Lori had two incredible trips in November of 2022! Her first trip was a girls trip to participate in the Wine and Dine 5k. The second trip was a multi-generational trip with her in-laws, husband, and their three children.
Lori, her husband, their three children (7.5 year old son, 5.5 year old son, and a 3.5 year old daughter) and her husband’s parents flew from Minneapolis. This trip is a redo from their January trip where her oldest woke up during their trip with Covid. They drove home immediately and were able to get refunds in order to scheduled this trip.
The whole family stayed off-site in a private home with a pool from November 12-19. One of Lori’s sons has life-threatening food allergies. This makes quick service restaurants very difficult so they have dining reservations to make things safer for him.
Prior to the family trip, Lori has a quick girls trip with two friends for the runDisney Wine and Dine 5K. She will share a brief rundown of that trip as well.
runDisney Girls Trip (November 3-6)
They LOVED the Swan Reserve. They had a room with two queens and a pull-out. They had a signature suite. They had a split bathroom and a kitchenette with a dining space.
The race bus was right outside the Swan Reserve, so it was very convenient. They went to the Expo on the bus, took about 30 minutes there, and then took a bus back to the boardwalk area. The Swan bus wasn’t there so they took a Boardwalk bus and walked around the boardwalk.
Lori and her friend got some pizza, and then lounged at the pool. They all had dinner at the pool and went back to the room for some snacks and wine.
They woke up on Friday morning. They’d hoped to be at the bus at 3 a.m. but they weren’t on the bus until 4 a.m. It was a 2 mile walk to the corrals. They got a lot of steps in before they even began the race!
Everything with the race was very organized. Getting at the corrals as late as they did put them at the very end of the last corral. They wished they’d gotten there earlier so they could have gotten done earlier.
They finished the race just before 7 a.m. and immediately stopped to get Cosmic Rewind boarding group. They got number 59! After that they took the bus back to their resort and took a nap.
Around 9 a.m. they walked back to Epcot. Lori had been stacking Lightning Lanes for the rest of the day. They did Soarin’ and then brunch at the La Creperie. They all loved it but agreed their kids wouldn’t.
Next it was time for their boarding group for Cosmic Rewind. They loved it so much they tried to buy an individual lightning lane for later in the day but they were sold out.
They went to Test Track and used the single rider line. Then they went to the World Showcase and wandered their way around. They ate, drank, and went on rides.
They made their way to Voices of Liberty at 3 p.m. and loved it so much. Then they went to their Space 220 Lounge reservation at 4:20 p.m. They loved it!
After their meal, they went to hear Boyz to Men at the Eat to the Beat concert. They didn’t have seats, they just stood in the back listening. They got some food and a table to watch Harmonious.
They loved seeing Harmonious. They thought that they would hit the pool after their day, but they went straight to bed. They’d had a long day!
They woke up the next day to the drummers for the 10K right outside their windows at 6 a.m. They decided to just get up and get going. At 7 a.m. they started booking lightning lanes for Slinky Dog Dash, Rise of the Resistance, and Flight of Passage.
Their plans were to go to Animal Kingdom but they would be hopping. They took a Lyft to Animal Kingdom and arrived at 7:55 a.m. They got coffee and muffins from the coffee cart.
By 8:30 a.m. they were on Kilimanjaro Safaris. They had a wonderful Safari! The crowds were very low until about 10 a.m.
They went right to their lightning lane for Slinky Dog Dash. It started raining while they were riding!
Next they started using the lightning lanes that Lori had stacked. They did Smugglers Run and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster before going to their dinner reservation at Hollywood Brown Derby. They each ordered the Cobb Salad and it was lovely.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway was back up, so they went there next and used their Lightning Lane. Then they did Toy Story Mania with a lightning lane as well. Sadly, they opted to skip Fantasmic because there were so many people!
They went back to the resort via the Skyliner to the boardwalk and walked to their hotel. They enjoyed the rest of their night at the pool – they were the only ones there!
