A Mother Daughter Celebration Filled with DVC Membership Magic

LaurLaur247

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
Welcome Home
Hello everyone! This is my first time writing a trip report, but we have such an exciting trip planned I thought I'd give it a go and share all the fun with my fellow Disney lovers.

The Who
First things first let me introduce myself. My name is Lauren, I'm in my mid twenties and reside near in Northern Kentucky, right by Cincinnati. My mom, Brenda, is my partner in crime for all of our Disney adventures. We have been DVC members since 2015 and been to Disney World five times, Disneyland one time, and on four Disney Cruises.

Mickey Button.jpeg


Sailor Minnie.jpeg

The Why
Our trip is planned for a multitude of reasons. First of all we just love Disney and it has been way to long since we've been home. Secondly we will be attending the DVC member cruise this summer and thought it would be the perfect time to tag on a trip to the world. And lastly we are celebrating me finally earning this...


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The Where
Six nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House and four nights on the Disney Dream. Have never been to Animal Kingdom Lodge before so we are very excited to experience it. We booked a Savannah View Room. The Disney Dream is both of our favorites ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet and the ship of our first ever Disney Cruise that got us addicted to cruising again and again.

The What
Here are the plans so far, we make fast pass selections next week :surfweb:.

Day 1
  • Fly in
  • Check in to Animal Kingdom Lodge (Jambo House)
  • EPCOT DVC Moonlight Magic Event (if all goes according to plan and we can get tickets)
Day 2
  • Magic Kingdom
  • Dinner at the Plaza (first time here)
Day 3
  • Bon Voyage Character Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno
  • EPCOT
Day 4
  • Painting with a View Class at Top of the World Lounge
  • Disney Springs for Shopping (haven't been here since 2015 and I'm excited to see all the changes, what shops should we check out?)
Day 5 (still undecided)
  • Breakfast at Boma (first time here)
then either
  • Typhoon Lagoon (never been before) OR
  • Magic Kingdom (cause you can never have too much Magic Kingdom)
Day 6
  • Lunch at Sanaa (first time here)
  • Animal Kingdom
Day 7
  • Hollywood Studios
  • Lunch at Mama Melrose (Fantasmic! Dining Package) (first time eating here)
  • Late Dinner at Sci-Fi Dine in Theatre (one of our faves)
Days 8-12
  • Check out of Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Arrive in Port Canaveral for a four night, double dip, DVC members cruise on the Disney Dream
See Ya Real Soon :wave:
That's all the plans I have for now, I'll update again once we get closer to our trip and I see what fast passes I can get. Is it wishful thinking to hope for Slinky Dog Dash AND Flight of Passage? Let me know what you think of the plans so far. We have a lot of new restaurants we are trying out so menu suggestions are greatly appreciated. Would also love opinions on whether we should do two days at Magic Kingdom or take a day to cool off and relax at Typhoon Lagoon.
 

aoconnor

WDW Nut
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
You will LOVE Boma and Sanaa, some of the best restaurants at WDW. Since you'll have the full 60 days + 7, I think you should have a good shot at FoP and Slinky.
 

LaurLaur247

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
You will LOVE Boma and Sanaa, some of the best restaurants at WDW. Since you'll have the full 60 days + 7, I think you should have a good shot at FoP and Slinky.
I was able to score Slinky Dog Dash and after trying a few times was able to get Flight of Passage, super excited for both! We haven't been to AK since 2014, so I'm sure a lot has changed since then, but I've heard Flight of Passage is amazing.
 
  • sjrec

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 31, 2016
    Sounds like a wonderful trip!
    And congratulations on your Masters! School counselors are the best!
     

    LaurLaur247

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 23, 2015
    We just got back from our awesome adventure and I can't wait to begin my trip report and relive all the magic, and provide some tips to everyone along the way.

