WDW Veterans and The Trip of Firsts! There's a First Time For Everything.COMPLETE 6/5
Hi DisBoards! Welcome to my very first EVER Trip Report! I enjoy reading everyone else’s TRs so much that I’ve decided to give it a go myself. So here…we….GO!!!! pixiedust:
First of all, I’m Stephanie! I’m 25 and have been a Disney addict since birth. Some would say conception but that is an entirely different story for an entirely different time! :thumbsup2 I don’t really remember how many times I’ve been to The World but in my adult lifetime it’s been about 5 times. But this trip has only been my second time staying at a Disney Resort. *gasp* I will never, mark my words, NEVER do it any other way again. Before this trip, my biggest dream was to one day walk my child down Main Street USA but I can now cross that off of my bucket list!
Favorite Movie: Beauty and the Beast
Favorite Character: Belle (duh!!)
Favorite Resort: The Grand Floridian (though I’ve never stayed there)
Favorite Food: Cream Cheese Wontons for Yak and Yeti
Favorite Ride: TOT, EE, or The Carousel
Dream Job at WDW: Dancer in the FOTLK
Real Job: Banker (boring, I know!!!)
This is my DH, Jonathan, he is a fellow Diser. My partner of 9 years, 4 of those years being married. He is the one that actually introduced me to the Dis. But he has recently had to get a new username because he forgot is password and no longer used the email address connected to it (JTimmons2011). I’m so lucky that he loves Disney as much as I do though he won’t actually outright admit it to friends and coworkers. Our families know better. He is Disney trip planner extrodinaire with ADRs, spreadsheets, and schedules galore. Also, he is an amazing photographer so I always have great vacation pictures! Aren’t I lucky???
Favorite Movie: Fantasia
Favorite Character: Perry the Platypus
Favorite Resort: Wilderness Lodge
Favorite Food: Mussels at Narcoossee’s
Favorite Ride: TTA
Dream Job at WDW: Main Street USA Mayor
Real Job: IT Professional (I love my computer nerd!)
Here is our daughter, Sloan. She is (now) 18 months old and chock full of personality! On the trip she was 17 months. This girl knows exactly what she wants and isn’t afraid to let you know. This is first trip to Disney World and her parents couldn’t have been more excited! She is a lover of all things Mickey and Princess. But there is a new obsession on the horizon that we uncovered on the trip!
Favorite Show: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Jake and the Neverland Pirates
Favorite Character: Mickey and Aurora
Favorite Resort: Anywhere she can run around
Favorite Food: Lollypops
Favorite Ride: The Carousel, POTC
Dream Job at WDW: Anything that involves playing!
About this Trip
There are so many firsts on this trip it’s hard to keep them straight! Here are the details:
When: September 15th-21st We were excited about the potential for low crowds and easy access to rides.
This trip was the anti commando trip since we had baby in tow. Usually it’s run around like a crazy and stick to a strict schedule. But since we were on our own with no other family to entertain we decided to take a more relaxed approach. No stressing about hitting every ride. Just hit the few important ones that we wanted Sloan to ride.
Where: Disney’s Bay Lake Tower
We used a DVC Rental website on this trip and we LOVED it to pieces! Usually we would want to stay at a Value Resort but since we would be spending a little more time actually at the resort we wanted to invest in that portion of our trip. We found that we could stay at a VERY nice resort for the same price it would have cost to stay at a moderate like Coronado Springs. We were able to hop on the monorail by using the walkway to the Contemporary which was convenient for us. And we received a little pixie dust you will have to read about in the TR. We will definitely be using this service again!
Dining: Deluxe Dining Plan
One thing we do not joke about is our Disney food! We love trying new things and especially having the opportunity to eat at so many restaurants, we wanted to take advantage! Get ready for some great food pics and reviews.
Now, Dear Reader, I promise you these things:
1. A couple of toddler/baby trip tips
2. Lots and Lots of pictures
3. Full Dining reviews of all TS meals
4. Yummy food pics!
5. A Quasi-Celebrity sighting (who could it be?)
I know it's a big order to fill but I think I can do it! Happy Reading!
No Peter Pan! That's my Mommy!!!
