This Trip Report Is Under Refurbishment For Your Future Enjoyment Hey there. Sorry about the mess. I’m just getting this Trip Report started, so there’s a lot of work to be done here. We’re talking a whole mess of introductory crap that most of you will skim right through just so you can post “first” in the replies or promise to come back and read later after you wash your hair or something. I’ve got an idea—how would you like a behind-the-scenes look at how a Trip Report gets put together? Well, who cares what you think? I’m going to show you anyway. Step 1: Come up with a cutesy title. Usually this will be some funny thing your kid said during the trip, or a “hook” that is designed to get people reading further to find out what the title means. I agonized over this for a while and couldn’t come up with anything good, so bad job by me. But when I thought back on our trip, it seemed as though all of Walt Disney World was under construction, so I figured that would make as good a title as any. Step 2: Establish your time frame, or the “when” of the trip. My family and I visited Walt Disney World in the middle of July, 2018. Because we are idiots. Ok, and we are also slaves to the school calendar. Anyway, now when you see photos of the construction during this trip report you can feel free to gently point out how out-of-date they are with a subtle comment such as, “Dude, that ride’s been open for a year now.” Step 3: Establish the “who”—introduce the key players, accompanied by glamorous headshots showing everyone in their best light in order to present yourselves as the perfect family. My name is Mark, and this is my 11th trip report here on the DISBoards. Most of them are not about Disney vacations, so it’s surprising I haven’t been banned from here yet. My family has been on an insane heroic quest to visit all 50 states in the U.S., and we’re currently at 47 (with Oregon, Washington, and Alaska left to be visited). Here’s the current family map of places we’ve visited together. My other trip reports about our travels are linked in my signature, if you have hours of time to kill and want to bore yourself to tears. This is Julie, my beautiful wife of 20 years. She is a 4th-grade teacher, which is one of the reasons we’re stuck traveling with the rest of the mobs in the summer. But she’s also working for the vacation fund, so it’s a trade-off like all things in life. Anyway, I’m thankful that for 20 years she hasn’t realized that she outclasses me and could have done way better, and hopefully she’ll never have that moment of realization. Of course, that’s not stopping me from posting this photo: Sarah is my 16-year-old daughter. She just went through a year of turmoil which included her very first job (goodbye free time!), getting her driver’s license, and recovering from major spinal surgery to treat scoliosis. She is an incredibly strong woman who can destroy anyone with the mere power of her stinkeye. David is my 14-year-old son. He is smarter than I am. David can solve a Rubik's cube in under 25 seconds. I can't even peel off the stickers that fast. He just started his freshman year of high school, so he’s going through a time of adjustment as well. I spend my time avoiding competing against him in any sports because he is now reaching the age/maturity level where he will beat me in just about anything. Scotty is our 12-year-old. He is our most outgoing kid, completely unafraid to be goofy and go for a laugh. Choosing a photo for him was extremely difficult due to the sheer number of choices I had. I can tell you for a fact that he was very excited about returning to Disney World. Andrew (or Drew) is our 4-year-old bundle of terror joy. Supposedly he “keeps us young”, but I don’t quite understand that phrase because with his energy level he mostly just makes me feel very, very old. This was his very first trip to Disney World (aside from a 1-day visit to Typhoon Lagoon last year), so we were determined to make it a special experience for him. And to keep him away from caffeine. Also included in this trip, but no glamour shots: my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and their 3 kids under the age of 6. Yes, that made a total of 13 people to attempt to coordinate for the entire week. That went about as well as you would expect, but we still managed to put the “fun” in dysfunctional. This was the very first Disney trip for my brother’s family as well. Step 4: Establish the “where” of the vacation. Dude. I just said we were going to Disney World. Pay attention. Nobody likes a skimmer. Step 5: Establish the “why” of the vacation. I mean, do you really need a reason to go to Disney World? My youngest son and my brother’s kids had never been there before. It is the sacred duty of every parent to take their child to Disney World. Step 6: Establish the “how” of the vacation. Well, that’s kind of a nebulous phrase, isn’t it? “How” we did what, exactly? How we traveled? By minivan, the stylish choice of middle-class families worldwide. How we paid for the trip? By scrimping and saving and taking advantage of a room discount for the summer. And then saving up Disney Visa reward dollars and applying them to the cost of the vacation. And then maxing out the credit card. And then working overtime to pay off the credit card. We also did not get the dining plan. I priced it out for the family just for giggles, and the giggles turned into outright fall-on-the-floor laughter when I saw it would cost our family almost $2,500 just for the dining plan by itself (since 5 of us are considered “adults”). We could take another vacation for that. And there you have it. That’s the nuts-and-bolts of a Trip Report setup. And look at that! We now have all of our introductory information in place and are ready to begin. Please keep your arms and legs inside the Trip Report at all times, and thank you for taking the time to read along. Coming Up Next: The exciting drive down I-95 to get to Disney World. And we go through some shenanigans to maximize our Disney time.