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Old 12-16-2010, 12:44 PM   #1
stopher1

Wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills! Shh...listen
I have plenty of hill left to climb thank you very much
 
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A Daddy-Daughter Adventure TR - Sep'10@AKV - UPDATED 3/31 Post #130

A long time ago, well not really that long ago in the scheme of things, but about 6 years ago… I had two sons that I treated each to their own Father/Son Adventure … to Walt Disney World. Both of them. Individually. Just my son and I. And both trips were awesome! The elder was just 8 at the time, and the younger was 5. And we had such fun together… making lots of cool memories that they both still talk about to this day.

Earlier in that same year, my daughter was born. Now while we did in fact, as a family, take our daughter on a plane and head west when she was just 6 weeks old (and enjoyed both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure on that trip), her time would just have to wait to be able to fully enjoy a special one-on-one trip with her dear old dad. Well that time arrived this year, and that’s what this little narrative is all about: My Daddy Daughter Adventure with my own little in-house princess. A tale full of Disney princesses, characters, animals and other fun stuff.

Before I get too far into the bulk of the story though, let me give a little bit of info, especially for anyone who hasn’t read through or enjoyed any of my prior trip reports. I am a former cast member of the original magical little park that Walt Disney himself created…Disneyland… and as such, the training (read indoctrination) that I received all those years ago has stuck with me in the two decades that have passed since. I tend to take everything in with a critical eye towards the overall “show”, and tend to be a bit anal towards many of the details that I see (or don’t see) about any given thing… an attraction, a restaurant, resort or experience. I also am one to enjoy many things that aren’t necessarily the big crowd pleasers or draws. I love to stop and take in the details, and “smell the roses” if you will. Like Walt and many of his imagineers through the years, I LOVE the details and little plusses to the parks that are there for no other reason but to augment the show. So just be forewarned, you just might experience some of that in the posts ahead. I also tend to document my trips with a lot of pictures… so hopefully you won’t mind seeing a few pics here and there… and there… and there… and there… I also tend to get a bit "chatty", so hopefully my droning on won't bore you too much. But hey, if you've chosen to stick to it and read this far, you might as well just go all in and come along for the ride.

In the years that have ensued since I took my sons on their adventures (and we stayed off site in the Marriott Village at Little Lake Bryan, across the 4 from the Hotel Plaza resorts there by Downtown Disney), our family joined DVC (as you can no doubt tell by my signature), and ever since have enjoyed those resorts, in addition to the other non-DVC resorts that we enjoyed together as a family prior to becoming members. We haven't yet stayed at all of the DVC resorts, but are working on it. So far we're at 6 of the 10 existing resorts, and are looking forward to that 11th one on that tropical island out in the Pacific Ocean). We have lived in the midwest for nearly 9 years now (job transfer - but the HQ is located in Irvine, CA ... just about 15 minutes from "the mothership" in Anaheim - and lots of family & friends are still out west, so annual trips back are normal for us, often more frequently for me), and we have enjoyed many family trips to Florida ever since we first arrived. My DW and I honeymooned at WDW (Grand Floridian), and work takes me to Florida regularly. So you won't be surprised when I say I've been there a lot. In fact I have been to WDW, staying both onsite and off, 49 times now since my very first visit when I was 21 (growing up in So Cal, there was no need to go to Florida, when we had "Walt's park", just 30 minutes away!). I do take great pleasure in being able to visit WDW in a combination of family and solo trips (most typically tagged on to the end of a business trip to the area). And look forward to many more in the future too (Spring and Fall break trips are currently on our horizon for '11).

For this adventure, we stayed at Animal Kingdom Villas-Kidani Village. I’ll talk more about that shortly.

So, is everybody ready? Let’s get this show rolling.

Just like the trips I took with my sons, this wasn’t a LONG trip by any means. We spent 3 nights, and part of 4 days at the World. WHAT we did really didn’t matter to me, as she was the “driver” of the adventure – except for two special things that had been pre-arranged for. Where we began each morning, and what we did was completely decided on the fly; the luck of the draw, if you will. She definitely had a couple of things in mind going in to the trip that she KNEW she wanted to do. Our trip was over Labor Day, and Star Tours was ON HER AGENDA! Especially considering it was closing at WDW for the extended redo on September 8th (the day we would be flying home). On previous trips she was not such a ST fan, but in January when we were there with my folks, she just fell head over heals in love with that attraction. Now for me, that’s pretty cool, because I was there at Disneyland back in 1987 when it first opened, and the park hosted a 60 Hour Grand Opening Party; with the nearly 5-hour line snaking throughout Tomorrowland, around the Hub, and down Main Street, U.S.A. and all. Disneyland’s Star Tours attraction closed in July and sadly I wasn’t able to get one last ride in on the original, but by golly, since we were there right before closing in Florida, I was excited to be able to enjoy it once more in the attraction's original format. Sure I can’t wait for the new version (after 23 years, it was about time for Captain Rex to move beyond taking his "first flight" dontcha know?), but I’m a pretty big nostalgic kind of guy, so part of me wishes that the original version could still be an option of the reported several that will be in place when ST2 opens next May. But if not, I got to ride it once again. But more on that later.

