Mommy-Daughter PRINCESS Trip (BBB, CRT, Tea Party) Photos & VIDEO RECAP/HIGHLIGHTS
As with many of our most cherished, precious memories, our Mommy - Daughter Princess Trip was something unexpected that I would never have dreamed up on my own.
You see for me, the concept of just 2 people out of a 4 person family taking a trip to one of the most Magical Places on Earth is not something I would even have considered. However, due to circumstance, that is exactly what happened to me and DD4; we ended up alone, just the two of us, in Magical WDW in September 2007.
Exactly how and why this happened...well, you will just have to stay tuned to find out. In the meantime, here's a quick sneak peak at what ended up being one of the most Special and Magical trips of my life!
DAY 1 - TRAVEL, MAGICAL EXPRESS AND CHECK-IN TO CBR
First, I will introduce the Star of the Show, DD4 herself. Here she is the morning our adventure began adjusting the final Mickey Head on our Countdown Calendar. Even at 4:30am you can tell she is anxious to get on the road!
So off to the airport we head. We have 2 flights to catch today with an estimated arrival time in Orlando at 1pm. From the minute we left the house in the morning, the two of us girls, out on our own, driving down the highway to the airport - excitement was in the air! After all, this was the only time that the two girls had ever travelled solo on a trip together!!!
Here is DD in the airplane looking surprising calm given all of the excitement and activity her well-intentioned Mother had in store for the next 5 days:
Well, after 2 very long flights and a hop over the border, we finally land in Orlando! As we were staying on Disney Property and only staying a short 5 days we decided to forgo a rental car and just take the Magical Express.
While this obviously meant no off-property shopping at the great Orlando malls and outlets I had come to know and love, the big plus was that there would be no car seat to install. Given that I had never performed this task before in my life, (that's what husbands are for, isn't it???) the significance of this benefit to Magical Express cannot be overstated!
Now I had heard lots of pros and lots of cons about the Magical Express on the Disboards and elsewhere. However, our experience with the Magical Express (at least getting FROM the airport to the Resort) was pleasant and efficient. We really had no complaints.
After one wrong turn inside the airport, we finally made our way to the Magical Express ticket counter. While there were about 15-20 families standing in line ahead of us, there were a good number of agents working and the line was moving fairly quick. I would say after 5-10 minutes we found ourselves at the head of the line where the agent verified our travel vouchers and sent us on our way to the bus line ups.
As each Resort has its own que, we found our way to the Carribean Beach Resort and stood in line waiting for our Bus. While I don't know for sure, I am going to assume that we must have just missed the last Bus for CBR. I say this because we were the 2nd family in line and then spent about 20 mins watching every other line get boarded on their bus but ours.
But heck, we were on vacation and waiting in line 20 mins for our Bus to come and take us to our resort was certainly not a hardship - LOL! We had a good time laughing and chatting with our neighbours in line and enjoyed people watching all of the other vacationers like ourselves on our way to a Magical Vacation.
In no time at all we were on our Bus, and before you knew it we were arriving at CBR - the First stop - yeah!
We were both very excited to be back on Disney Property. The last few times we have travelled to Disney we have always stayed off property. In fact, the last time I actually stayed at a Disney Resort (the Poly) was my first ever Trip to WDW back in 1977!!!
After exiting the Magical Express at the Custom House check-in centre for the CBR, we waited about 10-15 mins before we were checked in and given our key to a room in Jamaica as requested!!! Yeah!
Now here is where the "Magical" in Magical Express ended for me! After being dropped off at check-in I found out that we had to wait to get on another bus which would take us around the resort to our room. Only problem? This time we most certainly JUST missed the last bus. As we arrived at the stop outside the Check-in centre we actually saw it leaving! At this point it was about 3:15pm and we had a reservation for 4pm at the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique in Downtown Disney!
Will we arrive in time??? Stay tuned....
So finally, after a long wait in the hot sun outside the CBR Custom House waiting for the Bus to take us and our luggage to our room, we were let off in Jamaica and made our way to our room.
Jamaica was so beautiful! Just what I expected. Our room was an inner courtyard room and so very lovely! Our only regret was not having enough time at the Resort to enjoy it. We will most definitely return!
Unfortunately, we did not have much time to enjoy our surroundings as by now it was about 3:35pm and we had our 4pm reservation at BBB in Downtown Disney.
After spending about 10 mins speeding around the room like crazy to change out of our travel clothes and get DD into her Princess gown, we sped off for the Bus Stop, desperately hoping we would have better luck with the speed this time around.
