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Old 06-15-2012, 10:45 AM   #1
kittylady1972's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,542

A NON-DISNEY trip report with some Disney flair...June 2012 Trip Report (7/9 update)

Hello and WELCOME to my non-Disney Trip Report with some Disney Flair! You can find most of my PTR information in my link in my signature to read about how this trip developed as part of my 2 trips in 2012 that soon became THREE trips in 2012!

Here is the short version for now though.

PLAN: We knew we wanted to celebrate the end of the school year for the kids by doing some kind of trip. Since I am in the middle of a job change that will most likely be sometime this summer, we knew we'd have to do any long trips early because I may not have any leave to do a trip later in the year. We already have a Disney Cruise and Park Trip scheduled for November 2012 and so I'd need to start storing up leave at my new job as soon as possible to save it for that trip. We decided to do a long weekend in Florida to hit a few non-Disney parks.

One night at dinner we had the kids do an anonymous vote, write down their top three vacation destinations for us on a piece of paper. The only rule was that it had to be in the US and within driving distance, and yes Florida, despite being a 14+ hour drive, was allowed. Two out of three kids chose Disney as one of their 3 choice, but we ruled that out due to our impending trip. My oldest chose SeaWorld, since he had not been there since we was about four years old! One other kid chose Busch Gardens, but she was referring to the Williamsburg location which we have visited a few times over the years. So that helped solidify our decision for Florida and we'd visit SeaWorld (last visit was in Feb 2004), Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (never been), and Legoland (never been). My 7yo DS is a Lego FANATIC but only knew about the California park, so didn't even know the Florida park was an option. So for 12yo DS we picked SeaWorld, for 9yo DD we picked Busch Gardens and for 7yo DS we picked Legoland. There would be something for everybody, but all would be a surprise to be revealed only when we pulled up to the gates of these parks!

The original plan was to drive, but eventually we decided to take the Autotrain down instead. We had taken it last June and enjoyed it and got a good rate on the trip. My in-laws would be joining us on this trip as well, but it would be their first Autotrain trip and they were looking forward to that as well.

So our kids last day of school was Friday June 8th, but we would pull them out of school in the morning on Wed. June 6th. We'd hit the road for the hour drive south to the Amtrak Autotrain station. Train would depart at about 4pm, an overnight trip to Florida. We would arrive on Thursday June 7th and the plan was as follows:

Thursday June 7th: Morning/afternoon at Seaworld, check into our room at Mystic Dunes Resort that afternoon

Friday June 8th: Day at Legoland
Saturday June 9th: Day at Busch Gardens Tampa
Sunday June 10th: Another 1/2 day at SeaWorld
Monday June 11th: Drive back to Maryland

I was hoping to add some Disney flair to our trip by planning a few Disney Restaurant meals (only in resorts, not in the parks) and maybe doing some Disney Minigolf or perhaps even doing the Hoop-de-Doo Musical Revue one night as a surprise. Would we manage to fit any of these things into our non-Disney trip? Stay tuned...it's gonna get good I PROMISE!!
THE FUTURE: July 2015: July 4th with Mickey * Oct. '15 FANTASY Cruise
The past: *Nov '14: AKL*Sep '14: SOG*Jan'14: DCL MAGIC*Sep/Oct'13 DCL WONDER*Aug'13:DLR*Jan'13: POP/SSR*Nov'12:VWL/DCL DREAM/THV*Jun'12:SWAN * Mar '12:BDWLK * Jun'11:BLT * Dec'09:SSR * May'09:BC&AKV *Oct'08:BCVDINING REPORT*Jun'08:POP* Nov'07:OKW&SSR*Oct'06:AKL*Jan '06:CR*Feb'04:BDWLK *Oct'03:POLY*Sep'01:CR*Oct'99:POR*Feb'97:ASM

Last edited by kittylady1972; 07-09-2012 at 03:18 PM.
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