Now you didnt think Id reveal the ending on the first page- did you? Welcome one and all to my trip report. This TR will chronicle the magical and not-so-magical moments of our Disney trip which took place Sept 25- Oct 2. Now, Im sure youve all heard that conventional wisdom dictates that Disney trips are best saved for when a child is older, and better able to handle difficult situations, waiting in long lines, and most importantly, would remember the trip. This may be sage advice for normal people, the type of people who only take one or two Disney trips in a lifetime, but were not normal people are we? If we were to wait to take our kids to Disney until they were in the age safety zone that would mean 5 years or more with NO DISNEY, add in a few extra kids and you looking at a Disney-less decade! <------- Seriously! So there really is no other alternative than to jump right in, and weather the storm. The good part (and perhaps truly the best kept secret of WDW), is that the most amazing and magical things can happen, and it all starts with a toddler. Of course there is a flip side to that coin, so it is always best to pack your patience and sense of humor, first and foremost. I hope you will all join in for the re-living of this adventure. I hope that maybe I can provide some insight (or maybe just- what not to do!) when traveling with a toddler, and that those of who have been there can commiserate, have a good laugh, or remember magical memories of your own. This trip was originally planned to celebrate Epcots 30th anniversary. I missed the 25th, and have been kicking myself ever since. It was also going to serve the dual purpose of providing a much needed distraction during my DHs deployment. About a month after everything was booked, I found out I was pregnant, so this trip ended up with a third purpose, to have some really fun Mommy and Everett time together before the new baby arrived. Im pleased to report that all objectives were met. Since some of you may not know me and my family, Ill do some quick introductions and then a few provisos, a couple of quid pro quo. I am Marissa, the ring leader of this motley crew. I am a 34 year old SAHM who was an archaeologist in my pre-kid life. Ive lost track of how many times Ive gone to Disney, but its been more than 50, less than 100. My many trips were facilitated by living in Florida for most of my 20s, when I used to take weekend trips to the parks at least monthly. Sadly, those days are over, but Ive still managed to make it to the world a few times per year. Also joining me on this trip was my DS Everett, who will be turning 3 in November. Everett has been to Disney 8 times now, which is pretty stunning. The poor kid is so Disney brainwashed that I think he has no other recourse than to grow up to be a Cast member. He can quote Disney movies, play name that tune with theme park music, and the other day told me he wanted to go outside and look at the stars because stars make your dreams come true. Sometimes I kinda feel like Ive initiated him into a cult, not that its a bad thing or anything. The last member of our crew is my wonderful mother and Ga-Gae to Everett. I blame all my Disney nuttiness on her. She honeymooned with my Dad at the Contemporary resort back in the 70s, and then started the tradition of yearly family pilgrimages to the mouse. The pace of our trips really ramped up in 1988 when my grandparents moved to Deltona. Then it went from yearly trips to 3 and 4 times a year trips to visit the grandparents, always with days at Disney thrown in. My mom has been a Disney lover all her life, and thanks to her I was hooked at a young age. Honorable mention on this trip goes to baby #2 (who still doesnt have a name!) who was roughly 28 weeks gestation during the trip. I have to say that doing Disney pregnant was WAY easier than I thought it would be. Sure I got a little more tired, I did try and sit down a little more, I had some swelling in my ankles and some tiredness in my feet, but I still logged 12 hour+ park days with no trouble. I credit the excitement and the adrenaline for part of my success and good old-fashioned sugar for the rest of it. Notably missing from this trip is my DH, Mark. He would really have loved to join us, but he was otherwise indisposed on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. It was nice to have planning and dreaming about the trip as a distraction during the early months of his deployment (he left in July), but it was tough doing so many fun things without him. I felt a little guilty that he missed out on so much with Everett, and just really missed him at times. The good thing is that we are going back in April, shortly after he returns, so we both have that trip to look forward too! - he much rather have been HERE - instead he was HERE Ok, now on to the provisions- I dont have as many pictures as the typical TR. I think I have about 300 for the week, which I think is pretty good, but really would only encompass a morning for some of the more dedicated among us. Im going to do my best to make sure this TR isnt too text heavy, but please bear with me. Another thing is that the writing of the TR is going to encompass some pretty big doings around here- new baby, searching for a new house, a big move, DH returning from deployment, but I am going to do my VERY best to do timely updates, and I will finish. I havent abandoned a TR yet! I also promised DH Id do a thorough write up of this trip, so he could live vicariously through the TR, so Im definitely going to do it! All that being said, I hope you chose to join me and follow along. I really value the friends Ive made here on the DIS, and I look forward to meeting and getting to know more of you over the course of this TR! TR Chapter links Sept 25- What exit is the airport again? Episode 2- meltdown mayhem and a magical upgrade Episode 3: Almost solo in the MK Episode 4: Panic! at the stroller parking Episode 5- Once you go tower, you never go back! Episode 6- Living in a Toddler's Paradise- Part I Episode 6- Living in a Toddler's Paradise- Part II Episode 7- Solo time- Part I Episode 7- Solo time- Part II PTR info and life updates ADRs and waitlist info baby update 11/13 BIG CHANGES Dh is home! baby is here! more changes!