They're Tall Enough! - A Trip Report - Jan 2016

Micah008

New member
Table of Contents:
Day 1 - Arrival / Bay Lake Tower / Magic Kingdom
Day 2 - Magic Kingdom
Day 3 - Hollywood Studios
Day 4 - Magic Kingdom
Day 5 - Animal Kingdom / Disney Springs
Day 6 - Magic Kingdom / Beach Club Villas
Day 7 - Epcot
Day 8 - Hollywood Studios
Day 9 - Hollywood Studios / Mini-golf / Animal Kingdom
Day 10 - Epcot
Day 11 - Departure


The Basic Plot:
We visited Walt Disney World from Saturday 1/23 through Tuesday 2/2 2016 (10 nights), again doing a split stay between a couple different DVC resorts, like we have often been doing recently. The first 5 nights were at Bay Lake Tower in a Standard View Studio, the last 5 nights at Beach Club Villas, again in a Studio. We selected BLT primarily for the proximity to Magic Kingdom, and the fact that we were actually able to book one of the cheaper Standard View rooms without being owners there (since it is normally difficult). We stayed at Beach Club to be near Epcot (and Hollywood Studios), we wanted to try out Stormalong Bay (even in January), and to use the Sandcastle Club. One of our goals is to stay in every DVC resort, and we are getting closer each trip.

We typically go to Disney World in January to be able to enjoy the Florida weather, lower crowds, and value prices. We chose these dates later in January in part because the kids had one day off school during that time, and also to be able to activate our Annual Passes late enough in the month to allow us to take a mid-January trip next year before they expire.

As the title implies, each of our kids had reached new heights this year, and would each be able to try many new things they had never done before, making it a whole new experience for all of us.


The Cast:
Me: This was my 11th time to WDW (see signature for the list). The things I was most looking forward to on this trip were to be able to see the Star Wars fireworks, try some new resorts, restaurants and bars/lounges, and to be able to see the kids doing some rides for their first time.

DW: She has also been to WDW 11 times including this trip, plus one trip to Disneyland growing up. On this trip she was most excited to have a date night just the two of us at Flying Fish (and surrounding area), see the Star Wars fireworks, and to stay at new resorts.

DS7: This was his 7th trip to WDW. He said his favorite ride is Test Track, and his favorite character is Goofy. Now at exactly 48" he can do pretty much everything, but there are a few he still just doesn't want to go on unless we force him. He was most excited to be able to go on Sum of All Thrills and Rock-N-Rollercoaster on this trip.

DS5: This was his 6th trip to WDW. He said his favorite ride is the Peoplemover, and his favorite character is Pluto. He is finally at 40" (barely), so he was able to do many new things, and is willing to try new things more than his brother. He was most excited to be able to go on Test Track after seeing some videos on YouTube and hearing his brother talk about it.


Some Past Trip Photos:

February 2004 trip: (just DW and I)


February 2010 trip: (DS7 was 1 (almost 2) at the time)


January 2012 trip: (DS5 was only 1 at the time)


January 2013 trip:


January 2014 trip:


August 2014 trip:


January 2015 trip:
 
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henrymomof3

New member
I'm excited to read another of your trip reports! Your previous reports were a big help when planning my kids' first trip last July😊
 

Micah008

New member
Day 1 - Arrival / Bay Lake Tower / Magic Kingdom

Saturday January 23rd
Crowd Level 5



We were flying out of Milwaukee early in the morning on the 23rd, so we drove the ~3 hours the day before, after DS7 was done with school. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza near the airport and used IHG points for a free night, which worked well enough for our needs, especially since we were pretty much just heading to bed as soon as we got there.

In the morning we got up early, quickly got ready and headed over to the airport. We normally park in the SuperSaver lot at the airport, but we parked at WallyPark because they were having a special on their valet parking for only $5.95 per day (vs $7 for the Saver lot). We just pulled in, left the car running, loaded our stuff directly to a shuttle (with them helping), and then got right on the shuttle and were on the way over to the terminal while they parked our car. It was nice, but I doubt I would do it again at the normal price (more on that at the end of the trip).

