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Old 09-01-2013, 10:58 AM   #1
dismagiclover
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The Darling Family's Endless Summer Vacation: August 2013 New 1/24

Hi everyone. it has been a long while since Ive done a trip report here on the DIS. Life gets crazy and I dont always have the time Id like to relive our awesome Disney vacations. Im sure most of you out there havent read my previous trip reports because they are kind of ancient history here on the fast moving DIS. So Ill introduce the major players.

First up is me. Im Jenny and I love vacationing at Disney World. Then there is my wonderful DH. He too loves vacationing at Disney World, just not maybe as much as me. This picture is from our trip in January 2012.



Then we have the three Darling children. They have all pretty much grown up going to Disney World so it is in their blood and they love it.

This is Wendy. She is now 13. An official teenager. She is often my laughing buddy. We had tons to laugh about on this trip.



Here is John who is now 11 years old. I keep thinking the time will come when Disney is too little kid for him, but that hasnt happened yet. He still loves it.



Then we have Michael who is 8 years old for 3 more weeks. We sometimes forget that he is still a little kid, but he reminded us on this trip. It was so fun to watch him still having fun and loving all of the characters.



This trip was a doozy. The kids and I left home on July 31 and didnt return until August 24. So get ready. This is going to be a looong ride!



Day 1: Travel Day

Day 2: A Morning at All Star Sports
Checking in at Arts of Animation
Swimming at Arts of Animation
A Magic Kingdom Evening

Day 3: Good Morning Magic Kingdom
More Crystal Palace
Getting our Ride on at Magic Kingdom (and lunch too)
Michael has a Girlfriend!
Meeting the Princesses
Meeting the Main Mouse
Home Sweet Home

Day 4: Our Very First Visit to a Disney Water Park
Back to Epcot
Michael's Favorite Dog
Wendy is Reunited with her BFF
An Epcot Evening with Friends from Home

Day 5: Ohana Means Breakfast
Hanging out at the Boardwalk

Day 6: An Epcot Morning
Italy
A Not So Successful Blizzard Beach Trip

Day 7: Hello to Hollywood
Hot, Hot, Hot
Our Last Evening Staying at Boardwalk Villas

Day 8: An Extra Early Extra Magic Hour
More Animal Kingdom Fun
Camp Minnie Mickey
Bay Lake Tower Here We Come!
An Afternoon and Evening at the Resort

Day 9: The Boys Head off on the Dream
Downtown Disney Shopping Spree
A Hollywood Studios Evening
Dinner and Two Shows

Day 10: Breakfast with Princesses
Enchanted Tales with Belle
Belle's Village and a Visit with a Mermaid
More Girly Characters
A Girly Tea and an Epcot Evening

Day 11: Back to the Grand Floridian for Breakfast
Yay! DH is finally here.
Hoop Dee Doo and More

Days 12-16: A Little Break from Disney

Day 17: Back to the World
A Visit with Old Friends

Day 18: A Blizzard Beach Re-do
Animal Kingdom Villas

Day 19: A Trip to the DVC Models
An Afternoon/Evening at Animal Kingdom Kidani

Day 20: Back to Epcot
More Future World Fun
Just a Little More Epcot
Downtown Disney
Girls Night Out at the Magic Kingdom

Day 21: Good Morning Hollywood
A Little Bit of Drawing and a Lot of Star Wars
A Water Park and Ice Cream

Day 22: Another Magic Kingdom Morning

Flashback Posts
Alaskan Cruise Days 1 &2
Alaskan Cruise Day 3
Alaskan Cruise Day 4
Alaskan Cruise Day 5
Alaskan Cruise Day 6
Alaskan Cruise Day 7

Last edited by dismagiclover; 01-24-2014 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:29 AM   #2
ShellieB
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Reading!! Your trip report was the first I ever read
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:06 PM   #3
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Looking forward to reading your TR!! I think I remember reading one or two in the past!

Welcome back!
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:24 PM   #5
dismagiclover
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShellieB View Post
Reading!! Your trip report was the first I ever read
Welcome! I'm glad you are here and you remember me. It's been a while since I've been around.

