I’m a Disney Travel Consultant!

So a few weeks ago, I signed a contract to join the team at Adventure is Out There Travel as an Independent Travel Consultant. Technically, I can plan all sorts of travel for you (just planned a Scandinavia trip for a family member), but my name is Daddy Does Disney not Daddy Does Scandinavia and Stuff, so I’m here for all your Disney travel needs (and I guess your other travel needs too).

If you’ve never used a travel agent for your Disney planning, here’s the spiel. We are here to take care of as much or as little as you want us to, from booking your reservation to ADR’s, FP+’s, touring plans, room requests, etc, we’ll get you covered, all at no cost to you. We get a commission paid by Disney to help make sure your vacation goes off without a hitch. Even if you enjoy the planning process yourself, not a bad idea to pay it forward and let someone get that commission (hopefully me) when you’re going, even if you don’t need a lot of help. I did it on my trip, even though I had my trip planned out to the hour before it was even booked (maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but still).

I joined the team at Adventure is Out There, because 1) there are a lot of friendly faces from the Disney Fan Community over there, and 2) they’re focused on customer service and hitting some of the extra touches that some of the larger agencies don’t.

So, when you’re ready to start planning that next Disney trip, feel free to reach out to me at matt@adventureisouttheretravel.com and I’ll be happy to get you on your way. 2019 dates at Walt Disney World just opened up, and Disney Cruise Line sailings are available through 2019 now. It’s a good time to get something going. Besides, I’m bored. Let’s do something.

Oh, here’s my pitch for myself personally

1) I just started, so I don’t have a lot of clients yet, and can focus more on your trip individually.

2) I stay on top of the latest news at the parks via my active involvement in the Disney Fan Community.

3) I’m a bit of a math nerd and also a planning nerd, so I don’t mind wonking out to make sure we get the best option for your family and your budget.

4) I’m a bit of an introvert. If you’re the type that doesn’t want to be harassed with phone calls, and just wants to text and email to get things to happen, that’s me. I don’t want to talk to anyone if I don’t have to, but I will if it helps to make your trip magical.

5) I even have a few strategies for saving money for your Disney trip that I haven’t shared here and don’t see a lot of out in the community.

Fair warning, I will probably ask you a lot of questions to make sure I cover all the bases, but that’s just me doing my job.

Unpacking: Top 3 Meals

I’m going to try and work through a series of posts breaking down my favorite parts of our recent trip to WDW. We tried to do a lot of new things on our trip, and I think I did a pretty good job of planning our selections, if I do say so myself. For this post, I want to break down my 3 favorite all-around meals from the trip. I based this on food quality, service, and experience.

3. 50’s Prime Time Café, Hollywood Studios

This was not a new one for us. We tend to do this one anytime we get out to Walt Disney World. The food is pretty solid, especially for being inside a park. The bar (Dad’s Liquor Cabinet at the Tune-in Lounge) is one of the better in-park options, and the long lost cousin service adds a bit of fun to the equation.

The menu is full of American homestyle cooking. After all, “Mom” is back there in the kitchen. We had the Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese appetizer, which while pretty simple, was one of our favorite appetizers of the trip. I had Dad’s Stuffed Pork Chop, which is a massive pork chop, stuffed with apple, gouda cheese and herbs. It was a huge portion, but I knocked out most of it. For dessert, I had Dad’s Favorite Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake, which was probably one of the tastiest desserts of this trip, and surprisingly, the only time I got chocolate cake (I’m a bit of a chocoholic). I just realized typing this that I had 2 dishes with “Dad’s” in the name, plus a drink from Dad’s liquor cabinet (Mama and I both had the Maui Wowie, which like many other Dad’s liquor cabinet drinks, comes with a color changing glow cube). I mean, I guess it makes sense, I am DaddyDoesDisney, after all.

