French Quarter to the Fantasy With an EPIC Cherry on Top…Spring 2019! Updated 8/19!

buzzrelly

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Hello! Welcome to my Spring 2019 Trips Report…you read that right…"Trips."
I was lucky enough to go on not one, but two amazing trips this Spring!

April 2-April 13:

My Dear Mom (we'll just call her Grammy), my teens, Nicholas-17, and Allie-15, and I flew down and stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter for our very first time for four nights and then we traveled to Port Canaveral and boarded the beautiful Fantasy for a 7-night cruise to the Eastern Caribbean.





I'll get back to them later...


May 1-May 6:

I flew down to take part in what is known as the Dis-Board EPIC Girl's Trip…the name is a slight misnomer because there did end up being some husbands who came along on our trip and just added to the fun.

Here's most of that crazy group:


I'm sure you will recognize most of the lovely people in this group as most have been writing trip reports here for a long time and that's how we all met! Pictured above from left is Luke, husband to Fallon @fallonkendra , who was the smart woman who got this whole thing started by the way, so thank you Fallon! Next is Su-Lynn @chunkymonkey and her husband Steve. Su-Lynn took on a LOT of the planning for this trip for which we were all very grateful :love:, then there's Liesa @Steppesister…my awesome roomie for the first two nights…there's a story there but you'll have have to stick around to find out what it is :D. Behind Liesa is Renee @ArielSRL an her husband Chad, then there's Jackie @missjackiemcg , Ariana @Pluto0809 , Ariane @ariane37 and her husband Steve who were our Wilderness Lodge buddies and she was one of just two people that I felt I really "knew" going into this trip although we had only met one time in person! Behind Ariane is Billie @Elevationist , a new friend from this trip and just one of the funniest people ever! I'm sad I missed out on her dining reports from back in the day, I hear they were hilarious! I'm crouched in the front next to Jackie and behind me is Melinda @pepperandchips and her husband, who I had the pleasure of hanging out with a couple nights at Geyser Point, but it definitely was not enough! Beside me is @fallonkendra and behind her is my awesome roomie for the last three nights, Kari, @kastoney. She was the only other person I felt I really "knew," despite having never met her in real life. Luckily, she was just as awesome in person as I thought she was going to be! Also, I probably would not have gone on this trip if she hadn't texted me to ask me to be her roommate all those months ago, so I and super thankful to her for that :hug:. Next there is Jenny @Jenny Sanders and her husband Joe. I just met Jenny for the first time on this trip and I feel like we are old friends who have known each other for years! And finally there's Lindsay @LindseyJo22 , Jenn @Chrystmasangel and Sarah @IowaTater . Not pictured are Caroline @disneyAndi14 , Molly @Mollydolly334 or Lesley @Lesley Wake, the Yacht Club girls. Maybe they were back relaxing at Stormalong Bay? But they were all lovely and I was so happy to get to know them. Along with Su-Lynn, Lesley also took on a lot of the planning for the group and she seems to be a wealth of knowledge about all things Disney. I will definitely be bugging her for help when I finally make it to Disneyland!

Phew! I hope I got everyone! That's the longest introduction post I've EVER written!

I totally forgot to introduce myself, so I am adding this in in an Edit :rolleyes1

For
those of you who are new to my trip reports, my name is Kelly. Like most of you, I am crazy about Disney! I have visited many times, mostly with my mom (Grammy) and my kids who grew up going and love it still. But I have also recently been traveling with my DH, Mike, who was never a huge fan of Disney but is starting to come around after a couple of adults-only trips. It's getting easier and easier to get him to agree to trips and he actually was the one who got the ball rolling on our trip that we have planned for next March.

Anyway, I am a NICU nurse in real-life but I dream of someday doing something with Disney in some way, shape or form. What exactly that form is remains to be seen…

I became a DVC member in 2014, but seem to be a perpetual loss of points, thus the reason we stayed at POFQ in April. We have DVC points at both BLT and the Poly, and I love them both :love:
Another random fact about me…I love the Baobab trees in Animal Kingdom, and will fight you for the right side of the Safari truck so I can get a good pic of them :rotfl: (That may or may not be altogether true :P).