The next morning was daylight savings time and had coffee and breakfast in the lobby. They checked out at 9:15 a.m. One of the ladies checked her bags at bell services and the others brought their’s with them to Disney Springs.
They waited 45 minutes to get a bus to Disney Springs. When they got there, their bags were searched at security. They got in the virtual queue for Gideon’s and then got brunch at Wine Bar George at 10:30 a.m.
They did some shopping before heading to the airport! The airport was very crowded and busy. Lori and one of her friends had earlier flights so they had lunch at the airport. The other friend went back to the resort to hang out at the pool before getting her bags and heading home.
Arrival Day (November 12)
The whole family was packed up in a minivan with 8 bags and on the way to the airport at 8:15 a.m. They were all flying from Minneapolis to MCO at 10:30 a.m.
They landed early around 3 p.m, got their luggage, and went to get their rental car from Nationa. They rented a minivan so that they can travel together as a party of 7. They were able to skip the line and picked their car.
They were on their way to their home by 3:45 p.m. They were all very hungry! They ordered pizza on the way to the house.
They are staying offsite the whole time and were able to check in at 4:30 p.m. They discovered on previous trips that having more space was a priority. The house had 6 bedrooms, a game room, pool and hot tub!
They are paying the same for 7 nights in the house as they could for two adjoining rooms at Caribbean Beach for 5-6 nights. They will also had two strollers delivered from Kingdom Strollers and they were on the porch when they arrived.
They had a food delivery as well for some staples for breakfast and drink for adults. It was a wonderfully simple travel day.
Disney Springs (November 13)
The next morning they took it easy and slept in. They left at 9:15 a.m. and got to the lime garage at Disney Springs by 9:45 a.m.
They had a wonderful experience at Homecomin’. Their server was Dominic and he took the kids’ orders first and they were eating in 15 minutes. They made Lori’s son with allergies feel so special.
Lori loved the fried chicken and waffles. She says they were awesome! She especially loved that she could choose what kind of chicken meat she wanted.
After lunch they got on the virtual queue for Gideon’s and then went to the LEGO store for their Mini-Fig appointments – Lori made those appointments August 26. They also hoped to catch the Vikings football game. City Works had a very long wait so they went to Splitsville and went to the second floor to watch. They had a whole section upstairs to themselves!
Lori and the boys continued shopping while everyone else went to watch the game. Lori’s son spent almost all of his saved money in the very first store! They got some wonderful souvenirs including a popcorn bucket.
At 1:30 p.m. they were called back to Gideon’s. They got a few different options and pistachio was everyone’s favorite! The peanut butter cold brew was such a wonderful treat.
They went to Swirls on the Water and loved the seasonal one – peppermint! Around 3:30 p.m. the football watchers joined back up for some photos at the PhotoPass store at Disney Springs. They also got a birthday button for grandma.
They went to Erin McKenna’s Bakery and Lori’s son loved that he could order anything! They secretly got a cake there to celebrate grandma’s birthday later in the trip.
They’d planned to just stay at Disney Springs for a few hours, but after watching the Vikings surprisingly win, they ended up getting back at 6 p.m.
They had leftovers for dinner, did some swimming, and the kids were in bed by 8 p.m. The adults got in the hot tub after the kids went to bed and were in bed by 10 p.m!
Magic Kingdom (November 14)
Lori set her alarm by 5 a.m. in order to be up and ready before everyone else. She booked a lightning lane for Peter Pan at 7 a.m. and they left right away.
They went to Grand Floridian to park and had a breakfast reservation made. Unfortunately traffic was horrible that morning. It took 50 minutes to get to the Grand Floridian. It wasn’t the best way to start the day.
They parked at the Grand Floridian just before 8 a.m. and went in to see the Gingerbread houses. At 8:15 a.m. they hopped on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. They were through the tapstiles at 8:30 a.m. and took some photos at the front of the park.
