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Old 09-23-2013, 11:40 PM   #1
camimh
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Cool A trip of Lost Things - A Sept 2013 Trip Report New Updates X6!! 2/28

Welcome one and all to my first (and possibly only lol) WDW trip report!

As I no longer have a trip to obsessively plan, I have turned to the next best thing - editing 4,000 pictures and writing this lovely report for you fine folks.

So let's start with the intros of our cast of characters shall we?

First there's me, Cami, and my mom (who will be referred to as Grandma for the purposes of this report).


My mom is the whole reason this trip existed so let's start with her. She's a pretty awesome mom and wonderful grandma to my three kidlets. She spoils them rotten of course - but that's what grandma's do right?

As for me, I'm a geeky lover of Star Trek, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Firefly, etc, etc. If it's geek-worthy I probably know it and love it. I'm one part of a parental unit to three little princesses (who will be introduced momentarily). Homeschooler, photographer, writer, and a bit of everything else in between.

My other half is Robby - also a geek and a lover of Star Wars. He probably could have spent all day riding Star Tours at DHS.


His favorite "Disney Princess" is probably Princess Leia and unfortunately he didn't get to meet her. A fact which he still grumbles about

Robby is in the Army and this trip was part of our PCS (aka our move from one base (Georgia) to a new one(Texas)). The timing could not have been better honestly! We were originally slotted to move in July (Uck!) but got pushed before the orders came through.

Then there's my mom's partner, heretofore known as Grandma Goofy (not the dog lol)


Grandma Goofy's favorite characters are Goofy and Tigger - which made my ADRs of Chef Mickey's and Crystal Palace exceptionally perfect. She may have taken as many pictures (and far more video) as I did over the trip. She also slept through our entire trip to Epcot...I MAY have exhausted the grandmas at Magic Kingdom.

And finally the aforementioned princesses.


Princess Jadzia, named for a Star Trek character, shares a birthday with Grandma. Her favorite Dis character is Tinkerbell and she's got a growing interest in space and science fiction. I'm a proud geek momma


Princess Inara, named for a Firefly character, loves dinosaurs. Actually - I'm not sure love is a strong enough word. Obsessed? She also loved almost all animals and can calm our high anxiety dog when he's in a snit (which he is often). Also pictured is Rex - an adoptee from the Animal Kingdom. Her favorite character is Buzz Lightyear and princess is Cinderella.


Finally there's Princess Anya. Until just months before the trip I assumed her favorite Dis character was Minnie Mouse but then she surprised me with a love of Ariel as well. As a baby/toddler, she absolutely hated any sort of motion (elevators, escalators, planes, etc) so I wasn't sure what to expect from her in regards to rides. As it turns out, she was a ride rockstar and wanted to do everything again and again.

And there are a few other cast members that need a mention as they did make the trip with us.

Jasper, a 4 year old beagle, who suffers from canine epilepsy and gives us much anxiety.


Yoshi, a 2 year old Shiba Inu, who is supposed to be my dog but he claimed Inara as his human. He's our high anxiety, houdini dog.


And Tigerlily, a 4 year old cat, who was completely indifferent to our returning to the kennel to retrieve her. Because, ya know, she's a cat.


And that's our cast. Now onto the details...

When: September 12th - September 18th
Where: Old Key West Resort
Why: Cause Princesses need to go Disney some time, probably a once in a long time trip.

Last edited by camimh; 02-28-2014 at 05:04 PM. Reason: Title
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:40 PM   #2
camimh
Earning My Ears
 
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Table of Contents

The Pre-Trip

Day One
Part One
Part Two

Day Two - Magic Kingdom
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven

Day Three - Hollywood Studios/Epcot
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six

Day Four - Epcot
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

Day Five - Animal Kingdom/Magic Kingdom
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six

Last edited by camimh; 02-28-2014 at 05:03 PM. Reason: Table of Contents
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:22 AM   #3
camimh
Earning My Ears
 
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The Pre-Trip

As mentioned above, this trip was planned to coincide with our move from Georgia to Texas. After the Army gave us a report date - my mom and I were able to settle on dates and details. With the help of our Disney agent, we booked OKW and some ADRS (that would change).

