What do you mean I can't open an umbrella on a ride? A Packers "fan's" Nov. 25-28 journey

BlueBayou

Following the magic
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
Pre-Trip

So we decided, for the first time ever, not to do a big Thanksgiving meal for our family of 4. That is me, DH, DD19 (Aurora) and DD16 (Jasmine). Part of the reason is we realized, with DD19 off in college - their spring breaks do not fall on the same week. But they were both off a full week at Thanksgiving.

The decision - Drive 1000 miles to Walt Disney World.

To save money - we opted not to stay onsite. We had previous stays at POFQ, Pop and All Star Music (just DD16 and me for a cheer competition).

Got a good D23 rate that included free parking at the Hilton in Disney Springs. I looked at Air BnB - but with cleaning fees - and the cost of parking - it made more sense to stay in a Disney Springs area hotel.

Also I had a left over 5 day park hopper from when my mom backed out last minute of our Pop trip in 2015. I inquired about using the ticket for the 2017 trip - but I was told that tickets are only good for a year ish when I called Disney. But playing around on MDE for this trip- The unused ticket was still showing up on my mom's account that I controlled. It was able to be transfered to me. It was listing an expiration as 2030 something. I really think what happened is I bought the tickets during a time that Disney was switching from the never expire tickets. And these tickets came from Undercover Tourist - and I think they must have had some older tickets.

I purchased 3 5-day one park tickets. And fingers crossed that my ticket would work.

I began planning FP and Meals. I was able to get fast passes on all 4 tickets. So it looked like my old ticket was still good. There were not very many good options for FP when I started planning in earnest. A couple weeks before the trip. I've planned months in advance before. My husband did not get on MDE before we left. Each park he was like "Wait - why do we have a fastpass for this and not..."

We decided on this order of parks. It ended up being good because for EMHs.
Monday (early entry)- AK FP - Kali River, Dinosaur
Tuesday (late hours)- Epcot - FP- Spaceship Earth, Frozen
Wednesday (early entry)- DHS - FP- Stunt show, Star Tours and RnR
Thursday (Thanksgiving) MK - 4:20pm Dinner at Tony's Town Square, FP - Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan, BTM (10:20p)

My youngest, Jasmine, helped me plan the FPs. We got what we could get. She also felt strongly that MK should be our last park. Until Junior High, the girls were raised about 6 hours away from Disneyland. We went annually. They know DL and DCA like the back of their hands. We would turbo park hop - Like ride Splash and race to GRR or soarin' then back to Pooh. Those parks are so close together - that if you know your way around and you have the energy you can treat them as one huge park.

That is not the case for us at WDW. We have park hopped in the past - but you lose so much time going between parks. The kids were disappointed that we were not going to be park hopping (we have NEVER done one park on day before). But once they realized that we were only going to be there 4 days - that hopping didn't make sense - they were fine with the one park per day plan.
 
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BlueBayou

Following the magic
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
Arrival

We made it uneventfully to the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista without incident. A shout out to the Hampton Inn in Clearwater, Florida. Jasmine left her school backpack with her glasses and car keys in it at the hotel. They called to tell us it was found (we did not know it was missing) as we were pulling into Orlando. This was Sunday. They kept it safe for us until Friday. Very, very thankful!

We had done online check in - and our room was just what we were expecting. We got our little extra magic hours passes.

We headed over to Disney Springs to watch Frozen 2 (Front row since Jasmine had no glasses) and to buy my oldest daughter Aurora a magic band. I found my previous 2 magic bands, my husband's, and my mom (non transferable) band. Jasmine found one of hers, Aurora only had one - and it was nowhere to be found. My DH and I had he old school magic bands. Without the round center. We go occasional comments about our "old school" bands. There were no issues using the older bands. But - I think the ride cameras track the new bands better. Every ride Aurora went on, including single rider on RnR and Everest showed up in photo pass - without her doing anything. The rest of us did not.

So Animal Kingdom had 8am early entry. My husband really, really wanted to ride on PFoP. So plans were made to be at the bus at 7am to head over to AK.
 
