I hope I'm not breaking any rules, but I'd like to post my pre-trip report here even though our trip is but a memory. I'm also hoping I'm welcome to post here (even though I'm not a resident of the UK) - does it help that our cast includes UK residents? Not to mention that I spend most of my DIS time on the UK boards? If all of this is agreeable, pull up a chair (and a comfy one at that as I tend to fill my trip reports with loads of detail) and settle in to read mine and Evan's take on our adventures with the Stringer/Yates clan. Pre-Trip Report So with four days before we depart for our next magical adventure, I figure its time to partake in the journalistic endeavor otherwise known as the Pre-Trip Report. The month of May has been busy and stressful (even moreso given the events of the last couple of days more in a bit) and Ive only been able to get excited about our trip in the last week or so. Oh its not that the excitement has been missing its been there always ever since we booked this trip roughly six months ago. But its now going to come to the forefront. So whats the cause of the busy-ness and the stress? Ah, the month of May. When Evan was still in school, the month was filled with end of year activities of all kinds. I thought it was supposed to get better now that hes off at college. Or not. Weve been apartment hunting (for the next college term), moved him home, spent a week celebrating my birthday, and worked a retreat. And just when I thought Id simply let the Disney excitement take over, I fall in the shower and fracture my cheekbone less than a week before we are due to leave! Yes, the 36 hours between the fall and the time I saw the surgeon and he cleared me to vacation as planned was excruciating! Nevertheless, I have been cleared and we are leaving in 4 four days (after, this little issue of a surgery is out of the way). Allow me to introduce the Who, What, Where, and When: The Who: Myself Sharon mid-40s (ack! Did I actually just write that?). Loves Tigger and anything that gets the adrenaline pumping. Also can chill with the best of em and plans to do that a-plenty on this trip (see The Where). This will be my 8th trip to The World and 9th to a Disney park (DLP, 2003). My son Evan 21 and proud of it! A fan of the Big Cheese and a like-minded adrenaline junkie (at least he comes by it honestly). Now that he is of legal age, he plans to spend his money not on souvenirs unless you consider cold beverages of the alcohol kind, souvenirs. This is Evans 6th trip to the World and 7th trip to a Disney Park (DLP, 2003). Our friends, the Stringers, from England. We would be remiss not to include them in the cast since we plan to spend the majority of our time with them. Kevin (Kev), Tammy (Tam), India (Ind), Georgia (George), and Kevins mum, Dorothy (Dot) what exactly is it with the Brits shortening everyones name? Kevin and I have been corresponding since 1998 when I read one of his trip reports. The man is a riot! Weve vacationed at WDW a couple of times together and Evan and I went to England to visit them a couple of years ago. The girls were wee darlings when we first met them in person. And Dot, is just a gem! We stayed with her while in England and she and Evan formed a particularly close bond over morning and afternoon tea. We are most excited about getting to spend some time with them (its been five years since we last saw them) and the fact that were meeting at WDW is just gravy. Susan, from Oklahoma. Another Disney friend, who we met courtesy of the Stringers. Susan is an elementary-school librarian and a wealth of Disney knowledge. She is articulate to a tee and how she manages to put up with my drivel is beyond me. Rob, his wife, and daughter also from the UK. Kevin arranged a meet and greet with Rob and his family one night in Epcot. My friend Gwen and her family. Gwen used to work for me and now manages a different area within the same agency where I work. She lives in Houston and we discovered our mutual fanaticism for the Mouse a couple of years ago. She and her family arrive the day before we leave and we hope to meet up with them if even for a short while before we go home. The What: Theres not really a what per se, unless you consider that the trip will be one way in which we celebrate Evans big birthday. And also to meet up with our friends. Oh heck, truth be told, given recent (work-related and now injury-related) events, I think its safe to say I REALLY need this vacation!!!!! The Where: Why WDW, of course. What could possibly be more magical? Oh Wait! I know what could make this more magical (maybe even moreso than our previous trips) our resort of choice for this trip: The Polynesian! This is a surprise to Evan, who thinks we are staying at Caribbean Beach. Ive spent countless hours scouring the net for info on the Poly and I cannot wait to dip my toes in the sand or lie in a hammock and stare at Cinderellas castle. Not to mention that we love both Ohana and Kona Café and have meals planned at both. Ive written a poem to give to Evan that will clue him in as to where we are staying; I hope to give this to him on the plane providing I can get by without him seeing the Magical Express tags or asking to read the Mickey Mail (which has Disneys Polynesian Resort all over it.) I hope hell be pleasantly surprised. The decision to stay at the Poly (vs. the Animal Kingdom Lodge) was a tough one but in the end, I can only say location, location, location is what made the most sense. Easy access to the MK (via the monorail or boat launch) and to Epcot (via the TTC, then monorail), Dole Whips at the ready, plus the beach and being able to see Cindys place helped to make this THE choice. Not to mention, that I will be on a soft food diet for most of the trip. As if being pampered at the Poly isnt enough, I can have my fill of Konas Pineapple Macadamia Nut pancakes, self-serve Dole Whips from Captain Cooks, and pina colavas from the Polys barefoot bar. How convenient! The When: Taking advantage of the buy 4, get 3 free, the when is a 7-night, 8-day stay the longest time weve ever stayed before. I think this should be just about right, dont you? So what exactly are we looking forward to? Thats hard to say. We definitely have our favorites (Expedition Everest, Rock n Roller Coaster, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad adrenaline, adrenaline, adrenaline), but I also cant pass up the classics either (Haunted Mansion, Peter Pans Flight). We are both looking forward to Toy Story Mania, which opened the week after our trip last year. I will be on a mission to have my picture taken with one of the Princes (we have a wall with Disney pics from past trips and one of those is of Evan with Cinderella so I need one with a Prince). Evan will be on a quest to drink around the World. He is, after all, of legal drinking age. Margarita anyone? But mostly, were looking forward to spending time with our friends. So stay tuned to follow our magical adventure of 2009 from start to finish. And find out whether I can really survive on a soft food diet while in WDW.