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Old 09-23-2013, 11:55 PM   #1
GrandCalifornian
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She's a Princess, a Superhero, and a Rock Star -a Sept 2013 TR (Completed 2/24)

Welcome to our trip report. This is our second TR, as this trip was a bounce back we booked during our first trip to WDW since our daughter was born. For background, our first TR is here.
To read all about our plans for this trip, here's a link to our PTR.
Like our previous reports, we'll work together on this one, with Paul writing in Blue and Melissa writing in Orange. As a review, or introduction, here's who we are:
I am Paul, a 33 year old Mechanical Engineer and general car guy. My favorite Disney movie is Cars, and my favorite park is Epcot. My favorite character is Mater.


I'm Melissa, Allie's mommy. My family owns an elevator company and I work in the office. Allie gets to come to work with me and her job is signing for UPS packages which she takes very seriously. I like to sew in my spare time and I did a lot of it for this trip. If you're interested in how all of that was done you can check out our PTR. My favorite Disney character is Stitch but I'm a Perry the Platypus fan too. My favorite WDW park is Epcot followed closely by Animal Kingdom.


Here's Allie, the "she" in our reports and pretty much the center of everything around here. We'll include her input in this report, as she had more to do with what we did this year as she got older and became more familiar with what her favorite things to do were. Her favorite princesses are Ariel and Belle, but she is also super fond of Sofia the First too.


Melissa and I have known each other since we were little kids. Once we started dating, Disneyland was a common destination and we got annual passes for Melissa's birthday early on. I proposed to Melissa at our paving stone in front of Disneyland, and two years later (to the day) we were married at the Grand Californian hotel. We followed that up with an awesome honeymoon at Disney World. We returned to the world just before our daughter Allie turned three. My parents joined us on that trip and we all had a great time. We enjoyed it so much that we booked the bounce back to enjoy free dining once Allie turned three.

We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge, which has become our home at WDW. Even Allie said this trip, "you call it the hotel, but I call it home."

We had a great trip and took a TON of pictures. We can't wait to relive the trip and share it with all of our DIS friends!

Last edited by GrandCalifornian; 02-24-2014 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:56 PM   #2
GrandCalifornian
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Table of Contents:

Arrival Day!

Taking Care of Business, Part 1

Taking Care of Business, Part 2

Heading to Epcot, Dinner is Where?

BBB Morning

MK Resorts Afternoon

Goin On Safari

Yak, Yeti, and DIS Friends

Splishin and Splashin

Dining with Royalty

Crystal Palace and the Magic Kingdom

A Resort and Shopping Afternoon

Hanging out in Hollywood

An Afternoon Break, 1.5 Laps of World Showcase, and Fun With Antenna Balls

Lazy (River) Morning at Typhoon Lagoon

Date with a Beast and Drinking the Monorail Route

Armadillo, Aloha, and Animal Kingdom

3 Resorts, 2 Parks, and 7 trips on Disney Transportation

Home Again

Last edited by GrandCalifornian; 09-12-2014 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:19 AM   #3
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Yay! Oh my Allie is a beauty! Can't wait to follow along! We are 70 days out and this will help occupy some of those days!
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:37 AM   #4
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I'm in I was following along on the live thread for food and can't wait to hear about it and see your amazing photos!
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:23 AM   #5
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I'm IN! love the intros! How sweet that you guys have been doing Disney for pretty much ever, definitely a Disney family there! Your DD is so cute!! The WL looks so amazing, it's definitely been added to my list of "must stay" for hotels at the world!

Excited to read more!!
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:42 AM   #6
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Following along!
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsTeddy View Post
Yay! Oh my Allie is a beauty! Can't wait to follow along! We are 70 days out and this will help occupy some of those days!
Thanks! She sure has a ball at Disney. Hopefully sharing our fun will get you through those last days. We spent a huge portion of our time at "work" in the weeks before our trip reading TRs on the DIS to build the excitement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel09985 View Post
I'm in I was following along on the live thread for food and can't wait to hear about it and see your amazing photos!
We're glad you're here. We had a great time eating on the trip, and that was actually Melissa's favorite part. Thanks to doing the live reporting, we have lots of good pictures of our meals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by katt789 View Post
I'm IN! love the intros! How sweet that you guys have been doing Disney for pretty much ever, definitely a Disney family there! Your DD is so cute!! The WL looks so amazing, it's definitely been added to my list of "must stay" for hotels at the world!

Excited to read more!!
Great, we're glad we haven't bored you so far. We just love Disney, and while we get to go a lot at home getting to go to WDW is really special, and we have a ball reliving it through the TR. Thanks for the kind compliments about Allie, we're pretty fond of her too.

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Following along!
Great, and thanks, we're glad to have you.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:49 PM   #8
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Arrival Day!

