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Old 06-09-2013, 03:49 PM   #1
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SWW, BCR & Technically, we were literally on Mars! New - 8/31 - Final Update

Hello everyone!! Welcome to my first ever trip report. We returned yesterday from a 15 day stay at the Beach Club resort! If you would like to read my PTR for this trip it is here:

SWW 2013:One tiny goal: A picture with every character!

I hope to keep this TR entertaining. It will include tons of pictures, lots of details, some annoyances and lessons learned but most of all it will have lots of . Out of all our trips (10+) we were sprinkled with more Pixie Dust on this one than all the others put together.

So, please join in as I recount our 15 days in the happiest place on earth. I welcome any questions, comments or advice you might want to provide along the way.

Last edited by lsenquiz; 08-31-2013 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:50 PM   #2
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Chapter Links

Chapter 1 - Introductions (from my PTR)
Chapter 2 - Day 1 - Travel Day - Part 1
Chapter 3 - Day 1 - Travel Day - Part 2
Chapter 4 - Day 2 - Check in BCR - Part 1
Chapter 5 - Day 2 - Check in BCR - Part 2
Chapter 6 - Day 3 - SWW @ DHS - Part 1
Chapter 7 - Day 3 - SWW @ DHS Part 2
Chapter 8 - Day 4 - Memorial Day
Chapter 9 - Day 5 - AK Part 1
Chapter 10 - Day 5 - AK Part 2
Chapter 11 - Day 6 - MK Part 1
Chapter 12 - Day 6 - MK Part 2
Chatper 13 - Day 7 - A little bit of EPCOT
Chapter 14 - Day 8 - 2nd SWW - Part 1
Chapter 15 - Day 8 - 2nd SWW - Part 2
Chapter 16 - Day 9 - EPCOT
Special Project - I wrote a book!
Chapter 17 - Day 10 - Magic Kingdom
Chapter 18 - Day 11 - Epcot and Chef Mickey's
Chapter 19 - Day 11 - MSEP & Wishes
Chapter 20 - Day 12 - Magic Kingdom
Chapter 21 - Day 12 - Characterpalooza!!!
Chapter 22 - Day 13 - Magic Kingdom - Part 1
Chatper 23 - Day 13 - Magic Kingdom - Part 2
Chapter 24 - Day 14 - Epcot
Chapter 25 - Day 15 - Our Final Day!
Chapter 26 - Final Update - Pixie Dust, Character M&G, and Park Summary

Last edited by lsenquiz; 08-31-2013 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:35 AM   #3
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In for your TR!
For the love of Disney...
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:22 AM   #4
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YAY!!! I'm here!!! Can't wait to read all about it!
Me DH DS11 DS7
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:19 AM   #5
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Day 1 - Travel Day

Day 1 Our travel day

I know this is usually the most boring part of any trip report but I will do my best to keep it entertaining. Hopefully, I do not lose anyone with this first update because the best will be yet to come!

Our goal was to be on the road by 8am. I would have liked to leave earlier but we could not drop the dogs off at the Pet Hotel until 7am. DH (Kenny) had the dogs ready to leave and had them on their way to their home for the next two weeks by 6:50am. Our dogs absolutely love it at the Pet Hotel. They get 6 8 hours of play time a day with other dogs their size and have a very large suite so they can all sleep together at night.

I finished packing the car while Kenny was gone and got a sleepy DS8 (Gabriel) out of bed. Gabriel is definitely not a morning person so even though I was armed with the fact that we were leaving for Disney it was still a challenge to get him up and ready to go.

By 8:05am we were on our way! We made a quick stop at McDonalds to get Gabriel some breakfast and then headed to the highway which is about 2 miles from our house. The minute we got on the highway it occurred to me that we were leaving on a weekday (Friday May 24th) instead of a Saturday like we usually do. This was made clear by all the traffic on the road! Fortunately it was lighter than normal because it was the Friday before Memorial Day but heavy enough that it added about 40 minutes to our trip to the other side of Atlanta.

DSC03124 by Disneyalwaysn4ever, on Flickr

The first few hours of the trip were uneventful. We had not filled the car up before leaving because we still had a half of tank of gas so we stopped in McDonough to fill up. I wanted the car to be as close as we could safely get it to empty before getting gas. The reason for this is because I wanted to get the biggest bang for my buck using our fuel points. Kroger offers 2x fuel points (sometimes 4x) when you buy gift cards and I had stocked up on Disney cards before we left. We were lucky enough to find a Kroger right off the highway so we filled up (paid $2.34 a gallon!) had a quick bathroom break and were back on our way in no time.

