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Old 09-01-2013, 10:05 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 310

"I need a vacation from my vacation!" Our 9night August Trip Report! **UPDATED 9/24**

Hi everyone! We just got back from 9 magical (hot, sweaty, stressful, crowded, amazing, fun) nights at Disney and figured it was time to start a TR! I've tried this in the past, but hopefully this time I'm a bit more sucessful.

If you enjoy long winded details, a bazillion pictures and lots of dry wit and sarcasm this report is for you! But seriously. I do tend to be detailed and I'm the most sarcastic person I know.

We go to Disney once a year (sometimes 2x if we can swing it!) and pretty much plan to for the rest of our lives. Or close. I'm lucky that my husband is as obsessed as I am, and naturally the kids are, so we are all always in agreement about family vacations.

Here we are:

Me: My name is Teresa. I'm the planner. I'm also the family photographer who is NEVER in any pictures. This year I decided we should try PhotoPass+ so I could actually BE in some of the family pictures. I am a stay at home mom who is also slowly growing a photography business on the side.

DH: Kenny. Huge Disney freak. Takes him a while to get out of work mode and into vacation mode, but when it finally happens look out. He's also the pack mule of the family. Responsibilities include stroller duty and all the entails (folding it up, holding it on the bus, pushing it around the parks etc). He hates it but does it.

DS: Alex. Age 7yrs (aka, the worst age since 6, which was the worst age since 5...which is the worst age since...). JK. Sorta. He's my man who is OBSESSED with Star Wars and Phineas and Ferb. Not very into "girl-princess stuff" and was not interested in meeting them AT ALL, but then got into the Disney magic and ate all the attention right up. More on that during the report. Despite how he behaves at home he is a smart, kind hearted, polite and very respectful little man. Mommy just wishes he would share that side of him at home a little more.

DD: Maddie. Age 4yrs. Her highness was in her glory being referred to by her proper name at all times: Princess. She is the baby and knows it. She loves Cinderella (Rapunzel lost that seat about 2wks before our trip) and Lady and the Tramp. Since the vacation she has become obsessed with Dumbo. She gravitates most towards movies with animals, but still knows all her princesses and loved meeting them. She is very outgoing, talkative (putting it mildly), sweet, sassy (one way to call it) and always gets what she wants by giving a small smile or giving her father 'the eyes' followed by "pwease daddy?"

We stayed at Pop Century from August 14th through August 23rd. We were on the Disney dining plan and went to a park every day. There is no sleeping at Disney! We were also lucky enough to be part of the August Magic Bands testing. I found out about 3wks before our vacation (and for a planner this was a HUGE freak-out moment), but in the end it was enough time to plan things out and hope for the best. It also led to me being ‘commando’ for the first time ever on a Disney trip. Usually I go with the flow of what we do but this time I had a PLAN for most of the days. To be honest, it was a lot better having a plan of attack. I wasn’t “NO! We can’t do ___ because we have to do ____!” but I had an idea of how to tour the parks to avoid tons of walking back and forth. It worked out pretty well for us.

I am still waiting for my PhotoPass+ CD's (we ended with 900 pictures! Ha!), so this trip report will be a mix of phone pictures and pictures with my good camera (which I didn't break out as much as I COULD have, but that's ok). The quality isn't as up to snuff as usual for me, but who cares right? As long as our family vacay was documented.

So there is my quick introduction. Lets get started!

Last edited by TeresaG; 09-24-2013 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:06 AM   #2
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Chapter links

Day One: Arrival Day
Aug 14th: Arrival Day Part I
Aug 14th: Arrival Day Part II
Aug 14th: Arrival Day Part III

Day Two: Magic Kingdom
Aug 15th: Magic Kingdom Part I
Aug 15th: Magic Kingdom Part II
Aug 15th: Magic Kingdom Part III
Aug 15th: Magic Kingdom Part IV

Day Three: Magic Kingdom
Aug 16th: Magic Kingdom AGAIN Part I
Aug 16th: Magic Kingdom AGAIN Part II

