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Old 01-13-2014, 04:48 PM   #1
nancipants
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Chip is a Maniac! aka A Magical Birthday Weekend (January 10 from PC - complete!)

Hello everyone! I'm Nanci, and this is my very first trip report.

I just turned 33 and live in Orlando with my fiance and dog. I love Star Wars, Disney, reading, Star Wars, writing, HGTV, and Star Wars.

Even though I've lived in Central Florida since I was seven years old, I wasn't always enamored with the Mouse. I first went to Disney World with my parents when I was five. I remember loving it, except for getting scared out of my mind on Snow White's Scary Adventures. (I wasn't able to go on that ride again until I was in my 20s.)

Two years after my first visit, we moved to Daytona Beach to get away from the cold New York weather. Over an hour away from Disney World, it wasn't exactly conducive to regular visits. But I visited occasionally over the years and always had a great time, even though the original Star Tours ride made me sick. It got a lot easier to visit when I moved to Orlando to attend college (Go Knights!).

Fast forward to 2011. I'd moved to the Davenport area, about 15 minutes from WDW, in 2008. Since it was much easier to get to Disney, I visited more often than before. I especially loved Downtown Disney (RIP Pleasure Island). Then, after years of hemming and hawing, I finally did it - I splurged and bought an annual pass. I will admit that a big part of the reason for that was Star Wars Weekends and the new Star Tours (that, for some reason, doesn't make me sick like the old one).

My fiance (Brian) moved here from Seattle at the end of July. He is also a big Star Wars/Disney fan, so first order of business was purchasing him an annual pass. A few weeks later his parents and sister visited, and they offered to take us on a Disney cruise. It only took us about five seconds to say YES. We'd taken a Carnival cruise in January 2013 when he was still living in Seattle. We loved cruising and even more, we loved the idea of a Disney cruise, but we weren't sure if we could afford it. (If I'd known about the wonderful Florida resident specials back then I would have booked Disney in a heartbeat.) So his parents offered to give us some financial help until he got a job.

The cruise was awesome! We sailed on the Disney Dream for three days and I fell in love with Castaway Cay. Brian and I had already been discussing going to Alaska for our honeymoon on Royal Caribbean out of Seattle. On the second day, I asked him if he'd rather do a Disney cruise out of Vancouver. Thirty minutes later, after looking at rates online, we were at the Future Cruise Bookings desk with passage on the Disney Wonder in July 2014.

I lurked on the Disboards for several months before finally joining. All during that time I was reading trip reports and getting antsy to go back on another cruise. July was too far away! And then I saw it: a Florida resident special on the re-imagined Disney Magic, sailing from Port Canaveral on January 10.

And docking at Castaway Cay on January 12. My 33rd birthday.

I sent Brian the link and it took him about five seconds to say YES. So we booked it. I was going to be in my favorite place in the world on my birthday. I couldn't wait!

I debated whether or not to do a trip report. I haven't been on the Disboards very long and wasn't sure if I'd have anything to contribute. But I love to write, and a bunch of people were asking for Navigators and information about the new Magic cruises from Port Canaveral, and I'd learned so much from other trip reports that I decided to throw caution to the wind and write my own.

Thanks for joining me!

Last edited by nancipants; 01-24-2014 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:09 PM   #2
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :good vibes

looking forward to reading along.

Just wanted to add you will love Alaska on The Wonder, we did it in September. Of the 7 cruises we have done so far its my favorite. The sites are just so beautiful.
We are heading on a 3 night Magic on the 24th for our 27th wedding anniversary. Then we are going with our children and grandchildren on The Fantasy in February to celebrate my big 5-0!
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:01 PM   #3
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Happy birthday! We too will be pulling into CC on the 26th of this month for my 32nd birthday! I'm so glad to hear that it was a good idea, and that you had a great trip!
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by lorimay View Post
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :good vibes

looking forward to reading along.

Just wanted to add you will love Alaska on The Wonder, we did it in September. Of the 7 cruises we have done so far its my favorite. The sites are just so beautiful.
We are heading on a 3 night Magic on the 24th for our 27th wedding anniversary. Then we are going with our children and grandchildren on The Fantasy in February to celebrate my big 5-0!
I'm soooooo excited for Alaska! I will definitely be doing a trip report for that one. Have fun on your cruises! Thanks for following!

