No cats to herd this time! It's just the two of us!UPDATED 11/24-DIS Meet & Departure

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by mom2mek, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. mom2mek

    mom2mek Obsessed with Disney

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    Here I am again! :wave:

    I think I subliminally take FOREVER to finish trip reports, so that I can jump straight into doing another one! :rolleyes1 If you have read the other reports, than I apologize in advance for all the time you usually have to invest in reading my ramblings! LOL! I’m hoping this one won’t be quite as lengthy or slow-going! (I made that promise before….don’t believe me)! :sad2:

    Apparently, I have had a lot of Kool-Aid :drinking1 as I am heading back to Disney for the 3rd time in 8 months! And apparently, I have served up some of this yummy, delicious, fun-filled, magical, Disney Kool-Aid to my husband of 12 years, Shawn, as we are heading down to the World….

    AND IT’S JUST GOING TO BE THE TWO OF US!!!

    :banana:

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    CHAPTERS:
    Day 1 - Part 1 - Getting there!


    Day 1 - Part 2 - A Magical Journey!


    Day 1 - Part 3 - ALOHA!!!

    Day 1 - Part 4 - The ROOM!
    Day 1 - Part 5 - Taking it slow at the AK
    Day 1 - Part 6 - JAMBO!
    Day 1 - Part 6 - JAMBO, Pt 2!!
    Day 1 - Part 7 - Close Encounters with Animals of the Wooden Kind
    Day 1 - Part 8 - - Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba
    Day 1 - Part 9 - Chester, Hester, and Boma! End of Day 1!!!
    Day 2 - Part 1 - A Tale of Two Shoes
    Day 2 - Part 1.A A Tale of Two Shoes
    Day 2 - Part 2 - Flowers & Gardens & Beverly, oh My
    Day 2 - Part 2.A - Flowers & Gardens & Beverly, Oh My
    Day 2 - Part 3- Buenos Dias - We hobble off to Mexico
    Day 2 - Part 3.A - Buenos Dias - Still in Mexico
    Day 2 - Part 4 - Norway & China with no jet lag
    Day 2 - Part 4A - China, China, China
    Day 2 - Part 5 - Outpost and Germany
    Day 2 - Part 5 A - Italy and America
    Day 2 - Part 6 - Rainy Day & Sara Gets Twins
    Day 2 - Part 7 - Tokyo Sunset and Tic Tac Toe
    Day 2 - Part 8 - Finally finished with Epcot
    Wishes from the Poly beach
    Day 3 - A Magical Morning
    Day 3 - The Magical Morning continues
    Day 3 - Pirates, Thunder, and Spears!
    Day 3 - Lunch for two at the Plaza!
    Day 3 - Back to the Oasis!
    Day 3 - Drinks & the Poly Beach!
    Day 3 - Part 6 - Dinner at the Wave and a Big Dose of Karma...
    Day 3 - Part 7 - We hobble through the Magic Kingdom
    Day 3 - Part 7b - Continued from last post
    Day 4 - Part 1 - A Walking Tour of the Poly
    Day 4 - Part 2 - Lunch @ Kona and a Tour of the Lake
    Day 4 - Part 3 - More lake time and a visit to the pool and bar!
    Day 4 - Part 4 - An unplanned evening
    Day 4 -Part 5 - A DIS Meet and we say good-bye to the Poly


    A little background on our recent trips…

    Back in January 2006, my Mom and I decided to plan a little trip down to Disney with the whole family. At the time, there were 12 of us going. We stayed offsite in an amazing 7 bedroom house in Formosa Gardens, and had a fabulous time, except for one, teeny, tiny, little thing…..a stomach bug that ran through almost every single one of us over the course of the week. :sick:
    It was....how shall I say....a tad bit “un-magical” to always have to carry plastic bags around with you, listen for the little pre-cough that comes right before your 2 year old decides to lose her lunch, you get the picture…. :scared:

    HOWEVER, we had a great time when we weren’t sick. :thumbsup2 It was a trip of many firsts. It was a first time to Disney for many of the kids! We ate in the castle for the first time! The guys experienced Dive Quest for the first time! We had some really great moments. :goodvibes It was pre-DIS, pre-TGM, pre-EVERYTHING for me, so consequently, we did a lot of walking around, wishing we had time for "that" attraction, wishing we could ride that attraction again, but the FPs were gone, etc, etc…:rolleyes1 you get the drift.