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Looking forward to reading your TR!! I think I remember reading one or two in the past!

Welcome back!
Thanks for the welcome back! Hopefully I can post regularly enough that I don't have to be welcomed back over and over. LOL

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So great to see you back! You know I am in for this one!
Hello old friend! It's nice to see a familiar face! I know I can always count on you.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:54 PM   #6
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Yay, a Darling report! Welcome back, Jenny! I actually for some reason was just thinking the other day about how cute your kids were when they were Wendy, Michael, and John for MNSSHP. Why I was thinking about it, I have absolutely no clue...maybe it was when I was looking at the adorable yet expensive kids' Halloween costumes in the Pottery Barn catalog? I can't remember.

(And now I'm second guessing myself. That was your family, right? I'm just back from a very long DIS-break, myself, so hoping I'm not confused about it all.)

But anyway: can't wait to read more!
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:27 PM   #7
dismagiclover
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Originally Posted by norybell View Post
Yay, a Darling report! Welcome back, Jenny! I actually for some reason was just thinking the other day about how cute your kids were when they were Wendy, Michael, and John for MNSSHP. Why I was thinking about it, I have absolutely no clue...maybe it was when I was looking at the adorable yet expensive kids' Halloween costumes in the Pottery Barn catalog? I can't remember.

(And now I'm second guessing myself. That was your family, right? I'm just back from a very long DIS-break, myself, so hoping I'm not confused about it all.)

But anyway: can't wait to read more!
Another old friend! Good to see you again! You are remembering right about my kids at the MNSSHP. That was such a fun trip and everytime I ride Peter Pan I think about how adorable they all were. Great memories!
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:30 PM   #8
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Day 1: Our Travel Day


Today was a travel day. So lots of words and few pictures. Sorry. The plan was to leave by 5:30 am and stop for the night in South Georgia. The first part of the trip was just the kids and I. I teach at the local community college so I have summers off, but DH isnít so lucky. So we were leaving him behind. We packed the car the night before so that we could just hop in and drive off the next morning. And that is pretty much what we did. My alarm went off at 5:00 am. I quickly dressed and then woke up the kids. John sleepily asked if he could bring his sheets. I told him no and assured him all of our hotels would provide adequate sheets. We said goodbye to DH and were pulling out of our driveway at 5:20 am. Yahoo! We were on our way to Disney. We punched Disney World into the navigation system on my phone (we call the voice Suzy) and headed out. We made incredibly great time as we headed South. Wendy is now 13 so she can officially sit in the front seat. She was the perfect co-pilot. Her role was to serve me and she did it perfectly. I could just point at my empty cup and she would fill it with Diet Dr. Pepper. She happily doled out breakfast food to the boys, plugged in electronics and even changed the CDs as instructed. (Yes, our car still has a CD player.) I could boss her around all I wanted and she loooved it because she was sitting in the front seat on a road trip. DH doesnít take to my bossiness quite as well. Anyway it was around 9:30 and we were well into Virginia. Everyone was feeling good. Suzy the phone was telling us arrival at destination in South Georgia was set for about 4:00. That just didnít seem right to any of us. What would we do that evening? I hatched a plan. Why not just drive all the way to Disney? We were feeling great and making great time. Granted we were only about 4 hours into a 14 hour trip, but whatever. I instructed my copilot to get on the phone and call Disney. We needed a room for that night. Michael started hollering about staying at Sports. So I told to Wendy to inquire about a room at All Star Sports. That is how Wendy made her very first Disney reservation. She was actually a bit nervous because she had never done it before, but she did a great job and at the end of the phone call we had a reservation! Woo hoo! So we changed Suzyís instructions and we were set for arrival at destination around 7:00 pm. Now we had a mission and boy were we focused. We only stopped three times the whole trip and no stop was longer than 15 minutes. We would fill the tank, use the restroom and once we went through a drive thru for lunch, but we ate in the car. No time for smelling the roses! Disney was calling us. At about 7:30 we saw this lovely sight.



This picture is from a previous trip, but it looks the same. I canít believe we made it in basically 14 hours including stops! We were all so excited. I parked the car and we headed into this building.