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Happy birthday! We too will be pulling into CC on the 26th of this month for my 32nd birthday! I'm so glad to hear that it was a good idea, and that you had a great trip!
Everyone should celebrate their birthdays on Castaway Cay! :D Thanks for following!
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:31 PM   #5
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Day One:

I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to start the day! Actually, no I didn't. I've gotten seasick in the past, and take Bonine to stave it off. Unfortunately, Bonine also makes me super groggy. I'd taken a pill Thursday night, hoping I could sleep through the grogginess and be okay on Friday.

Nope.

If I hadn't set my alarm, I would've slept right past 8 am. Thankfully after packing, picking up a few last minute items, and listening to "I'm On a Boat" on repeat while on the 528 driving over the Banana River, I finally got pumped!

(If you are an adult and are not offended by bad language, I highly recommend "I'm On A Boat" as pre-cruise music.)

(Side note: My dog got really excited when I started taking out the suitcases. She thought we were going to Grandma's house. It broke my heart to leave her. Thankfully a good friend of ours dog-sat and everything was a-ok when we got home. But still--sometimes I wonder how I'm going to be able to leave children when leaving my dog is so difficult. Then I think that leaving kids will probably be easier, because at least they can understand you're leaving. LOL.)

We got to the port around 11:15 am, with a port arrival time of 11 am. Perfect timing. We'd passed a Disney Cruise Line bus on the way and promptly left them in the dust so we wouldn't have to deal with throngs of people when we got to the terminal. We parked in the onsite garage and had no wait at security.

(Note: If you're parking at Port Canaveral, use the skybridge on the third floor instead of the first floor entry in order to bypass long security lines!)

We got inside, and there was no line to check-in. We got our Castaway Club lanyards (I was very grateful for mine as I couldn't find my Her Universe lanyard at home), our Key to the World cards, and were put in Boarding Group 4. Yes!

We had just enough time to take a picture with Minnie before getting on the ship.


IMG_4079 by jedimara77, on Flickr


Day One Navigators:












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Old 01-13-2014, 07:07 PM   #6
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They started boarding right after we were finished with pictures, and we were on the ship by 12 pm. After taking a few pictures of the lobby, we promptly went to Cabanas for lunch.


IMG_4086 by jedimara77, on Flickr

I have failed in one of my first DIS initiation tests. I only have food pictures from Palo. Suffice it to say that the food was standard buffet fare, in that it was wonderful.

After that we changed into our swim suits and spent some time at the Quiet Cove. I was very grateful to discover that the pools on the Magic are heated. I am a wimp when it comes to cold, especially cold water, and spent hardly any time in the pool last year on our Carnival cruise. It was almost even cold for me on the Dream in August! But the Magic pool was like bathwater and we spent so much time there over the length of the cruise.

We left around 1:30 to go to our room. We'd booked a deluxe oceanview stateroom with a verandah. The room was lovely as usual, with plenty of space for just the two of us. Especially after sharing a family stateroom with his parents and sister in August. We actually got to use the main bed this time! Woot!

Spoilers: It was really nice having a verandah, but I don't know if I'll splurge for it on future Florida resident specials. We didn't spend that much time out there and it would've been better for us to use the money elsewhere.

(That said, we are hoping to upgrade to a verandah for Alaska, for obvious reasons.)


IMG_4089 by jedimara77, on Flickr


IMG_4090 by jedimara77, on Flickr

(Not sure if you can see on the couch, but that's the new Castaway Club tote bag. I liked it! We used it on Castaway Cay to keep Brian's camera out of the sand.)


IMG_4091 by jedimara77, on Flickr


IMG_4092 by jedimara77, on Flickr


IMG_4095 by jedimara77, on Flickr


IMG_4094 by jedimara77, on Flickr


IMG_4093 by jedimara77, on Flickr

Generally, I didn't see much of a difference between the Magic and the newer Dream. I'd never been on the original Magic, so I can't comment on differences after dry dock. Generally, I thought the ship was beautiful and I preferred the smaller size. You can definitely tell it's an older ship, though.

However, I do have one huge gripe with the Magic.

The showers are awful.

My fiance and I shower together. It's nothing "naughty"--chalk it up to believing in water conservation. Actually it's more of a remnant from when he lived across the country from me and we wanted to spend every waking moment together during his visits. It's become a habit and really, why would you want to break that kind of habit? We have a stand-up shower at home and while it's small, it's plenty big for the two of us.

