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Old 10-21-2009, 12:37 AM   #1
BlueBayou
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Pictures added. Thanks Norway, things are looking up! POFQ Oct. 10-18 – Update Feb. 6

This was my ‘dream’ trip, the one I have been planning for years. As I wrote in my pre-trip report, I did visit Walt Disney World as a child the year it opened and in 1976. I also had a trip to Disneyland in 1979 with my parents. Once I moved out west, I became a Disneyland vet with 10+ trips under my belt at this point.

But I kept dreaming of going back to the ‘World.’ There is so much more there than when I last visited. As a child my family took nice vacations. After the 1976 trip to WDW– we began going to the Caribbean or on a Caribbean cruise every year. The only years we did not go to the Caribbean or on a cruise we went to Hawaii and Europe. We lived in a middle class neighborhood, never bought anything on credit, had old cars paid for with cash, did not spend extravagantly on anything (hell my mom still has the loveseat and sofa from the 70s)– but we took really, really nice vacations. To this day a totally suck on my 6 and 7 multiplication tables because I was in Puerto Rico when they were covered in 3rd grade. But I probably learned more about a Rainforest from being inside El Yunque and feeling the humidity than any of my classmates ever would get the opportunity to do.

My dad died very young in the early 90s, at the age of 54. It was sudden. An abdominal aneurism. While sudden and completely unexpected, he had suffered a mini-stoke (TIA) and an unexplained cardiac tamponade within the 4 years prior to his death.

I bring this up not to be morbid or depressing - but to explain my vacation planning and my desire to go to WDW.

My mom would freak every year, not wanting to spend any money on vacation. We would end up going. My dad and I would plot and plan. Did I mention that I am an only child?

My dad died one June. At the time were plotting our next vacation. There was talk of trying to go to Epcot and then on a Cruise out of Miami. You see we would get good deals by allowing the cruise line to pick our destinations (SeaSaver - filling up empty spots with less than a month from sail date). My dad traveled so much with his work he had more than a dozen tickets on two airlines with their frequent flyer program when he died. Airfare was never an issue or expense with our vacation planning. A couple of weeks before he died – I decided that an epcot visit would involve too much walking for my parents. So we moved on to just the cruise. But WDW was still of interest for me.

My last conversation with my dad was mainly vacation planning. Less than 24 hours later he was dead. I was in graduate school watching an episode of Doggie Houser MD when I got the call.

Fast forward nearly 20 years later and I finally get to go back to WDW. Things have changed significantly for me. I am now married with two young, school aged children.

While my husband was initially supportive of booking this trip, there was a lot going on in his life. His dad was in the middle of Chemo for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. My DH was just so stressed. Because of seasonal flu and H1N1 – there was no way we could spend our kids’ fall break visiting his folks – but there was still the guilt of going on the vacation instead of flying to stay with them.

I should point out that my DH, kids and I have never had a true ‘vacation’ as I like to think of them. We have had wonderful 4 and 5 day weekends and trips ‘back home’ but never a week that was just for our family.

That is why a booked 8 nights at WDW. In my mind, a true vacation.

So lets go over the cast of characters.
Me – Early 40s – Loves the way Disney makes me feel.

DH – Early 40s – Great dad and wonderful husband. Sometimes feels stressed when things aren’t going just right. Loves all different types of foods (is more adventurous than me) and is willing to try most anything.

DD9 – My night owl. Loves Disney and helped me plan. Thrill ride lover. Has her way of thinking things should be. In other words she has anxieties that impact the family.

DD6 – My morning gal. She up for most thrill rides. She does not like Space Mountain. She had been on it twice. Has not wanted to try TofT.

Sorry I have been so long winded.