The extra kick for this restaurant though, is the service. Some people don’t like the approach here, as the servers will give you grief about your elbows on the table, eating your vegetables or “doing your chores” (setting the table). They used to ask you what color the soap is when returning from the bathroom, but they have foaming soap in the bathrooms now, so maybe not anymore (we went after the meal). Our server, our long lost cousin, Liza (I think) was great. She wasn’t as rude as some of the other servers we’ve had there in the past. She gave good advice through the menu when asked, along with saying “gross” anytime we ordered anything that wasn’t her favorite. I always enjoy the interactions here, and it’s that little difference that keeps us coming back every time.

2. Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen, Disney Springs

Food wise, this might have been my favorite all around meal of the trip. Celebrity chef, Art Smith, opened this restaurant in Disney Springs since our last visit, so this was our first chance to check it out. It was one of the meals I was most looking forward to, after hearing praise for several of the dishes and drinks on the menu.

The boy got the Bunch of Puppies hush puppies appetizer that came with Ah-mazing pimento cheese to dip. Mama had the Church Lady Deviled Eggs, which we’re also to die for, and I got the famous Thigh High Chicken Biscuits, which while being one of the best things we ate on the trip also probably was enough food for the wife and I to split as an entrée in the future. My mom had the Fried Green tomatoes which were also very good.

For an entrée, I had the Chopped Pork Barbeque Plate. The barbecue was decent, but as a Texas boy, I wasn’t overly impressed. The star of the plate (and the reason I got the dish) was the mac-and-cheese, which is probably one of the better mac-and-cheese on property.

I also had one of my favorite drinks of the trip, the Moonshine Mash, which is made with Watermelon moonshine, watermelon, lime and simple syrup. It’s simple and refreshing, and tastes like summer in a glass. The menu is full of different, delicious sounding drinks though, so if watermelon’s not your thing, you should be able to find something. I had a really hard time picking something.

For dessert, I had the hummingbird cake, which might be my favorite dessert of the trip. It’s a pineapple-banana cake (2 of my favorite flavors in Disney dishes), and was extra moist and delicious. The other desserts that were had at our table also probably rank among the favorites of the trip.

All in all, if you’re on a foodie trip to Disney World, this is one stop that is not to be missed.

1. California Grill, Contemporary Resort

Oh, we getting fancy now. This fine dining restaurant at the top of the Contemporary Resort is often considered one of the best dining experiences at Walt Disney World. It doesn’t hurt that we managed to keep the boy pretty calm for the extent of our 3 hour meal. We were initially worried that our 7:00 meal wouldn’t get us through to the fireworks, but we hadn’t even ordered our desserts by the time the show started.

The food here is spectacular. A staff of world class chefs churn out some of the highest quality dishes on property. For appetizers, the wife and I both got sushi dishes, she got sashimi, but was later wishing she got the roll that I got. I had the New Moon Roll, which is made with Maine Lobster, Avacado, Barbecue Eel, Rice pearls and Dragon Sauce. It was one of the most beautiful and well made rolls I’ve ever had (and I used to work at a Japanese restaurant, and even have my own roll on the menu there).

For entrees, Mama had the Oak-Fired Filet of Beef which comes with a tamarind barbecue sauce that apparently was on the original menu for the restaurant and brought back by the current chef. It was her favorite steak of the trip, and we were on the Deluxe Dining Plan, so there was a lot of steak consumed. I ordered the Grilled Pork Tenderloin, which was probably the best pork dish I’ve ever had in my life (and I’m getting old).

I had some kind of chocolate dessert that was kind of uninspiring. It appears to have been rotated off the menu currently, and the lack of a kick butt dessert is what has me championing Homecomin’ for overall food quality.