On the Dream, we had one of those circular showers and with the rainfall shower head and a hand-held one. It was great! But there was no way both of us could fit in the Magic shower (haha) and both be under the shower head, which only pointed downward right over the drain, and couldn't be pointed toward the middle of the tub. Also, the tub was so narrow that it was a very tight squeeze when we moved around each other. Normally that would be fine for a romantic getaway, but not when the shower pipes are making really loud rattling noises and you almost trip and fall and your teeth are chattering because you can't be under the hot water when your fiance is rinsing his hair.

So we decided it was best for us to shower separately (even though you should conserve all the water you can on a cruise!), and even then the shower sucked. I had to stand directly under the shower head because it wouldn't angle, and I felt so claustrophobic. Plus, the temperature was either Hoth or Tatooine.

That might all be TMI, but I love taking hot showers, especially on vacation. And I'm still in the "I want to spend every waking moment with my fiance" stage and we tend to have our best conversations in the shower!

Oh well--it didn't ruin the weekend by any means. Just something annoying that I thought I'd note to any other couples who want to share shower time on the Magic.

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Old 01-15-2014, 12:00 AM   #7
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Thanks so much. I can't wait to read the rest as we leave next week. We did Alaska on our honeymoon an Norwegian and it was the most beautiful place.
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:54 AM   #8
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Thanks so much. I can't wait to read the rest as we leave next week. We did Alaska on our honeymoon an Norwegian and it was the most beautiful place.
Thanks for joining along! I hope the trip report is useful for you. You'll have a great time!
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:58 AM   #9
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Day Two











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Old 01-15-2014, 09:20 AM   #10
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We woke up around 7 am. I'd slept horribly the night before and was pretty tired, but that was okay because our plans for the day consisted of laying by the pool. (We have a TempurPedic mattress so I actually sleep worse on vacation then I do at home. Note to self: take a Tylenol PM at night so you don't keep waking up every hour!)

I went out onto the verandah and saw that we were just approaching Nassau. We stayed out there for awhile, watching as the ship turned around in preparation to back into the dock. I put on the TV and found a channel that plays "classic" Disney songs, and then we had a dance party on the verandah to "Under the Sea." Like all responsible adults do!

The breakfast buffet was calling us, so we got dressed and headed to Cabanas. I love eating breakfast outside, but there isn't a lot of seating on the Magic. Thankfully we discovered some tables and chairs up on Deck 10, so we went up there to eat.


IMG_4180 by jedimara77, on Flickr

Note: If you or your family/traveling partners are afraid of birds, DO NOT EAT OUTSIDE IN NASSAU. The seagulls were fearless. At one point they were circling over my head and I thought Brian was going to come back from the buffet and find me pecked to death.

Also: DO NOT FEED THE BIRDS.

While we were eating, the ship docked. We weren't planning to get off; we always use Nassau as a sea day on three-day cruises. We decided to be good and take a walk around Deck 4. Our plans were thwarted by maintenance closing off parts of the deck, preventing you from doing a full loop. Oh well. We tried to exercise!

When we went back inside, the Princess Gathering was happening in the Lobby, so we watched it from Deck 4. I love watching character interactions. Some kids are so into it, and others you can tell are only there because Mommy or Daddy told them to. One little boy was there with his older sister and was actually really excited to meet all the Princesses. The best part? He was wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle outfit. Unfortunately, we did not get a picture. Then there was a mother with an infant wearing a tiny Belle dress. The Princesses doted on her, and the baby just sat there like a lump.

We both decided that when we have children we are going to drag them to the Princess Gathering at least once, especially if we have a boy. Because why shouldn't boys like Princesses, too?

After overdosing on cuteness, we went back to the room to get our belongings and made our way to the Quiet Cove.


IMG_4183 by jedimara77, on Flickr

I haven't decided whether I liked this area more on the Dream or the Magic. One thing I preferred about the Magic was that the pools were heated. However, the hot tubs seemed smaller than on the Dream, perhaps because more people were using them than in August? There was plenty of space to lounge around and I liked that the pool was more conducive to swimming. However, I missed the shallower area where you could sit and still be in the water.

Another thing I noticed, and this goes against things I've read on the DIS before, is that there seemed to be a lot more children coming and going in the Magic's Quiet Cove. Usually on the Dream, kids would walk through to get to the top deck, which never really bothered me as long as they kept moving. On the Magic, however, kids would come in and just wander around. One family came in and went right up to the bar, two children in tow. They stayed for several minutes until a CM asked them to leave (and then they seemed annoyed).

