Roll the stone away It's Independence Day! (July 3-5)

IanDLBZF

Member
Okay folks....
At the beginning of this year, I decided to make it a goal to visit Walt Disney World over Independence Day weekend. Now keep in mind, I've been over New Year's Eve twice, but this is the very first time I am going over Independence Day, plus the first time I will do a weekend trip involving me arriving Saturday, and heading home on Monday afternoon. I ended up booking this at the beginning of May much to my mom's surprise.

Now for the nitty gritty (I am a FL Resident Platinum AP for that matter) -
Here's what the logistics looks like:
Resort: Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Room: Outer Building Garden View
Check-in: 7/3/2021
Check-out: 7/5/2021
Length of Stay: 3 Days, 2 Nights

Oh! And did I mention this is my first time EVER staying at Grand Floridian? I've stayed at the Polynesian in November 2007, Boulder Ridge/Wilderness Lodge in December 2017, Yacht Club in July 2019, and the Contemporary in August and December 2020! So this will make it as being that I have stayed at 4 deluxe resorts (this trip will make 5), and now stayed at all three monorail resorts over a course of 14 years!

But enough blabbering, here's the itinerary!
Day 1 - Saturday July 3, 2021
  • Travel to WDW from Lake Mary, via Deland on Amtrak Train 91 to Kissimmee. Connecting to Lynx Link 56 to the Transportation & Ticket Center, and in turn the Monorail to Grand Floridian.
  • Check-In, Settle-In, Unpack, Lunch, Basin White
  • Game Plan for parks goes like this...
    • EPCOT from 3pm to 5pm-ish
    • Hop to Hollywood Studios from 5pm to 7:30pm-ish
      • Trying to Snag an Oga's Canteen ADR and boy is it a PAIN in the rear!
      • No plans to do ROTR
    • Then hop back to EPCOT from 7:30pm to Park Close at 10:00pm
Day 2 - Sunday July 4, 2021 (Independence Day!)
  • This will be a Magic Kingdom day, no intentions of park hopping
  • I've made two ADRs for this day, Skipper's Canteen (for lunch) and Liberty Tree Tavern (for dinner - which could change to California Grill) - Breakfast will either be with room service or at Gasparilla Island Grill
  • May do a midday break if I feel exhausted
  • I am planning to watch Happily Ever After that evening (either in the park or at California Grill)
Day 3 - Monday July 5, 2021
  • I'll probably get up early and pack everything, and then take my suitcase to bell services for them to hang on to it until I come back to head home.
  • Breakfast - Maybe Grand Floridian Cafe?
  • Park Plans - This will be predominantly be an Animal Kingdom day, again no park hopping. Lunch will be at Restaurantosaurus, dinner will be TBD
  • Going home will involve me taking the Monorail to the TTC, and then my usual Link 50/SunRail routing back to Lake Mary
And did I also mention I got the COVID-19 Vaccine too? Having gotten the second dose on June 13! One thing I'd like to mention to everyone, guys please GET THE COVID-19 VACCINE, especially if you're a WDW FL Resident AP like I am.
 

ThemeParkCommando

Active member
Since Sunday is July 4th, you may want to plan for a midday break in the park. It is possible that attendance will shut the park down in the afternoon, so you may not be able to get back in if you leave. Not sure how they are going to handle it, but better safe than sorry!
 

IanDLBZF

Member
Since Sunday is July 4th, you may want to plan for a midday break in the park. It is possible that attendance will shut the park down in the afternoon, so you may not be able to get back in if you leave. Not sure how they are going to handle it, but better safe than sorry!
Good thinking...
Anyways.... Everything's all packed!
And we're at four days to go!
And did I mention that I have booked another trip for October 7-8?!
 

IanDLBZF

Member
TWO DAYS TO GO! With me successfully snagging an Oga's Canteen ADR, I've made a slight update to the itinerary...
Day 1 - Saturday July 3, 2021
  • Travel to WDW from Lake Mary, via Deland on Amtrak Train 91 to Kissimmee. Connecting to Lynx Link 56 to the Transportation & Ticket Center, and in turn the Monorail to Grand Floridian.
  • Check-In, Settle-In, Unpack, Lunch, Basin White
  • Game Plan for parks goes like this...
    • EPCOT from 3pm to 5pm-ish
    • Hop to Hollywood Studios from 5pm to 7:30pm-ish
      • Oga's Canteen ADR @ 6:35pm
      • No plans to do ROTR
      • May grab some food at Flower & Garden Fest too?
    • Then hop back to EPCOT from 7:30pm to Park Close at 10:00pm
    • Watching Epcot Forever tonight
Day 2 - Sunday July 4, 2021 (Independence Day!)
  • This will be a Magic Kingdom day, no intentions of park hopping
  • I've made two ADRs for this day, Skipper's Canteen (for lunch) and Liberty Tree Tavern (for dinner - which could change to California Grill) - Breakfast will either be with room service or at Gasparilla Island Grill
  • May do a midday break if I feel exhausted
  • I am planning to watch Happily Ever After that evening (either in the park or at California Grill)
Day 3 - Monday July 5, 2021
  • I'll probably get up early and pack everything, and then take my suitcase to bell services for them to hang on to it until I come back to head home.
  • Breakfast - Maybe Grand Floridian Cafe?
  • Park Plans - This will be predominantly be an Animal Kingdom day, again no park hopping. Lunch will be at Restaurantosaurus, dinner will be TBD
  • Going home will involve me taking the Monorail to the TTC, and then my usual Link 50/SunRail routing back to Lake Mary
 

Micah008

Moderator
Staff member
I was able to snag a Oga's reservation today also (for mid-August). After checking for the last week, and not finding even a single time available, today there were multiple choices on a couple different days of our trip. It seems they may have increased capacity... (which is good and bad)
 

IanDLBZF

Member
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Tomorrow's the big day! Can't wait!
 