We arrived with more than enough time, ate some breakfast that we brought to the gate, and waited for our boarding time. Since Southwest Airlines had changed some of their Family Boarding procedures we were able to all board together, and got seats in row 20 (see thread here for the changes).

The plane took off right as the sun was about to rise. It was an early morning, but we were on our way...


We were at the gate in Orlando at 10:37, got off the plane and got our strollers from gate check, only to find...


Well, that wasn't the way we brought it. Dang.

The good news was that this was our older stroller that was already a bit beat up, and we weren't planning to have DS7 use it much anyway, but it still wasn't a great way to start. In case you are not aware, the airlines actually don't cover gate checked items for damage, they only guarantee they won't lose them... but this was a bit more damage than we have come to expect from the numerous times we have used gate check.

I took a few extra minutes to file a report with SW, not expecting anything, and we went on our way to the Magical Express. (After the trip I followed up and actually got a $100 travel voucher for it, despite it not technically being covered... they said the main reason they gave me something was that I told the truth about the actual value and condition of the stroller before the flight, and many people just lie to try to get something more)

We got to the Magical Express lines at 11:22 and found much longer lines than we have experienced in the past. We got on the bus at 11:50, stopped at WL along the way, and finally made it over to BLT at 12:34. Considering the issues and delays, it was almost exactly 2 hours since the plane had reached the gate, which really wasn't too bad.

We had lunch at Contempo Cafe, which was very good. Even though we had received our room number via text message before leaving the airport, we weren't able to charge to our room. After lunch we went to the check-in desk at BLT and got the Magic Bands working. (we were told that something apparently didn't work properly when I did online check-in) While I did this, the kids were enjoying all of the different chairs...


I had done some research before the trip to see where the different Standard View rooms were at BLT. Some of them are rooms that used to be considered Theme Park View, but because they can only see part of the castle they were re-categorized as Standard View (roughly 1/2 the price). I setup my requests to hopefully be able to snag one of these rooms.

We walk into the room, and see ...


Amazing! Can't complain with that view at all! The castle was straight out from our room, and it was exactly what we were hoping for.

Here are some other pictures of the view, and the room itself.












Our plan was to spend some time in Magic Kingdom, and we had a few FP+ setup. The kids really wanted to take the monorail after being able to see it from our room, so we took it rather than walking, even though it would take longer.

We made it over to the park at 2:15.



While it looked like a beautiful day, it was actually very cool and windy.

We went on the Peoplemover first, and then found a great place to watch the parade right across from Sleepy Hollow.



We went on Jungle Cruise with a FP+, saw the Country Bears, rode on Aladdin (would be closing for refurb soon), then rode BTMRR with a FP+ which DS5 absolutely loved!

We had dinner at Pecos Bills, and enjoyed the Southwest Chicken Salad with plenty of fixins' on it.

After dinner it was starting to get downright cold out due to the sun being down and the wind not letting up. We decided just to do Philharmagic next since it was indoors and it wasn't yet time for our final FP+. While waiting in line we spent some time talking with the family next to us who was from Michigan, and one of their kids happened to share a name with our DS5, so they were instantly "friends", and it was fun talking with them.

To end the day we rode Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which we really enjoyed doing in the dark.


It had been a very productive time at MK, especially considering we didn't get there until mid-afternoon. But, the early morning was starting to catch up to us and it was time to get the kids back to the room to get some sleep.

After getting the kids to bed DW and I watched Wishes from our balcony, and didn't actually stay up much later ourselves before we realized we needed to get some sleep too.
 

beachta1

New member
Joining in! Glad you got such a great view. Do you have pics of how the fireworks looked from your room?
 

LibraryTink

New member
Yay! A new "Micah" report! Can't wait to hear all about the trip. Thanks for always sharing your vacations with us!
 

quince

New member
Add me to the people worried when there wasn't a report! Following along (actually following along all active trip reports, just too lazy to say so!).

Following along. Lots of dragon pictures in TRs these days!
Ha! I'm going to go with it being because there are lots of dude trip reports right now. Dragon = testosterone, or something.
 
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