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Liz’s Disney World Trip Report – PREP 409

Liz’s Disney World Trip Report – PREP 409

Liz’s hot takes traveling to Disney World with her husband, mother, 6-year-old, and 3-year-old for their first family trip.

Post trip begins: 42 minutes

The Basics

Liz, her husband, and their two sons ages 3 and 6 traveled from their home in New York to Walt Disney World April 20-26. Liz’s mom also joined them on this trip.

This is a first trip for Liz’s boys and a first trip since 2007 for Liz and her husband. They have traveled a lot as a family, including to Disneyland Paris, but haven’t done Disney as a family yet.

They are flying to Orlando from Laguardia. The kids have flown before and are great on airplanes.

This trip includes some pixie dust, pivoting, and surprising reactions from her kids. It was a wonderful trip and they’ve booked their next trip already!

Liz and her family had such a great experience and have booked their next trip – 10 days club level at the Polynesian!

Arrival (April 20)

Liz used Legends Limousine to get to the airport. It is the same price or cheaper than Uber XL. Liz called to reserve and it was wonderful. They arrived early enough to relax at the Chase Lounge and get some breakfast. 

Their flight was leaving at 9:55 a.m. and on their way to the gate her husband was upgraded so he sat a few rows behind Liz and the kids. 

They arrived a little bit early and because they only brought carry-ons, they were able to get right off the plane and to their car. Lyft was $15 cheaper than Uber so they called for that and because they brought their own car seat, that saved them some money as well.

When they arrived to the Contemporary, Liz went to the front desk because she had not received a text that her room was ready. She was told that she would have connecting rooms with her mom, but they were just next to each other. However, they were able to move them and they got connecting rooms on the 10th floor.

They canceled their 5:10 p.m. Chef Mickey’s reservation and instead went to the pool. They unpacked and went to the pool. They also had their stroller and grocery delivery. She was told to go to the breezeway at 3 p.m. to meet Kingdom Strollers.

Unfortunately she somehow missed the call from Kingdom Strollers. They were able to leave the crib but not the stroller. They missed each other, which was difficult. Liz says to take off any unknown calls or texts from your phone in cases like this. 

The Kroger delivery was very smooth. She met them in the lobby and they took their groceries straight to their room. It was just a $6 delivery fee and they cannot accept tips.

The crib was a full-sized crib but it was very tight in the room. The crib came with sheets and blankets. After getting their deliveries, Liz got a hot dog from the pool bar and let the kids play. 

They went back up to their room to take showers after the pool before taking the monorail to the Polynesian. They were going to get some food from Tambu Lounge but there was a very long line. 

They ended up mobile ordering Captain Cook’s at 6:05 p.m. and it was ready by 6:20 p.m. They enjoyed the beach and just relaxing. They also got some dole whips, which was awesome. They were able to split up the two different flavors into two cups, so they bought two but in 4 cups. 

The kids were tired so they took the monorail back to the Contemporary. Throughout this time, Liz was communicating with the Kingdom Strollers delivery driver to get their stroller. She waited at the breezeway but the driver was in the lobby. She finally met him and got the stroller. 

Liz's son with Goofy

Liz says she would not use Kingdom Strollers again because it was so inconvenient to meet the driver. They did get a double stroller and it had an adult console on the top. There was also a soft cooler and rain shield added for no charge. Liz mentions bringing a hook or carabiner to hook a backpack to the stroller to make it easier. 

The kids went to bed by 7:30 p.m. and Liz and her husband enjoyed time on the balcony. While they were out there, they saw someone on her balcony. Liz texted her mom to let her know to check at the front desk. There was an error in booking and they gave her room away.

When Liz’s mom arrived, they were giving them options a the front desk and Liz went down to chat with them as well. They were told they could get them into two rooms tomorrow or they could be upgraded to a two bedroom suite club level with a water view. 

Because the kids were already asleep, they checked her mom into that new room and told Liz what to do to get into that room the next day. They had to be out of their original room by 11 a.m. 

They had a living room, dining room, and incredible views. The rooms were bigger, which was perfect for the crib. They watched the fireworks from the balcony while the kids slept. She also moved some of their stuff to their new room and grabbed some desserts from the club lounge. 

Magic Kingdom (April 21)

Liz didn’t sleep well because she was thinking about the next day. At 2 a.m. she bought Genie+ and set up Standby Skipper for Peter Pan’s Flight

They brought their stuff up to the new room and went to Magic Kingdom. They had a lightning lane for Peter Pan’s Flight at 9:10 a.m. and an Individual Lightning Lane for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for 9:25 a.m. 

