Day 4 started out with a morning in Hollywood Studios. Fearing a re-imagineering of the Great Movie Ride, it was a high priority for this trip. “Lasts” have become a common theme for our recent trips, but thankfully “firsts” have started to fill in some of those gaps.
We also saw Voyage of the Little Mermaid and ate lunch at Backlot Express. Voyage of the Little Mermaid was not as fun for our 2 year old as I thought it would be thanks to the mist during the show. I can’t blame him, I don’t enjoy being soaked in a theater unless it’s 90 degrees outside.
Rizzo’s soft opened during our trip
Day 3 started with a morning and afternoon outside the parks, then Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party that night!
We started the morning with two adults ending up standing outside their room door with no Magic Bands. I knew the Club desk could make a new room key, so one of us ran up to get that. Once we tried to use the new room key card, we got a red light.
Long story short, if the deadbolt is thrown inside the door, the electronic lock outside cannot open the door. Lucky for us, our 2 year hold could reach the deadbolt easier than he could reach the handle and probably threw it very early on in the process of us being locked out of the room. Eventually someone brought the key for the deadbolt, but it took several people attempting the lock before a manager finally had the magic touch to turn the lock. If you ever feel down, just think about that one time we locked our kid inside our room for 45 minutes.
By the time this saga was solved, it was nearing time for our lunch reservation in Disney Springs. We parked at the new Lime Garage connected to Town Center, which was slick and easy compared to the old days of prowling surface lots for empty spots.
Our first day in the parks was one I worked hard to prepare for. On paper it was just a morning in Epcot with a lunch at Garden Grill. In practice it was the shining glory of a chipmunk toddler.
Since the Garden Rooms at the Boardwalk are not located near the Innkeepers Club Lounge I went up and brought breakfast for all of us back on a tray. After finishing that we walked to Epcot. We arrived 40 minutes after park opening and did the Seas, Turtle Talk, Imagination, checked out the DVC Lounge, and Fastpassed Living with the Land in 2 hours.
Waiting for Turtle Talk with Crush
Our lunch at Garden Grill might be the most magical memory we’ve made in the parks, rivaling baby Goofy meeting Minnie and Pluto. Our little chipmunk had fantastic interactions with the characters and all the staff went above and beyond in making our meal great.
Our November 2016 trip was somewhat an accident. It started out as a long weekend trip after Thanksgiving so we could see some of the new experiences that opened since our January 2016 trip. The trip slowly grew, then a month and half out had to be moved completely. Suddenly it was a week-long trip in the middle of November!
I’ll start by talking about our flight, since traveling with toddlers is sometimes a fiasco. This was not our toddler’s first flight, but it was his first with a seat. I swore off lap children after our last trip, so it suited me just fine that’s he’s old enough to require a ticket now. We have a dedicated travel car seat (Evenflo SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat) which we strapped to the stroller (Summer Infant 3Dlite Convenience Stroller) using a bungee cord. Our toddler walked or was carried through the airport. At security the stroller was broken down and went through x-ray while the car seat is manually inspected since it’s too big to fit through the machine.
Our last day was easy and relaxed. We had no park tickets which is a new rule we’ve implemented to prevent the crazy last days we usually have. We’ve considering doing this for years, but having a baby to tote really pushed us to implement the rule.
We called Bell Services to our room at 10:13 and were done with Resort Airline Check-In by 10:36. That’s pretty good time since Bay Lake Tower does not have Bell Services and they come from the Contemporary. We also stowed our carry-on bags with Bell Services to free up our hands.
Bay Lake Tower beach. I want 4 Imagineers to paint this tree.
After years upon years of stressful last days we finally got smart and did not buy park tickets for our check-out day. That meant that day 7 would be our last day in the parks and we had a long list of things we wanted to do again or missed the chance to do earlier.
We started the day in Hollywood Studios with a Fastpass for Great Movie Ride, which had skipped earlier in the trip.
Great Movie Ride
Then we all took turns experiencing our favorite attraction – Tower of Terror.