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Sharon’s August Trip Report – PREP321

Sharon’s August Trip Report – PREP321

Sharon and her family had an on-site/off-site split stay trip that included two Halloween parties, time at Universal Studios, and a wonderful trip for her whole family.

The Basics

Sharon is a Disney veteran but doesn’t always go with the whole family. This trip her family is driving down from Virginia together leaving on August 10, staying the night on the way, and arriving at Walt Disney World on August 12th.

They have a split stay with one night at Riverside, three nights at the Contemporary, and an offsite house. They also have one night at Royal Pacific during their Universal Studios portion of the trip however they will not be staying there.

Sharon has an annual pass and will go into the parks without her family. Her husband, 13 year old daughter, and 9 year old son have 3-day hopper plus tickets to include the water parks.

They plan to go at a slower pace and take it easy due to the heat. They also will be avoiding indoor dining in an attempt to avoid getting covid right before the start of school.

Departure (August 10)

Sharon and her family were able to leave their house a little early at 5:30 p.m. and arrived at their hotel in Florence, South Carolina at 1 a.m. They hit traffic in Washington, D.C. so it took longer than they expected. 

Arrival (August 11)

Sharon woke in South Carolina and hadn’t decided to go to a park but was ready to try out the virtual queue for Cosmic Rewind. So at 6 a.m. she got a park reservation for Epcot for that day. At 7 a.m. she got virtual queue 26 and also purchased an Individual Lightning Lane for herself too for 6 p.m.

She wasn’t able to use her virtual queue because it was called in the morning before they arrived. They left the hotel around 8:30 a.m. and began their drive to Riverside! 

They arrived at 4 p.m. and requested a ground floor room. They didn’t get a ground floor room in the Mansions area. It was a good location.

Sharon’s boarding group was between 5:30-6:30 p.m. They got resort mugs and drinks at their resort. She also booked a dinner at Trattoria al Forno at 5:20 p.m. so that they could all head over to the boardwalk. 

They went to Trattoria al Forno and Sharon’s plan was to go over for her Individual Lightning Lane. They arrived at Trattoria al Forno at 5:15 p.m. and Sharon ran over to her Individual Lightning Lane. She was in line at 5:35 p.m. and as soon as she got out at 6 p.m. she had missed calls for her husband. 

They were not able to be seated outside at Trattoria al Forno so her husband canceled their reservation and mobile ordered pizza from the pizza window on the boardwalk.

They were back at Riverside by 6:30 p.m. Sharon used a motion sickness relief band for Cosmic Rewind and was glad to try it out before bringing her kids on it. She ended up sitting in the front row. 

She felt fine on the ride and enjoyed it. When they got back to Riverside they went to the arcade at the resort and really enjoyed it. They had a photo booth and they ended up taking a lot of photos – everyone loved it.

Sharon purchased a MagicBand+ while she was there as well. They also booked a carriage ride. It was fine. The ride just goes around Riverside including a bathroom break for the horses. The ride was relatively short, probably 20 minutes. 

After the carriage ride, Sharon and her son went to the pool and had a blast together. The slide was so fun and it wasn’t terribly crowded. They also checked out the quiet pool on their way back to their room. 

Everyone was in bed by 10 p.m.

Halloween Party (August 12)

Sharon woke up really early and decided to do laundry. It was very convenient right next to their room. She also picked up quick service breakfast for everyone and loaded up their car. 

They hopped on the first boat for Disney Springs at 10 a.m. for their reservation at The Boathouse for brunch at 11 a.m. They’d had a few plans to get Gideon’s, the balloon, or boat ride, but everything had a long wait. They opted to shop instead.

At 11 a.m. they checked in for their reservation. Everything they got was great and the service was really great. Right after brunch Sharon was able to get a Space 220 lounge reservation. She’d been trying for a while and finally got it! She’d previously had reservations at the restaurant and was able to cancel those.

They got on the boat at 12:45 p.m. and headed back to the resort. They got in their car and drove to the Contemporary. They went straight to the pool. They loved it, especially the slide! 

Their room was ready at 2:45 p.m. and their room was in the Garden Wing. Sharon requested a ground floor room through the chat feature on the app and got it. It was right off of the lobby and was Incredibles themed. 