Up next: We arrive at the World!
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BlueBayou

Our Oct 2009 Dream trip with bumps in the road

Has WDW changed since 1976? - POFQ Oct '09 Pre-Trippie

WDW 2 times in '70's & Oct '09, Disneyland '79, '99, '00, April '01, '02, Dec. '04, June '05, Dec '05, Oct. '06, Oct. '07, Oct. '08, May '10, Oct 11, Oct 12, Oct 13

Last edited by BlueBayou; 02-07-2010 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 10-21-2009, 12:53 AM   #2
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Let’s see – details I neglected to include – We had DDP (free dinning thanks to a code I got in the mail to my mom’s home in my maiden name – mind you I have been married for 9 years and my mom has only lived in that home for a couple of months)

I guess I should explain that my mom’s health has been declining in recent years – and she just moved half way across the country to a home across the street from us. There was talk of getting a room at POR with a trundle bed so she could come with us.

On many levels that was not a great idea, but after the weather we experienced – I am so glad we did not go that way. She just could not have taken the heat.

I think we booked this vacation at the 47 day mark so there was the scramble for ADRs. This is what we came up with.

Sunday - Early dinner at Boma (AKL)
Monday - Late breakfast at Crystal Palace (MK)
Tuesday - Early dinner 50's Prime Time Cafe (DHS)
Wednesday - Lunch Whispering Canyon (WL)
Thursday - Early Lunch Coral Reef (Epcot) - Early Dinner Les Chefs de France (Epcot)
Friday - Teppan Ido (Epcot)
Saturday – San Angel Inn (Epcot)
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Our Oct 2009 Dream trip with bumps in the road

Has WDW changed since 1976? - POFQ Oct '09 Pre-Trippie

WDW 2 times in '70's & Oct '09, Disneyland '79, '99, '00, April '01, '02, Dec. '04, June '05, Dec '05, Oct. '06, Oct. '07, Oct. '08, May '10, Oct 11, Oct 12, Oct 13
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:28 AM   #3
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WOW! What an amazing childhood you must have had! So many wonderful adventures! Great start to your TR! I'm on board!
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:52 AM   #4
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I'm on board too! Can't wait to hear how things have changed since 1976.
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:50 AM   #5
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Subbin'. Now I gotta go back and read the details. Be back in a bit!
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:26 AM   #6
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From all the things you have gone through, I can certainly see why you felt the need for a real family vacation. In my opinion, there's no better place to celebrate family than at Disney World. Looking forward to reading all about your family's Disney adventures.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:15 AM   #7
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Oct. 10, 2009 - Let the journey begin

Yipee!!! So the day of our dream vacation finally arrived. After years of forgetting stuff – we have a packing checklist. It seemed to work well for us.

There was some unneeded stress at the airport because I had not been able to reach my mother. As I mentioned before her health is declining. She was exceedingly worried about being left alone for the week. Now she lived alone for the last 17 years and was perfectly fine. It more had to do with being in a town without her normal support system rather than being alone. She finally called after boarding had begun (we were seriously considering not boarding and taking the $300 travel vouchers being offered – we were that concerned. We were unable to reach neighbors to check on her). She had just gone out to breakfast.

There was another reason things were a little tense boarding our 12:15pm flight. We had 4 seats together, but they were on an exit row, and kids aren’t allowed on an exit row. I am unclear as to why the airline person put us in that row. So the gate agent had to page people asking them if they could switch with us. It was an oversold flight so I was fearful that we would get bumped.

We ended up on two separate rows. It wouldn’t have been bad – except we had plans for the girls to watch a movie together. I was left to entertain a 6-year-old on a 4 hour flight. I didn’t have any kids videos on my iPhone. I let her watch an episode of Run’s House and the Mika/Ugly Betty video.

We landed at MCO about 30 minutes early. We found the ‘monorail’ without any trouble and headed down to magical express. There was a pretty long line. But the wait was probably about 15 minutes. When we pulled away – it was the time (7:30pm) we were supposed to be landing.

We dropped people off at Saratoga Springs and Old Key West before arriving at Port Orleans French Quarter. I have to say the resort looks magical at night. The online check-in worked well for us.

Before the trip I went back and forth trying to decide if I should request a building. I ended up not requesting one. But if I had – I would have requested 5 then 4 then 6 on the second floor. We got room 6204. I was excited.

We map in hand – we went searching for the room by way of the pool. After we found the room – we freshened up and headed to Downtown Disney using boat. It was a lovely ride – with lightning off in the distance. You could also see the fireworks from Epcot.

