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ronnmel 01-28-2013 02:57 PM

"This is NOT the once in a lifetime trip I was hoping for!" - (Baby Simba - 12/18)
It was suppose to be the trip of a lifetime. The trip where we did things we have never done and will probably never get to do again, like stay at a deluxe, and visit during the Holidays. It was our baby’s first trip. It was suppose to be MAGICAL! pixiedust:

It wasn’t.

Hey everyone! Welcome to my trip report. I’m sorry to start it off on such a bad note, but as those who’ve followed me before know, I like to tell the whole truth, even the not-so-perfect parts. Check out my Disneymoon trip report, you'll see. Zombie Apocalypse and Pixie Dust - A 2 Weeks Disneymoon Trip Report

I feel like I survived the trip instead of living it. We battled the crowds (the crowds! Oh, the crowds!), and the sickness (3 of us, not at the same time). We were woefully unprepared to deal with all that comes with traveling with a baby (despite our best effort in doing the appropriate research). We tried, unsuccessfully, to find our rhythm between slow (due to the baby and our health) and fast (for our love of thrill rides as well as keeping up with the teenager). We faced disappointment and mishaps (minor, but they add up!). We thought we were knowledgeable enough in all things WDW to deal with anything that could be thrown our way, and boy were we wrong! It probably didn’t help that we took all the rules we knew about good park touring and threw them out the window. We paid for that. :(

Ok, now that we’ve talked about what went wrong, let’s push the negative aside and focus on the positive, shall we? :thumbsup2 We went to wonderful restaurants and ate yummy snacks (and took pictures!). We met new characters and old favorites, and the baby was fascinated by them (we got cute baby pictures!). We went on lots of attractions and took silly ride photos. We found a new favorite spot to watch Illuminations (with pictures, of course!). We stayed at two beautifully themed, picture-worthy, resorts. We saw the spectacular Osborne Dancing Lights and stopped at every Photopass person there. All that, and more! Did I mention we took pictures? Lots of them! I’m no professional photographer, so I was going for quantity over quality, but that’s okay, right?

After we came back from the trip I was feeling quite bummed. I couldn’t stop thinking about all the things we missed. That is not how I wanted to remember our trip, so I decided to shift my focus. I wrote down a list of all my “Disney accomplishments”, all the things we DID do. For this TR at the end of every day I’ll write down our accomplishments for that day. Turns out, we accomplished a lot! :goodvibes

So, who are these people I’m talking about?

Let’s start with the youngest, and the cutest, Claudia a.k.a. Peanut

She is our sweet little baby girl. She was 6 months at the time of the trip. She’s a relatively easy baby, as long as you keep her occupied. She smiled at everyone who paid attention to her during the trip. I think her favorite is Mickey Mouse because we watch “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” together.

Then there is the teenager, Otaku (not her real name)

She is my husband’s 13 years old daughter, so my step-daughter. She’s into zombies, Japan, Anime, K-POP, reading and writing, and not so much into girly stuff. Or so she thought. It’s fun to see her grow up and find her own style. She's not so much into Disney and just followed along. Her favorite character is Mulan (because she is Asian and a warrior). Her favorite park is Epcot because of the Japan pavilion.

My husband, Ron.

He is blessed with Filipino genes so he does not look at all like he is approaching 40. He is almost as obsessed with Disney as I am and says that if we win the lottery we will spend a month in Disney/Orlando. When we are not talking about Disney we love watching TV shows together, such as Big Bang Theory and Doctor Who. He loves thrill rides and his favorite character is Donald Duck. He loves Disney food and spent the weeks leading to our trip looking at the Disney Food Blog and various restaurant menus trying to decide what he would eat.

And then there’s me, Mel.

I’m in my early thirties and an elementary school teacher, though I would love to be a SAHM. I’m the planner of the group and spend most of my free time on the DIS and other Disney websites. I’m quite shy and have a hard time starting conversations, but I love acting silly and meeting characters. There are too many things I love about Walt Disney World to list here, but I can say Tower of Terror is at the top of my list. My favorite character is Stitch. I discovered a love for pin trading this trip.

That’s it for the WHO. Here’s the rest of the basic info you need to know before we start this puppy!

WHAT : A trip to Walt Disney World, of course!
WHEN : We flew in on December 31st, 2012, and went back home 10 days later on January 10, 2013.
WHERE : We spent the first two nights in a Little Mermaid room at Art of Animation, then the following 8 nights in a garden view room at Beach Club.
WHY: Basically I got a little extra money from my mom passing away and decided to spend it on a Disney trip. You should go read my PTR In Loving Memory... We’re Going Deluxe! - A Jan 2013 PTR for more details. It will explain more why this was supposed to be the “trip of a lifetime”.