The location was really great because it was also very close to their car. They had a great room and were all pleased. They unpacked and got settled. 

Then Sharon and her daughter got ready for the Halloween Party. They walked over and the line was long at 4:07 p.m. They were in the park by 4:15 p.m. 

Sharon’s daughter has a medical concern and they were eligible for a DAS pass. They were able to use it in 2020. It made her daughter self conscious but it helped with the rides for her. 

This time Sharon was able to convince her that it was a good idea because everything could be done through the app and it won’t draw any attention to her. She pre-registered prior to their trip and it was relatively easy because she had one previously. 

Sharon wasn’t sure if they would be able to make DAS selections during the Halloween party. She went to a Guest Experiences tent in Tomorrowland to make sure they could. They were able to do this online until the park closed and then after the park closed it could be done at the ride. 

Their first ride was Space Mountain at 4:45 p.m. with a DAS return time. Sharon’s daughter wanted to do Seven Dwarfs Mine Train so while they were in line for Space Mountain, she booked a return time for that about an hour later.

While they waited, they went to Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor and Sharon’s daughter LOVED this. She said, “Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor is the sleeper hit of Disney.” They really enjoyed this and went back during the halloween party to get that experience as well at the next party.

They had some water and snacks before Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. They got another return time for Big Thunder Mountain and were able to go over there next. Sharon also mobile ordered some food to be picked up at 6 p.m. at Casey’s Corner. This was the last opportunity to mobile order food due to the halloween party.

They walked over and had dinner at a table outside. Their next stop was a 6:30 p.m. return time for Splash Mountain. Then Sharon really wanted to try the root beer float at The Plaza Restaurant.

It was around 7 p.m. and they got a root beer float. It was amazing but Sharon ended up spilling it all over herself! After cleaning herself up, they went to the Dance Party in Tomorrowland and then Haunted Mansion. 

They used the DAS pass at Haunted Mansion and they just let them in. There wasn’t much of a line at all. The party had started so they were able to see the people in the line.

They got some photopass photos taken before walking to the hub to get ready for the stage show. They got popcorn and drinks while they waited. The stage show started and they only got through half of it before they stopped due to weather.

They went back over to Space Mountain and rode it with the party overlay. They got out around 9:12 p.m. and it was really starting to rain. They went over to Pirates of the Caribbean and got a return time. 

While they waited, they stayed in the shop outside. They decided they didn’t want to wait so they went back to the hub to see the fireworks. They got some photos taken again when Sharon realized she’d lost her MagicBand+. It is much less secure than the original ones! 

It is now pouring rain and they waited to see if the fireworks would happen. They were waiting near the hub and Sharon reported her MagicBand+ missing through the chat feature in the app. Sharon was sure to deactivate her payments in her app but the next day she got a notification that it had been found. It arrived back to her home by the time she did. 

The fireworks were slightly delayed and around 10:30 p.m. Sharon’s daughter was losing energy. Right when they decided to leave, they fireworks started and they stayed to watch them at the end of Main Street. 

They walked back to the Contemporary and Sharon ordered food from the Contempo Cafe before going to bed. It was a long but good day! 

Epcot (August 13)

Sharon woke up at 5:30 a.m. and went to make coffee in the Keurig in the room. She went outside to walk to the lobby to get more coffee and ran into housekeeping. Thankfully, she gave Sharon a bunch of coffee pods for the remainder of her trip.

After getting her coffee, Sharon went out for a run around the Contemporary grounds. At 7 a.m. she paused on the beach to get a virtual queue group 76 for Cosmic Rewind. She also got an individual lightning lane as well for 11 a.m. 

She also booked an 11 a.m. Genie+ selection for Test Track. She had planned to have her husband help but she tested it out and knew she could do it herself so she let him sleep. 

After finishing her run, Sharon placed a mobile order for breakfast and went back to the room. She woke up her family and they all went to get their food. It took a very long time – about 20 minutes after they got there. 

They got their food to go and ate it on the monorail on their way to Epcot. They had a few DAS return times scheduled but ended up only using one of them – Spaceship Earth. It wasn’t needed though; there wasn’t a wait at 10 a.m.

Sharon originally had a reservation for 5 p.m. at Tony’s Town Square but given their late start, she pushed it back until 7:40 p.m. 

