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Thread: Steve Russo - January 19 to February 3, 2020 - Boardwalk Villas

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    Steve Russo - January 19 to February 3, 2020 - Boardwalk Villas

    A Longer Russo Trip Report

    January 19 to February 3, 2020
    Boardwalk Villas


    • Steve – Yeah, I just turned 70 last month.
    • Barb – Yeah, she didn’t.
    • Stephen – Our son.
    • Stephanie – Stephen’s Wife and our Daughter-In-Law.
    • Jack – Age 5 and the 4th of 5 Grandsons.
    • Grace – Age 3 and our first Granddaughter.
    • Olivia (Livvy) – Age 1 and our second Granddaughter. This is her first Disney visit.

    Background and Health Issues:
    Here we go… again. Barb is clean and I’m holding my own which means I’m still here. My brains not good and I wish my knees were better so I could walk around Crescent Lake as I once did. However, as I said, I’m still here.

    Not much to say here. We’re at the Boardwalk for 16 days. Stephen and family will join us for 8 days in the middle. Technically, this is our longest trip ever.

    The Trip:
    Barb and I are leaving early on a Sunday and, as usual, we have a prediction for snow, wind and ice on Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning. That makes for an early and difficult drive to the airport so… I have a lifetime Platinum Elite membership with Marriott, and a bunch of free points, so I booked a one bedroom at the Residence Inn (located about one mile from the Albany airport and offering a free ride over). Daughter Michelle and her family provided a Saturday ride up for us (thank you). We enjoyed lunch at the Wired Coffee, located next door, and a dinner (just a shared salad) at the hotel. To kill the evening, we watched The Upside - a surprisingly very good film.

    Sunday, January 19, 2020 – A Long and Tiring Day
    As usual, we’re up early at 3:00 am. The snow has stopped, leaving a few inches mixed with some ice. At 5:00 am the hotel provides a ride to the airport. It was cold with some ice on the roads and the hotel drop-off area forces a walk through some slushy ice but we made it in okay – at least neither of us slipped and fell.

    The Southwest area was surprisingly crowded but we got through without a problem. I’m not sure why but our Southwest check-in employee was not in a very good mood. She grunted answers and basically threw Barb’s suitcase to the baggage area.

    We also provided some help to a couple who haven’t been to Disney in years and were headed to the Animal Kingdom Resort. They hadn’t yet attached their luggage tags so we brought them up to speed on how they should ready themselves. Get those luggage tags on here so they’ll be delivered to your room. Next was heading through security and, sadly, we hadn’t scored a TSA Pre. I made my usual stop on the way removing my wallet, watch, belt, phone, etc. I also untied my shoes to make the move through easier. Fortunately, it was an easy walk through.

    We arrived at our gate and spent some time with coffee at The Local @ Alb. We had a slightly rough flight down and landed at 10:30 am. Have I mentioned that my vacation now begins when I’ve landed in Orlando? This started a while ago and I’m not sure why but it works for me. We walk a long way through the airport to a waiting Magical Express bus. The bus made stops at the Yacht Club, Beach Club, Boardwalk, and Caribbean Beach. We obviously exited at the Boardwalk.

    I did receive a text from Disney that our room was not yet ready so it’s off to lunch at Big River. This was our first food since our dinner salad last night so, yeah, we were hungry. It’s moved up and down but the burger at Big River was, once again, very, very good. Either that or I was very, very hungry.

    We shopped a bit, walked around, and received a text that our room was ready at 2:00. Room 5081, on the fifth floor, is a Studio that will connect to a one bedroom (5083) on Wednesday, becoming a 2-bedroom unit when Stephen and family arrive. I had requested this movement and, while Disney couldn’t guarantee it, they came through nicely for us.

    Our bags were delivered quickly and we unpacked. The afternoon nap is part of my life since the brain surgery and it was really needed after our 3:00 am wake-up today. Barb went downstairs and picked up some water and coffee creamer for us.

    My naps are required but not very lengthy. We freshened up and left at 4:40 for a walk to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (after watching Kansas City go up on Tennessee in the AFC Championship game). The park was very crowded and, trust me, I’ll offer this line a lot over the next two weeks. I remember when January was a very uncrowded month to visit. This is no longer true.

    We had Fastpasses for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The Stand-by wait was 125 minutes and we’re on and off the ride in 15. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a crowd of people inside. I really enjoy this ride but, on the downside, at least four people were filming while using the ride. Our view of the films had several red and blue lights shining back at us. Additionally, the two young girls in front of us actually blocked our appearance in the photo by raising their arms.

    We’re back on the boat to the Boardwalk and Big River. Yeah, my knees won’t permit a long walk every time. On the boat, at the stop at the Yacht Club Resort, two “gentlemen” with four small children join us. These guys were carrying beers which, I think, are not allowed on the boats. Anyway, they stood on the back of the boat and were very, very loud.

    We hit the Big River bar for a beer, and to watch some of the Green Bay and San Francisco game. In about 5 minutes, a large table behind us becomes occupied and gets extremely loud. They seem surprised about the NFL Championship game but are very loud in their comments. I turn and see the group of six that were on the boat.

    This leads us to an early exit after a single beer… and no food. Surprisingly, our Magic Bands don’t work to pay our bill. Thankfully, I do keep an AmEx card and some cash with me. What’s surprising is that the Magic Bands worked here earlier in the day.

    Neither of us was very hungry and we were banking on shared appetizers at Big River. That plan for dinner became Mickey pretzels from a Boardwalk vendor, which we carried up to the room.

    We devoured the pretzels and watched the football game but fell asleep at halftime. It was a long, long day. San Francisco wins and will join Kansas City in the Super Bowl in 2 weeks.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think our move to an Airport hotel yesterday was a smart one.
    I think the Big River burger has regained its number one ranking.
    I think I’ve listed a dislike for loud people as well as those that ruin my view on a ride. I think the list of what I dislike is increasing as I age.
    I think the uncrowded Walt Disney World of January no longer exists.
    I think rising at 3:00 am leads to a very long and tiring day.

    Monday, January 20, 2020 – Did I Mention It’s Crowded?
    We’re awake at 6:30. That’s about 10 hours of steady sleep. Wow! That never happens. By the way, it’s 48 degrees.

    We’re off to Epcot and the Land pavilion for a quick breakfast then a view of a new film, Awesome Planet. We both enjoyed it,

    Next up was Soarin’ with a Fastpass. It was a very quick walk through but we wound up in row three and off to the side. Not the best place for this version of Soarin’. I used to love this ride but the newer version, with its poor viewing angles, is no longer a favorite.

    Epcot is in a major state of renewal. There are many areas of construction – both building and tearing things down. One of our loves here is the film (the Disney Pixar Short Film Festival) at the Imagination pavilion so off we go. Something I had read, but completely forget, was Mickey’s presence just after the entrance. I made another mental note (uh, oh) to get our grandchildren through there for a Mickey autograph and photo. It’s not very crowded here so I’m guessing many are unaware. Did I also mention Mickey, Minnie and Goofy are available much of the day at the rear entrance to Epcot? Again, less crowded areas than you would think.