Here I am on this May trip, standing on my favorite street in my favorite place of all...



I guess that'll do as a way of introduction. If you want to know more, I have a LOT of links to past trip reports in my signature :goodvibes

Now, I have thought and thought about how and what to include in my trip report. Should I do one big report about our April trip and put it on the cruise trip report forum? And then maybe do a smaller trip report here about the May trip? Should I not write about the May trip at all?

After much debate, I've decided to write about the land portions here and when I'm through with those, I'll start a new report on just the cruise portion and I'll put that on the cruise line forum. If none of that makes sense to you, then what I'm about to say will really make no sense…I'm going to start with the EPIC May trip. After all, when you are eating your ice cream sundae, don't you always start with the cherry on top??

So if you've read this far, thank you and :welcome:

If you're new here, please don't be afraid to comment! After all,
I hope we don't lose sight of one thing…that this was all started by the DisBoards Trip Report Forum :P
 
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buzzrelly

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
May 1, 2019
TRAVEL DAY


Before I get to Travel Day…I'm going to back up to how this trip all came about in the first place, since this was about a year in the making.

If you want the nitty gritty details, here's the link to the PTR started by Su-Lynn last July:

The Most EPIC Pre-Trip Report

But the cliff's note version is that Fallon mentioned in a group chat that we should all get together in WDW and there was a lot of, "Oh my gosh, yes!"

For me personally, I was super excited at the prospect but I also knew I had a BIG trip planned already for April. Nicholas is graduating high school this year and thinking that this may be our last April vacation together, we had booked the Fantasy cruise last year while we were on the Wonder. So when the group decided on early May for the EPIC trip, I was really thinking there was no way I could possible go since it was so soon after our April trip.

But that didn't stop me from wanting to go and I kept myself in the EPIC planning group chat while everyone was planning and booking their hotels. I talked about it with Mike multiple times and didn't really make a decision one way or another until Kari @kastoney texted me and asked if I wanted to be her roomie at the Wilderness Lodge. At that point, I knew I needed to make a decision one way or another and after talking it over again with Mike, I decided that I would HATE to miss out on this! And that was that. Once I committed to Kari, I knew there was no backing out and I got even more excited about going!

Side note, at the time, I was planning on only going for three nights, May 3-May 6th and since Mike doesn't fly, having him come along was not really an option. For those new to my trip reports, my husband Mike either takes the train down from CT, or actually next March, we will be driving down together. I also didn't realize so many husbands would be going and I was kind of bummed that he wasn't there because I think he would have really loved hanging out in the lounges and Geyser Point with us and Ariane's and Jenny's husbands. He is definitely coming down to the next EPIC trip!

So Kari and I were planning on staying at the Wilderness Lodge May 3-May 6th. I had my plane ticket booked, I got myself an AP on my April trip and everything was all set. But then a couple weeks before the trip, Su-Lynn texted that a super generous offer was made for us to have a VIP tour on May 2nd. What?? And I was missing that by ONE day! :sad: Liesa @Steppesister and I started texting back and forth because she was in the same boat and we decided that we would fly down a couple days early and try to find a place to stay together for those two nights. This is easier said than done and it was so last minute that there was very little available in all of WDW that wasn't exorbitantly expensive. Somehow she and I managed to piece together a couple nights at two different resorts and we were all set to go, until Liesa got a super generous offer from Jill @jedijill to stay in her room at Animal Kingdom Lodge for those two nights! :worship:Obviously, this was much more appealing and we happily took her up on her offer!

