24 hours in the car just to see fake palm trees?! Our magical Thanksgiving vacation

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by jvz82, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. jvz82

    jvz82 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    606
    Welcome, welcome to my Disney trip report!!! :mickeyjum

    This is my second trip report here on the boards. I greatly enjoyed writing my last one (two years ago!) so I'm excited to reconnect to our amazing vacation by sharing with you all!

    First, introductions!

    My name is Vicky and I am a Disney addict. My parents first brought me to Disney as a baby and I've been going every couple of years ever since. My favorite park is Magic Kingdom, but my (new) favorite ride is Flights of Passage, replacing Expedition Everest since this last trip. I am an avid crafter and made all of the shirts you will be seeing during this trip report (and there were a lot)!!!

    [​IMG]


    Next up is my husband Jason. His first trip to Disney was the year after we got married about 12 years ago and he has been slow to warm up to Disney magic, but I think he's getting there! He is 7 feet tall and crowds really bother him, especially with everyone asking him how tall he is all the time and barely fitting on rides. I have spent most of my life being a rope drop to close, commando style Disney tourist. Hubby does NOT enjoy this so I've altered our trips to make them more enjoyable for all of us! His favorite character is Goofy and his favorite ride is the Safari at Animal Kingdom

    [​IMG]

    Jackson is our 9.5 year old son. This is his 4th trip to Disney and he loves it! His favorite ride is Space Mountain but he loves pretty much all rides at all the parks. He's starting to get some of that pre-teen attitude so we like to joke with him that Eeyore is his spirit animal. He loves buffets, even meeting the characters! He's also a big Star Wars fan and has seen all the movies.

    [​IMG]

    Next up is Vivian, our only daughter, who turns 8 next month. This is also her 4th time at Disney, her first trip was when she was 8 weeks old! She says her favorite ride is Flights of Passage at AK and her favorite character to meet was Chewbacca. We also let her watch the movie Avatar before our trip and she LOVES everything Avatar now.

    [​IMG]

    Zachary turns 6 at the end of the month. This was his 3rd trip to Disney! His favorite ride at Disney is Space Mountain and his favorite character is Darth Vader. He is a pretty cautious, anxious kiddo typically and our last trip when he was 4 was really hard for him, but this trip was so much better. His big excitement was he lost his first tooth ever on the car ride down to Florida, and then lost his second tooth during the Indiana Jones show!
    [​IMG]

    Last, but certainly not least, is Reid who turns 4 on in a few weeks. Reid is my little spit fire!!! He is a bundle of energy, he actually walked was stroller-free at Hollywood Studios from 8 am until 8:30 pm! He says his favorite ride is Dinosaur at AK (which is really amusing, as you will see later in the trip report) and his favorite character is Minnie Mouse.
    [​IMG]

    So now you've heard all about our family!!!

    Next up, join me as we begin our loooong road trip from cold Minnesota to sunny Florida!
     
    tammy, dlavender and ariane37 like this.
  2. buteraa

    buteraa Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    471
    Awesome! So excited to hear about your trip!
     
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. jvz82

    jvz82 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    606
    Part 1: Chaos coordinator
    Part 2: I'm done adult; I'm going to Disney world!
    Part 3: The sea, it calls me
    Part 4: Happy campers!
    Part 5: When you wish upon a death star
    Part 6: O'hana means family
    Part 7: The cold never bothered me anyway
    Part 8: We'll never be royals
    Part 9: Yeti or not, here we come!
    Part 10: Chewie, we're home

    Hopefully I can add links to these at some point!!!
     
  5. jvz82

    jvz82 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    606
    Part 1: Chaos coordinator

    We've been planning this trip for almost two years, since we drove home in December of 2016 from our last trip. I swear, we changed our plans soooo many times!! We almost decided to stay off-site in a condo for more space, but ended up going with Fort Wilderness and I'm so glad we made this decision!

    Like I mentioned earlier, I love making t-shirts so it's good we had lots of time to plan because it gave me plenty of time for making family shirts! Behold, my master pieces:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This took months, but I love how they turned out and we had lots of comments from people at the parks!
     
  6. jrmint427

    jrmint427 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Messages:
    259
    I love your shirts!! Especially the “I don’t think you’re ready for this Yeti” and “Yeti or not here I come”

    We were also there over Thanksgiving and made a road trip of it. I can’t wait to read more!
     
  7. ADLFAN

    ADLFAN DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    1,019
    Hahaha! The Happily Everest After shirt is so awesome! They all look so great!
     
  8. jvz82

    jvz82 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    606
    Thanks for joining in!!!

    Thanks!! The "I don't think you're ready for this yeti" was all mine, and a personal fave. ;)

    Thank you, that was my husband's shirt request! I had to weld Sleeping Beauty with a yeti. :laughing:
     
    jrmint427 likes this.
  9. jvz82

    jvz82 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    606
    Good morning all! Today, we finally begin our journey to Florida!

