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Sarah C.’s February Trip – PREP299

Sarah C.’s February Trip – PREP299

Sarah, her husband, and their three children went to Walt Disney World in February of 2022. They had a split stay, experienced Genie+, and overall had a great trip!

Post-trip timestamp: 34:04

The Basics

Sarah, her husband, and their 15 year old, 12 year old, and 9 year old kids flew from Columbus, Ohio to Orlando. Their trip was from February 12-20 and included a split stay at Port Orleans Riverside for 2 nights and moving to Boardwalk Villas in a studio for the rest of the trip.

Sarah planned to utilize Genie+ for portions of her trip and found the experience to be tricky but often worth it. They were there during high crowds, Super Bowl, and part of President’s Day weekend.

Arrival Day (February 12)

Sarah and her family had no issues with their flight. When they arrived, Sarah texted the driver to pick them up at baggage claim. They found him quickly and they were surprised to be picked up in a limo! 

They arrived at Port Orleans Riverside at 3:15 p.m. and dropped off their luggage. The grocery pickup was between 5-6 p.m. Sarah knew that she would need to be there for it to be delivered. They opted to not wait for it and go to Disney Springs for some food.

They stopped at Chicken Guy for dinner. As soon as they got there, Sarah got a text at 4:50 p.m. that her groceries were about to be delivered. Unfortunately the driver couldn’t leave the groceries. Sarah rescheduled it for the next day for during the Super Bowl. 

They were in building 24 in Alligator Bayou because they needed a room for 5 people. It was comfortable and while it was pretty far away from the boat dock it had a convenient bus stop. 

At the end of the day they just spent some time relaxing. 

Magic Kingdom (February 13)

Sarah woke up and got an Individual Lightning Lane for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for 11:10 a.m. They then took an Uber over to their 7:45 a.m. breakfast at Kona Cafe. It was a lovely breakfast. 

They took the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom just before 9 a.m. and the rain stopped. Their first stop was the PeopleMover and it was a walk-on. After that they walked over to Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and only waited a few minutes. 

They saw Stitch on the stage in Tomorrowland before waiting for Tomorrowland Speedway for about 20 minutes. Sarah and her husband got some coffee before waiting in line for Barnstormer. It was just about 15 minutes.

It was then time for their Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Individual Lightning Lane at 11:10 a.m. After that they went to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The posted wait time was 60 minutes but they only waited 30. 

They walked back to the hub and got some pretzels and took a break. They got in line for Splash Mountain with a wait time of 60 minutes at 12:38 p.m. and they waited about 55 minutes. 

They played some games in the longer lines and had fun. The weather was also decent so the longer wait times weren’t terrible.

Their next stop was snacks and shopping. Just after 3 p.m. they took the bus back to the resort. Sarah checked the grocery order that was scheduled to arrive between 5-6 p.m. and nothing had been updated. 

They mobile ordered dinner from the food court and watched the Super Bowl in the room. Still at 8 p.m. the grocery order wasn’t on its way. Sarah ended up canceling it because she didn’t want to have to adjust her plans for a grocery order anymore. 

Their little Super Bowl party in their room was the end of the evening. 

Animal Kingdom (February 14)

Sarah woke up early to book individual lightning lane for Flight of Passage for 9:15 a.m. She was frustrated because the times would change before the confirmation. 

They dropped their luggage off at bell services to be transferred to Boardwalk Villas around 8:50 a.m. They grabbed some breakfast at Riverside Mill at the hotel. Sarah says the Mickey Waffles were the best she had the whole trip! 

After breakfast they got on a bus for Animal Kingdom and went straight to use their individual lightning lane for Flight of Passage. After that they got coffee for Sarah’s husband. Then they got in line for Na’vi River Journey but realized the line would be too long and they didn’t want to wait.

They crossed the park and went to DINOSAUR and waited 40 minutes for it. After DINOSAUR they got some food for lunch. 