    The films attract a big crowd and lots of applause. That makes me happy. I love these films and most are available on Disney+ but… not my favorite, “Get a Horse”.

    We walk back to a crowded World Showcase around noon for our favorite beer at the Rose & Crown. I got the beers (a Black and Tan for me and a Carl’s Combo for Barb) but the bar was packed so we head outside to sit. The seating area there is also packed with many people strolling around with Fish and Chips, looking for tables.

    After we finished our beer, we offered our table to a family coming in and headed off to Canada for their new film (Canada Far and Wide, and still in Circle Vision). It was good but I prefer the replaced Martin Short version. One thing I forgot here is the number of stairs up and down to reach the film. It never bothered me until I developed the bad knees.

    After the film, we wandered back to Future World to the relocated Mouse Gear (they’re remodeling the original one) to collect our Annual Pass Mickey magnet. That area had a line of several hundred people so we delayed this to another day. We did take some photos of the human statues and then joined a huge crowd back through the countries to the exit. (Have I mentioned I really dislike the Skyliner dropping off and picking up so many people at the back door to Epcot?)

    I’m in the room at 2:45 for a nap (joined by Barb today).

    We’re freshened up and out at 4:00 to Abracadabar on the boardwalk. Our bartender, Joe, was Chicago born and a very nice guy. This is a nice bar but my Black Manhattan was somehow smaller than our last visit and too sweet. I’m not sure what caused this.

    After the drink, we headed to Trattoria al Forno for dinner. Very good with the Quartina of wine to accompany your meal. I also got the proper pronunciation of Trattoria but you’ll have to order the verbal version of this Trip Report to hear it.

    Up to the Belle Vue room for an after dinner drink (a very appropriate Manhattan), then it was back to the room.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think it’s very crowded (yeah, I know I said that previously).
    I think I like the Soarin’ ride less and the Disney Pixar Films more.
    I think I still like the Rose and Crown but I prefer enjoying my Black and Tan seated in the bar.
    I think I enjoy the Trattoria (notice how it’s pronounced). It’s not the best Italian restaurant I’ve visited but it’s good and very convenient to the Boardwalk.
    I think it’s very crowded.

    Tuesday, January 21, 2020 – Loud Neighbors and a Flight of Passage
    We’re up at 7:10. Our neighbor, in the next-door 1-bedroom unit we’ll be adding soon, was up hacking badly overnight. And loudly. I felt bad for the guy but he certainly wasn’t helping our sleep.

    We thought we might be able to expand to the 2-bedroom unit early. Barb asked at the front desk and had a somewhat rude CM ask. “Do you think you’re the only ones needing service?”. Geez, we were just asking.

    About 9:30, we head to Animal Kingdom after barely missing a bus. We use a Fastpass for Barb to ride Expedition Everest (I stopped riding when the backwards part just became too much for me). I waited in the sun after determining that 49 degrees is not that bad… in the sun.

    Next up was a very nice (and crowded) Kilimanjaro Safari. That was followed by lunch at Pizzafari. Still a favorite Caesar Salad and small pizza place.

    After lunch we decided on It’s Tough To Be a Bug. Again, there are always too many small children here. The show is wonderful but it’s frightening for the very young. I feel bad for the sobbing 3-5 year olds when Hopper comes out.

    We now head to Avatar to use our Fastpasses on Flight of Passage. We’re allowed to use the Fastpass 10 minutes early. This is still my favorite ride at Walt Disney World. I have ridden Smugglers Run at Hollywood Studios and enjoyed it but still feel the Avatar ride is better. What’s new at the Studios is a very interesting looking Rise of the Resistance. My fear though is we’ll have to make it there in the 7:00 am area to be allowed a ride… and that’s likely not going to happen.

    After the Flight of Passage, we’re out and back on the bus to the Boardwalk. A quick nap at 3:00 and our neighbor, in MY one bedroom unit, is noisy as hell. There appears to be more people in there than before and they’re doing a lot of yelling.

    I stopped at the front desk for instructions on how tomorrow will work. Stephen and family are coming in but the 2-bedroom (our neighbors 1-bedroom and our Studio room) will both have to be cleaned. I’m hoping to pull this off without repacking our suitcases. I also paid our first bill.

    We headed out, did some shopping and purchased a signature book for Grace (Jack already has one) and then headed to ESPN for a very nice and relaxing dinner. We’re really looking forward to being joined by the Baldwinsville Russos tomorrow.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think I’m not happy with the way Disney is allowing access to the new Star Wars rides. Basically, get to the park at 7:00 am or you’re not riding today.
    I think I really like the Flight of Passage ride. And I have noticed a variation on the pre-show details, offering differences in the amount of delay. I’m not sure why this is done.
    I think we’re looking forward to adding some family to the trip tomorrow.

    Wednesday, January 22, 2020 – The Flying Russos Arrive
    This is the big day when our room is turned into a 2-bedroom unit and we’re joined by our son and his family.

    We were asked to checkout of the Studio this morning and they would notify us when the rooms have been updated and could be assigned a new entry. They actually gave us a pair of tickets for use before our MagicBands were updated. I stayed to pack up what could be packed up and Barb headed to the Front Desk to checkout. There was a line there that got longer when a gentleman (and I use the term politely), carrying luggage, asked to move up in the line because he had 15 minutes until his Magical Express bus arrived. Barb let him move to the front but she asked later why he hadn’t shown up a few minutes earlier (as we do) to make sure you catch your bus. But, heck, how many times have I watched a Magical Express driver have to step into the hotel to find a missing group.

    We vacated the room, giving them an opportunity to clean. Breakfast was a shared bagel and coffee at the Belle Vue Room. Yes, the bar doubles as a breakfast place in the mornings.

    Stephen and family flew in around 9:30 and texted on their arrival. They made it to the Boardwalk about 11:00. Lots of hugs and kisses and it looked like the kids (all five of them) were really happy to be here. Our previous Studio room has been completely cleaned but the attached 1-bedroom has not. The guests were still in the room after 11:00 so this may be a problem for us.

    We bring the traveling Russos into their room for a freshen up and then we head to Big River for lunch. Stephen is a big Big River (okay, a large Big River fan sounds better) burger fan and he actually once said, at a much younger age, “Dad, when this burger is done I’m going to be sad!”

    After lunch, it was off to Animal Kingdom. During their trip 2 years ago, the Right of Passage became a favorite for both Stephen and Stephanie. When I booked our Fastpasses, I tried to grab that ride whenever it was available – which included this afternoon.

    We hit the park at around 2:00 and began with lots of Dino digging and climbing at the Boneyard. That was followed by a couple rides on Expedition Everest (excluding me and the kids - I just can’t handle the reverse part.) First Stephen and Barb rode, then Barb and Steph.

