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Old 11-23-2009, 04:41 PM   #1
Chelley00
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No boys allowed! The birthday girl and Mom take on Disney

Welcome! DD7 and I are back from 11 wonderful days at Walt Disney World to celebrate her 8th birthday (Nov 30th) It was an amazing trip full of sunshine, low crowds, lots of suprises and Disney magic.

Link to our first trip report from 2008 Worst trip ever http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2009224

How the trip came to be:

DD has 2 older brothers and 1 younger brother. Her older 2 brothers both had huge blow out birthday parties when they turned 8 (not sure how it turned out to be the 8th birthday?) This summer we started talking about what to do for her 8th, and she sighed and said "I wish I could go to Disney, but I know we can't, so let me think" DH and I started talking about it, pricing it, and realized if just one of us took her, we could swing a trip for her birthday. DH was more than happy to send me off and agreed to hold down the fort. Talked with the boys, and not one of them was upset about being left behind. I planned the trip for her birthday week, but started reading about some people having trouble getting reservations, so I bumped us up a couple of weeks to try and avoid crowds. We usually go late October, so we've never had to wait long for rides, and I hoped by moving our trip up, that trend would continue!

I had great luck with making ADRs and planning surprises, and finally on Nov 12, R and I would ready to head off for our girls only birthday trip!

I took tons of pictures, and have started a dining review as well. Thanks for following along!


A quick sneak peak picture of DD and I at MVMCP on Nov 19th with DD's favorite character, Minnie!







Day 1: First class? We'll take it! http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...58&postcount=4

Day 1: This isn't our hotel. Or is it? http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=10

Day 1: AKL room pictures http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=11

Day 1: Finally, a park! Epcot http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b9...D550/ry%3D400/

Day 1: "Home" again for naps and surprises http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...9&postcount=27

Day2: DHS - If I ride this, you have to ride that http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=33

Day 2 DHS - A little of this http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...3&postcount=34
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:44 PM   #2
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Yay! First reply Can't wait to hear about all the mother daughter fun
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:19 AM   #3
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Great start!
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tink9721 View Post
Yay! First reply Can't wait to hear about all the mother daughter fun
Thanks for joining in

Quote:
Originally Posted by praisehisname View Post
Great start!
Thank you!




Thursday Nov 12

The genius traveler that I am decided to book the first flight out of Indy to Orlando to maximize our first day. Yeah. That flight? SEVEN in the morning. That means we have to get up at 4:30am to get to the airport by 5:30am. Puke. Riley and I are neither one morning people. At all. Ever.

And, an important point in this part of the story. I HATE flying. LOATHE. DESPISE. I hate the way it feels. I hate the sounds. I hate the lack of control. Ick. But, for my daughter, I am getting up at FOUR THIRTY in the morning and boarding a plane to take her to the happiest place on earth......to ride roller coasters that throw me upside down (another thing I'm not a big fan of)


She better pick a freaking great nursing home for me when I'm old.


My directionally challenged husband turned the wrong way twice, but got us to the airport just in time for DS4 to burst into tears and decide he doesn't want me to leave. Poor baby Getting drug out of bed at 5am = grumpy kids.

At ticketing and bag check, the guy sees Riley's "It's My Birthday" shirt. He decides that any girl on her birthday trip taking her first flight needs to go in style, and gives us the complimentary upgrade to first class.


Score



Check our bag, head through security, and find our gate. God is good. There's a Starbucks right next to the gate. Riley guards the bags while I get our first meal of our trip: Starbucks perfect oatmeal. Coffee for me (yay, peppermint mochas are back again!!) and hot chocolate for her. We're both a tad nervous, so we don't eat much. Have I mentioned I HATE to fly? I was being all brave and not showing it. Promise. But man, was I totally dreading that plane ride.


Since we're first class, we get to board first. They flight attendants made a huge deal over the fact that we were flying on the Colts plane.

Get Riley settled, wait for everyone else to board, and the flight attendant informs us the plane is boarded and we are leaving 14 minutes early. What a good way to start a trip! Check out my first class girl



The flight went well until Atlanta area, where we hit the backside of Hurricane Ida. It was pretty rocky. They even turned the seatbelt sign back on. Puke. Riley barely noticed. She was too busy watching UP on the laptop. I have to say, she did great for her first flight. She LOVED the take off, then after we couldn't see anything but clouds, she entertained herself with the movie and an activity book, and never asked for anything.

[IMG][/IMG]

Landing was smooth, and we arrived 10 minutes early. Snapped a couple of quick pictures of the Colts plane since it was too dark to see it when we boarded.







A quick stop to pick up the rental car (which, by the way, was a total waste of money. We would have been fine with the bus service!) Finally, we were on our way. It was raining, 63 degrees and ugly cloudy, but how can you be miserable when you get a look at this?




We usually drive to FL and come in the other side, so we rarely get to see the Main Gate entrance! It just made it all the more exciting. We were finally here!!!


Next up: DD's first surprise.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:35 AM   #5
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woohoo! I've been waiting for this TR!
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:40 PM   #6
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I can't wait to hear more!
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:58 PM   #7
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What a great start (well after hubby getting lost and having to say goodbye to the boys) but getting upgraded to First Class Sounds like the makings of a great trip!
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:11 PM   #8
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Woo hoo!

