900 Miles, 5 Parks, 2 Resorts, 6 ADR's, and 3 days of Celebration!!! Update 3/8/13

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by jmskinner, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. jmskinner

    jmskinner DIS Veteran

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    :rolleyes2
    Hi! I'm Melissa, a 43 year old Disneyworldholic! You will notice by my location it states "No longer an hour away.":( In July of 2011 we moved from Tampa, FL to VA. For three years we lived about an hour away from Mickey. I had a great time, but the Air Force decided it was time for us to leave.

    A little bit more about us,

    Me,
    [​IMG]

    As previously stated, I am 43 and love the Parks. I have always been a theme park fanatic, especially rollercoasters. I work at Kohls, which I'm still explaining to the husband that at least I am earning money to cover what I purchase. :rotfl: I also like photography and I know I watch way too much TV. :rolleyes2 I use to collect Boyds Bears, but stopped when I realized there were just too many and not enough room to display them. And I love WDW pins. Especially those with Mickey and Walt, Star Wars, and those with the Disney characters dressed up as someone else. I'm originally from West TX, but since marrying the husband, I have lived in AL, SC, MD, TX, FL and now VA. And this surprises most people, but I really love VA.

    Next up is DH, Jonas.

    [​IMG]

    He is 42, yes, younger than me and loves to rub it in. He is a year from being promoted or retiring. What this means is, if he is promoted, he will stay in another 3 years. Otherwise, he retires. 10 or so years ago, him retiring at 43 was an exciting thought since he would draw retirement and still be able to work, but with the economy today, :scared1:. He is a geek and admits it. Collects comic books, loves Sci-Fi, and does what is called table top games. Here is a pic of the Lord of the Ring figures he has painted

    [​IMG]

    And this is where they are played
    [​IMG]

    He is also a Mustang fan and has a 2007 GT, his welcome home gift after being in Iraq for a year.

    Now Jonas isn't as big a fan as me when it comes to WDW, but a few months ago he did call me to tell me he has to go to a convention in Orlando in October, so why don't I fly down and we go to MNSSHP together. Sounds like Mickey has gotten to him...or maybe it is those princesses. Especially the redheads
    [​IMG]

    By the way, the pics of us are from our Anniversary trip in January 2011 that we spent at WDW and those are from the Wilderness Lodge photoshoot.

    Next is our son, Jacob.

    [​IMG]

    He is 13, almost 14. The above pic is from our last trip to WDW as FL residents, we spent our last weekend in FL at WDW, of course. I posted this so once I post pics from the trip you can see he is a different child from the one that left FL.

    He loves Legos and Star Wars. He saved all his Christmas money to purchase this:

    [​IMG]

    Looks at the crazy look in his eye, do you think he was a little excited? Took him just three days to build. But he built it on the carpet and it wasn't "structurally sound", as he put it. So, he redid it on the dining room table

    [​IMG]

    in two days. And that included time with the Grandparents and sleeping. Not sure if he ate or not. He's a smart kid, but has a hard time focusing, unless it is something he really likes. He was diagnosed with severe ADHD at 3 and then once we got to VA he was diagnosed with Aspergers also. Jonas and I had thought this for years, but the doctors in FL didn't follow through with it when I asked about it. The doctors here were on their toes and recommended we see a Developmental Pediatrician. He has sensory issues, mostly with food. This will play out during our trip. Loves chicken nuggets, but only from certain restaurants and fast food spots. At home will he only eats Kraft Mac & Cheese character meals, or the Velveeta Shells, and breadsticks. But just this past year, he has started eating pizza. This is huge!!!

    We have one family member that wasn't able to come this time

    [​IMG]
    This is Bubblegum, suppose to be Jacob's dog. She stayed at a kennel, if she is bad, it is called Doggie Prison.;)

    Ok, next up will be the details of how this trip came about.





     
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  3. jmskinner

    jmskinner DIS Veteran

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  4. lovethattink

    lovethattink DIS Veteran

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    I'm here, I'm here!! Can't wait to see what fun you had at Disney and Celebration!
     
  5. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    :yay:

    Can't wait to read all about your trip!

    Dee

    PS- I was behind on your PTR so I just read about your credit card. That stinks! Hope it all worked out.
     