Meanwhile Robby and I decided to try the whole "surprise the kids with a trip to Disney" thing. As far as they were concerned, we'd get in the car and start driving to Texas when the time came. Slowly, piece by piece, I made up Surprise! packs for the girls and hid them in the closet.

For Princess Anya - there was Ariel and Minnie Mouse

For Princess Inara - there was Cinderella and Buzz

For Princess Jadzia - there was Merida and Tinkerbell

For the furry critters, we made reservations at Best Friends Pet Care. We'd hoped that it would be easier, and better, to have them closer since we'd be going from Georgia to Florida to Texas (with no return trip to Georgia). It all seemed like a grand plan at the time...

But as I said, Jasper has canine epilepsy which means he has seizures. Even on medication, he still seizes often enough that we were confident he'd have at least one while in their care. This was a major cause of stress for me honestly.

Anyway - a couple weeks before the final moving day, the movers came to pack us up and take away all our furniture.






We still don't have said stuff back at this time...but then we also don't have an address yet either. All in good time.

And thus began the air mattress time. After a few days this gets really old by the way - especially when the mattress begins to deflate half way through the night. I was sooooo ready for Disney beds by the time we finally go on the road.
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:05 PM   #4
camimh
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Saved for future use
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:02 PM   #5
dismagiclover
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Can't wait to hear about your trip. Your girls are beautiful. And I love OKW! I sure hope you did too.
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:25 PM   #6
camimh
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I'm eager to start this report, even have over 500 pictures edited but we are transients and internet less at the moment. Yay moving /sarcasm
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:16 PM   #7
klitteral2009
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Sounds like the makings of a great TR!! Just out of curiosity as a fellow photo girl, what do you shoot with? The pictures above of your girls are precious and really great
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:00 PM   #8
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:31 AM   #9
camimh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klitteral2009 View Post
Sounds like the makings of a great TR!! Just out of curiosity as a fellow photo girl, what do you shoot with? The pictures above of your girls are precious and really great
I shoot with a Nikon D7000. A few pictures will be from Grandma Goofy, who use a canon (don't know the model)
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:23 PM   #10
camimh
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Day 1 - Traveling

So we cleared out of base housing on September 10th, but weren't checking into OKW until the 12th. As we had pets in tow, we made reservations at the nearest pet friendly hotel and settled in for phase one of our month of transient living (which is still in progress at this point). We watched an alarming amount of HGTV, because it's semi-kid-friendly and not mind numbing for the adults.

My mom's flight was landing around 1:30 so our goal was to get to the resort by 3 o'clock. With three kids, two dogs and a cat - we figured we'd need lots of extra time for pit stops and I suspected the kennel check in would take some time. So we set our alarms for 4AM, intending to be packed up and on the road by 5AM. Surprisingly, we succeeded, even with a long delay at check out because no one was at the desk.


Packed in like sardines.

At this point, the girls still believed we were on the road to Texas and were eager to see the Grandmas. It was sheer luck, and a lot of gullibility on their part, that allowed us to keep this secret beyond the Florida state line. You see, in order to explain why we were in Florida and big Disney arch - we told the kids we'd be visiting the area where Daddy grew up along the way to Texas. Then told them that Mickey Mouse was HUGE in Florida...lol. They bought it without question.


The dogs, chillin' for the ride.

After many stops along the way, we knew we were getting close when these signs came into view.


Now while all my girls can read, they were all completely engrossed in their Kindle Fire and indifferent to the scenery or signage. Thank goodness!

This one, however, caught a little bit of attention. But they were still under the impression that we were no where near WDW...gullible!


And this is the point were the whole Surprise thing was about to deteriorate. I was attempting to give my husband directions to the kennel following my iPhone. Well we missed the turn off and ended up driving right through the Magic Kingdom gates!


Where I got my first Monorail picture.

We got back on course and finally found the kennel, it was about 2PM at this point and I knew the Grandmas had landed and were en route via the Magical Express. When I'd looked up pictures of the kennel online, I'd noticed the various outside decor but had totally missed the Lady and the Tramp theme. I'd even told Robby that it wasn't overly Disney (so little risk of ruining the Disney surprise.) Oops


And here's where things got sticky. As explained before, Jasper has canine epilepsy and is prone to seizures. I'd explained all this over the phone multiple times when making the reservations. I'd called for follow up about it and made alterations to the reservations to satisfy their concerns. I'd been reassured a few weeks before the trip that his medical condition would not be a problem for boarding at the kennel.