At 10:30 a.m. Sharon booked a 10:37 a.m. return time for Soarin’ so they went right over. The Land Pavilion was hectic because both of the escalators and one of the elevators weren’t available. 

They rode on Soarin’ and the standby wait was 80 minutes. It was really interesting because they were able to book an immediate return time using Genie+. Sharon didn’t end up using DAS at Epcot because Genie+ was so effective.

When they got to Soarin’ Sharon booked a return time for 6 p.m. to meet Mickey and Minnie. After Soarin’ they did Cosmic Rewind. She wore the relief band and the kids used motion relief patches. They were mostly toward the back and the kids LOVED it.

They stopped at the gift shop after and loved the convenience of mobile checkout. Sharon and her family collect pins from their trips. They get them from every resort they stay at and end up getting a lot during their trip. 

It’s nice to remember a trip with a pin but it doesn’t create much clutter. They did get a Cosmic Rewind pin.

Their next stop was for their Test Track Lightning Lane. They got on at 12:05 p.m. and immediately booked another lightning lane for 5:45 p.m. for Jungle Cruise. They got through the line and then the ride went down. Leaving that area was very crowded but they got a lightning lane to return. 

They had a 1 p.m. Connections for lunch. It was a little early, so they did some shopping before lunch. Sharon loves that you can apply your annual pass discount using mobile checkout. 

They also went to Club Cool prior to lunch. It was back to being a free-for-all just like the before times. After that, they picked up their lunch at Connections and ate outdoors on the big bench area outside the restaurant. 

While they were in Club Cool, their boarding group was called for Cosmic Rewind. Because they had DAS, they were able to go to the cast members at the ride and they were able to go through the lightning lane area. The cast members will confirm that you have DAS and your boarding group had been called and they were able to bypass the line. 

They were in rows 9 and 10 and they got a different song – this was Sharon’s 3rd song, which was awesome. The kids loved it again. 

As they left, they did the photopass right outside the ride. Then they watched the JAMMitors who just happened to be playing. They loved it.

They still had an anytime lightning lane for Test Track. They went over there at 2:40 p.m. Once they were in Test Track it was time to book another lightning lane, but Sharon’s phone didn’t have any service. 

They got out at 3 p.m. and she was able to book a lightning lane for Big Thunder Mountain for 4 p.m. They went to their 3:15 p.m. Space 220 reservation. They had some drinks and appetizers. It was a good experience. 

Everyone was starting to get very tired. Sharon wondered if it would have been better to just call it a day at this point, but they decided to hop to Magic Kingdom. She hoped they could rally. 

While they were on the monorail it poured! Sharon hoped she could cheer them up by mobile ordering ice cream. They got into Magic Kingdom around 4:45 p.m. 

This is when Sharon was starting to have a lot of problems with My Disney Experience. She was getting logged out, being told her password wasn’t working, etc. It was very frustrating. 

Thankfully, My Disney Experience started working as soon as they entered the Magic Kingdom. Sharon heard about a glitch right before the trip with multi-experience lightning lanes. 

Their Big Thunder Mountain Lightning Lane was converted to a multi-use lightning lane due to the weather before they entered the park. She booked another Big Thunder Mountain lightning lane for 6 p.m. 

They entered the park and went to get their ice cream. While they were enjoying the ice cream, they watched a squirrel steal snacks from a stroller! 

At 5 p.m. they went and did their Big Thunder Mountain Lightning Lane. It used their 6 p.m. lightning lane. Then they used their multiple experience lightning lane to ride Splash Mountain. This is the glitch because they were able to use their lightning lane earlier. 

After that, they went over to Jungle Cruise at 5:45 p.m. and used their lightning lane. The standby wait time was 60 minutes. At 6:15 p.m. Sharon was able to book an immediate return time for Pirates of the Caribbean

She’d also booked a DAS return time for Space Mountain as soon as they entered Magic Kingdom and had that to use later. They got stuck on Pirates of the Caribbean and got off at 6:45 p.m. They went over to use their return time at Space Mountain next. 

The park was open until 11 p.m. and it was about 7 p.m. They probably could have booked lightning lanes for every ride in the park, but they were so tired.

