After seven trips I'm finally doing a TR! 8-12 to 8-18-2009

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by jdd, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. jdd

    jdd DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,235
    I've always wanted to post a trip report - mainly for me to have a record of our wonderful family vacations - but it never seems like I have time after we get back! This year was no exception - we returned on August 19th, and it was crazy for the next few weeks getting the kids ready for back to school.

    But, finally, I'm ready to try it. I'll warn you, I'm not the best writer, and this is my first attempt at posting photos on the Dis, but I'm hoping for the best!

    Cast of characters:

    Me (41) - major Disney-aholic. Actually currently planning a quick 3-day trip in early December with just my oldest DS (12). More to follow on that...

    DH (41) - much more of a homebody, but if he HAS to go on vacation, Disney is his favorite destination.

    DS (12) - is definitely a preteen, with all the attitude to go with it, but WDW somehow changes all that. He holds my hand walking down Main Street, and is non-stop smiles at Epcot.

    [​IMG]

    DS (8 - turning 9 next week, but was 8 on this trip) - LOVES Magic Kingdom and is more of the thrill rider of the family. Nothing goes quite fast enough for him, but EE comes pretty close.

    [​IMG]

    DS (4) - my baby, and unfortunately acted pretty much like one this trip :scared1: But, our most magical moment was all about him!

    [​IMG]

    And, yes, somehow I have one blonde, one redhead and one brunette (can you call a boy a brunette??)

    A little background. This trip was supposed to be from Sept 4th through the 11th, but one night I literally woke up in a panic about taking them out of school for Labor Day week. Now, we've always taken the boys out for at least a couple of days (no flames please) but for some reason, this time I was really bothered about it. So, near the end of July, I decided we should try mid-August instead.

    I was able to rebook our trip, with a few minor changes (we weren't able to stay the whole week at Fort Wilderness, but picked up two days at the Beach Club instead) and we were all set to go.

    Now the boys have told me that they really wanted to be surprised with a trip to DW one day, and I figured this was my chance since I only had to keep quiet for 3 weeks, so we didn't tell them we'd changed our plans. I don't know how most people are able to keep this secret, but it made me crazy. Finally, on Sunday, 8/9, two days before we departure, I couldn't take it anymore and we told them.

    They were REALLY excited, and were so glad they didn't have long to wait. And this at least gave me the chance to pack during daylight hours!

    Next up, the car trip and arrival at Fort Wilderness!!
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. Sleepingbooty

    Sleepingbooty DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,892
    Well hey, look at that! Your first trip report, and my first time being the first poster on a trip report! :yay:
     
  4. jdd

    jdd DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,235
    Hey, thanks for joining me!

    So, we actually pulled out of the driveway at 1pm on Tuesday, 8/12. I would have liked to have started earlier, but I had to work Tuesday morning :sad2:. Anyway, we stopped overnight in Walterboro, SC - after getting 9 hours under our belts. We were feeling pretty good - planning on about a 5-hour drive the next day.

    Well.....just outside of Savannah GA on Wednesday the 13th, we stopped. And I don't mean slowed down - dead stop. We quickly realized there was an accident right ahead of us - lots of flashing lights and police cars. After about 30 minutes we saw a helicopter land directly in front of us, right on the freeway. Now, that was pretty cool - except for the fact that you know that means someone is seriously hurt. I never did hear anymore about it, but hopefully all ended up okay.

    So, we didn't end up getting to Fort Wilderness until about 4pm that afternoon, but we hadn't planned on a park that day anyway, so we were good. Check-in took no time at all. I had done the online checkin - so I walked directly up to that CM and he literally handed me a folder with all our stuff.

    Our cabin was in the 2200 loop - the second cabin on the right from the loop entrance. That was great for getting the internal bus - just steps away. The only complaint I had about our cabin was that all around us was a swamp. It ended up not being a problem, but when I first saw that I thought we might be plagued with mosquitos. After we made our rounds of the resort, it seemed that only a few cabins were affected by this, so I'm not sure how we got so lucky....

    General thoughts about the cabin - they're awesome!! We all loved having so much space to spread out. We didn't do the dining plan this time, so the kitchen was put to good use. And it's so nice not sharing walls/ceilings with other guests - it's incredibly quiet - I've never slept so well at WDW before. We put the boys in the bedroom and DH and I took the Murphy bed (very comfortable by the way.)

