Epic Mother-Son 13 hours in Orlando

happily single

Left foot first!
Jan 12, 2008
Hi all. You may remember my posting back in October about a planned one day trip to Disney. Well it happened. And since it was only 13 hours my ADHD mind will be able to complete a trip report lol.

The team:
Me: 40 something single/widowed mom of 3 teens/adults. I work as a part-time massage therapist and part-time paralegal. Since that isn't enough I also opened my own women based massage studio.
DS15: The quiet reserved one. Loves, loves, loves videogames and YouTube. He is a very picky eater. His favorite foods are Mickey waffles and bacon and Disney Pizza (weird, right?). He especially loves the pizza from The Poly. I wanted this trip to be some quality time with him one on one. He likes most rides, Its a Small World is my kind of ride.

The plan:
DS15 and I decided to take an Epic 1 day trip to Disney. I've ben to Disney at least 20 times but have always missed Christmas. This was on my Bucket list. I really, really wanted to do the following:

1. Candlelight Processional
2. see the Castle lights
3. Jungle Cruise
4. Living with the land.
5. Buy a Holiday Refillable mug

Part of why this trip happened is because I thought a very good deal on Frontier Airlines. I went into the trip knowing they are budget minded. Since this was a one-day trip we only had cinch bags.
Airfaire: (2 roundtrip non-stop flights from PVD) $220.00
Rental Car (Dollar Rental) $36.00 (including toll pass)
Tickets (2 one-day hoppers) $400.00
Parking at Disney $25.00
Parking at Airport $16.00
Breakfast at Poly (including mug) $50?
(2 kids Mickey Waffles)
1 Holiday Mug
1 Tonga Toast

Pizza at CBR $10.00
Fish and Chips at EPCOT $12.00
Ice Cream at Magic Kingdom $12.00
Ice Cream at Ghiardelli $25?

The Date: Sunday, December 15th
We leave RI at 6am and landed at MCO at 8:45 (which was 45 minutes earlier.

I'm giving to give some spoilers here and tell you my thoughts:

1. At the TTC center the tram drivers to the TTC was not good. We just missed the first tram so I got to hear that one speak as well as our driver. Neither seemed to have any script they were following and were not very sure or clear on what they were saying. Fortunately on our return trip the driver was much better,

2. The crowds!!!! I've been to Disney over 20 times and have never encountered such large crowds.

3. Cast members in general did not seem happy. Not one cast member experience stands out to me (meaning not one made any positive impact on my day)
4. When people say that guests line up hours before Candlight Processional they are not kidding!
5. I was terribly disappointed with the Christmas theming everywhere. Maybe I was too excited about this trip, but I was underwhelmed by everything.
6. Partly due to my poor planning (with not purchasing tickets/making fast passes) we were not able to ride anything but Liberty Steam Boat.

The Trip:
We left the house at 4:10 and were parked and through security by 4:52. We purchased drinks and a snack at the gift shop (as a bonus my snack of veggie and dip as on clearance for only .99). We started boarding the plane at 5:15 and were in the air by 6am. the flight was really great. The seats were just as comfortable as Southwest or JetBlue, although looking at the seats they are very thin. The tray table IS tiny. My son put a $5.00 bill on the tray and it fit, with only about 2 inches left. The snacks offered for sale were reasonably priced. However, at the end of the flight we were subjected to a very long sales pitch about their credit card. Honestly, it did sound appealing and I decided to get an application on my flight home.

We landed and were quickly at the Dollar Rental Center. I am a member of their "club" and was able to skip the line and go directly to my car. I was disappointed there were only 4-5 cars left on the Midsize lot. We quickly choose a Lime Green (remember when that was the Disboard color) Kia and were on our way. We stopped at a 7-11 store to purchase water and a Monster for ds15.

We made it to the TTC Center and encountered a pretty long line to get through security. We purchased tickets at the TTC. I had planned on ordering tickets before hand, but we couldn't find our Magic Bands and I didn't want to order new ones for a 1 day trip. Then...I was hoping for a discount on Black Friday. Unfortunately that didn't happen.

We walked over to Poly and did some looking around before making it to Captain Cook. We stayed at the Poly in May, 2018 for dd21st bday. There was no line and we quickly had our Mickey Waffles and Tonga Toast. DS15 ate all but one bite of his 2 orders of waffles before declaring himself full. It was now 11:05 and I pointed out lunch was available. I jokingly asked if he wanted pizza. He did!! But I said no.

We headed to the monorail (and thru security) to head to the GF to see the gingerbread house. The tree at the GF was beautiful. We only spent a few minutes looking at the tree and gingerbread house before getting back into the line for security to board the monorail for MK. The line for security at GF was huge!

