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Old 09-10-2004, 10:55 AM   #1
bubba's mom
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Pictorial Tale of a MK trip.....with a side of Charley.........

This is my first trip report, so, please feel free to offer input, advice or criticism. Bear with me.........

Cast:
Me - planned, planned and did some more planning. Trying to make this (first family) trip one to remember. Also, I take an enormous amount of photographs.
DH - would always roll the eyes when I was on DIS forums.......(that's okay, I do the same when he's on HIS
forums...)
DS - main character. He is 5 and 1/2 and passionate about computers and cars. Anything with wheels, is right up
his alley!
Charley - oh yeah...THIS guy. This dude was a tiny rain storm that decided to join us on our trip....and let me tell you...he was more trouble than he was worth!!

Let's begin by letting the audience know that this family visits Florida every year to visit family. Mom & Dad live in Ocala, while brother/sister-in-law live in New Smyrna Beach. Now that DS is tall enough and older to absorb Disney, we decided to detour to Disney each year. As to not take away time from family, we will only be visiting one park for a day or two before heading off to see them. This will also give everyone a chance to really see and
enjoy Disney......we don't like to rush it!!

So, let's begin our journey...........

It all started by rising at 4:30 am on Wed. Aug 11 to catch the 7 am flight from PHL to Orlando. Flew our first time on Southwest and was very happy with the service. ( Will fly friendly skies with them again). Although I must mention, this was the first time (and flight) I have ever received water in a CAN!! Not sure what that was about, but, if not in a bottle, I guess a can is the next best thing!

After an uneventful flight of resting and eating brought along breakfast, we arrive at Orlando. We are excited and DH is working on getting excited. For DS first trip, we splurged and hired a stretch limo for the ride to All Star MoviesWe were thinking the driver would be at the base of the escalator, but, after retrieving the luggage and still not finding him, I had to make the call. Finally, after waiting a few minutes for another vehicle to vacate our limo's spot, our limo pulled in. For no extra charge, we opted for the red carpet, VIP treatment. Our son's name was on the sign and my DH brought DS out of the airport. He excitedly ran to the guy holding a sign with his name on it and pointed to the sign. DS exclaimed, "Am I getting a ride in the Hummer limo?" Well, talk about popping somebody's balloon! My poor DH was blown away and pointed to his "ride"...." I think that's your limo over there". So, DS ran to the car, the driver opened the door and he was bouncing around everywhere inside. He was thrilled there was a Lion King DVD playing and there were drinks. After a few (hundred) pictures, we were off...............

We opted for no grocery stop, and traffic was light. A VERY short 35 minutes later, we were at All Star Movies. We are now ahead of my schedule and it's approximately 11:00am. We check-in, a room is ready for us! I request a Mickey wake-up call for the next morning also. After check-in, we are off in search of our room....we are so excited

We are in the Fantasia building, second floor. Our room is clean and different. Very clever themeing. We quickly take pictures of our room before we destroy it with our belongings.

Next, we venture out to the food court. DH and DS have lunch. We check out the food court and are amazed at everything they seem to have...of course, most of it being at a good penny or two!

After a bite, we venture out to the grounds of the resort. Taking pictures at each building and taking pictures with funny shots of US in them! We are all (especially DS) excited to see the Winner's Circle at Love Bug building. We even watched all the Herbie Love Bug movies before our trip! We are approaching the Love Bug buildings when I see it!! The fence!! There is NO Herbie in the Winner's Circle...he's out for rehab!! I was so upset, I almost cried! That was one of the main reasons we chose that resort! Why do they seem to rehab so many popular things in the summer??? Well, DS didn't seem as upset as me. After about 15 minutes of DH trying to comfort me, I was moving on. By the time we finished checking out the Ducks and Dalmations buildings (end of the tour), DS lets out a whine...."I'm tired of walking" he says. He wants to be carried and we say "no way". DH and I look at each other and think of what is to come tomorrow....EE at MK.

We eventually make it back to the room, where DH takes a nap and they cool off. I unpack a few things (too excited to rest) and get things ready......(toothbrushes, shampoos, things in backpack for park next day........)

