A Very Cheery Not So Scary Birthday Soiree (Updated 11/30!)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by SoNotAPrincess, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,237
    Let me break it down for you.

    2012 has not been my year when it comes to making a Disney trip happen. Those of you who follow my PTR (thank you, one and all!) are familiar with the seemingly endless Disney trip changes, delays, and cancellations I've experienced this year.

    I make plans; and God laughs, people. I’m tellin’ ya.

    I’m really worried that my Disney Diva mojo may need a jump start.

    How does one jump start one’s mojo?

    Anyone?

    Bueller?

    Undeterred by my bad trip planning luck, I set forth on another planning adventure, this time for three days for my birthday! Initially, it was just going to be me and my main squeeze, Gabriel; and we were staying at the Yacht Club from October 8 - 10. I later changed the resort to the Beach Club, but the dates stayed the same.


    [​IMG]
    (Photo courtesy of Disney.com)

    Then my 18-year-old niece, Erica, came to stay with me; and, of course, we added her into the mix. Since we figured hanging out with us 24/7 for three days wouldn’t be her idea of fun, we invited her BFF (and cousin), Bella, to come along. We decided they should have their own room and switched resorts to POFQ for budgetary purposes. I don’t have any recent photos of the two of them, but here they are as wee tots…

    [​IMG]

    …and a few years later at Disney as Goth-girl wannabes….

    [​IMG]

    I made ADRs and bought MNSSHP tickets for my actual birthday, October 8.

    [​IMG]

    The four of us would have mucho birthday and Halloween fun!

    It was a plan.

    Stan.

    And then it wasn’t.

    On October 4, the brakes went out on my car and cost almost $500 to have them replaced. Ouch. Not really Disney trip related, but it got the ball rolling.

    On October 5, Bella called Erica and said she couldn’t go because she had a big exam on Tuesday.

    And then there were three.

    Luckily, I know how it goes with girls; and although we had decided to get a second room; and I went ahead and switched our room reservation from BC to POFQ, I never actually reserved the additional room. I knew I was taking a bit of a risk, but I also know how unusual it would be for POFQ to fill up this time of year. With Bella out, Erica would stay in our room with us; and although we’d be out the MNSSHP ticket cost, we’d wind up saving money on the room situation.

    Score!

    Here’s where it gets really bumpy.

    On Sunday, October 7 (the day before the trip), Gabriel’s ex-wife called from Illinois and told him that his 14-year-old daughter was doing cheer stunts with her friends without supervision and suffered a fall resulting in injuries to her ankle and wrist. She was calling from the ER and would let him know as soon as she had details.

    So we waited.

    A few hours later she called back and said the wrist was only sprained and would be OK, but they were going to do surgery on her ankle on Tuesday or Wednesday. In the meantime, his daughter wants her daddy; and, of course, Gabriel wants to be with her, too.

    Without a doubt, he was going. The kids come first.

    He got online and booked a flight for Monday morning (Disney Day…and my birthday). It worked out good in that we could take him to the airport on our way to WDW. Other than that, it totally and completely sucked.

    And then there were two.

    I’m Laura, your intrepid trip reporter, also known as Aunt Lauri, Larry Canary (don’t ask), and Honey (which makes me think of the How I Met Your Mother episode with Katy Perry and the tag line, “Awwww, Honey!”) As you might expect, I’m a certifiable Disney Nut (some may say Disney Freak….in love, of course), and I have no idea how many times I’ve been to WDW because it never occurred to me to start counting in 1972 when I made my first visit. My favorite character (at present) is Eugene Fitzherbert, and my favorite ride is Haunted Mansion.

    Erica likes Disney and gets excited about going, but she’s not as enamored of all things Disney as I am. She’s been to WDW three times, in 2002, 2006, and 2011. Her favorite character is Winnie the Pooh, and one of my favorite Disney memories ever was watching her morph into a four year old when she met him on our Divas at Disney trip in 2011. Her favorite ride is RnR, with ToT a close second.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Going forward, I’ll keep my posts shorter…with more photos! I just wanted to get the back story out of the way in one shot!

    And lastly, don’t be shy…give a shout out and let me know you’re here!
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. teekathepony

    teekathepony DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4,686
    I'm in!!
    I'm not sure if it's just me, but the link you posted in your PTR didn't work, I had to search for this one. :confused3 No matter! I found you! :goodvibes
     
  4. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,989
    I'm here!!! Can't wait to hear all about your adventures!! :goodvibes
     
  5. marDgreen88

    marDgreen88 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Messages:
    3,828
    I'm joining, of course! I'm so sorry to hear about all the drama before your trip, and especially that Gabriel couldn't go anymore. (I hope his daughter is okay!)

