Should We Winnie the Pooh this Thing? - July/August 2018 Trip Report -Complete 8/18

Jfsag123

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Introduction

Here we go again! I wrote my first trip report after our oh-so-magical trip in 2016 that I almost ruined with my klutziness which required toe surgery weeks before leaving (link here). Woohoo! We then had to cancel our planned trip for June 2017 due to some unforeseen repairs needed on cars and the house. Boo. However, my MIL, who is a huge Disney fan and happens to live 20 minutes from Disneyland, swooped in and gifted us a trip to visit her and Disneyland instead. Hooray!



I started that trip report, got most of the way through, but never finished. Bad me. I also did not write a pre-trip report for this trip. Why the slacking, you might ask? Because this past year has been hell. I have been working on my Ph.D. for infinity (read: six years). The final requirement other than a dissertation is a year-long full-time internship in which you are matched to a site. My internship was in Austin, TX. We live in DFW. It wasn’t feasible for my family to pick up and move with me, as we have house, schools, and DH’s career here so instead I spent the last year living in two cities. I got up super early every Monday to drive to Austin for work, spent the week in Austin staying with a cousin, then drove back to DFW every Friday and spent the weekend at home. This was my life every week for the past year. While also completing a dissertation. Needless to say, my free time amounted to about zilch. So we needed this trip in the worst way to celebrate me Phinnaly being Ph.inisheD.!! See what I did there? So clever…

If you haven’t been scared off by my terrible jokes, welcome! I’m Kelley, DH is Rees and our kids are Cora (10) and Alex (8).






Our first WDW trip was in 2013 when the kids were 5 and not-quite 3 (hooray for a free child at Disney!).



That was our once-in-a-lifetime trip. Here we are 4 WDW and 1 DL trips later with return trips already booked for each (Thanksgiving 2018 for DL, June 2019 for WDW) and I think it’s safe to say that we are certified addicts.

The specifics:

Dates: July 21-August 2, 2018
Resorts: Coronado Springs, Beach Club Villas, Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
Weather: Hot. Wet. Hot and wet.
Crowds: Oh yes
Magic: pixiedust:

We weren’t thrilled about the July/August time frame for the trip, but it was the only time we could do and we were determined to make the best of it. We took regular walks in the heat of the day here in Texas to help ourselves get ready to tolerate being outside and uncomfortable and packed up our ponchos and sunscreen. Cora and I got mani/pedis.




We were ready.

Let’s get this thing started!
 

Jfsag123

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Day 1: July 21 – We’re here!

I did something stupid. Originally, we were going to leave home on this date (we drive over the course of two days). We ended up being able to leave a day early and decided to add one night to our trip. We were due to check into Coronado Springs on the 22nd, but the kids really really really wanted to see All Star Movies so I told them I’d try to get a reservation there for the night of the 21st. It was booked up. And, despite me obsessively checking, it continued to be booked up until we were scheduled to leave.

I could have booked POP, but decided instead to book an offsite motel right outside Disney property for cheap for this first night, as we would be getting in late in the day, it was half the money, and we weren’t scheduled to go to a park until the 23rd. I assured the kids we would do nothing but hang out for a couple of hours and sleep in the room, then get up first thing the next morning, enter the Disney bubble, and not leave it until the end of our trip. The kids agreed that they were fine with this.

As we approached Disney property on our drive, they started to waver. First, they said how about we just drive through Disney property on the way to the Quality Inn so we could see the sign.



Check.

Then Cora started crying.



Like, for real.



They were happy tears. She was just so thrilled to be back on Disney property. Alex was just in a state of bliss.



And so it was decided that there was no way we could spend the evening sitting in an offsite motel room just outside the gates. We dropped our stuff off in the room, then immediately turned around and went back onto Disney property. The lesson: I will never, ever book an offsite room again, even if I think it’s just for a short while. We need the bubble.

We ended up heading over here:



Even if we couldn’t stay there, we could visit!

Alex is a GIANT Toy Story fan. Like, his room is painted like Andy’s room, his toy chest is painted like Andy’s and he’s probably had 4 Toy Story themed birthday parties in the past 6 years. Needless to say, he was in heaven.