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BlueBayou

Following the magic
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
Day 1 - Animal Kingdom

So we woke up at the crack of dawn (Okay 6am) to make it to early entry rope drop at AK. The main goal for the day - Ride Pandora Flight of Passage.

A little back story - I'm claustrophobic to a certain degree (I've been stuck on 5 elevators - once maintenance had to pry the doors open - another time, on a cruise ship in a tropical storm the power went out briefly and the the elevator stopped and went completely black) and don't like the feeling of being trapped by restraints. So I was not sure how I would like PFoP. I would have preferred to "warm up" with a ride like Everest. But I knew that would not be an option.

So we all get down to wait for the 7am bus. I had heard mixed reviews of the A and B routes for the Disney Springs hotels. We are all there and waiting 10 minutes are so. Right at 6:58am I say "Everyone has their magic bands right?" NOPE my DH doesn't.

My husband yells - for us to get on the bus if it comes, with or without him. He races - the bus comes while he is heading back down. But we are lingering at the end of the line - to this day I don't know if the bus filled up - or the people in front of us said they were going to a different park. A second bus pulls up as my husband arrives. The first bus pulls away, be go to load on the second bus - but it is going to DHS NOT AK.

Great.

Lyft it is. My husband calls a Lyft - and it is at the front of the building when we get there. Score. So missing the bus did not cost us any time.

We had already planned to split up at the front entrance if my magic band/ticket did not work. We cleared security when we got there - but there was a pretty deep line entry. Aurora and I used the restroom. I guess I took longer - because the three of them cleared the gate and the early entry check point before I got out. I swear I did not take THAT long.

I got through the gate just fine. The old ticket worked like a charm. I followed the crowd to Pandora. Wow the line was already huge. I walked to the area where the extra overflow line begins. It's really the area where the ride lets out and cast members break up the waiting line. But since folks were not getting off the ride yet - it was a solid line. There was a cast member there to keep people from lingering in the area. I told her I was in the bathroom and my family took off - that they think they are past the area where I can join. She look at my photos of were they are - and tells me I haven't missed them, to wait right there. Eventually they come and we continue on the inside part to the line together.

I read/watch tons of stuff online about this ride. I did not lean all the way forward while the back restraint came up. So I never felt trapped. My tiny Jasmine did - and started telling a cast member she thought it was too tight (now I never told her about my fear - but she followed the instructions and went as far up as she could and the restraint fit really snuggly). The cast member checked her out - moving the backrest a little - and said she was fine. I could place my hand in front of me. Jasmine's tightness concern caused the little boy next to her to freak out. His parents kept telling him he was fine. But he was really concerned.

We took flight without a hitch. It was a lovely ride. We were not in the same "room" with DH and Aurora - we could see them but not hold hands with them. I did really like the ride. I think we were done 9:30am. We did standby for River ride. It was not worth the 50 minute wait. By this point, 1040am, we were hungry. But lunch places did not open until 11am. Aurora and I got Yak and Yeti counter service while my DH and Jasmine got the BBQ place nearby. We met them in that area to eat our food.

Around this time Jasmine, who was nursing a sinus infection and had been on antibiotics for 5 days - said she wanted to go back to the hotel. I said I would go with her.

We went to find the bus stop - which was confusing to us since we did not take the bus there, and the charter buses pick up in a different location from the Disney ones. We met a family that had been waiting more than 30 minutes at that point. It was parents of college age kids and their parents. They were in town for thanksgiving because their daughter is the Disney professional internship program. I guess that is one step above the college program. She works animal kingdom as an explorer guide. We got tired of waiting for the buses - and as a group were pricing a cab ride with our new friends when the bus finally arrived.

We headed back for our nice nap.
 
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  • BlueBayou

    Following the magic
    Joined
    Sep 18, 2004
    Animal Kingdom - Part 2

    So Jasmine and I turned in. We got a solid 2 hours sleep. Around 3 my DH and Aurora showed up.

