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Old 06-25-2011, 08:40 AM   #1
Meg1884
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Chuck's 30th Birthday May 2011 Trip!

Well after being home for over a month I have finally gotten time to sit down and start my trip report. Leading up to this trip I was filled with many emotions. Sadness because my mother-in-law could not join us like planned because she was sick, stress because planning a trip for 6 people is nothing but stressful and excitement because I was going back to my happiest place. The trip was amazing although there were a couple of sad parts along the way but I wouldnít change anything about it. I already started planning our next trip on the bus back to the airport and Iím hoping to make it another family trip (who would have thought?). So while Iím working on day 1 Iíll leave you with one of my favorite pictures from the week. Hope you stick around and enjoy!

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Chuck's Birthday PTR

Chuck's May 2011 Birthday Trip Report

July 1989 Grand Floridian * July 1996 Grand Floridian * June 1998 Beach Club * February 2008 Pop Century * October 2009 Polynesian * May 2011 Caribbean Beach * June 2014 Art of Animation *
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:47 AM   #2
Meg1884
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Day 1

This trip includes DH (Chuck) and I, my parents (Bob and Sharon), my brother (Bobby), and my sister (Christine aka Teenie). Weíll also be joined by Chuckís grandparents for one night.
Iím going to warn you now that I donít have a lot of pictures from day 1. This trip was the first time we shipped a box down via UPS with all of our soaps so we wouldnít have to pack them. Unfortunately DH also packed our camera charger in that box before he charged our camera so I was only able to take a couple of pictures at the airport before the camera died. I do have the photopass pics though so I hope that makes up for it. Also I was really bad with food pictures for this trip. On our honeymoon I always made sure I took pictures of the food before we dug in but this trip was just too crazy with six people. Iíve promised myself Iím not making the same mistake next time. Ok on to the report.
I ended up getting to bed fairly early 9PM considering we had a 3:30AM car service pickup. The alarm went off around 1:30AM so that we could both shower and put our carry on bags together. I didnít sleep well because I was so excited so I got up right at 1:30. Why is it that I hit the snooze button five or six times for work or school but never have to for a trip??? The car service was picking us up at my parentsí house (5 minutes away) so my dad came and got us around 3:00. We got to my parentsí house around 3:15 (we were a little late with the 3:00 pick up) and the car service van was already there so we started loading all the luggage (we had dropped ourís off the night before). Bobby and Teenie werenít there because they decided to make a Wawa run for coffee. Teenie actually stayed up all night and I still donít know how she did it. Once everything was loaded up we were off to the airport and sunny Florida for 8 days! Airport security went pretty well considering my dad hadnít flown since 1998 so all of it was new to him. He had his knee replaced two years ago so he ended up having to be pat down but it didnít take long and before we knew it we were sitting down at our gate.







Once we got all the airport pictures taken my dad took out a new video camera to surprise us. My parents decided to get one since none of us have one and we have always taken videos on our previous Disney trips. We love sitting down and watching them together. They are so funny and bring back great memories. After a quick video my mom and I walked around the airport to kill some time. We ended up finding an Earl of Sandwich (when did that get put in?!?). It was too early though so we werenít able to try it and see how it stands up to the DTD one. We made our way back when the sun began to rise and my mom took a quick picture of the plane.



Before we knew it we were lining up to get onto the plane. We were A30-35 so we got on fairly early and grab two rows toward the front. The seating ended up being my mom, Teenie and Bobby in one row since they wanted to sleep on the plane and my dad, Chuck and I in front of them since we wanted to read for the flight. The flight was smooth and as usual Southwest was great. We took off at 6:45AM and arrived in Orlando around 8:30AM. We did our usual bathroom stop and then moved onto the ďfakeĒ monorail. Once over to the ďfunĒ side of the airport we stopped in the Universal Store (lots of Harry Potter stuff!) and then the Kennedy Space Center to ask about the launch since we would be around for it. We then headed to the Magical Express!
Leading up to the trip I had upgraded us from the Pop Century to the Caribbean Beach without telling anyone. I had wanted to surprise everyone once we got on the Magical Express but a couple of things came up before the trip and I decided just to surprise everyone before we left. As I walked up to the Magical Express I saw that Pop Century and Caribbean Beach were the same bus and I wanted to kick myself. Why didnít I keep the secret until the end??? Oh well there is always next time. We ended up on a Mears bus with one of the weirdest drivers I have ever seen. He kept telling everyone Disney trivia (which is fine) but he did the strangest facial expressions while talking. We did impressions of him the entire week. LOL
Caribbean Beach ended up being the first stop so we were soon off and at our home for the week. No one in the group except Teenie had ever stayed here before so we were all excited. I had done online check-in before we left so my dad and I went up to that line and were quickly given our Keys to the Kingdom cards and our folders with everything for the week which included a birthday button for Chuck and anniversary buttons for my parents. I have to be honest I was nervous about online check-in since I had never done it before but it worked out great. There wasnít anyone in line when we arrived while the normal check-in had 7 or 8 people waiting. Our rooms were ready and we were in Aruba (building 53? Iím sorry I canít remember). I had requested second floor connecting rooms in either Aruba or Jamaica so I was happy to see that they could meet those requests. I had heard the resort busses can be a little slow so we decided just to walk from Customs House to our building. It ended up being about a 10 minute walk since we didnít know where we were going and it was HOT! We found the rooms though and were happy to see that Chuck, Teenie and my room was on the end and had an extra window. The room looked great (it was a Nemo room) although there werenít any towel animals. We ended up not getting any all week. We quickly dropped all of our carry ons and headed out to Animal Kingdom for the day.
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Chuck's Birthday PTR