    We are a Minnesota family and we have always driven to Florida.
    [​IMG]

    I know, people think we're crazy. It's 24 hours (sometimes more depending on traffic) and we go STRAIGHT THROUGH the night. Hubby and I take turns driving, although he does the bulk of it, and our kids are great in the car so it works for us!

    Our trip began on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Hubby had to work a half day, so we had gotten as much packed up in the van the night before and I spent the morning frantically running around the house cleaning and packing up everything else. I'm sure you assume that my children were helping their crazy mother, but in fact they were having light saber fights.

    [​IMG]

    The kids were all dressed in Disney jammies, ready for the long drive ahead!

    [​IMG]

    Our goal was to leave the house by 1 pm and I think we ended up being pretty close to our goal, it was around 1:15 when we finally hit the road!

    [​IMG]

    It was a rather uneventful drive, which is fantastic. I was lucky enough to take the bulk of Illinois, which is the most boring and long state evvveerrrrr.
    [​IMG]

    Hubby took over for me around 2 am and I woke up in Georgia, which was very exciting!

    [​IMG]

    Late morning, everyone had to go to the bathroom so we stopped in Ashburn Georgia. It turned out to be the worst place ever to stop! The women's bathroom of the gas station was out of order and the men's bathroom had only one stall. There were several other families who had stopped so it was a loooong wait and it was dirty. But the fun part was the giant cow AND we got to see our first palm trees of the trip!
    [​IMG]

    This was the moment when my husband told our 4YO, jokingly, that the palm tree was fake and our 4YO completely believed him. He interpreted this to mean that ALL palm trees are fake. So for the rest of the trip, any time palm trees came up in conversation, my 4YO would announce "palm trees are fake!"

    The last hour of our trip was soooo long, as it always is. We were due at my aunt and uncle's house in Kissimmee for Thanksgiving dinner and we rolled up to their house by about 3 pm, Florida time.

    We smelled bad. We were tired. But we had finally made it and had a huge Thanksgiving feast waiting for us! My aunt and uncle also had a pool so the kids got to swim!
    [​IMG]

    That's it for now, thanks for joining in!!!
     
  10. Newsies

    Newsies Headlines don't sell papes.

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    3,662
    Joining in! What a fun family, can't wait to read more!
     
  11. jvz82

    jvz82 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    606
    Part 3: The sea, it calls me

    When last you saw us, we had stuffed ourselves full of turkey and mashed potatoes.
    [​IMG]

    After spending several hours with relatives in Kissimmee, it was time to get back in the car to drive yet another hour to Melbourne, where we planned to stay with my grandparents for the weekend.

    As you can imagine, none of us were too excited about spending another hour in the car.
    [​IMG]

    But the kids are troopers and we made it in one piece, late Thanksgiving night!

    Everyone slept in on Friday morning!!!!
    [​IMG]

    We immediately started doing laundry, grocery shopping, and doing all those lame adult things that had to be done. But after lunch was over, it was time for the beach!!!!

    It was a beautiful, warm, sunny Florida day. The waves were huge at the Indiatlantic beach. The kids had an absolute blast jumping in the waves. We built a "snowman" (hey, we're from Minnesota!)
    [​IMG]

    And we turned all the kids into mermaids:
    [​IMG]

    I mentioned my spirited 4YO earlier? He is typically fearless. But after being taken down by a couple of big waves, he did become slightly fearful of the ocean! He still kept running out into the water to fill up his bucket, but when the waves would crash towards him he would run away screaming. I had hubby turn a video of him into a gif because I loved it so much!

    [buuuuuuuut I can't get it to load right now so I'll have to try again later!!!]


    We had a lovely, relaxing weekend with my grandparents. We spent lots of time at the beach and visited my brother and my nieces. But by Sunday morning, the time had finally come to pack up and head out to DISNEY!!!
    [​IMG]

    J
    oin me next time when we check into Fort Wilderness! :love:
     
    xlsm and ariane37 like this.
  12. ariane37

    ariane37 Dis veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    6,525
    Joining in! I thought we had been there at the same time but you actually arrived the day we left :) Looking forward to reading more!
     
  13. jvz82

    jvz82 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    606
    Part 4: Happy campers!

    Our official check-in time was 3 pm on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. But we left my grandparents' house around noon, eager to get on site and get into the Disney spirit.

    I can't contain my excitement when I see this!

    [​IMG]

    When we arrived at FW, it was HOT and SUNNY! We had been hoping for an early check-in. When I did an online check-in, I had indicated that we would be arriving around noon. But by 1:15 we hadn't gotten any notifications that our room was ready. We made an impulse decision to see if we could rent a golf cart just for one night so we could spend the afternoon cruising around. We must have had some Disney magic working for us, because they had one available!