    Jack had a nice visit (photos and autographs) with Goofy followed be a visit to Triceratops spin. Barb and I kept Livvy while the rest of the traveling Russos rode. I managed a photo but they were up in the air and it looked like Stephen and Steph were the only riders. Oh well…

    Next we walked over to Avatar and the Flight of Passage. None of the kids wanted to ride so we checked with the CMs there and were given an extension on the time for the Fastpasses. This was really a “just in case” option and it wasn’t needed.

    At 4:05Thin pm, I finally received a text that we have a 2-bedroom unit so we grab a bus back to the Boardwalk and get fully unpacked and organized. Stephen did a wonderful job of ordering a grocery delivery through Publix (I had no idea this existed and I’ll use it again). The order had been delivered but, because we weren’t here, the beer and wine ordered were taken back. They require an adult to receive it.

    It was a long and tiring day so we opted for a delivered pizza for dinner with a lot of the Publix delivered fruit. The children were in bed by 7:30 and we spent the rest of the evening chatting and reviewing our plans for the rest of the trip.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think I enjoy being on a Disney trip with my children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, we had to back out last year from trips with Michelle and Stephanie (and their families) due to Barb’s surgery and follow-ups.
    I think it’s been colder here than I’d like. We have one cool day tomorrow then things warm back up into the 70s.
    I think, even though it took a while, Disney staff did a great thing in converting our Studio room to a 2-bedroom. It saves the repacking of suitcases and the physical moves.
    I think we’ll enjoy the daily interface with Jack, Grace and Livvy. We really don’t see them as much as we’d like.

    Thursday, January 23, 2020 – Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Cannoli’s
    Up and at ‘em at 8:30 to a waiting bus, We head to the Magic Kingdom and make a tour of rides, some stand-by and some using Fastpass. We took the group on the Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain (adults only), Aladdin, and Mickey’s Philharmagic (always a big hit).

    Our next stop was lunch at Columbia Harbour House, another favorite. The weather was cool and it began to sprinkle a bit while we enjoyed lunch.

    After lunch, we walked to Cinderella’s Castle for some photos, and then out to a short wait for a bus. On the walk, the rain got heavy but we managed to make it to the covered bus stop before getting soaked.

    It was a nice ride back to the resort, followed by a nap (for me and Livvy, anyway). We were out again at 5:00 to Epcot.

    The rear entry at Epcot (once a very nice feature for the use of Crescent Lake Snobs but now crowded by the Skyliner folks) now has Mickey, Minnie and Goofy in some very accessible lines. We had both Jack and Gracie get autographs, hugs and photos from Mickey and Minnie.

    The rain had stopped but the temperature was still cool. Future World was much less crowded than World Showcase. We spent a fair amount of time with Nemo and Friends, Turtle Talk With Crush, and looked at some fish and other things in Seabase Alpha (although I think the “Alpha” part has been dropped). The grandkids seemed to really enjoy this area. Jack did a real nice job sitting up front and being asked to question Crush (although Crush called him “Zack”).

    It was off for dinner at the Electric Umbrella. I know, I know… it’s not a favorite with everyone but it does offer decent chicken dishes and lots of fruit for the kiddies. Barb and I headed to Mouse Gear to pick up our Mickey magnets (one for us and the other for the Baldwinsville Russos). The line of several hundred from the other day had broken down to zero. We were in and out in seconds.

    Next up was a ride for everyone on Spaceship Earth. There was a number of stops and slowdowns (presumably for handicapped riders) and honestly, I really think this ride needs an update. Nevertheless, our grandchildren seemed to enjoy it.

    We walked up to the Imagination pavilion and tried for a late viewing of the Disney / Pixar films. We also noticed a chance to pose again with Mickey inside the walk-in area. We skipped Mickey (I know but they already had photos) and tried for entry to the films. I’m pretty sure they were about to close the doors but Stephen got us in and a CM actually took the two strollers out to park. Thanks guys.

    We joined a small crowd and (once again) watched “Get a Horse”, “Piper” and “Feast”. Everyone, including Livvy enjoyed this. Gracie was laughing out loud at Piper.

    We walked back and got to Canada as the fireworks began. Again, it was a big hit with everyone. When it ended, we had the shorter walk (with a huge crowd of Skyliner people) back to the Boardwalk.

    Stephanie was really hoping for a shot at some cannoli’s and we found them at the Boardwalk Bakery. We made it to the room by 9:45.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think the grandchildren really enjoyed the day with rides and films at Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
    I think I was very surprised at how uncrowded the evening at Future World was.
    I think there’s a ton of construction work going on at Epcot and I really hope I’m still around when it’s completed.
    I think I won’t tire of the Disney / Pixar films.

    Friday, January 24, 2020 – So This is What I Hate…
    Up early and out the door. This would begin with another day at Animal Kingdom with Fastpasses at Expedition Everest at 9:10, the Lion King at 10:45 and Flight of Passage at 12:00.

    We get to Expedition Everest on time but the ride is down. What to do? We decide on a long walk to the Na’Vi River. The sign says 35 minutes but it changes quickly to 45. Barb needed a rest room stop so we had the kids enter in front of us and we wound up with about 8-10 groups between us. None of us consider that a big deal.

    We’re in and it jumps to 60 minutes and I start cursing this decision but we’re in so far to make walking out a difficulty. About 20 minutes in, a family of 4 pushes their way through and ahead of us. We have words. I certainly don’t mind when a parent and child do that – I recognize the child may need a rest room but this was a full family. They offered the excuse that were joining relatives already there which didn’t fly with me. The last words offered were a rude, “Sorry!”.

    They’re now in front of Stephen where they joined a single man. One guy! Can you see why I don’t like this? One guy enters to be joined much later by a family? I find out later, from Stephen and Stephanie, that they were joined by others ducking there way forward under the railings. They finished and rode with a group of 15 by the end. I really, really, really dislike this. Somehow Disney or it’s guests need to stop this trash. It takes us about 60 minutes to ride and I never wait 60 minutes for a ride.

    We’re now late making it to the Lion King show. Our Fastpass is for 10:45 and we arrive at 10:50 but the Fastpass entry is closed and the huge line in Standby is told the show is now full. I can’t remember being this angry at Walt Disney World and I’m blaming these people that force their way to the head of the line with no regard for anyone.

    We’re off to Pizzafari where we have a nice, but early, lunch.

    We walk from there to Avatar by 11:55 but find that Flight of Passage is down. Aaaargh! Never have I ever… had a morning like this.

    We turned Stephen and Steph loose to hit Expedition Everest which was now up and running. Our Fastpasses were opened for the day after this morning’s problems. We’re coming back a little.