And then it was a problem. They were perfectly willing to board Yoshi and Tigerlily but referred us to a vet a few miles away for Jasper. On the day of our check in. I'm usually a very go-with-the-flow sort of person but after talked to several different people about this very issue and accepting all their changes, in spite of the extra costs, I had to fight to get him accepted. Thankfully, the last person I'd spoken to a few weeks before had made plenty of notes in the reservation that backed up exactly what I was saying and they took Jasper on!


In the midst of all this, the Grandmas were on a bus and hopefully having more fun than me.

Disclaimer: All three animals did great at the kennel and seemed to be well taken care of. Jasper did have three seizures in their care and they called us each time to let us know. I do, honestly, understand their concerns but if it was going to be a problem, I wish they would have told us from the start. We would have boarded all three at our home vet and just driven back for them even if it was way out of the way to drive back to Georgia. Plus it would have been about half the cost.

Sooo, as expected, the kennel situation took a long time to deal with and we pulled up to the Old Key West gate right as the rain began to fall. At least it would help wash some of the bug guts off our car. We took one loop around the Hospitality House parking lot while I tried to reach the Grandmas to see where they were. As we did so, a Magical Express bus pulled in and they texted to say they were pulling up now. What timing!


The kids, still completely unaware of where we truly are by some magical fluke, were only mildly surprised when Grandma Goofy opened the door to say hello to them. They claim to have been "Sooooo surprised" but could have fooled us.




While waiting to complete our check in (I did it online) the kids were given balloon swords and danced around the lobby sword fighting with Grandma Goofy and Daddy (who are big kids at heart).

Finally, with keys in hand, Robby and I drove the van over to our villa on Turtle Pond, while the Grandmas and the kids walked. This allowed me to set up their surprise packs and dresses before they came in.


I wasn't the only one who came with gifts though, the grandmas had bags of their own for the girls and soon the villa looked like it had exploded its Disney guts all over the place.

They still didn't seem to truly grasp that we really and truly were ate Walt Disney World even after opening up everything. Though there was a lot of appreciation for their new toys and clothes! I haven't really looked at the video footage yet but it took us actually telling them for it to "click".


Now for a few confessions: 1) There will be no food pictures in this Trip Report...I know, I know but I didn't even think about it. 2) The pictures of the villa are limited and there had already been a certain amount of destruction because of the surprise.







We were in a two bedroom villa but I either didn't take a picture of the other room or didn't edit it to include it. Probably I didn't like how it came out.

Our first ADR of the trip was not for a couple hours so my Mom and I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things for the villa (yay for Kitchens!) and by the time we got back all the kids had changed into new clothes and were ready to go to dinner!


But there was a small problem...and this is where the TR title really begins. Before leaving, we all grabbed our room keys (and I took the kids). All of us except one...

Robby. My darling husband had already lost his key. *headdesk* I'm not sure how it's possible he lost his key in less than three hours but he did! We never did find it either but since meals were all done on one card anyway - it wasn't a priority, yet.

After accepting that the key was gone, we headed toward to bus stop to catch a bus to the MK. My mom would be annoyed if she knew I was posting this picture but...well I am anyway because it cracks me up. She was making faces with one of the girls across from her.


After hopping off the bus and beginning our walk over to the Contemporary, we got the first call from the kennel about Jasper. Yep - less than 6 hours in their care and he'd had a seizure. Poor pup.

Now if you haven't figured out where we are going for dinner, I'll give you a hint...


During the planning phase, Chef Mickey's seemed like the ideal kick off to the trip to really get the kids excited for being in the Mouse House! And it was!

Character meet and greets in next post.
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:42 PM   #11
camimh
Earning My Ears
 
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This post will be less with the words and more with the pictures.

So we're at Chef Mickey's and ready for some characters!


First up, before we even got settled, we had Minnie Mouse! Princess Anya's favorite of the Fab Five.






Pluto came up after we'd all managed to get up to the buffet and get at least a plate of food.