    However, I hope that you and Erica were still able to have an amazing time!
     
  6. amandaw

    amandaw DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Messages:
    4,418
    Hi! I'm joining in!

    Sorry to hear about all the drama you had before your trip. :eek:
     
  7. Oshawott501

    Oshawott501 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2012
    Messages:
    90
    Ah, Another 10/8 party attender. I was there, and got 17 meet & greets in. I had a blast.
     
  8. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,237
    :welcome: Yay! You made it! Thanks for letting me know about the link! I fixed it and double checked it, and now it works!
     
  9. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,237
    :welcome: I'm glad you're here! Rest assured, there were adventures!
     
  10. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,237
    :welcome: Hello!!

    Without drama, life would be boring...personally, I'd be OK with a little boring! :rotfl: I was very bummed, too...we both were...but stuff happens, and you just gotta suck it up, buttercup, and make the best of a bad situation! Fortunately, his daughter is OK; and that's what matters most!

    Erica and I had SO much fun!
     
  11. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,237
    :welcome: Hi! I'm so glad you're here!

    The drama wasn't fun, but I'm using it to justify another WDW visit...we deserve a do-over, doncha think?
    :thumbsup2
     
  12. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,237
    :welcome: Hello!

    17 meet and greets? Wowza, that's impressive! Good job!
    :jumping1:
     
  13. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,237
    Day 1—Part 1: Ready, Set, Go!​


    I woke up early on my birthday…I almost always wake up early, and it’s a giant pain. Why, oh why, can’t I sleep ‘til noon like other people? Anyhoo, my first thought was that it was finally DISNEY day…followed quickly by the less than happy realization that Gabriel wasn’t going with us.

    Sad face.

    I got up and made coffee knowing that the scent of freshly brewed java wafting through the air would pull Gabriel and Erica from dreamland faster than I could. We had put our luggage in the car the night before, and it didn’t take too long to get ready; so we were on our way pretty quickly.

    But before we left, Gabriel pulled me out on the patio, apologized again, and gave me this pretty birthday bauble:


    [​IMG]

    And one with the flash because the stone is so pretty and pink!

    [​IMG]

    Oooh, sparkly! Good job, baby!

    Later that night when we were talking on the phone he told me he’d planned to give it to me beside Cinderella Castle. There’s a bench nestled in the trees near Sleepy Hollow where we sat one afternoon about a year ago, talking and holding hands. It was a completely unplanned, quiet, romantic moment; and he didn’t want me to know before I got to MK because he didn’t want me to sad when I saw “our bench”.

    Swoon.

    I think I’ll keep him!

    The plan for the day was to check in at POFQ around 6:30 or 7 a.m., then hit AK for morning EMH; but we changed things in order to drop Gabriel off at MCO at 8:15. At some point, we saw this:


    [​IMG]

    Erica and I cheered.

    At the airport, Gabriel and I smooched and did our bye-baby-call-me-when-you-land-OK-have-fun-at-Disney-OK-love you-love-you-too spiel. And then I peeled rubber (safely) out of the airport…and pretty soon we were seeing this:


    [​IMG]

    It doesn’t matter how many times I see the arch; it always makes me happy…giddy even. In a way, though maybe it sounds silly, it’s a bit like coming home!

    By 9 a.m. we were pulling into POFQ. Erica was in charge of photographing the gate, but she was texting and missed it. No biggie, we’ll get it another time.

    Except we didn’t.

    So, courtesy of triptomagic.blogspot.com, for anyone who’s never seen it, here is the gate at POFQ in all its beauty and southern charm:


    [​IMG]

    Check in was easy peasy lemon squeezy.

    Whatever that means.

    I hadn’t made any special room requests; but when the CM smiled and asked me how I felt about birthday magic, I assured her I was in favor of magic of all kinds. She did her thing with the enchanted keyboard and magical computer, gave us our KTTK and my birthday button, and sent us on our way with a cheerful, “Happy birthday, Princess.”

    Being called princess just never gets old.


    [​IMG]

    I’m building a pretty good collection of these pins…how ‘bout a new style, Disney?

    So, what birthday magic did we get?

    We were upgraded to a corner room in building 6 with a breathtaking river view!


    [​IMG]

    Yeah, baby!

    I’m sure I took a photo of our view; but when I uploaded the trip pictures, it had gone poof. I’m not naming names, but someone (not me) was deleting pictures of herself that she deemed “not good enough”; and I’m pretty sure she got that one by mistake. Way to go, She Who Must Not Be Named!