We have to start this trip report right where our trip started, on the way to the airport! We had to get up super early to beat traffic into Long Beach. Neither Allie nor I are morning people but I make exceptions for very special occasions, like going to DISNEY WORLD!

Finally the Friday we had been waiting for all year arrived, and our countdown chain reached zero.


We woke up at 3:30 AM to head for the airport. We got a better deal on flights out of Long Beach, which is about 30 miles from our house but weekday traffic can be really bad so we decided to leave early and have breakfast near the airport before our 9:30 AM flight. Our plan worked great, as we arrived in Long Beach about 5:30 AM


We had breakfast at Denny's (it was the only place that was open) which was very quiet that early in the morning. Allie got to have pancakes which are hands down her favorite food item so that put her in a really good mood for the morning.

We met Melissa's sister at her apartment near the airport since she agreed to watch our car for the week and save us the parking cost at the airport.

We drove over to the airport and kicked us out on the curb. I had never been to Long Beach airport before, wow, it was like a step back in time. They still have outside luggage carousels and you have to walk up a ramp or stairs to get on the airplane. No fancy shcmancy jet bridge here.

We were at the airport by 7:05, and at the bag check in counter I remembered to put out ME tags on. Better late than never, we'd have been sitting at the hotel wondering what happened to our bags... Going through security took all of 3 minutes, since we were the only people in line.

There wasn't anyone behind us either, which was nice when I had to prove to the TSA scanner that the stroller wouldn't fit in the x-ray machine by putting it up there and letting it get stuck.

We were at our gate nice and early, which made for a very happy Daddy. Our trip could officially begin, and there was no more traffic or lines to worry about. We were headed to Disney World!


Allie played around the terminal and it wasn't long before we got to board. Jet Blue let us pre-board which was super nice. It gave us time to gate check the stroller and install the car seat and get situated without holding anyone else up.


We were on our way to Austin, Texas very quickly. We all enjoyed the TVs in the seats, and were still excited to be on our way. Before we took off Allie and her beloved Belle reviewed the safety instructions for the A-320:


Allie watched Tom and Jerry and I think some Sponge Bob during the flight. I was too excited this first leg of the flight to watch any one thing and skipped around a lot.

We arrived in Austin just a few minutes behind schedule, but it was a super easy flight. Our plane would be continuing on to Orlando, so we wouldn't even have to switch gates but we would have to get off with all of our stuff so they could clean the plane and get it ready for the Orlando leg of the flight.

We got off the jetway before we figured out that we had forgotten to pick up the stroller that was gate checked. So Paul had to go back and take care of that. They don't just let you go back down toward the airplane.

To our credit, it wasn't there when we walked by, but I guess we should have stopped and waited for it. Oh well, it all worked out in a couple minutes. We don't have any pictures from our layover in Austin because it was super short and I decided to grab us lunch. I was still waiting for our hot dogs when they started boarding our plane, and I had to grab them and take them on the plane with us.

We made it on though and got settled. We even had our hot dogs eaten before we pushed back from the gate. This leg of the flight was pretty uneventful as well. Allie watched more Sponge Bob, then played with her ipad for a bit before falling asleep. I got inoto a documentary about the mob, and Paul kept up with NASCAR.


We were getting more and more excited the closer we got to Florida, and I spent the last part of the flight just watching the live map. It was cool when we got close enough that Orlando showed up.


It was so exciting to be in Florida! Allie wasn't nearly as excited but she was still asleep.

She actually slept through the arrival process, and we transferred her to her stroller (after remembering to pick it up) and she stayed asleep the whole time. She doesn't like waking up at 3:30 in the morning.
Our Magical Express trip went well, even though it was raining. Our hotel was the third stop, but by this point we were so excited it didn't matter. We were officially there and watching cartoons, how cool was that! Allie on the other hand was still asleep.



By the time we got to the WL the rain had really let up and was almost cleared. We made our way excitedly into the lobby and got our KTW cards. Paul FINALLY got to know what our room number was. He had memorized the entire floor plan of the WL so that when they told us our room number he'd know exactly where it was.

Yeah, I kind of got really into figuring out what rooms were where. At least I shared the obsession by posting a color coded room map on the WL thread. Wait, that doesn't help my case does it, oh well. Back to the important stuff, we got room 6096, which was two rooms down from where we were last trip in a location that we just loved. It is above the registration desk and opens to the lobby with a view of the bus stop and the road leading to the lodge.

We headed up to the room to drop off the carseat and our carryons. Allie was still asleep. We were both hungry so we went back down stairs to Roaring Fork for some grub. I got the Roast Beef and Blue Sandwich with cucumber salad, and a Smore's cupcake for dessert.