When we got to Downtown Disney – we were looking at the big map for Earl of Sandwich. We were approached by a very nice custodial staff member asking if he could help us find something. This was the first of several wonderful interactions with the custodial staff. Maybe we always looked lost – but 4 times when we stopped to look at a map – someone sweeping up asked to help us. This time he also let us know we could go in the store area of Ghirardelli’s to get free samples. He also told us where Earl was and that is was a very good choice. He knew what places were on the DDP.

When not too hungry, my DH and I decided to try and conserve counter service credits. We split a jerk chicken sandwich, the kids had a pizza and grilled cheese. My husband also paid for a bowl of Potato soup. All the food was yummy. We walked around a little bit more before heading back to room.

The boat captain on our way back was very friendly. He shared a lot of information about the boats with my husband. Stuff like who makes them, they are special ordered/designed for Disney. If it rains and the water rises three inches the boats can’t run etc. It was a very relaxing way to end a day of travel.

Up next – Humid and 94 – Must be Animal Kingdom in October.
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Our Oct 2009 Dream trip with bumps in the road

Has WDW changed since 1976? - POFQ Oct '09 Pre-Trippie

WDW 2 times in '70's & Oct '09, Disneyland '79, '99, '00, April '01, '02, Dec. '04, June '05, Dec '05, Oct. '06, Oct. '07, Oct. '08, May '10, Oct 11, Oct 12, Oct 13

Last edited by BlueBayou; 10-24-2009 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:13 AM   #8
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Ugh Airline troubles! I'm glad it all worked out for you in the end though. I always wonder why they oversell the flights SO much. I understand doing it a couple people, because there will be no shows, but dang, a whole bunch of people are bound to be upset if they really oversell. Frustrating!

Can't wait to hear more about POFQ. That's where we are staying in February!
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Old 10-24-2009, 01:27 PM   #9
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Oct 11 - AK, So do they pipe in heat to make it feel like Africa?

This is where our vacation got off to a not so great start. I should explain that my DD9 has some minor anxiety issues. They run in my family. Sometimes things just need to be a certain way for her. It is funny because she would like nothing more than to lay around the house watching TV – but she actually thrives on structure.

You know I haven’t given my family names. Let’s pause and do that now:

DH – Grumpy – He was stressed and not overly excited about this trip. Plus I got him a cute Grumpy shirt at the Disney outlet before we left.

DD9 – Simba – She loves animals and got a Baby Simba doll this trip

DD6 – Minnie – She was drawn to Minnie this trip

So back to the not great start to this dream vacation. The one thing my DD9, who helped me plan, had set in her mind is that we needed to go to the Animal Kingdom first. I had agreed to that. When we got to Florida – it turned out the temperature was going to be 94 on Sunday.

Here is where I made a SERIOUS mistake. I figured that it would be better to stick with the AK plan for the day instead of rocking my daughter's apple cart. The only things she cared about (and she was my little planning buddy - helping me book all the ADRs online etc) was that Animal Kingdom was our first park - and we eat at Les Chefs de France. For somebody who has anxiety/control issues I thought those two requests were very reasonable for an 8 night trip.

When we found out the heat was going to be in the mid 90s - I should have had a heart to heart and explained that we needed to go to a different park. But the fact the next two days were supposed to be in the low 90s - we were looking at delaying AK until mid-trip, and we also had a birthday surprise booked at Boma for the evening - so I figured we could just deal and go.

Have I mentioned I don't do well with heat?

When we got to our bus stop - people waiting were already sweaty. It was around 11:30am.

We never did get off to a early start on this trip, but we were closing down parks - something I was not expecting to do. My kids never did adjust to the time difference. They were on Pacific time the entire trip. It was frustrating because we did not plan the trip that way - but once we accepted that their bodies were not going to adjust there was a lot less stress - and we closed down parks. Kind of if you can't fight them - join them.

So where was I - Oh at the hot bus stop where two busses to DHS, and buses to DTD, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom all came before our bus to Animal Kingdom.

We should have taken this as an omen and realized somebody was trying to tell us something. The bus finally arrived (less than 20 minutes) and we had to make stops at POR and Blizzard Beach before heading on to AK.