    Photo credit: I did a Google search and found this one, taken by DIS user “Turk February”.


    Up next…we depart New Orleans and head for…a destination to be named later!
     
  14. marDgreen88

    marDgreen88 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Messages:
    3,828
    What a sweet gift! That was sweet of him. :goodvibes

    POFQ!!! That's the number one moderate resort that I want to stay at! It's so pretty. Hooray for birthday pixie dust! What a beautiful view!
     
  15. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,989
    Your ring from Gabriel is so beautiful!!! :goodvibes

    Yay for birthday pixie dust!! Your view looks so nice!
     
  16. jecskc

    jecskc DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Messages:
    4,492
    I'm here !!! YAY for Birthday Pixie Dust !! pixiedust:
     
  17. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,237
    He's a pretty wonderful guy, and I'm a pretty lucky girl!

    I absolutely LOVED staying at POFQ. I've always been a POR girl...I just love those antebellum mansion buildings, but POFQ has won my heart!
     
  18. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,237
    Thank you!!

    Our room was perfect...the beds, the view...even the water pressure in the shower! :rotfl:
     
  19. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,237
    Hello and :welcome:! I'm glad you're here!

    Pixie dust is always great, but birthday is pixie dust is SUPER great! pixiedust:
     
  20. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    6,294
    I'm joining. I can't wait to hear about your trip. And that ring is a beautiful gift. He done good. :thumbsup2
     
  21. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,237
    Day 1—Part 2: Into Africa


    Because of our little side trip to the airport, we were significantly behind schedule on our plan to be at AK for rope drop, followed by several hours of EE, Dinosaur, FOTLK, and whatever else we could fit in. It was now about 10 a.m., and since we hadn’t had breakfast; it made sense to eat before we set out on a two-week safari. So we hit up the food court for beignets…the breakfast of champions!

    [​IMG]

    The beignets are beyond delicious and an absolute MUST if you’re at POFQ, but be warned that the powdered sugar gets on everything and is hard to get off your clothes. It may have been the fabric my shirt was made of, but I couldn’t get it wiped off. I looked like I’d either been in a summer snowball fight or had an intense case of dandruff! So back to the room we went so I could change. Sheesh!

    While we were in the room, I went ahead and cancelled our Boatwright’s dinner ADR because I’d found out that we could get into MK for MNSSHP at 4 p.m., even though the party didn’t start until 7.

    While we were walking to the car, Erica casually mentioned that the only thing she really wanted to do at Animal Kingdom was the safari so she could see the giraffes.

    What’s that you say?

    You don’t want to ride EE and face the Yeti? You don’t want to get your spine dislocated on Dinosaur? You don’t want to see FOTLK? You don’t want to take 101 photos of the Tree of Life?!?!?!

    Nope, she just wanted to see giraffes.

    Leaving me on the horns of a dilemma.

    It’s my birthday, and I know she’ll go to AK because I want to, but her heart won’t be in it; and I’ll feel bad for making her do something she doesn’t really want to do. She’s only going to be with me for another month or so, and I can go to AK anytime; so I/we changed the plan again.

    Seeing a trend here?

    The good thing is that this turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip!

    Because I know where we can see giraffes without stepping foot in AK!

    Yep, we started out on a long trek into Africa, specifically AKL.

    First stop, Jambo House! Erica absolutely fell in love with Jambo House and still hasn’t stopped talking about it. Maybe someday I’ll treat her to a stay here….

    This is a ceremonial mask of some sort. I took a picture of the plaque, but the glare from the window makes it impossible to read.


    [​IMG]

    Hidden Mickey alert! (Sorry it’s so blurry…I kinda overzoomed.)

    [​IMG]

    This young lady was outside Boma, playing the drum. She had extra drums for guests to play with her, and a couple of little boys sat down and had quite a jam session going. Erica wanted to play the drum, too, but for whatever reason decided not to.

    [​IMG]

    Amazing light fixtures…these things are ginormous!

    [​IMG]

    The lobby…

    [​IMG]

    Sculpture…this may actually have been at Kidani; I’m not sure.

    [​IMG]

    Jambo House has an amazing gift shop with really unique and unusual items. I could kick myself for not taking pictures! Not everything there was made in Africa; but Erica found this little giraffe, which was made in Kenya.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    They had several different animals in a few different colors, not all of them found in nature. I mean, if purple zebras and aqua giraffes exist, I’ve never seen one!

    This is the window overlooking the savannah…the photo doesn’t do it justice!


    [​IMG]

    Up next: Giraffes!

    Continued in next post...
     

Share This Page