A Big Helping of Pixie Dust
First Vinylmation Trade and More Magic
First Haircut and Monsoon
Chasing Ducks and The Maya Grill
A Rainforest Café Breakfast With a Side of Wild Animals
Lunch With a Yak and a Yeti Plus a Side of More Wild Animals
Ah-Wo-Wah and the Best Beverly Face on Earth!
Is It Me or Are Kids Getting Dumber?
Dinner at Ohanas
Mickey Messages and Spaceships! Thow In Some Awesome Dance Moves Too!
I Found More Gold Doubloons!
The Great Movie Ride Photo Update!
Pixie Dust at One Mans Dream and a Celeb Sighting!
Is There A Hurricane That No One Told Us About?
Major Retail Therapy...Disney Style
Thank Goodness For Snack Credits!
Picking the Perfect Pearl and a Le Cellier Meltdown
Fancy Schmancy Pictures
Do We HAVE To Leave???
Seriously, What is Pooh On???
Yo-Ho Yo-Ho, That's Enough Pirate Songs For Me
New Trip In The Planning Stages
Official November 2013 PTR Just Hush and Be Happy!!!
After months of packing and re packing and re packing our bags, stressing about ADRs and scheduling, it was finally time to go! Unfortunately I had to work on that Friday that we left. Jonathan thankfully was able to work from home. So while he packed the car and gathered all necessary snacks I was counting down the seconds to 3:30pm so I could hit the open Georgia road!
At 3:30 sharp I grabbed my things, hit my phone to go straight to voicemail, put on my “out of office” message for my email, and headed home. Jonathan had everyone in the car and had sweetly gone to get a Bo-Box from Bojangles for the trip.
If you don’t know what a Bojangles is, it’s a yummy Cajun style fast food restaurant that compares to maybe a Popeye’s. And in the Bo-Box there are fried chicken tenders with homemade biscuits. Sooooo good! If you’ve never been and you have one near you definitely go and get yourself some great fried chicken.
When I arrived at home all I had to do was jump in the car and we were off. We hit some light traffic just south of Atlanta that took about 20 minutes to get through, but other than that we had some really great driving. Sloan was snuggled into her car seat watching episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Lilo and Stitch. She wanted Minnie Mouse and her baby Cinderella in her seat with her. That silly girl! I was taking the time to check out my Mickey manicure. So cute!!!
For this trip we decided to split our drive in half since Sloan isn’t great yet with car rides. Our trek to WDW usually takes around 8-9 hours depending on if my speed demon DH is driving. We made an 8 hour trip to NC to see my brother’s family for the 4th of July this summer without breaking up the drive. That was the BIGGEST mistake! The last 2 hours of the drive were nothing but a crying baby and crazy parents. We weren’t doing that again!!!
For our halfway point we decided to stay at a Hampton Inn right south of Valdosta, GA. We arrived at about 8:45pm. We had packed a small over night bag so we didn’t have to lug out the 100 lbs of luggage just for one night.
Side note: Packing for a Disney trip with a child is a whole other experience all together. There are 50 million things that I felt like I needed to take so I may have gone a teensy bit overboard.
We checked in to the Hampton Inn and got settled into our room. I gave Sloan a bath and put her to bed. I then journaled a little bit while Jonathan quadruple checked our reservations for BLT and looked over our schedule. (Literally, a laminated schedule for every day with all ADRs and rides we wanted to accomplish)
I know it sounds crazy but it works so well for us. We know that it’s not set in stone (well, except for the reservations) and we can always change plans in the middle of the day if we need to.
Then it was lying in bed, pretending to sleep but not actually sleeping because I was WAY too excited! Will Sloan love this place as much as her Mommy and Daddy do? Will she be scared of the characters? Will she be ok on rides and during shows? Not too much longer and we will find out.
Up Next: Our arrival! A giant stuffed alligator and checking in to BLT!
I know there is a lack of pictures on the update but I figured there are only so many pictures you can take in a car. :confused3
Looks like a fun start. I traveled with a little one like that many years ago, she's now almost 26, and remember how much you need to bring.
I'm thinking of renting points for a trip with my DH as a siurprise to him so I'm looking forward to seeing how that worked out.
If you like what you read, feel free to ask me any questions you might have. :goodvibes
Looking forward to reading more of your trip report. :cool1:
You are fortunate that you and your DH love Disney. My DH can take it or leave it. So, we have only been twice as a family with kids and once just the two of us. Of course, we live in Central Illinois so that plays a HUGE factor as well considering it is probably a 16 hour dirve!
