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jdd 09-25-2009 04:46 PM

After seven trips I'm finally doing a TR! 8-12 to 8-18-2009
I've always wanted to post a trip report - mainly for me to have a record of our wonderful family vacations - but it never seems like I have time after we get back! This year was no exception - we returned on August 19th, and it was crazy for the next few weeks getting the kids ready for back to school.

But, finally, I'm ready to try it. I'll warn you, I'm not the best writer, and this is my first attempt at posting photos on the Dis, but I'm hoping for the best!

Cast of characters:

Me (41) - major Disney-aholic. Actually currently planning a quick 3-day trip in early December with just my oldest DS (12). More to follow on that...

DH (41) - much more of a homebody, but if he HAS to go on vacation, Disney is his favorite destination.

DS (12) - is definitely a preteen, with all the attitude to go with it, but WDW somehow changes all that. He holds my hand walking down Main Street, and is non-stop smiles at Epcot.

DS (8 - turning 9 next week, but was 8 on this trip) - LOVES Magic Kingdom and is more of the thrill rider of the family. Nothing goes quite fast enough for him, but EE comes pretty close.

DS (4) - my baby, and unfortunately acted pretty much like one this trip :scared1: But, our most magical moment was all about him!

And, yes, somehow I have one blonde, one redhead and one brunette (can you call a boy a brunette??)

A little background. This trip was supposed to be from Sept 4th through the 11th, but one night I literally woke up in a panic about taking them out of school for Labor Day week. Now, we've always taken the boys out for at least a couple of days (no flames please) but for some reason, this time I was really bothered about it. So, near the end of July, I decided we should try mid-August instead.

I was able to rebook our trip, with a few minor changes (we weren't able to stay the whole week at Fort Wilderness, but picked up two days at the Beach Club instead) and we were all set to go.

Now the boys have told me that they really wanted to be surprised with a trip to DW one day, and I figured this was my chance since I only had to keep quiet for 3 weeks, so we didn't tell them we'd changed our plans. I don't know how most people are able to keep this secret, but it made me crazy. Finally, on Sunday, 8/9, two days before we departure, I couldn't take it anymore and we told them.

They were REALLY excited, and were so glad they didn't have long to wait. And this at least gave me the chance to pack during daylight hours!

Next up, the car trip and arrival at Fort Wilderness!!

Sleepingbooty 09-25-2009 05:29 PM

Well hey, look at that! Your first trip report, and my first time being the first poster on a trip report! :yay:

jdd 09-26-2009 07:35 AM

Hey, thanks for joining me!

So, we actually pulled out of the driveway at 1pm on Tuesday, 8/12. I would have liked to have started earlier, but I had to work Tuesday morning :sad2:. Anyway, we stopped overnight in Walterboro, SC - after getting 9 hours under our belts. We were feeling pretty good - planning on about a 5-hour drive the next day.

Well.....just outside of Savannah GA on Wednesday the 13th, we stopped. And I don't mean slowed down - dead stop. We quickly realized there was an accident right ahead of us - lots of flashing lights and police cars. After about 30 minutes we saw a helicopter land directly in front of us, right on the freeway. Now, that was pretty cool - except for the fact that you know that means someone is seriously hurt. I never did hear anymore about it, but hopefully all ended up okay.

So, we didn't end up getting to Fort Wilderness until about 4pm that afternoon, but we hadn't planned on a park that day anyway, so we were good. Check-in took no time at all. I had done the online checkin - so I walked directly up to that CM and he literally handed me a folder with all our stuff.

Our cabin was in the 2200 loop - the second cabin on the right from the loop entrance. That was great for getting the internal bus - just steps away. The only complaint I had about our cabin was that all around us was a swamp. It ended up not being a problem, but when I first saw that I thought we might be plagued with mosquitos. After we made our rounds of the resort, it seemed that only a few cabins were affected by this, so I'm not sure how we got so lucky....

General thoughts about the cabin - they're awesome!! We all loved having so much space to spread out. We didn't do the dining plan this time, so the kitchen was put to good use. And it's so nice not sharing walls/ceilings with other guests - it's incredibly quiet - I've never slept so well at WDW before. We put the boys in the bedroom and DH and I took the Murphy bed (very comfortable by the way.)

We had brought a box full of dry goods with us (one of the reasons I prefer driving to flying), but we needed milk, eggs, bread - so my oldest and I headed out for the trading post. It's a very cute little store and we spent some time browsing.

We all had a quick dinner of sandwiches and leftovers from our lunch stop, and then we just spent the evening exploring the beach/marina area. We all hit the sack early, as Thursday was EMH day at Magic Kingdom!!!