We quickly made our way to MK and hit a wall of people. I convinced DS to take a photo pass pic in front of the castle. The member taking pictures was doing an awesome job, taking lots of pictures for the people ahead of us. Just as it was our turn the parade started and we needed to clear the path. sadly we never made it back for our pic. We always head left at the hub. Jungle Cruise was a 60 minute wait (or thereabout). We decided to skip it and move on. Pirates went down as we approached the building. Splash Mountain was packed. We didn't even get close to see the wait time. We made it to Country Bear Jamboree. I was disappointed it wasn't Christmas themed. We rode Liberty Steam Boat. Did you know in 20 trips not once have I ever rode this? I didn't really get to appreciate the ride as I was trying to find fast passes on the APp.

Its a Small World was a 45 minutes wait! Everything in Fanstasy Land was a long wait with no fast passes available. We stopped and got ice cream. DS decided he wanted to ride Space Mountain (posted 70 min wait). I had him go alone since I don't do rides. I did some shopping and resting while he rode. It was at least a 70 min wait. I went into the gift ship at Space Mounain and was disappointed with their offerings.

On an interesting note while sitting by Space Mountain I saw no less than 4-5 "plaid vests" with very small groups of people. Most of the groups had less than 6 people. Also I found it odd that all of the vest were simply walking ahead with the group following. I really thought they would be interacting with the guests.

I had wanted to head to CBR to ride the skyliner by 3pm, in order to get to EPCOT by 4ish to get in line for CP. Ha! He didn't get off Space Mountain until about 3:15. We had to skip People Mover as the posted wait was 30 minutes (and the line was huuge). Leaving MK there was a huge line of people sitting along the green walls, right from the exit all the way to the bus depot. It took me a minute to realize they were all waiting for the Christmas party. this was about 3:30.

We just missed the CBR bus and had to wait about 20 minutes for the next one. While waiting we kept smelling bursts of sewer like smell. I think it may be from the buses.
We found the food court at CBR. To my surprise it is now in the same building as the check-in. One of the reasons I disliked CBR was because they were in separate buildings. I was underwhelmed with the food choices and decided not to eat. DS15 got...pizza. It looked like it was just a very thick piece of bread with sauce and cheese, but he enjoyed it.

It was now a bit after 4 so we made our way to the skyliner. We boarded at the Riveria station which was open. There was literally no one else there. OMG. I have a fear of heights (except when flying). OMG. You are high! and it goes fast! It was neat, although I'm not sure I would do it again. At this point my DS asked if we had time to go to Disney SPring so he could get his tradional lego head. I agreed, figuring if we left EPCOT by 6pm we would have plenty of time

We have never entered EPCOT via the International Gateway so this was neat. Once again security lines were huge. Once inside the park I was surprised to see Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Alice in Wonderland and few other characters taking pics. I have never seen so many in such a close time frame.

I quickly grabbed fish and chips and we headed to CP. The line was outrageous. There was absolutely not one place to even stand. We did try standing for a few minutes, but kept getting pushed and asked to move behind the taped line. By this point I was frustrated with the crowds and decided to forego watching. We went over to Karmel Krush and waited in another huge line for about 20 minutes. We still had at least 12 people in front of us when I decided to leave. We went to Mexico hoping to ride Gran Fiesta, but once again the line was crazy. We headed to Living with the Land for a bathroom break and for the ride. The listed wait time was 30 minutes, but the line was pretty long. We decided to skip it and head out of the park.

For those of you still we with so far we have: Ridden the Liberty Bell, saw Country Bear Jamboee and DS rode Space Mountain. that's it.

We made our way out the front of EPCOT and to the TTC. The ride to Disney Springs was uneventful. however, we had to park in the Grapefruit lot due to all the other lots being full. I'll save you the part where I tell you how busy DS was. I waited in line for our tradional ice cream while DS went to the Lego store. We ate our ice cream and headed to the airport.

Getting through security at MCO was pretty quick. Whle waiting to board the flight they announced the flight was totally sold out and were seeking 12 volunteers to move to "even more space" for free. I quickly got in line. In line I asked DS if there was only 1 space left did he want it since he is over 6 feet. He did. Just our luck, there was just one seat left, which he took.

We boarded a little late, which was scary because the plane arrived at the gate on time. Surprisingly I had the entire row to myself. Mid-way through the flight someone moved to the aisle seat. I was by the window. The flight was great and we landed at 1:05 am.

Would I do it again?
I would absolutely fly Frontier again.
I would absolutely do a one day trip again
I will not do 2 parks in one day again.

Thanks for reading!


All my dreams are coming true
Jan 24, 2002
I enjoyed your trip report. I would love to take a trip like that, especially with one child at a time.


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