I let DH nap for about 45 minutes. He doesn't like shopping and the next stop that day happened to be DTD. Figured the more rested he was, the more pleasant shopping would be! (I would later realize I would be wrong!) So, the refreshed troops head toward Cinema Hall. We need to stop at GS to purchase park tickets. We purchase 3 adult one day and 2 child one day passes (I didn't need one day because I had a free pass to Disney I had won years ago I was going to use). After our purchase, we head to Donald's gift shop. We start browsing around and toward the back my DH yells to "let's go....the DTD bus is here!" He doesn't want to wait for another one....... He's telling me to hurry to go shopping??? I am SO there!!! We board bus and are on our way.

We realize that the extremely good advice of the DIS was right on the money!!! We are amazed how far our resort is from DTD and we agree then and there we are staying on Disney from now on. It was 110% worth staying on Disney property and having them drive us around . I loved to be able to look around and see the places I've only read about instead of worrying about having to help DH navigate......very cool!


We arrived at DTD and I am like a kid in a candy/toy store....I am rearing to go! We started at George's Music then Virgin and worked our way down to Marketplace. I cannot recall the name of the store in the West Side, but when we came out of it, the sky was black! I knew it was going to rain soon, but, we just went in that store and the sun was out! So, we decided to run for Marketplace. I have the rain ponchos all ready in case we get caught in a deluge....(another awesome tip from DIS!) We make it to the McDonald's (slightly ahead of our time we planned to eat) and we are in there for maybe 3 minutes and the deluge started! What timing!!!! So, we decided to grab "dinner". By the time we were finished, the sun was back out and all was right in Disney again!!

From here, we proceeded thru Legoland and the rest of DTD. While shopping in Marketplace, we realize another "person" is joining our vacation......DBIL called to tell us that a hurricane is coming for us on Friday. After much denial, he convinced us and put me in a bad mood...instantly. How could this be? We have gone to Florida plenty of times in August! I was mad, sad, disgusted, you name it. Most of all, the vacation wasn't going to be what I wanted it to be for my DS.

The rest of the shopping day wasn't all that great after that phone call. Preoccupied with "Charley" coming, we headed back to our resort. After watching the weather stations on TV, we didn't know what to do. DH and DS took a dip in the pool while I watched TV and tried to figure out what to do. After DS was asleep (we were up at 4:30 that morning remember?) I was all tears. This trip was going to be ruined by a hurricane; and just that afternoon, we had purchased tickets for the park. I was more upset the trip wasn't going to be what I wanted it to be for my son than losing about $170 in tickets. My wonderful DH tried to comfort me and even suggested we stay an extra day to make up for the day we were going to miss cuz of hurricane. I didn't want to do that because of family....it wouldn't be fair to them.
After many tears that night, I was able to finally sleep.

5:45 am next morning.....Magic Kingdom day!!! Not as excited as I should have been (because of hurricane coming next day), but nonetheless, excited. Everyone was up by 6am...when the phone rang. We MADE DS answer it. To this day, we don't know if Mickey was on the other end because he held it out and said "I don't hear anything". ....another "bust" for me!! Well, I still got everyone their breakfast and we got ready to go. My goal was to be at MK by 7:15-7:30. On the way out, I spotted a CM at Guest Relations.....I told my DH to wait up because I wanted to talk to him about a refund or credit for the next day's park tickets. (That morning the weather said Charley was aiming for us by late morning/early afternoon, so we decided to "bag" the park that day and head out to family's house). The CM was extremely helpful (maybe he could tell I cried all night the night before?) and said due to an act of God/Mother Nature (pick your preference), they would refund my money or give us a ticket that didn't expire to come back another day. Since I had the money this year, I opted for the ticket to come back. Meantime, I realize DH is at the bus stop...with the tickets!!! I asked the CM if I can take care of this tomorrow, and he says it's not a problem. So, I join DH at bus stop and he said first bus already left...so, we were now 1st in line. (If I hadn't stopped at GS, we would've been on the first bus to MK! )

Finally, we arrive by bus to MK!! Now, since I know I am not losing any money, I decide to make it the best day for our son! I am beyond excited and I'm snapping pictures everywhere. We are thru security and turnstiles and waiting for the park to open by 7:35. DS has no clue what's in store and decides to sit down on the ground and wait! ........Then it happens.............

The Magic Kingdom is offically open!

