Vacation Potpourri - Disney Dream, Kidani Village, and more! - Vacation Wrap-Up 4/24

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Bridora, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    Vacation Potpourri


    Vacation Potpourri???

    Yes, but not the smell-good kind, the miscellaneous collection kind! Because thats what our Disney trip was this year - all little bit of this and a little bit of that!

    Here we are:

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    Allison (12), Davis (42), Bridget (me-32), Luke (10)

    Weve been going to Disney since 2003 as a family, with the exception of 2007 when Davis & I left the kids at home (well, with Grandparents!) and went by ourselves.

    This years trip included our very first cruise ever: 3 nights aboard the Disney Dream! :sail:

    We stayed at Kidani Village (another first!) after the cruise and did our fair share of theme-parking during that time, however, it wasnt all Disney&:sad2:

    Those kids of ours wanted to do two days at Universal Studios this year. Last year we went to Islands of Adventure for the very first time to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The kids loved it, of course and felt the urge to go back and do more!

    Another thing we wanted to do while Luke was still fairly young and into Legos was to visit Legoland. But could we survive without a visit to a Disney park on our vacation?

    Of course not!

    We decided to throw in a Disney day, too. Preferably one with Magic Kingdom Evening Extra Magic Hours, so that we could get Park Hoppers and visit Epcot in the morning, and Magic Kingdom in the evening. It just so happened to work out that the only day that was possible was May 27 - the day we disembarked the Dream. :eek:

    Crazy? Maybe!

    Our travel dates were May 21 - June 2, 2012. We cruised May 24 - 27, checked in at Kidani Village May 27 and out on June 1.

    I hope youll read along with me!

    I'll be posting chapter links in this area as I add them.

    Chapter 1: Highway Man
    Chapter 2: Fish N' Chips N' Vinegar
    Chapter 3: A1A - Beachfront Avenue
    Chapter 4: Southern Cross
    Chapter 5: Back in Time
    Chapter 6: I don't know any songs about staterooms
    Chapter 7: Sail Away, Sail Away, Sail Away
    Chapter 8: Secret Agent Man
    Chapter 9: The End of Embarkation Day
    Chapter 10: Bermuda, Bahama.....
    Chapter 11: Nassau
    Chapter 12: I Wanna Know, Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
    Chapter 13: I Would Walk 500 Miles
    Chapter 14: On an Island in the Sun...
    Chapter 15: Castaway Continued
    Chapter 16: It's the Best Day Ever!
    Chapter 17: Epcot, in a blur
    Chapter 18: Kidani Village
    Chapter 19: Magic Kingdom, at last!
    Chapter 20: A Rainy Universal Studios
    Chapter 21: More Universal Monday
    Chapter 22: Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Head
    Chapter 23: Pool Day begins.
    Chapter 24: Pool Day continues.
    Chapter 25: Off to Neverland -- I mean Legoland!
    Chapter 26: Cypress Gardens
    Chapter 27: Making the rounds
    Vacation Wrap-Up


     
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  3. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    I just saw your link! I'm here to read all about the fun you had!
     
  4. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    Yay! I'm glad you saw it - I just started today, obviously! :)
     
  5. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    I'm looking forward to seeing how your thoughts and our thoughts of the cruise match up.
     
  6. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    “Highway Man”



    You Tube link to the music video:"Highway Man" - The Highway Men

    Or Highway Family, you know…But we aren’t highway robbers, sailors, dam-builders, or star-ship pilots. Ok, so maybe that wasn’t the best choice of song/chapter title, but it is a good song. And “On the Road Again” seems kind of obvious.

    We live in central Arkansas and make our way to Disney World each year on the road. We’d love to fly, but I don’t want to pay for those airline tickets! We’ve had several different game plans for the drive throughout the years, but this year we broke it up like this:

    Leave after school May 21 (kids’ last day)
    Drive to New Albany, MS and stay the night
    Drive all day May 22, stopping in Ocala, FL for the night
    Arrive fairly early in Cape Canaveral on May 23

    Usually, stopping at Ocala works out well for us. It’s only about an hour and a half away from Disney, so we can get there pretty early the next day and have that day for Downtown Disney, resort exploring, etc. We should have thought it out a bit better this year, though, and maybe driven a little further on the 21st and gotten into Cape Canaveral on the 22nd instead of stopping in Ocala.

    I had been looking into renting a minivan for our trip this year. Since we were going on the 3 night cruise, we packed differently this year and were going to have more bags. We drive a Prius and while we’ve taken it to Disney the past 3 years, it can only hold so much!

    Yeah, renting a van for our vacation would be expensive!

    Luckily for us, my Father-in-law was kind enough to let us borrow their minivan for vacation!

    Allison had been whole-heartedly against the whole van idea from the start. Did you know only old people drive vans? Apparently so.