    Pre-Trip
    We began planning our trip about a year in advance. I spent a lot of time planning our trip and of course our plans changed quite a bit throughout the process, so what we actually did turned out to be slightly different than what I had originally written in my pre-trip report post. Since you guys don't know us very well I'll let you know that we are very indecisive and change our minds a lot.

    Aside from the planning, changing of plans, and even more re-arranging of plans we were also busy purchasing some fun goodies before our trip. Etsy was a frequently visited site for us where we purchased all kinds of magical stuff for our trips. Ears, shirts, buttons, phone cases, backpacks, lanyards, etc. If it had Minnie on it we probably bought it to take on the trip with us. Here's a couple of fun finds that made us both excited to take on our trip.

    Etsy Buttons.jpg

    We had also signed up to participate in two separate fish extender exchanges on the cruise portion of our trip. A local candy/snack exchange and a pin exchange. So we were hard at work crafting our fish extender and all of our goodies to take with us and pass out to our group.

    Pin Exchange.jpg

    All of these fun little extras help to pass the time while counting down to your trip and keep you hyped by the time your trip actually arrives. A year is a long time to wait for a trip and it was a very long and difficult year for me, so by the time our trip rolled around it was very much needed.

    Arrival Day
    Our arrival day started pretty early as our flight started boarding at 7:20. The CVG airport normally isn't crowded, especially for earlier flights, but today it was absolutely packed. As you will read throughout my trip report this is a common theme throughout our entire vacation. We grabbed some quick breakfast at the airport and were shortly on our way. The flight was rather uneventful itself, but we ended up reaching Orlando earlier than planned. After getting off the plane, we headed towards the Magical Express and once again the lines were absolutely packed (noticing the theme already). It took quite a long time for us to get on a bus and we were really disappointed in the fact that we were placed on a boring Mears bus and not a Disney bus. However, slight disappointment aside we were on our way to Animal Kingdom Lodge and had a rather nice ride none the less.

    Bus.jpg


    We had reached AKL pretty early so our room wasn't ready yet. We went ahead and checked in anyway and were told our room would be ready shortly, so we decided to hang around the resort and explore and hopefully check out our room (and take a nap) since we had such an early day and a late night this evening. The lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge is absolutely beautiful. This was our first stay here, and even though we are DVC members we opted for Jambo house instead of Kidani. We looked around for a bit and then headed to the Mara to get lunch, which is the quick service location at AKL. We walked in and it was quite crowded, mostly with pool goers escaping the sudden flash of rain outside that we had thankfully missed by a matter of minutes. The Mara was very good overall and we visited this location a few times during our trip. I got a carved turkey sandwich and my mom ordered a chicken, bacon sandwich, and we both got some famous Zebra Domes to try for the first time. Everything was very good, and the Zebra domes were worth the hype in my opinion.

    Zebra Domes.jpg

    After lunch unfortunately our room still wasn't ready. We were both pretty exhausted and weren't up to doing much as we thought our room would be ready soon. We headed back to the lobby and checked out the gift shop there. They had some really great and unique stuff in there. With our room still not ready, we went up to the front desk to ask about how long they thought it would be. They said they don't guarantee anything ready before 4:00, but we were next on the list.

    While we were waiting we decided to check out the activities list. AKL has a lot of activities and things to do. We noticed there was pin trading at 2:00 and it was about 1:50. We got in line to pin trade and it was actually the first time either one of us had ever pin traded. The only reason we decided to give it a try this trip was because of the pin exchange we were participating in on the cruise later on in our trip. Pin trading at AKL occurs once a day and you get to trade with the pin King. He has a large collection of pins and a mystery bag you can choose from if you'd like. He has a red carpet that you get to stand on while pin trading and a septor as any true king should. He was very friendly and when we told him we were pin trading newbies he took some time to explain facts about the pins we had chosen. This was a perfect first pin trading experience! We both traded one pin off of his lanyard and one out of the mystery bag.

