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. So. 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. 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! 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.