I would describe describe our trek to and around AK like The Walk of Zombies. It was just too darn hot. I should explain we come from a land of heat. 115 is not unheard of for us. 90 percent humidity is. It was oppressive. At one point Simba was whining about her neck. I thought she had pulled something. No, it turns out it was wet and her hair was sticking to it. An unfamiliar feeling and she did not like it.

The kids wanted water bottles - but they did not want to hold them. We were just not touring well. We did the jungle trail. That was nice. We had FP for Kali. We tried to cool down in ITTBAB. Minnie loves all the 3-D movies. It broke down and we left - back out into the heat. We road Kali - I thought it was nice. We walked over to Everest - but the adults were not ready to ride. This upset Simba greatly. Tears, pouting etc. We moved on to Dinosaur. I was worried about Minnie on this one. She loves BTMRR but does not like Space Mountain. It is all about the darkness.

But we were so hot - I decided to even ask Minnie's opinion. My version of 'Don't ask, Don't tell.' Had she asked anything - I would have been honest. But she was just blindly following - and I did not open her eyes.

Once on - I could tell she did not like it - but it was pretty dark and I could not see her reaction. When we got off she said she did not like it and did not want to go on again. But she was no worse for the wear. Just so you don't think I am some sort of bad parent that forces my children on rides they don't want go on. I knew this is the type reaction she would have. Not upset, but she did not like it.

What I did not take into account was the picture at the end of the ride. THAT upset Minnie. She was not pleased with her photo and that other people were able to see it.

Simba wanted to ride again. This is an issue we frequently face. My eldest wants to ride something she likes over and over. Even if Minnie and I like something - once or twice is enough - let's move on.

DH and Minnie did Dinosaur again while Minnie and I headed to Dinoland USA. She did not want to ride Triceratops Spin - but wanted to do that horrible spinning mad mouse. She was not nearly tall enough - thank God. But now she was NOT happy. We went to the gift shop and bought a long twisted lollipop and went back to Dinosaur to wait for the other two. They had ridden an additional two or three times.

We rode Triceratops Spin as a family - with a bit of a fight of who sits with what parent. These little squabbles annoy me. I am an only child and I have very little patience and sometimes I lack understanding and actually create some of the sibling issues. After 6 years - I am getting better though.

At this point we decided to call it quits and head to Boma for our 5pm ADR.

UP NEXT - Flavors of Africa
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Our Oct 2009 Dream trip with bumps in the road

Has WDW changed since 1976? - POFQ Oct '09 Pre-Trippie

WDW 2 times in '70's & Oct '09, Disneyland '79, '99, '00, April '01, '02, Dec. '04, June '05, Dec '05, Oct. '06, Oct. '07, Oct. '08, May '10, Oct 11, Oct 12, Oct 13
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:40 PM   #10
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Subbing into your report. We were there the same week as you and stayed at POR. I could not believe the heat that was happening down there. I am used to it getting hot and humid here in MD, but we only have to deal with it for the summer time. My sister checked in with friends back home one night while we were sitting at Epcot watching Illuminations and sweating. They had to put the heat on it was so cold.

Our first night was the same as yours. We landed on Sat, checked in, took the boat to DTD, ate at Earl of Sandwich. We then headed over to MK.

I am hoping to get my TR started soon. I need to go through the over 4000 pics that were taken on the trip first.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bballbabe View Post
Our first night was the same as yours. We landed on Sat, checked in, took the boat to DTD, ate at Earl of Sandwich. We then headed over to MK.

I am hoping to get my TR started soon. I need to go through the over 4000 pics that were taken on the trip first.
Too funny that our first nights started off the same. Did you like POR? I walked there a couple of times - it seemed very nice. We actually went there toward the end of the trip to find a gift item to send to my MIL that they were suddenly out of at the POFQ store. My husband actually accused our gift shop of being like COSTCO - having an item one day but then gone the next.

I look forward to reading your trip report.

