Can We Do Magic Now? A 2016 TR Adventure. *Complete and DL Paris TR Link Added

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by amazingact21, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    Introductions and Overview:

    Hi everybody! Thanks so much for opening my thread! To all my old friends here, I appreciate you all joining along for another one of my trip reports. And for any newcomers, welcome to my 7th Disney report. I am so happy to have you all here; it’s crazy to think I’ve been writing about Disney for 5 years now!

    This particular report is going to be a tad bit different than my last ones, because it’s going to cover 2 different trips. They both happened in the spring of 2016 and both involved Disney; however, they were two VERY different vacations, and I thought it’d be best to combine the synopses into one big account. They fell within 3 months of each other, and neither was very long, so having just this one “2016” thread will make things nice and concise.


    Let’s begin with the February 2016 trip and the cast. Most of you probably already know my family, but there were actually 2 extra party members this time around.

    Animal Kingdom 06.jpg

    I am Alicia, and I am the one in glasses on the far right. Then there’s my husband, Alex, the tall guy in the back.

    My mom – Nana – is the other woman in the photo.

    And the two kiddos?

    That’s Landon and Evie.

    I claim them as my own most days.

    This was Evie’s first trip to Disney World. She took two journeys around the park in utero the year before, but I doubt she took in absorbed much. She was 4 months old at the time of this trip, and I was pretty darn excited to start the Disney brainwashing on her.

    Along with it being “baby’s first trip,” my little band of misfits had another new group member.

    My father!

    You guys that have been around forever know that my mom is a frequent traveler with us; she’s gone on 90% of our vacations, but we had yet to get my dad to go along. He visited Disney back in 1998 and again in 2003, and in his mind he was done. He isn’t the fan we all are and saw no point in returning.

    Until he became a grandpa.

    He and Landon have a special friendship; he loves that little guy dearly, and I can be a pretty persuasive daughter when I want to be. Along with another extenuating circumstance (more on that coming up) my mom gave him the final push, and he finally relented and decided to join us.

    6 people total.

    That was a big group for us.

    Especially when, for many trips, it was just Alex and myself.

    That was our February gang.

    What about our April 2016 getaway?

    This time around, it involved Alex’s side of the family.

    My merry band of 4 took a day trip to the Magic Kingdom with my brother and mother-in law.

    The first time we got the kids’ MiMi into a park!

    Mickey Meet 07.jpg

    And a few days after Disney, Alex and I and the kids took a trip to the dark side.

    We spent 2 nights/3 days at Universal Studios with our brother and sister in-law.


    There were lots of firsts in 2016.

    First time Evie went to Disney.

    First time I dragged my dad back to the world.

    First time we experienced the MK with my mother in-law.

    And first time we went to Universal Studios since Harry Potter world opened.

    Exciting times!

    Now, the hows and whys of the trips are a little lengthy, so just bear with me. I know it’s incredibly boring to read, but it really does play a factor into how the events unfolded.

    I promise.

    Pinky promise!

    Way, way, way back in 2015 Alex returned from a deployment, we became pregnant with Evie, and we immediately started calculating when we could take a big trip back to the world. Landon’s first Disney trip spanned 8 days and was incredible. Alex really wanted another long visit so we could have plenty of time to relax and let the kids explore.

    So I did some deciphering and factoring and conversing with my mother, and I came up with an amazing Disney vacation.

    It was going to be the bomb.

    It was so fantastic that only 90s verbage could describe it…

    We were going to go May 1st through 9th. My parents were going to be there the first 5 nights, and Alex’s parents were going to come over and visit in that time frame. Alex and I had 7 restaurants booked, 3 of them new places, and we were going to take 2 days and go to Universal.

    It was going to be the best trip ever!

    And then.

    We got orders to move to Germany.

    Wait, what?!

    My husband is in the Air Force, and good ol’ Uncle Sam needed him in Europe for the following 3 years.

    It was big news, and there was A LOT of stuff we had to do to get our booties over here. It was a busy, busy year and that’s the main reason why this report is going up 9 months after the fact.

    On top of the initial shock of finding out we were moving, we discovered our report date was in May. The same exact time frame as our trip. (We actually arrived here on what would have been the halfway point of our vacation.)

