The "Solo is a Verb" WDW TR: Who knew DIVAS could represent like this...6/7 UPDATE!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by LaLalovesWDW, May 7, 2011.

  1. LaLalovesWDW

    LaLalovesWDW DIS Veteran

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    Peace and Blessings fellow Dis’ers!

    I'm Lanasia, better known as "LaLa"

    I am relatively a new member of this forum, living in NJ and working as an IT Manager in NYC as my 2nd full-time job. My first full-time job is being Mommy, chauffer, teacher, maid, culinary chef, and occasional playmate to my little sweetheart, Nyaa. She is 5 (and a HALF…as she would frequently correct me) years old and is just about to graduate from preschool. I took her on her first trip to WDW this past December. Here is my little inspiration while in the queue for Toy Story Mania…

    [​IMG]
    Just to give you a little background on me and why I planned my time at Disney the way I did. My biggest inspiration for deciding to do this trip alone was basically as homage to my Dad. When I was about 6 years old and living in New Jersey, he got a contract, as an Architectural Engineer, to work with Disney World (then, was just Magic Kingdom) to be on a design team for what would soon be known as “Epcot Center.” We moved to Orlando and I spent many days visiting this theme park to get on rides using my little tear-off ticket books (remember those?) to ride the rides, while my Dad worked. He now suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s and barely remembers who I am, much less the impact he had on millions of people who visit Disney, so I wanted to do this to remember the relationship we had.

    My second inspiration for how I planned my 6 days at WDW, has to do with personal transformation. For many, many years, I was severely obese at over 450lbs; then 9/11 happened. I was motivated to change my life while being forced to walk home that day from my midtown Manhattan office to my apartment in East Brooklyn. It took me about 8 hours to get home. My knees, back and legs were crying in pain. I knew this was no way to live. Over the next 10 years, I lost over 250lbs.

    Although, I'm not at my goal, yet... I think I did pretty dern good so far. Anyway, here is I... a lovely Mother took this picture of me, while she was taking a break with her sleeping toddler:

    [​IMG]

    And if you decide to hang around until the end of my long and boring report, maybe I will show you a pic of what I looked like over 200lbs ago. :rolleyes1

    Although, I felt like I had another chance at life and gained back a lot of my strength and energy, I also realized that I had slacked off on going to the gym, maybe let a few too many kit-kats slip down my throat, and generally being had not been as active as I had once worked so hard to be.
    Anyway, after a wonderful week at Disney back in December, I really came home and had to pull out the jumper cables to connect to my rear end and get my life back where I want it. I signed back up with a personal trainer, started going back to the gym 3-4 times a week, and of course, began planning my solo trip to Disney. In a way, this was like my resurrection back to Diva-dome. Oh, we shall get into the "Northeast Divas" later...

    So this will be a trip report covering my days at WDW from May 1st – May 6th 2011. I hope you will join along as I take a “Keys to the Magic Kingdom” Tour, enjoy the “Behind the Seeds” tour, pray really hard as I cross bridges over crocodiles during the Wild Africa Trek, enjoy Diva time, lots of food (I never said I was dieting this week) and hopefully just enjoy a great time at my favorite place on Earth.

    I jotted a few notes down of notable quotes I overheard, as well as tracked my steps taken on my pedometer (before I lost it in the Circle of Life movie). Anyhoo... if you're interested, hang on and enjoy!


    This is my first trip report AND my first solo trip...so, be gentle. :goodvibes

    :banana:Let's begin... Take me there! :banana:
     
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  3. Kristina

    Kristina DIS Veteran

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    Yay :)! Can't wait to read the rest! You look fabulous by the way, good for you losing all the weight! I'm about to begin my journey back to diva-dom myself so I know what hard work it takes (I've done it once or thrice now lol!). Your daughter is adorable too :).
     
  4. LaLalovesWDW

    LaLalovesWDW DIS Veteran

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  5. LaLalovesWDW

    LaLalovesWDW DIS Veteran

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    Thanks so much! Its a daily battle but we will do it, right? Yes, I think Im on my thrice time too.. LOL. Thanks for joining in. I was totally prepared to be typing to myself. :)
     
  6. emma212010

    emma212010 DIS Veteran

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    I'm totally in! You look great!! :thumbsup2 I hope you had an awesome time! And Nyaa is ADORABLE!! :cutie:
     
  7. LaLalovesWDW

    LaLalovesWDW DIS Veteran

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    Thanks so much and thanks for taking pity on my thread and joining in. :) Im gathering my notes and things now, so I can be somewhat organized with it. I did have an awesome time and can't wait to go back.
     
  8. Belle83

    Belle83 DIS Veteran

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    Your intro made me tear up! Can't wait to read more. Your daughter is adorable!
     