We all hold hands walking up Main St. (snapping pictures as we walk). Walking at a swift speed, I notice many people ahead of me running...didn't realize some people did this....oh so funny to watch!! Then I see it..........

My first glimpse of the castle in 17 years!! WOW!!! Our day has begun.

I think because of the hurricane coming, the crowds were light. (EE didn't hurt either!) We zip right over to Dumbo and do all of Fantasyland. Done. Zip over to Tomorrowland. Done. Next ToonTown Fair. Done. All this done by about 12:30ish. Good thing too! When we planned this trip, we were supposed to be at MK for 2 days. I planned on getting the popular stuff and 1/2 the park done the first day. The second day was going to be 1)things we didn't do the first day and/or 2) things we really liked the first day. Since our "friend" Charley was coming the next day, we decided to stay in the park all day and do as much as we could.....which means "do rides and stuff DS will enjoy". Well, we did.

About 4:00 we headed to Plaza Restaurant for dinner. There was no wait (without ADR)...went in and sat down. Wouldn't you know while we were eating........rain again?! By the time we paid the bill, the sun was back out! I had rain ponchos with me that I didn't even open!!

After eating, we went back to finish Adventure/Frontierlands. Just before time it was starting to get dusk, we wanted to take DS for a ride on the monorail. We asked to ride up front, and since nobody was there, we were accommodated. He thought this was awesome!! He felt very important and was excited to get a co-pilot license We got to see everything just as the lights were coming on.......very cool!! PIC

After the monorail, we decided to use our FP. Before dinner we had gotten a FP for BTMRR. Well, they ended up closing it with a computer glitch they were trying to work out. A CM told us we could use our FP at any FP attraction in the park except Mickey's Philharmagic. Well, DS's two favorite rides were Space Mtn. and Buzz.

Walking into Tomorrowland we checked out the line for Buzz.....it wasn't too bad. Walked over to check out the line for Space Mtn......whoa!!! Half-way out of Tomorrowland!! So, we decided to use our FP here. Went in and passed about 700 people. When we approached the front of the line, the CM was busy talking to someone in standby line and he never took our FP!! So, after riding Space Mtn, we headed over to Buzz and used FP. Good thing we did it that way....they took our FP at Buzz.

After this, we had about 15 minutes to find a spot to see Wishes. We decided to stand between hub and Tomorrowland...Tink flew right over us! It was a beautiful, wonderful show ...and although DS likes fireworks, he didn't seem overly impressed. I am quite sure he was beyond exhausted!!

Upon the mass exodus from MK, we realize that, for some reason, there was a bus problem. 3 and 4 busses were coming for the other All-Stars to our 1. They finally got on the ball and we weren't in motion on the bus to our resort not more than 3 minutes and DS was fast asleep! Good thing we had a preferred building at the resort, because DH carried a sleeping DS all the way back to the room.

"C" Day~~
After a restful night of looking at video tape and pictures and making a plan with brother-in-law, Charley was on his way. Now, I got up about 8am or so to go down to Guest Relations to get my tickets to come back to the park another time. (And to also request a later check out since we would be waiting for brother-in-law to come pick us up!) Had I known (the day before) that they were going to open the park to resort guests only from 8am-1pm, for free, we would have gone. But, since we made a day of it the day before and DS didn't wake up till 9:30am, we just packed and hung out in the room.

About 1:30, BIL and SIL (& kids & dog) arrive to pick us up. We are supposed to go to Ocala to be with Mom & Dad, but BIL is afraid we will not get there due to traffic. He decides our best bet is SIL's parents. They live almost an hour north of Orlando in Seminole county. We arrive there to realize they have 2 relatives (with spouses) visiting from Italy. Now, we don't speak Italian and they don't speak very good English. Her mom and grandmother are fluent in Italian though. So, we decided to have a hurricane party. After securing outside items and/or bringing
everything inside, we started dinner. Wine and beer was flowing PARTY. Much of the night was "how do you say...."...it was funny! About 9:15pm on Friday night, we lost power. We had a laptop so we could monitor the storm and we had flashlights and such. The eye passed 10 miles south of where we were staying. Although not the wind, hail and rain I expected, a very eerie feeling nonetheless.

