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Old 03-06-2014, 10:07 AM   #1
JessicaKnits
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We Came, We Saw, We NAILED It! 2 BFFs Take On The World **9/1 One Man's Dream**

Welcome, one and all, to what is certainly going to shape up to an amazing trip report.

We just returned from a wonderful, magical, spectacular, 11 night/12 day excursion to Disney’s Art of Animation and I’m so excited to tell you all about the good, the bad, and the not so ugly.

For those that are interested, you can check out my PTR for all the planning details and more information on what caused this trip to come about. For those of you not interested in reading the PTR, I will provide you with Cliff’s Notes on it here.

This trip was solely about two BFF’s celebrating life, happiness, and each other. Due to unforeseen work circumstances, this trip was delayed multiple times over an entire year before it finally went off without a hitch! We picked an amazing time to go, as Wisconsin plunged further into what seems to be a never ending, brutal winter.

What you will find in this trip report:

Fun, frivolity, and lots of EATING and food porn.

There was also an adventure in “Drinking Around the World” and many other new and exciting experiences.

I also plan to include an honest and thorough review of our experience with Fastpass+. Did I convert into a believer?

What you won’t find here:

Fantastic and amazing examples of photography, although I am getting better!

Anything other than Disney fantabulous-ness. Even with 12 days, I just couldn’t pry myself away from the Disney magic, although I fully intend to check out Universal one day. Perhaps after the craziness of their newest expansion wears off.

Now, on to the good stuff!

Who: Jessica (26) and Megan (27) Introductions to follow in the next post!

When: February 22nd thru March 5th

Where: Disney’s Art of Animation – Little Mermaid Section

Dining: Deluxe Dining complete with 28 ADRs for this trip!

I do plan on doing a complete dining review as well for those that are just interested in the food. Once that is up and running, I will post the link for it here.

I do hope you will join along with us for the amazing fun that is to come.

Please stop by and introduce yourself!

UP NEXT: Introductions!

Last edited by JessicaKnits; 09-01-2014 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:07 AM   #2
JessicaKnits
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Chapter Links

The One Where...They Introduce Themselves

Day Zero - February 21st
The One Where...Nothing Really Happens

Day One - February 22nd
The One Where...Everything Is Perfect! Too Perfect?
The One Where...Everything is Beyond Perfect
The One Where...They Aren't In Disney Anymore, Toto
The One Where...There Are Irish Boys And Irish Music

Day Two - February 23rd
The One Where...There Is All The Running
The One Where...They Get So Much Done!
The One Where...They Just Keep Swimming
The One Where...Everything is NEW
The One Where...They Eat Lunch at Kona Cafe
The One Where...It's A Small World After All
The One Where...They Have Dinner At Tony's

Day Three - February 24th
The One Where...The Eat Breakfast At The Wave & Prepare To Drink Around The World
The One Where...They Drink Around The World
The One Where...They Eat Lunch With The Sea Creatures
The One Where...I'm a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Friend
The One Where...They Wander The World
The One Where...They Are Amused
The One Where...They Want To Bang On The Drum All Day
The One Where...They Can't Try This At Home
The One Where...There Are Jeweled Dragon Acrobats (Part 2)
The One Where...They Have Their Own Fiesta
The One Where...They Are Illuminated

Day Four - February 25th
The One Where...They Have Margaritas For Breakfast
The One Where...Lions, No Tigers, No Bears! Oh my!
The One Where...They Are On Safari (Part Two)
The One Where...They Are On Safari (Part Three)
The One Where...They Pangani...Because It's a Verb!
The One Where...They Conquer The Yeti, Mutiple Times
The One Where...Its a Big Bluuuuuuuuue World
The One Where...They Safari (Yes, Again!)
The One Where...They Take A Trip Along The Maharajah
The One Where...It's a First!
The One Where...They Venture To Kidani

Day Five - February 26th
The One Where...They're Off To Hollywood
The One Where...They Go To The Movies
The One Where...They're Under the Sea
The One Where...They Mambo Italiano
The One Where...One Man Had a Dream

Day Six - February 27th

Day Seven - February 28th

Day Eight - March 1st

Day Nine - March 2nd

Day Ten - March 3rd

Day Eleven - March 4th

Day Twelve - March 5th

Last edited by JessicaKnits; 09-01-2014 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:25 AM   #3
JessicaKnits
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The One Where...They Introduce Themselves

To all who have come to this happy place, Welcome!