    Still…it set the groundwork for the object of my desires for the next year….

    ...A repeat trip with hopes of a “do-over” without sickness!! :scratchin

    So we started planning a huge Thanksgiving trip for 2007, figuring that would put us at almost 2 years between trips. This time it would be with all 16 of us (my brother and his family weren’t able to come in 2006 and escaped the vomit-filled extravaganza – lucky them – but they decided to chance it this time and come along)! We found an 8 bedroom house this time (not quite as nice as the 2006 one, but still very nice), and we made that trip down in November of 2007 and completed it with no sickness this time! Yippee!!! :yay:

    You can read all about it here:
    Thanksgiving Trip - It was Like Herding Cats


    The planning for the Thanksgiving trip is what did "it" for me.

    And by "it" I mean, I found the DIS and TGM before we left, and consequently, I went from being just a “fan” of Disney into a TOTAL.DISNEY.NUT. :rolleyes1 Yeah, I admit it.

    It turned me into one of those people (and I say this knowing that I am in good company), that have to make a mental note to try NOT to insert Disney references into my daily conversations with non-Disney people! And boy, is that a challenge! :laughing:

    I drank the Kool-Aid, and I drank A LOT of it!!

    The Thanksgiving trip was filled with lots of magical moments but was quite stressful at times for yours truly. See, I was the ONLY one who planned anything. I was very up front about wanting to have a plan, but the rest of my group fell into one of the following categories….the “we will do whatever you think is best” group (YAY!), or the “we don’t really HAVE to have a plan, do we?” group (ughhhhh).

    Yep. Some in the group were very “anti-plan”. It caused a little bit of stress for me as I’m not one to rock the boat, but I also knew what was going to be required of us on certain days in order for the kids (there were 8 of them) to do and see what they really wanted to. It was a large group during one of the busiest times of the year, and I knew to get ANYTHING done, we would need a plan. It was hard at times, and although I think we all enjoyed ourselves, I had this overwhelming desire to go back and try it out with a slightly smaller herd. ;)

    Continued in next post....

    Sara
     
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  3. mom2mek

    mom2mek Obsessed with Disney

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    Pre-Trip - Part 2:

    Late last spring, the kids’ school schedule came out for the following school year, and I noticed that they had 2 days off before Columbus Day weekend!

    Well, shoot! Combine those 2 days with the weekend, plus Columbus Day, and whamo….my wheels were-a-turnin! :scratchin

    Well, it only took me about 2 nano-seconds to decide that Disney is where I wanted to be!! I sooo wanted to see Disney decorated for Halloween, and I really wanted to try out the Halloween party, so I casually mentioned it to Shawn and was met with an eye-roll, :rolleyes: and a “geez, Sara…give it a rest” or something like that!. Grrr….so I dropped it.

    HOWEVER…..

    Not too long after that, he came to me and surprised me with a big old “YES” we could go!! :banana: I considered this a surprise trip for me, since after the initial eye-roll response, I figured I wasn’t going back anytime soon. So, I decided to keep that trip a surprise from the kids, and got to the planning.

    You can read all about our October adventures here (I just finished a few weeks ago...oops)

    Surprise Trip in October

    We were able to bring my MIL with us this time and enjoyed doing that for her. She is so helpful to us and I don’t know what we would do without her. :love: It was a trip of a lifetime for her and I’m so happy to know that she enjoyed herself and had a blast. We were able to see the lovely autumn decorations, experience our first-ever “party” and celebrate my youngest daughter’s 4th birthday! :goodvibes

    Two months later, I managed to drive down to Florida from VA, and meet up with some of my dearest friends (whom I met on the DIS, by the way), and experience an “adult” Disney trip in December! :goodvibes We were only there for 3 days, but boy oh boy was that a trip of a different color! We had a blast!! :woohoo:

    There is something magical about sharing your Disney love with your children, but there is something equally magical about experiencing Disney with really good friends. :grouphug: We managed to go to the Christmas Party at the MK, and spend a day each at Animal Kingdom and Epcot. And of course, we were able to fit in plenty of shopping and adult beverages! You can read all about it here, (although it is still not done....ahem....Monica....hello?)

