Jan/Feb 2018 Walt Disney World Trip Report

Updated: Jan 18, 2020

My trip to WDW last Jan/Feb was honestly one of the best ones I've ever had. Crowds were low, I did so many attractions, and basically met some of my all-time character goals.


This was our first trip as DVC members, and accordingly, we adjusted our dates for the Magic Kingdom Moonlight Magic event (if I'm being completely honest, these events were the main reason we bought in!). We also had a Marvel Day at Sea cruise booked and were super excited!


We took a redeye to MCO and then the Magical Express to our first resort of the trip, the Poly. After breakfast at Kona Cafe, we hopped over to the Grand for some blowdries. After a long nap in the room, I got ready to head to MK for the event. But, tragedy struck. It was storming like crazy. I decided to brave it out, since I couldn't exactly switch dates. And I'm glad I did!


After waiting in the storm for three hours, I ended up being second in line to meet Esmeralda and Clopin!



They're both extremely rare in the US, so I was super excited to meet them and get their autographs! Also, you can see the effect the storm had on my blow-dry...


Next up, I headed over to meet the Robin Hood gang - Robin, Friar Tuck, and Little John, who I'd never met! I waited about an hour, but it was so worth it.



Little John was so tall! I was shook. I got his autograph too.


Next up, I waited another hour for Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs. They're also extremely rare in the US. However, BBW now meets at Oogie Boogie Bash!



They all signed for me as well.


The storm had calmed down a bit by this point, but I was told that, due to any chance of rain, the Fantasia characters (Hyacinth Hippo and Madame Upanova) would not be coming out. I was really bummed as I remember seeing "Fantasia 2000" with my grandpa when I was little.


Nevertheless, I persisted. Herbie had no line, so I got the Lovebug with little to no wait.



Next up was Oogie Boogie!



I was probably the most excited to meet him. He signed for me too, despite not signing at the previous event!


The last meet I planned on that night was the hyenas, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, who unfortunately did not sign.



The event was just about wrapping up at this point - two minutes left. Since it had been storming, the dance party characters were doing meets with little to no wait. It was either Koda and Kenai (both of whom I'd met) or Cowboy Donald and Daisy. I chose the latter and closed out the night with them.



The next day, I headed to Epcot around 10AM. I started my day with the short film festival, which was quite enjoyable! Then, I rode Journey into Imagination with Figment, also mailing myself a Figment plush for when I got home.


After that, I decided to check out the Festival of the Arts. I loved both the food and the fun photo ops!



I stumbled upon Character Training and ended up meeting Gideon for the first time in a while.



After that, I park hopped to DAK in the hopes of getting one of the pop up characters, like Thumper or Ratcliffe. And I did!


Miss Bunny welcomed me into the park.



Brer Fox heard there were some rabbits around and came out too!



I had a little time to kill before Character Palooza, so I rode Expedition Everest (single rider) and took some photos.


Next up, I headed over to DHS after grabbing an FP for Tower of Terror. Then, I headed to Character Palooza!



I'd already met these guys but was down for another picture!


I also saw classic Donald!



Princess Jasmine and Aladdin also stopped by.



As well as Bert.



The always gorgeous Princess Tiana!



And finally, Snow & Dopey! I'd been hoping for them since Dopey was the last rare Palooza character I needed.



After CP, I headed back to the hotel to meet up with my parents. We had dinner at Morimoto Asia and enjoyed it! After spending some time walking around Disney Springs, we headed back to the hotel. After all, I was heading back to the parks bright and early the next morning!


I started off my day at DHS, meeting Buzz and Woody. Despite going directly at park opening, I waited half an hour.



Next up, I headed to Launch Bay to see my second favorite droid.



After that, I rode RRC and ToT back to back, enjoying two of my favorite thrill rides. I then stopped by to see Starlord and Baby Groot.



Baby Groot is just the cutest - miss meeting these guys!


Cruz had basically no line after that, so I met her too!



I then headed over to my favorite show, the Indy stunt show! I love seeing this whenever I have time. This time, however, I got to meet Indy and Marion afterwards!



They were very sweet.


Then it was time for lunch at H&V! This was my second time eating there, this time for the Silver Screen Dine!


Mickey welcomed me into the restaurant this time around.



I felt extremely under dressed.


Goofy stopped by next, looking very fancy!



Then came Donald.