I expected that that would be our last stop until lunch but was surprised to find I needed another bathroom break about 30 minutes later. Thats when I realized that drinking 2 bottles of water since leaving that morning was probably not a good idea. So we made a quick stop at a gas station in Tifton so I could potty. We grabbed some snacks for the car while we were there (I always feel weird about using a bathroom without buying something). Kenny and Gabriel headed to the car while I waited to pay. I waited and waited and waited. There were only two people ahead of me but 5 minutes later I was still waiting and there was still one person ahead of me. The person was a young girl about 14 or 15. She was buying a couple of pieces of candy which rang up to be $0.92. She gave the cashier $0.76. The cashier told her that was not enough. The problem was neither one of them could figure out how much more she needed. It also became obvious that the girl had given all the money she had because she was looking through the leave a penny take a penny jar beside the register. I took one look at the jar which had 6 pennies in it and knew she did not have enough.

Thankfully, another employee finally decided it was time to open another register (there were about 6 people behind me now) so I quickly jumped over there, paid for my stuff with cash which netted me about $0.75 in change. I held out my head to the girl who was still trying to turn 6 pennies into 16 and said Here sweetie use this. She quickly snatched the money from my hand but never so much as glanced at me as she used it to pay for her purchase. No thank you, no smile, no acknowledgement what so ever. Ill be honest I was shocked but hey not my problem so I moved on. I was really ready to be back on the road. Back in the car and me cut off from water we were on our way.

Next stop was lunch. I was really hopeful that we would make it over the Florida line by lunch time so I could eat here:

. by Disneyalwaysn4ever, on Flickr

DSC03142 by Disneyalwaysn4ever, on Flickr

We made it! We do not have Bob Evans in Georgia. Kenny and I were both raised in Ohio and we actually met each other while working at Bob Evans so it has a special place in our heart. It baffles me that they have Bob Evans all along 75 in Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio but none in Georgia??? I love their chicken noodle soup so usually grab a bowl to go when we are traveling to Florida. I did not take a picture of the soup but it was delicious as usual!

While I was getting my soup at Bob Evans, Kenny and Gabriel were getting some Subway next door. Kenny had parked his truck in the subway parking lot and I walked over to Bob Evans. Interestingly, I finished getting my order first so I walked over and jumped into the truck to wait for Kenny and Gabriel. It quickly started getting hot so I started rooting through the console to find the extra set of car keys we had hidden there. While I was doing that the car started! Scared the you know what out of me. I look up and see Kenny standing in the subway cracking up. I guess his brand new truck (that he just got 2 months ago) has the ability to remote start???

Our next stop was in Leesburg Florida to see my Dad. Leesburg is about 45 minutes north of Disney. My plan was to just visit for about an hour. My dad had recently been up to our house to visit and we were planning on a longer visit on our way home.

DSC03143 by Disneyalwaysn4ever, on Flickr

When we arrive my dad excitedly informs us that he has finally gotten the internet installed in his house. IMO there were both pros and cons to this news. Pro I would be able to use the internet whenever I stayed at his house for a visit. Con My 73 year old father had the internet and would probably look to us to show him how to use it. I think recapping some of the dialog that took place while we were there will clearly document the con (please note this is one of many examples!)

Dad: Can you show me how to find stuff on the internet?
Me: Sure, just click on that "e" icon on the monitor (Dad clicks and I say a prayer of thanks that his home page is set to google)
Me: Just type what you want to search for in that box. For instance type CNN (Dad types CNN and hits enter)
Me: See, the site for CNN is the first thing to show up click on that
Dad: Is what I am looking for always going to be first?
Me: No, you have to look at each one and see which one you want
Dad: How will I know which on I want?
Me: Because you know what you are looking for
Dad: What if I click the wrong one?
Me: You can click the back button and go back but for now lets just click on the CNN link so you can see how that works ( Dad clicks while I look away for 2 seconds to answer a question from Gabriel)
Me: (looking back) How did you get on a page for a quote for car insurance from Progressive?
Dad: I clicked the link you told me to
Dad: I may have clicked a few other things after that to see what would happen ( I will tell you now if my father had been born in my children's generation he would most definitely have been diagnosed with ADD!)
Me: Let's try this again, click the "e" and type CNN in the search box
Dad: Ok and by the way your Aunt Chrisie thinks I need to be on The Space Book (aka Facebook)
Me: OK I will set that up for you before I leave for now, lets try to master searches
Dad: Ok but I want you to show me how to set it up not set it up for me
Me: (pleading) The setup for Facebook is something you do not have to know how to do since you only do it once. It will be quicker for me to do it for you
Kenny: (chimes in from his comfy spot watching TV on the couch) Lisa if he wants to learn how to do it himself just show him (a statement he would later regret)
Dad: I also want you to show me how to use Ebay. I have some stuff I want to sell.
Me: (little white lie) I have never been on Ebay and have no idea how to use it
Dad: (jumps up from his desk) Kenny let me show you all the stuff (aka junk) I want to sell

