A Mother-Daughter Trip! Now with BONUS BIRTHDAY Trip! (Final Thoughts Coming Soon!)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by RGirl, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    1. An Introduction
    Welcome to my first Trip Report! I have not posted a ton on the Dis, but I have definitely left my lurker status behind, and I have read a lot of amazing trip reports and dining reviews and owe my two great Disney World experiences largely to this board. And somehow Ive been talked into writing a TR - I hope someone will read along!!!

    I should start with an introduction, I guess. My name is Roni. I am 41 years old and have a 4-year-old daughter named Willow. Here we are:
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    In order to understand what a great trip this was and how different it was from our first trip (which was also great, but different), I will give you a tiny bit of background on our 2010 trip to Disney World, which was our first trip! When we went last year, we were joined by my mother and a friend of mine from work. They both relied on me entirely to plan everything, which was fine with me, but I did end up feeling a bit stressed much of the time fearing that they may not be having fun or wished they were doing something else or something. Much of that was my own problem, and some of it was the fact that my mom never acted like she had any fun. (After the trip, she told other people how great it was, so I guess she had fun. :confused3)

    Anyway, last year, because of our traveling companions, we didnt really do any character meet-and-greets except for character dining experiences because I didnt want to make everyone wait. We also didnt experience attractions over and over because I knew that not everyone would enjoy that. Finally, we stayed off-site last year at a house with a private pool - it was ideal for that trip because everyone had her own space (four bedrooms with attached baths).

    This year, it was just the two of us and we stayed on property (renting DVC points for a Boardwalk-view villa! :woohoo:) and we stood in pretty much every character line we saw! :rotfl:

    Anyway, thats the background on us. I cant wait to get started on the actual trip! :cool1:

    Oh, wait, I should probably mention something about photos. I took a lot of photos (even including some food porn) and will be posting a lot. However, I was traveling alone with a 4-year-old child. I think I got out my good camera exactly once. And pretty much every shot I took was on the run with a point-and-shoot, so the quality is not going to be stellar. I apologize for that, but we did get hundreds of PhotoPass pictures, and I will include those as well. I should have the PP CD by early next week!

    Up Next: Appendicitis versus WDW


    CHAPTERS
    1. An Introduction
    2. Appendicitis vs. WDW

    3. Will We Be Able to Leave as Planned???
    4. We Arrive!!!!!
    5. Our First Night on Property
    6. An Early Morning of Princessification
    7. Finally, the Princessification
    8. The Surly Princess Has a Photoshoot
    9. Will the Princess Ride???
    10. A Royal Meeting
    11. A Royal Luncheon
    12. The Rest of Day 1 - Almost
    13. The Rest of Day 1 - Finally

    14. Will DDs Insistence on Riding Dinosaur Pay Off for Her?
    15. The Characterpalooza Started with Pooh and Continued On and On and On
    16. Every Day Should Include a Little Epcot
    17. Will We Brave the DHS Rope Drop???
    18. Tower of Fun or Tower of Doom????
    19. A Fancy Lunch and Some Thrilling Rides
    20. A Quiet Evening at Home
    21. Surely We Must Need Another Princess Meal
    22. We Give WS Another Chance
    23. Soarin, Veggies, a Meltdown, and Some Solo Touring
    24. More Epcot!
    25. Pre-Party Fun
    26. Some Pre-Party Meetings and a Near Drowning
    27. Some Fantasyland and MNSSHP Fun
    28. DD Falls in Love
    29. A Lazy Epcot Lunch
    30. Shopping Around the World
    31. Are They Really Going to Epcot Again? Why, Yes, Yes, We Are!
    32. Who Would Have Thought We Would Be Spending Another Day at DHS?
    33. Just How Many Times Will We Ride ToT?
    34. A Delicious Dinner and a Bad Night
    35. Will We Make It to Crystal Palace?
    36. A Lovely Last Day in the MK & Or Was It&&&
    37. We Do the Last Day DDs Way
    38. Our Last Few Hours of Disney Fun

    BONUS SURPRISE BIRTHDAY TR
    1. How This Trip Came to Be and THE BIG SURPRISE!

