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Old 03-24-2013, 02:13 PM   #1

Knows the tricks to get the Tag Fairies' attention! Likes all pretty colors Gets teary when she hears Garth sing "The Dance"
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Sisters, Sisters...December 12-21, 2012 WDW Trip Report...Updated 8/10/2014 Post 9

...there were never such devoted sisters!

How it all came about!


I thought it fitting to give the name, "Sisters, Sisters...." to my December 2012 Walt Disney World Vacation trip report, as for the first time ever, it was just me and my sister going on vacation! Click on the link above to see Vera Ellen & Rosemary Clooney singing the song from the ever famous, beloved and classic "White Christmas"!

Cast of characters: Me, Teresa, 56 (yikes, I can't believe I'm that old already!)
My sister, Mary Ann, 51 (yes, she is five years younger, and never lets me forget it!)

As you read, you may wonder why I am explaining things in such detail, and not using our standard abbreviations such as EMH, VWL, etc. That's because I'm also posting this on my blog, and I'm pretty certain the majority of my blog followers don't know what those acronyms mean! I sometimes forget that us Disney fanatics are in the minority! (Update: deleted my blog!)

The idea for the trip came about in January 2012 as I was in the midst of breast cancer treatment, having undergone a mastectomy, chemo and reconstruction. My finish date was projected to be November 2012, so I thought what better way to celebrate than to go to my very favorite place on earth, Walt Disney World.

Initially I was hoping my husband would be able to go with me, but with work restraints, come October 2012, it was clear he wasn't going to be able to come. Then one day while I was babysitting my grandson, Wes...

Auntie Mare & Wes

...my sister came to hang out for a while to see the baby. I was discussing my upcoming Disney trip, and how excited I was, and my sister was like, "when are you going?" I said, "in about six weeks, December 12- 21st, why, you wanna come?" Wanna, by the way, is South Philly/South Jersey speak, in case you didn't know!

I had booked myself a one bedroom villa at Disney's Boardwalk Villas for the first three nights, then I was moving to a one bedroom villa at Disney's Villas at Wilderness Lodge for the next six nights, so I had plenty of room. The last time my sister had been to WDW was in October of 2006, so it had been quite some time for her.

My sister & I, Animal Kingdom, October 2006

She thought about it for about a minute, and was like "YES!!!" Of course, she had to clear it with her husband, as, since he's a teacher, he wouldn't be able to come with us, and he'd be home alone to take care of their three doggies and three kitties. I had no doubt he'd say no problem, he loves my sister so much, and always refers to her as "the queen". Oh, she did have to clear it with work too, and they were fine with it.

Yippee! Me and my sister going to Walt Disney World, alone, no kids, no men, no nothing! Well, we did have something, 40 lbs each to be exact, or at least I did, as you'll see once you read further on, but never the less, Yay!!!

The planning started in earnest on my part. My sister told me she is an early riser, so wanted to be out the door doing stuff as soon as possible, and to see and do as much as possible. Okaaay!!! She didn't realize what she was in for. See, she didn't realize her sister is the ultimate planner. I live for planning Disney trips. I analyze, scrutinize, optimize every single detail. I can safely say I plan my Disney trips like it's a full time job!

So, we had a 7:30am flight out of Atlantic City, which meant I had to be up by 4:30am, in order to leave the house by 5, so that we could get to the airport by 6. My hubby says I am obsessive about being at the airport an hour and a half early. I'm sorry! Those are the rules! One never knows what can happen, like the time my brother was dropping my husband and I off at Atlantic City's airport, and he missed the exit, which then took us into the maze of the casinos, then the not too savory part of AC, trying to get back on the highway again! Whew, I was sweating bullets, as was my brother, because he knew I was going to freak if we missed our flight! Well, not really, but I would be slightly upset.

My sister was going to have to get up at 4am, since she lives 30 minutes away from me, and her hubby was dropping her off at my house since I'm closest to the airport, then my hubby would take it from there. We had already coordinated what we were packing, having a lengthy discussion on how to keep our bags under the 40lb limit Spirit Airlines imposes. Considering it was December, and could be chilly in Florida while we were there, but then again we could have a heat wave, plus we could only take one bag, and now we have to pack our toiletries, it could be challenging to stay under that 40lb limit. You also have to take into account that I must bring Dunkin Donuts decaf coffee with me , as well as decaf tea bags, Splenda, breakfast bars, coffee filters, a scoop, dryer sheets, laundry pods, my medicine cabinet, and so on, it is quite a feat!