In an effort to keep our visit to 2 hours to less I sit down at the desk as they exit the room and quickly setup a Facebook page for my dad and friend every relative I can find.

An hour or so later we are on our way out the door. As we leave my dad says I will call you if I have any computer problems. My immediate response: Honestly, it would be better to call Kenny. He knows so much more about computers than I do. Now realize that my dad knows I have worked in IT for the last 25 years and he knows that has something to do with computers. He has seen me fix many a computer problem when he and my mother lived with us for 3 years. However coming from the generation that he comes from it is no problem for him to believe that Kenny (a man) knows more than me (a woman) about computers. I also have no problem throwing Kenny under the bus after his if he wants to learn how to do it his self just show him statement earlier.

As we drive away, I breath a sign of relief that I am sure anyone with parents my age that are just starting to use a computer can relate to. Kenny breaths a sign of dread as he realizes he has just become PC support for my Dad!!!! Gabriel sits happily in the back seat with all his electronics oblivious to it all.

Hopefully, I have not put anyone to sleep with my first update. If you are following along please let me know as it does help motivate me to keep completing updates.

Up next; check in for one night at the Doubletree with a very special surprise along the way!!!!!

Last edited by lsenquiz; 06-17-2013 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
In for your TR!

Originally Posted by BridgetR3 View Post
YAY!!! I'm here!!! Can't wait to read all about it!

There is so much to write about it is kind of overwhelming. We had so many awesome experiences I can not wait to share

Last edited by lsenquiz; 06-12-2013 at 06:03 AM.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:27 AM   #7
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Great start! Your travel day was much more interesting than mine will be.
16 hours and most of it through the night. B-O-R-I-N-G. I may have to just skip over the torture! lol.

Love the remote start story. Our latest car has remote start also. Pretty cool little feature. Never having it before, I had no idea how much I would come to love it! I can have my car all warmed up and windows defrosted while still inside the warm and cozy house working with my clients. Awesome!

I feel your pain on the parents and internet. We've gone through that a bit. I try not to say or do anything to suggest I find it annoying though, because my daughter already shows her aggravation anytime I don't know something "obvious" and computer related. Makes me want to sock her in the arm.

Can't wait to hear more! Keep the updates coming!!
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by indimom View Post
I feel your pain on the parents and internet. We've gone through that a bit. I try not to say or do anything to suggest I find it annoying though, because my daughter already shows her aggravation anytime I don't know something "obvious" and computer related. Makes me want to sock her in the arm.

Can't wait to hear more! Keep the updates coming!!

I got a taste of my own medicine last night when I had to ask Gabriel (who is only 8) how to find something on YouTube He was very sweet and patient with me as he showed me how to use it. We'll see how long that lasts.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:48 AM   #9
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Travel Day - Part 2

I am ready to get this travel day out of the way and on to the good stuff.

Day 1 Our travel day cont

When I left off we had just left my Dads to head to the Doubletree in Downtown Disney for one night. On the way there I looked out the window and saw this:

. by Disneyalwaysn4ever, on Flickr

It is hard to tell but this is a picture of a double rainbow. I immediately broke into the biggest smile and all the frustration of helping my Dad with his computer was gone. I need to give you some back ground info for you to truly understand the effect seeing this had on me.

My mother passed away right before Thanksgiving in 2008. She was an amazing person and from birth was my very best friend. She was also born with a special gift a very strong sixth sense. Kenny used to call her our white witch. There are stories I could tell you that would amaze you with things she did. If anyone wants details let me know and I will be happy to sprinkle my Mom stories through my TR as I love, love, love talking about her!

