Sort of Live Merry Christmas 2019 Trip Report!

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JMed's picture
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Sort of Live Merry Christmas 2019 Trip Report!

Now that we got all that Turkey stuff outta the way, I can get super hyped about Christmas.

Joe and I have a trip coming up for the holidays and I am so excited. Blondie will be with her daddy for Christmas this year so we decided to head down for a few days as our gift to each other!!! It's been a minute since the 2 of us went alone so I am really looking forward to it. Our first trip alone together was one of my favorite trips and the few in between have been great too.

Here's our plan so far.

We are going to leave Friday the 20th after work and drive about halfway, as many of you know that puts us at about St Augustine. I really hate getting up early and making the entire drive, makes me lazy the rest of the day when we arrive. This way we get there pretty early on Saturday and have a full day raring to go!!

Saturday - Check into Saratoga Springs -I do have Riveria waitlisted but I'm not counting on it. We will head to Disney Springs as there is a TON of Christmas Stuff there I want to check out. We have to get our AP taken care of. You know, the one we were NOT going to renew this year..... Jock's has a Christmas theme with food and drink specials, We will stop by Wine Bare George to see if Robyn (the bar manager) is there to say hello and of course have wine, I need the focaccia from Wolfgang Pucks, The Peppermint Margarita from the Eggnoggery and the Christmas Tree Trail. There are also a couple bars I want to knock off the list so we may do that too. Lava Lounge, Paddlefish rooftop and Terralina's outside bar and maybe get a pizza made by Katie V! If there is time after I want to run over to Coronado Springs and check out Three Bridges.

Sunday - We are going to ride over to the Riviera and walk around. I'm kind of excited to see it all come together. I love the overly themed resorts so this one could be interesting... We are going to Hollywood Studios in the evening. I only have one FP for Rock n Roller Coaster. We have an ADR for Oga's at 7pm. This will be our first trip to Galaxy's Edge. I also plan on riding the Skyliner this day. Probably from the Riviera and just cruise around!

Monday - Heading to Epcot for Festival of the Holidays and to get our Passholder Magnets. I do have a Soarin FP for this day also. Just going to be a slow lazy day around Epcot. I'll try not to eat too much as we have a Jiko ADR in the evening. We'll run over to Kidani also. AK and AKL are my favorite Christmas decorations on property!! MK closes at midnight and we may sneak over to take a peek at the Castle since I don't have any MK time scheduled.

Tuesday - I want to go over to Port Orleans to get some free beignets and look at all the Christmas stuff. All our FPs are at AK this day. FOP and EE are on the docket. Again, My FAVORITE park for Christmas decor. I can't wait to see all the new stuff. Probably end up at Satu'li Canteen or Flame Tree for dinner. May try to fit in Yak and Yeti if I can snag an ADR

Wednesday - Merry Christmas, you have to pack your crap and go home..... Yep, we are checking out and heading home on Christmas.... But we get Blondie and head to Georgia in a couple of days

Right now, I feel like this trip is a fly by the seat of our pants kind of thing. Not a ton "planned" but enough to have room to work around and change plans.

Will keep you posted when we go!!!

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JMed wrote:

Right now, I feel like this trip is a fly by the seat of our pants kind of thing. Not a ton "planned" but enough to have room to work around and change plans.

Will keep you posted when we go!!!

I've really liked my fly by the seat of your pants trips lately. They have been so relaxed.

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Kristen K. wrote:
JMed wrote:

Right now, I feel like this trip is a fly by the seat of our pants kind of thing. Not a ton "planned" but enough to have room to work around and change plans.

Will keep you posted when we go!!!

I've really liked my fly by the seat of your pants trips lately. They have been so relaxed.

Me too actually but I really like to plan. So it's a toss up. I just saw the new holiday cups at Jellyrolls. We've never been there so maybe we can add that on too....

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That sounds like an excellent trip!

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Sounds like such a fun, relaxed trip! Absolutely do Jellyrolls! It is so much fun! Drinks are weak and overpriced, but we love the dueling pianos. And can't wait to hear what you think of Riveria and the skyliner. We're staying there the first week in February.

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So I'm guessing from everything I am reading we are going to have to get to Hollywood Studios at the butt crack of dawn to get in a boarding group. I'm not really happy about this part of the plan as we have evening FP and ADR there. I don't want to be in HS all day. Hopefully we can get a relatively early boarding group, go do the other things I want to do and then come back.