The bonus though, for the California Grill, is its location. From the top of the Contemporary Resort, you have panoramic views of the Magic Kingdom Park, and they have viewing decks on either side of the restaurant. We grabbed a great spot for Happily Ever After out on the deck (until the boy decided it was the perfect time to go to the restroom, haha) that almost made up for the fact that the rain kept us from seeing HEA from inside the park (we’re going to have to book a dessert party or something next time). Overall, a fabulous experience, good drinks, excellent entrees and sushi. It’s one of the pricier restaurants on property, but if you get the chance, I definitely recommend trying it out at least once.

 

Thanks for checking in as I go over some of the highlights of our trip. I look forward to sharing more of my favorites and helping you to plan some highlights of your own.

Why I Started a Podcast

It’s been a long time since I’ve been over here, but I’ve got news coming that will require me to be more active in my blogging.

I started my blog, because in the process of planning my trip, I realized I had tips and tricks and had done enough research, that someone might could get something out of what I had found. I started it up, and linked up Twitter, Youtube, Insta, etc, but then hit the wall that a lot of others out there run into, self doubt. I felt like, since I hadn’t been to the park in 6 years, who was I to tell you how to plan your trip.

So, I focused on Twitter. It was fun, and the community was very accepting and welcoming. I ended up befriending lots of other bloggers and vloggers, etc, and decided I would get a camera and try to vlog my trip, but then I got to the parks, and probably also like a lot of others, I was afraid of standing out. I think we literally saw 3 people walking around with cameras on the whole trip. As an introvert, I’m not one that likes to stand out from the crowd and I like to focus my life on my family, so I decided that vlogging probably wasn’t going to be for me at this time.

I got home, and realized, well, I didn’t get to do any vlogging, and I don’t know when I’ll get back to the parks, but I still want something to kind of expand my reach in the community, and decided that a podcast was probably the way to go. Sure, there may be plenty of Disney podcasts out there, but I’m perfectly ok if no one listens. I reached out to the community and found some brave souls that were willing to take the plunge with me (some of whom I had on a short list in my head that I wanted to do this with), and so now, I could put myself out there, and have others out there to back me up. I really appreciate my brothers and sisters at the Disney at a Distance Podcast for sharing their time (and notifications) with me. Without it, I don’t know that I could pull myself out of my own head enough to do something like this.

On the podcast, I hope to be able to reach out to the audience and just have some fun within the Disney community. Disney is supposed to be fun. I just want to talk about things, have fun, maybe debate a little, and just build a community. I hope that you guys are down to take the dive with me. Thanks for listening.

You can follow along on Twitter: @disneydistance

or on my account: @daddydoesdisney

302 Days! Tourney Update: Sweet 16

Ok, so we’ve made it through the first 2 rounds of the Disney Animated Feature tourney. Here are your 2nd round results:

Group 1:

1 Toy Story (100%) over 9 Finding Dory (0%)
5 the Lion King (86%) over 4 Nightmare Before Christmas (14%)
2 Up (100%) over 10 Tarzan (0%)
3 Beauty and the Beast (83%) over 11 Tangled (17%)

Group 1 Thoughts: I don’t think there are any real surprises here. Beauty and the Beast wins the first #princessbattle in the tourney. A little surprised that Finding Dory didn’t get any votes, but there weren’t a whole lot of votes in that one, and Toy Story is kind of a behemoth.

Group 2:

1 Toy Story 3 (57%) over 9 the Jungle Book (43%)
12 Mulan (60%) over 4 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (40%)
2 Inside Out (100%) over 10 A Bug’s Life (0%)
14 the Emperor’s New Groove (100%) over 6 Dumbo (0%)

Group 2 Thoughts: the 14 seeded Emperor’s New Groove (one of my wife’s favorites) moves on again, in dominating fashion this time. Also, the Mulan win over Snow White in the 2nd #princessbattle is a bit surprising, but Snow White is very dated at this point. Do we get a tearjerker group final here?

Group 3:

9 Bambi (100%) over 16 the Good Dinosaur (0%)
4 Aladdin (85%) over 5 Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (15%)
7 Moana (57%) over 2 Finding Nemo (43%)
11 Frozen (56%) over 3 Toy Story 2 (44%)

Group 3 Thoughts: A couple hard fought upsets from Disney’s most recent princesses sets up the Sweet 16’s only #princessbattle. The others weren’t really contests.