Here’s my DD and I at the airport after my DW and sons dropped us off.



My DW’s father was diagnosed with cancer just weeks before this trip, and she was wanting to get out to CA to spend some time with him. We determined that the best plan of action was for her to fly west the day that our DD and I returned (long story, but it was the best plan), especially since my DW didn’t want to deprive DD of her long planned trip with daddy (we’d been planning it for about a year). So more about that later too, but rather than have 2 different parking fees, she drove us, then drove to the airport the day she was leaving/we were coming home, and then DD and I drove home, and I picked her up when she arrived back to Indiana. No long term parking charge at all, just about an hour and a half charge instead. We saved about $100 that way, so we were happy with it.

Here’s my DD watching our plane as we wait to board. About this time I got my handy little text from Brian or John at Owner’s Locker… our wonderful purple boxes were waiting for us at Kidani Village. Woo hoo. Just another reminder that we’re about to go have some fun at the east coast house of the mouse. (We are a bi-coastal family… looking forward to our Christmas visit to the west coast house, where we’ll stay at the lovely Villas at the Grand Californian or VGC )



And here we are on the plane.






Arrival in to Orlando! Woo hoo. We landed at about 11:45am.




Waiting for the airport “monorail” as my kids call it, headed for the Magical Express bus




We always “have to” get the first car, and they always sit at the very front





The morning was a pretty light morning at MCO, at least on the arrival side waiting for DME! After the trip over from the A side terminal to the B side and the DME check-in spot, we walked up by 12:20, and were first up in the line for the bus. Even when we got on to the bus, there were only a couple of handfuls of people on it (it seats 56) so we had our pick of seats, and there wouldn’t be a lot of stopping or unload time at other resorts. The driver announced the drop-off schedule, and we were #3 of 3. Oh well, it’s always generally an enjoyable ride, but those tv monitors are getting old and worn out. I personally think Mears needs to upgrade them. The welcome video that they play is nice, but getting so hard to see on many of the screens.






We have arrived!! Thanks to a very short line at the airport, and not many people on the bus with only two stops ahead of ours, we arrived at AKV-KV by 1pm. That was terrific. I’ve only experienced one shorter trip from the airport, so I called it good and we were happy.




Boy, at this point I'm seeing that this adventure took place 3 full months ago now, and I've been to both DL and WDW since then... but waiting to do the TR is sure helping to bring it back to mind. My last couple of TR's have been started LIVE while on-site, but now I get to go back and relive it. Kinda fun! Especially looking at those mostly beautiful weather pictures ahead… it definitely beats the 7 inches or more of snow that I’m currently looking at out my window.

So next up… the exciting fun that check-in brought… and WHERE would we go to spend the afternoon and evening? Decisions, decisions... but getting some lunch was DEFINITELY on the agenda, I will say that, pretty much top priority at that point. A hungry 6 year old can at times be a cranky 6 year old .
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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!

Last edited by stopher1; 03-31-2011 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:46 PM   #2
stopher1

Wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills! Shh...listen
I have plenty of hill left to climb thank you very much
 
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A Daddy Daughter Adventure continues....

Update 2: Deja Vu...could it really be you?
Update 3: Buses, Umbrellas & Neverland...oh my!
Update 4: Photo Ops and Ice Cream Eating Mermaids?!?
Update 5: A Rock Star on Endor?
Update 6: Partying Like it's 1986... We Are Here to Change the World...
Update 7: You Are Not the First to Pass This Way... Nor Shall You Be the Last
Update 8: Success in Epcot... finally!
Update 9: Riding the Rails, Flying and More!
Update 10: And Now it's Time to Say Goodbye... to all our company... M-I-C... See Ya Real Soon! - FINAL UPDATE


OTHER ADVENTURES


A BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: DL & WDW November/December 2010
SOLO Adventures: WDW June 2010
It WAS Live: Triple Whammy...THV/AKV/VWL January 2010
SOLO Adventures: DL November 2009Father-Sons Adventure: Star Wars Weekend May 2009
SOLO Adventures: DL May 2008
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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!

Last edited by stopher1; 03-31-2011 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:07 PM   #3
ajf1007
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Can't wait to hear more! What a wonderfully special time with your kids, so nice that they each get their own trip! Memories that last a lifetime!

Bring on the next post!
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:07 PM   #4
afwdwfan
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Glad to see you're starting a new report! Looking forward to it.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:11 PM   #5
stopher1

Wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills! Shh...listen
I have plenty of hill left to climb thank you very much
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf1007 View Post
Can't wait to hear more! What a wonderfully special time with your kids, so nice that they each get their own trip! Memories that last a lifetime!

Bring on the next post!
Welcome! Thanks. Yeah they are pretty special memories, and it's really cool that the kids keep talking about them.

