“Mom, you just beat cancer, what are you going to do next?!” I'M GOING TO WDW! Sept 18 *NEW 8/22

Aug 31, 2008

“Mom, you just beat cancer, what are you going to do next?!” I'M GOING TO WDW! Mother-daughter trip
September 3-7, 2018 at the Boardwalk Inn

Alternate title: “Sweet, Glorious AC!” A tale of how we sweat our faces off in Walt Disney World

Welcome one, welcome all!

Mom, Daisy, & me!

I love the rest of my family, but mother-daughter trips with my mom are simply my favorite. We just Disney the same way. We’re like PB&J. This is our fifth mother-daughter trip, and surely not our last!

This trip was full of firsts for us and even though it was our 20th+ trip to Walt Disney World we got to experience so many things we hadn't before! New rides, new hotels, new festivals, new parties, new lands, new tours! All the new things!

We stayed at the Boardwalk Inn, went to MNSSHP, went to the Food & Wine Festival, checked out Pandora & Toy Story Land, rode in Minnie Vans, ate at three new (to us) restaurants, saw Happily Ever After, took a MK tour, and had Free Dining all for the first time!

Let’s address the elephant in the room (eh, title)…

Mom, aka
Donna, was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma in August 2017 and she’s had quite the year. Luckily they found her cancer early and they were able to nip it right in the butt! She started aggressive chemo treatments in September 2017 that went through New Years Day 2018. Every third week she would be admitted to the hospital for 5 days for around the clock chemotherapy as well as other treatments. She would come home for two weeks then head back to the hospital for one week!

Her hospital stays ended in January 2018, but she had to continue radiation and other treatments until April 2018 and in May she found out she was
officially cancer free and in remission! We had planned on going to Italy to celebrate with the whole family, but that trip would have to be in July (due to family schedules) and mom didn't think she'd be physically ready for the trip in just two months! So we pushed Italy back a year, but I still felt like mom deserved a trip to celebrate!

So naturally we had to go to Walt Disney World to celebrate her huge triumph!

There's really no place like Disney to celebrate a big moment in your life. Cast Members truly are the best at creating magic, and cancer is something that touches everyone. We chatted with so many other guests and cast members who were cancer survivors themselves and it's really amazing to hear everyone's stories.



Grace, I'm 23 years old (24 next week!), I'm a Disney College Program alumni (spring 2015), I have an Etsy shop Wayho Ears, I love running, Disney pins, and crafting! I work as a personal concierge, and I also do graphic design and social media work!

Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
Favorite Restaurant: Liberty Tree Tavern & 'Ohana
Favorite Snack: Mickey Rice Krispy w/ peanut butter chips (RIP)
Favorite Movie(s): Zootopia, Coco, Hercules & Tangled
Favorite Ride: Space Mountain & Tower of Terror
Favorite Character(s): Tinkerbell, Goofy, Gaston,

Additional Favorites: Wishes (RIP), Festival of Fantasy, Violet Lemonade (F&G)


There's my mama!
Donna, cancer survivor, world class mom, accountant & HR extraordinaire. Mom loves Disney, but I think I'm the one that keeps convincing her to go back. She's ready to spend more time exploring the rest of the world, but I always talk her into going to Disney with me!

Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
Favorite Restaurant: Kona, Le Cellar
Favorite Snack: Carrot Cake Cookie
Favorite Movie(s): Arisotcats, Toy Story
Favorite Ride: Toy Story Mania, Buzz Lightyear Ranger, People Mover
Favorite Character(s): Mickey, Donald, Daisy
Additional Favorites: Hoop De Do Revue, Adventurer's Club (RIP)

Our trip was short one, but it was filled with tons of pixie dust, good food, and fun times!

  • Joined
    Aug 31, 2008
    Day 1, Part 1: Hopped Off the Plane at M.C.O.
    Isn’t there something so magical about waking up on Disney travel day?
    4:30 am alarm: *BUZZ BUZZ BUZZZ*

    Me: I’M UP! I’M READY! Let’s DO THIS!
    Mom and I both shot up out of bed at 4:30 am right when the alarm went off. We were so excited this day was finally here!