IanDLBZF

Member
Starting this off where things should start off...
Day 1 - Travel Down, Epcot, & Hollywood Studios

I awoke around 6:30am to have a quick breakfast before heading down to the Deland Amtrak station. It was really rainy outside my window when I woke up and by looking at the Amtrak tracker map, 91 was already running well behind schedule, around 1-1.5 hours late. "This shouldn't be too bad I figure" I said to myself. I got picked up by Uber around 7:25am and was in Deland before the station building even opened up. Amtrak had already texted me saying the train was 1 hour late. Then around 8:34, Amtrak posted an alert on Twitter:

Now they were running 90 minutes late by this point. They ended up arriving in Palatka almost 2 hours behind schedule! And then they finally said the train would be arriving around 10:47am, almost 2 hours late! And 91 came in around 10:47am into Deland.
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That's my train, arriving right into the DeLand station.

This is where I want to vent. Had I done four days, as opposed to three, I would've come in that Friday on SunRail and Lynx and been able to do Disney Springs. This is beyond crazy. Had I Ubered to Seminole Center in Sanford (Not referring to Seminole Towne Center, but where the Walmart & Aldi are), and taken Lynx Links 103, 102, and 50 down, or if this was a weekday and I had taken SunRail and Lynx Link 50 down, I would've been there.

I did grab lunch on the train's cafe car. Only got myself a hot dog and some chips, with a coke. I mean, not too bad considering it's only an Amtrak Cafe Car.

Ended up arriving to Kissimmee around 12:30pm and had only a 30 minute layover before boarding Lynx Link 56 to the Transportation & Ticket Center. Around noon, before the train pulled out of Orlando, I got the room ready notification!!! I was going to be in Sago Cay on the 5th Floor!

Now this is where I had the only issue this whole trip thus far:
I was a tad bit confused looking for my room, until I eventually came across it. I tried to use my MagicBand to unlock it, no use. Tried using my iPhone/MobileMagic to unlock, but somehow couldn't get the Bluetooth on the App to work. I called the front desk and they sent someone up (two people up)! And turns out, there was an issue with my MagicBand. One of the kind ladies was nice enough to take my MagicBand up to the front desk and they managed to fix it, I also got a key card as a backup from the front desk too which was nice. And here's how I got the MobileMagic/Bluetooth issue resolved - I called Apple Support and they recommended for me to reboot my phone - it worked!
THANK YOU DISNEY! AND THANK YOU APPLE!
Anyways, I was assigned to room 5514 - and had a really good view of the monorails passing by! And it's a really nice room too!
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The plan of the day was to hit Epcot and Hollywood Studios, and seeing I'd not have enough time to do everything I wanted to do given the train delay, I decided to make the most of it that I could.
Since the Epcot Monorail was still not running, I got the bus to there, and decided to do Soarin' get out, go to Studios, and hit Oga's Cantina, and Smuggler's Run and (if time permitted) Runaway Railway.
And boy did I do just that, except for Runaway Railway.

And this time, at the Cantina.... I got the Jedi Mind Trick!
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Last time, I got the Fuzzy Tauntaun which is by the far the best drink the Galaxy has to offer, but I will admit - this is better than getting numb lips. Not a fan of the meat and cheese board there though.
Oh and after that, I did MFSR as pilot! Not a good idea after drinking though.

After that I called an audible and got the Friendship Boat to Epcot to knock down Gran Fiesta Tour and Mission: Space before seeing Epcot Forever for the final time.
And guess what I see by the time I get to Epcot? More Harmonious Testing, this time the water effects!
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I grabbed some Ice Cream from that place in the Italy Pavilion, and it's pretty good! Then I took on Gran Fiesta Tour and Mission Space with ease, before heading back to World Showcase to see Epcot Forever!

While the kites were removed, much to everyone's dismay, it is still good to at least see some form of a fireworks show at Epcot, combined with searchlights and lasers. TONS OF SMOKE AFTER THE SHOW TOO!
Because of a lack of a real dinner, I decided to have a Turkey sandwich from Gasparilla Grill before retiring for the night.

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Yes, that is me, in a bathrobe.
Overall, despite a rough start, I managed to get a number of things in. The cast at Disney were super polite with resolving the issue I had with my MagicBand, and that is service with a smile!
 

Anne

Well-known member
Great room! I love the sago cay and conch key buildings on that side. It's a standard view but you get the ambiance of the monorail and can often see fireworks from the balcony. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip!
 
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