Melissa, her husband, their two kids, and her parents took their first trip to Disney World. They have visited Disneyland many times but this was their first trip to Disney World.
Melissa and her family will be flying on a red-eye flight leaving Seattle on April 27. They will be at Walt Disney World from April 28-May 5. Melissa and her husband have two children, their son is 9 and their daughter is 5 years old.
Melissa has been planning this trip for about 3 years. They’d originally planned to go in January of 2021. These were their backup dates and they bumped it to the backup dates so that all adults could be vaccinated.
Her family and her parents have adjoining rooms at Pop Century. Their trip plans include doing as much as possible, trying out a bunch of quick service restaurants, and seeing how many rides her children are excited to try.
Arrival Day (April 28)
Melissa and her family flew on a red-eye from Seattle and arrived to Orlando around 6:30 a.m.
They got their luggage and hopped on Magical Express.
They don’t want to push it today, so they will be relaxing on their arrival day. Their hope was to just stay up all day and acclimate to the new time zone.
They were at Pop Century by 7:40 a.m. after dropping their luggage with bell services. Melissa stopped by the front desk when they arrived because she had an Amazon package to pick up.
While she was there she checked to see if they could get a room and they got adjoining rooms in building 10, which was perfect!
They were on the top floor which meant they always took the elevator because of the stroller. It was also helpful with noise.
Their first stop was the food court for some breakfast. They got their luggage and settled in their room. Melissa then went to the pool with the kids.
They decided they were going to do mini-golf at the Swan. They took the skyliner to Hollywood Studios and the Friendship Boats to the Swan Hotel before walking over to Fantasia Gardens.
Mini-golf was fine but was very hot. From there they took the bus from the Swan to Disney Springs. They waited for a bus for about 20 minutes.
While they were there they got Polite Pig and Blaze Pizza for dinner, stopped by Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop for ice cream, and did some shopping.
They took a bus back to Pop Century around 6:30 p.m. After this long “rest” day, they went to sleep in preparation for an early day the next day!
Magic Kingdom (April 29)
Melissa and her family got up early and were at the bus stop to head to Magic Kingdom by 6:35 a.m. Unfortunately, they were a little late to get on the first bus. They were on the 4th bus for an 8 a.m. opening.
They got on a bus 6:58 a.m. and were walking down Main Street by 7:25 a.m. They went straight to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train but it wasn’t running yet. The line was all the way down to Journey of the Little Mermaid.
While they waited, Melissa took the kids to Carousel. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train still wasn’t running so they did Dumbo the Flying Elephant and then boarded Seven Dwarfs Mine Train by 8 a.m.
After that they were able to ride Peter Pan’s Flight, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean with very little wait. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad had been down all morning but they got on as soon as it came up and only waited about 15 minutes around 9 a.m.
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin was a walk-on and the kids wanted to ride it over and over! Then they waited 15 minutes for Tomorrowland Speedway, Mad Tea Party, and Journey of the Little Mermaid.
Melissa’s daughter wanted to ride Journey of the Little Mermaid again, so she did that with some of the party and everyone else waited about 30 minutes for Space Mountain. This was her son’s favorite ride!
They came back together and rode Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and waited about 20 minutes. They did some shopping after Buzz.
They also utilized the popcorn bucket and refilled it at least once a day the entire trip. It was very convenient. They kept it in the stroller when they weren’t using it.
Their next ride was Carousel of Progress around 12:45 p.m. and split up with half of the group going to Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and half going to Space Mountain again.
They met up to do PeopleMover together and waited about 20 minutes for it. After that they walked over to Adventureland to get Dole Whips and saw their first Cavalcades! They got a bunch of different flavors.
The kids rode Magic Carpets of Aladdin while they waited for Dole Whips and then they did the Tiki Room. The wait was very long but it was hot out so they didn’t mind waiting. They got in just before 3 p.m. and then went over to Pecos Bills.
While they ate, they hopped out to see the different cavelcades as they went past. The heat was very tough and had them going inside as much as possible to cool off.
Their next stop was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Country Bear Jamboree. Melissa’s parents had fond memories of this show at Disneyland. Her kids also enjoyed it.
Melissa stopped at Guest Relations to see if she could add another day to their tickets and go to Epcot on Saturday. The crowd calendar was full but she wanted to see if they could help. Everyone else did Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and Tomorrowland Speedway while she did this.
Melissa was thrilled to find that they were able to add a reservation for Epcot for Saturday. They also had some difficulty with payments and she got the day for free! It was wonderful extra magic.
The family met back up together around 6:15 p.m. They went on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, it’s a small world, and then Barnstormer five times in a row! They were then able to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with very little wait and finished up the night at Pirates of the Caribbean.
They got on the bus for Pop Century for 9:25 p.m. They definitely didn’t pace themselves!
Epcot (April 30)
Melissa and her family got to sleep in just a bit because park opening for Epcot is 11 a.m. They got on the Skyliner at Caribbean Beach at 9:15 a.m.There wasn’t a wait for the Skyliner at Pop Century because Hollywood Studios was open.
