She's a Princess, a Superhero, and a Rock Star -a Sept 2013 TR (Completed 2/24)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by GrandCalifornian, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. GrandCalifornian

    GrandCalifornian Can't Wait To Go Back

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    Welcome to our trip report. This is our second TR, as this trip was a bounce back we booked during our first trip to WDW since our daughter was born. For background, our first TR is here.
    To read all about our plans for this trip, here's a link to our PTR.
    Like our previous reports, we'll work together on this one, with Paul writing in Blue and Melissa writing in Orange. As a review, or introduction, here's who we are:
    I am Paul, a 33 year old Mechanical Engineer and general car guy. My favorite Disney movie is Cars, and my favorite park is Epcot. My favorite character is Mater.
    [​IMG]


    I'm Melissa, Allie's mommy. My family owns an elevator company and I work in the office. Allie gets to come to work with me and her job is signing for UPS packages which she takes very seriously. I like to sew in my spare time and I did a lot of it for this trip. If you're interested in how all of that was done you can check out our PTR. My favorite Disney character is Stitch but I'm a Perry the Platypus fan too. My favorite WDW park is Epcot followed closely by Animal Kingdom.
    [​IMG]


    Here's Allie, the "she" in our reports and pretty much the center of everything around here. We'll include her input in this report, as she had more to do with what we did this year as she got older and became more familiar with what her favorite things to do were. Her favorite princesses are Ariel and Belle, but she is also super fond of Sofia the First too.
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    Melissa and I have known each other since we were little kids. Once we started dating, Disneyland was a common destination and we got annual passes for Melissa's birthday early on. I proposed to Melissa at our paving stone in front of Disneyland, and two years later (to the day) we were married at the Grand Californian hotel. We followed that up with an awesome honeymoon at Disney World. We returned to the world just before our daughter Allie turned three. My parents joined us on that trip and we all had a great time. We enjoyed it so much that we booked the bounce back to enjoy free dining once Allie turned three.

    We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge, which has become our home at WDW. Even Allie said this trip, "you call it the hotel, but I call it home." [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We had a great trip and took a TON of pictures. We can't wait to relive the trip and share it with all of our DIS friends!
     
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  3. GrandCalifornian

    GrandCalifornian Can't Wait To Go Back

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  4. MrsTeddy

    MrsTeddy Mouseketeer

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    Yay! Oh my Allie is a beauty! Can't wait to follow along! We are 70 days out and this will help occupy some of those days!
     
  5. rachel09985

    rachel09985 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in :) I was following along on the live thread for food and can't wait to hear about it and see your amazing photos!
     
  6. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

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    I'm IN! love the intros! How sweet that you guys have been doing Disney for pretty much ever, definitely a Disney family there! Your DD is so cute!! The WL looks so amazing, it's definitely been added to my list of "must stay" for hotels at the world!

    Excited to read more!! :banana:
     
  7. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    Following along! :goodvibes
     
  8. GrandCalifornian

    GrandCalifornian Can't Wait To Go Back

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    Thanks! She sure has a ball at Disney. Hopefully sharing our fun will get you through those last days. We spent a huge portion of our time at "work" in the weeks before our trip reading TRs on the DIS to build the excitement.

    We're glad you're here. We had a great time eating on the trip, and that was actually Melissa's favorite part. Thanks to doing the live reporting, we have lots of good pictures of our meals. :thumbsup2

    Great, we're glad we haven't bored you so far. We just love Disney, and while we get to go a lot at home getting to go to WDW is really special, and we have a ball reliving it through the TR. Thanks for the kind compliments about Allie, we're pretty fond of her too.

    Great, and thanks, we're glad to have you.
     
  9. GrandCalifornian

    GrandCalifornian Can't Wait To Go Back

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    We have to start this trip report right where our trip started, on the way to the airport! We had to get up super early to beat traffic into Long Beach. Neither Allie nor I are morning people but I make exceptions for very special occasions, like going to DISNEY WORLD!

    Finally the Friday we had been waiting for all year arrived, and our countdown chain reached zero.
    [​IMG]

    We woke up at 3:30 AM to head for the airport. We got a better deal on flights out of Long Beach, which is about 30 miles from our house but weekday traffic can be really bad so we decided to leave early and have breakfast near the airport before our 9:30 AM flight. Our plan worked great, as we arrived in Long Beach about 5:30 AM


    We had breakfast at Denny's (it was the only place that was open) which was very quiet that early in the morning. Allie got to have pancakes which are hands down her favorite food item so that put her in a really good mood for the morning.

    We met Melissa's sister at her apartment near the airport since she agreed to watch our car for the week and save us the parking cost at the airport.

    We drove over to the airport and kicked us out on the curb. I had never been to Long Beach airport before, wow, it was like a step back in time. They still have outside luggage carousels and you have to walk up a ramp or stairs to get on the airplane. No fancy shcmancy jet bridge here.