Don't be those parents, please. I certainly don't mind children, but I go to the Quiet Cove to relax and get away from the madness for a bit. I'm sure there are plenty of parents with children who agree with me!

Around noon we decided it was time to get lunch, so we headed over to Cabanas. It was then we discovered that The Lion King, my favorite Disney movie, was playing on Funnel Vision. And it had just started! (It was listed as a viewer's choice movie in the Navigator, which is why I was surprised.) We decided to fill up our plates and then come back to watch the rest of the movie.

(Brian went back and got our stuff from the Quiet Cove, so we weren't being chair hogs!)

Also during the movie, we got ice cream. Because ice cream.

After the movie was over we headed back to the pool for a bit. Once our fingers got pruny, we decided it was time to go back to the room and shower.

It was a lovely, relaxing final day as a 32-year-old. But soon we had a date with Frozen!
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:41 AM   #11
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We showered and spent the afternoon on the verandah, watching TV and listening an 80s music station we discovered. We also had some adult libations, and ordered room service. We had late dining, and we didn't want to get hungry during the movie! Room service was the only logical solution. I ordered my trusty chicken fingers and Brian got a cheeseburger. I also ordered chocolate chip cookies. (They made the perfect snack throughout the day! Also in the morning before heading to breakfast. What? It's vacation, and it was my birthday. I can eat cookies first thing in the morning if I want to!)


IMG_4186 by jedimara77, on Flickr

We planned to get to the Buena Vista theatre around 5 pm, thinking that lots of people would want to see Frozen and it would fill up quickly. We were right!


IMG_4188 by jedimara77, on Flickr

We got seats on the aisle, because I can get a little claustrophobic if I sit towards the middle. Especially with those narrow rows. Unfortunately that meant people were climbing over us the entire time.

NOTE: I realize there's a lot going on during a cruise and sometimes you aren't able to show up to an event until after it's started. But please, for a show or movie, make every effort to arrive on time. It's very frustrating having to get up and let someone climb over you during a very pivotal part of a movie. If you do show up late, please take a seat on the aisle.

It was a very pretty theatre, and we really enjoyed Frozen! We hadn't seen it yet, and specifically delayed doing so once we booked the cruise. It was a nice addition to our "sea day".

One thing that confused me regarding the Magic was the lack of a Pirate Show in between the two dinners. On the Dream there was a Pirate Show on deck around 7:30, where they taught everyone how to dance and be real pirates or something or other. Then there was a second deck party at night, with the fireworks. I guess the early show only happens on the Dream and Fantasy?

We had time to kill after the movie. Despite Brian's insistence that he didn't want to know the outcome of the Seahawks vs. Saints playoff game, he asked if we could go to O'Gills to watch the end of the game. Of course, I said yes. It was a few tense moments, but the Seahawks won! Yay!

(I really don't care about football one bit, so I root for whatever team Brian likes. Since he is from Seattle, the preferred team is obvious. I also told him we could watch the entire game, but he insisted we see Frozen instead. He's wonderful like that.)

After the game we wandered through the gift shops for awhile. I'd lost my water bottle earlier in the day, so we purchased an extremely overpriced Disney Cruise Line tervis tumbler. It is now Brian's work cup, so at least it's proving useful!

Dinner that night was in Animator's Palate, with the show menu. Instead of getting our pirate bandanas in the room, like on the Dream, they were waiting for us on our plates. I'd pinned my hair back with bobby pins, because I didn't feel like straightening it that night, and with the bandana Brian said I looked like Rosie the Riveter. So I struck a pose.


IMG_4189 by jedimara77, on Flickr

Brian, on the other hand, looked like Rambo.


IMG_4192 by jedimara77, on Flickr

For dinner I had the black truffle pasta pursettes, the baked potato and cheddar cheese soup, and the lemon-thyme marinated chicken breast. All were very tasty. Brian had the sliced serrano ham, the baked potato soup, and the angus beef tenderloin. We also shared the pennete bolognese, which was delicious. Dessert was the white chocolate fudge cheesecake for him and the cookies and cream sundae for me.