    Pin King L.jpg

    Pin King B.jpg


    After our pin trading fun, we just hung out in the lobby and then decided to ask about our room again since it had been over an hour since we were told we were next on the list. So after explaining our situation to the cast member we finally encountered someone who was able to put us into a new room that was ready now. This was great news, but we had waited so long for our room that by the time we finally got in there we were only able to stay for about 20 minutes because we had appointments at 4:30 at the Senses Salon and Spa at Saratoga Springs. We decided to just take an Uber to our appointments to save a little time and be able to relax a little longer. I had never used Uber before, so I was a little nervous about it, but it really was very easy.

    Before long we were at Saratoga Springs and found our way to the Senses Salon and Spa. We checked in and were taken to a relaxation room upstairs where we could lounge and there were beverages and snacks for us to enjoy. The room and the entire salon were absolutely beautiful. We do not typically go to spas at home nor get our nails done, so we felt a little out of place here as this was very fancy.

    Senses.jpg

    Beverage Selection.jpg

    Our appointment was supposed to be for the Character Couture Manicure (which was basically advertised as Jambery nail wraps) but when we got there we were told that was not the case and it was simple nail polish art, and that they don't normally do that. We knew something odd was going on with our appointments when they had called us earlier that day saying they were confused about what we wanted to have done. The character couture manicure is listed on Disney's website as an option, but apparently it is not actually something that the salon staff are aware of or provide. They said they normally only do the manicures with the Disney art as a set (which is much, much more expensive than what we had asked for when booking the appointment). They asked if we just wanted the polish or the full manicure and we both agreed we just wanted the polish. But, they ended up convincing us to do the full manicures instead because that was the only way we could get gel instead of polish, and they would not do the gel unless we purchased the manicures. Although it was much more than we were planning to spend, the manicures were very nice and both of the ladies doing our manicure were pretty nice as well. I probably wouldn't do it again, and I did feel pressured to spend more money and felt out of place, but it was a nice treat. It was the kind of thing you do once if you're celebrating, not something you do every trip.

    L Manicure.jpg

    B Manicure.jpg

    Up Next: DVC Moonlight Magic at EPCOT...
     

    traceyg

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2011
    So pretty! I'm with you guys on the getting talked into buying more than I came for! Looks like it was fun though.

    Our home resort is AKV. I could live there all the time and be happy, especially in a Savannah View room. There's nothing like sitting on the balcony with a cup of coffee in the morning to start your day.

    I haven't been on a Disney Cruise yet but it's definitely on my list. I can't wait to see what you got in exchange for your cool gifts.
     

    LaurLaur247

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 23, 2015
    Moonlight Magic
    After our manicures, we were off to EPCOT for the moonlight magic event. We were trying to catch one of the Disney buses around 45 minutes before the event actually started. Trying to get a bus at a DVC resort to a DVC event proved to be nearly impossible. By the time the buses would get to our stop they were all full. This was a great indication of how the event was going to be, crowded. Eventually we caught a bus and made our way to EPCOT to check in. This took quite a while to do as well, needless to say this event was going to be jam packed from start to finish.

    After finally checking in we made our way to Soarin, since the wait was not to unreasonable. This was the first time we had rode Soarin since the updates they've made to it. This used to be one of my favorites, and although I still enjoyed it, it was hard to watch with so many of the scenes looking so crooked and unrealistic. Once we got off Soarin we went find a spot for illuminations. We were able to catch the show and then the regular park guest left and the DVC event started. We tried to strategically plan and prioritize what we wanted to do during the event since we knew we wouldn't be able to do everything. We both agreed characters were a top priority. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf were close to us so we started there. The line was long, but not outrageous for this so after waiting we got some cool pictures.

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    After our meet and greet, we made our way to see the special fireworks show for the Moonlight Magic Event. We got a great spot for it. The show was absolutely amazing, but there were so many fireworks and we were sitting so close that some of the debris ended up on us. I actually had to look away at one point because it was so bright from all of the fireworks.

