I've never written a trip report, but thought I would post some tips and thoughts from our most recent trip to help me recall and potentially help others plan. Our trip was June 10-15; it was our first time renting points to stay DVC (Copper Creek studio).
We are sad to be back but looking forward to another trip next year!
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is adorable. How did I not realize this before?!
- For us, 7DMT just like BTMRR is better at night.
- Finally got to experience Frozen Ever After. It was a 30 minute wait during evening EMH. I am not a Frozen fan, but it was cuter than I expected. One and done for us, though.
- Don't care about Avatar, but loved Flight of Passage. It is similar to Forbidden Journey, but the ride experience is superior to me in that it's less motion sickness inducing and you spend more time in each scene so you are better able to take everything in.
- Nomad Lounge is my favorite way to start a trip and will likely become our tradition. This was our second time doing it. Love the ambience and service there.
- Territory Lounge is a close second to Nomad Lounge. Love the pretzel bread, fondue, and chicken wings. They were wonderful in giving non-alcoholic drink options to my teenage daughter.
- Disney After Hours Villains was worth every penny. Absolutely loved it. At one point, we were in the Haunted Mansion elevator with only three other people. I was twirling around the elevator with my arms out just because I could. My only regret was not seeing Josh and then finding out, to add insult to injury, that Bricker was there with Josh and I didn't see either one of them! I wanted to say hi and tell them both how much I appreciate what they do.
- Even when you have only one day at Universal and you are a huge Harry Potter fan, it is worth it to skip out early to watch your favorite team since childhood win the Stanley Cup for the first time. Go Blues! Apologies to anyone staying at Copper Creek who heard the screaming and jumping up and down coming from my room.
- Our interactions with Disney cast members were very pleasant throughout our stay. The staff at the Wizarding World seemed a bit short and stressed this time, which is not typical in our experience. I assumed it was due to the stress of the Hagrid coaster opening. Universal "felt" more crowded to us than Disney. (We went the day before Hagrid opened.)
- Having a kitchenette is nice, but grocery delivery is mostly a waste for us. We ended up throwing away too much food. In the future, we'll just buy a few snacks/breakfast items from the resort store. Tip: If you have unopened food/drinks, you can donate them to Bell Services. They were happy to get them.
- If you need white noise to sleep, request a box fan for your room. I slept like a baby. (This was also due to the very comfortable Copper Creek studio bed.) My daughter slept fine on the pull-out bed.
- I'm torn on whether or not the HEA dessert party is worth it. We enjoyed it, and our view of the fireworks was good. However, we were at MK the following night and decided 10 minutes before HEA that we wanted to see it again. We were easily able to slide into the west garden and get a place on the side without walking in front of others who were there before us. The view was not quite as good as the dessert party, but it was much better than I anticipated. On a previous trip, we had waited for an hour in the garden and had a good view. This used the same amount of time as was spent at the dessert party, but didn't cost anything! There was a reserved section roped off that cut into the available space in the west garden, but it was pretty small.
- If you are a light eater, BOG kids' lunch portions are perfect. I got the chicken and mashed potatoes and my daughter got the grilled cheese and turkey soup. Those combined with a Mickey bar after lunch were the perfect amount of food. I enjoyed my meal; my daughter said her sandwich was okay but the soup was way too salty. We were excited to see the restaurant for the first time and enjoyed sitting in the West Wing.
- We had a wonderful lunch at Kona Cafe. They were very gracious about seating us immediately without a reservation and said reservations aren't required at lunch. Sushi and seafood soup were delicious, as was the bread and butter. My daughter enjoyed the potstickers, but I didn't like that they were soggy on bottom. (They are cooked crepe-style.) We were thrilled to have POG; the POG that was served at the HEA dessert party seemed watered-down.
- I love taking the boat from Wilderness Lodge. It's one of my favorite things about staying there. So relaxing.
- Why does the monorail smell like a barn?
- The Peter Pan float from Storybook Treats is delicious and perfect on a hot day.
- We skipped DHS this trip; I did not miss it other than RNRC and Tower of Terror.
- We used to occasionally skip Animal Kingdom, but I fall more in love with that park every time we go. I wouldn't miss it now.
- Late afternoon/nighttime touring in the summer (or anytime?) is fantastic. Maybe we got lucky, but our plans were scheduled right after the rain moved through and so it was much cooler and less crowded. We were able to accomplish everything we wanted, and my teenager was much less crabby with the ability to sleep in. This also allowed me time to sit in the almost empty lobby at Wilderness Lodge each morning enjoying my coffee, which I loved.
- Speaking of the lobby, one afternoon when it was raining a ton of characters burst in to meet the kids. The ones I recall were Mickey, Minnie, Tigger, Donald, Goofy, Max, Rafiki, Chip, and Dale; I think there were a couple more. It was so unexpected and really cool to see. I had no idea that happened sometimes!
- There were some issues with rides breaking down, but not a lot. BTMRR was down for about two hours one night, which was unfortunate as we had a FP. The worst was our Epcot day. There had been rain earlier in the day and Test Track was down, which apparently led to longer lines the rest of the day. Soarin' was still a 30-40 minute wait at the end of evening EMH. The person in front of us in line said she had witnessed multiple people screaming at the cast members earlier in the day because of the long waits.
- We had our first water park excursion this trip - Typhoon Lagoon. My daughter enjoyed it; I could take it or leave it. We had a later start than planned that morning and so didn't arrive until about 10:45, but there were still plenty of chairs available, and lines for the major slides were about 15 minutes until I would guess about noon, when it started to get more crowded. I think I prefer spending non-park time either visiting other resorts or enjoying the resort where we're staying.
- The mini donuts at Typhoon Lagoon are tasty. If you are looking for them, they are at the Joffrey's stand near the front of the park.
- When checking the app for bus wait times, keep checking periodically and make sure you are at the bus stop a few minutes ahead of time. We saw the bus times move up and down frequently, and at one point we arrived right on time for a bus only to see it pulling away as we arrived. We ended up using Lyft - love that this is such an easy option!
- We preferred the studio villa to a regular room, and although I had requested an upper floor and was disappointed to get a first floor room, the location was perfect and we were glad we ended up there. Easy to walk out the door and get to the lobby, buses, pool, boat, etc.
- This brings me to the title of my thread - going with the flow. I'm finally getting the hang of it. We had a few less than stellar moments on this trip as will always happen. The worst of which was at the start of our trip, when we had a 5:20am flight that arrived just before 9am. Long story short, our studio villa was not ready until after 4pm, so we spent the day trying to nap in the second floor alcove at Wilderness Lodge because we were too tired to do anything else. I knew there was no guarantee of early check-in and didn't think it would be ready until at least noon or 1pm, but I was surprised at how late we got in. Regardless, we shook off the fatigue and irritation and proceeded to Nomad Lounge to switch gears to relaxation and trip enjoyment. Any time I would get a little annoyed, I would remind myself how much I love Disney and let it go. I was much better at switching plans on the fly, enjoying the small things, and not sweating the things we missed. We'll be back! (I'm sure letting go is more difficult for those on a once in a lifetime trip, but I am always dismayed when I see people yelling at cast members or their children - "We're here to have fun, dammit!") Lesson learned from the check-in experience: It seems as thought it may be more difficult to get early check-in for DVC? We will plan our flights accordingly in the future. It was not worth having that first full day there when exhausted.
We are sad to be back but looking forward to another trip next year!