    2. Our Close Call with Cancellation

    3. Will There Be Any Magic for Our First Night?
    4. DDs Birthday-palooza Begins!!!! (First Installment)
    5. DDs Birthday-palooza Begins!!!! (Second Installment)
    6. DDs Birthday-palooza Begins!!!! (Third Installment)
    7. A Visit with a Mermaid (First Installment)
    8. A Visit with a Mermaid (Second Installment)
    9. Mary and Bert and Mary
    10. Fun at CA and a Birthday Lunch (First Installment)
    11. Fun at CA and a Birthday Lunch (Second Installment)
    12. Fun at CA and a Birthday Lunch (Third Installment)
    13. More Birthday Fun - Its Good to Be FIVE! (First Installment)
    14. More Birthday Fun - Its Good to Be FIVE! (Second Installment)
    15. More Birthday Fun - Its Good to Be FIVE! (Third Installment)
    16. More Birthday Fun - Its Good to Be FIVE! (Fourth Installment)
    17. Some New Attractions and Some New Characters (First Installment)
    18. Some New Attractions and Some New Characters (Second Installment)
    19. Some New Attractions and Some New Characters (Third Installment)
    20. Some New Attractions and Some New Characters (Fourth Installment)
    21. Will We See Mary and Bert Again? (First Installment)
    22. Will We See Mary and Bert Again? (Second Installment)
    23. Tasty Treats, Princesses, Toon Town, and Wild Rides (First Installment)
    24. Tasty Treats, Princesses, Toon Town, and Wild Rides (Second Installment)
    25. Tasty Treats, Princesses, Toon Town, and Wild Rides (Third Installment)
    26. Tasty Treats, Princesses, Toon Town, and Wild Rides (Fourth Installment)
    p=44287595&postcount=432"]27. A Rainy Last Morning at DL
    28. Our Last-Day CA Must-Dos (First Installment)[/COLOR][/B]
    29. Our Last-Day CA Must-Dos (Second Installment)
    30. Our Last-Day CA Must-Dos (Third Installment)
    31. Our Last-Day CA Must-Dos (Fourth Installment)
    32. A Quick Trip to DL and Some Last-Night Magic (First Installment)
    33. A Quick Trip to DL and Some Last-Night Magic (Second Installment)
     
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  3. hstrickland

    hstrickland Way Down South...

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    :yay: You started one!!! Good for you! And I'm the first one to subscribe:dance3: I'll PM you and give you the directions for the link. Can't wait to see all the pics:thumbsup2
     
  4. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    Hi Heather!!!
    :rotfl: I think you may be the only one to subscribe! Thank you so much for all the help!!!! I'm so excited to relive our trip and share all our pics. :love:

    But I won't be neglecting your TR either! :thumbsup2
     
  5. cgerdon02

    cgerdon02 Mouseketeer

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    I'm in! Looking forward to hearing all about it :)
     
  6. JLCJMC

    JLCJMC Mouseketeer

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    I want to join in too! Can't wait to hear all about it:goodvibes
     
  7. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    Welcome!!!! I am excited that we will have dueling trip reports for trips at the same time! :laughing:

    Welcome!! Thanks so much for joining in!!!
     
  8. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    2. Appendicitis vs. WDW

    Okay, I think it's time to get this TR started even if we won't quite get to WDW in this update! :laughing:

    We were scheduled to leave our hometown for Seattle, WA on Wednesday, October 19. We would spend the night in Seattle and make our way to Orlando on Thursday, October 20. :yay:

    And then seeming disaster struck. On Sunday, DD said her tummy hurt. I thought, “well, I guess we’ll stay home today.” She actually went to bed, which was weird, but I did manage to get some packing done in the guest room next to her bedroom. Later, she came downstairs with me and lay down on the couch. And that is when she started sobbing and sobbing because her stomach hurt so much. I knew that was not a good sign and called my dad (retired physician). He agreed that I needed to take her to the ER (remember - it’s Sunday, of course).

