Escape from Real Life to Paradise: A New Trip with New Memories - Completed 4/3

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by cstorm65, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Escape from Real Life to Paradise: A New Trip with New Memories

    Welcome to my third full trip report here on the Disboards! We have just returned from a magical time that included not only a week at Walt Disney World, but also a four night cruise aboard the Disney Dream. This trip allowed us to escape real life, which from August to May is very hectic for DW and I, and have some time in “paradise”, both literally and figuratively. This was our third trip in the past four years, but when you have a young child one of the things we love about Disney World is that every trip includes brand new memories because when they are a year older they enjoy completely new things and it seems like a completely different vacation every time you go. That was certainly true for us this time. Here we are on our last trip:

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    So let’s make the introductions:

    I am Jon.

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    I am the main person who plans our vacations, spending countless hours setting itineraries, ADR's, and touring plans; although DW is becoming more and more interested in planning some aspects of the trip, which we love doing together. I work in the high school and teach AP Environmental Science and Physics. In addition to teaching I am the Head Track and Field Coach and the Assistant Head Football Coach and defensive coordinator. I have been teaching for six years after playing four years of college football. I have also recently graduated with my master's degree (M.Ed.) in education. I have the greatest job in the world as I get to help young men and women each and every day learn not just about science and sports, but about life. Teaching certainly has its challenges, but the kids make it very much worth it.

    Favorite Character: Goofy
    Favorite Ride: Expedition Everest
    Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
    Favorite Show: Festival of the Lion King
    Favorite Movie: The Lion King
    Favorite Restaurant: ‘Ohana

    DW, April.

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    DW is an unbelievable mother and wife…I completely out-kicked my coverage with her, but I think most of us Disdads did that! She has grown to love Disney World and loves that we get to experience so many things as a family on our trips. DW also works in the education field as a school psychologist in the same district I work in, and in addition to working as a psychologist she also the assistant high school girl’s basketball coach. She loves working with young people everyday and is awesome at her job. More than anything though she is a great mother to our son and I just love to see her interact with him.

    Favorite Character: Ariel
    Favorite Ride: Rock 'n Roller Coaster
    Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
    Favorite Show: Festival of the Lion King
    Favorite Movie: Little Mermaid
    Favorite Restaurant: Le Cellier

    DS, Braxton…2 Years Old.

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    DS is the typical silly two year old boy. He loves playing with his friends, hitting things (and people sometimes…though we are working on that!), throwing balls, playing with his choo choo trains, and being outside. He also LOVES Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and many of the other Disney Junior shows. Last year he was very interested in meeting the characters and loved sitting in his stroller and watching the sites. This year would be a different story. He was now old enough to want to do many things for himself, walk by himself, and yes the terrible two’s would make an appearance several times on this trip, but we figured as much and dealt with it the best we could. I am going to attempt to give DS’s list of favorites below!

    Favorite Character: Mickey Mouse
    Favorite Ride: Prince Charming Regal Carousel
    Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
    Favorite Show: Mickey’s Philharmagic
    Favorite Movie/Show: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
    Favorite Restaurant: Via Napoli (He didn’t say this, but it was the place he ate the most!)

    Our trip took place from June 21 to July 3 and included a four night cruise. Since DW and I are both educators we are limited to school breaks to attend Disney World. We cannot attend on Fall Break or Thanksgiving Break because I coach football. This trip will be the latest in the month of June that we have ever arrived but are looking to the FP+ system to help us navigate the crowded parks. Stay tuned to see how that works!

    I guess that is about it for an introduction. I have most of our photos uploaded and ready to go. I am still going through and re-sizing them on photobucket which takes forever as you have to do each one individually, but I have the first few days done.

    Hope you all enjoy the report. Please, please, please comment as we go. It makes it so much better!

    If you are interested in reading the Pre-Trip Report for this trip CLICK HERE.
    If you are interested in reading about our previous trips CLICK HERE.

    Next Up: Day1 – Part 1…An Early Morning Flight to Paradise
     
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  3. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Table of Contents

    Day 1 - Part 1...An Early Morning Flight to Paradise
    Day 1 - Part 2...What a View!
    Day 1 - Part 3...I Know Where We Are Having Dinner!

