Girls Only Spring Break POFQ w/DxDP **Updated w/ Dooney & Bourke Tote Pics**
I took my mom and sister to WDW during their Spring Break, Sunday, March 21 - Saturday, March 27.
Me (24) - Avionics engineer from Iowa. This was my 3rd WDW trip in 3 years. My previous 2 trips have been with DH.
(This is Sam, my corgi... he didn't go on the trip, but corgis are like bacon... they make everything just a little bit better!)
Mom (54) - Middle school Math teacher from Indiana. Mom’s been to WDW 2 previous times, ~20 and ~35 years ago.
Sis (17) - High school junior and part time cosmetology student from Indiana. Sis’s first trip!
I caught the Disney bug on my honeymoon to WDW in 2008 and have been obsessed ever since! After graduating college a few years ago, I moved to Iowa to start my career and haven’t been able to see Mom and Sis much since then. I’d been wanting to take Mom and Sis to my favorite vacation spot so we could enjoy some girl time, so as soon as the Buy 4, Get 3 Free promo came out I was on the phone booking our trip for their spring break. I told Sis immediately and she was super excited, but I kept it a surprise from Mom. I just told her that I had something planned and to keep spring break open.
On my previous trips, I’ve stayed at POR and the GF. A Deluxe wasn’t in the budget for this trip because I wanted to do the Deluxe Dining Plan, so I choose POFQ. Having never been to WDW before, Sis had some concerns that it might be too little kidish for her, so I wanted to stay away from the Value resorts. I choose POFQ because 1) it was in my budget and 2) it’s the smallest Moderate resort, which ended up really coming in handy... more on that in a bit! I wanted to go with the DxDP because I wanted everyone to enjoy herself at meals and not worry about trying to select the entree with the cheapest price tag. I was footing the bill for our Girls Only trip and didn’t want anyone to be thinking about money while we were out having fun. DxDP was a good fit for us because I’m a big fan of the WDW Signature restaurants and like to do as many as possible!
I had debated for a while on how to “reveal” the big trip to Mom. I finally settled on on mailing her and Sis a package about a month before spring break with a letter explaining where we were going, Magical Express tags, flight info and 2 Coach swing pack purses (my ultimate Disney parks bag)! Mom said it wasn’t a huge surprise because she knows how much I love WDW (so true...) but she was still super excited to get away with her two girls for a week!
I signed us up for GAD, which turned out to be awesome! I volunteered at a local free clothing store and then I helped Mom and Sis out with their Haiti Care Kits. I actually ended up going back to the clothing store a few more times to volunteer. The Haiti Care Kits ended up being a lot more expensive than we originally anticipated, almost $70 per 10 kits (10 kits per person). Overall, our GAD experience was good though and those GAD fast pass cards were amazing!
Three weeks prior to our big trip, I tripped over a rolled up rug in my house and sprained BOTH of my ankles! I’ve had many questions about how this is physically possible, but I can assure you it is just about as much fun as it sounds. Fortunately, my right ankle wasn’t nearly as bad as my left. It was able to start bearing some weight in about 3 days. In the mean time though, my only mode of transportation was crawling or getting pushed in a roller chair. Once the right ankle could start bearing weight, I upgraded from the roller chair to crutches, which I had right up until a few days before boarding my plane to Orlando. I left for WDW with no idea of how well my ankles would hold up for touring the parks or even navigating the airports (whooo connecting flights)! I prepared Sis that she might end up pushing me in a wheelchair if all else failed.
Sunday - Arrival at MCO, Check in to POFQ, Dinner at The Flying Fish Cafe
Monday - Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table, MK park day, Dinner at Artist Point
Tuesday - AK park day, Lunch at Yak and Yeti, Dinner at Boma
Wednesday - DHS park day, Lunch at The Hollywood Brown Derby, Dinner at The California Grill
Thursday - Epcot park day, Lunch at Coral Reef, Dinner at LeCellier
Friday - Epcot park day, Lunch at Les Chefs de France, Dinner at Narcossee's
Saturday - Departure
I woke up at 3 am to finish packing and get to the airport at 4:30 am for my 5:15 am flight out of the Cedar Rapids airport. In case youíve never been to the Cedar Rapids airport... it is tiny. My flight was the first of the day and the next flight wasnít until 6 am. It took me about 10 minute from walking in the door to sitting at my gate: 5 minutes to check in and check my luggage and then 5 minutes to go through security and walk to my gate. You can only get direct flights from Cedar Rapids to a handful of cities, one of which is Orlando! Unfortunately, you can only fly direct to the Sanford Airport and not the Orlando International Airport which I like to fly to so I can catch the Magic Express to my resort. I catch my 5:15 am flight to Chicago and hang out there for an hour before hopping on my connection to Orlando. In Chicago, I called Mom to see if their flight is on time and it is, but Sis is complaining about having to wake up so early.... hahaha, you havenít lived until youíve woken up at 3 am for a flight! Their direct flight out of Cincinnati isnít leaving until 9 am (Eastern) so I didnít have any sympathy for the sleepy gal.