Check in went smoothly. We were in football which was a cute section. We were on one of the outside wings on the 1st floor which was nice. It made it really easy to bring the luggage in and it would have been a bit loud in the center section. This was our first time in a value and it was great for the night. We headed over to the food court to get dinner and I took this picture on our way.



I have no idea what we had for dinner. We were all feeling pretty tired. It had been a long day so we settled into bed. The best thing about going to bed that night was that we would wake up in Disney the next morning! That was totally worth the commando drive down.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:33 PM   #9
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I am so glad to see you posting on the trip report board. Your reports were some of the first ones I read too. My Dh ran some of the same races at Disney as you so I would look at them to see what it was like on the course. Although I never post on trip reports I can't wait to read this one. We were back in Disney in June and I am suffering from post trip blues.
Elizabeth
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:25 PM   #10
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I can't believe you drove 14 hours straight, without anyone to take turns with!
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TRIP REPORTS:Nory Report III: In the Third Person! Nory and Simba CRAWL through the World: A Sept/Oct 2013 PTR Fleeing Wedding Showers for Epcot Flowers It's a SO-LO trip report!

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Old 09-02-2013, 08:41 PM   #11
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I'll be joining in on the TR! Your DD sounds similar to me, and I'd like to hear how a vacation this long went!
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:18 AM   #12
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Yea! Another Darling family TR! Canít wait to read all about your adventures, the kids have gotten so big! How exciting to turn a 2 day drive into 1. Yea for Wendy making the reservation, that must have made her feel so grown-up.

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Old 09-03-2013, 09:33 AM   #13
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Following along.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:19 AM   #14
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Love that you did the 14 hours in one shot....when Disney's the destination I would totally do that too!

I still boss Shanleigh around in the front seat and she'll be 21 in October Yesterday we were going to my sister's and we got to the end of the street and I said "can I have my sunglasses please" to which she replied "you knew it was sunny 8 houses ago when we left, why didn't you put them on then" the novelty of the front seat apparently has worn off!

Can't wait to hear about your first day!
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:15 PM   #15
dismagiclover
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debelfish View Post
I am so glad to see you posting on the trip report board. Your reports were some of the first ones I read too. My Dh ran some of the same races at Disney as you so I would look at them to see what it was like on the course. Although I never post on trip reports I can't wait to read this one. We were back in Disney in June and I am suffering from post trip blues.
Elizabeth
Thanks so much for the kind words and welcome. I would love for you to post regularly on this report. It is always fun to hear from everyone.

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Originally Posted by norybell View Post
I can't believe you drove 14 hours straight, without anyone to take turns with!
I'm one tough cookie! It really wasn't bad. Wendy always is full of things to talk about so she kept me from getting too bored. At one point, John gave me a neck massage too. My kids really are good to me.

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I'll be joining in on the TR! Your DD sounds similar to me, and I'd like to hear how a vacation this long went!
Welcome! The more the merrier so I'm glad to have you along for the ride.

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Originally Posted by chattadisser View Post
Yea! Another Darling family TR! Can’t wait to read all about your adventures, the kids have gotten so big! How exciting to turn a 2 day drive into 1. Yea for Wendy making the reservation, that must have made her feel so grown-up.

Christine
Welcome! I'm glad you're here. My kids really have grown up. Wendy was taller than lots of the characters this trip. Really made me realize how grown up she has become!

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Following along.
Welcome! Happy to have you.

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Originally Posted by Queenofallthings View Post
Love that you did the 14 hours in one shot....when Disney's the destination I would totally do that too!

I still boss Shanleigh around in the front seat and she'll be 21 in October Yesterday we were going to my sister's and we got to the end of the street and I said "can I have my sunglasses please" to which she replied "you knew it was sunny 8 houses ago when we left, why didn't you put them on then" the novelty of the front seat apparently has worn off!

Can't wait to hear about your first day!
So you're telling me I only have 8 more years that I can boss Wendy around. I better take advantage of it while I can. In another year or so John can sit in the front seat too. I'm thinking that may keep the kids in line because I will let whoever serves me better sit up front with me. Before you know it they will be hand feeding me grapes and waving palm fronds to cool me off.
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