Was it our best trip? No, but we made the most of it. I hope you follow along as I relive the good, the bad, and the ugly (not much ugly, I promise).

ronnmel 01-28-2013 02:58 PM

Art of Animation Review
Part 1 - Lobby
Part 2 - Little Mermaid Room
Part 3 - Little Mermaid & Lion King Areas
Part 4 - Finding Nemo Area
Part 5 - Cars Area
Ink & Pink Shop and Landscape of Flavor food court post 1 Courtesy of photographymom517
Ink & Pink Shop and Landscape of Flavor food court post 2 Courtesy of photographymom517

Beach Club Review
Beach Club Review part 1 - Common Areas
Beach Club Review part 2 - Garden View Room

The One With The Back Story

December 31st, 2012
Day 1 part 1 - The One When We Fly To Orlando
Day 1 part 2 - The One With the Hunger
Day 1 part 3 - The One With The Fight

January 1st, 2013
Day 2 part 1 - The One Where They Take It Slow
Day 2 part 2 - The One Where We Repeat History
Day 2 part 3 - The One With The Beautiful Park

January 2nd, 2013
Day 3 part 1 - The One Where We Eat With Fish
Day 3 part 2 - The One With The Lost Key
Day 3 part 3 - The One With The Turkey Leg
Day 3 part 4 - The One With The Dancing Lights
Help Please - Osborne Lights Video

January 3rd, 2013
Day 4 part 1 - The One Where We Break All The Rules
Day 4 part 2 - The One With The Train Ride
Day 4 part 3 - The One Where We Hit The WALL... of People
Day 4 part 4 - The One With The Modes of Transportation
Day 4 part 5 - The One With DUMBO!
Day 4 part 6 - The One With The BREAD!

January 4th, 2013
Day 5 part 1 - The One Where Otaku Surprises Herself
Day 5 part 2 - The One With The Chocolate Incident
Day 5 part 3 - The One With The Change Of Plans
Day 5 part 4 - The One With The Active Lion
Day 5 part 5 - The One With The Teenage Attitude
Day 5 part 6 - The One Where She Gets Her Smile Back
Day 5 part 7 - The One Where We Visit France And Morocco
Day 5 part 8 - The One With JAPAN!!!

January 5th, 2013
Day 6 part 1 - The One Where She Gets Proven Wrong
Day 6 part 2 - The One With The Yummy Breakfast
Day 6 part 3 - The One With The Shopping Spree
Day 6 part 4 - The One With The Dancing Water
Day 6 part 5 - The One With The Statues
Day 6 part 6 - The One With The Best Illuminations Viewing Spot

January 6th, 2013
Day 7 part 1 - The One Where We Cant See The Castle
Day 7 part 2 - The One Where We Go Under The Sea
Day 7 part 2 (contd) - The One Where We Go Under The Sea
Day 7 part 3 - The One Where Elephants Fly
Day 7 part 4 - The One Where Its A Small And Sleepy World
Day 7 part 5 - The One With Mamans Favorite Alien
Day 7 part 6 - The One With The Criss-Crossing
Day 7 part 7 - The One With The Hilarious Cruise
Day 7 part 8 - The One Where I Stick My Tongue Out
Day 7 part 9 - The One With The Far West
Day 7 part 10 - The One Where We Meet Characters
Day 7 part 11 - The One Where I Have A Confession To Make

January 7th, 2013
Day 8 part 1 - The One With Dale & Chip
Day 8 part 2 - The One With The Ghost
Day 8 part 3 The One With The Thrill Rides
Day 8 part 4 The One With The Great and Awful Snacks
Day 8 part 5 The One With The Drawings
Day 8 part 6 The One With The Return Of The Teenage Attitude

January 8th, 2013

January 9th, 2013

Real Life Update
April 14
April 20
Tinkerbell Party - Peanut's First Birthday
August 13
Small update - October 7
Boy or Girl?
I'm back!
We bought a house!!
Baby Simba is here (and already 10 months old!)
More Peanut Photos

mickeystoontown 01-28-2013 03:20 PM

I'm here! Love the intros!

SAT887 01-28-2013 03:41 PM

I'm here!! Love your first picture!

PhoenixStrength 01-28-2013 03:48 PM

I'm here!!!! Love the pictures in the intro. Sorry this wasn't the trip you expected, but it's great that you wrote down what you did accomplish and found it was a lot of things.

Can't wait to read all about your trip!! :goodvibes

gracer9977 01-28-2013 03:51 PM

I'm In!!! Looking forward to hearing all about your trip!!

Curiouser&curiouser! 01-28-2013 04:01 PM

Count me in!

FortForever 01-28-2013 04:09 PM

Great intro! Looking forward to reading the rest.

We were there Jan. 6th - 12th so particularly interested to hear your take on the parks on the days we had in common.

luckylady 01-28-2013 04:11 PM

I'm in.

photographymom517 01-28-2013 04:16 PM

I'm here of course!!!!!!!!!

As you know I had one of those not-so-magical trips myself! But I took your advice & am focusing only on the positive!!! :)

Can't wait to hear more about your trip!!!

Disneychix 01-28-2013 04:19 PM

I like your 'tell-all' tale. And of course your adorable DD!

I'm here to read along!

wiigirl 01-28-2013 04:20 PM

I am here....can't wait to read more!

Marsheliz 01-28-2013 04:27 PM

AHH, great start!

I am sorry to hear about your mom... Noone can replace mama! I currently am going through my mom being sick w/ Stage 4 cancer... We actually took her with us this past September b/c I knew it was once in a lifetime, that she probably wouldnt go anywhere with us "big" again.

Can't wait to hear about your trip.

bethk78 01-28-2013 04:32 PM

Yay, another ronnmel TR! Can't wait to read all about your latest trip. I'm curious to see how the crowd levels changed from New Year's Eve through your departure date. Was this your step-daughter's first trip to WDW? Hopefully she grows to love it like you guys do. Looking forward to your next update. :)

lablady 01-28-2013 04:52 PM

I'm in ! Can't wait to hear all about your trip! I've never been brave enough to travel during Christmas break.......

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