Group 4

1 Wall-E (82%) over 9 Lady and the Tramp (18%)
5 Zootopia (82%) over 4 Fantasia (18%)
2 Ratatouille (55%) over 7 the Little Mermaid (45%)
6 Cinderella (54%) over 3 the Incredibles (46%)

Group 4 Thoughts: That Wall-E/Zootopia matchup is going to be a tough one, I suspect. Ratatouille just managed to block the Cinderella v Little Mermaid #princessbattle, that probably would have been pretty epic. Thanks, Remy….

Anyways, here’s your Sweet 16 matchups.

Group 1

1 Toy Story v 5 the Lion King
2 Up v 3 Beauty and the Beast

Group 2

1 Toy Story 3 v 12 Mulan
2 Inside Out v 14 the Emperor’s New Groove

Group 3

9 Bambi v 4 Aladdin
7 Moana v 11 Frozen

Group 4

1 Wall-E v 5 Zootopia
2 Ratatouille v 6 Cinderella

And for you math nerds, here are all the entries, sorted by votes so far (*s advanced to 2nd round, #s advanced to Sweet 16)

1 Toy Story 3# (25)
2 Zootopia# (22)
3 Up# (19)
4 Beauty and the Beast# (19)
5 Bambi# (19)
6 Hunchback of Notre Dame (18)
7 Aladdin# (17)
8 Frozen # (17)
9 Toy Story 2* (17)
10 the Lion King# (16)
11 Cinderella# (16)
12 Tarzan* (15)
13 Wall-E# (14)
14 Moana# (13)
15 Toy Story# (12)
16 Ratatouille# (12)
17 Mulan# (12)
18 the Incredibles* (12)
19 Tangled* (12)
20 the Little Mermaid* (11)
21 Finding Dory* (11)
22 the Jungle Book* (11)
23 Snow White* (10)
24 Inside Out# (9)
25 Finding Nemo* (9)
26 Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (8)
27 Fantasia* (7)
28 Lady and the Tramp* (7)
29 Nightmare Before Christmas* (6)
30 the Good Dinosaur* (6)
31 Monsters Inc (6)
32 Emperor’s New Groove# (5)
33 Lilo and Stitch (5)
34 Three Caballeros (5)
35 A Bug’s Life (4)
36 Peter Pan (4)
37 Brave (4)
38 Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (3)
39 Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad (3)
40 Big Hero 6 (3)
41 Alice in Wonderland (3)
42 the Great Mouse Detective (3)
43 the Princess and the Frog (3)
44 Dumbo* (2)
45 Secret World of Arrietty (2)
46 Wreck-It Ralph (2)
47 Hercules (2)
48 the Rescuers (2)
49 Monsters University (2)
50 Robin Hood (2)
51 Pinocchio (1)
52 Howl’s Moving Castle (1)
53 101 Dalmations (1)
54 Ponyo (1)
55 Sleeping Beauty (1)
56 Winnie the Pooh (1)
57 Frankenweenie (1)
58 Bolt (1)
59 Cars (1)
60 Spirited Away (0)
61 the Wind Rises (0)
62 James and the Giant Peach (0)
63 Sword in the Stone (0)
64 Fantasia 2000 (0)

308 Days! Tourney Update!

Welp, the first round of my #Disney Animated Film Tournament is complete, so let’s recap and take a look at the 2nd round matchups.