So on May 1st, I left dreary CT,

and arrived in sunny Orlando around 7:30 pm…

I know it had only been a couple weeks, but it felt so good to see Palm Trees again :love:

Liesa had gotten in earlier in the day and once I landed, she and I were texting back and forth about meeting at AKL. I was actually more than a little nervous because I really didn't know Liesa very well and I had never even texted Jill. When I explained to my friends at work what I was doing, I think they thought I was a little crazy. I'm not going to lie…I thought I was a little crazy for doing this too, but I figured, what the heck!? I also think a big part of this is that this was all happening in WDW and I am super comfortable traveling there by myself and figured if things didn't work out, I would figure something else out.

Luckily, not only did things work out, but Liesa and Jill are two of the nicest, easy-going people I've ever met :hug:. It makes me even happier that I took a chance on this ::yes::

Anyway, after a not too terribly long ride on the DME,

I arrived at AKL around 9 pm.


For those who read my October trip report, you may recall that we didn't love Jambo House. I have to say, that after staying in Kidani Village with a Savanna View, I have changed my mind about AKL. BUT, and this is a big thing, I would only stay there again with a Savanna View, and not a view of the closed down under-refurbishment pool, like we had in October :crazy2:

Kidani also has a smaller, more welcoming feel to it that I preferred.

Liesa met me in the lobby, and despite what she says, she looked perfectly lovely and we hit it off right away! We brought my bags to the room and went in search of food. Our plan was to sit outside by the pool and have some drinks and appetizers, but when we got there, there was a very limited menu so we decided to head into Sanaa instead. Mike and I had planned to go here twice and somehow never made it and I have always wanted to try the bread service, so I was excited.

I love some of the cool art in there...






We had a lovely server and after a short discussion, Liesa and I decided to just share the bread with all the accompaniments. This was just as amazing as people say, though a couple of the sauces were just way too hot for me.



I was also very excited to see that the had Trulys here and I had a couple of those as well, while Liesa had a glass of wine.

We sat and talked and got to know each other better and it was really such an awesome meeting and a perfect start to an EPIC trip!


Liesa and I closed down Sanaa and headed back to our room at 11, where I finally met Jill, our most generous host, who had been sleeping prior to us coming in! Despite this, she was absolutely lovely and just such a kind person who I am most grateful to!

We chatted for a bit before settling down for the night since we had to get up and go pretty early to start a most AMAZING day!

Up next…the VIP tour that I am SOOOO happy I didn't miss!
 
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  • chunkymonkey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 27, 2009
    Woohoo! I am here!! Can’t wait to read about your experience on the trip. It really was amazing wasn’t it? Can’t wait until we plan the next one.
     

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
  • pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    But the cliff's note version is that Fallon mentioned in a group chat that we should all get together in WDW and there was a lot of, "Oh my gosh, yes!"
    She told me that when we met. I thought it was Su-Lynn's idea. She set me straight. :)

    until Kari @kastoney texted me and asked if I wanted to be her roomie at the Wilderness Lodge.
    Hello!

    I also didn't realize so many husbands would be going and I was kind of bummed that he wasn't there because I think he would have really loved hanging out in the lounges and Geyser Point with us and Ariane's and Jenny's husbands. He is definitely coming down to the next EPIC trip!
    One of the reasons I avoided it. It was supposed to be a girl's trip. Sure, I get that husbands are going to go too, but I didn't have that connection. I didn't want to be an interloper.

    Liesa @Steppesister and I started texting back and forth because she was in the same boat and we decided that we would fly down a couple days early and try to find a place to stay together for those two nights. This is easier said than done and it was so last minute that there was very little available in all of WDW that wasn't exorbitantly expensive. Somehow she and I managed to piece together a couple nights at two different resorts and we were all set to go, until Liesa got a super generous offer from Jill @jedijill to stay in her room at Animal Kingdom Lodge for those two nights!
    I knew the story from Liesa's thread. Pretty great how it worked out!

    and arrived in sunny Orlando around 7:30 pm…
    hmmm... sunny?

