Intro and Takeoff! Arrival at Fort Wilderness A walk through the Fort Where in the world is Wall-E? Test Track or Bust Beer...I mean Bier...are we illuminated yet? and the first lanyard Valentines Day at the World! Pixie Dust, little boy style! The first Mickey Bar! There is no bus to the Magic Kingdom Scrooge's big day No fireworks for you, will a volcano do? A Towel Animal Party in the cabin! we WILL get there early today. Right? What do you want to do? I don't know, what do you want to do? Oh what the heck, it's vacation! Belle is the Bomb RRC or Bust The finale and...."did you wash your hands?" Faster Faster, Higher Higher! MY day The Best Burger in the World Shopping, Strolling and Spinning A wild west end to the day complete with a Hoop...Whoop...or two A Hoop, or Two and More for You! Where's the bus? There is a bus, right? There will be a bus, right? and Yakking and Yeti-ing....locally. Kali? or Safari? Kali? or Safari? FP pay it forward! A Goody and Tink photo-safari Gorillas and Gazelles, the Pagani Trail The fast pass gods of Presidents week strike again! Pay it forward Kali Karma EE, some EMH, a view of AK at night and a Bombastic dinner! What do you mean we are already checked out? Why we love FW A week on the DDP, $ignificant $avings for us. A dining recap and garden grocer review Final Thoughts, Sniff! Ok first, a little bit our gang. We have our fabulous blended family which includes Belle (me) and Scrooge McDuck otherwise known as the parental units And the brood Steven Tyler, DSS16, the cool rocker Tink, DSD12, budding soccer star and official tween (meaning hormones, makeup and hard to wake up) Goofy, DS9, high energy that one. Wall-E, DS8, low maintenance that one, except when he hasn't had enough sleep. I'm a working mom trying to juggle full time work, pta and 4 different schedules at 4 different schools, and I tend to over volunteer for just about everything much to my husbands dismay. I am married to a fabulous engineer. Or enginerd as I lovingly call him. Who likes to fly as you can tell by the plane shot. He plans to build a seaplane in our garage. Sigh. We've been together for almost 7 years, married for almost 5 and are blessed to have navigated the blended family thing surprisingly well. I keep waiting to be the evil step mom but it hasn't happened yet. I'm a huge disney fan with many trips over the years. Being from the west coast, not as much as I'd like! Scrooge is also from the west coast but grew up in CA so grew up going to Disneyland ALL the time. He'd never been to the world until 4 years ago and has always wanted to go back with all 4 kids. Wall-E and Goofy went with us 4 years ago and all the kids had been to Disneyland but 4 years is a long time when you are a kid and none of them really remembered much. This was our Christmas present to the kids and we were all pretty excited, the little ones more than the big ones but everyone was ready to get out of Dodge, it had been quite cold. Originally we had wanted to go over thanksgiving but Tink's relentless soccer schedule and ridiculous airfare had us rebooking for spring break, and then rebooking again for mid winter break once there became yet another soccer conflict. Scheduling vacation dates in blended family world is never easy and this one was as difficult, or more, than most for a variety of reasons. The kids are in 2 different school districts with 2 different school calendars and that just complicates things more. But summer is even worse, we can't plan until we know soccer schedules and at least for this trip, frankly, we didn't want to wait that long. So we held our ground and kept getting luckier with our rebookings. At first we were at BWV, for thanksgiving. Then OKW. Then I got laid off and I almost cancelled but instead decided to try and just downgrade. So we moved it to spring break, those thanksgiving airfares were too insane and were able to get into the FW cabins. For a family of 6, there aren't a lot of options! Then mid winter break, some killer airfares AND the buy 4 get 3. It was meant to be! We are avid campers so the cabins seemed actually more "us" than either OKW or SSR which was all that was available. We'd spent one night at ASM and I just couldn't face a value with 6 in a family suite. The cabin would be tight enough but we'd have a deck and a full kitchen which made up for a lot. All that set, ADR's made (and surprisingly we got everything we wanted at the 45 day mark except LeCellier) we got ready to go. I found DIS and did a LOT of research and planning. Quite the opposite of our previous trip where we just showed up! Despite the headache coordinating dates with the other household, once we actually get on our vacations, we have a GREAT time. Our trip started with the somewhat frantic rounding up of kids. With 4 kids at different schools and 2 different school break schedules there were some logistics involved. Our flight was at 1:30 PST and all kids had gone to school except Wall-E. Wall-E however had a monster project due the next day which, despite my best efforts (and his) was NOT done and would need to be completed on the plane and emailed out when we arrived. He had delivered his class valentines the day before so he got to have a nice lazy morning. Not really. I ended up with a surprise work conference call when I should have been loading the van and Scrooge oversaw Wall-E's story report effort. Which, although I wasn't in the room, clearly wasn't going well given the noises I was hearing. Not the ideal start to the day! Finishing my call an hour before we were supposed to leave for kid collecting I dashed into the shower and started jamming the rest of my toiletries into whichever suitcase I could find. We also had to repack Tink and Steven's bags a little, we always like to get their bags the night before to check and make sure they really have what they need and apparently all of Tink's LS shirts were at our house and I had her texted list of what she wanted to add. So...sweating a little but everything done, we load up. First stop. Goofy. I'd originally planned to keep him home that day as his school starts late but had forgotten he had math olympiad practice and that if he missed it...no competition. So he'd gone in for that (which had meant driving him to school before my work call) and then stayed for his math period and to turn in his classroom valentines. He is SUPPOSED to check out at the office and I was supposed to meet him there. I had something else to drop off in a teacher box (the homework Goofy had left on the counter that was due the next day) and then I went into the office. Only to see Goofy RACING through the hall to the van. Gee dude...excited? The head admin joked that he needed to come back in and sign out as he was breaking the rules. Next stop was Tink's MS. We've actually never picked her up mid-day before and were timing it for lunch break. Her lunch break and Steven's were 15 minutes apart but the schools were only 5 minutes. It was Steven's pickup time we were ultimately worried about as it was making it tight for airport timing but we really didn't have a choice. He had a big biology test he couldn't miss and we were picking him up after that. While the younger 2 had a full week of mid winter break, Tink and Steven only had 3 days and as a result, had more "due". Plus of course they are older! At any rate we waited. And waited. And waited. We were a little early but we started to see the crowds milling for lunch. And we waited. Finally Scrooge went in to see what was going on. She eventually showed up. Nice to be in middle school and have all the time in the world. It was their "friday" and valentines were being passed out. Tink showed up holding a rose...ah hah! Now the real reason for the delay Off to the HS. As with Goofy, Steven had also left homework on the counter. So he had to come to the car, get it, go turn it in, and come back. His classroom must have been in Egypt! Finally, seriously like 10 minutes later, we were off to the airport! Check in went relatively smoothly. I'd printed boarding passes before we'd left so it was just baggage check in. Thankfully our outbound was on Alaska so the 1st bags were free. Good thing when you have 6 of them! Of course...my bag was too heavy. For some reason my suitcase, empty, is heavier than most. One pair of shoes out and smashed into Steven's bag and we were ready to go! Our "fancy" plane lunch Animals excited for take off (both kinds!) The younger boys had really wanted to bring 2 animals each but we drew the line at one and...Homework on the plane. Wall-E literally did homework the entire time we were flying. As did the rest of the kids but his was the worst. One 11 page paper later, we had it up and in my outbox, ready to go once we got to the cabin and logged in. Steven should have been doing more but we didn't find that out until we got back! Next...DME, arrival at Fort Wilderness and dinner in the cabin. Plus a surprise for the gang!