    Barb and I take care of the grandchildren. Now I can say we’ve never had a problem with Jack or Grace. We can keep them happy and interested with games, jokes, hugs, etc. I taught Jack jokes and Grace how to move her tongue by pressing her nose, ears and chin (ask me and I’ll explain that). Livvy is younger and we really haven’t spent enough time with her (and boy, did that change by the end of this trip). Anyway, I figure things I can do to get her smiling and, more importantly, how to put her to sleep. I’m actually quite good at it although Barb will tell you that I’ve always had the skills to put women to sleep.

    After Everest we send them back to the Boardwalk while Barb and I stop at Guest Services. Now, we do stop to complain but I have to tell you that neither of us is a big complainer. We meet with Rachel who does a nice job of listening to our description of what our morning was like. She asks what we’re doing tonight and gives us two free Fastpasses at Magic Kingdom. I am more than satisfied.

    I should also mention that Livvy lost a shoe today. Rachel took the information and assured us they’d look for it. I’m finally, feeling a bit better about today’s visit to Animal Kingdom

    Stephen has the kids at the pool (it’s finally warming up) while we nap. We head to the Magic Kingdom and find our bus must first stop at the Swan, Dolphin, Yacht Club, and Beach Club before heading to the MK. We’ve already taken a Boardwalk bus to the MK and it was direct. I guess this must change with the time of day?

    We have a reservation at the Be Our Guest restaurant where Barb and I have dined before. While checking in I find that the menu has changed significantly, Dinner is now a fixed menu running $62 for adults and $37 for children. You get a pick of one of five appetizers, one of five entrees and one of three desserts. Okay, number one, that’s expensive. Number two, none of us are huge diners of appetizers and dessert. Usually a salad is where we may go. Third and last, a charge of $37 each for Jack and Grace is robbery. Neither of them would order and come anywhere close to that price.

    I really like this restaurant but it’s not exactly Chef Mickey’s for the kids. Anyway, we’re here so let’s make the best of it. I do get a 20% discount and Stephen does a nice job convincing the manager that his 5-year-old boy and 3-year-old girl would be more than happy sharing a meal. Was the meal good? It was. The Center-cut Filet Mignon was very good and the kids seemed to get more than needed and enjoyed it.

    After dinner we used a Fastpass on the Ariel Ride and it’s a hit. We then walked over and rode Buzz Lightyear. The Buzz ride was good and enjoyed by the kids but, to me, it’s getting a bit ragged. I think a refurb is in its future.

    I really wanted to take them on the Wedway but the line was paused and a big crowd had formed. We wondered down Main Street where we did some shopping and took some “seats”, actually I lean against the railing, down by the Roy Disney statue. We really enjoyed the fireworks but I have to say it’s amazing to me how many women will all but sit on me for a viewing space. I have a nice place to stand for fireworks until there’s about 3 minutes to go. That’s when I get leaned on.

    We catch a very crowded bus but are back at the Boardwalk by 9:00.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think I really hate it when people send a person or small group into a line and expect to be able to make their way through to that spot without a delay. I’m seeing this more and more.
    I think this was a tough day at Animal Kingdom with breakdowns at Everest and Flight of Passage. And we also missed the Lion King show because of delays at Na’Vi River.
    I think CM Rachel did a nice job helping us out.
    I think I still like the Be Our Guest restaurant but I consider it very over-priced.
    I think I dislike people who force their way into your space, with minutes to go, to watch the fireworks.

    Saturday, January 25, 2020 – Kylo, Lando and Sundaes
    Barb and I are dragging a bit this morning so the younger Russos leave earlier heading to Hollywood Studios. They get a photo with Olaf, then Stephen and Jack ride Star Tours. Barb and I get there around 10:00 and head right to Star Tours while the earlier arrivals are now watching the Frozen Sing-Along show – a show I really enjoy and we haven’t seen yet this trip. The Star Tours ride is new. The first part has replaced Darth Vader with Kylo Ren. The flights are new and Lando Callrisian (spelling?) is a new person for our instructions. I’m anxious to ride again to see if there are three or four new flights.

    The newest ride for the new Star Wars area, Rise of the Resistance, was completely filled before 9:00 am… for the entire day. I really believe you need to be here at 7:00 am to have a chance. I’m only guessing at why you can’t get a Fastpass for the ride. I believe it lets locals have a chance. The 60-day Fastpasses are only available to those staying at a Disney resort.

    We meet up with the kids and head to Slinky Dog Dash. Jack does ride but it wasn’t great for him. Maybe when he gets a bit older.

    We then caught MuppetVision 3D for everyone. It was great and a good thing we saw it today as its closing tomorrow for some work. It appears to only be some cleaning and paint but you never know.

    We head back to the Boardwalk where Stephanie takes Livvy to the room for a needed nap. The rest of us head to ESPN for lunch. Stephen also gets a lunch item to bring back for Steph – he’s such a great husband. He must have learned that from me. Barb brings the food and kids upstairs while Stephen gets some Bakery stuff and we pay bills with a few Disney cards. I’ve reported on this policy earlier so if your need to know what it byes me, let me know.

    It’s a nap for me.

    We’re off on a walk to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at around 5:15. As a man who switched from jogging to walking in my 30s (after back surgery), I now realize that my age is really slowing me down.

    Stephen and Steph take a spin on the Tower of Terror while we play with the grandchildren. They were stalled on the way up so getting on the ride, using a Fastpass, took some extra time. This was Stephanie’s first ride and likely her last. We leaned hard to talk her into it and she survived but expressed surprise at how much we love it. I certainly understand and, honestly, I’m not sure either. I’m glad she tried it but I know why she’s taking a one and done.

    They stayed for two rides on the Alien Saucers and one for everyone on Toy Story Mania. Barb and I decided to invoke the Russo Rule and hit the Dolphin for sundaes at the Fountain. It was so crowded there we had to sit at the counter but the sundaes were great.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think I’m really slowing down on my walks.
    I think I was surprised, but liked, the new ride at Star Tours.
    I think I hoped Stephanie would become a fan of the Tower but I truly understand why she isn’t.
    I think this was our first Russo’s Rule on this trip and I really enjoyed it.

    Sunday, January 26, 2020 – I Get a Haircut
    We’re up early and out the door at 8:30 on our way to Magic Kingdom. Barb is walking Livvy down the path but decides on a bathroom break so we send the kids off on the first bus. We pick up a second bus after a 10 minute wait – but we arrive at the Magic Kingdom at the same time. I have no explanation for this but their bus stops at the Swan, the Dolphin, the Yacht Club and the Beach Club. Ours was a direct ride from the Boardwalk. All I can say is “Huh?”

    We get everyone up on the Prince Charming carousel first. A great ride for all. We then ride “it’s a small world”. I can tolerate it but it does seem like the ride is getting longer. Anyway, it was well received by the children.