They went to meet Mickey and Minnie before their dinner reservation. They went to Tony’s Town Square and were seated outside. As soon as they sat down, the storm rolled in and it was pouring. They were able to continue sitting outside. 

It stopped raining about halfway through their dinner and they really enjoyed it. Sharon wasn’t looking to enjoy it, but it was a good experience. 

During dinner, Sharon’s kids explained the tiny clip game. The kids took these tiny clips off of the drinks from Space 220. They played a game by putting the tiny clip on another family member. You either had the clip or you were trying to avoid the tiny clip. It was very entertaining! 

After dinner they left the park and were back to their room by 9:15 p.m. and in bed by 10 p.m.

Animal Kingdom (August 14)

Sharon woke up and got Genie+ selections for Kilimanjaro Safaris for 8:30 a.m. and Flight of Passage

Sharon asked her family if they could please leave a bit earlier this morning so they left the room at 7:45 a.m. to head to Animal Kingdom. 

They were in the park by 8 a.m. and went straight to a first aid station. Sharon’s daughter had an allergy to the sun and had some puffiness. She asked for benadryl and the nurses were very professional and offered claritin. 

After that, they went to their lightning lane for Kilimanjaro Safaris. As soon as they tapped in, Sharon booked a lightning lane for Slinky Dog Dash for 6 p.m. that evening. 

They had a DAS return time for Kali River Rapids for 9 a.m. so they did that next. There was no wait at all. They went there at 9:30 a.m. and their check-in for their tour was at 9:45 a.m. It was a bit close, but Kali River Rapids is her kid’s favorite ride. 

They got there right at 9:45 a.m. for their 10 a.m. tour. They had back to back tours at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. They were able to check in for both tours at the same time at 9:45 a.m. It was very well organized. 

They had Caring for Giants first and they went through the back stage near the safari. You get in a van and drive to a viewing area for the elephants. They were able to see the elephants closer and learn more about how they are bred. 

Sharon’s kids really enjoyed learning everything. They were driven back to the parking lot and met up with their tour guide for their Up Close with Rhinos tour. It was very seamless. They got in the van. 

The ride was slightly short for the rhino barn. They were taught about the rhinos and then they were able to watch a training session with a rhino. They were also able to go up and pet the rhinos. It was very up close! 

Sharon and her family met Dugan. He was very friendly and the trainers really love him. Sharon says she would definitely do the Up Close with Rhinos tour again. 

You can take photos with Caring for Giants but you are not allowed to take photos on the Up Close with Rhinos tour. On the bus on the way back, Sharon mobile ordered lunch from Harambe Market

This was their first time there and Sharon says it was her favorite quick service meal of the entire trip! Everyone enjoyed the food very much.

They went to their Flight of Passage lightning lane. The standby wait time was 100 minutes and they were on by 12:45 p.m. They had a DAS return time for Na’vi River Journey so they went immediately there. 

At 1:55 p.m. Sharon was able to book a lightning lane for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster for that evening. At 2 p.m. they left Animal Kingdom and went back to the Contemporary

Sharon went back to the hotel and did laundry. The laundry room is on the 2nd floor in the Garden Wing. She had trouble finding it and ended up putting her laundry on a luggage cart to wheel it around. Sharon LOVES doing laundry on trips because she can do two loads at at time and comes home with no dirty laundry.

While she was doing laundry, her family was hanging out at the pool. The two hot tubs were both broken – one was hot with no bubbles and one was bubbles but not hot. 

Sharon wasn’t happy with how difficult it was to fill their resort mugs at the Contemporary. They ended up having to buy waters at the pool bar because they couldn’t use their mugs. 

At 3:55 p.m. Sharon was able to book another lightning lane for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. They stayed at the pool until about 4:30 p.m. They could hear thunder but they never closed the pool. 

They left for Hollywood Studios at 5:10 p.m. They parked right at the very front of preferred parking. Sharon had a lightning lane for Tower of Terror for 5:30 p.m. Her son was very excited to try Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster but wasn’t super excited about Tower of Terror. 

They did Tower of Terror first and he was very upset. They tried to do Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster next and her son was crying. Her son and husband left and didn’t ride. 