    December Girls Trip

    Apparently Monica is trying to beat my record for taking the longest to finish up a report! :rolleyes1

    Anyway, it was a great trip, and it really set the stage for this trip in May with hubby, because when I got back and told him of how relaxing a trip it was, not herding around a bunch of kids and grandparents, bags and strollers, snacks and sippy cups, etc, etc….he jumped right on board. :rotfl2:

    Plus, because I was doing the October family trip combined with the girls weekend, I had bought an AP, and now it was burning a hole in my pocket! :rolleyes:

    And don’t forget….I’m a crazy, obsessed Disney fan, remember? :yay:

    My first thoughts were “let’s do this on the cheap!” I was thinking of a value resort, very few ADRs, and watching the airfares for the best deal. Well, soon after I started researching the hotels, Shawn mentioned staying at the Polynesian or the Contemporary. :eek:



    Whoa!



    Wait a minute!



    Back this bus up!



    What did you just say?

    :dance3::dance3::dance3::dance3::dance3:

    Ha! Who is the Disney nut in this relationship again? Uh-huh. :rolleyes1


    But how could I argue with the man? His very valid points included…

    • it’s just the two of us, so right off the bat our costs will be much smaller (without our 3 biggest expenses along for the ride);

    • I have my AP and Shawn has days left on his non-expiring ticket from the 2006 trip, so no tickets to purchase


    Ok! Ok! Sold! Sold! He didn’t really have to twist my arm too much, truth be known…so I was off to find a good deal on the Contemporary or the Poly! :banana:

    With my AP, I was able to get a rate at the Contemporary that was comparable to a rate I found through Tikiman’s website for the Polynesian. The only thing was that the Contemporary dates would be in March (since, at the time, that was all my AP discount could get the discounted rates through) and the Poly dates were in May. Personally, I preferred the March timeframe since the weather would be cooler, but Shawn pointed out that we had just had some time off in early January for New Year’s and going in March would almost seem like “too soon,” so we decided on the Poly in May!!

    Up next, I’ll introduce the cast! That won’t take long! :laughing:

    Sara
     
  4. mkluvsmickey

    mkluvsmickey DIS Veteran

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    Am I first???? :cool1:

    That is some good Kool-Aid isn't it? And I totally understand being turned into one of "those people"! At least we are among friends here! :grouphug:


    That was one of the best trips ever! :banana:


    I'm so excited for you and Shawn getting a couples trip to the World! And I'm also happy that we will be there for at least one of the same days. Can't wait to see where you fit me in on your plans! :rolleyes:
     
  5. mom2mek

    mom2mek Obsessed with Disney

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    Okey dokey....a couple of pics:

    Our family:

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    (the two going on this trip are the two big ones in the back....:rolleyes:)

    On our trip in October:
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    Supporting cast and trips from our previous trips....up next.....

    Sara
     
  6. mom2mek

    mom2mek Obsessed with Disney

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    First and only....:rotfl2: How'd you find me so soon?

    I can't even link this in my old TR as it's already closed....:sad1:

    I love the kool-aid! It is delicious! :goodvibes

    :rotfl2: Michelle! You are definitely in my plans! :cheer2: I can't wait!

    Sara
     
  7. Sleeping*Beauty

    Sleeping*Beauty Waiting For My Prince

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    WOW!! He brought up the Poly? You are very lucky. I can't wait to hear more.
     
  8. crgfsu1

    crgfsu1 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in, I'm in! Who-hoo!! I love reading a trip report from the beginning where I dont have to catch up! (guess that is the point of PRE-trip reports :) )

    Cant wait to hear all about your plans.