  6. SimmerBaggins

    SimmerBaggins DIS Veteran

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    YAY!! Thanks for the heads-up on FB...:cloud9:
     
  7. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    I think I will follow this one!! You all just look like a fun family!
     
  8. mebbradley

    mebbradley Patiently waiting for the next trip to Disney!

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    I'm in!!

    I keep asking DF if we can get the AF to send us to Tampa. His response? Good Luck getting us out of Dover!
     
  9. angwill

    angwill I just want to live at WDW!

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    Hey Melissa, Can't wait for more posts and pics. Those figure that Jonas paints are awsome. They are so perfect.

    Now I see how long your hair got in the pic from before you moved.

    Ang
     
  10. rgoble5972

    rgoble5972 Are we there yet?

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    Sounds good to me. Bring it on!
     
  11. SlightlyGoofy

    SlightlyGoofy <font color=green>I shall be forced to take you on

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    I am hopping aboard to for the ride with you. Might get some tips for our upcoming trip. I am sorry I could not be there at the same time as you. Maybe after I get all renovated I will be able to do more.:thumbsup2

    Jacob sure has shot up in height and I am glad you got a better diagnosis. Makes it easier on all concerned.

    Looking forward to hearing ALL the details and love the pictures!:worship:

    SG/Linda
     
  12. jmskinner

    jmskinner DIS Veteran

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    We had a great time, glad you are following along. Are you doing a TR?

    It worked out, I was just worried about not earning my Disney dollars. :rotfl2:

    Woo Hoo! The BFF is here!!! I thought about all of you while on this trip. So use to getting to spend time with you.

    We can be a fun family, but we have our "grumpy" moments. :lmao:

    Thanks for joining!

    You aren't too far from us then. I had no idea when Jonas told me we were going to MacDill. Conversation went like this "Got orders for MacDill." "Where is that?" "An hour from WDW." I was at work and didnt' want them to know I was leaving yet, so I couldn't scream, but sure wanted to.

    Thanks for joining!

    Hi! Yes, I hadn't realized how long it was from that anniversary trip to when we moved. A year later it was really long. Thanks for joining!

    I will.:rotfl2: Thanks for joining!

    So glad you are here! I'm sorry we didn't get to see you too. There was one Dismeet, but a very short one.

    Maybe you can come see us in October!:goodvibes
     
  13. jmskinner

    jmskinner DIS Veteran

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    How did this trip come about? Back at SWW 2011 we were speaking with some people that said they heard Star Wars Celebration was going to be held in Orlando again. Oh, guess I should explain Celebration, it is the International Star Wars Convention. We attended in 2010 and I loved it. I'm not a big Star Wars fan, but my boys are and I have realized like I enjoy watching people doing what they love to do. After the 2010 show, I told my boys we would try to go to the next one if it is stateside, there have been a couple overseas. A few months after moving to VA, the news was released that it was going to be Orlando. :banana:

    But, not until the end of August, the 23rd-26th. When is school going to start? I had to wait several months for the school board to get their act together and release the new calendar. School would be starting the 27th.:worried: That's cutting it close, but the boy doesn't drive, he can sleep the whole way home. We could make the trip!

    Now, I gave Jonas the choice of Universal or WDW, but part of me wants to wait to do Universal until they have completed the new Harry Potter area, so WDW it would be.

    And remember, Jacob loves Legos. We moved at the end of July, 2011 and Legoland opened that following fall. Poor Jacob didn't get to see it, so we had to go there.

    We still have a home in the Tampa area we have rented out since we can't sell it. Jonas wanted to drive by it and just make sure it looked ok.

    And then there are these people:
    [​IMG]

    My Mom and Stepdad. They had no idea what was about to happen to them. And the look I got after they got wet:
    [​IMG]

    They had purchased a home in FL right after we left and we hadn't seen them since we moved. Originally thought about them coming to VA for a visit and then they could take Jacob back to FL to spend some time with them, and then we could pick him up or we could meet at WDW.

    Then life got in the way. I signed Jacob up for a two week camp where they explored the different battlefields in the area. They went to Gettysburg, Antietem, Harpers Ferry, and down to Jefferson's old home. I also got him started back in Occupation Therapy and managed to get three weeks of it setup. Jonas' mother wanted him to visit her in NC and we had to get braces on him. Poor kid got his braces the Wednesday before we left for FL. I think this was the busiest summer.

