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Old 04-15-2017, 05:52 PM   #1
MamaB24
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Default *COMPLETE* It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage…

Recap from Pre-Trip Post:


First trip without kids in tow to Orlando…first trip with both of us present and no kids in tow in 15 years. We have dubbed it the “Better late than never honeymoon/anniversary.” We were married 15 years ago and never went on our honeymoon due to work constraints. Our oldest was nearly a honeymoon baby, and it has been jobs and kids (4) since. We have packed a lot in since then. I am looking forward to this trip, and now that we are within the two week window, I am nearly bouncing.

Cast of Characters: Me (Sara, 40) and DH (41)

Dates: 04/13-04/24 (First and last days are travel days)

Accommodations: BCV, studio (first stay here) and we will be at our other HGVC home for 3 nights while we visit Universal

Plan: I have FP+ and ADRs in place, but I plan on adjusting reservations and parks according to our desires (Any input on must do’s are welcome. I have combed through the boards and know the big hitters. I’m not sure I want to have too many big ones locked in and lose some of the other experiences we may find at Flower and Garden, etc.). We managed two hours solo at MK last summer while Nana was with us. She kept the kids at the pool party and we toured so easily with just the two of us. It will be fun to see how this works out this time.

Extra Magic: Since this is a special trip, I have planned a few fun things to do. We have brunch at the Cali Grill on Easter, reservations for the Star Wars Dessert Party, and we are signed up for the World Showcase tour one morning. Finally, I have managed to get Gifts of a Lifetime onboard for a scavenger hunt for DH on our last day at MK. This will, I’m sure, be greatly entertaining and embarrassing for me at the same time. He has no problem breaking out into song and dance or other random amusing antics at any time. (He teaches high schoolers using the same tactics.) I hope to enjoy TOTWL at some point, possibly tied into our own monorail restaurant hop since Highway in the Sky is unavailable that week.
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Old 04-15-2017, 05:58 PM   #2
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Default Clearly, I cannot choose the cup in front of me...

Okay, so I am a little behind on this “live” TR, but hey, it’s our “Better late than never honeymoon anniversary.” We have taken a couple of days to settle in for the ride. I will get to pics on another day. For now, it will just be words.


Day One: Arrival day. As mentioned in my pre-trip report, DH had an additional day off this week, so we left a day earlier than planned and managed to get a room at AK for a night. Departure was delayed because I had to rescue my mom “Nana” from her garage. The door broke, and she could not get her car out. Grateful for DS (13) who comes in at 6’1” and 150 lbs. was around to assist. Otherwise, things could have been really delayed. We drive overnight for our trips, and we did the same for this one. Rented a little gas-efficient Camry and managed to arrive around noon on Thursday, highly caffeinated and with plans to explore AK Jambo a bit and eat at Boma. After playing a round of “Clearly, you cannot choose the cup in front of you” I’m convinced DH drank half of my coffee and all of his to make the last couple of hours into town most entertaining. (He has been on a coffee hiatus for the past four months…)

We arrived at Jambo House, and first impression was that it is beautiful. The theming is magnificent, and who can deny the fun of watching giraffes outside the windows? DH was like a kid in a candy shop…he wanted to be a zookeeper when he was a kid. Settled on teaching life sciences to high school students instead, which he approaches with the same candor. There is much singing and dancing in his classrooms…and cookie making (for another time). In any case, his favorite part was the bridge from one hallway to the other, and somehow Disney must have picked up on that (MB2’s must use the force) because our room was literally right next to the bridge. We walked across for any trip that night and the next morning.

That afternoon we made use of the fitness facility, I finished homework for a DNP class I am in (Wish Disney could make that disappear for these couple of weeks), and got ready for Boma. On a whim, I also booked FP+ for MK that night because we weren’t as tired as we thought (or perhaps we were so tired) and MK sounded like a nice evening. Boma did not disappoint. Seated quickly and managed to find “meat-a-palooza” of chicken and beef. Finally tried the salmon as well since DS with the peanut allergy is not here. After eating our fill, DH grabbed a zebra dome and we hopped the bus to MK.

MK was a take it as it comes evening. We hit BTMR (love it at night), Splash, Pirates, Jungle Cruise, and Under the Sea. In the spirit of trying something new to us, we squeezed in the Tiki Room. Since my kids sing the music regularly, it is nice to finally know the context. We skipped Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain because the exhaustion finally kicked in. The only notice I had, and perhaps it was because it was late and the week busy, was that the park was not as clean as Disney usually keeps it. Bathrooms were trashed, and garbage littered the walkways. Crowds were not as bad as I thought. Our last trip was Christmas, however, and I went home hating people for at least two weeks after that one. We headed back to AK for much needed sleep. Day 2 plan is to check out of AK and into Beach Club and spend the afternoon at HS prior to heading to DS for dinner at Raglan Road.
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:19 PM   #3
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Looking forward to the pics. I like pictures.
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:33 PM   #4
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So far so good.

I hope you're enjoying the perspective of Disney without having to be the parent. Since my dad and I travel both with and without family, we get that perspective. Having others under your care is great but it can be overwhelming. When you are just a couple adults who know and love the parks, you really get the time to savor.

Down in One Man's Dream (the Walt Disney museum next to Toy Story Mania), they show this movie retrospective about the man. In it he talks about his original idea for making Disney Land.

Story goes Walt was out one Saturday afternoon with his daughters on one of those "Daddy daughter days". His girls were on their 5th trip around the carousel in the park while he sat on a bench dutifully watching. He thought to himself "Wouldn't it be great if there was a place both of us, daddies and daughters, could enjoy the same fun experience?" And so DisneyLand with it's many attractions was born.