After Peter Pan’s Flight Lori booked a lightning lane for Tiana and Rapunzel. They had the best interactions! The characters were so wonderful with the kids and it was very special.
When they got there Lori was able to add the boys to the appointment as well. Lori brought her daughter’s costume but when they got there, she didn’t want anything to do with it. Lori purchased the Belle dress and Lori opted to just go with it.
The whole experience was much more expensive and took a much longer time than expected. It took a full 2 hours. It was magical, but for a shorter park day, it was a long time.
They finally got to lunch at Tony’s Town Square. They’d hoped to sit on the patio, but it was crowded so they opted to sit in the atrium.
After lunch they went to Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Swiss Family Treehouse, and then met Aladdin and Jasmine. They did mostly Lightning Lanes with a DAS return time in there as well.
They had a lightning lane for Haunted Mansion at 5 p.m. They skipped the stretching room and were on the ride by 5:20 p.m. They refilled the popcorn bucket and walked out of the park.
There were wonderful characters on the train station waving goodbye to everyone. It was a Christmas Party day but they opted to do Magic Kingdom today in hopes to get some lower crowds. They did not get Christmas party tickets because purchasing 7 tickets was too expensive to gamble to see if the kids would make it late and have a good experience.
They had a wonderful dinner. The allergy chef, Chris, was unbelievable. He made special treats and desserts for Lori’s son. The character interactions were fantastic and the waitress Sara was wonderful.
It was a very long meal. They didn’t leave until 9:45 p.m. It wasn’t just because of the allergy requests – everything took a longer time than they expected.
Hollywood Studios (November 15)
Lori’s father in law is a huge Star Wars fan so she is so excited to have him experience Galaxy’s Edge. Lori’s daughter was up at 6 a.m. so they hung out while Lori got a lightning lane for Slinky Dog Dash. They left for Hollywood Studios at 9:15 a.m. and the traffic was much better!
They got preferred parking and it was well worth it! They were into the park and were taking photos at 9:50 a.m. They got a DAS return time when they arrived for Rise of the Resistance.
On the ride to the parks, they realized her son left his noise-cancelling headphones at the house. When they got into the park, Lori went to look for headphones for her son. He was very upset about it. A cast member helped Lori find a set of Turning Red headphones. They weren’t the same, but they would work.
While she was doing that, another mom came up to tell Lori she was a great mom. It was so beautiful. Lori’s son was happy and Lori got herself together and they went to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at 10:10 a.m. Everyone loved it!
They went to Galaxy’s Edge next and grandpa LOVED it. They got blue and green milk before taking a bunch of photos. They had a wonderful character interaction with a cast member and Lori’s daughter had a great time.
They got to Droid Depot at 11:15 a.m. and they would not let the 7th person in. Thankfully grandma and grandpa were good sports and went to do something else. The kids had Droid gift cards for the droids.
After lunch they went to Smuggler’s Run. Lori’s youngest wasn’t tall enough to ride so they went and got some snacks to give her a good experience. She was very sad that she couldn’t ride.
A cast member was able to talk to her and had Rey send her a message to gave her a Rey doll. It was a great cast member interaction. Smuggler’s Run was a great experience for everyone else as well.
Lori created thank you cards for cast members. Her family signed the back and the kids handed them out to every wonderful cast member. It was a really great thing for cast members and the kids.
Lori’s husband wanted to do Indiana Jones because he remembered it from his childhood. However, Lori’s son knew it would be too loud.
Lori and her son split off the group while they used their lightning lane for Indiana Jones. Lori and her son had a wonderful time together. They waited 10 minutes to see BB8.
They mobile ordered a Wookie cookie from Backlot Express. Her other son couldn’t have that so it was nice to do that together.
At 4 p.m. they got back together as a group and went to Toy Story Land. Their first stop was Toy Story Mania. They went to Slinky Dog Dash and everyone rode except for grandma. Even Lori’s youngest loved it!
They had a 7 p.m. dinner reservation at Hollywood Brown Derby but Lori was able to move it to earlier and they went to dinner at 4:40 p.m. Lori and her husband both got the Cobb salad.