You are probably saying to yourself, why don't you just put those things in your one allowable personal bag? Well, because I have to fit my crossbody bag to take to the parks, my laptop, my regular Kindle to read books on, my Kindle Fire to surf the internet, some magazines, treats for the plane ride, and a small Christmas tree, that's why! Why am I bringing a laptop and my Kindle Fire, you ask? Everyone knows you have to download your photos immediately at the end of the day so you can post them to Facebook, silly!!! Why am I bringing a Christmas tree to Disney, you ask? It's the Christmas season, silly! You need to have some sort of Christmas tree in your Disney resort room! Duh! I also brought some Disney Christmas window clings too! Oh, and I need my regular Kindle to read on because I like the dull, paper-like background as opposed to the bright & shiny background on the Kindle Fire, when I am reading just regular old books! So there! I guess I could have left the Kindle Fire at home, but what if I needed it?

Yes, I do have quite a "large" personal bag that I use to carry on the plane. It is not a "carry on" per se, as you must pay for that, and the real "carry on" goes up in the bin. Personal bags have to fit under the seat in front of you. Somehow I manage to do that. It's a small miracle!

My sis and I decided we would bring yoga pants to wear in the parks during the day. They are soft, comfortable, squishable to pack, and you don't have to worry about popping a button or zipper from eating too many Disney snacks! Win! Of course, she looks much better in yoga pants than I do, considering she works out like the world would end if she didn't. I bought the "loose" fitting yoga pants, LOL. She had the "form fitting" ones. Then we also brought a pair of jeans, a pair of capris in case of a warmish to hot day, bathing suit, jammies, and the other necessities of life. We wore on the plane a shirt, sweatshirt, and a light jacket/fleece in that order, haha. Whew,took them off once we got on the plane and seated. Hey, we couldn't pack those things! We would be overweight!

Finally, after eleven months of planning, and boy did I plan, as this trip changed several times, we were off. Initially it was going to be hubby and I going, so I made that plan, which includes resort accomodations, itinerary of park days, park schedule, and dining reservations. Then, last April, my No. 1 son and soon to be daughter-in-law (I will refer to her as daughter in law, or DIL from this point on) said they were thinking of going to Disney this coming October 2012, to take DIL's 6 year old son, Jaxon, who had never been to Disney. DIL also hadn't been since she was around 13 years old!

DIL's son, Jaxon

DIL, Chara-Lee

I offered that they could come with us in December, if they could wait a few months more, plus they wouldn't have to pay for a room, and they agreed, so I changed my one bedroom villa at the Villas at Wilderness Lodge to a two bedroom villa. Since it was still early in the year, I was able to switch accomodations with no problem. Then I changed park itinerary, dining reservations, etc. Still early enough to get my fav restaurants such as O'Hana, Le Cellier, etc. Cool!

Well, in July, we find out DIL is pregnant, due in January. I was like, "uh, no way can we go to Disney in December when you are due in January". So, the trip changed again, and we planned to go two months earlier, in October, which is what DIL originally wanted. At that point, too late to get rooms at Wilderness, so I had to book a two bedroom villa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort. Still lovely, but I really love Wilderness, wah, wah, wah. Naturally, I couldn't get dining reservations at O'Hana & Le Cellier. That's okay. We'll still have a great time.

Son No. 1, Joe, with new baby, Gavin

Then, DIL tells me she'd rather wait until March to go, after she has the baby, because she'd really like her mom to come, and she'd have more time to save money. Nope. No way. Not going in March with an eight week old baby, and just turned seven year old very energetic little boy who has never been to Disney before, and DIL's mom who has two bad knees and can barely walk, in the midst of spring break! Clearly, DIL didn't know what she was asking!

I suggested they wait to come with the whole family this coming October 2013, when their baby will be nine months old, and when son No. 2, his wife, and their baby boy, Wes, will be 16 months at the time, and my daughter and her boyfriend, my sister and her husband, and my brother and his family are going as well. They agreed that was a better idea.

In fact, I also invited my ex and his wife, his wife's daughter, significant other, and their little boy, CJ, who at the time of the trip, will be 27 months old.


It will be all the kids first Disney trip, and I thought it would be nice if all the grandparents could experience it. Yes, I know, I'm a really nice, sweet, considerate person. Not really. Believe me, since I made that offer, I think I need my head examined!