    I need a haircut. Let me explain. Since I went through brain surgery 2.5 years ago, my hair grows quite a bit different from one side to the other. The left side had surgery and now has less gray than the right. The sides grow at a different rate and now offer a different “shape” - if that makes sense. Anyway, I’ve struck out with 4 or 5 different barbers since the surgery. The listen to me, claim they understand, then cut the hair as they would anyway. The last barber cut it extremely short and it’s been seven weeks since so I need a haircut. The barber at the Harmony Barber Shop did a good job (and actually listened to me express the left versus right differences).

    While I was at the Harmony, the kids rode the Teacups and then hit the Starlight Caf for snacks. After that, they all went for a drive on the Speedway (except for Livvy who stayed with me and Barb). Monsters Inc. was next and Barb stayed out walking a sleeping Livvy in her stroller. She was awake when we came out so we all sat through Mickey’s Philharmagic.

    There was a show by the Castle that featured Mickey, Minnie, Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Elsa, Anna and Olaf – so we stopped for a while and got some nice photos. That was a pretty busy day at the Kingdom so we left for the Boardwalk and another lunch at a crowded Big River. Yes, I had another burger.

    I nap.

    We head out to Epcot at 7:00 and visit the Imagination area. First we stop at the entrance to the Disney Pixar films for some hugs and photos with Mickey. It’s amazing how uncrowded this is. I’m guessing a lot of people aren’t aware he’s even there. After the Pixar films, we take a ride on Imagination. This is my first in a while and all I can say is, “Meh”.

    The kids were off to a later dinner at the Electric Umbrella, another ride through Nemo and Friends, and then they caught the fireworks as they left Epcot. Barb and I headed to the Belle Vue Room for a cocktail. I ordered our drinks at the bar and, as they were being prepared, I had my bowl of snacks, left in front of me, stolen from next to me by a guy who carried in bottles of water for him and his wife. He literally reached around me for them. Do you understand what ticks me off?

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think I miss Joe the barber, who cut my hair from birth into my 30s.
    I think it’s fun to hit attractions, mostly at Magic Kingdom, where you can ride with all the grandchildren – even Livvy.

    Monday, January 27, 2020 – Animal Kingdom and Urgent Care
    Livvy had a fever since midnight so we were off a bit late to Animal Kingdom. She wasn’t complaining but you could tell she was a bit under the weather.

    We hit the Avatar ride (two adults at a time using Fastpass), and then Stephen and Barb rode Expedition Everest while Steph took Livvy to the Baby Care area for a feeding and I watched Jack and Grace. I’m pretty sure this is where I taught Grace how to move her tongue with her ears, nose and chin. Trust me… I understand if you have no idea what that means.

    Barb and I rode the bus back and hit ESPN for lunch. We had been told about a fire check that would occur this afternoon at the Boardwalk. I expected it at the hotel but not the restaurant. It had been running since noon and offered some extremely loud signals for about 3-4 minutes… with only a 5 minute wait until the next one. I was about to express regret about choosing ESPN when the test finally ended around 2:00.

    They Russos stayed for a bit and watched Finding Nemo – the Musical. They stopped for lunch at the Satu’li Canteen near Avatar and then headed back.

    Livvy wasn’t doing very well. She was lethargic and warm so Stephen and Steph took her off to a nearby Urgent Care.

    Barb and I took Jack and Grace off to the DVC Community Hall at the Boardwalk. We really had a good time with Barb working with Grace on drawings and colorings while I played air hockey with Jack. Unfortunately, Jack bruises a hand (twice) playing air hockey and Grace bruises a thumb that gets caught in a gate as we’re leaving. This is one of the reasons you shouldn’t leave children with Barb and me. We took them back upstairs to replace games with viewing Disney cartoons and snacking.

    Stephen and Steph got Livvy back around 7:30. She has an ear infection and they got some medications to help. We spent the rest of the evening getting the wounded children into an early sleep.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think this was the lightest day so far but we needed that to get Livvy diagnosed.
    I think Barb and I almost destroyed the other two children.
    I think this should be a good night’s sleep for all.

    Tuesday, January 28, 2020 – A First Trip to Catalina Eddie’s
    Livvy is doing much better, Jack is fine and Gracie is happy to wear a Band-Aid on her thumb.

    Stephen hustled down for a ride on Soarin’ while the rest of us went for a brief walk. We met at Norway and all of us rode Frozen Ever After. Having ridden it once in the past, I was a bit surprised that everyone loved it, but they did.

    We walked back to Soarin’ where we turned Stephen and Steph loose for the ride (more Fastpasses). Barb and I took the kids to the Nemo area for a Disney photo and a bit of a wait for mom and dad. We tried desperately not to wound them.

    We headed up to Mexico’s La Cantina for an early lunch. It was very crowded. I don’t dislike this place but, to be honest, it’s just OK for me. We then went to Norway where we met Anna and Elsa for photos. The kids were great here and really enjoyed this. Next was back to Mexico and a ride with the Three Caballeros (this is our grandson Christopher’s favorite ride). We then headed to France and a brand new film, the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along. It was well done and enjoyable… but I still prefer the Frozen show in Hollywood Studios.

    Back home for a nap. The kids got ice cream and a pool visit.

    We planned the evening at Hollywood Studios and began with dinner at Catalina Eddie’s. From there it was back to Toy Story Land and they ride Alien Saucer while Barb and I watched Livvy. Okay, this ride looked a lot better than I imagined so we sent them off to Toy Story Mania while we rode Alien Saucers. I liked it. We followed them, about 5 minutes later, and rode Toy Story.

    Jack and Grace got a nice picture with Jessy. We all got together to work our way out and actually timed it perfectly to catch the Star Wars fireworks. They are very well done.

    We walked back to the Boardwalk. Stephen and Stephanie got the kids into bed. Barb and I (mostly Barb) listened for them while Stephen and Steph headed to ESPN to meet Steph’s friend, Amanda for drinks. Amanda was (one of) Steph’s Maids of Honor and has since relocated to the Orlando area.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think Livvy has rebounded nicely.
    I think the kids really enjoyed the Toy Story rides.
    I think it was a nice idea for Stephen and Stephanie to get out on their own for a bit.
    I think I enjoyed the Alien Saucers ride – but I don’t really know why.

    Wednesday, January 29, 2020 – Photos, Photos, Photos
    The kids are off early to the Magic Kingdom while Barb and I leave a bit later. Their first ride is on Winnie the Pooh which Barb and I could afford to miss.

    We meet where Grace gets her hair done with Pixey Dust. We thought it was only available at the Bippity Bobbity but it was done, free of charge, at Sir Mickeys. They also offered some free photos there and the folks taking the photos were great.

    Next up was a ride Under the Sea with Ariel. It only had a 10 minute wait and it’s a ride we all enjoy. Everyone (except me and Barb) enjoy a ride on Dumbo and we follow that with a walk to Ariel’s Grotto for a chat and more pictures.

    We hit Pinocchio’s (I never spell that correctly) for lunch then head back home – or at least to the Boardwalk.