    Day 2 - Part 1...Your Boarding Number Is...
    Day 2 - Part 2...Tears for Mickey
    Day 2 - Part 3...You Forgot What? Oh Wait...I did Too!
    Day 2 - Part 4...Dinner and a Movie (and a Tired 2 Year Old)

    Day 3 - Part 1...I See Trees!
    Day 3 - Part 2...No Thank You for the Thousandth Time
    Day 3 - Part 3...I See Daisy
    Day 3 - Part 4...Who Knew Ducks Tasted so Good
    Day 3 - Part 5...The Best Seat on the Ship

    Day 4 - Part 1..."Something is Biting Me!"
    Day 4 - Part 2...And the Winner is...
    Day 4 - Part 3..."Arr Matey!"
    Day 4 - Part 4...Fireworks at Sea...Only on a Disney Cruise

    Day 5 - Part 1...Wake Up with Disney Junior
    Day 5 - Part 2...Do we have to pack already?
    Day 5 - Part 3...One More 2-Hour Dinner
    Day 5 - Part 4...One Final Night!

    Day 6 - Part 1...Goodbye to the Dream
    Day 6 - Part 2...Is Our Room Ready?
    Day 6 - Part 3...A Hot Afternoon Safari
    Day 6 - Part 4...Let the Magical Moments Begin
    Day 6 - Part 5...Disney World and their Definition of Rapid

    Day 7 - Part 1...7 Dwarves and 2 Princesses Can Draw Quite a Crowd
    Day 7 - Part 2...The Best Smelling Place at Disney World
    Day 7 - Part 3...First Visit to a Classic Attraction
    Day 7 - Part 4...A Great Meal When We Least Expected It
    Day 7 - Part 5...The Disney World Frozen Treat Contest Results

    Day 8 - Part 1...How Many Times Have You Ridden that Ride?
    Day 8 - Part 2...Showing Off our Band-Aid's
    Day 8 - Part 3...Time to eat Meat!
    Day 8 - Part 4...This Party Died in a Hurry

    Day 9 - Part 1...Does Anyone Know What's Going On?
    Day 9 - Part 2...Are You Getting a Hot Drink?
    Day 9 - Part 3...Quattro Fantastico!
    Day 9 - Part 4...We Love our Afternoon Breaks
    Day 9 - Part 5...What do you Want for Dinner?
    Day 9 - Part 6...A Great Disney Ending to the Day

    Day 10 - Part 1...BACON! Need I Say More?
    Day 10 - Part 2...An Important Phone Call
    Day 10 - Part 3...I Want to See Nemo
    Day 10 - Part 4...Dinner Around the World Showcase
    Day 10 - Part 5...What Kind of Tasty Treat is That?

    Day 11 - Part 1...So You're Telling Me We Need to Slow Down
    Day 11 - Part 2...Cast Member Magic
    Day 11 - Part 3...Hair Band or Bust
    Day 11 - Part 4...The End to a Hot and Muggy Morning
    Day 11 - Part 5...Pick a Resort, Any Resort
    Day 11 - Part 6...The Return of Marty!

    Day 12 – Part 1...Can We Get Some Help Here!
    Day 12 – Part 2...This Boy Has Never Seen Dance Party He Didn’t Like
    Day 12 – Part 3...You Mean That Ride is Broken Down Too?
    Day 12 – Part 4...Oh That Ride is Back Open!
    Day 12 – Part 5...Wishes…And the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Disorganized Mess
    Day 12 – Part 6...Goodbye Magic Kingdom

    Day 13 – Part 1...My Sweet Earl!
    Day 13 – Part 2...Sad Travel Post

    2014 Christmas Update
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  4. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    471
    Past Trip Reports
    June/July 2014 - Escape from Real Life to Paradise: A New Trip with New Memories
    June 2013 - Escape from Tornado Alley to Food, Tropical Storms, Mickey and More Food
    June 2011 Trip Report - "Can Two Thrill Ride Junkies Love Disneyworld?"