    We had brought a box full of dry goods with us (one of the reasons I prefer driving to flying), but we needed milk, eggs, bread - so my oldest and I headed out for the trading post. It's a very cute little store and we spent some time browsing.

    We all had a quick dinner of sandwiches and leftovers from our lunch stop, and then we just spent the evening exploring the beach/marina area. We all hit the sack early, as Thursday was EMH day at Magic Kingdom!!!

    Note: wanted to post photos here, but photobucket is down this morning. Heading off to a soccer game, but hopefully I'll be able to add photos later....
     
  5. Sleepingbooty

    Sleepingbooty DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,892
    The cabins sound really nice - we've thought about staying there with my parents (that'd make 6 of us) but only having one shower worries me. I think it would definitely be very relaxing, though!
     
  6. jdd

    jdd DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,235
    You'd love the cabins. With me and 4 guys, the single shower really wasn't a problem. The kids shower at night (after getting all grungy in the park) so it's just me and DH in the mornings.

    Thanks for sticking with me - life keeps getting in the way, but I'll finish this yet!

    Here are some pictures from the cabin - please excuse the quality - they're from my son's "cheapo" camera...

    DS8 on the top bunk in the bedroom:
    [​IMG]

    DS4 on the double in the bedroom:
    [​IMG]

    Both on the top bunk (can you tell they're hams??)
    [​IMG]

    and DS4 on the couch in the living area:
    [​IMG]

    I really am going to write about MK now - I swear!!!
     
  7. jdd

    jdd DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,235
    I've decided to give the kids code names - don't ask - so DS12 is now Brad, DS8 is Ed and DS4 is CJ. Moving along....

    Now it's Thursday morning. I'm up early (of course) and start a quickie breakfast so that we can get to MK for 8am rope drop. The kids were groggy, but excited! Since we had our car, we decided to drive to the TTC and grab a monorail to MK - and that worked out great. We arrived at the gates around 7:45, and were pleasantly surprised by the lack of crowds.

    The "opening ceremony" isn't quite as lavish for EMH, but it was still fun, and we were off!

    We headed right for Frontierland, grabbed fastpasses for BTMRR, and then we all rode with no wait. Last year, CJ (then 3) loved all the rides, couldn't get enough. Well, we took the first dip on BTMRR, and he freaked. No screaming or anything, but his grip got VERY tight, and the look on his face was pure terror! Unfortunately, he decided he wasn't riding anything else that was "scary". This changed our plans a bit....

    He and I decided to head over to Fantasyland while DH took the older boys on Splash. Peter Pan was down (happened often this trip :sad2:) so CJ and I hit Winnie the Pooh and Small World - both walk ons. We all met back up to do Haunted Mansion (CJ's head in my lap the whole ride) and then decided to hit Tomorrowland. We walked on Buzz Lightyear, had to get the traditional Zurg picture:

    [​IMG]

    and as we were coming out, saw Buzz himself up on the Carousel of Progress, so we headed over for autographs.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Of course, Brad's now too cool for autographs....

    It was getting pretty hot, so we headed to the Monsters Inc Comedy Club to cool down a bit. That show is very funny, but I think they need to change it up a bit....

    Next up was the Jungle Cruise (GREAT driver - can never remember their names...) and POTC. Coming out of POTC, we saw Captain Hook and Smee, so CJ and I went to see them as DH took Brad and Ed to get FPs for Splash. These two were awesome! Hook kept asking CJ to give him five, then pulling his hand away - it was really cute!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Just as we were walking away, the Pirate Tutorial was starting up, so we went over for a quick peek (mom couldn't resist seeing Captain Jack ;)) There was hardly anyone around, and it would have been a great time to watch the show, but we needed to get to our noon reservation at Liberty Tree Tavern. So, we moved on....

    LTT was fantastic! Ed and CJ had the soup (yes, it was 92 degrees!!) and mac n cheese, DH had a burger, I had the Colony Salad (wonderful!) and Brad had the William Penn Chicken Pasta. This is a beautiful restaurant and the food was delicious. The dinner menu didn't do anything for me, so I'm really glad we got there for lunch.