I need to add some pics to mine - but we really did not take very many pictures at the start of our trip. The heat just had us in a bizarre daze.
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Our Oct 2009 Dream trip with bumps in the road

Has WDW changed since 1976? - POFQ Oct '09 Pre-Trippie

WDW 2 times in '70's & Oct '09, Disneyland '79, '99, '00, April '01, '02, Dec. '04, June '05, Dec '05, Oct. '06, Oct. '07, Oct. '08, May '10, Oct 11, Oct 12, Oct 13
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:58 PM   #12
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Glad you are doing a trip report, because you know we'll NEVER get to take a lunch break (or two) together at the office!

I'm so glad you liked POFQ, it's my favorite moderate resort. And glad to hear Grumpy liked my dining recommendation too (which I won't mention, siince it hasn't come up yet).

Can't wait to hear more.

.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:25 AM   #13
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Popping in from the October thread. Can't wait to read more!
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Old 10-25-2009, 02:51 PM   #14
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Oct 11 - AKL - trying to salvage day one with Flavors of Africa

After the hot, swampy trek to the bus depot at Animal Kingdom – we got on a bus headed to Animal Kingdom lodge. It made a stop or two at the new DVC resorts. At this point Simba was whining because our stop was not first. It started on the trip to AK by way of multiple stops at POR and Blizzard Beach.

I reminded Simba that we discussed being at the mercy of Disney Transportation when we booked the vacation. It was falling on deaf ears.

We finally got to AKL – it seemed to be a long walk up hill in the heat from the bus stop. The walk back later that night was not nearly that bad.

We found Boma, checked in, reminded them that it was Simba’s birthday celebration, and then I took the girls to the bathroom to wash up.

When we came out my DH was nowhere to be found. At first I thought he was in the bathroom, then I began to wonder if he was roaming around the resort. He was not answering my text messages.

Turns out the moment we went into the bathroom – the pager went off and he was seated at a table.

We finally hooked up and went to the buffet line – but right then the waiter came with Simba’s birthday card. It was nice and signed by a bunch of people from different African countries. Simba did not seem that interested in it at the time… but that is what she took to school on her first day back to share with her class.

Finally we made it to the buffet. We really liked the food. We were still kind of tense and not in vacation mode yet. But we still had a very good meal.

I should point out our waiter was from New York. All other staff members seemed to be from different parts of Africa – but ours was from NY. He was good – and when he brought out Simba’s birthday cupcake – he brought one for Minnie too. That was a nice touch. Though my kids did have an argument about the color and number of sprinkles on their cupcakes.

After dinner we went to look around the resort a little. We didn’t explore nearly as much as I would have expected. We were still zombies from the heat.

All the kids wanted to do was go to the pool and swim. That sounded good to us. As a rule we never seem to use the pool on vacations. So we did want to try and make a point of going in this pool. We have a pool – and spend a lot of time in the summer in our pool. So for our family – it is a known way to relax – but not a ‘must do’ on our list. I think the desire to swim that night is a strong indication of how rough our trip was starting out. After a good travel day and arrival night – our first day of park tour was not good.

When reading this trip report – it does not sound that bad. But you can’t feel the heat and the general frustration in my writing. It’s not like there were any major incidents, injuries and shocking events. It was more like a low-grade headache that just won’t go away and seems to get worse.

I swam with the girls while my DH had a bit of alone time. When we got there the slide was still open and the kids had fun. My DH came down a bit later and I got an adult beverage. It was fruity and yummy.

We went in the hot tub for a while and met some nice families, one from Canada and the other from the town in TN where my inlaws live. We decided to call it a night and went up to the room for baths and bed.

UP NEXT: Will we ever make it to Crystal Palace for Breakfast
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Our Oct 2009 Dream trip with bumps in the road

Has WDW changed since 1976? - POFQ Oct '09 Pre-Trippie

WDW 2 times in '70's & Oct '09, Disneyland '79, '99, '00, April '01, '02, Dec. '04, June '05, Dec '05, Oct. '06, Oct. '07, Oct. '08, May '10, Oct 11, Oct 12, Oct 13
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:25 PM   #15
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I'm glad you liked AKL in the end and Boma, we loved it there in the summer. Shame I forgot to remind you to do the night vision viewing on the savannah, I loved that!
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