Chuck's May 2011 Birthday Trip Report

July 1989 Grand Floridian * July 1996 Grand Floridian * June 1998 Beach Club * February 2008 Pop Century * October 2009 Polynesian * May 2011 Caribbean Beach * June 2014 Art of Animation *
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:59 AM   #3
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Day 1 Part 2

The bus for Animal Kingdom came fairly quickly and before we knew it we could see Expedition Everest off in the distance. I was really excited to go here first, one because itís one of my favorites from our honeymoon and also because most of my family hadnít been here since 1998. We were there a month after it opened and it was awful. There wasnít any shade, not many rides were opened and it was hot, so hot that Disney was handing out free water. We stopped for some of our first photopass pictures of the trip.







Then we were off to grab some lunch since we hadnít really eaten breakfast. Chuck and I decided to take everyone to our second favorite counter service on propertyÖ.Flame Tree BBQ. My mom and I ended up splitting the pulled pork sandwich and some onion rings. Iím pretty sure almost everyone got the pulled pork. It was yummy as usual and everyone loved the place. Itís now on our list as a must do each trip. Once we finished Chuck and I took everyoneís tickets and ran over to Kali River Rapids in the hopes of some fastpasses. Unfortunately they werenít being used so we decided to get some for Expedition Everest instead. We ended up getting some pictures taken along the way.





Once we got back together with the group I believe we headed to Itís Tough To Be A Bug since we had some time to kill before our EE fastpass.



The show was fun as usual although I hate the stink bug part. After that we headed over to EE. I have to be honest, Chuck and I didnít like this ride when we rode it on our honeymoon. I donít know why but we just didnít care for it. This time we decided to ride with Chuck and I up front (so I could point out the yeti for everyone), my parents behind us and Bobby and Teenie behind them. Everyone loved it although my mom didnít have any desire to go on again. I donít know why we didnít like it the last trip but we couldnít get enough of it this trip. Once off the ride Bobby grabbed us 6 more fastpasses and we headed over to Dinosaur. This was a favorite of my familyís for our 1998 trip and we loved it again. Itís a rough ride but still fun. We then headed over to Kali River Rapids. My dad, Chuck and I were the only ones who wanted to go on this so we changed into our bathing suits and left our bags with my mom, Bobby and Teenie who ended up getting frozen lemonades and sitting in the shade. The three of us had never done Kali before and even though it was a 35 minute wait we still loved it. Getting wet felt so good since it was so hot out. Once off we met back up with everyone else and headed back to Expedition Everest but not before another picture.



We grabbed 6 more fastpasses and then ended up separating. My mom and I wanted to do some shopping and my dad wanted to sit down for a little so we left Bobby, Teenie and Chuck with all the fastpasses so they could ride Expedition Everest a couple of times and we headed up front to shop. After we got done shopping the three of us headed over to Camp Minnie and Mickey to see what characters we could get some pictures with. Along the way we ran into these two.



Once inside the camp area we also met these characters.







By now the rest of the group was done riding Everest and had met up with us. I snapped a nice picture of everyone.



Then I snapped a fun one.



We then went to change out of our bathing suits. Once we were done with that we ended up running into my parents neighbors. We had no idea they were coming down too so we stopped to chat. It was so funny seeing them down there.
It was now time to say goodbye to Animal Kingdom for the day and head to our dinner ADR at Boma. We quickly caught the bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge and checked in at Boma. We were a little early for our ADR but they sat us right away. Chuck and I had eaten breakfast here in 2009 but none of us had eaten dinner here before. Iím so glad we did! It was yummy!!! Everyone enjoyed it and we all tried lots of different food. So far I was 2 for 2 with places to eat. Would I be able to keep that record?



Originally we had planned to head back to Caribbean Beach after dinner to unpack and get to bed early but we decided to head over to DHS to try and see Fantasmic.





This was a mistake. We would have been fine for the 9:00 show if we had walked right over and gotten a seat but instead I rushed everyone over to the animation area in the hopes of Lotso being there for photos. He was already gone and they were starting to setup for the Winnie the Pooh ones they had planned. We ended up jumping on the Great Movie Ride and by the time we got out Fantasmic was completely full. My dad, Chuck, Bobby, Teenie, and I ended up jumping on Tower of Terror while my mom enjoyed a frozen lemonade (nowhere near as good as the ones from Animal Kingdom earlier in the day). After that we decided to call it a night. There was a 10PM Fantasmic but we were all starting to drag at that point so we headed back to Caribbean Beach. Our bags were in the room so we unpacked quickly, turned on Stacy (my sister and I had her on all week) and jumped into bed for the night. All in all it was a great start to the trip although I wish we had just skipped DHS completely.

Next upÖDay 2 at Magic Kingdom!
__________________


Chuck's Birthday PTR

Chuck's May 2011 Birthday Trip Report

July 1989 Grand Floridian * July 1996 Grand Floridian * June 1998 Beach Club * February 2008 Pop Century * October 2009 Polynesian * May 2011 Caribbean Beach * June 2014 Art of Animation *
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:12 AM   #4
cacagolf
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Your home is beautiful, have a chance to visit once, thank you for sharing, good luck to you!
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