Saturday, April 2, 2022

The kids and cousins visit Disney World Pt1

It was just yesterday that my kids got a big surprise. Their cousins were in Florida for Spring Break and they wanted to spend a day with them! And not just that, they were going to take them to Disney World the next day and hang out together! Sounds perfect!

Because all 5 of them were going to be together through the day, and because they didn't have a lot of time, after months of resisting, I finally opted to purchase Genie+. That way they can hopefully get on more rides together and spend less time waiting around. 
If I wanted to book Genie+ reservations for everyone at the same time, they needed to be on the same account. Despite all my efforts, jumping through multiple hoops, I could not add all 5 of them onto my Disney account. Well if I can't fix it, I have to go to the people who can. I collected everyone's tickets, hopped in the truck, and drove to Disney Springs to the Ticket Center there. 
When I arrived at the ticket center, there was quite a line to talk to someone. I got in a virtual queue and was told they'd text me back in 45 minutes when it was my turn. That's enough time for me to grab some dinner from Blaze Pizza. 
Sure enough, after 45 minutes I was able to go speak to a cast member directly. They figured out the issues with everyone's tickets, and I was good to go for the next morning. 

At 2am that morning, I was able to purchase Genie+ for all five tickets. You can start making ride reservations at 7am, so I was up at 6:45am and ready to go. I had read a few guides to which rides to pick and how to get the best times. At 7am I had the app ready to go, clicked through on the ride I wanted and... the app froze. A problem on the Disney server side. I restarted and tried again and... same result. Sigh. At 7:05am I was finally able to get a ride reservation (not for my first pick), but it was for 11:15am. That was unfortunate because you're not allowed to make a reservation until you either use your first one, or 2 hours after the park opens. 
I watched Genie+ return times slowly crept later and later in the day, and then at 11am, everything took another big jump. Most big rides were sold out for the day. Sigh. Genie+ you are frustrating to use. 

Anyhow, Hollywood Studios doesn't open until 9am. At 8:30am we were in line with all the rest of the masses, watching as the guests who are staying in Disney Hotels get to enter early. 

We slowly shuffled our way forward at the time got closer and closer to 9am. 

By 9:10am we were inside the parks and walking to the first ride. 

Which is... Smuggler's Run! Theresa and I said our goodbyes to the kids and wished them a fun day! Enjoy hanging out together!

The five of them got to pilot the Millennium Falcon! 

And they went a little crazy on all the snacks. These are tot-chos (instead of nachos) and they are one of Ian's new favorite foods. 

Making a brief stop to say hi to some characters. 

Oh yeah! Gonna ride the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. 

It's their favorite coaster here at Disney World. 

Time for lunch! Theresa and I packed them hot dogs and chips. That way they can spend more money on snacks and treats!

Which they totally did. Ian getting a Coke Float. 

And Alli getting chocolate and strawberry ice cream.

The group decided to split up. Ian really wanted to go on the Tower of Terror, so Ethan took him there. Jared, Alli, and Aubrey rode on the Swirling Saucers. Unfortunately after 60 minutes in line, Ethan and Ian were told that the Tower of Terror was broken and they had to leave. Doh. I hate it when that happens. 

After meeting back up, everyone saw there was a line for something with Olaf. After 15 minutes, when they finally got to the front, they saw it was just a photo opportunity and you couldn't even get close. They called it a rip-off!  

With the Genie+ reservations for the good rides gone, we ended up snagging Star Tours reservations. Towards the end of the night, this ride is a walk-on, but during Spring Break in the middle of the day, it's 60+ minutes.

I remember with the old Fastpass system on the phone, it was sometimes possible that a ride that was sold-out would sometimes have availability pop up randomly. After checking back and forth a couple hundred times (no lie), I was able to grab a Genie+ reservation for Toy Story Midway Mania!

The kids all had a great time hanging out together. 
In the end, the Genie+ ($15 per person) got them on the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Star Tours, and Toy Story Midway Mania. It was a bit frustrating to use, and when I was doing the back and forth to get Toy Story, it was a big battery drain on the phone. It would definitely not last the entire day in the parks without a backup battery. 

At 3:30pm, Theresa and I were back at the entrance to Hollywood Studios, ready to pick the kids up. The cousins are meeting up with other friends here for Spring Break and they're going to tour around Epcot. 

Well I know a fun way to get to Epcot. Let's all go together on the Skyliner! We hopped in a gondola and made our way to the back entrance of Epcot. 

Goodbye cousins! 

Thanks for coming to see us and spending the day with us! We'll miss you!

1 comment:

  1. Ian & Alli had such a special time w/ Aubrey, Ethan, & Jared at Hollywood Studios....always hard to say good-bye. Good job and effort on getting the 5 tickets linked to your account before the big day...but...dealing with the paid Genie+ limitations, frustrations, and battery draining features is enough to drive any person crazy! (just think, Disneyland guests get to pay more to experience that Genie+, too!) Looks like a recipe for "Tot-chos" should be on the research list :-) Definitely frustrating to wait 60 min in a line and then have ToT break down before one gets a chance to experience it. Nevertheless, looks like the cousins all had a fun time together. EOM