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Old 06-06-2012, 07:50 PM   #1
UGAFan0829
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Sharing the Magic-Our Niece and Nephew's 1st Trip to the World! 2/1-COMPLETE!!!!

Sharing the Magic-Our Niece and Nephew’s 1st Trip to the World! A May ’12 TR

So, here it is---the start of my trip report! We’ve been back for a week and a half, and now that I’ve received our PhotoPass CD, and the 2,000+ pics that I took are somewhat organized, I’m finally ready to give this thing a whirl!!

First off is the cast of characters who were taking part in this most excellent adventure:
First up, there’s Mike, my DH of nearly 13 years:

He is truly my very best friend, and I am so thankful that he loves Disney as much as I! His favorite pastimes are fishing, fishing, and fishing. Did I mention that he likes fishing?? He and my sister’s oldest son compete in monthly tournaments together, and it just so happened that the Saturday that we left for Disney was also the Saturday for their May tournament! Ooops!! I really didn’t mean for it to happen that way, I promise. As you’ll see later in the report, he does get to make up for it by doing a little fishing in Bay Lake. Mike’s favorite characters are Donald, Pumbaa and Mater.

Next is me, Missy:

I’m not quite sure what to say about myself, other than I’m an obvious self-proclaimed Disney geek! Aside from Disney, my other obsessions are my family, running (which is a work in progress right now), photography, country music and UGA football. My favorite characters are Pooh, Stitch, Tiana and Ariel.

Then comes our nephew, Mark, who is 9:

He’s definitely all boy and has the same love of fishing as Mike. His interest in animals and the outdoors is what made him decide that he wants to be a game warden when he grows up. His favorite character is Mickey Mouse.

And last but not least comes our niece, Jaden, who is 8:

Jaden is definitely a little princess! And while she loves doing all the normal girly things, she doesn’t mind getting dirty either! Going into this trip Jaden was most looking forward to her appointment at BBB! It’s probably no surprise that her favorite character happens to be Cinderella!

Now, for those of you who haven’t read my Pre-TR, here’s a little background info on how this trip came to be:

Mike and I very close to Mark & Jaden, as they come to our house pretty often to stay the weekends. We’ve been keeping them since they were 3 months old and were the first to keep either of them. So it was pretty much a given that we one day wanted to take them to Disney with us. Fast forward several years, and when we were planning this year’s vacation, we realized that this would be the perfect year to finally take them. Since we planned this trip for well over a year, I knew that we couldn’t tell them right away or they’d go crazy waiting for the time to actually arrive. So while we did tell them that we were taking them on vacation, we didn’t actually reveal the whole story. As we were planning the trip, we decided that in order to break up the 7.5 hour drive, that we’d stop and spend the night in Valdosta, GA. That way we’d be well rested and ready to hit Disney with plenty of energy. So, that’s what lead us to telling them that we were taking them to Valdosta. Now while they had never even been to Valdosta or had any idea of what there was to do there, they were just excited to be going somewhere. Surprisingly, we were able to keep it a secret until 2 days before we were set to leave. On that Thursday night, all the family gathered at my sister’s where we had pizza for dinner before revealing the big surprise. My sister’s fiancé recorded it for me, so you can check that out here:

And a few pics:





To be honest, it wasn’t the reaction that I was hoping for, but in their defense (especially Mark, as you can see in the video) was pretty shocked and overwhelmed! Afterwards, he asked us not to ever surprise him like that again as it was just too much of a shock which kinda made me feel bad, but I’ll definitely remember that for the future! Who knew he wouldn’t like to be surprised, but I can understand—after months and months of talk about Valdosta for it to suddenly be changed is enough to throw someone off. Either way, once it all sank it and they realized where they were really going, they began to get excited! And just in case anyone’s interested in reading the Pre-TR, you can find that here:
Guess What? We're Going to Valdosta!

And lastly for the specifics of the trip…
Our dates were Saturday, May 19 – Saturday, May 26, with the first night staying at the Hilton Garden Inn in Valdosta and the rest of the trip in a Savanna View Studio at Animal Kingdom Villas-Kindani Village.

So now that I’ve officially started and overloaded you with all this nonsense, I’m going to stop here…I’ll be back soon to tell you all about our 1st day and night in Valdosta.

Last edited by UGAFan0829; 02-01-2013 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:07 PM   #2
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I'm here for the adventure, can't wait to hear all about it!
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:29 PM   #3
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Reserved for update links...