They arrived at the park at 7:45 a.m. after walking from the Contemporary. They were held until 8:30 at the Tomorrowland bridge. Liz didn’t like rope dropping early because of all of the waiting. She wished they had gotten to the tapstiles at 8:20 a.m. It was too long of a wait for the kids.

If you aren’t going to Peter Pan’s Flight or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, you can wait. They went right to Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. Everyone loved it.

They did Barnstormer next. Liz’s youngest and her mom did not like this one. Her son was scared, which was very surprising to everyone. 

Then it was time for their Peter Pan’s Flight lightning lane. They liked it but her son was also a little scared because it was high. Standby Skipper got a lightning lane for Jungle Cruise. They got it for 4:10 p.m. Liz recommends using ASAP with Standby Skipper.

They split up for their Individual Lightning Lane for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Liz and her oldest went first while her mom, husband, and youngest went on it’s a small world. At this point, Liz realized it was Dapper Day! 

At 9:35 a.m. Liz’s husband took her oldest on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Liz originally got a lightning lane for her mom but got a refund on it when she decided not to ride. 

Liz and son in front of the castle

They got some cute photos in front of the castle, which was fun. Then it was time for their Crystal Palace brunch reservation at 10:15 a.m. The character interactions were wonderful and the attendants were very prepared. They also were in and out by 11 a.m. so it was very quick.

Liz wishes that there were PhotoPass photographers because navigating the buffet, characters, and actually eating was difficult. It was easier with 3 adults and two kids, but it was still a challenge.

Just after 11 a.m. there was a 10 minute posted wait at Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor. They got in just as the previous show was beginning. They ended up waiting a long time and didn’t get out until 11:45 a.m. and Liz says it wasn’t worth the wait.

They went to the PeopleMover next and this was Liz’s youngest favorite roller coaster. He loved it and had a great time. They had a lightning lane for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and did that again. 

Just before 12:30 p.m. they decided to leave the park. Standby Skipper got them a Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh lightning lane for later in the afternoon. They attempted naps but it was a struggle. 

They went to the club lounge to get some snacks and had some down time. The kids had Mickey Bars and got in the stroller to head back to the parks at 3:30 p.m. 

When they got to the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at 3:45 p.m. the posted wait time was 60 minutes. At 4:11 p.m. they got a 4:35 p.m. lightning lane for Pirates of the Caribbean. They went to Jungle Cruise at 4:15 p.m. with their lightning lane. Liz’s youngest really liked this.

They went to Pirates of the Caribbean next. Liz said it was even cooler than she remembered. After that they got cotton candy and pretzels. Then they walked over to Tomorrowland Speedway and Liz really liked it! Everyone liked it – kids and adults.

At 5:34 p.m. they walked back to the resort and got food at the Club lounge. The kids were in bed before 7 p.m. They got drinks and desserts from the lounge. They tried to do Steakhouse 71 to go but were unable. 

They were too tired to go out and Liz fell asleep during the fireworks. Initially Liz was going to go out to Epcot with her mom, but they were too tired. 

Hollywood Studios (April 22)

They woke up at 6 a.m. and it was a bit chilly. They had to dig out pants, light jackets, and sweatshirts. They got breakfast at the club lounge. Standby Skipper booked a lightning lane for Slinky Dog, Liz got a lightning lane for Rise of the Resistance for 9:35 a.m. and Cosmic Rewind for 8 p.m.

Liz also texted her friend who was also traveling at Disney at the same time. Her friend opted not to get Standby Skipper and wasn’t as successful booking lightning lanes alone. 

They were on an 8 a.m. bus, at the park by 8:15 a.m. and by 8:36 a.m. they were on Toy Story Mania. As they were pulling away in their car, they saw their friends also getting on the ride. They loved the ride and decided to ride it again immediately. This was everyone’s favorite ride.

They were off by 9:10 a.m. and Liz and her oldest went right to Slinky Dog Dash. The posted wait time was 60 minutes but they were on and off by 9:25 a.m. While they were on Slinky Dog Dash the rest of her family was on Alien Swirling Saucer.

Liz and her family in Galaxy's Edge

They walked over to Galaxy’s Edge and got some snacks. Liz highly recommends the Cold Brew from Kat Saka’s Kettle. Their Rise of the Resistance lightning lane turned into an anytime experience. Liz’s husband took her oldest on Slinky Dog Dash as well.

They ran into their friends and were catching up on their trip. Her friends stayed to do some character meets and they left to get to their Hollywood and Vine breakfast reservation at 10:20 a.m. Liz’s youngest was about to fall asleep in the stroller but Liz decided to get him out and rally. 

