak and Yeti. After dinner they went back over to Pandora to ride Flight of Passage again.
The park closed at 6 p.m. and they went back to the bus for their resort. They were back at the resort and in the pool by 7:30 p.m. They felt very safe at the pool as it wasn’t crowded and they had safety procedures in place.
Resort Day (August 4)
This was a break day, but they had a breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace at 9:30 a.m. They ended up using a Lyft XL. The driver was masked and she wiped her boys down after the ride.
Breakfast was wonderful and they got some great photos with the characters. The food was really good. Lauren was really happy with the safety measures in place also.
After breakfast they went to the lawn behind the Riviera where there was an inflatable pool game. The boys played and then they all took a ride on the skyliner. This was the boys first time!
They stopped at Hollywood Studios and hopped on a bus back to Old Key West by 11:45 a.m. They’d planned to just hang out at the resort all day, which they did until the storms rolled in a few hours later.
During a break in the rain, Lauren’s husband grilled some hot dogs for dinner. The rain didn’t let up enough for them to play mini-golf, which was disappointing, but it was a good day.
Hollywood Studios (August 5)
Lauren and her family got to the bus stop at 8:40 a.m. and Hollywood Studios was scheduled to open at 10 a.m.
They were on the first bus at 9:05 a.m. and were in line for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run at 9:40 a.m. They got off before 10 a.m. and got boarding group 6 for Rise of the Resistance. It was perfectly timed.
They got some green milk and walked around Galaxy’s Edge before their boarding group was called. They loved it so much!
They had a reservation for Oga’s Cantina and enjoyed the drink with pop rocks in it. Lauren’s kids really liked that! They had a booth which was also really nice.
Lauren’s husband really enjoyed the Ronto Wraps so they mobile ordered one of those on their way to their lunch at PizzeRizzo. This was where her boys really wanted to eat.
Their next stop was Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and they waited about 40 minutes. Lauren used the umbrella to provide some shade. This was the boys first time on this ride. They really liked it!
They took some photos by the Chinese theater, saw some cavalcades, and went to ride Slinky Dog Dash. The posted wait time was about 30 minutes. They wanted to be sure to ride it before the storm rolled in.
Lauren’s husband ran over and got some blue milk and brought it back to Toy Story Land while everyone else ate Mickey bars. Lauren really likes the blue milk better than the green milk.
They did Toy Story Mania and it started raining. They got on their rain gear and ran over to Tower of Terror. Lauren’s husband and oldest did Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster while she took her younger son to Muppet Vision*3D.
They all did Star Tours next before their dinner at 50s Prime Time Cafe. The boys loved that there was a TV at the table.
They left the park and were back in the pool at the resort by 7:30 p.m.
Departure (August 6)
Lauren and her family checked in for their flight and found out that they were all split up. It was very frustrating and her husband had to call to get them moved. They learned that when traveling with a child 11 years and younger, they will be seated with a parent.
They took Magical Express to the airport. There was only one other family on the bus with them so it was perfect.
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