    Aurora was complaining that "Daddy is turning into you mom. He's talking to random people now. I don't want him to wear that sweatshirt anymore."

    Huh? Aurora is the last person to care about style. Well, I guess the shirt is a conversation starter and attracted more attention than my daughter was comfortable with. It's a thick Packers shirt. That only a true fan would spend that kind of money on. It's really nice green and yellow. It stands out. It's a statement piece. But here is the deal. My hubby really doesn't like pro football that much. This shirt was a gift from his dad. His dad passed away two Novembers ago. I think the shirt makes him think of his dad. I guess my DH's brother took his son and their father to see a Packers game in Green Bay. We were living out west at the time and my husband was not included in the trip (It was related to his brother's work). My hubby did not feel hurt or anything about the trio going. But my father-in-law brought this sweatshirt for my husband.

    They napped for about an hour. For the life of me, I can't recall what we ate for lunch/dinner. But I know we ate a little something before we headed back to the park. This time we took the bus.

    We had a FP for Kali River Rapids. I should mention this was our coldest day in Orlando. The sun was setting has be got on the ride. We were all in rain ponchos. It was walk on - we really didn't need a FP. we get on and move maybe 10 feet and they shut the ride down. We we in a place where we could get off at any time. Also we also could talk to the cast members and here what was going on.

    Apparently someone opened an umbrella on the ride and they had to stop it.

    Seriously.

    Okay, that's funny and we should be on our way soon. Not so fast. I guess the person was refusing to surrender the umbrella and security was on the way. After nearly 30 minutes - they made us leave. So we had to be walked off the ride. Not our first time being walked off a ride. But first this trip.

    But score - we got FP for anything but the lake show and PFoP! We immediately went to Expedition Everest. That is the fastpass we wanted anyway. There were just none available when we were trip planning. Nice ride. Up next Dinosaur. I did not think I had ever ridden this one before. But looking at my 2009 trip report I did. It's the same track as Indiana Jones in DL but not nearly as good.

    We decided to get Starbuck in the park and head back to the hotel. It is was near park closing. At light the Tree of Life has different animation projected on in periodically. A very nice touch. We stopped to watch two different "showings."

    The trip back on the bus was not great. The "A" bus came - and we loaded on. But there had not been a "B" bus in a while - so our driver picked up the "B" passengers too. These Mears buses are not like the Disney buses. Strollers are loaded like luggage under. It took a 1/2 hour to load up the bus. And then our stop was last - because all of the strollers for the "B" side were now blocking the "A" side. Kind of a frustrating way to end a really good day.

    And I guess the Packers had a difficult loss on Sunday - because people would mention "tough game" and stuff like that to us.
     
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    goodeats

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2005
    A little back story - I'm claustrophobic to a certain degree (I've been stuck on 5 elevators - once maintenance had to pry the doors open - another time, on a cruise ship in a tropical storm the power went out briefly and the the elevator stopped and went completely black) and don't like the feeling of being trapped by restraints. So I was not sure how I would like PFoP. I would have preferred to "warm up" with a ride like Everest. But I knew that would not be an option.
    I have the same issue! After being stuck on DL Space Mountain it caused me to hyperventilate. I got through it, but I still get really nervous. Mission Space is an obvious no go, but even RNRC makes me nervous with the neck restraint. I want to ride Incredicoaster, but I need to work up to it. FoP was fine, but the CM made me scoot up a bit. On SDD I thought the restraint was too tight, but they said it had to be. Which is fine for safety, but it would just be my luck that I was stuck with a lap bar crammed into my tummy.

    LOL that your DH wasn't a real Packers fan. I did notice in WDW how much people took NFL seriously compared to Southern California. Now with the Rams it's a bit bigger, but still not like in other parts of the country.
     

    BlueBayou

    Following the magic
    Joined
    Sep 18, 2004
    LOL that your DH wasn't a real Packers fan. I did notice in WDW how much people took NFL seriously compared to Southern California. Now with the Rams it's a bit bigger, but still not like in other parts of the country.
    I will say they did seem WAY more serious about NFL football in Florida than ever in California!
     

