It’s taken me until October to start my trip report. I’m not sure of all the reasons why. It’s been busy since we’ve been back for sure (school started a couple weeks after we returned), so that’s part of it. But I think it’s also because I’ve done a lot of reflecting on our trip; the good, the bad, the annoying, and the really wonderful magical moments. There were several things I would change about our trip, but a lot of wonderful times too. So here it is, my “no holds barred”, really real report on our 12 day trip to Orlando in August of 2010. Cast of characters: My husband Greg & I, happily married. Disney fanatics. We had our honeymoon at Disney, and went back “alone” for our 10 year anniversary. We love, love, LOVE going to WDW, and spent a lot of time talking about, dreaming about, and planning this trip. Also joining us were our two sons, Jimmy (10) and Bobby (8). We have taken them to DW twice, but their last trip was 3 1/2 years ago. They weren't adventurous at all on the last trip. The “scariest” ride Jimmy rode then was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and he wasn’t really wanting to ride it again. Bobby wanted nothing to do with it. On this trip Jimmy is convinced he will be riding Rockin Rollercoaster, and Bobby says he’s willing to try Thunder Mountain. So we’ll see what happens! Getting There We’d been planning this trip for a year, from the minute we heard that Tupperware was holding it’s yearly Jubilee at the Coronado Springs Resort in Disney World. The plan was to leave early on Thursday 8/12 to arrive in time for the conference in the afternoon. We got a GREAT airfare, and booked the tickets to leave at 8:30am. The conference start time ended up being 10am so I was going to be a little late for that, but we couldn’t change it at that point. No worries, I’d get there eventually. We were up LATE on Wednesday night, as is usual for us when preparing for any trip. We needed to leave for the airport at 6:30am, so sleep for Greg & I consisted of a 2:30am - 5:30am “nap”. But we woke and sprang out of bed excited for our trip. Not too much snoozing of the alarm goes on when it’s the day of a Disney trip! The boys got up pretty easily too, and we were on the road then at the airport in plenty of time. Thanks to dad for driving us so early in the morning!! The check-in process went smoothly, and after finding our gate we had time for a quick McDonald’s run. (So much for my plan to eat at home and then bring snacks for the plane) And so the reminder came that you ALWAYS spend more money on a trip than you plan to. The arrangement of the plane was 3 seats on either side of the aisle. We had decided on a 2 and 2 configuration in rows in front/behind each other. That way there were 2 of the coveted window seats. Bobby and I sat in front, with Jimmy & Greg behind. We were on Delta, and had a really cool plane that had TV screens in the backs of the seats. Even though Bobby kept asking me when we’d be there from about the minute we were up in the air (a good reminder of why I never want to drive - if at all possible), it was great to be able to watch our progress on the monitor in front of us. We could even watch a TV show if we wanted. So we had a good flight, and once we arrived we were off to find the Magical Express. We’ve never used it before, so we were looking forward to it. I don’t know what I expected with the ME. It was nice, but I didn’t feel quite as much “magic” as I thought I would. I SUSPECT that it was because of my lack of sleep and sheer exhaustion. The CMs were friendly, everything was organized well, and before we knew it we were on the bus and headed for WDW. It really was nice not to have to worry about our luggage - though we were toting quite a few carry ons due to the fees for checking suitcases (we had checked 3 bags, and didn’t want to check any more). We each had a rolling suitcase and a “personal item” that we carried on, and most of it got stowed in the luggage area for our bus ride. It’s always exciting to arrive at WDW and see the sign letting you know you are there. Hurray! We are back!! The Coronado Springs Resort was the first stop, so we got off and headed for check-in. The CM who checked us in was very nice, though I had just a little bit of trouble understanding him with his accent. When he showed me where our room was I gasped a little (the walk looked pretty far) and kindly told him that I had requested a room in one of the buildings that was nice and close to the main building. Problem was, everyone was already there for the conference, so there weren’t a whole lot of rooms left to choose from. But he did move us to a closer building, and I was thankful for that. After all, every step you save in August is one less drop of sweat! As we were about to leave the front desk he handed me an 8x10 piece of paper that said something like “Tonight only there will be a fireworks display over the Coronado Springs lake at 11pm”. Wow, I was SO EXCITED!!! Fireworks are one of my favorite things. I thought it MUST be for our Tupperware Conference. Sweet! We went to our room and all was well. I had never stayed at CSR before, and thought it was fine. There was nothing wrong with it, but it didn’t grab me the way that the Wilderness Lodge, or even Pop Century, did. I’ve heard that it’s not quite so “Disney” since it’s a conference hotel. Maybe that was it. I’m not sure. But I had no real complaints, and I did enjoy the nice big gift shop! Our room was nice. One thing I LOVED was the duvet with the nice light cover. It just felt cleaner, knowing they can wash that cover. Bedspreads in a hotel just feel so icky to me! So I loved that. After checking in we headed over to the conference. There was a sea of thousands of people, so it took me a bit to get acclimated, but eventually I found my team for lunch and my conference started. While I was there Greg and the boys headed to the pool. I joined them in the afternoon when I had a break. I think that was our favorite thing about CSR - THE POOL! It was big and fun. There was music playing and a lively fun atmosphere. The boys thought the Jaguar Slide was the greatest. They went down it over and over and over...... So much fun! I suppose that some of my lesser exciting feelings looking back on the trip stem from my not feeling well for the first few days. I wasn’t sick, but my tummy just didn’t feel very good for the first couple days there. I think it was the anticipation, excitement, anxiety, and the lack of sleep all mixed together. I went to my conference for the evening. Eating a super yummy great dinner there helped my tummy a bit. While I was at my evening session Greg took the boys to Disney Quest. We had 3 different resort reservations made for our trip. One for the CSR for two nights for the conference (Th & Fri, no park tix). One for one night at Pop (Sat, no park tix). And then our package at Pop which started on Sunday and included park tickets and FREE DINING! There’s no way we could go on this long of a trip without paying close attention to package dates, discounts, etc. So we took full advantage of them. Many questions and answers exchanged on the DIS told us that we could pick up our park tickets up to 3 days early. I confirmed this with the concierge at the hotel who made a call to be absolutely certain. It was a go! UNFORTUNATELY, Greg didn’t realize exactly where he needed to go to make this happen. He heard “Guest Services at any park”, and proceeded to the guest services area at Disney Quest. It was a no go. There he was with two VERY disappointed boys who were so looking forward to DQ. (Read on in the future to find out how you CAN get your park tickets early) So instead they “toured” other resorts by riding the busses to them. Not really so much fun for 8 & 10 year old boys who had planned to be in video game heaven. This was where the problem came in with me being at the conference and them being there doing other things. I’m one of those moms who wants to make sure everyone is alright all of the time (for better or worse). I was excited for Greg to take the boys off for fun, but when I got the text that they couldn’t get into DQ I knew how sad they would all be. It made it harder to just enjoy the conference and be fully plugged into it. Eventually they were back and I left the conference just a little bit early. Greg & Bobby were exhausted, so they fell asleep. Jimmy & I were tired too, but the anticipation of a private fireworks show kept us going! We went out and found a spot in front of our building on the sidewalk next to the beach. Well, first we found a great spot on a bench, but then the sprinklers came on! It took a really long time for the fireworks to start (since they were coinciding with the end of the conference session that night), but it was worth the wait! Wow, how fabulous to be sitting there watching a special fireworks show put on just for us on our first night at WDW. Truly magical! And yes, I cried while I was watching it. After the fireworks we went back and went to bed. Wow, it was still our first day! Next time....my conference continues while the boys head for the waterpark and try the early ticket pick up again.