Then Goofy was next, I think I was at the buffet getting another plate with Jadzia when Robby dragged us back to the table.








Finally we had the head Chef Mickey come by. It was about this point that Anya started asking about why they didn't talk. I explained it as the characters with the big heads couldn't speak. From then on when we talked about meeting someone she asked if they'd have a Big Head.








Donald had just left our table as we'd been seated so we had to wait awhile to have him come back around to us. We were all long done and had closed out our check at that point so we were just chatting and stalking Donald as he moved around the restaurant.






Without explaining to him what would happen, I suggested Robby tell Donald that Mickey was number one...they had a bonding moment which cracked us all up!


After Donald's visit, we made our way to the monorail to ride back to catch our bus. We had a bit of a mix up then and came close to riding ALL the Disney transportation options in one evening but ended up back on another monorail (Iron Man 3! so it was all good lol) before finding our bus and heading to the villa.
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:16 PM   #12
camimh
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For those following along, which is me, we went to Disney World during or grand move from Georgia to Texas. We are now in Texas and have an address. Yay! So, onward with the much delayed report.

Day 2, Part 1 - Magic Kingdom Day

Prior to the trip, I'd spent a lot of time making a plan of attack to get the most bang for our buck seeing as it was was unlikely we'd be coming back anytime soon. Our Villa was stocked with dishes so some of us dined on fruit parfaits in fancy glasses before heading out for Rope Drop...



We made it there early enough to hit up guest services to activate our tickets (military park hoppers) before the opening show began.























Then we followed the press of the crowd into the park! Woo! We swung into the Theater right off to start the morning off with some Princesses - who I knew my own Princesses were eager to meet.

Rapunzel was so awesome. I can't even remember what they talked about but Inara monopolized most of the conversation (as would be the case for 90% of the character meets)











Aurora gave the girls twirling lessons and was a nice hit but she's no one's absolute favorite in this household so it was a shorter meet and greet.







And with Cinderella they discussed shoes, naturally. What else would you discuss with the owner of glass slippers?











Next up: We may actually make it onto Main Street?!
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:45 PM   #13
camimh
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Day 2 - Part 2

After leaving our new friends, the Princesses, we headed out onto Main Street which was all decked out for the season.



We pretty much breezed through Main Street, not stopping to browse or shop. I snagged my pre-crane castle pictures on the move but we (re: I) had a plan.







A Dis-Vet, Florida-native had strongly urged us to head left into Adventureland instead of right into Tomorrowland so that's what we did.



This was a good strategy because Princess Jadzia has a strong love for the fairies and wanted to meet Tinkerbell. The wait was less than fifteen minutes and Terrance was Tink's friend this morning.





I didn't even notice his tongue was out until I looked at the pictures later. Such a goof! He was attempting to play baseball with a crayon with the family in line before us.











On our way to the Magic Carpets...



I spied the line for Jasmine was empty (in part because she was on a short break). Hubs and I hopped in front and sent the kids off with the Grandmas for a quick carpet ride before she flew back in. It was all timed quite perfectly actually.





After a second carpet ride (this time with all of us), we moved on to battle some pirates! Arrr! Hubs got Anya so riled up about how "spooky" the ride was that she came out of it crying a bit - oooops! This was NOT one of the "let's do that AGAIN!" rides.





















Next up: Onward to Frontierland :D
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:58 PM   #14
camimh
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Day 2, Part 3 - Magic Kingdom



After several meet and greets, the kids were eager for "Wides!" (re: rides). Inara's "r's" are not too clear and she was the one shouting for "wides" the most and I guess the Carpets and the Pirates just weren't enough for her.

So the first hit of Frontierland? Splash Mountain of course! I volunteered to stay on the ground with all the stuff (two hefty camera bags, a couple back packs, we don't travel light).

So I camped out at the base of the mountain, just off to the side and waited...and waited. I didn't want to miss "their" log so after I saw them pass by at the top I started photographing every log that dropped. I have a lot of pictures of strangers. lol



My hubby, being such a wonderful son-in-law, volunteered to sit in the front and therefore take the brunt of the splash.