Day Four: EPCOT
Aug 17th: EPCOT Part I
Aug 17th: EPCOT Part II

Last edited by TeresaG; 09-24-2013 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:19 AM   #3
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Hi, My name is Sandy. I only get to Disney every three years or so. So excited to read your report and see your pics. Pop is one of my favorite resorts. (I've only stayed at two.) For being able to test the MB.
You have a lovely family. Can't wait to hear about the MB. I have always been go with the flow kind of gal, but excited about the bands. I came on to find someone who got in on the test and your report was the first one I clicked on.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:24 AM   #4
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Day one: Arrival Day

This morning started out pretty stress free. Our flight was out of our local airport only 15mins away, and not until 11:30am, so we were in no huge rush. As much as I prefer to have a full day down at Disney when we arrive, there is something nice to not waking up super early to take an early flight.

We woke up a little early to shower and pack last minute things (I had packed us all DAYS before…I’m THAT person –I start packing slowly over a week before vacation lol). Then while Kenny was bringing the suitcases downstairs I woke both kids. Alex was already awake, dressed, and laying in his bed playing his DS. He was excited and ready.

I went to grab Maddie and was greeted with this adorable view. She is just so cute when she's sleeping. (and note the Mickey and Minnie behind her -she lined them up to sleep next to her overnight, which I noticed when I went to check on her before going to bed; she is too adorable). Besides, who doesn't love sleeping children pictures? This is the only time they look and act like angels.


Maddie was super easy to wake and dress. I’m pretty sure I fed them breakfast, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was. Before we knew it, it was time to leave for the airport. We left around 9:15am figuring we had PLENTY of time.

Right. So off we go to our small airport 15mins from home. Happy and excited and ready for Disney! Only…we got stuck in traffic as soon as we got on the highway. OK, we still have time to get there, but traffic is never the way I want to start the already stressful ‘getting to the airport’ portion of my trip. Extra stress does not help my flying anxiety. So while we’re sitting in traffic (quietly stressing) my husband suddenly looks over at me and says “We forgot the double stroller!”

Um, CRAP! We can’t do Disney without our double stroller! Well, we can, but it makes life SO much easier to have it! We immediately rule out turning around to go back home, we’ve inched forward a whole 15ft, we can’t lose the ground we’ve made {insert sarcasm} But seriously, on any other day we’d have time to run home and make it back to the airport, but not with this traffic. Instantly I whip out my phone to see what the good folks on the Dis do for stroller rentals. I found Orlando Stroller Rental, browsed the page, and we decided we would call and see if we could rent the City Mini for the week. We were nearing the airport at this time so there was no way I was going to start making phone calls until we were inside.

At the airport Kenny dropped us off with the luggage while he went to park the car.

I snapped this pic while waiting (what else is there to do right?)

I knew we didn’t have long until he returned based on how close the parking lot is, but I decided to try to call the stroller rental while we waited. No answer and I didn’t leave a message; I wanted to actually SPEAK to someone live about the stroller situation since we’ve never rented before and weren’t even sure they would have one available for us. This stroller situation was not helping my anxiety levels.

Checking in and security was easy and smooth (thank you small airports), so before we knew it we were at the terminal. The kids immediately broke out the airport goodies I packed for them and carved out their own space to play. I am constantly on the look-out for dollar spot treats for them. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I buy little things and break them out slowly to keep the kids occupied and happy.

As soon as the kids settled, my cell phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number, but I answered anyway. It was the stroller rental place calling me back and apologizing for missing my call. Considering I hadn’t even left a message I was beyond surprised. We chatted about our need for a stroller ASAP since we’d be arriving in Orlando tonight and had a full park day planned for the next day (in reality we really wanted the stroller THAT night since we were planning on going to DTD, but we knew that was wishful thinking). The gentleman I was speaking too said he was 90% sure there was a stroller available, but since he was in his car returning my call he needed to pull over to make a phone call and then call me back. We could do the order over the phone when he called back.

Maddie chose that “I’ll call you back in 5mins” window to decide she had to go potty. Naturally. So I left the phone with Kenny and brought her. When we got back he was just finishing up booking the rental for our trip. Yay! He said he was told the stroller would be at Pop when we arrived this afternoon. Wow. That’s some customer service. We were told where to go to pick it up, but really had no idea how it was all going to work out. We just trusted it would be there and we would find it. So, stroller stress gone (and extra expense paid –sigh), I was ready to focus my anxiety on flying. Lol.