    After lunch, we tried Peter Pan again, but the line was long - the wait time said 20 minutes, but it looked much longer. So, we fastpassed it (now holding FPs for BTMRR, Splash and PP) and went into Philharmagic with no wait. I'm seriously thinking that Philharmagic may be my favorite attraction at MK. I've never seen a 3D movie done so well, and it pulls in all my favorite Disney movies. It was also a perfect spot after a big lunch, with the heat/humidity climbing.

    We all decided to head back to the resort, and I took a few crowd shots on the way out (again, really blurry, but you get the point!) This was right around 2pm on Thursday, 8/13, no where near the summer crowds we expected!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And, of course, the obligatory castle shot...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We took the ferry back to FW (so cool!) and jumped on the internal bus to get us back to our cabin. I've read lots of negatives about the transportation at FW, but everything worked very smoothly for us there. We did like having our car, though.

    Next, our evening at MK....
     
  8. OhioDisneyLover

    OhioDisneyLover DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Messages:
    3,640
    popcorn:: Subbing.

    I've always wanted to try the cabins. Thanks for posting pictures.

    Looking forward to more.
     
  9. jdd

    jdd DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,235
    Okay - just realized my most recent pics are HUGE!! Promise to do better....

    Think they're fixed now - that was bugging me....
     
  10. jdd

    jdd DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,235
    So, we made it back to the cabins by around 2:45pm, and decided to head out to check out the pool! Now I'd been following the "something's happening near the pool!" thread religiously, so I was very excited to finally see it in person. It looks great - the slide was neat, and the splash zone was really cool. However, sometimes the best laid plans....

    Brad and Ed rode the slide once, but decided the water was too warm to swim in (it really was, the one downside of our August trip) and there were too many people at the pool... and CJ didn't like the splashing fountains in the splash zone :confused3 Well, as I said earlier, he was just being a stinker for some reason this trip. Sooo, they voted to try out the quiet pool, which we did. We actually swam there for about an hour, before the thunder chased us out.

    Headed back to the cabin, and decided to try the Trails End takeout for dinner. Brad and DH hopped a bus (in the POURING rain) and brought back a pizza and a bucket of chicken/fries/coleslaw/biscuits. If you've ever had KFC, this was very similar. LOTS of chicken, and very tasty (and extremely economical). We, in fact, had enough for leftovers...

    We jumped on a ferry back to MK around 7pm, and headed up to Fantasyland to use our PP fastpasses. Then, I took Brad and Ed to use 3 Splash fastpasses while DH and CJ did Small World again. They met us in Frontierland and DH, Brad and Ed used 3 FPs on BTMRR, and CJ and I just waited. Then Brad and I did BTMRR with the remaining 2 FPs and then Ed and DH did Splash with the remaining 2 FPs - confused yet???? It all worked out great, though.

    During the last Splash ride (DH and Ed), Brad, CJ and I decided to hit Aladdin, and mom decided she needed her Dole Whip! We all met up at Goofy's Barnstormer (now Spectro was going on), and rode several times. We were able to walk up to the castle and get a decent view for Wishes (Tink flew right over our heads!) I, of course, got choked up, and that ended our magical first day!

    The only picture we took that night was with Brad's camera - so fuzzy, but...

    [​IMG]

    It was close to eleven by the time we got back, got the kids baths/showers and got in bed.

    Off to Epcot in the morning!:yay:
     
  11. lklasing

    lklasing When being chased by a bear, you don't have to out

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,554
    I'm in! Thanks for letting me know you had started your TR! popcorn::

    Isn't FW great? It's funny to me, but my DD13 actually liked the cabin pool better than the fancy main pool too!

    Looking forward to reading more. I miss the Fort so I live through others' reports!

    Leslie
     
  12. Sleepingbooty

    Sleepingbooty DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,892
    Oh, I'd forgotten they were redoing the main pool - so it was pretty nice? Of course, its never good when its crowded. I always thought that was the main drawback of FW, that its pool was less than exciting.
     
  13. jdd

    jdd DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,235

    This was our first trip to FW, so I don't have anything to compare it to, but yes, the pool was great. The slide looked really cool and I loved the new splash zone. Unfortunately, we just didn't get much use out of it. Honestly, the warm water was NOT nice, and we spent most of our time at the parks. Also, twice when we went, the splash zone was shut down. My husband asked one of the lifeguards what was up and the reponse was "Magic happens!" (gross, but what a cute way to put it!)
     