After lunch Sarah was happy to go to the 1:15 p.m. Jungle Book version of KiteTails. After KiteTails they waited about 55 minutes for Kilimanjaro Safaris

This is when Sarah realized that they might have benefited from Genie+. They got to do everything they wanted to do but there were some waits.  

The next stop was another big win for Sarah with Feathered Friends in Flight. They all loved it. 

After the show they headed to the bus and took it to the Boardwalk. They stopped at bell services to get their luggage and went right to their room. They were very excited about their room – it was a great location to the elevators and the main lobby. 

They hung out in the room for a bit and put on some layers because it was colder that evening. Then they went down to the Boardwalk Bakery to get some treats on their way to Epcot. Their first stop was Gran Fiesta Tour

Sarah also purchased the Figment scavenger hunt but they didn’t start hunting that night. At that point the kids were hungry and got some dinner for them at the Boardwalk to go. One of the downsides of the Boardwalk area hotels is that there isn’t a food court option. 

After grabbing food they went back to the room to relax. They watched some of the Olympics in the room. 

Epcot (February 15)

Sarah woke up and got an Individual Lightning Lane for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure for 11:05 a.m. She also got Genie+ and booked a lightning lane for Test Track.

Epcot opened at 10 a.m. so while they waited for it to open, Sarah did some laundry and they had an early morning. The laundry facility wasn’t large, but it was always available anytime Sarah needed it during their trip. 

They went to Boardwalk Bakery at 9:37 a.m. for breakfast and then took a boat over to Epcot. They arrived around 10:20 a.m. 

Sarah’s son wanted to do Spaceship Earth so that was their first stop. The posted wait time was 25 minutes at 10:43 a.m. and that’s about what they waited.

Then it was time for their Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure Individual Lightning Lane so they wanted back to the France Pavilion. Everyone really liked it. 

At noon Sarah could book her next lightning lane and she booked Soarin’ for 4:55 p.m. which would overlap with her Test Track lightning lane. 

Their next stop was Via Napoli for lunch. They had a delicious pizza. They decided to take a little break and take the skyliner to Caribbean Beach and back. 

At 2 p.m. Sarah was able to book another lightning lane but no one was interested in any of them, so they didn’t. When they got back to Epcot they went to the paint by number station for the Festival of the Arts

After that they went to Creations and Club Cool. Then they went over to the Epcot Experience. Sarah enjoyed it but her children did not. They were disappointed that they couldn’t sit down. 

From there they were killing some time before their Test Track lightning lane so Sarah got a lightning lane for 3:20 p.m. for Living with the Land on their walk over. No one was really that interested in riding, but she was glad to get a lightning lane so they didn’t need to wait.

After that they grabbed snacks at Starbucks. They learned that you cannot get a Pink Drink at the Epcot Starbucks. This was disappointing to her children who really liked them! 

They also got some snacks at the Pop Eats! food booth. The grilled cheese and tomato soup were delicious. Sarah was glad that they changed that booth to mobile order so they didn’t need to wait in line.

They took a break to eat their food. The almond cake was hit or miss but they liked most of the things. Then they hung out over by Test Track while waiting for their lightning lane time.

Everyone really likes Test Track and they had so much fun. Then they walked over to Soarin’ and got B1, which is the best viewing section. Sarah was excited about that! 

After Soarin’ they went back to the room. Sarah took the kids back to Disney Springs while her husband stayed in the room. They got food from Earl of Sandwich to have some substantial food. 

They did some shopping at Disney Springs for candy and souvenirs. They spent time at the Lego store and World of Disney. They also got some Churros at Sunshine Churros

After that, they went back to the room to end their day. 

Hollywood Studios (February 16)

Sarah got up and at 7 a.m. got an Individual Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance. She also got a lightning lane for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster for 10:35 a.m. and opted to get an Individual Lightning Lane for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway for 1:55 p.m. 

She was unable to get a lightning lane for Slinky Dog Dash so she figured they could rope drop it and ride it then. They’d planned to do early entry and opted to take the boat to Hollywood Studios.