    Then we decided to use our food voucher for the evening. For this event DVC gave us each one voucher to use at various location that would get us a free drink, entree, and side. I though since we waited until later to use this the crowds would've died down, but I was the farthest thing from wrong. We decided to use our voucher at the Sunshine Seasons. There were other options, but most of them were closed by the time we decided to eat. I had never eaten at the Sunshine Seasons before, and I was pretty impressed. They had a lot of options, and some unique choices instead of just hamburgers and chicken nuggets. The portions were huge and I couldn't believe DVC was giving that to us for free.

    After eating believe it or not it was close to 11:00. We made our way towards Soarin one more time since it was close. The event had really cleared out by this time and the wait was only around 5-10 minutes! My mom was so excited to get there she actually fell on the way down the small hill in the line while trying to get to the ride too quickly. Luckily some good Samaritans were nearby and made her feel better and less embarrassed about the whole thing. At first I thought she had injured her foot, but it only hurt her a little that evening and was fine after that. This is actually a pattern of hers, she has fallen on every trip we've taken at least once. I try to tell her to slow down, but she just gets too excited :earboy2: But I can't blame her .

    After Soaring, we very slowly made our way to Test Track, this line was longer, but still manageable by Disney standards. Once we got off Test Track, we saw a Mickey meet and greet right next to us. Mickey was so cute dressed in his race car gear. We went to get in line, but the cast member said that the line was closed. We must have just missed him. Had I realized he would be dressed special for the occasion, I probably would have made a point to make sure I saw him.

    At this point the event was closed, so we made our way out of the park. There were a couple more things I would have done had we not run out of time, but the crowds really cut what we would do down significantly. Had we had time we would have; seen Mickey, met with Sebastian, and gotten one of those free Mickey Bars they hand out. Overall it was a fun event, but man were we tired. With our flight being so early this morning and the event running so late, this made for a very long, but fun first day of our trip.

    Up Next: More EPCOT and a Character Breakfast
     

    LaurLaur247

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 23, 2015
    Day 2- EPCOT
    Our next day started pretty late. We had actually planned on starting it late since we knew we'd be up so late the night before. We had a reservation at Trattoria al Forno, Bon Voyage Character Breakfast. The great thing about this is that they take breakfast reservations up until 12:00. This character breakfast is on the Boardwalk so we just used an Uber to get there. I had never used Uber before this trip and was a little unsure about it, but it sure made getting around Disney property much easier than using just the buses alone.

    This character breakfast features Flynn Rider, Rapunzel, Ariel, and Prince Eric. The restaurant itself was absolutely beautiful and they had lovely music playing throughout the meal. The theming, food, and character interaction were all amazing here. I would absolutely recommend this breakfast to anyone and would definitely go back. The characters spent so much time with us and they went crazy over the fun things we brought for them to sign.

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    After our breakfast we walked over to EPCOT. I had never done this before and was afraid we wouldn't be able to find the entrance, but it was very quick and easy to get into EPCOT from the Boardwalk. We walked around the World Showcase once in EPCOT for a few minute and took in some of the entertainment, and then we boarded the boat that takes you to the front of EPCOT. We had fast passes for spaceship earth. This was the first time we had ever been on Spaceship Earth and I really enjoyed it.

    Once we got off spaceship earth we headed towards my favorite characters that I was so excited to meet!
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    They were so fun an the character interaction was great. Joy and I were working hard to cheer sadness up, but it just wouldn't work.

    When we left the character meet and greet, there was a huge downpour outside. So, we decided to hang out and rest for a few minutes. Eventually we made our way towards the pixar shorts theatre, the Disney Visa Character Meet and Greet, and then to our fast pass at Journey into the Imagination with Figment. This was another first for us. After you exit the ride the DVC Lounge is right at the exit and up the stairs. So, we made our way there to check it out. It was very nice and we even did some pin trading while there.