    Luke, on the other hand, was thrilled to be sitting away from his sister and riding in luxury!


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    Our goal was to be on the road by 5:00.

    Once we had loaded the van, dropped off the dog at FIL's house, and made a pit stop at Chick-fil-A for drinks, we were ready to hit 67-167:


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    at:


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    5:15 - Not too shabby!


    A few pics from the road:


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    Memphis, TN


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    Love bridges!


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    And we were glad to be passing through, TN!


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    I was trying to capture the sunset…


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    Mississippi - our home for the night.


    If you have read any of my previous Trip Reports, we were staying at the same Hampton Inn as we have in the past. The past two years, I think. I don’t know much about New Albany, MS, itself, but the hotel is nice. They have a pool and continental breakfast, which makes the kids happy! Davis could do without both, though!


    May 22 dawned and we slept until a normal time before eating some breakfast and loading the van for our full day of driving.

    We didn’t get on the road without my must have road trip drink, however:


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    I remembered to check the date!


    And then we drove through some other states which are all equally great before arriving in:


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    Florida!



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    Excited to be in Florida! Must have been killing time while Davis fueled up the van.



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    Yep, that's my son!


    And at the end of the day we were at the Comfort Suites in Ocala, eagerly awaiting Cape Canaveral the next day!
     
  7. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Hey, you old folks you....what you doing in that van? Seriously, we loved the extra room when we took my Mama's van to Disney a few years back.

    Looks like ya'll made some good time and had fun while getting there. :rotfl:
     
  8. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    Me too! I keep thinking they'll be pretty similar. :cool2:

    Yep - just bein' old - pokin' down to Florida - in a van! :drive:

    We had as nice of a 900 + mile drive as one could ask for, I suppose! I'm always thankful when we don't have problems getting there!

    How's the plans for Hot Springs this weekend? Looks like we are not going to make it. We'll most likely be dragging the kids through the mall shopping for school clothes. Arkansas had tax free weekend last weekend, but I didn't brave the crowds! :crowded:
     
  9. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    I made our hotel reservations in Hot Springs last night but I don't know what we are going to do once we get there. :confused3 Guess we'll figure it out.

    Hunter's pretty set on clothes since we stocked up before our vacation. I just need to find him some jeans long enough to fit him. I'm thinking I have a few months before we have to worry about jeans though since it's so darn hot.
     
  10. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    I'm sure you will figure something out! I hope y'all have a great time too!

    Nope, I don't think we'll be needing jeans anytime soon here, either. :sunny:
     
  11. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    “Fish N’ Chips N’ Vinegar…”


    Wednesday, May 23

    On the road to Cape Canaveral:


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    It’s a plane!


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    Yes, we have airplanes in Arkansas.


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    We just don’t typically see them flying across the road like this, that’s all!


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    “Port Canaveral Cruise Terminals – Disney”

    That must mean we’re almost there!

    We would be staying at the Country Inn & Suites, somewhere near the terminal, overnight. We had opted to park the van with the hotel while on the cruise and to take their shuttle to and from the terminal.


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    Water!


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    Poised and ready with my camera, determined not to miss the “Welcome to Cape Canaveral” sign, I almost missed it!


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    And there it was, just a bit past the cruise terminals and on the right!


    We were very early for check in. I’ll say it was around 10:30 when we arrived in the lobby.

    A very nice young lady (Kelsey, I believe) greeted us and began the check-in process. We were given a choice of themes for our room: pirate, car, or space. My vote was for space, but pirate won out. And as luck would have it - she had a room ready for us! Woo hoo!

    We were given vouchers for breakfast, parking, and two for the shuttle: one to and one from the terminal. There was a gravel lot used for parking while on the cruise. She asked us to make sure we were parked there by the next day before sailing away, but we were free to park wherever until then.

    Let’s see the room!
    We booked the Cruise Parking Package with the Family Suite. Here’s the description from their website:

    ROOM DESCRIPTION:
    Our Family Suite Features:
    -Adults Quarters have 1 Queen bed with Wing Chair and separate TV
    -Kids Quarters with bunk bed and twin bed & TV/DVD player with privacy wall (ideal for kids 12 years and under)
    -Activity/Dining Table with 4 chairs
    -Complimentary Wired and Wireless High Speed Internet
    -2 Phone Lines
    -Microwave
    -Fridge
    -Coffee Maker
    -Iron -Ironing Board
    -Hairdryer
    FEATURES:
    The Cruise Parking Package in Cape Canaveral includes:
    -FREE Hot breakfast.
    -FREE shuttle (value of $5/person each way).
    -Includes parking for the duration of the cruise included with room rate (value of $15 per day)
    -Guests will be assigned a shuttle time at check-in. Shuttle reservations are not taken earlier than day of arrival.

    And here’s what that looks like in my pictures:

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    Allison is looking over the dividing wall into the kids’ quarters.