The next morning we ventured outside to see what Charley left behind. Mostly tree branches and leaves. Down the street was one tree blown over....luckily it fell toward the street and not the house! Because of the pattern of trees fallen over on the other side of the street, they believe a tornado might have touched over there.....never heard one way or the other! After cleaning up, BIL made scrambled eggs and bacon on the grill!...never ate 'em prepared that way before. There was plenty of bottled water and pastries to be had. We had water, but who knows how long they had HOT water?? After helping clean up, we were on our way to Mom & Dad's in Ocala.

I didn't see much structural damage along the way.....mostly trees, car ports, screened in porches (a lot of people screen their pool's in because of bugs) and fences damaged. I did see one or two awnings from gas stations blown over and I did see one gas pump blown over. Mom & Dad sustained no damage while BIL had some missing shingles and 1 section of fence blown down. His business there lost the top half of a palm tree in the parking lot and minor roof damage at the edge. They of course have a little more damage since Frances visited them!!

So, I guess our first family (and DS's first ever) trip to WDW will always be a memorable one!! Besides Charley, we have almost 600 digital pictures to compliment my 19 rolls of 35mm film....


Well, that's about it. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask.....I learned so many things on the DIS, I feel the need to pass along my advice, experiences and tips.

Sorry if this was long and boring......but, it was my first report. I will have another after we visit MGM next year.......

Thanks for reading.........
Good-bye!
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Last edited by bubba's mom; 02-13-2007 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 09-10-2004, 12:26 PM   #2
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thanks so much for your great report

I loved Fantasia bld when we were there........heck I liked Dalmatians too.........it is funny to know that each time we bought a poncho...or stood in a long line to buy one .......the rain would stop and sun would come out.......good insurance I think........sorry you had a washout for your day at disney but any day at disney is good........thanks again
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Old 09-10-2004, 12:44 PM   #3
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Hey, you did a great job on your first report! Sorry you had you know who crash your vacation, but maybe next time will be better. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 09-10-2004, 12:52 PM   #4
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Great report!
Thanks!
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Old 09-10-2004, 12:53 PM   #5
bubba's mom
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Thanks jennymouse. As for "Charley", after I knew we were going to get credit, I decided to make the best of it for Ryan. I was surprised I actually forgot about Charley once our day started in MK. I know it wasn't much to tell, but I know we will go back (to MK soon) next year.....trying not to plan anymore trips in Aug or after that!! We usually go 4th of July week b/c that's FIL's birthday.......shooting for May or July next year. Still in the beginning stages............
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Old 09-11-2004, 04:50 PM   #6
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For those who've read my report....you may want to go thru and click on the (PIC). My DH surprised me. While at work today, he read my report and decided to add some pictures to it!! Ain't he wonderful??
Enjoy!!!
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Old 09-12-2004, 01:32 PM   #7
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quick question

Dear bubba's Mom

I will read your report at work (when I have time, ha ha ha ha)
But I did look at the pictures. Great! enjoyed them very much.
Here is my question. I clicked on the picture of the trees down , etc from the hurricane in front of a house. Is this just a neighborhood you ventured into? We were there in June and did not see one reg. neighborhood............This house is huge and beautiful! Just curious if this is typical of a neighborhood in a particular area.

Thanks!
I enjoy reading everyone's reports involving these hurricanes and surviving.

Deb....
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Old 09-12-2004, 03:32 PM   #8
bubba's mom
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Deb,
thanks for your question. this may get confusing, try to follow: this house is my husband's brother's wife's parents home. they live in winter springs, fla...seminole county. it is a very tiny county just north (& a bit east) of orange county (where disney is). my inlaws are further north (and a bit more west) in Marion county. from what i could tell (my first time there), this is a very high dollar place to live. this house was HUGE and had 5 and 1/2 baths alone!! there were a total of 15 people and a huge dog there at the time of the hurricane and we still had more than enuf space to move around. i am guessing this was not a "middle class" neighborhood..... i live in middle class neighborhood and my bil's house is in a similar neighborhood. so, i would say, this house is definately in an upper class area. btw...i did notice the neighbor had his limo in the driveway and his hummer in the garage! hope this helps....if you have any other questions, feel free to ask!!
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Old 09-13-2004, 02:47 AM   #9
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Great report ~ Thanx for sharing.
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