    We were at the airport by 7:05, and at the bag check in counter I remembered to put out ME tags on. Better late than never, we'd have been sitting at the hotel wondering what happened to our bags... Going through security took all of 3 minutes, since we were the only people in line.

    There wasn't anyone behind us either, which was nice when I had to prove to the TSA scanner that the stroller wouldn't fit in the x-ray machine by putting it up there and letting it get stuck.

    We were at our gate nice and early, which made for a very happy Daddy. Our trip could officially begin, and there was no more traffic or lines to worry about. We were headed to Disney World!
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    Allie played around the terminal and it wasn't long before we got to board. Jet Blue let us pre-board which was super nice. It gave us time to gate check the stroller and install the car seat and get situated without holding anyone else up.
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    We were on our way to Austin, Texas very quickly. We all enjoyed the TVs in the seats, and were still excited to be on our way. Before we took off Allie and her beloved Belle reviewed the safety instructions for the A-320:
    [​IMG]

    Allie watched Tom and Jerry and I think some Sponge Bob during the flight. I was too excited this first leg of the flight to watch any one thing and skipped around a lot.

    We arrived in Austin just a few minutes behind schedule, but it was a super easy flight. Our plane would be continuing on to Orlando, so we wouldn't even have to switch gates but we would have to get off with all of our stuff so they could clean the plane and get it ready for the Orlando leg of the flight.

    We got off the jetway before we figured out that we had forgotten to pick up the stroller that was gate checked. So Paul had to go back and take care of that. They don't just let you go back down toward the airplane.

    To our credit, it wasn't there when we walked by, but I guess we should have stopped and waited for it. Oh well, it all worked out in a couple minutes. We don't have any pictures from our layover in Austin because it was super short and I decided to grab us lunch. I was still waiting for our hot dogs when they started boarding our plane, and I had to grab them and take them on the plane with us.

    We made it on though and got settled. We even had our hot dogs eaten before we pushed back from the gate. This leg of the flight was pretty uneventful as well. Allie watched more Sponge Bob, then played with her ipad for a bit before falling asleep. I got inoto a documentary about the mob, and Paul kept up with NASCAR.
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    We were getting more and more excited the closer we got to Florida, and I spent the last part of the flight just watching the live map. It was cool when we got close enough that Orlando showed up.
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    It was so exciting to be in Florida! Allie wasn't nearly as excited but she was still asleep.

    She actually slept through the arrival process, and we transferred her to her stroller (after remembering to pick it up) and she stayed asleep the whole time. She doesn't like waking up at 3:30 in the morning.
    Our Magical Express trip went well, even though it was raining. Our hotel was the third stop, but by this point we were so excited it didn't matter. We were officially there and watching cartoons, how cool was that! Allie on the other hand was still asleep.

    [​IMG]

    By the time we got to the WL the rain had really let up and was almost cleared. We made our way excitedly into the lobby and got our KTW cards. Paul FINALLY got to know what our room number was. He had memorized the entire floor plan of the WL so that when they told us our room number he'd know exactly where it was.

    Yeah, I kind of got really into figuring out what rooms were where. At least I shared the obsession by posting a color coded room map on the WL thread. Wait, that doesn't help my case does it, oh well. Back to the important stuff, we got room 6096, which was two rooms down from where we were last trip in a location that we just loved. It is above the registration desk and opens to the lobby with a view of the bus stop and the road leading to the lodge.

    We headed up to the room to drop off the carseat and our carryons. Allie was still asleep. We were both hungry so we went back down stairs to Roaring Fork for some grub. I got the Roast Beef and Blue Sandwich with cucumber salad, and a Smore's cupcake for dessert.

    I had the bacon cheeseburger, which was my favorite QS burger of the trip last year and it still was great this time. I followed it up with one of the big brownies that were also a hit last year.

    They were in the middle of the RFID mug switch over and WL hadn't received the new mugs yet so all they had were black. We didn't want three black mugs, I had my eyes on a new orange one so I asked the CM if we could buy our mugs at another resort. She said no, they had to be purchased there because that's where we were staying. I politely declined getting the mugs this time and said we'd be back later. My plan was to try to get RFID activated ones at a different resort the next day. We'll see if that worked out.

    Allie finally woke up, so we ordered her some chicken nuggets and sat around the almost totally empty Roaring Fork dining area.
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    We then walked around the resort and took a few pictures, and even caught the Electrical water parade from the boat dock.

    [​IMG]

    We checked out the resort some and then headed up to the room where we found our luggage had made it.

    Continued in the next update...
     
  10. WDWKOOK

    WDWKOOK NOW WITH LESS TAG!