    I was actually more than a little nervous because I really didn't know Liesa very well and I had never even texted Jill.
    I get that. But... I've met Liesa… 4(?) times now and she's super nice. Haven't had the pleasure with Jill, but I'm sure she's just as nice. :)

    Liesa and Jill are two of the nicest, easy-going people I've ever met :hug:.
    Totally not surprised. :)

    For those who read my October trip report, you may recall that we didn't love Jambo House. I have to say, that after staying in Kidani Village with a Savanna View, I have changed my mind about AKL.
    Good!

    Liesa met me in the lobby, and despite what she says, she looked perfectly lovely and we hit it off right away!
    Of course. Both her looking lovely (she always does. :)) and you two hitting it off.

    We had a lovely server and after a short discussion, Liesa and I decided to just share the bread with all the accompaniments. This was just as amazing as people say, though a couple of the sauces were just way too hot for me.

    Man that looks so good!

    We sat and talked and got to know each other better and it was really such an awesome meeting and a perfect start to an EPIC trip!
    :goodvibes

    A very nice shot of two very pretty ladies.
     

    Steppesister

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2013
    Look at how happy and on FIRE these folks are!!

    then there's Liesa @Steppesister…my awesome roomie for the first two nights…there's a story there but you'll have have to stick around to find out what it is :D.
    We made a great roomie pair!

    Another random fact about me…I love the Baobab trees in Animal Kingdom, and will fight you for the right side of the Safari truck so I can get a good pic of them :rotfl: (That may or may not be altogether true :P).
    :rotfl2::rotfl::lmao:

    Awwww, so pretty!

    Should I not write about the May trip at all?
    :scared1::scared1::scared1:

    But then a couple weeks before the trip, Su-Lynn texted that a super generous offer was made for us to have a VIP tour on May 2nd. What?? And I was missing that by ONE day! :sad: Liesa @Steppesister and I started texting back and forth because she was in the same boat and we decided that we would fly down a couple days early and try to find a place to stay together for those two nights.
    There really was no choice. It had to be done! And in the end it worked out more than perfectly!

    until Liesa got a super generous offer from Jill @jedijill to stay in her room at Animal Kingdom Lodge for those two nights! :worship:
    :worship::worship: It was so awesome and I'll be forever grateful!

    I was actually more than a little nervous because I really didn't know Liesa very well and I had never even texted Jill. When I explained to my friends at work what I was doing, I think they thought I was a little crazy. I'm not going to lie…I thought I was a little crazy for doing this too, but I figured, what the heck!? I also think a big part of this is that this was all happening in WDW and I am super comfortable traveling there by myself and figured if things didn't work out, I would figure something else out.
    I've had the same comments (even recently, about this trip!) but like you.... I"m a big girl and make changes if needed. However, having said that, I've never had a "bad" DISMeet. Everyone I've met has been friendly and sweet and I've gotten along with them pretty easily. This one was just one of those that was a bit "sweeter".

    Luckily, not only did things work out, but Liesa and Jill are two of the nicest, easy-going people I've ever met :hug:. It makes me even happier that I took a chance on this
    :goodvibes:goodvibes:goodvibes

    Liesa met me in the lobby, and despite what she says, she looked perfectly lovely and we hit it off right away!
    :blush::blush::blush:

    You're very kind, and yes, I was very comfortable right off the bat and knew we'd have a great time!

    Our plan was to sit outside by the pool and have some drinks and appetizers, but when we got there, there was a very limited menu so we decided to head into Sanaa instead.
    I was kinda bummed about that because I wanted to soak up as much Florida warmth as I could- sitting by the pool with a glass of wine and a good meal sounded lovely, but in the end, Sanaa was a perfect solution to the crappy selection at the Mara. The bread service is so super yum yums!

    Liesa and I decided to just share the bread with all the accompaniments.
    Holy cow, I'm so glad we didn't get that charcuterie too! EEK, we'd have exploded!

    I was also very excited to see that the had Trulys here and I had a couple of those as well, while Liesa had a glass of wine.
    I am so totally going to look for those here now!