Hey look kids! Speaking of moms flying anxiety, here's our death trap -er, airplane!
The kids were very excited to see our plane. It meant we were one step closer to Disney!

Waiting for the plane to board wasn’t too bad and eventually we were on and settled. This was the first year we were flying into Orlando-Sanford and not having the Magical Express (sniff), so I was a little concerned about the new airport, the possibility that we wouldn’t find our driver or something when we arrived, etc. Believe me, I’ll find ANYTHING to stress over at the start of vacation.

Maddie made friends with the stewardesses while we were waiting to take off. Maddie will talk your ears off if you let her, so she was in her element. My favorite part of the conversation went something like this:
Stewardess: “when we get to Orlando you’re going to Disney and I’m going to run home!”
Maddie: “You shouldn’t run, you could fall and get hurt. It’s dangerous.”
Stewardess: {laughing} “You’re right, I’ll just walk very fast.”
Maddie: {nodding solemnly} “That’s good.”

The stewardess loved Maddie and introduced her to the other flight attendants. It was adorable. She also said that she gives Maddie 10mins into the flight before she falls asleep. I said I didn’t think so because Maddie was WAY too excited for Disney to fall asleep.

Takeoff was smooth and no sooner than we were in the air Maddie and Alex fell asleep. LOL. I got a nod and an “I told you so” from Maddie’s friend. Both kids slept for about half the flight (Maddie slept for more than half the flight), so it was a great way for mommy to start out vacation. I read my Kindle the whole time. It was about as relaxed as I can get on an airplane.

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Old 09-01-2013, 08:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by momabbate View Post
Hi, My name is Sandy. I only get to Disney every three years or so. So excited to read your report and see your pics. Pop is one of my favorite resorts. (I've only stayed at two.) For being able to test the MB.
You have a lovely family. Can't wait to hear about the MB. I have always been go with the flow kind of gal, but excited about the bands. I came on to find someone who got in on the test and your report was the first one I clicked on.

Hi! Welcome! Thanks for joining in!

We love Pop, and with the kids being the ages they are, and the fact that we are never in the room, Pop makes the most sense for us right now.

The MB testing was fabulous. My family really enjoyed it and had zero problems with it. Super easy and I enjoyed knowing I didn't have to run to get a FP for something since I already had it. If I don't mention it a lot feel free to ask any questions you have!

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Old 09-01-2013, 09:06 PM   #7
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Great start to your trip report. Thought I would definitely follow along, since I speak fluent sarcasm.

I am going in just about a month, so until then, I'm just eating up everyone else's trip reports.
Cannot wait to get to WDW! Looking forward to some Disney Magic
First trip was offsite in Nov 1975 ~ Offsite 1988 ~ Contemporary Oct 1992 ~ POFQ Oct 2001 ~ Day Trip to AK 2005 ~ POR Oct 2013 ~ Pop Oct 2014

Wishing I had a ticker!
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:23 PM   #8
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Sounds fun!!!! Arrival day is ALWAYS the most exciting
How do you guys like POP? Have you ever had any problems or is it always a great stay?? DBF and I might stay there in Jan

Next Disney Vacation in the works!

Current PTR: We must return to the magic!
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:38 PM   #9
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Joining in (: I'm an extreme planner and photographer. Interested to see how much we're similar haha
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:58 PM   #10
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Subbing! We were there the same week as you
[/IMG]DH(37) Me(37), DD(12) DD(9)
1989 offsite, 1991 GF, 1993 CBR, 1999 CBR Honeymoon, 2004 CSR, 2007 CSR, 2009 POFQ, Sept 2009 Pop, March 2011 POP, November 2011 AKL Kidani Village, May 2012 Vero Beach, October 2012 OKW, August 2013 Kidani/OKW, April/May 2015 Vero/BCV
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:50 AM   #11
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Landing was smooth and easy, and we were off the plane very quickly. Since we were in Sanford, and had no Magical Express, we knew our options were renting a car or hiring a driver. We’re not big on renting cars at Disney. With 2 kids that means carseats/booster seats which is a hassle, and then there is always the fact that parking at Disney parks is probably a personal form of torture for my husband. So a driver was needed. I searched the Dis again (what would I do without the Dis?) and found Edward Korgan came highly recommended. I quoted a few places, but since he was very quick with his responses to my questions (always a plus in my book), and had a very reasonable quote for the round-trip, I booked him immediately.