Mom and Sis on the plane!
We all arrived in MCO within a half hour of each other and we met down at the Magical Express check in area. I hadnít seen them since I was home for Christmas, so I was really excited for our reunion! We checked in at the Magical Express without any issues and promptly boarded our bus for POFQ!
Me and Sis on the Magical Express!
We checked in to POFQ without any issues. We were given a 3rd floor river view room in building 7. It was pretty close to the furthest room from the main building, but it wasnít bad at all because of how small POFQ is! The view of the river from our building was gorgeous. Mom and Sis couldnít believe how nice everything at the resort was. They really had no idea what to expect. I was a little afraid Iíd be disappointed in the resort because my last stay was at the Grand Floridian, but I actually loved POFQ and would definitely go back there!
After we explored the resort a little and picked up our refillable drink mugs, we got on the bus to head to the Boardwalk for dinner at The Flying Fish Cafe. The trip to the Boardwalk was less than ideal.... next time Iíll take a cab! We took the bus to Downtown Disney then got on the Boardwalk bus, but unfortunately it stopped at all of the other Epcot/DHS area resorts before dropping us off. I think Mom and Sis were convinced I had no idea what I was doing and we were never going to make it there.
Our meal at FF was excellent as usual. DH and I have a tradition of always eating at FF on our first night at WDW then enjoying a stroll along the boardwalk. I had done the DxDP before so I knew what to expect, Mom and Sis were in the dark though about how much food they were going to be presented with over the next week. I tried to prepare them that they would NOT be able to eat everything put in front of them or else they would pop! They definitely tried to eat it all at FF that first night, but after that they started taking my advice. I had my normal FF favorites, crab cake and potato wrapped snapper. I think the FF crab cake is the best in WDW and the snapper is one of my favorite fish entrees.
Ceiling at Flying Fish
After dinner we walked around the boardwalk and enjoyed the entertainment. It ended up getting pretty chilly as the sun set. To get home we took the bus to Downtown Disney then the boat back to POFQ.
On the boat back to from Downtown Disney!
We got up early and to make it to MK for our breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table. Today we exchanged our first GAD voucher for the GAD fast pass cards. Everything went well getting the fast pass cards, no problems. Our reservation was prior to park opening so we got to check out Main Street when it was practically empty!
I over estimated how long it would take us to get to MK and get our GAD voucher turned in. We ended up checking in at the Castle about 40 minutes before our scheduled ADR time. Fortunately we got in with very minimal wait! Sis and I both got the french toast and Mom got the omelet. We were really disappointed in the french toast, it was way too greasy for our tastes. We did enjoy the pastries and fruit though. Our favorite part about eating in the Castle was getting into the park early and seeing all of the little girls who were so excited to see the Princesses.
After breakfast the park had opened up and was starting to fill with people. We headed over to Fantasyland to get in some rides before the crowds picked up. This was my first trip during Spring Break, so I was concerned that the crowds might become overwhelming. For our first ride of the trip, we selected Snow Whiteís Scary Adventure... ok, so maybe not the best ride to convince Sis that WDW wasnít just for little kids, but there was no wait, so I figured why not!
Then we hit up some of my other Fantasyland faves like Peter Pan and Mickeyís Philharmagic before heading over to one of my absolute favorite attractions in MK... Splash Mountain!! Mom and Sis were both concerned about going on a ride with ďsplashĒ in the title when it was only upper 60ís out. I assured them that you donít get soaked on it, just sprayed a little bit. So of course, they had the water cannons on and the water happened to fall on the seat Mom and Sis were in together. No on else got anything more than misted! We took about a 20 minutes break while Mom and Sis dried themselves out and then continued on with our day after I promised there would be no more water rides.