Fortunately, not 2 mins after we arrived at the Bus Depot, the Downtown Disney Bus arrived. We ended up arriving at our appointment for BBB about 5-10 mins late. I felt awful but we were not made to feel badly as our check-in agent at CBR had called ahead to let them know we were running late.
Once again, our experience at the BBB was the stuff that dreams were made of! DD was made to feel like absolute Royalty and I was reduced to mush! I will let the pictures which tell the tale do the talking here:
And finally, the Big Reveal:
As you can see, I went a little snap-happy with the camera! We had a great time getting "Boutiqued" and then headed out for the Photo Session next door. Warning: More photos up next!
Oh wow... I found you again...you probably think I am stalking you~~:laughing: :laughing:
I think your DD is just beautiful and I am sooo glad you made it to your appointment in time!
I learned last June that you really have to allow lots of bus travel time, as much as an hour, just to get anywhere. :sad2:
Enjoying your trippie so far...can't wait to find out what happens! :goodvibes
im just subscribing! your daughter is tooo cute! omg the look on her face is just priceless!!
Once again for the Photo Shoot I will let the pictures do the talking:
Although the photos don't necessarily reflect it, DD is not a big fan of the camera and was not all that keen on getting this done. However, when we were there 2 girls actually refused to do the shoot entirely. So even if I was lucky enough to get one shot, I would have been happy. Fortunately I got a handful of goodies to put in the scrapbook!
After we left the Photo Shoot, we again had to boogey over to the Grand Floridian for our ADR at Park Faire. When we originally booked our reservation we had been scheduled Dinner with Cinderella, Prince Charming, the Fairy Godmother and the Mice at the Grand Floridian Cafe, where Park Faire had been re-located during its renovation. However, just days before our reservation, Park Faire reopened ahead of schedule. Also, there was previously unanounced change in the format. Instead of the Fairy Godmother and the Mice, we would now be dining with Cinderella, Prince Charming, the Evil Stepmother, and Anastasia and Drizella! We were very happy with the change!
We arrived and checked in, were given our pager, and went to relax in the lobby. It was the first time we sat back and rested since stepping off the plane!
DD was in a fantastic mood and as luck would have it the piano man was playing music in the lobby. What a great way to kill some time! DD loved the piano and started dancing around. By the end of the song, she actually started to draw a little crowd! It was one of the highlights of our evening!
Dinner was fantastic! The place was packed and the characters moved quickly. However, we did get photographs with all of the characters and had a great time. The food was one of the better Disney buffet meals we had and DD absolutely LOVED the strawberry soup! With all the rave reviews I thought I would love it too, but I actually found it way too sweet and normally I have a huge sweet tooth!
Before Cinderella appeared, wonder who DD's Favourite Character had been.....
And finally, the Host that everyone was waiting for:
After that, we still had the most Magical part of the evening to come!
After Dinner, it was about 8pm and we decided to kill some time waiting for the Fireworks at 9pm. We spent some time at the Grand Floridian and then hopped on the monorail for the Poly.
This was the first time that I had set foot in the Poly since 1977!!! I actually didn't think I would like it as I thought it would feel like stepping back to the 70s but boy was I wrong! I loved it and all the fond memories I still have as a 4 year old vacationing at that resort came flooding back to me. Of course it was especially poignant because my daughter was also 4 yrs old on this trip.
I think I enjoyed the atmosphere that evening at the Poly more than the Grand Floridian. It was so lush, so tropical and a true resort feel. There was an energy there - lots of hustle and bustle. The best part was walking outside to the pool and beach and seeing people swimming and relaxing with the Magic Kingdom Castle in the background. Just breathtaking!
Then, it even got better...Wishes fireworks started just as the electrical water parade was travelling by. I can't even express how fantastic this was. I vowed then and there to one day soon return to the Poly for another trip.
So after getting a Royal Princess Makeover, followed by Dinner, Dancing and Fireworks on the Beach, all and all we had a Fantastic First Evening in WDW!!!
After the Fireworks ended it was about 9:20pm and of course we had been up since the crack of dawn for travelling. So we immediately headed for the bus to Downtown Disney, where we had to transfer to another bus to get to CBR. (I decided against going to any of the theme parks thinking the bus line ups at Downtown Disney would be the quickest). Here is where I really wished I had a rental car. However, this was the only time that we would be leaving at that hour of night from another resort which did not have direct bus transportation to CBR so I really can't complain. Overall, we found the Disney transportation system within the Resorts and Parks to be fantastic. Very rarely did we wait more than 5-10 minutes, even at Park closing times.