A Night in Valdosta

A Night in Valdosta, continued!

Making Our Arrival!

Checking Out the Room!

Downtown Disney and Dinner with the Dinos!

Downtown Disney and Dinner with the Dinos, continued!

Swimming, Sliding and Zebra Domes!

Our Morning in Epcot!

Our Morning in Epcot, continued!

Catching up on PhotoPass Pics!

Fun in Future World!

My "Appearance" on The Be Our Guest Podcast!

An Abbreviated Tour of World Showcase!

The Ending to an Exceptional Epcot Day!

A Little Bass Fishing on Bay Lake!

Food, Fun, and Characters! Dinner at Chef Mickey's!

Food, Fun, and Characters! Dinner at Chef Mickey's, continued!

Our Magic Kingdom Morning, Part 1!

Our Magic Kingdom Morning, Part 2!

Even More Magic Kingdom Fun!

Bippity Boppity Boo!

Bippity Boppity Boo, Part 2!

A Royal Dinner

Ending the night with a bang!

Hanging in Hollywood Studios, Part 1!

Hanging in Hollywood Studios, Part 2!

Fantasmic, finally!

Animal Kingdom Adventure, Part 1!

Animal Kingdom Adventure, Part 2!

A Little Winter in our Summer(land)!

The Happiest of Endings!

Final Thoughts!

Last edited by UGAFan0829; 02-01-2013 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:07 PM   #5
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I'm here!!! Can't wait to hear all about it, and see more pictures!

And from your FB pics, I love the 2012 photopass designs!
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mousetravel View Post
I'm here!!! Can't wait to hear all about it, and see more pictures!

And from your FB pics, I love the 2012 photopass designs!
Woohoo! So glad you're here too, Kristi! I can't wait to share all the details of our amazing, amazing trip!!

I liked the PhotoPass designs too, but since we haven't been to the parks in so long, I have no idea how much they've changed! lol
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:58 AM   #7
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I'm here I'm here!!! Can I just say, I'm very excited that you started your TR, I've been looking forward to seeing what Mark and Jaden (and you and Mike) thought about the trip. You had so many fun things planned, and I can't wait to hear all about them.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:01 AM   #8
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I'm in! Can't wait to read along
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:14 PM   #9
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This sounds like a fun one to get in on so early! I'm glad I found it.

What an amazing surprise for your niece and nephew--you guys win Aunt and Uncle of the Year for sure!
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:31 PM   #10
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Joining in! Can't wait to hear all about it!
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:33 PM   #11
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I'm here & I can't wait to read all about the trip!
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingact21 View Post
I'm here I'm here!!! Can I just say, I'm very excited that you started your TR, I've been looking forward to seeing what Mark and Jaden (and you and Mike) thought about the trip. You had so many fun things planned, and I can't wait to hear all about them.
Thank you, Alicia! I'm so very excited to write this report and re-live some wonderful memories! Thanks for being here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FancyNancy View Post
I'm in! Can't wait to read along
Yay! Glad you're in...I hope you enjoy my re-count of our adventure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinderella16 View Post
This sounds like a fun one to get in on so early! I'm glad I found it.

What an amazing surprise for your niece and nephew--you guys win Aunt and Uncle of the Year for sure!
It was SO much fun, so I'm glad you're here to share it with!

Thank you...we are really blessed to have the nieces and nephews that we do...we consider ourselves the lucky ones!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinderella crazy View Post
Joining in! Can't wait to hear all about it!
Thank you for being here!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by onescgirl View Post
I'm here & I can't wait to read all about the trip!
Hi, Amy! So glad you're here!! I noticed your ticker, and the days are really flying by for y'all...sooo exciting!
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:15 AM   #13
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A Night in Valdosta

The alarm clock went off promptly at 6 a.m., which was a bit later that we normally wake up for Disney. The nice thing was, since we were only driving to Valdosta, which was about 4 hours away; there really wasn’t a need to be in a big hurry. And since we’d finished 95% of the packing the night before, there really wasn’t a lot that needed to be done, other than get ourselves showered and ready.

We all managed to get ourselves ready, and before we knew it, we were all fresh smelling and ready to take on the day!