Okay, so now I'm back to just me and hubby (who you know, because I already told you, ended up not coming) and we do not need a two bedroom villa, and I really wanted to go in December anyway when all the Christmas decorations are out, so I change plans again! I actually forget what accomodations I booked at this point. I know I was on the waitlist for the Villas at Wilderness Lodge for the entire vacation, but ended up with the split stay at the Boardwalk & Wilderness. Beggars can't be choosers!

Stay tuned for part 2, which is really part one of day one, I think.

Last edited by TeresaNJ; 08-10-2014 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:32 PM   #2

Knows the tricks to get the Tag Fairies' attention! Likes all pretty colors Gets teary when she hears Garth sing "The Dance"
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Links to Sisters, Sisters Trip Report!

Sisters, Sisters...Day 1 Part 1...Did someone say Grand Marnier Gray Goose Slushies?

Sisters, Sisters...Hairy men in skirts you say?...Day 1 Part 2

Sisters, Sisters...Day 1, Part 3...Ahoy Pretty Ponies & Choo Choo Trains

Sisters, Sisters...Day 2, Part 1...It's Not A Zoo

Sisters, Sisters...Day 2, Part 2...Last Christmas at Camp Minnie Mickey

Sisters, Sisters...Day 2, Part 3...Margaritas & Martinis

Last edited by TeresaNJ; 08-10-2014 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:52 PM   #3
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Love your report! I am in serious Disney withdrawal (haven't been since nov. 2011). Reading reports like yours somehow makes me feel better and of course anxious for my next trip - this November!
MeDH DD(20) DD(19) DS(14)
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:58 PM   #4
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:46 AM   #5

Knows the tricks to get the Tag Fairies' attention! Likes all pretty colors Gets teary when she hears Garth sing "The Dance"
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Okay, I really screwed up how I was posting this trip report, doing it in separate posts, instead of just continuing on the main thread, making it very hard to find my posts. Wow, you can really tell I'm a TR newbie here! Anyway, I'll be continuing here on the main thread, and hopefully will be posting in a more timely manner!
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:08 AM   #6

Knows the tricks to get the Tag Fairies' attention! Likes all pretty colors Gets teary when she hears Garth sing "The Dance"
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Sisters, Sisters, Day 2, Part 1...It's Not a Zoo!

Mare & I were very excited to get going today, as we were heading to our second favorite park, behind Epot, Animal Kingdom! We love, love, love Animal Kingdom. I don't understand how people can't like it. It's just so beautiful and amazing, and what's better than sitting at the Dawa bar with a beverage and a snack, watching the entertainment?

Had to stop and get these pretty pictures on the way to the bus stop.

And then (yes, I know you're not suppose to start a sentence with "and" , but I'm writing as if I'm talking, you know what I mean?) ...and, what else does one do when they're waiting for the Disney busses? Why, take pictures of each other, of course!

Geez, look how short my hair is! It's been growing back since last June of 2012, after losing it due to chemo. Seems like it's taking forever! It seems to have picked up speed recently. I started taking Biotin a few months ago, so I don't know if that's it, or it just takes time to get going. Did I mention I now have curly locks? So weird. I'm getting use to it though. I use to give myself perms back in the day, LOL, to get this look! Well, not the look in this picture, as it's too short to tell, but the look I have now.

It was another gray & overcast day, not the best for picture taking. Especially not the best for camera setting illiterate people. One of these days I'll learn what ISO, white balance & aperture mean.

Take a look at this crowd. This is the result of those who did not have the new RFID card being herded to one side of the entrance kiosks, and the lucky folks who did, getting to use the majority of the kiosks. Was mildly annoying. Especially when God only knows why some people can't get their park pass out of their pocket/purse/backpack ahead of time. Come on people, I have things to do, and I'm on a schedule!!!

Tried fixing this one in Photoshop Elements.

So since we got a later start than we wanted to, having had such a long day yesterday, and we didn't want to rush right to Kilimanjaro Safari, taking time to enjoy Discovery Island and the Oasis, we fastpassed it, and took a leisurely stroll down the Pagani Forest Exploration Trail. It didn't disappoint.

I have to tell you, doing the safari in the morning in cooler weather made all the difference in the world in the activity of the animals. I wasn't quick enough with my camera to capture it, but the cheetahs were up front, and one jumped in a tree. I was so stunned I forgot to take a picture!

Look at this!

By now it was around 11:30, and we were getting hungry, so decided to head over to Rainforest Cafe for lunch, stopping to check out the merchandise along the way. Did I tell you my sister is a shopper? She is. It's one of the great past-times of her life.

OMG, I love this!!!