He was so tired that it ended up being difficult. She wishes she’d gone to the restaurant and canceled because he was almost asleep in the stroller. That’s what she would recommend if someone were in that position. 

The restaurant wasn’t very crowded so they were able to see the characters several times and it was a fairly quick meal. In order to cheer up her son, she took them to Tatooine Traders to build lightsabers. After that at 11:11 a.m. Liz’s husband and oldest went on Rise of the Resistance

Liz light saber fighting with her son

While her husband and oldest did that, her youngest, mom, and Liz walked around Galaxy’s Edge. They met back up at 11:45 a.m. and went on Smuggler’s Run. They were off by 12:10 p.m. Her youngest had to sit along and it was difficult because he really didn’t like the ride. 

Because Liz’s youngest wasn’t a fan of Smuggler’s Run, they wanted to do something he would like. They took him to Lightning McQueen. Liz’s mom didn’t want to do Rise of the Resistance so Liz ended up riding alone. She loved it and loved riding alone. 

Liz called her mom to meet back up with them and her youngest was just screaming in the background. He was very upset when Liz got there. Liz’s mom went back to the room to get some rest. 

Liz calmed down her youngest and they got Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway lightning lanes. They did that and her youngest really liked it until the dancing room. 

Liz and her oldest had a lightning lane to do Tower of Terror. She also got a lightning lane for her youngest and husband to ride Toy Story Mania. This turned things around for her youngest.

Before going to Tower of Terror, she and her son got some treats at Trolley Car Cafe. The posted wait time at Tower of Terror was 65 minutes but they were on and off in about 20 minutes.  

While waiting for her husband and son to get off of Toy Story Mania, Liz and her oldest went on Star Tours. They had gotten a lightning lane for an immediate return. They were off by 2:32 p.m. When they got off, Liz’s son got a lemonade slushie at Ice Cold Hydraulics.

Liz's son with a slushie

They met back up in front of the Chinese Theater and left the park. Liz’s son fell asleep on her on the bus back to their resort. Liz canceled their dinner at Teppan Edo at 5:20 p.m. and rebooked it for lunch on Wednesday. 

They got some snacks from the club lounge and rested for a bit. They got Steakhouse 71 to go and everyone was great. 

Standby Skipper got lightning lanes for Test Track for the evening. Liz missed the queue for Cosmic Rewind at 6:02 p.m. and everything was gone. 

The kids were in bed by 7 p.m. and Liz and her husband took the monorail to Epcot. They had an 8 p.m. lightning lane for Cosmic Rewind and 8:25 p.m. lightning lanes for Test Track

They arrived at Epcot just after 7:30 p.m. As they walked toward Cosmic Rewind they saw a long line, so they decided to go to Soarin’. The posted wait time was 30 minutes and it was a walk-on. 

Liz loved Soarin’ and after that they went to Test Track. They were going to Cosmic Rewind next. They were in line at 8:55 p.m. and off by 9:25 p.m. Their song was One Way or Another.

Her husband wasn’t feeling well at all tonight. They didn’t do any of the things they’d planned, they just did what they really wanted to do. On their way back to the resort, they canceled their sit-down reservations because it wasn’t working for their family. 

Animal Kingdom (April 23) 

They considered pivoting to Magic Kingdom when her husband wasn’t feeling well, but he woke up feeling great, so they hurried in the morning for Animal Kingdom.

Standby Skipper got a lightning lane for 8 a.m. for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Liz got a 10 a.m. lightning lane for Flight of Passage just for her, her husband, and their oldest.

Liz always got Genie+ for multiple parks in case they wanted to park hop. She notes that she could have saved money if she only got the Genie+ for multiple parks for the people who would use it.

They realized they wouldn’t make it for early entry so they took their time and got breakfast at the club lounge. They got to the bus stop at 7:50 a.m. and the next bus was scheduled for 8:08 a.m. The bus did come a few minutes early. 

They went right to Kilimanjaro Safaris and tapped in at 8:42 a.m. They had great weather and saw lots of animals. After Kilimanjaro Safaris they went to Gorilla Falls and at 9:03 a.m. they went to Festival of the Lion King. It was a great time.

At 10:45 a.m. Liz, her husband, and oldest used their lightning lane for Flight of Passage. Liz told her mom to win her younger son’s love by buying him toys and ice cream while they waited. They mobile ordered Satuli Canteen for lunch and it was wonderful.

They had canceled their Tusker House reservation so Liz got a lightning lane to meet Mickey and Minnie. They went to Na’vi River Journey after lunch and it was nice. Liz enjoyed it but said it wouldn’t be worth a long wait. 