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    That’s what it looked like from her point of view!


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    Inside the kids’ quarters.


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    Our window looked out onto the pool area. We never made it out there, though.


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    We milled about the room for a bit and then decided to set out in search of lunch. I picked up some brochures on the Kennedy Space Center from the lobby on the way out. I really wanted to visit there, but we ended up not having the time.

    Loose plans for the day were to visit Ron Jon’s in Cocoa Beach and maybe the actual beach, as well.


    Headed in the Cocoa Beach direction, we eventually saw a place that sounded pretty good:

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    The Pig & Whistle English Pub & Restaurant, address: 801 N. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach.

    We found a nice table in the window to sit and have lunch.

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    Art near our table:
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    Menu pics found on the urbanspoon website:

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    I ordered the White Fish & Chips. Very good!
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    Davis is pretty sure this is the Shepherd’s Pie:
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    Luke had a burger:
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    And Allison had a strict “no pics of my food!” policy!

    After filling our tummies we climbed into the van and slowly drove off like the “old people” we had become.

    Chapter 2 continues, here.

     
  12. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 2, Continued


    There are lots of public beach access areas all along the highway. Davis saw one that looked like it needed us and he pulled up in the parking lot.

    It was nice to be within sight of the ocean again!

    This particular area just so happened to be the Lori Wilson Park and had a little nature boardwalk area called The Hammock.

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    It branched off the main walkway to beach and into a little nature preserve like area.

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    An after lunch stroll sounded like just the thing we needed. The path went back into the area and then split into a circle. Kind of like if you traced the edge of a lollipop…And it was quite a nice little stroll.

    After emerging from there, we followed this path to the beach:

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    But we weren’t wearing our suits so we didn’t stay there long. We did see a cruise ship out on the water!


    It was somewhere in here that Davis realized we had quite a bit of time left in the day and began to formulate our beach plan. His step-father’s parents just happen to live a few more miles down the highway near Melbourne Beach. (It was, incidentally, a visit to their house back in 2003 that began our Disney voyage) We hadn’t planned on dropping in on them this trip originally, but after a few phone calls – we had a beach date!

    Up next: Cruisin’ on A1A!


     
  13. disney212

    disney212 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in! We are dong a very similar trip in October 2013 but our cruise is in the middle of our Disney trip. Can't wait to see your pics and hear how the trip is!
     
  14. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    I laughed at your pictures of the planes flying over the highway/inerstate. We saw one too and it look huge!

    Yay for making it to your hotel and for the room being ready early. The kids' area looks really neat.

    Oooh, I like the looks of the nature trail. And, it led down to the ocean so that makes the trail even better.:thumbsup2
     
  15. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! :yay: Glad you're here!

    Yes, I'm pretty sure I was saying, "Look kids, an airplane!"

    The kids' area was pretty cool. They liked having their own TV in there!

    I love nature trails, and nature trails at the ocean are even better!
     
  16. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    “A1A - Beachfront Avenue”


    Because you can't say "A1A" without "Beachfront Avenue" : "Ice Ice Baby"



    After a quick stop at Publix for a few items we hit A1A and cruised right on down to Melbourne Beach.

    Fast forward to this:


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    Ahhhhhhhhhhhh……………….


    Poppy and Grandma fixed us up with all kinds of beach equipment!

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    Poor, dear, Allison had to wear one of my bathing suits because I had packed hers in the designated cruise bags and had forgotten to throw an extra one in the “3 night bag” which was packed with our pre-cruise needs.


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    Davis, searching for treasure!

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    Allison even got to try surfing!



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    Here’s a short video of the kids playing in the waves:
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    It was a beautiful day! I’m so glad we got to spend part of it at the beach!


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    After cleaning up back at the hotel, we found a nearby restaurant that sounded like a good place to have supper:


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    Kelsey’s Pizza & Pasta Kitchen


    It was close, still open, and very tasty!


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    Big smiles! Tomorrow is cruise-day!


    After eating, we made a visit to Ron Jon Surf Shop and called it a night.

    Up next it's Dream time!
     
  17. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Uhhh! I can only see a few of the pictures but what I did see are great! What a pretty beach and the water looks free of seaweed and other yucky stuff.
     
  18. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    :confused: I know it! I don't know what's going on with them. When I looked last night all the pictures from this TR were down, but this morning most of them are back up, so hopefully, they'll all be back up soon!

    It is a beautiful place!
     
  19. Bell<3Disney

    Bell<3Disney Mouseketeer

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    Sound like fun so far!
     
  20. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    Yes it was! With much more fun to come! :woohoo:

    Glad you're here!
     
  21. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Yay! I can see all the pictures now. Looks like ya'll had a blast at the beach and ended the evening with some tasty pizza. :thumbsup2
     

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