    I had been up until 1:00 am the night before putting finishing touches on our mouse ears and costumes for MNSSHP, but I figured I wouldn’t have been able to fall asleep because of excitement anyway so I might as well stay up and be productive!
    We packed up some last minute things and headed out the door. We drove a couple towns over to the Logan Express station nearby, parked the car for the week, and hopped on the 6 am bus to Boston's Logan airport.
    We were at the airport in no time! We didn’t check any bags and there was a super short line for security. My backpack got pulled out for searching going through the metal detector, and the TSA person looked pretty confused when she pulled a stuffed animal of Nala from the Lion King out of my bag. Get with the program lady, dontchya know we like stuffed animals around here?!

    We made it through security and we had plenty of time so we stopped at Wahlburgers on our way to our terminal, they had a nice little breakfast menu and our tummies were rumbling! We both got their breakfast platter, scrambled eggs, tater tots, and bacon for me! Over easy eggs, potatoes, and bacon for mom!
    While we were finishing up breakfast, I was downloading some shows on Netflix to watch on the plane and I realized I brought wrong headphones! I had traditional headphones and not the headphones for my iPhone 8 and mom realized she’d done the same thing. We headed over to the iStore and bought two headphone dongles.

    ooh ahh, headphone jack dongles

    We headed to our terminal and bought some big bottles of water on the way. We boarded the plane shortly after and it was a pretty uneventful flight. Mom and I got the aisles seats across from each other.

    There was a group sitting in front of me, and one of them was a total “Disney know-it-all” but she was wrong about half the stuff she was saying! And she didn’t stop talking the entireee flight! C'mon girl, it's too early for this. The people sitting next to me were getting so annoyed with her, it was pretty funny.:rotfl:

    Initially I dozed off for a few minutes, but I was too excited to sleep! So I watched a couple episodes of Queer Eye, ate my snacks, and had some coffee so I'd be ready for the day ahead!

    We landed right on time, and headed over to the magical express! There was no line in the row they sent us down, just us. We were immediately called upon to hop on the bus that was waiting to leave. Our DME driver Reuben was a HOOT! He was doing character voices, he was super lively and enthusiastic, and he took all the kids names before starting our drive so he could talk to them or call them out throughout the trip. Seriously, he was so great.

    We arrive at our hotel right around 12:30!


    I had done online check-in but we hadn't receive any texts or emails so we went to the front desk to check in. We were called over to the concierge desk and Debbie helped us with our check in.

    We got "I’m Celebrating" buttons, and she informed us we’d been upgraded from a standard garden view to a priority room, woo! :woohoo: She told us our room wasn’t ready yet, but that she could put us in a different room, double woo! :woohoo::woohoo: The room they had us in was on the first floor, but she offered to put us on the third or fifth floor, so I picked the fifth because 5 has always been my favorite number! And the higher the floor the better the view, am I right?! Debbie was looking at the map and told us she put us in one of her favorite areas of the hotel, triple woo! :woohoo::woohoo::woohoo:

    She was veryyy informative, telling us a lot of information about things we already knew, but we were happy to listen to her anyway. She informed us that the walk from Boardwalk to DHS that usually take 15-20 minutes would talk 45 minutes because of the construction happening at DHS. So taking the boat would be the best option! We said thanks to Debbie and headed up to our room.

    We were in the building on “Inn” side of the hotel in room 5304, which was a super short walk from the elevator. I think technically we had a garden view, but we were also able to see Spaceship Earth and the Eiffel Tower in the France Pavilion from our balcony!

    We got to our room right at 1:00pm and we were in loveeee with our home for the next 5 days!

    If you couldn't tell I'm just absolutely obsessed with the theming and all of the little details in this room!

    We unpacked a little bit and then I went for a run. At the beginning of the summer I had challenged myself to run every day for 100 days, and today Monday September 3rd, the first day of our trip, just happened to be my 100th day! So I headed out and did two loops around the boardwalk for a 2 mile run.