And then the ladies, starting with Daisy.



And finally Minnie!



I'd heard Mr. Penguin was out for training at Epcot, so I took the Friendship Boat over immediately after lunch and met him.



That evening, I decided to do Disney After Hours at MK for the first time and really enjoyed it! Little to no wait for all attractions/characters, free popcorn, free ice cream... This was living!


I did all the MK attractions and character meets. I started with Fairytale Hall.



Cinderella loved my shirt.


And Elena was lovely as always!



And it's always nice to see my faves, Raps and Tiana!



Tiana offered to teach me how to cook while Raps invited me to come adventuring with her in Corona!



I also stopped by to see Ariel in the grotto.



She liked the thingamabob on my head.


As I left the park around 12:30AM, I stopped in to meet Tink...



And Mickey!



This was my last time meeting him before he lost his voice :(


And on the way out, I got an empty castle picture!



The next day was set aside for DAK. I started off with my first time on Na'vi River Journey. I really enjoyed it - it was so peaceful and pretty.


I headed over to Dinoland next, where I rode Dinosaur and met Donald!



I stopped by to see Timon next.



Followed by a fun meet with Baloo and Louis!



I miss when they had a regular meet at DAK. They were always such a fun interaction.


I rode Everest and then headed out of the park, where I bumped into...



This cutie!!! I still needed Ratcliffe at this point, but was so happy to see Thumper!


I headed over to Epcot next. First, I took in some of the atmosphere of the festival, really enjoying it. I then popped in to see Daisy.



And do some magic shots!



Can you tell I enjoyed the festival?



I stopped by to see Pluto's new collar next.



And do some more photo ops.



Land ahead!



Next up was dinner at T-Rex. I absolutely loved it! I'm a dino lover, so the atmosphere was just super awesome to me. I'd love to go back again next time I'm at WDW!



Maybe I can build a dino too ;)


The next day, we were switching hotels to Kidani, so I only headed into DAK to check for Ratcliffe before our lunch at Sanaa. I didn't see him, but I did see Terk!



But then, the heavens parted and I saw him (jk, I hate him).



My parents and I then had a delicious lunch at Sanaa, even coming back for dinner!


The next day, my mom and I got our hair done and headed to the Grand for afternoon tea. It was so much fun! We loved their setup. We saw our favorite greeter on the way out.



This was the last time I had the pleasure of seeing Richard. RIP, you sweet sweet man <3


After tea, I headed to Epcot, starting with the Character Spot!



Minnie was next...



And finally Mickey!



I rode the Seas with Nemo & Friends after that, before heading to World Showcase to see Anna & Elsa.



We had a long conversation about chocolate.



I miss Elsa's classic dress!


Afterwards, I had dinner at Akershus and really enjoyed it! The food was great, and it was nice seeing Belle in her yellow gown!



While waiting for Illuminations, I decided to pop in to meet Snow.



This was my first time meeting her in Epcot. I also took a photo in France with the new hoodie I bought before watching Illuminations (RIP).



Tragedy struck the next day. My family was set to head into DAK together, when it turned out my mom had appendicitis! She went through an emergency surgery and we ended up cancelling our cruise. We ended up staying in Orlando a few more days until she was cleared to travel.


We were set to fly out on the 8th. DVC was kind enough to allow me to attend a second Moonlight event on the 6th!


I went to Epcot that morning to do some shopping and take some pictures.



And since it wasn't storming, I finally got my lantern photo before MM!



At the event, I got a lot of characters in special outfits, starting with Patriotic Mickey & Minnie!



Followed by Tiana & Naveen!



I also finally got to meet the Fantasia characters!



Sadly, Hyacinth was not signing.


I also got to meet the dream team of Chip & Dale, Rescue Rangers!



And ended the night with Space Goofy and Pluto.



I was planning on just relaxing and packing the next day, but I'd gotten a message from a friend that John Smith was seen at Epcot! I raced over.


I spent a decent hour looking for him, finding Smee in the meantime.



And I ended the trip by meeting this ridiculously rare, dream character of mine.



Later that day, my mom was cleared to fly home. We headed back the next day.


This trip was a game changer for me as far as meeting characters is concerned. It really solidified my love for character hunting. I met 21 new characters and already couldn't wait till our Star Wars Day at Sea cruise and WDW trip that was only a few months around the corner!

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