    Past Trips
    July 2008 - Offsite
    June 2011 - Caribbean Beach Resort - Trip Report
    June 2013 - Pop Century/Universal Royal Pacific/Boardwalk Villas - Trip Report
    June/July 2014 - Disney Dream Cruise/Wilderness Lodge - Trip Report


    Upcoming Trips
    June 2015 - Pop Century Resort/Coronado Springs Resort
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  5. MidnightParade

    MidnightParade DIS Veteran

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    I'm here!!! Can't wait to see all your pictures and how it all turned out!
     
  6. okiedisnut

    okiedisnut Earning My Ears

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    Can't wait to read your Trip report!!!!
     
  7. ZFamily5

    ZFamily5 DIS Veteran

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    Your son is adorable! Can't wait for more popcorn::
     
  8. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    I'm glad you made it over. I have a bunch of pictures for you all!

    Thanks for signing on!

    Thanks! Looking forward to sharing with everyone here!
     
  9. sommergirl25

    sommergirl25 Mouseketeer

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    I'm here! Can't wait to hear all about it!!!
     
  10. sommergirl25

    sommergirl25 Mouseketeer

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    I am interested to hear how you liked FP+. We are thinking of a Jan trip (making adr's starting tomorrow one day at a time) I am nervous about FP+ and hope we will like it.
     
  11. Cando86

    Cando86 DIS Veteran

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    I remember reading one of your TRs in the past! Excited to hear about your adventures :)!
     
  12. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    joining! Sounds like you love your job which is great!

    That is a really cute picture of your son :goodvibes

    We will be traveling to The World next month with a boy definitely in the terrible twos so welcome any advice you have :rotfl:
     
  13. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    Yay! :cool1::cool1::cool1:

    Great Introduction. Love all the pics!
     
  14. Fantasia79

    Fantasia79 Mouseketeer

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    What an adorable kid! Subscribing on, looking forward to reading more!
     
  15. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Welcome everyone! I'm excited to share with you all.

    Glad you made it!

    I won't get into everything we liked/didn't like yet (suspense!!), but I don't think you should be nervous. We found it to meet almost all of our needs.

    Thanks for reading along!

    I do love teaching. It is stressful at times, but very rewarding.

    Hopefully I can give you some good advice. We just understood DS was a boy and he was two so he would be a challenge at times. We made sure to get out of the parks by about noon every day so we could get him a good nap after lunch. We also tried to keep things normal to him. He has a blanket he likes so we always carried that with us and we tried to find a spot in the parks where he could get out and run around for a while every day. He still had a few meltdowns from being tired and two, but we expected that to a point. Hope you all have a great trip.

    Glad you made it over! My picture taking is not even close to your level, but at least I have a bunch!

    Thanks. Glad you're here.
     
  16. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Saturday, June 21 - Part 1 - An Early Morning Flight to Paradise

    Let's get this thing underway! I want to start on the night before this day because we quite an eventful evening. After I had finished all of the packing, which as those of you with a young child know can get quite extensive; I took this shot of some of our stuff. Although at least two bags are missing; I think I must have already loaded them into the truck.

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    I had a little bit of a traumatic experience at about 8 pm. As I was out and loading the bags into the bed of my truck in our garage something started buzzing in my ear. After swatting at it a few times I looked up and saw it was a huge hornet! Needless to say I jumped down from my truck and ran away, but it followed me. Somehow while trying to get into the house this thing got inside with me. Luckily DS was already in bed asleep, and for some reason it wasn't in the mood to actually sting me. We lost track of it for a while, but eventually found it buzzing around in our bathroom. We closed the door while deciding what to do and it was just running into the door and wall. We could hear this thing flying full speed into the bathroom door. After about 15 minutes it just stopped so we went in and it was lying on the floor. I guess it had knocked itself out! I took care of it and told April that at least now we could go to bed in peace. I took a shot of our countdown board on the way to bed!