    The kids spent a few hours at the pool and we all headed to a 5:30 dinner at ESPN. That was followed by a lengthy walk/run/crawl around the fake grass at the back of the Boardwalk. I swear, the installation of the wake grass was the smartest thing they could have done there.

    At about 7:30, we headed back upstairs for the all of us to repack. Stephen and the family were flying home tomorrow while Barb and I would move back into the Studio for another four days.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think these 8 days of the children and grandchildren have gone by way to fast. Saying goodbye tomorrow will not be easy.

    Thursday, January 30, 2020 – I Hate to Say Goodbye
    This would be a tough day. Stephen and his crew checked their luggage downstairs and headed off to the Hollywood Studios. We had to get all the items and luggage, including a lot of leftover food and fruit, into the Studio. I tried a few times to get us to keep the 1-bedroom until we departed but found there are zero rooms left at the Boardwalk.

    We set up the room with our stuff but in a way that the room could be easily cleaned by the staff. They had it ready just after 10:00 and I have to say I was very impressed by how well they handled our moves from Studio to Two-Bedroom, and back again.

    We headed off to Hollywood Studios to meet up with everyone. They rode Toy Story Mania and we used our Fastpass just in time to catch them inside the Little Mermaid show – a show I haven’t seen in a few years. It was still enjoyable.

    We tried for a child share on Star Tours. We were directed to a CM just off the queue area. She was dealing with a family of two so we got in behind them. As they were leaving, a group of three women simply cut in front of us. Stephen said “Excuse me, we were waiting here.” to no response. They then said they don’t speak English. They did manage to speak to the CM and while I couldn’t tell what they wanted, the CM was very good at directing them somewhere else. I am so sick of people just doing stuff like this.

    Anyway, she provided a Fastpass for Barb and I. We handled the kids while Stephen and Steph rode with a normal wait time. When they exited, we rode using the Fastpass. It’s actually a very good system.

    I did notice the ride was identical to the one the other day: the same films, Lando, etc. Hmmm.

    We had lunch next door at the Backlot Express.

    Barb did some shopping and bought something for each of the kids. We walked back to the Boardwalk where Jack ran ahead on the 5th floor and somehow opened the old one bedroom. Somehow, our Magic Bands still open the 1-bedroom side – even though there’s someone else’s luggage in there.

    We spent a while in our Studio before heading outside around 4:00. The Magical Express bus arrived at 4:15. I won’t bother you with this one but there was a lot of hugging and kissing going on here. It’s tough to say goodbye.

    We checked with the front desk on the lock, and learned our Magic Bands get disabled once the new group enters using there’s. Huh?

    Barb and I hit the bluezoo at the Dolphin for a slight dinner – mostly appetizers. I did have a Barrel Aged Manhattan and I’m going to tell you I was not impressed. I used to love it here but the food wasn’t as good and the Manhattan was somehow smaller and the price up to $15. I’m not sure if something happened to them… or me.

    Stephen and family made a difficult move through TSA but arrived home on time at around 10:00 pm. We hit the bed shortly after learning that.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think it’s hard to say goodbye from Walt Disney World but… they all agreed to having a great 8 days visit,
    I think I am getting very tired of people just cutting in front of me.

    Friday, January 31, 2020 – Found the Shoe, Not the Jacket
    I promise I’ll discuss this at the end of the report but we certainly are thinking about our decision for a 16-day stay at Disney World.

    We’re off to Animal Kingdom to use another Fastpass on Avatar – Flight of Passage. The early wait time on this ride is over 200 minutes and people are still joining the line. Someone really has to explain this to me. It’s a great ride but a 3-4 hour wait for a 5-minute ride? Seriously?

    After enjoying the ride, we walked past the Festival of the Lion King. At 10:20 there were dozens of people in the Fastpass line for an 11:00 entry. An entry, not an 11:00 show. Huh? Waiting 40 minutes in line when you already have a Fastpass?

    We spent a few minutes watching the drummers and dancers before using our Fastpass on the Safari. Yes, we decided not to stand in line waiting. It was a very good ride but I’ve found that most of them are.

    Next up was an early lunch at Pizzafari followed by a Fastpass at the Festival of the Lion King. And yes, we didn’t… ah, never mind.

    On the way out, we hit Guest Services and learned they have discovered the missing shoe but not the jacket. That’s too bad considering the shoes were a much smaller cost. We’re told that it may be to our advantage to visit the “found articles” office at Disney Springs.

    There’s no direct bus to the Springs so we bus back to the Boardwalk and hit our room on the 5th floor… and discover we can no longer unlock our door. What? Barb heads to the front desk and I stay by the door. I ask her to call me when they’ve solved the issue so I can test it. There have been too many issues where they’ve indicated something is fixed when it’s not.

    While I’m waiting, our maid asks me the problem and opens the door for me. They correct the issue, from the front desk, but (surprise) it still doesn’t work. I called, someone else goes to work and it’s then working, but I have no idea what caused this problem.

    I reply online to approve sending the found sneaker to Stephen’s address. Honestly, I have no idea if they’ve received it. I’ll have to check.

    We take a bus to Disney Springs, stopping first at the Swan, Dolphin, Yacht and Beach Clubs. I really don’t like the five stop approach to Disney Springs. It’s a long trip to renew our Annual Pass (it expires February 2) and check with found articles for the jacket. The Annual Pass renewal went smoothly and quickly but there has been nothing found on the jacket.

    It was another long wait for a bus but we made it back for a quick nap.

    At about 5:30, we headed out for a trip to Hollywood Studios. There was a light rain so we decided on the boat. We saw the 6:30 Frozen Sing Along – a show we’ve always enjoyed.

    We decide to head back to the Boardwalk, and just missed the boat, so it’s a walk back to a later dinner at Big River.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think I don’t understand why our Magic Bands would stop opening our hotel room door.
    I think I also don’t understand why people wait so long in a line when they have already obtained a Fastpass. Isn’t the purpose of a Fastpass to avoid a long wait in line?

    Saturday, February 1, 2020 – Clipped and Pushed
    This morning is a heavy rain so we decide on a later start. Unfortunately, I can’t adjust two of our FastPasses to a later time. We’ll likely lose them.

    We’re off at 11:00 and hit the Stand By line at Star Tours for a 20-minute wait. I think we’re actually on the ride in 10. Unfortunately, it’s the same ride we’ve already seen twice. There’s a crash in the ocean with a nasty fish, Lando Callrisian, and a place we have to shoot our way out. I can’t tell if there’s only a single ride or we’ve just been unlucky in catching a different one.

    As we left, exiting from the shop, I had my heels clipped twice and had words with the woman that did it. All I wanted was a “Sorry” but I got nothing. Seriously, I can tolerate a single time but twice?

    We had lunch at the ABC Commissary and it was so crowded, we had to sit outside. The good news was it was a table under the roof extension so we could stay dry.