Your DD is so cute - I love the big smile of her with her Cinderella doll and Minnie Mouse. :love:
Our first family trip was when my DD was 2 and my son was 8 so it will be interesting to read how your trip goes. I too really looked forward to sharing Disney with my kids and walking right down the middle of Main Street USA was definitely one of the highlights!
And thanks for your sweet compliment about my DD. She is a mess and a half!
I can't say there weren't many happy tears on this trip! :goodvibes I'm sure you know the ones I'm talking about. Hope you enjoy!
*WARNING* This update has NO pictures. I want to apologize, as I am not living up to the standards I put out for myself. Once we actually get to WDW. There are pictures galore!
We were awakened by a sweet little girl at 6:00 in the morning. Our plan was to get up around 7:00 but since we a had a 17 month old crawling all over us and it was apparent she was NOT going back to sleep we decided to go ahead and get to gettin’.
We were able to check out at 7:00 by our amazement. After taking one look at the continental breakfast and thinking, “hmmm….no.” we stopped at McDonalds next door for some food then to the gas station to fill up.
As my DH was pumping gas and I was chowing down on my bacon egg and cheese biscuit in the passenger seat what do I see out of the corner of my eye???? A giant stuffed alligator in an all glass case right at the gas station's front door. This convinced me that we had found THE most redneck gas station in America! :scared1: Wow! I wish I could’ve gotten a picture but it was too dark.
As we got onto the interstate and crossed into Florida we started seeing those blessed signs! Sloan was in the back watching more Mickey Mouse Club House oblivious of the joy she was about to experience. :goodvibes
As I was watching the speedometer needle continuously rise I did start to fear for my life as I do every time my lead-footed husband drives. This is how the conversation goes:
Me: You need to slow down.
Jonathan: Do you see a cop?
Me: No, but you are going 85 mph, don’t you think that’s a little fast.
Jonathan: No. I drive in Atlanta traffic every day. This is normal.
Me: Please don’t drive like this at Disney!
Jonathan: *Pause* You know, I think I would enjoy getting a speeding ticket at Disney World.
And that, my dear readers, is the reason I love my husband. His quick thinking and wit always make me laugh!
Toward the end of the drive Sloan was getting restless and so we put on Jake and the Neverland Pirates music and sang along. If you don’t have children, and have never heard the songs made by Sharky and Bones, you are definitely missing out! They are so much fun and we love them!
It wasn’t long before we were pulling up to that famous WDW sign and I was completely geeking out! Yay!!!! We made it and it was only 10:15!
As we drove through the Magic Kingdom gate my anticipation was building. Then we saw that glorious sight….The Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower. Over the trees we could spot the top of the castle! Oh what a breathtaking moment!
We parked in the front just in case they had our room ready and walked into the lobby. What a BEAUTIFUL resort! As I was looking around (more like running after a toddler that has been stuck in a car seat for 3 hours) Jonathan got in line to check in. And all of a sudden it was packed!
Apparently on Friday is when Disney’s Cruise Line arrives to pick up/drop off guests. So they had tons of dirty room and tons of people wanting to check in. It was a little bit of a zoo. But the sweet CM checking us in let us know that we would be getting one of the rooms we had requested.
Since we were dying to get into a park we decided to leave all of the luggage in the car, whip out the stroller and get to the Magic Kingdom.
Up Next: The Magic Kingdom and Sloan’s first rides and characters of the trip and FOOD!!!!
I promise tons of pics in the next update!
No, Peter Pan! That’s my Mommy!!!
When I left off we had just arrived at Bay Lake Tower and decided to go ahead to the Magic Kingdom since our room wasn’t ready.
It was so nice to be able to walk to the Magic Kingdom from our resort. We piled all of our park supplies into the stroller and we were off. Bag check was a breeze. And soon we were through the turnstiles.
Jonathan wasn't too excited that they already had their fall decorations up but I loved it!
What was our first stop right through the gates? The restrooms!!! We hadn’t had a potty break since early in the morning and we were dying. While Jonathan was taking his turn Sloan and I caught the end of the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Parade. Sloan was in awe of the hustle and bustle going on around her. As Goofy went by on his float I pointed him out to her and I have never seen a 17 month old’s mouth drop so fast! She was dumbfounded that silly dog that she watched on TV was huge! I had my first misty eyed moment of our trip. THIS is what I had been waiting for.