    Cathy
     
  9. mom2mek

    mom2mek Obsessed with Disney

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    Thanks for reading! I feel VERY lucky to be staying at the Poly! Probably never happen again! LOL! :lmao:

    Thanks Cathy! I'm glad you're here! I hope to have my plans up soon! I need advice from the disney nuts!!! :woohoo:

    Sara
     
  10. shordiebecka

    shordiebecka DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! I too love PTR from the beginning. those are some really really grand gatherings that you've put together- i love to plan things so I would take on that task in a heartbeat, though I know how stressful it could be! Can't wait to hear more!
     
  11. mom2mek

    mom2mek Obsessed with Disney

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    Pre- Trip - Part 3 - The cast of this grand adventure:

    Me – Sara (34) – Wife to Shawn, Mother to Michael, Emily, and Katie (hence my mom2mek name) and lover of all things Disney, as well as all things about planning for Disney!

    I'm not really a control freak about anything except planning for Disney. (See aforementioned disney nut comment). Overall, I think I am a fairly easy-going person when it comes to other things. I work full time in my family’s business in the accounting department, where my mom is my boss. It’s great in most ways and I can’t complain. :goodvibes

    Other than the trips already mentioned, I have been to Disney a few times as a child, a couple of times during those oh-so-glamorous pre-teen, mid-80's years, and then my first "adult" trip was in 2002 when my son was 14 months old.

    My favorite park is (and will probably always be) the Magic Kingdom!!! However, we are planning on spending 2 full days at Epcot over this short trip - go figure! :rolleyes1

    DH - otherwise known as Shawn (35). Slightly rough exterior but on the inside is a sweetheart and makes up for his (at times) lack of patience with his kind heart. He also considers my obsession with Disney to be endearing…or, so he says anyway. :rolleyes: I have him to thank for jumping on board with my Disney obsession, and for pushing that we "upgrade" a bit on this trip! :love:

    He is my high school sweetheart, so I have known him for 18 years (we met in August of 1990 – yikes!), went to prom together, then he joined the Army (82nd Airborne Division) and I went to college, but we continued to date throughout all those years, and got married after I graduated and he finished out his service in the Army.

    It’s a good thing we love eachother, since we also work together. :eek: I work in the office, and he works in pretty much everything! Officially, he is an estimator, but he is also our resident IT guru, as well as a project manager when it is necessary. He is far more valuable to the company than I am, and works very long hours as a result.

    He is a very creative person, loves photography, loves graphic design, loves animation. His Disney history consists of his first trip ever in 2002 (he was 28), then the sick trip in 2006, the Thanksgiving 2007 trip, and our recent October 2008 trip. He never went to Disney as a child, and in fact, the October 2008 trip was the 1st time he went to Disney with his mother! :love:

    He loves all the parks, but I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that Epcot is his favorite. He loves all the photographic possibility that lies in that park! I'm hoping to have a lot of beautiful photos from him to share in this report. :thumbsup2

    THAT'S IT!!! Smallest cast I have ever written about in a trip report! :cool1:

    The supporting cast (my nice way of saying they AREN'T COMING ON THIS TRIP! LOL!)

    Michael - 8 years old. A very sweet boy. Loves everything Star Wars, Pirates, Narnia, and Bakugan (?) Basically anything with a weapon! ;) A loving, thoughtful, peace-keeper of a boy who doesn’t like for anyone to feel sad or upset. Just an overall good kid. Straight A second grader who loves playing soccer and video games, and reluctantly sings in the church choir but I don't think he is planning on making singing his career of choice.

    Emily - 6 years old. A sweet soul but is very shy. She loves princesses, makeup, ballet, Webkinz (they have taken over our house), anything pink, loves animals – but especially our new puppy! She is so very shy but is getting better. Sings in the church choir and really loves it! Getting ready to finish up her first year of real school - kindergarten graduation is in a few more weeks! :eek:

    Katie - 4 years old. My totally random little child. She is my comic relief! She is very imaginative and loves to sing. She is still at home during the day (with my MIL) but does ballet and sings in the children’s choir at church. She is my little Dory – forgets things almost instantly – but is almost always happy! Well except for the little fit she threw tonight! :rolleyes:

    Without further adieu....the offspring:

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    Sara
     
  12. mkluvsmickey

    mkluvsmickey DIS Veteran

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    Love the pics of the kids - they are so cute! :goodvibes
    But aren't you forgetting one member of your family? :dog2:
     
  13. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

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    Ahhh...the romantic Disney getaway!!! :goodvibes Can't wait to hear all the details...