1st Round Results

Group 1

1 Toy Story (78%) over 16 Robin Hood (22%)

9 Finding Dory (79%) over 8 the Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad (21%)

4 the Nightmare Before Christmas (50%) over 13 the Three Caballeros (50%)

5 the Lion King (91%) over 12 Frankenweenie (9%)

2 Up (75%) over 15 Brave (25%)

10 Tarzan (94%) over 7 Ponyo (6%)

3 Beauty and the Beast (78%) over 14 Peter Pan (22%)

11 Tangled (65%) over 6 Monsters Inc (35%)

Group 1 Thoughts: A couple classics going down early in Peter Pan and Robin Hood, both had low seeds and got knocked out by films that should advance to the Sweet 16. Brave was one of, I believe, only 3 princess films to fall in the 1st round, and while Tangled is one of my personal favorite princess films, I’m a little sad to see Monsters Inc go down. One of Asa’s favorites. That Nightmare Before Christmas matchup made me decide how to handle ties right off the bat (for the record, I give the tie to the higher seed).

Group 2

1 Toy Story 3 (54%) over 16 the Hunchback of Notre Dame (46%)

9 the Jungle Book (80%) over 8 the Secret World of Arrietty (20%)

4 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (80%) over 13 the Rescuers (20%)

12 Mulan (90%) over 5 Howl’s Moving Castle (10%)

2 Inside Out (100%) over 15 the Sword in the Stone (0%)

10 A Bug’s Life (57%) over 7 the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (43%)

14 the Emperor’s New Groove (75%) over 3 Pinocchio (25%)

6 Dumbo (50%) over 11 Wreck-It Ralph (50%)

Group 2 Thoughts: That Toy Story 3 v Jungle Book looks like a doozy of a decision to me. A couple more classics going down to newer films with Winnie the Pooh and Pinocchio both dropping out in the first round. My wife will be psyched about Emperor’s New Groove. it’s one of her favorites. I’m a little sad that I had to use the tiebreaker to knock out Wreck-it Ralph. I’m a fan.

Group 3

16 the Good Dinosaur (100%) over 1 Spirited Away (0%)

9 Bambi (86%) over 8 Sleeping Beauty (14%)

4 Aladdin (67%) over 13 Alice in Wonderland (33%)

5 Who Framed Roger Rabbit (55%) over 12 Lilo and Stitch (45%)

2 Finding Nemo (75%) over 15 Cars (25%)

7 Moana (100%) over James and the Giant Peach (0%)

3 Toy Story 2 (83%) over 14 Bolt (17%)

11 Frozen (67%) over 6 One Hundred and One Dalmations (33%)

Group 3 Thoughts: While it was already apparent that I probably have should have skipped over the Disney distributed Studio Ghibli films, it became even more apparent when Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece, Spirited Away (which, for the record, was my wife’s champion, when she ran through this bracket), came away with no votes, as a one seed. Oh well. Also, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? slipped by Lilo and Stitch with some late votes. Finding Nemo coming out over Cars fairly substantially, considering it would have been a tough decision for me. Nemo heads toward another worthy opponent in Moana. He might have the toughest road to the championship. Quite possibly, the biggest surprise for me, was Sleeping Beauty getting throttled by Bambi. Bambi’s good and all, but most of the princess movies had slid right through up to this point, and Sleeping Beauty has always been a favorite.

Group 4

1 Wall-E (100%) over 16 Fantasia 2000 (0%)

9 Lady and the Tramp (100%) over 8 the Wind Rises (0%)

4 Fantasia (50%) over 13 the Great Mouse Detective (50%)

5 Zootopia (67%) over 12 Hercules (33%)

2 Ratatouille (75%) over 15 Monsters University (25%)

7 the Little Mermaid (67%) over 10 Big Hero 6 (33%)

3 the Incredibles (67%) over 14 the Princess and the Frog (33%)

6 Cinderella (90%) over 11 Winnie the Pooh (10%)

Group 4 thoughts: Those last 4 matchups were the only daily group with no upsets (aside from my broken heart for Baymax, and my wifey’s favorite princess, Tiana). A little sad to see Winnie the Pooh fail to advance with either of his films, but I certainly didn’t expect the recent one to take down Cinderella. Fantasia skated in at the last second as Great Mouse Detective had a one vote lead, when Twitter was “finalizing poll”. It has a tough matchup against Zootopia in the next round though. Wall-E was the only 1 seed with more than 80% of the vote.