However, the boat took a lot longer because they were the first hotel stop and didn’t end up getting to Hollywood Studios just before 9 a.m. This still put them before the giant crowd getting into the park.

They entered the park and went straight to Slinky Dog Dash. Sarah was excited to see that there wasn’t a line! However, that’s because it was down. 

They opted to go to Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. It wasn’t a super long wait and they were in line just after 9 a.m. and off just before 10 a.m. After that they got some blue and green milk. They liked both of them! 

They hadn’t had breakfast so they mobile ordered a breakfast ronto wrap. After their breakfast they went for their lightning lane at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. However, it was also down and their lightning lane turned into an anytime experience.

The kids were very disappointed so Sarah opted to go to Hollywood Scoops and have ice cream for breakfast. She hoped it would be back up by the time they were done with their ice cream. And it was! 

Sarah worried that if she got another lightning lane at 11 a.m. it would mess up her anytime pass for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, so she didn’t get one at 11 a.m. Sarah was very frustrated with Genie+.

Once they scanned in at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, she got a lightning lane for Toy Story Mania for 1:50 p.m. However, she had Rise of the Resistance at 1:50 p.m., Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at 1:55 p.m. and appointments at Droid Depot at 1:10 p.m. 

Sarah was very frustrated that there was so much packed into one hour. She didn’t know how long Droid Depot would take and had planned for an hour. Sarah was very anxious about it.

They had some time so they got some snacks, watched Indiana Jones, and mobile ordered some food. Sarah and her son went right to the Droid Depot appointment at 1:10 p.m. to get checked in. They were done in about 30 minutes, which was great.

It was then time for Rise of the Resistance but it was down. So Sarah just continued the plan. They went over to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and used their Individual Lightning Lane for that. 

Sarah was keeping an eye on the app to see if she could find out when Rise of the Resistance was back up. However, it kept showing a standby time the whole time. They went over to Toy Story Mania next and rode that. 

They finally got back to Rise of the Resistance at 2:53 p.m. just before their hour time ended. It all ended up working out. They got off at 3:20 p.m. and they stopped at Baseline Tap House. They were able to see a cavalcade while they enjoyed some drinks. They took the boat back to the resort. 

After they got to the resort, they got some issues fixed with her husband’s magic band. They got it all fixed so that he could charge to his magic band.

They went to the main pool back at the resort. After some rest time, they got ready for dinner. They took the bus to the Magic Kingdom and the monorail to the Contemporary for their Steakhouse 71 dinner at 7:30 p.m.

They really enjoyed their meal! The food was good and the service was good. After their meal they got some photos with the Mickey statue at the Contemporary.

They got to the Magic Kingdom right at 9 p.m. for Extended Evening Theme Park hours. They LOVED this! Their first stop was Space Mountain and it had a posted wait time of 25 minutes but it was essentially a walk-on. 

Their next stop was Tomorrowland Speedyway and then the highlight of their night – Barnstormer! They were able to ride two times in a row! They rode Dumbo the Flying Elephant and left just before 10:30 p.m. It was a wonderful time! 

Epcot (February 17)

They all slept in and they went to Boardwalk Bakery for breakfast. It was a very slow start to the day. They left for Epcot at 12 p.m. and they went to the paint by number. The kids loved that. 

Sarah says that the murals are done about once every three days. The kids got to paint a new mural. Around 12:50 p.m. they went to their lunch reservation at San Angel Inn and were seated right by the water.

The meal was okay. It wasn’t their favorite, but Sarah was glad to sit by the water and the atmosphere was fun. Of course their next stop was to ride Gran Fiesta Tour. It was a walk-on.

From there they walked around to Germany and got some caramel treats at Karamell-Kuche. They weren’t Sarah’s favorite. At 2 p.m. Sarah checked the wait times at all of the parks and they were all high so they opted to go back to the resort and swim.