  9. Corrine 1973

    Corrine 1973 What do you mean I am not a princess, don't you se

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    You definatly got me hooked on to your TR, what a great start.:thumbsup2

    I think it is incredible that your Dad is part of the magic known as Walt Disney World and your idea to go to foundly remember those memories puts a huge smile on my face (and a few tears in my eyes.)

    Honestly I believe loosing 200 lbs is not just doing pretty good, but is pretty darn fantastic. Good luck reaching your final goal.

    Can't wait to read more.popcorn::
     
  10. LaLalovesWDW

    LaLalovesWDW DIS Veteran

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    Belle... no tearing up is allowed on my TR! :) I hope you enjoy it...
    Now, how you gonna flaunt that popcorn in my face? LOL.. thanks for joining in Corrine... honestly, like many of us, my parents are the reason I am such a Disney fan. I remember when I was a child, and my Dad used to bring me the ticket books every other day. I had so many of them, I thought I was rich because I would go to Fantasyland, whip out my books like "Look, I can ride Peter Pan a hundred times!" LOL... definitely left me some great memories.
     
  11. LaLalovesWDW

    LaLalovesWDW DIS Veteran

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    Ok, so I titled my TR "Solo is a Verb" because, well, read the intro and you will get a gist of how I am. Everything in life that I do, I strive to always do it with intention and purpose.

    Many of us do, but rarely do we really think about the consciousness behind many non-obligatory activities and tasks we do. Forgive me if I get a little too philosophical, or psychologically draining throughout my TR. That's just how I am, how I think and probably why I am single... LOL.

    Anyway, a few months back, before I stopped telling people that I was going to Disney alone, people often asked me "Why in the world would you go to DISNEY by yourself?" I had to think about this really before dropping the money I was about to on my hotel and airfare. So I looked up the word, "Solo."

    What struck me immediately, was that after the various definitions under noun, adjective, was the definition under verb -
    to undertake a venture alone, esp to operate an aircraft alone or climb alone.

    It's funny they throw the aircraft thing in there considering how terrified I am of flying, but you get the point. I wanted to do this venture alone, but make it an active and mentally elevating venture... I wanted to climb alone and reach more outside of myself in meeting new people, doing new activities, and learning new and undiscovered facts about myself and Disney through this experience.

    And, thats exactly what I did...

    UP NEXT: Day 1, Part I
     
  12. LaLalovesWDW

    LaLalovesWDW DIS Veteran

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    May 1st 2011:

    Arriving in Orlando and Winn-DixieLand

    Anyone that knows me knows that I am the worst when it comes to flying. I can NOT stand it. I always have these internal panic attacks, yet try to play cute and calm so that no one else on the plane will look at me like I'm crazy. :rolleyes1 I have done the hypnotism, taken the online fear of flying course, and tried it all. Yet, the only thing that has successfully seems to have quelled my fears (sans children, of course) is a strong drink, and [​IMG] I’m just saying…

    So I landed in Orlando International on Sunday morning, just before 10am. Every time I come to this airport, I think of my Dad. He was on the architectural design team for this airport. I’m not sure what part, if any, he had anything directly to do with, but I know for a long time this was his job. I always think of him when I pass through here. So, I get on the little faux monorail thing to go to baggage claim, and thought it was interesting how I have never been on here when it looked like this:
    [​IMG]

    I am going to take this as an omen in hopes that WDW is just as breezy… (I know, wishful thinking).

    I make way to Alamo and do the self-check in thing at the Kiosk and head out to get my car. It’s really evil that they give me an entire two rows of cars and just says… “hey, pick one. It’s yours.” They should really do this by astrological signs because we Libras are not very quick to make decisions. Needless to say, two Magical Express busses later (the true DISers will know how long that is), I finally settled into my short-term Divamobile, let’s call her Kia. She was good to me for the whole week.
    [​IMG]
    Since I was travelling solo, I really could have easily saved the $300 and just not rent a car, and experience the whole Disney transportation thing. However, as a daily NJ/NYC commuter I have become seriously impatient over the years and somehow I think the added stress of constantly trying to figure out how to get here and there, waiting for this and that, would quickly wear on my (very temporary) Disney-friendly personality. However, I also decided that I could save $300, or more, in other ways such as reducing my ADRs and not taking the Dining Plan, and buying a few items that I could eat for breakfast or bring for snacks.

    So, using my handy-dandy Verzion GPS on my blackberry, I found my way down Route 192 from the Airport, to the “Marketplace” aka Winn-Dixie...

    [​IMG]
    (do you hear the Angels singing in the background?)

    I just wanted to pick up a few breakfast and snack items that could carry me through the week. Everything cost me less than $30, and I figured I saved well over $100 from not having to eat out for breakfast every day.