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    Yippee! The PTR has morphed into the TR! I'm glad I noticed the brand new hyperlink in your signature:magnify:

    Reliving your vacation will be a bright spot for days to come:worship:
     
  11. Disneyluvr81

    Disneyluvr81 Mouseketeer

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    Yay!!! Can't wait to read all about your trip!!!
     
  12. dismom9761

    dismom9761 DIS Veteran

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    Looking forward to reading..popcorn::
     
  13. kmedina

    kmedina Loves all things Disney

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    I love that Allie goes to work with Mommy. When my older son was born, I tried bringing him into work. Some days were better than others. A co-worker brought her daughter in and that always went well. Her daughter was also in charge of mail and packages. It was adorable. Eventually, I started working from home. Just before we decided to have my second, I stopped working. They needed help again when my younger one was 13 months. I did 8 additional months before leaving again.

    I like that you write the trip reports together. The changing colors will take some getting used to. It seems so natural that I do not notice the change at first. If my husband and I were doing one together, you would notice the change in writing styles (he is fantastic and missed his calling as a writer). So far, I have not noticed the different style for you two.

    Your trip seems off to a great start. Excited to read more.
     
  14. GrandCalifornian

    GrandCalifornian Can't Wait To Go Back

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    Hello! We're glad you found us so quickly. I hadn't even posted the link post on the PTR yet. :thumbsup2

    Hopefully you'll enjoy following along with this TR. We have a lot of pictures to include, and many of them are of WL, so that'll be fun. We're not sure how long it will take, but we will take our time and have fun with it.

    Hello! I am pretty sure we actually saw you guys once on the ramp to Roaring Fork, but we were headed different directions and it was kind of busy. Perhaps we'll catch you at DL sometime. :yay:

    Great, we're glad you're here. :goodvibes

    Yes, we are both super glad to spend as much time with Allie as we can. Melissa grew up in the office at the Elevator company, so now Allie is doing the same.

    We have fun writing the reports together. We did it similarly last year, and it worked well for us. It allows us more back and forth in a single post than using separate usernames would. There's definitely times in the writing where you'll see the different personalities, but for the most part we're both super excited about Disney.

    We're glad you're excited about it. :banana:
     
  15. Valgoof

    Valgoof DIS Veteran

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    Loved the PTR and all the pics you posted on the WL thread!! Looking forward to reading all about the trip!
    Yikes! Glad you remembered the ME tags in time. I put mine on the luggage as soon as I got them so I couldnt lose them. :lmao:
    I was going to ask if you had the color coded map with you at check-in, but I guess memorizing it is even more efficient. :goodvibes
     
  16. GrandCalifornian

    GrandCalifornian Can't Wait To Go Back

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    Welcome! Thanks for coming over and following along. I think next time we are putting the ME tags on as soon as we get them, I can't believe we almost forgot. Nope he didn't need the map, trust me though I definitely gave him a hard time about having that whole map memorized.

    Well, I didn't have it all memorized, I just knew generally which number rooms were where...

    Who's he kidding, as soon as they told us the room number he knew exactly where it was.
     
  17. Disneyluvr81

    Disneyluvr81 Mouseketeer

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    I wasn't trying to take a picture of the Roaring Fork sign, was I? :rotfl2: Bummer about missing you guys though - I was trying to keep an eye out for familiar faces. That would be fun to bump in to you at Disneyland - we are typically there Sunday mornings for a few hours but will be at the Halloween Party this Friday (which I just read is sold out..hoping it won't feel insanely crowded)!

    Hope you're having a nice weekend!
     
  18. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    Joining in! This looks like it will be a fun report! And my DD and I just discovered the joy that is WL last August via a dining experience, so really excited to read about staying there. It is high on my must-do resort list at this point. :thumbsup2
     
  19. GrandCalifornian

    GrandCalifornian Can't Wait To Go Back

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    No, you guys were heading down the ramp, and looked like you had somewhere to be. We were at Disneyland last night (although not for the party) but it looked pretty crowded over there. We will have to do one of those sometime.

    Great, we are glad you are here. We love WL and will share lots more of what makes it special to us. We hope you enjoy following along.
     
  20. GrandCalifornian

    GrandCalifornian Can't Wait To Go Back

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    When we left off we were here :
    [​IMG]
    Our luggage had been delivered with no problems, thank goodness Paul remembered the ME tags or this could have gone very differently.

    We put Stacy on the TV and got some unpacking done.
    [​IMG]

    Allie just lounged around and played on the bed.
    [​IMG]

    She also really started hounding us about wanting to do the BBB. She had seen it on the planning DVD the night before we left and now Stacy was talking about it too. I just told her we'll see and that I needed to give the Fairy Godmother a call.