  14. jdd

    jdd DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,235
    Well, I just spent half an hour updating with our first Epcot day, and it disappeared! I must have taken too long to post, because it logged me out, and when I logged back in, my post was gone :confused:

    UGH! I'll try again later....
     
  15. Sleepingbooty

    Sleepingbooty DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,892
    :lmao: I love it! Yeah, magic seems to happen A LOT at WDW pools. I'd say I've witnessed it (or at least the empty pool right after) at least once during each stay. And that's only during the couple hours a day they WE are at the pool. I wonder how often that have to deal with magic like that??:rotfl:
     
  16. jdd

    jdd DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,235
    Yeah, we had a good laugh about that one! I wonder if they cover that in lifeguard training!
     
  17. jdd

    jdd DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,235
    Okay - second try at Epcot day!

    Rope drop for Epcot was at 9am, do we were able to sleep in (a little!). I had brought my Mickey waffle iron, so this was the morning to make Mickey waffles! Another blurry picture, but you get the idea...

    [​IMG]

    We drove over to Epcot and made it right in time for rope drop. Soarin' was first on the list. The line for FP was enormous, so we went ahead and rode (about a 10-15 minute wait) and then picked up FP on the way out. Once again, CJ (who laughed/giggled/smiled through the entire ride) declared that he didn't like Soarin' and wouldn't ride it again! :sad2: What's up with this kid??

    The line at Test Track was much too long (30 minutes - and my kids are spoiled) so Brad and I rode Mission Space while the other three hit the Advanced Training Lab. After that we decided to spend the rest of the morning at Innoventions (the kids' favorite area!).

    The Great Piggy Bank Adventure is new, and really fun, but Brad and Ed's favorite thing was starring in their own video game. This is really cute, and you can log on and play it when you get home. We also did Don't Waste It! and made velcro frogs. We grabbed FPs for Test Track, then headed to the Electric Umbrella for a quick lunch.

    After lunch, we used our Soarin' FPs (Dad took CJ to Imagination while we rode, and I took him to Living Seas while they rode - still being a stinker!) We met up at Spaceship Earth (one of my favorites). Then the boys decided they wanted to do Nemo, so we headed back there, and spent a good hour just looking at the fish tanks. By 3pm we were all ready for a break.

    This is the only photo I got all day - I tend to start having fun, and forget to take pictures!!
    [​IMG]
     
  18. jdd

    jdd DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,235
    Sorry for the interruption - had to get the kids up for school!

    So, we got back to the resort around 3pm, and hung out at the cabins pool for a couple of hours. Then we did a quickie dinner of hot dogs and mac n cheese.

    Quick note here - for our family, I would not do the dining plan when staying in the cabins. It's much easier for us to do breakfasts, and several dinners "at home". My kids aren't big eaters, so a hot dog or grilled cheese sandwich is great for them for dinner. And we really liked grabbing a bowl of cereal (or Mickey waffles) before we got to the parks. If we stay in the cabins again (and I'm sure we will - it was everyone's favorite resort so far!), I'll look for a room discount, not the free dining. Just my opinion...

    Dad and Brad decided to head back to Epcot around 6:30 (it's their favorite park). Ed had been asking since we arrived when he could do the campfire, so we decided to do that. This is a really great activity if you have time. There were lots of kids - my guys found friends right away - the sing-a-long is fun and it was a neat way to get a couple character autographs (Chip and Dale). Ed loved the campfire too - toasted lots of marshmellows! It was a laid-back evening, really relaxing - something we don't normally do in Disney. We didn't stay for the movie - it was Wall-E which isn't a favorite, and we had an early morning breakfast at Crystal Palace, so we wanted to get to bed. I did take pictures - but with my phone (as DH had the camera with him!) and I can't figure out how to upload them....

    I think everyone was in bed by 9:30, which was awesome since we had our second day at MK coming up....
     
  19. jdd

    jdd DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,235
    Now we're up to day 3 at WDW, and we're back to MK. I wanted to get our MK days in before Free Dining hit on Sunday, the 16th, and the crowds increased (which they did!)

    We were able to get an 8:10 Crystal Palace reservation (we do CP every year) which allowed us early entry to the park. We were up early, and once again drove to the TTC and got a monorail to the park. We arrived about 7:45, and only waited a few minutes before we were allowed in. It is really cool being in the park in the early morning - there were still people, but no crowds, and we were able to get some great pictures!