Note: wanted to post photos here, but photobucket is down this morning. Heading off to a soccer game, but hopefully I'll be able to add photos later....

Sleepingbooty 09-28-2009 02:43 PM

The cabins sound really nice - we've thought about staying there with my parents (that'd make 6 of us) but only having one shower worries me. I think it would definitely be very relaxing, though!

jdd 09-29-2009 06:16 PM

You'd love the cabins. With me and 4 guys, the single shower really wasn't a problem. The kids shower at night (after getting all grungy in the park) so it's just me and DH in the mornings.

Thanks for sticking with me - life keeps getting in the way, but I'll finish this yet!

Here are some pictures from the cabin - please excuse the quality - they're from my son's "cheapo" camera...

DS8 on the top bunk in the bedroom:

DS4 on the double in the bedroom:

Both on the top bunk (can you tell they're hams??)

and DS4 on the couch in the living area:

I really am going to write about MK now - I swear!!!

jdd 09-29-2009 07:13 PM

I've decided to give the kids code names - don't ask - so DS12 is now Brad, DS8 is Ed and DS4 is CJ. Moving along....

Now it's Thursday morning. I'm up early (of course) and start a quickie breakfast so that we can get to MK for 8am rope drop. The kids were groggy, but excited! Since we had our car, we decided to drive to the TTC and grab a monorail to MK - and that worked out great. We arrived at the gates around 7:45, and were pleasantly surprised by the lack of crowds.

The "opening ceremony" isn't quite as lavish for EMH, but it was still fun, and we were off!

We headed right for Frontierland, grabbed fastpasses for BTMRR, and then we all rode with no wait. Last year, CJ (then 3) loved all the rides, couldn't get enough. Well, we took the first dip on BTMRR, and he freaked. No screaming or anything, but his grip got VERY tight, and the look on his face was pure terror! Unfortunately, he decided he wasn't riding anything else that was "scary". This changed our plans a bit....

He and I decided to head over to Fantasyland while DH took the older boys on Splash. Peter Pan was down (happened often this trip :sad2:) so CJ and I hit Winnie the Pooh and Small World - both walk ons. We all met back up to do Haunted Mansion (CJ's head in my lap the whole ride) and then decided to hit Tomorrowland. We walked on Buzz Lightyear, had to get the traditional Zurg picture:

and as we were coming out, saw Buzz himself up on the Carousel of Progress, so we headed over for autographs.

Of course, Brad's now too cool for autographs....

It was getting pretty hot, so we headed to the Monsters Inc Comedy Club to cool down a bit. That show is very funny, but I think they need to change it up a bit....

Next up was the Jungle Cruise (GREAT driver - can never remember their names...) and POTC. Coming out of POTC, we saw Captain Hook and Smee, so CJ and I went to see them as DH took Brad and Ed to get FPs for Splash. These two were awesome! Hook kept asking CJ to give him five, then pulling his hand away - it was really cute!!

Just as we were walking away, the Pirate Tutorial was starting up, so we went over for a quick peek (mom couldn't resist seeing Captain Jack ;)) There was hardly anyone around, and it would have been a great time to watch the show, but we needed to get to our noon reservation at Liberty Tree Tavern. So, we moved on....

LTT was fantastic! Ed and CJ had the soup (yes, it was 92 degrees!!) and mac n cheese, DH had a burger, I had the Colony Salad (wonderful!) and Brad had the William Penn Chicken Pasta. This is a beautiful restaurant and the food was delicious. The dinner menu didn't do anything for me, so I'm really glad we got there for lunch.

After lunch, we tried Peter Pan again, but the line was long - the wait time said 20 minutes, but it looked much longer. So, we fastpassed it (now holding FPs for BTMRR, Splash and PP) and went into Philharmagic with no wait. I'm seriously thinking that Philharmagic may be my favorite attraction at MK. I've never seen a 3D movie done so well, and it pulls in all my favorite Disney movies. It was also a perfect spot after a big lunch, with the heat/humidity climbing.

We all decided to head back to the resort, and I took a few crowd shots on the way out (again, really blurry, but you get the point!) This was right around 2pm on Thursday, 8/13, no where near the summer crowds we expected!!

And, of course, the obligatory castle shot...

We took the ferry back to FW (so cool!) and jumped on the internal bus to get us back to our cabin. I've read lots of negatives about the transportation at FW, but everything worked very smoothly for us there. We did like having our car, though.

Next, our evening at MK....

OhioDisneyLover 09-29-2009 07:17 PM

popcorn:: Subbing.

I've always wanted to try the cabins. Thanks for posting pictures.

