Randi and her family flew to Orlando for a trip to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. This was their 4th trip as a family and predicting what her children would want to do was challenging. They were much more adventurous than she expected!
Post-trip timestamp: 42:44
Randi, her husband, and their three children: 10 year old twin daughters and a 13 year old son flew to MCO. This was their 4th trip as a family.
They had a split stay spending January 29-February 3 in a Boardwalk Villa Studio and then February 3-7 at Universal in a room at Royal Pacific.
Randi has a medical condition that makes it difficult for her to stand in lines. She got a Disability Access Service pass before she left and was able to make return times as she went.
Randi also pre-purchased Genie+ for her whole family for the length of the trip. Their time at Universal Studios included Express Pass because of their hotel stay.
Randi’s husband is vegetarian and ate a plant-based diet on their trip.
Their trip had a surprise ending when they decided to stay an extra night at the very last minute!
Epcot (January 29)
Randi and her family left very early and slept very little the night before. They arrived at MCO and were picked up by a private driver.
They were driven in a large SUV, which was lovely. The driver was very friendly and they did a Publix pickup on their way to the resort.
After their grocery stop they went to the Boardwalk to check in. Their room was not ready because it was only 10:30 a.m. They left their bags with bell services before heading out to Epcot.
They arrived to Epcot around 11 a.m. and wanted to book a return time for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure with DAS. They stopped by Guest Services because they were unable to book DAS in the app. The guest services cast member was able to help and booked a DAS return time for 90 minutes
They were very hungry and very tired. They were happy to be there but a little bit out of it. They wanted to try some Festival of the Arts food booths snacks. Unfortunately the lines were very long.
They opted to mobile order from Regal Eagle Smokehouse. This was a great option for their whole family, especially her husband with the plant-based option. They went over to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure after their lunch.
They went on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and were evacuated because it broke down. It was kind of fun but also disappointing to have it happen on their first option.
When they got off of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure they booked another Genie+ Lightning Lane. Randi was able to book Lightning Lanes while they walked over to different attractions. They got on Soarin’ without any wait thanks to the lightning lane.
Randi wanted to do Living with the Land next but her family didn’t want to so they did Awesome Planet. It was fine – Randi’s husband took a bit of a nap.
They grabbed a lightning lane for The Seas with Nemo and Friends on their way over. They did The Seas with Nemo and Friends and then also did Turtle Talk with Crush.
Their next stop was to use their scheduled DAS for Spaceship Earth. On their way, they took some magic spots.
They got another Lightning Lane for Mission: SPACE. Randi and her daughters did green while her husband and son did orange. It was fine.
They walked over for their dinner reservation for dinner at Via Napoli. Randi had hoped to stay for the concert that evening but they were all so tired. They did use their Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure pass on their way out and enjoyed that.
They went back to their resort and got their bags to get checked in. Randi loved their room. They got their room request that overlooked the green area. It was a great view on the 4th floor.
Magic Kingdom (January 30)
Randi had planned to rope drop, but they didn’t get out quite as early as they thought. Before they left their room Randi booked a Lightning Lane for Jungle Cruise. They were on the bus by 8:15 a.m.
As soon as they got into the park, Randi was able to book a DAS return time for Peter Pan’s Flight. Her advanced DAS reservation was for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin for 9 a.m.
They went straight to Buzz and had fun on that. They then walked on to PeopleMover. It was still a little chilly so they did Carousel of Progress. It was nice to do all of them right there.
Randi mobile ordered Friar’s Nook some breakfast items. Peter Pan’s Flight was down so their DAS turned into an anytime pass. They ended up using it for it’s a small world.
They stayed in that area and did Mickey’s PhilharMagic next before picking up their breakfast from Friar’s Nook.
Randi booked a DAS return time for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for 12:40 p.m. They saw some cavalcades and wandered around. It was very fun! They enjoyed some time in the Hub and took some photos.
They went into Hall of Presidents and enjoyed that. It had been several years since they’d seen it last so there were some updates.
They had an advanced booking for DAS for Haunted Mansion next. The standby line was very long but they walked right on! This was her daughters’ first time on the ride. They thought it was spooky!
It was time for their Seven Dwarfs Mine Train return time but it was down. The pass turned into an anytime pass. It was down more than it was up all day!
At 1:20 p.m. it was time for their Jungle Cruise Lightning Lane. This was perfect because it was just before their lunch at at Skipper Canteen.
Randi made a DAS return time next for Pirates of the Caribbean. Their next stop was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The wait time was 45 minutes but they only waited a couple of minutes.
It was so nice to be able to ride everything together. The kids were finally ready to ride all of the rides.
They all walked over to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and by the time they got there, the ride went down. They were waiting for their time for Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh so they went over to Journey of the Little Mermaid.
Randi’s girls wanted to do Mad Tea Party and they did that next before going over for a return time at Space Mountain. They all went on together for the first time!