    [​IMG]

    the first time I've gotten the kids with Roy and Minnie:
    [​IMG]

    The kids were in rare form - really hamming it up! Here're my baseball fans:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And some cool shots of the little statues around the Walt/Mickey statue:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then, the shots of the castle itself...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    add the boys,
    [​IMG]

    Ed is my map-reader...
    [​IMG]

    This one, I think, is actually from Thursday, but it's a cute picture, so I'm putting it in here!
    [​IMG]

    Had to get a crowd (or lack of) shot:
    [​IMG]

    Also took some pics on the walkway in to CP
    [​IMG]

    We had a great breakfast at CP, but the kids don't eat enough at breakfast to really justify it. We usually do lunch or dinner there, and I think we'll stick to that in the future. However, hitting the park before opening is definitely worth doing at least once. And DH and I filled up! The characters, as always, were fabulous!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Around 8:55, we still hadn't seen Tigger, or gotten our check, but everyone was finished, so DH took Brad and Ed to BTMRR and Splash. CJ and I waited for Tigger:

    [​IMG]

    and then headed over to Dumbo. I know it's a silly carnival ride, but there's just something about riding Dumbo on a bright Florida morning, with the Castle in view and the whole day at MK ahead of you.....no, I didn't cry, but had a goofy grin on my face the whole time!

    Unfortunately, my TR falls apart a bit here - I was sure I kept my "journal" each day, but I can't find the page for our second MK day! Basically, in no specific order, we did Jungle Cruise, POTC, Peter Pan, Philharmagic, Winnie the Pooh, Snow White, the Barnstormer, and Buzz Lightyear. Then we headed over to Toontown, and CJ really wanted to see Mickey and Minnie. I took him through Mickey's house and waited in line in the Judge's tent. This turned out to be our longest wait of the entire trip - at least 45 minutes! He was an angel, though - I kept asking if he was sure he wanted to wait, and he kept saying yes... In my opinion, this wasn't the best character interaction we've ever gotten (the Mickey at DHS last year was phenomenal!), but he was happy and we got our pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The whole family then took a leisurely walk through Mickey and Minnie's houses. I have to take this picture every year - we have a really cute one of Ed from our first trip in 2002 - he was 1 1/2.

    [​IMG]

    We stopped around 1:30 for a quick lunch at Cosmic Ray's (another tradition). It was getting pretty hot by then, and we needed the break. We actually saw a girl pass out in Cosmic Ray's - the paramedics came, but it seemed to be a case of dehydration. I came very close to this myself on Sunday (more on that later!)

    After lunch, we went on the Carousel of Progress - another closet favorite of everyone's - and then hopped on the railroad. CJ decided he was done for the day, but we still had FPs for Splash and BTMRR, so DH took him back to the resort, and the rest of us rode over to Frontierland and used up our FPs. We also got more for Splash, in case we decided to go back after dinner. We were whipped by then (the heat starting to get to us) so we took the ferry back to the resort.
     
  20. 15isto2

    15isto2 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    great reoprt so far, thanks
     
  21. jdd

    jdd DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,235
    Okay, so I left off on our second MK day - middle of the day break. We took a walk over to the main pool area, but the splash zone was down again :sad2:, so we just went back to the cabin. Made dinner out of leftovers (we were checking out in the morning - so wanted to clean out the fridge) and Brad and Ed decided they wanted to head back to MK. DH took CJ back to the main pool and was able to get a bit of time in at the splash zone/pool before heading back for an early bedtime.

    Brad, Ed and I decided at the marina, that we would hop on whatever boat came first (MK ferry or Contemporary ferry). The CR ferry came first, so we took that and walked around that resort a bit. I'd never been to their pool area, or through the "back" of that resort, and it was fun. We got the monorail to MK, and decided to take the railroad over to Frontierland (our feet were getting pretty tired by this point!) We did Splash with our FPs, but the waits for most other rides were pretty long - 30/60 minutes. We walked all over the park, and the only short line was for Stitch, so the boys rode that (I browsed in the gift shops, as I'm not a Stitch fan). As we were leaving, we caught part of the Spectro parade. Kind of a wasted evening, but it's always fun being in MK at night.

    Not sure when this picture was taken, but it belongs on the 2nd MK day, so here it is:

    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow morning, we check out of FW, have our DHS day, and check into the Beach Club!
     

Share This Page