My name is Jessica, and I will be your navigator, tour guide, ghost host, rebel spy, whatever you will have, for this entire journey! I am a North Carolina native, who now lives in Wisconsin. Brr...

I am 26 and work in health insurance sales. I am a devout follower of the Green Bay Packers (fear not Viking and Bears fans, this is a judgment free zone.) My favorite park is Magic Kingdom, because I think it is truly in a league of its own. It simply cannot be compared to the others, in my humble opinion. Of the three remaining parks, I love them all equally, for very different reasons. I know indecisiveness is not a great quality, but I really can't decide.

This was my third trip to the World. I had previously been in August 2010 (Pop Century), March 2012 (Coronado Springs) and now February 2014 (Art of Animation).

My hostage, err...traveling buddy for this adventure, is my BFF Megan. She is 27 and has a degree in something related to veterinary science, the exact phrasing always escapes me. Just a few weeks before this trip, she FINALLY got a job she was super excited about, after almost an entire year of looking! Way to stick in there Megan! So, while this trip was not officially planned as a celebration for anything, I did my best to throw in some pixie dust for her along the way.

This was Megan's first trip to Disney anything, and only her 2nd time on an airplane!

Here is a great shot of us (eye roll here) on the plane...



Can you tell we needed to get up at 3 AM for a flight? I promise, as the trip progresses, the hair gets bigger, (thank you humidity!) the pictures do not necessarily improve.

If you've made it this far, you have already passed the "chicken exit" so please lower your safety restraints and push up to make sure they are secured. Keep your head back and HOLD ON for this wild and crazy adventure!

UP NEXT: Day Zero!

Last edited by JessicaKnits; 03-06-2014 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:39 AM   #4
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I'm in! Sounds like an e-ticket ride!!!
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:16 AM   #5
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I'm in- can't wait to hear all about your trip!!
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:19 PM   #6
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Subbing in! Can't wait to hear all about your trip! From the sound of it, I bet it was amazing!
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October 2012: First Magical Family Trip (and my first trip ever!), AoA LM rooms, MNSSHP April 2013: 2nd Family Trip (and first surprise vacation!), POR RGR
May 2014: End of school celebration/3rd Birthday Trip, Pop Century November 2014: Wine and Dine 1/2 Marathon, Girls Only Trip, Pop Century, MVMCP
December 2015: Surprise Christmas Vacation! Pop, but possibly WL MVMCP




Whew... That's a big 'Tato Head! 10 Amazing Days in May '14! Trip Report 10 Nights, 9 Days, 2 Birthdays and 1 Magical May 2014 Vacation PTR

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Old 03-06-2014, 04:29 PM   #7
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Following along!
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:49 PM   #8
jewels1916
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Woohoo!! I am in! Can't wait to read all about your trip! 12 days.....wow, I'm so jealous!

Courtney
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:50 PM   #9
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28 ADRs?! Whaaaa.

And drinking around the world. I did this a few years ago with my family. Can't wait to see how you did.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:24 PM   #10
JessicaKnits
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Credit Man View Post
I'm in! Sounds like an e-ticket ride!!!
Oh boy, that's a lot of pressure! Hope it doesn't disappoint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jordansmama View Post
I'm in- can't wait to hear all about your trip!!
Thanks for joining!

Quote:
Originally Posted by anniebabymu View Post
Subbing in! Can't wait to hear all about your trip! From the sound of it, I bet it was amazing!
Spoiler Alert = It was the best trip yet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
Following along!
Welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jewels1916 View Post
Woohoo!! I am in! Can't wait to read all about your trip! 12 days.....wow, I'm so jealous!

Courtney
This was definitely a once in a lifetime trip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioStateBuckeye View Post
28 ADRs?! Whaaaa.

And drinking around the world. I did this a few years ago with my family. Can't wait to see how you did.
You won't have to wait long, as the drinking adventure begins on Day 2!
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:06 PM   #11
JessicaKnits
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The One Were...Nothing Really Happens

Being that we live in the Northeastern Wisconsin area, airfare out of our home area can be pretty out of control as far as costs go. Not to mention, that flight times are usually awful, since you can't go anywhere nonstop. That means that my Disney trips usually start the day before the Disney Magic actually happens.