    BlueBayou

    Following the magic
    Joined
    Sep 18, 2004
    Day Two - Epcot

    So we had a 1pm lunch at Marrakesh - Then FP for SpaceShip Earth, Frozen and Space - all in the evening. We decided to sleep in. We took Lyft to Epcot. We got there with very little time until our 1pm reservation. This was shades of our Oct '09 trip from back when we lived out west and our bodies were on Pacific Time Zone. We were on the dinning plan -our bodies never adjusted to the time change - and we ended up having to adjust dinning reservations.

    We got there and were impressed with the setting. There was music and a belly dancer. We ordered and Jasmine went off to the bathroom. She came back and the food came. She did not like the way everything smelled and went back to the bathroom. Smells sometimes set her off, but we could tell this was something more. She came back, took a bite or two and asked to leave. We let her go. There was something up with her tummy.

    The rest of the family ate our meals - including Jasmine's salad. (Side note- my husband and I are kinda doing weight watchers - so we frequently share meals. This was not a problem at WDW at all). The food at Marrakesh was good. Nothing outstanding, but we would eat there again.

    We leave and catch up with Jasmine in France. We head over to ride Figment. Once we get there - Jasmine has to use the restroom there. There was a posted 20 minute wait for Figment. But I think we ended up waiting less than that. Our FP for spaceship earth was not until 4:25p or 5:25p. At this point Jasmine decides she wants to go back to the hotel. We decide my husband will do the honors.

    We part ways near SpaceShip Earth and Aurora and I decide to go to the Donald Duck boat ride in Mexico. We get the bridge to world showcase and my right knee starts having intermittent shooting pain. I have osteoarthritis and have a low dose anti inflammatory prescription that don't usually take daily - but intended to on this trip. But I forgot this morning. I should add the previous day we walked 9 miles. So at this point I am seriously thinking I might have to have Aurora go get me a wheelchair. I do have Tylenol in my purse. I hobble over to the restrooms in the flex-space building behind Test Track and next to Mexico. There is a water fountain there and I can take the Tylenol. I sit down to rest for a couple minutes and then make my way to Mexico. There is a pretty long (maybe 20 minute line) for the ride. We wait in line. I try not to put weight on my knee as much as possible. When in the boat I stretch out my leg. While the pain is on inside of my knee, I see swelling on the outside.

    By the time we get off the boat ride - my knee is a little better. We have time to kill before the SpaceShip Earth Fastpasses. So we head over to the Living with the Land. We get to the area between Figment and The Land - and my knee starts up again. I take a 5 minute break on a bench in that area - when head into Living with the Land. Once we get off the the ride - my knee is manageable again.

    At this point, I decide there is not something seriously wrong with my knee. I don't think I have injured it. I just have swelling or something that is causing a little mechanical issue. So I need to keep the swelling down and pace distances.

    We make it to spaceship earth without knee issues. Take the opportunity to rest a cold water bottle on my knee. We enjoy our tour through the development of communication and society.

    I should note something in general from this trip. WDW has more temperature controlled queues than DL. In general it always feels like WDW is better air conditioned. I did not feel that this trip. It was warmer than normal temps for late November/early December. Cool at night but 80s during the day. You can always feel the temperature differences on Spaceship earth as you climb higher - but it seemed more pronounced than past rides. Also Marrakesh was a few degrees warmer than I would have preferred. I don't ride Mission Space - but I wait in line when Aurora rides solo. This gives me another opportunity to rest my knee.

    At this point we decide to grab some food. We head out to the World showcase checking out an acrobatic presentation in China. We eventually end up in Italy at Tutto Italia - As a table for 2 we are immediately seated. She has the Tortellini Panna e Prosciutto and I have the Mista salad. Good food.

    It's about time to make are way to meet up with the my husband and Jasmine for Frozen fastpasses.
     