They took a break and got some pretzels and churros before going to Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor. One of Randi’s daughters wanted to see the princess next. They walked right in and had that experience.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was still down so they went over to Barnstromer. Randi’s son loves this one. The kids went on this alone and Randi and her husband rested. Randi mobile ordered Casey’s Corner for dinner.
They were finally able to get on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the very perfect moment. They were able to see the fireworks above them on the rollercoaster!
They stopped and ate their hot dogs while most everyone was leaving the park. This helped because they were able to walk around without big crowds. They left the park, hopped on a bus, and went back to their hotel.
Hollywood Studios (January 31)
Randi opted to let everyone sleep and they got to Hollywood Studios at 9:10 a.m. which was a difficult time to arrive. They took the Friendship Boat over and went straight to a shop to get Grogu ears.
Their next stop was Toy Story Mania. Everything has quite a long wait so they opted to wait for Toy Story Mania. They waited about 40 minutes.
While they waited, Randi got a return time for Slinky Dog Dash. They got right on around at 10:30 a.m. They loved Slinky Dog Dash!
At 10:55 a.m. they had an advanced DAS time for Star Tours at 10:40 a.m. They went into Galaxy’s Edge after that for some pictures. It was the first time for Randi’s family to be there.
They stopped at Docking Bay 7 for lunch and everyone enjoyed it. There were good vegetarian options for Randi’s husband. The spicy version of the chicken was a bit too spicy for Randi’s son.
Randi got a DAS return time for Rise of the Resistance so they went there after lunch. They left Rise and went to Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. They went over to Black Spire Outpost for some shopping.
As they left Galaxy’s Edge, they got a pass for Muppet*Vision 3D. Randi thought the whole thing was weird.
It was time for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. It was cute and the family liked it. They did like Remy’s better though.
They had some time to kill before a Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster DAS return time. Randi rode it with all of her kids. They liked it but once was enough for the girls.
Randi’s husband and son went back to Galaxy’s Edge and had a Droid Depot appointment. Randi and her daughters had some time to relax for a bit.
They decided to ride the skyliner over to Epcot. They stopped at Living with the Land and Soarin’ with Lightning Lanes. They ended up waiting about 20 minutes for Soarin’ even in the Lightning Lane.
They went over to Canada for dinner at Le Cellier. It was a great experience.
Then they had a DAS return time at 8:15 p.m. for Frozen Ever After. After Frozen Ever After they made their way through the World Showcase. They got snacks from Germany and then stopped by the boat launch to see Harmonious.
Then it was time for Extended Evening Theme Park Hours. They got another DAS time for Remy’s and rode that again on their way out before walking to their resort.
Animal Kingdom (February 1)
Randi and her family slept in and they got into Animal Kingdom around 10:15 a.m. They arrived right to the Tree of Life when Winged Encounters – the Kingdom Takes Flight was happening.
They went over to the Kilimanjaro Safaris and had a great safari ride! They had a bit of time before the Festival of the Lion King so they did Gorilla Falls before going to Festival of the Lion King.
They had a Lightning Lane for the 12 p.m. show of Festival of the Lion King. They missed some things but they enjoyed it.
Randi mobile ordered lunch while at the Festival of the Lion King from Satu’li Canteen. Everything was wonderful as usual.
They had a DAS return time at 1:15 p.m. for Flight of Passage. The wait time was very long and they were happy to have a return time!
After Flight of Passage the waits for everything were lower and Randi grabbed another return time for Flight of Passage to ride again.
They took some photos and did some shopping. They enjoyed having great photo pass photographers that took different shots with different groups of their family.
The standby wait for Na’vi River was about 50 minutes but they only waited 5 minutes because they had a pass. They walked across the park and saw It’s Tough to be a Bug. They really like that show.
They had a pass for DINOSAUR and everyone liked that. Randi liked it better than she expected.
They took the bus to Saratoga Springs and walked over to Disney Springs. They went to World of Disney before going over to Raglan Road for their 6:15 p.m. dinner reservation.
They had a great table with a wonderful view of the entertainment. Their food took a very long time so they saw the entire first set and some of the second set. The kids were very tired but it was overall a good experience.
Hollywood Studios (February 2)
Randi and her family left the resort and took the Friendship Boats to Hollywood Studios just before 9 a.m. They went straight to Star Tours.
After that they had a Lightning Lane for Tower of Terror but it was down. They saw a cavalcade and went to Walt Disney Presents. Then they went back to Toy Story Land to use their converted lightning lane for Toy Story Mania and the DAS pass for Slinky Dog Dash.
After Toy Story Land they had a lovely lunch at Mama Melrose. After lunch they went into Galaxy’s Edge for a DAS return time for Rise of the Resistance.
It was getting very hot outside today. They went back over to Tower of Terror but it was still down. They decided to go to Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster. Randi’s son rode alone but she went through the line with him.
They took a break in the middle of the day back at the resort. Because of the heat and park hopping it was a nice break to swim and relax.
After their rest they went to Magic Kingdom. They mobile ordered Columbia Harbour House on their way over. They saw the Princesses on the Train Station as they arrived. Then Randi was able to get her Orange Bird Sipper.