They met Mickey and Minnie. Liz liked this interaction but she did not like that it was a robot camera and not a real photographer. Minnie hugged Liz, which was really sweet and Liz ended up putting a cast compliment in for that interaction.

Their next stop was the Boneyard. The kids LOVED it which gave the adults some time to relax. Liz’s mom wanted to go back to the room to rest but needed to ride Kali River Rapids first. 

Liz and her mom went on it together while her husband stayed in the Boneyard with the kids. Liz booked lighting lanes for DINOSAUR and Expedition Everest back to back and did this while her husband stayed with their younger one. 

Liz’s oldest son lost his Magic Band so she saved his card in her Apple Wallet and used that. She recommends doing that. Liz’s son loved DINOSAUR and ranks it just below Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and Toy Story Mania.

They found the Magic Band between riding DINOSAUR and Expedition Everest in the stroller. Liz’s oldest son loved Expedition Everest. They met back up with her husband and youngest and they left the park before 3 p.m. 

Liz’s mom got a nap and shower. She wanted to go to Epcot and check out the Flower and Garden festival. She had a great time.

Liz did some laundry and took her youngest to the pool while her oldest took a rest. Liz recommends bringing a pop-up hamper and dry Tide laundry detergent powder. 

For dinner they did delicious food at the club lounge. Liz’s mom came back and at 8:25 p.m. Liz and her husband went to Magic Kingdom. They had a lightning lane for Big Thunder Mountain that was turned into an anytime experience but it didn’t include any of the big rides.

They got hamburger spring rolls and then used a lightning lane for Haunted Mansion. This was Liz’s first time riding Haunted Mansion and she really liked it. 

They walked back to the Contemporary during the fireworks, which was really neat. At this point as well, Liz canceled every other restaurant reservation she had. She was upset to cancel Topolino’s Terrace for breakfast but knew it was a good choice for them. 

Epcot (April 24)

Liz got an 11 a.m. Cosmic Rewind Lightning Lane, Standby Skipper got a 9:10 a.m. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure lightning lane, and they got a virtual queue for Cosmic Rewind of group 96. 

They took an 8 a.m. monorail to Epcot. They initially were going to go to Frozen Ever After but it was down. They split up and Liz too her younger son to Journey of Water while the rest of her family did Soarin’. 

Liz and her son at Journey of Water

Liz really loved Journey of Water and will bring swimsuits and crocs next time! After that, she went on Nemo and Friends with her youngest. 

Liz's son at Journey of Water

They met back together at Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. Liz thought it was fun but her mom and youngest were a little nervous. They got some breakfast in France at Les Halles.

Standby Skipper booked Frozen Ever After for 4:25 p.m. Liz was able to modify it to 2:25 p.m. which was still too late. Liz removed it and changed it to be ASAP in Standby Skipper and they got a lightning lane for 11:05 a.m. 

Liz and the kids wandered around the World Showcase. Her oldest really loved the Kidcot experience. Unfortunately they didn’t have much time for it but he would love all of them.

Liz stopped at Karamell-Küche and got some caramel corn and caramels. They continued around the World Showcase and got to Frozen Ever After at 11:15 a.m. Standby Skipper was able to get a Test Track lightning lane for her and her son. 

Liz's boys in Japan

Everyone liked this ride. Liz’s youngest was a little scared of going backwards, but he really liked it. After Frozen Ever After, Liz’s mom went to Journey of Water, Spaceship Earth, and then went back to the resort.

Liz set up rider switch for Cosmic Rewind. Liz’s son loved Cosmic Rewind. While her husband and son went on Cosmic Rewind, she took her youngest to a splash pad area. Liz took his shoes off and he got completely soaked. 

While he played and had a blast, Liz was able to sit on a bench and watch him. It was a lovely time to relax. Liz’s husband and youngest went back to the resort via the monorail. 

Liz’s mom took her youngest to the splash pad at the resort, Liz’s husband rested. That left Liz and her oldest went back to Epcot. They had a blast! 

At 12:25 p.m. they used their Test Track lightning lane and were off by 1 p.m. Her son loved Test Track. They got a mango slush and popcorn before scanning into Cosmic Rewind. They got Conga and they scanned in at 1:15 p.m. and were off by 1:45 p.m.

Then they took the Monorail to the Ticket and Transportation Center. Liz asked her son if he wanted to take the monorail or the ferry and he said he wanted to take the ferry and have a new experience.

Liz got them a TRON individual lightning lane for 1:40 p.m. and Standby Skipper got a lightning lane for Space Mountain. After getting into Magic Kingdom, they went to TRON and Liz loved it.