    One loop around the boardwalk is only .8 miles but if you run straight towards the Dolphin instead of going over the bridge it makes it a 1.1 loop, so I did one boardwalk loop and one boardwalk/swan/dolphin loop plus a little extra to hit 2 miles!

    After my run I met mom out on the boardwalk and we stopped in the boardwalk bakery to pick up our resort mugs from our Dining Plan! They had the regular resorts mugs, but they also had
    Halloween mugs! We asked if the Halloween mugss were a choice for the dining plan and the cast member said yes! We both picked the Halloween mugs and we each got a Mickey straw. We went back up to the room and I took a quick shower at 2:45.

    After my shower, we unpacked some more and got the room all sorted out. I laid out all my ears for the week and got settled! I had used my Cricut Explore to cut out “Cancer free” to put on mom’s ‘I’m Celebrating!’ button and “Mom’s Cancer free” to put on mine, and I added those to our buttons!

    We had tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party tonight but we still had some time to kill before heading to Magic Kingdom! We headed over to Epcot via International Gateway at 3:30, we took a quick minute to look at the gondola construction, and then we did something veryyy exciting!

    Last edited:


    DIS Veteran
    Jul 13, 2011
    Congrats on the 100 days of running. I wish I could get into running but I hate it.

    The Boardwalk is a beautiful resort. Great location. We loved walking over to Epcot whenever we wanted.


    DIS Veteran
    Oct 23, 2006
    What a great way to celebrate! I couldn't run for 100 days but maybe walk?? Hmmm something to think about. Hope you had fun at MNSSHP!
  • aml3679

    Sylvester and Sophia's Mom
    Jun 24, 2000
    Congratulations on beating cancer! Loved your trip report.
    Aug 31, 2008
    Congrats on the 100 days of running. I wish I could get into running but I hate it.

    The Boardwalk is a beautiful resort. Great location. We loved walking over to Epcot whenever we wanted.
    Thank you! It was tough to get out there some days, but I do love running so that made it a little easier! But I didn't always love running I used to hate it so much, then I joined my college's cross country team on a whim and I developed a major love for it.

    And I totally agree on the Boardwalk! Such an amazing location! Especially during the festivals!

    What a great way to celebrate! I couldn't run for 100 days but maybe walk?? Hmmm something to think about. Hope you had fun at MNSSHP!
    Such a great way to celebrate! You should definitely do it! I ran at least one mile every day for 100, but some days I ran so slow it was close to walking :rotfl:

    Congratulations on beating cancer! Loved your trip report.
    Thank you! My mom is quite the fighter!

    Congrats to your family! And what an awesome way to celebrate.
    Thank you so much! We totally agree it was an awesome way to celebrate!


    DIS Veteran
    Apr 27, 2012
    Joining in! I've read your reports in the past and excited to see you are back. So happy that your mom beat cancer- that definitely deserves a trip!

    Your room looks awesome- can't wait to hear more!
  • Joined
    Aug 31, 2008
    Day 1, Part 2: The One Where We Get Annual Passes

    We headed over to Epcot via International Gateway at 3:30, we took a quick minute to look at the gondola construction, and then we did something veryyy exciting!

    We upgraded to ANNUAL PASSES!

    Mom has been an annual passholder in the past, most recently in 2015 when I was in WDW for the college program and she came down and visited me quite a few times. I think I was an AP back in the late 90s when I was a wee child.

    Throwback to little AP me in the 90s

    The package we booked had a 5 day park hopper so we upgraded to premier annual passes and paid the difference. Maggie was the cast member that helped us upgrade our tickets and she was great! She was there for her college program! As a DCP Alum, I loveee talking to people about their college programs!

    Once our passes were all sorted out, we headed into the park and walked to Mexico through the UK and Canada pavilions.

    Ahh! I've been dreaming of this sign for months!

    On our way to Mexico we saw Daisy come out in her super cute Food & Wine outfit and we had to stop and get a picture with her! Seriously how cute is her outfit! I'm livinggg for it.