    The next morning I woke up early, excited to be at Disney World. I sat out on the balcony and read the DIS boards while watching the park buses come and go.
    [​IMG]

    Once Allie and Melissa got up, our plan was to do something we loved on our honeymoon but never got to do last trip. We were going to walk to Fort Wilderness, and since Trail's End sounded good for breakfast. We headed past the bus stops to the path, and soon truly felt like we were in the middle of nowhere.
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    [​IMG]

    This little guy was crossing the road so we stopped to check him out and make sure he got across safely.
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    We were soon reminded that we were at Disney though, with this cool hidden Mickey:
    [​IMG]

    We arrived at FW in about 20 minutes and headed to Trail's End. By now it was after 10AM, and there was no wait of a table. Actually I think there were only a couple other groups in the restaurant. We went straight to the buffet, and Melissa and Allie got their first Mickey Waffles of the trip.
    [​IMG]

    And they were delicious. Allie wouldn't start eating though until she finished coloring this
    [​IMG]

    "Look mom Mickey waffle!"
    [​IMG]

    Breakfast was good but there was something wrong with the Diet Coke, it tasted more like regular. This was pretty tragic because we are both addicted to it and because we didn't have our mugs yet I hadn't had any caffeine yet. Luckily it was our first day there so the excitement of just being there helped with any caffeine/Diet Coke withdrawal crankiness. We settled our bill and headed out into the world. (We were on the dining plan but paid for this meal out of pocket. This information will come in handy later in the report)
    See no crankiness:
    [​IMG]

    Right outside Trails End we did our first penny press of the trip:
    [​IMG]

    Sorry for the foggy lens shot, I guess the camera needed caffeine too.
    Our first stop was the store on the way down to the dock. Daddy and Allie played with the "shooters"
    [​IMG]

    And had a sword fight
    [​IMG]

    We had to drag Allie out of the store but when we made it out we collected the stroller and made our way down to the boat dock. This morning was all about getting business done. So where were we headed?

    Continued in next post...
     
  21. GrandCalifornian

    GrandCalifornian Can't Wait To Go Back

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    Over to Magic Kingdom by boat. This would be our first boat ride of the trip, and I love the boats. While on the boat, Melissa caught me uploading our breakfast photos.
    [​IMG]

    We went under the monorail track and then crossed the water bridge.
    [​IMG]

    Then we used our package tickets to enter the park. We were officially in the Magic Kingdom.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We wanted to use our park tickets at least once before upgrading them to an annual pass so that we would be credited with the current gate price, rather than the amount we paid in our trip package for them. We had read about this process on the DIS and it wound up saving us over $200.

    Since we were in the park, we also wanted to redeem our Photopass Plus voucher. We walked to the end of Main Street and finally asked a CM who told us it was in the theatre right by the entrance. We headed back that way, and Melissa got us our magic card. We decided to use it right away, since the line to meet Mickey was only 5 minutes.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I guess I missed the memo to wear Wilderness Lodge attire.

    After meeting Mr. Mouse we browsed the dump shop a bit. Allie tried on some hats
    [​IMG]

    Then she talked Daddy into trying hats on too:
    [​IMG]

    After all the hat fun we made our way out of the park. Stopping for popcorn on the way. I figured it would keep Allie busy while we bought our passes. Surprisingly enough popcorn is cheaper at WDW than at Disneyland by 75 cents for the bucket.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It looks like popcorn might keep Paul busy too
    [​IMG]

    We headed straight for guest services after leaving the park. You can only purchase Premier Passports at the guest relations outside of each of the parks at WDW or the guest relations between the parks in California. Anyway, this was my new home for the next 35 minutes or so
    [​IMG]

    Allie was occupied for a while but got restless so she and daddy went to play right outside the front gates
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hey look! There's me enjoying the AC coming out of the little hole in the plexiglass.
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    I forgot to mention it was HOT this morning. Upgrading takes some time because they have to separate the tickets from your KTTW card and put them on regular tickets then do the upgrade. Believe it or not there is even some manual math with a calculator that goes on. We didn't make things easier for the poor CM by bringing 1,000 dollars in gift cards all in 50 dollar increments. Eventually we ended up with these
    [​IMG]

    The CM felt so bad about how long it took to get the tickets upgraded that she gave us a voucher for free ice cream.
    [​IMG]

    We went back in to MK and found the nearest ice cream cart. Melissa and Allie got Mickey bars, and I tried the Mickey cookies and cream sandwich. It was a hot day, so we had to pick a spot and start eating right away. We found a bench and got to it, but the rapidly liquefying pieces of chocolate were still pretty messy.
    [​IMG]

    I think there was actually a CM ready to mop up the drips as soon as we moved.

    We then walked through the nicely air conditioned shops on Main Street to cool off for a bit. Allie tried on some headbands, but decided she wouldn't want to leave one on long enough to buy it, but she had a fun time picking out her favorites and looking in the mirror.
    [​IMG]

    After we sufficiently cooled off we headed back out of the Magic Kingdom for the second time and headed on to our next park. Can anyone guess where we went next?


    Continued in next update.
     

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