They waited at Caribbean Beach until the skyliner to Epcot started running at 9:55 a.m. They were glad they got there as early as they did because they were at the front of the line.
The line at Epcot was already fairly long but they got through the gates around 10:15 a.m. and went right over to Norway. They waited about 10 minutes for Frozen Ever After.
Then half the group did Frozen Ever After again and the other half ran over to Test Track. There was a 45 minute wait at Test Track at 10:55 a.m. They only waited about 20 minutes.
At 11:40 a.m. the group made their way to Soarin’ and rode with a 30 minute wait. They did Living with the Land next with almost no wait and everyone loved it.
They did The Seas with Nemo and Friends while they waited for their reservation at Via Napoli. They had pizza and salad which was lovely.
They spent some time in the World Showcase, learning things at the Kidcot Stations. They had some snacks and spoke with several international cast members.
Elsa was out at the Sommerhus that afternoon, which was lovely. Melissa’s daughter enjoyed this a lot.
The line for the Mexico Pavilion was very long and in the sun but they waited to get in and rode Gran Fiesta Tour. They did Test Track again for the folks that didn’t ride earlier in the day and then they rode Spaceship Earth together.
They slowed down in the evening and took photos because they’d already done a lot of what they wanted.
They ended up at World Showplace and had some snacks in there, enjoying the air conditioning. They snacked around the world, walking through the countries. They ended their day waiting in line for the skyliner and heading back to the resort.
Epcot (May 1)
Because Melissa was able to add on tickets and a park pass to Epcot, they turned their rest day into another Epcot day! They got to the skyliner a few minutes earlier today.
They flip flopped their plans from yesterday and did Test Track first before riding Frozen Ever After. It was very worth it to do those first even though it is a lot of walking because the wait times are so low at park opening.
They repeated some rides but also explored the World Showcase and tried food booths. It was a bit difficult to navigate because of the construction, but they were able to get around without much trouble.
Their lunch stop was at the Bakery in France which was delicious and very reasonably priced. Melissa says it’s a gem!
Winnie the Pooh waved to the kids when they went to the butterfly house and it was adorable. In the American Pavilion Melissa’s husband took a wonderful nap during American Adventure and Melissa and her parents enjoyed it.
They also did the green side of Mission: SPACE and her son loved it so much that he did the Orange side alone. He loved it!
Melissa’s son really wanted to go back to the LEGO store at Disney Springs so her parents took him there. They took a bus to Saratoga Springs and walked over. They were all happy that they went to Disney Springs.
Melissa, her husband, and daughter went to the Seas with Nemo and Friends, had some snacks, and left Epcot.
Animal Kingdom (May 2)
They were up early and got to the bus stop at 6:25 a.m. and they were on the second bus. They arrived at Animal Kingdom and went right to Pandora to ride Flight of Passage.
They got on Flight of Passage right away and got off by 8:05 a.m. They loved Flight of Passage. Their next stop was Na’vi River Journey. It was very pretty.
By 8:35 a.m. they were in line for Kilimanjaro Safaris. They waited about 20 minutes and had a fun time!
Expedition Everest had a posted 20 minute wait at 9:45 a.m. but they only waited about 10 minutes. Melissa’s daughter was just tall enough and LOVED it. Melissa rode it again with her.
Next up was Kali River Rapids and they were able to ride that twice in a row. They noticed after Kali River Rapids that Expedition Everest was down and it stayed down the rest of the day. Melissa was very grateful that they were able to ride twice.
They waited for 55 minutes for DINOSAUR and they thought Indiana Jones at Disneyland was better. They were glad they tried it.
They took a break and got to see flotillas while enjoying a snack.
They also took the train out to Conservation Station. They spent about 90 minutes out there at the Animation Experience. They also mobile ordered Satu’li Canteen for lunch and did the animal trails.
Everyone except Melissa’s mom wanted to do Flight of Passage again, so they waited about 45 minutes for that. They finished the day with It’s Tough to be a Bug. They got on the bus around 7:30 p.m. after a long marathon day!
The kids were able to swim for a little bit when they got back to the resort. It was a very hot day.
Hollywood Studios (May 3)
Melissa woke up all night worried she was going to miss the 7 a.m. boarding group for Rise of the Resistance. Around 6:55 a.m. she and her husband went down to the pool to have better service and were able to get group 44!
They went immediately to the Skyliner and waited in line until about 7:45 a.m. They arrived to Hollywood Studios and were one of the first in line at the Skyliner side of the park.
They went straight to Slinky Dog Dash and were in line by 8:18 a.m. The ride started running at 8:29 a.m. and they were some of the first ones on.
After Slinky Dog Dash they walked over to Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and got right in line. There was almost no wait at all.
Everyone liked Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run! They went back to Toy Story Land and waited for Toy Story Mania and Alien Swirling Saucers to finish out that land
After they finished Toy Story Land they wandered around Galaxy’s Edge. They went to different shops and got a Ronto Wrap. They were called to go to Rise of the Resistance at 10:42 a.m. and it was even earlier than they expected.