 

I decided I’m only gonna run these polls Monday thru Friday, as the Saturday, Sunday matchups got fewer votes than the others. I also decided not to take the day off today, so we could reach the Elite 8 by the end of next week. All that said, here are your second round matchups.

Group 1

1 Toy Story v 9 Finding Dory

4 the Nightmare Before Christmas v 5 the Lion King

2 Up v 10 Tarzan

3 Beauty and the Beast v 11 Tangled

Group 2

1 Toy Story 3 v 9 the Jungle Book

4 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs v 12 Mulan

2 Inside Out v 10 A Bug’s Life

14 the Emperor’s New Groove v 6 Dumbo

Group 3

16 the Good Dinosaur v 9 Bambi

4 Aladdin v 5 Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

2 Finding Nemo v 7 Moana

3 Toy Story 2 v 11 Frozen

Group 4

1 Wall-E v 9 Lady and the Tramp

4 Fantasia v 5 Zootopia

2 Ratatouille v 7 the Little Mermaid

3 the Incredibles v 6 Cinderella

Good luck to all the films and may all your favorites win (but not if they’re up against mine).

 

317 Days! Let’s have a tournament!

What are your favorite Disney films? Let’s have them duke it out!

So, I’ve still got a ways to go, and I’m bored, and want to have some Disney fun. So, I’ve crunched some numbers (IMDB, Metacritic, and Rotten Tomatoes scores) and seeded all the top 64 Disney Animated Theatrical Releases. I did kick out a few films that either didn’t have at least 2 scores, or if they had 2, but those 2 had a huge disparity. I also made a personal judgment towards the bottom to get one of my childhood favorites in (so it can lose in the first round). I’ll post these as polls (let’s go with 4 a day) on our Twitter page (@daddydoesdisney), so keep an eye out, and let’s get to ranking.

Here’s how the bracket fell out:

Group 1

1 Toy Story v 16 Robin Hood
8 the Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad v 9 Finding Dory

4 the Nightmare Before Christmas v 13 the Three Caballeros
5 the Lion King v 12 Frankenweenie

2 Up v 15 Brave
7 Ponyo v 10 Tarzan

3 Beauty and the Beast v 14 Peter Pan
6 Monsters Inc v 11 Tangled

Group 2

1 Toy Story 3 v 16 the Hunchback of Notre Dame
8 the Secret World of Arrietty v 9 the Jungle Book

4 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs v 13 the Rescuers
5 Howl’s Moving Castle v 12 Mulan

2 Inside Out v 15 the Sword in the Stone
7 the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) v 10 A Bug’s Life

3 Pinocchio v 14 the Emperor’s Groove
6 Dumbo v 11 Wreck-It Ralph

Group 3

1 Spirited Away v 16 the Good Dinosaur
8 Sleeping Beauty v 9 Bambi

4 Aladdin v 13 Alice in Wonderland
5 Who Framed Roger Rabbit? v 12 Lilo & Stitch

2 Finding Nemo v 15 Cars
7 Moana v 10 James and the Giant Peach

3 Toy Story 2 v 14 Bolt
6 101 Dalmations v 11 Frozen

Group 4

1 Wall-E v 16 Fantasia 2000
8 the Wind Rises v 9 the Lady and the Tramp

4 Fantasia v 13 the Great Mouse Detective
5 Zootopia v 12 Hercules

2 Ratatouille v 15 Monsters University
7 the Little Mermaid v 10 Big Hero 6

3 the Incredibles v 14 the Princess and the Frog
6 Cinderella v 11 Winnie the Pooh (2011)

 

 

323 Days! Initial Touring Plans

After lots of pinching and tweaking, my initial Touring Plans and schedules are set. How did I break things down? What were the hiccups?