Her son was so upset that they got some ice cream for their feelings. Sharon also had a DAS for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. They hung out for about 20 minutes waiting for her son to feel better. 

They did Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway next and that helped. After that, they did Toy Story Mania. Her son LOVES this one. But he wasn’t in a good place and ended up losing. He was very upset.

They did Slinky Dog Dash next. There were some storms while they were in line and were worried it would be shut down before they were able to ride. Thankfully they were able to ride and got the last row! 

Sharon had hoped that they would be able to go to ABC Commissary for dinner but it closed at 8 p.m. even though the park closed at 9 p.m. and they missed it. They ended up getting Docking Bay 7 for dinner instead. 

Sharon booked a DAS return time for Rise of the Resistance and still had one for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. However, they were done. It was about 8 p.m. and her son didn’t want to ride anything else but wanted to make a light saber.

They walk through Galaxy’s Edge to the shop outside of Star Tours. The cast member (Tim) there was so helpful and made the experience so much fun. Her son loved this and it really helped his mood.

They drove back to the Contemporary and arrived right as the fireworks were going off. Sharon walked around to watch the fireworks while her family went to the room. After the fireworks Sharon grabbed drinks and they went to bed by 10 p.m. 

Typhoon Lagoon (August 15)

Sharon woke up early again and wasn’t planning to get Genie+ because it was just her going to Magic Kingdom. However, she ended up getting Genie+ and booked a 9:15 a.m. Space Mountain lightning lane. 

On her walk over to the Magic Kingdom she saw an armadillo! She was through security at 7:33 a.m. and second in line at 7:36 a.m. While she was in line waiting, she was able to use the chat feature in the app to request a late check-out. She filled out the form and hoped for the best. 

She was granted a late checkout for 12:30 p.m. which was wonderful! She rode in the first train for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and was off at 8:32 a.m. She wanted to meet Tiana but she wasn’t there yet. 

Even though she is in Fantasy Land, not everything is open. Sharon did Astro Orbiter next and there was very little wait. After that she used her lightning lane for Space Mountain. As she was walking out she hoped to hop on PeopleMover but it wasn’t open yet. 

She stopped at Sleepy Hollow for a Mickey Waffle that was delightful. After that she went to Big Thunder Mountain  and then booked a lightning lane for Splash Mountain for 10:35 a.m.

She did Mickey’s PhilharMagic to fill some time before her next lightning lane. It was very cute and a nice break. She rode Splash Mountain at 10:35 a.m. and got an immediate return time for Pirates of the Caribbean

After that she went right back to her hotel room. She was back to her hotel room at 11:35 a.m. Sharon picked up lunch and brought it to the room to eat with her family. They had already packed up the room and they loaded up the car to get ready to go to their off-site rental home. 

They were able to check in early and got there at 12:45 p.m. Sharon unpacked and the kids were able to get their own space. They’d stayed in this home before so everyone knew where to go and what to do. They unloaded groceries with some staples. 

They left for Typhoon Lagoon at 2 p.m. and got there at 2:30 p.m. They stayed there for a few hours. There really wasn’t a wait for any of the slides. The entrance was crowded but that’s because everyone was leaving. 

They found a shaded spot to keep their things and did the wave pool. They did the lazy river, body slides, and some of the larger slides. The longest ride was about 10 minutes. When they left at 5:30 p.m. it was really empty. 

They went back and changed and headed to the boardwalk. Sharon’s family went to Trattoria al Forno and Sharon went to the Patron Meetup! They were there until about 9:30 p.m. 

They all went back to their house and went to bed. 

Universal Studios (August 16)

Sharon and her family left the house at 8:40 a.m. and Sharon said they should have left earlier because they got stuck in some traffic.

They arrived to Royal Pacific at 9:25 a.m. Sharon ended up skipping the line at their hotel at Universal by checking in online from the lobby. 

Sharon bought Universal Studios annual passes during covid that she got really inexpensive. She also booked a room at Royal Pacific for one night and was only able to get a club level room there. They did not make plans to stay the night there but did plan to use the club level for snacks and meals. 

They arrived to the club level lounge at 9:55 a.m. – only 5 minutes before breakfast service stopped. They ate breakfast and their room was still not ready. They began walking over to the park at 10:10 a.m.