And I'm working on it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Glad to see you're starting a new report! Looking forward to it.
Welcome! Glad you made it over. The scary thing is I'm also working on one for my bi-coastal trip a couple of weeks ago... we'll see how that goes.
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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:17 PM   #6
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What a precious girl you have. I am looking forward to reading more!
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:26 PM   #7
afwdwfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stopher1 View Post
Welcome! Glad you made it over. The scary thing is I'm also working on one for my bi-coastal trip a couple of weeks ago... we'll see how that goes.
Really looking forward to that one as well. After seeing some of the pictures and video you posted on the Dads forum, I can't wait to read your trip report to go with them.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:27 PM   #8
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Look at you hiding this over here on the DVC board.
Hey if I fill you in with details can you write my trip report????I am in and as always I am sure you won disappoint lol
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:32 PM   #9
stopher1

Wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills! Shh...listen
I have plenty of hill left to climb thank you very much
 
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Look at you hiding this over here on the DVC board.
Hey if I fill you in with details can you write my trip report????I am in and as always I am sure you won disappoint lol
Not not hiding Carl! This is where I've always put my TR's. Besides, if I didn't want you to know about it, I wouldn't have posted about it in the DDC, now would I?

Sorry bud, you'll have to use your own details to write your own report... I have 2 to write already.
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Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:45 PM   #10
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I'm in and loving it so far. And I get what you mean by looking at things through CM "glasses". My youngest DD was in the WDW CP and my oldest works PT with Disney plus my DH does Disney contract work...those are very different paradigms that they have shown me.
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:56 PM   #11
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im in. love reading your trip reports. always alot of pics too.
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:19 PM   #12
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Hey Stopher, I'm here. Your daughter is a cutie! And I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the pictures and hearing about AKL/Kidani.
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:40 PM   #13
stopher1

Wall to wall creeps, and hot and cold running chills! Shh...listen
I have plenty of hill left to climb thank you very much
 
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Quote:
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I'm in and loving it so far. And I get what you mean by looking at things through CM "glasses". My youngest DD was in the WDW CP and my oldest works PT with Disney plus my DH does Disney contract work...those are very different paradigms that they have shown me.
Welcome! Yeah, it is a different way to look at it. But I've always had such an affinity for it anyway. The training all those years ago certainly helped in my various professional roles though too, which my two non-Disney employers have enjoyed capitalizing on as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dvczerfs View Post
im in. love reading your trip reports. always alot of pics too.
Welcome Dave! It took me a couple of times of re-reading your statement I was wondering exactly what you were in love with But then I got it. Definitely one time that capitalization would have helped avoid confusion!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Hey Stopher, I'm here. Your daughter is a cutie! And I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the pictures and hearing about AKL/Kidani.
Hey Mark! Welcome. Thanks.

And I'm still dragging my way through yours there buddy. Sorry, it's taken me much too long. But I saw that you've marked it as complete now, so I know there's a light at the end of my s - l - o - w tunnel now I'll comment one of these days again too. It has been a very enjoyable read though, even without shooting off my mouth. Many things have left me just rolling.
__________________
Christopher DW DS (18) DS (15) DD (10) BICOASTAL SOLO Adventure: Nov/Dec'10 / Daddy-Daughter Adventure: AKV Sep'10
SOLO Adventures: WDW Jun '10 / Triple Whammy WDW Family Trip-Jan'10 / SOLO Adventures: DL Nov/Dec'09 / Father/Sons Adventure May'09
My 13,000th Post My 12,000th Post My 10,000th Post

DISNEYLAND: Way too many to possibly count! I grew up 30 mins. from DL. Former CM. AP holder for 20 yrs. Premier Pass AP. All 3 DL Resorts and numerous off-site hotels.
WDW: 58 trips on & off-site, including DVC, Deluxe, Moderate & Value - in 18 different WDW resorts & numerous off-site resorts. AP holder for 5 yrs. Premier Pass AP holder.
AULANI: 1 so far. More to come though, & definitely looking forward to returning!
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:56 PM   #14
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aaaawwww... what an awesome idea!
Although there ain't no way I'm letting DH take DD without me to WDW/DL...

I could be convinced of being left in the hotel for a week while they have their Daddy/daughter vacation tho... hehe...

What a beautiful little girl you have. Can't wait for the next update.
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by stopher1 View Post
Welcome! Yeah, it is a different way to look at it. But I've always had such an affinity for it anyway. The training all those years ago certainly helped in my various professional roles though too, which my two non-Disney employers have enjoyed capitalizing on as well.




Welcome Dave! It took me a couple of times of re-reading your statement I was wondering exactly what you were in love with But then I got it. Definitely one time that capitalization would have helped avoid confusion!



Hey Mark! Welcome. Thanks.

And I'm still dragging my way through yours there buddy. Sorry, it's taken me much too long. But I saw that you've marked it as complete now, so I know there's a light at the end of my s - l - o - w tunnel now I'll comment one of these days again too. It has been a very enjoyable read though, even without shooting off my mouth. Many things have left me just rolling.
sorry. love them both. the report and the pics!!
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