Anyway, my mother believed strongly that loved ones continue to communicate with you after they die. Anytime we lost someone close to us she would say just wait and they will find a way to let you know they are there. And they always did. Right after my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she told me she would send a sign that would be very clear to me that she was watching over us. Remember, it was November. She passed at 6:30am. That afternoon we had thunderstorms and right after the storms stopped a beautiful perfect very clear double rain appeared in the sky. My mom loved rainbows and I knew immediately that it was a sign from her. Since then double rainbows have appeared (along with some other messages that were clearly from my mom) at the most amazing times. So, seeing this rainbow was just about the best surprise I could have gotten! It started our Disney vacation off on the perfect note.

We took the turnpike from my Dads and eventually merged on to I-4 where we immediately found this:

DSC03148 by Disneyalwaysn4ever, on Flickr

I do not think I have ever been on this road and any time of the day or night when we did not have to deal with traffic. It took us about 40 minutes to go 8 miles but eventually we drove by this:

DSC03149 by Disneyalwaysn4ever, on Flickr

DSC03150 by Disneyalwaysn4ever, on Flickr

Any finally arrived here:

DSC03151 by Disneyalwaysn4ever, on Flickr

The check-in process was uneventful. We have stayed here many times before. It is our go to Hotel when we are arriving in the evening as I do not like paying $300+ for a room if we are getting there after dinner. They have a small desk where children can check themselves in and get a goody bag which Gabriel always enjoys.

DSC03152 by Disneyalwaysn4ever, on Flickr

We were then given our obligatory Doubletree cookies (which Gabriel said he wanted but I knew he would not eat).

DSC03160 by Disneyalwaysn4ever, on Flickr

DSC03161 by Disneyalwaysn4ever, on Flickr

My original plan was to arrive at the hotel around 6pm and head out immediately for a nice dinner. However, with all the delays it was closer to 8pm by the time we checked in. Everyone was starving but we did not want to go out to eat so late so we opted to eat at the hotel.

As I waited for our food in the lobby Kenny and Gabriel headed to the room with strict instructions not to mess it up until I took some pictures. Here is what the room looked like:

DSC03153 by Disneyalwaysn4ever, on Flickr

DSC03156 by Disneyalwaysn4ever, on Flickr

DSC03154 by Disneyalwaysn4ever, on Flickr

DSC03155 by Disneyalwaysn4ever, on Flickr

There is a lot of space in these rooms for the price you pay. The couch in the living room folds out to a bed and we had two double beds in the bedroom (you can also request one King). There is also a door that closes to separate the living room from the bedroom.

Dinner was not very good. This is the part of the trip report where you begin to see that I stink at remembering to take pictures of food. There will be some but if you expect every meal to have a photograph you will be disappointed. Sorry, I hope to do better during our September trip.

We were all in bed by 10:30pm as I wanted to be up bright and early the next morning.

Up next; Check in at the Beach Club would it live up to our first love the Boardwalk????

Last edited by lsenquiz; 06-17-2013 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:15 AM   #10
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Hi Lisa

I am following along, love the story about your Mom and rainbows.

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Old 06-12-2013, 09:16 AM   #11
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We just got back on Sunday! I am following along....
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:18 AM   #12
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Enjoying your TR so far!! Too funny about your dad and the internet.

I would love to hear little snippets about your mom. I have one of those "moments" to share with you. My grandmother passed away very suddenly just two months before my wedding. We actually buried her in the outfit she was going to wear to my wedding. About 4 months later during the middle of a drought in the middle of summer our family got together for a barbq. The local lake was being drained and because of the drought as well it was dry baked dirt but somehow right in the middle of it was the most gorgeous sunflower we had ever seen. This had always been a favorite flower of hers and instantly we knew she was with us and watching over us.

ANYWAYS, I didn't want to hijack your trip report. I just wanted to share that I completely understand your double rainbow obsession.

Can't wait to
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:26 AM   #14
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Subbing in!

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Old 06-12-2013, 09:55 AM   #15
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Just caught up on your report. What a fantastic, interesting start!!! Love your writing style.

The story of the adventure at the pit stop was funny, and sad. Scary that kids don't have a basic understanding of money. Or manners.

The remote start story was hilarious! We discovered by mistake that my husbands car had remote start when the car kept turning on by itself in the garage. The implications of this really scared me, so we kept the remote starter in a cupboard from that point on.

What a riot about your dad and the internet. Sounds like he has just enough technological knowledge to be dangerous. Please warn him that he did not actually win a foreign lottery and that there isn't really a Nigerian prince who wants his help sheltering some money.

Beautiful story about your mom and the double rainbow. Please share more stories!

The Doubletree looks great- I couldn't believe all the space in the room!
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