So, earlier this week, I officially completed my initial round of creating Touring Plans. I use touringplans.com for this, always have. I don’t know if there are alternatives to this or not, but if so, feel free to let me know in the comments. A few weeks ago, I posted lists to our event page on Facebook, where we can all congregate to talk about our trip, of all the attractions and shows in each of the parks, along with markings of whether or not I was planning on including those attractions or not. I then, pulled those attractions into my touring plans, and optimized. There are a few hiccups in the TouringPlans system, but I managed to get everything hammered out in a way that should work.

I will note that the primary problems I have with personalized plans on the Touring Plans site, is it’s very reliant on the timing of your schedule, so if you want to end after the fireworks or after dinner, and don’t note that in your time, it will leave giant breaks in the middle of your schedule. I also find that if I add multiple meals in the initial setup of a plan, it ALWAYS changes the times that I input for those meals, and I have to go back and edit them again. Not too big a deal, but it can be kind of annoying. I also sometimes have to go ahead and schedule a break to get it to give me as much lead time as I want for finding a spot for nighttime shows etc.

The other problem I have in the program is fastpasses. Especially, with the parks that have groupings. For instance, in EPCOT, I’m wanting to get a FastPass for IllumiNations, but I know that it will be available later in the day, so I can go ahead and use a FastPass for one of the other big ticket rides. The problem is, to be able to go back in and get a Fastpass for IllumiNations later, I have to not only use my FastPass for Soarin’ or Test Track or Frozen: Ever After. I have to also use 2 FastPasses for Group A attractions. I sometimes have a hard time finding attractions that need a FastPass from those attractions, and almost always have a hard time getting TouringPlans to allow me to use those FastPasses when optimizing. It can be done, but it’ll often take some tweaking.

Other things I had to personally tweak were getting my allotted time for the Valley of Mo’ara at Animal Kingdom in after Rivers of Light, so that we can tour it in the dark, when the area comes alive with bioluminescence. Apparently, it’s less crowded when it’s not dark (who knew?), and TouringPlans wants me to go then, so I have to manually move it back to the end of the night every time.

Anyways, after lots of tweaking and squeezing, I managed to get everything done (for now). I’m sure everything will change in a few weeks, and of course, as soon as I posted my tentative schedule to the Facebook group, I got an email from Touring Plans with Crowd Calendar changes, and ended up swapping a day.

My breakdown worked out as, 1 and a half days in Magic Kingdom (full day in Fantasyland, half day in Not-Fantasyland), 1 Day in EPCOT (as a group of adults, we’d probably do at least a day and a half at EPCOT, but it’s May, so the wait times aren’t too bad, and we’ll probably skip most of the shows in World Showcase on account of the kiddos, so we do it in a day), 1 Day in Hollywood Studios (This was kind of a tough one, with the sporadic show schedules, but I managed to squeeze everything in, I assume some parts of our group will skip some things and do their own thing within this schedule. Also, we’ll have to go back for Star Wars: Galactic Spectacular),  and 1 Day in Animal Kingdom (we’re skipping Rafiki’s Planet Watch and most of Dinoland, so it’s not too hard to squeeze this into a day, but there’s a lot to experience in this park, and I didn’t get to fully immerse myself last time around, so we’re going to do a few new things for us this trip here). Since we’ll have 6 day tickets, this means we actually have an extra free day to just go back and reride things or do some shopping, maybe head to Disney Springs. I noted if parts of the group wanted to go to Universal, this could be the spot. Anyways, free time is always good. Maybe not so good for my tight scheduling desires (shoot, where are we going to eat), but still good for other folks in the group who might like to play it by ear.

We’ll see how much we change from here, but hopefully I can take the hands off for at least a few weeks (I probably can’t. I live for this stuff). Also, if you made it this far, what do you think I should do on that free day?

Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch you next time.