Everyone liked Rise of the Resistance but no one liked it more than Flight of Passage. They were so glad to ride Rise of the Resistance because it was down for most of the rest of the day.
The group split up and some went to the 12:30 p.m. show for the Frozen Sing-Along. The rest of the group went to Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster. They saw some cavalcades.
The group came back together for Star Tours and mobile ordered lunch at Backlot Express. The salad options were very good.
Just after 3 p.m. they waited about 30 minutes for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and then took some time to go back and do favorites. Melissa’s mom loved Toy Story Mania so they did that again.
They also went back to Galaxy’s Edge and played around with the Disney Play app. They saw some characters as well, which was fun.
Toward the end of their day they did whatever didn’t have much of a line. They did Vacation Fun, Walt Disney Presents, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and got on Slinky Dog Dash right at park close. It was wonderful to end the day in Toy Story Land.
Melissa did think one day was plenty for them. It was a long day and they were glad that they could get a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance.
They got in line for the skyliner and waited about 20 minutes. They arrived back to their resort around 9 a.m.
Magic Kingdom (May 4)
Melissa’s husband went down to the bus stop around 6:15 a.m. They family joined him by 6:35 a.m. and they hopped on the second bus to Magic Kingdom.
When they arrived to the Magic Kingdom their magic bands didn’t work and they had to go to guest relations.
They were early enough that stopping didn’t slow them down much. They got in line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at 7:40 a.m. and were in line for Splash Mountain by 7:55 a.m.
Splash Mountain had about a 20 minute wait and they really enjoyed it. The kids were a little nervous but they loved it.
Similar to their first morning, they went to Pirates of the Caribbean. They also mobile ordered waffles from Sleepy Hollow.
Melissa’s son really wanted to do Space Mountain so on their way they stopped to do Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. They split up because Melissa’s daughter wasn’t ready to ride Space Mountain. Her son rode while her daughter did Dumbo and Barnstormer.
They had very short wait-times and when it was lovely. During the heat of the day they did Carousel of Progress again. Melissa also got silhouettes of her kids made. He used photos she had of them on her phone.
Melissa originally had a reservation to the Wave, but ended up changing it to Grand Floridian Cafe. They enjoyed taking the monorail over and had a great meal. It was nice to get out of the sun in the middle of the day.
Pluto and Goofy were in the lobby of the Grand Floridian. They got to see the characters and that was fun!
They went back to the Magic Kingdom and did the Swiss Family Treehouse and rode Jungle Cruise. At this point Melissa’s daughter felt ready to ride Space Mountain. She LOVED it!
There was a wait for Mickey’s PhilharMagic and while there was a bit of a wait, it was so nice to be inside out of the heat.
Their last rides were Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder Mountain together. They split up and Melissa took the kids to do Seven Dwarfs Mine Train while her husband and parents did Pirates of the Caribbean.
They slowly walked out of the park at 9 p.m. While they waited for the bus they got to see the Electrical Water Pageant.
Departure Day – May 5
They didn’t set an alarm and the kids went swimming while Melissa packed up the room. They were out by 11 a.m, dropped their bags at bell services, and took a bus over to Disney Springs.
They did some shopping and realized nearly everything they purchased throughout the week was available at World of Disney. Next time they might just wait and get everything there.
Melissa got in the virtual queue for Gideon’s Bakehouse and went to their lunch reservation at Raglan Road. She got a call back to go to Gideon’s while they had lunch and went over to get 3 different cookies.
They got back on a bus to their resort at 2:40 p.m., got their luggage from bell services, and hopped on their Magical Express. They got to the airport with plenty of time to grab a snack and get home!
- If you aren’t used to the heat, this is not the ideal time to go. Melissa plans to do a January trip for some cooler temperatures!
- Wait to get your souvenirs at World of Disney.
Want to be a trip report guest?
Please use the SpeakPipe link below to say your first name, location, trip info, and leave us a message.
You can do that using your computer or phone on the SpeakPipe site.
- Expedition Everest Reopening In April, Will Be Added To Genie+
- Disney After Hours Returning to Disney World in 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Opening Memorial Day Weekend
- The Reimagined Splash Mountain ‘Princess & The Frog’ Attraction Opening In Late 2024
- 2023 Disney World Packages Available To Book June 8, Plus Genie+ Purchase Change
- Sailing Concierge on the Disney Wish– PREP 348 - March 14, 2023
- Flower and Garden Festival 2023 – PREP 347 - March 7, 2023
- Traveling on the Spectrum – PREP 346 - February 28, 2023
Friday 11th of June 2021
I really enjoy your podcast! We are heading to WDW in July, and on the podcast you have mentioned arriving early at the parks before/at rope drop and getting to ride some rides before the parks open. Is that for everyone or WDW resort guests only? I've read some information about early park entry coming, but I haven't seen an official announcement on that yet. I was wondering if this is that or just early entry for everyone. We are staying off property this time (for the first time!), so I didn't know if we could take advantage of that. Thank you!