    So happy for you!


    Kathy
     
  14. mom2mek

    mom2mek Obsessed with Disney

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    Hi! Thanks for reading! I love to plan too! The planning of the big trips was tons of fun! :love: However, the execution of said planning was, at times, um....enormously frustrating? :headache: Overall though, the trips have always been fantastic! We have a great time all together as a family! :goodvibes

    Thanks Michelle! Yes, yes, I know! I was writing that little part up last night but someone kept chewing on my laptop! I'll get to my newest family member in a moment! :rolleyes1

    Thanks Kathy! :goodvibes I hope to get some good advice from people on some of those "romantic" ideas! :love:

    Sara
     
  15. daisy2jae

    daisy2jae DIS Veteran

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    have a fun trip
     
  16. mom2mek

    mom2mek Obsessed with Disney

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    Thanks! And thanks for reading along! :goodvibes

    Sara
     
  17. mom2mek

    mom2mek Obsessed with Disney

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    Pre Trip - Part 4 - A Journey through photos....:cool1:

    Just to bide my time since I haven't actually written up any more stuff, :rolleyes1I thought I would share a few pics of our last few trips....I promise to get to some tour plans and such for this trip…believe me, I could use some advice….but for now….a trip down memory lane!

    First up (cue ominious music here).....

    "SICK TRIP 2006" otherwise known as the "DISNEY DISASTER TRIP":scared1:

    This was in January 2006 - 12 of us - 6 adults, 6 kids (ages 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, and 10)

    Breakfast in the castle:
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    Group shot (this was our ONLY picture that EVERYONE is in…and literally 2 seconds after it was taken, my DD Emily (on the end in green) promptly threw up! Good times….good times….)

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    Katie at the Seas:
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    My two nieces with my son, Michael outside Nemo (which wasn't open yet)
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    The cookie thing at Epcot (I don't think they do this anymore...:sad2:)
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    In front of Spaceship Earth:
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    Emily and yours truly in Adventureland:
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    Downtown Disney (the one day everyone was well...go figure...we went to DTD...grrr)
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    The kids watching Shawn, my step-dad (Pop Pop) and my BIL do Dive Quest:
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    The obligatory kids-in-Bruce-the-shark's-mouth picture:
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    Photo Booth at the RFC outside AK:
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    My Mom with four of the 6 kids
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    Shawn and our youngest daughter, Katie
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    Michael and two of my nieces at AK:
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    Outside the Rainforest Café:
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    Sara
     
  18. mom2mek

    mom2mek Obsessed with Disney

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    More pics from previous trips....

    Next up...."The Herding Cats Trip" over Thanksgiving 2007

    There were 16 of us on this trip - 8 Adults, 8 kids (2, 3, 4, 4, 6, 7, 9, and 12)

    Group Shot – AK:
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    See how much time I'm saving you...no need to go back and read the old reports, right? :flower3:

    Sara
     
  19. tinkerbells mum

    tinkerbells mum DIS Veteran

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    this is hysterical :rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl: i know exactly where you are coming from i'm sure i could talk Disney all day every day if i didn't think about what i'm saying!!!

    subbing to your report as i can't wait to hear about the planning!

    the photos of your children are beautiful xx
     
  20. mkluvsmickey

    mkluvsmickey DIS Veteran

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    I'm enjoying your "old" pictures! It is neat to see your children growing right before my very eyes! :upsidedow You guys always look like you are having fun - even if there are moments in between.
     
  21. crgfsu1

    crgfsu1 DIS Veteran

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    Holy Smokes that is a lot of people!!!! I was stressed when we took a trip one year with 9 people, then our next trip with 8 people. It will definitly be a change for you going only with the 2 of you.

    Loving your past pictures!
     

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