And then he ducked! hehehehehe

Insert random Castle picture from the Splash bridge:



For what it's worth, when Robby and I went to Washington DC a few years ago, everywhere we went I took pictures of the Washington Monument. The same thing happened at Disney World - just with the Castle.

I wasn't really sure where Splash exited so I was milling around the area with a lot of baggage when Robby came up and dragged me away quickly. Apparently they'd spotted Woody and Jessie and the Grandmas were already in line with the kids.

Picture of the train while we waited:



And then the toys themselves!











Next up was Big Thunder Mountain! Grandma Goofy stepped away for this one while the rest of us boarded the train! Later on I'd tell her how much fun it would be to ride this in the rain....yeah you shouldn't say things like that...lol





This is where "Again! Again!" became the catchphrase of the whole trip! Before we were even off the ride, Anya was calling for another ride and her sisters joined in soon after. We didn't ride it again just then but it went on the list of favorites to be sure.

By now it was inching toward lunch and I had my fingers, toes and eyes crossed for Be Our Guest. I'd failed to get and ADR and I really and truly wanted to see it but I was willing to sacrifice it if the line was too long. My mom, having heard my sob story, had already set her mind on BOG though I didn't know it at the time.

Anyway, we started making our way toward Fantasyland, intending to try our luck...

random pics along the way of course.



Of course when we saw Haunted Mansion had a 5 minute standby, we couldn't resist a detour...











So we bypassed most of Liberty Square to get to lunch as it was now 12:30 and all the BOG recommendations had suggested getting their early...oops, or late but NOT in the middle of lunch.

We passed by the lovely Rapunzel bathrooms and sadly didn't spend much time here - I think one of my kiddos managed to go inside but I missed seeing the inside or really look around.



Oh look, it's the Castle again...



And now the actual castle we're looking for...



Next up: Lunch at Be Our Guest?! We'll see....
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:58 PM   #15
camimh
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Day 2, Part 4 - Magic Kingdom

As I said before, my goal, my desire, my extreme wish, was to eat at Be Our Guest. In the weeks leading up to our trip I stalked the reservation cancellation board here, I stalked the Disney Dining site. I TRIED for that ADR and I failed. (But I did get an ADR for Cinderella's Castle!)



So I rolled on to plan B. Lunch was Quick Service - we could do lunch right? We walked up to Be Our Guest at about 12:45 - right in the heart of lunch service! The line was down the bridge and just past the menu that's out there but they said it was about 30 minutes but it sure didn't look that short. With three hungry princesses and four tired adults - I was ready to move on but Grandma said we'd stay and so we stayed.

And I inwardly rejoiced.

The cast brought out umbrellas to shield the sun and a cart with cold water to beat the heat. I LOVE them, that was so needed on that unshady bridge.

Shockingly, within 10-15 minutes we were at the front!



And then we were inside! Where it was air conditioned! And the suits of armor talk! Teehee!



The ordering process was pretty simple - though a lot of people were hung up on the how-tos it seemed. I handed our Rose to one of the kids and we were off to find a table. At this point the group seemed to splinter as we all searched for a table to seat seven. I aimed for the Rose room but a wonderful table was found at the back of the Ballroom by the windows (REALLY COOL WINDOWS by the way!).







While waiting on our food to arrive, I wandered around checking out the other rooms and all the fun details. And taking pictures of course.











Overall I LOVED it. Gorgeous setting! Wonderful food! Everyone agreed that is was certainly the best quick service we had the whole trip. And a very much needed recharge to continue our day.





After eating, we continued our trip through New Fantasyland. I wish we weren't full or I would have insisted on a pop into the Tavern but it was not to be. *sadness*





The next couple attractions were Anya's favorite part of the day as she's a Little Mermaid fanatic now. The line for the ride was non-existent. People behind me *ahem* My husband *ahem* were getting annoyed because I was pausing for five seconds to take a picture of the queue!


DSC_4783 by camimh, on Flickr


DSC_4787 by camimh, on Flickr


DSC_4790 by camimh, on Flickr


DSC_4792 by camimh, on Flickr


DSC_4793 by camimh, on Flickr


DSC_4795 (2) by camimh, on Flickr


DSC_4797 by camimh, on Flickr

Up next: Little Mermaid Ride pictures. lol
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