They finished dinner at 6:40 p.m. and Grandpa and Grandma were so tired. They opted to sit down and rest while Lori and her family went to Tatooine Traders to make light sabers. This was a wonderful experience! It took about 20 minutes and they left the park after that.
They were back to the house by 8 p.m. and the kids were able to use their droids on the wood floor of the house. They loved that!
Rest Day (November 16)
They slept in and had a lazy morning. Around 10:15 a.m. Lori asked the kids if they knew how to use their light sabers… She told them an actual Jedi would be coming at 10:30 a.m. to teach them!
Justin Aldridge did Jedi training for the whole family! He was in his Jedi persona as soon as he got out of the car. It was a wonderful experience. It was about 35-40 minutes and Lori took a lot of photos and video. It was wonderful.
Everyone was in the pool at 11:30 a.m. and Lori’s husband ran to get Chick Fila for lunch. The afternoon was full of pool time and naps. Then they got up to get ready for Medieval Times!
For dinner, Lori’s husband’s big request was to go to Medieval Times. He remembers going as a kid. Lori was able to get upgraded seats with a coupon for free.
This was a great experience for everyone. Everything went smoothly with the food allergies for Lori’s son as well. The kids especially loved eating their food with their fingers.
They were done at 7:45 p.m. and home by 8 p.m. They all went straight to bed to get some sleep before their Epcot day the next day!
Epcot (November 17)
Epcot is their family’s favorite park. They were so excited about this park. At 7 a.m. Lori and her husband worked together to get group 62 for the Cosmic Rewind boarding group. Because they were off-site, they couldn’t purchase a lightning lane at that time for 3:45 p.m.
They left the house at 9:30 a.m. and by 10 a.m. they were taking photos at Spaceship Earth. At the same time, Lori got a DAS return time for Soarin’ for 65 minutes from then. They went to Living with the Land and waited 25 minutes at 10:10 a.m.
They really liked this. Lori’s father in law is a farmer so this was especially meaningful for them. Their next stop was Soarin’ and everyone loved it! At 11:20 a.m. they went to The Seas with Nemo and Friends.
Then it was time for their Cosmic Rewind. Their song was I Ran. Everyone rode except Lori’s daughter and mother in law. The boys liked it – one loved it and one said he didn’t want to do it again!
They were late for their Garden Grill lunch at noon – they checked in at 1 p.m. and they were very kind about it. They were seated at 1:15 p.m. The character interaction was wonderful! This was a great meal. Jeff was their server and Paul was the chef. They were great.
Around 3:30 p.m. it was time to do the World Showcase! They wanted to be done by 6 p.m. so they did the highlights.
At this point, Grandma and Grandpa went off on their own while Lori and her husband took the kids around. They opted to meet at dinner at Space 220. The weather was so wonderful and they enjoyed the World Showcase.
They enjoyed some shopping, snacks, and entertainment. They went to France to use their Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure DAS return time. The ride had been down some of the day so the line was very long. The posted wait time was 155 minutes. Even the lightning lane was wrapped all the way through France. They were able to ride and it was wonderful!
They met Grandma and Grandpa at dinner at 6:05 p.m. They had a lovely meal at Space 220. They had great cast members: Julianna the server, Joey the chef, and Carissa the pastry chef. It was such a wonderful experience.
They left at 8:15 p.m. from dinner and were trying to decide what to do. Lori’s daughter wanted to go to Journey into Imagination, grandma and grandpa watched Harmonious, and the boys went back to Test Track.
They came back together as a group at 9:35 p.m. and thanks to preferred parking, they were home at 10 p.m.
Animal Kingdom (November 18)
Lori got up at 7 a.m. but everyone else slept in because they were so tired! Lori booked a lightning lane for a 10:40 a.m. Safari.