We both really enjoyed Animator's Palate on the Magic, and much preferred it to the Dream. Nothing against Crush, but I thought the show on the Magic was much more classic and true to the Disney spirit. We loved watching the drawings on the wall and trying to guess what they were. Near the end of the night, the movie played, and then Sorcerer Mickey came out!


IMG_4212 by jedimara77, on Flickr

It was super fun.

I do have one gripe, though. Please, please, PLEASE do not let your children chase characters around a restaurant. It is so dangerous for both them and the characters. This is true for any informal gathering, like the dance parties. If you want a picture or interaction, get in line for a meet and greet like everyone else. I cringed at all the kids trailing Mickey around the room, and the parents who encouraged it!

Other than that, it was a lovely dinner.

Up next: Chip is a maniac!!!
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:25 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by nancipants View Post
Hello everyone! I'm Nanci, and this is my very first trip report.

I just turned 33 and live in Orlando with my fiance and dog. I love Star Wars, Disney, reading, Star Wars, writing, HGTV, and Star Wars.

Even though I've lived in Central Florida since I was seven years old, I wasn't always enamored with the Mouse. I first went to Disney World with my parents when I was five. I remember loving it, except for getting scared out of my mind on Snow White's Scary Adventures. (I wasn't able to go on that ride again until I was in my 20s.)

Two years after my first visit, we moved to Daytona Beach to get away from the cold New York weather. Over an hour away from Disney World, it wasn't exactly conducive to regular visits. But I visited occasionally over the years and always had a great time, even though the original Star Tours ride made me sick. It got a lot easier to visit when I moved to Orlando to attend college (Go Knights!).

Fast forward to 2011. I'd moved to the Davenport area, about 15 minutes from WDW, in 2008. Since it was much easier to get to Disney, I visited more often than before. I especially loved Downtown Disney (RIP Pleasure Island). Then, after years of hemming and hawing, I finally did it - I splurged and bought an annual pass. I will admit that a big part of the reason for that was Star Wars Weekends and the new Star Tours (that, for some reason, doesn't make me sick like the old one).

My fiance (Brian) moved here from Seattle at the end of July. He is also a big Star Wars/Disney fan, so first order of business was purchasing him an annual pass. A few weeks later his parents and sister visited, and they offered to take us on a Disney cruise. It only took us about five seconds to say YES. We'd taken a Carnival cruise in January 2013 when he was still living in Seattle. We loved cruising and even more, we loved the idea of a Disney cruise, but we weren't sure if we could afford it. (If I'd known about the wonderful Florida resident specials back then I would have booked Disney in a heartbeat.) So his parents offered to give us some financial help until he got a job.

The cruise was awesome! We sailed on the Disney Dream for three days and I fell in love with Castaway Cay. Brian and I had already been discussing going to Alaska for our honeymoon on Royal Caribbean out of Seattle. On the second day, I asked him if he'd rather do a Disney cruise out of Vancouver. Thirty minutes later, after looking at rates online, we were at the Future Cruise Bookings desk with passage on the Disney Wonder in July 2014.

I lurked on the Disboards for several months before finally joining. All during that time I was reading trip reports and getting antsy to go back on another cruise. July was too far away! And then I saw it: a Florida resident special on the re-imagined Disney Magic, sailing from Port Canaveral on January 10.

And docking at Castaway Cay on January 12. My 33rd birthday.

I sent Brian the link and it took him about five seconds to say YES. So we booked it. I was going to be in my favorite place in the world on my birthday. I couldn't wait!

I debated whether or not to do a trip report. I haven't been on the Disboards very long and wasn't sure if I'd have anything to contribute. But I love to write, and a bunch of people were asking for Navigators and information about the new Magic cruises from Port Canaveral, and I'd learned so much from other trip reports that I decided to throw caution to the wind and write my own.

Thanks for joining me!
I know its a little late, but I'm reading along! I just booked my first Disney cruise with my boyfriend (3-day Bahamian Disney Dream in January 2015) and I'm going a little trip-report crazy! Plus yours stood out to me because we are in the same-ish age group, I'm from Orlando, WDW passholder and we LOVE Star Wars too! Nice to "meet" you!
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Old 10-09-2014, 02:58 PM   #13
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I am really, really, REALLY late to the party, but I just wanted to say......what a GREAT trip report!

Your pics were awesome, and you and Brian are absolutely adorable .

I have never been inclined to cruise, but your report sells it well. Perhaps its something we'll consider someday as well!
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Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
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Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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