They parked at Royal Pacific, so that was wonderful. The walk was very convenient and took them about 10 minutes to get to Islands of Adventure. 

Their first stop was at Guest Services to get set up with their Attractions Assistance Pass (Universal Studios version of the DAS). The line was very slow and hot, but they finally got to the front around 11:15 a.m. It was very easy to do because they previously had one.

The disability pass at Universal Studios is available for all rides but the lines are still about 15 minutes, which was difficult for Sharon’s daughter. 

The first stop was the Jurassic Park River Adventure. The next ride was Ripsaw Falls and even with the disability pass they waited 30 minutes. It was very hot, so they were doing all of the water rides they could. 

Their next stop was Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges before they rested for lunch. They got lunch at Thunder Falls. After lunch they had a return time for Velocicoaster. Sharon’s son did it and loved it! 

At this point in the afternoon it was very hot. There wasn’t a lot of shade and it was a very hot day. They had a return time for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and left the park at 2 p.m. They walked back and got settled in their room. 

They got snacks in the club lounge around 2:30 p.m. Sharon’s husband stayed in the room to work and she took the kids to the pool. She wasn’t very impressed with it. There wasn’t a slide and the water was very warm.

They stayed in the pool until about 4:45 p.m. and got back to the club lounge just in time for appetizers that are served at 5 p.m. The spread was so extensive, they were able to eat dinner through the club level. 

After their dinner they went back into the parks around 5:30 p.m. Hogsmead was very crowded but once they got into the line for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure it wasn’t bad. They waited about 15 minutes.

Everyone loved it and it was very fun. On previous rides Sharon felt trapped in the bike so this time she pushed out a bit to give herself more room and that helped a lot.

After that, Sharon’s son wanted to ride Velocicoaster again, so they got a return time for that. They played some carnival games in that area waiting for their return time. They had a blast.

Sharon’s husband didn’t want to ride Velocicoaster so he held their bags so they didn’t need to use a locker. Sharon’s kids rode together and she rode with a stranger. She said the kids were so brave! 

Sharon’s daughter wanted to ride The Amazing Adventures of Spider-man so they walked over there, rode that with an express pass, and left the park around 7:45 p.m. 

Sharon ran up to the club lounge and grabbed desserts while her family went to the car. They were back to their house by 9 p.m. 

Universal Studios (August 17)

They left their hours at 8 a.m. and avoided a lot of the traffic they experienced the day before. They arrived at Royal Pacific at 8:35 a.m. They went right to the club lounge for breakfast. 

They left the hotel and arrived at Islands of Adventure by 9:30 a.m. They decided to start there because it’s easier to get to. When they entered, Sharon got a return time for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

After that, they got on the Hogwarts Express and took that to Universal Studios. It was already very hot. They did Escape from Gringotts with the express pass. When they got out, the locker wouldn’t open and Sharon had to get a team member to open it for her.

It was so hot that they went from shop to shop to stay cool. They decided to stop at the Bourne Stuntacular for some rest and air conditioning. They got to Minions and the express pass wait was 40 minutes. Sharon asked the Patreon group to see if it was worth waiting and everyone said no.

Sharon’s daughter decided she wanted to ride Rip Ride Rockit. Her husband and son opted not to ride, but she and her daughter did it. It was just as scary as it looks, but they had fun.

The next stop was for Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. Sharon said she’d heard people say they really liked it, but Sharon doesn’t understand why people like it. When they left it was pouring and they were hungry.

They were walking toward Diagon Alley and they saw a burger place with covered outside seating. They decided to stop there and Sharon mobile ordered burgers and fries. 

The rain stopped and it cooled off. They went right to Hogwarts Express and back to Diagon Alley to ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. They were on by 2 p.m.

When they got off, Sharon’s son wanted to ride Velocicoaster again so Sharon got a return time for that for 2:35 p.m. They did some arcade games again and got a lot of stuffed animals. They got on Velocicoaster at 2:45 p.m. and they left the park.

They got to their car at Royal Pacific and went straight to Typhoon Lagoon. They arrived at 4 p.m. Sharon really liked bookending the trip with Disney.

Sharon learned from her first experience at Typhoon Lagoon and had water shoes this time. She purchased them in the shop at Typhoon Lagoon. The park was mostly empty and they had a great covered area to keep their things.