By the time they got to the pool, they found out that the pool pump wasn’t working so they ushered everyone to the other pool. They got drinks at the pool bar and then went to the leisure pool. There was music and activities – it was really fun! 

The kids did a lot of the activities in the community hall. It was really enjoyable. The kids liked playing air hockey, pinball, and the activities. It was really nice. 

Sarah is starting to really think about the rest of the week, especially their food options. She is thinking ahead on dining reservations. She also did some laundry and relaxed in the room.

They went over to Epcot and got ice cream on their way over. They turned in their scavenger hunt for the prize. Because it was at the end of the festival, they got a plastic Frozen plate. They got a spot in front of Italy and watched Harmonious. Sarah LOVED it.

After the fireworks they walked back to their resort. Sarah was thrilled to be able to walk because the skyliner line was so long! They got some food back at the boardwalk and watched some of the entertainment from the grass. 

Hollywood Studios (February 18)

Sarah opted to not get Genie+ today because they’d already done everything they wanted to do. They did maximize their early hours though. They scanned in right at 8:30 a.m. and went right to Slinky Dog Dash

The standby time was 70 minutes at 8:33 a.m. They got some donuts and breakfast while they were in line. Also in line, Sarah changed her Skipper Canteen reservation for the next day to a Crystal Palace reservation. 

They waited right around 70 minutes but Sarah was grateful that they did have a chance to ride Slinky Dog Dash. The donuts helped pass the time. They walked over to Alien Swirling Saucers and only waited 24 minutes. 

After that they decided to do Smuggler’s Run again. The posted wait time at 10:27 a.m. was 75 minutes. They didn’t get into the preshow until right at noon. That was a tough wait.

While they were in line, Sarah mobile ordered their lunch for Rosie’s. Unfortunately they missed their window and Sarah was trying to modify a new time but it wouldn’t save it. They opted to cancel the order and ate on the boardwalk. 

They took the boat back to the boardwalk and did a walk-up to Big River Grille. The food was great, service was great, and the prices were very reasonable.   

Sarah wanted to look at the art booths at Epcot so her husband took the kids swimming while she did that. She took about an hour to wander around by herself in Epcot and then took the boat back. 

The main pool was open again but it was very busy. They didn’t stay that long out there. They rested in the hotel room for a while.

After their rest, they walked back to Epcot around 5 p.m. They got the last few food items from the food challenge Sarah was doing. They went over to The Seas with Nemo & Friends and it was a walk-on. They also spent some time in the aquarium. 

Sarah and her daughter did Turtle Talk with Crush and they really liked it. Sarah wishes her whole family had done it together. After that they did Journey Into Imagination and there was no wait. 

They then stopped and got drinks at Starbucks and fries from Refreshment Port. Then the boys walked back to the resort while Sarah and her daughter watched Harmonious again. 

Magic Kingdom (February 19)

Sarah got Genie+ and booked an Individual Lightning Lane for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at 7:40 p.m. She also got a lightning lane for 10:10 a.m. for Splash Mountain. 

Her plan was to watch Enchantment and then go on their Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Lightning Lane toward the end of the window. That will make it a later night and they were going to need to pace themselves.

They got to the bus stop at 8 a.m. and Sarah was very disappointed with the bus stations at the deluxe resorts. There is no order at all because there is no line for specific parks. 

They arrived to Magic Kingdom and early entry was only in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Unfortunately, Sarah wanted to rope drop Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but this wasn’t an option. 

Sarah and her daughter opted to do Mad Tea Party and the boys went to line up toward Liberty Square. They all met there to wait until that area was open. Once they were available, some people started RUNNING through Liberty Square and no one stopped them. 

Sarah placed a mobile order for Sleepy Hollow for breakfast. Iced Coffee is not on the mobile order as an option. They started walking toward Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and were held again near Splash Mountain. 

They finally got to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and waited about 20 minutes. When they got off, they went and picked up their breakfast at Sleepy Hollow. They really enjoyed their breakfast.