Cora is partial to 101 Dalmations




They insist this is from the movie :confused3



We had heard about the secret menu at the food court, so decided to try it for dinner. We went to the “secret” spot and were eventually greeted by a cast member. We requested the secret menu and he brought out this briefcase.



The menu is on viewfinders and consists of three items.




We decided to just order one of each and split them all.


1.Poutine



2. Mac and cheese hotdog



3. Cinnamon bun bacon cheeseburger – the bacon was candied



This was DH’s face eating the burger.



He looks unhappy, but in fact he loved it. The face was because, as he said, it sounds like it should be disgusting, but then it’s amazing. It was all actually pretty good and was a ton of food. Two cast members actually came over at different times to talk to us and ask us how we liked everything as we ate and they were both fantastic. By the end of the experience were feeling the Disney feels big time, which made it super hard to drive back out to our motel that I didn’t even take any pictures of. I drove out through small roads so we wouldn’t have to see the “See You Real Soon Sign” (because I am pathetic) and we went to bed excited to be able to get our trip started in earnest the following morning.
 
Last edited:
  • kclark9830

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2014
    First, congrats on your PhD! That is AMAZING!

    Second, I've never heard of the secret menu and how cool! I want that cinnamon roll hamburger thing (your husband's expression is too funny!)

    And third, I'm following along :) .
     

    Jaina

    Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2005
    Following along! Congrats on getting your Ph.D.! That is some serious dedication commuting every week and living apart from your family for most of it! And all three of those menu items made my mouth hwater! Then again, I just started Whole 30 a couple days ago, so... :rotfl2:
     

    ErinF

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2016
    Joining in!! So glad you posted the link from your DL trip report.

    Man, you really did go through hell this past year....I remember how you said you were commuting to Austin, but I didn't realize (or just missed) that it was every single week from Monday through Friday. Yikes!! So y'all totally deserved a trip to celebrate being done with that. And of course for earning your Ph.D, congrats!!!!!
     
  • chunkymonkey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 27, 2009
    Hi Kelley, I'm joining! Congratulations on your PhD!! It sounds like a rough year, but that is amazing you were able to do that.
    Your arrival day looks like fun! I understand not being in the Disney bubble. I love seeing the sign too. I'm like a kid :)
    But it looks like you made up for it by visiting ASMo and getting the secret menu! How was the poutine? That burger looks interesting, and probably something I'd like to try but not sure I could eat a whole one. I'm glad your DH liked it though! His expression is so funny!

    Looking forward to more!
     

    ariane37

    Dis veteran
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2012
    Yay, I'm so glad you're doing a TR!!! Especially now that I know what your name means ;)

    Phinnaly being Ph.inisheD.!!
    Congratulations party:you deserve it, it's a huge accomplishment!

    If you haven’t been scared off by my terrible jokes, welcome! I’m Kelley, DH is Rees and our kids are Cora (10) and Alex (8).
    :wave:nice to see you all back where you belong!

    The lesson: I will never, ever book an offsite room again, even if I think it’s just for a short while.
    Yeah, no. A few years back we tried doing an off-site trip that was also supposed to be a no-Disney trip, just Universal :confused3 We ended up in DS like 4x and bought one day tix to MK lol. Every time I have clients stay off-site, they come back and say their next visit will definitely be ON-site!

    Can't wait to read about your trip :goodvibes
     

    Jfsag123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2013
    Following
    :welcome:

    Joining in! Sounds like it's going to be a fun trip! I love how you turned your lemons into lemonade ::yes::
    Thank you! We've had some practice with the lemonade ;) Fortunately, we have Disney to help us look on the bright side of things.

    Joining in
    :welcome:

    Joining in!
    :welcome:

    First, congrats on your PhD! That is AMAZING!

    Second, I've never heard of the secret menu and how cool! I want that cinnamon roll hamburger thing (your husband's expression is too funny!)

    And third, I'm following along :) .
    Thank you! I heard about the menu through the Dis and I knew we had to try it asap. The fancy briefcase and viewfinders were enough to hook me - the food being good was a bonus!

    Joining in!
    :welcome:
     

    Jfsag123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2013
    Following along! Congrats on getting your Ph.D.! That is some serious dedication commuting every week and living apart from your family for most of it! And all three of those menu items made my mouth hwater! Then again, I just started Whole 30 a couple days ago, so... :rotfl2:
    Ha! Well calories don't count at WDW, right? At least that's what I have to tell myself. It's totally balanced out by the walking...