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"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

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JMed wrote:
So I'm guessing from everything I am reading we are going to have to get to Hollywood Studios at the butt crack of dawn to get in a boarding group. I'm not really happy about this part of the plan as we have evening FP and ADR there. I don't want to be in HS all day. Hopefully we can get a relatively early boarding group, go do the other things I want to do and then come back.

Yea one passholder got to Studios before 6am and their boarding group wasn't called until like 11am and at that point, you have two hours to get to the ride.

JMed's picture
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So who can run me thru this? You get there early and once you are inside you hop on the app and get in the queue? Is it right when you get in the gates? When you are in GE? What When How WHY?????? I don't want to waste a day waiting but I guess I will for my hubby.... I gotta remember all the things he does for me.

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"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

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JMed wrote:
So who can run me thru this? You get there early and once you are inside you hop on the app and get in the queue? Is it right when you get in the gates? When you are in GE? What When How WHY?????? I don't want to waste a day waiting but I guess I will for my hubby.... I gotta remember all the things he does for me.

The virtual queue becomes open for you once you enter the park. Here's my experience from Friday.

I arrived at 5:45am. They started letting people in just after 6:00. I got boarding group 14 at 6:10am. I slowly made my way to GE and hung around (they were on group 12 by the time I got there). I was boarding at 6:37. And then it broke down. I was evacuated at 7:23 right before we got to the actual ride. Everyone got a paper fast pass for Rise and a multiride FP. I rode Smuggler's Run and the ride was back up around 7:49. I was off the ride at 8:23. I used my multiride FP for Slinky Dog and left the park to meet my cousins for breakfast at Boma.

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Sweet, thanks JoAnn, hopefully we can make it work and I can still do other stuff

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"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

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JoAnn C wrote:
I was boarding at 6:37. And then it broke down. I was evacuated at 7:23 right before we got to the actual ride.

Oh that's the pits. sad

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I wonder if transport is going to be running that early from the hotels?

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The rumor is that today, for the first time since Rise of the Resistance opened, they didn't let anyone secure a boarding pass until the actual posted park opening. It will be interesting to see if that policy sticks.

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Allie wrote:
The rumor is that today, for the first time since Rise of the Resistance opened, they didn't let anyone secure a boarding pass until the actual posted park opening. It will be interesting to see if that policy sticks.

I just got a push notification from MDE about it. Apparently people who were in line since 545 didn't get a group since so many people were doing it at once.

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JMed wrote:
Allie wrote:
The rumor is that today, for the first time since Rise of the Resistance opened, they didn't let anyone secure a boarding pass until the actual posted park opening. It will be interesting to see if that policy sticks.

I just got a push notification from MDE about it. Apparently people who were in line since 545 didn't get a group since so many people were doing it at once.

Oh my gosh! I'd be so frustrated if I put in the time and got up that early and still didn't get one!

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OMGeeeeeeeeeeeee, we leave tomorrow after work! Gonna drive down to Daytona to stay the night.

We'll get up early and head on in to DS to activate our APs and then maybe head to HS for a bit just to walk around GE before our early morning trip for RotR on Sunday.

And great news, it's supposed to rain all weekend. Hopefully it changes!

Can't wait, will keep this updated as I can.

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Well, well, well, we've had 2 VERY busy days!

We got up pretty early Saturday morning. Being in Daytona it took us no time to get here. We were at Disney Springs by a little after 8. I thought they opened at 9. Nope, 10. Needless to say we got a TON of steps in before anything even opened.

We did Christmas shopping, had lunch at Polite Pig. More "window shopping" with stops at Wine Bar George and Splitsville. We did the Void and saw Rise of Skywalker.

Headed to Saratoga Springs to check in around 8 and grabbed dinner from Artists Pallette to bring back to the room. We ate and watched a little football then passed out! Almost 12 hours at Disney Springs will wear you out.

Today was Hollywood Studios!!!!!!!!!!!

We got there a little after 6, it was raining and we thought that would help with the crowds. WRONG!!!! They starting letting us in around 630. Boarding groups now open at 7 and you have to be in the park. We got group 13. A man next to us got group 8 and a girl got group 1. I think it's just luck of the draw.