    So. Time to reschedule.

    Alex and I needed a few months ahead of time to have the movers come, finish up with necessities, etc, so realistically the latest we could go was early March. And looking at our schedules, the 28th of February through March 5th were what worked best.

    We made that realization around Thanksgiving.

    Meaning, I had about 3 months to move all our reservations forward. All my original work was moot. Waking up at 5am with a 7 day old Evie to reserve the exact dining times I wanted was pointless…calling once a week to check the military discounts was meaningless…double checking updated times guide was a joke.

    I scrambled and scrambled and got about 85% of the things we originally wanted. (It cost me a few sleepless night, many tears, and a couple cranky conversations with family.) It wasn’t perfect, but it would do.

    We were going back to Disney. No, it wasn’t for 9 nights, but we were still going.

    Two weeks before we were due to leave, we were afraid my dad wasn’t going to make it on the trip. Work was fighting giving him his leave because of an upcoming inspection. It was pretty stressful and sad, but in the end he won the battle and got the time off.

    So, there was some work stress beforehand. No big deal. A date change and a work complication wasn’t going to damper our family fun!

    No sir!

    It was going to be awesome.

    It was Disney, how could it possibly be anything but?

    Up Next...We Sure Know how to Make an Entrance.

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
    TeresaNJ and Gracefulskinny like this.
  2. natebenma

    natebenma Beach Club Dee

    Jul 19, 2008


    Awesome start! Can't wait to hear all about these trips.

    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
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  4. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

    Jan 12, 2008
    joining in - sounds like a good time ... love all the "firsts"!

    Also love that your dad and Landon have such a great relationship - definitely something special between Grandpas and Grandsons
  5. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

    Dec 26, 2009
    I'm behind on my reading and still need to finish your last TR, but I'm here anyway! Looking forward to hearing about your 2016 trips!
  6. rdkeim

    rdkeim Mouseketeer

    Oct 23, 2006
    Yay - In!
  7. purplelover88

    purplelover88 Can't wait to visit the world!

    Aug 6, 2014
    Yay! I'm here; so many firsts happening!
  8. kaileighbug

    kaileighbug Disney Dreaming! How soon can I get us back?

    Apr 15, 2009
    I'm here sound like you had a great vacation and lots of firsts. Can't wait to read about them.
  9. MrsSykes2014

    MrsSykes2014 Earning My Ears

    Oct 17, 2013
    Joining in too :)
  10. Grumpy's Wife

    Grumpy's Wife Dollar Tree gal here

    Jan 28, 2005
    Hi :wave: I love reading your reports. I know it can be crazy having to reschedule and shuffle things around but you've been to Disney so many times I know you can do it! Looking forward to hearing all about this trip.
  11. cindianne320

    cindianne320 DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2010
    I'm here!
  12. UKDisneyJoe

    UKDisneyJoe Mouseketeer

    Oct 17, 2014
    Frist time reading your TR's but may check out some others now. Good start and look forward to the trip itself
  13. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    Thanks for joining in, Dee!

    Thanks for following along!
    Oh man, Landon and my dad....they are something else. My dad's not an emotional person, but man, when he had to say goodbye to the kids when we was hard to watch.

    Yay! Glad you're here. And don't feel bad about being behind. I am wayyyy behind on your Aulani TR and haven't started your co-report with Imagineer5 yet. I'm slacking!
  14. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    Thanks for joining me on this report!

    Thanks! It was exciting to have so many new experiences in 2016, especially after we had been to Disney so many times already.

    Thank you for following along! There were certainly a lot of firsts.

    Welcome! Thanks for joining!
  15. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    Thank you so much for following me over to this report! Means a lot.
    The rescheduling was hectic, but as you said, I was familiar enough with Disney to make it happen. And, besides, plans or not, any time in the parks is better than nothing!

    Thanks for following, Cindi!

