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Old 05-05-2007, 11:14 PM   #1
mla1977
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How do you do WDW??? - UPDATED 4/8/08 Last Day! Want final thoughts?

Cast of Characters:

Me, 30 (yes, I choose pirate, because I am not a pirate princess. I am a pirate or a princess, depending on who you ask) I love all things Disney. I am a huge fan of all the movies and the parks. May first trip was in 3rd grade over April vacation with my mom and grandparents. I don't remember too much about it, but I do remember Figment and the jumping fountains. I went again my senior year of high school over Christmas and I had a great time. I got to have breakfast in MGM with Aladdin and Jasmine!

I have also had the opportunity to go to Disneyland Paris before I started law school and just last year I got to visit Disneyland and California Adventure for the first time. I also got to go to WDW over Spring Break when I was in law school.

I never knew how much planning need to take place for these trips, but once I started listening to podcasts and I got the Unofficial Guide (Ding!) I knew I could handle it. Oh yeah, and I found the DIS

DBF, 29 My sweet, wonderful and loving boyfriend. He is the reason that we are able to go on this trip. His job sends him to the same conference every year and this year it is at the Dolphin! We've also been able to go to Boston, New Orleans, and Anaheim (hence the Disneyland trip) thanks to this conference. Next year the conference is in...... Philadelphia!!! Um, yeah, I don't think I'll be joining him for that one.

He enjoys Disney and tolerates my obsession with it (which has only grown worse). He has been there before with his BFF's family and he was at DL with his dad when he was little.

DM, 54 My mom! I love her! When she found out that we were going, she decided to go with us so that I wouldn't have to be alone (yeah, I know I would have been fine on my own, but she still likes to feel needed). She didn't know that DB and DSF2 would be joining us. She accepts my obsession and still occasionally buys me movies (which always seem to disappear at the hands of my goddaughter).

She went twice before with me and loves how excited her 30-year-old kid gets at the parks. She was begging me to see It's a Small World.

DSF1, 57 My step-father. They were high school sweethearts and they reconnected about 9 years ago and got married 7 years ago. I am so thankful that he is there for her since I live four hours away from him. He went to WDW when he was a kid, but this is almost like his first time all over again. I'm pretty sure that his favorite attraction was the Country Bear Jamboree since he is in a blue grass band.

BF's DB, 10 DB and DSF2 live with us, so I was a little concerned about them joining us. On many occasions, DBF and I are the ones being the "parenting coach" so that one day DB will grow up to be a wonderful man. He loves wrestling (WWE). When I first met him when he was five, he was able to imitate all of the moves of all of the wrestlers on the Monday and Thursday shows. He does watch the Disney Channel and asked me if he would be able to see some of the characters at the parks (Zach and Cody, Raven, umm... the other kids). He was a little bit disappointed when I told him probably not, but he was excited about meeting Stitch.

He and DSF2 were at DL and DCA in December 2004 with some family members and I do remember him saying how much he loved California Screamin' when he got back.

He did have to "earn" this trip. What we originally set up was a challenge, but absolutely achieveable. DSF2 screwed it up and made it easy beyong belief for him. The only reason that he had to earn the trip was becuase he was struggling in school and getting in trouble with us. He also has travelled a lot having family in Australia (been there twice since I've know him and once before that). At least one of the Australia trips included touring China and Vietnam, and there was an additional China/Vietnam trip before I met him.

BF's DSF2, 48 Hmm... He is a good man, but as I said, sometimes I feel like a parenting coach and sometimes like a baby sitter with him. Here's how he screwed up the earning system: DB need to get a certain number of A's before the trip (15 I think). 2 B's could count as one A. When we set up the system, there was about 12 weeks until the trip. DB had been getting A's in most of his weekly spelling tests and not doing as well in the other classes. Oh yeah, if he got an F he would need to make up an extra A for the F. DSF2 had a points system in place for chores, etc that he could use to get toys and games.

Well, as I envisioned it, the A's system was to be completely independent of any other rewards set in place. But... It didn't happen that way. DSF2 allowed DB to "purchase" A's along the way, so in about 6 weeks, he had earned the trip.

All that being said, DB has proven that he can get A's and B's with a little bit more work, therefore, other rewards will not be earned so easily. Oh yeah, if this ever happens again, I'll manage the chart or they will have to pay for their own hotel room.

-----

Already starting out good with that combination isn't it? (I did my best with the charaters, but the only one that is really true to the personality is mine)

I'll start writing more later!

Clarification, yes, DSF=Dear Step Father. Sorry about the confusion.