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  • BlueBayou

    Following the magic
    Joined
    Sep 18, 2004
    Epcot - Part 2

    When we left off I was hobbling around Epcot with Aurora. On our way to meet up with my husband and Jasmine, I had a revelation. Jasmine started antibiotics for a sinus infection before the trip. At this point she was now on her 7th day. The antibiotics were causing digestive issues. At least we knew what was wrong with her.

    We caught up with them and made our way into Frozen. Yes - we are one of the weird DIS families that considered Maelstrom an all time favorite ride. Jasmine and I had ridden Frozen in 2017 when we were there for a cheer competition. We had waited a LONG time and the ride broke down. We were about 30 people from where the fastpass merges with the standby line. After waiting about 1/2 hour - all of the fastpass people left because they would get a new fastpass. Standby did no. But about an hour later when they got the ride up - there were no fastpass people waiting - and maybe 10 people a head of us.

    Now Aurora loves Frozen. She knew most of the songs before the movie was released. But she was NOT a fan of her favorite WDW ride being replaced by the frozen ride.

    Since we had fastpasses - we missed most of the queue. When we were standing in line - a man standing behind my husband said "My daughter has a question for you." And a sweet little 8-year-old asked something like "That loss must have been tough for you or how did it feel to lose like that" She was cute - it was all in good fun. I forget where they live now - but they were from Chicago originally and the dad talked about how hard it was trying to raise his daughter a Bears fan where they were now. Joe talked a little about the Packers loss. By husband is in two fantasy football leagues - but he is a baseball fan, NOT a football one. So my hubby tried to make like he knew/cared about the loss, which, evidently must have been spectacular.

    While she is 19, Aurora still gets embarrassed by her parents in a way that 16-year-old Jasmine has already outgrown. Aurora - is wide eyed, mouthing to me, "See, SEE - this keeps happening. Make him not wear that shirt! This kept happening the whole time at Animal Kingdom after you left." Now if this were the baseball team that my husband supports - Aurora would not have been embarrassed. The main issue here was that my daughter knew my husband does not care about the Packers, and that he was having very cliché conversations. As an adult - I look at it as polite, cocktail party smalltalk. In Aurora's mind he was being embarrassingly silly.

    We rode Frozen. It is a really sweet ride - but we still miss Maelstrom.

    There were extra magic hours in Epcot about to happen. But we did a very poor park touring decision for folks wanting to take advantage of the extra magic hours. We went for a sit down meal right before the EMH began. This was fine for us, we were enjoying the ambiance of world showcase. Jasmine wanted pasta so we ended up at Via Napoli. She got Spaghetti with meatballs on the side (does not eat chicken or red meat). This was another place where I felt like the room was too warm. The waiting area, back room, and bathroom was fine - but the main dinning area we were in was warmer than I was comfortable with. Jasmine was the only one eating - I went outside and caught the lake show in the distance. I also kept being asked to take group photos with the statue in the courtyard.

    We eventually made our way to soarin'. I don't like heights and it is a ride I have not ridden it in a few years. I use to LOVE the ride. Rode it nearly a dozen times. But the next to the last time I rode it - after we took off - a cast member shined a flashlight or pin light to look at something near the control panel. I was on the top row, far side. So I saw how high we were. I rode it one more time after that - I was nervous the whole time. Then a co-worker of my husband got stuck on the ride at DL for nearly 20 minutes and rescue workers - not just cast members were used to get them down.

    It was getting close to park closings. None of the family is that fond of Test Track - so we bypass that to head it Mission Space. The three of them ride while I rest my knee. The park is closed by the time the ride is out. We buy "space" ice cream sandwiches and start walking to the exit.

    A lady sitting on the planter outside Space - stops my husband to talk about the Packers. The girls and a stand there a little bit - but figure maybe us moving on will help end the conversation. No such luck. We are past the construction Zone that use to be Ellen's Universe of Energy by the time my husband heads our way. We stop for a photopass photo with the nighttime ball - and head back to the hotel via Lyft.
     

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