We found him right away after arriving, and after grabbing our luggage (again, very quickly! Loving the small airport experience) we were on our way to his car. Of course, on our way my husband noticed something that would ONLY happen to us… He had grabbed the wrong suitcase on accident. Oops. He ran quickly back into the airport all while I tried (quietly) not to freak out too much. 5mins later he was back with our CORRECT suitcase and joking that the couple who was looking for the one we nabbed on accident was looking a little concerned that it wasn’t showing up. He apologized (naturally) and in the end it was no big deal. Phew.

So now we were REALLY off. I was pleasantly surprised to see our driver had a booster seat as well as a carseat for Maddie. I’m a huge stickler for carseat safety, so seeing this was already taken care of was a nice relief. I was starting to relax a little now. I knew the drive was an hour or so, and I was hoping the kids would play with the little toys I had brought to keep them happy. I also knew from here, checking into Pop would be easy since we had a preferred room and I had done online check-in. All I had requested was 60’s and ground floor –neither were something I would fight if we didn’t get. Both kids were really excited now that we were actually ON our way, and needed lots of attention to keep happy for the drive. I get it, they had already been traveling for a few hours, napped on the plane, and were getting antsy. I gave Alex his DS and gave Maddie a sticker book. That lasted about 15mins. It seemed like a very long drive. LOL.

FINALLY we saw the golden gates. We were all pretty much shaking with excitement. (I forgot that it had started raining on our drive...it was mother natures way of foreshadowing the trip for us...)

Alex and I needed to document our silly excitement.

As soon as we arrived at Pop I jumped out of the car and went to check in while Kenny took care of the kids and luggage. There was a small line, but it didn’t take long. Quickly I was next. I tried to save the CM the check-in spiel, but in the end just kept quiet and nodded where appropriate. All I wanted was to know my room location. LOL. At one point he walked away to look at a rack of boxes (Magic Bands) and I called him back saying we had ours customized and delivered. He seemed pleased we were aware of them already and went through a brief explanation about it. I told him I had made all my FastPass+ reservations and we had a decent understanding of the bands. He seemed relieved. I can’t imagine trying to explain the Magic Bands to someone just checking in with no idea.

Anyway, check in was super quick, and armed with my packets of info, Keys to the World, and room number, I went to meet Kenny in the kid area. The kids were running around and pretty much bursting with excitement. At that moment I imagined bringing them to the teeny tiny Pop room while Kenny went in search of the rental stroller so I brilliantly mentioned he go off and find it then. He agreed (a bit more reluctantly than I would have thought) and went off in search of it. I thought it would be quick to locate, but it took him a good 10mins (which, when you’re stuck in the kid area of Pop with all your luggage and spazzing kids, can seem like a small eternity). Finally he came back with the ‘new’ stroller. It was bigger than our regular double, but that wasn’t a bad thing.

I dragged the kids away from Disney charades and we loaded the stroller with our carry-ons. The kids wanted to walk with their carry-ons, so after the initial “I want to sit in the new stroller!” we were off. This was our 4th time at Pop, so finding our room was easy. We were very close to the pool as well as the main building. Perfect.

We took some time to settle into our room (and immediately turned on Stacey lol!) and then after an hour or so we decided it was time to hit DTD.

We were starving, the kids were driving.us.crazy (ah the perils of a small room), and we needed to get out.
(I find this picture particularly funny since this is the 'frump' face on the boards right? LOL)

So we packed up the bag, grabbed the kids their lanyards (this was our first experience with Pin Trading!) and we were off.

Walking to the bus stop and getting in the short line really reinforced that we were FINALLY at Disney. Silly right? The things that make it hit home for you. LOL.