    Long story short, many hours later, we had no idea whether she had appendicitis and would face surgery or whether she just had a virus. We were sent home, and I was instructed to keep an eye on her all night and bring her in immediately if anything got worse. That was scary - I was so worried all night that I would miss something and her appendix would rupture! :scared1: By morning, she obviously felt better, and (as instructed), we went back into the ER for follow-up blood work. The doctor was “very encouraged,” but he said that he could still not say with 100% certainty that it was not appendicitis. Essentially, if she was still doing well over the next 24 to 48 hours, I could be pretty sure that she was okay.

    Yikes.

    Tuesday morning, she was better and went to preschool. That afternoon, they called me to pick her up for some tummy issues, but nothing drastic. She was fine at home the rest of the day, and at that point, I was quite sure that she had hit the end of a virus of some sort. And we planned to leave the next day unless she took a turn for the worse. (I was quite confident that she was not contagious - no one else at school had it, I didn’t have it, it had been several days, etc.)

    Sorry for the lack of pictures, but there wasn’t much that was picture-worthy in this update!

    Next: Will We Be Able to Leave as Planned????
     
  9. JLCJMC

    JLCJMC Mouseketeer

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    YIKES!
    Not knowing what is wrong with them is the worst. :scared1: I have horrible memories of sitting and waiting in ERs... I hope all turned out well. :flower3:
     
  10. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    So true!!! I have been so lucky with DD's health. This was a very good reminder of that. Not knowing what is going on but knowing something is wrong with your child is just an awful feeling!
     
  11. BeckyM

    BeckyM Earning My Ears

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    When we went last year, we were joined by my mother and a friend of mine from work. They both relied on me entirely to plan everything, which was fine with me, but I did end up feeling a bit stressed much of the time fearing that they may not be having fun or wished they were doing something else or something.

    My family went to WDW 2 years ago and had the same problem. My mom set up pretty much everything, but I did the ADRs. I felt so bad if everyone didn't love the meal. Looking foward to our next trip which will be just my immediate family.


    Oh, wait, I should probably mention something about photos. I took a lot of photos (even including some food porn) and will be posting a lot.

    LOVE photos! Can't wait to see more! BTW- Your daughter is adorable!

    Looking forward to reading more!
     
  12. BeckyM

    BeckyM Earning My Ears

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    Sorry I did the quote thing wrong in my previous post. Still trying to figure out how to do things on here. :confused3
     
  13. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    Welcome Becky!!!! Yes, there is something freeing about not being responsible for too many different people's Disney happiness. ;):rotfl:

    Thanks for joining in!!! :woohoo:
     
  14. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    3. Will We Be Able to Leave as Planned???

    So Tuesday afternoon, it looked like DD was recovering pretty well from her illness, and we were tentatively planning to leave (as planned) the next afternoon. I was nervous! But Wednesday morning, DD seemed to be nearly 100%. And I knew that we would be making the first leg of our journey at least!

    DD ripped off the last day on her countdown calendar and got her last trip gift.
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    We loaded our own Beast, Oscar, into the car for the trip to the doggy hotel. He was pretty excited to be going to play with his doggy friends!
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    Not sure why Willow was looking so dour in that photo, so I tried to take another. Of course, I had lost Oscar’s interest by then....
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    Oh well!