And before Mike hauled all the luggage out to the car, I manage to get a couple pics of my new packing method…

I’d seen a couple other DIS’ers mention that they packed with Ziploc bags to make things easier, so I decided to do the same to see how it would work for us. I labeled each bag with the person that it belonged to and the day that they would be wearing it.
I also took a quick pic of the L.L. Bean bag that I mentioned in my PTR. Alicia, I’m glad to say that it did end up holding everything…including my hair dryer! I was definitely impressed…that was one purchase that was definitely worthwhile!


After making one last check of the house, we were finally ready to go just before 10:30, which was just a tad later than I’d hoped for. But again, there really wasn’t a need to be in a big hurry, so even though my OCD made me want to get all bent out of shape, I just rolled with it and was glad that we were finally on our way. But, not before we made a stop for breakfast.

It was here that I began to get a little irritated, yet again. In my head, I was planning a quick stop for breakfast at maybe Hardee’s or somewhere quick. However, since we’d left home so late, pretty much all the fast-food places had quit serving breakfast. So, Mike decides that we need to stop at the Waffle House. And normally that wouldn’t have been a big deal, except that everyone else had the same idea--the place was a bit packed to say the least! Again, I just rolled with it, and it ended up working out as we were able to eat, fill the car up and be on the road by 11, so that wasn’t too bad for being quick!

The DVD players that we’d bought for the trip made the ride so quiet! So while the kids watched movies, I alternated between napping and reading. And while I wasn’t doing that, Mike and I chatted about our plans for the week.

Around early afternoon Mike began asking if anyone else was hungry—which is his way of saying that he was ready to eat again. Neither one of the kids wanted to stop as they weren’t hungry at all. And I knew that even though I wasn’t necessarily hungry, I knew I could eat, so we ended up stopping. I’d spotted a sign for the Steak N’ Shake in Tifton, GA, so that’s where we pulled into. It was the first time eating there for all of us. Even though Mark and Jaden weren’t hungry, I tried my best to get them to try eating a little something. Mark ended up ordering his all time favorite food, Chili Cheese Fries.

He barely touched them, and after trying a bite myself, I understood why—the cheese and chili were kind of gross.
Jaden decided she wanted an M&M milkshake, and was served with this HUGE glass of what she called delicious-ness:

Bless her heart, there was no way she could finish all that, but she sure tried!
Mike had the Original Steakburger with a side of Chili Cheese Fries:

And I had the Cheesy Cheddar Steakburger—and as you can see it definitely lived up to its name:


The kids were so excited and couldn’t wait to make it to Valdosta! Though they were being very patient while waiting for us to finish, it was evident that they were ready to get back on the road!



In reality, the meal didn’t take very long at all, though I’m sure it seemed like an eternity to them.

We made it back to the interstate, headed South. After only making one more stop for a potty break, we arrived in Valdosta just after 5.

As we entered the hotel lobby, I was immediately impressed with our surroundings.

We were checked in right away and were headed to our room right away. Once we were inside, I of course took a ton of pics as I always do…


















Continued in next post…

Last edited by UGAFan0829; 06-11-2012 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:15 AM   #14
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We spent a few minutes getting settled in and making calls to home:




And of course it wasn’t long before Mark was asking if we could hit the pool. So, all donned in our swimsuits, we headed down and out to the pool.

Since the sun was starting to set, most of the pool was shaded, so it took a while to get use to what felt like freezing cold water! The kids and I had to coax Mike in! As you can see, they had no problem getting right on in!




It was long though, before they had jumped out and made a beeline for the Jacuzzi:

Mike and I joined them, and it did feel quite nice---much better than the cold water of the pool.


We all relaxed there for a bit, then decided that it was time to head back to the room. Getting out of the warm water into the cool breeze and being soaking wet was no fun! And of course the towels that the hotel provided were barely big enough to wrap around the kids, much less Mike and I, so we very quickly made our way back to the room!

By this time, the kids were getting hungry, so Mike and Mark decided to venture out for some McDonald’s (kids choice) while Jaden and I hung out in the room. Unfortunately, their adventure took a little longer as the GPS got them lost. Thankfully, they eventually made it back with bags of food in tow. We ate, relaxed, then got into our pajamas. We chatted about the plans for the next day before we all feel asleep watching TV.
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:40 PM   #15
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That's a really nice looking hotel!

I like how you packed your stuff, but was wondering, did you have any problems with the clothes getting too wrinkled? I'm trying to figure out a good way to get packed this time since we're flying, with all the "rules & regulations". We're used to packing everything we want!
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