    When we left the building it was unfortunately still raining, and we had a fast pass across the park at Frozen Ever After. We decided to go for it anyway. We were soaked and freezing by the time we actually made it to Norway. Again this was another first for us, because we had not been to Disney since Frozen had opened. I was excited about it and Frozen is my mom's all time favorite movie. We both really loved the ride.

    Now that we had completed all of our fast passes for the day, we decided to just spend the rest of our time at EPCOT wandering and snacking around the world showcase. We grabbed some food in the mexican pavillion and the germany pavillion, and ended up spending quite a bit of time in the China pavillion just exploring. Before we knew it, it was time for Illuminations. We hadn't ever made it past the Japan pavillion that evening, but we decided to stop there to view the show. It was actually a really great spot, and that pavillion is just so beautiful!

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    We weren't finished just yet after the show, because EPCOT had evening extra magic hours. We enjoyed Frozen so much that we decided to make our way back there one more time before heading out for the evening.

    Up Next- Magic Kingdom
     

    LutheranChick82

    I love Disney!
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2010
    Great trip report so far!!!
    What kind of food was at the character breakfast? I'm trying to convince DH to go for our Princesses birthday trip in January.
     

    GGOOFY1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 9, 2005
    Great trip report!! We are booked for Moonlight Magic at Epcot in May. I was hoping it wasn't going to be too crowded!
     

    LaurLaur247

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 23, 2015
    Great trip report so far!!!
    What kind of food was at the character breakfast? I'm trying to convince DH to go for our Princesses birthday trip in January.
    Thank you! The character breakfast you got pastries to share with the table and then they had about 6 different entrees you could order. I got a goat cheese omelet which was delicious, and I think my mom got some kind of steak and eggs dish. It was very good and totally worth the money in my opinion!
     

    LaurLaur247

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 23, 2015
    Great trip report!! We are booked for Moonlight Magic at Epcot in May. I was hoping it wasn't going to be too crowded!
    Thank you! It may not be as crowded in May with schools not being out for summer vacay yet. I bet you'll love the party it's a great perk for being dvc.
     

    summerw

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2011
    I love Ariel’s fork so much! Did you paint it yourself? It’s so cute.

    I’m enjoying the rest of your report. I feel your mom on the falling. Apparently I’m not always capable of walking. :-)

    How many trips had you taken to Disney before you bought DVC?
     

    LaurLaur247

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 23, 2015
    I love Ariel’s fork so much! Did you paint it yourself? It’s so cute.

    I’m enjoying the rest of your report. I feel your mom on the falling. Apparently I’m not always capable of walking. :-)

    How many trips had you taken to Disney before you bought DVC?
    Thank you! I actually did paint it myself, it wasn't too difficult. I think before we bought dvc we took 3 trips, 1 to Disney World and 2 cruises.
     

    DnA2010

    Rope Drop!
    Joined
    Oct 5, 2010
    Jumping on board, what a fantastic trip!

    Great picture!
    Congratulations!

    I'll update again once we get closer to our trip and I see what fast passes I can get. Is it wishful thinking to hope for Slinky Dog Dash AND Flight of Passage?
    Having only been to WDW once and not having stayed onsite, I'm not familiar with the making fast passes ahead- it's seems crazy to go to a park say first thing and not be able to get a FB!
    We had also signed up to participate in two separate fish extender exchanges on the cruise portion of our trip. A local candy/snack exchange and a pin exchange.
    Neat! on our Disney cruise it was just a regular put in whatever FE exchange
    Everything was very good, and the Zebra domes were worth the hype in my opinion.
    I want to try these some day!
    I actually had to look away at one point because it was so bright from all of the fireworks.
    Wow!
    The characters spent so much time with us and they went crazy over the fun things we brought for them to sign.
    You're things are too cute, I bet they did!
     

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