    Welcome and thanks for joining! I appreciate it. I look forward to retelling the "firsts" that happened on this trip.
  16. Steppesister

    Steppesister DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2013
    I'm here and reading along... not sure how much commenting I can keep up with as we enter a busy time at work, but I sure will try. :)
  17. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    Thanks for joining in! And I completely understand; the busier my life has become, the more I have turned into a "reader" more than a "responder."
    Steppesister likes this.
  18. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

    Aug 10, 2008
    I'm here!! I can't wait to hear about Evie's first trip! It's all so different with an infant in tow, isn't it? lol And going with the first one on their first trip seems so much easier, because, well there's only one of them! Glad it all worked out for you to reschedule at the last minute (in Disney terms, anyway) and that your Dad was able to go!
  19. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    At the time of Landon's first trip, I was overwhelmed with how much more work was involved. Little did I know it's a whole new ballgame with two. And Landon was still in diapers at the time, so there was SO MUCH STUFF! As much as I miss them being little, I am really looking forward to our next Disney World vacation, where both will be potty trained and can sit at the table without a high chair.
    I was so excited to have my dad there this time around.
  20. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    February 28th, Part 1:

    It was arrival day! Finally! After attending appointments and filling out boatloads of paperwork in preparation for our move, the time to take a break and go to our happy place had finally arrived!

    We lived just a 6 hour drive away from Walt Disney World
    (now it’s more like a 10 hour flight) so Alex and I loaded the kids into our already-packed car around 4:30 the morning of check in day. They typically woke up around 7 in the morning, so we figured getting a good chunk of the drive knocked out while they were finishing their sleep was the smartest way to go.

    And, overall, it worked out well. We made a stop to pick up some breakfast items, and then hit up a rest stop later on to let Landon run around and change Evie out of her pajamas.



    Around noon, we passed next to this beautiful sign:


    Our silly GPS didn’t take us under the awesome arch, but rather the road adjacent to it…

    Our resort for this trip was good ol’:


    Back in the planning stages, when this was going to be our bombtastic late spring extravaganza
    (still can’t let that 90s term go) I pushed for rooms at Art of Animation. I REALLY wanted to stay there, but unfortunately the resort didn’t offer military discounts for the Little Mermaid rooms, and the suites would have cost a similar amount to discounted deluxe rooms. Alex and I had gotten to stay at the Polynesian and Contemporary the last time we chose onsite, so we decided we’d save some money and stick with a value. Besides, Landon’s first trip was at Pop, and if we could emulate as much amazingness that happened on that trip as we could, we were going to try that for Evie’s sake.

    So Pop it was!

    Making this my 4th time there. More than any other Disney property.

    The first order of business upon parking was grabbing some lunch. I was pretty hangry by then, because I hadn’t had much in the way of food during the drive. A banana, some gas station coffee, and a granola bar were NOT enough to keep me happy. So it was with haste that we ordered our food and found a table to sit.


    (Take note of this photo. It’ll make sense in a second.)

    Alex and Landon got meatball subs while I picked a turkey sandwich. I did not realize it had avocado on it, though, so it wasn’t my favorite. It wasn’t bad, I’m just not an avocado lovin’ type of gal.


    A few days leading up to this trip, Landon had been suffering from a cough and runny nose, but it wasn’t bad enough to stop him from his normal activities, so I hadn’t put much thought into it. Unfortunately, though, the long drive in his carseat coupled with the drainage caused for him to have a not so awesome moment about halfway into our meal.

    I became immediately panicked and just froze in my seat. What in the heck was I supposed to do?!

    Luckily, Alex jumped up and grabbed a bunch of napkins. Then he picked Landon up and took him out to the car to get him a change of clothes.

    I stayed behind with Evie, completely mortified. A nice Cast Member came by and helped me clean up, as well as tried to calm my paranoia that had arisen from its Mom-depths.

    Holy cow, we haven’t been at Disney five minutes and somebody’s already sick!

    What if he’s sick-sick?

    This isn’t happening, this isn’t happening.

    How’s Evie? Is she warm? She feels warm. She must be sick, too!

    Oh gosh!

    Alex returned with Landon who seemed to be in fine spirits despite what had just happened. He continued to have a bad cough, and I kept demanding he chill before he had another incident. I was definitely panicked.