When the parade moved through we were starving and we knew exactly where we were going to grab for a snack.
So we made our way down Main Street taking in all the sights and smells. (you know what I’m talking about). We cut through in front of Chrystal Palace and stopped for a mandatory Photopass picture.
Then right by Adventureland who do we see? Peter Pan! Our first real character sighting of the trip. There was virtually no line so we put off our growling bellies for a little longer to stop and say hi!
Sloan was having no part of Peter’s fun!
As Peter was rambling about what a great mother I must be, he decided to adopt our family as his own because little Sloan needed a brother. As we finished up and started walking away he called to us, “See you at Home, and don’t tell Wendy!”
We walked ourselves right over to Sleepy Hollow. We were so excited to try a new snack. I ordered the Nutella and Fruit Waffle which is exactly what it sounds like. A Belgian waffle, smothered in Nutella, covered with bananas, strawberries, and blue berries. Jonathan got the Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle. It’s a Belgian waffle with a piece of fried chicken with a honey sweet sauce and a slaw on it. Both were divine!
After we finished eating we decided to start off in Fantasyland. Grabbed FPs for Peter Pan and hopped on IASW. Yay! Sloan’s first ride ever at Disney World. I think it was very appropriate to pick such a classic. As we loaded she wanted to wave at the CM that launches the boat up in his little tower. He very sweetly waved back.
Sloan was looking and pointing at all the creepy..ahem…I mean cool singing dolls.
While in Fantasyland we stopped by the Carousel, Mickey’s PhiharMagic, and Peter Pan. All of which Sloan loved. I was walking on cloud nine!
The new Dumbo was calling our names so we made our way around the new Fantasyland wall to get in line. This que and ride is amazing! Disney Imagineers are so genius when it comes to kids. If you don’t the way it works yet, this is how it goes. When you get first get in line you are waiting to get to a CM that will ask how many in your party. Then they give you a pager, like the ones you get when you are waiting at a restaurant, and you get to play in the play area.
Did I mention this play area is inside of the Big Top tent where it’s air conditioned? Best idea ever! They have a big kid area and an area just for the little ones. Sloan decided to commandeer the slide just for herself.
When your pager goes off you just go to the CM and they put you in line to ride Dumbo. Another hit for Sloan.
After Fantasyland we put Sloan in her stroller and walked over to Frontierland to find a spot for the Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade. As we were waiting Sloan passed out cold in her stroller. Too much fun for this princess!
She missed the whole parade but that’s ok, I knew that we would have another opportunity to watch. The Queen of Hearts did not find it amusing that Sloan was sleeping and indicated this by miming “off with her head”.
As the parade finished we decided to mosey back to the resort to see if our room was ready.
Up Next: Very Extra Special Pixie Dust, Narcoosee’s ADR, and Wishes
What a fun trip already! Bay Lake Tower is so beautiful and so close to the MK - we def have to try staying there one day esp when I take my grandkids. My granddaughter is 18 mos old and I can't wait to see her reaction next year when we visit WDW. Your daughter is adorable (loved the pic of her with her Minnie and Cinderella dolls!).
If you are considering BLT I would encourage you to read on! Especially the next update about our room. And if you are not a DVC owner then rentals are the way to go.
Hope you have a blast on your trip next year.
Your daughter is beautiful and your family is just gorgeous!
I hope I can find a husband who is as much as a Disney crazy as me. :rotfl:
How was the nutella waffle sandwich?! It's on my "must try" list for next summer! I die a little every time I see it. :lovestruc
Anyway, I cannot wait to read more!!!
They ate definitely out there but they might not admit it outright. Lol.
Definitely keep the Nutella waffle on your list. It is all sorts of delicious. And I have to say, the chicken one was good too.
Enjoyed the update!
I think it is great that Sloan's first Disney ride was It's A Small World. The classics are the best. I had no idea that the new Dumbo ride lets people wait in the air conditioning and has playgrounds for the kids! What a fantastic idea and wonderful of Disney to do! Way to go Imagineers!:cool1:
It sounds like you had a great first day. :cheer2:
We noticed a lot of improvements to line waiting entertainment. It helps so much when you have little ones. And Dumbo was such an innovative idea!
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