Liz and her son on Tron.

After that, they went to Sleepy Hollow and mobile ordered some snacks. The parade was happening at this time so they got to see some of it while they walked. They stopped to eat their snacks and were 21 minutes late for their Big Thunder Mountain lightning lane without any issues. 

Their next stop was going to Space Mountain. Liz’s son absolutely loved this. They got a slushie on their way out. They got snacks at the Club lounge for dinner and put the kids to bed. 

Liz’s husband wanted some pizza so they decided to get a Lyft to the Boardwalk. They got pizza from the Pizza Window and wandered around the boardwalk. 

When they got back to the Contemporary, it was time for the fireworks. Liz got her mom and they watched it on the balcony. It was wonderful. 

Hollywood Studios (April 25)

They didn’t have any real plans today so they decided to go to Hollywood Studios. Standby Skipper got a lightning lane for Slinky Dog Dash and they got it for 10:15 a.m. This was their first indication that it would be a busy day.

They went down to the bus stop and got on a bus at 8:20 a.m. The bus stopped at Wilderness Lodge on their way to Hollywood Studios. 

At 8:59 a.m. they were walking on Toy Story Mania. The posted wait time was 25 minutes and they didn’t wait that long. When they got off they mobile ordered Woody’s Lunchbox. Everyone loved it.

Liz got a lightning lane for Alien Swirling Saucers for her youngest and her mom. They watched the green army men parade. At 10:09 a.m. Liz and her son scanned in for their lightning lane for Slinky Dog Dash.

They went into Galaxy’s Edge and got blue and green milk. They got both and 4 cups and straws. Liz says she thinks they taste very similar.

LIz and her whole family in Galazy's Edge

They had some great character interactions in Galaxy’s Edge. They went back to Toy Story Land and scanned into their lightning lane for Toy Story Mania at 10:50 a.m. 

At 11:20 a.m. they all went back to the resort to rest for a bit before hopping to Magic Kingdom. Liz got a 5:30 p.m. lightning lane for Enchanted Tales with Belle

They brought some snacks from the Club Lounge to the pool at 12:30 p.m. Liz’s boys loved playing the games in the pool. She had trouble getting the kids out of the pool to go back Magic Kingdom.

Liz’s mom stayed at the pool with her oldest and he won the pool game. Liz brought her youngest to the room to rest for a bit and she got ready. 

She got lightning lanes for Big Thunder Mountain for her, her husband, and oldest. She also got a lightning lane for Flying Carpets of Aladdin for her mom and youngest. 

Liz’s husband took their oldest to the Swiss Family Treehouse. While everyone was doing other things, Liz got a Tropical Serenade dole whip. She asked for a cup on the side and the cast member put a little extra in the cup. Liz left that for her mom in the stroller and got her a lightning lane for the Mad Tea Party.

Liz, her husband, and oldest son did Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. She was able to get a Space Mountain lightning lane but there was a really long line just to scan in. It seemed like it was just to scan in and there wasn’t a line inside, but Liz opted to cancel their lightning lanes.

Liz's husband and son on Tomorrowland Speedway

She got lightning lanes for Tomorrowland Speedway. After that, they went to Gaston’s Tavern for Lefou’s Brew before going to Enchanted Tales with Belle. Her son was the horse and it was a great experience.

Liz's son with Belle

Liz got a lightning lane for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and they ended their trip with this ride. On their way out of the park they got Casey’s Corner and everyone loved it.

Liz’s husband and youngest walked back to the resort while she, her oldest, and mom took one last monorail trip. When they got back to the resort they put her youngest to bed. They had her oldest stay up a little bit and go out on the balcony with some snacks.

Liz's son watching the fireworks from the balcony

After getting some packing done, it was time for fireworks. Liz, her mom, and her oldest watched the fireworks from the balcony. It was absolutely wonderful. 

Departure (April 26)

Liz got up, finished packing, and mobile ordered Contempo Cafe for Mickey Waffles. When she picked up the waffles, she dropped off the stroller with Kingdom Strollers in the lobby. 

They were at the airport and at their gate by 8:45 a.m. Everyone was asleep early that night! They had 4 more days without school. When the kids finally went back to school, Liz rope-dropped school drop off. 


  • Tide powder travels well especially if you are only bringing carry-on
  • Large ziplock bags – presort dirty laundry before you leave and put it in the large bags. Squeeze the air out and bring it home to wash and put away easily
  • Umbrella clip with a green flag on your stroller.
  • Juice Bottles – Buy the Good2Grow juice bottles with characters on them and reuse them on the plane. They don’t spill and you can refill them.

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