    One of the greatest things about Alex, though, is his ability to stay rational while I am freaking out, so he calmed me down and suggested we go check in and take the kids to the room to rest for a while. And while that would have been a fantastic idea, our room was actually not ready yet.

    A first for us.

    Oh well, we went and picked up our stroller rental, instead.

    Before the trip, Alex and I discussed the pros and cons of taking our single City Mini stroller with us versus renting a double stroller from an outside company. In the end, we went with the rental option, because it did not cost that much, and because we figured it would be better to have that extra seat and not need it than want the extra spot and not have it.


    Just about the time we got the straps situated on the stroller (gotta love the engineering degree needed for that task) and the kids trapped in (This also involved a five minute delay because Landon could not make up his mind what side he wanted to claim as his own. Obviously, the left or right seat was a HUGE decision for a 2 year old.) my mother texted me saying her and my father had arrived.
    They did not want to leave quite as early as us, choosing to wake up at a normal time and eat breakfast at home before hitting the road.

    You can see them waiting in the background while I prepped the kids for the surprise. (We hadn’t told Landon who else was joining us.)


    Yes, my dad was wearing a neon yellow shirt.

    That’s just my dad.

    I tried to capture the reveal on camera, but I chose the worst spot possible to stand.

    So, all we have to remember Landon’s happiness is of my mother’s back.



    You’ll just have to take my word on it that Landon was thrilled silly seeing his Nana and Papi, and he was anxious to get out of his stroller and explore with them. He had to hold out for a short time, though, because my parents needed to check in. Their room was connected to ours and was ready, so everyone offered to start grabbing the luggage from the vehicles while I pushed the kids to the room.

    We were in the 70’s building, on the side with the massive Mickey phone. A logical person would have cut a left right out the back of the lobby and taken a direct path to the destination.

    Not me, though. I wish I could blame it on my kid-just-got-sick shock, but I’m just naturally terrible with directions. I’d get lost walking along a straight line. I ended up making my way to the 60’s section:


    And straight to the bridge connecting Pop to AoA. I hooked a left there and just strolled along:


    Until Alex texted me and told me where to go.

    Yes, I wish I could say that hadn’t happened. But you live and learn.

    Unless you’re me.

    Then you live and repeat the mistake over and over until it’s time to check out and start the whole maddening process over again when you stay somewhere new next vacation.

    My parent’s room was exactly as I expected them to be. Clean and decked out in Pop-décor.



    The stroller JUST BARELY fit in the room. There was maybe an inch of space in the doorway when walking through, and Alex and I ended up keeping the thing folded when it was inside to save space.

    Definitely a tight squeeze.

    My family had to hang out in my parent’s room until about 3:30 in the afternoon before we got the text that our room was ready. During the time, though, we got to enjoy a little bit of entertainment in the form of my younger brother royally messing up.

    A couple days before the trip, my brother had to call Alex and ask him to drop our spare key to my parent’s house off at his work because he’d forgotten his and wouldn’t be able to go home without it.

    And then on that day, Isaac had walked out of the house and forgotten it again.

    There had been an increase in car breakins and such in my parent’s neighborhood so they did not feel comfortable leaving a spare key out and about anymore, and I was the person with the emergency.

    Originally, my brother was supposed to use his dinner break and go back to the house to let both their and our dog outside, but since he didn’t have the key my mother had to call her best friend and see if her family could find a way inside and/or wait for a locksmith.

    So, my mother spent most of the afternoon on her cell phone, trying to figure out how to get someone –anyone – inside her home.


    In the end, the friend found an open window (that was promptly locked afterwards) and was able to go through that way, but it took a lot of work to reach that point. They were trying to remember the garage code, they were trying the old credit card trick, they were even thinking of other folks who might have had a spare set of keys.

    My mother was a little stressed out by the whole thing, my dad was frustrated at his kid for locking himself out twice in one week, and I was still on red alert with Landon. Everyone’s nerves were a little on edge, but we were hopeful that the evening would provide some distraction and shake off all the travel jitters.

    Up Next…What’s Disney without Traditions?
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  21. rdkeim

    rdkeim Mouseketeer

    Oct 23, 2006
    Oh my - I hate real life drama when on vacation. Hope things settle down quickly and you enjoy your evening!

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