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    And then woke up to this at 4:00 am:

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    We were dressed and out of the house by 4:30 am, at the airport by 5:00 am, and through the security line by 5:30. Our flight was not until 6:30, but security is sometimes really backed up in OKC early in the morning so we like to get there with plenty of time to spare. With about an hour to waste we went in search of some breakfast. We decided to split a Ham, Egg, and Cheese sandwich from Schlotzsky's. It is a good thing we split it because the sandwich was huge. This picture was only half of it.

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    In addition to being a big sandwich it only cost $6, which was not bad at all. While we were eating April made the statement about how early it was and was it really breakfast if it was 5:30 am? I said it was but that we might just need a second breakfast in Atlanta. After eating I set out to find some milk for DS. They didn't have any at any of the four restaurants in the main food area, so I walked to the farthest part of the terminal and finally found a little stand that had a plastic carton of milk. That would have been a disaster if we couldn't find any milk. I came back and we sat at our table while DS had his milk.

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    By 6:00 we were ready to head to our gate and DS loved looking out the windows at the planes. He stood and played by this window for about 20 minutes before we got to board, saying “Mama…I see airplane” every time one rolled by.

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    DS is also into putting his hands in his pockets right now and at some point while waiting he wanted his hands in his pockets…the only problem was he didn't have any pockets, so he got creative.

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    We looked out the window a little more before boarding.

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    We finally boarded at about 6:25, which was a little late considering out takeoff time was 6:30…that wasn't happening. We had booked through Southwest, but this leg was on AirTran so we had to use the boarding zones. By the time they got through zones 1, 2, 3, and 4 no one had gotten on the plane yet. Once we finally got on in zone 6 we saw the plane was only going to be about half full. I hadn't seen a plane that empty in a long time. We were boarded by 6:45, but ended up sitting there until 7:05 because of some sort of delay. Finally we took off at 7:10, about 40 minutes late. DS loved watching him some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the iPad during the flight.

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    If you missed my PTR we have the CARES Harness for him, which feels just like his car seat. He did well on the flight and didn't even ask to get out of his seat one time.

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    The flight was smooth and uneventful and we landed in Atlanta at 9:45 after setting our clocks forward an hour. Now we just had to decide if we wanted breakfast or lunch in the Atlanta airport!

    Up Next: What a View!
     
  17. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    Braxton is getting so tall! He looks so grown up with that hair cut! He is too funny - trying to find his missing pockets! :rotfl2:

    Your breakfast sandwich looks so yummy!

    Boo to the late leaving flight! I hope everything goes smooth from this point on!
     
  18. sommergirl25

    sommergirl25 Mouseketeer

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    Hey.... I know that airport! I heard a rumor that they were going to be expanding our airport and I really hope they do. I can't believe you had to go to the end of the terminal to find milk. Braxton is looking so grown up with his hair cut like that! I love April's hair, it looks darker!
     
  19. MidnightParade

    MidnightParade DIS Veteran

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    And your off!! Woooo! Braxton is adorable!

    Hornets bad! Early morning bad....but early morning to Disney?! Yay! Sucks though that the plane was delayed but atleast it got there safely. So far so good!

    I always enjoy the traveling/getting there posts!:goodvibes
     
  20. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    He is growing up to fast. We are in the midst of potty training right now! The flight was a little late, but didn't really affect the travel time any. You almost always seem to make up some time in the air.

    You can kind of see on the east end of the terminal where they could build another wing heading south like they did on the end that now exists. We tried Sonic/Schlotzsky's/etc in the food court area and none of them had milk, then we tried all of the little shopping stores. They had chocolate milk, but not white milk. Then finally walked all the way to the far end and found a stand with milk. At least now we know where it is!

    He is adorable! The hornets were bad, the early morning was bad, but as you say heading to Disney made it all not that bad! I like the traveling their posts too. They are always so happy and have such great anticipation of what is to come.

    Thanks everyone! Working on an update tonight. May not get it done before tomorrow though.
     
  21. cstorm65

    cstorm65 DDC #699

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    Saturday, June 21 – Part 2 – What a View!