We rode Swirling Saucers and Star Tours while waiting. We were being seated on ST when our boarding group was called. You have 2 hours once it is called to get to Rise of the Resistance.

I thought the ride was pretty impressive. I won't spoil it for anyone. After we were HUNGRY and took the Skyliner to Caribbean Beach then walked to Riveria for breakfast. We went to Primo Piatto and both had the Croque Madam then checked out the resort. I wasn't impressed. I mean it is beautiful but it really isn't "Disney" and the "piped in" smell was killing me. yuck

I didn't like the Skyliner so we walked back to Caribbean Beach and took the bus back to HS. We hopped in the car and went back to Saratoga Springs for a nap.

We went back to HS to park and took a boat to the Boardwalk. We ate and watched football at ESPN. The food was really good. Walked back to HS for our FPs and waited on Smuggler's Run. Again, it was ok.... Ate at Docking Bay too. We headed back and stopped at the Turf CLub Lounge for Buffalo Chicken dip and another drink and now in bed ready to sleep in tomorrow.

Here's my thoughts on Oga's which we also did.

Oga's Cantina.

Here are my thoughts.

If I am going to pay 65 bucks (not including tip) for 4 drinks (One non-alcoholic) in 45 minutes I don't want to be sat at a table with random people, especially a family with young kids. I mean it's a bar. There is one food item on the menu. If it was a family style restaurant, ok. But not a bar.

They were playing "drinking songs" and the drinks are strong. If I'm paying that, I ain't gonna "behave" in front of your kids.

Other than that, I thought the drinks were fun and the music great. I would have preferred standing at the bar or high top table. I think the 3 guys that came in as we were leaving thought the same.

I get it, it is Disney, there are kids. But I wouldn't want random "drinking" strangers sitting with us if we had Blondie with us. That's why we don't sit in the "bar area" when we go out to dinner. I'll wait a little longer on a table away from the bar. Adults are having fun, I don't expect them to change their demeanor for us.

Anywho, 25000+ steps today, I'm going to bed!

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"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

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JMed wrote:

Oga's Cantina.

If I am going to pay 65 bucks (not including tip) for 4 drinks (One non-alcoholic) in 45 minutes I don't want to be sat at a table with random people, especially a family with young kids. I mean it's a bar. There is one food item on the menu. If it was a family style restaurant, ok. But not a bar.

Hrmmm, very interesting. I can see that would hinder the experience. Is it all community seating?
I snagged us a mid-afternoon reservation for Oga's in April.

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I had several reservations for Oga's did it once, thought the drinks were expensive and OK, only advantage of being seated with randoms was you could see what the other drinks were like. I cancelled all the other reservations. Theming is great, liked the music (which also plays in the restrooms outside of Oga's) glad I did it but not again in a hurry.

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Sally-Ann wrote:
drinks were expensive and OK

I read on the DFB that all the specialty drinks are pre-made in vats vs. freshly crafted. I guess Disney has to figure out how to handle the volume somehow, but that certainly gave me pause. Perhaps they just always intended it to be more of an attraction spot then a proper bar.

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We enjoyed the experience, but I wasn't overly impressed with the drinks. It's one of those "I'm glad we did it but probably won't do it again" things.

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Kristen I thought that too but you could definitely see the bar staff with bottles pouring drinks.

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Kristen K. wrote:
JMed wrote:

Oga's Cantina.

If I am going to pay 65 bucks (not including tip) for 4 drinks (One non-alcoholic) in 45 minutes I don't want to be sat at a table with random people, especially a family with young kids. I mean it's a bar. There is one food item on the menu. If it was a family style restaurant, ok. But not a bar.

Hrmmm, very interesting. I can see that would hinder the experience. Is it all community seating?
I snagged us a mid-afternoon reservation for Oga's in April.

You can STAND at the bar which I didn't see any kids up there and we requested to be standing. I would have waited a little longer for it. I guess when it comes to drinking since I don't do it in front of my kid, unless it's a glass of wine with dinner not multiple drinks and shots, I'm not going to do it in front of others. One and done for me sadly, cause I think it's a really neat spot and the drinks I had were good.

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Sally-Ann wrote:
bar staff with bottles pouring drinks.

Glad to hear that!