Looking forward to more.

jdd 09-29-2009 07:19 PM

Okay - just realized my most recent pics are HUGE!! Promise to do better....

Think they're fixed now - that was bugging me....

jdd 09-29-2009 08:19 PM

So, we made it back to the cabins by around 2:45pm, and decided to head out to check out the pool! Now I'd been following the "something's happening near the pool!" thread religiously, so I was very excited to finally see it in person. It looks great - the slide was neat, and the splash zone was really cool. However, sometimes the best laid plans....

Brad and Ed rode the slide once, but decided the water was too warm to swim in (it really was, the one downside of our August trip) and there were too many people at the pool... and CJ didn't like the splashing fountains in the splash zone :confused3 Well, as I said earlier, he was just being a stinker for some reason this trip. Sooo, they voted to try out the quiet pool, which we did. We actually swam there for about an hour, before the thunder chased us out.

Headed back to the cabin, and decided to try the Trails End takeout for dinner. Brad and DH hopped a bus (in the POURING rain) and brought back a pizza and a bucket of chicken/fries/coleslaw/biscuits. If you've ever had KFC, this was very similar. LOTS of chicken, and very tasty (and extremely economical). We, in fact, had enough for leftovers...

We jumped on a ferry back to MK around 7pm, and headed up to Fantasyland to use our PP fastpasses. Then, I took Brad and Ed to use 3 Splash fastpasses while DH and CJ did Small World again. They met us in Frontierland and DH, Brad and Ed used 3 FPs on BTMRR, and CJ and I just waited. Then Brad and I did BTMRR with the remaining 2 FPs and then Ed and DH did Splash with the remaining 2 FPs - confused yet???? It all worked out great, though.

During the last Splash ride (DH and Ed), Brad, CJ and I decided to hit Aladdin, and mom decided she needed her Dole Whip! We all met up at Goofy's Barnstormer (now Spectro was going on), and rode several times. We were able to walk up to the castle and get a decent view for Wishes (Tink flew right over our heads!) I, of course, got choked up, and that ended our magical first day!

The only picture we took that night was with Brad's camera - so fuzzy, but...

It was close to eleven by the time we got back, got the kids baths/showers and got in bed.

Off to Epcot in the morning!:yay:

lklasing 09-29-2009 11:18 PM

I'm in! Thanks for letting me know you had started your TR! popcorn::

Isn't FW great? It's funny to me, but my DD13 actually liked the cabin pool better than the fancy main pool too!

Looking forward to reading more. I miss the Fort so I live through others' reports!


Sleepingbooty 09-30-2009 10:13 PM

Oh, I'd forgotten they were redoing the main pool - so it was pretty nice? Of course, its never good when its crowded. I always thought that was the main drawback of FW, that its pool was less than exciting.

jdd 10-01-2009 12:19 PM


Originally Posted by Sleepingbooty (Post 33784714)
Oh, I'd forgotten they were redoing the main pool - so it was pretty nice? Of course, its never good when its crowded. I always thought that was the main drawback of FW, that its pool was less than exciting.

This was our first trip to FW, so I don't have anything to compare it to, but yes, the pool was great. The slide looked really cool and I loved the new splash zone. Unfortunately, we just didn't get much use out of it. Honestly, the warm water was NOT nice, and we spent most of our time at the parks. Also, twice when we went, the splash zone was shut down. My husband asked one of the lifeguards what was up and the reponse was "Magic happens!" (gross, but what a cute way to put it!)

jdd 10-01-2009 12:56 PM

Well, I just spent half an hour updating with our first Epcot day, and it disappeared! I must have taken too long to post, because it logged me out, and when I logged back in, my post was gone :confused:

UGH! I'll try again later....

Sleepingbooty 10-01-2009 08:21 PM


Originally Posted by jdd (Post 33790193)
My husband asked one of the lifeguards what was up and the reponse was "Magic happens!" (gross, but what a cute way to put it!)

:lmao: I love it! Yeah, magic seems to happen A LOT at WDW pools. I'd say I've witnessed it (or at least the empty pool right after) at least once during each stay. And that's only during the couple hours a day they WE are at the pool. I wonder how often that have to deal with magic like that??:rotfl:

jdd 10-02-2009 06:48 AM


Originally Posted by Sleepingbooty (Post 33796012)
:lmao: I love it! Yeah, magic seems to happen A LOT at WDW pools. I'd say I've witnessed it (or at least the empty pool right after) at least once during each stay. And that's only during the couple hours a day they WE are at the pool. I wonder how often that have to deal with magic like that??:rotfl:

Yeah, we had a good laugh about that one! I wonder if they cover that in lifeguard training!

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