    And thank you!

    Joining in!! So glad you posted the link from your DL trip report.

    Man, you really did go through hell this past year....I remember how you said you were commuting to Austin, but I didn't realize (or just missed) that it was every single week from Monday through Friday. Yikes!! So y'all totally deserved a trip to celebrate being done with that. And of course for earning your Ph.D, congrats!!!!!
    Thank you!! Yes, this year was so nuts and already feels like a dream now that it's over. I definitely got an "I'm Celebrating button"...and then proceeded to forget to wear it after about the second day.

    I am joining in!


    This does sound so strange to me. But everyone keeps saying it is good.
    It's so weird. I don't even typically eat burgers and I liked this. Thanks for joining in!

    Following along.
    :welcome:

    Hi Kelley, I'm joining! Congratulations on your PhD!! It sounds like a rough year, but that is amazing you were able to do that.
    Thank you! Fortunately we all survived and it's worked out, as I now have a job near home.
    Your arrival day looks like fun! I understand not being in the Disney bubble. I love seeing the sign too. I'm like a kid :)
    Oh, I was only too happy to oblige the children when they asked to drive to the motel by way of the sign, as it makes me giddy too. No shame!

    But it looks like you made up for it by visiting ASMo and getting the secret menu! How was the poutine? That burger looks interesting, and probably something I'd like to try but not sure I could eat a whole one. I'm glad your DH liked it though! His expression is so funny!
    The poutine was good! I was loving the gravy and the kids were all about the cheese. DH is still talking about that stupid burger! We each had at least a bite of everything, but he and Cora primarily split the burger and Alex and I primarily split the hot dog. The burger was good, but incredibly rich. I cannot imagine eating a whole one.

    Yay, I'm so glad you're doing a TR!!! Especially now that I know what your name means ;)
    Lol! I'm glad the secret is out! ;)


    Congratulations party:you deserve it, it's a huge accomplishment!


    :wave:nice to see you all back where you belong!
    Thank you, thank you! It sure is nice to be back.

    Yeah, no. A few years back we tried doing an off-site trip that was also supposed to be a no-Disney trip, just Universal :confused3 We ended up in DS like 4x and bought one day tix to MK lol. Every time I have clients stay off-site, they come back and say their next visit will definitely be ON-site!
    Ha! That sounds like what we would end up doing. Our first trip was offsite and we said never again, but I figured we could handle just one night offsite at the beginning of a trip, especially when it would be followed by 11 nights onsite. Yeah, not so much...

    Can't wait to read about your trip :goodvibes
    Thanks! Looking forward to reliving it!
     

    Jfsag123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2013
    Day 2: July 22, Part 1 – A little pixie dust to get us started

    We popped up out of bed this morning – bubble time! Of course, we wanted to get ready as fast as we could and get out of there. I had packed a small bag for each of us for the initial nights before we’d be on WDW property so we wouldn’t have to worry about dragging our giant suitcases out of the car for just one night.

    In our rush to get ready while also getting the stuff packed back up we somehow lost track of the shorts I had packed for Alex to wear this day. I knew they’d likely just gotten accidentally picked up and packed in a bag, but he was desperate to get a move on. As I hunted for his shorts he grunted impatiently and said “okay, should we Winnie the Pooh this thing??” It took me a second to realize what he meant – he was so ready to be in WDW he was suggesting that he just go out with a top and no bottoms. I cracked up and a trip report title was born.

    So of course I eventually found them and the Great Shorts Crisis of ’18 came to an end. We scarfed a quick breakfast at the motel and were on our way. Pretty soon we were seeing this loveliness:



    As I’m sure you all know, Coronado is a bit of a construction zone right now. You can see the giant tower they’re building in the picture. We were aware of this, but had decided to take our chances. We’d never stayed here before, but DH is a huge Donald/Three Caballeros fan and we were all intrigued by the theme. It did not disappoint. I thought this resort was absolutely beautiful despite the construction. And, while we were only there for two nights, we were never bothered by construction noise.