    We headed over to La Cantina de San Angel to grab a bite to eat. We used one quick service dining credit on Nachos and an Avión Fresh Lime Margarita on the Rocks. The cast member taking our order was Ricardo and he made a little magical moment for mom and gave her churros to celebrate her being cancer free. We were so touched by how sweet he was for doing this for us!

    We found a seat and split our delicious goodies. Somehow nacho sauce... or drippings... ended up all over me! I literally don’t know how, I wasn’t spilling any out of my mouth, so I’m not sure if it was on the table or my arms or what but I had lots of little sauce spots on my shirt. I was very thankful I decided not to wear my Halloween party costume yet!

    Our nachos and margarita were delicious! We got the nachos sans jalapenos (because I’m a wuss). We had a hard time picking which margarita to get, it was a lot of “you pick” “no you pick!” “NO you pick!” until mom eventually chose. We were both satisfied with the margarita, too! It was great! And the churros! So crunchy and delicious. I have to add these to my regular Disney snacks repertoire because they’re SO GOOD! That caramel sauce! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

    We finished up our food at La Cantina de San Angel and headed to the front of the park to catch the monorail over to Magic Kingdom. We were on the monorail at Epcot a few minutes before 5:00pm, we got to the TTC switched monorails and made it over to Magic Kingdom right at 5:15pm. It was so smooth and painless.

    Bye bye F&W, we'll be back

    This was our very first party/special ticket event and we were so excited! We’d gone to the last 24 hour day they did at Magic Kingdom back in 2015, but that was a whole beast of its own.

    We headed into the park and darted over to the restrooms by guest relations to make our costume changes, just like everyone else in the park. We saw lots of people dressed up as Anna and Elsa, one girl dressed up as Sadness, and lots of other costumes too! We jumped in light near the flagpole to get out pictures taken between the cute pumpkins at the foot of Main Street.

    After we’d gotten a few pictures, we went down the treat trail on the right side of main street and then looped back around to main street to get some pictures while the sun was still out.

    Mom was so excited to get her picture with this cast member

    I was loving these statues they had all along the treat trail

    Mom started dying laughing during this picture because she said it looked like she was photobombing me and we were both in a full on giggle fit.

    We had a great photopass photographer Kasey from Scottsdale AZ who was so sweet and had us take some fun photos, unfortunately her camera was a little foggy so I’m glad I checked the app when I did so we had the opportunity to stop at another photographer and get more pictures.


    Ahhh much better!

    Last edited:


    DIS Veteran
    Apr 27, 2012
    Yay for APs!

    I love Daisy's F&W outfit!! Sounds like a nice stop in Epcot/Mexico Pavillion.

    Your Halloween costumes are too cute! Can't wait to read about the party :)


    DIS Veteran
    Sep 26, 2016
    Following along! Sounds like a fun trip and I can't wait to read all about it. We stayed at the BWV in 2016 and I just loved the location!


    Earning My Ears
    Oct 11, 2018
    Congrats on remission!! Fellow survivor here (stage IV colon cancer), I celebrated my first NED scan with a honeymoon at WDW, and currently planning a trip which (aside from being my DD's b-day surprise) will celebrate the passing of my original expected survival estimate.

    I couldn't think of anywhere I'd rather celebrate, and I still can't! I hope my DD will be writing trip reports about our mother/daughter adventures some day...

    Following along...can't wait to hear more :flower1:

    Cloe Colton

    DIS Veteran
    Mar 6, 2018
    What a fun trip to celebrate your Mom being cancer-free! I feel like the Halloween party was the perfect way to start your trip!


    Sep 14, 2011
    So cool that you got to do this!
    I was diagnosed with Leukemia Oct 31, 2016. You can pretty much say that Disney World saved my life. lol (I got blood clots in my leg from the plane trip and it cause me to investigate, which led to the Leukemia diagnosis). As soon as my oncologist said I could travel again I was making reservations!
    I know your mom is excited to go back and also to spend some time with you. I can't wait to read more!


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