    Next was using our Fastpass at the Tower of Terror. We essentially walked through stores to get there; not for shopping but mostly to stay out of the rain.

    When we finished the ride and went outside, it was still cool but the rain had stopped. Back to the Boardwalk.

    Do I have to say there was a nap? We’re off to Epcot at 4:30 and find it’s packed. We thought about taking in a Broadway Musical show but found the lines were already full for the 5:30 show. The number of people waiting, after purchasing a dinner plan, was also huge. We’ve visited this show several times in the last few years but have never seen this level of crowd. All I can offer is that Saturday has become way too crowded.

    Seriusly, World Showcase was so crowded it took forever to get around… and it wasn’t a lot of fun. We made our way through the huge crowd, out of Epcot and off to Martha’s Vineyard for a drink and some appetizers. We both enjoy this place. We found it almost empty but it did seem to fill up fast.

    It was cold outside but, thankfully, dry. We waited for a boat to the Boardwalk and we were the only folks there… until the boat showed up. The CM opened it up but said there was limited seating so, naturally, we were pushed back by a woman with four people who needed to be the first one on. The guy with her actually apologized to us.

    On the boat ride over, we saw the FL-ING FISH sign. What happened to the “Y?

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think I’m getting tired of being clipped, pushed and jumped in front of.
    I think I’ve verified that Friday and Saturday nights are no longer fun at Epcot’s World Showcase.
    I think I like Martha’s Vineyard.

    Sunday, February 2, 2020 – The Super Bowl and TSA Pre
    We leave the room and, unfortunately, barely miss a bus to Animal Kingdom. A second bus shows up but it’s headed to the Skyliner, the Riviera and the Caribbean. I’ve not seen this before. Are people at the Boardwalk in need of this?

    We have about a 15-minute wait but make it in reasonable fashion to Animal Kingdom. We ride Flight of Passage with almost no wait – obviously using a Fastpass. If you’ve ridden this ride, you’re aware that you see several items, one is a small image of your face, on the handle in front of you. I have to offer that Barb thought she resembled Mitch McConnell.

    Did I mention previously that the preshow has variations to be longer (“There’s a problem. Wait a minute.”) or shorter? I’ve seen both but I can’t figure out what drives one over the other.

    We head over to Expedition Everest so Barb can ride. There’s a photo provided after your ride and, in this one, if you look quickly you would think the guy next to Barb was me (it isn’t). It gets funnier when he assures Barb he will never ride again.

    We’re walking to the Safari for our last Fastpass but we’re about 25 minutes early. We walk past the Up show, A Great Bird Adventure (used to be Flights of Wonder). The visit is our first here since the change and we find it okay… but the original was better.

    Another great ride on the Safari.

    We decided on lunch at Rainforest Caf. It was a 30-minute wait for a table but it was suggested to use the bar. There was a very nice table there (I know it’s weird but we have never liked dining AT a bar) so in we go. We took a seat at a bar table which a woman stole as soon as we finished. She literally sat down at our table before anything was removed, including our check. We found a waiting bus to the Boardwalk.


    We decided on a Russo Rule dinner and managed to get a 4:50 reservation time at Beaches and Cream. This is our first visit here since they went through modifications. I liked it a lot. It’s much larger than it was and the sundaes are better and less expensive than Ghirardelli (and I still haven’t forgiven Ghirardelli for changing to plastic ice cream cups).

    Back to the room for the Super Bowl. I’m a NY Jets fan so I haven’t really rooted for a Super Bowl team for 50 years. I do like both teams this year but I’ve given my nod to Kansas City – mainly supporting the Head Coach.

    At 8:20, I’m checking with Southwest. Somehow, on the way down, we would up boarding with numbers 49 and 50 - and no TSA Pre. On the return flight, we grab numbers 25 and 26 and we nail TSA Pre for both of us!

    At 8:45, Barb heads to Epcot for the fireworks but I stay to watch Kansas City come back from 20-10 in the fourth quarter to win the Super Bowl.

    Things I Think I Think:
    I think I’m tired. I’ll likely never have a 16-day trip that forces me to write a 15 day Trip Report. It’s exhausting.
    I think I will miss Disney World but… it’s time to go home.

    Monday, February 3, 2020 – Home Again… Finally
    We’re up at 7:00 to pack and drop off our luggage. We (again) enjoy a breakfast at Trattoria. We then head back up to get the rest of our carry-ons and vacate the room.

    As we’re leaving the area by the front desk, we see three women grab a Cast Member and ask how they would get to the Magic Kingdom. I’m guessing the Boardwalk was used as a place for free parking.

    We store our stuff with the luggage folks near the Front Desk then head to Epcot at 10:30. We take in the Disney and Pixar show again – always good. We head from there to the DVC room upstairs for some water and a bit of sitting and killing time. From there we visit the Land for another view of Awesome Planet. It’s funny but this time the place was crowded and there was a lot of applause at the end. We made the a ride on the Land our last ride of the trip. I asked about moving our Soarin FP up an hour but nope – the best they would do is 10 minutes.

    This may have been our warmest day of the 16. We headed back to the Boardwalk where we chilled in their lobby until our Magical Express bus arrived. We’re off to the airport and have I mentioned how much nicer TSA Pre is?

    Final Thoughts
    First, I will say that 16 days was probably too long a trip. In the future, I believe well top out at around 8-10. We did this once before, about five years ago, but we drove down and back so our time at Disney was about 11 days.

    Now, let me complain for a while. I really dislike:
    1. Those folks that let their kids push strollers around a crowded park.
    2. Women that cut in our line to talk to a Cast Member at Star Tours.
    3. Large groups that walk 5 or 6 wide while I move behind my wife to give them room.
    4. Loud people in restaurants and bars that, in my opinion, just want others to hear them talk.
    5. Large groups that think nothing of standing and chatting in the center of a walking path.
    6. People that insist it’s okay to push their way through a long line because they have one person who actually got in that line, This has become my favorite.

    On the positive side, I have to give thanks to the Disney and DVC staff that kept us in the same room as we changed from a Studio to a 2-bedroom and back to a Studio. I also thank the folks that actually found a 1-year olds lost shoe (but I wish they could have found her jacket).

    Our next trip is a 5-night stay in April-May at Kidani Village. Can you believe we’re really looking forward to it?

    As always, thanks for reading.
    Last edited by srusso100; 02-10-2020 at 07:11 AM.

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  3. #2
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    YAY! Another Steve Russo trip report!

  4. #3
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickey021 View Post
    YAY! Another Steve Russo trip report!
    Don't get too excited... I'm older and dumber.

  5. #4

    OK, I was there 1/25-2/1 but felt too old and tired to keep notes, so I didn't do a report. Now I feel like I at least need to do a summary version.