    We left off just having arrived in Atlanta for our layover. We had originally had about a 1 hour and 45 minute layover, but that got shortened to about 1 hour and 10 minutes with our original flight being slightly delayed. We had to change from Terminal D to Terminal C, so we got to go down and ride the tram over to the next building. I forgot how crowded and hectic this airport is though. It was crazy.

    Once we got to our terminal we found our gate, changed DS’s diaper, and I set out to find us something to eat. The most interesting place was called The Varsity. I guess it is a restaurant from there in Atlanta and they had chili hot dogs and burgers and the onion rings looked really awesome.

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    I went and report to DW and we decided on splitting a meal that had two chili dogs and some onion rings, while DS was enjoying his Jammy Sammy (which is just an organic breakfast bar for kids that he loves). Here was our meal:

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    It was pretty good, especially the hot dogs with chili. The chili was very tasty. The onion rings were ok, not as good as they looked. But they seemed to have been sitting under the heat lamp for a while so a fresh batch might have been better.

    They started the boarding procedure for our flight at 11:10 and our flight left right on time at 11:30. With a full belly, DS fell asleep during takeoff and slept the entire flight until we landed around 1:00.

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    He woke up as we were taxiing and I think this was a picture I took.

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    Waiting on one of the most exciting rides of the trip. The tram ride from the terminal! How is it that this same ride will not be near as fun in a few days?

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    After getting off the plane we headed to the baggage claim. We were a little sad not to be heading to the Magical Express area, but that didn’t last long as we remembered we were headed to the Disney Dream! By 1:30 we were waiting on our bags and all of them came off rather quickly. I rented a cart for $5 since we had so many bags and headed over to the rental car counter.

    I had rented with Alamo and had done online check in so I could have bypassed the counter, but when I called customer service to see how I would get the car seat they said I would have to stop at the counter anyways as that is where the car seats were kept. So I hopped in what would be a 20 minute line and when I got to the lady at the front I told her I just needed a car seat and she informed me that customer service must have been wrong; that I could just pick up a car seat from the parking garage by the cars. 20 minute of my life wasted…but it was ok, I was headed to Port Canaveral. I managed to get to the garage and the lady in the booth there said car seats were just sitting behind the booth and to just pick one up and go. So I walked around and got to pick from a stack of about 200 car seats. We got all loaded up, I returned the cart (and got a 25 cent reward for doing so!) and we were on our way by 2:00. DW and DS got a selfie on the drive.

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    Then I joined in on the action. Yes, I was at a stoplight!

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    At around 3:00 we made a stop at Target in Merritt Island to grab some diapers and snacks for the ship. Then we pulled back onto the highway and it wasn’t long before we were seeing the Disney Fantasy in port. We would be getting on its sister the next day.

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    We had also gotten DS enough milk for that night and he was enjoying his first glass since Oklahoma City.

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    We drove through the Cocoa Beach area and made the 15-mile journey down the highway to our hotel for the night, the Radisson Suites Oceanfront in Melbourne, FL. I found this hotel for $100 for the night compared to the $225 at a hotel around the port and I can bet the view we had here was better. We checked in at around 4:00 and the room was fantastic for the price we paid. The common areas around the rooms were a little run down, but the rooms themselves were very clean and well kept. All of the rooms at this hotel are suites so we had a living room area, a bedroom area, and a small kitchen/work area.

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    Another nice touch was that the lady who checked us in called our room about 30 minutes after we got there just to make sure that everything was ok with the room and to make sure we didn’t need anything else. Our plan on finding this place right on the beach was so that we could just walk out and spend the late afternoon/early evening on the beach. Well, about as soon as we got into our room some very dark clouds started rolling in from the mainland and at about 4:45 it started pouring rain. Lucky for us we would be at Castaway Cay in just a few short days, so we weren’t too bummed. I took a few pictures out of the balcony as the clouds were coming in. What a great view it was!
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    By 5:00 we were getting a little hungry so dinner would be next on the agenda, but DW and I both already knew where we wanted to go.

    Up Next: “I Know Where We Are Having Dinner”
     

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