    When we got back home, we finished packing. (We don’t travel light these days - a LOT of princess dresses make the trip with us.)
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    Eventually, my parents arrived to take us to the airport.
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    We were excited!
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    A friend of mine had recently told me about these sticker books - the stickers are different dresses and accessories and such that the kids can put on the princesses or fairies or whatever in the books. I pulled one of these out while we waited for the plane, and it was fantastic! We both had fun with it, and it was the perfect distraction on the trip for in the airport and on the plane prior to reaching the point where the movie player could come out.
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    We eventually got on the plane. This was a very short flight - maybe an hour. DD watched part of a movie.
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    And then we were there. We had to collect all of our bags, and then we had to drag them into an elevator, across a sky bridge, into another elevator to go back down, across traffic, and finally arrive at the hotel shuttle island. Terrible set-up, SeaTac Airport!!! I am lucky that DD is a seasoned travel able to pull one of the bags thereby saving us money on those carts - more money for souvenirs! :rotfl:
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    Our hotel shuttle finally arrived, and we reached our temporary destination at the SeaTac Embassy Suites.
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    We pulled out the few things we needed from our bags, DD practiced her gymnastics,
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    we enjoyed the Manager’s Reception,
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    and then ordered room service before going to bed as early as we could make ourselves.

    We were back up again at 6:00 the next morning in order to make our way back to the airport. We spotted this beautiful plane on the way to our gate. It was apparently going to Alaska....
    [​IMG]

    Next Up: We Arrive!!!!!
     
  15. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    Well, I think I'll just keep going here. :laughing:

    4. We Arrive!!!!!
    We had a very long flight to Orlando - about 6 hours. Ugh! But we made it! We went to baggage claim and found our bags right together waiting for us. (We chose not to have DME retrieve our bags since it can take several hours for them to get to the room, and I wanted to be able to unpack completely before going to bed.)

    We hauled our bags over to DME and waited and waited and waited for a bus.
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    Eventually, they started taking people from our line and putting them on other buses. Luckily, we were the second family in line, so we were able to fit on one of the waiting buses.
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    The bus ride was very pleasant - I enjoyed the little arrival video and especially enjoyed not having to drive! We made stops at Pop and CBR.
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    Unfortunately, DD fell asleep on the bus, and she was NOT pleased when I woke her up upon our arrival at the Boardwalk.
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    We checked into the hotel at about 6:30 p.m. I didn’t get any lobby pictures at this time, but I made up for that later. We were assigned a second-floor villa, and, at the advice of a DVC-member friend, I asked if there was any possibility of getting a villa on a higher floor. (The balconies on the lower villas at BWV are sometimes a bit obstructed compared to the higher floors.) The gal checking us in seemed completely baffled by this request and what to do with it. She got on the phone and said nothing for a very long time. Then she disappeared in back for a very long time.

    Finally, she came back out and said there were no other villas available in our category. I said that was fine - it wasn’t a big deal. It really wasn’t, just wanted to check in case we could get a higher floor!

    Up next: Our First Night On Property
     
  16. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    5. Our First Night On Property

    Finally, we were done with check-in and headed to the Boardwalk Villas side of the resort to check out our villa! We were so excited to see where we would be staying, and we were not disappointed! (Sorry the pics came out a bit blurry for some reason. :confused:)
    Living Room:
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    Kitchen:
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    Bathroom:
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    Towel Mickey:
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    Bedroom:
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    Willow was especially happy to see the present from Minnie!
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    I was especially happy to see our view! (Sorry for the pic quality - again, I wasn’t using the best camera, and the light was fading fast.)
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    Our luggage arrived very quickly. But I soon realized that our grocery order was not present despite that I had mentioned it when requesting our bags and despite that Garden Grocer had sent a text notifying me of delivery. So I called the bellhop desk (or whatever it is), and after much confusion, she said they would bring up the groceries. This was accomplished very quickly, but I then realized that our stroller wasn’t there! I asked the lovely gentleman who had brought our luggage and then our groceries about it, and he went to inquire further. Shortly thereafter, he appeared at our door for the third time with the stroller. I felt so bad for not realizing these things were missing more quickly! Needless to say, I ended up tipping him several times.