I am so excited to hear your report. I will be doing a Mommy and me in April. You sound like a lot of fun! I can't wait to hear what you and your daughter did.
Julie
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneymoon09 View Post
woohoo! I've been waiting for this TR!
Welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacybaeasm View Post
I can't wait to hear more!
Thanks for stopping by!

Quote:
Originally Posted by heaven2dc View Post
What a great start (well after hubby getting lost and having to say goodbye to the boys) but getting upgraded to First Class Sounds like the makings of a great trip!
I have to laugh at DH turning the wrong way, especially since he drives past the airport on his way to work EVERY DAY!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLR View Post
I am so excited to hear your report. I will be doing a Mommy and me in April. You sound like a lot of fun! I can't wait to hear what you and your daughter did.
Julie
You'll have so much fun on your Mommy and Me trip! We had a great time and it was fun to just hang out!
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:26 PM   #10
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Wait! This isn't our hotel! Or is it?

When we booked our trip, I gave Riley some choices. Stay at a value resort onsite and do some extra activities, like swim with the dolphins at Discovery Cove. Or we could stay at a moderate resort and just go to Disney. I let her watch the Disney planning video, look at pictures online and make her choice.

She picked Caribbean Springs Resort. She liked the Nemo theme or pirate theme rooms, the pirate themed pool. Together we looked at pictures of Animal Kingdom Lodge, with rooms on the savannah overlooking animals. My future vet. The thought of being that close to animals made her drool. But alas, out of the price range. We were both perfectly satisfied with our Caribbean Springs Resort choice.

Until Disney had to come along and throw out some new deals....specifically a Buy 4 nights get 3 free. That put Animal Kingdom Lodge within my budgeted amount for out trip. After going back and forth for days, I bit the bullet and booked it.

But didn't tell my daughter.


So today, we are in Orlando and headed towards our resort, which Riley thinks is a Nemo room. I finally start making some lame excuse, trying to skirt questions without lying, that we can't check into Caribbean Springs and that I want to go to Animal Kingdom Lodge to look around. And she says


I don't want to go there.


Hmmm, at this point I'm really hoping it's because she doesn't want to go look at some place she can't stay because it will be depressing or something. I put my Mommy foot down and tell her we have to go there for awhile.



We pull up to the guard shack and I hand them a note:


We're checking in today, only my daughter in the backseat doesn't know it.


He looks back at Riley and says he hopes he enjoys her look around the lodge, winks at me, and waves us through. Whew. Hurdle one down. Wonder how long I can keep it up.

Get into the lobby and I sent Riley off exploring while I check in. Thank goodness for the new online check in. All I need is my folder with my paperwork and we are done. Only someone in front of me in line is complaining, not in English, and everyone looks confused and upset. Finally someone else comes to help, I get in line, check in, they hand me a birthday button for Riley and a pin that says "I'm celebrating Riley's birthday" for me. We have our room number and key to the world card. We hike down the hallway and to a door. I tell Riley we have a key so we can go look at a room. Open the door, shove her in and hand her a note:


Dear Riley,

We know how much you love animals and thought maybe you'd like to stay here instead of the other hotel. Hope you enjoy it and take part in some of the animal activities when you aren't at the parks. We love you.

Mickey and Minnie
(and Daddy and Mommy too)



Are you serious?


This is when my usually reserved daughter starts jumping up and down shrieking "Thank you thank you thank you thank you" She calls Daddy on my cell and shrieks "thank you thank you thank you" over and over again to him too.
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:27 PM   #11
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A few room pictures

















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Old 11-24-2009, 01:50 PM   #12
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I've enjoyed following your dining reviews and now I get to follow your trip report. What a nice surprise for Riley, and a nice mon and daughter trip. Love the pics of AKL--one day we'll be able to do that (I keep telling myself that).
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:53 PM   #13
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wow!! What a wonderful start!! I'm glad the surprise worked out for you. Just like your DD when my Dad surprised us with our first stay at WL, my brother and I threw fits in the rental car saying we wanted to go to POFQ to check in and go swimming and still yelling at him as he's telling the security guard we have a reservation and then Dad turns around and says SURPRISE! I cried lol.

Curiosity, what rental car company did you use and were you satisifed with them? We usually use National or Alamo but they quoted us $300. We were able to get Dollar for $200 but are still a little uneasy about never using them before.

Can't wait for more!
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:15 PM   #14
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I've enjoyed following your dining reviews and now I get to follow your trip report. What a nice surprise for Riley, and a nice mon and daughter trip. Love the pics of AKL--one day we'll be able to do that (I keep telling myself that).
I never thought we'd be able to stay onsite, let alone a deluxe. Thank goodness for good discount codes! We used the buy 4 get 3 for the first 7 nights, then a 40% off code for the last 3 nights.

Quote:
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Curiosity, what rental car company did you use and were you satisifed with them? We usually use National or Alamo but they quoted us $300. We were able to get Dollar for $200 but are still a little uneasy about never using them before.
I went through carrentalsavers.com and got a great rate from Alamo. Everything was ready when we got there and we had no problems at all getting or returning the car.
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:22 PM   #15
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Hopefully flying first class made it a little easier for you! I love the look on Riley's face when she realizes you guys are staying at AKL! Your room looks great!
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***12/09 Pop Century***08/13 7 night Fantasy Western

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