For us, "Day Zero" was Friday, February 21st. The plan was to leave late afternoon for the two hour drive to Milwaukee. I used my Hilton points to book a room at the Hilton Garden in, which was supposed to include parking for $25 for the duration of our stay and a free shuttle to and from the airport. More on that in the next update though!

We were flying Southwest, and I paid for early bird check-in. I booked our flight five months in advance w/ Early Bird and we ended up with A31 and A32. I don't know that I would pay for this service again, since on our return flight we ended up with A45 and A46 with me just doing the check in myself.

I apologize in advance, as I literally took ONE picture of our Day Zero adventure. So, unfortunately this will be a word heavy and illustration light update.

Two years ago, I went to Disney exactly one week later than I did for this trip. Our drive to the airport looked like this...



I think this winter has been particularly awful for everyone this year. Kids here have had more cold weather days than actual snow days, but fear not, we've had plenty of the white stuff too. Anywho, there is a point to so much talk about the weather. Thursday, aka the day before we had a two hour drive to deal with, they were forecasting temperatures above freezing for the first time in almost two months! They were also forecasting over an inch of rain, with serious potential for flooding. Friday was expected to bring a high of 15 so you see where this is going....

All week I was beyond stressed that we would be forced to make that drive over a sheet of ice. Not to mention, THIS is what our ten day weather forecast looked like for Florida...



I was beginning to get a little paranoid that our trip was not going to start off the greatest.

The plan was to leave as much time as possible so that we didn't have to be rushed. Thursday night, the rain rolled in with a vengeance and we even had a thunderstorm come through. It was expected to switch over to snow in the wee morning hours.

I woke up at precisely six AM on Friday, and immediately looked outside to find....

Nothing.

No snow. No ice. I'm not sure where all that rain went, but it didn't freeze. It seemingly vanished into nowhere. Ahh...to be a weather man.

After breathing a huge sigh of relief, I set out to finish packing. I finished a few last minute vacation errands, mainly getting my car cleaned, getting my hair done, and getting a pedicure. You know, SUPER important stuff! I headed back home, threw my bags in the car, double checked that all the lights were turned off and that fridge was cleaned out, and was backing out of the driveway at precisely 2:28. My planned time of departure was 2:30. Not too shabby!

Megan lives about 30 miles away from me, so I picked her up and before we knew it we were on our way!

The roads were perfect on the way down, and we managed to just miss the Friday rush through Milwaukee. We arrived at the Hilton and checked in. We signed up for the 5 AM shuttle the next morning and dropped our bags off in the room.

We were on a mission to find the California Pizza Kitchen in Milwaukee. I LOOOOOVE CPK, and this is the closest one to us. We were seated immediately, even though it was Friday right at 6 PM. We ordered a round of Sangria to toast with...



Our meal was excellent and in no time, we were headed back to the hotel. We did some carry-on bag rearranging, and went to bed, we had an impossibly early morning!
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:12 PM   #12
JessicaKnits
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Just want to put this out there. The sizing on my laptop has been a little off as of late. How is the font size for everyone? Too big? Too small?
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:59 PM   #13
anniebabymu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessicaKnits View Post
I finished a few last minute vacation errands, mainly getting my car cleaned, getting my hair done, and getting a pedicure. You know, SUPER important stuff!
Ummmm... I agree, getting your hair done and a pedicure is probably one of the most important things!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JessicaKnits View Post
Just want to put this out there. The sizing on my laptop has been a little off as of late. How is the font size for everyone? Too big? Too small?
On my computer, it looks perfect to me!
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October 2012: First Magical Family Trip (and my first trip ever!), AoA LM rooms, MNSSHP April 2013: 2nd Family Trip (and first surprise vacation!), POR RGR
May 2014: End of school celebration/3rd Birthday Trip, Pop Century November 2014: Wine and Dine 1/2 Marathon, Girls Only Trip, Pop Century, MVMCP
December 2015: Surprise Christmas Vacation! Pop, but possibly WL MVMCP




Whew... That's a big 'Tato Head! 10 Amazing Days in May '14! Trip Report 10 Nights, 9 Days, 2 Birthdays and 1 Magical May 2014 Vacation PTR

Me DH DD6 DD3
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:33 AM   #14
BookTrout
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Great start and I'm looking forward to reading more.
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:44 AM   #15
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Following along and can't wait to read more!
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