    We sat and talked and got to know each other better and it was really such an awesome meeting and a perfect start to an EPIC trip!
    :cloud9:
     
  • suse66

    Mickey Bars should be a daily food group!
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2008
    For those of you who are new to my trip reports, my name is Kelly. Like most of you, I am crazy about Disney! I have visited many times, mostly with my mom (Grammy) and my kids who grew up going and love it still. But I have also recently been traveling with my DH, Mike, who was never a huge fan of Disney but is starting to come around after a couple of adults-only trips. It's getting easier and easier to get him to agree to trips and he actually was the one who got the ball rolling on our trip that we have planned for next March.
    Hi Kelly! I am looking forward to hearing your take on all the Epicness!

    Anyway, I am a NICU nurse in real-life but I dream of someday doing something with Disney in some way, shape or form. What exactly that form is remains to be seen…
    I have huge respect for NICU nurses as my first son was born at 35 weeks and had a collapsed lung. Long story short, the NICU nurses at Sick Kids were the best, most compassionate, caring professionals ever. Their care saved Jack's life. So, a huge thanks for all you do! :goodvibes

    Here I am on this May trip, standing on my favorite street in my favorite place of all...
    Mine too!

    I'm going to start with the EPIC May trip. After all, when you are eating your ice cream sundae, don't you always start with the cherry on top??
    Yes you certainly do! And everyone wants to hear about the Epic adventures. :)

    So Kari and I were planning on staying at the Wilderness Lodge May 3-May 6th. I had my plane ticket booked, I got myself an AP on my April trip and everything was all set. But then a couple weeks before the trip, Su-Lynn texted that a super generous offer was made for us to have a VIP tour on May 2nd. What?? And I was missing that by ONE day! :sad: Liesa @Steppesister and I started texting back and forth because she was in the same boat and we decided that we would fly down a couple days early and try to find a place to stay together for those two nights. This is easier said than done and it was so last minute that there was very little available in all of WDW that wasn't exorbitantly expensive. Somehow she and I managed to piece together a couple nights at two different resorts and we were all set to go, until Liesa got a super generous offer from Jill @jedijill to stay in her room at Animal Kingdom Lodge for those two nights! :worship:Obviously, this was much more appealing and we happily took her up on her offer!
    This was amazing!

    Liesa had gotten in earlier in the day and once I landed, she and I were texting back and forth about meeting at AKL. I was actually more than a little nervous because I really didn't know Liesa very well and I had never even texted Jill. When I explained to my friends at work what I was doing, I think they thought I was a little crazy. I'm not going to lie…I thought I was a little crazy for doing this too, but I figured, what the heck!? I also think a big part of this is that this was all happening in WDW and I am super comfortable traveling there by myself and figured if things didn't work out, I would figure something else out.
    My friends think my Disney obsession and frequent travel there is weird too BUT if only they knew. I couldn't think of a happier, more magical place to be.

    Liesa met me in the lobby, and despite what she says, she looked perfectly lovely and we hit it off right away! We brought my bags to the room and went in search of food. Our plan was to sit outside by the pool and have some drinks and appetizers, but when we got there, there was a very limited menu so we decided to head into Sanaa instead. Mike and I had planned to go here twice and somehow never made it and I have always wanted to try the bread service, so I was excited.
    I love the bread service at Sanaa!

    We had a lovely server and after a short discussion, Liesa and I decided to just share the bread with all the accompaniments. This was just as amazing as people say, though a couple of the sauces were just way too hot for me.
    Looks like you two had a lovely time!

    We chatted for a bit before settling down for the night since we had to get up and go pretty early to start a most AMAZING day!

    Up next…the VIP tour that I am SOOOO happy I didn't miss!
    I can only imagine how much fun you all had!!
     

    buzzrelly

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 20, 2005
    I am joining in for all this fun!!
    Welcome, Caroline! Where were you guys in the EPCOT group shot?

    Woohoo! I am here!! Can’t wait to read about your experience on the trip. It really was amazing wasn’t it? Can’t wait until we plan the next one.
    It really was just so much fun! If I could go back tomorrow and do it all again, I would!