We spent the rest of the day touring MK, making stops at Big Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, TTA, and Space Mountain. We didn't end up using all of our GAD fast passes so we found a family of 3 and gave our fast pass cards and instructions on how to use them to the family. At first I think they thought I was trying to sell them something, but once they realized I wasn't crazy they were so excited!
That night we went to Artist Point at The Wilderness Lodge for dinner. DH and I planned to eat here on our honeymoon but I got sick so we ended up skipping this ADR, so I was really excited to finally try AP! Iíd never been to WL before either and it was so much more beautiful than the pictures Iíd seen of it. Itís definitely on my list of resorts to stay at at some point. Dinner was great. I had a venisan appetizer that I didnít really care for, I think maybe I just donít like venison, but my salmon was absolutely amazing. It was probably the best cooked and seasoned salmon Iíve ever had. I canít wait to take DH here on our next trip back to WDW. Mom had her first encounter with buffalo and has decided that she is a fan. Sis enjoyed her steak, but her highlight was definitely the berry cobbler. Sis is a raspberry fanatic, so she was in 7th heaven with this dessert.
I am very much enjoying your TR. My Mom and I are taking a girls only trip in December! I am so excited!
I love your early morning Main Street pictures...I will definitely have to have breakfast there on the next trip to take advantage of a nearly empty Main Street!
Sounds wonderful so far. I am very much enjoying your report. My daughter and I are off to Food and Wine Festival in 4 months and 2 days - we can't wait. Reading your report makes me even more excited for our own trip. I'll be waiting to read the next installment.
I'm in!!! popcorn::
I'm spiroff.natasha's mom
Mom daughter trips are the BEST in my opinion!!
Keep it coming!
We slept in some today and got to AK a little before our lunch ADR at Yak and Yeti. We decided AK would be our one park to not use a GAD voucher because we only only had 2 "must do" rides (EE and Safari). Lunch at Y&Y was great as always. I tried something new this time, the ribs, and they were fantastic. Iíll definitely be getting them again next time. Sis was confused at the menu because she thought she could actually order some Yeti.... we had to explain to her that Yetis arenít real. After lunch, we checked out the walking trails. We even got to see the baby gorilla! Momma gorilla was guarding baby pretty closely from the on lookers so we only got a brief glimpse of the baby when she was repositioning, so unfortunately you canít see the baby in any of my pictures.
My sprained ankle was holding up pretty well, but I was trying to minimize walking as much as possible. I sent Mom and Sis to collect fast passes while I waited on them. Mom really enjoyed the Kilimanjaro Safaris. Sis and I decided that Expedition Everest was our favorite though!
After the safari and Everest, we headed over to the Tree of Life to check out Itís Tough to Be a Bug. It was nice to have some time in the A/C! It wasnít an especially hot day, but like others before me have said... AK just feels hotter than the other parks.
Then we headed over to catch the last showing of the day of Finding Nemo The Musical which Iíve seen before and really love. Actually, every time I think about the show ďIt the big blue world....Ē pops into my head.
Then we hopped a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Boma. We enjoyed it, but Mom and Sis werenít a big fan of a lot of the spices and thought some of the savory foods were too sweet, but fortunately they did find a lot of satisfactory desserts! I prefer Jiko over Boma, but I thought Mom and Sis might need a break from Signature dinners and like trying a buffet. If I had to do it over, I think I wouldíve just gone a head a booked Jiko instead of Boma.
Since we had an earlier dinner tonight, we checked out Downtown Disney for a little shopping on our way back to POFQ. Momís favorite Disney movie is Toy Story so she was super excited when she found some of her friends!
I'm loving your trip report! What a kind sister and daughter you are to provide such a wonderful trip. I'm sure you have made memories that will last for years and years to come!
I'm taking my mom (49) and daughter (2) down in a little more than a month. I have really enjoyed reading your trip and getting excited about our own. Keep posting! You're doing fabulous! popcorn::
Sounds like you guys had a blast. I'm heading back to POFQ in exactly a month and I CAN'T WAIT!!!:yay:
Really enjoying your trip report, can't wait to read more!!
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