It was time for their Splash Mountain lightning lane. Sarah was unable to make the second lightning lane because the second tap in is right before the ride. She waited until they got off the ride and got a lightning lane for The Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Before that, they got dole whips and did the Tiki Room. It was fine. Sarah liked and appreciated it but her family didn’t care for it. Sarah was glad to have a lightning lane for The Magic Carpets of Aladdin because the wait was 45 minutes! 

After The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Sarah booked the Tomorrowland Speedway because her kids love it. Their time was 1 p.m. but when she went to confirm it, it changed to 12:10 p.m. On their way toward Tomorrowland, they stopped at the Swiss Family Treehouse

They got over to Tomorrowland and still had some time before their lightning lane so they waited for Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor. The kids did not want to do it but they ended up loving it! 

Their next stop was to use their lightning lane at Tomorrowland Speedway. After that Sarah got a lightning lane for Mickey’s PhilharMagic. It had been a long time since they’d done that one. They sat in the front row of a packed theater. 

After that they were ready for a snack. Sarah got a lightning lane for Haunted Mansion for 6:15 p.m. They decided to take a break. They shopped for a bit, watched the Dapper Dans, and checked into Crystal Palace for lunch. 

They really enjoyed their lunch. They had the lunch buffet and it was very fresh. After lunch Sarah booked a lightning lane for it’s a small world for 6:05 p.m. They went to the bus stop and headed back to the resort. 

They did some laundry, rested, and were back to the Magic Kingdom before 6 p.m. Sarah booked a lightning lane for Pirates of the Caribbean for 9:10 p.m. They went right to their it’s a small world lightning lane when they arrived.

After it’s a small world, Sarah and her family got some snacks from Liberty Square Market. After their snacks, they went to their Haunted Mansion lightning lane right at 7 p.m. Unfortunately they spent at least 15 minutes at a standstill. 

At 7:15 p.m. they got out of line because the ride was down. They were never credited a multi-experience pass. Sarah booked a Barnstormer lightning lane for 9:30 p.m.

They decided to get a spot for Enchantment in the hub. They waited for those fireworks. Everyone enjoyed it. Sarah liked Harmonious better. 

They next used their Individual Lightning Lane for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and then went over to Big Thunder Mountain.

They did Pirates of the Caribbean next. The kids didn’t want to do it but they loved it. It was so much fun. They still had their Barnstormer lightning lane, but they were so cold. They decided to head back to the bus stop and go back to the resort. They were back to their room by 10:17 p.m. 

Sarah got a notification that her driver would be ready and waiting at 4 a.m. the next morning. They weren’t in bed until 11 p.m. 

Departure (February 20)

Sarah and her family were up early for their flight. They were in the lobby by 3:40 a.m. and the driver texted that they would be there at 3:50 a.m. Their flight was slightly delayed but it was fine. Everyone slept on the flight.

As soon as they got to the car, Sarah’s son realized that he left his new hat on the plane. Her husband went back in to baggage claim to get it and got that and the phone charger he left! She was really grateful that he remembered his hat so that they could get them before they left the airport.


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Wednesday 6th of April 2022

Love this podcast. Sarah was easy to understand and relate to. She was honest and did not sugarcoat anything. As I listened I jotted down names of rides and restaurants that she described in great detail. We are planning a trip this summer with 4 of our granddaughters and their parents. An extended family trip. This has been extremely helpful. Thanks to Shannon and Sarah for this great listen.

Sarah Coil

Tuesday 1st of March 2022

You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed listening!


Tuesday 1st of March 2022

Best trip report ever! So funny!


Monday 28th of February 2022

Thanks for your detailed report, Sarah. I was happy to hear your positive reviews of some of the restaurants we have reservations for on our upcoming trip. I've wanted to try Big River Grille as the menu selections and prices look good for our picky eaters, glad you all enjoyed it. I'm still on the fence with Genie+, we may try it for MK, not sure about the other parks. I appreciate your feedback, it helped.