  6. #5
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spectromen View Post
    OK, I was there 1/25-2/1 but felt too old and tired to keep notes, so I didn't do a report. Now I feel like I at least need to do a summary version.
    The notes are the easy part. Sitting down later to expand them into something readable is getting tougher,

  7. #6
    Waiting impatiently for next trip quackinup's Avatar
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    Whew! I don't think I'd have the patience to write that detailed of a report for a trip that long. Wore me out just reading about it all. I had to laugh when I read your comment about the days going by too fast with the kids because I thought they had only been there a few days at that point.

    The problems with the magicbands working when they shouldn't and not working when they should is a bit disconcerting. Fortunately for me, flying from the West Coast I get there late enough that my bags don't reach my room before I do.

    Reference the grocery delivery, I was going to recommend Safeway because there is no delivery fee for your first order, but then I remembered that was for Disneyland and they don't deliver at the World, but there are several that do and I imagine one or more may offer the same deal.

    The bus to the Skyliner, Riviera and Caribbean Beach does seem odd. Was the Skyliner maybe temporarily shut down at that time?

    Next trip: Disney World May 1-9 2020

  8. #7
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quackinup View Post
    Whew! I don't think I'd have the patience to write that detailed of a report for a trip that long. Wore me out just reading about it all. I had to laugh when I read your comment about the days going by too fast with the kids because I thought they had only been there a few days at that point.

    The problems with the magicbands working when they shouldn't and not working when they should is a bit disconcerting. Fortunately for me, flying from the West Coast I get there late enough that my bags don't reach my room before I do.

    Reference the grocery delivery, I was going to recommend Safeway because there is no delivery fee for your first order, but then I remembered that was for Disneyland and they don't deliver at the World, but there are several that do and I imagine one or more may offer the same deal.

    The bus to the Skyliner, Riviera and Caribbean Beach does seem odd. Was the Skyliner maybe temporarily shut down at that time?
    "Wore me out just reading about it all. " But you read it? Hmmm.

    "Was the Skyliner maybe temporarily shut down at that time?" I don't think so but, to be honest, I wasn't really watching it. I'm hoping someone who knows will tell me.

  9. #8
    Waiting impatiently for next trip quackinup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srusso100 View Post
    "Wore me out just reading about it all. " But you read it? Hmmm.
    Yup. I get worn out doing a 7 day trip. I think I would love a 16 day trip, but I can't imagine how worn out I'd be after that many days. But then I'm in the middle of a string of 13-15 hour shifts at work so it doesn't take much to do me in at the moment lol
    Next trip: Disney World May 1-9 2020

  10. #9
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quackinup View Post
    Yup. I get worn out doing a 7 day trip. I think I would love a 16 day trip, but I can't imagine how worn out I'd be after that many days. But then I'm in the middle of a string of 13-15 hour shifts at work so it doesn't take much to do me in at the moment lol
    There is no doubt that 16 days wore us out. I won’t say “never” but it’s certainly doubtful we’d do it again.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by srusso100 View Post
    There is no doubt that 16 days wore us out. I won’t say “never” but it’s certainly doubtful we’d do it again.
    Steve, the thing is for a trip this long - you need a few resort days where you just chill at the resort all day - and don't visit any parks! This would let you recharge and not feel so worn out for the longer stay. We plan one resort day even for our 9 day trips, and it really helps. We would definitely have 2 resort days for a 16 day trip. Because we always have APs, we don't feel like we're losing out when we don't visit a park.

  12. #11
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goofy1958 View Post
    Steve, the thing is for a trip this long - you need a few resort days where you just chill at the resort all day - and don't visit any parks! This would let you recharge and not feel so worn out for the longer stay. We plan one resort day even for our 9 day trips, and it really helps. We would definitely have 2 resort days for a 16 day trip. Because we always have APs, we don't feel like we're losing out when we don't visit a park.
    Oh, we've done that. We actually had a trip where we moved to a Marriott Residence Inn for a few days, then back to WDW. And being Annual Passholders, staying out of a park for a few days is not a big deal. There was just something that wore us down on this trip - after 16 days.

  13. #12

    Hi Steve!
    Great trip report! Totally agree with your 6 final thoughts, #4 happened to us last month while we were there dropping our daughter Lauryn off for the DCP, in fact same restaurant. Hey, wonder if it was the same group?! Long trips are great we usually find 10 full days at Disney with travel days at each end (12 days total) works really well, long enough to enjoy everything but not too exhausting. As far as the walking (here comes the nurse in me) it truly doesn't matter how fast, just keep swimming Steve, keep on swimming! Thanks for writing, always an enjoyable read!

  14. #13
    Registered User srusso100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baylakebeliever View Post
    Hi Steve!
    Great trip report! Totally agree with your 6 final thoughts, #4 happened to us last month while we were there dropping our daughter Lauryn off for the DCP, in fact same restaurant. Hey, wonder if it was the same group?! Long trips are great we usually find 10 full days at Disney with travel days at each end (12 days total) works really well, long enough to enjoy everything but not too exhausting. As far as the walking (here comes the nurse in me) it truly doesn't matter how fast, just keep swimming Steve, keep on swimming! Thanks for writing, always an enjoyable read!

  15. #14
    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Sacramento, CA

    Happy belated birthday Steve ~ I LOVED your trip report as always; thank you for writing it, especially for the length of stay. I know how long it takes to write them...I got back from a 4-night stay at Disneyland two weeks ago, and still haven't time to start mine, plus I've gotten lazy lately and write them in a summary bullet-style format from my notes!

    I look forward to getting back to WDW in the next year or two...I haven't been there since 2013 and SO MUCH has changed (I've been getting my Disney fix by having annual passes for DL and going 3-4 times a year there in the meantime). Our trips are usually about 17 days long: 2 for travel (it's a long ways from CA!), 6 days at WDW, 2 days at Universal, 1 day at Sea World, and every third day is a "rest day", where we don't go into a theme park and can sleep in, go to a water, park, &/or go shopping at the outlet stores.

    I wanted to mention that all of the rides on Star Tours are pretty much the new scenes now (in deference to the new movie), with the exception of getting either the Stormtroopers or Kylo Ren in the first segment...I rode several times during my last trip to DL and only got Kylo once (the rest were the STs) and the rest of the scenes were the same. They are supposed to go back to total random rides again sometime soon (perhaps by your next trip).

    I hope you get to ride the new Star Wars ride is a blast! It is a pain to be scanned in the park prior to park opening just to get a chance at a boarding group, but it is so cool! It looks like they are adding FastPass to Smuggler's Run now, so you should be able to ride that more easily as well.

    Did I miss where a jacket was lost during the trip? I only remember reading about the missing shoe...

    I also agree with all of your "dislikes"...I remember 3 or 4 of them from your pet peeves articles!

    Thanks again Steve, and I wish you & Barb much health & happiness in the years to come!

    DL trips: too many to remember actual dates, but they began in the 60s!
    WDW trips: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013



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