A long time ago, well not really that long ago in the scheme of things, but about 6 years ago I had two sons that I treated each to their own Father/Son Adventure to Walt Disney World. Both of them. Individually. Just my son and I. And both trips were awesome! The elder was just 8 at the time, and the younger was 5. And we had such fun together making lots of cool memories that they both still talk about to this day. Earlier in that same year, my daughter was born. Now while we did in fact, as a family, take our daughter on a plane and head west when she was just 6 weeks old (and enjoyed both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure on that trip), her time would just have to wait to be able to fully enjoy a special one-on-one trip with her dear old dad. Well that time arrived this year, and thats what this little narrative is all about: My Daddy Daughter Adventure with my own little in-house princess. A tale full of Disney princesses, characters, animals and other fun stuff. Before I get too far into the bulk of the story though, let me give a little bit of info, especially for anyone who hasnt read through or enjoyed any of my prior trip reports. I am a former cast member of the original magical little park that Walt Disney himself created Disneyland and as such, the training (read indoctrination) that I received all those years ago has stuck with me in the two decades that have passed since. I tend to take everything in with a critical eye towards the overall show, and tend to be a bit anal towards many of the details that I see (or dont see) about any given thing an attraction, a restaurant, resort or experience. I also am one to enjoy many things that arent necessarily the big crowd pleasers or draws. I love to stop and take in the details, and smell the roses if you will. Like Walt and many of his imagineers through the years, I LOVE the details and little plusses to the parks that are there for no other reason but to augment the show. So just be forewarned, you just might experience some of that in the posts ahead. I also tend to document my trips with a lot of pictures so hopefully you wont mind seeing a few pics here and there and there and there and there I also tend to get a bit "chatty", so hopefully my droning on won't bore you too much. But hey, if you've chosen to stick to it and read this far, you might as well just go all in and come along for the ride. In the years that have ensued since I took my sons on their adventures (and we stayed off site in the Marriott Village at Little Lake Bryan, across the 4 from the Hotel Plaza resorts there by Downtown Disney), our family joined DVC (as you can no doubt tell by my signature), and ever since have enjoyed those resorts, in addition to the other non-DVC resorts that we enjoyed together as a family prior to becoming members. We haven't yet stayed at all of the DVC resorts, but are working on it. So far we're at 6 of the 10 existing resorts, and are looking forward to that 11th one on that tropical island out in the Pacific Ocean). We have lived in the midwest for nearly 9 years now (job transfer - but the HQ is located in Irvine, CA ... just about 15 minutes from "the mothership" in Anaheim - and lots of family & friends are still out west, so annual trips back are normal for us, often more frequently for me), and we have enjoyed many family trips to Florida ever since we first arrived. My DW and I honeymooned at WDW (Grand Floridian), and work takes me to Florida regularly. So you won't be surprised when I say I've been there a lot. In fact I have been to WDW, staying both onsite and off, 49 times now since my very first visit when I was 21 (growing up in So Cal, there was no need to go to Florida, when we had "Walt's park", just 30 minutes away!). I do take great pleasure in being able to visit WDW in a combination of family and solo trips (most typically tagged on to the end of a business trip to the area). And look forward to many more in the future too (Spring and Fall break trips are currently on our horizon for '11). For this adventure, we stayed at Animal Kingdom Villas-Kidani Village. Ill talk more about that shortly. So, is everybody ready? Lets get this show rolling. Just like the trips I took with my sons, this wasnt a LONG trip by any means. We spent 3 nights, and part of 4 days at the World. WHAT we did really didnt matter to me, as she was the driver of the adventure except for two special things that had been pre-arranged for. Where we began each morning, and what we did was completely decided on the fly; the luck of the draw, if you will. She definitely had a couple of things in mind going in to the trip that she KNEW she wanted to do. Our trip was over Labor Day, and Star Tours was ON HER AGENDA! Especially considering it was closing at WDW for the extended redo on September 8th (the day we would be flying home). On previous trips she was not such a ST fan, but in January when we were there with my folks, she just fell head over heals in love with that attraction. Now for me, thats pretty cool, because I was there at Disneyland back in 1987 when it first opened, and the park hosted a 60 Hour Grand Opening Party; with the nearly 5-hour line snaking throughout Tomorrowland, around the Hub, and down Main Street, U.S.A. and all. Disneylands Star Tours attraction closed in July and sadly I wasnt able to get one last ride in on the original, but by golly, since we were there right before closing in Florida, I was excited to be able to enjoy it once more in the attraction's original format. Sure I cant wait for the new version (after 23 years, it was about time for Captain Rex to move beyond taking his "first flight" dontcha know?), but Im a pretty big nostalgic kind of guy, so part of me wishes that the original version could still be an option of the reported several that will be in place when ST2 opens next May. But if not, I got to ride it once again. But more on that later. Heres my DD and I at the airport after my DW and sons dropped us off. My DWs father was diagnosed with cancer just weeks before this trip, and she was wanting to get out to CA to spend some time with him. We determined that the best plan of action was for her to fly west the day that our DD and I returned (long story, but it was the best plan), especially since my DW didnt want to deprive DD of her long planned trip with daddy (wed been planning it for about a year). So more about that later too, but rather than have 2 different parking fees, she drove us, then drove to the airport the day she was leaving/we were coming home, and then DD and I drove home, and I picked her up when she arrived back to Indiana. No long term parking charge at all, just about an hour and a half charge instead. We saved about $100 that way, so we were happy with it. Heres my DD watching our plane as we wait to board. About this time I got my handy little text from Brian or John at Owners Locker our wonderful purple boxes were waiting for us at Kidani Village. Woo hoo. Just another reminder that were about to go have some fun at the east coast house of the mouse. (We are a bi-coastal family looking forward to our Christmas visit to the west coast house, where well stay at the lovely Villas at the Grand Californian or VGC ) And here we are on the plane. Arrival in to Orlando! Woo hoo. We landed at about 11:45am. Waiting for the airport monorail as my kids call it, headed for the Magical Express bus We always have to get the first car, and they always sit at the very front The morning was a pretty light morning at MCO, at least on the arrival side waiting for DME! After the trip over from the A side terminal to the B side and the DME check-in spot, we walked up by 12:20, and were first up in the line for the bus. Even when we got on to the bus, there were only a couple of handfuls of people on it (it seats 56) so we had our pick of seats, and there wouldnt be a lot of stopping or unload time at other resorts. The driver announced the drop-off schedule, and we were #3 of 3. Oh well, its always generally an enjoyable ride, but those tv monitors are getting old and worn out. I personally think Mears needs to upgrade them. The welcome video that they play is nice, but getting so hard to see on many of the screens. We have arrived!! Thanks to a very short line at the airport, and not many people on the bus with only two stops ahead of ours, we arrived at AKV-KV by 1pm. That was terrific. Ive only experienced one shorter trip from the airport, so I called it good and we were happy. Boy, at this point I'm seeing that this adventure took place 3 full months ago now, and I've been to both DL and WDW since then... but waiting to do the TR is sure helping to bring it back to mind. My last couple of TR's have been started LIVE while on-site, but now I get to go back and relive it. Kinda fun! Especially looking at those mostly beautiful weather pictures ahead it definitely beats the 7 inches or more of snow that Im currently looking at out my window. So next up the exciting fun that check-in brought and WHERE would we go to spend the afternoon and evening? Decisions, decisions... but getting some lunch was DEFINITELY on the agenda, I will say that, pretty much top priority at that point. A hungry 6 year old can at times be a cranky 6 year old .