    My mother and I decided that they would come pick him up at WDW and Jonas and I could have a few days in the parks by ourselves. :yay: I originally planned on taking Jacob to all 4 parks on Friday. He only wanted to do a few things and I knew we could do it. Then we got a little update from Celebrations...they were doing a Red Carpet Premiere for the first episode of the Clone Wars new season, which doesn't air until the end of September. Well, I knew my boys would want to do that and it was on Friday. I also knew we would have to wait in line for probably two hours to get in. So trying to make all four parks in one day wasn't going to happen.

    Called my Mom and finally came up with a final plan...two weeks from the day we would leave!:scared: I was even able to move a couple of ADR's to make it all work.:yay:

    So the plan for the trip was:
    Friday, the 17th, leave for FL and get as close as we can.
    Saturday, arrive in FL and get Jacob to the Grandparents (even this changed a few days before the trip)
    Sunday and Monday, Jonas and I would go to the parks.
    Tuesday, the Grandparents would bring the boy over and we would spend the day.
    Wednesday would be Legoland
    Thursday - Saturday would be Celebrations and I planned on late Saturday getting as far on the road to VA as we could. You notice I say "planned".

    Next up would be a road trip we will never forget!






     
  14. SlightlyGoofy

    SlightlyGoofy <font color=green>I shall be forced to take you on

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    So you are going to be about ten miles from me but you will have a very busy schedule. Figures.:rotfl: One of these days.

    Your mom is very pretty and has a face that looks like she has your disposition. That is a good thing btw.:thumbsup2

    SG
     
  15. scottny

    scottny <font color=blue>You better have crackers<br><font

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    Coming along for the ride. I :love: Star Wars.
     
  16. LisaKeys

    LisaKeys Mouseketeer

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    Looking forward to your TR!

    I am such a lover of Boxers! Bubblegum is so cute. :love:

    Read you soon... :surfweb:

    Oh, and the photo of your parents reaction to getting wet? Priceless!!! :rolleyes1
     
  17. jmskinner

    jmskinner DIS Veteran

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    I felt bad we couldn't stop to see you. I wanted to stop and see one of Jacob's old teachers, but Jonas always feels like we have too much planned.:sad2:

    My Mom is a lot like me, sometimes she is a little too laid back. Don't hear from her for weeks and then she thinks you are crazy for wondering about her.

    Thanks for joining. I remember reading one of your TR's a few years ago and I already subscribed to you latest PTR. As a Star Wars fan, you will love the last few days of this trip.

    Thanks for following along. I may be looking for a good home for Bubblegum, she has been misbehaving a lot lately. Grabbing anything she can off the counter, including a load of bread, a new 1lb bag of gummy bears, and a thing of tomatos. :furious: I really wouldn't get rid of her, but she is making us crazy recently. Other than that, she is a great dog and makes sure anyone that rings the doorbell knows she is here and she is big.

    I love those photos of my parents. So happy to be on a ride, not realizing they are seconds away from getting wet.:rotfl2:
     
  18. lovethattink

    lovethattink DIS Veteran

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    Yes, I just started it. I haven't linked it up in the index yet but it will be linked up like I did for SWW!

    http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2946343

    It's too bad we didn't run into each other. It sure sounded like you all were having fun. I know we were having a blast too!
     
  19. jmskinner

    jmskinner DIS Veteran

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    I think you posted about the same time I posted on your TR. :lmao:

    And you got to do a lot we didn't, very jealous.
     
  20. jmskinner

    jmskinner DIS Veteran

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    Oops, wrote the plan and didn't mention how we paid for this adventure. When we moved the movers not only damaged a lot of stuff, but lost a lot. At least 11 40 gallon plastic tubs, plus a whole lot more. Once we received payment from the movers, we paid off a credit card, allowed Jacob to have some of the money since they lost a lot of his toys, Jonas kept some and the rest went to me for the trip.:cool1: I also used my Disney Reward Dollars. Moving into a foreclosed home that needed lots of paint helped raise those dollars. And then there was this
    [​IMG]. It's a piggy bank, or I guess a trooper bank. I tell you, it wasn't easy getting the money out of the guy. The change kept falling into the chin of it, so I kept having to tilt and shake. It was a good workout, but we had about $80 in change saved just since July 2011.:cool1:

    Now to the trip. We started out Friday morning, the 17th. The plan was to be at the kennel when they opened at 8am. Well, we were about 15 minutes behind which is pretty good for us. Jonas never thinks so though.