    Here are the kids, hanging out in the FW lobby while we fill out the paperwork.

    [​IMG]

    Getting the golf cart was the best decision! We cruised around, just getting familiar with the campgrounds. We went to the Trading Post and picked up our Disney mugs and I enjoyed all the Chip and Dale decor (they are personal favorites of mine)!


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And a picture of us on the back of the golf cart! My daughter already had a mouth full of sucker from the gift shop lol.

    [​IMG]

    We still didn't have a room, but it was so hot that we decided to throw our swimming suits on in the bathrooms and hit the resort pool!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It was right around 3 pm when we FINALLY got the text that our cabin was ready! Whew, I had just been starting to worry! We rounded up all the kids from the pool and jumped into the golf cart!

    Next up: Our cabin, Hoop dee doo revue, and so many Christmas lights!
     
    ariane37, xlsm and meghannnmouse like this.
  14. rdkeim

    rdkeim Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    494
    Following along!
     
  15. PAsFab5

    PAsFab5 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    May 12, 2017
    Messages:
    20
    Following along!! Your family is sooooo adorable! I am one of 4 kids and we took similar road trips to visit grandparents in Ormond Beach then would move onto Disney!!! Seeing your 4 kiddos in the car brought back so many memories!! Can’t wait to read more!!!
     
  16. starousse

    starousse DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,730
    Following along.
     
  17. Cloe Colton

    Cloe Colton DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    Messages:
    649
    Joining in! Sounds like a great trip ahead of you!

    Give you so much credit for driving down! My family did it once from Buffalo, NY (about 24 hours as well) and we never did it again! haha the ride there wasn't bad because it was exciting but the ride home was just awful!
     
  18. xlsm

    xlsm Snow White

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
    Messages:
    3,550
    Joining in!

    You are brave and awesome for making that drive!! The farthest I've driven is from Arkansas to Michigan and back again, which is 13 hours. I was by myself with kids (some of whom weren't mine) for our Odyssey of the Mind world competition. We split the trip the way up, but on the way home I did the whole 13 hours straight. I have never been so tired!!

    Looking forward to hearing more about your trip!!
     
  19. jvz82

    jvz82 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    606
    Welcome!! How were the crowds over Thanksgiving??

    Thanks for joining in!!

    Aww that's so great! You can't beat the memories from those experiences.

    Hi! Thanks for joining in!

    It's a loooong drive! And yeah, the ride home is tough because you're way less excited to go back to work than to go to Disney lol. But we're also way ready to get home!!!

    It's definitely exhausting! Fortunately my husband and I both grew up taking these long road trips (his family drove to Arizona) so it seems pretty normal to us. Thanks for following along!!!
     
    ariane37 likes this.
  20. amiskell28

    amiskell28 Can't wait to get back!

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2018
    Messages:
    168
  21. jvz82

    jvz82 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    606
    Just a quick update tonight!

    We were so excited to FINALLY check into our Fort Wilderness cabin! We loaded all of our stuff into the cabin and explored, but we didn't have much time because we had a 4 pm dinner at Hoop dee doo revue!!!

    I have been super excited to see HDDR, as I haven't seen it since I was a teenager. I have really fond memories of going with my grandparents, my last vacation with them before my grandpa passed away, and he was selected as the guy that she wants to kiss during the show. I was eager to see if it would live up to those memories!

    I had to take a quick snap of the Christmas tree outside of the restaurant:

    [​IMG]



    My 6YO was sooo hungry, so when the show started, before the food arrived, he would not stop begging to eat. I actually think he was getting slightly sick from hunger! So thankfully the food arrived shortly after and we all started in on the delicious fried chicken. The server noticed that our kids weren't eating the sides (they're not such fans of mashed potatoes) and offered to bring us some macaroni and cheese. I have never seen such a big smile on my 6YO's face!!

    [​IMG]

    My husband ate an entire bucket of ribs by himself. :worship:

    [​IMG]

    The show really did live up to the hype! The kids enjoyed it so much and there were some really great interactions with audience members. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom because of my 4YO who had to poop like 3 times throughout the course of the meal. :rolleyes:

    My daughter was really excited to play the washboard at the end!

    [​IMG]

    After HDDR, we started driving off in the golf cart towards our cabin until we realized that there were absolutely amazing Christmas lights all over the park! I really had no idea people went all out like that in the campsites and cabins. We drove around for probably an hour just looking around.

    [​IMG]

    When we got back to the cabin, we let the kids watch some TV and we unpacked and settled into the cabin. We headed into bed right on time so we could wake up early Monday morning!

    Up next: Hollywood Studios!!! :smickey: :darth: :chewy:
     
    xlsm and ariane37 like this.

Share This Page