They also had a Genie+ Lightning Lane for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad before going to dinner. Everything was good except the plant-based option was more bland.
After dinner they waited about 15 minutes for one last ride on it’s a small world. They then had a DAS return time for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and a Lightning Lane for Haunted Mansion.
The kids wanted to ride Space Mountain again so Randi got a DAS return time so they could all ride it again together. Peter Pan’s Flight didn’t have a wait while they walked past so they did that with no wait.
After Space Mountain they did PeopleMover and grabbed some snacks on their way out. They waited about 20 minutes for a bus but did get back to the resort.
Switching to Universal (February 3)
Randi was able to get a Topolino’s Terrace reservation for 10:20 a.m. They took their luggage to bell services to hold it until they returned.
They went to ride the skyliner to the Riviera but it was down. They went over to Beach Club and asked a cast member about a bus to Riviera.
They caught a bus to Riviera for their breakfast reservation. They went to several other resorts before the Riviera and Randi was worried about getting there on time.
They got to Riviera just in time for their reservation. They loved the resort and everything about it – so beautiful!
The elevator took them up to their breakfast and their server was wonderful. They ended up with some leftovers that they brought with them and ate a few days later.
The kids are older now and didn’t think the characters were cool. They were just disinterested.
Randi loved the characters and their outfits. It was a lovely experience. They got some photos on the terrace. It was a lovely way to end their time at Disney.
They took the bus stop back to their resort to get their luggage and begin their trip to Universal Studios. They booked an XL Lyft to Universal. They arrived at Royal Pacific around 2 p.m.
Randi really enjoyed their resort. Checkin was very easy and their room was ready. They got their luggage up to their room. When they arrived there was a foldaway bed already there. The room was a bit smaller, but it was nice and updated.
They were all tired so they went swimming, got a snack, and around 5:30 p.m. they went to Universal Studios. They spent a bit of time there, rode some rides, and picked up food on their way back to the room.
Universal Studios (February 4)
There was a lot less need for detailed planning at Universal Studios. The kids liked that it was less scheduled. Having the Express Pass made this a lot easier.
They started at Islands of Adventure and didn’t worry about getting there early. They got there for a bit of early entry and went to Hogsmeade right away.
They wanted to get a wand to share. Randi’s son and husband each got their own wand. They walked around that area before riding Forbidden Journey. Randi sat this one out but her family enjoyed it. They did get stopped on it.
The kids went on Flight of the Hippogriff. They ended up waiting about 25 minutes even with the Express Pass. They went over to the Jurassic Park area next and the kids rode Velocicoaster.
They all rode Jurassic Park River Adventure. The drop at the end was surprising! They liked riding this because it was hot today. They walked around the circle and got to Skull Island: Reign of Kong. Randi’s husband loved this ride.
They were so hot so they walked back to the hotel to swim. They ended up going back to Universal Studios later in the evening. Her son and one daughter rode Rip Ride Rockit. They all went on the Simpsons Ride as a family.
They finished the evening with Diagon Alley and got some treats. They went back to their hotel for their dinner reservation at Islands at their hotel. Randi, her husband, and son all really enjoyed the Wok meals that they do.
Universal Studios (February 5)
Their first stop of the morning was VooDoo Donuts before going to Hogwarts Express from Diagon Alley to Hogwarts.
They were able to ride some rides in the Marval area. They did a lot of repeat rides and enjoyed themselves. They did go to The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium for lunch. It was a little chilly today but they did go back to swim in the afternoon!
They went back in the afternoon and got in line for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at 6:30 p.m. to make it their last ride of the evening. Hagrid’s kept going down and they weren’t able to ride it that night.
Departure Day Extra Day (February 6)
They woke up this morning to get ready to leave and found out that their flight was delayed. They decided to adjust their travel plans and stay an extra day!
Randi and her husband got another night in their room, rescheduled their private driver, and got a flight for the next day.
They decided to go straight to Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure! They were able to ride and everyone loved it! It was more intense than they thought but they all loved it.
They took a break in the middle of the day and went back in the evening and tried to do Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure again at closing. They were worried that they would spend all of the time waiting in line because it kept going down.
Randi’s husband took their kids to finish the night with Forbidden Journey. As soon as they got out of line Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure came back up and Randi was able to ride it again!
It was a wonderful end of the trip. Randi and her family ended up getting annual passes for Universal and will likely be back before a cruise next time they are in Florida! It ended up being just about $20 more to upgrade when they added on the extra day.
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Friday 25th of February 2022
Did Randi say she converted their park tickets to annual passes? I thought annual pass sales were “paused?” Did I miss something??
Sunday 27th of February 2022
They upgraded their Universal tickets to APs.
Thursday 24th of February 2022
link for podcast
Wednesday 23rd of February 2022
I am interested in what company Randi used for transport to and from the airport. Thanks!!
Wednesday 23rd of February 2022
Here's that info from her. "We used Orlando Transfer and yes, I would recommend them! Our driver Carlo was prompt, extremely friendly and courteous. Great communication throughout, including when we extended our trip by a day!"