Chapters:

Part 1- Trying to Leave Philadephia on a Friday Night: post #3
The Trip There: Post #5
Short Update: Post #11
Still Waiting: Post #12
They want how many people to sleep in that bed!?!: Post #16
Mom, why didn't you listen to me in the first place!: Post #24
Will we ever get on some rides?: Post # 28
Finally, some rides!: Post #29
Lunch in Mexico and a little boat ride: Post #33
Mine! Mine! Mine!: Post #34
Soarin over... um Florida?: Post #37
Pirates!!!: Post # 39
What to eat for dinner? :Post # 44
The worst meal at Disney: Post #46
Breakfast at the Kingdom: Post #56
Entering Animal Kingdom Pictures: Post #58
Will we beat the rush to Everest?: Post #59
What do we do?: Post # 63
A Chance Encounter with a Yeti: Post #69
Why didn't you go where I said?: Post #70
The Perfect Storm: Post #79
Dinner with the family - or when to not let your 10 year old pick his own meal: Post #80
A date with Steve and Joe: Post #84
Will DB need have to spend the rest of the trip sitting in the hotel room with no TV?: Post #85
Trying to track down an old friend: Post #90
Lunch with Princesses: Post #90
A Walk Around the World: Post #96
Illuminations... or not?: Post #100
I see my new boyfriend: Post #103


I'll add to the chapters later...

Last edited by mla1977; 04-08-2008 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 05-06-2007, 05:50 AM   #2
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BF's DSF, 48?????

What? Who? Dear Step Friend? Dear Sister's Friend? Dear Sister's Fiance'? Dear Step Father!!!!! I think I finally cracked the code!!!

Curious minds want to know!!! And wondering how the one lone child managed all those adults!!!!

Katy

Last edited by Katy Belle; 05-06-2007 at 05:51 AM. Reason: cracked the code!
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Old 05-06-2007, 09:32 PM   #3
mla1977
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Part 1 - Trying to Leave Philadelphia on a Friday night!

For the week preceding our trip, I was questioning why I would want to take a flight out of Philly at 8pm on a Friday. We could have taken an earlier flight, but it came down to three thing I believe.

1. Cost
2. Not wanting to use extra vacation days from work
3. School
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:25 PM   #4
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I'll back to writing this, but something funky is happening with Word on my laptop, so I can only write when I am on the internet.

Here is some clarification:

my DSF (Dear Step Father) - will be called DSF1
DBF's DSF - will be called DSF2

DSF2 and DB will be the cause of much "hilarity" throughout this Trip Report
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:19 PM   #5
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The trip there...

So we were planning on taking an 8pm flight out of Philadelphia International Airport on a Friday night. I should know better. I've done that before. At least the last time I did that I was working in Center City and I was able to take the train to the airport. I only had to deal with airport issues on that trip, not Philly traffic issues.

So I had been questioning why I decided to take this flight instead of an earlier flight. I remember all of my reasons at the time, but none of them sound good to me now. I really think that DBF and I should have taken a morning flight and DSF2 and DB could have flow to MCO on their own Friday night or Saturday morning. I really wanted to leave on Friday night so that we could get there and get a good night's sleep to be ready and rarin' to go the next morning. Yeah right.

Our first sign of things to come came a few weeks before when we find out that the flight has been switch to 8:30, meaning that we wouldn't land until 11pm. Ugh! Oh well, though, I get over it and figure that at least I will be going to WDW.

I also had to convince DBF that leaving work at 5pm was not a good idea. I wanted to leave the house by 5pm. So he decides to leave at 4 and I will make sure that the truck is packed and we are ready to go when he gets home. (luckily, my job is flexible enough that I am able to leave early sometimes I also had worked the previous 5 weekends just to make sure that I had all of my cases done by 1 pm on Friday).

Once DBF gets home and everything is packed and ready to go, we head off into the Philly rush hour. We had already been listening to the traffic report and knew that it was going to be REALLY bad. Almost every single major highway was packed! The drive without traffic, i.e 4am, is about 40 minutes. We were able to get only one town over before we started hitting traffic. I ended up having to negotiate many of the back roads to get us near the airport. We got to the discount parking lot at 7:15. I am not good when you start cutting it close to departure time. Especially since I have seen the security lines backed up all the way to the parking lot.

Once we get to the airport, we get checked in and find out that our 8:30 flight is now leaving at 9pm! Which after landing and taking ME would get us to our rooms around 12:30 if we were lucky. So we get to the gate and wait... and wait ...
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:39 PM   #6
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i'm in! by the way, when was your trip? you may have already told me, but i don't remember.
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punkin413 View Post
i'm in! by the way, when was your trip? you may have already told me, but i don't remember.
yes, i'm quoting myself! while i was typing that you changed your TR title, so now i know the answer to my question!
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:47 PM   #8
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Okay...your link worked so now I'm on board reading. I have driven through Philly during rush hour and it is definitely not fun! Looking forward to more of your TR.
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:52 PM   #9
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Can't wait for more!
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Old 06-04-2007, 06:58 PM   #10
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Great start - looking forward to more!