    [​IMG]

    So, once I did my light shopping, I (well, the GPS) found this cute little shortcut from the grocery store, that leads down past the costumes and casting buildings of Disney, right to the entrance of Animal Kingdom Lodge. It was time to head to Kidani Villa and get my first “Welcome Home!” :hug:

    Day 1 – Part II
     
  13. KCSherri

    KCSherri Perpetual Kid Who Always Believes in the Magic

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    I'm in!

    First, congratulations on losing the weight - THAT is an amazing accomplishment, and could not have been easy! Wow! What an inspiration to others!

    Second, I've done a solo trip to WDW (last November) and I got the same reaction you did...I left the kids and Hubby at home and ventured forth, solo... and it was awesome! Not that I don't love my kids - but wow! The freedom!

    Third, I'm doing the Wild Africa Trek this summer, so I can't WAIT to hear how it went!

    It sounds like you had a fun-filled, action-packed trip!

    And you look FABULOUS, darling! Very much the DIVA!!!!

    (From one Diva to another!!!)
     
  14. emma212010

    emma212010 DIS Veteran

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    Glad you made it safely :goodvibes Good idea with the small breakfast and snack items!! I bet that saves a ton of money!! :thumbsup2
     
  15. onelilspark

    onelilspark DIS Veteran

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    Ooo! I'm joining in! I'm going solo for the first time in September, hopefully I'll pick up some tips!!
     
  16. Fairy Godnana

    Fairy Godnana Earning My Ears

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    I am so doing a solo trip!! I've been planning one for years, I was waiting till
    my kids were grown so I wouldn't hurt their feelings, now I'm waiting for the grandkids to be grown so I don't hurt thier feelings !! Those great grandkids will just jave to wait!!!!:rotfl: Love the report so far. How cool was your DAD!!
    Ticket books every other day!!
     
  17. LaLalovesWDW

    LaLalovesWDW DIS Veteran

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    Thanks KC, you Diva, you! I did have a lot of fun...but my calves are screaming out at me right now... I did the WIld Africa Trek on Day 5, so you have a while to go.... but I have no doubt you will truly enjoy it.
    You don't even know.. I only actually ate "out" for breakfast one day and it cost me $22 with the tip...and I got the cheapest thing they had! So, I definitely saved a good bit. However, if I never eat another bowl of granola cereal for breakfast again, it will be too soon. :lmao:

    Welcome, Onellspark... it was my first trip, so I don't know about picking up tips of what TO do but maybe a few on what NOT TO do... :rolleyes1


    Welcome aboard, Fairy Godnana (LOVE that name)! I think the grandkids will understand if you tell them you had to go "scope things out" before you go with them. :) It's a great stress reliever.
     
  18. LaLalovesWDW

    LaLalovesWDW DIS Veteran

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  19. KCSherri

    KCSherri Perpetual Kid Who Always Believes in the Magic

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    Happy Mother's Day to you, too! I hope you're being spoiled rotten and enjoying your day! :thumbsup2
     
  20. LaLalovesWDW

    LaLalovesWDW DIS Veteran

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    Day 1-Part II

    So, this was my first time staying at a Deluxe resort location. Usually I stay off-site, or CBR has been my real love since I started staying on-site. However, since this trip was a potpourri of celebrations (Happy Mother’s Day), memories, aspirations and goals-reached, I decided to squeeze the few extra dollars out to splurge on a Deluxe location. There was no deep cultural reasoning how I managed to get Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom – everything else was booked solid and that’s all that was available. :rotfl: It actually turned out to be a great decision. Here are a few pictures I snapped before reaching my room:

    [​IMG]
    On my way to the lobby to check in

    [​IMG]
    View from the check-in desk of the lobby

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Walking to my room, I made a pit stop to snap a few of the Savannah​

    Now, I looooove African art and culture, so I was totally in awe by a lot of the art work that was displayed around the Village. Here is the one right off the elevator, near my room:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The last time I had been to Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kidani had not yet existed. I had only been to Jambo to surprise my then-husband with Dinner at Jiko (one of my favorite restaurants on property). So this was a totally new experience for me.

    It was so architecturally divine. My Dad would have been running his fingers across every nook and cranny of the building trying to dissect what he thought the designers were intending.

    I checked into my room, then went back to park my car in the covered garage (loved that it wasn’t out in the Sun), brought in my groceries, and pondered what to do next. As I pondered, I took a few pictures of my beautiful room:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    LaLa was a happy DIS'er!

    Honestly, I was a little exhausted having been up since 3am, plus just getting back into the swing of doing the theme park marathon, I really wanted to just relax, explore the hotel, and maybe go for a massage…. Yet, MK was calling my name, especially on a Sunday, which is typically its least crowded day. I had to go…

    Day 1 - Part III
     
  21. onelilspark

    onelilspark DIS Veteran

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    Oooo...a cliff hanger!

    I really want to stay at AKL one of these times. It just looks so beautiful!
     

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