They left the house at 10 a.m. and got to Animal Kingdom at 10:40 a.m. Their first stop was with the Merry Menagerie! The cast members were so happy and everyone loved the puppets. They got some tree of life pictures on their way in as well.
Everyone got Mickey bars at 11 a.m. as a snack. That was such a fun treat! They arrived to the Kilimanjaro Safaris at 11:15 a.m. and the posted wait time was 55 minutes. They had such a great safari!
They went to the Festival of the Lion King next and loved it! As soon as it was done, they checked in for their Tusker House lunch at 12:30 p.m. The server was Eve and the Chef was Chef G.
The server was wonderful and alerted them that there were a few allergy families ahead of them. She let them know that they could go to the buffet but it would be a bit before the allergy food would be out.
Lori got some food from the buffet that was far from the allergy but when he ate them, he said something wasn’t right. He said he needed to leave the restaurant. Lori and her husband took him outside with Benadryl.
He said it felt like there was a big rock in his throat and it didn’t feel right. Lori was watching him closely and he wasn’t have any risecondary reactions. They went back inside to get him some water and he knew he couldn’t be inside the restaurant.
Lori’s husband took him back outside while everyone else has eaten. The manager and chef came over immediately and wanted to know what happened. They were eager to learn and were so kind. They insisted on comping the meal and hoped that her son was okay.
Once they left the meal, her son was feeling fine and he didn’t want to leave. At 2 p.m. they were at Pandora enjoying the gorgeous day. They went to Flight of Passage and Lori’s daughter wasn’t quite tall enough.
Everyone went on the ride while Lori took her daughter to Satu’li Canteen. Lori hadn’t had lunch yet and had a great meal. They enjoyed their food outside and it was lovely.
They met at Na’vi River Journey and then did some shopping. They saw some Floatillas before leaving at 4 p.m. They got home and some took naps. Lori had hoped to take her son to the Christmas party that evening but there weren’t any tickets left. She’d checked at Animal Kingdom.
The kids went to bed at 8:15 p.m. and after some wine, the adults went to bed early as well!
Departure (November 19)
They got up at 7 a.m. and raced around the house to make sure everything got packed and cleaned up by checkout at 10 a.m.
They packed up and they were out by 9:56 a.m.
They’d hoped to have brunch on their way out and got a reservation at Trattoria al Forno. After their meal the kids ran up and down the boardwalk before they headed to the airport!
They got there 2 hours early, checked their bags, and got ready to go home!
- Grandma: Galaxy’s Edge and Animal Kingdom
- Grandpa: Hollywood Studios
- Josh: Hollywood Studios
- Leo: Hollywood Studios
- Max: All of them
- Jane: Slinky Dog
- Lori: Epcot
- Grandma: Rise of the Resistance and Soarin’
- Grandpa: Flight of Passage and Smugglers Run
- Josh: Flight of Passage, Rise of the Resistance, Cosmic Rewind, Tiki Room
- Leo: Rise of the Resistance, Test Track , and Cosmic Rewind
- Max: Rise of the Resistance, Splash Mountain, Cosmic Rewind
- Jane: Kilimanjaro Safaris and all of them
- Lori: Cosmic Rewind and Rise of the Resistance
- Grandma: Garden Grill
- Grandpa: Space 220
- Josh: Space 220 and Garden Grill
- Leo: Tusker House
- Max: Artist Point and Garden Grill
- Jane: Space 220
- Lori: Space 220 and Homecomin’
- Grandma: Happy Birthday cake and Test Track ride picture
- Grandpa: Staying in the house together
- Josh: All of it
- Leo: All of it
- Max: All the bedrooms, pool, and rides
- Jane: The big house
- Lori: Walking into Magic Kingdom
- When you’re using Genie+ be sure to search for the full name – Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Avatar Flight of Passage, for example.
- The autograph books were a hit. They started the trip with just one and one sharpie but they ended the trip with three!
Links for this episode
- Droid Backpack
- LED Lights for Droid Backpack
- Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Justin Aldridge, Jedi Training
- airbnb house listing
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