    We proceeded to unpack, and Willow enjoyed a nice bath in the big jacuzzi tub. At that point, we couldn’t stand it - we had to leave the villa and at least spend a few minutes on the boardwalk. Plus, we were hungry. We made our way to the Boardwalk Bakery and got a sandwich to share. (Sorry - I wasn’t yet in the habit of taking food pics.) We ended up having dinner on our balcony while watching the performers and pedestrians on the boardwalk.
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    Later, Willow enjoyed a treat from Minnie:
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    And so did Mommy ;):
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    That’s right - Minnie brought Halloween rice krispy treats. YUM! And we were right above the general store, which just happened to have wine. :woohoo:

    We enjoyed our treats and the parts of IllumiNations that we could see over the hotel from our balcony. (Sorry again - I didn’t even attempt any fireworks pictures this night - we were just so excited to be there and seeing them! I did get some later - not that they are great.)

    Next up: An Early Morning of Princessification
     
  17. shan23877

    shan23877 I make lists about my lists

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    Joining in! Your DD is adorable!

    Your room looks great, I think BWV are the DVC rooms that look most my speed.

    Can't wait to hear about the trip!
     
  18. hstrickland

    hstrickland Way Down South...

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    Hey there! Haven't been on the Boards in a week!:sad2: Things are crazy around here....fortunately we have the day off, so I can play catch-up:woohoo:

    I must say that your view of the Boardwalk is too awesome!!!! Holy cow! Just wondering...did it ever get loud or noisy? I'm guessing the second floor was ok;) I've wanted to try the BWV, but DH isn't too interested....he doesn't like the pool area. That area looks like it would be lots of fun and tons of things to do.

    Backing up a bit...I liked your idea of the countdown calendar. Think I'm going to have to steal that one for our trip in June. The kids would love it. I would also like to have a gift left for them like you did for Willow. Did she really think it was from Minnnie?....too cute!

    Hope y'all have a great weekend!
    Heather
     
  19. CandleontheWater

    CandleontheWater Forever in love with Hathaway Browne

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    Hey there!

    I agree that traveling with family and friends can be stressful, especially if you feel responsible for their happiness! So glad you got to take a mother/daughter trip, that sounds like fun!

    I LOVE the boardwalk! We've stayed there a few times, but I have never been lucky enough to get a boardwalk view, how cool!
     
  20. ZehnJahren

    ZehnJahren DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! Your trip looks so good so far! That is a BIG DOG! :laughing:

    I am so glad your little girl didn't have appendicitis - that is so scary. Appendicitis has always scared me because it's so sudden and could truly be ANYTHING! I know there are reports that state many times an appendectomy isn't even needed but is done out of caution! I'm glad Willow didn't have to go through that.

    And look at her sitting so quietly on the plane! Would like to have her sit behind me on a plane - kids behind me always want to kick.
     
  21. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    Welcome!!! So glad you are coming along for the ride. :woohoo: We LOVED our villa - it felt like home. :lovestruc

    Welcome back! I missed you. :laughing: We could definitely hear the goings-on on the boardwalk (the magicians et al. would perform right under our balcony) and the fireworks from Epcot. But we sleep with white noise, so once we turned that on, we didn't hear anything. I can't imagine staying anywhere else - we loved it! Hmm, well, maybe BCV or BLT or the Poly or :rotfl:

    I did countdown calendars both years. They are really fun. I use post-its to cover up each day - counting down from 30. Then, when she rips off that day's number, there is either a sticker underneath or a piece of paper with a clue to finding a gift. Very fun! I'm pretty sure that she thought the pumpkin was from Minnie - she really believes that all those "characters" are her friends. :laughing:

    We are off on a road trip in a few minutes - we are going to see Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson: The Immortal Tour. Very excited. :woohoo: I will probably be updating from the hotel though since Willow goes to bed long before I do. ;) Have a great long weekend!!!!!

    Welcome - so glad you are joining in! I am loving your adults-only trip report. ;)

    Welcome! I'm so enjoying your TR!

    :laughing: Yeah, our beast is on the large side. But he is very gentle and sweet. :lovestruc

    The appendicitis thing was so scary. I feel very lucky that we were able to avoid surgery.

    Willow does do pretty well on planes - she has been traveling since she was a little baby. But she definitely has her moments. :scared1: :rotfl:
     

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