    That is exactly how I feel. I miss you like crazy (@ariane37 and @kastoney too)!!!!:love:

    Hey, Jenny! :hug:


    :sad: I miss you guys too!
     

    buzzrelly

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 20, 2005
    Why is grammy wearing a poncho if no one else is?
    Ha! Make no mistake, there was a sea of ponchos that morning all the way to Flights of Passage…






    She told me that when we met. I thought it was Su-Lynn's idea. She set me straight. :)
    I'd say it was definitely a group effort…Fallon had the original idea but Su-Lynn ran with it and took on a LOT of the planning ::yes::

    One of the reasons I avoided it. It was supposed to be a girl's trip. Sure, I get that husbands are going to go too, but I didn't have that connection. I didn't want to be an interloper.
    That's a bummer! We would have loved to have had you join us for some of the group activities…especially the day at EPCOT walking around World Showcase. You would not have been an interloper at all!

    Man that looks so good!
    How dumb am I for skipping this not once, but twice in the past?! :sad2:

    A very nice shot of two very pretty ladies.
    Thanks :goodvibes
     

    buzzrelly

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 20, 2005
    We made a great roomie pair!
    Seriously! Thank goodness!

    There really was no choice. It had to be done! And in the end it worked out more than perfectly!
    Thanks for being my partner in crime!

    I was kinda bummed about that because I wanted to soak up as much Florida warmth as I could- sitting by the pool with a glass of wine and a good meal sounded lovely, but in the end, Sanaa was a perfect solution to the crappy selection at the Mara. The bread service is so super yum yums!
    That did sound appealing, but when we saw the choices were really stinky, I'm sure we made the right call ::yes::

    Holy cow, I'm so glad we didn't get that charcuterie too! EEK, we'd have exploded!
    That was smart of you to suggest that it may be too much food! The bread service was filling enough!

    I am so totally going to look for those here now!
    You'll have to let me know if they've made their way to the Northwest :wave2:
     

    buzzrelly

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 20, 2005
    Hi Kelly! I am looking forward to hearing your take on all the Epicness!
    Hello and :welcome:

    I have huge respect for NICU nurses as my first son was born at 35 weeks and had a collapsed lung. Long story short, the NICU nurses at Sick Kids were the best, most compassionate, caring professionals ever. Their care saved Jack's life. So, a huge thanks for all you do! :goodvibes
    Sending healthy babies home with their families is all the thanks I'll ever need. I'm so happy everything turned out ok with your son :hug:

    My friends think my Disney obsession and frequent travel there is weird too BUT if only they knew. I couldn't think of a happier, more magical place to be.
    Honestly, part of the magic of this trip was being around so many people who think the same way about Disney as we do :love:

    Joining in! I’ll be back to comment later :)
    Welcome, Fallon! And just in case I haven't said this before, :thanks: for humbly suggesting this trip in the first place! None of this EPIC-ness would have occurred without you doing so!
     

    kastoney

    Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2010
    Kari, @kastoney. She was the only other person I felt I really "knew," despite having never met her in real life. Luckily, she was just as awesome in person as I thought she was going to be! Also, I probably would not have gone on this trip if she hadn't texted me to ask me to be her roommate all those months ago, so I and super thankful to her for that :hug:.
    Hey that's me :-) Funny even though I'd booked a room I was on the fence about going and flying solo. Somehow once I knew I had a partner in crime all would be well. And then it was even better then I imagined. :hug:

    At that point, I knew I needed to make a decision one way or another and after talking it over again with Mike, I decided that I would HATE to miss out on this! And that was that. Once I committed to Kari, I knew there was no backing out and I got even more excited about going!
    Yes once you commit to me there is definitely no turning back :P

    When I explained to my friends at work what I was doing, I think they thought I was a little crazy. I'm not going to lie…I thought I was a little crazy for doing this too, but I figured, what the heck!?
    We're all crazy which is why the lot of us gets along so well!

    I'm suddenly feeling a photo shoot recreating the statues of Animal Kingdom Lodge coming on :D
     

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