Every time Dad and I meander around WDW just enjoying the ambiance, we remind each other of that quote. Well done Walt.
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:52 PM   #5
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Off to a great start! Thanks for taking the time. Looking forward to more, and pictures of course.
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:58 PM   #6
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Looking forward to hearing all about your trip. DW & I are planning our first time at the parks w/ no kids this fall - for the first 1/2 of our trip, our DS11 will be there with his school band, and we can explore whatever else we choose (world showcase is the first plan...).
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:21 PM   #7
MamaB24
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Default Day One Pics

Okay, here are pics from Day One, Arrival Day.

Finally made it...revved up on coffee and ready to go!



Welcome Home to Animal Kingdom...first stay here as well. We had a standard view which came with a partial savanna view...an ostrich and an antelope. The room was nice. I have to say I miss the king sized bed we get at HGVC, but with the exhaustion that hit...mattress size did not matter.



DH wanted to subtly photobomb the pic. Success.



A view from "the bridge" outside of our room.



I don't have anything from MK that night, but I will post more about Day 2 tomorrow. Until then...
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:34 PM   #8
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Default Beach Club Arrival

Day 2: Beach Club Arrival, Hollywood Studios, & Disney Springs

Good Morning! So Day 2 we made the very adult and kidless decision to sleep in. Yes, we slept in until almost 10am. Nobody poked me in the head. Nobody opened my door to whisper, “Are you awake yet Mama?” The only plans we had were to check out of Animal Kingdom and check in to Beach Club then head to Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs.

Check out went smoothly. We dropped our luggage with bell services to be transferred to Beach Club then headed out to drive over. We could have taken our luggage, but I have two other split stays this year, and I wanted to test the transfer process. We checked into Beach Club, but our room was not ready. I had read on the MOs board about views and requested a large balcony, so I was eager to see if we actually got one.

We had dining reservations at Sci-Fi for 1, so we walked around the resort a bit since this is our first time here. Storm Along Bay looks quite fun. If we have the chance in the future, I’m sure the kids would love it. We immediately fell in love with the Epcot area and Boardwalk area. We are an Epcot family, so it fits. (Do I hear the cha-ching of a future add-on?)



We hopped on the boat for HS around 12:15 and headed to the park.

It was the Star Wars event night, so our afternoon at HS was planned with a late lunch at Sci-Fi, our FP+ for Frozen, ToT, and Toy Story. First stop was for coffee. Unlike DH, I have not been on a caffeine hiatus, and I love my coffee (and hate the headache when I do not have it). We walked around a bit before lunch and finally met Olaf. DH told him how much he loves his work and finally got his warm hug. Next stop was Sci-Fi. We have been to Sci-Fi in the past and were pleasantly surprised since there were such mixed reviews. I have to say that it did not disappoint again. The cheesy sci-fi cartoons and movies turn us into MST3000 commentators, and the milkshakes are great. Not sure if it is new, but they also handed us a card saying “Welcome Back.” Simple, but a nice touch.

From Sci-Fi we headed to the Frozen Singalong. For those of you who have not dared enter this show, let me tell you DH ranks it at the top of his favorite attractions list. The historians bring us to tears almost every time. This time was good, not the best but good. There was a different historian with some new material, but he wasn’t quite as over the top as our favorite….although we did enjoy the “shame rock.” The best shows are those in which Kristoff does not get to deliver his lines because everyone is laughing too much. The introvert in me was also not as embarrassed by DH belting out “In Summer” since there was a similar male voice doing the same two rows behind us.



As the afternoon faded, the evening brought in the Star Wars party and many intriguing costumes. They rolled out the red carpet (literally), and those of us who did not have tickets were kindly shuttled to the park gates. When adding extras to this trip, I asked DH about the party. We decided that we would rather do other tours than attend. I like Star Wars, but I am not die hard enough like others I saw coming in for the party. Instead, we headed to Disney Springs.
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broganmc View Post
So far so good.

I hope you're enjoying the perspective of Disney without having to be the parent. Since my dad and I travel both with and without family, we get that perspective. Having others under your care is great but it can be overwhelming. When you are just a couple adults who know and love the parks, you really get the time to savor.

Down in One Man's Dream (the Walt Disney museum next to Toy Story Mania), they show this movie retrospective about the man. In it he talks about his original idea for making Disney Land.

Story goes Walt was out one Saturday afternoon with his daughters on one of those "Daddy daughter days". His girls were on their 5th trip around the carousel in the park while he sat on a bench dutifully watching. He thought to himself "Wouldn't it be great if there was a place both of us, daddies and daughters, could enjoy the same fun experience?" And so DisneyLand with it's many attractions was born.

Every time Dad and I meander around WDW just enjoying the ambiance, we remind each other of that quote. Well done Walt.
We went to watch the video again yesterday. We tried at Christmas, but it was so busy and we could not wait. I love the show; Walt is definitely inspiring. We love bringing the family, and it is our hope that we are creating good memories for them to pass on to their own families some day. It is also so wonderful to walk freely through the parks and truly enjoy them without the worries of where the four of them are. As they get older, it is easier...but this trip is like a deep breath of fresh air that DH and I have been waiting for...for a while. Thanks for the kind wishes. I have enjoyed your TRs!
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Old 04-16-2017, 12:43 PM   #10
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I like how you had your husband peeking out from the side of the armoire. Would have been hysterical if you did that in all of your pictures.
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