The bus didn’t take too long to arrive and we were boarding in no time. The bus was a lot fuller than the line made it seem but we all managed to find seats.

As soon as we arrived at DTD we noticed the clouds and small rumbles of thunder. As we approached Wolfgang Puck Express (is there anywhere else to eat at DTD? –JK) we saw a flash of lightning (more foreshadowing: this time with a nod to the thunderstorms this trip) so we hurried over to dinner. We parked the stroller under the awning figuring it should stay dry (HA! Hahahaha! Ah, we were so cute) and didn’t even think to check for a rain guard.

No sooner than we got into Wolfgangs, ordered, and found a table the heavens opened. We gave each other the “boy, we got here just in time didn’t we?” look and were grateful for it (except neither one of us thought of the stroller just yet).

Time for a Maddie/mommy pic!

The kids were still bouncing with excitement, but now that excitement was tinged with “I’m starving mommy!” so we were in definite need of food. Especially after Alex spilled his chocolate milk all over himself and had a minor meltdown. “I’m going to smell like CHOCOLATE MILK!” (Like there aren’t worse things to smell like?) So after we cleaned him up Kenny realized the rain was still POURING down and maybe he should go check on the stroller. So off he went. I was trying to get the kids under control and convince Alex he could have a fountain drink of water or lemonade to make up for his spilled chocolate milk. It was fun.

Kenny came back with an “Oh boy” look on his face. He said the stroller was drenched. Puddles were in the seats. He leaned it up against the wall to try to keep the seats dry, and the best we were going to have to do was have the kids sit on some napkins. We were mostly hoping they would be dry for our 8am rope drop day at MK the next day.

So after Alex flipped about having a wet butt AND smelling like chocolate milk, the food arrived. Thank god. This was the first year we were on the dining plan with Maddie, so there was no NEED for anyone to share food. We did anyway, but not out of necessity. Alex and Maddie split the chicken nuggets and mac and cheese while Kenny and I split the meatloaf and pesto pizza. Love Wolfgang Puck.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by MataHari22 View Post
Great start to your trip report. Thought I would definitely follow along, since I speak fluent sarcasm.

I am going in just about a month, so until then, I'm just eating up everyone else's trip reports.
Haahahaha! I always have to mention how sarcastic I am just in case it doesn't come across on the internets.

I saw reading trip reports before my vacation as a form of studying.

Originally Posted by RGirl View Post
Joining in! Our trip overlapped with yours for a few days, and I can totally understand your title - it was so hot and crowded and grumpy!

Can't wait to read more!
It WAS hot and crowded right?! I was not expecting the crowd levels. And the heat...

Originally Posted by Surfinpiratee View Post
Sounds fun!!!! Arrival day is ALWAYS the most exciting
How do you guys like POP? Have you ever had any problems or is it always a great stay?? DBF and I might stay there in Jan
Hi and Thanks for joining in!

We love Pop. This was our 3rd time staying there. It's fun and themed really cute! The rooms are teeny tiny (especially when being stuck in there with two rabid children), but we don't spend much time in our room anyway so it never bothers us.

We have never had a problem with any of our stays there. In fact, they have ALWAYS met my room requests which has been really nice.

Originally Posted by xxpeachykeenxx View Post
Joining in (: I'm an extreme planner and photographer. Interested to see how much we're similar haha
Thanks for joining in! Yay for another photographer. You'll probably understand my reluctance to whip out my big guns while on this trip.

Originally Posted by Disneymom77 View Post
Subbing! We were there the same week as you
That's so cool! I wonder if we were ever at the same parks on the same day!
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:47 PM   #13
What foolishness would you like to see?
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Following along! Our trips overlapped, and we had almost the exact same experience at WPE on the 16th. We got there and it started pouring! It was definitely a rainy and hot week. I can't wait to hear what comes next!
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:42 PM   #14
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I am following along!! We will be at Pop for the first time in 10 days

Your family is adorable!
2012 AOA Cars Suite w/ Mimi and Paw Paw
Sept. 2013 - Pop Century
** May 2014 Star Wars Weekend and Legoland Trip @ Pop Century
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:36 AM   #15
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Following along!
For the love of Disney...
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