The wave pool was empty and they were able to ride everything without a wait. They stayed until the park closed around 7 p.m. 

On their way home they picked up Chipotle for dinner because they love that. They were in bed by 9:30 p.m. 

Epcot (August 18)

Sharon woke up and at 7 a.m. she got boarding group 35 for Guardians of the Galaxy. She also booked a lightning lane for Slinky Dog Dash. She waited a bit so that she could get what she wanted at 4 p.m. 

They left the house at 7:45 a.m. and ate breakfast outside at Trattoria al Forno. Because they are staying offsite, she wasn’t able to get an Individual Lightning Lane for Guardians of the Galaxy but she got one for noon. 

When they left breakfast their boarding group had been called as they entered the park. They went straight to Cosmic Rewind first. On their way over, Sharon booked a DAS return time for Frozen Ever After. They already had return times for Soarin’ and Test Track.

They rode Cosmic Rewind and then walked over to Frozen Ever After and used the return time. When they got on Frozen, Sharon booked a return time for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. They were off Frozen at 10:21 a.m. 

To cool off, they went to Mexico and rode Gran Fiesta Tour as a walk-on. They continued over to the Land Pavilion and used their Soarin’ return time. They were off Soarin’ at 11:18 a.m. 

They got out and it was cloudy, which was lovely. They walked over to Test Track and there was a 70 minute standby time. They got on at 11:40 a.m. and got off at 12:15 p.m. just in time for the JAMMitors

They stopped and listened to the JAMMitors again before heading over for their Cosmic Rewind Individual Lightning Lane. It was very convenient to all be in one area of the park. 

Sharon booked a lightning lane for Toy Story Mania for that evening. They walked over to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and on their way they got maple popcorn in Canada. It was not Sharon’s favorite. 

They were in line for Remy’s at 1:10 p.m. and off by 1:30 p.m. This was her daughter’s first time and she really liked it! They left the park at this point and hopped on the skyliner to go to Hollywood Studios.

They arrived at Hollywood Studios at 1:52 p.m. and they were able to go right in. As soon as they got in Sharon booked a DAS return time for Ride of the Resistance. 

They were hungry and went to ABC Commissary. It was wonderful. Sharon also had a return time for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. They went there next and Sharon’s son was the pilot. He did really well! 

It was starting to storm and Sharon wanted to do Indiana Jones Epic Stuntacular. She’d never done it before. As they were walking in there were announcements about the storm. They were told that they weren’t going to be able to do the whole show, but they could do the first scene. 

They watched about 10 minutes and really enjoyed it! After the show, they got ice cream around 3:25 p.m. Their next stop was Rise of the Resistance and they got there around 3:50 p.m. 

After Rise of the Resistance, they had a bunch of return times and lightning lanes stacked. They used their Slinky Dog Dash lightning lane and then went to Toy Story Mania. After that, they used their Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway lightning lane.

They did all of those back to back without much wait. Sharon then booked a lightning lane for Frozen Sing-Along and a DAS return time for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Her son decided he could ride it! 

The standby line for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster was 2 hours long, so they had a bit of a wait. Sharon got a reservation for Brown Derby and thought it was for the lounge but it was for the restaurant. They canceled that and ended up just sitting outside enjoying some pretzels and hanging out. 

At 6:30 p.m. they used their lightning lane for the Frozen Sing-Along. It wasn’t really necessary, but they enjoyed that. They went over to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster next. Her son loved it! He wanted something to remember this so he got some drumsticks in the gift shop.
Sharon loves Coronado Springs so after Hollywood Studios, she mobile ordered Three Bridges on their way back. They took the Friendship Boats to their car at the boardwalk and drove to Coronado Springs. They ate outside and then left to go back to their home.

Halloween Party (August 19)

Sharon woke up and had a park reservation for Animal Kingdom. She wasn’t going to get Genie+ but she did and got a lightning lane for Na’vi River Journey for 9 a.m. She left the house at 8 a.m.

She was checking for an individual lightning lane for Flight of Passage but they were only available later in the day. She got to the park, wandered around, and got a breakfast sandwich. 