Those late night and early flights seem like a good idea when you book them - not so much on the day of the flight
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:30 PM   #11
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Short update while DBF is showering...

So we're waiting... still waiting... At the time that we expect to be boarding a loud and raucous (sp?) group of people approach our gate. Now I've been working 60 hour weeks for at least a month up until this point, so seeing this large group of people was not making me happy since I was hoping to get some rest on the flight.

But I still hadn't heard a boarding call for Orlando
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Old 06-06-2007, 09:41 PM   #12
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Still waiting at the airport

So now in addition to not being on the plane on the way to WDW, we now have a loud group of people apparently joining us on this trip.

DBF looks around and points out that the people boarding our plane are dressed nicely and why am I not dressed like that? Um... I'm traveling and I want to be comfortable (besides, I was only wearing jeans and a tee shirt, he was in jogging pants and a tee shirt... I say that I was dressed nicer than him). Taking notice of this, I realize that most of these people are in their 20s and they all seem to be dressed nice. Much nicer than the 4 of us. Kinda like I used to dress when I worked for Wet Seal and I was only 23, and I was 50 lbs lighter.

Okay, well, maybe they weren't dressed quite like I used to, but these people were dressed like they were ready for a night on the town.

That's when I heard it...

"Ladies and Gentleman, in a few minutes we will begin boarding US Airways flight XXX to Las Vegas" (no the flight wasn't XXX rated - well, maybe it was, but I wasn't on it - I just don't know the flight number).

Um, no, this gate is for Orlando and it is supposed to bring me to see the Mouse. I see someone who had been waiting at the gate get up to look at the monitors and come over and tell her group that they have to go to a different gate.

So I send DBF on a mission. Let me tell you though, he is not good with certain things. Airports are one of them. I send him to find a monitor to check if our gate was changed. I hadn't heard an announcement, but that is how things roll in Philly. It is the worst airport in the country. At least when you are flying the main airline out. I've flown Southwest out of Philly many times (my godson is about 20 minutes away from Providence and it is a nice hour long flight for me), and while I've had problems with them, they at least tell you what gate you need to be at.

DBF makes MI:Mission Impossible, Possible and returns rather quickly to confirm the gate that we are supposed to be at. I get up to move since I hate running to the gate later and eventually everyone follows me. Now however, our flight is departing at 10pm

NONONONONO!!!!

I call DM to let her know our status and tell her that I will call her in the morning with some revised plans since us getting to Epcot by 9 am is just NOT going to happen.

We did get to meet a friendly girl who was going to a wedding with her boyfriend, so if anyone got married on Monday May 7 and had people coming from Philadelphia, Hello! I hope you had a wonderful day!

After waiting some more and asking the people at the desk, I found out that we should probably expect to START BOARDING at 10pm. Well, that is just no good for me, but I am held hostage yet again by PHL. Eventually, we board and have an pleasant and uneventful flight to MCO.

I did get the opportunity to listen to the latest WDW Today podcast and I heard Matt read my comment about funnel cake and marinara sauce. He was upset that they didn't offer marinara in the American Adventure the way they do at the fairs in New England. I had to correct him on that one. Any New Englander knows that it is fried dough that you eat the Marinara on, not funnel cake. BLECH!

Next up: They want how many people to sleep in that room? Oh, pictures finally.
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Old 06-07-2007, 12:35 PM   #13
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THAT airline at PHL is the worst. I will only fly our of PHL if I am NOT taking that airline (You know which one I'm talking about)

Did you ever get a reason as to WHY your flight was so late leaving?

Anyway looking forward to the next chapter

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Old 06-07-2007, 01:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcc0621 View Post
THAT airline at PHL is the worst. I will only fly our of PHL if I am NOT taking that airline (You know which one I'm talking about)

Did you ever get a reason as to WHY your flight was so late leaving?

Anyway looking forward to the next chapter

Janet
Apparently the inbound flight (from Antigua or some caribbean island - lucky people) needed to switch equipment. THAT airline inconvenienced a lot of people that night. It just sucks that THAT airline controls a large percentage of PHL.

My last trip to WDW was a last minute trip, so I took Spirit out of Atlantic City. That was a nice flight, but now I am 1/2 hour further from AC than I was 5 years ago.
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Old 06-11-2007, 10:39 PM   #15
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Hope you are coming back soon!!
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