I had the bacon cheeseburger, which was my favorite QS burger of the trip last year and it still was great this time. I followed it up with one of the big brownies that were also a hit last year.

They were in the middle of the RFID mug switch over and WL hadn't received the new mugs yet so all they had were black. We didn't want three black mugs, I had my eyes on a new orange one so I asked the CM if we could buy our mugs at another resort. She said no, they had to be purchased there because that's where we were staying. I politely declined getting the mugs this time and said we'd be back later. My plan was to try to get RFID activated ones at a different resort the next day. We'll see if that worked out.

Allie finally woke up, so we ordered her some chicken nuggets and sat around the almost totally empty Roaring Fork dining area.


We then walked around the resort and took a few pictures, and even caught the Electrical water parade from the boat dock.



We checked out the resort some and then headed up to the room where we found our luggage had made it.

Continued in the next update...
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:33 PM   #9
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Yippee! The PTR has morphed into the TR! I'm glad I noticed the brand new hyperlink in your signature

Reliving your vacation will be a bright spot for days to come
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:52 PM   #10
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Yay!!! Can't wait to read all about your trip!!!
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A Tale of Two Castles and a Dumbo Double Dare for Good Measure - a Sept 13 TR
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:21 PM   #11
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Looking forward to reading..
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:47 PM   #12
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I love that Allie goes to work with Mommy. When my older son was born, I tried bringing him into work. Some days were better than others. A co-worker brought her daughter in and that always went well. Her daughter was also in charge of mail and packages. It was adorable. Eventually, I started working from home. Just before we decided to have my second, I stopped working. They needed help again when my younger one was 13 months. I did 8 additional months before leaving again.

I like that you write the trip reports together. The changing colors will take some getting used to. It seems so natural that I do not notice the change at first. If my husband and I were doing one together, you would notice the change in writing styles (he is fantastic and missed his calling as a writer). So far, I have not noticed the different style for you two.

Your trip seems off to a great start. Excited to read more.
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWKOOK View Post
Yippee! The PTR has morphed into the TR! I'm glad I noticed the brand new hyperlink in your signature

Reliving your vacation will be a bright spot for days to come
Hello! We're glad you found us so quickly. I hadn't even posted the link post on the PTR yet.

Hopefully you'll enjoy following along with this TR. We have a lot of pictures to include, and many of them are of WL, so that'll be fun. We're not sure how long it will take, but we will take our time and have fun with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneyluvr81 View Post
Yay!!! Can't wait to read all about your trip!!!
Hello! I am pretty sure we actually saw you guys once on the ramp to Roaring Fork, but we were headed different directions and it was kind of busy. Perhaps we'll catch you at DL sometime.

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Looking forward to reading..
Great, we're glad you're here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmedina View Post
I love that Allie goes to work with Mommy. When my older son was born, I tried bringing him into work. Some days were better than others. A co-worker brought her daughter in and that always went well. Her daughter was also in charge of mail and packages. It was adorable. Eventually, I started working from home. Just before we decided to have my second, I stopped working. They needed help again when my younger one was 13 months. I did 8 additional months before leaving again.

I like that you write the trip reports together. The changing colors will take some getting used to. It seems so natural that I do not notice the change at first. If my husband and I were doing one together, you would notice the change in writing styles (he is fantastic and missed his calling as a writer). So far, I have not noticed the different style for you two.

Your trip seems off to a great start. Excited to read more.
Yes, we are both super glad to spend as much time with Allie as we can. Melissa grew up in the office at the Elevator company, so now Allie is doing the same.

We have fun writing the reports together. We did it similarly last year, and it worked well for us. It allows us more back and forth in a single post than using separate usernames would. There's definitely times in the writing where you'll see the different personalities, but for the most part we're both super excited about Disney.

We're glad you're excited about it.
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:46 PM   #14
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Loved the PTR and all the pics you posted on the WL thread!! Looking forward to reading all about the trip!
Yikes! Glad you remembered the ME tags in time. I put mine on the luggage as soon as I got them so I couldnt lose them.
I was going to ask if you had the color coded map with you at check-in, but I guess memorizing it is even more efficient.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:52 PM   #15
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Loved the PTR and all the pics you posted on the WL thread!! Looking forward to reading all about the trip! Yikes! Glad you remembered the ME tags in time. I put mine on the luggage as soon as I got them so I couldnt lose them. I was going to ask if you had the color coded map with you at check-in, but I guess memorizing it is even more efficient.
Welcome! Thanks for coming over and following along. I think next time we are putting the ME tags on as soon as we get them, I can't believe we almost forgot. Nope he didn't need the map, trust me though I definitely gave him a hard time about having that whole map memorized.

Well, I didn't have it all memorized, I just knew generally which number rooms were where...

Who's he kidding, as soon as they told us the room number he knew exactly where it was.
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