She used Na’vi River Journey and booked a lightning lane to meet Mickey and Minnie. The safaris and Expedition Everest were both down, which made everything more crowded. 

Sharon did It’s Tough to be a Bug and enjoyed the queue. It had been a long time since she did it and liked it! 

She did the Maharajah Jungle Trek next and it was very pretty. She loved the section with the birds. She took her time and learned a lot on the way.

She did TriceraTop Spin because she’s never done it before. She is still waiting for her 10:30 a.m. Mickey and Minnie lightning lane. As soon as she sat down for the Finding Nemo Musical show at 10:22 a.m. she got a 10:40 a.m. individual lightning lane for Flight of Passage

The Finding Nemo Musical was so good! It was very different than the last show – the changes were really amazing. Sharon says it is as good as the Broadway shows she’s seen this year. 

After the Finding Nemo Musical, Sharon went to meet Mickey and Minnie. From there, she went over to ride Flight of Passage

After riding Flight of Passage, Sharon left Animal Kingdom, stopped by Chipotle to get lunch, and went back to the house to eat lunch with her family. She was home by 12:30 p.m. 

Sharon was going to try to get some lightning lanes at Magic Kingdom for her later that day. She couldn’t find anything convenient but eventually got Peter Pan’s Flight at 3:05 p.m. and a lightning lane for meeting Tiana at 4 p.m. 

After lunch, Sharon’s husband was working so she took the kids to some little gift shops outside of the Disney bubble. They went back to the house and get ready for the Halloween party! 

They were able to use preferred parking at the Magic Kingdom that evening. They took the monorail over and Sharon split up from her family. She sent them through the entrance for party tickets and she went to the entrance for park tickets. 

They had a longer wait so she went straight to Fantasy Land to use her two lightning lanes. They met around 4:30 p.m. at the carousel. The priorities for this evening were the parade, fireworks, and the rides with the special overlays. 

They did a DAS return time for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train because that was her son’s request for the evening. After that, Sharon booked a return time for Big Thunder Mountain

Around 5:30 p.m. it started pouring! It was a huge storm. Everything was closed, even the indoor ride! They walked over to Splash Mountain and waited under the covered area for a while to stay out of the rain. 

Sharon bought more ponchos so everyone had one. They went over to Pirates of the Caribbean and it was still down. It was hard to tell in the app what was open and what wasn’t because nothing had wait times. 

They walked over to Space Mountain and it was running. They used a converted DAS return time and rode without any wait. The PeopleMover wasn’t running so some of the lights were on and it was really thrilling.

The rain had mostly stopped by the time they got off Space Mountain. They walked over to Pirates of the Caribbean and got a return time for about 35 minutes later. While they were waiting, they got dinner at Peco’s Bills.

They ate dinner outside and then went to their return time for Pirates of the Caribbean. After that they rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. They got a return time for Haunted Mansion on their way for the stage show.

They did the shorter version of the stage show. The stage show was especially spooky because of the lightning! 

Then they used their return time for Haunted Mansion before finding a spot for the parade. It started a little bit late, but it did happen. It was a great parade and everything happened – including the headless horseman! 

After the parade they went to Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor. Sharon’s daughter loved seeing this again! 

Before the fireworks they got some treats and took some magic shots. Then they got a spot for the fireworks.

After the fireworks they did some shopping on their way out. Sharon’s husband was having some back issues so they left at 11:35 and were back to their house at midnight.

Departure Day (August 20)

Sharon ordered breakfast, did laundry, and they packed up. They left around noon to head back home. Thankfully her husband’s back pain was better in the car. 

They arrived in Virginia at 1 a.m. The drive was very smooth and everyone liked driving in one day rather than splitting it up. 


  • If there isn’t availability at 60 days for tours or dessert parties, check again! They might not be available yet. 
  • If you purchase preferred parking at one park and then hop to another park, you can use your preferred parking at the second park. 
  • If you use mobile checkout and have an annual pass, your discount is applied automatically.

Quick Tip

Can adults order off of kid’s menus? At Quick Service restaurants, everyone can order off of any menu – kids can order off of adult menus and adults can order off of the kid’s menu. At Table Service restaurants if it is a fixed price or family style service, you have to pay as an adult or child, regardless of what you eat.

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