Needless to say, DD ended up falling asleep on the way home and I was forced to carry her the long trek home from the CBR Bus Depot to our room. Whew! With that, the two of us both crashed into bed and immediately fell fast asleep anxiously awaiting our first full vacation day in the Parks the following morning.
So before we get underway with our First Day of Theme Park Touring, here's the background on how the Mommy-Daughter PRINCESS Trip came to be.
Back in May 2007, just 4 months before this Trip, we travelled to WDW with DH, DS2 and my mom and dad. We spent a week offsite and had a great time touring all the parks.
On our last day, while making our way to the airport, we had some time to kill and decided to go shopping. I decided to place my brand new SLR digital camera under the seat of the minivan so it would not be visible while we were in the mall.
Well, you guessed it. I did the unthinkable and dropped off the minivan at the rental car depot forgetting the camera under the seat. Called the rental company 15 mins later and of course it was gone. Never recovered. I lost all of the precious photos we had taken of the kids during their first ever trip to WDW!!!
While we had some photopass of BBB and 2 of CRT, that was it! Although I was familiar with Photopass, we did not really use it on our May trip. (Much different this trip!!!)
I spent a lot of time agonizing over the loss of the photos. Everyone kept reminding me that we would be returning in a couple years and that we could recapture photos then. However, in my gut I was sure that even in one year's time DD's experience at Disney would not be the same. She would not "believe" in the Princesses or Characters the same way or experience the Parks the way a 4 year old would.
So....what's a heartbroken mom to do but to plan a return trip as quickly as possible! Fortunately some excellent reduced rates were coming out, I cashed in some Air Miles, and before I knew it, the trip was planned on a total whim.
Of course I was completely panicked because by now we were only 3 months away! For our May trip I had been on the phone exactly 180 days in advance to book every reservation which had been planned months in advance! As luck would have it, with some scheduling flexibility I ended up being able to get into everything that I wanted except Cinderella's Royal Table. However, even with that I ended up getting lucky with a last-minute cancellation!
At first I didn't think that there would be any way that the second trip could be as good as the first trip because almost all of the highlights of our trip had been done before just 4 months earlier. Essentially, this trip was merely trying to recapture the lost photographic memories from the first trip.
How could I have known that this trip would actually end up being more special, more magical and more memorable than the original one?
I think what made it so special was that it was a trip just for the two of us. We had such a great time and shared so many special memories together. I think that is what makes a trip memorable - not just the things you do but the bonds you create.
So although this trip arose out of a fairly unpleasant experience (the theft of our camera) it has opened my eyes to what an incredibly bonding experience it can be to take a solo journey with your kids.
Little Ones Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom
Epcot and Princess Lunch at Akerhaus
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
Ok now you have me crying.....:goodvibes
I dont know where to start....well I am so sorry about your camera and pics. The horrible thing about it is you know the guys cleaning out the car had your camera. One time I left our camera on a bench during a vacation and we had to stand there and bug the lost and found people to search for it. Someone on a nearby bench saw a person turn it in so we knew they had it.
But as you said,,,, your lemons were turned to lemonade.
What beautiful BBB pics you have! Your DD is just beautiful! And the magical experience at Park Faire and then the fireworks and all. Really special!
(Just one tip for next trip....you could have taken the monorail around to the front of the MK and hopped a bus to CBR rather than riding one to DTD and transfering.)
I am really enjoying your trippie and all of your beautiful pics! Do you scrapbook at all??
Followed you over from the BBB thread as I have 2 girls getting this done. Your TR is off to a great start. :thumbsup2 I am looking forward to hearing all about the trip.
I actually figured (perhaps wrongly) that the lines outside MK would be far worse than the bus lines at DDD.
And yes I do scrapbook, although finding the time for it is another matter!
I found your TR from the BBB thread. I'm going to be working at the BBB starting in Jan, infact, I'm leaving in 9 days!!!
I loved your pics of your DD at the BBB. Her face is priceless when she sees the characters as well. I think my fav pic was her all dressed up looking at the fireworks on the beach. For some reason and I'm not sure why but it was just sooo cute!! When I was little, I had a similar pic (w/o the BBB makeover of course) but I was dressed up and i was facing the castle and had my picture taken.
I can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip considering I'll be living there for the next 5 months!!!
I just loveyour trip report! It looks magical already!
just found you too from the BBB link... first family trip june 08! my youngest is 4 and can't wait to see her expressions on everything disney :)
your little one is adorable :) This will be a memory she will have forever !
Subscribing! Great start - your daughter looks like she is having a blast already! Sorry to hear about your camera, but glad that you were able to return for another trip. Can't wait to read more!
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