Gonna stop here since I can hear thunder in the distance, and we're predicted to get a humongous storm this morning with possible straight line winds, and maybe a tornado. Yikes!!!
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:57 AM   #7

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Sisters, Sisters...Day 2, Part 2...Last Christmas at Camp Minnie Mickey :(

Well, it's been 8 months since I've updated this trip report. Betcha thought I wasn't coming back, huh? I'm sure you were all cursing at your monitor, saying to yourselves, "when is TeresaNJ coming back to finish this scintillating trip report!!!"!!!

At this point, I've taken two more trips to the world, one in May 2013, just my bff and myself. Stayed at AKL Kidani Village for two nights in a studio, and then moved over to a one-bedroom villa at Jambo House with an amazing and beautiful pool view. Then this past October 2013, we went with a group of 19 family members to the world, as it was our four grandsons' first Disney trip. If I ever finish this trip report, I may follow up with reports for those two trips.

The May trip with the bff was divine! One of the best WDW trips I've ever taken (sorry DH ). The October trip, well, that's a whole other story.

So, back to this trip report, finally. The plan was to have an uneventful, but yummy, lunch at Rainforest Cafe (I'm assuming it was uneventful & yummy, as at this point who can remember), & then take a stroll to Camp Minnie Mickey to see the Festival of the Lion King. We didn't know at that time that it would be one of the last times to hang out in Camp Minnie Mickey.

Apparently we had some really yummy spinach & artichoke dip, according to this picture! Mare really seems to be enjoying it!Spinach and Artichoke Dip - creamy spinach, tender artichokes and melted Monterey Jack, Parmesan, and cream cheeses, topped with pica de gallo and served warm with cripy tri-color tortilla chips $9.99 As far as what we had for lunch, who knows. Didn't take any photos of our meal.

I'm sure we were sufficiently stuffed though. Thank goodness we didn't have to do any tumbling like these tumble monkeys are.

Don't you just love the flying birds air ballet ( I have no idea what it's called; I just made that name up) in the FOTLK? It's my fav part of the show.

After the show we snapped some photos of the beautifully decorated Christmas trees interspersed throughout Camp Minnie Mickey, then headed back to the Boardwalk Villas to rest up for our evening in Epcot.

To be continued..Martinis & margaritas at San Angel Inn!
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:10 PM   #8
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Love your pics!
For the love of Disney...
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:31 AM   #9

Knows the tricks to get the Tag Fairies' attention! Likes all pretty colors Gets teary when she hears Garth sing "The Dance"
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Sisters, Sisters...Day 2, Part 3...Margaritas & Martinis

Oh my gosh, I'm a bad bad Trip Reporter. Six months since my last update! At this rate, I'll finish in about twenty years, LOL! This is ridiculous! If I don't hurry up, I'm going to be in a nursing home, senile, writing about someone else's TR, in my head!

So we left off leaving Camp Minnie Mickey, and headed back to the Boardwalk to rest up before our dinner at San Angel Inn. You know us oldsters need our rest.

Some pretty Boardwalk Christmas decorations for those of you who may not have seen them yet.

It was pretty chilly this night in December, as you can see by my sister's clothing. At least I'm assuming it was, going by her marshmallow jacket. I think she just wanted to wear her sparkly scarf! And there she is by the jewelry again! If you're ever in a store, and lose my sister, you'll know just where to find her.

We were at one of our favorite Epcot pavilions, Italy. Don't you just love the masks? Wouldn't it be cool to go to a masked ball, and dress in fancy gowns! I really miss "Masquerade", don't you? I found a youtube video for those who have never seen it.


Onward to Germany. I guess we took the long way around, coming from the International Gateway, to get to Mexico. Don't you agree it's shorter to head to the left from the IG when going to Mexico? I guess my sis was in a shopping mood, and tea & maple syrup weren't on her agenda.

We're here! Looks like my sis is enjoying her martini!

No trip to Mexico would be complete without taking the Grand Fiesta Tour, now would it?

Oooo, more shopping, Mare!

Of course, after the margarita & martinis, notice I said margarita, singular, my drink, and martinis, pleural, my sister's "drinks". Now she was too tired to stay for Illuminations. What!!! Okay, we'll go back to the room. 930pm, and Mare is all tucked in for the night.

Guess I'll read the Disboards for a while before going to bed. I should have been already writing my Trip Report if I was a good Disser!
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:49 PM   #10
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Would love to read about the rest of your TR with your sister! Now off to find your other TR's for your other two trips

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