    We arrived in the 8:00am hour. I knew it was highly unlikely that we could get into a room that early, but we needed to stop by the lobby. Online check-in has been very screwy lately and I was unable to ever complete it in advance of this stay so I wanted to just let them know we were there so they could text me when our room was ready. Our plan was to leave bags with things that could be damaged in a hot car (electronics) with bell services and head to Disney Springs (R.I.P. Downtown Disney – you’ll forever live in my heart) until our room was ready.

    I told the cast member at check-in the above (minus DD living in my heart). She asked if we had any room requests. I knew CSR was in the middle of refurbing the rooms so I said we’d like a refurbished room if possible. She asked about location requests. I’d booked a standard view/location room so I said I didn’t really mind where we were, but a higher floor would be nice if it’s available. The CM looked up from her computer and told me she could go ahead and get us in a room. Woohoo! As she showed us our room location on the map I realized she’d also upgraded us to preferred. Double woohoo! We were in Casitas 3 on the side near El Centro on the top floor in a refurbished room. We were, of course, thrilled.

    These rooms were gorgeous and so functional. I loved all of the USB ports, the surfaces to put things, the storage space under the beds, the heavy sliding doors separating the bathroom area from the rest of the room, and the double sinks. So pretty much everything.





    These pins were also left in the room, which DH was extra excited about.



    After getting settled into the room, we walked around the resort a little bit and checked out the gift shop before hopping a bus to DS. In my last trip report, @ariane37 had expressed shock over the fact that we had been DBVs (Disney Bus Virgins – gasp!) because we had always driven, walked, boated, or monorailed anywhere we had gone. Well any last trace of Disney Bus innocence is history after this trip, as we used them a ton despite having a car.

    Construction of the restaurant they’re building in the middle of Lago Dorado.



    Putting a pin in to show where we’re from in the gift shop.



    And a couple of kiddo selfies while waiting for the bus.



    The bus showed up within 10 minutes of us coming outside to wait for it and we found the wait times in the app to be pretty accurate across the trip, which was super helpful. We were on our way!
     

    Jfsag123

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2013
    Day 2: July 22, Part 2 – Burgers, and treats, and toys – oh my!

    Our first activity after arriving in Disney Springs was of the utmost importance. The kids simply had to play with…whatever this thing is




    After strolling for a bit we got down to what was really important – eating! We decided to try this place



    While DH ordered, I sat outside at a table with the kids enjoying the springs of Disney Springs.



    We came inside once he had ordered and found a table. The food came in decent time. I had the buffalo chicken sandwich.


    DH had the Diablo


    And both kids ordered the kids cheeseburger.


    DH and I also split a side of fries. The food was pretty good, but honestly, I found myself wishing we’d just stuck with our usual – Earl of Sandwich. I decided to change it up and regretted it. However, I doubt I learned anything, as I’m already thinking about other places we may try on our next trip and they’re still not EoS…

    DS picture dump time!

    It’s a giant circle! Why is it so giant??


    I’m sure I looked like a weirdo, but I just happened to be trying to get a picture of OuaT while they were setting up their group shot.


    Christmas in July! We bought a couple of ornaments that I didn’t take pictures of.


    The kids needed to be Edna Mode. I think Cora looks more like a puppy waiting for a treat, but what do I know?



    The kids went to Goofy’s Candy Co. and each picked out an apple



    Very refined.


    And Alex insisted they take a picture in front of this wall.



    By this point it was getting pretty hot and crowded so we decided to call it on DS and headed back to the bus stop. The kids decided to save their treats to eat at the resort. We planned on a relaxing evening of pool and resort time in advance of our first park day the next day.
     

    ariane37

    Dis veteran
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2012
    My IPad won't quote but I'm so glad all you #DBV's loved CSR! It's my favorite mod. I've stayed there twice since construction started and have not had it impact either trip at all, nor do I think it takes away from the beauty. And Inlove the refurbed rooms! I've also been in Casitas on all 3 of my stays there and think it's the best location.

    Haven't tried DLuxe Burger yet but I've read some good reviews, just not that interested in trying it. We do really enjoy EOS though! And lol on the Edna Mode pics :laughing: Both are cute but......you may be right about Cora's! By the way she's getting so big and grown up! Time flies.........
     


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