    Here is Bubblegum headed to the kennel
    [​IMG]

    Before I snapped the pic, she had her head down on the bag in front of her. She never allows me to get the pic I want.:sad1: And I apologize for the blurriness. There are two reasons for this, the first being this
    [​IMG]

    I rented a wide-angle lens for the trip. I learned about it here:Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide Angle Lens Review

    The second excuse for the blurriness is me trying to shoot in manual mode. I have had my DSLR for 3 years now, and this was going to be my first attempt. I purchased the book mentioned in the above article, Understanding Exposure, and thought I would give it a try. So happy I did because the pics did get better as we went.

    We got Bubblegum dropped off and hit the road. All was going well until almost Richmond when there was a little road construction (why they don't they do that stuff overnight), that delayed us at least 30 minutes. Finally got around it. Once we did, we switched and I drove. I got us to NC and Jonas took back over.

    I guess about 1pm or so, we were in one of those jams where traffic is moving, but truckers keep moving into the left lane, slowing it down. Then you have people who think we enjoy going slow and they try to pass on the right and squeeze in. So everybody probably was a little closer than they should have been. I was either trying to sleep or play on my phone at this point. I did feel Jonas brake and I looked up in time to see the lady in front of us swerve to miss a piece of metal. Jonas swerved and missed it, I went back to whatever I was doing, when I heard Jonas "Oh God, he went down!" I looked back in time to see the motorcyclist behind us sliding/rolling across the grass in the median. Jonas pulled over and ran to him. I got out and called 911. Of course I had no idea where I was. Got transfered several times because I gave them wrong exit number, but finally realized we were right at the Cumberland County line because I could see the sign. Ran back with the phone so Jonas could tell them any info he had on the guy. I looked at him and realized he was just kid. Turned out to be around 20. At this time a sheriff's deputy showed up and then ambulances and fire trucks started arriving. There had been about 10 people that got out to help. Jonas was the only one to stay and give a report. He felt someone should know what happened. He said the guy really wasn't driving badly, just one of those accidents you can't count on. We thought about this young man the whole trip, and I am happy to report that by chance his mother was trying to call the police officer listed on the report and dialed our number by mistake. She told Jonas that her son was in a lot of pain from the broken shoulder, collar bone, and dislocated collar bone, but other than that he was ok.

    Now when I got back to the car I realized how dumb I can be at times. We were in the Saturn, which has Onstar. That could have helped locate us a lot quicker. I went ahead and got in the drivers seat thinking Jonas probably didn't need to drive after that.

    We got on the road and took it a little slower. We finally made it to Brunswick, GA where we found a hotel right next to Cracker Barrel. This is Jacob's favorite spot for chicken nuggets. Once we sat down, we realized how exhausted we were. We had dinner and went to bed.

    Got up the next morning and got some Starbucks and hit the road again. Now, we didn't head directly to Orlando, we had a side trip. We had planned on using the Disney Military Salute tickets and I had gotten spoiled by MacDill always having them. The week before we left on the trip, we learned all the bases in the DC area require you to order them two weeks in advance. :confused3 Same was true for Legoland. Thought Shades of Green would be a good place to get them, but they don't sell the Legoland tickets.:confused3

    But MacDill had them and we could get them there. So we headed straight for Tampa. Think it rained the last hour on us. I had a surprise for Jacob in Tampa. There were two boys a couple of houses down from us in FL that he really misses. Not only did I work it out to where he could spend some time with them, but he actually got to spend the night. My surprise was ruined when their mother texted me while Jacob had my phone.:rotfl:

    So, he spent the night with them and my Mother and Stepdad picked him up the next morning. They had a great time!

    We headed to Orlando in the pouring rain, but eventually we did see this...

    oh I deleted the photo because Jonas doesn't have a clue to how use my camera so the pic was horrible. I knew I should have let him drive to WDW.:sad:

    Next up, we make it home! Our absolute favorite resort.:goodvibes


     
  21. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    Oh, wow, that was really scary about the motorcyclist. So glad that you were able to find out how he is doing.

    The twist and turns in your plan were really interesting! That is great that Jacob got to spend the night with his friends. :cool1:
     

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